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File 164670993057.png - (98.07KB , 500x500 , p0.png )
1025593 No. 1025593 ID: eedbeb

Previous Thread: https://questden.org/kusaba/questarch/res/1018817.html
Wiki: https://questden.org/wiki/Stare_At_Explosions

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/tippler

Your name is Body Lewis and you're about to celebrate your 8th birthday.
Expand all images
>>
No. 1025594 ID: eedbeb
File 164670994660.png - (78.64KB , 500x500 , p1.png )
1025594

In your old age, your mind has started to wander. Your best friend Kibble seems concerned by the way you sometimes drop out of conversations to stare into the distance, but you assure her your memory is as sharp as ever. Maybe you shouldn't spend so much time watching anime, but there's a lot of good anime. You've even gotten the hookup on ancient human shows and that basically quadrupled the number of episodes you need to watch. It's pretty neat to see how modern storylines draw from famous human works, though you prefer watching over reading. Your favorite show, Baruto, is a pretty shameless rip-off of a manga about a cursed ninja kid, but with about a tenth of the cast and less power creep. You tend to judge these things based on whether Kibble could beat the big bad.

Right, your birthday. You think your friends are planning a surprise party and you suspect your grandparents have something in the works too. They've been good about inviting you to family events to make up for the first two years of telling Jadis to put you down. It's definitely some kind of grief coping mechanism for their daughter's brutal murder by the GIA but it doesn't bother you too much. You're an easy going cat and you like having relatives.

There might be some drama over who's going to succeed the cats with mob stuff. With Polly unable and unwilling to uphold the family business, there's been some jockeying over who will become the spiritual heir, with mutters of assassinations and a coup to dethrone whoever’s chosen. Gramps and grandma are only in their low 60s but they're ready to retire and enjoy their riches without the constant threat of violence and death. It's impressive they've lasted this long considering the fate of their daughters but apparently they've been fair leaders and their underlings are loyal to them.
>>
No. 1025595 ID: eedbeb
File 164670995525.png - (126.57KB , 500x500 , p2.png )
1025595

You note you're driving a car, which is a slightly concerning discovery. What brought you out of your reverie was the appearance of a clump of children playing in the street. There are quite a few humans in the mix, and you look at them with interest. The new generation is old enough that they've learned to mingle with their strange peers, so animal and human seem to be growing up in harmony.

You gently brake and watch the children run after a red rubber ball. A few on the fringes stop to stare at you, pointing to each other at your strange doughy face and odd eyes. You wave and they wave back.

Where were you going again?
A. The Lewis Mansion
B. The Deez, a bar where you hang out sometimes
C. Your pal Evelyn's apartment
D. Dunno, just havin' a drive
>>
No. 1025596 ID: 7a47b3

D is a very Body answer. We're just driving
>>
No. 1025600 ID: ce39da

C: Been a while since we caught up with her.
>>
No. 1025601 ID: 34dfce

>>1025595
Definitely D.
>>
No. 1025633 ID: c92a02

C.
>>
No. 1025656 ID: 96c896

C
>>
No. 1025657 ID: d0108b

D
>>
No. 1025668 ID: eedbeb
File 164678267145.png - (120.81KB , 500x500 , p3.png )
1025668

>C/D
You'd left the house to have a relaxing and meaningless drive around town, but now that you think about it you'd like to stop by and talk to Evelyn. It's been a while since you've caught up with the cat, strange to think she's almost middle aged now. You're not sure whether she's dating Saul at this point, their relationship always seemed complicated and Saul's freewheeling lifestyle doesn't suit a cat who's past partying and trying to settle down.

Honestly you thought Evelyn and Chef might get engaged last year, but they broke up amicably instead. Something about Chef wanting a family and Evelyn not being interested, though there were some underlying issues with Chef's trauma and Saul being around all the time to make things awkward. You don't claim to be an expert on relationships having never been in one, but you're glad they've managed to stay friends. When two social groups have meshed to the extent that yours and Vlad's have, it can be awkward when there's intense drama, a dead space in every conversation with one of the parties. That's why you're secretly relieved Margot keeps her distance though Cookie gives you periodic updates about his sister's health.
>>
No. 1025669 ID: eedbeb
File 164678268264.png - (152.50KB , 500x500 , p4.png )
1025669

The children are still playing on the street, having won the war of attrition against your fraying attention span and overcome the threat of vehicular homicide. You don't have a scheduled time to see Evelyn, so you cut the engine and melt into your seat to ponder life's mysteries aka have a quick nap.

Your head is pleasantly empty and your eyes three quarter lidded when one of the children, a pear shaped aquatic bird, comes up to the driver's side door. He weakly tugs on the handle and manages to open the latch. You imagine you're good with kids, being around their age. They like to ask questions about your strange looks and you don't mind answering that you were made in a medical school lab before you exploded and got remade by beings beyond everyone's comprehension. You have plenty of smooth rocks, empty glass vials and other treasures in your pocket space to dispense to curious youngsters, though you usually get disapproving looks from their parents. Celebrity status or no, you're both a part of the mob family and a big ole weirdo.

You spot the supervising adult on a house porch to the left. The prairie dog gives you the stink eye so you try to appear as non-threatening to the encroaching bird as possible by pasting a toothy smile on your face.

"Hello." you say, reaching to your thigh for an empty snail shell.

The bird glares at you then hits his own head with a closed fist.

"Whoa, hey buddy, don't hurt yourself." You offer the shell as a peace offering and the boy snatches it from your paw. He turns it over in his claws but doesn't leave.

"Buh—Body." he quacks, then hits his forehead again. You're alarmed, the poor kid seems to be having some kind of breakdown which you are not qualified for. Helping Kibble with her down days, sure, but strange children who somehow know your name and won't leave you alone is fairly advanced material.

It gets worse when the duckling starts crying with frustration, which alerts the prairie dog. You start to sweat nervously as the woman approaches, ears flat against your head as the child wails.
>>
No. 1025670 ID: c92a02

He kinda reminds me of that angel Kibble ate... Hey, you feel up to some child abduction?
>>
No. 1025672 ID: 96c896

>>1025669
Something's up with this kid. Ask his name, and how he knows you.
>>
No. 1025710 ID: 1697a9

>In your old age
Is that sarcasm or are you actaully running out of life?

Calmly explain to the lady what happened with the kid. It may not be the first time this has happened.
>>
No. 1025713 ID: 1c0351

>>1025710
Go one step further. Call out to the lady and say that the kid needs help and is having some sort of episode.
>>
No. 1025724 ID: 6c227a

uuuuuuuuh I hate to jump to conclusions, but I cannot help but notice that this kid was born after the death of the people missing from your social circle, reincarnation is a fact of life, and you used to know people with higher than normal expertise at funky soul stuff. A child trying desperately to remember why it remembers you is cause for investigation.
>>
No. 1025726 ID: e51896

Just drive away, uhh, just make sure you back the vehicle up first so you dont hit the kid with your passenger door, and then gtfo.
>>
No. 1025774 ID: eedbeb
File 164686894672.png - (147.86KB , 500x500 , p5.png )
1025774

>In your old age
A little gallows humor. Since you only lasted 2 years before, going on 8 is pretty impressive.
You try to stay positive in your interactions with other people, since your friends all need some optimism in their lives though you're smart enough to have a therapist who you've been seeing every week for several years. You don't tell her everything of course, you hope but can't trust she's been respecting your patient confidentiality since between the GIA and the mob nothing seems sacred. The visits help you check in with yourself and vent nonspecific troubles.

>Console child
"Shh, shh, it's okay." You unbuckle yourself and slide out of the car, squatting so that you're level with the duckling. "Can you tell me what's wrong?"

He's crying too hard to respond, snot starting to run from his beak. The other children stop their game to look at the commotion and you cut your losses and beckon to the incoming adult instead.

"Can you help? He opened my door and then started hitting himself." you call.

The woman scoops the squalling duck and shushes him.
>>
No. 1025775 ID: eedbeb
File 164686895562.png - (141.53KB , 500x500 , p6.png )
1025775

"I'm sorry, Dewey here has always had trouble, he doesn't play well with the other children and he shouldn't be going up to strangers in their cars." she says, not unkindly. Your attempts at diplomacy seem to have worked.

"It's no problem, I just hope he's okay." you stammer. Dewey slams his fists on her back and she winces.

"His parents can't find out what's wrong." the prairie dog continues. You're a little uncomfortable that she's smack talking the kid right in front of him. "He's very advanced academically, way ahead of the class in kindergarten, but quite anti-social.

That last shred of information, including the rough age range, sparks a worrying thought. Souls are basically supercomputers that run the consciousness in animals, while their brains handle the normal bodily functions. Dewey's age and Jadis' death conveniently line up...

Forced reincarnation, with an attempt to keep one's previous life knowledge intact. Would Jadis do something like that? Surely she would realize that was a horrible idea, trapping her soul in a kind of purgatory where its memories are preserved and inflicted on a developing child.

You struggle to remember five years ago to the last week of Jadis' life, where she was panicked and sleep-deprived, rushing to fix the Recycler while she pushed her friends away. Plenty of time to plan some contingency on the cutting edge of magical experimentation. A plan that would inevitably go wrong when forces Jadis didn't understand acted on their unpredictable paths, the same way you ended up with Saul bursting out of your chest.

You're damp with sweat, chilled from the evaporative cooling on an otherwise fine late spring day. The prairie dog is trying to calm the duck, who's having a full-blown meltdown, screaming and kicking and trying to break free of the woman's arms.

Mutually exclusive options:
A. Use your magic to find out if your hunch is right. This will upset all the animals in the vicinity.
B. Child abduction time! Grab the kid and go.
C. Drive away
>>
No. 1025779 ID: 96c896

>>1025775
A. My reasoning is simple. The poor child wants to know what's happening to him. Stealing him will be traumatic for both him and his mother (and could wind up with you in jail), and driving away won't help.
>>
No. 1025781 ID: ce39da

C: Make a note of this kid and come back later. This doesn't seem so urgent that you need to take drastic and public action. Maybe get someone more subtle to follow up on it, or at least arrange a time and place where you can exercise more discretion and politeness.
>>
No. 1025784 ID: 34dfce

>>1025781
Seconding this. This is the only sensible option.
>>
No. 1025790 ID: 2b3343

C. Don't cause a scene by doing weird magic stuff to kids in the street.

Tell her you suspect something magical might be afflicting the child, and you'd be glad to inspect him. His parents can get in touch later if they want your help.
>>
No. 1025793 ID: 8a51ec

C. The situation isn't immediately urgent, causing a scene is just unnecessary. Do ask the prairie dog lady for any way to keep in touch though.
>>
No. 1025814 ID: 6c227a

just SAY Jadis out loud you goober. See if THAT gets a response.
>>
No. 1025823 ID: 96c896

Heh, guys, I don't think we can pick C and also get the mom to agree to let us come back later. This is one of *those* choices.
>>
No. 1025827 ID: 8a51ec

>>1025823
I think restricting write-ins is a fairly blandish dishwater way of preventing your quest from going a direction you don't anticipate, but hey, aimless complaining is for disthreads.
>>
No. 1025838 ID: 6dd64f

What if we tell the folks here about our forced reincarnation hypothesis, tell them we can see with our eyes to make sure if it's true, although it can be quite upsetting while it happens, and THEN do option A.
People bear things much better when they are in the know.
>>
No. 1025840 ID: ad1087

Think, what would Jadis do?
A. Use magic and upset everyone.
>>
No. 1025859 ID: eedbeb
File 164694858851.png - (107.33KB , 500x500 , p7.png )
1025859

>Consider A
Evelyn is the only one who’s told you anything about what activating you’re magic does. Maybe she has some built in resistance after being an angel during the second judgement, because instead of crying and hurrying away like everyone else usually does, the tall cat told you that it felt like the worst heartbreak she’d ever experienced. After that you were much more hesitant to use your powers around people who could be affected, awesome as they might be. There might not be permanent damage, but the kids here will all start crying and then you’ll feel like the worst person ever.

>Say Jadis out loud/tell the woman about your theory
Jadis committed horrible atrocities and if your words are taken seriously that would spell trouble for Dewey. Outside of your cozy group of monsters, witches, and mobsters, most people know Jadis from the hit horror movie based on her teenage years.

>Mom?
The prairie dog seems to be looking after all the kids, probably a neighborhood daycare deal, so she’s not Dewey’s mother.

You ask yourself, what would Jadis do (WWJD)? She’d use her magic, no hesitation, and that’s enough to settle you against the idea.
>>
No. 1025861 ID: eedbeb
File 164694876576.png - (84.69KB , 500x500 , p8.png )
1025861

>C
You decide to leave instead of causing a scene. Since you’re now aware Dewey exists, you’ll be able to locate him with your magic and return at a more convenient time, either to try and jog the duck’s memory or look at his soul. You nod awkwardly to the prairie dog, get back in your car, and slowly back out of the neighborhood until you can turn into an intersection.

It takes ten minutes of driving before your pulse returns to normal and your fur dries. That was not how you expected your Saturday afternoon to start, you still have no idea what you’ll do if you’re right and Dewey really is Jadis 2.0. Should you tell her parents? They’d kidnap the duckling themselves. Should you tell Saul? He’d probably ask you to make sure the Jadis personality stays buried. Dewey’s about the age where he could accidentally activate his eyes and then things could get really nasty if he manages to cast a spell.

You slump against the cheap upholstery of your third-hand car as you drive towards Evelyn’s condo. The mild excitement at your upcoming birthday has been replaced by gnawing anxiety. Complicated moral choices where you are absolutely biased suck.

With a heavy heart, you pull into the visitor parking and text Evelyn telling her that you’re in the area. You emerge and wait by the door until a familiar thick-furred cat lets you in.

What do you talk to Evelyn about? All topics will be accepted.
>>
No. 1025862 ID: 460e5a

Ask what Evelyn thinks about abduction, since she was abducted herself once.

Then explain your reasoning as to why you would ask such a thing because you think you saw a reincarnation of Jadis, but you're unsure.
>>
No. 1025864 ID: 96c896

>>1025861
>should you tell Jadis's parents? possible kidnapping
Yes. They might claim custody and take the child but they will at least explain the situation to the mother, and optimally arrange for visitation. They deserve to know, at the very least.

Of course, you should probably warn your friends too. Tell Evelyn what you saw, and catch up with her. How's she been?
>>
No. 1025950 ID: 6dd64f

Sad deflated Body is so adorable.

Talk about your friends and acquiantances, ask how hers have been doing, tell her about your discoveries regarding old and current anime.
>>
No. 1026079 ID: 15a025

Catch up with the ol girl. Ask how's she been?
>>
No. 1026240 ID: eedbeb
File 164729140503.png - (86.65KB , 500x500 , p9.png )
1026240

>The basics
You wait until you’re safely ensconced in Evelyn’s comfortable sofa with a glass of water before you start. “How’ve you been Evelyn? I feel like it’s be a couple months since I saw you.”

The tall cat sighs and slumps into the cushions. “Nothing too exciting, my parents bought a new house up north, I didn’t like the place from the pictures they sent but I didn’t say anything because it’s not my business. I’ve been thinking of quitting being a barista but I don’t have a new job lined up so that might not be a good idea.”

Evelyn’s parents include her father, the illustrious former bass player of the band DEATHNIP and her toy poodle mother, a concert pianist who also teaches. You listened to some of both of their music and found it distinctly lacking of anime OP style beats. As for the café, Evelyn’s worked there since you’ve known her. Coffee is fairly expensive since it has to be shipped by freight from the south region of North Canica, so Evelyn makes a decent living, but you suppose it gets boring to make the same drinks every day while being terrorized by coworkers and upset customers.
Speaking of jobs you haven’t exactly been employed since Jadis died and her small business died with her. Sure you spent a couple years traveling the world gaining cool life experiences but that’s not really a substitute for honest wage-earning, like a slice of life anime.

“Body? You there?”

“Hm?”

“You zoned out. Something wrong?”
>>
No. 1026241 ID: eedbeb
File 164729141458.png - (77.89KB , 500x500 , p10.png )
1026241

“I’ve been having problems paying attention, sorry, I heard everything you said.” you apologize. “Kind of realizing I haven’t done much with myself lately.”

Evelyn scoffs. “Come on, don’t be hard on yourself, you’ve earned time to figure out what you want. If you’re interested in a field or job you could start an apprenticeship or go to college. You always stay busy checking-in on all of us, it’s not like you’re sitting around all day watching anime.”

“I guess.” You totally sit around all day watching anime. “There’s something else too…”

>Explain Dewey situation
“Ah.” says Evelyn.

“I just don’t know what to do, I mean, I’m going to go back and check that it’s really Jadis or technically her former soul in there but then what?”

“It sounds like Dewey is still his own person,” Evelyn says slowly. “Maybe if you leave him alone he won’t turn out like Jadis. Nature and nurture and whatever, he’s not going to have mob bosses for parents. I’m in favor of just letting him grow up normally.”

This is a good point. You’ll have the choice not to get involved with Dewey after you inspect him. In the meantime, continue the conversation with Evelyn by suggesting jobs she or you could get.
>>
No. 1026243 ID: 8ef57d

I can see Body working at a small gas station, just chillin' at the cash register, with a mini tv, streaming stuff on her phone when it's slow. Someone tries to mug her, she'll just make them feel sad with her magic.

Or better yet, she can learn to be a fisherman!

Evelyn, she's tough. I see her as a security guard.
>>
No. 1026255 ID: c92a02

Racecar driver. Mob hitman. Animal control.
>>
No. 1026260 ID: 96c896

Hey, maybe you should ask Saul about your brain problems; he knows the most about your design at this point.

I don't have any ideas for jobs, sorry...
>>
No. 1026312 ID: 094652

Just give Dewey your contact info and then leave him alone. The important thing is that he knows he has a choice. Maybe your interference will traumatize him for life, or maybe the eldritch knowledge will drive him as mad as Jadis, but it has to be his choice.
>>
No. 1026352 ID: eedbeb
File 164738360212.png - (151.80KB , 500x500 , p11.png )
1026352

"You should ask Saul if you're having trouble. He half made you, technically, so he should have an idea of what's going on." Evelyn suggests.

While Saul's fairly useless when it comes to actually doing things besides going to parties and eating brunch with a gaggle of gossipy pals slash researchers slash journalists, he's an excellent source of expositional knowledge regarding his species. You don't want to jinx it by saying there's some soul nonsense going on, but judging by something going wrong with basically every godly construct you've ever encountered, you aren't optimistic about your chances. Who knows, maybe you'll be lucky and get chest burst again by your magic deciding you don't use it enough.

There's that gallows humor again, though at least you've mostly broken the habit of being self-deprecating. Either way you should go ask Saul if he knows what's happening to you, and if you're really desperate you can ask Duck since you can't be mind-controlled.

Gosh, your schedule is getting pretty full. Your surprise party is tomorrow, and you were hoping to check in with the grandparents sometime today as well as get a late lunch. Maybe a fish fillet sandwich or a thick slice of ham with fries. You wouldn't say no to a grilled grub rice bowl with a fried egg and maybe a cup of savory tomato soup on the side.
>>
No. 1026353 ID: eedbeb
File 164738361112.png - (114.73KB , 500x500 , p12.png )
1026353

You shake yourself back into awareness. "That's smart. Do you know where I can find him tonight?"

"Uh, he might come here, but on the weekend he usually goes out. Shoot him a text."

You immediately reach for your phone and ask Saul to meet you later. He doesn't reply right away, as expected. You are not the top of his priority list.

>Jobs
Thinking about food has made you very nostalgic for the specific kind of dingy gas station and convenience store that pepper the highways across the country. During your travels to small forgotten parts of Canica where animals had carved out simple rural existences, you'd filled the tank of your trusty car at these places and bought a hotdog or two for the road.

Maybe food service isn't for Evelyn, but it could be a very fruitful future career for you! You resolve to find the nearest dingy gas station and ask for a job, when possible.

"I want to be a gas station attendant." you say fervently.

"Go for it."

"What about you? You're so strong and tough, I bet you'd make a good security guard or something."

Evelyn frowns. "Eh, naw, that's mostly standing around. I'd like to do something more exotic but not too dangerous."

You stop and think very hard. "We're by the ocean, you could become a fisherman with a nice boat and catch some lobsters and crab and shrimp."

"Okay, not what I was imagining, but why not?" Evelyn stretches and relaxes back into the sofa. "If you want to talk to Saul right now I can tell him to come here. He's always looking for an excuse to spend time with me."

Do you:
A. Visit the grandparents
B. Meet with Saul at Evelyn's
C. Locate Dewey
D. Go to a gas station, secure employment
>>
No. 1026363 ID: a13621

Let's meet the cosmic calamity on Evelyn's apartment.
We can introduce him to the grandparents later.
>>
No. 1026391 ID: e51896

A Don't mention Dewey to them, they might try to kidnap the kid.
>>
No. 1026414 ID: eedbeb
File 164747003678.png - (141.64KB , 500x500 , p13.png )
1026414

>Saul into Grandparents true combo
You want to get this brain funk figured out before you deal with everything else. If you want to be taken seriously in the mob inheritance discussion you'll need to pay attention to what everyone's saying and not get distracted by the trails of thought twisting through your head. The mobsters respect you, but seem to think you're a bit slow. Rumors of your power were getting out of control for the first couple years after you accidentally activated your magic during a particularly violent sneeze, but at this point you think most people, including you, recognize it as just fancy magic.

Fancy magic that you use maybe once a week due to the aforementioned emotional distress caused to the people near you and the lack of major problems that you want to solve with violence. Anyway. You need to put on a smart, focused front so that you're taken seriously.

"Please ask Saul to come here, I've been getting worried." you ask Evelyn. "If you don't mind, I can order takeout here and we can play Mash until it arrives."
>>
No. 1026415 ID: eedbeb
File 164747004681.png - (104.88KB , 500x500 , p14.png )
1026415

"Sounds good to me, I didn't have any other plans."

Everything goes off without a hitch and you're nibbling the remnants of a greasy meal when Evelyn checks her phone and grunts. The cat disappears, not bothering to lock the apartment door while you're there, and returns with a familiar scantily clad dark skinned alien.

"Hey Body, how ya doin'? Heard you might be having magic problems." Saul says cheerfully. "I'll be the first to say we were in a bit of a rush to remake you without the usual QA testing, but since Mary created so many animals before I assumed she knew what she was doing. I had your data backed up and I wanted to give you some spice for the road so I added the magic while she wasn't paying attention and that's probably what's making things wacky."

You absorb his words, mouth open. "You never told me any of that."

"Well I didn't want to make you worry. Think of it like an apology gift for all the intrusive thoughts I was constantly beaming into your head in an attempt to make you suicidal." Saul shrugs.

"You should have said something earlier." Evelyn growls.

Saul immediately adopts a somber expression. "My apologies. Beyond that, yeah I have no clue what could be happening. Maybe I can guess if you tell me more about your symptoms."

"I just get stuck in my head more often. I dunno, I think it started a few months ago and it's gotten a little worse."

"Okay, you know, I've never been around when you've used your magic. Can you show me?"

Evelyn stands and motions to her bedroom. "I'll get out of the way while you do that."

"No, you should stay. Let's get a second opinion." Saul says firmly.

Evelyn hesitates, but sits back down. You can tell from her grimace that she's not looking forward to heartbreak o'clock. You sigh, take a deep breath, and close your eyes.
>>
No. 1026416 ID: eedbeb
File 164747005574.png - (66.75KB , 500x500 , p15.png )
1026416

The only sign that your magic's activated is when Evelyn gives a choked grunt and starts sniffling.
Otherwise you're getting sleepy sitting here at the kitchen table after a big lunch. A bit salty for your taste, you're going to be drinking water for the rest of the day, but the sheer enjoyment of filling your meat sack body with delicious noodles and fried vegetables cannot be stifled.

Ah, the pleasant darkness of your own thick eyelids. You hear Saul muttering something while Evelyn sobs softly.

"What?" you say.

"Huh?"

"Is something wrong?"

"Oh, uh, I just noticed I forgot to give you magic eyes. My bad. How do you even cast spells if you can't see what you're doing?"

You consider the question. Honestly you'd been really worried about that at first. After living with Jadis while she was kind of teaching Cookie, you inherited through osmosis all the warnings about the dangers of spells and the care needed to cast them. Once you got over your fear, you'd taken some inspiration from Baruto and idly imagined a shadow clone jutsu that scared the pants off Kibble.

"I just kind of picture the spell and it happens." you say lamely.

"Can you show me?"

Choose a magical moment from anime past or present to imitate.
>>
No. 1026420 ID: 317596

Saitama's Serious Punch.
>>
No. 1026423 ID: d7d53a

Magical sailor girl transformation
And heres a thought, could the age of monsters coming to a close be a part of Body's issues?
>>
No. 1026429 ID: 96c896

There's nothing around we should be destroying, so uh...
Magical girl transformation? How about Sailor Moon.
>>
No. 1026430 ID: 094652

You are now Boobs Mckenzie
>>
No. 1026443 ID: 50af53

Something simple but noticable aught to do it. The wall walking technique from Naruto.
>>
No. 1026449 ID: fb5724

turn into a spaceship like ryo-ohki from tenchi muyo
>>
No. 1026460 ID: c92a02

This hand of mine glows with an awesome power! Its burning grip tells me to defeat you!
>>
No. 1026499 ID: eedbeb
File 164755664570.png - (132.71KB , 500x500 , p16.png )
1026499

>Serious punch
Good gracious, you'd never do something that dangerous! You're in a populated area, not to mention near your very mortal friend Evelyn. You have a strong sense of caution and self-preservation especially when it comes to the safety of the people around you. That's why you feel bad that you're making Evelyn cry and you focus on a feasible anime move to end this as quickly as possible.

>Turn into a spaceship
Would that kill you? You give it a solid 80% chance to kill you.

>Boobs McKenzie
You don't think you've seen this anime.

>Glowy gundam hands
Sadly, you do not own a giant robot and summoning one would destroy the nearby area.

>Wall Walking
Doable, but difficult when you can't see.

>Magical Girl transformation
You carefully reach for the edge of the table and stand to assume the position from one of your favorite old Shojo series, Sailor Moon. In a moment of supreme restraint you don't say the activation phrase, which personally ruins your immersion.

A heavy breeze picks up to send your fur fluttering, and you hear the transformation theme song playing in the background. Spare materials are pulled from your pocket space and fashioned into tight gloves and boots while long braids are haphazardly pinned to your head. Very showy without damaging property, you hope.
>>
No. 1026500 ID: eedbeb
File 164755665317.png - (106.83KB , 500x500 , p17.png )
1026500

Once the music reaches its crescendo, you snap the final pose, hopefully facing towards Saul and Evelyn for best effect.

"That was like, twenty spells at once." Saul says.

"It was?"

"Yeah, you were playing music, you moved the air around, there were a ton of flashing multicolored lights, and you built a whole costume from random garbage." Saul sighs. "I definitely gave you too much juice, but at least you're mature and sensible about it."

Your cheeks warm at the praise and you tug at your skirt bashfully.

Saul takes a deep breath. "Alright, one more question, and this is super important so please answer honestly. Do you treat your magic as a separate being, like you're asking it to do something for you when you cast a spell, or do you make it happen yourself?"

A. Your magic is its own thing
B. Your magic is you
>>
No. 1026501 ID: c92a02

Your magic seems to be you. You're just a big ol' sack of magic and organs.
>>
No. 1026503 ID: 96c896

It might be easier to troubleshoot it if it's separate, but there's probably risk of it being suborned, so let's go with B.
>>
No. 1026507 ID: e51896

A. Dunno, maybe its it own thing, maybe its a Tim...
Or maybe...

It's duck's other half. Duck head and duck body were two seperate entities.

Might not make sense, but might be cool to see the other part of duck return in some way
>>
No. 1026566 ID: 35bb13

>>1026500
B. Your magic is you
>>
No. 1026589 ID: 53560f

You’re pretty sure it’s you but considering the level of power and control you have, you could probably make it a separate thing if you wanted.
>>
No. 1026598 ID: 274345

Pretty sure the magic is you.
>>
No. 1026613 ID: eedbeb
File 164763468246.png - (128.10KB , 500x500 , p18.png )
1026613

“My magic is me.” you say simply. Honestly you could see it as either way, but you want to believe you have agency over yourself for once. “Am I done? Can I stop?”

“Sure, yeah.”

You open your eyes and admire the bright hues of your new costume. It’s a little uncomfortable since you’re used to not wearing clothes, but your brain did a fine job recreating the iconic uniform. You unclip the ponytails so they don’t get in your way and pat Evelyn on the elbow while she blows her nose.

“It feels good to cry, at least.” the usually collected cat says.

“I won’t make you do that again.” you promise.

“Evelyn, could you excuse us for a moment? I need to talk to Body in private.” Saul says. She nods and goes to her bedroom, leaving you and Saul in the kitchen.

You have the sinking feeling you always got when Jadis lost her patience with you at your incompetence or lack of desire to live. Did you mess up somehow? Are you not supposed to be this much of a weeb? Saul clears his throat a few times and rolls his shoulders like he’s about to tell you your grades are bad and your mother is disappointed. You clutch your bejeweled brooch nervously while god finds his words.
>>
No. 1026616 ID: eedbeb
File 164763478404.png - (43.06KB , 500x500 , p19.png )
1026616

“So, uh, Body, I know this might be a bit of a shock, but you’re going through some changes.” Saul begins.

Oh no, is this that puberty thing you’ve always heard about? You’re already a sweaty, lumpy mess, you’re not sure you could handle pimples and more odors on top of that. Teenagers scare you on an existential level as someone who came into being fully grown.

Saul is still talking. “It seems like you’ve accepted the mix of me and Mary’s powers as your own and gained some level of security in your identity. This means you’re something unique now, someone new. We were in a hurry making you, like I said, and we didn’t use protection.”

This isn’t sounding too bad. You patiently wait for Saul get to the point, but the man is now wringing his hands and staring at you like he expects an answer.

“Ok.” you say. “What does that have to do with my attention problem?”

“You’re maturing into an organism like me. You’re going to stop being an animal in a few years, if I—if the real big me in outer space keeps feeding you. Right now you’re kind of like a little embryo in the womb, getting energy and stuff so you can keep growing.”
>>
No. 1026618 ID: 3ed3c3

>godhood
Sweet.
>>
No. 1026619 ID: ebb04d

"Okay"
>>
No. 1026620 ID: 178084

Will i still be able to walk around naked when i become not animal?
>>
No. 1026621 ID: c92a02

Are we going to have to move to the moon so we don't end up frying everyone's brains like Professor X? I guess we've already got the costume for it.
>>
No. 1026622 ID: 67181a

So are you gonna like, pupate or something? It could be pretty cool
>>
No. 1026625 ID: 274345

>>1026616
So it's basically puberty right?
>>
No. 1026626 ID: 96c896

>>1026616
Wow. What if your magic was external?
>>
No. 1026629 ID: ce39da

"So... Is God-puberty better or worse than normal puberty?"
>>
No. 1026670 ID: 68f89f

>>1026629
That's a good question.
>>
No. 1026686 ID: eedbeb
File 164771347716.png - (98.71KB , 500x500 , p20.png )
1026686

Years of power creep in shonen anime has one thousand percent prepared you for this moment. “That sounds pretty sweet, honestly.”

Saul bites his lip. “You want it to happen?”

“You’re not making it sound like I can stop it.” you say honestly. “Would it be different if my magic was separate from me?”

“Yeah, then you’d have the option to abort, so to speak, or let us take it out of you and replace it with a normal soul like I should have let happen from the start.” Saul groans. “You’re still a long way from being fully autonomous, it takes decades to make sure you’re stable and strong enough to survive on your own, so I guess if you died somehow before then that would also stop the process. Oh dammit, I’m going to have to get Mary to come back to this galaxy and help debug. Shit shit shit…”

You pat Saul on the back while he stuffs his fingers in his mouth and muffles a scream. You never had real parents but you imagine the situation like a messy divorce with a fight over custody to boot. The thought of God returning makes you a little nervous, what if she messes around with the world again? What if your grades aren’t good enough and she’s disappointed? What if she, gasp, thinks your friends are a bad influence? Maybe an alien who committed mass xenocide will be more accepting than you give her credit for.

“So is Big Saul paying attention to this conversation?” you ask.

Saul resurfaces, knuckles bitten and shiny with spit. “I don’t know, actually. You might have to send him a message if you want the debug process to start.”
>>
No. 1026687 ID: eedbeb
File 164771348682.png - (72.07KB , 500x500 , p21.png )
1026687

>Puberty
This is a lot of new information, and you sift through it slowly until you return to your original problem.

“My attention span isn’t going to get better.” you state.

“No. If anything it’ll get worse and there will be other behavioral changes that make you more asocial.”

“Like what?”

Saul furrows his brow and gnaws on his right pointer finger. “Well I was made the usual way, so I wasn’t anything before I was a solitary matter processor. If you think about it I went the other direction because I got socialized when I found earth and started hanging out with humans. We have like, a loose collection of rules as a species, but most of the time you’re alone except for the group chat.”

You watch in morbid fascination as Saul’s pearly white teeth break through the top level of his imitation flesh and the wound leaks a dark fluid.

“I think the more you use your magic, the faster the changes will happen. Also if you do big spells you’ll get low on power and get hungry, which would be bad fucking news for all of us.”

“I wasn’t using much magic before.” Though you were planning to locate Dewey and you just did a fancy magical girl transformation…

You start to sweat again, clothes itching where they press your fur into your skin. “Can I tell my friends?”

“Up to you, they’ve already noticed something’s wrong, but I don’t know if they’ll take it well.”
>>
No. 1026688 ID: eedbeb
File 164771349627.png - (93.12KB , 500x500 , p22.png )
1026688

You’ve become aware of your stats and the rules that guide them. Life is a bit hectic right now, but most of these concerns are long term and will change slowly over several months. Stuffing all that excitement in a few days would be awfully contrived!

You still need to resolve your duties for the next couple days, but after that the pacing of your story will change and become more quantitative, like a life simulator.

Mental
Sanity/Normal animal behavior: 19/20 (-1 per month)

A little attention deficit is honestly not too bad. You’re alarmed to see your sanity is going to decrease faster now that you’re aware of your true nature. At 0 sanity you need to be ready to leave the planet or things will get very messy.

Magical
Spell Casting: 10/10
Hunger: 3/10 (-1 per month from Big Saul generosity, low hunger is a good thing)

You’re good at casting spells. Really good, though you have to close your eyes while you’re doing it, making you easy to attack after the initial activation shock wears off. Spells increase different amounts hunger, which will be brought up next time you’re trying to cast a spell. You can change your stats (except hunger) with spells. Big Saul and Mary can change your stats if you get their attention, but not necessarily in the ways you ask.

At 5/10 hunger and above, there’s an additional sanity drain of -1 per month. To reduce your hunger you have to consume sources of energy.

Physical
Toughness: 1/10
Animal Friendly Appearance (AFA): 8/10

Your current form is that of a normal animal. You are vulnerable to dying from the usual physical trauma but you look mostly fine and won’t arouse suspicion from your friends and the public.

At 5/10 AFA and below there’s an additional sanity drain of -1 per month.

Please ask any clarifying questions about your stats now before you head to the Lewis Mansion. Additional questions can be asked at any time.
>>
No. 1026692 ID: e51896

Hmmm Saul once told Vlad after the Apocalypse, he sealed his power in his body and made himself forget the conditions to use it. can Body do the same so she wouldn't have to leave the planet after normal animal behavior drops a significant amount?

I'd ask him that, but I think Saul has kept that a secret to everyone except Vlad. We might have to visit Vlad if Saul didnt tell body throughout the years, and hope Vlad tells Body. Might involve letting Vlad know about what is happening

For now avoid using magic, and I'd say dont worry about Dewey, if he's living a normal life instead of a mobster life, I'm sure his life will be better.
>>
No. 1026696 ID: 96c896

What's the debug process? If you die, can Saul resurrect you? Would you have a choice of soul type if that happened?

I wonder how hard it is to cast a spell to increase the sanity stat. Might want to ask Saul about that one. Also shouldn't it be possible to counteract the sanity drain via socialization? Like what happened to Saul.
>>
No. 1026697 ID: 96c896

Oh hey this means you have a dad! And a second mom.
>>
No. 1026698 ID: e51896

>>1026697
start calling Saul dad from now on.
>>
No. 1026707 ID: 25be00

*Should* I kill myself? Is it a better option?

And since when was there a Big Saul? I thought he was all on Earth.

Can we look into Saul to try to awaken his powers?
>>
No. 1026713 ID: 15a025

What's going to happen if we lose all of our AFA points?
>>
No. 1026751 ID: 01fe07

>>1026688
Ask Saul if you need to call him your dad? And ask if he's got any advice to help you out?
>>
No. 1026769 ID: eedbeb
File 164780843612.png - (47.38KB , 500x500 , p23.png )
1026769

>Saul vs. Big Saul
You need some clarification. “So you’re here as a normal sized person, but the majority of your power and mass is somewhere in space, right?”

“Right, this is a little satellite body that I sent back to earth after Evelyn flew me to the moon and I talked things over with Mary. I’ve locked myself out of the systems I have in place here, like the Wardens, so I can’t do magic or much of anything. I’d say I have the same personality as myself, but I’m separate, if that makes sense.”

A bit hard to wrap your head around, but you understand the Saul in front of you is not Big Saul and doesn’t have the ability to edit you. You remember some time ago Vlad mentioned Saul has an unlock condition, but you’re not sure what it is.

>Debug Process
“What’s the debug process like?” you ask.

“Oh well there’s all sorts of things. A couple examples are the fact that you’re missing eyes and you can’t feed yourself with solar power and stuff. When your personality shifts you might get stuck in a manic state instead of normal mood modulation and if you change your physical form your nerve connections and hormones can go wrong.”

>Death
“If I’m going to be a danger to the people here, shouldn’t I—wouldn’t it be better if I didn’t exist?” you ask softly.

Saul looks at you sadly. “It’s not my place to say that. I’m not the boss of you, if you put yourself in dangerous situations and get yourself killed, that’s your choice.”

Despite your reservation, you don’t want to die again. That would be depressing and you’ve moved on from that part of your life. You also don’t want to hurt anyone, and you mirror Saul’s nervous actions and bite your lip. This is going to be a pain to juggle and you’ll try to avoid using magic for now.

>AFA points
You assume that as your AFA goes down, people will be more likely to shun or attack you.
>>
No. 1026770 ID: eedbeb
File 164780844758.png - (99.87KB , 500x500 , p24.png )
1026770

>Increase sanity via socializing?
Saul was already in a stable state when he started hanging out with humans. Since you’re going through such fundamental changes you don’t think you can stop the sanity decline by being with friends.

>Increase sanity via spell?
Given what Saul said about the debug process, changing your brain would probably cause more problems than it would solve, unless Big Saul or Mary were there to help.

>Dad
“Thanks for helping me dad.” you say without thinking.

Saul spits out a mouthful of water. “Fuck. Oh my God. That’s so fucking weird.”

“Sorry, should I not say that?”

“No no, it’s fine, ugh, bit of a shock is all.” Saul gets a towel and wipes the floor. “Don’t call me that in public, unless you’re planning to tell everyone what’s happening.”

You thank Saul again and make sure he promises to answer his phone whenever you call him. After a quick farewell to Evelyn, you head back to your car.
>>
No. 1026771 ID: eedbeb
File 164780846076.png - (141.12KB , 500x500 , p25.png )
1026771

What a mess. You peel out of the covered garage and hit the road heading towards the richer end of Providence. Instead of a constant stream of distracting thoughts, you feel a tense anxiety in your gut.

Before you know it, you’ve arrived at the closed gate in front of the Lewis property. The security guard at the little station there looks vaguely shell-shocked, and you notice there’s a lot of dried blood on the asphalt in the area.

Was there a fight? You must have missed it by being at Evelyn’s house for the past couple hours. You squint past the golden bars of the gate and spot several other cars parked in front of the house. You bet they belong to the animals jockeying for the mob throne.
>>
No. 1026772 ID: e51896

hmm, well, ask the security guard is this a bad time, because you do have other plans if they want to reschedule the mob inheritance thing another day.
>>
No. 1026773 ID: 0055dc

So if saul is your dad, and he also sort of came into being by exploding out of you in a wet mess; doesnt that kind of make you your own grandparent?
>>
No. 1026774 ID: afe7de

HMMMMM I think the inheritence is maybe going to be a bit more problematic now. Going in there and dealing with it will likely be a sanity drain and spell drain, but they are your parents.

Request backup (via phonecall) and go in, maybe using 1 hunger points worth of magic to make a shield that bounces off projectiles and attacks, juuuuust in case. Yeah it sucks, but also there's blood and you don't wanna die.
>>
No. 1026805 ID: 34dfce

>>1026771
Bit late, but couldn't we avoid all of the negative stuff by just having the debug start asap?
>>
No. 1026920 ID: eedbeb
File 164792074986.png - (95.14KB , 500x500 , p26.png )
1026920

>Start debug ASAP
Once you’re back home this evening you’ll get the choice to contact Big Saul. At the moment, other events have more momentum and you’d like to address them first.

>You are your own grandparent
The family tree is very twisted at this point. One could interpret Kibble as Saul’s direct parent which would make your best friend your grandparent and Dewey your mom and given the unending cycle of soul reincarnation and the fact that you’re all fancy computers anyway it’s a matter you’d rather not spend too much time thinking about.

>Security guard
“Hey, what’s happening? Is it safe to go inside?” you ask the trembling goose.

“There was a fight over the inheritance, the three parties have a lot of followers and they met here to voice their support for their chosen candidate and it inevitably led to violence. The Lewis’ are very upset, they’ve summoned Bruce, Selene, and Sobek to put an end to things.”
>>
No. 1026922 ID: eedbeb
File 164792093297.png - (147.31KB , 500x500 , p27.png )
1026922

You think you can go inside without needing to cast a protective spell. “Can you let me in? I might be able to help.” you say. The goose shrugs helplessly, but presses the button to open the gate.

You park behind the other cars and greet the guards at the front door. One of them leads you silently to one of the side rooms, still impressively large but not the main party atrium.

A pink slime, a buff ox, and a scarred alligator are all drinking dark red wine and looking appropriately scolded. You’re surprised to see Polly with her parents, deep in discussion.

“Yo Bode, what’s good? Help us out, wouldja?” Joy drawls. You obediently approach the family and wait for further directions. Your eyes wander over the three prospective heirs, who are staring back at you.

“We’re stuck, all three of us have a different vote for who’s gonna be Providence’s next top mobster.” Joy explains. “I don’t trust Bruce, think he’s been working with the GIA behind our backs, so I’m voting for Sobek. Polly here wants Selene for monster representation and Clive doesn’t care that Brucie is a potential traitor because he has ‘good instincts’ whatever that means. Early birthday gift, you get to break the tie since you’re a Lewis too.”

What questions do you want to ask the candidates to judge their worthiness?
>>
No. 1026924 ID: e51896

Oh? Thats easy
First ask what their favorite anime is and we'll go from there.
>>
No. 1026925 ID: 96c896

>>1026922
Who are Bruce, Sobek, and Selene?
>>
No. 1026929 ID: 094652

"Everyone, I have an announcement.
Jadis accidentally made me a god.
God-Baby.
Thing.
I dunno, the gods aren't that smart anyway.
Gestation period is almost over.
... Whoever ensures I don't turn into a demon lord and helps me retain my mortal emotions instead of going genocidal earns my patronage and whatever.
Also, Jadis wove a spell to copy some of her memories and stuff them into random kids.
If she ever comes back from the dead fully, I call dibs on killing her."
>>
No. 1026932 ID: c92a02

Ask them to rate the organization, the people, and the profits in order from most valuable to least.
If elected, what would you do about crime in our city?
Lastly, what stance do you take towards groups with competing visions?
>>
No. 1026942 ID: e51896

I'm against telling anyone about Dewey or Jadis reincarnating.
>>
No. 1026948 ID: ce39da

"I don't really have an informed opinion on these guys? ... Speaking of heirs, though: I discovered something recently about an... interesting thing Jadis may or may not have done - I wasn't able to confirm if it was her who did it - but I don't think it's wise to discuss it in present company."
>>
No. 1026954 ID: 0055dc

Absolutely do not twlk even one of these fuckers abour you being a god or about dewey. That wilk obviously onlu end badly for all of you.
>>
No. 1026963 ID: 0eb26b

The mob would most definetly try to kidnap Dewey if they found out Jadis reincarnated as him. Leave him out.
>>
No. 1026964 ID: eedbeb
File 164798860081.png - (99.24KB , 500x500 , p28.png )
1026964

You vaguely recognize Bruce from a mob gala a year or so ago, and you think you've seen Selene on the street once before, but you really have no idea who these people are.

"I have no idea who these people are." you tell Joy.

"Go say hi then. There's no wrong answer, they all know what they're doin' and they'd be fine at the job."

You edge towards the very tall, handsome, and imposing animals. "Hello, I'm Body." you say shakily.

Bruce steps forward and extends a large hoof. "Nice to meet you, Body. You're getting the short end of the stick today, eh?"

You are? The confusion must show on your face because Bruce frowns and clarifies. "No matter which of us you choose, you'll upset the supporters from the other two. That said, I'm still hoping that you pick me."

"Can you all, er, give a quick summary of what your current responsibilities are and your backgrounds?" you ask. You put all of your energy into paying attention and manage to catch everything that's said, though Sobek asks if you need to use the bathroom, no doubt interpreting your mildly pained expression as a restrained bowel movement.
>>
No. 1026966 ID: eedbeb
File 164798875524.png - (83.09KB , 500x500 , p29.png )
1026966

>Bruce
The ox is the oldest, in his mid-forties. He's the main mob lobbyist, spending roughly half his time outside the city meeting with the region's politicians, though he also has a good relationship with the mayor of Providence and the city council.

Favorite Anime: Doesn't watch anime, or TV for that matter

Organization > People > Profits

Pros:
Emotionally stable, good at making deals.

Cons:
Probable GIA connections. Not a trained witch, more vulnerable to assassination or attack.

>Selene
The slime girl doesn't tell you her age, but you assume she's in her mid-thirties by the way she talks.

Favorite Anime: Monster Musume

People > Profits > Organization

Pros:
Strong, can take care of herself, cares about the future of monsters and the happiness of her underlings.

Cons:
Could suffer debilitating debuffs when the Age of Monsters ends, whenever that happens, and cares less about the overall operations of the crime organization.

>Sobek
Also in his mid-thirties, the crocodile has the support of the younger members of the mob and is in charge of smuggling and black market operations. Weapons, ammunition, exotic foods, and valuables from human ruins all pass under his control and he knows how to curry favor with bribes.

Favorite Anime: Crime shows, which are not anime you privately seethe

Profits > Organization > People

Pros:
Would cause a lot of problems if not chosen. Smart, with an eye for numbers.

Cons:
Least qualified of the three, has a bit of a temper.

>Other?
You've never run a business the size of the mob and honestly you're a bit turned off by organized crime, but you've been put on the spot and have to make a choice. Like Bruce said, you're going to get the blame for the decision, which is bit of a dick move by the grandparents though you're not sure whether that was intentional.

There is another option. If you told everyone about Dewey you have no doubt Clive and Joy would abandon the current plan and raise him as their successor. You'd ruin their retirement, but they'd be happy to have their daughter/non-biological duck son back and no mobsters would be able to complain at risk of Lewis wrath.

Who do you choose?
A. Bruce
B. Selene
C. Sobek
D. Dewey (this will be the only offered opportunity to reveal his existence to the mobsters)
>>
No. 1026968 ID: 96c896

>>1026966
Bruce, because diplomacy is the foundation of peace.
>>
No. 1026974 ID: 094652

Selene, recent events have put your mob on the world stage; keeping your people loyal and publicly adored will defend against whatever inevitable catastrophe comes next, ensuring you survive long enough to evolve.

Profits might tank, but you've made a killing in the religious market. Putting profits over your connections would be like haphazardly selling all your legendaries because you think earning standard money is the point of an MMO.
>>
No. 1026984 ID: c92a02

There’s only one choice here, it has to be the one that actually watches anime. I for one welcome our new slime overlord, for however long her tenure lasts it will be an interesting one.
>>
No. 1027001 ID: 608310

choosing the others over Sobek sounds like an outcome where he'll just bring you back into this mob nonsense and try to fuck you over, real fucking pain and the last thing you need. Appeasing violent assholes is a bad idea but on the other hand making yourself the target of their bullshit when it's really none of your business is even worse. how dare these jack-offs put you on the spot like this anyways, what the hell granddad and grandma, some fucking family you turned out to be?

Screw all of them, you should just tell them about Dewey. give them something else to focus on so you don't have to deal with this when it's not even your issue in the first place. sure it's scummy that you're probably going to ruin the life of a kid already getting screwed over by the ego reincarnation of your evil dead mom, but you've got bigger problems which'll end up everyone's biggest fucking problems if something goes wrong with your god puberty because some shitty mobsters involved you in their d-lister succession crisis. You wanted to do this anyways, right? Jadis was important to you, why not grease the wheels to getting her back?
>>
No. 1027007 ID: 34dfce

Selene, probably.
>>
No. 1027009 ID: e51896

Bruce, hopefully to negotiate peacefully with the GIA and stop this silly fued.
>>
No. 1027072 ID: eedbeb
File 164807547325.png - (80.09KB , 500x500 , p30.png )
1027072

>Selene
While you'd like Bruce to broker a deal with the GIA so that the grudge between the two organizations can be resolved, the slime monster actually watches anime, albeit shows that aren't to your tastes at all. Okay, that's not the only reason, she also won't get assassinated and her leadership will have the side effect of hampering the mob's efficacy thus reducing crime. Not to mention you have a lot of close friends who are monsters, and seeing themselves in, er, the upper levels of pseudo-corporations will surely be inspirational.

Sobek will be a problem, but honestly you didn't even consider him as an option. Appeasing bullies is so pre-god revelation you and at least Selene won't be in major danger because of her abilities, as long as those are available.

Once you're back home, you'll be able to cast a spell to assess how long the age of monsters will last, if you would like to know. Given the increased birthrate after successful government tax breaks and propaganda as well as the use of monster powers that burn through soul like a dragon through a bookstore, it's probably sooner than ideal. Vlad has his own power source and Derek is slowly eating Duck, so they'll be okay, but it'll still be another global transition with broad implications.

You watch, hypnotized, as the red wine gets absorbed into Selene's mass, darkening the light pink goo. Selene must have an animal form and you wonder what she was originally. Though if she prefers to look like a thick anime girl, that's honestly not your business. Good for her! Live your best life!

Clive coughs to signal that you've been standing in silence turning over the concept of gender and animal identity in your skull like cement in a mixer for too long. You draw yourself up to your full height, which comes to about the three mobsters' shoulders.

"I choose Selene." you announce.
>>
No. 1027073 ID: eedbeb
File 164807548218.png - (136.25KB , 500x500 , p31.png )
1027073

The slime shrieks with surprise and sweeps you up in a wet, crushing hug. You give a weak wheeze and she loosens her grip enough that you can breathe as you dangle from her arms. "Thank you so much! Ahhhh I didn't think you'd pick me thank you thank you thank you."

Bruce looks disappointed, but quickly pins a smile on his face and offers his congratulations while Sobek turns away in disgust. Polly joins in on the congratulations with much excited squealing and you start to feel uncomfortably crowded. Too much noise, too much contact on your skin. You wriggle in distress and Selene quickly puts you down.

Clive is neutral.
Joy is neutral.
Polly is pleased.
Bruce is neutral.
Sobek is angry.

Your choice will affect the notable events that occur during the life simulator portion of the quest. For today and tomorrow, you don't have to worry. All the socializing has worn you out and you'd like to leave.

You're too tired to visit Dewey tonight, and you drive a short distance in the evening sunlight to your gleaming pre-furnished apartment building. The cost is more for the security benefits than the polish on everything, though you admit it's nice to have a real bed instead of sleeping on the floor.

You wanted to live alone so you'd have some privacy to be yourself without the pressure of always worrying about your friends and how they feel. Besides watching anime, you like reading manga, cooking, and perusing fantasy books that Kibble recommends, though you pass on the heavier tomes.

Nobody intercepts you on your path to your door, and you make it to the comfort of your blankets and pillows on your king sized mattress.

What do you do?
A. Review your spell options (Contact Big Saul, Assess Dewey, Age of Monsters Timing)
B. Make fried rice, watch anime, and sleep
>>
No. 1027078 ID: 5619ed

B. Lets be lazy
>>
No. 1027079 ID: c92a02

Review de magiks.
>>
No. 1027080 ID: 96c896

A. The sooner you start debugging the better, and it'll be good to do it while you're still safe-ish.
>>
No. 1027114 ID: fb7f57

A let's see that Age of Monsters timing, baby!
>>
No. 1027209 ID: eedbeb
File 164816166776.png - (93.94KB , 500x500 , p32.png )
1027209

>A
You lie down and close your eyes so you can picture your current important stats.
Sanity: 19/20
Hunger: 3/10
Toughness: 1/10
AFA: 8/10

Everything's still the same as it was earlier today. Next you generate some rough estimates for the hunger and other costs of your possible spells.

Contact Big Saul:
-Hunger cost: +1
-Good: Long-term improved stats from the debug process.
-Bad: Big Saul is going to have to get Mary involved too, leading to drama and loss of autonomy in your future spell choices.

Dewey Assessment:
-Hunger cost: +0.5
-Good: Uh, your conscience might feel better? Honestly you're not sure what could happen. You'll get the choice to suppress or encourage the Jadis personality.
-Bad: Emotional wounds between you and Jadis will come to the surface.

Age of Monsters Timeline:
-Hunger cost: +1
-Good: Better planning for Selene and other monsters' futures.
-Bad: You feel a shiver down your spine, like there are ghosts watching you. Souls from the past might confront you when you do this.

Select any number of spells to cast, and any number NOT to cast. Any spell with a positive net vote will be cast.
>>
No. 1027213 ID: ce39da

Contact Big Saul: YES (But not until after...)

Dewey Assessment: YES, and be prepared to kill Jadis's personality while keeping her knowledge and skills intact.

Age of Monsters Timeline: NO - trust that gut feeling, don't make the wrong godly parties aware on anything but your terms; ask Big Saul/Mary directly instead.
>>
No. 1027214 ID: fc40da

Just contact big saul, debug asap

No to Dewey, let the poor kid live his new life in peace without involvement

No to monster timeline to conserve energy.
>>
No. 1027215 ID: 96c896

>>1027209
Big Saul: yes.
Dewey: yes.
Timeline: no. It's too expensive for what it accomplishes.
>>
No. 1027233 ID: c92a02

All of these sound like a good idea. In descending order of business: Timeline, Saul, Jadis.
>>
No. 1027276 ID: eedbeb
File 164823097385.png - (62.21KB , 500x500 , p33.png )
1027276

>Contact Big Saul, then Assess Dewey
There’s no getting around it, you need the debug process to start as soon as possible so you don’t become an evil demon lord or something. You quell your nerves and reach out with your magic.

You’re in your bedroom, in an apartment building. You feel the souls of the animals around you like tiny pricks of warmth. It’s awfully comfortable on your bed like this, you kind of feel like you’re dozing or meditating.

No Big Saul to be found here. There’s a natural expansion of your awareness and you feel the shape of the Providence Tim in the space adjacent to your usual dimension. It’s giant and Saul shaped and you feel it twitch when you pass over it, but it’s not your target.

Big Saul is somewhere in outer space, right? And you don’t have the time or energy scan all of that when it takes you a while to understand one city block. There must be some kind of shortcut.

You return your awareness to yourself and feel your hybrid soul chugging along. The Saul part smells like star anise, and you gnaw on section while you follow the flow of energy back to the source. It hurts to eat yourself in a vaguely disconnected way, so you stop after a while. It’s a long, winding journey upstream, but eventually you emerge.

Big Saul is immediately alerted to your presence and there’s a feeling like you’re being trapped in a vice and then pinned to the examination board like an insect.

Who’s there? What is this? Big Saul asks suspiciously.

You do your best to explain the situation through miming alone, since you’re not sure how to speak when you’re astral projecting through your own umbilical cord. Something else you’ll need to work on, you suppose.

There’s a very gentle feeling of your skull being opened and Big Saul poking around.

Oh no. Oh dammit, I’m going to have to get Mary to come back to your galaxy and help debug. Shit shit shit…

Big Saul really takes after himself. A pause of indeterminate length, and then—

Okay, thank for telling me, I’m sending you home now and you should expect to see us tomorrow.
>>
No. 1027277 ID: eedbeb
File 164823098712.png - (112.48KB , 500x500 , p34.png )
1027277

You can feel the weight of your body and the softness of the blankets against your fur. Your stomach rumbles, but you hunker down to complete your next task.

>Dewey
After going to who knows where via womb telepathy, finding Dewey back in that neighborhood you drove through earlier is a cinch. You’ve even done search spells before, and it only takes a little extra effort to send your projection along with it. He’s asleep in his bed, you think, and you feel around until you can poke at his soul with your finger, which sinks into the warm, vaguely squishy shape.

You’re taken to a blurry scene, there’s a koi pond and grass and the Lewis mansion in the background, but everything else is gray and fuzzy. A bright red cardinal is bathing at the edge of the pond while a scrawny child in overalls stalks it carefully on all fours. A memory. Jadis’ memory.

You watch as Jadis leaps for the bird and almost to her own surprise, manages to snag it with her claws. It struggles with a violent flapping of wings until she regains her composure and bites it on the neck. The bird doesn’t die easily, but eventually Jadis breaks something vital and it goes stiff.

“Mamma! Mamma look what I got!” Jadis picks up her catch and looks around for Joy, but sees you instead. You both stare at each other in silence, Jadis nervously plucking the bird’s crimson feathers.

A. Talk, suggest topics (varies)
B. Attack (you’ll kill the Jadis personality)
C. Leave (you’ll leave Dewey alone after this point)
>>
No. 1027278 ID: 094652

Huh.

EAT THE JADIS
>>
No. 1027279 ID: cf0760

Talk. How much does she remember? Discuss reincarnation, identity, responsibility. Can she learn the right lessons from the mistakes of her past?
>>
No. 1027280 ID: 96c896

>>1027277
A. "You're supposed to be dead."
>>
No. 1027288 ID: 10a721

A) Accept your finality. Prolonging your existence indefinitely will make you happy, nor your parents, nor your sister, nor me.
>>
No. 1027289 ID: 10a721

On second thought, maybe start with "I've missed you bunches, but..."
>>
No. 1027301 ID: e51896

Just a thought for tomorrow when we meet big saul and Mary: would it be a good idea to invite Kibble and Duck along for this? I think I remember Kibble wanted to take Duck back to Mary, but she was too far away in space. But since she'll be visiting, perhaps now's the only chance for Duck to part from this world with Mary

anyway

A. "You don't have to relive this same life under your previous father's influence, Jadis. Please put the bird down, and start a new life with your new parents as Dewey."
>>
No. 1027344 ID: eedbeb
File 164831954645.png - (78.58KB , 500x500 , p35.png )
1027344

>A
You’re not sure how much this version of Jadis remembers. It seems like her age here matches Dewey’s age, though the duck recognized you and called you by your name so hopefully she’ll have some inkling of your shared history, otherwise you’re going to get absolutely no closure.

“Do you know me?” you ask.

Jadis keeps fidgeting, like you caught her doing something bad. “Yeah, think so.” she mutters.

You approach her and sit in the grass so you’re more level with the kitten. “I’d like to talk like adults, please. If that’s not possible I’ll do my best but I want to understand why you chose this—I never got to say goodbye to you.”

You reach out your paw and carefully touch her shoulder. She glows and swells into Jadis fully grown, wearing a white suit, still holding the dead bird and an expression of guilt. Your maker, your boss, something like a mix between sister and neglectful mother can’t even meet your eye.

“So.” you say.

“I don’t suppose you could fix me up an adult body to transfer my consciousness to? It’d be a shame to go through puberty again.” Jadis half jokes.

Huh, you probably could do that. How does Jadis know about your powers? Maybe you’re having like, a mind overlap moment where you share knowledge. Weird.

“Why couldn’t you let it go? You’re supposed to be dead, we all mourned you. This reincarnation thing isn’t going to make anyone happy.” you state baldly.

She glares at you. “Then kill me right now. I can’t stop you. I’m not even aware of everything in the waking world, you could take me out here or murder Dewey any time.”

You grab your whiskers with frustration. “Just because I could doesn’t mean I want to, or that I’d ever do something like that. I’m not like you, eliminating anything that gets in my way! I never wanted to be like you!”
>>
No. 1027345 ID: eedbeb
File 164831955331.png - (110.21KB , 500x500 , p36.png )
1027345

Jadis opens her mouth, shuts it, then opens it again. “I saved the fucking world before I died, thank you very much.”

“Yeah right. The Recycler problem wouldn’t have been that bad and that doesn’t change the fact that you were a selfish asshole to me for ages and a dick to Cookie and an immature child.” you snort.

“I was still young! I was getting better and I was doing the right thing!” Jadis shoves you, which has the effect of doing absolutely nothing since you are large and she is a stick. “I’m here now. You either let me go, knowing I’ll have to repeat my mistakes as Dewey and be a psychotic prick for a while, or you end me.”

You shove back and feel biting satisfaction when Jadis topples over. “You don’t have to be evil, you’re not being raised by a mob boss anymore.”

Jadis scrambles to her feet. “Did you think that was all my parents’ fault? I have an affinity for blood and guts and experimentation and being a little freak! Yeah it won’t be as bad, but I’m still going to be me.”

A. Leave (you’ve further awoken the Jadis personality, ensuring Dewey will be very similar to Jadis, though you’ll leave him alone after this point)

B. Attack (you’ve gotten some closure which is good, but with her dying ,er, breath, Jadis will decrease your sanity stat by 2)

C. Resurrect Jadis (+1 Hunger, putting you at 5.5 Hunger)
>>
No. 1027347 ID: e51896

A. Don't want to decrease our sanity too early.
as parting words, tell her she also has an affinity for love, even more than her affinity for blood, guts and experimentations, and should focus more on that, such as her love for Margot, her friends, and even her parents, even if she doesn't want to admit it, and a love for you after she gave you life. You want to at least believe there is good in her that will triumph over her evil side as Dewey. Her killing of Daisy's dad got her in trouble with the GIA after all, even if she didn't directly cause it first-hand and sent Kibble to do it after all, and you just don't want to see her go through that again by living with those ideals.
>>
No. 1027348 ID: 6541c6

C.

Heh, but make her a child body instead. YOU raise HER this time.
>>
No. 1027349 ID: 6c227a

I feel like it's gotta be C, otherwise what's the point of having cool powers, but what will happen to Dewey if you do? I don't want to remove somebody's kid from the world.
>>
No. 1027351 ID: 10a721

Yay! Let's raise child Jadis!
>>
No. 1027352 ID: 0838d6

C! Raise child Jadis, this will be an anchor, something to keep you sane, someone who is growing and dealing with wild powers while you are also growing and dealing with wild powers! Maybe it might act as a good source of sanity maintenence.
>>
No. 1027355 ID: e51896

Actually, hearing about raising Jadis child is funny. Changing my vote to that.

We just have to make sure the mob doesn't find out.

Lets make this family tree even more twisted!
>>
No. 1027366 ID: 5bdbbc

C. It wasn't all bad, and now that the shoe is on the other foot...
>>
No. 1027368 ID: 96c896

>>1027345
C. It's what's best for the world. After this you really need to stop using your magic, for a long while.
>>
No. 1027377 ID: e5709d

CLONE A DEWEY
>>
No. 1027381 ID: 8a51ec

B. Dewey doesn't deserve to be tormented like this, but we are NOT letting Jadis come back.
>>
No. 1027401 ID: 15a025

B. Kill off Jadis here. You've moved on in life and matured, doesn't seem to be the same for Jadis.
>>
No. 1027432 ID: eedbeb
File 164839438260.png - (75.90KB , 500x500 , p37.png )
1027432

>C
Your latent homicidal energy is sadly still not at proper godly levels, and while you’re tempted to kill Jadis and be done with it, you’re a big softy who shies away from the idea.

You take a deep breath to calm yourself. It’s true Jadis had just turned a new leaf when she died. She could have added so much to the world, but instead the GIA assassinated her.

“Alright. I’ll bring you back—“

“What? Really? Body, you’re the best!”

“But! There’s a but! You need to be on your best behavior and show that you deserve a second chance. I’m going to be busy and I don’t want to hear about you taking advantage of anyone. If there’s some problem you find, tell me everything right away instead of thinking you’re the only one who can solve it.”

Jadis puts her hand over her heart. “I promise. So how are you going to make my new body? Can you make me taller?”

“I’ve never done this before.” you admit. “I kind of just…feel it out?”

“That’s so stupid busted. I dunno, try and copy some other animal that’s around here to make it easier.”

Well the nearest animal you’re aware of is Dewey, and in a moment of spite you decide to make Jadis child sized, but with full mental capacity. You’re only going to be here another year or two, and you don’t want to worry about actually raising her. That would be kind of weird and uncomfortable. Oh, and this is totally going to make the mob situation extremely fucked. A fun problem for future Body.

You ctrl-c, ctrl-v Dewey using biomass from the surrounding area and steal a pair of the duck’s overalls to dress your meat doll. You carefully take Jadis’ soul out of the duckling and replace it with one of the normal souls that are flying around. It’s not perfect, but Dewey will have the memories stored in his flesh brain to make up for the change. The duck will now have a normal life.

Once you’re done, you put the new Jadis somewhere close by to your physical body and fall into a dreamless sleep.
>>
No. 1027433 ID: eedbeb
File 164839439456.png - (90.68KB , 500x500 , p38.png )
1027433

You jolt awake at the sound of someone breaking down your front door. It takes a moment to put your mind back together, you’re Body, you’re at home in your bed, and judging from the light coming from under your blinds, it’s the next day and you don’t feel like you rested at all. As you sit up, your stomach gives a cartoonish rumble and you notice with some alarm that you’re really hungry.

Whoever’s attacking your door is getting yelled at by a familiar male voice. While you rub the crust out of your eyes, you strain your ears to make out the words.

“You can’t just beat up the security and break through the door! She’s probably asleep, what kind of impression are you going to make?”

You knocked and she didn’t answer. This is the logical next step.

“Yeah, cause she’s asleep! We can wait until she wakes up and checks her phone.”

No.

Cue a very violent, super strength fueled scuffle in the ruins of your front door, from the sound of it. You have a bad feeling your rent is about to shoot up. Hopefully Saul and Mary didn’t kill the apartment security to get here.

Better address that as soon as possible. You jump when you set your paw down and feel fur. Jadis, child-sized, is snoozing peacefully next to you, curled into a tight ball like a tasty stuffed bun. Ooh you’d kill for a stuffed bun, or several, hot and doughy in your paws. There’s a chime as your phone lights up with a message from Evelyn, telling you happy birthday. Why is everything happening at once? You’d hoped these couple days were going to be mostly normal to ease you into the insanity of becoming a god, like a fucking doofus. Little Jadis yawns and murmurs a complaint as you dismount from bed.
>>
No. 1027437 ID: e51896

One step at a time. Deep breath, and text Saul that you just woke up and will meet with them soon.

Cover Jadis with a blanket and give her a headpat as she sleeps then casually go meet with Saul and Mary.
>>
No. 1027445 ID: 96c896

>>1027433
"I'm awake STOP BREAKING THINGS"
Also demand food. You just resurrected someone so you're hungry.
>>
No. 1027506 ID: 53560f

Go out and politely inform Mary that breaking in to someone’s home is typically frowned upon. Ignore Jadis for now, that mess can wait a few more minutes and as a god you can personally declare sleeping in to be a sacred act.
>>
No. 1027523 ID: eedbeb
File 164849748135.png - (126.60KB , 500x500 , p39.png )
1027523

You carefully cover Jadis with your blanket and hurry to the front door. There you see Saul with his usual revealing outfit in tatters grappling with a similarly sized milky figure. They slam each other against your door frame and the walls of the hallway with careless ease. Every impact leaves craters in the ornate paint work and shakes the whole building, but at least neither seems to be harmed.

“Hey! I’m awake, stop breaking things!” you shout.

The two aliens tumble to a stop, still tangled together. “Sorry Body.” Saul says sheepishly. “We were, uh, carried away. I got the word from Big Saul a little earlier that this form was getting some upgrades, and that Mary was sending something similar in and that it was my responsibility to show her the ropes.”

Mary takes advantage of the distraction to stick her thumbs in Saul’s eye sockets.

“Ow! You can see it’s not going very well.”

I hate you and your fake rules. I am here to fix our offspring and I will not be tolerating your idiocy.

You can see the conundrum here, in that Mary and Saul have opposite parenting styles. Mary also has a low Animal Friendly Behavior (Sanity) score and Saul has to stick with her at all times to make sure nobody gets murdered. As the unplanned fetus, you are caught in a rather uncomfortable situation.

“Can I have some food?” you ask.

“I can’t see a damn thing, how’s your hunger doing?” Saul asks.

“I’m at 5.5 out of 10.”
>>
No. 1027525 ID: eedbeb
File 164849767057.png - (103.23KB , 500x500 , p40.png )
1027525

Saul grabs Mary’s wrists and pulls free. His eyes are a little more bloodshot than usual but otherwise intact. “Oh that’s bad. Go easy on the spells for a while.”
“I was planning to.” you mutter.

“So me and Mary are allowed to use our powers only when we’re fixing things that are wrong with you. Being hungry isn’t technically a bug, so we can’t help you with that, sorry.” Saul explains.

I will teach you how to feed yourself.

“Yes, that’s actually a very important skill for your independence, we can work on that first.”

You think about what you had to do today. Besides going to the surprise party at The Deez this afternoon you have an open schedule. There’s Jadis to worry about and the urge to eat, but otherwise…

“Did you cause any other damage?” you ask sharply.

“Well…The guards didn’t really want us to come up here. They recognized me but I don’t have permission to go anywhere I want.” Saul lets go of Mary to make a timid hand gesture and gets socked for his trouble.

I ignored them.

“They couldn’t really stop us but I think they might have called the police?”

What energy method do you want to learn about first? The choices are ordered from least to most lucrative.
A. Solar Energy (all natural)
B. Steal Power (from the city)
C. Leeching off the Parents (suck the juice outta Tims and the Recycler)
>>
No. 1027526 ID: e5709d

B-A-C. The 'power companies' hoard energy and then spend it on the highest bidder instead of distributing it fairly for a decent profit. May as well leech any excess they're going to dump like overripe produce.
>>
No. 1027527 ID: 96c896

>>1027525
B. Good long term and short term balance.
>>
No. 1027530 ID: 346b9d

B, A, C

Should we mention Duck to Mary and ask if she wants to take him out of here with her? I remember Kibble wanted to send him away back to Mary in You Lived, but Mary was too far away.
Or would mentioning Duck cause problems?
>>
No. 1027538 ID: c92a02

C-A-B. The biggest reserves are right there and intangible to mortals, the sun is presumably a great excuse to laze about all day but not that fast this far from it, and draining the city's power will upset people who, presently, you still care about the opinions of.
>>
No. 1027566 ID: 34dfce

>>1027525
Can we do C for now but learn the others later? C is the best short-term, but A would be the safest long-term. B would be the best overall, but you just know that two quests from now there will be an EMP or something that forces Body to go Eldritch Horror mode because we didn't account for it.
>>
No. 1027611 ID: eedbeb
File 164859412291.png - (106.77KB , 500x500 , p41.png )
1027611

The guards are indeed battered, nursing broken wrists or arms and watching Saul and Mary with open fear. You wince and avert your eyes. You know these people, greet them most days when you come to and from the building. A few healing spells should fix their injuries within a few days, but management is going to hear about this and your carefully cultivated persona of a dumpy, not too bright minor and utterly harmless celebrity will be ruined.

A strangely familiar animal in police garb is taking the guards' statements on a tablet. It takes a moment to recognize Sobek when he's not wearing a mob issued tux. Well now that you think about it, that's a great day job for a smuggler, probably all sorts of contraband Sobek can get his hands from what's confiscated by the cops. You already knew the police and mob worked together, but it's a bit odd to see it in practice. The thought of Jadis asleep in your room upstairs, without even a door to keep her secure, makes you nervous.

Sobek recognizes you too and reaches out his scaled hand. You flinch away, but it lands on Saul's shoulder instead.

"Saul, buddy, what happened here with your new friend? I know you don't have great taste in women but letting her drag you into crime isn't really your style."

Who is this? Why are they accosting us?

Sobek takes Mary's mental voice remarkably in stride. "You know it doesn't reflect well on me if I let violent, unpredictable people come to my parties."

"I'm so sorry." Saul intercepts Mary as she tries to walk through Sobek's outstretched arm. "This is, um, private business that'll be resolved soon and there won't be any more problems."

Do not be so pathetic! You are their superior!

Mary struggles in Saul's grip while Sobek gives a small 'hm' and types some more. "News spreads fast, you know. I don't think people will react very well to hear God has made an unexpected reappearance and is maiming indiscriminately."

Why is no one listening to me? Mary complains.

"I know, I'm sorry bro, I'm trying to keep her under control." Saul mutters.

Sobek huffs and finally fixes his hard stare on you. "I might have made a poor impression yesterday, but I don't want trouble from you, Body. You may be powerful, but you still have weaknesses."

"I understand. I'm not trying to cause any problems." you squeak.

The crocodile gives a dismissive nod, and you rush outside with Saul and Mary before your guilt can get any worse.

News of Mary’s arrival will shortly spread, and the fact that you’re with her puts you under widespread suspicion, though the details of your transformation are not yet known.
>>
No. 1027612 ID: eedbeb
File 164859413259.png - (94.20KB , 500x500 , p42.png )
1027612

>Duck
The little angel has expressed interest in returning to Mary, but Derek is relying on it now, and you don't want to sabotage what was a long journey to stability for the vampire.

Saliva pools in your mouth as you think of that juicy packet of energy. Duck really looks like a tasty morsel, doesn't it? You bet it'd be chewy and sweet and the perfect thing for your empty stomach.

>Consider C
This is a great short term option, with the downside that you'll reduce the number of animals that will be born in the future and speed up the end of the age of monsters. You'll get the chance to expand your skills or upgrade your existing ones later.

>B
"How can I use power from the city to fuel myself?" you ask Saul once you've shaken off your cravings and reached the safety of your car.

"There's plenty of ways, you can drain electricity from the grid, consume gasoline, maybe find some spent nuclear fuel rods if you're feeling ambitious. The eventual goal is controlled fusion, but you're a long way from that. Your body is still mostly normal and the high heat and pressures put a lot of strain on your system. For adults like us it's an important broad base power source but we also need a supply of fresh hydrogen as fuel." Saul explains.

Most of Providence's electricity comes from wind and solar, with a few major nuclear and hydroelectric plants up north. All you have to do is alter yourself to not die when you touch power lines or eat a chunk of uranium and you'll be golden. Saul and Mary being on standby will mean there won't be any mistakes with your transformations.

A. Electricity: Charge your inner battery
Hunger Cost: +0.5
Hunger Reward: +0.5/month ongoing
AFA Cost: -1, you’ll go robot mode
Misc: You'll cause widespread outages, bringing attention to yourself

B. Fossil Fuel Combustion: Start gas guzzling
Hunger Cost: +0.5
Hunger Reward: +0.5/month ongoing
AFA Cost: -2, you’ll sprout some pipes
Misc: You'll give off exhaust, which stinks

C. Nuclear: Take a roadtrip upstate to break into a secure facility
Hunger Cost: +1, that darned radiation is hard to deal with
AFA Cost: -2, bro I don’t even know what that would look like
Hunger Reward: +1/month ongoing
Misc: This will take all day and you'll be late to your birthday party
>>
No. 1027613 ID: c92a02

C. You swallow a chunk, it powers you up and you don't have to worry about it for a while, your superdense body contains the radiation and there's no widespread public attention from rolling blackouts. It's like a belated superhero origin story.
>>
No. 1027617 ID: 96c896

A+B. But uh, instead of connecting directly to a high voltage power line, just plug yourself into an outlet. Lower returns, but lower profile, and less modification required. Also see if you can turn off the gas combustion while indoors, so you can avoid smoking yourself to death along with anyone else in the house. Carbon monoxide is a thing.

Also do it after the party. You're going to have a higher hunger level after you cast the spells, which means you're going to be cranky. Don't ruin the party!

Hmmmm... if you ate Duck, could you use some of the energy to change Derrick's body so he doesn't need to worry about it? Like, you could cure his cancer and either turn him back to a mortal (of a relatively young age) or into some type of monster that won't suffer too much from the age of monsters ending.
>>
No. 1027629 ID: f38941

I admit I am reaaaally tempted to see Duck reunite with Mary, just to see how they react to each other.
I mean, it'll probably be just Duck worshipping her and she simply eatng him back into herself, but it might be something else too!

Anyway, let's consume that electricity.
>>
No. 1027635 ID: 53560f

C! A little radiation never hurt anyone, or rather, properly handled radiation never did and we’ve got two gods here to teach us how to properly handle it. Also it lessens the severity of future hunger problems by merit of them being dealt with sooner.
Though we should call and let people know that something urgent came up and that we’ll need to postpone our birthday party until tomorrow.
>>
No. 1027660 ID: 8483cf

I vote electricity!
>>
No. 1027751 ID: 344f1d

maybe Duck can be further divided, can we eat half of him and leave the other half for Derek?
>>
No. 1027807 ID: eedbeb
File 164878562927.png - (33.80KB , 288x494 , p43.png )
1027807

>Derek and Duck
You wonder what would happen if Mary ate Duck, or if you ate Duck. You estimate you'd decrease your hunger by 2 if you ate Duck, and then you could conceivably cast a spell to rebuild Derek to make him a normal animal instead of a vampire, and thus eliminate his need for the angel. If Mary consumed Duck, she'd gain his memories and knowledge, thus increasing her Sanity and improving her temperament. You'll get a choice in the future to pick between these options and leaving Duck alone.

>Consider C
While there's large appeal in swallowing some enriched radioactive pellets and then not worrying about food for a while, you don't want to ruin your birthday party. Your friends have been planning this for weeks and you'd like to see them as your mostly normal self before further changes take place. Your birthday may be your best chance to explain the situation.

>A, do androids dream of electric sheep
"Let's do electricity." you tell Saul and Mary.

"Great! You'll need a lot though, I'm going to get in more trouble with Sobek when the rolling blackouts happen." Saul sighs.

Why do care what that crocodile thinks? Mary sounds genuinely curious.

"Well he throws the best parties and he kind of sort of knows where Evelyn works and lives."

Who?

"Don't worry about it. A girl I like." Saul's words may be casual but you can see his worried expression in the rearview mirror. Maybe Evelyn needs to get on that fishing boat sooner rather than later to dodge another kidnapping. Speaking of, you still want to get your gas station job, even if its only part time.

You drive out of town a short distance until you find some tall transmission lines in a grassy right of way, metal cables crackling with electricity. The road isn't very busy, so you don't bother to park far off the asphalt.

"Okay, er, I'm going to use my magic to make myself a robot or something." you state uncertainly.

"We'll be right here to help you." Saul pats your shoulder. "While we're changing things, we can add a pair of eyes as well so you can see while you're casting spells in the future."
>>
No. 1027808 ID: eedbeb
File 164878563912.png - (65.61KB , 519x390 , p44.png )
1027808

You thank Saul and close your eyes. To help with the spell casting process, you lower your seat so you can pretend to snooze. This time you picture your own body and slowly replace your parts with metal alloys and heat resistant ceramic. You feel little pokes and prods as Saul and Mary push things into place and hollow out extra space to store parts. You're now incorporating pocket spaces into your mass and you still have the ability to enjoy normal food.

It takes minutes, or maybe hours, to finish the spell. You open your new robotic eyes and take in your new form. You're mostly the same shape and size with an insulated exterior and removable sheathes on your hands to reveal conductive surfaces.

Toughness debug bonus! Your durability has increased by 3 to 4/10!
Hunger has increased to 6/10.
AFA has decreased to 7/10.

You open the car door and wobble to your feet. You've gotten a lot heavier, and you crush the plants under your feet as you make your way to the structure. It's awkward, but you climb up to the cables until you're 30 meters high and face to face with highly energized coils of metal. Saul is yelling encouragement, but you can barely hear him over the thrum and elect to grab the wires with your hands instead of wavering.

The current leaps through you on the path of least resistance to the grounding you have in your core, charging your internal batteries along the way. Hm, you can already judge that this isn't the fastest method for gaining power. You're going to have to come here for a few hours every day.

Eventually you stop draining power and carefully descend to the earth. You have a little time before the party, is there anything you'd like to do?

A. Return to the city and check on Jadis
B. Find a gas station and apply for a job
C. Talk to Mary and Saul (suggest questions)
>>
No. 1027813 ID: c92a02

C. Can I still change back?
>>
No. 1027814 ID: 96c896

B.

>eating Duck will give Mary some sanity
I still don't understand how becoming a god *after* being socialized for 8 years will make Body lose a significant amount of sanity.
Anyway, that option will screw Derek over so it would have to be paired with Big Mary fixing Derek instead of you doing it.
>>
No. 1027848 ID: f38941

>>1027814
Apotheosis is one hell of a brainscrew!

Are we going to invite Jadis and the gods to the party?

Actually, Mary, uh... do you still kill people out there?
>>
No. 1027949 ID: eedbeb
File 164886167242.png - (69.48KB , 500x500 , p45.png )
1027949

>C
“So do you guys want to come to my birthday party?” you offer.

I will stay with you until you are ready. Mary states.

“Er, you mean all the time? I do have to use the restroom someti—well I guess I don’t have to anymore, but I’d like privacy once in a while.”

I will stay with you until you are ready. Mary repeats slowly, like you’re a very dim child.

Saul pats your metal shoulder. “Well I have things I need to do, Body, can I trust you to wrangle Mary for a bit?”

“Oh, sure, but I’d really be more comfortable if you were here.”

He pats you a bit more firmly. “You got this big B. Drop me off at The Deez, would ya?”

You sigh and everyone piles back into the car. You have a few questions for Mary in particular.
>>
No. 1027950 ID: eedbeb
File 164886168103.png - (89.42KB , 500x500 , p46.png )
1027950

>Do you still kill people in space?
I encounter sentient beings occasionally in my travels. Unless they are on particularly valuable ore deposits, I usually leave them alone.

>Can I change back to my normal body?
You technically could, but why would you want to? You are stronger and more durable this way.

>Why am I losing sanity?
It is normal. If you stayed as you are the broader ‘embryonic’ development would drive your puny mortal mind mad and you’d lose any trace of your personality during the rebuild.

You arrive at The Deez frazzled. Vlad is waiting at the entrance and Saul waves to him before bolting down the street at a dead sprint. Evelyn’s going to be at the party, so you don’t know what he could be so worried about.

When Mary emerges, Vlad immediately gapes, jaw dropping even further at the sight of your new form.

“What the fuck, why’s God here? What the fuck happened to your body, Body?” The bat gestures at your rubbery exterior. “You really need to explain or I’m going to freak out.”
>>
No. 1027951 ID: 96c896

>>1027950
Tell him you're accidentally a god so you gotta shed your fleshy mortal body and ascend.
Where's the snacks?
>>
No. 1027958 ID: d7696c

Assure Vlad that this is no different than when he became skinny boi instead of werewolf boi...
...
Okay, maybe not, but he can pretend it is.
>>
No. 1027959 ID: cf92e7

Calmly explain the situation about both gods resurrecting you during the apocalypse with their combined energy ended up slowly turning you into a nascent god yourself. Saul had to call our friend here back so they can teach you the ropes, and you altered your form to gain power and energy through elctricity.

Summarizing that was kinda wacky. This is definitely better taken in stride, yo.

Do ask if Vlad would like Mary to change back into a regular mortal instead of a srtick figure.....
.....and try to tell Vlad how Jadis manage to imprint her memories into her soul and not just her brain before she died, you stumbled upon the child her soul was resicled into, and use your new-found powers to bring her back to life.
>>
No. 1027968 ID: 36784c

>>1027950
……would it be possible for us to fix Vlad so he’s not a stick figure anymore?
>>
No. 1027984 ID: e5709d

Ask Vlad if he boinged Daisy yet.
>>
No. 1028048 ID: eedbeb
File 164892935631.png - (106.02KB , 500x500 , p47.png )
1028048

You decide to tell the truth with a healthy dose of pretending everything is fine.

“It’s like when you went from a werewolf to a stick figure because Jadis zapped you with soul juice, my magic was so strong it kind of transformed me over time and it came to a head yesterday.” you explain.

“So…you’re a robot permanently?” Vlad asks. He leans away from Mary, who is in the bat’s personal space peering at his unusual body.

“I’m a robot for now.” you clarify. “I might change again in the next few months, it’s a big shift. Eventually I’ll be more like Saul and have to go into space and stuff.”

Vlad scratches the fluff at this neck. “You’re going to leave?”

“Yeah, but Saul says I have to so I don’t blow up the planet or something. Hopefully it won’t be for another year or two, and I can help everyone out with magic stuff before then! Like I was thinking I could make Derek a normal animal again if he wanted, and I could probably make you look normal too.”

There is a nice defense module in this being, you should do what you say and then take it for yourself. Mary suggests, pointing at Vlad.

“What. The. Fuck?” Vlad recoils in horror from the pale alien. He must have heard what Mary telekinetically said as well.

“Mary! I’d never do that!” you say, aghast.

Why not?
>>
No. 1028049 ID: eedbeb
File 164892937704.png - (127.49KB , 500x500 , p48.png )
1028049

“Vlad is my friend and I care about his well-being and I wouldn’t take his powers, that’s terrible.” Though you are still hungry, and Vlad’s vibrant, unusual soul does smell good. You quickly brush that instinct away, horrified with yourself.

“Mary’s here to help Saul with my changes, but she doesn’t know how to talk to animals properly.” you explain to Vlad. “She’s like Duck, very sociopathic.”

“Oh. Yeah, like Duck.” Vlad says. He still seems nervous, but opens the door and ushers you inside the club building.

There are colorful streamers taped along the walls and a table laid out laden with cake and takeout—your stomach plays a recorded gurgling sound at the sight. You see Evelyn, Derek, Cookie, Chef, Daisy, Jordan, and Kibble wearing party hats and chatting with each other. The animals turn to face you and belt out: “Happy birthday Body!”

You repeat the explanation you just gave to Vlad. Kibble seems the most upset, by the pinching of her large eyes, but everyone is eager to enjoy the celebrations and support you, so there aren’t many questions.

You gorge yourself on food and cake, which does little to satisfy your gnawing hunger, before sitting down for a 4-player game.

What game is it and who are you playing with?
>>
No. 1028054 ID: e51896

Twister! Get everyone in a big tangle!

lets get the team nude together for this! Vlad, Derek, Kibble, and you!
>>
No. 1028055 ID: c92a02

Twister with Vlad, Evelyn, and Cookie! Extendo-limbs aren't cheating.
>>
No. 1028138 ID: 15a025

Twist it up with some twister!
>>
No. 1028146 ID: e5709d

The "Everyone Don't Get Mad I resurrected a Mad Scientist" game ahp they're mad
Margot is not reacting...
>>
No. 1028172 ID: eedbeb
File 164899957357.png - (80.67KB , 500x500 , p49.png )
1028172

>Margot
Cookie’s sister is unsurprisingly absent. Like you mentioned before, the cat has been keeping her distance and you don’t think she’d be happy to learn that you brought Jadis back from the dead. What you told Jadis was true, everyone has mostly moved past her death and it would be extra weird for her former lover since the mad scientist now looks like a young child. You hope Jadis is staying out of trouble, you haven’t had an opportunity to check on her since the morning.

You’re not about to drop that knowledge bomb on the party. Funnily enough, people would probably be more upset by the Jadis news than your transformation.

>Twister with Vlad, Derek, and Cookie
You assemble the lads for a whimsical game of paws on colorful dots. To keep Mary distracted, you hand her the spinner with instructions on how to gently flick the plastic arrow.

I do not understand. Mary states.

“So when you get a color in the right foot section you’ll tell us ‘right paw red’ or something like that.”

No, I mean why are we doing this? You could be feeding yourself instead of this nonsense.

You sigh. “Not everything has to be productive, sometimes I can just have fun Mom. It’s good to have friends.”
>>
No. 1028173 ID: eedbeb
File 164899958316.png - (98.21KB , 500x500 , p50.png )
1028173

Mary seems unconvinced, but takes her position near the play mat and starts spinning the dial. Cookie joins your team, which leaves Derek the fragile vampire and Vlad, who you’re fairly sure can’t lose at this game.

Your robot limbs have a good range of flexibility and you don’t get tired. After Cookie drops out, Derek raises his head and addresses Mary.

“Can you not talk to us telekinetically, please? I have some bad experiences associated with that, and it’s also easier to tell who you’re talking to if you speak out loud.” the skeletal fish asks.

“That’s a good idea, Mary.” you say.

The alien glowers at you then opens her nonexistent lips to reveal a toothless little mouth.

“Affphhh. Mgghh.” Mary clears her throat and keeps trying. Her voice is high pitched and squeaky, like a mascot character. You, Vlad, and Derek wait patiently for God to learn how to talk.

“How’ve you been, Derek?” you ask. You know the fish got a job at a greenhouse after he came to Providence and has tried to keep out of trouble. He was a lot less stressed after he heard that Theda had left the country, though you know he still misses his home in Guo Jia. His current outfit is neat turtleneck sweater and yoga pants.

“I’m fine, not much to talk about. I heard a monster was made head of the mob yesterday, which is cool. Since God is here, what are you going to do about Duck?” he asks bluntly.

Time for the Duck choice:
A. You’ll eat Duck and then make Derek a normal animal again (without cancer)
B. Mary will eat Duck and you’ll make Derek a normal animal again (without cancer)
C. You’ll leave Duck alone

It costs +1 hunger to remake Derek.
>>
No. 1028177 ID: 344f1d

B

Mary is a disaster waiting to happen.
>>
No. 1028196 ID: 96c896

>>1028173
A. If Mary causes trouble I imagine Big Saul will repair the damage, and Mary is just going to leave after you're debugged anyway. You are actually more of a risk to the world if your hunger gets much higher.
Also during the remaking you can take the timestop power. It's not like he'd have it anymore after the remaking process, and the coma issue is a problem for him more than you.

Is it possible for you to just wait until next month to address this?
>>
No. 1028198 ID: c92a02

C. In this time of tumultuous change, if he's got a system that works let's just leave it in place.
>>
No. 1028200 ID: e5709d

C - Unless Derek really wants to be mortal, you should back up and stop trying to poke the duck keeping him intact.
>>
No. 1028202 ID: 0055dc

>>1028173

What about asking Derek if he wants to be turned back into a normal animal (without cancer) instead of an animal in the first place?
>>
No. 1028203 ID: e51896

B
but lets wait until later to do this, wanna party first, eat some electricity, and talk to Kibble about it before we set things in stone.
>>
No. 1028239 ID: 629f2e

Tie-breaking vote: I say B, have Mary eat Duck.
>>
No. 1028246 ID: eedbeb
File 164909597085.png - (86.73KB , 500x500 , p51.png )
1028246

>Ask Derek how he feels about becoming a normal animal instead of a vampire
“There isn’t a solid plan yet, since I don’t want to disrupt you and your feeding. I do have some ideas and I can do super advanced magic, so how would you feel about not being a monster anymore?” you ask cautiously.

The vampire considers the question with a cock of his head. “Honestly, if that’s possible I wouldn’t mind. If I were an animal again I wouldn’t have to worry about eating potential souls every time someone bumps into me too hard. The time stopping stuff gets old when you’re not using it for anything important.”

>B, but not immediately
“You can see Mary is having some trouble adjusting to earth. I was thinking she could absorb Duck and that would help her be less of a hazard because it has six years’ worth of knowledge about us that would transfer. Also, Kibble would be free from eternal babysitting duty.” you explain.

Derek nods. “So you’d change me at the same time Mary does that.”

“Yeah.”

“Putting it out there that I don’t want anything to do with this.” Vlad says gruffly. “No magic, Body, you hear me? I’m not perfect but I’m doing fine how I am.”

“Of course! Sorry to make you uncomfortable earlier.”

You now have Derek’s approval for choice B. However, you should still clear things with Kibble and wait until next month to actually do anything. Mary won’t cause any problems before then, and after she eats Duck she will no longer be aggressive towards your friends.
>>
No. 1028247 ID: eedbeb
File 164909599054.png - (148.08KB , 500x500 , p52.png )
1028247

You, Vlad, and Derek continue your amicable chat while Mary grunts and forms a larynx through her neck via violent coughing and willpower. Vlad mentions that Daisy is graduating from community college next week from her program in economics, and that he’s planning to attend the ceremony while Derek waxes lyrical about the selective pollinating he’s done on the new batch of apple trees.

“Left hand green.” Mary finally squeaks. Cookie wandered away several minutes ago once it was clear his presence was unneeded and the game wraps up after you decide to forfeit and have more cake.

What would you like to do next? You can talk to anyone and/or organize fun activities.
>>
No. 1028254 ID: c92a02

Talk with Evelyn. About the good times, about the Jadis times, and your godparents. Wait, does dating Saul make her your aunt?
>>
No. 1028261 ID: a1acb9

Play a drinking game as you watch an anime or movie
>>
No. 1028274 ID: cdb8a5

Dancing!
>>
No. 1028322 ID: eedbeb
File 164920124645.png - (73.74KB , 500x500 , p53.png )
1028322

>Anime
You already watch plenty of anime on your own, this is a time for socialization! That being said you are a robot and probably could fashion some kind of way to internally watch anime on your visor. Again, that would be quite rude during the party but a godsend during the long hours you’ll need to spend charging.

>Hungryhungryhungryhungryhungry
You want to eat all of your friends and it’s driving you a little crazy.

>Drinking games
Frankly, everyone here is too old for the binge drinking of parties gone by. Not that you ever drank, and Cookie always abstained as well. Without Saul there’s no pressure for anyone to keep up appearances and it looks like the people who are drinking are doing so in moderation. There’s a cooler of craft beer next to the food table, and you make a beeline towards Evelyn as the tall cat pops the tab on a can.

“Haven’t seen you in ages.” Evelyn says drily. “So that’s what Saul figured out yesterday when he came over, congrats on graduating from gas station duty so fast, I still need to figure out how to get my job.”

“I still want to do that! It’s my greatest dream to sell confections and gasoline to the people of Providence.” you say firmly.

Evelyn grins. “Putting smiles on everyone’s faces. Hey, follow your dreams.”

It occurs to you that working at a gas station would have given you the hookup on those sweet sweet hydrocarbons, but you already made that decision and are a clean energy robot now.

Mary, who is still following you, squints at Evelyn with a particularly sour expression. Evelyn tips her head politely. “Must be awkward to meet the person who hooks up with your ex, can’t blame you.” the cat jokes.

Mary puts those new vocal cords to use. “But it is not serious. You are not…dating.” she states.
Evelyn raises an eyebrow. “Yeah. We’re not.” she says evenly.

And since Saul is going to be busy with you for the foreseeable future, your ship just crashed and burned into the ground. Rats.
>>
No. 1028323 ID: eedbeb
File 164920125787.png - (121.41KB , 500x500 , p54.png )
1028323

>Dancing
“Do you want to dance? I’ll provide the music.” you ask. Weeb music of course, hoo ha ha ha you are so wicked and evil.

“Sure.” Evelyn drains her beer and belches politely into her elbow before following you to the scuffed and stained Deez dance floor. You cue up a list of your favorite tunes and sing out the vocaloid lyrics with your own mouth.

Evelyn is of the slow twist and bob back and forth school of dancing, while you get to try out all your new articulated joints. Your tail in particular is very flexible, and your revelries draw Daisy and Jordan over. The frog is actually a good dancer and being surrounded by people who are not unnaturally overpowered helps insulate those hangry thoughts.

Mary stands still and silent next to you the entire time.

You dance together for an hour or so before the party starts to disperse. Jordan and Vlad make quick work of clean up and everyone gives you their congratulations and goodbyes until you’re left with Kibble and Mary on the sidewalk outside. Your best friend’s face is fairly grim but she isn’t initiating any conversation.
>>
No. 1028324 ID: 96c896

>>1028323
Ask Kibble what she's thinking about.
>>
No. 1028413 ID: eedbeb
File 164928392061.png - (77.32KB , 500x500 , p55.png )
1028413

"What are you thinking about Kibs? I know this might be upsetting, I can try to explain as best I can." you say.

The lean cat takes a moment to respond. "You're going away soon. I won't have many people I'm close with anymore, once you're gone."

"Vlad and Derek will still be around, and hey, I'm planning to come back! It'll be a while but I'll see you again, Mary, what's the shortest time it'd take to finish my maturing process?" you ask.

"It depends on your temperament. I have not done this before but it will be a few decades to a century."

Kibble gives an audible huff of frustration and you flail around to try to find something reassuring to say. "You'll still be here and I won't forget you Kibble, I promise."

"What if I don't want to still be here? There won't be any place for me in the new world with humans instead of animals. I was—I was going to ask you to try to unmake me when we got older, even if that would mean Duck would be released. Once there are enough humans it won't be able to cause as much damage." Kibble sniffs and rubs her eyes. "I don't know. I just feel like I don't have a purpose and hearing that you're becoming something important and better makes me jealous."

You feel a twinge of irritation that Kibble is being a wet blanket, like always. You feel a second, smaller twinge of fear. Kibble is one of the few beings who could actually take you out before you ascend.

Hangry options:
A. Snap at her
B. Tell her about the Mary/Duck plan
C. Tell her Jadis will be here to keep her company
>>
No. 1028414 ID: 96c896

>>1028413
B. I can't think of a downside to telling her? Being a cage for Duck doesn't seem to be a compelling purpose to her.

Also: maybe she could become your archangel. She's your best friend. Even if you change during your time away, you'll always remember her, and you can promise that you will give her a purpose.
>>
No. 1028415 ID: c92a02

B. You already know how Jadis would go over at this party.
And when you no longer need to contain Duck: You don't need a new purpose, you need a new hobby. What are your thoughts on trains?
>>
No. 1028420 ID: e5709d

A, but be forward about why you're so grumpy.
"DON'T TELL ME TO KILL YOU WHEN I'M HUNGRY! IT MAKES ME NERVOUS! I GET ANGRY WHEN I'M NERVOUS!"
>>
No. 1028423 ID: 53560f

Give awkward robot cuddle.
C. Ask if she would like a very important task that she can’t tell anyone about. If she says yes then tell her to meet you in your apartment after the party. If she says no then just try to comfort her as best you can.
Don’t mention Jadis outright
>>
No. 1028455 ID: e51896

B and C (in this way >>1028423 )
>>
No. 1028458 ID: cd3ec6

I mean, we could take her with us. Ir make her mortal again ir she wants.
>>
No. 1028543 ID: eedbeb
File 164937760024.png - (111.47KB , 500x500 , p56.png )
1028543

>B, subtle C
You swallow your frustration with Kibble, coating the little ball of resentment inside you with another layer of repressed anger. If there's anything you've learned about the pseudo-Tim, it's that unstoppable physical power and being the fear of the world don't always make you happy. Since taking a personal philosophy of pacifism, Kibble hasn't had much to do to pass the long hours of existence. Besides the work on her books and watching anime with you, you can't think of what captures Kibble's focus.
The tall cat rests but doesn't truly sleep, and she doesn't need to take time for all the necessities of life like eating and drinking.

Kibble is upset. She needs a friend and a new hobby, like catching fish on a boat with Evelyn. Or trusting Jadis to her care while the mob situation gets settled. Oh, even better, Kibble could be a train conductor, everyone loves train conductors. Keep everything on the rails, choo choo!

You slowly put an arm around Kibble's outer shell and hold her carefully while she sniffles.

>Make Kibble normal again?
You don't think Kibble wants that, at all. Angst aside she's still rocking some sick superpowers.

>Take Kibble with you?
There wouldn't be much for her to do in space while you're getting combobulated.

"Kibble, I'm sorry you've been feeling that way. I'm definitely going to have some bad brain times too and I'm going to have to work some things out. Nobody ever knows what they're doing with their lives, even sawesome people like you." you say kindly. "You can give Duck to me to worry about, and if you're interested I have some ideas of what you could do to stay busy."

You explain how Mary will eat Duck, helping the little angel find peace and also giving the alien a better sense of normal behavior. You hesitate to mention Jadis by name, so Kibble ends up more invested in your train conductor idea than your vague references about the person who's hopefully still in your apartment.
>>
No. 1028544 ID: eedbeb
File 164937760946.png - (75.20KB , 500x500 , p57.png )
1028544

It's dusk by the time Kibble is feeling better. Her maw emerges to deposit Duck into Mary's waiting hands before pushing off the ground. You watch Kibble hop away, a little sniffly yourself, before walking towards your car.

Mary immediately melts Duck into her body. The angel doesn't say a word before it's gone, a barely detectable increase in Mary's mass. You drive home, watching Mary's pupils flicker under her lids out of the corner of your eye as she reviews the new information.

Saul is nowhere to be seen when you arrive in the lobby, where the guard on duty stares at you, hand under the desk until you pass by. You're surprised to see your door has already been replaced, with the same lock salvaged from the rubble so you don't even need to change keys.

You cautiously open the door. The lights are off except for the glow from the television in the living room where the evening news is on. There’s a small lump tucked into the sofa, curled against one of the loose cushions. Jadis' dark, beady eyes flick towards you, and widen in surprise at your fresh new look.

"I've been here the whole day. I hid when they came to fix the door." she says, before you can ask. She sounds normal, familiar, despite the higher pitched voice.

"Have you contacted anyone? Can you use magic?" you ask suspiciously.

She shakes her head immediately. You don't know if she's telling the truth.

It's the end of the day and the stage has been set for the next segment of the quest. The following people have new goals (due to your influence) and will attempt to pursue them in the next few months:

Evelyn: Get a new job as a fisherman
Kibble: Become a train conductor
Saul and Mary: Help prepare you for spaaaaace
Jadis: ???
Selene: Learn how to lead the mob
Sobek: Obstruct Selene
You: Become gas station attendant, give Derek a new body

Anything you'd like to do before bed? The next update will introduce the rules and trigger the monthly effects of each stat.
>>
No. 1028550 ID: ce39da

Maybe sit down and talk to Jadis, now that the excitement has died down. Like, what does she plan to do, now that she has a new lease on life?
>>
No. 1028558 ID: 96c896

>>1028544
Ask Jadis if she's going to go back to her family in secret. That would probably be best; they can keep her secure and maybe give her a new identity. You won't be able to protect her, you're going to be too busy.
>>
No. 1028559 ID: e5709d

"We should check on Dewey."
>>
No. 1028564 ID: c92a02

Sit with Jadis and watch TV.
>>
No. 1028656 ID: eedbeb
File 164947029149.png - (134.51KB , 500x500 , p58.png )
1028656

>Sit with Jadis
You join the cat on the sofa, while Mary stands to the side, the ever present helicopter parent. You want to know what Jadis’ goals are too, even if she won’t divulge if she can use magic.

The young cat seems to sense your intentions, and hits the mute button so the light of the screen can still illuminate the room in a ghostly glow. She grudgingly turns to meet your eyes.

“What’s the plan? I’ll be busy for the next bit so I can’t help you with everything.” you say.

“I don’t expect you to do anything else, you brought me back to frickin’ life. I’ve been thinking about it all day, and from what I gathered from the news, now’s a bad time to be making a big deal about my return. Saul’s been doing damage control for you, I was here when the power went out and stuff. The government might flip and nuke the whole city if they learned I was back.”

“Really?”

“Well, no, that’s an exaggeration, but the GIA would be working overtime if you get my drift.”

Seems reasonable enough. “Do you want to see your parents? The mansion would be a secure place to stay.” you ask.

Jadis twitches. “Ugh. No, not right now. That place is also crawling with mobsters, someone would run into me and start spreading the news.”

She flexes her little paws. “I’m not complaining about being alive again, but didja really have to make me this size?”

“You’re very cute.” you say honestly.

“Pfft, yeah, and easy to kill.”

You don’t get any more specifics from Jadis, and you bring out some of your spare bedding so she can sleep on the couch while you’re resting in your bedroom.

Jadis’ goals are to survive, stay undercover, and get an adult body.
>>
No. 1028657 ID: eedbeb
File 164947030080.png - (59.01KB , 500x500 , p59.png )
1028657

It’s time for the rules of the final game. You’ve come a long way since you chanced upon Evelyn in that alleyway, and you have a relatively straightforward path to victory in the basic sense. All you need is to have some method of self-propulsion and a toughness of 10/10 when you reach 0/20 sanity. Sounds easy, right? A couple spells and you could have a form as sturdy as Saul or Mary. Remember that when you change your toughness, it’ll also decrease your AFA, which makes animals hostile towards you.

It’s the details of winning that are tricky. You want your friends to succeed in their goals, and you’d also like a peaceful transfer of power in the mob, so you’re incentivized to help Selene. That takes resources and time, and you have to navigate the drama while everyone is moving independently of you as well.

You only get 2 actions to help people (including yourself) with their goals per month. For example, you could help Evelyn get her job, and also advise Selene on how to unify the mob factions. Other people take one action each month. This action may be antagonistic to you or others. They can also gain additional goals if you motivate them.

If you have more than (-1) sanity loss at the beginning of a month, the dialogue and choice options that will be offered to you will get worse.

The Age of Monsters will end at the beginning of an unspecified, but predetermined month.

Month 1: START
Sanity: 17/20 (-2, dialogue choices will be more negative)
Hunger: 4.5/10 (-1.5)
Toughness: 4/10
AFA: 7/10

What is your first action?
>>
No. 1028658 ID: c92a02

Apply for a job. Get in while you still have a mortal-friendly appearance!
>>
No. 1028659 ID: e5709d

We'll begin by discussing long-term investment options with Selene. Not just stocks or even illegal assets, but connections, sanctions, infrastructure, career paths, and environmental disasters. The mob is at the center of this new era of gods and monsters, and it's up to them to see it through; their ultimate goal should be to outright establish some sort of First-World nation with the sheer levels of influence and insight that they've acquired in a mere decade. She could either be the muse that wrote the entire next chapter of civilization, or the girl who squandered it.

Do basic experimentation with Jadis. Get samples now and compare them over time to see how your mutation tree works.
>>
No. 1028660 ID: 96c896

>>1028657
We need to get in good with the mob before shit hits the fan or AFA gets too high (even though I suspect "hostile" is overstating it), so that they'll help keep the GIA off your ass, and also stay off your ass themselves.
Talk to Selene about how you can manage that. In a couple months you could even cast a major spell for her in return!
>>
No. 1028672 ID: e51896

I say self care first before helping others so we can be more level headed with our future actions. We look pretty hungry right now, so lets eat some electricity as our first action so we don't lose more sanity than we should.

second action, get that gas station job.
>>
No. 1028717 ID: 15a025

We gotta get fill that hunger of ours first. Let's fill up on something, then see about helping Kibble getting that train conductor job?
>>
No. 1028720 ID: eedbeb
File 164956368262.png - (99.23KB , 500x500 , p60.png )
1028720

>Eat more
The monthly changes are already taking into account the -0.5 hunger you’re getting from regular charging (you decide night is the best time to cause the outages). Investing in a new form of feeding will take additional spells, and beginning next month you can add that to your goals.

Between Big Saul and electricity consumption, you’ll be under the hunger limit at the start of next month automatically and won’t take as large of a sanity hit.

>Action 1: Mob stuff
>Action 2: Get your dream job

You start the month with a focus on Selene and her troubles. Polly gives you the slime girl’s number, and you arrange a private meeting in her home to make a plan of action.

That’s how you find yourself in a large and steamy bathroom while Selene sloshes around the corner tub and pours milk and rose petals on herself as candles alone the ceramic edges release their artificial fragrance into the air. You recall that Selene is more people oriented while hearing her complaints about the business structure and the other minutiae.

“I feel like such a dummy after work every day, Clive and Joy are fed up with me, I can tell.” Selene groans. “I just don’t get why I have to know this stuff, I can delegate accounting and budget crap just fine. My degree was in gender studies for crying out loud.”
>>
No. 1028721 ID: eedbeb
File 164956369245.png - (66.62KB , 500x500 , p61.png )
1028721

She melts into the pool of her own goo sulkily. “Bruce is cooperating fine, but Sobek is being an ass. He’s the one who actually has all the smart people though, and he’s already claiming he needs a bigger budget for an expanded operation in the ruins. How many guns does one guy need?”

“Hm.” you say.

“Okay, I’m a bit of a bimbo sometimes, but I try to make sure everyone’s happy and I already gave people a raise. They just don’t like that I’m a monster. I wish I could punch numbers.”

What do you say? You’re in an uncharitable mood.
A. “Yeah, you’re kind of dumb. Maybe you should get Bruce to help you more.”
B. “I can help you take Sobek’s guns, I guess.”
C. “Why aren’t Clive and Joy doing anything about Sobek? Don’t tell me they want you to fail, that’s so typical of them.”
>>
No. 1028723 ID: e51896

A. Give her some tough love. If she complains or is hurt by your comments, tell her as the mob boss, she's gotta take harsh criticisms.

This could probably help lead to good relationships with the GIA down the line.
>>
No. 1028724 ID: 96c896

>>1028721
B, except that's probably not what she wants you to do. Getting Sobek on the same page as the rest of the mob is a good idea regardless.
>>
No. 1028725 ID: c92a02

A. As mob boss, you have to deal with the harsh realities and can't just push them off. If even you can tell Sobek's numbers don't add up, you need to figure out what they add up to.
>>
No. 1028811 ID: eedbeb
File 164964310067.png - (107.25KB , 500x500 , p62.png )
1028811

>A
The moment the grumpy words leave your voice box, you regret them. Ugh, you always try to be kind and sensible, why did you have to sound like such a jerk? Another part of you is viciously thrilled. You’re the big man now, which means you can be rude and Jadis won’t yell at you to shut up. Nobody can tell you to shut up ever again! Aha, hahahahahaha! All the power in the world is at your fingertips!

You’re interrupted from your manic moment by a splash and find yourself face to face with a thick pillar of slime. Selene is half formed, hands on her hips. “You know, it’s different when I call myself stupid. I’m glad you chose me for this job but that doesn’t give you permission to disrespect my intelligence.”

“I’m sorry, I’m really sorry, I’ve been in a bad mood today.” you stammer. Selene happens to be one of the other people who could still kill you.

The slime immediately retracts back into the tub. “Hmph. Well, maybe you’re right that I should talk to Bruce. He offered to help earlier, but I didn’t want to bother him. Not to mention he’ll slip a few GIA goons into the city in exchange for his services, but whatever.”

Selene’s business relations and aptitude will improve this month, at the cost of incoming GIA agents. She’s still worried about Sobek and her standing with the Lewis family.
>>
No. 1028812 ID: eedbeb
File 164964310935.png - (116.81KB , 500x500 , p63.png )
1028812

>Action 2: Jobbing
You want to get your job while you still have your round and benign appearance. There’s a gas station a few blocks from your apartment, and you decide that’s the perfect place to start applying.

You fill your old car here frequently, but you don’t go inside very often. An unfamiliar cockroach is manning the counter while reading a magazine. You’re the only customer, and the roach spares you a cursory glance. Word of your robot transformation is old news at this point and most animals don’t care about things outside of their normal lives.

A sign proclaiming the need for a new employee bolsters your resolve. What do you say to the roach?
A. “Let me work here or I will destroy you.”
B. “I have a strong business background as Jadis Lewis’ premier salesperson. You should hire me.”
C. “It’s my greatest dream to work here. I am very normal.”
>>
No. 1028814 ID: e51896

B
>>
No. 1028815 ID: 344f1d

C, adding a "beep boop" at the end
>>
No. 1028817 ID: 6c227a

Very C. Put your best foot forward, not in your mouth!
>>
No. 1028818 ID: 96c896

B
>>
No. 1028820 ID: c92a02

C, beep boop.
>>
No. 1028961 ID: eedbeb
File 164972910003.png - (96.26KB , 500x500 , p64.png )
1028961

>C, with some beep boops on the side
The cockroach puts down his magazine and considers you. He doesn’t look offended or scared, you did pick the least offensive option after all. He doesn’t look very impressed either and you hurry to clarify.

“You don’t even have to pay me, I’m happy to work for free so I can help the customers with their snack and gas needs. I’m very good with customer service and I’ll always wear a smile.” you crack your robot mouth into a metal grimace.

“Resume?” the cockroach asks.

“Eh?”

“Do you have a resume or cover letter? We have a standard application process and we need to review all the applicants before we call people in for interviews.”

“I can come back tomorrow with one, how long will the hiring process take?” you ask.

“Could be a month or so.” the cockroach says slowly. You get the feeling he’s going to blow you off, even if you bring him a resume. You can’t blame him, you’ll probably attract unwanted attention to his business, but you really want this opportunity!

You’ll have to commit another action to this goal to get the job.
>>
No. 1028962 ID: eedbeb
File 164972910960.png - (91.88KB , 500x500 , p65.png )
1028962

>Month 2
What, already? Wow the time just flew by. It’s starting to get hot outside and the few animals that wear clothes are shedding them during the day. You’ve watched a lot of anime during the long hours you spend exposed on the top of the powerlines but you still have plenty left to consume. Melding with Duck really mellowed Mary out, and the alien no longer follows you constantly.

Everyone except Selene has made unknown steps toward their goals. You notice Selene is more comfortable with her responsibilities while Mary seems impatient for you to improve yourself again. Derek has also started asking when he’s getting his new body.

Month 2:
Sanity: 16/20 (-1, dialogue choices will be polite, if quirky)
Hunger: 3/10 (-1.5)
Toughness: 4/10
AFA: 7/10

What are your two actions for this month?
>>
No. 1028964 ID: c92a02

Commit to the job, and upgrade yourself again. (A bite of uranium to eat would be nice.)
>>
No. 1028965 ID: 344f1d

Reintroduce Kibble & Jadis, get that fallout out of the way while things are relatively calm
also visit/help out Evelyn
>>
No. 1028972 ID: 96c896

>>1028962
Get your dream job while you still have a chance at being hired
Then upgrade your body to make things weird for customers. ...would you even need to change your external appearance? A nuclear-powered robot would be basically the same...
>>
No. 1029063 ID: eedbeb
File 164980262260.png - (108.01KB , 500x500 , p66.png )
1029063

>Action 1: Commit to the job
It's been a week or two since you submitted your resume and you haven't heard back from the gas station. You suspect you're being snubbed, since you are eminently qualified AND they wouldn't even have to pay you. This simply will not stand, and once you feel you've waited a prudent amount of time, you head back to the roach with determination and a hint of godly megalomania.

To your relief, the employee needed sign is still there and you don't see any new recruits stocking the shelves. The roach sighs when he sees you coming to the counter.

"I'd like to inquire about my job application." you pull yourself up to full robotic height, with much whirring of servos.

He sighs again. "I really don't understand why you want this job. You're a multimillionaire who consorts with gods, and I'm beginning to think you don't have an ulterior motive."

"I don't! Everything I said before is true, I'll probably even attract more customers if I work here." you say eagerly.

"You'll attract trouble. I'll get the attention of the mob folk or even those intelligence agent weirdos."

What do you tell the roach to assuage his fears?
>>
No. 1029095 ID: 96c896

>>1029063
Tell him you can just ask the mob not to bother him, you're on good terms with them. The GIA won't be able to do anything, the mob would chase them off if they did anything overt.
>>
No. 1029097 ID: c92a02

Well, at least you won't be the one manning the front desk when they show up.
>>
No. 1029142 ID: e51896

Tell him you'll pay him weekly to hire you. As a multimillionaire, and considering you'll be leaving earth, money isnt really an issue.
>>
No. 1029146 ID: e5709d

"My ulterior motive is that my life is being pulled apart by my own powers and position, and I need this job to stay... coherent. Honest, I suppose. And I might die if I don't fulfill some stupid ritual that regular, commoner work is a part of.
If anyone from the Family so much as drives around here I will accept your dismissal immediately."
>>
No. 1029176 ID: 4245ce

Tell him you'll only be around for a year or so, and that you want to have this job in order to interact with other people and to have a purpose with your life, asyou haven't had much to look forward to since Jadis died.
>>
No. 1029217 ID: eedbeb
File 164989239032.png - (90.39KB , 500x500 , p67.png )
1029217

The cockroach looks genuinely sad and it breaks your heart that he's gotten the wrong idea. You jump to assure him of your intent.

"I don't do any illegal stuff, and if any GIA or mob people show up to bother me I'll keep you and your property safe. Or I can tell them this is a no trouble zone and they'll have to listen to me because I'm very important. Like I said, you don't have to pay me and I can work tons of hours or nights or anything."

"But...but why? Why do you want this?"

"I'm going to be moving away from here in a year or so, and I've been really distracted thinking about how my life is changing. This will give me some normalcy, and a good routine with productive work is important for everyone."

The cockroach wavers, plucking at one of his long antennae with nervousness.

"I can even pay you to let me work here." you plead.

"No, no that won't be necessary. Alright, you're hired." The cockroach extends his hand and you shake it gently. "Call me Mr. Brown. When can you start?"

"Right now, tell me what to do!"
>>
No. 1029218 ID: eedbeb
File 164989240263.png - (87.90KB , 500x500 , p68.png )
1029218

>Action 2: Nuclear Power
You learned so much at the first two weeks of your job, how to stock shelves, use the cash register, take inventory etc. You've logged about 200 hours so far, not that anyone is keeping track except for you. Thanks to your lack of work-life balance, Mr. Brown has been able to keep the gas station open 24 hours a day, netting an epic 5% increase in customers and profits. It’s the job of your dreams and you’re happy, but sadly there are no sanity stat effects that you can detect.

You tell Mary and Saul that you’re interested in the nuclear upgrade, with extra spell power put in so it doesn’t impact your AFA as much.

Stat Changes:
Hunger Cost: +3, very expensive to look normal, you have to put everything in an internal dimensional pocket
AFA Cost: -0
Hunger Reward: +1/month ongoing
Misc: The government will think you are suspect

Do you still want to complete this action? Otherwise you’ll skip it and move onto Month 3.
>>
No. 1029223 ID: c92a02

Yes. Hunger is temporary, after this investment you'll be able to cast more and faster. I'd rather the government thinks the robot mafia daughter is suspicious (which she is) than keep giving the city power outages on the regular.
>>
No. 1029274 ID: 53560f

Yup, get it
>>
No. 1029317 ID: eedbeb
File 164999136398.png - (122.54KB , 500x500 , p69.png )
1029317

>Become Nuclear
To Saul and Mary’s delight, you agree that you want another upgrade which prompts an exciting road trip and another spell session in the driver’s seat before you enter the fenced and guarded facility. There aren’t any external changes that you can see this time, but you notice your toughness increasing by one. Saul explains that you have a lot more on the outside than the inside after the new spell, kind of like Kibble, and it’d be a shame not to use the extra real estate to store copies of essential organs.

The break-in itself is very straightforward since you, Saul, and Mary are an intimidating force. Mary in particular doesn’t waste any words explaining that the guards can either let the indestructible god beings through or she’ll smash doors until you reach the fuel rods.

An engineer in full radiation gear shows you which rods are available, and you consume the warm chunks of metal until you feel full.
>>
No. 1029318 ID: eedbeb
File 164999137331.png - (112.52KB , 500x500 , p70.png )
1029318

The next month comes with GIA agents renting the apartment across from yours. You vaguely recognize one of them, a sleek dolphin lady who gives you a full body scan with her periscope witch eyes. Jadis hates this new development, and is extremely paranoid that she’ll be found. Your fridge has been full of fleshy lumps since you last checked.

You should probably check on your friends who are prone to kidnapping, like Cookie and Evelyn, or use one of your actions to talk to the GIA. You have plenty of energy to spare, so an overpowered spell or two could be helpful.

Month 3:
Sanity: 15/20 (-1, you feel very confident this month)
Hunger: 3.5/10 (-2.5)
Toughness: 5/10
AFA: 7/10
>>
No. 1029331 ID: 96c896

>>1029318
Talk to GIA. Offer your magical services in exchange for them leaving you and your friends alone. That is to say, they can have one major spell, assuming it's something that helps the populace in general or isn't particularly harmful.

(not an action) Tell Jadis that if she's honest with you for a change, you'll put some effort towards protecting her. Those fleshy lumps are very sus.
>>
No. 1029337 ID: c92a02

Ask Jadis to lay low, if those fleshy lumps start to scream she'll give herself away.
Get friendly with your GIA neighbor and check on Evelyn.
>>
No. 1029356 ID: eedbeb
File 165005274430.png - (126.97KB , 500x500 , p71.png )
1029356

>Free action, talk to Jadis
It’s fairly obvious by now that Jadis has at least some of her old magic powers. You’re disappointed that she lied to you about that after your birthday party, but you’re also not surprised.

For some reason you feel extremely powerful and sure of yourself this month, so you don’t hesitate to confront the little twerp in the kitchen.

“Hey, what have you been up to? What’s with the lumps?” you ask.

Jadis groans like she’s an irate teenager and you’re her out of touch mom. “I told you I wanted a better body. These are all growths of samples taken from me, so don’t worry about it.”

“I’m worried this will blow your cover, what if the lumps start making noise?”

“They won’t do that, don’t be silly. You know you could make this a lot easier for me if you helped.”

“Hohoho, while I certainly could, this is helping you build character. I’ll go tell the GIA not to bother us so you don’t have to be worried about being found.” you reply.

Jadis grunts. “Whatever. Thanks.”

>Action 1: Deal with the GIA

Between charging your batteries and work, you find an hour or two at normal daytime hours to knock on your new neighbors’ door. There are a total of three agents living there, the dolphin and two strangers. One of them, a strapping pillar of pork, answers the door and leads you to the hastily furnished living room.

You politely refuse an offered beverage and introduce yourself as the esteemed god to be known as Body Lewis. The dolphin and a praying mantis lady appear from the bedroom.
>>
No. 1029357 ID: eedbeb
File 165005275736.png - (79.51KB , 500x500 , p72.png )
1029357

“I know you guys are just doing your jobs, and I appreciate the concern into my well-being, but I think it’d be in everyone’s interests if there was as little conflict as possible.” you say wisely. “The mob is going through a transition period and Sobek owns a lot of guns.”

Flipper nods. “I agree. We were asked to keep an eye on you and take action if needed. I’ve noticed you have several wards on your apartment that stop me from seeing inside, and I’m concerned you’re hiding something.”

“Don’t worry about it. That’s just standard security.” you insist. “I think we can get along and I have a great offer. You can tell me if I’m doing something you don’t like, and as long as you don’t hurt anyone I’ll listen to you and give each of you three a bonus spell.”

“Like what?” the hog grunts.

You explain that for half a hunger point each you can alter their physical forms in any way, enhance their magical abilities, or provide a permanent shield.

“That’s…amazing. It’s like a miracle!” says the mantis.

“That’s right, it is a miracle.” you say proudly. “All you have to do is not kidnap any of my friends or torture anyone and you’ll get a no strings Body Trade Marked spell of your choosing.”

The GIA agents are eager to agree, and will tell you their desires next month. What is your second action?
>>
No. 1029358 ID: 67181a

Mary already ate duck and duck is what was keeping derek stable, so since mary probably wont be bothered to help out in duck's stead we shpuld probably take care of the derek situation sooner than later
>>
No. 1029361 ID: c92a02

You get a body mod, and you get a body mod, and Derek gets a body mod, everybody gets a body mod!
Check on Cookie, they will be pleased to hear the GIA has agreed to stop kidnapping them.
>>
No. 1029373 ID: 96c896

Oh yeah we should help Derek out.
>>
No. 1029453 ID: eedbeb
File 165013552152.png - (114.79KB , 500x500 , p73.png )
1029453

>Action 2: Derek
You’re overdue for getting Derek that new fish form, but only because you’ve been busy with your important godly duties like making sure the new shipment of potato chips came in on time, refilling the soda machine, and making the shift to fission as a primary power source. You coordinate a time to meet Derek after his work, and bring Mary along to make sure you don’t mess anything up.

The greenhouse is hot and humid, even more so than the late summer air on the coast. You admire the various exotic plants with glossy green leaves and fragrant scents. The vampire is miffed that you waited this long, but that doesn’t dampen your sunny mood.

“Make sure to give me my tail back, I lot most of it to a Tim.” he says.

“Can do!”

“And I don’t know if I had a genetic disposition for cancer, but could you make sure it doesn’t happen again?”

The caner thing has been making you curious, animals very rarely have uncontrolled cell growth because the soul manages the body’s equilibrium. Maybe it’s more common in Guo Jia, and you ask Derek if that’s the case.

“I knew lots of other farmers that got it.” He shrugs. “Might have been from the sun exposure.”

“Moon exposure.” Mary mutters.
>>
No. 1029454 ID: eedbeb
File 165013553494.png - (85.67KB , 500x500 , p74.png )
1029454

You fix Derek a mostly identical body, with more flesh on the bones and a lovely new tail. He’s in a much better mood after the process finishes, and thanks you profusely. The productivity high is so potent you pull a 120 hour shift afterwards.

Before next month, you tell Cookie to be on the lookout in case the GIA breaks their deal, but he doesn’t report anything suspicious.

Month 4:
Sanity: 14/20 (-1, you feel sad this month)
Hunger: 2/10 (-2.5)
Toughness: 5/10
AFA: 7/10

The GIA have their requests ready, while Evelyn, Kibble, and Selene still have unresolved goals.
>>
No. 1029455 ID: c92a02

Go visit Evelyn, maybe she'll help you feel better. For your second action, help Selene. We'll need a little time to think on the GIA's requests.
>>
No. 1029485 ID: 96c896

GIA, Selene. If we delay granting the GIA requests they might feel we're breaking the deal, so they'll break theirs. And Selene is a bit of a high priority too.
>>
No. 1029501 ID: 15a025

Talk with the GIA, and then go see Evelyn.
>>
No. 1029520 ID: eedbeb
File 165020896004.png - (99.64KB , 500x500 , p75.png )
1029520

>Action 1: GIA blessings
It takes great effort to drag yourself out of bed. You don’t even need to sleep anymore, but you were so listless that you decided to give it a try for old times’ sake and spent all night stewing in a funk. Jadis even comments on your droopy demeanor.

“What’s up?” she says gruffly, eyes flared in that familiar diamond shape.

“Dunno. Don’t feel good.” you mumble.

“I thought Saul and Mary were going to make sure your spells worked fine.”

“I feel bad in my head.” you reiterate. “Not for any reason, like a chemical imbalance or something. Part of my sanity decline.”

“Your what?”

“I have stats now and one of them is sanity or Animal Friendly Behavior. It’s going down over time to prepare me for life in space.” Huh, it sounds a lot worse when you say it out loud.

“So let me get this straight, you’re going to become steadily less friendly until you’re like Mary, with the powers to match. That’s pretty concerning.”

“I have Saul here, it’ll be fine.” you insist.

“Yeah, but he’s not here right now, is he?”
>>
No. 1029522 ID: eedbeb
File 165020905933.png - (106.69KB , 500x500 , p76.png )
1029522

You don’t have the energy to deal with Jadis, and slink away from the kitchen to visit your GIA pals. They’ve been very friendly to you after your promise of delivering superpowers, and the mantis, Lita, answers the door and welcomes you inside.

“I don’t mean to intrude, but are you alright Lord Body?” she asks.

“Bit of a down day, but I’m fine. You guys can tell me your requests and I’ll do ‘em.” you sigh.

Truffle, the boar, and Flipper quickly assemble and describe their desires. They all seem fairly combat or stealth oriented, which makes sense for their jobs, and you know enough about how souls and magic work to see some hidden functionality.

Whose wishes do you grant? Pick any or none of the following options. The animals’ who you bless with become your loyal followers and the ones you don’t will be upset but won’t be able to do much about it as long as you bless at least one of their teammates. The hunger cost is +0.5 each spell.

A. Flipper: Soul Concealment. Other witches won’t be able to see her soul, which makes it much harder to cast spells on her.

B. Lita: Self Concealment. Gains the ability to turn invisible for up to half an hour a day. Soul will still be visible.

C. Truffle: External Armor. Toughens his outer surfaces whenever a dangerous force is about to make contact, a similar mechanism to a vampire’s warning system.
>>
No. 1029524 ID: c92a02

B, C. Yeah, I remember you Flipper.
>>
No. 1029527 ID: afe7de

B and C because we don’t want an untraceable Rancid to exist. Claim they’ll need to wait or chose another power because you’ve had bad experiences with her prior mentor
>>
No. 1029530 ID: 96c896

Did we get Derek's timestop power? Or would that have required eating him?

>>1029522
B,C. Tell Flipper you wouldn't want to curse her like that. Remember, medical magic is a thing, and this would make her harder to heal...
>>
No. 1029614 ID: eedbeb
File 165031082132.png - (102.63KB , 500x500 , p77.png )
1029614

>B, C
You don’t like the possible ramifications of Flipper’s request. You also know she’s Rancid’s replacement and that line of work leaves a bad taste on your sensors so you cast around for a good excuse to say no. It’d be rude to say it’s because you don’t like her, frankly you think she’s a fine lady besides the torture and ideological differences. Ugh, this is a very awkward situation that you don’t have the energy for.

“I can do B and C, but not A.” you say.

“Er, what? What’s B and C?”

“I mean, I can work with what Lita and Truffle want, but soul concealment would make it impossible for you to be healed. That could be really dangerous.”

“Oh.” Flipper looks crestfallen. “Can I ask for something else?”

“How about I give you a hundred thousand bones to compensate.” you offer, pulling out your phone. Money is a cheap price to pay for less social anxiety.

You cast the spells over the course of an hour and bid the agents farewell. Truffle and Lita can now be called to help you on secret missions whenever you want.
>>
No. 1029615 ID: eedbeb
File 165031083591.png - (84.57KB , 500x500 , p78.png )
1029615

>Action 2: Evelyn
You’re torn between helping Selene some more or checking on Evelyn. Your friend wins, you’re not in the mood to deal with mob drama and Saul is eager to see the tall cat.

That’s how you find yourself sobbing into Evelyn’s shoulder about how you’re losing your, er, humanity, and someone was sharp with you when the pump didn’t take her card and the modern Berserk anime is really depressing and you’re going to space and leaving everyone behind. Evelyn pats you on the back and makes you tea while you sniffle. Crying isn’t even the same when you’re not oozing fluids out of your orifices. If you did ooze any fluids as a robot, it would probably be a very bad sign.

“Ugh…So how’re you doin’?” you mumble. “How’s fishing?”

“Oh, I’m still at the café. Turns out it’s hard to get a commercial fishing license when you don’t have any previous experience. That’s what they’ve been saying anyway, maybe it wasn’t meant to be.” Evelyn shrugs.
>>
No. 1029618 ID: c92a02

You're in with the mob Evelyn, if I can give Rancid's protege a truckload of money I can give you a boatload to cut through the red tape. We'll get you that experience and remove the obstacles separating hard work from hard earned rewards.
>>
No. 1029631 ID: ce39da

"Well, what is it you're apparently lacking in their eyes? I'm sure it shouldn't be too hard to fix."
>>
No. 1029643 ID: 15d5de

No! What is important in job hunting is not what you know, but who you know, and Evelyn know Body freaking Lewis!
It's time to use our presence and rapport to get Evelyn whatever job she wants.
Why we can even get Chef and Cookie to tag along! Cooking fish provided by her or something.
>>
No. 1029684 ID: eedbeb
File 165033731902.png - (87.32KB , 500x500 , p79.png )
1029684

How could the city deny your dear pal a fishing license? Evelyn is perfect and strong and capable, and the whole point of taking on an apprenticeship to learn to fish is to gain experience. If the government doesn’t let someone fish at all, what is an animal supposed to do? This calls for a healthy dose of Body Lewis influence and money.

You clutch Evelyn’s hand between your own. “Is there an office or something where they issue they licenses? Let’s go right now and I’ll talk to the person.”

Evelyn cocks an eyebrow. “Are you sure you’re up for it? That’s pretty bold, and you seem upset.”

“I’m only upset because you don’t have your dream job.” you say firmly.

“Well, I’d appreciate some of your influence, my calls never go anywhere.” Evelyn says.

Saul, who’s been hovering nearby, trails after both of you and sits in the backseat without comment. You can almost forget he’s there as Evelyn directs you to a plain office downtown, next to the courthouse. The receptionist is no match for your tearful expression and you’re directed to the fish and game licensor down the hall.

Inside the office, a spectacle wearing flounder is tapping away at her computer. She flinches slightly when she sees you and Evelyn, then gestures to the chairs in front of her desk. Saul sidles along the wall and plucks at the bookshelf of code.

You explain that Evelyn is in dire need of a fishing license to reach ultimate fulfillment as a conqueror of the seas, with much winking and nudging toward your BoneMe app. With a face as pathetic as yours, there’s no way this lady can say no!

“Ms. Lewis.” The flounder laces her fingers together. “I hate to disappoint you, but the mob has already contacted me to insist that Ms. Shade does not receive a license, and I’m afraid you can’t change my mind.”
>>
No. 1029685 ID: e5709d

Walk straight to Selene and ask who you need to punch in the face.
>>
No. 1029689 ID: 96c896

>>1029684
Call Selene, ask her what's going on with the fishing license thing. Is this some sort of petty revenge?
>>
No. 1029696 ID: e51896

I don't think it was Selene who did this, she had no reason to. I think this was the doing of Sobek trying to sabotage us.
>>
No. 1029697 ID: 15d5de

May I ask, if you would be so kind as to say, who made that demand and for what reason?
>>
No. 1029698 ID: 96c896

>>1029696
It looks like you're replying to me. I was implying it was Sobek.
>>
No. 1029768 ID: eedbeb
File 165040748682.png - (150.27KB , 500x500 , p80.png )
1029768

"Who told you to do this?" you growl at the flounder. How dare she defy you? You have way more power than the mob and you don't do anything illegal either. Evelyn frowns at your tone and tries to put a paw on your shoulder, which you ignore.

"I-I'm afraid I don't know exactly. They have a method for anonymizing their directives." the flounder stutters.

You hiss with rage and fetch Selene's contact in your phone. The slime doesn't pick up the first time and you keep pressing the call button until you get a response.

"I was in a meeting. What's your problem?" Selene snaps when she picks up.

"Someone from the mob is sabotaging my friend's attempt to get a job. Do you know who it was?"

"No, I don't. Let me guess, Evelyn Shade? Everyone in the mob, including me, has a reason for keeping her in town, she's massive leverage against you and Saul. The total opposite of your other feline friend, though I've been too busy to worry about her."

"I bet it was Sobek. I can look into it in a couple weeks, I'm out of actions after this." you mutter.

"The fuck does that mean?"

You tug at your wiry whiskers. "I have two actions a month, I did both of them today so I'm out. I can't confront Sobek cause that would be another action."

"You can only do two things a month?" Selene sounds extremely skeptical.

"I can do lots of normal boring things all the time, but I'm limited to two actions where I like, cast a big spell or help people with their primary goals, like how Evelyn wants to become a fisherman. I don't know why, but those are the rules."
>>
No. 1029769 ID: eedbeb
File 165040749612.png - (108.43KB , 500x500 , p81.png )
1029769

Selene is silent for a moment. "Are Saul and Mary the ones limiting you?" the slime finally asks.

You grip your phone so hard you feel the case crack. That really hadn't occurred to you, honestly the rules were something you instinctually accepted the morning after your birthday party, another part of life. It had to be them messing with your brain.

Saul moves from the bookcase and meets your eyes.

"You needed boundaries." he says simply.

Evelyn is staring at you with concern and a hint of fear. Do you:
A. Mind control the flounder to give Evelyn her license (+2 hunger, Evelyn will be very disturbed but will be able to leave the city)
B. Challenge Saul for another action this month (-1 sanity, additional drain will count for start of next month)
C. Wait until next month to use actions to investigate further
>>
No. 1029770 ID: c92a02

C. If you drain sanity twice as fast but only get one extra action you ultimately lose more than you gain. You'll either take two extra actions this month for the cost of 1 sanity or cool your heels.
Well, maybe Evelyn needs to be less in with the mob. If you can make her disappear, she can go fishing, she'll just have to cut off all contact with everyone she knows. Except Jadis. Hm. On second thought, maybe you can figure out how she can go fishing in the city. The park pond? Using magic powers to summon fish, or manipulate space to create a pocket fishing dimension?
>>
No. 1029772 ID: 96c896

>your other feline friend
For a second I thought they meant Jadis but I guess that's Kibble, who they would rather leave town I guess.

Tell Selene you're already helping them, they don't need leverage against you!

Tell Saul he should have told you what they were doing, so that you could consent to it.

Lastly, C.
>>
No. 1029797 ID: eedbeb
File 165042414366.png - (130.67KB , 500x500 , p82.png )
1029797

>C
You take a deep breath and rub your head to calm down. You’re a very nice lady with a lot of internal rage but that doesn’t mean you should mentally scar the poor fish or get in a fight with Saul. The alien has always been helpful and nice, so if he thinks the rules were necessary then fine. He still should have gotten your permission.

>Evelyn
Evelyn is perfectly fine staying a barista until she gets her license, and will take up hobby fishing to gain some experience. She’s not involved with the mob, but the mob and the government are interested in her.

You tell Selene you’ll see her soon, apologize to Evelyn for your outburst, and promptly leave the dusty government office to go to your oasis called Mr. Brown’s gas station.

The rest of the month passes uneventfully. You hear that Kibble has successfully become a conductor and is halfway across the country and Jadis seems to be making good progress on her lump experiments.

Month 5:
Sanity: 13/20 (-1, you feel numb this month)
Hunger: 0.5/10 (-2.5)
Toughness: 5/10
AFA: 7/10

What are your actions this month?
>>
No. 1029801 ID: 96c896

>>1029797
1, go bother the mob about Evelyn.
2, toughen self with a spell while keeping AFA intact, or even raising it by a point or two.
>>
No. 1029814 ID: c92a02

1. Go see Selene. You help her, she helps Evelyn.
2. Work on yourself. You'll need some sort of heat regulation system to avoid frying or freezing in space.
>>
No. 1029815 ID: e5709d

You got your hunger down to acceptable levels, may as well take a big risk.
Try to reforge your face with stronger materials and a cuter, more anime style. Also, ask Selene and Jadis (separately) about any improvements to your... torso.
>>
No. 1029852 ID: 15d5de

>This might be the happiest I've ever felt!
(Sniff. Me too, little ball of wholesome, me too.)


Well, we might as well offer our services, as well as look for a chance to sell off the stuff we acquired in our scavenging, unless you know a company that might give better offers.


Soooo, tobaks don't do long term relationships, then? What was your family like? Ooh, also, how are your parents and siblings doing these days?
>>
No. 1029856 ID: e51896

>>1029852
Tobak quest is thataway -> https://questden.org/kusaba/quest/res/1027307.html

1. Help selene and maybe we can figure out the whole thing with Evelyn's fishing problem.
2. help yourself.

also, try and wonder what a Tobak is
>>
No. 1029874 ID: 15d5de

>>1029856
Kindly remind me to shoot myself after this post.

Um, concentrating on increasing our toughness and working alongside Selene seems the sensible choice, but we should also make sure to tell Jadis not to overdo it with her body alteration project.

Oh, and Saul, by this point I'm 90% sure you see us so I'll ask directly: was the 2000 years you spent imprisoned kind of like a 30 year sentence or 5 year one?
>>
No. 1029882 ID: eedbeb
File 165049523063.png - (87.86KB , 500x500 , p83.png )
1029882

>Action 1: Selene and Mob
>Action 2: Toughness Upgrades
You’re a tearful, angsty mess the rest of the month, arguing with Jadis and shooting passive aggressive barbs at Saul. Mary even notes that your attitude could use work, which is laughable. Once the first of the month rolls around, your sadness and frustration burn down into a limp pile of apathy. Duty calls and you slither out of bed toward Selene’s house once more.

An unfamiliar slug answers the door and you politely ask to be taken to Selene.

“I am Selene.” they say sulkily.

“Oh.” You blink and notice the slimy texture of the animal. “Oh! I’m sorry. I didn’t know this was how you looked.”

“Well I try to stay in my other shape but sometimes it’s tiring. More so recently.” Selene grumbles.

She leads you to the living room and slouches into a plastic sheet covered couch. “So things have been okay now that Bruce is helping with the management stuff, but Sobek always interrupts me in meetings and gets on my nerves. Fucking asshole. Joy’s still hard for him so she never tells him to shut up and it makes me look bad to be bickering with him constantly.”
>>
No. 1029883 ID: eedbeb
File 165049525590.png - (82.35KB , 500x500 , p84.png )
1029883

“Did you find out who stopped Evelyn from getting her fishing license?” you ask.

The slug’s eye stalks twist in confusion. “What? Oh yeah, the thing with Shade, sorry, no idea.”

You stare across the room at the slug’s anime figurine collection, which fails to spark even a hint of envy.

A. Confront Sobek (suggest how, magic or otherwise)
B. Tell the Lewis’ to be nicer and more supportive of Selene
C. Other (dunno man)
>>
No. 1029888 ID: c92a02

Tell the Lewis' to be more supportive of Selene. Monsters are people too, especially once the age of monsters ends, and Selene's people skills are more valuable than their ability to shapeshift into flan.
>>
No. 1029892 ID: 96c896

>>1029883
I don't think B is going to work very well with our current attitude.
A. It's like an 80% chance he's the one keeping Evelyn from getting her license. Use magic to contact him remotely, just to show off, and if you confirm he's crossed you, make it obvious that your remote magic can do more than talk.
>>
No. 1029910 ID: 15d5de

Let us ask Saul and Mary to do a mind reading spell on the city's mob to see who is messing with us.

Then we cast a spell to make the offending party deathly afraid of ever messing with us.
>>
No. 1029911 ID: e51896

C. Ask for an example, like what was one of your meetings about, amd what parts did he inturrupt, and what did he argue during his interruptions. Might be best to get both sides of the story before we can help Selene.
>>
No. 1029912 ID: e51896

Also, one of these months, I want to see if we can fix Cookie's eyes, just an idea.
>>
No. 1029958 ID: eedbeb
File 165057869609.png - (108.24KB , 500x500 , p85.png )
1029958

>A/C
You suppose you should go see what Sobek is up to since you're pretty sure he's behind the license trouble and is being a butt. There's probably some kind of spell you could do to see if he's lying or scan his memories or something, ethical considerations be shrugged.

>Mind read the whole mob
You don't have the energy or the processing power for that, and Saul and Mary can't cast spells for you.

>Fix Cookie's eyes
He hasn't contacted you to ask about that, so you assume he's accepted his cosmetic differences. If you're willing to spend a hunger point and an action, you could go do it sometime if you really wanted to.

"Can you give me an example of what he interrupts you about?" you ask.

Selene starts listing off the most recent offenses which include disagreeing with her about hiring more monsters and paying for their relatively expensive treatments, trusting you, standard practices with regards to weapons maintenance, recruiting witches at the jobs fair at Jadis' old college, and asking about her health in a suspicious way. Seems like the crocodile is going for the broad base undermining approach while staying within the bounds of concerned coworker. Selene makes it sound like she still respects his opinion, but doesn't trust the crocodile's motives.
>>
No. 1029960 ID: eedbeb
File 165057874628.png - (105.51KB , 500x500 , p86.png )
1029960

It's the weekend, and you throw out a cheap locating spell and see that Sobek is at the gym. You feel exceptionally lazy, and decide to make a communication window directly in front of the lat tower. It costs 0.5 hunger. Not a proper portal, you don't want to cut through anything by accident, and you limit the view so you're the only one visible.

Sobek, to his credit, carefully releases the handles bars and wipes his brow. "Yes?"

"Did you make it so my friend Evelyn won't leave Providence?"

He considers you. "We all want her to be accessible, in case you go rogue. Have I expressed this sentiment to others? Yes. Did I make the decision to block her fishing license? No. You and Saul seem to have understood my warning and I'm not trying to escalate."

The crocodile speaks evenly and his fast heartbeat can be attributed to the exercise. You don't think he's lying.

"Alright, well, do you know who did it?"

"Yes." he says mildly, without elaborating.

"Uh, ok. Could you stop bugging Selene during meetings? She's trying to do her job and doesn't need you always arguing." you say.

"I don't see why I should, she has extreme opinions that would be terrible for our organization. Being the leader doesn't mean she can do whatever she wants."

Selene huffs and crosses her arms on the cushion next to you. It seems like Sobek is being uncooperative but polite. What are your other questions for him and what magical actions if any do you take?
>>
No. 1029961 ID: 96c896

Tell Sobek you want to know who did it, so you can convince them to stop. You're going to leave the city in about a year anyway, so this interference isn't accomplishing anything.
>>
No. 1029972 ID: ce39da

"Can you tell me who it is, or at least pass along a message that I want them to knock it off? You can inform them that I'm not gonna be on this planet by this time next year, so this is completely unnecessary, and my deteriorating empathy will likely make other people stop mattering to me on anything but a logical level some time before even that, anyway."
>>
No. 1029973 ID: 96c896

Oh and if they still want Evelyn in one place because of Saul... I have to wonder, do they realize Saul doesn't actually give a shit about anything other than getting humans back and also Evelyn? Like, he's not gonna mess with the mob.
>>
No. 1030021 ID: eedbeb
File 165065346390.png - (76.29KB , 500x500 , p87.png )
1030021

“Why is this person interfering with my friends? I’m going to leave in a year anyway, there’s no point in you or anyone messing with me. We’re all just trying to live our lives here.” you say. A tinge of annoyance drips through your hazy emotions.

Sobek chokes a laugh into his fist. “You’re a Lewis, you literally chose my opponent over me and you’ve been stealing electricity from the city and causing blackouts for months! Are you trying to say you’re normal? You keep company with the creator of our species and you can bend reality to your will.”

“I don’t want to cause any trouble.” you reply sulkily.

He recollects himself after one more chuckle. “Okay, I think I get it. How about this, I’ll tell you who messed with your friend’s license if you promise to keep up your good behavior.”

Do you take the deal?
>>
No. 1030023 ID: 6c227a

You are not trying to say you are normal, you are trying to say that it's weird to tempt you to be LESS normal, and consider alternative solutions to problems. You don't want to be a problem, but annoying you and your friends is petty and doesn't seem helpful in the long term.

Paranoia brain: The deal is what you are already trying to do, so why would he want you to make it a formal deal of some kind? Is he gonna have some kind of gotcha to try and force you to keep the deal later?
>>
No. 1030025 ID: 96c896

Yeah, whatever.
>>
No. 1030026 ID: c92a02

You get to (re)define what is normal behavior, not Sobek. Don't reply, just turn 360 degrees and moonwalk away.
>>
No. 1030032 ID: 96c896

I mean, we can just interpret that as "keep doing what you've been doing", and say as much.
>>
No. 1030033 ID: 5d2d8c

We take the deal BUT we also perform a mind reading spell to make sure the person Sobek points towards really did it.
>>
No. 1030050 ID: ce39da

>>1030021
"Dude, it was never a question of whether I want to behave - of course, I do, or at least the current me does. But I'm gonna be going through some changes soon - it's started already, in fact - and I can't guarantee that I'll continue to give a shit about... anybody or anything on this dirt-ball, really, and whether current me wants that isn't really gonna affect whether it happens - if it happens.

"You don't need to tell me who did it. What I want is for you to tell them that fucking with Evelynne like this is not actually accomplishing anything useful, and that it's only gonna serve to annoy future me if it's still happening when the future rolls around. Future me will have less mortal niceties and common sense, more immortal contempt and indignance, a few very potent actions to throw around on occasion, and conveniently enough, a total lack of knowledge of who's head I'd need to pop to make it stop, plus a likely lack of discriminate care by that point, so trust me when I say nobody is going to appreciate whoever makes that me annoyed."
>>
No. 1030056 ID: eedbeb
File 165068586446.png - (107.43KB , 500x500 , p88.png )
1030056

You’re kind of weirded out by what Sobek is offering. There’s no way he can actually force you to be good, and you were planning to stay as sane and harmless as possible anyway, so he doesn’t really gain anything by you accepting. Maybe he’s trying to be friends? You wonder what he’s planning.

>Think about the future
You’d estimate that at your current sanity and below you’re going to become Mary-like and start thinking with less social awareness and more goal accomplishment in mind. It’s already bad enough, you contemplated mind controlling that poor fish last month, but the options will continue to grow more violent and morally wrong. Well, bad by your current interpretation, you might think it’s all swell and dandy when it happens.

That’s a pretty scary thought, and it must show on your face, because Sobek frowns at you.

“Are you about to blast me? I have several contingencies in place to make sure you suffer afterwards and your grandparents will be extremely displeased.”

“No! No. I’m sorry.” You pound your forehead with a clenched fist. “I’m trying to keep everything under control and it’s stressful, I have all this power but I don’t know what to do with it, I just want everyone to be safe.”

“Take your time.” the crocodile says with a mild shrug.

“I can’t promise I’ll be good, especially if the mob keeps annoying the people I care about. Can you tell this person to knock it off or I might come after them?” you sputter.

Sobek isn’t smiling anymore. “I can pass on the message. It won’t change anything.”
>>
No. 1030057 ID: eedbeb
File 165068587844.png - (100.12KB , 500x500 , p89.png )
1030057

You’ve worked yourself into a rather distressed state, and you shut down the communication without responding and hurry out of Selene’s house. The generator in your core feels like it’s twisted in a knot of nerves, network of heat exchangers a tangled mess. Why do you even care so much about Evelyn? She can’t be worth the trouble.

The anxiety persists for the rest of the week, with no outlet. Mary doesn’t understand and Saul weakly tries to tell you it’s a normal part of growing up and you feel a rush of rebellious teen hatred toward him.

You’re not going to waste your second action though, and you gather both of them to plan some maintenance. You’d like to increase your toughness without changing your AFA, and you brainstorm the following options:

A. Heat/Cold resistance: Essential for a budding space explorer, you’ll nest your form within multiple dimensional layers of vacuum sealed insulation. No change in your outward appearance.
+1 Toughness, +5 Hunger, -0 AFA

B. Take a tip from the parents: Become super dense ape mannequin thing, lose the ability to eat electricity. Total cosmetic change.
+2 Toughness, +3 Hunger, -1 AFA

C. Become sexy android anime girl or boy (please specify): You’ll look like the waifu or husbando of your dreams.
+0 Toughness, +2 Hunger, -1 AFA
>>
No. 1030058 ID: e51896

A or B sounds good.
Maybe next month we could consider suggesting Evelyn moving to the next city over, one not controlled by the mob and get her license there or something.
>>
No. 1030060 ID: c92a02

C seems like a waste, but you should chase your dreams while you still have them. Get the appearance down first, then reinforce the structure, likely with an effect like A. Sexy anime girl mode: hyper moon sailor transformtion, activate!
>>
No. 1030061 ID: d98cb8

C, and an anime girl obviously
>>
No. 1030062 ID: 96c896

A. Don't copy your parents. Becoming super dense is fine but surely you can still look like an animal?
You can do C when you're ready to leave and won't have to worry about losing your job.

>more goal accomplishment in mind
Okay, make it a goal not to be a shithead to people.
>>
No. 1030069 ID: e5709d

A. Spend the next few months lowering your hunger rating.
>>
No. 1030094 ID: ce39da

B: "Does it have to be an ape, though? I can get behind the super-dense part, but maybe I could keep the cat aesthetic? At least something that makes me a little recognizable."
>>
No. 1030103 ID: eedbeb
File 165073786935.png - (119.20KB , 500x500 , p90.png )
1030103

>A
You go with the most boring, but practical choice. You’re not in the mood for another big change and Mr. Brown would be so upset if his most valuable employee became a strange ape creature, anime or otherwise.

Before next month you do a quick review of everyone’s incomplete goals:
Evelyn: Get a new job as a fisherman (Stalled)
Jadis: Get an adult body (Seems close to completion)
Selene: Learn how to lead the mob (1/3 complete)
Sobek: Obstruct Selene (???/complete)

You can use an action to give yourself new goals, but they need to be specific. For example, you could set a goal not to kill anyone or violate their mind’s privacy. Anything that limits your actions will one thousand percent have repercussions when Sobek makes his move and shit goes down.

At the start of the next month, you notice Jadis seems to have several child sized clones passed out in the apartment.

For a reminder of your abilities, please see the most recent month on this page:
https://questden.org/wiki/Stare_At_Explosions/Log

Month 6:
Sanity: 12/20 (-1, you still feel numb)
Hunger: 3.5/10 (-2.5)
Toughness: 6/10
AFA: 7/10

What are your actions this month? Remember you can talk to Jadis or other people for free as long as you’re not contributing to their goals.
>>
No. 1030105 ID: c92a02

Offer to help Jadis' final stages so that things go more smoothly.
Ask Lita and Truffle to scope out Sobek's plans.
>>
No. 1030110 ID: 96c896

>>1030103
Set goal: Don't be a dick.
Ask the GIA to help you out with Sobek, and possibly get Evelyn that license.
>>
No. 1030163 ID: 15a025

Let's help out and watch Jadis a bit. Just to make sure things will go smoothly.
>>
No. 1030174 ID: eedbeb
File 165076956274.png - (110.12KB , 500x500 , p91.png )
1030174

>New goal: Don’t be a dick
It looks like someone didn’t read the part about goals needing to be specific. This kind of goal would at best make it incredibly easy to second guess yourself and at worst prevent you from doing anything useful. Your goals need to be quantifiable.

>Action 1: Help Jadis
>Action 2: Tell Lita and Truffle to investigate Sobek

“How’s the lump project going? If you’re having any trouble I’d like to help.” you tell Jadis at breakfast one day. It’s a tad awkward because there’s another child sized Jadis snoozing on the kitchen table.

“Oh, really? I appreciate it, I’ve been doing pretty good by myself but if you give me a hand I should be ready to rejoin polite society later today.”

She explains that she’s created numerous body doubles without souls and stashed them around the city to serve as backups so she doesn’t get stuck in infancy again when she reincarnates. All the spell energy she’s needed has come from skimming some power off the Recycler since she knows how to undo the bindings. If Jadis uses a specific spell, she can move her soul around her network as well.

“Still having trouble putting myself in an adult body. I dunno, something about the different stage of development makes it resist what I’m trying to do.” Jadis goes over to your closet and lugs out a spitting image of her pre-death self. “You can help with that. Just put me in the ole twentysomething.”

“Er, what do you mean rejoin polite society?” you ask.

“Well, once I’m sure I’m not in danger of being killed again I can say hi to my parents and, I dunno, find Margot.” The kitten blushes and kicks her foot against the table leg. “She’s probably moved on and everything, but I want to see her at least once.”

The spell will cost +0.5 hunger. What, if anything, do you request from Jadis before you cast it?
>>
No. 1030175 ID: 15a025

That sounds like a recipe for some chaos, Jadis. I don't think someone suddenly rising back from the dead should just be casually walking around.

If you're really dead set on going out in public, you're going to need a disguise or a different look at the minimum for now there buddy.
>>
No. 1030176 ID: e51896

maaaybe ask why not make the other body doubles different species and different in appearances and stuff, probably make humans too. If she is planning on living forever, it might be best to keep a low profile after each death so different organizations don't look for her and stuff, plus with the age of monsters ending and animals going extinct for humans, might be best to keep herself from putting attention towards herself throughout each "reincarnated life" by making herself a cat each time, and people would be looking for those body doubles that look like her.

Otherwise, yeah sure, help get her in her body once she is sure she isn't in danger.
>>
No. 1030178 ID: c92a02

Sure, nobody wants to see Jadis go through puberty twice. Da rules: No more than one body active at a time. Wear a disguise. Wait a year until saying hi to your parents.
If she's managed to stash them everywhere already, it seems like she's already skilled at getting around unnoticed.
>>
No. 1030179 ID: 6c227a

What are you gonna do about the Mob? They did the whole succession thing, but are they gonna come back at you if you become public again?
>>
No. 1030181 ID: 96c896

>>1030174
>goals must be quantifiable
Well, it's very difficult to quantify morality. Best you can do usually is a code of ethics. But hey, how about the Ultima system of virtues. Honesty, Compassion, Valor, Honor, Justice, Sacrifice(giving things up/risking yourself to help others. Compassion but active instead of passive), Humility, Spirituality (this one is a bit unintuitive, it's about introspection and seeking greater understanding of the virtues, not belief in a higher power)

>she knows how to undo the bindings
Uh, didn't she explicitly state that she sealed it up so that nobody could use it? I figured she did it by encrypting it and using a random password that she wouldn't be able to remember.

>request things from Jadis
Ok, first off, she's not allowed to skim off the recycler anymore. Heck, maybe she can show you how she's doing it, which would let you prevent it. Though I wonder if that would mess it up... Secondly, if she gets offered leadership of the mob she has to turn it down. There's already a new leader. Though I guess if Selene doesn't want the job anymore that's fine.
>>
No. 1030199 ID: 96c896

Alternatively, something like "Be like Madoka" or some other do-gooder magical girl from whatever anime Body likes.
>>
No. 1030206 ID: eedbeb
File 165082799958.png - (118.65KB , 500x500 , p92.png )
1030206

“Hold on, you can’t go out in public again, everyone will freak out! Nobody knows you’re alive and if you start walking around like normal there could be panic.” you say.

Jadis shrugs. “I can disguise myself no problem. I’d ask if you want to make me a different species but I kind of like how I look and being a cat, and it’ll be easier to reintroduce myself to people if I look the same.”

“Can you have more than one body active at a time?”

“No dingus, I only have one soul. The spares are in stasis until I need them.” Jadis says.

“Don’t call me a dingus.” you growl.

“Sorry.” she mutters.

“Do you have, uh, a longer term plan? I assume you still don’t want anything to do with the mob and their succession crisis.”

Jadis makes a face. “Ew, no way. I’m not sure about the future, I’ll wait around in Providence to see how your god business plays out first.”

>Recycler Bindings
“Vlad told me you sealed the Recycler so no one could use it.”

“I did, buuuuut I may have left myself a teeny tiny backdoor.” Jadis grins wickedly.

“Well stop using it, you’re making the Age of Monsters end faster.”

“Sure, whatever you say, boss.”
You get the feeling Jadis might be lying about that last part, but you got most of your questions answered and you want to get that goal completed. It’s definitely nostalgic to see the old Jadis before the cat throws on glamour spell and leaves your apartment for good.
>>
No. 1030207 ID: eedbeb
File 165082800978.png - (115.02KB , 500x500 , p93.png )
1030207

>Lita and Truffle
Since the GIA agents don’t have as much to do now that they’re you’re loyal followers, you decide to keep them productive by giving them a new task. Lita still calls you her ‘Lord’, which kind of weird, but not worth correcting.

You instruct the pair to tail Sobek and find out what the crocodile and his followers are up to. Since Lita has the invisibility power she can be secretive, while Truffle can pretend to offer his services and make friends and maybe even kiss Sobek on the lips like one of your BL light novels.

They provide you with regular updates. For one, Sobek recognized Truffle immediately as a GIA agent and kept him at arm’s length. The boar learned more from talking to lower ranking mobsters who described a plan for a coup once the Age of Monsters ended. There’s strong anti-monster sentiment in the ranks, and a general opinion of Selene as an incompetent leader.

Lita tells you more about Sobek himself. He’s a witch specializing in telekinesis, though he rarely uses his magic in public. One of his witch eyes is missing, no doubt from the attack that left his scar, but he’s still adept at casting. When he caught a glimpse of the mantis appearing after her invisibility wore off, he pulled no less than four automatic rifles from his pocket space and she barely escaped.

Jadis’ disguise seems to be working because you don’t see her on the news, though Polly calls you sobbing to thank you profusely and half the money in your bank account goes missing.
>>
No. 1030208 ID: eedbeb
File 165082801720.png - (70.02KB , 500x500 , p94.png )
1030208

Winter comes with a massive snowstorm that coats the city in white, making Mary, who still refuses to wear clothes, totally camouflaged outdoors.

You feel a prickle of unease at the start of next month and decide you need to take first action as soon as possible.

Month 7:
Sanity: 11/20 (-1, you feel uneasy)
Hunger: 1.5/10 (-2.5)
Toughness: 6/10
AFA: 7/10
>>
No. 1030209 ID: e51896

Lets help Selene.

Unease? maybe Chef is getting kidnapped again, but by Sobek this time.
>>
No. 1030211 ID: c92a02

Do something to solidify Selene's standing as leader among the lower ranks. What would do that? Artificially create a crisis? Use her book learnings to achieve success in one of her weaker fields (with a little bit of Body magic to help)?
>>
No. 1030213 ID: 96c896

>half the money in your bank account goes missing.
Rude. Oh well, not like we're gonna use it all anyway.

Help Selene. Warn her about the coup, and get her some books on leadership or something.
>>
No. 1030271 ID: eedbeb
File 165089812891.png - (96.82KB , 500x500 , p95.png )
1030271

>Help Selene!
It’s the middle of the night, but you rush to Selene’s house to check on her. You don’t see anything out of the ordinary, and after shouting at the door that you’re here, the slime monster opens it.

She’s in her slug form again, eye stalks drooping and a bit of goo dribbling out of her mouth.

“You look terrible.” you say.

Selene groans. “I feel terrible. It’s been getting harder and harder to manage my form, but I have to keep up a strong face during management meetings. I’m just exhausted.”

That’s not good. You relay to Selene what you’ve learned about Sobek’s plan for a coup.

“If you’re struggling with your powers that means all monsters are probably having trouble. He’s going to notice and attack! What can I do to help you?”

Her mouth falls open and more slime leaks out. “I-I don’t know. There’s so much that still needs to be done and Sobek has all the weapons.”

What do you do to help Selene?
A. Restore Peak Slime Power: +1 hunger/month ongoing, you fuel Selene’s monster abilities. Prevents her from getting killed and improves her reputation.
B. Steal the Gun Stockpile: +2 hunger, Sobek will be upset with you
C. Create a Bigger Crisis to Distract from this one: You’re the bad guy now! Suggest bad guy things to do.
>>
No. 1030272 ID: e51896

C. Ask your GIA followers to find Max so we can gather some info where Theda might be so we can contact her and ask her to create a big enough crisis to distract Sobek with.
>>
No. 1030274 ID: 344f1d

B
LET him try to retaliate afterwards, he'll only be digging his own grave
>>
No. 1030281 ID: c3f1f9

Hey, not just stealing, but what if you took a look in Sobek’s dimensional pocket? You think he has a way to protect against that?
Secondarily I would choose A, knowing that you are doing your part to make anime real. This is only a temporary fix, however!
>>
No. 1030283 ID: 34dfce

>>1030271
Voting A
>>
No. 1030284 ID: e5709d

A, but you seriously need a long-term solution for this. Selene can't lead - can't live - without her face.
>>
No. 1030374 ID: eedbeb
File 165094057310.png - (92.46KB , 500x500 , p96.png )
1030374

>A
You take Selene’s squishy hands in yours and squeeze reassuringly. Slime goes everywhere.

“The monsters need a strong leader in organized crime! I can give you the power you need to be your best self.” you tell her firmly. Once you’ve restored Selene to her pink buxomly glory, you let her go back to bed, feeling a bit more confident.

Sobek’s rebellion begins a few days later, according to reports from Lita and Truffle. He declares himself the rightful leader of the mob and separates his forces from Selene, depriving her of manpower while also spreading the message that the monster is unfitting to rule. Bruce is remaining neutral while the Lewis’ have left the issue to Selene to manage. You don’t hear any fighting from Mr. Brown’s gas station but apparently monsters are being cornered and attacked across the city.

What’s your next action?
>>
No. 1030378 ID: e5709d

You know what, you brought a supervillain back from the grave. Time to @#$%ing use them.
Supervise Jadis to ensure she doesn't go off the deep end - again. Have her curse Sobek's guns to temporarily brainwash their users into becoming super-vigilantes that only listen to innocents and only to smite the spiteful. It's going to backfire into Sobek's muzzle even more than if you just sabotaged their ammo.
>>
No. 1030379 ID: 96c896

>>1030374
Time to go big.
Kill Sobek and all his closest allies. Perhaps you could do it with one spell that spreads based on targets gained from mindreading him, or even one that spreads from... contractual agreements? Or strong positive emotions?

Or I guess you could be a wussy pacifist and just break every gun in the city.
>>
No. 1030389 ID: ce39da

>>1030379
Yeah, actually, just casting a spell that makes ALL guns in the city stopped working would be... pretty effective.
>>
No. 1030390 ID: e51896

See if we can contact Theda for help on this.
>>
No. 1030412 ID: c92a02

Take their guns away! Don't unilaterally disable all guns, though, that just levels the playing field, and in a fair fight the monsters still lose.
I think you should let freshly-empowered Selene get the kill on Sobek, through whatever happy coincidences you can arrange. Maybe his whole security detachment falls asleep, maybe you use a scrying portal to figure out where he's hunkered down, maybe you empty out his bag of tricks... Little touches to make it look good.
>>
No. 1030485 ID: eedbeb
File 165101332847.png - (105.18KB , 500x500 , p97.png )
1030485

>Action 2: Something to address the Sobek situation

>Help from Jadis
You continue not to hear anything from or about Jadis. Any magic she could do, you could do better, and without using the available stock of animal souls.

>Contact Theda?
The vampire won't have her powers either, also she's probably on another continent and doesn't want to be bothered.

>Guns?
It'll be a lot harder to take the guns now that they've been distributed to Sobek's forces. If you're willing to spend the hunger you can do it, though.

>Kill Sobek, or help Selene kill him
This would be fairly easy magic wise, with severe consequences. Mary is all for it while Saul strongly recommends against it. You expect your vulnerable friends Cookie, Evelyn, and Derek will immediately be targeted. You asked Vlad how he was doing and besides being a bit thicker he still has his powers.
>>
No. 1030486 ID: eedbeb
File 165101333601.png - (87.62KB , 500x500 , p98.png )
1030486

It's time for everyone's favorite part, random chance!

The rebels currently have the advantage 7:3 against Selene’s cohort. Each month there will be a dice roll to see who "wins". The group that gets to two wins first takes over the mob. You still get your actions each month to influence things.

Options for now:
A. Immediately kill Sobek: -1 sanity, +0.5 hunger. Cookie, Evelyn, and Derek will each have a 1/2 chance to die. You can revive them for +2 hunger each. The rebellion will end.

B. Disable Sobek aligned weapons: +5 hunger. Sobek will be upset but won't escalate with you. The rebellion will be on even footing with Selene's constituents, so it'll be a 50-50 dice roll of who wins each month.

C. Encourage Selene to kill Sobek: She'll have a 1/3 chance to kill him each month, starting next month. Cookie, Evelyn, and Derek will each have a 1/4 chance to die if Sobek gets got. You can revive them for +2 hunger each. The rebellion will end after Sobek dies.
>>
No. 1030487 ID: c92a02

C. We can take this chance once, and then, unlike the LAST time we had random chance involving Selene, when our window of opportunity narrows we take the less ideal but guaranteed solution. Okay? Okay.
>>
No. 1030500 ID: 96c896

A. This is an attempt at genocide. It's worth the cost to stop it.
>>
No. 1030502 ID: 4f7ec4

Option D: cast a spell to mess with Sobek's mind. Mellow him out. Make him more cautious, second-guessing of himself, and low-key cowardly.
>>
No. 1030505 ID: ce39da

C, if only to put off the murder times until a later date.
>>
No. 1030512 ID: a9cff3

I suggest B

But whatever we do, we should probably convince our friends to move out of the city
>>
No. 1030578 ID: eedbeb
File 165109896292.png - (99.93KB , 500x500 , p99.png )
1030578

>C
Surely you'll get a chance to take drastic action if this choice doesn't work out. You start casting small locating spells to keep tabs on Sobek, and relay the information to Selene so she can try to assassinate him.

>Monsters 'win' the first month
Pretty unexpected, but you're happy to hear news that the monsters are fighting back. While they no longer have their reality bending powers, monsters are still tough having evolved to survive the harshness that comes with social ostracism. They rally around Selene and fight back against Sobek's forces with ferocity. There are numerous casualties on both sides.

>Sobek survives
Selene is so busy fighting that she doesn't get an opportunity to take out Sobek, who's staying in a secure location sending orders to his supporters. He probably has a flamethrower on hand, so it won't be easy for the slime, though you have faith in her abilities.

Month 8:
Sanity: 10/20 (-1, you feel violent)
Hunger: 0/10 (-1.5)
Toughness: 6/10
AFA: 7/10

What are your actions for this month? It will be difficult to get your friends to leave Providence, and at this point it's not a guarantee that they won't be followed.
>>
No. 1030580 ID: c92a02

Give Selene another month. Upgrade yourself to improve your toughness - you're making so many pocket spaces, can you make it so you can include passengers in one of these? It doesn't have to let them survive in space, it just has to let you escort your at-risk friends out of Providence all at once - they'll be targeted as soon as Sobek knows you're making a move on them.
...Become a giant anime robot with a voltron/power rangers style cockpit they can sit in? I guess recruiting your friends to form Bodytron is action 2.
>>
No. 1030581 ID: 96c896

>>1030578
I mean, we could just *teleport* everyone out. What's stopping our social group from just packing up and leaving, at this point? Evelyn could get a fishing license from another city, to boot.

I still wanna murder Sobek. The violence has to stop, mostly because civilians are being attacked (no, it doesn't matter that the only ones being attacked are monsters, in fact that makes it worse). Maybe we can teleport everyone to safety so that Sobek's killswitch doesn't work, then gank him?
>>
No. 1030624 ID: 0ffab9

See if we can get the GIA to help the monsters fight against Sobek.
>>
No. 1030653 ID: f5891b

Kill or brainwash Sobek. We can afford the penalties.

Also, increase toughness, we are running out of time.
>>
No. 1030676 ID: ce39da

> 1st Action
Spirit away (or at least warn) your at-risk friends in preparation for if Sobek dies at someone's hands. If they ask why you're being so casual about the worst-case scenario you're outlining, explain: "as long as I'm still around and still caring, you dying would be just a temporary inconvenience."

> 2nd Action
Are we physically ready for space? If not, consult the folks about fixing that.
>>
No. 1030705 ID: eedbeb
File 165118699593.png - (110.33KB , 500x500 , p100.png )
1030705

>Kill Sobek
You already had a chance at that and chose not to do it, though you’ll get another choice in the near future if he’s one month away from winning.

>Toughness?
You need to be at 10 Toughness and have some means of propulsion to be ready to leave planet. Once you fulfill those requirements you can go whenever.

>Sanity?
At 0 sanity you will become a threat to everyone and everything around you.

>Action 1: Talk to your at-risk friends
>Action 2: More Toughness Upgrades

You gather Cookie, Evelyn, and Derek one evening after work for a warm meal of fish soup and pastries. Derek reports through a mouthful of flaky dough that he’s been seeing someone now that he can have physical relations without snapping in half, and generally seems happy. Cookie mutters something about his sister being in a better mood recently, while Evelyn gives the usual dry complaints about work in the café.

You break the bad news about Sobek targeting them without fanfare and offer to take them all out of the city. As expected, everyone refuses.

“See that’s fine short term, but when would we be able to come back?” Evelyn asks rhetorically. “If Sobek’s mad we’ll be in danger any time we’re in the city. I’m not leaving my entire life here behind forever, I just bought that condo.”
>>
No. 1030706 ID: eedbeb
File 165118700539.png - (93.46KB , 500x500 , p101.png )
1030706

You squeeze your wooden silverware in your paws. They’re being ridiculous, their lives are worth more than some comfort and familiarity.

“Well, I guess I can just revive you guys if you die.” you grumble.

Cookie jerks and blinks his massive eye at you. “You can do that?”

“I can do a lot of things now.” you say mysteriously.

“Have you done it before? Is there anyone we need to, uh, look out for?” Cookie asks. Evelyn narrows her eyes as she picks up on what Cookie is implying.

A. Share the news about Jadis
B. Lie
>>
No. 1030707 ID: c92a02

A. Also: "Me. I'll be mad as Mary in a few months. It's been real but I need to take a long vacation real soon."
>>
No. 1030709 ID: 96c896

Saying no would not be lying. You didn't resurrect Jadis, you just pulled her out of a body she was sharing with a child. Then you shoved her into an adult body she wanted. Neither things involve bringing back the dead.
>>
No. 1030714 ID: 34dfce

>>1030706
A. Share the news, but tell them about how you didn't do it. If they don't believe you, the that is on them. Honestly, maybe it is better if you distance yourself.


Speaking of which, why haven't we just gone to a very remote area while we undergo these changes? It may be better for everyone if we aren't around posing a risk to them.
>>
No. 1030736 ID: e51896

You know what?
whatever choice we make, I want to request Derek to sing the song of his people again... like old times
>>
No. 1030737 ID: e51896

And I want to throw in this idea
if any of our friends die, DON'T immediately revive them until it is close to time for us to leave this planet. If we decide to revive them too soon, there could be a chance they could die again, making us have to use up more hunger.
>>
No. 1030739 ID: 53560f

A) in my defence she was already in the process of reviving herself, I just sped the process along and saved the poor kid she was possessing some from future trauma.
>>
No. 1030743 ID: e5709d

On one hand, revealing that you brought back Jadis of all people is going to cause social tension, anxiety, and a general 'what-the-hellness'. But on the other hand, Sobek has become the main threat; he'll find out about Jadis eventually, and will target your friends for now, which is going to cause issues. Having them reconnect with Jadis will let her develop defenses for them and coordinate against an ambush.

A.

Definitely increase toughness and start researching propulsion. You've got another surplus of spell slots.
>>
No. 1030751 ID: eedbeb
File 165124333851.png - (84.06KB , 500x500 , p102.png )
1030751

>A
You explain the situation with Jadis, how you extracted her from Dewey, hid her in your apartment, and the fact that she’s effectively immortal now but shouldn’t cause any trouble.

“Wow. Okay, that’s good to know.” Cookie rubs his cheek. “I’m not going to be the one to tell Kibble.”

“She’s out of town anyway. It’s probably fine to wait.” Evelyn adds.

Derek raises his hand. “I thought Jadis was an objectively bad person.”

“Yes.” Everyone else says at the same time.

“So…why did Body restore her to her former powers and glory?”

You consider the question. At the time you felt strong sentiment reuniting with Jadis in her soul mind thing. None of that feeling remains. Jadis is simply a possible ally and a potential threat.

“She can help you guys if I need to—isolate for a while. And after I’m gone she’ll keep you safe.” you say.

The secret of Jadis is out and will spread, but your friends are grateful that you told them.
>>
No. 1030752 ID: eedbeb
File 165124335545.png - (66.07KB , 500x500 , p103.png )
1030752

>Action 2
“Ok, so the problem here is that there isn’t much space for you to improve internally without squeezing everything else smaller. It takes progressively more energy for less reward.” Saul explains, sprawled on your sofa with Mary intertwined with him. Thanks to you summoning them so early and Mary mellowing out after eating Duck, the two aliens’ relationship seems to be on the mend and even leaning towards romantic territory. You’re not sure how you feel about that.

“But if you abandoned this silly form you could remodel your design for more toughness and less hunger cost.” Mary adds.

“It’s up to you really.” Saul’s fingers rest on the spaces between Mary’s visible ribs.

A. Same Form: +1 Toughness, +6 Hunger, +0 AFA

B. Parent Style (Mannequin with Cat features): +1 Toughness, +4 Hunger, -1 AFA. Keep electricity consumption.

C. Become Uncanny (suggest your new form, but it has to be kind of weird): +2 Toughness, +2 Hunger, -2 AFA
>>
No. 1030754 ID: e51896

C Become uncanny
and by uncanny, your drawing style form looks a tiny bit more like an irl cat than it does a cartoon cat, I dunno lol.
>>
No. 1030757 ID: 9c43df

Become uncanny like a robotic version of Girl Talk.
>>
No. 1030769 ID: 836406

More hunger means less sanity, less AFA means less sanity, but the middle road means no anime robot form. …C it is, then. Get even more robotic: Instead of a face, just a screen for display of basic emotions, mechanical parts as simple as they need to be, bigger and bulkier to fit the necessary compressed space.
>>
No. 1030772 ID: e5709d

C
A collection of plastic trash and toxic materials.
+ Can siphon power by recycling
+ Can change attributes based on diet
+ Can shapechange like Selene
- Final 2 Toughness will be hard to increase
- Outward appearance is bad for others' health
- Rank odor beyond belief
>>
No. 1030775 ID: 96c896

>Keep electricity consumption.
What does this mean? Do the other choices lose electricity consumption?
>>
No. 1030776 ID: eedbeb

>>1030775
when option B was made available in the second action of month 5, it included losing the electricity consumption power. i wanted to clarify that was not the case this time
>>
No. 1030778 ID: 34dfce

>>1030752
C.
Biblically accurate Angel
>>
No. 1030795 ID: eedbeb
File 165127985294.png - (131.79KB , 500x500 , p104.png )
1030795

>C
You shed a single tear for the gas station and call Mr. Brown to inform him that your time together has come to a close. The roach thanks you for your work and wishes you the best. It’s probably better for the business that you’re no longer associated with them.

Saul and Mary contribute a lot to your remodel, focusing on the insides while you design your outsides. You want to retain your cat features, but you’ve also gotten used to the convenience of being a robot.

The end result is a quaint quadruped stature with a screen on a narrow metal neck so you can look around. You come up to maybe where your hips were before.

For reasons that can’t be explained by science or magic, your new form is highly unappealing to animals and makes some of them want to beat you to death with a steel pipe. Whenever you encounter an animal that isn’t one of your close allies (your friends, Selene, Lita, and Truffle) they will make a roll to either fight, flee, or act normal, with probability distributed evenly between the three options. You’re so tough that an attack won’t actually do anything, but it’ll sure make going out in public more exciting.
>>
No. 1030796 ID: eedbeb
File 165127986301.png - (88.32KB , 500x500 , p105.png )
1030796

>Monsters win again, stopping the rebellion!
Well that was anticlimactic, you were really expecting Sobek’s heavily armed forces to put up a better fight.

>Selene murders Sobek
For the cherry on top, Selene also takes advantage of the surrender to eliminate Sobek. The recently deceased crocodile’s bad luck is usually only seen from kitsune government agents.

>Who dies?
The victory is so overwhelming that Sobek’s assassins wise up and decide not to pick fights by murdering your friends. Team Body stays winning.

Month 9:
Sanity: 8/20 (-2, bad dialogue options activated)
Hunger: 0.5/10 (-1.5)
Toughness: 8/10
AFA: 5/10

What are your actions this month? The only person who really has a goal left is Evelyn, though you still need more upgrades. At this rate you could have a perfect finish!
>>
No. 1030799 ID: 96c896

>>1030796
Well now that Sobek is dead, she should see if she can get that license. Wouldn't count on it though.
Why don't we talk to our grandparents about it? They should be more cooperative. Or, alternatively, we could summon Sobek's ghost from beyond the grave and force him to reveal the identity of the saboteur. Choices, choices...

I also want to see if we can finish off our toughness upgrades this month.
>>
No. 1030800 ID: c92a02

Good job, Selene!
Help Evelyn, then upgrade. Evelyn will hopefully still be sympathetic to your more harsh language and now direct methods. Spend your remaining money on buying out the condo - it's hers to live in or rent out as she pleases, now - and hack the mainframe to get Evelyn her license. Better to hack first and figure out who was blocking it later.
>>
No. 1030803 ID: ce39da

>>1030800
Yeah, this seems good, but do check to see if the problem didn't solve itself in the wake of Sobek's death and Selene's secured victory, first.
>>
No. 1030823 ID: e5709d

Concentrate on Toughness and Evelyn this month. In your remaining time, your primary focus should be on the self-propulsion system and dealing with Jadis, possibly by keeping her stuffed in your compartment and blasting off.
>>
No. 1030832 ID: 93072d

>The recently deceased crocodile’s bad luck is usually only seen from kitsune government agents.
Pfft!
Love this quest.

Let's focus on keeping track of Jadis' activities and finding out who is the jerk that's annoying your friends.
>>
No. 1030843 ID: eedbeb
File 165133139184.png - (120.98KB , 500x500 , p106.png )
1030843

>Action 1: Get Evelyn her license and find out who was behind blocking it
>Action 2: Finish Toughness upgrades

You’re practically buzzing with the drive to finish Evelyn’s goal. You’d put it in the top 3 most important things ever in your life and every second you aren’t addressing it you’re filled with rage.

A quick trip back to the licensing office, where the receptionist flinches but doesn’t try to beat you up and the flounder shakily informs you she still can’t give Evelyn a fishing license, does not help this boiling feeling.

Evelyn can’t understand why you’re so upset. The tall cat is very cautious with her words so that she doesn’t start you on an angry tirade against Sobek. The seeds of fear you planted in the office several months ago are growing, and it pains you to see that Evelyn is putting emotional distance between you.

How do you find the person responsible for this mess?
A. Summon Sobek’s soul to interrogate (+0.5 Hunger)
B. Ask for the person to come forward to tell the truth without repercussion (50% of success)
C. Put Lita and Truffle on the case (They’ll find out by the end of month 10)
>>
No. 1030844 ID: e51896

A
Try and get amswers from him on who is preventing Evelyn from fishing, or threaten to reincarnate him as a homeowner's blade of grass if he doesn't give an answer and suffer the evil lawn mower painfully cutting him each week and getting stepped on now and then.

...

Actually, C. That way we can do other actions, like make a Body clone containing your memories for our friends to hang out with next month before we leave earth (without having god powers of course)
>>
No. 1030853 ID: 34dfce

>>1030844
>Body clone
That's actually not a bad idea. Then we could quietly leave before we do something we will regret.
>>
No. 1030857 ID: 96c896

>>1030843
A. Oh right you can just mindread him can't you? He's already dead, who cares about the sanctity of his mind.
>>
No. 1030858 ID: e5709d

A. You already orchestrated Sobek's death for threatening your friends and starting a war. There's not much worse you can do to him at this point even though you really want to, may as well mindrip all his secrets before he's devoured by the Hail Mary.
>>
No. 1030869 ID: c92a02

C. Your intensity is harmful to Evelyn's goals and is not inducing her to pursue them. Work on other stages of the problem or pursue other projects.
>>
No. 1030881 ID: e51896

Reading the other posts, I think I'll switch to A.
>>
No. 1030883 ID: 93072d

Why not doing B and also C in case it don't work?
>>
No. 1030886 ID: eedbeb
File 165137014555.png - (89.17KB , 500x500 , p107.png )
1030886

>A
Some increasingly small part of you is aware you’re acting intense. You’re far outside the normally accepted amount of effort for doing your friend a minor favor.

And you’re not going to stop now! You’ll finish that goal or destroy the world trying. That’s the leadership mentality of a young god and you’re very proud of your ability to get things done.

Sobek is recently dead, so his soul should still be swirling around the Recycler instead of being freshened up and stuck as a blank in some animal baby. You’re going to have a little chat with him.

That translates to extracting all the memory data from his soul. You don’t even bother talking, just mind rip all the good stuff out and consume the excess energy, which helps you break even on the extraction cost. There’s still too much information to comprehend, so you search for the relevant details in slow manual review of the crocodile’s life experience of the past few months. Finally you stumble across a memory with the right key words.

Sobek is having a glass of brandy with a familiar ox, Bruce. You bristle when you realize they’re talking about you, and how they think you’re unstable.

“I have Saul under control, but I’m concerned about Ms. Lewis.” Sobek murmurs to Bruce. “We should keep as many of her vulnerable friends within reach as possible if we need leverage.”

“I agree. I’ll see what I can do about getting Evelyn Shade’s fishing license delayed.”

“Why does she need a fishing license?” Sobek asks, confused. You don’t stick around for the explanation.
>>
No. 1030887 ID: eedbeb
File 165137015598.png - (87.85KB , 500x500 , p108.png )
1030887

Bruce! It was the third mobster all along, playing both sides so he’d come out on top whoever won. Oh, you’re very upset by this betrayal, but you’re already planning to use your second action for more upgrades, so it’ll have to wait.

You’re frothing mad by the time Saul and Mary can meet with you in your apartment. They’re doing disgusting lovey dovey stuff like gnawing on each other’s fingers and you tell them to cut that out right away or you’ll extract all the energy from their satellite bodies to become even more powerful.

“Gee, is it that bad already? You still have 8 sanity.” Saul remarks.

“It is good for our child to assert herself.” Mary says firmly. “If she is able then she is welcome to consume us.”

Hunger prices have gone up again in preparation for your last or second to last upgrade.

A. Advanced Space Warping Abilities: 2-in-1 propulsion method and toughness upgrade. +1 Toughness, +6 Hunger

B. This Isn’t Even My Final Form: Your physical body is no longer the real you, instead you’re stored in an inaccessible alternate dimension location. No cosmetic change. +2 Toughness, +7 Hunger

C. Wild Space: Put some crazy shit in here! +2 Toughness, +8 Hunger
>>
No. 1030888 ID: ce39da

Assuming that 7 isn't some arbitrary cutoff for bad stuff happening, and we'll have sufficient mobility, either way, then B is the most efficient choice by far.
>>
No. 1030889 ID: c92a02

A. Oh right, you do need some way of getting between planets don't you. The next and last hunger expenditure's gonna be the big one.
>>
No. 1030890 ID: 96c896

>>1030887
Turn off Selene's boost. The situation is stabilizing, you found the other traitor, and you need that energy. With our income going back to 2.5, we'll be fine after spending 7 energy.

B.
>>
No. 1030891 ID: 34dfce

Fuck it.

C. Become Eldritch Horror and consume all of our friends so they are always a part of us and never leave.
>>
No. 1030897 ID: e5709d

>>1030887
I'm creeped out now.

Oh, and choose C. You are now a bloated, floating hunk of steel with a gooey, oversexualized center that pops out when you get horny.
Oh, and the center generates a toxic-but-useful chemical which can be ignited to propel yourself out of the stratosphere.
Hm... not weird enough... centaur form, add giant hands that turn into eyeballs when you clench your fists and a waist so thin it's literally contained within a controlled black hole. Your head is now a set of golf clubs that sprout tentacles to form a face.
>>
No. 1030902 ID: 93072d

B makes me think of old-school Planeswalker stuff, and I'm all for it, baby!

(Also, I don't want her to end up eating her friends)
>>
No. 1030933 ID: eedbeb
File 165143268815.png - (106.51KB , 500x500 , p109.png )
1030933

>B
You have a high-pitched growl in your throat the whole time you’re casting the spell, just daring Mary and Saul to smooch each other in your presence. When the spell is complete you feel a little strange and have to get used to controlling your quadruped physical body from a slight distance, like playing a third-person view video game.

“You’re going to be extra hangry, so you might want to leave next month.” Saul recommends.

“I still have an unfinished goal.” you snap.

He raises his hands in a placating motion. “Up to you, up to you. That’s just my advice.”

Month 10:
Sanity: 5/20 (-3, you are unbelievably pissed)
Hunger: 6.5/10 (-1.5)
Toughness: 10/10
AFA: 5/10

Your interpersonal interactions are now shit. If you don’t leave this month (by using an action to get some means of shooting yourself into space), you’ll force yourself to complete the Evelyn goal the following month, no matter the consequences.

Reminder that your abilities can be found here if you’d like to take an action to alter any of them: https://questden.org/wiki/Stare_At_Explosions/Log
>>
No. 1030936 ID: e51896

action 1. Bruce is part of the GIA. Lita and Truffle is also our loyal followers and also part of the GIA. So order Lita and Truffle to get Bruce to stop preventing Evelyn from getting her license already!

action 2. modify your body to add a rocket propulsion to leave this planet already.
>>
No. 1030938 ID: ce39da

... Think about it for a second: When we go away, so does the reason behind Evelin's problem.

> ACTION 1
Cut off support to Selene and binge-consume electricity to get our hunger down for...

> ACTION 2
Modify your body to 1: Move through space, and 2: Satiate itself in a way that doesn't rely on animal-made electricity storing/transporting structures that you won't find in space.
>>
No. 1030939 ID: c92a02

Action 1: Make Bruce's house hover ominously three feet off the ground. No other change. Put a post-it on the door that says 'Fishing license.'
Action 2: Let's go to space! Try just jumping to the moon. Put an unearthly amount of force between those legs, an minimum of mass at a maximum of toughness into that robo-Bod, and let's jump into orbit from a nice isolated hill.
>>
No. 1030941 ID: 96c896

>>1030938
-3 sanity
Oh, I didn't know low AFA affected sanity too.

Go talk to Bruce. Tell him to give Evelyn her license or else he'll suffer a fate worse than death. If he refuses then we can use an action to force the issue.

Then get some space propulsion and go.
>>
No. 1030943 ID: 93072d

Go to Bruce's home and turn him into a tiny newt for one week.
Tell him you are gonna do worse if he doesn't leave your friends alone.
>>
No. 1030945 ID: eedbeb
File 165144273026.png - (164.36KB , 500x500 , p110.png )
1030945

>Hunger
If you were planning to cast some big spells or stick around longer, you’d want to lower your hunger, but at the moment harvesting more energy or canceling your support of Selene takes an action you can’t spare. Once you get to space Big Saul and Big Mary will feed you.

>Action 1: Talk to (threaten) Bruce
It occurs to you that if you left the planet, Bruce would have no incentive to keep denying Evelyn her fishing license. Hm, but then he’d probably forget he even blackmailed the flounder in the first place and your poor friend would be doomed to her lesser existence as a normal functioning member of society. You simply must do something about this.

Bruce is surrounded by irrelevant coworkers like the governor when you charge into his office. The ox picks up the nearest flagpole in an impressive display of strength and attempts to run you through, on primal fear instinct. The grotesque robot cat is knocked over and wiggles its legs sadly in the air.

A. Threaten Bruce with a fate worse than death unless he emails the flounder right fucking now (80% success)

B. Mind control Bruce (similar to Angel powers) to leave your friends along (100% success, +1 hunger, mars your reputation)

C. Intimidate Bruce with a display of magical power (levitate nearby objects, turn the governor into a newt. 100% success but will limit your propulsion option because of the hunger cost of +2)
>>
No. 1030946 ID: e51896

Mainly A
>>
No. 1030947 ID: e5709d

A) Reveal you 'resurrected' Jadis by stuffing her in a flesh blob and threaten to turn him into her newest protrusion. Then bluff that you'll keep an eye on his mind forever - literally, by making a module of cyberware made of your eyeballs and then jam it straight into his brain.
>>
No. 1030949 ID: 96c896

>>1030945
A, but also tell him you're leaving the planet this month so there's no point in *not* doing it. That should raise the odds to 100%.
>>
No. 1030950 ID: 96c896

also ffs stop feeding Selene.
>>
No. 1030951 ID: eedbeb
File 165145408940.png - (67.60KB , 500x500 , p111.png )
1030951

>A
You’re so intimidating and strong and powerful and you threaten to stuff Bruce into a little gasping tumor that’s forever in pain and agony and there’s no way he’ll say no to you!

>He says no
“Get out of here! Scram you horrible rascal!” Bruce doesn’t seem to realize it’s you, or is in such a heightened state of fight or flight that he simply doesn’t process your threat. He smashes the pole into your false body repeatedly, denting the metal and dealing psychological damage to your raging megalomania. You ready a spell to blast him to bits when you run into Saul’s rule barrier. You took your action, made a choice, and it didn’t work out, so now you’ll have to take another action to try again.

A. Use your second action to do B or C from the previous choice (please specify)
B. Stay with the propulsion into space true combo plan and get outta here (rip perfect run)
C. Use your next action to stop feeding Selene (you have no reason to do this)
>>
No. 1030953 ID: e51896

B. Screw it, it's not worth it. I'm sure Evelyn will figure something out on her own. Plus we need all the points we can get to get out of this planet safely before we destroy it.
>>
No. 1030954 ID: 96c896

All we did just now was talk. That does not take an action.
Make good on your threat, stuff him into a tumor.

Why does stopping feeding Selene take an action? That doesn't make any sense. This feels very hamhanded.
>>
No. 1030955 ID: 96c896

Oh and once we're out of here, confront Saul about mind-controlling you. That sanity stat is his doing.
>>
No. 1030956 ID: e51896

>>1030938
Plus, it's as Detective said, if we leave, there is no more reason for Bruce to hold the fishing license hostage.
>>
No. 1030957 ID: c92a02

B. You haven't really marred anything, since Evelyn is still capable of chasing her goals and again, no Body no problems.
That said, you can use his office as a launchpad.
>>
No. 1030959 ID: e5709d

B - and use a free action via email to explain why Bruce is an asshole.
>>
No. 1030960 ID: e51896

>>1030957
support on using his office as a launch pad.
>>
No. 1030961 ID: 96c896

>>1030959
Oh right if we're not actually turning him into a tumor we can at least tell Selene.
>>
No. 1030964 ID: 93072d

A
Make him very tiny for one hour.
>>
No. 1030966 ID: eedbeb
File 165146276230.png - (82.75KB , 500x500 , p112.png )
1030966

>B
There’s a moment of vertigo, staring at the robot as your ghost self while Bruce keeps clobbering it to no effect. You were really about to kill this guy or torture him eternally over a fishing license. There’s something really wrong with you.

It takes a supreme effort to resist the pull of the last goal, Saul’s influence pressing deep furrows into your fragile mind. Does Evelyn even want to be a fisherman still? You’ve been totally ignoring her, maybe she’s changed her mind and you don’t know. Good lord, you were going to turn the governor into a newt!

I hate you and your fake rules. Mary had said the first time you saw her in the flesh, while digging her thumbs into Saul’s eyes. You’d assumed she’d meant the standards for animal society, and now you’re not so sure.

Tims are part of Saul’s rules too, aren’t they? Keeping animals limited to this realm by stopping them from casting advanced space and time spells. It slowly dawns on you that despite all his faffing about and submissive personality, Saul is a massive control freak.

You force the robot to its sturdy nub feet, ears drooping, and make your escape back to your apartment.
>>
No. 1030970 ID: eedbeb
File 165146321686.png - (106.30KB , 500x500 , p113.png )
1030970

You have to leave the planet before you really hurt someone. You shoot a quick text to Selene explaining that Bruce was behind the fishing license business, and thanking her again for killing Sobek so you didn’t have to. Surprisingly, your paws are still clean after all this time. A pounding headache is growing behind your ghost temple, despite all your toughness Big Saul is still unfathomably stronger than you in ways you can’t comprehend.

You’ll leave, you’ll go to space and be improved—and then you’ll come back. Kibble will be waiting.

You message Saul and Mary to come to the apartment one last time.

The FINAL CHOICE:
You have plenty of energy to propel yourself into space using a spell or a new power from any of the options below. You’re going to go out in a deserted field so you don’t hurt anyone while you do it.

A. Space-bending Angel powers
B. Old fashioned rocket propulsion, hot exhaust gas outta your ass at high speeds
C. Pure fuck you parent vibes
>>
No. 1030973 ID: 96c896

>>1030970
I mean, I figured Saul was doing this as a test. To see if you could handle absolute power. A dick move, but an actual goal behind it instead of being controlling.

A is copying them, B doesn't seem sustainable...

C it is.
>>
No. 1030974 ID: e51896

>>1030967
If we choose B, request to Saul and Mary to add a pointless loud fart sound effect to the rocket propulsion whenever it is activated, just to make this a memorable moment for all the wrong reasons for your friends. Put a smile on their faces as you leave earth and not see them for a long time... or disgust them. Especially Vlad.

(B is my choice btw)
>>
No. 1030975 ID: c92a02

C. Would you get a Tim to throw you into outer space? Just extend your neck to space, then retract your body up to it?
>>
No. 1030976 ID: 0055dc

>>1030970

C
Pull your devil trigger https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k79j9Eh5uh8
>>
No. 1030979 ID: e5709d

>Saul is a massive control freak.
Well, yeah.
The last time he blindly trusted his girlfriend with free reign to do what-the-flip-ever on a simple date, she committed mass-genocide.
I'm impressed that at least one of his avatars isn't a shattered, banhammer-happy maniac.

>Propulsion
B - Enhance Knockers.
You know why~~~~~~~~~
>>
No. 1031006 ID: eedbeb
File 165150204250.png - (116.58KB , 500x500 , p114.png )
1031006

>C into B
Okay you need a realistic way to generate thrust and while raging against authority is plenty good in concept, it’s not going to get you anywhere. You’ll say it’s because your mad and then shoot out butt gases anyway.

“I’m very upset with both of you.” you tell Saul and Mary. There’s a hint of spring in the air and little green sprouts are peeking out from around the dead brown grasses from last year.

“But I recognize you have your own trauma and you’re trying to, uh, mostly do your best and what you think is correct from your point of view. I’m used to have extremely powerful morally dubious parents, I guess.”

You focus your magic to reroute some of that hot water you use for nuclear power generation to a series of nozzles. You stick the cat robot in a little rocket and prepare for liftoff.

Steam isn’t the best gas propellant, but you have a lot of it. The rocket shoots into the air, dragging your ghost along with it.

In the instant before they’re out of sight, you see Mary and Saul waving goodbye.
>>
No. 1031007 ID: eedbeb
File 165150205253.png - (38.70KB , 500x500 , p115.png )
1031007

Thanks for reading.


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