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File 137947681975.jpg - (90.17KB , 600x810 , chapter5.jpg )
540939 No. 540939 ID: 5acad3

Chapter 5

Chapters 1-4


Discussion thread:

Wiki page:
Expand all images
No. 540940 ID: 5acad3
File 137947684705.jpg - (38.87KB , 600x370 , 264.jpg )

"Oh God, oh God, oh God. That's where everyone has been.... He's been building an army. "

You feel strangely calm. After all of the events of the day, you realize there's nothing you can do but deal with the situation.
No. 540941 ID: 5acad3
File 137947688260.jpg - (55.83KB , 570x600 , 265.jpg )

"Okay. We need to get out of here and warn someone. But we can't leave without Dale and the book. After that, we need to find some place safe. Ideas?"
No. 540943 ID: 5acad3
File 137947703810.jpg - (52.32KB , 600x572 , 266.jpg )

The sheriff tells you that the police station would be fairly secure and is well armed, but admits that it would probably be the most likely place Radula would look and could be overwhelmed by a large enough force, especially with the condition that everyone is in now.

Jeff suggests the reservation out by the nearby mesa. Its far enough away that you could prepare a defense and you can see anyone coming for miles in every direction. While his nation may not be as well equipped as the police, its a close knit community that would be hard for "zombies" to infiltrate or overwhelm. Plus, Mesa top fortress.
No. 540944 ID: 07e3a8

...of those two ideas, I'm forced to admit Jeff's is better. The police station sounds like a death trap. Although we could still end up trapped on the Mesa, or infiltrated, and there's no leeches up there.

This is all kind of academic, though, until we find a way to get out of here. And if we don't find the book, it won't matter anyways.
No. 540946 ID: 96c896

Mesa top fortress, yes.
No. 540947 ID: c23ab0

OK, you suddenly realize that the best way to defeat Radula is through the power of song. Go!
No. 540948 ID: 9ddf68

of the plans I say the mesa top fortress just because if cuddle fish man can corrupt people I like the idea of fighting off a close-net community more then a bunch of armed/trained cops... just saying.
No. 540951 ID: 735f4f

Maybe swing by the police station for weapons on the way to the mesa. That is if it's not already overrun.
No. 540952 ID: 96128a

Hey, if there's any bodies of water at all out there then there very well may be. If this community is so prepared for a zombie invasion, then Jeff can just explain that these zombies can be cured using leaches, as they're still human. Er. Animal.

I vote for the mesa, though stopping by the police station for some gear sounds nice. Bullet proof vests for all!
(And while we're at the hospital, can we please steal every first aid kit and doctor's bag that we can carry?)
No. 540953 ID: be53aa

Can we just grab the weapons at the station and then hole up at the Mesa?

Also get cracking on getting Dale back first.
No. 540955 ID: d9ce78

you can't just kill a bunch of turned people and expect not to be put in jail afterwards. you're out of leeches so that's kinda the default right now.

we need to alert some form of authority, CDC maybe. also get more leeches.
No. 540963 ID: 5869f6

I agree son, we need to alert th' damn national guard or summit! Or the CDC. Still. We may as well get to th' mesa after that. Let's hope Jeffs' folks least got some hunting rifles. An' still, we could always aim fo' the arm, or the leg.
No. 540968 ID: 96c896

Oh, we should raid a pharmacological cabinet. Something to prevent Dale from sleeping could be a good idea! Also, sedatives to deal with the envenomed, maybe.
No. 541034 ID: f9cf6a

Voting for the mesa, but if possible with a side trip to the police station first to shovel its armory into the trunk of our escape vehicle.

Don't much like holing up on the mesa without a way to escape if things go bad, but the only way I can think of to would be by aircraft... Hey, does the police department here have a helicopter? Or contract with a local airstrip for one? If so, could the sheriff call up the pilot and tell him to fly up and land on the mesa? We'd have to call Jeff's relatives first to warn them so they don't freak out, of course.
No. 541062 ID: 5acad3
File 137956211228.jpg - (35.75KB , 600x441 , 267.jpg )

"Ok, Im thinking that we should try and make it to the mesa. We'll stop by the police station if we can, but getting somewhere safe is our priority."

The sheriff nods, but scowls.His swollen jaw seems to be stuck in a perma-scowl after Mary slugged him.

"First though, we need to get out of here. Jeff, I want you and the sheriff to carry Todd downstairs to the motor pool and get him inside an ambulance. Mary, I want you to come with me, the security cams showed Dale running somewhere upstairs. I just hope he's managed to stay hidden."
No. 541067 ID: 9ddf68

well seeing that Radula is gathering people and still hunting us down I think it's safe to say he's still looking for Dale

Either way tell whoever is going to drive to keep the car warm and has gas so we can make a quick getaway if we need to and can run really really far before we have to make a pit stop. Hey you never know, Radula might be able to do something that would force us away form the mesa and force us to keep running like Dale was before this happened.
No. 541309 ID: 60a746

We don't know if Radula's forces have made it up here, so we'll have to play things carefully. Search room-by-room with the doctor watching your back. Call softly into each room for Dale. If you get no response, give it a quick search, take anything useful, and move on. Keep in mind that anyone you see might be an agent of Radula, and, unfortunately, the only person that can tell friend from foe is currently running for his life. We need to get out of this situation and into one where we have better control. Let's get moving.
No. 541348 ID: 878cce

We have a plan for now, but for future reference:

We know from the doctor's experience that running forever is not an option. We also know that holing up somewhere is an equally poor choice. Any stronghold will inevitably wind up being our prison as he can infiltrate anytime as anyone.

We have 2 long term goals --

1. We must discover the nature of the book and it's secrets (find a temporary safe spot for Beth to interact with it).

2. We must find the doctor. Remember, Lynwood only said he was missing. There is no conclusive proof that he was dead, and he said himself that if he managed to survive, he would help us defeat Radula somehow. The doctor is literally our only hope unless the book turns up some alternate method of defeating him.

Considering the above facts, I think our best option would be to visit the police station only long enough to stock up on ammunition, noting that Radula can be hurt (though hurting him may cause him to make a cuss-word-of-doom.)

If we can find a reprieve there long enough for Beth to interact with the Book, we can then get back on the road better equipped against Radula's growing army. Then we can discuss our options for locating the doctor.

Now go find Dale!
No. 541460 ID: 5acad3
File 137981866026.jpg - (47.38KB , 600x469 , 268.jpg )

Taking Todd on their shoulders, Jeff and the sheriff cautiously head downstairs.
No. 541463 ID: 5acad3
File 137981899335.jpg - (39.02KB , 347x600 , 269.jpg )

Meanwhile, you take Mary upstairs relying on her hearing to supplement your damaged ears, as well as her likely ability to identify possessed people.
No. 541464 ID: 5acad3
File 137981900212.jpg - (48.30KB , 600x600 , 270.jpg )

You climb up to the third floor landing, hoping he's still safe.
No. 541465 ID: 5acad3
File 137981901322.jpg - (43.19KB , 600x492 , 271.jpg )

But when you peek down the hallway, you see evidence of Radula's minions.
No. 541477 ID: 7bbaae

Keep going up to the roof-oh god SECURITY CAMERAS. The security room is still active, and likely manned by Radula's minions. You've been spotted already, most likely. Move fast.
No. 541499 ID: f9cf6a

Shit, you can't go to the third floor. If some of Radula's minions are still around you two don't stand a chance if you run into them. Head up to the roof instead.

The roof access door looks like its been propped open. Might mean that there's somebody up there who did it so they could get back in later. Possibly Dale, but also possibly Radula's minions searching the roof. Advance cautiously, and if it does turn out to be minions rush back and close the door to trap them up there.

Ask Mary if there's any possibly way down from the roof that doesn't go through the hospital interior. Be it a ladder, fire escape, or just climbing over the edge to drop to the roof of the floor below.

>Security camera
No way to tell if one of Radula's minions is watching the cameras right now or if they are that they saw you. Best assume they did and move quick.
No. 541526 ID: 9ddf68

ask Mary if she hears anything and if not move to the roof and work your way down if you must.
No. 541803 ID: 5acad3
File 137999066474.jpg - (41.38KB , 600x426 , 272.jpg )

Mary listens at the door to the roof and indicates that she doesn't hear anything, so you step outside onto the warm asphalt.

Hey, Dale?
No. 541804 ID: 5acad3
File 137999067685.jpg - (44.41KB , 600x600 , 273.jpg )

He turns around, his eyes bloodshot and pleading. His lips move in the shape of your name. Oh God, what the hell is he doing up there?
No. 541805 ID: 5acad3
File 137999070712.jpg - (39.92KB , 600x468 , 274.jpg )

A gust of wind kicks up and Dale waves you both back. Hes saying something but you only catch the shape of a few words:


Hes desperate, exhausted, and from what you can tell, furious at himself. You feel as if something inside yourself is trying to speak through you, trying to reach out before he steps off the edge.

For a moment you can speak directly through Beth.
No. 541808 ID: bf54a8

"dying wont save us, dale. only fighting can, but you aren't alone now"
No. 541820 ID: 7bbaae

Dale. You hurt Radula in his library, remember? We guided you then, like we guide Beth now. Hear this. Radula is immortal but not invincible. We can beat him, drive him back. Keep him from the Book, and read it yourself, for it stores all that will happen and in a way, all that can happen. Millions of people were sacrificed to bring the Book into this world. The very gods fought and bled to keep it from Radula. Take up their desperate fight. Stay with us. We need you and the Book both.

More information. The Book cannot be destroyed, as it exists in all timelines and can be recovered by Radula from any of them. He can see into his many futures to decide what to do- this could make confrontation difficult, but the longer Radula is in this world, the less future he sees. Radula can camouflage himself but sees almost no future while doing so, and thermal optics may still work. Do not let him know your full names, names give him power. The Gods can be summoned through song, but the song-language is lost. The Gods are known as the Chorus. The Professor has seen Radula's library.

We continue to guide Beth for now, but we will likely help you in the future, Dale. That is all I can impart upon you. Good luck.
No. 541821 ID: 878cce

"Dale, you're not alone in this anymore. That book is on all our shoulders now.

Without you, I don't know what we're going to do. We all may as well jump together in that case...

Please, come back. We can get out of here. One step at a time, okay?"
No. 541822 ID: d2995c

This isn't your fault. You didn't start this, but together we can end it. You have already hurt Radula, and what bleeds can be killed.
No. 541824 ID: 9ddf68

Dale, I know you've had a very hard life since you came in possession of that book, but we need you. Now more then ever. That thing, Radula is still out there and if he gets his hands on that book... everything, EVERYTHING as we know it will be gone. So PLEASE Dale, we need you, you've fought these things far longer then anyone hear, you know more about then than all of us put together and just because you jump here those things will still come after us, and without you... I'm not sure we can make it. Besides, if we win then this nightmare is over, if we lose... will then you'll get your 'jump' and all of us will be dragged down with you. Please Dale help us see this though to the end, and I promise you that I'll be there by your side though all of it form now on, your not by yourself anymore, me, Jeff, Mary, all of us will be with you. So please Dale just don't jump, help us instead and let us help you in return.
No. 541834 ID: a36601

The first part of this
Then this

Dale seems to find fighting to be futile and that he "can't do anything but run" and (most likely) that if anyone else ended up hurt, he couldn't live with the guilt. Maybe speak on how he saved Todd's life? If he realizes that he can win, and that he'll save more people by fighting than by giving up, then I think we can get him to come down.
No. 541836 ID: c23ab0

To the tune of "Sound of Music"...

"Have NO fear of Rad-ula, for we know his
weakNESS is a song that I'm here to sing
Step aWAY from that ledge and give me the book now
So I can read it, and learn all his tricks
No. 541842 ID: f9cf6a

I don't have something for Beth to say, but I noticed Dale's eyes aren't dark anymore and nobody else has commented on that. Does that mean he doesn't have the leech in his head? 'Cause the only way that it could have gotten out is if he ripped it out or Radula's minions did, and if they did we've already lost the Book. Or does it mean the leech isn't working anymore?
No. 541845 ID: d2995c

He can see the darkness of his eyes but Beth can't.
No. 541852 ID: 5eea01

You're one of the only people who can stop this catastrophe from engulfing the universe. We need you. So stop being silly, get over here and DALE with it.
No. 541868 ID: 878cce


Even if we were meant to use meta-knowledge through Beth, I doubt Dale would be particularly moved by Beth randomly speaking of things she has no way of knowing. That may just make him think she's with Radula.
No. 541913 ID: e31ca1

It's pointless to jump, dale. Even if you die, you'll be brought back into the endless chaos to suffer forever. We can die once the book is secure.
No. 541921 ID: 57a559

"Do you want a hug, Dale?"
No. 541956 ID: f9cf6a

"Dale, don't you dare jump. Not after what we've gone through to find you. We still need you. Yes, you! Not just for the Book, for you. We're gonna fight this thing, and we need you with us. And if you see it as suicide to try and fight, well, then it's no different than what you were gonna do so you may as well indulge my delusion that we could actually win."
No. 541963 ID: 5acad3
File 138008383407.jpg - (49.60KB , 600x600 , 275.jpg )

"Dale, you're not alone in this anymore. That book is on all our shoulders now.

Without you, I don't know what we're going to do. We all may as well jump together in that case...

Please, come back. We can get out of here. One step at a time, okay?"

No. 541964 ID: 5acad3
File 138008385613.jpg - (27.68KB , 353x600 , 276.jpg )

Dale, I know you've had a very hard life since you came in possession of that book, but we need you. Now more then ever. That thing, Radula is still out there and if he gets his hands on that book... everything, EVERYTHING as we know it will be gone. So PLEASE Dale, we need you, you've fought these things far longer then anyone hear, you know more about then than all of us put together and just because you jump here those things will still come after us, and without you... I'm not sure we can make it. Besides, if we win then this nightmare is over, if we lose... will then you'll get your 'jump' and all of us will be dragged down with you. Please Dale help us see this though to the end, and I promise you that I'll be there by your side though all of it form now on, your not by yourself anymore, me, Jeff, Mary, all of us will be with you. So please Dale just don't jump, help us instead and let us help you in return.
No. 541965 ID: 5acad3
File 138008388986.jpg - (26.32KB , 600x600 , 277.jpg )

"dying wont save us, dale. only fighting can, but you aren't alone now"
No. 541966 ID: 5acad3
File 138008390754.jpg - (31.80KB , 600x600 , 278.jpg )

No. 541967 ID: 5acad3
File 138008393725.jpg - (46.70KB , 600x600 , 279.jpg )

Dale steps down from the ledge and throws himself around your shoulders. His whole body shaking, he holds onto you like if you were the only solid place in a universe rapidly falling apart.

You've only known him for a few hours; he's scrawny, exhausted, and needs a shower, but you let him hang on as he recuperates. You return the hug and the doubt that slithered through your mind for years melts away. You feel as if you are doing what you were born to do: help someone who is need.
No. 542012 ID: 5869f6

No. 542020 ID: 001618

now tell him to come on, we got a way out of here but we need to leave before the creep show finds us.
No. 542043 ID: c23ab0

You should still try singing a catchy tune.

No. 542080 ID: 878cce

Well, that's that. Hug it out for a minute and then make haste. We can't be caught here.

Our first priority needs to be to get armed, and second to put enough distance between us and Radula to safely let Beth "read" the book...Come to think of it...

Even if Radula puts all his thralls into a forced march, they'll never get as far as we potentially can with a car.

If we can get armed and stay on the move, He'll always have to abandon his army and face our weapons solo.

This may be the only advantage we can exploit.
No. 542082 ID: 878cce

Wait, I just thought of something else...

The only difference between dale and everyone else was that he had a leech attached to his brain and he possessed the book and he was barred from sleeping again...

Now Mary and Todd share those traits. Does that mean Radula can stalk their dreams now too?
No. 542093 ID: 57a559

Now start rubbing his back
No. 542126 ID: f9cf6a

Whisper to Dale that there's a plan, we just have to get away from the hospital ASAP with the Book. Then it's time to get going.

And to avoid confusion or miscommunication at a bad time also share that you're almost totally deaf from being next to the MRI when it blew up. Just also make sure to say it'll heal in a few months so Dale doesn't feel nearly as bad about it.

Quickly look around the roof before heading down, just in case you have to retreat back here. Is there any other way down besides the stairs (or jumping?) Maybe a ladder or dropping to a roof a floor below?

They're not dumb zombies, man. They're as intelligent and capable as they were before being poisoned. And that means they can drive after us.
No. 542127 ID: 7bbaae

We just need to get the book and get out. Radula is searching the 3rd floor. Is that where the book is? We don't have a lot of time. See if you can coax him into pulling himself together and showing you where the book is.
No. 542141 ID: 878cce


I didn't say they were dumb zombies. Recall back to the intermission. Radula's thralls can act semi-autonomously or he can control them directly.

While semi-autnomous they can perform "fairly simple behaviors". I doubt that includes driving. I don't think he can control more than one directly.

Even if they can drive, how many cars do you think they can immediately get? A carpool of semi-smart "zombies" sounds like a real silly and slow army.

Anyway, yeah. Does Dale have the book now?
No. 542158 ID: f16363

>how many cars do you think they can immediately get?
Well, the 'zombies' likely traveled to this area in the first place while not zombies. Some of them could have taken public transport or walked, but it's likely that the majority of them drove their own vehicles. Those vehicles would likely still be nearby, or at least within a mile.

That said, who ever said that the carless 'zombies' can't carjack people? Grab someone, throw them out of the car, get in, keys already there.

We have to expect the worse case scenario rather than the best, if we want to beat this guy.
No. 542187 ID: 03ff76

This is a hospital, so almost none of the in-patients should have cars around here, the carpark itself looks pretty small on the map, and it is unlikely that Rad would be able to organize fast enough to gain on us much (many people trying to find a few cars in what seems to be a small area) or to find people to carjack (based on the fact that there seems to be relatively few doctors offices (6) and only one far off bathroom on the first floor, there should not be many people coming by for check-ups or to visit patients by car) A good question is whether we should take the cops car (able to speed with no danger of being pulled over, most likely in the car park) or Jeff's car (better offroad and probably more durability, shown being parked in front of the hospital, but maybe moved to carpark)

>fairly simple behaviors
They were able to to notch and fire a bow pretty accurately, so they should be able to drive (it's a simple enough behavior that many people drive on autopilot)

Once we get to Jeff's place, I think we (Dale, Todd, and Mary) should immediately go to sleep after informing them of what's to come.(when the army is still a ways off) This might be able to force him to choose between controlling/advancing the minions and attacking us directly. He'll probably feel like he can take us, and we'll get a chance to go into the library again.(possibly with 3 of you)

If we go to the carpark we should shove or jam something to the door so it takes longer for them to get to the cars. I also recommend we take the cop car instead of Jeff's. Also pick up a sleep agent from the pharmacy if you can.
No. 542207 ID: a64e3a

There's still employee cars, visitors', and nearby places, and nobody said they cant carpool. Heck, wasn't Radula gathering people at a church, as well? He's branched out. He's mad.
No. 542226 ID: 878cce


I already mentioned that the carpooling idea is ridiculous. They'll never keep up with us that way.

But let's assume they can drive well. The worst case scenario is that we don't get out fast enough and they are immediately on our tail. They could overtake us in numbers and force us off the road. Game over

I suggest we take BOTH the Sheriff's car and Jeff's car. Not only would squeezing everyone in a single car suck, we would then have the option to split up if needed to throw Radula off our trail. Splitting up, of course, should be a last ditch effort for survival and nothing less.

So yeah, I still say get weapons from the police station and avoid trapping ourselves anywhere, such as at Jeff's place.

I repeat: If we try to hole up somewhere, Radula -will- get in and he will overwhelm us with his army. No silly makeshift defenses will do more than delay him a bit.
No. 542253 ID: 5acad3
File 138024681466.jpg - (33.11KB , 600x378 , 280.jpg )

"You going to be okay?"

Dale wipes his face and nods, a little unsure of himself. His eyes catch the bandage around your ear and you can tell he's noticed a change in Mary.

>"H__y __it. W___ ha___ed?"

"Dale, I'm having trouble hearing after the MRI blew up. We'll explain whats been happening, but first we need to get out of here. We may have been spotted on our way up."

>"Sp___ed? _y _ho?"
No. 542254 ID: 5acad3
File 138024684438.jpg - (39.47KB , 473x600 , 281.jpg )

"No time, You still have the book?"

Dale turns and pulls his satchel from its hiding place between a pair of ducts. He throws it ovre his shoulder and gives you a thumbs up: ready to go.
No. 542255 ID: 5acad3
File 138024690156.jpg - (24.28KB , 260x600 , 282.jpg )


You find a cinderblock, presumably to prop the door open, and use it to wedge it shut instead. On the far end of the building you find a ladder down to the first floor and cautiously descend.
No. 542257 ID: 9ddf68

is there a latter or some kind of fire escape you could use to get off the roof so as not to have to walk back the way you came and possibly into a trap/ambush?
No. 542260 ID: 7bbaae

Keep an eye out down there. Check out the surrounding alleyways for any of Radula's minions. Head quickly to the garage where the rest of the group is hopefully waiting.

Is the radio still working? You could tell them you're coming.
No. 542284 ID: 70fa25

Alright, be the last one to go over and act as lookout since you can speak but not hear, then get down ASAP.

Tell Dale to be careful where he steps since he's not wearing shoes. If we get to the police station he should swipe some footwear.

How far is it to the vehicle bay and how many windows and glass doors will you have to pass to get there? Think you three could crawl or stoop under most of them to avoid being spotted?

Do not use the radio. If any of Radula's minions have one on they'll hear you. The group will just have to know you're coming when they finally see you.
No. 542399 ID: 60a746

If possible, prepare a car before you meet up with the others. That way, you can all make a quick escape as soon as possible. Keep in mind that you have six people traveling with you - try to get something that will fit all of you. An ambulance would be awfully easy to spot, but you could get through traffic easily by turning on the siren. Considering Radula can find you pretty much any time he wants, putting as much distance as quickly as possible between you and him seems like a good idea.

No. 542601 ID: 5acad3
File 138051348916.jpg - (52.29KB , 466x600 , 283.jpg )

You head to the edge of the roof and look out at the opposite side of the hospital where a pair of ambulances are parked in a small lot.
No. 542602 ID: 5acad3
File 138051351063.jpg - (56.62KB , 600x364 , 284.jpg )

As you look around for a quick way down, a trio of figures hurl themselves out into the lot. Together Jeff and Lynwood heft Todd in a wheelchair and shove him into an ambulance before jumping into the cab.
No. 542603 ID: 5acad3
File 138051352460.jpg - (55.19KB , 600x514 , 285.jpg )

Moments later the doors are thrown back by a silent, grim-faced horde, pouring out of the building like a furious anthill.
No. 542604 ID: 57a559

Extremely poor posture Beth, you should work on that

Now to the point, warn Dale about it and book it. I don't think you can do ANYTHING for those three besides shout "UP HERE! I HAVE THE BOOK UP HERE!"
No. 542606 ID: 9ddf68

you guys still have the radio right? how high are you three off the ground cause from >>542601 it only looks like a story or two. If they don't have time to stop what are your chance of radioing them and telling them to pull up next to the building so you, Dave, and Mary can jump on top of the ambulance and then just jump inside form the rear of the thing and take off like a bat out of hell?
No. 542608 ID: 2f4b71

Have you still got your radio, Beth? Would you be able to contact Jeff & Lynwood in the cab?
No. 542610 ID: 878cce


Seriously, not taking both means they can follow you with the other one! Whomever pulls out first leads the way.
No. 542612 ID: 7bbaae

Ah, I have a plan. We can radio to them to drive over to the other side of the building, where Mary and Dale can get into the ambulance. Distract the mob by yelling that you've got the book up there and you'll "destroy it" unless they let you go. That will delay them because they'll have to climb up the ladder to get to you. Before they reach you, you can jump off onto the roof of the ambulance. You should do that with enough time to spare that they can't also jump onto the roof.
No. 542625 ID: 4a20fa

Hide. There's no way you'd beat the mob to the other ambulence, so your best hope is that those three lead the mob away from you.
No. 542649 ID: e1609c

as rad as it would be, we do not want a car chase here if we can help it.
Chances are they'll have their own cars to fall back on, but any delay is a good delay
No. 542859 ID: 5acad3
File 138077110592.jpg - (64.40KB , 600x512 , 286.jpg )

The horde advances on the ambulance as Jeff struggles to start it. Hoping to distract them, you shout into the radio:

"Sheriff, can you hear me? We're on the roof across from you! We've got Dale and the Book!"

Heads swiveling in unison, the mind-controlled swarm instantly forgets about the ambulance and turns on you.
No. 542860 ID: 5acad3
File 138077112078.jpg - (51.62KB , 600x600 , 287.jpg )

They hurl themselves at the wall and clamber over each other to reach the roof, giving Jeff time to start the ambulance. He swings the car around the crowd and pulls up underneath you.
No. 542861 ID: 5acad3
File 138077114146.jpg - (51.28KB , 600x532 , 288.jpg )

Together you jump onto the roof of the ambulance, drop to the ground and climb in through the back door.
No. 542862 ID: 5acad3
File 138077116260.jpg - (52.89KB , 600x467 , 289.jpg )

Once the three of you are in, Jeff puts his foot down and tears ass out of the parking lot.

"There was another ambulance, right? You think they'll follow us?"

Jeff responds with an impish smile and holds up a car key. They must have taken both in their hurry to escape.
No. 542867 ID: 7bbaae

NICE. Jeff is awesome. Alright, let's stick to the plan and swing by the police station briefly to see if we can at least reload the sheriff's gun if not gain some extra help(if anyone will believe us), then to the Mesa to fortify.
No. 542868 ID: 5eea01

Eyes on the road, Jeff!
No. 542870 ID: 9ddf68

all right, that was almost like it was pulled out of a movie. Now to begin plan GTFO of here. As we go to point B wherever that may be look around and see how everyone is doing, I mean no one has had it easy lately and it couldn't hurt to make sure they're all there.

I mean Dale just tried to kill himself
Lynwood just walked into a horror movie
Todd has had his leg broken and was possessed by some elderich abomination
Mary was also possessed, most likely killed someone, and lured a bunch of people to also be possessed by said elderich abomination.
and Jeff seems fine but it couldn't hurt to check on him either.
No. 542901 ID: 2f2cd6

Good work Jeff. That'll slow them down, for a little bit.

Unfortunately there will be other cars in the parking lot, and it won't take too long for Radula's minions to locate them, and find keys.

Police station is probably not the place to go. There will be too many questions to answer, too much that doesn't fit, and we'll be slowed down by that and people trying to follow proper procedure.

The mesa might be a good place to hide out, but that's only a stalling measure. They'll get in, eventually.

Beth really needs to see if she can get anything useful out of the book. We need a more permanent solution.

...also a huge pile of leeches would be nice.
No. 542971 ID: c23ab0


To the bayou!
No. 542972 ID: 7bbaae

Oh shit I almost forgot. While riding, read the Book.
No. 542974 ID: 60a746

If/when we get to the police station, Lynwood should probably mention that they should send a team to go clean up the hospital. Radula will probably be gone by the time they get there, and if not everyone was taken over (patients), then they'll need someone to take care of them.
No. 542976 ID: eaa372


Does Lynwood have his own radio he can use to contact the police station? He might be able to contact survivors who could then search for leeches and head out for the mesa. The main flaw with that plan is that Radula might already have some police enthralled and pick up on the transmission.
No. 543066 ID: 5acad3
File 138094559253.jpg - (58.17KB , 600x452 , 290.jpg )

As you speed off, you take a minute and start to fill in Dale about whats happened since the explosion and the plan to head for the mesa. Now that he's seen the army that Radula has been building, Dale seems to understand the importance of having people who can spot mind-controlled individuals quickly. You tell him that you still need to try and "read" the book to get as much information about fighting the creature as possible. You consider you options and wonder if this would be a good time.
No. 543067 ID: 5acad3
File 138094561087.jpg - (21.31KB , 600x284 , 291.jpg )

However, you feel a lurch as the car decelerates. You look out of the window to see why Jeff is stopping. It looks like a patrol car has been abandoned in the middle of the highway into town.
No. 543068 ID: bf54a8

and there is blood, radula got a cop.
No. 543070 ID: 7bbaae

I see blood. We need a spotter. Either Mary or Dale could get up to a high spot and look to see if anyone's nearby. It occurs to me that a devenomed member of the team should probably be in the passenger's seat while driving. Oh, and we need to be sure nobody's hiding IN the car.

If the coast is clear, you could try using the car's radio to warn the police, but we can't let Radula know where we are either. We should tell them to call the national guard, and that polarized glasses can reveal Radula's victims if used properly.
No. 543072 ID: 2f2cd6

Uh, keep the engine running and peer around. If the coast is clear, the sheriff can get out and check out the cop car.
No. 543080 ID: 9ddf68

slow the car down but never stop. Just see what you can see by driving by and unless you see something useful just drive by.
No. 543086 ID: db6876

could be anything to just an abandoned car to something rigged with an IED. as much as I'd like to scavenge supplies from the car, I'd rather drive well around it.
No. 543118 ID: 4a20fa

Have Dale scramble up on top of the Ambulence cab to get a view of the surrounding area without having to stop completely.
No. 543121 ID: 5869f6

Errr.... I just realized something.
How are we going to convince the National Guard to come down here?
No. 543230 ID: 18c6bf

here's a worse possibility. who better for Radula to corrupt then a member of the national Guard?
No. 543451 ID: 5acad3
File 138128472621.jpg - (70.64KB , 600x510 , 292.jpg )

You slow down the car and the Sheriff rushes out to check on the car. On the ground he finds several empty bullet casings and several small pools of blood. When he checks inside, he pulls out the radio's handset, its cord ending in a bundle of torn wires.
No. 543452 ID: 5acad3
File 138128473787.jpg - (41.80KB , 491x600 , 293.jpg )

He tries to check in on dispatch with his own radio several times. From what it looks like, hes having trouble getting through to them.
No. 543453 ID: 9ddf68

oh dear, they've already hit the police station... Thank god we went with the mesa top here.
No. 543454 ID: 57a559

there should be recording equipment in there
lets see what happened.
No. 543457 ID: 7bbaae

Recording equipment but no way of playing it back.

Check the trunk and the back seat, then see if the blood trail leads anywhere. If not, just get back in the ambulance and keep going. Radula must've purloined vehicles by now and is sending them out to find us.

Oh, something just occurred to me. If the car is still here, then the driver has not been envenomed. Time to look for him!
No. 543471 ID: 2f2cd6

Dang. The station's already in trouble. Or the radio tower is down. Or all the mystic munbo-jumbo is interfering with regular communications.

If he can't find anyone, we don't have much choice. Grab whatever's useful and move on. I know it will hurt him not knowing what happened to his people, or not being able to help, but the only way anyone survives is if we keep the book away, and find a way to solve this.
No. 543476 ID: 7a843b

That's bad. Ask if it's interference or just that nobody is picking up. The latter would likely indicate that the police station has already been hit by Radula.

Are the keys still in the patrol car's ignition? If so, then great; You've got another vehicle. Lynwood can take it and lead ahead of the ambulance. Otherwise don't spend much time here. Have Lynwood grab anything useful from the front seats then pop the trunk and nab what he can from back there.

If it's possible to set the channel or frequency on Lynwood's radio, the one in the ambulance and the one that Beth is carrying, then change them all to an unusual channel or frequency. That way they could be used to communicate with a low chance of Radula hearing. They should still not be used to communicate anything that'd point Radula to where you are, though.
No. 543704 ID: 5acad3
File 138146319727.jpg - (45.68KB , 600x457 , 294.jpg )

Investigating further, Lynwood spots a trail of blood and scuffs left by someone struggling while being dragged. He follows them to a set of tire tracks left in the dust by the road, heading into town.

Returning to the car, the Sheriff pops the trunk, finding a shotgun, a box of 12 buckshot shells, and a box of "less-than-lethal" beanbag rounds.

Grim-faced he returns to the ambulance to report and tells the group that the patrol car has been left idling and is low on gas, but looks like it could at least make it to town. Mary and Lynwood change the transmission channel on their radios, hoping to keep the growing swarm of converts from eavesdropping.
No. 543713 ID: 7bbaae

Fuck yes, those beanbag rounds will be exceptionally useful in not killing the converted. However, they should be saved for important targets. Sadly, most converts we fight, if we're attacked by a large group, will not be capturable and we'll have to kill them.

Uh, by "into town", is that towards the mesa? If so, then yes, let's take the cop car with us. An extra vehicle could be handy up there. Otherwise, forget it, we can't go back into that deathtrap. Well, the carriers of the book can't. If Lynwood wants to split up and see if he can organize some of the cops in town, then sure. He'd need the help of someone that can detect the converted, though. Actually, come to think of it... if dispatch won't answer, then there's no point in going back to the police station, because it's either completely abandoned or full of armed converted.

So let's just keep going.
No. 543721 ID: 9ddf68

I say we all stick to the ambulance, maybe just take the gas from the cruiser and put it in the ambulance and make with all hast to the mesa. I mean it would be nice to have more then one vehicle but if the car can only get you to town and it turns out the town is overrun by those things you'd be kinda S.O.L. and even worse is they could turn whoever goes and then send them back claiming they've escaped to try and steal the book.
No. 543757 ID: a36601

Could make it to town, or will make it to town? (I mean, will it maybe have enough gas to reach town, or does it definitely have enough gas?) If A, leave it. (and have him search it for cuffs) If B, have him follow you and if need be, you can distract the minions while he gets weapons.
No. 543794 ID: 68ac42

no, man, don't have the only guy without a headworm scout! the baddies will know the plan then!
No. 543804 ID: 2f2cd6

...if they've made it to town, I'm not sure what we can do. We're out of leeches. We don't have a way to stop the infected without killing them, and we can't bring them the book. I mean, we might be able to help some of the people in trouble, but the best way to help anyone is to try and find a way to use the book to end this.
No. 543813 ID: 2f4b71

Is there a hose handy (maybe in some of the surgical supplies) to siphon some petrol from the Ambulance to the car?
No. 543817 ID: 7a843b

If Lynwood is saying the police car'll reach the town in the reservation Jeff's relatives are at, then take it to scout the route ahead. Have Mary drive since she's leech'd and protected from Radula's influence. But even if it doesn't have enough gas to reach the reservation she can still take it and scout far ahead of the ambulance until it runs out of fuel, then get in the ambulance.

Is there a length of hose in either the back of the ambulance or in the trunk of the police car that could be used to siphon gas from the ambulance to the car? 'Cause if there is and there's spare gas in the ambulance's tank then transfer some to the car.

You think you could try to misdirect Radula's minions by temporarily flipping the radio to the normal channel and say stuff that'll make it sound like you're gonna make a run for interstate highway or some direction away from the mesa? It'd have to be subtle, but it'd be worth a try, just as long as the route to wherever you misdirect to doesn't go near the mesa.
No. 543925 ID: 878cce

I have no idea why we're still planning on going to the Mesa. It's indefensible. We are not armed to hold off an army and as soon as they get in, we're MORE boned than if we were out in the open because we will have trapped ourselves.

I think we're better off heading to the Doctor's last known location. We can cross-reference what Lynwood and Dale know about the Doctor and try to track him down. At least then, we're moving targets.

If I missed the reasons why the Mesa would be a good idea, let me know, because I can't think of one.

For all we know, the Mesa has been taken by Radula already...Or maybe I'm just over-thinking this and that's just where the next plot hook is.
No. 544363 ID: 5acad3
File 138189062709.jpg - (26.04KB , 600x238 , 295.jpg )

You consider siphoning gas from the ambulance, but the only tubing you have on hand is 1/8th inch medical tubing. If you had all day, it might be worth it to try, but the longer you stay the more likely you would be found. Instead you decide rather than risk it, it would be safer to stick together.

Lynwood hops back into the ambulance and you take off down the highway. He also hangs onto the shotgun, since it is police property after all. He loads it with beanbag rounds and snaps the chamber shut, leaving the revolver with Jeff for now.

You have a little while before the ambulance gets to the exit into town so you turn your attention back to your comrades.
No. 544367 ID: 9ddf68

see how mary is holding up then go to dale then Todd, jeff, and lastly Lynwood
No. 544368 ID: 7bbaae

Then ask how Mary's handling the hole in her neck.

Then ask if Todd got his leech taken out, and if he's slept since. We're still not clear on if it's safe to remove Dale's. Then again Dale might be a special case? Ask if Dale remembers how he got envenomed.
No. 544444 ID: 5acad3
File 138197671963.jpg - (60.30KB , 492x600 , 296.jpg )

Mary seems to be holding it together for now, part of her job as a doctor is to keep a cool head under pressure. But you can tell she feels sick at the thought of being used as a tool to hurt people. She doesn't remember any of the events after the explosion and on some level is blaming herself for the attack.

Todd actually seem a little out of it actually, though given his usual cheerful attitude its hard to say. You realize that having lost an eye and a kneecap, its likely that hes been given painkillers of some sort to help deal with his injuries. He looks at you and gives you a pained smile, telling you not to worry.

Apperently the doctors didn't have time to remove the leech in his head, and he hasn't fallen asleep since being attacked by Radula. You aren't sure whether or not it is safe for Mary and Todd to sleep after being freed from the mind-controlling effects of the toxin. Its unclear if the nightmares Dale experiences are an effect of the venom, or caused by the Book itself.
No. 544445 ID: 5acad3
File 138197682521.jpg - (39.18KB , 357x535 , 297.jpg )

Dale seems pretty worried, blaming himself for running rather than standing up to the creature. He's sorry for leaving everyone when he had to but running has been his only defense so far, and is the only reason he has made it this far. He was hoping that Radula would follow him rather than attack the group, but realizes that he's running out places to run to. Now that Dale has seen what you're facing, he realizes that killing himself wouldn't have solved anything and wants to help any way he can. He says that he's willing to let you look at the Book of Worms whenever you feel like you're ready.
No. 544446 ID: 9541cc

Poor Dale, you've been through so much, keep comforting him, those on suicide watch need constant reinforcement or else they slip back easily. But watch to see if he suddenly becomes cheerful out of the blue. Then you know he'll do something reckless with a disregard for his own life.

As for the Book, ask yourself will you risk the chance that you will experience truths you might not be able to deny and accept the possible toll of sleep? Consider this carefully and weigh your gains and losses.

Or painful as this suggestion is, it might be that Dale is the only one to be able to read the book safely due to the brain leech. The poor guy might have to read it further himself.

Make your decisions, because the one hunting you is getting closer and the knowledge you gain might be time sensitive.
No. 544450 ID: 878cce

Perhaps now would be a bad time, but...would it? The ambulance is mobile at least, and it's not like there is anything to crash into out here. Perhaps Beth should crack open the book now.

I mean, if we wait for everyone to be suffering from sleep deprivation, things will only get worse. The book might even give us some insight into where to head next...I don't know. Vote on it?
No. 544465 ID: 7bbaae

Let's do it. Flip to a random page-perhaps near the middle- and touch a flatworm see what you learn.
No. 544468 ID: 9ddf68

remind dale that all of you are in this together now and what happened isn't his fault. He did what he thought was right and you know what they say about hindsight, it's 20/20.

Also I say we read that damn book now cause I really don't think we'll ever truly have a good time to read it so we might as well get it over with while we actually have chance to read it before we have to fight off an army of eldrich horrors.
No. 544475 ID: 0f6f63

Dale's heart's in the right place, and even if he just defaulted to running, there's nothing cowardly about trying to draw a danger away from others. See what you can do to reassure him before steeling yourself to examine the book.
No. 544535 ID: 5acad3
File 138206536313.jpg - (38.28KB , 600x409 , 298.jpg )

"Its okay Dale, we have no idea what that thing is capable of. We were in no condition to fight it, even if you had stayed, and no one could have guessed what it was planning. We have some time now, we need to find out more about it before we encounter it again. We should see if there's any information we can pull from the Book."
No. 544536 ID: 5acad3
File 138206540508.jpg - (71.04KB , 577x600 , 299.jpg )

Dale hands you the Book of Worms and you turn to the first page. As your hand reaches for the surface, the resin melts and you start to read.
No. 544537 ID: 5acad3
File 138206548735.jpg - (188.83KB , 600x2116 , page1.jpg )

You brace yourself as the wave of memories engulfs your senses.

Once again, you see a vision of darkness. A nightmare leviathan that was ancient long before the birth of light.

You see a point of light amidst the chaos; an impossibly fragile shell holding back the teeth of the behemoth. Inside lies a swirl of proto-matter, cooling as it fills the void with substance.

Echoing through the fledgling universe, a chorus of voices raised in harmony. They sing of loss, a refrain for those who could not escape the teeth of the predator-god. They have gambled much, and their song takes on an edge of desperate hope. There is work for them to do.

Around them gasses swirl, time flows, matter coalesces. Gravity, fusion, and heat forges new, robust elements in the hearts of stars. Each one, a vast ocean of flame and light, bundled by gravity into galaxies, strung into unfathomable glittering cosmic filaments.

You see a star, an accretion disk, planets, moons. The solar system cools and life explodes hungrily, erupting from fetid pools of slime into complexity and diversity. Before long it stands tall, surveying the world and looking to understand the meaning behind it. Life becomes community, community becomes society, society becomes empire.

You turn to the second page.
No. 544538 ID: 5acad3
File 138206552348.jpg - (175.59KB , 600x1564 , page2.jpg )

You see a tower burning, the land around it a bowl of black-green glass. Its stone structure blasted apart by some great force, smoke pours from its many archways, and survivors scurry through its hallways.

Illuminated by flames, a creature stands amidst the ruin. Its body like something dredged up from a cthonic abyss. Its mind full of the violent thoughts of an alien carnivore: assessing, plotting, it thinks in tangled sine waves full extra dimensional information.

You witness a trio of luminous beings speaking in harmony. Refugee gods, resplendent and glorious, they speak with the arrogance of the divine.

A Titan looms out of the wreckage of the temple, lit by a scorching thunderbolt as it rears back. Its head is a horrifying arrangement of gaping jaws and its body, a length of dark segments, each one capable of birthing a nightmare given time.

A wave of unearthly noise washes over you, an explosion of dark noise that engulfs the desert in a wave of void.

You turn to the third page.
No. 544539 ID: 5acad3
File 138206558970.jpg - (192.54KB , 600x2337 , page3.jpg )

Millennia passes and a figure digs amidst ruins in a barren desert. Dust pours off of the familiar form of the Book of Worms. Its cthonic binding crawling with leeches.

You see Dale, walking home from a class late at night, wondering where his professor has been. Behind him the shadows twist as the un-speaker readies himself to strike.

The smell of powdered bone and blood cuts through the reek of antiseptic and hotel room air conditioning. The violent bite of a hole saw screams through the air and bounces off of the low ceiling.

You see..

oh fuck,

not this,

not this,

not this.

not again.
No. 544540 ID: 7bbaae

If it's being shown to you by the Book, it must be important.
No. 544541 ID: 9541cc

You must accept knowledge if you decide to choose it. No matter how painful it is. That was your decision, are you going back on your word? Then do so but realize this, you're fighting not just for yourself but the lives of others. If you are weak in the face of what is coming, then you it is as surely your hands that will lead them to their annihilations. So choose now or forever hold your peace.
No. 544542 ID: 75a612

Be strong, Beth. It's past, and you faced it, endured it, once. And if you must face that which is past again to see a path in which we have a future, you'll do so.
No. 544543 ID: 9ddf68

if you can't face the past how will you stand against the future?
No. 544571 ID: 5869f6

You can do it beth, your friends are counting on you!
No. 544572 ID: 1a029e

Wait...That Chorus, that created this world. Those three, that stood against the titan...
Would that not mean that there is a god? Or...Gods, apparently, but they are there. It sounds as if they are opposed to Radula, and the leviathan that he serves.
No. 544592 ID: 7bbaae

As an aside, the Professor found the book in a *desert* covered in leeches. Those leeches aren't normal. That means we can't get replacements, but also that they are likely gifts from the gods.
No. 544593 ID: c23ab0

If not gods, then really powerful things with halos. They seemed more like angels to me. Not sure what that tapeworm thing was, but it may be related to the leeches? Radula's library burning simply cannot not be a good thing.
No. 544643 ID: 5acad3
File 138215065840.jpg - (54.65KB , 600x588 , 300.jpg )

Your hand lingers.

You watch as, weeks ago, you sat in an uncomfortable chair, air conditioning prickling your skin and florescent light blinding your eyes as your mother died. You sat all night as, after years of watching her mind dissolve, her body finally fell apart.
No. 544645 ID: 5acad3
File 138215081297.jpg - (31.06KB , 600x377 , 301.jpg )

You wished you had something to tell her but there is nothing left inside for you to say. Physically and emotionally drained, you listened to the EKG weakly tick away the last moments of her life.
Time stretching into an eternity dwarfing the 13 billion year prelude to this moment.


You steel yourself and turn the page.
No. 544646 ID: 5acad3
File 138215087058.jpg - (216.52KB , 600x2439 , page4.jpg )

You see Dale, standing lost in the desert clutching the Book to his chest. His eyes are dark and confused, trying to find a way to face another day without sleep.

Your ambulance lies on its side, window shattered by Radula's attack.

Todd, his cheerful face contorted into a blind fury. His eye a ruined socket dripping venomous ichor. His other eye is alien and hostile.

You see a frigid explosion tearing apart the magnetic rings of the MRI, A deafening shock wave of expanding helium.

You see the eyes of a dark horde, servants to the will of the Un-speaker, even now their search brings them closer to the Book.

There is only one page left.
No. 544647 ID: 7bbaae

I believe the Book is showing what Must Happen. What we see in the future we should plan for, not to try to prevent it, but to work around and possibly even use to our advantage.

Read the page.
No. 544648 ID: 3e4b6e

The future isn't meant for you to know.
No. 544650 ID: a36601

Read the future. Hopefully you can bend what you see there.
No. 544656 ID: c23ab0

The book has three pages then, past present and ...

...maybe you shouldn't read the last page.
No. 544659 ID: 75a612

Keep going. Peer into the possible futures. It may show us a way out. Or failing that, if it shows us the path into darkness, we can use foreknowledge to try and fight it.
No. 544661 ID: 9ddf68

well we red the thing these far might as well see how it ends
No. 544685 ID: 01531c

OK, there are two ways this can end!

>Beth reads the last page, discovers how the Cacophany is released, then gets nabbed by Radula, who gives the info back to the Cacophany.

>Beth reads the last page, discovers how the Cacophany is released, then gets nabbed by the Gods, who use the information to seal away the Cacophany forever.
No. 544706 ID: 5869f6

Aw, hell. Reading the future seems like we'd be taking a HUGE gamble here.
But if we don't have any better ideas, then keep going
No. 544709 ID: 7bbaae

False choice. You left out a third option.

Beth finds out how the cacaphony is released, then our little group prevents it on their own.
No. 544712 ID: 35548b

See, the problem with this idea is there are at least five pages mentioned, and the last couple are still the past, just more recent.
No. 544714 ID: 57a559

Well, there's always the option that reading the third page won't give us how it's released. Because Beth's mind won't be able to comprehend the infinite possibilities and discern which path is most likely.

There's probably a few good thousands of paths that lead to the release, many of them very different and similar.

Beth will probably get up to the present before it becomes nothing but white noise because she can't read it. At most she should read up to a day in the future, because the closer the time interval is, the less possibilities there are. Better reception, shapes take place in the white noise.
We shouldn't blow up her mind by trying to comprehend up to days, weeks, months, or even years worth of possibilities, because if the exponential formula isn't infinity*t^infinity*t or unknown constant^infinity*t or something similar, it's big enough to probably give her brain damage.

Radula with the book of worms might be able to use the book to pinpoint the exact pathway, but we have no idea how mortals can handle it if they can at all.

I mean, shit, Beth is probably going to see all those options happen at once if they're feasible and not impossible.

Beth, don't read the entirity of the next page if it goes into the future, stop reading as soon as your judgement dictates that you're going to get fucked six ways to sunday.
No. 544718 ID: 28789a

Uhhh, What was it Raddy grumbled about here? That this realm operates under the lie of causality? I don't think Beth here can withstand looking into the future without unpleasant consequences to her psych...
No. 544722 ID: 5acad3
File 138221849492.jpg - (91.68KB , 600x1440 , page5.jpg )

You turn to the last page.

You see a symbol, carved open, flesh exposed, blood unstaunched.

Space starts to boil and tear. Blisters in existence rend themselves open.

The monstrosity unfolds with terrifying slowness, expanding to consume infinity. It is a nightmare rose blooming voraciously, an ocean of feeding frenzy, an orgy of teeth. Fractal carnivore; Mandelbrot mandibles tearing weeping holes in the heavens and rending atomic bonds into cosmic noise. The universe bruises, hemorrhages, bleeds into entropy, red-shifting as stars go dark and background radiation is engulfed by the maw of the anti-word.
No. 544723 ID: 5acad3
File 138221858469.jpg - (24.46KB , 600x419 , 302.jpg )

Is this a memory of the future?

You can not accept it. You refuse to give up hope now.
Something has to change, there has to be a way.

Your mind drifts back to what Dale told you earlier today.

"Just trust yourself, not destiny..."
No. 544724 ID: 5acad3
File 138221861142.jpg - (51.66KB , 600x483 , 303.jpg )

The present flows back and you realize someone is saying your name.

>"Be__? Y__ _k? W____ ___ _ee?"

"Yeah, I'm okay..... I think. I'm not sure what everything meant, but it showed me a lot. But if what I saw is true..."
No. 544727 ID: 5acad3
File 138221878545.jpg - (28.53KB , 600x241 , 304.jpg )

"We have to rewrite fate."
No. 544728 ID: 53ba34

the symbol, it's on dale's head. the end comes if he dies.
No. 544729 ID: 75a612

Okay. Cool. Now how? Did the future memory include anything between now and the apocalypse? Say, how it starts, or happens, or we lose? Ideally we'd want to avoid or change that stuff.
No. 544733 ID: 7bbaae

That symbol carved open... that's the symbol on Dale's forehead. The trigger has to do with Dale.

Hmm. I wonder if you can move the flatworms around?
No. 544755 ID: 5869f6

Since we don't have much to go on, I'm just going to guess that if Dale dies, we're all fucked.
No. 544756 ID: c23ab0

Why the heck would the professor carve the very symbol that summons whatever demons who are after him into Dale's head?
No. 544759 ID: 9541cc

To make him a seal against the powers that are trying to get in? Suppose there can only be one door made by the symbol. Now that it is on his head. That Eater of Names has to get Dale in order to bring the end. However the trigger to open the door could be anything so the best thing is to keep him safe and away from Radula. After all Dale's been running constantly and it might not be just because to keep the book safe but to keep the door out of Radula's hands
No. 544794 ID: 761017

Radula needs to read The Book first.
Then Radula can know Dale is the Door.
No. 544908 ID: 5acad3
File 138241378123.jpg - (44.08KB , 353x600 , 305.jpg )

Now that's an interesting idea. Does the Book dictate the course of history, or merely record it? And what would happen if you were to edit it? Is that even possible?

You open to the middle of the Book and try to manipulate a flatworm at random.
No. 544909 ID: 5acad3
File 138241383849.jpg - (37.41KB , 435x600 , 306.jpg )

As you try and move the worm it flexes briefly under your finger before throwing you back into a vision of the past. You see one of the three ancient deities addressing a small group of people. The experience is slightly distorted however, making it hard to tell exactly what is happening. The planaria refuses to budge from its spot, and as you relax your touch the vision snaps back into focus.

--_-=+rrangement is agreed upon, we will no longer interfere directly in the lives of those on this planet. We shall entrust further care of the world to you and your people, as we have already placed your existence in enough danger through our actions. It seems would be better to leave things in the hands of causality.
No. 544910 ID: 5acad3
File 138241385297.jpg - (32.73KB , 249x600 , 307.jpg )

You break contact with the Book and return to the ambulance, your experiment didn't seem to create any kind of lasting change. Still, you feel like you may be able to find way to change the Book permanently. It seems like a more solid plan than just blindly attempting to derail the future.
No. 544911 ID: 57a559

I can't help but feel like one of those outlines are familiar. Maybe it's nothing, but Beth, do you know anyone of those people?
No. 544915 ID: 7bbaae

Move the pages instead? Remove the page that details the Cacaphony? Or... ADD pages somehow, past the final page? If you can add pages past the Cacaphony's page then it would mean time continues past that point, which might cause the Cacaphony to be impossible to complete its task. Check the binding- are the pages glued in? Glue can be removed and reapplied... See if you can cut a page. Just try the edge of a page at first, so you don't risk damaging the Book's structure. If you successfully remove a piece of the page, see if you can just put it back in again.

Wasn't that a new vision? Maybe you can discover how to contact the gods, and ask them how to manipulate the Book.
No. 544916 ID: d2995c

Hmm. If leeches can eat mind-venom and apparently gain unnatural longevity from attempting to eat the book's cover, I wonder what would happen if we put a worm in there?
No. 544930 ID: 7a773f

Back to the theory about worms storing memories chemically. If we want to edit the book, we could try to insert a neuro-chemical agent into the book; something that could affect the worms, but not any of our protagonist.
No. 544981 ID: 75a612

Move ahead in the book, and try poking other leeches. We need to find events in our near future. Something we can change, to derail the process.
No. 545053 ID: 4a20fa

No. 545101 ID: 5acad3
File 138257349636.jpg - (58.50KB , 600x559 , 308.jpg )

"Dale, do you still have any of those leeches left?"

Dale nods that he does and fishes it out of his bag, indicating that this is his last one.

>"Ye__, I H_ve __ly o__ l_ft, W_y?"

"The Book showed me the future, one where some kind of nightmare wakes up and eats the whole universe. If this thing is written using the same stuff that's turning people into psychos, then maybe we can use the leeches to edit or erase it."

>"A__, __u th___ __at w__ld d_ ...wh_t?"

"I'm not sure. The Book is obviously important in all of this, and maybe we can use it to change the way the future will play out. Or maybe we can affect that creature directly using it. But..."
No. 545102 ID: 5acad3
File 138257351816.jpg - (41.38KB , 517x600 , 309.jpg )

"what if using a leech erases the future? Would that be any better? What if it does nothing at all? What if it using a leech means we can't use it later when someone gets attacked?"

You're less sure about this than you were a minute ago. Suddenly having the ability to toy with all of causality is not a responsibility you expected to carry when you woke up this morning.
No. 545105 ID: d2b9fe

You can't assume the leech can eat the whole book.

Whether or not you use the leech, you need to find a potential target for alteration. Do this >>544981, and once we've found our moment, we can make the call as to try and change the event 'manually' or by applying leech to book.
No. 545113 ID: 57a559

I'd like to have Mary to study it before we do anything with it. Determine its genus or something and its likely source.

Or you can try reading the book again for information about the leeches too, I guess. It might have information about that.
No. 545114 ID: 735f4f

These beings seem to come from a place outside of what we call time. To them everything that has ever happened and ever will happen is all happening at once.

That means that Causality probably confuses them and while they are here they seem to be stuck playing by its rules. That means that there has to be a cause to the event that lets them in. That means if you can stop that event then they might not ever be able to do what they want.

Also the book is the key to this somehow. You might not be able to destroy it but altering it or changing it somehow might be viable. If you are going to change a event it has to be one of the biggest.

Heck if you could make them remember they were all happy tree hugging hippies since the dawn of creation it might fix the problem. That or make them remember they were defeated utterly.

Probably best to wait for the moment and save that leech.
No. 545128 ID: c23ab0

Let's see, erased, versus being devoured by giant mouthhtuoms. I think you can safely turn Tiamat loose without reservation.

You don't feel comfortable with power over causality? Destroy the book! Then nobody will!

You saw like, God saying he was skipping out so as not to have power over causality. Wouldn't you want to do what Jesus did?
No. 545136 ID: 7bbaae

Well, you heard the gods themselves say they were willing to have faith in causality. Maybe we should continue along those lines and just investigate the details of how the Cacaphony is released. Perhaps we can avoid it by making it impossible for it to happen.

Maybe the Book just shows possibilities? Perhaps you can find an event in the near future that seems easily avoidable, and try to avoid it. Then you would know for sure if the Book's events are set in stone.
No. 545211 ID: 878cce

Any chance of us using the book to locate the doctor's fate in all of this? I still think finding him would be of great benefit.

He surely knows more than we do at this point, if he's still alive.
No. 545326 ID: 5acad3
File 138275072903.jpg - (47.59KB , 524x600 , 310.jpg )

You decide to see if you can narrow down any particular event in the future which you can work to avoid. You search the recent past until... Yep, that looks like the present.
No. 545327 ID: 5acad3
File 138275074705.jpg - (63.63KB , 407x600 , 311.jpg )


No. 545328 ID: 5acad3
File 138275078583.jpg - (115.19KB , 600x600 , 312.jpg )

The Book pulls back and you see the ambulance from the outside, which explodes into a complex branching structure. It twists and expands like coral in fast forward, further expanding into braiding paths you take to represent people. Billions of possible universes unfolding second by second, each one spiraling back into a singularity-like object.

Good God. Is this what the world looks like to that monster? You've never seen anything so alien in your life.
No. 545329 ID: 5acad3
File 138275081229.jpg - (45.59KB , 600x526 , 313.jpg )

You're pulled forward in time, approaching some sort of event horizon moment just before the Awakening. Possibilities stripped away, you find yourself, Radula, and Dale frozen in an instant before the end. After that, the book shows only some kind of void, before the nightmare begins.
No. 545330 ID: 53ba34

give dale a helmet.
No. 545331 ID: 735f4f

Yup helmet time for Dale.
No. 545333 ID: 7bbaae

So, the end is triggered by Radula spearing Dale. Okay, let's get Dale a helmet.

That void at the end... seems out of place. I wonder if the nightmare we see is not what it appears to be. Maybe it is a space in time where things are not yet written? Maybe we don't need to mess with the book. Maybe we just need to win the fight against Radula in that final confrontation. I think you need to prepare yourself as much as possible, Beth. Become the thing that spells Radula's doom.

How did you know he saw the future like that, anyway?
No. 545334 ID: 735f4f

That void at the end might be room for a new future to be created if you stop him from getting Dale.

If you fail then the void vanishes and they eat everything. But if Radula fails then I am guessing that void will expand to become the new future.
No. 545341 ID: c23ab0

The monster probably doesn't see the world that way, or he'd be too busy tripping out to function. When you found the present you viewed yourself viewing yourself. Like holding a microphone next to its speaker.

But can you go back to that for a second? There's got to be some paths that escape the singularity, and that might be the only way to see them. You do not want to get Dale a helmet, only to have him lose the helmet at a critical moment when Radula strikes as you attempt to block the stinger with your gauntlet. Look for one that orbits it or spirals further away from it. All it takes is sufficient velocity, as long as you don't pass the event horizon into the void.
No. 545342 ID: e1609c

ok but what if getting speared causes more of a sort of
overload or something?
and dale just gets turned into the eldritch antichrist or some shit? It is likely, least to me, that the void is being produced by DALE HIMSELF there, meaning he is super significant here.
Try tracing back about a day or so, we gotta figure out the context before we try to divert ANYTHING. Time manipulation is tricky like that.
No. 545372 ID: d2b9fe

What's critical here, though? Is there information Dale has Radula needs? Or some action he needs Dale to take? Or is it that Dale somehow stands in the way, and his removal is important to the undoing?

...kind of reluctant to discuss that directly with Dale. Last thing we want to let him do is think killing himself might help the situation.
No. 545734 ID: 5acad3
File 138301401566.jpg - (62.11KB , 600x585 , 314.jpg )

God, its like having a whole body migraine looking at that mess. You feel someone shaking you by your shoulder and are drawn back to the present again. Your eyes readjust, and Dr. Slate's concerned face swims into focus.

Dr. Slate
>"B__h, __e y__ o_ay? ___ase, ____ i_ _ r__t, w_o kno__ wha_ ki__ o_ ___ects th_t ___k _ight _ave."

"Wait, its okay. I'm fine, Mary. I don't have the best picture of whats going on, but I'll try and explain what it showed me. From what it looks like, if anything happens to Dale, then the universe ends. There's a point in time that everything seems to be headed towards, and I'm not sure if we can avoid it. But what if we find a way to change the Book, would that change our fate? We may need to find out more about the book itself."

"While I was looking through it, I saw someone finding it in the desert: an old guy in glasses with a goatee and muttonchops. Is that the professor you were talking about earlier Dale?"

Dale nods

"Any idea where he might be? He may know more about the Book than us."

>"W__n I _eft _im i_ s_unded _ike h_ _as go__g _o _uy _e ti__ t_ _scape. I __n't _ven kn__ _f __'s _till ali__. "
No. 545735 ID: 5acad3
File 138301404065.jpg - (71.76KB , 600x545 , 315.jpg )

"We'll if anyone has answers, it-"

What was that?

Did something just hit us?
No. 545736 ID: 5acad3
File 138301406267.jpg - (64.85KB , 600x533 , 316.jpg )

Awwww man, not the delivery van! Despite your initial panic, you're stung with outrage. WE USE THAT FOR OUTREACH PROGRAMS YOU BASTARDS.
No. 545737 ID: 7bbaae

Well there's the shotgun. The sheriff could shoot out a tire. Shotguns are good at that. The shotgun has beanbag rounds in it right now though. If it weren't for that windshield in the way he could take out the driver with it. Maybe. The envenomed are pretty tenacious.
No. 545740 ID: 53ba34

put a few rounds in the radiator, engine will quickly overheat and seize up.
No. 545741 ID: 9ddf68

so if you just slammed on the brakes of the ambulance what do you think the odds would be that you'd damage the van's engine enough for you to outrun these guys?
No. 545770 ID: 4a20fa

This. Easier than hitting a tyre while moving.
No. 545799 ID: 01531c

Hand the shotgun to Jeff!
Tell him to shoot through the rear-window glass, it's unsafe to open the doors!
No. 545845 ID: 7a843b

I think Jeff is driving the ambulance, so that leaves Sheriff Lynwood as the best choice to take the shot.

Unfortunately I don't think the ambulance is going to be able to accelerate faster than the van. That means the van is going to be glued to our bumper and there won't be an angle to shoot the radiator from the rear windows. However, we can take the shot through the rear doors.

The rear doors are only sheet metal with some insulation. A point-blank buckshot round'll blow right through them. And with the van pressed right against the ambulance the shot'll easily travel right through its grille and hood and puncture its radiator. And even if it doesn't Lynwood can still take another shot through the new hole in the door.

In this desert heat and straining against a braking ambulance that van's engine'll overheat and seize in no time. And as an added bonus the ruptured radiator will throw a cloud of steam up, blocking the driver's vision. So they'll have to break off either way.

Have Lynwood load a buckshot shell into the shotgun, then lay prone on the floor and put the shotgun muzzle against the lower rear door. But before he shoots make sure to plug his ears up with cotton balls and tape thick gauze over them so his ear drums don't get blown out by the shotgun blast. The driver'll need ear protection taped on as well. Everybody else gets cotton balls for when they cover their ears.
No. 545855 ID: 5fd94e


Agree with this but if there have some cloth or something that they could wrap near the end of the barrel because there will be small shards of metal flying loose, we want to minimize those.
No. 545863 ID: e607cd

This is actually a really workable idea. Automobiles are designed in such a way that they will run just fine with damage to the rear. However, any significant damage to the front end disables the vehicle BY DESIGN. Even if the engine would still theoretically operate, there are crumple sensors made to cut out the barely-contained-explosion-motor if they get tripped. It's a safety feature.
No. 546008 ID: 5acad3
File 138317567514.jpg - (84.12KB , 600x584 , 317.jpg )

As the van accelerates Jeff slams on the brakes, crumpling the bumper and accordioning the hood. The sudden change in velocity hurls Todd forward and then backwards across the ambulance, slamming into the rear doors and knocking them open. Only a desperate grab by Dale keeps him from tumbling onto the highway. Todd dangles on the edge of the cabin, Dale hanging on with one hand.
No. 546010 ID: 5acad3
File 138317569136.jpg - (40.94KB , 420x600 , 318.jpg )

Rather than allow the ambulance to crush the engine entirely, the van swerves into the incoming lane and its side door slides open.
No. 546011 ID: 5acad3
File 138317573150.jpg - (54.16KB , 600x470 , 319.jpg )

The driver quickly pulls up along side and a grim faced minion in a police uniform grabs for a handhold on the open ambulance door. Behind him half a dozen shadowy figures wait to follow him.
No. 546013 ID: 53ba34

wiggle! and someone get out the gun!
No. 546016 ID: 1f8505



And start opening fire with that shotgun! Knock them off!
No. 546046 ID: 878cce

Dale probably won't be able to hold Todd if you do too much swerving right now. Beth or Lynwood needs to do some shot-gunning NOW.
No. 546050 ID: 7bbaae

Shotgun, aim for the guy's grip on the door.
No. 546066 ID: 9ddf68

if you guys can't get to the shot gun you could just throw heavy crap at them, ambulances have air tanks right? hit someone with one of those and they'll feel it. Or if you think Dale can hold on to Todd brake again to let these guys pass you and then hit them with a pit maneuver and while they're spinning out drive off.
No. 546081 ID: 3e2416

the being controlling them wants us dead, the book in their position, plus several other degrees of 'not good for us'. if you use that gun, unless we have the immediate means to cure the people coming at us ,you'd better be aiming for the face.
No. 546082 ID: c23ab0

If Radula gets the book they'll wish they were shot in the face.
No. 546315 ID: 5acad3
File 138336941248.jpg - (44.02KB , 600x317 , 320.jpg )

Jeff swings the ambulance sharply to the left and cuts off the pursuing van. Todd's wheelchair slips out of the cabin and comes apart as it bounces down the highway.
No. 546316 ID: 5acad3
File 138336944860.jpg - (57.38KB , 433x600 , 321.jpg )

Fortunately Dale was able to hang onto Todd, and drags him away from the door. Meanwhile, unable to get a clear shot at anything, Lynwood passes the shotgun to you rather than risk the friendly fire.

You realize you've never even held a gun before and it sits in your hands uncomfortable and heavy. Shit, you're not really sure how to shoot one.
No. 546317 ID: 5acad3
File 138336945813.jpg - (65.41KB , 508x600 , 322.jpg )

No. 546318 ID: 7bbaae

Aim at center mass! Less chance of missing that way.
No. 546319 ID: 735f4f

Press the stock firmly into your dominant shoulder and aim down the barrel.

Aim for the middle of his chest.
No. 546320 ID: eaa372

Point at center of mass, pull the trigger, and then kick him out for good measure in case he ignores the shock of being hit point blank with a shotgun.
No. 546321 ID: 1f8505


In case shotgun goes *click*, pull back slide all the way and push forward all the way to load a shell.
No. 546324 ID: 9ddf68

press the butt of the gun (the wood looking part) firmly against your shoulder and aim up the sights so they're even. once they look even enough (you're practically point blank anyways, it would be hard to miss) pull the trigger. If all else fails the gun still makes a good club.
No. 546325 ID: d315b1

Are you close enough to just kick him out? If not, just point it in his general direction and pull the trigger before he can shoot back.
No. 546337 ID: b55479

First, take your finger off of the trigger. Beneath your right hand is a part that slides. Side it all the way back, then ask the way forward again. If something flies out the side, don't worry, you can pick it up later. Then point the gun towards the controlled guy, and pull the trigger. The gun will jump backward hard, but don't worry; if you do drop it, you can pick it up.
No. 546386 ID: 0c9655

What kind/brand of shotgun is this? If we want them to survive, and assuming that Beth knows absolutely nothing about this gun, we need to know where everything is on this gun.
No. 546393 ID: d315b1

Literally the only controls on a typical police shotgun are the trigger and pump. They're deliberately generic for this exact reason.
No. 546437 ID: 878cce


Just aim at his chest and pull the trigger. Lynwood surely was prepared to fire it before he handed it to you. You shouldn't need to do anything special.

If you miss point blank, everyone will laugh at you. No pressure.

The universe will end, also.
No. 546564 ID: 5acad3
File 138353633487.jpg - (30.79KB , 600x401 , 323.jpg )

So, like th-
No. 546565 ID: 5acad3
File 138353639071.jpg - (59.97KB , 540x600 , 324.jpg )


You stuffed cotton balls in your ears earlier to keep them from getting infected, but it feels like they just got driven an inch into your head by the blast.

You're thrown onto your ass by the force of the recoil and feel like someone hit you in the shoulder with a sledgehammer. As much as it hurts, you're glad you figured out to use your right shoulder, your left probably couldn't handle an impact of that caliber right now.
No. 546566 ID: 5acad3
File 138353640104.jpg - (58.51KB , 600x494 , 325.jpg )

The possessed cop is lifted off of his feet and carried out of the ambulance by the projectile-
No. 546567 ID: 5acad3
File 138353641471.jpg - (80.08KB , 600x445 , 326.jpg )

and lands heavily on the pursuers windshield, which spiderwebs into a thousand shards.
No. 546568 ID: 5acad3
File 138353645784.jpg - (42.75KB , 600x336 , 327.jpg )

Unable to see, the van loses control and drifts off of the road, and slams into a boulder.

Oh God, did you just kill that guy?
No. 546569 ID: 5acad3
File 138353648333.jpg - (16.39KB , 600x233 , 328.jpg )

As the wreck disappears into the distance, the injured cop drags himself out of the dirt. Even with his body beaten to hell, half flayed by glass and road rash, he still tries to get up and chase you.

You're not sure what you're more horrified by, how you nearly killed someone or how it hardly seemed to slow him down.
No. 546571 ID: 7bbaae

Did he manage to fire his gun? Look around to see if anyone's got a gunshot wound. Also, close the doors. If the running cop is actually catching up, tell Jeff to speed up!
No. 546573 ID: c23ab0

He has Radula's venom in his veins. To say he's alive is something of a misnomer. Animate might be more appropriate. You can't kill anyone who has tasted the venom. You shouldn't even be able to recover their minds and free them from Radula's control, but the leeches somehow managed to do that. Or at least, you're pretty sure they do. Radula would have to be pretty crazy to go through such lengths to lose the book as having one of his own minions run away with it.
No. 546577 ID: 9ddf68

...and we have to deal with a army of these things... Well I'm not seeing to many good times ahead.

How far away are we from our destination by the way?
No. 546637 ID: 36203f

man i hate to be this guy but PHYSICS: a 1/10th of a lb bullet hits a 160 lb man and sends him back at least 4 feet. even if the bullet did have enough momentum to do that it would just go through him instead.
in other news you might want to get moving again, gather up all your things and people and floor it, maybe shoot out the tires of the other car if it seems convenient
No. 546655 ID: 60a746

Beanbag rounds, remember? Plus, the cop was probably wearing body armor. He was standing on the edge of a moving vehicle. When he was pushed off, he continued moving at the velocity of the vehicle, plus the velocity imparted by the round, which, judging by Beth's kick-back, was nothing to sneeze at. It work.

Shut the doors, tell Jeff to gun it, and make sure everyone's still in one piece. You probably don't need to go to the police station; make for the Mesa ASAP.
No. 546675 ID: d2e35b

It's a shotgun, bro. That means it fires shot, not bullets. Much better for conveying force, because it's distributed across hundreds of little pellets, unless the shotgun was loaded with a beanbag round, like >>546655 said, in which case it still works. Pretty sure that was a standard cartridge, though.

Whoo! That was pretty intense. Remember, this is all justified, because we're holding back the mass death of everything ever.
No. 546690 ID: 7bbaae

Guys it's movie physics, don't think about it too hard.
No. 546935 ID: 5acad3
File 138379918233.jpg - (51.87KB , 600x464 , 329.jpg )

You pass the shotgun back up to sheriff Lynwood, telling him that you were just attacked by someone in a police uniform.

If dispatch isn't responding, its possible that the rest of the sheriffs department has been attacked by now. Going to the police station could mean walking right into a trap by now.

He nods in agreement and tells you the exit into town is coming up on the right, keeping his eyes focused on the road ahead with a concerned expression on his face.

After a minute He asks whether the cop you shot was dead or not... you tell him that it looked like he was still alive, and possibly still hunting the book, although on foot. He says nothing, instead holding the shotgun in his lap and frowning. Lynwood takes a handful of buckshot shells out of his pocket, weighing whether or not to reload the gun with them or not.
No. 546938 ID: 9ddf68

hold off for now with the buck shells... I mean if you really need them when you open the breach to eject the shell you could just slip a buck shoot in before the beanbag shell can slid up into the chamber.
No. 546941 ID: 53ba34

the op is still alive but in what state? if the infection is removed they could die instantly, the illness being the only thing holding their body together.
No. 546948 ID: 4a20fa

Stick with beanbags for now.
No. 547694 ID: 5acad3
File 138423331357.jpg - (46.95KB , 600x432 , 330.jpg )

Not yet ready to swap to buckshot, you tell the Sheriff to stick with the beanbag rounds for now. He leaves a spot in the chamber ready to receive a lethal round if necessary.

Rather than drive blindly into danger, you decide avoiding the police station is the best course of action for now. You ask Jeff to drive past the exit and head straight towards the reservation.
No. 547695 ID: 5acad3
File 138423335026.jpg - (27.56KB , 600x265 , 331.jpg )

As the sun starts to fade, you pull onto a dusty one lane road taking you into the desert. Jostling on cracked asphalt and gravel, the Ambulance passes a wooden sign.

It reads:
>Now entering: Starry Mesa Reservation

Jeff drives slowly into a tight knit collection of homes: mostly modern preassembled houses, some mobile houses, and a few genuine adobe structures. New or old, the architecture has one thing in common: its simplicity, few homes are more than one or two rooms, and the largest structure appears to be a meeting hall of some sort.
No. 547696 ID: 5acad3
File 138423338298.jpg - (61.27KB , 600x595 , 332.jpg )

The ambulance pulls to a halt in front of a small grey building. Standing in front of the front door is a taller, more muscular version of Jeff wearing a tank top, cargo pants and a frustrated expression.

>"You want to bring your friends inside and explain just what the hell you've been up to?"
No. 547700 ID: 9ddf68

well introduce yourselfs and ask how he would react if we told him that we have the apocalipes on our heals and there's going to be on hell of a fire coming soon.

and doesn't these place just scream last stand?
No. 547702 ID: 7bbaae

Huh, Beth can hear again?

Let Jeff explain himself at first but if it seems like he's gonna keep going for a while interrupt and say you don't have much time. You need to organize the town to take shelter in the most fortified location possible. EVERYONE must be secure for us to survive. If possible we'd also like a phone line to see if we can contact the government and report what's happening. They might have the tools to find the professor, though we would want them to stay out of the city proper. Maybe set up a perimeter and keep Radula and the envenomed contained.
No. 547973 ID: 5acad3
File 138440032591.jpg - (54.13KB , 600x425 , 333.jpg )

You are now Dale

You're sore, exhausted, and still kind of angry and embarrassed with yourself for trying to commit suicide. You realize, however, that in your current state, you aren't always exhibiting the best judgement. You've Resolved never to let yourself be tempted like that again.

That being said, you are still fucking tired

Everyone climbs out of the ambulance and files into the building, which quickly fills up as people make room in the limited space. Introductions go around, and Jeff's dad nods in acknowledgement, introducing himself as-

>"Joshua Chee."
>"So, Jeff, first I hear about you ditching work to 'hunt zombies', then you call from the hospital talking nonsense about worms, and then you show up here with a bunch of strangers in an ambulance? "

Jeff doesn't answer at first, clearly worried that his dad is disappointed with him.

>"Sorry dad. Its just... well, there really were zombies... sorta. And its just that... I dunno, people were in danger and I just wanted to help out. And now there's a whole bunch of zombies, and I thought this place is so far out of the way, it was the safest place I could think of."
No. 547974 ID: 5acad3
File 138440037135.jpg - (33.30KB , 361x600 , 334.jpg )

To your surprise, the Sheriff speaks up.
>"Hes telling the truth, Mr. Chee, and he's already saved us once today. We were attacked by something, and we think the town has already been compromised, but it probably hasn't made it out here yet. Honestly, its probably only a matter of time before the reservation comes under siege and we need to get this place secure before that happens.
>"Is there a phone I can use anywhere? I need to call this in,and see if I can get a cordon up around the town, or at least get us some backup."

Joshua indicates that there's a phone in the community center around the corner, and Lynwood heads over to try to call in some reinforcements.
No. 547975 ID: 5acad3
File 138440040242.jpg - (40.42KB , 452x600 , 335.jpg )

Joshua gives his son a concerned glare...
>"You know I'm sick of hearing about you getting in trouble at work, I know I raised you to be more sensible than that-"

he exhales heavily and his expression relaxes
>"- but I'm glad you're okay. You've always put helping others before yourself, you know I've always been proud of that. I know how dead set you are on enlisting; running off and putting yourself in danger isn't how to convince me you're ready.

>"Dad, this isn't about-"

Joshua stops him.
>"- and this isn't the time. We'll talk about it later."

He nods at you and Todd.
>"Listen, we don't have much, but if you guys need to borrow something to wear, you can change in the next room while everyone fills me in on what's been happening."
No. 547976 ID: 5acad3
File 138440043588.jpg - (38.37KB , 600x594 , 336.jpg )

You help Todd onto your shoulder and half carry him into the adjoining room. With the sun going down both of you can feel the chill of the desert at night, and are happy to get some real clothing on.
Fortunately Jeff is about your size and you remember that you have a spare change of clothes in your satchel.
No. 547978 ID: 5acad3
File 138440045517.jpg - (45.90KB , 600x547 , 337.jpg )

Todd looks like he might fit into something of Joshua's, but will probably need help with his messed up leg. Helping a near stranger who tried to kill you get dressed in a 16 year old's room a thousand miles from home is not exactly what you expected to do today, but Todd really appreciates it.
No. 547979 ID: 7bbaae

Ask Todd if him and Beth are dating.
No. 547994 ID: 6216b0
File 138442114303.png - (157.52KB , 600x594 , dalepaperdoll.png )

Dale Clarke? Isaac whateverdale'slastnameis?
No. 547996 ID: c23ab0
File 138442155028.jpg - (107.56KB , 1200x1188 , stevetodd.jpg )

Did someone say paper doll dressup?
No. 548003 ID: 097017
File 138443510016.jpg - (67.12KB , 792x719 , becauseWeAreLikeARainbowInTheDark.jpg )

As poster above, but this.

Hey, this is a native reservation, so expect hand-me-down rockmetal tee's from that time Rainbow's tour bus broke down in the next county over.

And I'm kinda curious cause I have like a half-milliounce of aboriginal blood in me... Whose reservation is this? Hopi, Zuni, Navajo, Apache, Ute, Yaqui, Tohono, Tewa?
No. 548021 ID: e1609c
File 138445197120.png - (105.06KB , 304x300 , dothedew.png )

Do the dew
No. 548104 ID: 57a559
File 138447704577.gif - (46.86KB , 600x547 , Todd pony.gif )

When asked, Joshua claims this extremely glittery shirt to be owned by one of his exes and left behind.
His excuse for the hearts on the pants? One of Jeff's friend's pranks with a bedazzler. He kept them around because they're very comfortable jeans.

This is not a joke submission, I really want Todd to wear this.

Dale, resist oogling Todd's swole pecs
No. 548165 ID: 5acad3

fielded these in the ITQ thread for now
No. 548777 ID: 7bbaae
File 138473787614.png - (78.80KB , 600x594 , PompaDale.png )

Tunnel snakes ruugghhh this was hard
No. 548786 ID: 5a5dd4
File 138473917970.png - (212.79KB , 800x600 , worms.png )

Boring but serviceable.
No. 548907 ID: 4a20fa
File 138481040783.png - (30.09KB , 600x594 , he-looks-like-a-bloody-weatherman.png )

Gotta be shirt, jeans, and a duster, which is conveniently split up the back and everything. And something to keep the sun off the head and horrifying trepanation scar under the brim.

Can't sodding draw this week, apparently.
No. 549337 ID: 5acad3
File 138500095747.jpg - (35.82KB , 387x600 , 338.jpg )

After a quick rummage, both of you manage to put together something to wear out of the family's limited wardrobe.

Todd finds a pair of pants large enough to pull over his cast, ending up with one giant bunched up leg. He throws on a clean shirt and borrows a very worn jacket from over chair.

In Jeff's wardrobe you find a pair of dress pants with a distinctively secondhand wear to them, and a comfy DJ 5queak hoodie to replace the one you left at the hospital.

Once you're ready you rejoin the others in the kitchen.

>"Oh, you're wearing those pants?"

>"What? Yeah, why?"
No. 549338 ID: 5acad3
File 138500099550.jpg - (45.56KB , 564x600 , 339.jpg )

>"Its just that my sister kind of bedazzled them last time she came to visit."

>"What!? Awwwww, what the hell?"

>"Whatever, rock 'em man."

As Todd shows off his new ass bling the tiny kitchen erupts into laughter, however in light of recent events, it has a volatile, manic edge to it.
No. 549339 ID: 5acad3
File 138500101668.jpg - (56.94KB , 600x501 , 340.jpg )

Finding emotional release, Mary finally breaks down; her choking laughter transitioning into gasping sobs. Tears streaming down her face, she manages to speak between gasps.

>"Oh.*gasp* God. *wheeze*. I'm....*wheeze*...gonna be *breathe* sick."

Beth, responding with the calm efficiency of an EMT, ushers her outside and you hear her throw up. The guys all look around with the stunned awkwardness of dudes witnessing an intense emotional display.
No. 549340 ID: 5acad3
File 138500109665.jpg - (39.14KB , 505x600 , 341.jpg )

Joshua, however, seems unfazed and has more questions for you.
>"Okay Dale, so from what they told me; There's some kind of monster who has mind controlled a bunch of people, and is out there hunting for this book that you're carrying right?"

"Yeah basically."

>"And every time you fall asleep it finds you and tries to kill you."


>"So, that's the the first thing we have to deal with. Dale, how long do you think you can hold out before you fall asleep?"

"I dunno, a couple hours maybe?"

>"Well that doesn't give us much time to prepare."

He sees the confusion on your face and continues
>"This is one of the oldest known methods of hunting: chase your prey all day and all night until one of you drops dead from exhaustion and frankly, you don't look like you can run for much longer. You are going to fall asleep, Dale, in my opinion the best thing we can do is prepare for when that happens."

>"Now, what do we know about this thing, and what can we do to fight it and what happens exactly when you fall asleep?"
No. 549342 ID: 9ddf68

well needless to say you'll know when you see it, trust me. From what we know it has a barbed tongue that is fulled with some kind of poison that lets it control people, the only way we've found to counter this is leaches, think we have one left.

As for what happens we sleep... we find ourselves in a giant library that seems to go on with no end. And whatever is chasing us always seems to know where to find us. It usually ends with it ripping us to bloody little shreds until we wake up. anything else you want to know?
No. 549343 ID: 57a559

We need to shove a special leech into the wound to stop the mind control.

We don't have enough leeches for all the victims unfortunately. Do we finally have time to study them in depth? Because right now we're preparing for a fight and I've been hankering to take a look at the last one (I think we have at least one spare, we HAD more than two).

The monster exists in infinity, we think that's what's it's been saying when it does its taunts in Dale's dreams. It's also a crawfish I think? Anybody know quite a bit about crawfish and their biological weaknesses? I know Mary knew quite a bit. Like, if it was a snail, what would be a crawfish's salt?
No. 549346 ID: 7bbaae

It has a cuttlefish head, and it can see polarized light. In fact, everyone it envenoms gains that ability. This allows cured people- specifically, Dale, Todd, and Mary- to spot the envenomed or de-venomed by their eyes. An uncured envenomed person has cuttlefish-looking eyes. A cured person has black sclera- the whites of their eyes are black. I expect it is possible for polarized lenses to be used for the same purpose.

Dale should mention how he actually managed to injure the monster in his last dream. After such a dream, the monster seems to just appear out of nowhere.

Oh, and it doesn't show up on security cameras, right? Well, only Beth and Lynwood know that unfortunately, and they're out of the room at the moment.
No. 549358 ID: c23ab0

Beth knows way more than you Dale. She needs to get in on this. She's actually read the book remember. In particular you can't recall her telling you about the anti-word, about gods talking about causality, or about a crazy monster eating the universe who is your actual foe, Radula being only its caretaker. So you can't warn Josh about any of those things. Beth could though. She's seen the shell that protects you from the jaws of the beast. She's seen the god Tiamat risen by power of the anti-word. She's heard the Chorus.

Beth, in short, is your only hope. She has to decide what to do. All you can pray is that she comes to the right conclusions from what she's seen.

Though a good start might be getting Josh to read the book. It doesn't take long and it means Beth dying isn't the end of the world (literally). Anyone who isn't venom'd should take a turn at it in fact, in case more information comes up or it makes the future less a matter of certain doom.

All you know is if and when your head hole breaks open, the rest of the universe gets et. And Radula is a dick.
No. 549379 ID: 6f7a2b

Ask him if he has any Five Hour Energy around. Hours of energy now, no crash later.
No. 549388 ID: 7bbaae

I just realized... Radula only shows up after Dale wakes up.
No. 549409 ID: 71bbb4

Be sure to mention ammo/weapons. That's an essential. We need to prepare for when/if they find us. To me this feels more like a when.

Also, should we tell the entire Mesa? Doesn't look like we can do this on our own.
No. 549460 ID: 64dd23

the thing itself can be hurt and killed like any living thing, but it has many abilities which we should be scared of.

it can become half invisible (maybe thermal vision will counter it?)
it can mind control people by stabbing them with its tongue and poisoning them. the only cure is leeches to the head, which we don't have many of. when it comes it will come with an army of the controlled. they can act as they did in life, the only sure way to detect it is when someone who was cured sees their eyes they look weird as fuck.
it also has some sight into the future but that becomes weaker with time. though maybe when dale will go to sleep it refreshes it and that's how it finds him?

anyhow when dale does fall asleep he is transported into its world for a time for some reason, with unknown consequence and meaning.
No. 549497 ID: 097017

To this monster, you light up like a bonfire. Like a moth to the flame he'll flutter on over here as fast as he can. Anyone can become a insanely loyal, impossibly determined zealot with a prick of the finger who'll pursue you far past the most extreme human limits.

Zombies, but with all the faculties they possessed in life. All it takes is a bite, and the effects are instant.

He knows things, he sees the world not in terms of how things are but everything they were up to this point and plenty of things they could become. He sees your past and sees in several directions into your future, depending on your choices. There is a giant endless consuming thing that will consume entirety if he gets his hands on this book. The only thing I know for certain is me and beth make it to a point before a final confrontation. I cant gaurentee than anyone else will make it that far to be honest. I'm actually afraid that the more people involved the worse this is going to be for us. I mean, everyone is just a crazed demoniac waiting to mob us from every direction. It's like the matrix; you cant trust the people you're trying to save around that thing.

Maybe we can take advantage of his polarized vision and finds some way to blind him but I don't expect to have anything like that nearby.
No. 549498 ID: 097017

I say we artificially recreate the conditions of the final encounter and move this thing along as quickly as possible, or maybe fake him into thinking that we're alone in the town and suddenly spring on him; he can only really stab us one at a time. I don't want to sound like an ignorant white guy, but maybe there's leaders we can speak to--a spiritualist, maybe? Is there a way to get in touch with the rest of your Nation?
No. 549536 ID: 5acad3
File 138517723826.jpg - (49.00KB , 600x593 , 342.jpg )

"Whenever I've fallen asleep I end up in some huge, weird places, where it seems like the creature lives. One time it was like a forest, one time a chapel, and the last time it was a library full of books like the one I'm carrying. And once I woke up, it usually showed up a couple minutes later nearby."

>"Hmm, it doesn't attack you while you're asleep? Seems like it can only be in one place at a time? What else do you know about it?"

"Well one time it called itself Radula-'

>"It talks?"

"Kind of, it felt more like it was projecting words into my head, it told me it wanted to 'wake up'. It looks like something you'd dredge out of the ocean and its got this long tentacle thing that it uses to stab people."

"I've managed to hurt it twice, and its blood made me feel like I was falling apart. When Todd attacked us, I saw the same stuff dripping from his eye socket."

>"So you think that's how its controlling people, right?"

"Yeah, someone gave me these leeches, and one of them reacted strongly to the blood. So when Todd attacked us, I put one in the wound and almost immediately he turned back to normal."

>"Had? Can we get more?"

"Well. I have one left, and there's one in Todd's eye, Mary's neck and my forehead. The person who gave them to me is missing, and I don't know where they're from, but if I had to guess, I'd say they' came from the same place as the Book."

>"Well, before anything else happens, we need to let the neighborhood know what's going on. I'm not sure if they'll be so willing to believe what you've told me, though."
>"We may be able to convince some of the tribe to help fight off any kind of attack, but at the very least I want to get people to safety. Though, you'll understand that our people might be reluctant to abandon their homes based on what a couple of outsiders say, even if it is for their safety."
No. 549560 ID: 9ddf68

well we could say it's some kind of terrorist attack with some sort of mind altering drug or something. Not sure if that'd be better then telling them the truth but it would be more believable till we have some proof about the truth.
No. 549632 ID: 5acad3
File 138526450928.jpg - (49.25KB , 600x565 , 343.jpg )

"Well if we have to, it might be easier to convince them of something more conventional, like some kind chemical attack driving the town crazy. Mind controlling nightmare squids might be kind of a hard sell."

>"Just be careful, Dale. We have had a long history of being told lies by people with 'good intentions' only to get screwed over later. It could get pretty touchy if they feel like you're trying to manipulate them."
>"I'll get my coat and see if I can get everyone over to the meeting hall. If you need to take a minute to get something to eat and meet me over there, go ahead; just don't take too long."
No. 549633 ID: 57a559

Make a rueban or roast beef sandwhich.
And watch the windows. I don't want to be surprised. Before the warning is when we're going to be the most susceptible to attack.
No. 549634 ID: 9ddf68

right to much of a stretch anyways.

let's just tell everyone to be careful, just say something is going on in town and people are acting weird, mention how you saw a police cruiser gutted earlier if you think that would help. Just tell people to keep an eye out for anything strange and to report any strange behavior. If things go to hell I'm sure people will figure it out that this is truly a threat.

Don't think there's much more we could tell them without lying or having them think we're crazy.
No. 549635 ID: f44ca3

Lets not lie but not go into crazy detail right away. Give them the facts of the matter without to much of the info we have got out of dreams and such.

People will have a hard time accepting it at first but we have a group of heavily injured people with no reason to lie about the situation.

Might want to avoid talking about the whole gods and horrible nightmare pantheon trying to eat existence until later.
No. 549637 ID: 57a559

Lets just keep it down to brass tacks
Crazy people comin' to town, probably. If they can find us.
Just sayin', lets get defensive.

But get that goddamn rueban.
No. 549669 ID: 4a20fa

And grab something to eat. Tired and hungry isn't an effective combination.
No. 549736 ID: 5acad3
File 138535653867.jpg - (42.99KB , 600x463 , 344.jpg )

Aww man, you could totally go for a piping hot reuban sandwich, but the odds of there being sauerkraut in this fridge-

Oh wait, look at that!

Now if only they had corned beef-

-Holeeeeey shit.
Corned beef.
No. Fucking. Way.

Better ask if Beth and Mary want anything.
No. 549737 ID: 5acad3
File 138535655154.jpg - (41.43KB , 524x600 , 345.jpg )

"Hey you guys want some sandwiches?"
No. 549738 ID: 5acad3
File 138535657258.jpg - (49.13KB , 600x501 , 346.jpg )

Oh right.

Beth gives you a look and you remember to finish chewing your mouthful of awesome sandwich.
No. 549739 ID: d630c1


Maybe the more tactful move would be to bring them glasses of water, then leave again, without drawing undue attention to yourself.
No. 549740 ID: 9ddf68

uh... so, how you holding up?
No. 549741 ID: 57a559

Eating's good though for all the stress we've been though

Come on ladies
Delve yourselves into some wonderful comfort food.
You don't have to talk though, just bring 'em some food and water without asking.

They really should get something to eat.
No. 549745 ID: 71bbb4

You two alright?
No. 549796 ID: 876c9d

apologize and ask them if they want somthing
No. 549859 ID: 5acad3
File 138544248916.jpg - (45.50KB , 527x600 , 347.jpg )

"What's going on? You guy's okay?"

Beth gets up and starts to head inside. She stops and tries to address you quietly, but its a bit louder than you felt like she intended; probably because of her hearing.
>"Could you talk to her, Dale? I know its been rough for you both, but she could really use someone to talk to right now."
No. 549860 ID: 5acad3
File 138544259929.jpg - (49.48KB , 600x543 , 348.jpg )

"So.... You holding up okay?"

>"Yeah... I guess. Its just.... getting tangled up in all this insanity... Dale, how on earth have you managed to keep going for so long?
No. 549863 ID: 7bbaae

Fear of death, mostly. Plus, the thought that you might be doing something worth doing. That's been more than confirmed today, you think. There's also the urge to not let the monster win.

Ask her what drives her to do her job.
No. 549874 ID: c23ab0

It's easy as long as you don't think about it whoops.
No. 549885 ID: 57a559

"I don't have a very good memory of the past few days.
That probably helped somewhat.
Coffee helped a lot too, and whatever food I could get. I also imagined it would end, eventually, and I would get there. I almost imagined it to be like one of my college class projects I was putting off til the last minute and pulling an all-nighter that just wouldn't end. You're a doctor, how did you get through the insanity of med school?"
No. 550001 ID: 5acad3
File 138552836732.jpg - (45.94KB , 600x420 , 349.jpg )

"I'm not really sure, I can't really remember much before the last few days. It was a lot of mind numbing driving, cheap coffee, awful food, and I'd pass out for a few hours and sleep every couple of days.
Really I was afraid of what I saw in my dreams, I had no idea what was chasing me but it was that fear that kept me running. "
"But, what drives you? You're a doctor, don't you have something that keeps you going?"

>"Well, I like helping people, and I've always loved the intellectual challenge, but I've never had the same motivation that, say, Beth has. For me becoming a doctor was like a logical progression from my studies. I worked hard in school, and thought it would be the best way to put my talent to work."

>"But now I have no idea what to do. There's still so much we don't know, and the minute you fall asleep we are going to have the armies of hell beating down the doors to take the Book. I'm used to being able to look at problems logically, and find treatments for them. But how the hell do we stop that horde of people with just one leech? And What happens after that? Do we just keep on running forever?"
No. 550005 ID: 7bbaae

Well, first off, Radula only shows up when you wake up. If you can stay asleep for a while they'll have more time.

Also, as for what to do, how to handle the horde... I say we present an obstacle that only Radula can get past, to isolate him and then kill him. After that, the horde might snap out of it.
No. 550019 ID: 2f4b71

It's worth finding out what it is about the leech that causes it to be effective. Is it something about the leech itself, or does the leech excrete some substance that has the desired effect, and the leech is just a convenient carrier?
No. 550026 ID: 53ba34

pretty sure leeches EAT the poison, and are somehow immune to it.
No. 550027 ID: c23ab0

Ask Beth. Beth might have heard about some leeches or other annelid that had enough chutzpah to kick Radula's ass. Or at least fall on his book.
No. 550028 ID: 9ddf68

well as for the what then... I guess if we haven't kicked the cuddle fish's ass we're just going to have to figure out how to do just that. and as for what is and isn't logical, people have been finding things out that threw everything people knew about before for a loop since the dawn of civilization. this... nightmare i guess would be a good word, may be foreign to us but it still is here and as such it has to have some rules that it has to follow that if we could figure out could help us beat this thing. I know going form being a doctor on day to running form some kind of monster might be a bit of a big leap but hey, we're not alone, and we'll figure this out. Especially with someone who likes to figures things out with us. Besides we actually have a bit of peace right now and some really good Ruben sandwiches inside. We don't have to figure this stuff out right now and those sandwiches are getting cold, so come on, we'll get through this. I mean, we got this far right?
No. 550030 ID: 4a20fa

Might be worth her taking another look at the last leech, although I'm not sure how she's going to identify what makes them special vs. regular leeches.
No. 550074 ID: 13cf39

I think they're plain ol' leeches.

What happens when we remove a leech from a cured person? Do they become uncured? Let's experiment with that by strapping someone down.
No. 550086 ID: 7bbaae

If we do that and they become uncured, Radula would immediately know where we are. Bad idea.
No. 550095 ID: 13cf39

Then it's an experiment we'll try once Dale falls asleep.
No. 550176 ID: 96b823

Yanno, we do have the Book. Beth could read it to trace the "thread" of the leeches' we have back to find where they come from and what they are. Or trace Dale back to his intersection with the Professor, then follow him back to where he got them. No need to experiment and risk making Radula beacons.
No. 550535 ID: 5acad3
File 138596129226.jpg - (35.70KB , 423x600 , 350.jpg )

"Well, Joshua is going to go talk to the community, but from what it sounds like, he might have some kind of plan. Since Radula makes an appearance once I fall asleep, we know where he is going to be and can fight him on our terms for once. I be the last thing he would expect is a counter attack."

"I'm still not sure how we can deal with that army though. I would hate to start killing people to protect myself after we've made it so far without it. But it seems like it might be inevitable."

"If we could figure out more about the leeches, we might be able to... I dunno, find more? Maybe Beth saw something that would tell us more about them. Did you notice anything about the one I showed you?"

>"Nothing remarkable, but I just looked at it sitting in a jar for a second. I'm not an expert on annelids but I did some research on their medical applications and I might be able to tell you more if I got a better look. I could even try dissecting it if you're really that desperate, but I don't think I need to tell you how much of a gamble that would be."

"What about taking our leeches out? and Todd's?"

Mary looks worried and rubs the wound at the back of her neck.
>"That would be... tricky. Even with the supplies in the ambulance, I wouldn't feel confident in operating on either you or Todd in this environment. Assuming the leech in my neck hasn't gone anywhere, mine would be the safest to remove surgically. The problem is of course, there's no way I can operate on the back of my own head. Someone else would have to do it for me."

>"And, of course, we have no idea what would happen if you managed to remove the leeches, there is the possibility that we would lose control again. Although, if you want my opinion, it seems unlikely. From what you've told me, the leeches naturally seek out and eat the poison that keeps us controlled; if there is any venom left it shouldn't be enough to directly affect us."

"Well, we should talk to Beth; get her opinion and see if she has any other info about the leeches."
No. 550541 ID: 57a559

Maybe there's a way to coax the leeches out safely. Though it may be painful.

The leeches like the black goo of Radula's mind control, which I figure might be the victims blood because that black puddle the leech ate up at the supermarket was probably from Todd's wounds. The leeches might dig themselves out of the orifices they came through to suck on the blood if we collected enough in a jar. A jar of blood near Mary's neck might coax it out, though if the leech isn't careful, could cause paralysis or or permanent damage to the brain stem. For Todd, we just need to have him put his open eyesocket near such a jar. For Dale, the nose ought to do... maybe. Egyptians pull the brain out through the nose so...

We need the blood from one of the infected then to try it. When the attack starts, we need to try and grab a blood sample. That'll be useful for study too.
No. 550542 ID: 2f4b71

Leeches don't chew through flesh, their mouthparts haven;t evolved for that purpose.
No. 550543 ID: 4a20fa

>Well, we should talk to Beth; get her opinion and see if she has any other info about the leeches.
No. 550552 ID: 7bbaae

Ask Mary if she wants to go have a coffee or something after this is all over.
No. 550558 ID: 57a559

But they wiggled through Mary's wound to get the poison inside, so it would make sense for it to come out if it senses poison on the outside. It didn't eat through her flesh.
No. 550789 ID: 5acad3
File 138621409893.jpg - (36.40KB , 514x600 , 351.jpg )

"Lets head inside and see what Beth thinks."

"Hey...If we make it through this, you wanna, maybe, grab some coffee some time?"

>"Hah, Judging from your state, I'm amazed you'd ever want to see another cup of coffee again...... Yeah I think I'd like that. I'd like to hear more what you're able to remember, and I'm interested in hearing about this world you visit when you're asleep."

You share a laugh and after a second remember that, last time you checked, your bank account was flagged by the credit card company. You make a mental note to sort out your finances somewhere between saving the universe and going out on a date.
No. 550790 ID: 5acad3
File 138621416566.jpg - (34.03KB , 600x402 , 352.jpg )

The two of you head inside and while Dr. Slate busies herself with further analyzing the remaining leech, You interrupt Beth's sandwich time for a Q and A.

"Hey Beth, while you were looking at the book, did it show you anything about those leeches?"

>"Huh? Yeah, now that you mention it. It showed someone finding the Book in some kind of desert, and they were crawling all over the cover. I'm not sure what desert it was supposed to be, but it seemed odd that they would be there, especially underground."

>"Leeches in the desert isn't as odd as you'd think, but they need sources of water to live. Finding them congregating on an ancient book buried for who-knows-how-long is pretty suspicious."

"Beth, Mary says that if we were to remove a leech from someone, she might be able to dissect it and tell us more. The problem is that of the three of us, Mary's would probably be the easiest to remove. Would you be able to do it if we needed?"

>"You want me to take her leech out? I guess I could. I'm not a surgeon, but I've had paramedic training, if its just lodged under the skin I might be able to get it. But, what about anesthetic? We don't usually carry any local anesthetic with us, just a little bit of fentanyl and morphine for severe trauma."

>"Well, if you're going to do have to cut it out, I'd prefer something for the pain. If you think you can reach it without an incision, I think I can handle it. Though, again, its still a shot in the dark that dissecting it would tell us anything."

Beth takes you aside, and drops her voice.
>"Speaking of pain, I know Todd is trying to not to bring it up, but I can tell his injuries are starting to get to him. I'd like to give him something to help, but anything I give him is likely to make him drowsy. The morphine less so, though fentanyl will last longer. I know we've all worried about whether or not you can stay awake, I want your opinion before risking him falling asleep."
No. 550792 ID: 7bbaae

Can't we get him some regular painkillers?
No. 550794 ID: 9ddf68

rather not risk anyone falling asleep truth be told so I'd think morphine would be good... unless jeff has something in his medicine cabinet that could help.
No. 550795 ID: 57a559

We have no reason so far to think that people besides Dale sleeping summons Radula. Still, we shouldn't take the risk until we've notified the community. Then we take our bets by giving Todd painkillers. Todd has to sleep first so we can know if him and Mary can sleep safely and soundly. Which is something I want to prove or disprove immediately.

Poor guy. Tough guy though. Real tough. Ask Mary if she knows if he's been under the knife at all since the hospital, or even asleep for a little bit. We might not need to prove it after all. If he was asleep once since he was attacked, then we can reasonably assume Dale is the only danger sleeper.
No. 550812 ID: 4a20fa

Wait until preparations are ready for Dale to pass out, then hit Todd up with fentanyl.
No. 550819 ID: 7bbaae

Wait, I've got an idea. What happens if both of you sleep at the same time? Would both of you show up in the library? I wonder if Todd would be injured in the dream too.
No. 550828 ID: a36601

Go with this.
Let's hope this happens.
No. 550873 ID: 7bbaae

If it does happen... then we could try to make an organized effort to capture as many envenomed people as possible and cure them all with leeches, then have them all sleep at once. Suddenly there is an army in Radula's library.
No. 550901 ID: 5acad3
File 138630472882.jpg - (39.52KB , 600x365 , 353.jpg )

"I hate to say this but, it might be safer to hold off on until we're prepared. Can you give him something that won't put him to sleep?"

>"The only other thing we have would be an anti-inflammatory; it might help take some of the swelling off of his leg. He's still missing a freaking eye though, aspirin isn't exactly going to cut it."

"I know. In that case; the faster we get set up the better. I should stop wasting time and see who Jeff's dad managed to round up."

>"I'm going to stay here with Mary and keep an eye on Todd."

>"Mind if I go with you? Everyone knows me around here, should be easy to get them to help out."
No. 550927 ID: 7bbaae

Sure, bro.
No. 550933 ID: 7bbaae

Waaaaait a minute, didn't Dale hand over the last leech to Beth? If we're gonna dissect one, which I don't really agree with, we could use that.
No. 550948 ID: 9ddf68

couldn't hurt welcome along, also if those two find anything else out feel free to us as soon as you get a chance
No. 550955 ID: 4a20fa

That would seem sensible.
(And despite suggesting Mary look at the leech, I'm not really sure dissecting it is a good idea either.)
No. 551442 ID: 5acad3
File 138673089876.jpg - (44.01KB , 600x447 , 354.jpg )

You and Jeff step into the chill desert night and head down the street to the community center. You idly wonder how many people Joshua managed to get.
No. 551443 ID: 5acad3
File 138673091901.jpg - (55.69KB , 600x421 , 355.jpg )

While not completely packed, a good 30 or so people are milling around and muttering grumpily. At the front of the crowd, a familiar authority figure is trying to get them to listen.

>"Hey, can we all just shut up for a second? This concerns all of you!"
No. 551444 ID: 5acad3
File 138673094599.jpg - (54.60KB , 600x531 , 356.jpg )

Together, you push your way to the front and get his attention.

>"Dale, thank God. Listen."

>"I got through to the National Guard. They apparently were contacted by the sheriff's dept. about an hour and a half ago, saying that a large group of individuals were gathering in front of the station before being abruptly cut off. They responded, sending a small group to recon.

>"They got within spitting distance of the town before reporting contact with uniformed officers. Shortly afterwards they stopped responding to the radio.

>"Once the Guard learned that I was part of the sheriffs dept. they immediately turned hostile. They said they want to send someone to question me about the recent events. So we may have a truckload of angry MP's rolling in before too long. I just hope you two have something better than "Zombie horde" to tell them when they show up."
No. 551448 ID: 53ba34

28 days later excuse. mutant rabies has infected the town and anyone going in it is at risk. without proper quarantine gear you are forced to take a shoot on site stance.
No. 551452 ID: 7bbaae

...Armed terrorists stole the police uniforms and are impersonating civilians too? No wait, cultists would work better since they're after the book instead of just causing terror.
No. 551456 ID: a36601

This seems pretty good.
No. 551461 ID: d2995c

Cultists who have been kidnapping people who later show up in some sort of drugged state working for the cult. We don't know what they are on or where they are getting it but whatever they are doing it seems to act fast.
No. 551462 ID: 7bbaae

Oh, and they can't feel any pain either.
No. 551463 ID: 57a559

my only idea that would convince them of everything is for them to read the book.
No. 551477 ID: 4a20fa

That seems close enough to the truth without setting off all the wacko alarms.
No. 551482 ID: c5f3ca

Might be a covenient explanation at the moment.
However, That wouldn't explain why we can't put the book at risk of being fetched. the army/police may want to use it as bait.
They also think to be able to reason with the cultist-terrorists, like putting a gun to their heads... which will probably work just as well as before...

So, I don't know if just "cultists" be enough...

How about drugged cultists? they made a drug out of flatworms that works as painkiller and make them receptive to their squid-masked leader's words...
No. 551493 ID: 5869f6

'Batshit drugged up cultists' seems to be our best bet for explaning things while still not sounding crazy ourselves.
No. 552177 ID: 5acad3
File 138714249819.jpg - (38.15KB , 600x494 , 357.jpg )

"Well, we may be able to convince them that the town has been attacked by some kind of cultists or something: the way that thing talks certainly has a religious angle to it. "

"Have you talked to the crowd yet?"

>"Not really. They're a sovereign nation with their own laws and courts, so I've always have to play things very carefully around here. I thought it would be better if I held off until one of you talked to them. Cops aren't always welcome out on the reservation, and if they don't like me I doubt they're going to be happy when the military shows up."
No. 552178 ID: 5acad3
File 138714252468.jpg - (32.79KB , 600x270 , 358.jpg )

You realize that the muffled conversation that had filled the hall moments before has tapered off, filling the space with an uncomfortable silence. Your gaze sweeps across the questioning eyes of the assembled crowd and your throat tightens up a bit.

"Erm... Hi everyone. I suppose you're wondering why weve asked you here tonight.."
No. 552222 ID: 25255d

Just, you know, imagine them in their underwear.
No. 552243 ID: 7bbaae

Start from the beginning, give them a foundation in familiar reality. Tell them about Schraeter and how he found the book in the desert, how he became hunted by the monster and how you were envenomed then cured. You might want to leave out the fact that there's a leech in your skull right this very instant. Then go on to say that it's chasing you now that you have the book and

oh god they're going to throw you out of town because they won't believe the entire world is at stake. Well, tell them about why Radula wants the book anyway, and that he envenomed an army. Also about how when you fall asleep you wind up in his library in your dreams, and when you wake up he will appear nearby somehow.
No. 552248 ID: 53ba34

also be sure to explain that killing you will not help. it will at best slow him down a little. and he cannot be bargained with, his goal is the destruction of the universe.
No. 552250 ID: 57a559

Give them 100% the truth and let them all touch the book
Or just let them know that there's been some incidents nearby that is driving people to madness. A person out there is actively poisoning large groups of people which causes them to follow this individual. One of the people of their community, Jeff, has seen firsthand of one of these incidences at his place of employment, albeit there was only one person poisoned at the time and they were cured. We then took the person to the hospital where said individual followed us and gathered a posse of poisoned individuals at the hospital and has attacked a nearby town, gathering more, including many policeman judging from lack of radio communication confirmed by officer Lynwood over there, who we encountered at the hospital. The national guard has been reported to have come to said town only for them to lose radio contact as well. Another unit of the national guard is on the way here to speak to officer Lynwood.

Now why does this all concern you? Because the people taken from the hospital have attacked a nearby town to gain more numbers, and we have reason to believe they will also come by to any nearby settlement, like this one.

Now this sounds quite hard to believe, especially when your only witness from the community is Jeff, who we have heard is a bit of an eccentric in the eyes of a few, I understand. But his father vouches for him for this specific case. This is serious. We would not have gathered you here today to tell you a joke and waste all of your valuable time. What I'm am asking you is to prepare yourselves in some shape or form, either to leave or to barricade and defend your community from attack. To be alert. To be cautious.

The individual going around poisoning people is a unusually tall and lanky figure. He is bald. We don't have much more information than that, we apologize. The poison has the effects of nulling pain. On the way here, we were attacked by one such poisoned person who had jumped onto our ambulance from another truck. A local nurse, Beth, had shot a sandbag loaded shotgun at this individual out the back of the ambulance onto the truck. One of our party had noticed the man getting back up soon after landing on the side of the highway. The poisoned are very strong and are an incredible threat. They are also capable of being very lucid and deceitful, so please be alert for any suspicious individuals. A doctor from the hospital who was poisoned but cured, who is with us now, was capable of full speech. She had pretended to be fine after a incident in the hospital, but had hidden a gun in her possession, and when Beth's back was turned, she had attempted to shoot Beth, but only succeeded in shooting her ear.

Physical proof of the following is as follows:
beth's harmed ear (Doctor incident)
Todd's missing eyeball (From the incident Jeff witnessed)
Dale's forehead (Another prior poisoning incident down in Florida)
Mary's neckwound (Proof of poisoning at the hospital)

Oh my god I just made a super long thing I am so sorry. It's just a summery that has the most truth to it that people will believe. We've told no lies.
No. 552258 ID: 761017

Pose a rhetorical question:
"Does anyone here have relatives or friends in the nearby town?"
No. 552392 ID: e2d23e

I'm not up for lying to them. Josh was right about these people being lied to "for their own good" and not getting a very good outcome.

We should get Jeff to explain everything from where he came in, then fill in the details afterwards. They're more apt to trust him, even if he is a little over-enthusiastic.

using my racist trope-sensing abilities, maybe we should ask Jeff about any myths or legends these people have about sinister gods, wormy things, etc? Religious beliefs in general, see if we can relate their beliefs to what we know about Radula. Might lend us some credibility, might even stumble upon some ANCIENT KNOWLEDGE.
Again, going by tropes. Probably pretty off base, but it can't hurt to ask, right?
No. 552394 ID: d2995c

We should start with talking about the things they already know, like the army unit going missing in the town, then move into explanations about people going crazy in town.

>Religious beliefs in general, see if we can relate their beliefs to what we know about Radula. Might lend us some credibility, might even stumble upon some ANCIENT KNOWLEDGE.
Lets try as hard as we can to avoid that sort of thing. It is patronizing as hell to appeal assumed beliefs that we don't know the first thing about.
(Besides, we already have the relevant ANCIENT KNOWLEDGE, in which the book was buried on an entirely different continent and dug up fairly recently.)
No. 552470 ID: 5acad3
File 138732337056.jpg - (38.54KB , 437x600 , 359.jpg )

Mentally you play back the day and try to arrange things into some kind of understandable context.

"My name is Dale Marks, you may recognize sheriff Lynwood here, and Jeff Chee. We're here because we need your help

"I ended up in this town earlier today, having been chased cross-country, by an individual... no...a..

"Nah...Fuck it"
Jeff and Lynwood share a concerned glance behind your back as you continue.
"By a monster."

"This thing has been stalking me every time I fall asleep and its after an ancient, evil, book that someone gave me; someone I'm pretty sure is dead by now. It injects people with a poison which makes them violent and uncontrollable, and immune to pain. We've managed to treat two people it attacked, but it's been wrecking havoc in town, and by now we're pretty sure it has an army of people affected. We think that before long they're going to be headed this way, so I'm here asking for your help. I'm sorry to have dragged this crap onto your doorstep, but if we don't stop this thing here I don't think we're going to get another chance."

"Now, I realize how much of this sounds like complete bullshit, but the sheriff and Jeff are both able to vouch for the danger."
No. 552471 ID: 5acad3
File 138732341157.jpg - (51.47KB , 542x600 , 360.jpg )

Someone raises her hand.
>"Wait, Jo' Chee's boy? He told me that my saguaro was haunted!"

>"Remember when he dropped an M-80 down the well 'cause of chupacabras'?"

Jeff rolls his eyes and throws his hands in the air
>"DUDE, I was TEN! That's what happens when you leave a box fireworks lying around a ten year old. And your cactus is fucking haunted lady!"
>"I know I can be a spaz some times, but I've never lied to my dad and you saw how serious he's being. It isn't just my imagination: there's a dude who's missing an eye 'cause of this thing, just ask Lynn!"
No. 552474 ID: 5acad3
File 138732351153.jpg - (38.07KB , 375x600 , 361.jpg )

The sheriff clears his throat
>"This is a situation that is still evolving, and unfortunately has us all in very real danger. Tell me, anyone here have someone who went into town or lives there that they are waiting to hear back from?"

Half a dozen hands go up.

>"We aren't sure what the situation is in town, but if you see someone who has been there, specifically near the hospital or police station, please do not approach them. Look to see if they have any kind of visible wound or signs of injury. If you see anyone headed here from town, come get either myself, Mr. Marks here, or Dr. Slate at Joshua Chee's place. In the mean time, if anyone is willing to help, I'd like to talk to a few of you about organizing some kind of defense and getting everyone to safety."

A ripple of incredulous murmuring through the crowd and neighbors looking at one another to see if anyone believes this shit.
No. 552496 ID: 57a559

"Please, there's no point in bullshitting you. Not even for laughs, because this isn't funny. If you want proof, anyone can go to Chee's place and see the people who have already been wounded. The person missing an eye, like Jeff mentioned. A nurse with part of her ear missing from a gunshot caused by one of the poisoned. Then there's the person who shot her there too, she has a wound in the back of her neck. We cured her using a specific type of leech. There's one where her wound is. There's one in the eye socket of the eyeless man. And... there's one right on my brain, through this hole the person who gave me the book put through my forehead.

Please, feel free to inspect the wound even right now. It was pierced by a power tool. Later, we're considering taking one of the leeches out of the doctors neck to retrieve an additional leech so that we have two instead of one. This is going to require some surgery by the nurse. Believe me, we would NOT do all of this to ourselves for whatever motive we could possibly have for lying. In a world that makes sense, none of this shit would be on us. No man or woman would have done these awful things to themselves for the sake of a lie. And if you actually think we're all mentally ill patients from some asylum, think about the odds of that. A group of 5 people, all insane and believe in this shit, including people dressed as a doctor, nurse, and police officer that have the skills of all those occupations, come into your community with a real live ambulance that has ramming damage on the back. They then convince a skeptic father of an eccentric son to bring you here today. And they all have these recent wounds we've described already that they've done to themselves in their insane stupor. Is that really any more sane of an explanation than what I've just told you? It seems to more grounded explanation, but that still sounds like a sack of bullshit. 2 injured people in a beat up old jalopy? Yeah, okay, that grounded explanation makes sense in that case, but no, we have 5 people, in a busted up ambulance, with horrific injuries."
No. 552535 ID: 7bbaae

Ask if there are any legends about something called the Cacophony. If the gods were smart they would've had SOMEONE hand down information about this stuff.
No. 552548 ID: 7bbaae

Well, if they don't want to believe this, you could ask them if they'd believe the story about the drug-using cultists, since that's what we're gonna tell the national guard? We wanted to be honest with these people.
No. 552549 ID: e3aff6

Mentioning the bit about the national guardsmen going missing in town and more heading here to investigate will probably be helpful. Soldiers don't get disappeared by wild imaginings.
No. 552567 ID: acb7da

Can't we just pass around the book?
No. 552929 ID: 5acad3
File 138759575792.jpg - (43.12KB , 595x600 , 362.jpg )

"Listen, I'm not here trying to pull something over on you. If you don't believe me, take a look: I have a hole in my head because I was attacked! Or check out the smashed up ambulance outside! Or come check out the big evil book filled with flatworms. Hell, the national guard is on its way over here and they seem to be taking the situation pretty seriously"

"The last thing I want is to put anyone else in danger, but things have escalated to a point where we can't face this thing alone. Even if you don't want to fight, please get yourselves somewhere safe, because if you don't, you will be used as a weapon against everyone you see here."
No. 552930 ID: 5acad3
File 138759577831.jpg - (29.71KB , 600x381 , 363.jpg )

Now that you mention it...

"Jeff, where's your dad? I don't think I've seen him here."

>"I dunno, man. I assumed he would be here by now."
No. 552931 ID: 5acad3
File 138759583215.jpg - (49.91KB , 600x531 , 364.jpg )

>"You talking about Joshua? I asked if he could watch my mom so I could come to the meeting. Her retirement home had a gas leak this morning; they had to evacuate the whole building and I had to pick her up from the hospital earlier. She never mentioned anything about monsters or anything though."
No. 552932 ID: 7bbaae

Oh god they're already here. Wait no let's not jump to conclusions. Ask how long ago it was EXACTLY. Maybe she got picked up before Radula showed up and Joshua is just being nice and staying with her.
No. 552933 ID: e1609c

There is no response I can think of that doesnt lead to is lookin' nutso.
>"Oh shit she's under control of radula!!!" --> wow fuck this crazy asshole she's the same as ever too
>"It happened just before we came here, soon after I arrived" ---> riiiiiiight.
shit son
No. 552934 ID: 53ba34

a look in the eyes from anyone previously controlled can confirm or deny infection.
No. 552935 ID: f44ca3

We need to very carefully and very politely check up on this. But we also have to go as fast as we can.

Get witnesses as well. If nothing bad happens all the better but if someone goes mind poison crazy on us we want as many people as possible to see it.
No. 552937 ID: 9ddf68

Can we go take a look at these real, you know just to make sure shit hasn't hit the fan before we can even start getting ready.
No. 552956 ID: 7bbaae

Wait a minute, if we go see her with anyone that Radula would recognize and she IS envenomed, Radula will immediately know where we are! Right now there's no reason for Radula to expect us to be here- we were counting on Radula only arriving after Dale wakes up.

The question is, how are we going to get any of our spotters close enough to see the old lady's eyes without the old lady recognizing them? Oh, maybe she has bad eyesight. Then we could just look at her from a moderate distance away. If not... binoculars would probably work, but if she spots the binocs that's about as bad.

Well, the most important fact, and what would decide what we do, is when she was driven home from the hospital. If it was before Radula attacked then she's not envenomed. If it was after, then she probably is envenomed and we might want to just tell everyone not to say anything to the lady, and keep our party members out of sight from her.
No. 552968 ID: 57a559

The thing about Radula's venom is that Radula can only keep them sentient and normal when he's putting active control over them or something, otherwise they can really only do automations, go through regular motions. I do not know if they are capable of speech without Radula being active on them, and if she's talkative and seemingly normal, my bet she's normal or Radula somehow saw some of the pathways through time to know that we would likely end up here. That time-seeing ability of his is extremely limited without the book, it's like noise or something, but he does have SOME ability here that he might be able to use to his advantage, I think. And he planted his venom, decided that his best way to stay aware of his surroundings is to inject his venom into one of the residents of this settlement and made her into an active, sentient-acting slave. I don't think he's capable of making sleeper agents. It's direct control or less intelligent, autonomous control.

He already IS keeping an eye for us, he practically knows we're here, it's the only real place for us to go. He's made the moves so he can confirm it and surprise us. Like he did with Mary.

Assuming she wasn't picked up from before the hospital attack of course.
No. 552972 ID: e607cd

What you say is *Disapproving grunt* "We should.. probably.. go check on that. She probably made it out of down before the weirdness got to her, but we should not leave anything to chance. Anybody else know someone who came BACK under strange circumstances today?"
No. 553038 ID: 5acad3
File 138768250409.jpg - (39.90KB , 600x539 , 365.jpg )

You are taken off guard but you manage to keep the panic from rising in your voice. You take a breath to steady yourself and ask-

"...Would it be okay if we took a minute and checked on your mother? It sounds like you managed to pick her up before we were attacked, but I would feel better if I just got a look at her. All we would need to do is look at her eyes and if necessary we could treat her immediately."
No. 553040 ID: 5acad3
File 138768264722.jpg - (45.51KB , 600x526 , 366.jpg )

The woman, who introduces herself as Kara, agrees to take you to see her mom. Together you head out to the a concerned expression written across her face. Lynwood nods at you as you leave and takes Jeff with him, presumably to go pick up the last leech from Mary, just in case. You consider asking when she was picked up from the hospital, but you really only have the faintest grasp of the actual timeline of today's events.
No. 553041 ID: 5acad3
File 138768267644.jpg - (61.03KB , 600x565 , 367.jpg )

You arrive at her home, a modern adobe structure and larger than its neighbors. Inside the walls are decorated with an impressive collection of pottery and tapestry covered in geometric shapes. You sneak forward and risk a peek into the living room.

Inside you see an ancient woman in a wheelchair, apparently asleep under a blanket. Joshua is nowhere to be seen, and despite the comfortable scene, you feel like you are sweating ice water. You pause and consider how to proceed.
No. 553042 ID: 7bbaae

Do not approach the woman by yourself. Find Joshua.
No. 553047 ID: 57a559

I'm sure Joshua's fine
I don't think Radula knows enough about Jeff to figure out if he's important or useful in any way. Plus, honestly, this old lady is not seriously going to kill him. There's no point to it.

Find a way to the kitchen that's not through the living room. It's the most likely place he would be, probably cooking up some stew or something for the lady. Then the bathrooms. If he's not in the living room, that is.
No. 553067 ID: 4a20fa

Let her sleep, unless Kara wants to wake her. Find Joshua. Don't split up.
No. 553091 ID: 9ddf68

sneak around, find Jeff's dad
No. 553195 ID: 5acad3
File 138777078859.jpg - (49.65KB , 560x600 , 368.jpg )

You carefully step into the room and try to sneak past the slumbering elder.

"Psssst... Joshua! Hey... Josh! You here man?"

You hiss into the kitchen but get no response.
No. 553196 ID: 5acad3
File 138777081495.jpg - (49.02KB , 600x428 , 369.jpg )

Maybe you can just sidle past without disturbing her.
No. 553197 ID: 5acad3
File 138777086440.jpg - (53.41KB , 600x472 , 370.jpg )

>"Dale? What are you doing here?"

"OH Shiititit-!"
No. 553198 ID: 5acad3
File 138777089474.jpg - (31.02KB , 397x600 , 371.jpg )

"Damn it man, don't sneak up on me like that! You could have given me a heart attack!"

>"What? I was coming back from the bathroom. Why aren't you at the meeting?"

"Kara told me that her mom had been at the hospital earlier and I wanted to check on h-"
No. 553199 ID: 5acad3
File 138777099167.jpg - (43.50KB , 600x422 , 372.jpg )


You're pretty sure the whole reservation heard your shriek.

Except Beth.

Even then, maybe.
No. 553200 ID: 7bbaae

Look at her eyes, man. Stop screaming. Don't actually have a heart attack and die, that would be REALLY anticlimactic.
No. 553213 ID: 57a559

If everything turns out fine Dale and she's totally normal, complement Joshua on his garment.
No. 553231 ID: 955dc5

You better have not shit those pants, you just got them.
No. 553338 ID: 5acad3
File 138784776355.jpg - (54.79KB , 600x494 , 373.jpg )

>"What the hell is going on in here? What are you doing to my mom?"

Your eyes dart between Kara and her mother as you try to pull away from her.

"Nothing! She was just asleep and then she grabbed me all of the sudden!"

Kara's Mother
>"Kara? Oh god, Kara I just had the strangest dream."
No. 553339 ID: 5acad3
File 138784779619.jpg - (40.62KB , 600x252 , 374.jpg )

Kara's mother opens her eyes and you breathe a sigh of relief. Beneath the pale clouds of cataracts, her pupils are round and normal. Her brow furrows and wrinkles with concern.

>"I was dreaming that I was talking to someone: He told me I would meet a man with a hole in his head and he would be carrying something incredibly important with him."

>"I don't see so well anymore, but I'm assuming you must be him?"
No. 553340 ID: 53ba34

ask what the man looked like.
No. 553342 ID: f44ca3

I hope he had some advice for me.
No. 553343 ID: 4a20fa

No. 553354 ID: 9ddf68

No. 553362 ID: fa2b3e

I am that man. is there something I should know about?
No. 553364 ID: 9b57d3

Hey! Jeff and the sheriff heard that scream too. You better intercept and tell them everything is fine before they run in with guns blazing!
No. 553383 ID: 5acad3
File 138786044535.jpg - (45.06KB , 495x600 , 375.jpg )

"That must be me. My name is Dale."

"This person in your dream, can you tell me what he looked like?"
Kara's mother
>"He looked like that."

Confused, you look as she reaches out and points towards the wall.
No. 553384 ID: 5acad3
File 138786046293.jpg - (43.66KB , 600x478 , 376.jpg )

She indicates a large tapestry depicting a stylized bird surrounded by geometric patterns.
No. 553385 ID: 53ba34

take it with you. and maybe, have her lead a song about the bird man.
No. 553386 ID: 9b57d3

Enlil. The gods are with us.

Ask if he had any advice for us? Also seriously try to keep the sheriff from shooting the old lady.
No. 553394 ID: c40966

Or it's radula concealing himself in a vauge mist to not alarm humans.
No. 553408 ID: 57a559

Did the Eagleman ask you to do or say anything?
No. 553422 ID: 9ddf68

huh, did he actually tell you anything or just to look out for us?
No. 553429 ID: 4a20fa

No. 553453 ID: 5869f6

Did the spirit say anything specific?

Also: sheriff, intercept, NOW.
No. 553896 ID: 5acad3
File 138820222611.jpg - (42.63KB , 418x600 , 377.jpg )

Kara's Mother
>"He wanted to tell you three things."

>"One was that the Mesa will keep you safe. He said that he wants to help, but can't do it directly for some reason. If he is going to be able to act, the Mesa is your best bet."

>"He said that once you are ready, you need to go where he can't. Any questions you still have, the answers are on the other side."

>"The last thing he told me: Next time you go to sleep, take the Book with you."

"I'm not sure what any of it means, but I hope it it helps. From the way he was talking, it sounded pretty important and it had him kind of.... scared?"
No. 553897 ID: 5acad3
File 138820225593.jpg - (51.97KB , 600x494 , 378.jpg )

"Yeah, thank you... but how would he know all of that? Doesn't sound like anyone I've ever met."

You look over at Joshua, only to see him leaning against the door frame. He looks as if the color has drained out of him, physically staggered by some kind of shock.

>"Dale, do you know what this is a picture of?"

"Looks like a bird, right?"

"This is the Thunderbird, Dale. Its a Spirit; a creature of legend and an incredibly powerful one at that. Depending on who you ask it could be a God or it could be a species, sometimes both at once. Its an important symbol found in native cultures across the country."

>"Dale, I don't know how much you know about us, but were pretty ordinary people: we respect our elders, listen to the stories handed down, try to preserve our heritage. The voices of our land don't usually just show up in our dreams and talk to us. Even when they do, they don't leave specific instructions for us."

He stares at you with wide, eyes.

>"You haven't even been here two hours and someone gives you a personal message from the gods? Dale, who the hell are you?"

Joshua looks at you with as many questions as you have for him.
No. 553902 ID: 53ba34

no one special, just... the only one left to do the job.

tell him to take them both up the mesa. and help convince everyone else to do likewise.
No. 553907 ID: 57a559

A college kid who was the student of a man with too much interest in foreign cultures and got himself in deep shit with things he probably didn't even understand.
You honestly should ask who HE was, I wish I could have. But no, I got poisoned by cuttlefish man, attacked the proffesor, he drilled a hole into my head, put a leech in it, gave me a book, and told me to run.

Man in the wrong place at the wrong time.
No. 553943 ID: 9ddf68

some collage kid that got jumped by an eldrich abomination on his way back to his dorm/home so it could enslave him to kill one off his professor who then captured him, who then drilled a hole in his head and threw a leach in said hole to counter the mind toxins that enslaved him, who then gave him a book that literally holds the answers to weather or not the world will end in the next few days or not, then took that book after the eldrich creature got the professor and has been chasing him since, who then wound up here trying to figure out what to do next.

... Damn dude you could use a beer or something.
No. 553997 ID: 0bc36d

"It is not about who I am. It is about what I am carrying. It is about what my task is and who hunts me. You heard her. Even your god is afraid. I am just a pawn in this game."
No. 553998 ID: 9b57d3

Ask him for information about his religion. Who are the gods, what do they do, are there any enemies of humanity detailed in their religion? I suspect everything is relevant.
No. 554058 ID: e73b69

just say "i dunno" and nothing more
No. 554402 ID: 5acad3
File 138846541977.jpg - (30.72KB , 600x327 , 379.jpg )

You shrug in mutual confusion

"Its like you said: I'm an ordinary person, just like you. We're all wrapped up in something way bigger than us, and I wish I had some kind of idea about what to do. But from the sounds of it, even the gods are scared of what's coming. You seem like a rational guy, what do you think?"

Joshua steadies himself
>"Shit, things are way beyond rational here. If that was the Thunderbird, and not something else trying to mess with you, it sounds like he was telling you what you already planned on doing. We know that we need to fortify our position, and if we get everyone on the Mesa it shouldn't be too hard to defend. It also sounded like he wants you to fall asleep, which we both know is inevitable at this point. If there's something we're missing, you might be able to piece things together from... where ever you go when you sleep."

"And the part about taking the Book with me?"

He shifts his weight uncomfortably for a minute before replying

>"I don't know what to tell you there. That sounds incredibly dangerous, even coming from the Thunderbird. You would be taking the thing you've been working so hard to protect straight into enemy Territory. If he says you should do it, there must be a reason for doing so, but I think you're the only one who could say whether its a good idea or not."

"I'm not really sure. I can only remember going there a few times, but I was always attacked by that creature. I wonder, can Radula be here on earth and in my dreams at the same time? Hiding the Book in the library might be the last thing he expect from us."
No. 554403 ID: 5acad3
File 138846551159.jpg - (45.19KB , 378x600 , 380.jpg )

You turn your attention to Kara's mother.

"Did he say-"

Oh, looks like shes already asleep again.
Goddamn it, you never thought you'd be so envious of an old person.

>"Oh, I'm sorry about that, she's had a long day so I'm not surprised. I can't tell you how relieved I am to see that she's alright though."

"Same here, but this thing can make anyone a target, and I had to be sure."

"Actually, we left in such a hurry, I hope no one is worried about us. We better go see if everything is okay."
No. 554404 ID: 5acad3
File 138846553171.jpg - (50.55KB , 549x600 , 381.jpg )

No. 554405 ID: 5acad3
File 138846557367.jpg - (52.13KB , 600x426 , 382.jpg )

Well this is awkward.
No. 554407 ID: 53ba34

"turns out the opposite happened. she received a vision from the thunderbird. he said that the mesa would indeed be the safest place."
No. 554408 ID: e3aff6

Its ok; she was out of the hospital before things went bad. She has however had some kind of vision from this thunderbird...
No. 554437 ID: 3a1f17

I should probably be embarrassed that everybody heard me scream like a little girl and came to help but I am far too relieved that you believed in me enough to come save me when you thought I was in trouble.
No. 554440 ID: 4a20fa

That. Although maybe it's better to get Joshua to tell it.
No. 554457 ID: 9b57d3

Say that it's cool, she's fine, and she had something to tell you, but Joshua would probably explain better to everyone present.
No. 554815 ID: 5acad3
File 138872087654.jpg - (33.23KB , 504x600 , 383.jpg )

"Hey, sorry about that scream, I didn't mean to freak everyone out, but I'm glad you're all here."
"Kara's mom is okay, she must have left the hospital before the attack happened. But... well, Joshua, maybe you can explain things better."
No. 554816 ID: 5acad3
File 138872099452.jpg - (49.36KB , 600x514 , 384.jpg )

Jeff's dad steps forward and his voice booms out over the assembled crowd.

>"Okay people! Sarah's fine, she just startled us for a second. She's having a nap right now, however, she woke up briefly to tell us that she had experienced a vision: one where the Thunderbird appeared in her dream and spoke to her. According to her, there is a shit-storm headed our way, and if we're to survive it, we need to get everyone on top of the mesa while we still have time."

>"We've been lucky; we've been living in a time where conflict is far away, and even if life hasn't been easy, its been pretty peaceful here. However, things haven't always been so calm, and they say that on the eve of war, the Thunderbird would appear to us as an omen. To have a sign like that show up now is something we can't afford to ignore."

>"If you want to argue with me, fine. But if you're going to argue, I don't intend to do so down here; once we're on top the the mesa, I'll be willing to hear any complaints you might have."

>"In the mean time, I want everyone to gather anything you might need in case of an extended stay, and to prepare to defend yourselves. Everyone is to meet at the start of the trail up the mesa with food, water and clothing for several days as well as any kind of weapon you can lay your hands on. I'd also like anyone who can spare the effort to help those who can't make the climb on their own."

The crowd mutters to amongst themselves and starts to disperse. It sounds like they were impressed, if not by the vision, then at least by Joshua's appeal to them.
No. 554819 ID: 9b57d3

You should give the details Joshua left out to your friends. Also, Joshua talking about preparations goes for all of you too.

Maybe you can find some coffee.
No. 554985 ID: 5acad3
File 138881086927.jpg - (44.74KB , 600x493 , 385.jpg )

With most of the crowd headed about their tasks, your friends come forward to get more details.

>"Where's Beth?"

>"Todd is really starting to hurt, so she decided to say and keep an eye on him. We told her that if things went south, to take the Book and the ambulance and run. Dad, do you really think the Thunderbird spoke to great-aunt Sara?"

>"Jeffery, I want you to take your crowbar and go pry open the shed where the fireworks are stored-"

>"Whoa, but Dad-!"

>"Get it open and pack anything you can get your hands on into the ambulance."

Jeff hurries off with a wide eyed expression on his face.

Lynwood watches him go and mentions with a casual air-
>"You know, selling fireworks is illegal in this state."

>"Illegal to sell in your state, maybe. Not here."

The sheriff doesn't push the issue; deciding that its currently not his problem.
No. 554986 ID: 5acad3
File 138881091509.jpg - (33.52KB , 600x461 , 386.jpg )

Joshua starts filling Mary and Lynwood in on the other parts of the dream message and your conversation with him. Thankful for a brief moment of respite you take a minute to take in your surroundings.

Its dark and chilly out, but the night is busy with the sounds of residents gathering gear for the coming storm.

Actually, that's weird, you could swear that the stars were out just a few minutes ago. Where'd they go?
No. 554987 ID: 53ba34

No. 555010 ID: d315b1

We've got company. Try not to get run over.
No. 555036 ID: e3aff6

Don't have the guns out in the open in case this is those solders we have been expecting, though have them somewhere close at hand in case it is the soldiers after meeting Radula.
No. 555059 ID: 4a20fa

Get to some kind of cover. Ideally at this distance and darkness you still have some hope of watching the car before it can see you.
No. 555077 ID: 5869f6

Out of the street, dale.
No. 555199 ID: 5acad3
File 138889513356.jpg - (64.00KB , 600x492 , 387.jpg )

As you look out into the desert a sheet of lightning coruscates across the sky, revealing a seething herd of thunderheads stretching from horizon to horizon. Unmistakable in the stark black and white contrast, one... no, two squat Humvee are exposed by the sudden flash of light.
No. 555200 ID: 5acad3
File 138889515951.jpg - (51.98KB , 600x455 , 388.jpg )

You blink away the afterimage etched by the lightning and a low rumble peels through the desert air. You point towards the brick-like vehicles as they trundle towards the reservation.

"Guys! Look! The military; they sent someone!"

"Wait, what? I thought they were supposed to be containing the town, what are they doing here? Did I miss something?"

"Shit, we'll explain in a minute Josh. For now, we should get off the street before we go announcing ourselves."
No. 555201 ID: 5acad3
File 138889519576.jpg - (42.84KB , 600x327 , 389.jpg )

Together you hustle Joshua into a narrow alley between two houses and while he protests, its clear that he understands the possible danger.

You peek out from the shadows as the military vehicles pull to a stop in the middle of the road. Two national guard members disembark from the lead vehicle while four pile out of the tailing one. They stand near their cars while they assess the situation and look for potential threats. The soldiers keep their carbines at ready, but don't actually point them at anything.

Unfortunately, its too gloomy and dark to clearly make out their eyes, but they seem apprehensive about being ambushed, which is encouraging.
No. 555202 ID: 7bbaae

Call out, ask them to show their eyes. They should have flashlights or something. They're probably legit though. I mean seriously.

Be calm and reasonable about it.
No. 555203 ID: 53ba34

get behind cover. hold up the book where they can see it. and yell "is this what you are looking for?" if they freak out then they know what it is and are infected.
No. 555205 ID: 5869f6

Show yourself, slowly. We don't need them gunning you down because you startled the soldiers with guns.
Stay near the edge of a building. If there's a chance they're corrupted, you can dive to safety before they start spraying bullets.
No. 555209 ID: 57a559

Ask Josh if anyone near here has binoculars or something like that so we can have a look at their eyes. We need something analogue because we don't know for sure if the polarized light shows through digital means, so any modern camera's a local photographer hobbyist has in their tribe is going to be useless for confirmation until we test that.

I don't think they're legit, I can't even see under their hats and I don't want to risk it or have anyone come up to look.

Damn I wish we had some of those polorized contacts Mary talked about, we could have any old person walk up and do this and not have them get shot... probably. Wait no any risk is unacceptable.
No. 555244 ID: 761017

Radula's agents!

National Guard units always have to call out for attention as part of their job, but these guys are breaking SOP!
No. 555329 ID: 96b823

Get Dale binoculars, and preferably Mary as well, and get them into separate positions to try and get a look at the troops' eyes. Then have someone lob a lit flare from cover out in front of the troops' position to light them up. Hopefully Dale or Mary will get a clear look at at least a few of their eyes.
No. 555652 ID: 0b90a3
File 138906884499.jpg - (62.02KB , 600x566 , 390.jpg )

The soldiers fan out and start to mutter to one another

>"The hell is this? "
>"...Where is everyone?"
>"Thought we were meeting someone..."

The driver of the lead vehicle raises her voice.
>"That's enough, lets see if anyone is home..."

>"Attention! Residents of Starry Mesa Reservation! This is the National Guard! We're here looking for Sheriff Marcus Lynwood!"

>"So they want to talk to me?"
He passes you his shotgun and hisses at you.
>"Stay hidden, I'll try to draw them over here so you can get a better look. If things go south, take off and I'll try to stall them."

The sheriff raises his hands and slowly steps out of the shadows.
>"I'm Marcus Lynwood, I'm coming out I'm not armed. I believe I spoke to your base commander over the phone."
No. 555653 ID: 0b90a3
File 138906885588.jpg - (35.29KB , 600x305 , 391.jpg )

The leader steps into the light while her troops keep Lynwood covered. You watch silently from the shadows as she addresses the cop.

>"Sheriff? Corporal Tanner. Now, perhaps you'd care to explain why we're out here and just what the hell is going on?"
No. 555654 ID: 7bbaae

Looks like she's clean at least. Keep the shotgun pointed down. Let Lynwood do his thing until you spot any weird eyes. If you never do he can handle things on his own. If they spot you immediately tell Lynwood whose eyes you've seen and if they're clean or not.
No. 555655 ID: 53ba34

sigh and call out without coming out so they don't get too spooked "she's clean, lynwood" they will probably turn to your sound, but keep going "can explain, but please, have your friend remove his helmet so i can see his eyes, i can't do anything until then. "

if he's clean too then you can come out and explain. "it's like an infection, imagine ultra rabies. the eyes display the only visible sign of it. and even then only a few people can see it."

if the other guy isn't clean say "he's infected, get away!"
No. 555659 ID: d2995c

(I can't quite tell from looking there whether her eyes are black or not. Either way we should not refer to the book just yet.)

Don't refer to a disease (that wouldn't explain the ones who sitll talk and stuff), say a lot of the townspeople have recently started acting crazy, maybe because of some kind of cult.
No. 555660 ID: 7bbaae

Black eyes are cured folks. Cuttlefish eyes are envenomed folks.
No. 555980 ID: 0b90a3
File 138923896523.jpg - (28.42KB , 600x211 , 392.jpg )

>"When I spoke to your captain on the phone, he told me that you had lost contact with a group that was sent to recon the situation in the town right?"

>"That's right, they reported being approached by members of the local police department before going dropping out of contact. We haven't heard anything from them since. So naturally, being contacted by a member of the same department is extremely suspicious. So I'll ask you plainly, what happened to our men?"

"From what I've discovered, there's an individual in town who is using a drug of some kind to assemble a cult following. Once injected, it makes people follow his orders unquestioningly: they become violent, insane and immune to pain. We've been able to treat some of them, but its dangerous and we are running out of the supplies to do so."

Tanner narrows her eyes
>"We? Wait, who's we? Is someone else there with you?"
No. 555981 ID: 0b90a3
File 138923898511.jpg - (32.28KB , 600x338 , 393.jpg )

You put your hands up and come out slowly, reluctantly putting the shotgun down inside the alley.

"Its alright Lynwood, it looks like she's clean. We're coming out, don't shoot! "

>"Sheriff? Who the hell is this? And what is this about being 'clean'?"

>"Corporal Tanner, this is Dale Marks, he has had first hand experience with the cultist and the drug. We aren't sure why, but after being treated for exposure, he and Dr. Slate here can identify others who have been affected. Something about the eyes I'm told."

>"So wait, you say that you guys not only have some way to 'cure' these people, but also the only way to detect them? You realize how convenient that sounds right? There's something else going on here, and you two can tell us here, or you can come with us and your friend in the car."
No. 555983 ID: 7bbaae

Friend in the car? What friend in the car? Either they brought someone envenomed with them or they somehow picked up the Professor. The former is bad and will result in combat which means we should stay out of the car, but the latter is really good. Find out if if it's anyone we know. If it's not, stay out of the car.

Tell them that you were examined by a doctor and the poison changes your eyes so that you can see polarized light, and uncured people's eyes look different from cured or normal people in that respect. It's a simple scientific explanation. If they have any polarized sunglasses they can probably see for themselves. Your sclera appear black when observed properly, and uncured people have... much stranger-looking eyes.
No. 555985 ID: 53ba34

"yes it does sound convenient, but it's only useful to find infiltrators. when they are in a group they move with an obvious purpose, you wont be able to deny something is wrong with them. if you would just have your associates let me see their eyes i can go in to more detail once i know they are safe too."

be ready to dodge if one of them freaks out and attacks when told to show their eyes.
No. 555991 ID: 87e6c2

Yeah it sounds like bullshit. We KNOW it sounds like bullshit. And obviously if we were trying to bullshit you, we'd have a better story that doesn't sound like bullshit!

Yeah, the treatment isn't very convenient at all. it's kind of a reason you've got a hole in your forehead. We've, er, refined the professors' original methods, though.

Do you guys have artillery support? 'cause that would simplify this issue considerably.
No. 555993 ID: 5869f6

"You could see for yourselves, but you'd need to use glasses. Polorized light is the answer, too tell who's infected, cured, so on. Wait, what did you mean by 'friend in the car'?"
No. 556015 ID: 57a559

Ms. Tanner, I understand your skepticism, but you have people missing under extraordinary weird circumstances. A town completely out of contact, save for this sheriff, who is the only one that remains.

We were attacked by these townspeople and I believe one of Lynwood's own people as we fled in an ambulance from the hospital where this all started. If you'd like to see the damage you can. We also have other cured infected with extreme wounds and leeches inside their bodies. That's the cure. A hole was drilled in my forehead and a leech was put it. Another leech lies somewhere in the eyesocket of an injured EMT. A doctor has a wound on the nape of her neck consistent with a piercing where the drug was injected into her, and we put a leech right in there as well.

People have been hurt badly, we are in no mood to bullshit you. Now I don't know what we could possibly do to convince you that this is the truth, but really, our wounds and damages are the only thing we have as concrete proof. All of our people will tell you this story if you question them yourselves here. And please do it here, I do not want to abandon anyone at this crucial time. I do think having six people cooberate on the same story gives it some grounds. If you ask anyone here in the settlement, you will find that the only contact they have had from the town today is one poor old woman who got out before the mess all started.

Tell me miss, has the US government ever dealt with a situation where radio silence befell a group of national guardsmen? I mean, do you suspect terrorism of some sort that the entire police department is a part of? What could possibly be happening in that town that sounds rational?
No. 556287 ID: 0b90a3
File 138932892934.jpg - (49.42KB , 600x595 , 394.jpg )

"With all due respect, we know that this all sounds like bullshit. But we have no reason to deceive you. Right now we have injured people and we are working to evacuate the people of this reservation to a safer area."

"It may seem odd, but its tactical knowledge we acquired from actively fighting this threat, and truthfully it is anything but convenient. We have to make direct eye contact to spot infiltrators, and the treatment is dangerous to administer and we don't fully understand it yet."

"We... wait, what 'friend'?"
No. 556290 ID: 0b90a3
File 138932901972.jpg - (53.98KB , 600x474 , 395.jpg )

>"We picked him up walking down the highway a few miles back, wearing a police uniform and looking beat to hell. We passed a wrecked van too, but there was no one inside when we stopped to look."

"You did WHAT? Are you insane?!?!"

>"Well, he put up a bit of a fight but we got him restrained. He didn't look like he was in any condition to go anywhere, and he may have valuable information. Also, I'm not about to leave a man to die in the desert Mr. Marks. Hasn't said anything since we grabbed him, though."

"Um... corporal?"
No. 556292 ID: 0b90a3
File 138932906231.jpg - (28.92KB , 600x354 , 396.jpg )

Inside the dark, uncomfortable interior of the Humvee, the only signs of the prisoner are a pair of broken, heavy duty zip-ties and a seat smeared with blood.

No. 556293 ID: 0b90a3
File 138932908234.jpg - (45.61KB , 600x335 , 397.jpg )

You spin around as one of the guardsmen grunts with surprise. A familiar face peeks from over his shoulder, the soldier's pilfered sidearm gleams in a mangled hand.

There You Are
No. 556296 ID: 7bbaae

Get to cover! Let the soldiers handle this guy.

If there's no cover, stall him. Say if he kills you he'll never find the book.
No. 556297 ID: 53ba34

duck behind the car. dag someone if they don't move fast enough. "corporal, do you think you can get a shot? no, we cannot negotiate, and with a gun we wouldn't be able to get close enough with the cure, which i also do not have on me"
No. 556299 ID: 57a559

Tanner, shoot him now. He doesn't care about living under the drug, he just wants to give his infector what he wants under any cost.
No. 556302 ID: 5869f6

We have no choice! Once you're infected, unless you're cured, you'll stop at NOTHING to kill or capture your target.

Put him down!
No. 556304 ID: 9ddf68

oh uh Tanner in case you haven't figured it out already, he's under the drug's influence and like we said, pain doesn't really slow them down as much as it would a normal person, so if you're going to try and take this guy out, either take out his weapon or go straight for a kill, anything else will just wast ammo and probably put more people at risk.
No. 556353 ID: 4a20fa

Dive to some kind of cover and let the military do military things.
No. 556409 ID: 085d3e

Oh shit human/anthro shield I hope you have a god damn good marksman/woman tanner
No. 556415 ID: 7bbaae

Oh hey, I have an idea. Shoot the hostage. The shotgun is still loaded with nonlethal rounds. If you shoot the hostage, the cat will get hit by the impact too, giving the hostage a chance to get away and the others an opening.
No. 556742 ID: a84063

Even if Dale -hadn't- left the gun behind in the alley, and he did, that's a terrible idea.

Just call the minion's bluff. Stalking you is his primary method of finding the book. If he shoots you, he screws himself. Get behind cover immediately and let the trained professionals take care of the combat.

Maybe you can signal to Lynwood where you left the shotgun and serve as a distraction until he can acquire it.
No. 556748 ID: 0b90a3
File 138950104321.jpg - (51.80KB , 600x371 , 398.jpg )

You seize the corporal by the collar and drag her behind the leading Humvee. Redirecting his attention, the possessed cop fires off a few rounds at the remaining soldiers before they can manage to draw a bead on him. He maintains a fierce grip on his hostage, who desperately claws at his neck, gasping and struggling for air.
No. 556749 ID: 0b90a3
File 138950113568.jpg - (54.68KB , 600x349 , 399.jpg )

Fortunately, between his broken hand and controlling his captive, the cop has difficulty aiming. Under suppressing fire, and unwilling to risk shooting their comrade, The guardsmen retreat to the alleyway; one of them taking a .44 slug in his helmet, knocking him off of his feet.

Lynwood picks up the shotgun and positions himself to fire at the mouth of the alley. The beanbag rounds have less spread, and would be less dangerous, but he still has no clear shot on the attacker. He may be able to use it to knock the hostage free from the minion, but would probably have to injure him in order to do so.

Joshua hisses to him,
>"We have to stop this before it gets out of control."

>"You don't need to tell me twice."

>"No, listen. If they open up with the assault rifles, there's no telling who they might hit. The walls around here won't do much to stop the rounds those things are packing. If this goes on too long they may be forced to hose him down, we can't let that happen."
No. 556750 ID: 0b90a3
File 138950116657.jpg - (25.63KB , 600x600 , 400.jpg )

Having driven the soldiers back, Radula's minion stops firing and you take a look around.

You and Tanner are pinned behind the Humvee, but she has her AR-15 and a sidearm with her. Despite the circumstances, she is unlikely to give you one.

The minion stands in the dusty street, assessing his next move, but his captive looks like he is being strangled and may not have much time before he falls unconscious.

Soldier #2 is just outside the alley, Therese blood on his face, but he looks like he is alive and is completely dazed. He's struggling to turn over and crawl to the alley but his equipment is getting in his way, and
he would present an easy target should the shooter decide to finish him.

The remaining soldiers are positioned in the alley with Lynwood, Joshua and Mary. Lynwood has his shotgun, and Mary still has the last of the leeches in case there is a chance of saving the minion.

Jeff went towards the highway, presumably to get fireworks, but likely heard the sounds of the firefight, so who knows what he could be doing.
No. 556752 ID: 7bbaae

Seems simple. The corporal can just flank him right now for a clear shot at close range. If the cat turns, the other soldiers get a clear shot. He never had a chance. Instruct the corporal to try to cripple the cat. A shot to the shoulder or knee should make him release the hostage.

Or just shoot the gun, I guess. At this range it's a pretty decent chance of hitting it.
No. 556753 ID: 53ba34

no, go for a headshot on the cat. "cripple" is not word these things understand.
No. 556756 ID: 9ddf68

get tanner to the rear of the Humvee you're hiding behind right now and see if she can't take him down with her side arm. Even if that fails Tanner can still distract him and might even make him turn his back from the downed solder and the big nasty shotgun and line a shoot up for him.
No. 556848 ID: 4a20fa

Stay out of the way and let the military react to being shot at. That's kind of their job.
No. 556883 ID: e8483f

While the corporal flanks, let's try and talk, keep the bastard busy...
No. 557022 ID: 0b90a3
File 138958640168.jpg - (53.36KB , 600x473 , 401.jpg )

You signal to Tanner to sneak behind the Humvee and flank the cop. She nods, having the same idea. You, on the other hand, remain behind cover and try to distract him.

"Let him go Radula! I'm the one you're after!"

We could care less about you, or this creature. All we desire is the Book. Give us the Book and he need not die. Rather, he, and all of you would see the unjust laws of this universe be unbound, and exist forevermore in an eternal, infinite nightmare/paradise. Soon, the Cacophony will come; it is the orgy of teeth that will rend those that imprison you in causality and free you of your petty mortality.

"That sounds great Raddie. Real solid pitch you have there. I'll take a pamphlet if you've got one,"

While Radula is ranting, Tanner peeks from between the parked vehicles and draws her Beretta. She takes aim and fires, putting two rounds into his center mass.
No. 557024 ID: 0b90a3
File 138958642829.jpg - (73.83KB , 585x600 , 402.jpg )

Reacting with an eerie, insect-like speed, the minion half-turns and shoots three times, one round catching Tanner in the chest-plate of her tactical vest. She ducks back behind the wheel of the Humvee and gasps as if she's had the wind knocked out of her.
No. 557025 ID: 0b90a3
File 138958646471.jpg - (60.37KB , 600x398 , 403.jpg )

By refusing to present himself as a target, the cop's arm ends up crossed over the body of his hostage. The soldier seizes his chance and sinks his teeth into the shooters wrist, still bloody from the zip-ties. Neither the gaping bullet wounds nor the bite seem to phase him, but the minion reacts with frustration as he tries to free his gun arm from his victim's mouth.
No. 557026 ID: 53ba34

Rush em!
No. 557028 ID: a87e3a

Welp he's been shot in the chest, no way to save him now. Yet, he's still going. The venom must make them immortal. That is troublesome to say the least.

Well Dale you're the closest person to him, get in there and get that gun.
No. 557032 ID: 9ddf68

or he has yet to bleed out

anyways is he open now from a shot from Lynwood and his shotgun? It may have bean bag rounds in it but they have knockdown and right now that could be very useful.
No. 557036 ID: d2995c

...I really hope that the venom in the cop is diluted enough not to spread to the soldier who is biting him.

>Welp he's been shot in the chest, no way to save him now. Yet, he's still going.
From what I hear, the immediate stopping power of most bullet wounds is mostly psychological, as organ damage and blood loss take a bit longer to do their thing.
No. 557045 ID: 761017

>Welp he's been shot in the chest, no way to save him now. Yet, he's still going. The venom must make them immortal. That is troublesome to say the least.
The body normally goes into systemic shock after a gut wound like that; that brings down the target faster than the physical damage.
The venom is suppressing the body's reaction entirely, forcing it to continue functioning.
The venom must be a neurotransmitter chemical and physical stimulant!
No. 557066 ID: 4a20fa

Argh, not only is Radula an unspeakable horror from beyond reality, he can't use idioms correctly.

Wait it out. His choices are to advance into fire or bleed out.
No. 557215 ID: 0b90a3
File 138966963776.jpg - (49.41KB , 600x367 , 404.jpg )

With the shooter distracted trying to control his hostage, Lynwood peeks from cover. He takes aim with the shotgun and there is a blast of thunder.
No. 557216 ID: 0b90a3
File 138966965211.jpg - (62.96KB , 600x577 , 405.jpg )

The beanbag round slams into the cops leg right below the kneecap, scything it out from underneath him. Radula's minion looses his balance and topples over with his hostage still locked in a death grip on top of him.
No. 557217 ID: a87e3a

...at this point I suspect the soldiers will be able to advance and do whatever the hell they want. The one being grappled can even use some of his training to break free and disarm his opponent.
No. 557232 ID: 9ddf68

if someone thinks they could get a head shot go for it, if not this may be the best chance we get at getting close to the cop. still have at least one person covering whoever is advancing at all times incase the cop tries something.
No. 557271 ID: 53ba34

dale, tell them they have to go for the head, unless it's instantly lethal they don't go down until they bleed out.
No. 557312 ID: a84063

I'm pretty sure we're out of leeches. (I don't remember).

That means we have 2 options. The sure bet is to use lethal force. Just shoot him in the head. There is no saving him and I'm sure he'd rather be dead than mentally enslaved to destroy all of existence.

The almost sure-fire way to get more people killed is to try to trap him. They seem to be as strong as 10 men, so subduing him isn't an option. Therefore, the only way to do this is if there is something akin to a cellar or cop-car that cannot be opened from the inside.

Even then, there's no guarantee that he can't just break out with his super-strength.

I vote killing him.
No. 557346 ID: a87e3a

We have one unused leech left, and the potential to surgically remove one from Mary.
No. 557482 ID: a84063

Well, then that's a horse of a different color!
No. 557502 ID: 5869f6

Put him down! Don't let the bastard get another shot off!
No. 557584 ID: 696ca9

As much as I would want to save Officer Fuzzles, he's too damaged. He'd probably die after we remove the toxin, anyways.
I say we kill him.
No. 557718 ID: a84063


I would have said the same thing about Todd after he had his eye taken out and his kneecap smashed. Now that that's all over, I'm glad we didn't.
No. 557727 ID: 0b90a3
File 138984415270.jpg - (51.45KB , 600x374 , 406.jpg )

"He's down!"

The waiting troops advance out of the alleyway; two of them moving to secure the hostage while the third helps their dazed ally to his feet.
No. 557728 ID: 0b90a3
File 138984416516.jpg - (36.75KB , 600x347 , 407.jpg )

But before they can close the distance, the cop wrenches his arm free with a violent crack. His arm flings out and unleashes two final shots before the slide locks back.
No. 557729 ID: 0b90a3
File 138984419821.jpg - (52.09KB , 600x503 , 408.jpg )

One of the rounds finds its mark, and a guardsman bellows in agony. He kneels in the street, trying to staunch the blood flow as a dark stain quickly spreads down his pants leg.
No. 557730 ID: a87e3a

Good thing we have Beth and Mary to provide advanced medical care. Dale, go and help by putting pressure on the wound. First responders are very important.

Also mention that we can still cure the cat, if they can hold him still until the others arrive with the cure.
No. 557734 ID: 87e6c2

Before you do anything, tell Tanner 'I told you so'. After the cop is securely dead or incapacitated, call out the doctors to help the wounded soldier.
No. 557736 ID: 53ba34

no we can't, he will die instantly. the poison is the only thing keeping them on their feet.

attack harder. hopefully tanner is covered and pincer formation.

put your belt above the wound and tighten it to stop the bleeding. then get your trained medical professionals in here.
No. 557740 ID: a87e3a

Let's let the medical professionals decide if he'll die or not.
No. 557763 ID: 9ddf68

oh fucking hell he hit an artery, alright someone get the damn cop under control and someone else go help the wounded. Once the crazy cop has been dealt with send someone to grab on of the medics, preferably Mary since she's actually a doctor.
No. 557818 ID: 5869f6

Shitfuck, if we don't help him he's going to bleed out.

And put that fucker down already!
No. 557982 ID: 0b90a3
File 138992808475.jpg - (56.62KB , 353x600 , 409.jpg )

The standing guardsman rushes the prone figures and pulls the hostage out of danger.

>"Target secure! Don't you fucking blink you asshole!

>"What now? What do I do with him, sir?"
No. 557985 ID: 0b90a3
File 138992824418.jpg - (61.25KB , 600x418 , 410.jpg )

With the situation secure, you rush to the aid of the stricken trooper, taking off your borrowed belt and tying a tourniquet above his wound. Dr Slate hurries over, tells you where to put pressure and makes sure that your amateur first-aid doesn't do more damage.

>"Okay, keep pressure on that, no matter what."

"Got it, you check on the others!"

>"See if you can get it elevated. And check if he has any of that quick clot stuff!"
No. 557986 ID: 0b90a3
File 138992829445.jpg - (48.63KB , 600x411 , 411.jpg )

Still at gunpoint, Radula's minion lays in the dust with a smug look on his face. Mary kneels down and looks him over, looking concerned.

>"How is he?"


>"Is is going to be okay?"

>"I don't know, Lynwood. He's lost a lot of blood, and has two bullets stewing around in his guts, but it doesn't smell like he's gone septic. The only reason he's still conscious is because of the poison. He's going to need surgery and a blood transfusion if he's going to survive the night."

>"So, what I'm asking is: do we treat him for the poison?"

>"No, what you're asking is, do we cure him, or do we kill him? I'll tell you: If we do treat him, he will probably go into shock within minutes, and there is no guarantee we will be able save him. But as a doctor I can't agree with killing when its within my ability to treat him, even if its convenient for us."

>"I know. I'll abide by whatever you think is the best option. But, if it comes to it, let me handle it."

No. 557989 ID: a87e3a

The poison is keeping him from going into shock? Use that to your advantage and cure him AFTER surgery. Just make sure to keep him really really secure. Like, tie him up/down in a way that there is absolutely no way he can get out of. Real handcuffs for instance.

Actually I wonder if you can put him under anesthesia?
No. 558008 ID: 57a559

Please remind the soldier that the infected do not care about their lives and will not respond to threats, because the poison works like a radio to its master, and as weird as that sounds, it's true, and his master does not care about this one's life. There's nobody in there but its Master, the man in there doesn't know what's going on at all, he's not in control. In fact, it is entirely probable that we do not have the time to even attempt surgery, because we probably have a mob the size of a city coming to this location right now. Just as strong but not injured at all. We will not survive a full scale conflict in these lands, we have to get to the Mesa now. We have to evacuate everyone, NOW.

Mary would have to make use of improvised equipment to help keep this man alive, the poison, the risk that would bring to her own life and these other people nearby, in a not sterilized location while under the stress of having to deal with an approaching mob and a patient that no drug will probably subdue? He will move around, jerk around, his INSIDES will pulse and beat and twitch like he was being cut into fully awake. You will be doing this in a damaged ambulance at full fucking speed. You will be playing Surgeon Simulator 2013's later levels, only you can't just take out all the organs and just plop the new ones in there and be done with it. You'll be getting own bullets, opening veins to connect yellow to yellow, etc.

Is that really within your capability Mary? Are you a surgeon? I thought you were a different type of doctor? Even if you the practice of a surgeon how shaky are your hands right this moment, Mary? I do not want to insult your abilities, because they are amazing and useful, but can you do it right now under these conditions?
No. 558014 ID: a87e3a

Don't say anything about our plans within earshot of the cat.
No. 558053 ID: 4a20fa

Do we actually have the means to save him? Is the ambulence sufficiently equipped?

If so, try. Hopefully the leech will be re-usable.
No. 558054 ID: a87e3a

I just thought of a possible problem. What if Radula poisoned this guy in a way that leaves no wound to stick the leech into? Like he did with Dale?

We don't have the tools to drill a hole into his head to leech the poison out that way. If there's no wound, then we have to kill him.
No. 558057 ID: 21a805

This man is, sadly, nothing short of a rabid dog; very little chance of survival (0.008%), and a danger to everyone around him.
We need to put him down. I think this is the most humane and safe thing we can do at this point.
No. 558062 ID: 5869f6

Put him down, we need to move everyone to the Mesa, now!

Any who can carry a rifle, grab one and watch toward the city. I don't doubt they kmow where we are.
No. 558112 ID: a84063

If Mary really thinks it's within her power to save him, we should at least let her try.

Like I said before, we risked a lot to save Todd, who was also rather jacked up -- and we didn't even know the leeches would work then. This guy isn't really any less worthy of saving.
No. 558141 ID: 8eb1e2

If we have the means to do so we should perform the surgery to remove the bullets, but without putting a leech in first. The poison is the only thing keeping him going right now, so we need to do that first anyway.
If the surgery goes well then we can think about curing him. If not... then the problem will have resolved itself.
No. 558142 ID: 8eb1e2

I just realized another important point of consideration. The military know this guy was acting crazy, but they might still be skeptical of this 'cultist poison' thing. If we can cure him it will provide strong evidence that what we're saying is true (or close enough to it).
No. 558146 ID: 0b90a3
File 139001855089.jpg - (43.29KB , 600x341 , 412.jpg )


They turn their attention to you and, keeping pressure on the tourniquet, you motion with your head towards the hostage.
Still prone.




He slams a boot into the cop's side.

"HEY! That's enough!"

It is unfortunate that he chose to stand in our way. Understand that we do not come here to kill, Our only desire...

>"Shut up."
No. 558147 ID: 0b90a3
File 139001860487.jpg - (35.89KB , 474x600 , 413.jpg )

>"Mary, you think you can save him?"

>"With Beth's help, yeah, I think we can get him stabilized. I could have been killed when I went berserk but you guys managed to save me, I won't let someone else die without at least trying to help them."

Lynwood looks at the weapon in his hands.
>"Make it quick then. He knows where we are, won't be long before he gets here."

The doctor does another examination of her patient, this time noticing a suspicious black liquid in his ear canal.

>"Hah! Knew it! You like to target sites with direct connections to the brain, don't you?"

The minion sneers
A noble waste of effort, soon we will be here in numbers you cannot hope to stop.
No. 558148 ID: 0b90a3
File 139001864045.jpg - (50.88KB , 600x530 , 414.jpg )

She uncaps the last leech from its vial and drops it into the open wound. The cop writhes weakly as the annelid goes to work. He groans and opens his eyes.

He speaks slowly, his breathing pained and his expression confused.
>" Arggh... where..... ffffffuuuuuccckkkk...... Lyn? Wha-?"

Lynwood kneels beside him and takes his hand.
>"Don't try to talk. Its going to be okay, Ray."

>"Lyn...what happened? ..I feel like shit."

>"Well, you look like shit too, nothing new there."

>"Fuck... you.. too...buddy."

No. 558152 ID: b8ceae

>But before they can close the distance, the cop wrenches his arm free with a violent crack.

Dislocated or broken jaw. Out of everything that could make an audible crack it's by far the weakest link. Passing out from shock is a likely result.

What is this, a movie? Don't be lazy. Check his vitals. His muscles are not pudding, and his neck is not made of balsa wood. Snapping necks is incredibly difficult, and not something you accidentally do with one arm while trying to get unstuck.
No. 558155 ID: a84063

He's dead, Jim.

Let's just be glad we saved someone and haven't had to stoop to putting anyone down yet.
No. 558162 ID: 57a559

Hey, tell Mary to collect a sample of that black brain venom goo.
We might be able to create an antivenom if she's able to analyze it and not have to rely on the leeches.
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