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680125 No. 680125 ID: bfb318

I was sleeping nice and tight up until my phone blares a gong-like ringtone at me.

My roommate, Penn, has been studying way too much. Even for a belenos, she's going to split her own brain in half! So I typed out this long winded email to her benefactor asking to take her out for just one day to get her to relax. I probably spent the second half of this month just coming up with the words, because unless I make the best argument he's ever heard, he always just goes 'no.'

That gong sound is Arza's email tone.
Expand all images
>>
No. 680126 ID: bfb318
File 144618026793.png - (133.61KB , 800x800 , 2.png )
680126

From: Arza
To: Roxie
ok


He didn't even capitalize the O!

But now, I take Penn out for a night. Halloween is today, and considering we live around one of the largest school campuses, there's sure to be a lot of parties and whatever going on.

I spent so long trying to convince Arza to let her slack off for like a single night, I hadn't given any thought to what to do tonight.

God, what time is - it's 5 AM!
>>
No. 680127 ID: 2ccbb3

Dance your way to breakfast in a tank top. Not like anyone other than Penn's going to see you...
>>
No. 680129 ID: f56624

>>680126
We're gonna get penn laid.
>>
No. 680132 ID: 211d83

Its Halloween so you figure out two costumes and then you go hit parties and get Penn to loosen up a bit and enjoy herself. A few drinks and some attention from a cute guy or two and she should "relax" nicely.

Have you put any thought into costume ideas? Or have any materials to make some? You could just go party but half the fun is dressing up in something.

Luckily you are two young ladies so you can just wear some semi revealing clothing and call it a sexy-something costume if you want.

Penn is a big nerd right? Are there any tv shows she likes or movies or games you could get costume ideas from?

How about a dranei from warcraft? Space goat joke anyone? That game is still probably going these days.
>>
No. 680133 ID: 73c49c

uhhh, who sends texts at 5 in the morning. well since were up we might as well get breakfast.
>>
No. 680135 ID: 55c4cf

drink vodka
>>
No. 680136 ID: 90f3c0

Get some more sleep if you can, you have a long night of partying ahead of you.

Costumes are the most important thing about Halloween. As soon as Penn is up, drag her along for breakfast and shopping.
>>
No. 680157 ID: 0867d4

Ok, I assume there are no lectures today, so that'll damp down her objections. Hm... What time does she normally get up? We don't want to wake her up early, since she probably needs more sleep than she gets. But it'd be rude to sneak into her room and just change her alarm or whatever, so make a note to her saying Arza said she can have the day off, she can sleep in for a while and later you'll both go have fun, and stick on the inside of her door.

Then either get the rest of your sleep yourself, or if you can't, go look up what's on around campus. Look for things that'll be on later, because you'll need to go shopping early, before all the good costumes are gone!
>>
No. 680158 ID: 88960e

Now the hard part is getting Penn to actually take the day off you earned her.

And then we gotta find costumes! Might need to head out early for that before all the other chumps who waited till the last day clear everything out.

>>680133
Crazy mad scientists who never sleep.
>>
No. 680179 ID: bfb318
File 144622439016.png - (122.65KB , 800x800 , 3.png )
680179

>Get Penn to meet guys
That'd be something! Maybe if the really hit it off, Penn will let him shake his hand without her freaking out about it. I'm still trying for a hug. Or anything.

>Have you put any thought into costume ideas? Or have any materials to make some? You could just go party but half the fun is dressing up in something.
Yeah, I'm not gonna be partying with or as one of those lame students who dress up "as a student" or for the daring lamers, "teachers."

>Drink vodka
Later for sure.

>Who sends texts at 5 in the morning?
The dorklord that rules over the lesser dorks like Penn.
>>
No. 680180 ID: bfb318
File 144622442126.png - (149.02KB , 800x800 , 4.png )
680180

Actually, for all I know about his location, it could be 6 in the evening for him. I've tried to ask him about his stuff, but the more I pry the more he starts deflecting and saying I wouldn't care. I'd want to press harder, but it is true, I only got interested because I felt like he didn't want to tell me.

>Dance your way to breakfast in a tank top. Not like anyone other than Penn's going to see you
Yeah, least if I close the curtains or wear too much, but Penn's the only one who cares in the way she cares.

Too early for dancing, though. It's too early for anything except sleeping or prepping equipment for jungle hunting, and only one of those activities are relevant to my current life.

I guess she doesn't mind as much as she used to, though, so I still do it. I usually sleep in later, but since I'm already up, and since I got the news, I'm staying up. A long night of partying will keep me up just fine, too!

>What to dress up as?
I have no idea, I tried hard but I'm still surprised Arza accepted. For Penn, I dunno, it'll be tough enough to get anything for her, we'll just have to go to the store and see what's there. There's enough geeks at this school though that's there's probably a good selection of nerdy costumes for her.

Cept, a lot of them are probably sexy variations, and as much as I'd love to see her loosen up in one of those, I feel like I already spent my luck on Arza's 2 letter response.

As for me, I can probably find something. Hell, I was just thinking I could use my tribal clothes I have as a keepsake, and call that a costume for the day.

Anyways, I look up my phone to see about giving Penn a message for when she's up.

Wait a second.
>>
No. 680181 ID: bfb318
File 144622443451.png - (175.85KB , 800x800 , 5.png )
680181

She is up! Her light is on!

"Penn?!"
>"Ahhh Roxie what have I told you about knocking?!"
"Seriously, there's no reason you gotta be embarrased about whatever you're doing in - are you studying?"
>"Yes? I always study at this time, it's quiet."
I take it back. I'll knock at this hour so you can close down your books and put up a video game or something. Also, I got Arza to get you the day off!"
>"Why?"
"..... to take the day off. You know about taking the day off, right? Let's get you some breakfast and then go shopping." I just had a little bit, but by the time I can drag her off, I'll be hungry again.
>"Roxie, I have 3 tests and lots of quizzes in a few days!"
>>
No. 680183 ID: 211d83

Listen you have been studying straight for weeks now. Having some down time will only help you out. It will give your brain time to process and sort everything you have learned and you will do better on the tests because of it.

One day of socializing will not hurt your grades Penn.

That and getting out and meeting people will be good for your studies. At this rate the only AI's you will be able to build will have horrible people skills because you did not know how to teach them any.
>>
No. 680185 ID: 88960e

>>680181
C'mon you doof, days away is days away. And you study intelligence. You gotta know minds function better when they get variety and breaks. So in a way, taking a day off is preparing!

As a last resort: Arza said so. You gotta do what he says which means right now you gotta do what I say.
>>
No. 680186 ID: 0867d4

To save time, you could just show her the message you wrote for Arza. I'm sure it has all the relevant data points of relaxing, recuperating, digesting information, exercising parts of the brain that aren't being used, helping with perspective, et cetera et cetera.

A party is probably too intimidating for Penn, but maybe some quieter gathering like a movie showing or going out to eat seasonal treats or the like would be good. Actually... how far away is your hive from here, Roxie? I'm sure they have a bunch of kids who will be going out for trick or treating and such. If you and Penn went with them, she'd feel like she's being useful and it would be fun without being too stressful. Penn will probably still worry about dealing with kids but she'll find them less threatening than adults, and at least get some pleasure out of them being cute. Plus since they're your hive, if you get on with Penn they're more likely to get on well with her.
>>
No. 680187 ID: ea0ad9

>"Roxie, I have 3 tests and lots of quizzes in a few days!"
Taking the day off is good to relax the mind and allow your studies to be that much more effective. Probably, sounds like something that could convince her.
>>
No. 680194 ID: 5ad4a7

>>680181
Do you even need to study this much, Penn? You're super smart.
>>
No. 680198 ID: ad936f

>>680187
That need sounds like something Belenos would've bred out.
>>
No. 680201 ID: bfb318
File 144623493409.png - (174.52KB , 800x800 , 6.png )
680201

"Penn, here's the message! Arza literally said it's 'ok'. Rest is important too, and you have done none of it!"
>"I feel fine, though, really. I don't think Arza knows about my incoming tests and all that. Did you include that in when you asked?"
"...no, and he doesn't need to know! Also, you said a few days, not, like, tonight."
"It covers so much info, though."
"Don't you study intelligence anyway, and wanna know how people react to relaxation? And interaction? You said something about emulating how people are, but you act more like a machine than the things you apparently make!"
>"I don't know... these tests are important."
"Then get some rest. If you make your AI's like you are now, they're just gonna be soulless machines with no social skills!"
>"That's.... a good point, I guess, but there have been belenos who are able to non stop study for days! I study social skills a lot too."
"Books are no subsitute for experience, Penn! Stop being a huge nerd for like, 10 hours. You're so smart, I doubt you'll need to study."
>"Okay, Roxie, but just because I still owe you for finding my class notes."
".... fine, I'll let you cash that favor in on this, but that means you gotta go where I go!"
"Uhhh.... well, okay. Do you want to do?"
>Get you a costume, and then..."
>>
No. 680202 ID: bfb318
File 144623495309.png - (124.69KB , 800x800 , 7.png )
680202

>Actually... how far away is your hive from here, Roxie? I'm sure they have a bunch of kids who will be going out for trick or treating and such.
A lot of my hive's kids are spread out getting a handle on modern life, but my hive's central location is smack in the middle of a raw forest where the only trick or treating that happens is tricking something twice our size, and treating ourselves to a kill.

I like to visit when I can, but even if it wasn't hundreds of miles away, it's way too dangerous for Penn.

There's so many nerds on campus, there probably are some parties that are more mellow. On the other hand, I spent two days putting on an investigator hat and interrogating a lot of people to find out who had Penn's notes, and if this is gonna be how she repays the favor, I'm going to make it count.

There's enough partying on campus that I can probably decide what kind of party to go to and find how where that party takes place.
>>
No. 680203 ID: 67d5dc

>I have 3 tests and lots of quizzes in a few days!
What kind of monster schedules midterms the week after Halloween? Its like they want you to fail.
>>
No. 680204 ID: bb78f2

Get her away from Frat boys and any sketchey drug parties so she never gets scarred forever. We NEED lists, hell, she needs lists, I bet she loves them!

It's probably better she doesn't meet a guy tonight actually, you'd PROBABLY would have to make it a threesome+ or something to guide her through and keep her calm. All girls party might be best unless she actually is into girls.
>>
No. 680205 ID: 211d83

Oh man there are so many types of Halloween parties to choose from. Probably want to avoid any that will turn into a drunken mess early.

Honestly in my experience the best way to party on Halloween is to start at one party and keep moving from party to party until you find the best one.

Hit up a haunted house or two along the way and go to any costume contests so you can see the best costumes.

At a college campus Halloween should be more like a fair than anything.
>>
No. 680228 ID: fc0f00

You want a nerd party, I think. There's probably some sort of games society holding video game tournaments, or film/show/cartoon club having a movie showing and mixer or something, and dressing up as their favorite characters. It'll be lively enough, but not too rowdy.

You will have to go to and fro, though, and there'll be a lot of people out getting drunk. Does Penn have a little concealable tazer or mace or something she can carry around?
>>
No. 680233 ID: 12b273

>On the other hand, I spent two days putting on an investigator hat and interrogating a lot of people to find out who had Penn's notes
The mystery of the notes thief? Egad.

Did someone need the edge that badly, or are these belenos nerds so concerned with ranking they'll try to sabotage each other.

>pick kinds of parties
Let's avoid anything that will make Penn nervous and just retreat into her nerd-shell, making her even harder to get out next time. Avoid the parties that are just an excuse to get as drunk as possible, or to hook up.

Maybe stuff run by clubs or academic societies / associations instead of frats and sororities.

Something with some kind of theme might be easier for her to fit into. A haunted house would be neat, maybe somewhere with party games? (A group activity would break ice easier, and games are puzzles for her to try and be good at in a way she's probably more familiar with than trying to be social on purpose).

Not sure how the campus population is biased, but you've probably noticed Penn is more comfortable socially around aliens? Maybe avoid anything too Belenos heavy.
>>
No. 680245 ID: f61b8d

Do you know of any kinds of interests that Penn has, outside of studying? Interests she used to have, basically? :P
>>
No. 680275 ID: bfb318
File 144625755371.png - (106.23KB , 800x800 , 8.png )
680275

"I'll think about it, Penn, but first, we've got to get a costume!"
>Er... I dunno about that?"
"Just try it."

>Do you know of any kinds of interests that Penn has?
Well, yeah, that's -

>Outside of studying?
No.

I said she couldn't have done nothing in her childhood that wasn't studying, but she insisted that was the only thing worth saying.

>Missing notes?
Turns out some teacher picked them up and stored them, then forgot about them so by the time I asked, he said he didn't have 'em.

>I have 3 tests and lots of quizzes in a few days!
They're not even midterms, they're like, special super high classes that just constantly make people do things completely differently than lower classes.

Thankfully, on the day of halloween, a lot of places are open early. We get ready to go and show up at one of the first places. There's at least a couple around, but this one's closest.
>>
No. 680276 ID: bfb318
File 144625756741.png - (203.40KB , 800x800 , 9.png )
680276

>Get her away from Frat boys and any sketchey drug parties so she never gets scarred forever.
Yeah, she'd get eaten alive at some of the parties I might go to. I want to push her comfort zone some, but finding the right place for that is tough. Maybe some place with light drinking. Who am I kidding, there's going to be lots of drinking just about anywhere, difference is if it's just a few guys getting smashed or just a group of people doing keg stands.

>Hit up multiple
Yeah, there's a good idea! Probably a good mix between decent parties, and she's given an escape route too in case, I dunno, someone offers her a drink.

>Video game tournaments/movie showings
Dunno if she's any good at video games, but movie goings could be good after hours.

>Penn is more comfortable socially around aliens?
Yeah, she seems on edge when she's with unfamiliar belenos sometimes. Then with neumono, she has no idea how to behave, like we'll bite her if offended.

"See anything you like?" I ask, after about 10 minutes."
>"They're all, um... kind of skimpy."
"Yeah?"
>"I'm already going to be shy enough without showing parts of my torso!"
"Look, I guarantee you that within sight, there'll be some girl with even less on. In fact if it makes you feel better, I'll be that one."
>"That... doesn't! Not even a little bit, Roxie!"
"Well, fine, there's others!"
>>
No. 680277 ID: bfb318
File 144625757796.png - (159.16KB , 800x800 , 10.png )
680277

"Look, there's some Belenos costumes. Here's the ol' Sapphire emperor, for instance. Shit, you don't even need the ears. You know about him, right?"
>"...........N... no. I mean I know him, but I won't go as him! H... he's a he, too, r-right?"
"Doesn't have to be. You could pretend the Sapphire Emperor was a girl, okay?"
>>
No. 680278 ID: bfb318
File 144625759564.png - (114.12KB , 800x800 , 11.png )
680278

She gets up close to me and lowers herself a foot or so.

"Roxie, I'd... could you bring me back to the sexy uniforms? I'd rather see those."

Is she seriously putting the hover hand over my shoulders??
>>
No. 680282 ID: 2ccbb3

Penn, buy a lich costume: combine Vampire costume with Mummy Costume and bring a broomstick.

Roxie, buy a feral costume: dry your fur badly and combine with a Rabies Dog mask.
>>
No. 680283 ID: 12b273

>>680278
Doesn't look so tough, but I guess he's pretty scary if you're a scardy sheep!

>Is she seriously putting the hover hand over my shoulders??
Fluff up fur so the hover turns into a touch! Shoulder touching, oh my.

>I'd... could you bring me back to the sexy uniforms? I'd rather see those.
That's the spirit! *Drag her along*

>>680280
Pffff.

Although a princess dress is actually something we could probably get her into.
>>
No. 680285 ID: fc0f00
File 144625907488.png - (299.25KB , 800x650 , LETITGOOOOOO.png )
680285

Don't worry, Roxie, I had a great idea for another character Penn could dress up as!

See, she's this ancient alien royal who was born with special qualities, and she has to conceal them from others who would be afraid of her because of them, so she ends up hiding away and avoiding contact with everyone, and eventually runs away from her original home to a place where she can shed the distant, detached persona she built up to conceal her real feelings, and she has this crystalline blue color theme and...

... ah, forget it. None of that suits Penn at all.
>>
No. 680291 ID: bb78f2

You could just get her a lab coat and spatter some fake blood on her, pretend she's a mad scientist instead of a good scientist.

Should be within her comfort and humor zone while pushing it. It's also expressing herself.
>>
No. 680292 ID: 0ed6e9

could go boring and try and find her a lab coat and some goggles, let her be a mad scientist or something. Or is that stereotype with belenos seeing how the lost a lot of there history to super science or something.
>>
No. 680294 ID: 12b273

>>680283
( " >>680280 " should be " >>680285 " due to post-jumping shenanigans)
>>
No. 680301 ID: 211d83

She must have some cultural hang up about that costume. Maybe the old emperor is a distant relative or something.

Whatever the reason go check out some other costumes.
>>
No. 680303 ID: bfb318
File 144626364177.png - (96.37KB , 800x800 , 12.png )
680303

>Make it a touch instead of a hover
I can't fluff up my fur quite enough, but I move slightly into it.

>"Ah sorry!"
"Give me a break. I can't believe you hovered! Anyway, how about a mad science costume?"
>"I.. I dunno. You know how I feel about old belenos science, right?"
"Yeah, and people would freak out if there was a zombie too, but it's halloween, that's what the whole holiday is about! Pretend-scares. And I guess candy too? I don't know. What about like, a mummy with vampire teeth but you also have a broomstick?"
>"Uh, that's kind of common, isn't it?"
"That's not a problem, though! Cept they're all sold out, so the only ones left are sexy types." I pause. I have no idea why she didn't object! She might actually do it. "So I saw either that, or mad science gear, a nice looking princess uniform, or... wellll, it's reallly expensive to get a custom made thing done same day, so it's probably just those three. That, or we gotta go to a new place."
>"Uuuhm... how... how about you just choose to make this simple?"

>Feral costume for Roxie
Yeah, considering I only have so much allowance, I'm gonna save a buck and just go as my tribal self.

As for Penn...

(Princess costume as per posted picture:)
>>680285

http://strawpoll.me/5880338
>>
No. 680305 ID: fc0f00

Have you ever just outright, directly told her that she can touch you if she feels like it? If you haven't, maybe do it now. If you end up going somewhere loud, she might need to tap you on the shoulder or something to get your attention at some point. Or you her, for that matter.
>>
No. 680393 ID: 8111b6

Mix and match, I'd say. All those premade things usually have a little junk and a little good stuff.

Mad science is too nerdy, I'd say. I thought we were trying to get her away from nerdiness for one night.

>>680305
That might be a good idea to mention, at least in the context of parties and such.
>>
No. 680481 ID: bfb318
File 144634814441.png - (84.85KB , 800x800 , 13.png )
680481

"I think that princess getup would look good on you. Really good."
>"Uh... I- that is, if you say so."
"I did and I'm probably right. Go put it on."

I wait for what is a long time. I offer to help as usual, but as expected, she says she's got it.

>Say she can touch you
I have! It's been a huge pain just to get her to shake my hand, and even that was incredibly awkward. I want more than that, I want hugs, backrubs, whatever, something that makes her not seem like some cold robot!

I wait a while longer, and she finally speaks up.

>"I don't know about this, Roxie."
"Well at least let me see it."
>"Uh... I, um, even if you like it, I think it'll stand out too much."
"If you don't come out here, I'm coming in there, clothed or not."
>>
No. 680482 ID: bfb318
File 144634815747.png - (165.00KB , 800x800 , 14.png )
680482

"Holy crap you look nice. Like you could wear that at a place that isn't a costume party nice."
>"Nooo, this is, I mean, it's comfy and seems good, but the material is cheap and people would notice."
"What a load, but whatever, it's a costume party tonight! You gotta lose the huge Arza glasses though, and let me help put it on straight."

>"Oh," someone from behind me says.
>>
No. 680484 ID: bfb318
File 144634820079.png - (191.37KB , 800x800 , 15.png )
680484

>"Is the teacher's pet dressing up as his little princess, now?" this new girl says.
"What? Is she talking at us? Who's this bitch, Penn?"
>"ER, that's, well, one of psychology majors - "
>"That's right." She has the nerve to interrupt. "Major. As in, real psychology student. Then Penn here comes in and acts like she's tough shit."
"By making your grades look like you took a shit on the teacher's desk?"
>>
No. 680485 ID: bfb318
File 144634821913.png - (87.81KB , 800x800 , 16.png )
680485

It looks like I hit a nerve.

>"You're one to talk, considering your parents were probably spear chucking dirty animals. Penn, you know this place doesn't allow pets, but at least put it on a leash."

She hits mine back pretty hard.

>"Roxie, she just.. she's harmless." Penn whispers to me.
>>
No. 680487 ID: f56624

>>680485
control your potent lesbian urge to hatefuck her.
do it for her.
do it for pen.
>>
No. 680489 ID: 12b273

>You're one to talk, considering your parents were probably spear chucking dirty animals.
Lean in close and do the scary Rokoa smile thing.

I'm afraid you're mistaken. My parents weren't the last spear chucking savages, that was me. Tell me, what do you know about the psychology of dirty, animals, when they're challenged?
>>
No. 680494 ID: fc0f00

Alright, since you're studying psychology, maybe you can answer me a little question. Hypothetical scenario: a couple of people are out making preparations to enjoy a holiday, when someone comes up and sets about trying to worsen their day without any provocation. What, in your expert academic opinion, do you think might be driving that sort of behavior?

Now me, considering that this person also up and starts loudly spouting some racial slurs regarding the species who owns this world she has been graciously allowed to visit, the species who she is surrounded by every day, I think maybe it's suicidal tendencies.

Alternate retort: We're all animals. Some of us are just better trained than others, and those are the ones that can act like they're adults making efforts to further their education, rather than teenagers clawing at each other to make themselves feel bigger.
>>
No. 680498 ID: 88e46e

>>680487
We already asked, and Roxie ain't gay.

"That's funny, the spear-chucking dirty animal and her friend get better grades than you."
>>
No. 680499 ID: 5ad4a7

"You must really have a crush on danger, what with how much you're flirting with it."
>>
No. 680500 ID: bb78f2

>>680485
Right, and you're great great grand parents nuked an entire planet with tech that made your Mom so scared she embraced the spear. Oh, no, wait, my primative brain thought she was embracing the spear, turns out she pole dances to pay for your college. I'll be sure to stop by and put a dollar in her g-string so that you can continue your studies and then maybe you can learn enough about the brain to cure yours of how to stop being such a bitch.
>>
No. 680501 ID: 211d83

Wait a minute is this coming from the species that up until a generation or two ago was also living in villages and wielding spears?

Oh and why did this happen again? Oh right its because you blew your planet up and spent the next few hundred years being scared of any tech more complex than a rock tied to a stick?

No that would be mean to Penn if you said it.

I say go with the asking why she is being a insecure asshole. This is college she should have gotten that crap out of her system in high school.
>>
No. 680505 ID: bfb318
File 144635178705.png - (182.54KB , 800x800 , 17.png )
680505

"That was me, you sad scientist, no wonder the spear chucker and the friend get better grades then you. I was the one throwing spears."
>"That explains your speech impediment."
"You want me to be the animal? We're all animals!"
>"Some just more well developed than others."
"You know that not two generations ago, you all were in the same way, except you brought it on yourselves! You want to make me out to be the animal, then it sounds like you wanna know the psychology of animals when they're challenged! Because you're flirting hard with danger!"

>Smile
Who could smile at that? I'm angry!

>Repress urge to hatefuck her
I'd have to have the urge to lay with someone like her in the first place!

>"Well, go on, show me!... but that's right, it looks so bad when a neumono lets their animalistic nature get the better of them while they're being uplifted. If you lay a scratch on me, the tribal observation bureau will send you right back to your little dirt lot in the wild. Maybe you should go back yourself so you can feel powerful again, because here, you're just cute and harmless no matter how much you scrunch up your little face."

Of course I'm not going to assault her here, but she is right! We're allowed to defend ourselves, but neumono violence on aliens is a huge no no.

"What is your issue?! You're on our planet!"
>"Graciously giving the natives more luxuries than they've earned."
"Are you suicidal or something?!"
>"What, are you saying you could kill me before the police got here?"
"You're the most insecure bitch I've ever seen! My mom used a spear, does your use one to pole dance to pay for your college? And to answer your question, of course I - "
>"ROXIE, stop that! Both of you! Let's just go! We-we're making a scene." Penn whisper-yells, mostly at me.
>>
No. 680507 ID: 5ad4a7

>>680505
Smack her hand away and walk off.
>>
No. 680508 ID: 0ed6e9

cunt punch the bitch and walk away
>>
No. 680509 ID: 12b273

>Who could smile at that? I'm angry!
Cause you're supposed to go for intimidating and scary, not losing control and bothered.

>>"ROXIE, stop that! Both of you! Let's just go! We-we're making a scene." Penn whisper-yells, mostly at me.
*Beat* *Overdone bow* As you wish, your majesty.

Refuge in audacity / silliness.
>>
No. 680516 ID: 5ad4a7

Oh. I have an idea. Let's prank the shit out of her later.
>>
No. 680517 ID: fc0f00

Ok, Roxie, Ok. You're in college to learn, right? One of the biggest trials for neumono is to learn to deal with each other, and resolve things calmly. But, aside empathy, you also have to not use violent methods to resolve other problems, like people just being terrible. So, think of this as part of your education. You're being given a little pop quiz, that's all. Stay calm and think of the correct response.

And maybe empathy, of a different kind, is the response to use. I was mostly joking before, but this lady actually must legit have something up in her life if she's wandering around a costume shop when most people are still asleep, accosting someone she has a minor grievance with as soon as she sees them. Calm yourself down, look her in the eye and ask, seriously, is she doing ok?
>>
No. 680522 ID: 8111b6

She's probably trying to get an excuse to get you thrown out of school. Don't give her one.

Civilization fucking sucks sometimes. You punch someone that deserves it, and you get punished for it.

I agree that a good pranking is in order later. Know where to get some livestock to put in their room after feeding it a bunch and giving it laxatives?
>>
No. 680524 ID: ad936f

>Who could smile at that? I'm angry!
Just something another hive does. You probably couldn't pull it off, but the idea is that instead of getting all mad like she wants you to, you just calmly call her out on her bullshit. We can still do that, actually, even without the creepy slasher smile. Try something like, " *deep breath* Sorry, sorry. I just don't take it well when stupid insecure douchebags come at my friends with their ego-stroking bullshit, and then start throwing slurs at me. I should've realized that engaging with garbage people is just a waste of time. C'mon Penn, let's go."
>>
No. 680534 ID: bfb318
File 144635531789.png - (156.77KB , 800x800 , 18.png )
680534

>You're supposed to go for intimidating and scary, not losing control and bothered
I doubt I could pull that off. It's kind of pathetic, I've faced lots of mortal danger before, but I lose my shit when some dumb girl says the wrong words to me.

I whap her hand off. It's all I can do to keep my claws on the other side! I can see her damn smug smile as I walk, too. She's got some huge issues, but I can't stand her any more to pretend like I care to know what is going on in her life.

Plus, no matter how nice, patronizing, sarcastic or whatever I sound, she's just going to turn it right around on me.

"Alright, Penn, let's go!"

...

"What is her problem?!" I ask while we walk.
>"That, um... most of the aliens see the value in neumono, but, um... some... just don't like, uh, them. You. It's... she studies neumono psychology to see just how, well... she wants to prove neumono aren't fit for civilized life."
"Wha?! This place allows that?!"
>"Well, I mean... yes? She would still have to prove it! Don't worry, she's in the minority. She just, uh... really, really hates neumono. I'm sorry, Roxie."
"Why're you sorry?"
>"You wanted to bring me out to have fun, but, well, this is kind of why I stay indoors."
"Ugh, there's a lot of nice people too, you know? We'll find them. Let's get out of here. The exits this way."
>"Uh, Roxie, we have to pay for this."
"Oh, yeah... your ear star things fell off, by the way. Shit, you really saved me from saying something I shouldn't have said back there."
>>
No. 680535 ID: bfb318
File 144635532980.png - (254.84KB , 800x800 , 19.png )
680535

God, I'm still mad even after leaving the store!

>"Hey!" Some neumono guy nearby shouts at me. "You okay, girl?"
"Yeah!" I say. Get out of here, guy. I'm talking to Penn, now. "She really knows how to get under my skin!"
>"I, um, well, I do have a feeling that that's what she studies!"
"What'd neumono do to her anyway?"
>"I, um, think her family used to be rich, but after trying to invest in some neumono hives, those hives just left them to go for a better deal, and really costed her family a lot of money. I... don't know the specifics. Can we change the subject?"
"Yeah... hey, I'm sorry. I didn't know you had school enemies, though."
>"Belenos, uh, can get kind of competitive. It's... not pretty, and sometimes it seems worse than how neumono get along."
"Hey, I have enemies too. You know how often I've come home with a bloody nose or so."
>"I'm really jealous, Roxie."
"What? You want bloody noses?"
>"Er, no, just... you can get into fights like that, and still have no fear going into public places when you have enemies that'll harm you."
"Not gonna lie, the regeneration helps."
>"Still, you've gotten hurt before. That's scary."

Geez, I didn't think she cared. She always turned away when I came home looking less than fresh.
>>
No. 680540 ID: fc0f00

I guess another advantage of being a neumono is, you don't have to deal with that kind of two-faces shit. If another neumono doesn't like you it'll be obvious from the get-go, and they can't pull that sort of tricky baiting shit, they'll just either avoid you or attack directly, physically or socially. Plus, there's a difference between fights where someone really wants to kill or damage you, and fights where you just want to establish a pecking order, and you can tell right away by empathy which one it's going to be.

Anyway, responding to Penn... well, getting hurt gets easier the more it happens to you. Not that it really hurts any less, you just learn how to deal with it, let it pass through you. Like, you have to know this a bit, Penn, like when you're a little kid you fall and scrape you knee and you really scream about it, but it happens as an adult and it's just, you've had worse, you know? Don't hold on to the pain. You've got to let it...

... let it... uh...

Let it... something.
>>
No. 680542 ID: 12b273

>she wants to prove neumono aren't fit for civilized life
You can't actually prove that, though. You'd first have to establish some kind of objective standards to be met to be worthy of civilization before you could rule neumono out, and you'd also have to religiously define civilized life. The later of which would be highly difficult and subjective, and the first of which is outright impossible. Those standards don't exist.

>Geez, I didn't think she cared. She always turned away when I came home looking less than fresh.
She wasn't looking cause it bothered her to see you hurt! More avoidance. She should have caught that, that's how she deals with lots of things that bother her.

>Still, you've gotten hurt before. That's scary.
Yeah, well, we're not gonna do anything today where anyone gets hurt. And we'll avoid any jerks who are out for emotional hurt. And mind regeneration is faster than bloody nose regeneration, anyways.

Not gonna let myself be bothered by some brat upset they made some bad investments, or got taken by a bunch of savages. Serves them right for thinking they could use us. Especially when she's just wasting more money on something she'll never accomplish.
>>
No. 680543 ID: fc0f00

A bit of pain is good for you, anyway. Like, from this experience just now, Roxie, you'll know better to keep cool and be on the watch for that stuff in the future, if only because we don't want to give someone like that their satisfaction again. And, being social, you can pass around that girl's description and deal to other neumono, so they won't fall for her shit either.

In the long run, she practically did you a favor. Or sabotaged herself, at least. Same thing.
>>
No. 680544 ID: bfb318
File 144635820519.png - (122.64KB , 800x800 , 20.png )
680544

"Getting hurt gets... well, it still hurts, but you get better about dealing with it, you know? Like screaming about scraped knees as a kid, then shrugging it off now. Anyway, us neumono are pretty simple about getting a pecking order or whatever, and real obvious if we don't like one another. We don't go bluffing and baiting and shit like that, if we want to fight, we will. That's why we have a tough time with aliens doing that weird... alien social shit. But this campus is pretty safe. There's a lot of neumono fights, but the agencies around here really go out in force if a neumono gets seriously harmed."
>"I, um...."
"Yeah?
>"Nothing, nevermind."
"Give me a hug."
>"I, er- I'm... I'm not good at hugging."
"Prove it."
>"Nooo, Roxie, we talked about it!"
"We really didn't! Whatever, I'm not going to make you. And we're not going to any parties with people like that."
>"Or any parties where you get in fights?"
"Okay I may have overplayed it, fights don't happen that frequently, but yeah we'll go to mellow places."
>"Okay, well, it's only like 9 AM now, what do you want to do?" she says, putting those unfitting glasses back on. I guess she needs them.
>>
No. 680545 ID: bb78f2

>>680544
Have we had breakfast yet? BREAKFAST!

You should tell Penn that she should take up boxing or martial arts. So she can feel strength. Also, would be handy on this planet. Plus, maybe if that girl gets under your skin personally, you can take HER skin off! If you need to hide the body Penn, just ask. Any bodies. We'll be glad to help.
Joking... maybe. I'd still help you if you got in trouble though.

Nothing wrong with a little pain. Gives you adrenaline. A punch would probably feel better to you then a hug as a first step, less contact, less awkward. Seriously, Penn, when the night's over, sign up for Martial Arts. It'll do you good. A dojo is a safe place. You're a nerd with no way to vent your troubles, you're going to go postal yourself one day.
>>
No. 680548 ID: 2be22e

The thing about hugs is, ideally, the people you hug are the people who don't care if you're bad at hugging.

I'd add the recommendation of going to some martial arts class or something, too. It's exercise, it works for all the muscles in your body, it develops both ability to focus and awareness of what's around you, eventually, and best of all, it helps you feel more secure in yourself. Even if you never have to defend yourself physically, which is the ideal case, knowing that you could if you needed to will make you feel more at ease with your life. Just the assurance that if shit goes down you'll have some idea what to do, and some ability to do it, makes you feel way better than the alternative. I'm surprised it's not on Arza's extra studies list already.

Plus, Penn, maybe this is a faux pas or something, sorry if it is, but you seem pretty sturdy, physically. In good ways. Be a shame to waste. Anyway, breakfast! Make sure you don't spill anything on that dre-

Wait. After all that... did Penn leave her original clothes in the dressing room of the shop?
>>
No. 680569 ID: cdd64e

Ok I'm just going to get this out there in case we run into that bitch again
Ahem
"Listen I don't know what your problem, nor do I want to but I do know that if you spent as much effort trying to be worth a shit as you do pretending then you wouldn't be a massive liar as well as a huge bitch. Now if you'd stop trying to get validation from other people and go home and study then maybe, just maybe not only will you almost be as smart as the "Tribal" but maybe you'd actually pass, get some genuine friends and not have to be a hooker like mommy."
>>
No. 680572 ID: 288345

Also we can throw in how coming to the neumono HOME WORLD to try and prove that neumono aren't fit for modern society when they kind of already proved they are shows how stupid she is and how neumono are still wasting her families money
>>
No. 680582 ID: bfb318
File 144639244502.png - (166.71KB , 800x800 , 21.png )
680582

>Breakfast?
Oh, yeah, we forgot to get it on the way over.

"Hold on, first, I think you left your clothes in the shop?"
>"Oh, yes!"
"Just hang out here, I'll be back."

I ready myself for another bitch encounter, but I never run into her, and I get the clothes back.

"Here you go. Let's go to a breakfast place. I got an idea, Penn."
>"Eh?"
"Martial arts! I mean, maybe not now, but in general. It would help you feel and be stronger. Really, on this planet, you should probably know a little hand to hand anyway!"
>"I feel safer on - well, I mean, I do know some."
"What, really? I've never seen you do anything physical other than bolt out the door. That explains those legs, but really, your whole body seems pretty sturdy for a belenos!"

....

"That's a compliment, Penn."
>"Y-yeah, thanks."

Geez, it's like belenos take pride in being fragile twigs.
>>
No. 680584 ID: bfb318
File 144639252666.png - (145.38KB , 800x800 , 22.png )
680584

>"But really, I know how to fight a little bit." She says after we find a place to eat, get sat down, and get our food.
"Punch me."
>"What?"
"Come on, you know I can take it."
>"Nooo..."
"It's like the least awkward way to touch me! Short, brief, too the point."
>"That's the most awkward! I'm not going to punch you! Especially not here!"
"I'm gonna sign you up for martial arts if you don't punch me when we get back home!"
>"If... I wouldn't be comfortable sparring with anyone, but if I was going to punch anyone, I think it would be you?"
"That's really sweet, thank you."
>"Is it?!"
"Yes. And I'm going to expect it now! You're a huge nerd that apparently has vicious belenos competition, and I don't see you having any outlet."
>"I, um, really beat up my tests?"
"Oh my god you are the hugest nerd! Seriously though, tell me you have a concealable mace or tazer or something."
>"Uh, I do have mace in my bag. But normally...."
...
"Yes?"
>"Normally I just run away."
>>
No. 680590 ID: 2be22e

Well, Penn, even if you just want to run away, martial arts will help with that, too! You'll want to know how to break a hold so that you can start to run in the first place, if someone's grabbed you, and if someone gets in your way you can give them a quick toss or a jab in something sensitive to give you an opening to flee. Plus, the general fitness you'd get will help you climb a fence or jump a wall or other stuff that'll help you escape things. Do you know how to roll when you fall a long distance? A good fight school will teach you all these things eventually, and you'll become the best run-away-er you can be.

And you can learn how to block, which is always good, and how to take a punch without blocking, which is a skill, not just a matter of blunt toughness. You just need to make sure you find a decent place. I bet there are belenosians who've nerded out on fighting as much as anything else.
>>
No. 680591 ID: 2ccbb3

I think that Penn needs tutoring in tactics and strategy. She's smart, not dexterous; if she learns how to apply her intelligence on a battlefield, she can figure out how to run away with the highest probability of unharmed escape. If you teach her martial arts then that's an entirely different field that she has to cram into her brain.

Find a paintball instructor who can teach her how to flank, take cover, and use gadgets to her advantage ("gadgets" includes 'tiny rock'). Then see if she can think up the statistically best places to move on her own. For bonus points, see if Penn can design a simulation for various combat situations and find a good yet flexible strategy.
>>
No. 680592 ID: bfb318
File 144639643456.png - (149.32KB , 800x800 , 23.png )
680592

"You can't run if you can't break a hold! Or if you mess up falling a long distance, or can't climb a fence, or whatever."
>"Well, true..."
"You don't even need to join a dojo! Heck maybe even paintball if you like running and hiding so much, and you don't need to touch anyone. But, I know how to fight well. I mean, I guess it's more natural fighting for me, but I know some theory too. I bet some belenos have nerded out about fighting colors as much as you about artificial intelligence."
>"Fighting colors?"
"Yeah, like, each fighting color from each culture and all?"
>"Fighting styles, Roxie."
"Right."
>"But you're right, there are some good belenos fighters."
"Yeah, I've seen-"

Oh no.

>"Heyyyy, Roxie?"

This guy. He's a harmless dork, not even that bad of a guy, but he's an unlikeable one. He knows it, but even if he acknowledges it, he keeps liking on me until I like him back.

>"I've got a party, tonight, over at the west, 2nd, building."

By that he means he knows of a party.

>"Do you wanna come? I'll be there."

At least Penn can't sense that he just wants in my pants.
>>
No. 680593 ID: 211d83

Better a harmless dork you are not interested in than a big jerk.

Ask him what he knows about the party scene tonight. The more options we have the better. Want to be able to have backups in case a party gets to wild for Penn.
>>
No. 680595 ID: 12b273

>Geez, it's like belenos take pride in being fragile twigs.
Well they are huge nerds.

>>"Normally I just run away."
In her defense, avoiding fights is a lot more efficient means to deal with them than seeing them through.

>he just wants in my pants.
>he keeps liking on me until I like him back.
So... you're saying it's worked before?

>what do
Be vague and non-committal. Maybe, but you've already got some other stuff you're doing tonight. Empathy should make it clear you're thinking about hanging out with Penn, not hooking up with anyone else.
>>
No. 680598 ID: 2be22e

I'd say make it clear you're going to be hanging with Penn today and this evening. Lodge some empathic certainty into that, because a some people, if you give them an inch of possibility that they can persuade you they'll try wiggle through it, but there's not much they can do if you just shut them down straight away.

Though, if you think you can and it'll help, you could say that if Penn ends up retiring early, you might go out on your own after that, and then maybe meet up with him. I mean, it's theoretically possible, if Penn like, gets ill from bad food or something, so your empathy could permit that much. And to stop Penn jumping in with a "oh no you do what you want i'll be fine", maybe catch her eye and give a little head shake or dismissive hand gesture or something.

You know, neumono should really come up with a system of discreet little signs for their alien friends, to alert them to empathic goings-on.
>>
No. 680601 ID: bb78f2

>>680592
Okay, well I'm going to need more details rather than the fact it's just a party. What kind? Real details, not vagueness here.

Eesh, guy has a tough break. Knows immediately he's unlikable from the empathy, immediately all girls know he wants to bone down... man, he probably has the most low self esteem of any neumono in public society. It sucks you can't choose who you are.

He needs to get with alien girls instead.

His name is Warren, isn't it?
>>
No. 680603 ID: 88e46e

>>680601
>His name is Warren, isn't it?
Why, is that your name?

Jokes aside, yeah, I feel kind of bad for him, but it's not like it's impossible to change yourself. He could get a hobby or something to talk about other than sex. Agreed on the details, though I doubt we want him to feel like we owe him something.
>>
No. 680606 ID: bfb318
File 144640486925.png - (103.77KB , 800x800 , 24.png )
680606

>Have you liked him before?
No, I just meant that it seems like he's going to keep crushing on me till I give in. I just don't like him.

>"What kind of party?"
"Oh, it's hosted by the chariot gang. There'll be plenty to drink, a lot of people, but a lot of little side areas if you need to, well, get some privacy."

Penn fidgets at that, and I know I'm broadcasting some 'knock it off' to him.

"If you can't tell, I'm hanging out with my roommate tonight."
>"But you do like those kinds of parties, right? Not too skeevy, but still wild? Yeah."
"Ugh, look, Jorra," - his name's not Warren - "tonight I'm with my roommate, and she's not into that stuff." He is right, it is a good party balance for me, lots of random activities and people letting loose, but it's probably too much for Penn.
>"Oh... well, I mean..." his attempts now to find any excuse to separate me from Penn are both pathetic and kind of annoyingly desperate.

He'll leap on any possibility to get me alone, though, so I don't even want to say I will hang with him if Penn retires early. He'll just try to get Penn to go home early, and I still won't like him.

"Cut it out. We'll stop by if we feel like it, but you know I go to a lot of parties. I'll see you again whether I like it or not."
>"What if I come with you two instead? What do you think, uh, Penn, was it?"
>"Uhhhh..."
>"Come on, Roxie, you always give me the cold shoulder, and you're so cool."
>>
No. 680607 ID: 88e46e

>>680606
"Jorra, I'm flattered but I always give you the cold shoulder because you have no personality beside knowing you're not likable, but not doing anything about it, and wanting to bed me. Get another hobby. Find something else to do. Grow an actual personality."
>>
No. 680608 ID: 5ad4a7

>>680606
pls go.
>>
No. 680613 ID: 90f3c0

Tell him you really want to spend some time hanging out alone with Penn. Also getting too pushy isn't a good way to get people to like him.
>>
No. 680618 ID: bfb318
File 144640694786.png - (124.87KB , 800x800 , 25.png )
680618

"That's flattering, but I don't like you. And I'm not going to like you any sooner than you're going to start liking aliens, or the neumono girls that do like you."
>"They're just... really uncool."
"And it's uncool how every interaction you have with me is to get me to peel my pants off! Girls don't like guys who have nothing going for them other than that, and for that matter, guys don't like girls like that either! At least not 'cool' ones. If you don't like the girls who're into you, fix yourself up to match who you want to be already."
>"I'm trying hard, you know?"
"There's a such thing as trying too hard."
>"Okay... I'll see you around, then."

He starts lingering while he leaves, feeling all dejected and stuff, not getting the hint that that's just one of the symptoms to his unlikeability. The fucker doesn't even get out of empathy range before he starts daydreaming about lewd things, much to the discomfort of literally all the neumono around him.

>"Um... is that gonna be common?" Penn asks.
"What, guys coming up to me? If it is, I'll make it clear they're not welcome. Tonight's your night to relax."
>"Well, okay, but it's awhile before any parties start. Right? Maybe we could find something to relax with at home?"
>>
No. 680620 ID: 211d83

Going home to relax is a trap! If you get relaxed back at the dorms with some movies will be hard to get Penn back out again.

She might even use the time to try and study when you are not looking.

Even though its early there should be some Halloween events to attend. Any carnival like things or haunted houses?

If not might be a good idea to relax at home if you can keep her away from the books.
>>
No. 680625 ID: 12b273

>Right? Maybe we could find something to relax with at home
Well, you'll have to swing home to get your costume sometime. But the whole point is to get her out of her room!

What can you do while it's still light out... too early for parties, a haunted house before dark is a little lame (though that might work, Penn is a little lame), hmm. Corn maze? Pumpkin (space gourd) carving?
>>
No. 680636 ID: bfb318
File 144640905705.png - (107.65KB , 800x800 , 26.png )
680636

>Any carnival like things or haunted houses?
Maybe, but the selection is going to be pretty lame this early in the day, so I'd rather wait. Especially since the actual local rides around town won't be open till at least 4 PM. So I gotta get something to just kill some time.

"I do need to stop home for my own costume. But promise me you're not just saying that to go hit the books!"
>"I won't!"
"Lessee... might be a bit far for a corn maze, but we can get some, uh, punrins?"
>".... pumpkins?"
"Yeah, those! And carve 'em."
>"Where would we put 'em?"
"That's not important! I'm sure one of the parties would like additional decorations anyway."
>"Actually, it's tough to find pumpkins around. They're mostly an earth thing, and there's not much farming offplanet for things like this."
"Oh my gosh I saw some synthetic ones in the store, they're just foamy things you can cut out. It's easy."
>"Well, okay, then! I'm no artist, though."
"Neither am I! And I guarantee you that that's good if you don't want to stand out, because it'll fit right in with the cheesy decorations around the parties here."
>"I don't know what I'd carve out! What'll you make?"

Man, it's like she has no idea how to enjoy herself outside of a book!
>>
No. 680637 ID: 211d83

Well for traditional gourd carving you can always go for the standard scary face. Something that will look spooky with a candle in it at night. Or something fancy if you feel like it.

Honestly can carve anything you want on there. Never know until you try.

Get a few spares though in case you mess up.
>>
No. 680641 ID: 12b273

>What'll you make?
I dunno, something scary, I guess. Maybe a predator, or some forest monster. Make a bunch of teeth.

Penn could carve something scary like getting a B on a test. Or holding hands. Or talking to people.
>>
No. 680666 ID: 2be22e

Any gourd-like vegetable will do in place of a pumpkin, if you want something more authentic.

Say, I wonder... Penn's pretty bad about saying when she's bothered by something. I wonder if she minded earlier, when you said that stuff about belenosians having "brought it on themselves". Maybe you should say you only went there to try bother that girl? Any of the other species could have ended up getting as bad as the ancient belenosians did, without interstellar travel to stop them turning in on themselves. From what we've heard, it still might end up having been the best that someone tore that all down.

And then, managing to survive it, and go on surviving in a world where most of the natural resources were already gone? Really impressive. Neumono have to fight monsters, but belenosians had to fight robots, and didn't have regeneration and redundant organs to help them. There's a lot to admire.
>>
No. 680686 ID: bfb318
File 144641661751.png - (123.14KB , 800x800 , 27.png )
680686

"Somethin' spooky. A scary face I dunno. What about you? A B on a test? People holding hands?"
>"Roxie..."
"Hey, I'm just teasing. Do whatever you want, alright? Oh, and when I said the belenos brought it on themselves, I was just angry and trying to get back under that girl's skin. That's got nothing to do with you you know!"
>"Y.... yeah, I... guess so."
"Don't be uncertain about that! It doesn't, you're a good person. Plus, I mean, we had to fight monsters and stuff, but tribal belenos had to fight super battlebots with no regeneration. That's pretty impressive."
>"Maybe, I don't... really know."
"Either way, if us tribal neumono were given nukes and shit, we'd be extinct."

We go buy a few synthetics just in case we want to try multiple times, or do multiple ones. Once we get home and get dressed more comfortably, we start carving. Penn doesn't seem to be super into it, but she doesn't seem reluctant either. It's tough, I basically never see her happy unless she did well on some test. Which is cool she's happy sometime, but there' a lot more to life than some standard bar someone set up for her.

It's just been tough getting her to see that, but I'd like her to. I eventually finish mine. Penn s being a huge perfectionist on hers, though, but the fact that she cares enough is good enough for me.
>>
No. 680687 ID: bfb318
File 144641663512.png - (181.96KB , 800x800 , 28.png )
680687

I go put on my costume while she's still working on hers.

This used to be my go-to item when I felt homesick for the first couple of years, then it just kind of turned into a relic of old past, and wear for when I visit my family. After this long, though, every time I look at it, I've been thinking more and more 'I used to wear this seriously?'

Pockets are cool.
>>
No. 680689 ID: 5ad4a7

>>680687
...I wonder if it's too late to get a Predator mask?
>>
No. 680700 ID: bb78f2

>>680689
Do you mean neumono predator or THE Predator?
Oh, MAN, what if we mix both of those! Become a Predator-Predator hybrid!
>>
No. 680701 ID: 211d83

Well what does it look like when you wear it? Can we add stuff to make a new costume?
>>
No. 680702 ID: 2be22e

Well, if you feel like it's got too much importance to treat like a costume, you could always go for a quick budget item, like the good ol' bedsheet ghost. If you have a spare sheet, of course. You could even carve up one of your spare fake pumpkins so you could wear it as a mask. Then you'd be, uh... the ghost of halloween, or something.

Or, if you have something that could make your fur a different color without being too much hassle later, you could paint yourself red with yellow stripes and pretend to be some sort of neumono-predator hybrid. Or if you have a bunch of white clothes and some white color stuff and some black, you could dress up as a snowmono to fit with Penn's costume.

While you're waiting for the good places to be open, I wonder, are there any like, halloween museum events or something? Like the history of the human holiday or a museum of horror or something. Maybe Penn would like that sort of thing.
>>
No. 680703 ID: 12b273

>>680687
If just the tribal gear isn't cutting it for you, you could always add to it. Zombie tribal. Or add a silly hat and you're a castaway pirate.

>something I wear when I visit my family
So... they're still doing the jungle survival thing? They're not assimilating

>Pockets are cool.
Are there even pockets in what you're wearing now, I don't see any.
>>
No. 680708 ID: bfb318
File 144642252517.png - (102.41KB , 800x800 , 29.png )
680708

>So... [your hive is] still doing the jungle survival thing? They're not assimilating
Slowly! We're sending a lot of our kids and younger people to be uplifted, and eventually working for it. A lot of places actually just prefer to take handfuls of a hive at once to prove that they can get along without nestling away with their hive. In a way, I'm a representative of my hive, because if I and others do well, the rest of my hive can live in a big city.

>Like the history of the human holiday or a museum of horror or something. Maybe Penn would like that sort of thing.
Ohhh, that's a good idea! I'm afraid she'll be all 'ohhhh nooo Roxie you'll be so bored and I don't want that' but I'll sure try to suggest for it. I'm sure there's something like that around.

>Are there even pockets in what you're wearing now, I don't see any.
Our shorts and pants are actually like, double bagged to make room for our gigantic hands. It's kind of weird and a lot of newbies to the clothes just ram their hands down their pants instead of the pocket.

It's bad and a dumb fashion thing.
>>
No. 680709 ID: bfb318
File 144642254017.png - (143.34KB , 800x800 , 30.png )
680709

I put my gear on just to confirm.

We sure didn't like constraining our bodies. Plus, it was hard to get good camoflauged leather without burying it under leaves and stuff, and that was tough to maintain and just all around uncomfortable.

>Well, if you feel like it's got too much importance to treat like a costume
Oh, please, sure, it's got sentimental value, but around here this is basically a costume as much as a princess dress or hulk fists. And given what it's like around here, I just can't take it seriously.

>Predator mask
Predator costume is always a classic, but also a cliche. I'm sure we'll see plenty of those.

>Zombie tribal
That's a lot of effort, but that's a good idea too.

I'm not even a little self conscious of my costume, of course. Hell, when I first started uplift classes, I was kept being told to wear more clothing, and Penn kind of dodged me, though for a lot of reasons. And at the parties, people sure won't be minding me, I'm sure there's going to be girls and guys with equally - oh, maybe I should keep Penn to parties with a minimum of scantily clad neumono.

No, this night is for Penn, and it's her that I'm worried about. I mean I could ask, but I'm afraid the mere sight of the fur on my hip will make her scurry right back in that heavily armored shell she's crafted for herself.

Or maybe I'm just paranoid given how tough she is to make happy. Yeah, I'll ask her.
>>
No. 680710 ID: bfb318
File 144642255433.png - (145.13KB , 800x800 , 31.png )
680710

"Hey, Penn, I'm coming out, but I'm wearing my old tribal uniform!"
>"Uh... ok."
"I kiiiind of understand if you're not a-ok with this." I say, coming out. "Well, not really, but I know you might not be."
>"Er, that's... that's okay."
".... what?!"
>"Ah... it's just... I'm sorry, but those clothes are actually okay with me now!"

What?

Is this Penn?

"What happened to you?"
>"N-nothing, Roxie! It's just... it's fine."

Now I just fully don't understand her.
>>
No. 680711 ID: 5ad4a7

Okay how about tribal markings on top of that and some fake blood to make it look like you're some kind of crazed killer.
>>
No. 680713 ID: 211d83

I think she is making a deliberate effort to try and come out of her shell just for you.

Ask her if she has any ideas for accenting your costume.

Then thank her for that and let her know to speak up more. The more you talk things over the easier it will be to understand each other without the whole reading your emotions thing.

Do they make hulk hands big enough for Neumono to use? Cause I have to see a pair of those.
>>
No. 680714 ID: 12b273

>>680708
Stealth pockets? Yeah, that is a little weird.

>>680709
No bones, teeth, warpaint, feathers? Gotta ham the tribal vibe up a little for a costume!

>I'm afraid the mere sight of the fur on my hip will make her scurry right back
>I'm sorry, but those clothes are actually okay with me now!
Wait... did you take off your glasses so you couldn't see anything that bothered you?. Are you hiding behind nerd-blindness? *Waves hand in front of her face*
>>
No. 680715 ID: 5ad4a7

>>680710
Wait has she been looking at a ton of porn since she got here? Has she become desensitized?
>>
No. 680718 ID: 2be22e

Maybe, since the girl earlier was talking down to you about savagery, Penn feels like she should make an effort to be an opposite to that? You could ask her if that's the case, and tell her it's ok if it's not ok. But that'll get kinda recursive quickly.

When you are going out, like officially costumed up and all, maybe get some red food coloring or some fake blood from a shop, and just put some around your mouth and your claws. It'll make it more clear it's supposed to be a halloween costume.
>>
No. 680727 ID: bfb318
File 144642561789.png - (74.77KB , 800x800 , 32.png )
680727

>Wait has she been looking at a ton of porn since she got here?
I once looked at it after a year of being with her, back when I had no sense of privacy still. Her search history and general history was clean.

"Er... that's surprising. Are you just being contrary to that bitch who was going on about my tribal-ness?
>"No, it's not that, it's really fine, I just... it's... nothing, don't worry about it."

That basically confirms there's some reason she's okay with it and doesn't want to tell me, because she's obviously uncomfortable with my asking why she's comfortable with it, while otherwise not sounding like she's lying when she says it's okay. I really want to press harder to why she's okay with this, but as long as she is okay with it, then that's good. That, and I know when to stop pressing, and now's the time.

"Any ideas about how to improve it?"
>"Well, you could always do that thing that some neumono did where they put on predator stripes?"
"Since this is halloween, I'll do that, but if some actual tribal neumono is there, they'll be asking if I've really taken out a predator. Then I gotta give a lecture, but don't say a word I'm doing it! I saw some red fur die to make it look like blood, I'll do that with stripes and just make bloodstains elsewhere. Maybe add some more stripes for warpaint."
>"Will you have any teeth or feathers or stuff like that?"
"Yeah, maybe I'll see if I can't stick some feathers someplace, maybe get, I dunno, some tooth necklace. Thanks Penn. If you're still working on your pumpkin, I'll go pick stuff up and something up for lunch, then we can get going to someplace."

>Do they make hulk hands big enough for Neumono to use?
Yeah, but they're not as proportionately huge to our hands as they are to anyone else's, so it's not as ridiculous.
>>
No. 680728 ID: bfb318
File 144642562967.png - (112.42KB , 800x800 , 33.png )
680728

The trip to the store is surprisingly uneventful. I get stares of course, but the neumono I run into respect the empathy of 'nope not interested,' and thankully most guys around here don't want to get with a girl that don't want to get with them.

By the time Penn is happy with her carving and we've eaten enough to last me a few hours, I think things are starting to open up.

We can go to a local carnival and do some rides, go to one of the early parties, or go to some nerd museum and look at the history of halloween.
>>
No. 680730 ID: bb78f2

>>680728
Ask her about what's most interesting in simplified terms. Engaging in Adrenaline Studies, Human History (it is a human holiday after all), or Social Studies.

Has any neumono you met broadcast interest in Penn, either today or before, because I know you know she has irresistible gams. Or how about any visual indications of sexual interest from the aliens? Are you broadcasting BACK OFF MY FRIEND to the xenophile neomono?
>>
No. 680731 ID: bb78f2

Oh, small talk idea, ask her what will she do if one of her own AI's ever flirts with her of its own accord? Would she allow the AI's the capacity to attempt that on their own, or write in code to encourage or discourage that behavior? Maybe try to get her to nerd out about AI social drives of all types, are AI's generally social creatures? Stuff like that.

(We know some of that stuff already, but getting Penn to nerd out about AI's will get her talking and come out of her shell more.)
>>
No. 680732 ID: 12b273

>Her search history and general history was clean.
She's better than you at computers, though. If she were up to something naughty, she'd probably have a custom AI covering her tracks.

>Penn is happy with her carving
What'd she make? Can we see em?

>>680728
Carnival and nerd museum.
>>
No. 680735 ID: 211d83

How about some carnival and then maybe nerd museum?
>>
No. 680754 ID: 2be22e

Nerd museum first. Penn will enjoy some of the exhibits while you, once you get bored of that, can enjoy the goofy scary dioramas the museum will have put up. Then once Penn starts getting "oh no you're bored", you can go to the carnival.
>>
No. 680766 ID: ad936f

>>680732
>If she were up to something naughty, she'd probably have a custom AI covering her tracks.
Or, y'know, incognito mode.
>>
No. 680787 ID: bfb318
File 144643606558.png - (70.95KB , 800x800 , 34.png )
680787

>Has any neumono you met broadcast interest in Penn, either today or before
Yeah, both neumono and aliens now and then. I'm usually around to help her escape out of it when it happens.

>Talk about what Penn would do if AI flirted with her
Now there's an idea that I'll treat as a trump card if someone else hits on me while she's around. A good change of subject to AI.

>She might have hidden her search history
Yeah, it's possible, but if there was anyone with a legitimately clean history, it'd be her. Either way, she still acted weird about me being in anything less than shorts and a tanktop, so for her to be okay with this is weird.

>What'd she make?
Looks like she made... a predator.

Meanwhile, I just made some generic scary face.

"Goddamn, that's a good, ambitious pumpkin, I should've tried more on mine."
>"I couldn't do that with a real pumpkin, and sometimes simple is sometimes better."
"Not this time. What are you more interested in, Adrenaline Study, Human History, or Social Studies?"
>"Uh... I don't know?"
"Okay nevermind, museum would be a good start. History of halloween and all that."
>"Really? Won't you get bored of it?"
"Nah. Not for a bit anyway, but don't worry about me."

Of course I won't be that interested, but I will be interested in seeing Penn out of the house and school.
>>
No. 680788 ID: bfb318
File 144643607338.png - (205.81KB , 800x800 , 35.png )
680788

Penn drives us a ways away to a local museum.

>"Oh, Roxie? What're you doing here?" the attendant, someone I know from class, asks.
"Accompanying my belenos friend in a learning adventure."
>"Haha, that's good. Well, admission is cheap. That's not real blood, is it?"
"No, but I sure hope it's not a good fake, because dried blood on the fur is a huge pain to deal with."
>"Yeahhh probably? Anyway don't apply it while in there, we don't need a mess."
>>
No. 680789 ID: bfb318
File 144643608350.png - (212.50KB , 800x800 , 36.png )
680789

I'm sure it's very interesting to someone who likes learning stuff. Overall, I glean it was something about day before winter or something about saints or blurred lines between land of the living and dead, I dunno, definitely human stuff.

Well, there's some hive stuff integrated as well, as apparently a lot of other hives also had ideas of how the beginning of winter was attributed to death, though that wasn't as apparent in the jungles. Mostly snow hives that got superstition that overlapped with human halloween.

Either way, both of them got integrated into communal based events and people like me used it as an excuse to party. Seems like a fair amount of people are dressed up, at least.

>"Hey, Roxie!" one of my buddies comes up to me. "Nice costume. Where'd you get it from?"
"Courtesty a dead treestalker. The blood and teeth are from the campus seasonal store."
>"Niiiice. You comin' to my party? It'll be chill." By 'chill' she means there's going to be a lot of weed.
"Nah, I'm with my belenos buddy."
>"Ditch 'er."
"What? No."
>"You still like doing that 5 stick trick with my crowd? Yeah, knew it and thought so, so what're you hanging out with her for? I mean, she can come with, if a belenos is up to the party, but - yeah didn't think so."

She's not used to rejection, and is going to take it way too personally if I refuse. Penn is revealing to me that this circle of friends aren't too cool after all.
>>
No. 680794 ID: 2be22e

Maybe now's the time to use that "if she goes home early i might come over" line? Again, it's technically possible, so it wouldn't be lying, and you could mention that Penn doesn't normally stay out late, thereby implying (but not actually saying) that it's likely she will today.

Alternately, you could quietly tell her that Penn not being up to party is a problem you're trying to solve. That she could be a good chill-buddy some day and you're working on getting her there, eventually. This lady might appreciate that sort of quest.
>>
No. 680796 ID: 211d83

I need to teach her the proper way to enjoy holiday partying and have to ease her into it. It took me weeks to get her out of her shell so I am not giving up that easily.

If she ends up heading in early I will stop by but for now I am committed.
>>
No. 680797 ID: bb78f2

>>680789
This is her first day off in forever and I'm super excited to be out and about with her. There's so much to do and only a day to do it. Try [so and so other chill neumono you know that isn't in this circle of friends], they're awesome to hang with.
>>
No. 680798 ID: 12b273

Roxie is everyone you know an overbearing jerk who wants to get you alone in a dark room or what.

>>680789
Look this is the first time I've dragged her away from her books in months. If I bail on her she'll run right back and fossilize. She's my roommate, I have to live with that! Sorry, but getting her to loosen up a little is worth missing a night.
>>
No. 680807 ID: 5ad4a7

>>680789
Why can't Penn come?
>>
No. 680815 ID: bfb318
File 144644279695.png - (162.98KB , 800x800 , 37.png )
680815

>Roxie is everyone you know an overbearing jerk who wants to get you alone in a dark room or what.
Nahhh this girl just likes to do somewhat light drugs and hang out with her buddies. I'm sure she'd do stuff with me in a dark room if I asked, but we're not bedbuddies. She does touch me a lot too, but it's just to get a read on my empathy better.

I don't often decline though, and I'm beginning to think of if my friends can't take a damn no for an answer.

And when I think of it, I do have a lot of people that'll invite me to stuff if I cross paths, and a lot of them do want to do stuff in private. Especially since I get in less fights with others. My tribal class might have mixed feelings about what I do to get along with other neumono, but they say I'm in the transitional breakwall or something where I've grown used to the idea that cool times are had if I don't distrust every neumono offhand. Not more than half a year ago I was still seen as that tribal girl that may flip out at any given point in time.

And honestly, sometimes I really wanted to lose my cool at some of the other tribal girls, but not just was my hive counting on me, some of those snow and redgrass tribals are just fucking scary as hell. I'm thankful that they kept their shit together too.

>Why can't Penn come?
Considering Penn has a tough enough time with stable, mellow social events, I'm assuming she won't have a good time having completely hammered neumono stumbling into her and using her as a rail.

"Look, if she goes home early, I may come over. You guys'll be up late, right?"
>"You know it, but it'd be way better if you just showed up before the afterparty."
"If it helps, I'm trying to get my belenos friend to be more comfortable with parties, a bit at a time. Just not ready for yours is all."
>"We can take it easy."
"You know you can hardly control everyone who shows up. This is the first night I've spent with her in months, I'm not gonna leave it to chance."
>"Okay, okay! You made your point, and you made it well. Alright, Roxie." She's disappointed, but I didn't have to shove her off.
>>
No. 680816 ID: bfb318
File 144644280685.png - (134.60KB , 800x800 , 38.png )
680816

>"Hey, Roxie?" Penn comes up. "I heard, uh, all that. If you want to -"
"Don't even finish that sentence. I really wish you could have empathy right now so you know I'm not lying when I say that I want to spend tonight with you."
>"Oh... hey, Roxie? Thank you. I'll try to make it up to you sometime."
"Stop coming anywhere close to worrying about it, okay?"
>"Oookay. I am ready to go, though."
"Alright. Let's do a carnival ride since it's right by the museum."
>>
No. 680817 ID: bfb318
File 144644282117.png - (136.55KB , 800x800 , 39.png )
680817

A haunted house ride catches our attention, and we get on a ride. And by haunted house I mean haunted caverns of cave neumono. Most of the campus population is still neumono, and that's who most of the rides are for. Thankfully the cars only have 2 spots per, so we don't need to share it with fuck knows what acquaintances I'd run into.

The whole thing is so cheesy! I mean, I guess the ambience is kind of spooky, but there's just a bunch of jumpscares and cheap stuff like predators.

Well, Penn seems pretty spooked somehow.

>"Oh, geez, Roxie, you're not scared at all, are you?"
"Sorry, Penn, but I literally had things with 30 teeth hanging in the trees over me sometimes, spooky skellingtons and neumono without pupils just don't quite do it for me."
>"Th-that's reasonable! I don't know why these zombies scare me, I mean they're fake looking and obviously are fake and stuff, but, it's still really creepy!"
"Yeah, well, that's the - "
>>
No. 680818 ID: bfb318
File 144644283068.png - (163.94KB , 800x800 , 40.png )
680818

Ah fuckshit bats everywhere!!
>>
No. 680819 ID: bfb318
File 144644284230.png - (105.36KB , 800x800 , 41.png )
680819

"Oh, damn! Penn, you alright?... Penn?"
>"That was amazing!"
"What?"
>"Did you see those bats?! How they flew in conjunction?! Like not just did they avoid us just barely, they flew in a perfect spot-pattern with one another! Where'd the carnival get AI like that?!"
"Oh my god you nerd! That's like the one thing that got me!"
>"I heard you yelp, too!"
"Wh- no you didn't - you can't - you can't talk to me after nearly leaping on me after some cardboard cutout ghoul springs up like 20 feet away!"
>>
No. 680820 ID: 799984

We could probably find whatever student's probably stuck babysitting the ride and ask them about the bats? If luck's on our side, they'll be a huge nerd and actually know anything about them. That could be a bit boring but shouldn't be too bad if we step in.

Also, what the heck is a 5 stick trick?
>>
No. 680828 ID: bb78f2

>>680819
Ahahaha see Penn what getting out there will get you? You need FIELD experience girl, learn what people be doing with these AIs and shit. Bet your sweet gams Arza wouldn't mind you going on more field trips with me to see how AI's make things fun and interesting in the entertainment sector.

Oh man, we got to see what the video games with the best AI are doing these days.
>>
No. 680838 ID: bfb318
File 144644828497.png - (154.24KB , 800x800 , 42.png )
680838

>What is a 5 stick trick?
Just putting 5 cigarettes or whatever in my mouth at once, and blowing smoke out at each cigarette like some kind of cartoon pipe organ. It's a dumb party trick, but for some reason people go nuts for it.

The rest of the ride goes well, and Penn seems in high spirits now.

"Hey Penn. Looks like the ride's closing out. How about we ask the owners about those bats and see what kinda algorithm they use?"
>"Uh, well, it's probably proprietary or something."
"You don't need to ask for the super secret codework or whatever, just ask to see a batch of those bats fly around or something!"
>"Um..."
"I'll do it, okay?"
>"Okay!"
>>
No. 680839 ID: bfb318
File 144644829721.png - (121.76KB , 800x800 , 43.png )
680839

"Hey, guy!" I say to the ride operator. "Know where we could check out those bats that flew up out of nowhere?"
>"Uhhh... geez, I guess I could call the ride mechanic out? I just know they were apparently a huge part of the budget here."
>>
No. 680841 ID: bfb318
File 144644846599.png - (166.85KB , 800x800 , 44.png )
680841

Surprisingly, the guy does come, and after a brief talk, Penn starts talking about how good those bats are, and the mechanic starts talking nerd talk back at her. He brings her in the back area, and I sure as hell follow along, especially since Penn's looking to make sure I follow. They talk and talk for half an hour. Isn't quite what I had in mind, but hey, Penn's looking happy.

After over half an hour of how fake bats fly together, I hear that gong from my phone again.

Hey, Roxie! I hope you're not missing my texts. I sent that 'ok' to the wrong person. Penn's got something like 3 major tests and who knows how many quizzes in a few days. Do not have Penn take the day off! Or, at least, the rest of it, if she's taken it off so far. Make sure she studies hard, thanks.
>>
No. 680844 ID: bb78f2

Oh fuck... we can't lie to her about this. It would be wrong and she'd never forgive us. She has to make the choice of her own accord, even though she'll go back to studying. Also, you know, Arza might kick you off campus if you purposely sabotage her studying.

Talk about how she studies, if she straight up just rereads her notes over the whole day and then uses flash cards, and if there's no test tomorrow, it will actually be fine to not study, or at least devote partial attention to studying.

She's a smart girl, I'm sure she actually could ace those tests without a lick of effort like all those lazy geniuses out there.
>>
No. 680856 ID: e6fcea

Should start with calling Azra irresponsible for not reading your message thoroughly. Totally!

And also mention that Penn's been having a good time, but that you will let her know once she's done nerding about horror-tunnel bat AI. Then straight back home.

It was fun while it lasted, at least?
>>
No. 680857 ID: 90f3c0

Tell her, lying is bad for friendships. Tell her she's an adult, and she can make her own decisions. She knows better than Azra how prepared she is for the upcoming tests, and she already decided this morning that she could afford to take the day off.
>>
No. 680868 ID: 63658b

:(
:(
:(
:(
well it was fun while it lasted.
>>
No. 680870 ID: a107fd

Tell Arza that he's got nothing to worry about, Penn managed to derail the day off by examining an AI that runs some bats in a haunted house. Also, he should really be more careful about authorizing stuff so tersely. If his reply had been more than one word you might've been able to guess that there had been an error and ask for clarification right away.
>>
No. 680871 ID: 73c49c

"penn is having more fun then she has probably ever had, if she does not have this i think her heart will die of never felling any other emotion other then worry for her whole life. also i don't think she breaths between studying, so one day off is not going to put a dint in her grades."
>>
No. 680874 ID: 88e46e

"She started studying an AI on her day off. I'm planning on taking her to a nerdy party. It'll probably end up as a study group."
>>
No. 680882 ID: 88960e

>>680841
If he really felt it were important, he'd ring Penn's phone, not yours.

Text back that this is a Halloween 'trick' in poor taste.

And if he is being serious, remember that your star pupil needs some social exposure if she's going to be able to talk to other lab people, or promote ideas, or lobby for grants.

Plus she'll study better after a break than studying constantly. Rest increases efficienty enough that it's more than worth the lost time!
>>
No. 680883 ID: a8f5ac

Take a picture of her just now, talking to the mechanic. You can use it as proof she's nerding out even when having the day off, and also proof that she looks great in that dress. It'd be a crime not to get full use out of it! Especially since she probably won't ever wear it again, unless you manage to get her out next halloween.

If he doesn't relent, say you'll tell her, because you're her friend and don't keep secrets from her, but what she wants to do with the rest of the day is up to her. Though you both know what's likely.

If Penn does decide to go back, you can probably spin an appeal to go get lunch first at least, by this point.
>>
No. 680887 ID: bfb318
File 144647375363.png - (158.98KB , 800x800 , 45.png )
680887

What the hell?!

>If it were that important, he'd call Penn
You'd think so, but he almost always uses email or text, and sometimes he'll deny Penn's calls.

She might have, or might be getting, a text from him too, but she doesn't have the same huge gong noise since she doesn't get put in hot water if she doesn't get an important message right away. She's really talking it up over there. I won't hide or lie to her about this message, but first I'm not going to just let it end like this!

Is this some halloweemn trick arza she's havikng the mostr fin in yrs out of a classroom and she';s studying ai right nowq like as field trip. You know she'l;s smart too and I had to convince hr to leave, she thought it;d be ok. That and shes gotta hjave a social life to knopw how to make AI's act natiural! Please have a little faith in your studentm okay?
Also put moe words in youre responsdes! And I'll show you she's talkiong to mechanic and lookikng good in her dress and I'll briong her back if she wans anfter I show her this messaghe but please let her stay out!!

That did not come out well, but I just want to send the damn message and get one back! Penn's still talking, so I just wait for a response. I don't even think Penn notices me pacing around or remembering to put on my necklace or anything.

................

>1/2: Are you drunk, Roxie? Your message quality really fell low compared to your last email. Besides the point, I suppose - I have faith in my student, but you know we've had rough waters with you distracting her. It's nice that she still has AI and social studies because of this, but the time for extra curricular field study isn't before so many tests. She's entering the highest levels of study. Being a genius is practically listed as a course prerequisite, especially with how many she's taking at once. I'm going to try to avoid giving you a long lecture you've heard before, so I'll just remind you of this: There are a lot of other roommates that I believe are better for Penn than you, and it's only because Penn has grown attached to you that you're still roommates and I'm still funding your non-sponsored higher education. So for something you don't know: So far,
>2/2:Penn's test scores for her courses have been in the 97th to 99th percentile consistently. If any of her next tests fall under 95, then Penn is going to have a tough time convincing me to keep you under the side of my wing. If you have faith in her, then sure, just let her take off the day.
>>
No. 680888 ID: 2ccbb3

>>680887
Well this sucks.

Just let her go back to studying once you get back. Plan one more thing and that should be enough holiday for Penn.
>>
No. 680889 ID: 88960e

>Are you drunk, Roxie? Your message quality really fell low compared to your last email.
Fat fingers, don't be racist. It's harder to type neatly away from a proper sized keyboard.

>If any of her next tests fall under 95, then Penn is going to have a tough time convincing me to keep you under the side of my wing
Yeah, you're not gonna let him blackmail you. She can do it!

I'd keep that threat to yourself, at least. No need to stress her out with that, and she's definitely go back to the books if she thought she was putting you at risk by not.
>>
No. 680891 ID: a8f5ac

"The quality's low because I'm texting and I'm trying to get you before you get distracted with something else again. I am going to tell Penn and let her decide like I said, but for the record if it were up to me I would entirely trust her and give her the day off, because she is a genius as well as needing it. If I take too much time from her by being friends its only because I have to make up for what seems like her having no friends or childhood or anything before now. Don't think I'd stop being friends with her just because you boot me out!"

You can tell Penn that you got a message from Arza saying he's worrying, that he thinks if she doesn't think she can keep up above 95 he would like her to go back to studying, but if she does think that she can stay out.
>>
No. 680897 ID: bfb318
File 144647987863.png - (131.61KB , 800x800 , 46.png )
680897

>Blackmail
I think it's more like a threat.

Arza and I don't like each other much, but he does give me a lot. If not for him - well, if not for Penn's blessing through him - I'd be at some tribal dormatory only taking uplift courses instead of getting a degree as well. I do a lot of little things for Penn anyway.

This time I just speak into the phone to type out the message for me.

I won't keep her late, and give me a break, my fingers are as big as my phone.

>"Hey Roxie, sorry that took so long."
"Don't fret it, hell, there's nothing stopping you from taking longer."
>"Oh, no, the bat's movements are actually pretty simple as it turns out, it's just one of those simple things that makes complex stuff, like fractals."
"Ok! Say, what time do you want to be back at?"
>"Um, that's the thing, I just got a text back from Arza saying... wait, he just sent another. It says it's up to you when I go back to the house?"
"Good. But you still think you'll be fine on your test if you stay out, right?"
>"Wellllll, yes! But, I should be back by 10 or so, and you have to promise that I can study for all of the next 2 days."
"Yep. I'll cook all your food and keep everything clean for you, and tell the neighbors to shut the fuck up if they get too loud. Let's ride a few more rides here and then get to a party."

Maybe I didn't tell her everything, but she really will stress out way too much if she knows how much is riding on this.
>>
No. 680898 ID: bfb318
File 144647988937.png - (247.87KB , 800x800 , 47.png )
680898

She shows more interest in the rides after that, and seems more like some scholar studying the aesthetics rather than getting spooked by it anymore. Even in the actual haunted house that can be walked through. There's less cheesy stuff and more like morphing shapes in the sides of our eyes. It might've given me the creeps, but there's so many people that the atmosphere is messed up.

>"Oh damn, nice getups." one predator girl comes up to us. "You look adorable, belenos, but I've been hunting the campus for lone tribals like this one here." she says, turning to me. "Wanna get pulled into my hive? It'll be a lot of fun tonight, and you can leave whenever. But if you like fighting, we're gonna have a big standoff late tonight with other predators doing the same thing."
"Haha, no thanks, I'm a package deal with Ms Royalty here."
>"That's cool."
>"Oh, that's really nice!" Penn says. "Uh, I mean, predator costumes are common and all, but I don't see many neumono groups do a theme like this. Especially not a competition like that."
>"I know, right?!" the predator gets really excited at having that pointed out. "It's so simple, but no one does it! We're hoping it goes well and it can be a halloween tradition."
"Yeah, you know what? That is cool. If you guys are up late, then give me your number, and I'll join in."
>"Hell yes."
>"Is it safe?" Penn asks.
>"Of course it is, there's rules and no one will get harmed."

Well that was easily the best half-rejection of the night.

But it's party time with Penn, now. I've got a list of three parties I think would be good openers.

First up is the haunted but probably well lit sorority of Pearl-Limestone. A real study-heavy sorority that gets some of the best grades, so even if it's an open party, it's gonna have all sorts of, well, nerdiness going on. I'd probably be an awkward sight there, but it's an easy bet for Penn.
Next up is the open bar in central campus. Normally any open bar is going to lead to all sorts of non-Penn-friendly business, but given how central and official it is - and how stupid cheap the booze is - it's a pretty well controlled place. Might be comfort-stretching for Penn, but we can just leave I guess.
And then there's the haunted house of murder, which is set up to be a big game where people go in and try to solve the mystery. That's a tossup, it could be fun, it could be lame, it could be fast, it could last till like 3 in the morning.
>>
No. 680901 ID: fbc59e

Open Bar sounds like a good idea, with perhaps the Pearl-Limestone as a back-up.
We wanna err on the side of caution, I think given all the factors invovled here.
>>
No. 680902 ID: a8f5ac

Man, the haunted house murder sounds really cool, but they might pull something where they lock you inside. On the other hand, it probably only lasts until the mystery gets solved, and you've got a genius right there with you. It would be good practice for Penn to try her hand at that kind of puzzle-solving, it'll work her brain in ways she doesn't normally get to do. Offer it as an idea to Penn and see what she thinks. Maybe ask whoever's running it whether you have to commit to staying the whole way through? Maybe you can arrange it with them so that if it doesn't get solved by a certain time, you two get "murdered" and can leave.

I'm not sure about the nerd-sorority, if there's that competitiveness then it might end up being too tense. Plus they're the most likely to go "ah what are you doing go study" if Penn mentions her tests. And that racist girl from earlier might be there. But, on the other hand, she might meet someone studying the same things that she can arrange to share notes with or something.

The open bar, I don't think is such a good idea. Give Penn your perspective on the other two options and ask which one she thinks is best.
>>
No. 680903 ID: 88960e

>I think it's more like a threat.
You blackmail people with threats!

>predator girl
Looks like a guy to me, unless they've Kork level flat. Or you meant one of the predator's minions.

>where go
Haunted house of murder! Penn will want to outsmart it, especially with a time limit. Plus if you get stuck it turns into an exciting break out attempt.
>>
No. 680904 ID: 28bcec

Puzzling murder house sounds the most fun. Just have to make sure you can solve the mystery before it gets to late.
>>
No. 680908 ID: bfb318
File 144648518111.png - (119.87KB , 800x800 , 48.png )
680908

>Predator girl
That was a guy after all. His empathy kind of struck me as girlish, and I sensed him before I saw him.

"Hey, Penn, how do you feel about a haunted murder mystery?"
>"Oh, um, that could be fun! Uh, does it run late?"
"Their website is haunted by the ghost of bad web design, I'm trying to find a number or something."

Eventually I do and make a call. They say they do lock in people, but if they need to leave, they can be murdered and just not be allowed back inside.
>>
No. 680909 ID: bfb318
File 144648518985.png - (133.80KB , 800x800 , 49.png )
680909

That's where we end up going.

>"Welcome! Interested in solving a murder?"
"Yeah."
>"Alright! The rules and game are simple. You'll be waiting in the lobby with a few dozen others. One of those people are the murderer! Search the house and murder scene for clues. Accuse the right person and win, or accuse the wrong person and lose, but either way, if you have to give up and leave, you're not allowed to come back. More details will be given at the beginning of the game, if you're interested."
"Yep, sign us up."
>"Very well! We already nearly have a full house, so it won't be too long now."
>>
No. 680911 ID: bfb318
File 144648523449.png - (186.33KB , 800x800 , 50.png )
680911

We've spent around 10 minutes of waiting. It's a lot bigger than I imagined it would be.

What's bugging me though is that some belenos dude is glancing over at Penn a bit too often talking on his cell.
>>
No. 680913 ID: a8f5ac

Probably just checking her out. The dress is really nice, after all! Better make sure to stick with her, just in case.

Or he could be part of the staff. Do they have a jammer in here? Would make the mystery harder if they didn't. If they don't, then you know the murderer can't be a neumono, or their empathy would give it away.
>>
No. 680915 ID: 28bcec

How many Belenosians are there here? If Penn is the only other one here he might just be checking her out.

With any luck the worst you will have to deal with is him hitting on her. That being said keep a eye out in case he is a creep.

Penn does not have any enemies except for whiny school rivals but she is known to be connected to Azra. He is pretty famous and if he had any rivals they might know about him sponsoring Penn. So its a long shot but if someone was going to hassle her it would be because of that connection.

Just make sure to stay close and have a plan for if you get separated. Probably no need to worry Penn while she is having fun but keep a eye on her.
>>
No. 680916 ID: 88960e

He might be interested in her. Or he might be a staff plant and be planning on 'murdering' her. Or he might be pals with the brat from the costume shop and they're up to something.

Too bad you can't listen in.

Hmmm. What does the empathy of anyone near him have to say about him?
>>
No. 680919 ID: bb78f2

>>680911
Just stay close to Penn and keep and keep an eye on him sometimes.
>>
No. 680924 ID: 63658b

HE KNOWS HE MUST DIE I'm mean he's probably worried that having another brain box Belos is going to ruin the game early
>>
No. 680931 ID: 5ad4a7

>>680911
Could be an affiliate of Azra. Keep an eye out but I don't think he'll try anything.
>>
No. 680935 ID: bfb318
File 144649703125.png - (166.50KB , 800x800 , 51.png )
680935

He may just have an intense look at girls he likes, but maybe I'm paranoid.

>How many Belenosians are there here?
Maybe about a dozen and a half, about half of them girls.

There's no jammer, but no neumono around the belenos have paid him much mind.

Eventually someone turns on the PA system and starts talking about the rules. Locked doors, empathy jammer is going up after all, which areas are allowed, and so on. Then a brief history of the murder victim and his interests and stuff. Penn listens in, but I just can't hold my attention on it.

I at least pay attention when I'm handed a character to play and made sure I understand who I am and all that stuff, but before I know it, Penn immediately takes me up to the attic as soon as the game starts.

"Why here?"
>"Well, they did say that Mr Trifle liked to keep mementos of his past around. Up until his murder, he lived in peace despite how busy he was, and it sounded like he would have only made enemies in the long past. Since then, he moved here, right? So, it makes sense that he might not have had time to unpack all of his stuff and left a lot of clues in the attic regarding a motive."
"... huh. Sounded like they explained a lot more than that."
>"Yeah, and I mean, it's always possible this is a deadend, but it is nice and quiet while everyone goes off to the murder scene itself."
"I thought they said something about this supposed to be interaction heavy, but hey, they said they may have left clues around as well. Say, you see that belenos in the business suit that kept looking at you?"
>"Oh, no, sorry, I wasn't paying attention to other people really. Why?
"I guess I'm just paranoid, I didn't know you had actual academic enemies until today, and now I gotta protect you from them, too!"
>"Geez, Roxie, it's not like we're at war!"

I can't help but think of that class notes event, both because of that bitch encounter, and because of the literal mention of it today. They were found by a real thorough janitor way the hell underneath a cabinet. Then he apparently handed it to that damn teacher that forgot about it.

Penn has no idea how they got so far under a cabinet, but she was just glad they turned up. Since then, she's held her notes close, and both of us just figured she misplaced the hell out of them.
>>
No. 680937 ID: 5ad4a7

>>680935
...how good is security at your place? If there is any sort of conspiracy against Penn, they likely know she's not at home now.

Is she keeping her notes with her, even now?
>>
No. 680938 ID: bb78f2

>>680935
It's a lot of work to bring stuff up to the basement, though. If Trifle just moved in, most of his unpacked shit would be downstairs so it would be closer to where he wants it.

Everything he'd NEVER unpack would be up in the attic. This is really just where he hoard's old shit he's too attached to get rid of. But old family photo's are probably up here, journal diaries, notes, that stuff.

By running off, we've made ourselves look more suspect, which means we look LESS suspicious. Good move, Penn.
>>
No. 680939 ID: 28bcec

The notes might have just gotten accidentally swept under a cabinet or could have been kicked there.

Could see one of Penn's rivals noticing the notes and shoving them under there because taking them out of the class would be noticed.

She might not act like she is at war but there is a lot of competition for the top spots in her field. A few percentage points in grade difference can mean the difference between getting the best scholarships and later internships. So could see a student who used to be at the top of the class being threatened by Penn. Could see someone trying to subtlety sabotage her if given the chance.

Hopefully will never go past the kicking notes under a cabinet phase but make sure to keep a eye out.

Anyways enough worrying about that stuff. Right now you have a murder to solve so help Penn find some clues.
>>
No. 680942 ID: a8f5ac

Maybe Arza's rivals could be involved? It's not anything formal, but Penn is basically guaranteed to become his assistant when she graduates. Maybe someone wants him to not have the help. Or, alternately, someone who's impressed by Penn's record wants to drive a wedge between him and her, so they can poach her away from him.

I doubt fellow students would go so far as to actually break into someone's residence to sabotage them, they'd just take what opportunities come up. Unless they're morons. And student residences generally have half-decent security, since students get up to so many shenanigans.

So, the murder! Help her look through this stuff.
>>
No. 680943 ID: a107fd

>>680887
>Penn's test scores for her courses have been in the 97th to 99th percentile consistently. If any of her next tests fall under 95,

95% correct, or better than 95% of the other students in those classes? That could be a very big difference depending on how the other students' scores are distributed. If there are, say, 100 students, and it's a race where Penn is usually coming in 2nd, 3rd, or 4th place, and anywhere below 5th place means you don't get the good prizes, then the folks who normally come in around 5th or 6th place would have alarmingly strong incentives to sabotage her.
>>
No. 680944 ID: 12b273

>I at least pay attention when I'm handed a character to play
So who are you, and who's Penn?

You're not the murderer, right?

>Note security
Geeze, I hope you locked the door when you left.

>attic
Well, one advantage to separating from the group is that if a player is supposed to get murdered early on in the investigation, we're harder to target. The 'murderer' does know we're up here, and will take the first target of opportunity.

For now, give Penn a hand! Uh, she's taller, so your main advantage in searching is probably being stronger. You could get at boxes stuffed behind other ones pretty easy.

Just don't spend all night looking though boxes that might not even be part of the puzzle! If they hid clues up here, they're probably not too hard to find.

Hmm. Look for disturbed dust, or anything that smells like it's been handled recently?
>>
No. 680945 ID: bb78f2

>>680944
>So who are you, and who's Penn? You're not the murderer, right?

Oh my god Roxie, what if Penn's the murderer? She lured you up here to kill you!

>>680938
>It's a lot of work to bring stuff up to the attic,
Oh and I made a mistake in this post, I meant to say that instead.
>>
No. 680957 ID: a8f5ac

>>680944

It'd be cheating to use meta knowledge! We should only look for clues that are part of the scenario, not, like, signs of those clues being planted by the staff members. So... tell us more about the murder victim, what species was he? Maybe it's racist to split things up along species lines, but it might be that a member of one tends to be murdered for different reasons than the other, and suchlike. Anyway, tell Penn about your character, and let her tell you about hers.

I wonder if we're missing out on spooks by splitting off from the group. Like, maybe the staff will be doing stuff to try pretend that "oh no there's a REAL murderer", or that there are ghosts or something.
>>
No. 681001 ID: ca183f

>>680943
It says percentile, so it's compared to others. Presumably others in the same class, but it might include other years so I wouldn't try to count on sabotaging others or something.

Not that I would recommend that in the first place but...

On the other hand I doubt the other students have a similar arrangement so they shouldn't be incentivized to sabotage Penn.
>>
No. 681043 ID: bfb318
File 144653766442.png - (101.08KB , 800x800 , 52.png )
681043

>Percentile?
I think Penn's said something about how all the major tests are standardized, so it measures the percentile of grades based on everyone who takes the course, even people from other solar systems.

>Home security?
It's good, Arza made sure of that. We have surveillance and all sorts of stuff, so it would take an idiot to try to break in.

"By the way, did you bring your notes with you?"
>"Er, not my written ones, but I did bring a thumb drive just in case - er, it's gone?"
"What?!"
>"I just bought a flash drive to put stuff on, and labelled it as Psychological AI Experiments, but it's gone! Oh, it's not a big deal though, I haven't put anything on it yet."
"But it's stolen!"
>"I might have misplaced it!... um, I'm sure I never took it out of the bag, and it was in the bag before, uh... I left it in the store for awhile."
"I bet that damn girl took it!"
>"Roxie, please! Nothing was on it. It's not a big deal. Let's just do the murder mystery?"
"... well, okay. Tell me about the murderee - murder victim. I missed it the first time."
>>
No. 681044 ID: bfb318
File 144653767284.png - (137.92KB , 800x800 , 53.png )
681044

Mr Roger Trimble was a human explorer, wishing to uplift neumono for his personal use. I guess they just outright murdered him before the game started to get things going.

I, apparently, am playing the part of Kirtar Rozu Astrolook, an emissary for a tribal hive that was wishing to renegotiate my hive's position under his wing. Or that's the official reason, but in actuality, my hive was displeased with Trimble and wanted out. I guess that would be my motive, but I'm not the murderer. Still a good thing I at least wiped off the blood around my mouth.

Penn is playing Mr. Trimble's sole apprentice.

Apparently, they made a point to give us characters that fit us. Which is cool, since me playing a human diplomat would be kind of funny.

"By the way, isn't the attic where people wouldn't unpack things ever? Didn't you say he just moved in?"
>"It wasn't clear, but it sounded like it was just a couple years."
"Well, let's move out some time, because I'm betting some of this attic stuff isn't even part of the puzzle. Cept for this. Fake looking knife collection."
>"Oh! Trimble was murdered by slash wounds. These could be it, but I don't know. I kind of liked searching for stuff alone with you, but do you think we should interact with the others?"
>>
No. 681045 ID: 5ad4a7

>>681044
Look to see if any knives are missing, or have blood on them.
>>
No. 681061 ID: f61b8d

Weeeelllll, see about the knives, and if you notice any other leads. Then, yeah, I mean, check back and exchange clues with the others. I did a room escape with some friends, once; I helped do part of the puzzles, while others worked on other stuff, we told each other stuff we found, and nearly beat the record for that puzzle.

By the way, I'd like to mention I appreciate this comment, about showing actual empathy for our earlier antagonist.
>>680517
I was all up in arms about her like everybody else, but it's good to remember that other people have stuff they're struggling with, too. I dunno if it fits Roxie's personality to be able to about-face like that, but it warms my heart, the times that we (speaking of tgchan and the internet collectively) remember that our adversaries are people like us.

>>
No. 681066 ID: 27fa55

An alien looking to uplift neumono for "personal use"? And that the neumono aren't happy with? I wonder if this victim character would have had any shady connections. Investments from shady characters that weren't paying off fast enough, perhaps? Records about that sort of thing wouldn't be kept in the open. Try checking places where you would conceal things. If not here, then check his bedroom next.

If you move around, you'll start running into the other players anyway, so no need to worry about seeking out interaction.

As for the missing drive... well, whoever plugs a drive labeled with "AI Experiments" into their computer would have to be an idiot. Tell Penn that next time she gets herself one of those, load some little security AI on it, or a tracker to tell you where a thief plugs it into if it gets stolen again. Aside from other students, she'll eventually move into fields where proprietary technology and security and suchlike is a big thing, so she needs to learn to deal with this sort of thing. I don't suppose criminal psychology is part of that psychology course she's in? Maybe she should consider doing something in that area for her paper or something.
>>
No. 681076 ID: 88960e

>I kind of liked searching for stuff alone with you, but do you think we should interact with the others?
Well, we'll kind of have to, in order to accuse the murderer, and to check alibis.

Still, we might have found the muder weapon, that's a good start! Hmm. Any of the knives look like they were used, or have any hair or blood or anything on them? Any missing?

(Fingerprints and DNA won't help, as we don't have lab testing, and the organizers wouldn't have been able to plant that from their players. Plus, furry aliens probably don't have fingerprints).
>>
No. 681087 ID: bfb318
File 144656381710.png - (185.55KB , 800x800 , 54.png )
681087

"I'm sure we'll find people while wandering around. Want to check out his bedroom?"
>"Sure!"
"By the way, do you load any security AI on your flash drives or anything?"
>"Well, yes, but I don't think I did on that drive? Since there was nothing to protect yet."

It looks like one of the knives are missing, but there's no blood or anything like that.

Even if there was DNA testing here or something to see if anyone messed with this, it'd probably just turn up some staff member that's not even on the playing field now.

>I wonder if this victim character would have had any shady connections.
Let's see... there's a lot of information here.

I can read pretty decently now, but I've got a tough time remembering information I read about, compared to if I was told it.

Kirtar's hive was 'personally used' as manual labor that was almost slavelike, apparently, as one of those early hives that was taken in by an alien who wanted to make the most of them. We made less than our living expenses, so we were wracking up debt like nothing else.

Man, that's depressing. Anyway, I was resting in one of Trimble's guest rooms when he got murdered.
>>
No. 681088 ID: bfb318
File 144656382854.png - (169.26KB , 800x800 , 55.png )
681088

We start searching the bedroom for things, but there's a couple people here. Penn manages to act out her character way better than I would've thought. I think they're just sharing backstories with each other. I listen in while I rummage through a desk. At least until a neumono comes to me. I still keep an eye on Penn.

>"Hello, miss? I am Yule of the Coalition. And you are?"
"Kirtar. Explain why you approach me." I don't even need to act, I just have to regress back a few years to get in character.
>"Oh, Kirtar! I have read of you. You must be glad to be out of Trimble's pocket, now." He stuck his hand out for a shake, and he's just keeping it out there while I continue to not return it. "And you must know me, correct?"

It's like I'm taking a damn quiz.
>>
No. 681089 ID: 28bcec

Aww come on role playing these things is part of the fun. And if socially inept Penn can play her character well you had better do the same.

So am guessing the coalition was a precursor to the modern ultrahives? This guys character probably went around trying to convince hives to join up. Your hive would be a prime target because your terms with Trimble were unfair and you wanted to get out already.

He could be a suspect because killing Trimble would free your hive and make it more willing to join his group.

Anyways did you have any info in your packet about him?
>>
No. 681090 ID: 88960e

Not shaking is probably in character. Although that would bypass the jammer and let the two of you see each other's empathy, which is metagaming a bit.

Hmm. One advantage to being standoffish when you have a motive is you're a red herring. Other players might suspect you and waste time or effort on a dead end, or they might accuse you and get eliminated for it.

>You must be glad to be out of Trimble's pocket, now.
Can't say I'm sorry he bought it.

What's the coalition doing here now? You sure didn't care when he was exploiting us, but now that he's dead, you're paying attention?

>you know who I am, right
Maybe we do! If we don't, we can cover for it by being rude and not addressing that.
>>
No. 681091 ID: 2a7417

I believe my fist has yet to get to know you.
>>
No. 681093 ID: bfb318
File 144656835121.png - (117.06KB , 800x800 , 56.png )
681093

>Anyways did you have any info in your packet about him?
It sounds familiar, but it's just too damn corny to say 'hold on I forgot who you were, let me grab my character sheet I should've memorized before the game started'.

>So am guessing the coalition was a precursor to the modern ultrahives?
The coalition is one of the two big ultrahives. Still, there's big referral bonuses if someone brings in a hive that integrates well, so Yule's got his interest there too.

>Handshakes would allow metagaming
There's almost definitely gonna be a little of that one way or the other. Though it probably means the murderer isn't a neumono, because they didn't say that touching other neumono was against the rules. Probably just uses the honor system.

"There is no sorrow for his death. Maybe you are known to me." I still keep my hands at my hips and stare right at him, no blinking at all. I still got the savage assery in me. "Tell me what the coalition is doing here."
>"His independant actions were often of a dubious nature. I know that you know that, correct? Under an ultrahive, you would be treated well."
"Hmph. Trimble made that claim. You did not care while he was alive, but now that he is dead, you wish me to ally with your kind?"
>"We couldn't do anything while he was alive, now we can. I know you had plenty of reason to see him dead, and you just admitted you're not even sorry for him. How about we work together, and you can see that some people do have your interests at heart?"

He sticks his hand back out again.
>>
No. 681097 ID: 88960e

>How about we work together, and you can see that some people do have your interests at heart?
...for now. You will have a chance to prove yourself, but only a chance.

Take hand.
>>
No. 681099 ID: 28bcec

Was shaking hands ever a thing with tribal Neumono? Or is it something your species picked up from humans?

In a role-playing sense I could see a early coalition picking up alien mannerisms quickly. Lets him role play a way of reading your empathy.

You could screw with him by thinking "He knows to much now he has to die" really hard right as you shake his hand. Would be a entertaining prank but sort of immersion breaking.

Playing your character though I think she would shake but stay guarded. You were here to try and break away from Trimble not join a ultrahive. But with your patron dead the possibility of a better deal would be tempting. Plus if your tribe was reliant on Trimble for supplies you would be worried about the near future.
>>
No. 681100 ID: 88960e

>Was shaking hands ever a thing with tribal Neumono? Or is it something your species picked up from humans?
Came up in Poloquest. It's a thing the ultrahives picked up from aliens.
>>
No. 681102 ID: bb78f2

Shake hands, but don't have these following thoughts until you shake the hand.

Penn's my number one suspect for the murderer. Went straight up to the attack where the murder weapon was, now it's missing, could be personal from her role. If the murder weapon was a knife, AND from that collection, it would have to be someone that knew where the collection was, which would most likely be his apprentice. Now she wants to mingle with the other guests.

If she's in a hurry, what she's going to want to do is start killing the other guests quickly, because as the murderer, she can't DIE until the mystery is solved. Her main solution, should she have to leave, is get her murder on.
>>
No. 681106 ID: bfb318
File 144657352110.png - (148.89KB , 800x800 , 57.png )
681106

>Was shaking hands ever a thing with tribal Neumono?
Sorta. As a formality of greeting and stuff, it's a human thing mostly.

That said, hands are a good way to sense empathy, so holding hands is a pretty intimate thing. In fact, resting on one another while holding both of each hands has often been equated to kissing.

"You will be given a chance." I take his hand, and we grip each other's tight for a moment.

Most of what we glean is meta stuff. He seems pretty stoked about working together in general, and was pretty shy about doing this game. He didn't know if he'd enjoy it.

Otherwise, he doesn't seem like he's trying to trick me.

I stay guarded, letting him know that I'm still not going to be an easy ally, but at the same time, he probably picks up on the fact that I'm here for a buddy's sake, but I am liking pretending to be a tribal again. That, and I think he's acting kind of cute about how he's trying hard to stay in character while we shake hands, but my liking him beyond the usual outsider-dislike is more meta. It's an open game with closest-match character fits, I doubt people are expecting absolute immersion.

I'm not good at faking a feeling by thinking really hard about, say 'he knows, he must die'. Unless I was a really good actor, it's really obvious when I'm just thinking a phrase to play a joke. In fact, he'd sooner pick up on me playing a joke than what I was thinking specifically.

>Penn's my number one suspect for the murderer.
It's hard enough to get Penn to show up to public events, I'm not gonna play jokes on her!

Even if I did think she was the murderer, I still want to play along for her sake.
>>
No. 681108 ID: bfb318
File 144657353611.png - (140.90KB , 800x800 , 58.png )
681108

The other thing he picks up on is my stink eye towards that belenos that showed up and started talking to Penn.

>"-while you may have large shoes to fill, I'm sure that he taught you lots. Perhaps we can go to a different location and share what all we know with one another?" That guy puts on a voice like he's supposed to be playing Johnny Smoothtone.
>"I'm sure this room has lots of information, though, and I just haven't had the time to review his most recent notes!" Penn replies.
>"No doubt his studies on astreneus wildlife and the ever changing political mapping. Meanwhile, I overheard that he kept some of his more private works in the cellar."
>"I'm sorry, but I have to review this bedroom first!"
>"So be it, but let's make our next destination be the cellar."

Penn might need rescuing.
>>
No. 681113 ID: 88960e

>Penn is a murder suspect
If it's her, then we just side with her as an accomplice. Unless she murders us, in which case we'll be proud of her and consider getting her out and having fun a success.

>Penn might need rescuing.
Then butt in! Your part lets you be confrontational.
>>
No. 681114 ID: 28bcec

Well that could be him hitting on her. Or luring her to the basement to murder her in character. Or luring her to murder for real. Probably not the last one but you never know.

Anyways go attach yourself to her hip. She is Trimble's only apprentice so you would not want her out of your sight. If she gets killed before the murder gets cleared up your hive could be held responsible or get stuck with debts or whatever.

I mean the cellar is a option but make sure she never leaves your sight. Try to avoid acting like a protective roommate and more like a suspicious tribal.
>>
No. 681124 ID: bb78f2

Say hello to the Belonos dude, get all up on that cockblock role. Unless you're reading Penn MIGHT like the guy, but's nervous. Say something like how we should all really be moving in groups of three or four to prevent being deaded, that doesn't sound too meta.

Then again, I don't know, nothing wrong with her getting laid tonight if she actually wants to, since she's in college and this is... what, her last year and her first real day off? What if she's thinking "Oh my god, last chance to get laid as a college student even though I'm really nervous around people... maybe a quickie, just to say I did"

He doesn't... seem too bad. I mean, a bit too forward I guess. Still not comfortable with them both alone when he's pushing it so early. Have you ever tried to set her up with a guy before? Have you ever had a discussion on her types or if she'd be into aliens sexually? I'd think being with an alien would be safer for her as a first time, since, like, she can't get pregnant and STD's are less likely. But that's like, a convo to have in private and still mostly her business.
>>
No. 681125 ID: 88960e

Also: if jealous schoolgirl really is messing with Penn by proxy, they probably expect you. We might be able to use your new roleplay buddy in getting rid of him.
>>
No. 681128 ID: 211d83

That could be a option. Say this guy is Ms bitch's brother or friend and he noticed Penn here.

That call could have gone something along the lines of:

"Hey sis I just noticed that girl you were complaining about at the murder haunted house. Yeah dressed in a blue outfit. Sure I can go mess with her if you want."

Then he lures her someone isolated and hurts her. Probably would not attack her but there are plenty of ways of hurting her feelings or fucking with her head.

So keep a eye out in case of plotting. Could just be a amorous suitor but you never know.
>>
No. 681130 ID: 5ad4a7

Or maybe you can trust Penn to handle it?
>>
No. 681132 ID: 065c2b

Well, from the horn shape, that looks like the same guy that was on the call.

Sally on up to them and act the territorial tribal, that the murdered guy's assistant may stand to inherit from him, and thus may inherit his dealings with your hive, so you're not letting her out of your sight.
>>
No. 681135 ID: bfb318
File 144658530951.png - (160.61KB , 800x800 , 59.png )
681135

>Or maybe you can trust Penn to handle it?
Sometimes I'd like to be able to, but she's told me she really likes having me pull her away when it's obvious she wants to be pulled away without doing it herself.

Someday I hope she can do it herself and get in good with a guy without feeling bad or something, but now's not the night to go that far!

Plus she doesn't want relationships to distract her from her studies. I tried setting her up with a guy before, and that didn't go well at all.

"No." I say, approaching them. "The killer remains. We will stay in parties."
>"Ugh - who are you?"
"I am Kirtar, and I must keep an eye on Trimble's apprentice."
>"And why is that?"
"Because she will inherit Trimble's fortune and trickery, and I must keep a close eye on her to make sure she does begin claiming my hive as her own. She cannot be trusted."
>"Haha, what, that is not how it works! You are already free."
"You are untrustworthy as well."
>"You enter this house, say these things, and you expect that to be responded to favorably? Come, Ms. Navo. You do not need to have such distrust in your midst." he says to Penn. "And I suggest you not follow, Kirtar."
"Your suggestion will not be followed."
>"These were the neumono that Mr. Trimble looked after." Penn says. "Therefore, I, well, I have to look after her as well. Unless she actively prevents us from working, then she is welcome to stay at my side."
>"So be it, you are far kinder than your mentor!"
>"Tell me, though," Yule interrupts, "Why is it you are so desperate to get Ms. Navo alone by herself, down in such a private, dreary place as a cellar?"
>"To investigate without distraction, but that isn't to be, and you have Ms. Navo to thank for it!"
>>
No. 681141 ID: 28bcec

I like Yule already. He will make a fun addition to the party.

Don't go out of your way to antagonize this guy. If he is a creep he will reveal it through his actions. Just stay in your tribal persona and keep helping Penn out.

Could be that he is just playing his character but trying to lure someone off alone would be suspicious no matter what the reason. I mean the murder might be trying to lure off Trimble's apprentice but could also be characters who are after other stuff.

I mean a murder mystery would not be that hard without everyone having there own agenda. Maybe this guys sheet says something about trying to find Trimble's will or something.
>>
No. 681157 ID: 12b273

>I like Yule already. He will make a fun addition to the party.
Yes, he's doing good, and having another fun roleplayer in the mix trips up anyone trying to be jerks about it.

Flash him an OOC smile or thumbs up at some point.

>"To investigate without distraction, but that isn't to be, and you have Ms. Navo to thank for it!"
To work without distraction or collaborators is a very alien idea.

>what do
Well, Penn thinks there's evidence in this room, we might as well check it out.
>>
No. 681158 ID: 90f3c0

This guy seems suspicious, maybe you should find out more about him. Suggest that the four of you all investigate the cellar together. This should be fine with him if he doesn't have any creepy ulterior motives for getting Penn alone.
>>
No. 681163 ID: bfb318
File 144659015480.png - (101.87KB , 800x800 , 60.png )
681163

I shrug, and Penn finishes up her search pretty fast after all here, so all of us go down to the cellar.

This place looks creepy as shit. I mean, it's supposed to be, but I'm damn glad I'm being the overprotective roommate by being the territorial tribal.

>"Look, Ms. Navo. Obvious footprints. They go straight into the wall." this belenos guy says basically right away since those footprints are literally painted on an obvious, cleared corner of the room.
>"Oh, yeah!" Penn says. "I have no idea what would open the false-wall, though."
>"We cannot rule out that these are fake prints left by the killer, as I'm sure you've already concluded. Nonetheless, we should see if we cannot find the open entrance. But, what if you and I continue walking the cellar for clues, while our neumono friends search for the hidden lever or whatever opens this door? After all, I'm sure that this tribal neumono would show us just how observant jungle neumono can be, unless she simply is not up to the task?"
>"You are really persistent, sir!" Yule says.
>"Not at all. Navo and I shall be well within earshot and just around the corner. I will not truly be alone with her. Unless, of course, our questionably clothed comrade simply isn't up to the task?"
>>
No. 681168 ID: 12b273

>>681163
How big are those footprints? Can you tell what species would have left them? (If they weren't obvious painted on fakes, that is).

>what do
As long as there is killer about, it is more dangerous to be alone with one than fully alone.

You will not need assistance to uncover the workings of this wall.

Send Yule with them, he can start earning that trust.
>>
No. 681169 ID: bb78f2

>>681163
I must feel that it is unwise. There is only one murderer, and anything one can say in private should be said in public, in front of witnesses. Our presence is negligible to you, but necessary for the group, ergo, we should hear all you have to say for Ms. Navo.

A murder is a foot, and NO secrets must be kept. This would be so much easier if you were both neumono, then perhaps I would have allowed such a conversation, but you are both aliens, and thus must not be allowed one on one correspondence.

I think four pairs of eyeballs are better looking around for a switch, anyhow.
>>
No. 681176 ID: 28bcec

It only takes a moment to finish off someone with a hidden knife and then escape into a secret passage.

Or maybe you are just trying to seduce a grieving apprentice so you can lay claim to Trimble's estate?

Besides what if she is more than just a grieving apprentice? You could be walking into the last conversation you might ever have.

No tonight is not the night for private conversations. If you need privacy I am sure she will gladly oblige you when the murderer is caught.
>>
No. 681184 ID: 90f3c0

This guy is a suspicious jerk, but this wouldn't be much of a murder mystery if he tried to "kill" Penn while you where standing right there.

Let him search with Penn so you can try to find out what he is actually after. Stay as close as you can in case you need to rescue Penn from awkward conversation.

Try knocking on the wall and see if you can tell if it is obviously hollow or not.
>>
No. 681187 ID: bfb318
File 144659290453.png - (135.79KB , 800x800 , 61.png )
681187

"I require no assistance, but that is idiocy. Being alone is less dangerous than possibly being alone with a murderer. Yule. Go with them. I will look for this hidden compartment, and we will see if all of you must come back to help me."

I don't know Yule that well, but he seems cool enough to not let shit get out of hand while I'm literally across the room. I also whisper to Penn to just call me over if she needs an escape, and to not leave earshot.

I put my hand on Yule's shoulder to look like I'm ushering him forward, but I think he catches my hint to look out for Penn in more ways than just being pretend-murdered.

Don't worry, I'll like to help you. Yule thinks at me. Probably a little eager to help me out, but he's actually cool about it instead of how some guys reacted towards my clothing.
>>
No. 681188 ID: bfb318
File 144659291750.png - (77.52KB , 800x800 , 62.png )
681188

>How big are the footprints?
About human sized. They're decently made and all, and intentionally made to seem in between major species. Still not a neumono.

Or a yich eater, I guess. Probably not a heef. Basically not a neumono or any species that I haven't seen in here.

The belenos guy - I forgot his name, if I even heard it in the first place - does sweet talk 'Navo' more than my liking, but I guess I shouldn't helicopter Penn that much. It's just toned down enough to not get me to go all tribal and start barking up his horns.

The wall has an obvious seam to it, and I scan the hell out of this room. After about 5 minutes, I find a hidden panel with a switch to 'side passage'. I pull it, and the door slides open pretty silently.

A body falls out not so silently, but I don't think the others heard it over the sound of Belenos Man trying to butter up Penn.
>>
No. 681190 ID: 12b273

>A body falls out not so silently, but I don't think the others heard it over the sound of Belenos Man trying to butter up Penn.
"I have found something."

Then go to check it out while they catch up.

Any idea who the dead Pomi is supposed to be?
>>
No. 681192 ID: 28bcec

Lets hope that is a realistic fake or a actor.

Well you could go check but then you are all alone next to the corpse. So stay right where you are and call out for the others.

Its tempting to go check the body for clues but lets let Penn take the lead. Unless you are going to college for forensic science or something.
>>
No. 681194 ID: bb78f2

>>681188
Is that a fake body, a role player acting like a dead body, or a real dead body?
>>
No. 681196 ID: 5ad4a7

>>681188
A DOUBLE MURDER! Call everyone back over here. Then inspect the body.
>>
No. 681202 ID: 57006e

Cry "Murder!" in the most dramatic way possible.

I doubt it's a real body, or you would have smelled the blood. In either case, don't go near it until there are other witnesses.
>>
No. 681204 ID: 211d83

If it was not so out of character I would say scream "A body" and then flounce over to the guy hitting on Penn and ask him "What should we do" while acting like a air headed sorority girl.
>>
No. 681264 ID: bfb318
File 144661069223.png - (79.95KB , 800x800 , 63.png )
681264

It's definitely a fake doll. It would look more obviously fake, but seeing that from a distance in the dark could give someone a start.

"I found something!"

They come back. Penn gasps, Yule nearly screams, and Belenos Man goes wide eyed.

>"What is this?" he says.
>"Jonah, that's Kabocc! Mr. Trimble's secretary!"
>"What? I thought he happened to be on vacation during all of this!"
>"Hm? Kirtar, that knife - it looks like a match for those missing knives you found."
>"You're telling me," Jonah says, "Kirtar just happened to find a set of knives, happened to find a secret entrance lever within minutes, and we find a body that was murdered with a missing part of that set?"
>"Are you saying she murdered someone right now," Yule retorts, "while all of us were around, knew that we knew she was there, and murdered someone?"
>"No, the blood is dry. Leave the thinking to us belenos, Yule."
"You are not the good example of belenos thinking."
>"Hrmph. Ms. Navo, what do you think?"
>"She may be a savage, but she is no idiot. Even headstrong savages know when to run, and if she felt you were closing in on evidence that she had murdered someone, you've really given her a lot of opportunities to leave!"
>"Hm, yes, you raise a good point, and are too nice to this one once again."
>>
No. 681265 ID: bfb318
File 144661070799.png - (111.21KB , 800x800 , 64.png )
681265

Penn looks through the corpse. We agree to tell everyone, soon, but we may as well get the head start.

>"That's interesting." Penn says. "Kabocc has a letter from Mr. Trimble, dated before Kabocc's vacation, requesting that he stay behind to keep things orderly should something happen to Trimble."
>"And so he suspected something would happen to himself?"
>"Possibly!"
>>
No. 681266 ID: 5ad4a7

>>681265
Well considering he was leaning up against the door when he died, that means he was murdered in the secret passage... which means whoever murdered him was aware of the passage.

Let's follow the passage to the other end and see how easy it is to find the other entrance. That'll give us an indication how much inside information the murderer needed.
>>
No. 681268 ID: 90f3c0

If Trimble knew he was going to die, he might have left other notes behind, or maybe a will. Does he have an office or study in the house? That would be a good place to search.

For now, check out the passage.
>>
No. 681273 ID: 12b273

Is this a secret passage, or a secret compartment? Ie, does it go anywhere?

>And so he suspected something would happen to himself?
Suddenly makes me wonder if he was planning on faking his death to escape something, only it caught up with him too soon.
>>
No. 681288 ID: bfb318
File 144661441449.png - (104.36KB , 800x800 , 65.png )
681288

"We will take the passage and see where it leads."
>"Obviously" says Jonah.

It leads to a steep set of sturdy looking stairs, but before we get to them, the lights go out.

>"K-Kirtar?" Penn sounds pretty spooked, but I grab her hand.
"I gotcha."

I'm actually just impressed she didn't call me Roxie, there.

>"Hold on." Jonah says. "I saw a spare flashlight back in the cellar. I should be able to feel my way to it, and get us out of here."
>>
No. 681296 ID: 5ad4a7

>>681288
Fine, go get it. Don't get murdered. We'll stay here and guard the stairwell so nobody can jump you or us from behind.
>>
No. 681297 ID: 12b273

>>681288
Backtrack as a group, so no one gets jumped in the dark.

...which is gonna mean standing around while he fumbles in the dark nearby, but oh well.
>>
No. 681299 ID: 395c02
File 144661610315.png - (130.95KB , 800x800 , 64_question_mark.png )
681299

Um.

"There is a chance the thing I grabbed is not actually your hand."

>"You sure?"

"Yeah, this is probably not your hand and is probably a spooky prop."

>"Probably?"

"Probably."
>>
No. 681300 ID: 395c02
File 144661613672.png - (77.44KB , 800x800 , 65_question_mark.png )
681300

A strange neumono is giggling, making a weird sound.

"Spespespespespe~~"

"um."
>>
No. 681303 ID: 5ad4a7

>>681300
Pfft.
>>
No. 681304 ID: ec0bf5

Go pick it up and check its gender.
>>
No. 681340 ID: 28bcec

This seems like a slight departure from the murder mystery. I wonder if this is part of it or someone wandering around having there own fun.

Look around and make sure you have not lost track of Penn.
>>
No. 681347 ID: 623c59

>>681299

Suspicious update is suspicious.

Flip that hand around and go tickle attack the laughing prankster over there.
>>
No. 681351 ID: bfb318
File 144665468070.png - (195.01KB , 800x800 , 66.png )
681351

I can't see shit, but I hear it scurry off. As much as I'd like to go tackle some weird noise-making neumono in the dark, I'm more likely to run into a wall.

"Pe - Navo, where are you?"
>"Over here!"
"Jonah, go get the flashlight.'
>"That is what I am doing."

We hear some commotion from far off, but can't make anything out. It just sounds like unintelligible voices and footsteps from around us.

>"Oh, I do have it." says Penn.

She flicks on a flashlight.

>"I'm sorry, I didn't know if I brought it with me, and I didn't want to say anything in case I didn't."
>>
No. 681352 ID: 88960e

>>681351
Kay, look around.

Priority is finding the rest of your group, and anyone else sneaking around.
>>
No. 681357 ID: 90f3c0

Make sure Jonah and Yule haven't been murdered in the dark. Then proceed up the spooky staircase.
>>
No. 681362 ID: bb78f2

>>681351
...
Penn somehow got to the cellar without us knowing? What? I'm confused. Did she bring that with her previously?
Her piece of paper probably has lots of info about this place, including layout and where items commonly are, since her character is the victim's apprentice. She should have an inventory list and everything.
>>
No. 681365 ID: 28bcec

Shove the fake hand in your waistband or wherever for later use and have Penn look around with the flashlight.

Check to see if anyone in the group has gotten murdered or disappeared.
>>
No. 681379 ID: 57006e

Maybe someone's swapping things around between your bags? Have a little check.
>>
No. 681433 ID: 12b273

>>681300
Guess the event organizers gotta have their fun somehow.

>>681351
Look around, check on the others, for murderers around you, and maybe you can shine a light in Jonah's direction so he can find the other flashlight quicker.
>>
No. 681493 ID: bfb318
File 144670776505.png - (167.26KB , 800x800 , 67.png )
681493

>Penn somehow got to the cellar without us knowing?
No. She might have been given a map, come to think of it, but that flashlight she got, she just got from our apartment. In case... of this, apparently.

"Yule, you here?" I put the fake hand in my pack. Unless they ask for it back, I'm keeping it as a memento. There's nothing changed in my pack, and it would be pretty messed up if they fucked around with my bag in the dark.
>"Er, yes. And I'm glad you had that flashlight. I'm not the best in the dark." says Yule.
"Jonah!" I call out. No response. The entrance was around a bend, so I go walk over, holding the hands of both Penn and Yule." Yule is pretty afraid of the dark, as it turns out.

The door closed up again!

"... it will take time to see if there is a lever on this side. I do not know if Jonah looked to see where the lever I found was."
>"Maybe we can go on without him?" says Yules. "I don't think - "

There's a creak from the stairs we were heading towards.
>>
No. 681494 ID: bfb318
File 144670777560.png - (130.35KB , 800x800 , 68.png )
681494

Penn flicks the light over there. It sounded like they were coming down from the top of the stairs, but then they stopped as soon as the light shone over there.

>"Um, is anyone there?!" asks Penn, with no response. She turns the flashlight back towards the now closed door, and then another creak comes from the stairs. It sounds closer, like someone stepped down it. There's still nothing there, but I feel both hands squeeze on mine.
>>
No. 681496 ID: bb78f2

Well, it's obvious Jonah went THAT way. He's just got to be all mysterious about it.
Keep Penn close though, don't want him sneaking to snatch her away.
>>
No. 681497 ID: 5ad4a7

>>681494
There's three of you. You can take em... unless they have a gun or something. Keep watching, if they pop out with a gun you'll want to duck around the corner and pound on the door to get Jonah to open it.
>>
No. 681505 ID: 90f3c0

It seems like someone was trying to be sneaky, but didn't expect you to have a flashlight. They might try to flee if you approach them. Have Penn and Yule stay back with the light, while you sneak up to the stairs to get a better look.
>>
No. 681518 ID: 7a92ea

Pull the other two closer so you can put your arms more securely on them, looped around their elbows or something. Then whisper to them to point their flashlights behind them (but ready to pull forward again) and see if that causes any reaction. If not try the same thing with turning them off for a short time.
>>
No. 681537 ID: 88960e

>>681494
Head towards the stairs. You're on point in case of trouble, they follow behind with the light.

When you step forward and out of the hand holding chain, put their hands together.
>>
No. 681551 ID: bfb318
File 144673808543.png - (99.23KB , 800x800 , 69.png )
681551

"Navo, Yule, I'm going to give you two each other's hands. I'll go on ahead. Navo, keep the light pointed at the stairs.

I move ahead. When I get halfway there and another lower creak happens, I freeze. Nothing more happens, so I move to the stairs and look up.

No one's there, and I'm sure this close, I would have heard them flee.
>>
No. 681553 ID: 88960e

Clear.

Okay, so do we want to follow the stairs, or try and see if the other door opens from this side?

(Personally, I don't care if we leave the other dude behind).
>>
No. 681554 ID: 28bcec

Eh if there is someone lurking you will find out about it soon enough. Get everyone together and head upstairs and see where this leads.

Either there is someone frozen on the stairs or they have creepy noisemakers all over the place.

That or this place is really haunted. woooooo
>>
No. 681555 ID: 7a92ea

Have a sniff. Smell anyone you don't know? Anyone that isn't a belenosian or neumono? I assume different species smell pretty different.
>>
No. 681556 ID: 2df126

If there is someone awkwardly frozen halfway up the stairs its going to be funny.

Motion for Penn to come over and see if you can catch them in the light.
>>
No. 681558 ID: bfb318
File 144674321888.png - (180.95KB , 800x800 , 70.png )
681558

>Smell anyone you don't know?
No. I wasn't 100% sure, because there have been people around recently for sure.

"It's clear, I think." I call back to them, and they come forward while I confirm there's no one at the top of the stairs.
>"Do we want to wait for Jonah?" Penn asks.
>"Not really." says Yules.
"No." I say. "Navo. You were the apprentice. Where are we?
>"I really don't know! Mr. Trimble told me there were parts of the house that were hidden, but I wasn't allowed inside."

The passageway seems to continue for a long time, and the other two seem to want to walk slowly, so I keep talking.

"Navo, that letter you found. Trimble expected misfortune was likely enough to happen to him to tell it to his assistant. Perhaps he was too scared of all of us, and faked his death?
>"You know, both of you had reason to dislike Mr. Trimble, I think. Not to say enough to murder him, but, almost everyone who is in this house had a similar reason. Not everyone, but I don't know if the people who don't truly had no issues with him, or if they just aren't open about it. But, I started thinking, and, Kirtar, since you mentioned he could have faked his own death, well... it's not like we were coincidentally here. Many of us were scheduled, invited or otherwise influenced to come to my mentor's house all at the same time by Trimble himself."
>"Hold on, who was it who locked the doors..." Yule pauses, "...and said that no one would be allowed to leave without being hunted down as the murderer?"
>"That, well, was Mr. Olimni, one of Trimble's employees, one of the ones who I wasn't sure had any reason to hate Mr. Trimble."
>"This is just a crazy thought, but what if our purpose here isn't to solve a murder, but be murdered? Mr. Trimble apparently had many enemies, and I have been seeing evidence that he was not always gentle in how he removed problems."
>>
No. 681562 ID: 30c34d

how many routes does the intersection have 1,2? or more.
Also isn't it kinda weird that Jonah wanted to be alone with Navo, and that he just so happened to leave when you entered the dark room suspicious.
keep an eye out for him.
>>
No. 681563 ID: 28bcec

That is a distinct possibility. I mean normally you would call in authorities or professionals to deal with something like this.

Not call all of Trimble's associates together in a dark old house with secret rooms all over. That is just a recipe for disaster.

Well for the moment there nothing we can do about it other than make sure to stay together. Need to keep gathering evidence so that we can figure out more about what is going on.
>>
No. 681564 ID: 88960e

>This is just a crazy thought, but what if our purpose here isn't to solve a murder, but be murdered? Mr. Trimble apparently had many enemies, and I have been seeing evidence that he was not always gentle in how he removed problems.
If he wanted to get all his enemies in one place and kill them, wouldn't it make more sense to blow the place up then try and pick us off one by one?

It is suspicious he would invite everyone here at once, though. He would have had a reason for that, and we don't have a better hypothesis than planning against us.
>>
No. 681569 ID: bfb318
File 144674848708.png - (38.12KB , 800x800 , 71.png )
681569

>How many routes does the intersection have?
The passageway has had turns, but it's been completely straight. Not counting any secret passages.

"It would make more sense if he had a bomb to blow us up with."
>"Trimble always liked to keep things more personal, though." says Penn.

'Also, it wouldn't make for a good plot.' Yules thinks.

I wipe off the rest of my bloodstains now, since they don't fit well and just give people easy suspicion ammo.

>"A dead end?" Penn flashes the light over at an obviously fake wall at the far end. In fact, I see a sliver of light coming through it.
>"Barely, there's a lever right by it." says Yules.
>>
No. 681571 ID: bfb318
File 144674849553.png - (132.89KB , 800x800 , 72.png )
681571

"Stop. There is a sheet covering a hole, here." I step away from them for a brief second to uncover it.

It's the sort of hole that would barely fit us. I can't imagine Penn going through, and Yules just doesn't want to.
>>
No. 681573 ID: 88960e

Shine the light down?

How deep is the hole? Even if you checked it out alone (which maybe isn't the safest plan), how would you get back up?
>>
No. 681576 ID: 28bcec

That looks like the sort of thing someone would be lurking in and then grab a leg while you walked by. Standard haunted house setup. But seeing as that did not happen might be currently empty or lead to a side room.

If you have Penn and Yules watch your back might be worth checking out. Plus you are right next to a door with light behind it so even if you took the flashlight with you they would have some light.

Thinking that having that flashlight is probably ruining a plot or two. But that being said anyone with a cell phone could just flashlight app it up anyway.

So look down there with the flashlight and see if its worth exploring. And if you can jam yourself in there without getting your butt stuck or losing half your costume.
>>
No. 681577 ID: bfb318
File 144674980158.png - (101.39KB , 800x800 , 73.png )
681577

>Shine the light in it
Unsurprisingly, it makes a bend, so we can't see far into it. It's a horizontal hole, so I can come back through as far as I can see.

>Cell phones have flashlights
Oh, shit, I completely forgot I had one.

>See if you can jam yourself in there without getting your butt stuck or losing half your costume.
I won't be able to move fast, but I should fit fine.

Also, this leather has crawled through way rougher stuff before, so worst case scenario, I just have to readjust it when I step back out.
>>
No. 681578 ID: 28bcec

Cell phone flashlight it up and get your crawl on.

Staying in a group would be the safer way but you are here to have some fun. Just watch for anything in the passage that could close behind you as you go.

As long as you trust Yules to not murder Penn while you are gone should be fine.
>>
No. 681580 ID: 88960e

Leave them the flashlight, and bring your phone.

Okay guys, I'll see what's down the hidey hole, make sure no murderers get me from behind.

>worst case scenario, I just have to readjust it when I step back out
I'm sure Penn will protect your modesty by hiding you behind her princess dress.
>>
No. 681586 ID: 83d24b

There seems to be something around the fake wall, that could be a snare trap.
>>
No. 681589 ID: 90f3c0

Go ahead and check out the hole first. The door likely just leads back to a normal room on the first floor.
>>
No. 681591 ID: 5ad4a7

>>681577
Alright get in that hole. Well, wait, first let's open the fake wall to see what room is on the other side, so you can meet up with them after you're done with the hole.
>>
No. 681600 ID: 2df126

Seductively wiggle your big butt into that hole.
>>
No. 681605 ID: bfb318
File 144676105657.png - (209.14KB , 800x800 , 74.png )
681605

I didn't catch any ulterior motives from Yule, so I can leave her alone.

>It looks like there is a snare trap by the wall.
I take a closer look and confirm it's nothing. The wall just looks like it got fucked up during construction.

"You may wish to open the door so that you are in the light." I tell them.
>"Okay." Penn says, and flips the switch.

It opens up to another room.

>"It looks like it's a study." Yules says, coming to terms that he is not going to watch me wiggle my butt into a small passage.
>"That's right! Based on the passageway, I'm almost certain we're at his study but.... there's no door?"
>"A secret segment of his study?"
>"May be! Okay, Kirtar, please investigate that passageway, and we'll look around here for clues and another secret entrance to the real study."
"Okay."
>>
No. 681606 ID: bfb318
File 144676108783.png - (117.76KB , 800x800 , 75.png )
681606

It's been awhile since I've done this, but now I can do it with smooth stones instead of tree bark.

My phone battery seems good, so I keep a good eye on the walls. It doesn't look like anything looks out of place that would close up behind me.

I get up to around the bend. The floor slants down some, but even if the floor seems kind of smooth, I can still get back up if need be.

The light reaches the end, but I can't tell if I'm looking at a smooth wall or a sheet of some kind.
>>
No. 681607 ID: 12b273

Where's a tiny blue vent crawling neumono when you need one.

>>681606
Put a hand down, hard, on the slanted section. Make sure it's not on a hinge or something, so it'll get steeper, or turn out to be a trap door, once you're onto it.

>The light reaches the end, but I can't tell if I'm looking at a smooth wall or a sheet of some kind.
I'd assume it's a sheet. A secret passage has to go somewhere, right? Or if it were just a place for hiding things, there would be a clue hidden in the dead end.

Go check it out. Maybe tuck your phone somewhere where you won't lose it if this does turn out to be a trap.
>>
No. 681608 ID: 28bcec

That floor looks suspicious. Looks like it switched from stone to wood planking. Poke at it to see if its solid or hollow. Also the walls look a bit odd.

Honestly from this angle the whole thing looks like a drop chute that would activate if you crawled in there. Even the walls look greased.

So feel the walls and the floor and tap on things with your claws. Check for any secret triggers or traps.

As for the far wall take a deep breath and blow at it. If it wiggles its a sheet.
>>
No. 681609 ID: 12b273

>>681606
Hey wait, look at the ceiling, right above the top of the ramp. Two panels in stark relief that stand out. I bet that's a trapdoor that will open up in the middle and drop something slippery so you can't get back up.

Not sure how we avoid triggering it. Maybe they could pass you a book or something from the study we could jam it shut with? (Stand it up, like a pillar).

...course whoever passed you anything gets a good look at your butt.
>>
No. 681610 ID: c9fe1a

Take a moment to check the time.
>>
No. 681616 ID: bfb318
File 144676426842.png - (159.30KB , 800x800 , 76.png )
681616

>Check the time
It's around 5:30 PM.

I take a better look at the slope, while I keep a tight grip on my phone. The sloped surface looks like smooth wood, aside from the dirt and scratches. On the other hand, it doesn't feel that slippery. It also doesn't look like they have mechanisms or hinges or whatever to make it steeper somehow.

I can probably go backwards and find something to prop up that suspicious looking double panel in the ceiling. It does look like the sort of thing that'll drop grease or whatever down to make people slip.

Blowing at the far wall does make it wobble just slightly, so it is a sheet.

>"Are you okay?" I hear Penn ask from behind me.
"Yes. Are you not in the study?"
>"Um, I'm a little afraid someone could sneak by us from behind and go in the hole after you. Yules is with me."
"Thanks. I need a stick to prop something up. One and a half, or two feet. Did you see such a thing?"
>"... actually, yes!"

Looks like I can go down safely if it's just the ceiling panel.
>>
No. 681618 ID: 12b273

>>681614
Okay, get the stick, jam the trap, then and check what's on the other side while they watch your back. Or your butt, considering.

Let's not take too long, since there's not much they can do while watching the passage.
>>
No. 681619 ID: 5ad4a7

>>681616
Is it just me, or is the wall wet? I think this is a water slide.
>>
No. 681622 ID: 28bcec

I can see inside of Yules head right now. The terror of crawling into a tight passage in a spooky house being balanced out by the opportunity to smack his head into your beautiful behind while trying to pass you the stick. Would be great with just normal clothes but today you are in a skimpy tribal outfit. Luckily you thought he was sort of cute. Guess this will be the acid test to see if he is a gentleman or not.

Do you think you can slip by the stick without knocking it out of place once you get it? This passage does seem rather small and your butt is pretty amazing.

I can see this ending with both of you stuck in a small room covered in grease somehow.

Onward to glory!
>>
No. 681624 ID: 2fd436

Seductively retrieve stick from Yule while jammed together in tight crawlspace. Try not to think about being covered in grease while alone on a strange room with a cute guy.
>>
No. 681626 ID: 211d83

Try to avoid getting your tight chute greased up while taking it from behind from a cute guy.
>>
No. 681631 ID: bfb318
File 144676857390.png - (128.07KB , 800x800 , 77.png )
681631

I make sure the slope isn't hollow or anything else like that. It really looks like a dirty water slide, but Yules gets in just far enough so that he can pass me a piece of firewood without launching the thing at my ass.

I can't resist it, I wiggle around a bunch while making an unnecessaru amount of grunting to get my hand behind me to grasp at the wood he's handing me.

"Are you staring at my behind?"
>"Er, I mean, I'm sorry - I mean, I'm not trying to?!"
"This is off limits, it is not for your eyes."
>"I-"

"I'm just teasing you." I whisper and think as we brush hands for the passoff. He's obviously attracted to me, and too shy, or polite, to 'accidentally' brush his hand across me.

Tribals that get past the extra-hive hate get interesting, I'm told.
Humans can make us play by their rules, get us to learn their language, computers, and whatever, but they can't make me care if some guy ogles me if he's not a huge creep about it. They can't make me care about the disrespect I get because of it, either.

I go ahead. I hope both panels have to open for either of them to open, because there's no way I can prop both of them open at once and still make it through.
>>
No. 681635 ID: bfb318
File 144676868199.png - (110.24KB , 800x800 , 78.png )
681635

I hear a sharp creaking noise, but I barely process it before Yule's hands clamp around my ankle- wait.

"Who?!" I shout, Yules cries out, and I realize that I was not grabbed by Yules.

Goddamnit, I was so focused on the slope, I didn't think to check the last segment beforehand!

I sense that this neumono that grabbed me isn't an actual for real murder, but he is determined as hell to drag me back! I dig my claws into the wood, and it makes me feel like a fool that I didn't realize earlier that those scratches in the wood weren't just wood creases, but clawmarks.
>>
No. 681641 ID: 5ad4a7

>>681635
Kick his face in.
>>
No. 681643 ID: 211d83

That's what you get for not tapping everything for hollow sounds and checking for secret doors.

Well normally you would be covered in grease and quickly be pulled away. But without the grease lubing you up you and Yules being right there you have a good chance to avoid getting pulled off to your doom.

Which would suck cause then you have to wait with all the other murdered people and could not protect Penn from creeps.

Anyways grip on the wood tight and yell to Yules to try and get one of your feet traction on the edge of the passage you are being pulled through. Your legs are going to be much stronger than someones hands and if you can get a grip with one leg you should be able to shove yourself out of reach.
>>
No. 681649 ID: 12b273

So the hand is coming from above, or there was a secret panel on the outside of the corner?

Well, we sabatauged half the trap, and we have backup. Maybe we can catch the murderer if you work together with Yules.

Shout for Yules to cover your ass!

Maybe if you shove back and he shoves forward you can both grab hold of the murderer.
>>
No. 681655 ID: bfb318
File 144677237084.png - (146.78KB , 1000x1000 , 79.png )
681655

No no no I knew this was just for fun so I let myself get all careless, I didn't think this haunted house thing was gonna be so intense to actually physically drag neumono down hatches!

>So the hand is coming from above, or there was a secret panel on the outside of the corner?
It was under me, the last squarish platform before the slope down.

>Your legs are going to be much stronger than someones hands
I would think so, but this neumono hand is huge.

"Yule, get my leg!" I shout that, but I try kicking the neumono in the face to knock him back. I land a half-hit on him a couple of times, but it gives him too good of a chance, and he grabs my free ankle before I get a good chance.

I'm not proud that I scream pretty loud, and hear Penn call my name, too. This fucking wood is soft, and even with my claws making the worst scratches this wood's going to receive, this neumono lifts.

I can't sense him clearly, but he apparently has to drag me back in order to fake-kill me. I think it involves tagging me with a knife or something in the torso or head, and he's sportsmanlike enough to not stab me in the butt.

"Yule, push me forward!"

Goddamnit, he's too bashful, and instead of shoving me forward by my ass or putting his arm between my legs to lock me in, he's just gently pushing on my thighs or something. Then I feel something else, and I realize that each panel can open on its own after all, and so my wedging the firewood together just made the grease or whatever is falling on me come through the panel on my left.

Wait, Yule has an idea.
>>
No. 681656 ID: bfb318
File 144677237997.png - (127.90KB , 800x800 , 80.png )
681656

"Kirtar, use this!"

He hands me like a piece of cardboard or something, but I can still see enough light from Penn's flashlight to see the word 'Gun' written on the side of it. I think I catch that he found it in the study, before Penn came back to check on me.

>"Say 'pap' to fire it!" he says, while my claws are stem deep in the wood.
>>
No. 681657 ID: 5ad4a7

>>681656
Aw yeah. Grab the GUN as you slide by then PAP the fuck out of your assailant.
>>
No. 681658 ID: 12b273

So we're gonna try to kill our murderer?

I think to do that you have to let go. Let go, shove yourself down the hole and catch them off guard, and shoot them.

It'll be tricky to pull off without getting stabbed, especially if you can't let go of the wood, easy.

Backup plan would be you go down the hole and stay near the edge, and Yule tries to shoot before the door closes or you die.

Either way, this is a go big or go home moment. Be sure to ham up your victory or your death.

...man you are really flashing Yule and the murderer at this point. Leather tribal skirts were not made for being dragged backwards down tunnels. Good thing Penn can't see.
>>
No. 681660 ID: 211d83

Relax your claws a bit so you can slowly slide past and grab for the gun as you get pulled down.

The guy below you will have to let you go for a bit to pull out the fake knife so you should be able to "pap" him full of lead before he can stab you. Just have to swivel as fast as you can when you land.

And honestly what other species could have haunted houses with this much fun? Anyone else could get hurt from this sort of thing but Neumono can just bounce back in a day from any scratches or rough housing when someone pulls you down.

If it was Penn in here I bet they would be much more gentle.

So go face your fate all greased up and half naked in the arms of a burly weightlifter.
>>
No. 681669 ID: bfb318
File 144677497275.png - (215.01KB , 800x800 , 81.png )
681669

I relax one of my hand's claws as I grab it. It barely works, as I relax it right as my assailant yanks me back hard, reading my movement. The back of my loincloth nearly falls through the hoop. Maybe I should not have worn this. I end up sailing through the hatch, and I'm going to land awkwardly.

This guy has done this a hundred times before. I can sense that he's already pulling out a knife with one hand and dragging me with his other, ready to stab me before I can even see where he is let alone land or point the gun at him.

I get lucky, though. He could have done it, but he hesitates at how much unexpected ass he dragged through the hatch.

"PAP PAP PAP PAP."

He gawks for a second, but then makes an exaggerated showing of clutching his chest and falling backwards, dropping the knife.

I'd like to exaggerate it too, but I'm still hyperventilating. I don't see anyone else in the room. I think that was all the danger for the moment.

>"Kirtar?!" I hear Penn again.

"I'm okay, Pe- Navo!"

>Anyone else could get hurt from this sort of thing but Neumono can just bounce back in a day from any scratches or rough housing when someone pulls you down.
The rules are definitely different for neumono, but I still had no idea I was going to get rough housed like that!
>>
No. 681670 ID: 7a92ea

The fact that they let you have weapons suggests they've set it up with more than one murderer. I guess that's kind of metagame thinking, though. Anyway, check the "murderer"'s body for clues. You can mentally congratulate him on his scaring skills and buffness while you do.
>>
No. 681671 ID: 211d83

Ok put your outfit back together and wipe yourself off while you check the room out. Find your phone if it fell down here or get it from Yule and get a look around.

I would have Yule stay with Penn and you can either find another way out or try to climb back up and continue on.
>>
No. 681672 ID: 12b273

Right. Straighten clothes back out, take fake knife, check 'dead' 'murderer' for any clues as to their identity. Then head back up (get a a hand from Yules).

Tell them it looks like Yules' theory might be right, we were lured here to be murdered. I'm not sure how else people waiting under trapdoors to knife you makes sense.

Maybe do a corny in-character line about him having proved worthy of trust after all.

Then we go check the room we went through all this trouble for, and then hurry back to Penn. It's her night, we can't leave her guarding a murder hole the whole time.

>Maybe I should not have worn this
Hey, it's not like you could have predicted this when you were getting dressed!
>>
No. 681675 ID: 5ad4a7

>>681669
This might not even be a place you're supposed to be in. See if you can get back up to the passage, and just rejoin the others instead of trying to go further along the trap corridor. There's probably another elimination scenario at the end of the slope.
>>
No. 681680 ID: bfb318
File 144677899917.png - (234.07KB , 800x800 , 82.png )
681680

I don't have the right stuff to wipe myself off, but I do readjust my clothing at least.

"It's looking like we were here to be murdered. You are now worth trusting, Yule. I will be back up in a moment." I say, loud enough for Penn to hear.
>"I'm just glad you called me through here to prop that panel up."
"Just go back and protect Navo."

I go patting my would-be-fake-murderer down to check out anything, but the guy isn't well dressed.

He wonders if I'm alright, and I empathize that I am. Even if I'm still frazzled. The guy scared the hell out of me after all, even if it was fake. He's huge. He breaks character for a moment and goes to grab a fake blood packet. He smears it over himself around where I shot him, and lies back down on the ground.

I find a crumpled up, bloodied letter that I can't read in this lighting. I'll just bring it to Penn.

>"You can drag my corpse around if you want to, for some reason. People usually don't manage to kill me." he whispers to me. "That's actually not supposed to happen, but that was good teamwork, so we're going to roll with it."
>>
No. 681681 ID: bfb318
File 144677900993.png - (153.23KB , 800x800 , 83.png )
681681

I do take his fake knife as well, and take a look around. The room is kind of like a loop, and on one end is where I was yanked through, and on the other side is the hole at the end of the slope. The walls are concrete with exposed rebar in a couple places, and there is a single, normal looking door out of here.

In one corner, I see some blank looking dolls with pieces of paper attached to them. They look like names.

"Yule. Do the names Flannel, Minsano, or Renardo mean anything to your ears?" I say the first three names I see.
>"Yes! They were guests here!"
>"Kirtar, come out of there! It's dangerous!"

Looks like there's about 5 corpses.
>>
No. 681684 ID: 5ad4a7

>>681681
I think you should take the letter and go. That door is probably employees only. Though you can probably ask. Also you shouldn't be able to recognize the corpses so those names aren't info you should have, surely? Unless your character should know them? IDK, it's hard to tell what's canon here. I guess you can ask that too. Or check your character sheet to see if you're supposed to know the guests.

Regardless I think you should probably get out of there asap, back up through the tunnel, because obviously this guy wasn't working alone and the "gunfire" will attract others to investigate who will probably be better armed. The door would lead to more of them, in that case.
>>
No. 681685 ID: 12b273

Yep. It's a murder-hole, all right. The 'bodies' prove that it's a pattern.

Peek though the real door. It's probably how the big guy got in here, since he wouldn't have fit in the tunnels.

Then doubly back, no point in leaving your group standing around forever. This is just supposed to be a dead end trap, I think.

>You can drag my corpse around if you want to, for some reason
That would be a lot of work unless he helps. He wouldn't fit if we double back, though, and we can't leave Penn alone forever.
>>
No. 681686 ID: 211d83

So either way you would get killed taking this route normally. Even if you jammed up the trapdoor you come out over a pile of "corpses" and the big guy knifes you.

Maybe take a quiet peak out the door but I am leaning on closing the trap door and then climbing back up.

If people normally never kill him that means that this place is not normally visited. So that door might just lead to outside or some employee areas. While it would be fun to "cheat" I think it would be more fun to keep playing along.

Maybe take a tag or two to identify the bodies. Can say its there wallets or something and show them to others to explain that this is a big trap.

Now that we know this is a trap the game will change to finding out the mystery and escaping all the murder traps.
>>
No. 681696 ID: 90f3c0

You should probably get back to the others soon. It's pretty clear that Jonah is supposed to lure people down here and get them killed, there might be more traps around.
>>
No. 681697 ID: bb78f2

Yeah, okay, Trimble obviously just brings people over to kill for fun, and hires some neomono tribals to do it. Probably fakes his death each time.
>>
No. 681698 ID: 7a92ea

>>681697

Beefy guy looks like he's just wearing shorts rather than a tribal outfit, so either he couldn't put a costume together or he isn't a tribal, and is just mostly naked either to enhance the horror effect or just to show off his buff bod. Which is understandable. Or it's just hot down here. Or he doesn't want to get grease from the trap on his clothes.

Find your way back up, Roxie! You probably can't take his whole body with you, but you could ask him if there's some token he can give you to represent you having taken an ear or his head or something. You could also take his "knife". It is a fake knife, right?
>>
No. 681701 ID: bfb318
File 144678456778.png - (149.50KB , 800x800 , 84.png )
681701

Maybe I shouldn't have been able to recognize the corpses, but I could have pulled Yule down here to ask directly.

I take a peek into the door, but it's just another hidden passageway.

"Hey, beefy. Is this an employee only section?"
>"No, we have those areas marked out. Also, I mispoke. Killing me is expected at some point, but not like that, not this early. After all, I did have that letter."
"Can I get a token or something to show I have your ear?"
>"Damn, really? Yeah, just a second."

He rips up a piece of paper in the shape of an ear, writes down 'Razor's Ear' and then what I guess are his initials. I pin it to my pouch.

"And while you're up, you on the wrestling team or something?"
>"Nah, I'm just a gym rat. Outside of the pull n' stab maneuver, I can't fight worth a damn."
"Well, you sure fooled me about it, that was really fun in hindsight."
>"Yeah, I'm glad you were tough enough for it, always hard to tell who we gotta just let slip down the slope and who we can grapple with. Anyway, if that's it, I'm breaking character way too much, and saying way too much." he says, then lets out a cheesy 'bleh' and drops back to the floor.

The fake corpses don't have anything on them but names, and I'll just play along and assume their wallets were taken.
>>
No. 681704 ID: bfb318
File 144678462197.png - (161.81KB , 800x800 , 85.png )
681704

I climb back up through the hatch, and I hand the note to Penn, the gun back to Yule, keep the fake knife for myself, all while explaining what exactly happened while I was down there.

>"...oh. Wow, that neumono I think was Mr. Trimble's main stronghand around the place for moving furniture and stuff." Penn says. "Um, the main phrase for this letter is telling Razor to 'keep the secrets that arrive safe from prying eyes'. I need to go search that study! And then mingle more, because there's a lot of information people will have that I think are getting skipped from the findable clues."
>>
No. 681705 ID: bfb318
File 144678468293.png - (228.49KB , 800x800 , 86.png )
681705

Penn seems to be getting more and more into this, even as she asks me if I'm okay for real. She's talking to strangers fine, doesn't mind my revealing costume apparently, it's like a new person here. I like it.

There's an attempt on my part to clean off my bloodstains, again, but whatever was dumped on me doesn't come off easily. I hope it's not dye or something, but it seems like fake blood that's greasier than blood would be. So give that up, and I locate the lever to open the door between the secret study and the real study.

There's a party of 3 that gawks at me for reasons that I have a couple guesses for.
>>
No. 681707 ID: 211d83

If you wanted to fuck with them you could just grin wildly and raise your bloody knife.

But you should probably let Penn explain things and go back to your tribal persona. When prompted explain that you managed to just barely survive getting murdered and you found all these corpses in a secret basement.

Let Penn take lead and support her when needed. If she is on a role keep it that way.
>>
No. 681708 ID: 5ad4a7

>>681704
>like a new person
Wouldn't it be spooky if she were an impostor?

>>681705
Tell them staring is rude. Also keep an eye on what they do around in the secret room before Penn gets here. Heck, you could just tell them to wait until Penn gets here.

Then you might want to find a sink or something with some soap to clean off the grease. I doubt there are fully functional showers here.
>>
No. 681709 ID: 12b273

>ear token
Hey, we are playing up the tribal angle! Too bad it's not written on a bag of snacks.

>>681705
Look, a rare an elusive human!

>what do
Do the scary toothy grin, hold your knife aloft, and tell them one less murderer stalks this house.

...then maybe break character and let them know the organizers aren't holding back when it comes to tricks and traps, so uh, be careful.

Let Penn and Yules handle the introductions and information exchange, they're more into that than you.
>>
No. 681712 ID: 7a92ea

Penn is probably getting into the puzzle solving, but aside that, I think the roleplaying might be helping her out. Wearing different clothes, not wearing her glasses, and being called a different name, might be giving her a bit of a sense of empowering anonymity. She's been holding your hand, too.

Speaking of roleplaying, stay in character! Be a good player and help other players get/keep in the mood. I'm not sure what the tribal response in this situation is, though. Maybe tell them you killed a murderer, but act proud about it?
>>
No. 681713 ID: 5ad4a7

No breaking character!
>>
No. 681715 ID: 42ae3d

Say, "Axe murderer."
>>
No. 681719 ID: 8896fc

Be blunt and matter-of-fact about it. "Hello. Trimble's servant waited in ambush, but I killed him first." *hold up ear*
>>
No. 681731 ID: bfb318
File 144679003863.png - (118.14KB , 800x800 , 87.png )
681731

>She's been holding your hand, too.
I know! I almost mentioned it to her, but if I call her out on it she'll get self conscience.

"I am Kirtar. I have slain a murderer within the house." I say, holding up the ear.
>"What? There's a murderer on the loose?" the human asks.
"A dead murderer."
>"Let me hold your hand." the neumono with them says. "To make sure you aren't lying."

I allow it. He holds my hand for longer than I'd like, and I brush it away. The bastard is contemplating calling me a liar just to fuck with people, but he opts out of it.

"That is enough, you know I am not lying."
>>
No. 681733 ID: bfb318
File 144679012847.png - (189.24KB , 800x800 , 88.png )
681733

>"Okay, okay! The bloody tribal girl seems like she may be truthful, or at least not trying to kill us!" he says.
"Right!" says Penn. "If you all wouldn't mind, I think we have a lot to learn from one another."
>"First, though, are you Ms. Nova, by chance?" the human asks.
>"Yes?"
>"That makes sense." he continues. "There was another belenos - Jonah, I believed he said his name was - who was desperately trying to find a hidden door through the cellar, saying you were in danger. We were looking for an entrance through the study just now to find you in case he could not find the cellar entrance. I'm sure he would be pleased to hear you are alright, especially considering what Kirtar must have gone through."
>"There's a washroom." their belenos says. "It has a functioning shower."

It might be worth washing up. A shower, though? In this place, after what just happened, that probably ranks somewhere between 'going off to investigate a room alone' and 'tying my hands behind my back and going down another murderhole.'
>>
No. 681735 ID: 12b273

>shower
Okay, you already fell for enough murder tropes. You already almost got the sexy and alone and under-dressed college coed death, you don't need to go for the naked girls gets knifed in the shower one too.

I think that's a solid "no" (maybe say something tribal about not needing to wash the blood off in the middle of a hunt, or having survived long enough without such facilities). Unless you want to try and spring the trap on purpose to catch the expected killer, but you might not be so lucky twice. The shower murderer won't be caught off guard by naked butts!
>>
No. 681736 ID: 5ad4a7

>>681733
You should just use the sink. Get rid of SOME of the mess, without leaving yourself vulnerable.
>>
No. 681742 ID: bfb318
File 144679348513.png - (150.90KB , 800x800 , 89.png )
681742

"I do not need to clean now."
>"Ooookay then." he replies.

I'll wash up briefly given the chance, but for now, I watch Penn interrogate everyone.

At some point, Penn starts asking about Sir Hommus's - the human's - dealing with the lumber trade. It would be the most boring thing for me, but he starts getting cagey about it. Penn gets pretty obviously distraught at not wanting to press the topic, while simultaneously wanting to find out more about his lumber trade.
>>
No. 681764 ID: bb78f2

>>681742
Nudge her along in the right direction.
Whether that is a physical nudge or a verbal nudge, well, that's at your discretion.
I mean, if we can say Pap to kill, you can say nudge to nudge.
>>
No. 681815 ID: 88960e

>>681742
Back her up. It's in character for a tribal to have interests in how people are using natural resources. Those were your forests being cut down now.
>>
No. 681818 ID: 211d83

Back her up by accusing him of clear cutting in protected forests or something.

If he is getting nervous it means his company is up to no good. And as a native its your job to find out why.
>>
No. 681826 ID: bfb318
File 144682048442.png - (185.83KB , 800x800 , 90.png )
681826

"Human. Do not hide information from Navo."
>"Does this even concern you?"
"Would looters and pillagers standing outside of your home concern you? Many hives have lost homes to lumbering."
>"We're not anywhere near you."
"This can change any time."
>"Hommus, I'm not your enemy, if you just say what your project is - " Penn starts.
>"I have no -

"BAK! Bak! Bak bak!"

Just gonna keep barking at this motherfucker.

"Bak! Bak! Bak! Bak!"
>"Please stop barking."

I forgot how nice barking felt.

"Bakbakbakbakbakbak!"
>"OKAY, my business was failing! By year's end, my lumber operation would be absorbed into Trimble's assets."
>"Okay! Thank you." says Penn.
>>
No. 681828 ID: bfb318
File 144682051556.png - (103.18KB , 800x800 , 91.png )
681828

Penn pulls me to the side.
"I'd like your advice, Kirtar. I'm almost certain of the identity of 3 individuals that are murderers, but I have a feeling that there are five murderers here total. Should I try to accuse those three, or wait until I have evidence against all five before showing my hand?"
>>
No. 681831 ID: 7a92ea

I feel like, until we know everything, anything new we learn could disturb what we think we already know. For instance, when we learn the final murderer, it could become clear that another person is being framed. Besides, what's a murder mystery without red herrings and plot twists? Even if we discount metathinking about the genre and the likely cheesiness of whatever plot the staff came up with, we do know that this whole scenario was arranged by someone. There's a manipulator and a string-puller somewhere around here, so we should be on guard for deceptions.

But get Penn to whisper her suspicions to you and Yule, so you can keep an eye on them.
>>
No. 681836 ID: 28bcec

Man for all the things you gain with civilization you lose just as much. Like the ability to bark in public without people looking at you oddly. And shaking off your fur when wet. Anyways what would you bark at back in the tribal days? Its cute as can be.

Well Penn if you accuse them now it might make the other murderers think they are safe because they did not get called out. And thus open to making a mistake.

But it could also make you a target and encourage them to destroy any remaining evidence and get rid of you so you can not continue to investigate.

So I would wait until you have a bit more proof. Once you get a bit more evidence we can pull everyone into a study and you can Hercule Poirot it up until they all crack and admit to there crimes. Remember that you do not need to have a airtight case for all of them because once you get going people will start to crack under the pressure and you will get more clues.
>>
No. 681838 ID: 88960e

I think we should out the known murderers, and then use the ensuing chaos to catch the last two.
>>
No. 681869 ID: bfb318
File 144683034338.png - (90.76KB , 800x800 , 92.png )
681869

"It will make you a target to do so now. Plus, they may destroy more evidence. I expect there are many deceptions about this, as well. But who do you suspect?"
"Can we trust Yule to this info?"
"Yes."

Yule is ushered over.

"I think 3 of the murderers are a belenos girl named Io, a Pomi named Vintino, and a belenos called Smith. Um, I don't know if I should ask them things directly, or just mingle with others."
>>
No. 681870 ID: 2fd436

A mix of mingling and asking them questions.

Want to catch them lying so you can confront them later.
>>
No. 681871 ID: 88960e

>I don't know if I should ask them things directly, or just mingle with others.
Probably both. Avoiding them or questioning only them will arouse their suspicions.
>>
No. 681872 ID: 7a92ea

Ask questions, but make it clear you're asking questions of everyone, and ask questions of people about other people as well as just about themselves. When questioning the ones you think are murderers, ask them questions not just about themselves but about other people and the other murderers. Be on guard that they might lie.
>>
No. 681875 ID: 28bcec

For this sort of thing you want to get them to say something in public that you can later disprove. In front of other witnesses so they can not deny what they said.

Lying consistently is hard work. If they tell you one story and a different story to someone else you want to be able to compare stories. Then when you make your big reveal you will have people in the crowd backing you up.

So ask simple questions that they would have to lie about to avoid incriminating themselves. But not questions incriminating enough to make them suspicious.
>>
No. 681877 ID: bfb318
File 144683275084.png - (201.10KB , 800x800 , 93.png )
681877

"Everyone, including them."
>"Oh... yeah, that's kind of an obvious choice now that I think about it."

The following hour or so consists of what I imagine are ten thousand words. I pay enough attention to get people to back off of Penn when they start trying to take charge of the conversation, or go bitch tribal if they get cagey. It's a full time job, and I don't get a chance to wash up even a little during it, nor can I come anywhere close to keeping track of all this information I overhear.

Come to think of it, dragging me backwards while I enter a murderhole is one thing, but it would be going pretty damn far if they actually went at me while I was showering, in modern culture. Not like I changed my mind about taking one.

I can tell that Penn is focused enough to gather all the information, though. Even Jonah lets her be when he finally shows up and talks to her for a few minutes, although he never leaves the sides of our vision.

>"Um, Kirtar?" Penn faces me. "Could I borrow your knife? I need to speak with someone about it, but, for him, I, uh... think he gets really nervous around neumono, and won't talk around you or Yule. I'll bring Jonah instead."
>>
No. 681878 ID: 88960e

>>681877
Pass her the knife, hilt first. Discreetly, if at all possible, disguise it as holding her hand again.

Be careful, Navo.

Do you suspect him?

Wonder if we should lurk sort of near with the gun, just in case. Or if we should make sure there are some other aliens around so she can talk in sort of safety.
>>
No. 681879 ID: 28bcec

If you think its a good idea I will go along with it.

That being said people will know by this point that you have collected a lot of evidence. So getting you alone in a side room could be a ploy to murder you.

Jonah might be a decent guy but he seemed a bit pushy earlier so I mistrust him. Could just be playing his character but be careful.

Who is this person and where are you planning on meeting. Would like to check any meeting area for suspicious activities first. Heck maybe can even find a place for me to hide so I can watch. Just do not want to separate if possible. We know how dangerous that is.


Now just watch as Penn was one of the murderers all along and is going to go finish off the only people who can prove it.
>>
No. 681880 ID: 2fd436

This sounds like a ploy to get you away from you bodyguard.

But if you think its vital go for it and I will back you up however you want.

We do want to encourage her when she is on a roll like this. Will help her confidence. Just make sure to watch out for trickery.
>>
No. 681886 ID: bfb318
File 144683932324.png - (243.01KB , 800x800 , 94.png )
681886

"Do you trust Jonah?"
>"He seems weird, but I don't think he's a murderer."
"And who are you meeting with?"
>"Mr. Lav. I don't believe you've seen him."
"Where are you meeting?"
>"The billiard room."
"I will take a look at it, then stay outside of the door."

I take Yule's gun as well, while he says he will keep mingling in public.

I inspect the room, passing off the knife to but it doesn't look like there's anything wrong with it. I'd be in here for too long of a time on the other hand, if I tried to find small hidden compartments. There's not much for hiding places for me, though, so I can't stay in the room.

"Be careful." I tell her, then wait outside of the room while Jonah, Penn, and who I presume is the neumono hating guy, all enter the room.
>>
No. 681887 ID: bfb318
File 144683933251.png - (258.58KB , 800x800 , 95.png )
681887

..... it must've been 10 minutes now. These doors are solid, and I'm worried at how good these walls are at removing sound.

The mingling seemed to wander away. I still hear voices, but I end up alone. I don't want to leave even just to get Yule back here in case something happens in there.
>>
No. 681888 ID: bfb318
File 144683934802.png - (145.78KB , 800x800 , 96.png )
681888

The lights go out.
>>
No. 681889 ID: a21c7b

Go in!
>>
No. 681890 ID: 88960e

Go in, gun and cellphone flashlight up. Back Penn up.
>>
No. 681891 ID: 211d83

Get your cell light on and go in gun ready.
>>
No. 681892 ID: bfb318
File 144683974603.png - (85.24KB , 800x800 , 97.png )
681892

The door is locked!
>>
No. 681893 ID: 88960e

Oooh, dang. If you had a real gun you could shoot out the lock but you're kind of stuck.

Um. Is it a cheap lock, like a latch? You might be able to jiggle it open with one of your pieces of cardboard.

Failing that, you probably can't break it down, though you could pound on it. There might be a secret way in, though.

If you don't get in in a minute, look around with the light, make sure no one is sneaking up on you.
>>
No. 681894 ID: 211d83

Loudly knock and get your light out.

If the door is to thick to knock down you might need some help getting in. If need be round up some big guys to help.
>>
No. 681895 ID: bb78f2

Shout "Hey, whoever's dead on the otherside, break character and open the door when we in-character break down the door so we don't have to pay for damages."
>>
No. 681897 ID: 7d5ce0

Vividly imagine all the horrible things those two are doing to poor Penn.
>>
No. 681899 ID: 28bcec

I can see it now.

The moment they were through the door the mystery man locked the door behind him. Penn spun around with alarm on her face. Her mouth opens to shout for help but Jonah is behind her and jams a rag in her mouth to silence her.

Quickly overpowering her they drag her over to a table in the study and have there horrible way with her for the next 10 minutes. All the while she is hoping that you will burst down the door any second and save her. But help never comes.

Anyways that's probably what happened. You should feel ashamed.
>>
No. 681902 ID: 5ad4a7

>>681892
I think you should be more worried about yourself right now. Those doors are solid, right? Can't break them down. Get out the GUN and shine your light around you to make sure nobody's sneaking up to take you out.
>>
No. 681903 ID: c9fe1a

The whole 10 minutes, you didn't try listen at the door? Put your ear to it to listen carefully. If they're still in there, the lights out should have shocked them as much as you, and there should be something going on. If there's silence, either the doors are so thick as to be suspicious or they're already gone.
>>
No. 681907 ID: bfb318
File 144684687338.png - (186.51KB , 800x800 , 98.png )
681907

>The whole 10 minutes, you didn't try listen at the door?
I tried, but I couldn't hear anything! So there was at least nothing loud going on in there.

I bang on the door, but there's no response.

There's a scream, and I nearly do the same. But it's from farther back, not inside the billiard room.
>>
No. 681908 ID: bfb318
File 144684688071.png - (140.95KB , 800x800 , 99.png )
681908

>You left Penn alone with two unfamiliar guys
>In a locked room that has decent sound dampening
>Vividly imagine all the horrible things those two are doing to poor Penn.
>You should feel ashamed
>>
No. 681909 ID: bfb318
File 144684688884.png - (230.42KB , 800x800 , 100.png )
681909

CRACK

Fuck fuck fuck where is she?!
>>
No. 681910 ID: bfb318
File 144684697362.png - (192.72KB , 800x800 , 101.png )
681910

......

>Now just watch as Penn was one of the murderers all along and is going to go finish off the only people who can prove it.
..... no fucking way.
>>
No. 681911 ID: 5ad4a7

Wait where's the other guy? This might not be what it looks like. Don't let him get away!

Either way get your gun out and tell them not to move. Look around the room for the other guy, get him to stay put too until you get an explanation. Or shoot him if he attacks you I guess.
>>
No. 681912 ID: bfb318

Offer a compromise: Work together to take out the other murderers /and/ some of the other to-be victims. Both of you win, everyone else dies! Be nice to Yule though.
>>
No. 681913 ID: 12b273

Hey, she killed someone! That's great! I don't know if it's in self defense or if she actually managed to murder someone, but ether way you should be damn proud of her.

Quick, look around for anyone else, then shut the door behind you.

If Penn is the murderer, I vote we side with her. She probably only didn't tell you before cause she didn't want your empathy to give it away.

"...are we telling the others you did that, Navo?"
>>
No. 681914 ID: 12b273

>>681910
Oh, also, can we transfer some fake blood to him?
>>
No. 681915 ID: 28bcec

Sweep the room with your light and gun before doing anything then close the door behind you.

Then ask what happened.

Also I think a ear fell out of your bag.
>>
No. 681917 ID: c9fe1a

Sweet, now if she is going to inherit dealings with your hive, you can blackmail her into giving your hive a fair shake! Where's the other one? You don't want any competitors.

Anyway, her current expression is probably because of you smashing your way in, so mention that you intend to pay for it before getting back into character.
>>
No. 681920 ID: 7d5ce0

Check for the other guy before entering the room. Then close the door behind you.

Then roleplay confronting Penn. Whether it was murder or self defense keep playing the game. Best part is your character would probably look the other way for the right incentive. If she is a murderer blackmail her.
>>
No. 681921 ID: bb78f2

>>681910
I warned you, dawg.
I warned you.
>>
No. 681923 ID: 42ae3d

Wait, what if he was a murderer, and she acted in self defense?
>>
No. 681925 ID: c9fe1a

If Penn is a murderer, she at least isn't part of any conspiracy with the other murderers, or else she would have taken Yule into the study and Razor would have been able to murder you easily. Unless she wants to use you as a tool to help dispose of the other conspirators... which is fine.
>>
No. 681929 ID: 88e46e

"Hi. Need some fake blood?"
>>
No. 681934 ID: bfb318
File 144685265886.png - (226.39KB , 800x800 , 102.png )
681934

"Er, don't move." I say, pointing the GUN at them.

I take a look around. That one alleged neumono-hater is gone, and it doesn't look like anything fell out of my bag.

"Navo. Are we telling the others you did this?"
>"N... no. You're... how did you break open the door so fast?"
"I ran into it and nearly broke my shoulder."
>"Ha, haa... maybe I should have asked for the gun instead. Now you got me."
"This is what it looks like?"
>"Erm... yes. I mean - oh, geez! You caught me off guard so bad, Kirtar, that I can't even lie through my teeth about it!"
"Where is the neumono hater?"
>"He ran."
"Where?"
>"Through the secret entrance over there."
"He made it through an entrance before you could get to him?"
>"Well, the thing is, is that I knew there was a secret entrance in here I wanted to know about, but all I knew is that it was in here, and Lav knew about it, so... I needed him to run! And for Jonah to die. I guess you need me to die, now, too?"
"No. I do not like any of these people, and now..."

click

"Now I have a picture of you."
>>
No. 681935 ID: bfb318
File 144685266522.png - (85.07KB , 800x800 , 103.png )
681935

"I will help you do what you must to obtain Mr. Trimble's fortune, and you will get my hive in a good position."
>"Deal! Did you seriously just take a picture of me, Roxie?"
"You have no idea how proud I am of you right now."
>"Would us teaming up like this be too much metagaming though?
>"No, you gave a good reason." Jonah says. "It's all in good fun, as long as people play their characters with good sports, this place seems to be run in a very freeform way. Also, I hope I wasn't too much of a jerk to either of you, I may have gotten carried away with my character."
"Do I need to dump fake blood on you to make you look dead?"
>"This costume is tough to clean, so please don't use fake blood on me."
>>
No. 681936 ID: 12b273

Right, so now I need to avoid touching any neumono and giving away that I've sided with one the murderers.

Who else needs to be done now, Navo? Have you others you need eliminate? Do we pin your deeds on someone else framing them?

Right now, our advantage is people seem to trust Penn, and you've already been cleared by a few other neumono. Also, Yule trusts the two of you, so you can probably use him if you want to. (Although considering he saved you, it wouldn't be fair to set him up for a fall or kill him. And it would be out of character).
>>
No. 681939 ID: 5ad4a7

>>681935
Okay it's fine let's just make it clear that he's been stabbed in the back. Blame Lav for it, say you saw him about to attack Navo but he ran off when he saw you had a gun.

...wait how did Penn cut the lights? Get them back on then go start talking to the others. Make sure your story matches Penn's.
>>
No. 681941 ID: 211d83

Ok make sure the door is closed and we need to work fast. You are the one with the plan so how can I help.

Do you need to kill everyone or just a few people with evidence?
>>
No. 681955 ID: 12b273

Keep a tiny bit of paranoia around: Penn's probably not gonna backstab you now, since she could use your help and two bodies would be harder to explain.

But if your character is blackmailing her character, it might be in character for her to backstab you at the last minute and keep a a hold on Kirtar's hive. So... be careful? (Although that would be kind of awesome if she pulled that off).

And if we're keeping in-character motivations in mind, Kirtar now has two ways to get what she wants. Collaborating illegally with Navo, or legally with Yules. Betraying one to the other is also possible, depending on how this goes.
>>
No. 681963 ID: bb78f2

>>681955
Could always corrupt Yules though.
>>
No. 681965 ID: bfb318
File 144685991427.png - (147.05KB , 800x800 , 104.png )
681965

"Tell me how you cut the lights, Navo."
>"I didn't, actually, but Vintino and his party said they were going down to the basement with the breaker switches, and so I kind of had a guess that Vintino would use those. It wasn't really necessary for me to wait on them, but they were handy! So I told the rest of his party that I suspected he was a murderer, and to watch out carefully. One of them was a pretty tough looking belenos, so with any luck, Vintino is dead now. Oh and remember how when I spoke to Smith, one of the suspects I have, I let slip that Mr. Lav was going to investigate the billiard room secret passage alone? I couldn't convince him Lav not to do so, despite how easy it was to murder him? It's kind of a stretch, but since I know that Smith knows the entrance to this passage from the opposite end - the lounge, I think - if I'm really lucky, Smith went in for an easy target on Mr. Lav, so I won't have to worry about Lav. I might have to worry about Smith, but I think most of the murderers are willing to work with each other; it's just that we don't know who each other is."

Holy shit Penn is mischievious.

"How many must you kill?"
>"Everyone, or until everyone votes unanimously to give up and escape the house. Oh, um... since you made it in here after all, could you help me dispose of Jonah's body? There should be another disposal room through this passage. There's 3 total, but now there's only two."
"What if I just tell people I came in and defended you against Lav, after he murdered Jonah?"
>"I don't know, Kirtar. There's a few possibilities, here, but they aren't completely air tight or even believeable, and it gets messy if Lav didn't get killed. Especially since there are a few people here with forensics skills."
>>
No. 681968 ID: 211d83

Follow her lead for now. But remember that she has been plotting this all night so might have your death lined up if you get in her way.

Which would be awesome but want to see this through to the end if you can.

Worst case you can go to Yule and unite against her.

Man this game is getting good. Was definitely a good idea to bring her here.
>>
No. 681971 ID: 5ad4a7

>>681965
Right, so the only witness is likely dead now. Dispose of the body and nobody will know. I'm guessing Penn was going to take you out next.

...wait, Yule is a problem. Contact-empathy might reveal what's going on. Might have to eliminate him next, unless we can convince him to play along... and other neumono might also catch on if they touch Roxie, but that's easier to avoid. Or we can just try to avoid thinking about the conspiracy while Yule is close by... or set him on tasks that will keep him away.
>>
No. 681972 ID: bb78f2

>>681965
Well, we should probably go murder whoever survived the fight between Lav and Smith then. We do have a gun after all.

I think in case a real murder investigation happens involving you and Penn as suspects, you should write a note on that picture you took, or post it to Asteroidverse Facebook as soon as you get out shouting out about how proud you are of your murderer roommate for being so devious for the first time in this game.

Unless she doesn't consent to that. Then, I don't know, future you and her will just have to bite the bullet on this totally suspicious picture. I guess you'd also need Jonas's consent to that too, just to be polite.
>>
No. 681973 ID: 12b273

>[Kill] Everyone, or until everyone votes unanimously to give up and escape the house.
Hmm. That only leaves one victory condition for you, then. If you don't force a vote for escape the murderers you've sided with will kill you for their victory.

Also, Kirtar will want to spare Yules, since he saved your life. It would be dishonorable to repay that by getting him killed. So to save him, as well as yourself, we have to force a retreat.

He trusts us right now, though. So long as we don't give him a good emphatic read, we can feed him false intel, and use him as a proxy to encourage the good guys.

>>681963
>corrupt Yules?
That's risky though, since if we fail we either out ourselves or have to kill him.

And I kind of suspect his character is a goody-two-shoes, so good roleplaying would mean he wouldn't turn.

>what do
Go with her Machiavellian planning, for now. She's good at being clever. Move the body.

Okay, get up, you. Kirtar is 'carrying' you, but I think both of us will be happier if I'm not actually dragging you.

>what else do
Fine, get our stories strait. I couldn't get in after you, so I went looking for another way in. We haven't see each other since before the lights went out.
>>
No. 681980 ID: bfb318
File 144686501835.png - (166.91KB , 800x800 , 105.png )
681980

>Post Penn's accomplishment here to social media
Nope, Penn won't like me making a big deal out of this, I know it right now. The picture I took is just for personal memories. And maybe as evidence here if I need. But I'll put some metadata on it saying it's Jonah being fake murdered on hallowen.

>Kirtar will want to spare Yules, since he saved your life. It would be dishonorable to repay that by getting him killed.
I look at Kirtar's sheet. It doesn't specify, but I'll play it honorable to not be a butt.

But it's not like tribes were some kind of noble savages of fairness and honor. If I were still raw out of the jungle, I'd say I owe him nothing. Maybe shoot him too because I'd think he was up to some game against me.

I've come a ways.

"Okay, I'll help you. Jonah, get up, unless I'm supposed to literally drag you."
>"Hold on, Kirtar. If you drag him, you'll have a tough time shooting. I should be able to at least drag the body."
"Okay. Also, we must get a story straight. I can say I never entered this room, but rather, I wandered to look for another way in. No one saw me enter."
>"Sorry, Kirtar, but even if no one saw it, I'd be surprised if no one heard it! But there is also that lock you smashed open. Which I didn't think could happen?"

While we talk, Jonah gets up, and we start walking slowly. Penn opens the passage again, as it seems to close after a moment on its own.

This passage makes a bend, but no stairway. Around the bend I can see the end of the passage.

>"If it's like the other, the only other place he could be is a body dropoff chute like the one you entered before." Penn whispers. "There's also a hollow wall somewhere that we have to find. I have the knock code for it, which someone will then open the door to."
>>
No. 681988 ID: 12b273

>social media
Well we for sure can't do that now. Some of our competitors might see it.

>I'd be surprised if no one heard it! But there is also that lock you smashed open. Which I didn't think could happen?
Oh. Right. Then... what did I find when I showed up, and where did we go?

>what do
Let's look for the hidden place Penn is supposed to knock on. If you carry the body in yourself, you'd just get jumped again. And there's no reason to waste a ramp trap on a corpse.
>>
No. 681990 ID: 7a92ea

It looks like there's some sort of tag or something on the right wall that can be pulled, but you might need to be taller. It could also be something that stuck sticking out of the corner of a secret door.

As for long term goals, siding with Penn's character has probably transferred you to Team Murder, so you'll win when they do. Hope they don't mind you killing one of them. For Yule, you'll either need to kill him too or seduce him to your side as well.
>>
No. 681994 ID: 211d83

Ok cover Penn with the gun while she drags the corpse to the drop off. While heading there ask her what her characters motivation is if she does not mind sharing. Also is her earlier statement about there being 5 murders true?

And what was her plan exactly if you had not busted through the door?
>>
No. 682035 ID: f61b8d

Hmm, how about, when the lights went out, Penn heard the sounds of a scuffle, and backed away. Roxie busts through the door like a boss, and discovers Penn. If there's supposed to be blood on Penn because she "actually" killed somebody, maybe insert some bit into the story about somebody falling into her before she backed away. Or just wash her hands or something. Be careful that wherever you first get seen, it's reasonable that you got there from the billiards room in a reasonable amount of time.

Oh, side note: even supposing we did kill everybody else, and the turncoats still don't technically count as murderers, the turncoats could then unanimously vote amongst themselves to leave the house, avoiding the need for their deaths. It would be preferable to make the vote before killing everyone, though.
>>
No. 682037 ID: bfb318
File 144687923050.png - (164.76KB , 800x800 , 106.png )
682037

I cover Penn while she walks forward. I look around the room, but the wall just has a lot of things that seem like they may be something, but just aren't. I do find the murderhole while we search for the main door.

"Tell me what would you have done if I did not come through the door."
>"Oh, um, the original plan was to escape through the hatch and show up later after I saw what you did. I didn't know whether or not you might have been my ally, so this, well, sped it up!"
"Tell me if you lied about 5 murderers."
>"I think there are 5, other than myself."

We find the segment of the wall, Penn knocks on it in a certain rhythm, and it opens up. Another burly guy, I'm betting in the same hive, comes usher Jonah in. Penn nearly jumps back. I don't think she sees neumono like this too often, and she likely spent all her spare comfort points letting me wear this.

I presume there's yet another passage where Jonah can hang out, and they replace him with a doll like I found in the previous one.

>"Hello, Navo. Who is that?"
>"Kirtar. She is on our side, now. Is that allowed?" Penn asks.
>"Long as you two have decent character reasons for it."

We explain it briefly, and he agrees, then speaks louder again.

>"I do not know about this one. I would like to hold hands with her and ask a few questions, to sense if she has poor intentions."
>>
No. 682046 ID: 5ad4a7

>>682037
I don't see anything wrong with that, but grumble about it anyway in character.
>>
No. 682048 ID: bb78f2

>>682037
Hmpf, our poor intentions. As if anyone in this household could have anything but at this point, including yourself. Soon, all the neumono in this house will want to betray each other, how long will you keep your own loyalty is a question worth asking, but it's nothing even empathy will answer.
>>
No. 682059 ID: bfb318

Do not let on that you have a gun, but make sure they know you intend on defending yourself if need be.

Also make sure that they know that if they mess with Penn, they mess with you.
>>
No. 682061 ID: bfb318
File 144688106803.png - (170.00KB , 800x800 , 107.png )
682061

>Don't let them know you have a gun
It'll be tough to do if they ask me directly, but he won't just accidentally find out about it. I have it at my side, but it's out of sight.

"Hmph, I doubt anyone in this house has good intentions, but my interests can coincide with your own." I say. "Empathy will tell you nothing of that."
>"Then give me your hand and show me nothing.
"Fine."
>"Do you plan on backstabbing us?.... Can you keep secrets from other neumono?..." He asks a couple more questions. He doesn't think that my responses are ideal, but he wasn't expecting that much anyway, and seems to be accepting so far. "Lastly, I was expecting word from my hivemates within the last hour. However, I have not heard anything from my hivemate within the Cellar to Study passage. I have received word there was a tribal neumono within there, and you have come to me covered in the stale blood of a slope trap. Do you know anything of this?"

I have about two thirds of a second before he starts picking up on stuff that I doubt I want him to. It doesn't help that his grip tightens, and he's ready to grapple me, too.
>>
No. 682067 ID: bfb318

If he goes to grapple you, go for the gun. Gesture to the "ear" you took, and tell him that it was self-defense. You would have done that to anyone that grabbed you in some crazy slip and slide trap, after all.
>>
No. 682072 ID: bb78f2

He threatened my life.
Do not threaten mine. We have a shared ally. Do not compromise that alliance over a case of reasonable self defense. He is a neumono after all, so he may be alive. I do not know. I didn't actually make the moves to check after the fight. From our grasp, I can tell you do all this for the sake of your hive, same reason I'm working with her. I suggest you continue working with Ms. Nova and me for now. When this is over, we can work through our grievances properly if your friend DID die. Now is not the time.
>>
No. 682076 ID: 5ad4a7

Stick your gun in his face immediately. Then you can start talking.

Penn might grab the gun from you though. Damn, this is a real tough spot caused by NOT WASHING.
>>
No. 682086 ID: a21c7b

"We got in a fight. I'm sorry he attacked me, but I'm not sorry for winning."
>>
No. 682118 ID: 7a92ea

Yeah, neumono probably aren't open to being pacified on the subject of dead or critically injured hivemates.

Say "I met him, he actually gave me something to show others," then reach to pull out the ear, take your GUN at the same time held behind it, pass the ear into his hand and at the moment of his shock at realizing what the ear means, you PAP him.
>>
No. 682120 ID: bfb318
File 144690963765.png - (176.71KB , 800x800 , 108.png )
682120

>This is a real tough spot caused by NOT WASHING.
The only way I would have completely gotten rid of all of this blood would be by showering and test if they'd try and murder me during then of all times.

Washing up a bit would just make me look a bit more presentable.

"He threatened my life." I say, pulling out the gun. "Do not threaten mine, now. I am sorry he attacked me, but not sorry I subdued him. He may still be alive, however."

Which is true, depending on the rules, a neumono like that wouldn't die from what I did.

This neumono is definitely a hivemate, and definitely not a fighter. Instead of working off impulses, he's weighing his options before he acts, giving me the sense of what he's doing.

He knows he'll probably die if he attacks me, but he's leaning on playing an enraged character that'll doesn't like having guns pointed at him by someone who hurt his hivemate.

There's uncertainty in him, but he's starting to lean towards trying to fight. I either need to PAP him now, or try to fight hand to hand to keep him from being knocked out. I think I have a pretty good chance to beat him hand to hand, but it'll involve a lot of roughhousing, and is way riskier. Considering what the hivemate did with me, I'm more worried about the risk to my character than the roughhousing.

"Also, I did take his ear." I say, focusing on the ear on my belt. That will distract him enough to make a PAP or initial grapple easier.
>>
No. 682124 ID: 7a92ea

"I haven't met another of your hive until now. You're the only one who knows where your hivemate is, and that if he's not dead, he's likely dying. I left him unconscious with four holes in his body from this gun, after he attacked me. Do you want to risk both your life and his, if he still has it, on the slim chance you can take mine?"
>>
No. 682128 ID: 12b273

If you fight him in hand to hand, your outfit is gonna get messed up, then you're gonna have to explain to other people why your outfit is messed up. That's bad for covering up your activities.

Pap!

If you're going to ambush anyone who walks by, you have to live with the consequences if some of them fight back.

...get eyes on Penn fast, there's a chance she might think you're backstabbing her and just knife you.

Please tell me all the other murderers aren't hivemates who are gonna want my head, now?
>>
No. 682133 ID: 211d83

I would avoid hand to hand. Will make lots of noise and further muss up your costume. Plus then we have to tie him up or something if you do not want to kill him. The gun seems way easier.

Plus your character would not put up with this crap. His hive is getting in the way of saving your hive. If you have to carve a path of blood through this game so be it.

That being said if you don't pap him quick you might have to wrestle him anyway.
>>
No. 682154 ID: 5ad4a7

>>682120
If only the GUN were a real gun, you could use it as a bludgeon.

Beat his ass. Your character would probably want to do so instead of just shooting him.
Well that or you could shoot him in the stomach. That's generally non-lethal for neumono but it reliably puts them down.
>>
No. 682165 ID: ad936f

pap pap!
>>
No. 682177 ID: a21c7b

Shoosh pap once, then >>682124 this.
>>
No. 682193 ID: 08e90a

I doubt papping him is necessary. Are there any ammunition rules?
>>
No. 682194 ID: 211d83

>>682193

Well we used 4 paps down in the basement so if we have a revolver we have two paps left.

If its a not a revolver then we have 6-10 paps left depending on magazine size.

Sure we could keep paping after we ran out of ammo but that would be unfair.
>>
No. 682196 ID: 08e90a

>>682194
On the other hand, magazine sizes get potentially pretty nuts when you leave the realm of revolvers, and we could have as many as low 20s of paps left, so maybe it's best just not to worry about it.
>>
No. 682217 ID: bfb318
File 144694813772.png - (138.20KB , 800x800 , 109.png )
682217

"Pap pap pap!" I'll ask about ammo later.

I shoot as soon as I decide to, otherwise he might reflexively grab my hand and knock the gun away. Considering the size of him, if he did it without thinking, I wouldn't be able to stop him.

He pretends to reel back and slumps onto the ground.

>"Kirtar..."
"What? Do not tell me I should have let him kill me."
>"No.. he'll be fine, just don't shoot him anymore. They're going to be my employees, if we succeed, so, uh... right. So it shouldn't matter, we can use these rooms, but if we need to go back inside, you'll have to crawl through the tunnel to open this place back up from the inside. For now... I can deal with bandaging this neumono and taking care of Jonah's body. Can you go find and take care of Lav?"
>>
No. 682218 ID: 12b273

Alright. Uh, if there's a bunch of these guys, and they're all gonna want payback, maybe you should just keep me and them apart.

>Lav
All right. Any idea where we went, or where he would go? Did he take off before or after you went for Jonah?

Uh, what's our story, so we match if anyone asks? What did I find when I busted into that room after you?
>>
No. 682223 ID: bfb318
File 144694976278.png - (82.14KB , 800x800 , 110.png )
682223

"I may attempt to avoid these. I am going to take this one's ear, though. Now, what is our cover story, if anyone asks? What did I see when I entered the billiard room?"
>"Ah, you said no one saw you enter the billiard room? Well, maybe we'll say that you saw me fleeing into the passageway after Lav attacked me. Jonah died trying to defend me, but you came to my rescue? Um, we should find Lav before deciding on that. I haven't heard the hatch or anything come up, or the bloodchute draining, so if he's not out there... he might be hiding in the murderhole."
>>
No. 682225 ID: 5ad4a7

>>682223
Let's stalk and shoot that motherfucker.
>>
No. 682228 ID: 7a92ea

Sure, probably. If the "primitive tribal" gets caught murdering people, well, it'll be bad, but not as bad as it could be, right? We're "savages" after all. We "don't know any better", and it's no surprise if our "betters" manipulate our unsophisticated little minds into doing their dirty work.

Any other long-term details about your motivations, goals or plans you want to tell us, Navo? So we don't accidentally mess those up?
>>
No. 682230 ID: 211d83

I bet you can get close to him if you put a worried look on your face and pretend you are trying to find her after you got locked out. But he might be pretty suspicious now.

Oh also check if the whole not talking to neumono thing is true or just a act so you were not in the room.

That being said if he is hiding in the murderhole you can just pap him. Unless this is all Penn's plan to get you to go over there so she can shove you in the murderhole.
>>
No. 682231 ID: 7a92ea

Oh, since you're a tribal, you can ask her how many BULLETS are left in your GUN. And she can ask the guy you just papped, out of character-ly, how many it's supposed to have or what.
>>
No. 682232 ID: 12b273

We'll go with "the room was empty when I got there, except for Jonah's corpse". If I did see you fleeing, I wouldn't know that you'd been attacked previously.

Then my looking for Lav makes sense, cause you were last seen with him, and I've been conspicuously looking out for you.

And yeah, let's avoid further details if possible until he's dealt with.

>he might be hiding in the murderhole
...should we try and ambush him with the trap door? Might be fun to be on the other end of that. You grab, Penn stab.
>>
No. 682238 ID: bfb318
File 144695241567.png - (91.96KB , 800x800 , 111.png )
682238

"Hey, guy, out of character, how many bullets does this thing have?"
>"No limit, but pretend you only have 10 at once, and have to reload periodically."
"Cool. Now gimme an ear. Back in character... Navo, tell me if Lav really dislikes neumono."
>"Yes. I'll be honest now and say I don't think he hated you all so much that he wouldn't meet with me with you, but he does dislike them."
"Hrmph. Is there any other motivations of yours I should know about, while you use me to your own ends so I don't mess things up?"
>"Nooo... but I'm inheriting Trimble's fortune, which includes his troubles. Many of those troubles are people within this house."

If Penn wanted to murder me here, she could have thumped me with the knife she still had while I was dealing with not-Razor. Speaking of which, I grab his knife, now.

>Should we try and ambush Lav with the trap door?
No, I'm pretty sure that was only allowed since I was a neumono. A belenos might like, crack their knee or break their hip or something in the struggle.

I take a look from the original place I entered from in the other room. Again, I can see a brighter sliver of light coming from the exit, and inside of the murderhole, I see a bend. He isn't there, but I smell him in here. I bet he's around the corner.
>>
No. 682239 ID: 5ad4a7

>>682238
Call out to him. Ask if he's okay. Tell him about how you caught Navo in the act and you're trying to get the others together to figure out what's going on here without getting murdered.

Then murder him once he comes out.
>>
No. 682240 ID: 12b273

>He isn't there, but I smell him in here. I bet he's around the corner.
Can we dump the fake blood on him? Try to flush him out? If we have Penn waiting with her knife at the other exit, running down will get him stabbed, running up will get him shot by you.
>>
No. 682243 ID: 211d83

Make heavy breathing noises and stomp on the ground slowly with your hands if you want to fuck with him.

I would try calling out to him first. Tell him you are trying to find out what happened in the study and are worried treachery is afoot.
>>
No. 682245 ID: 7a92ea

No trap, but if you go and flip up the sheet at the other end of the passage, you can shoot him through that direction. He might wiggle out while you work your way around, though.
>>
No. 682256 ID: bfb318
File 144695451543.png - (99.28KB , 800x800 , 112.png )
682256

"Mr. Lav! Tell me if you are there!" I call out to him. Nothing. "It is safe, now! Do not make me come in there." Nothing, still. I move around, and wait a second for Navo. It occurs to me that sound within the passage may carry decently enough that he heard me and my paps.

I move over and find Penn, making sure to watch the exit in case he tries to book it.

"Do you know how to activate the fake blood?"
>"I don't, sorry. Is he around the bend?"
"I believe so."

I hear some scuttling around, and I'm betting Lav is hustling to get back around the bend again, to where I looked the first time.

There's also another noise. Some static, and what might be a voice. Like a walkie talkie.
>>
No. 682257 ID: 5ad4a7

Shit. He's cooperating with someone else too. The sliver of light is there because someone else is waiting for you to make yourself vulnerable, so they can come in to take you out.

Go ambush the ambusher. Quiet, now.
>>
No. 682258 ID: 12b273

Looks like you're going in.

Penn should stay near the entrance, in case someone responds to the walkie talkie.
>>
No. 682259 ID: 7a92ea

I assume you mean it's coming from the same direction as the scuttling sound, meaning Lav is the one with a walkie talkie. But isn't the one talking, since you'd presumably hear that more clearly. So, someone is talking to him. If you kill him too loudly while he has that out, someone else is going to hear it through the connection.

So on the one hand, we don't want to alert whoever that is. On the other hand, them hearing a guy get "murdered" through a speaker sounds pretty awesome and horror-y.
>>
No. 682262 ID: 211d83

Give Penn the gun and quickly go in with the knife while she backs you up at the other entrance.

Then shimmy down the other end of the passage as fast as you can with the knife.

Should be able to catch him in the middle.
>>
No. 682265 ID: 5ad4a7

>>682264
I don't see a real downside here.
>>
No. 682266 ID: bfb318
File 144695588201.png - (44.66KB , 800x800 , 113.png )
682266

>Sliver of light is someone else looking
That must be why that sliver is brighter than usual! Whoever looks through has a tiny field of vision into here. They can only see the side of the passage that the murderhole entrance is on, I bet, so they can see if I enter it.

But the lever to open that door is on the other side. If I go back out, it might just look like I'm about to go back into the hole. Then I can pull the lever, and PAP whatever clever fucker is watching before they can react.

Or just shoot the air if I'm wrong.
>>
No. 682267 ID: 12b273

>>682266
Go try and be clever. Leave Penn here in case Lave comes out here.
>>
No. 682268 ID: 7a92ea

It's probably Yule. You'll spring the door open and he'll be tragically papped down by his former ally, who he thought he could trust. But your hive needs you, Kirtar.

Or it could be Smith. That's the guy Navo sent there earlier, the lounge, right? Light on means whatever went on with the lights and breakers has gone down, so there could be more people in there. You might need to be prepared to pap a few people in quick succession.
>>
No. 682269 ID: 211d83

Give it a try.
>>
No. 682271 ID: bfb318
File 144695676962.png - (156.31KB , 800x800 , 114.png )
682271

I'm gonna do it. I motion Penn to come up just around the corner so that she isn't seen, so that she isn't in danger in case Lav drops in the murder room and catches her off guard. I whisper to her that I am going to try to shoot Smith, who is peeping on us.

>It's probably Yule. You'll spring the door open and he'll be tragically papped down by his former ally, who he thought he could trust.
Oh, shit, that probably won't happen, but it could.

Well, whatever, Kirtar is throwing it in with Navo, if I shoot Yule, oh well.

"PAP PAP PAP."
>".... damn, really?" the guy on the far side asks.
"Really." Yes! That must be Smith. I only needed one shot after all, it's just him.

Oh, he's holding a gun in one hand and a flashlight over him, I guess to prevent himself from casting an obvious shadow on the sliver. I didn't even think about that!

I enjoy that I heard my faint PAPs through the walkie talkie.
>>
No. 682280 ID: 7a92ea

Dang Roxie, that's a grand total of three of your fellow murderers? Oh well, whatever it was they wanted out of the conspiracy, now there's more for Navo, she should be thanking you. Still, apologize to her by resisting the urge to dual wield GUNs, and give her the other one as a gesture of trust. Then deal with Lav before he escapes.
>>
No. 682281 ID: 211d83

Loot his corpse so you can get the talkie and gun.

Then check for anyone else nearby and then leave his corpse in the secret tunnel.

Give Penn the other gun so you both have one.

Should be able to cover both ends of the tunnel now and pap him from either side.

He might be moving fast to escape so hurry before he gets out.
>>
No. 682283 ID: 12b273

>I enjoy that I heard my faint PAPs through the walkie talkie.
Wait, which walkie? Does that mean the other one is right here?

That also means whoever was on the other end heard you kill this guy.

>what do
Loot gun and flashlight.

So... now can we open the door and shoot Lav through it?
>>
No. 682285 ID: 5ad4a7

>>682271
Get his gun too, then "drag" his corpse inside, and tell Lav, over the walkie-talkie, that it's over. He's lost. Come out and you'll make it painless.

Make sure he can't escape. Don't leave either end of the passage uncovered for long enough that he can get away.
>>
No. 682288 ID: 7a92ea

Tell Lav over the walkie talkie that Smith was a murderer, and you've dealt with him, so he should come out. It's safe. If he believes you, good! If he doesn't, it's still nice and creepy.

Say, Roxie, would it be sufficiently in-character for a tribal neumono to "reward" another neumono who saved her life, by "sparing" them and taking them as a slave? It'd be a way it get Yule out of the murderers' way without killing him.
>>
No. 682289 ID: 211d83

>>682288

Yule is part of the ultrahive so he has to be avoided or killed unfortunately.
>>
No. 682290 ID: 7a92ea

>>682289

Well, we're making all these bodies disappear somehow anyway, so what's the difference between him vanishing from being murdered and him vanishing from being kidnapped??
>>
No. 682293 ID: bfb318
File 144695969052.png - (103.05KB , 800x800 , 115.png )
682293

>Wait, which walkie? Does that mean the other one is right here?
I heard my own PAP through Lav's walkie talkie inside the murder hole. Which means that Smith must be the owner of the other walkie talkie, and was feeding Lav information. Apparently, Smith's walkie talkie is set to ON at all times, since he wasn't holding it while I papped him.

>Say, Roxie, would it be sufficiently in-character for a tribal neumono to "reward" another neumono who saved her life, by "sparing" them and taking them as a slave?
Could be, yeah, if I wanna complicate things like that.

>That's a grand total of three of your fellow murderers?
Yeah, I'm probably not doing a great job for team murder.

Lav stays quiet in his murderhole during all of this. I grab Smith's gun and flashlight, and then bring him into the secret tunnel. I find his walkie talkie as well, and bring it with me.

"Come out, Lav. Smith was a murderer. I've taken care of him. It is safe now." I say it, trying to make myself sound equally loud both in person and on the walkie talkie. I'm not surprised he doesn't respond, but I don't care about that. I move back to Penn fast before Lav tries to make a break for it.

"Navo. Is that Smith that I just killed?" I ask her to confirm that, once I figure out how to turn Smith's walkie talkie off.
>"... yes." she says, looking over to me to Smith sitting on the ground.
"Is that fine?"
>"I don't trust any of the other murderers, Kirtar. We're not necessarily on the same team. I think I would have had to deal with Smith sometime later, but... you did it for me. Thank you." she whispers.
"Take this." I say, handing her the gun. "I will entrust you with it, especially since we must pincer Lav, now."
>>
No. 682294 ID: bfb318
File 144695969722.png - (76.30KB , 800x800 , 116.png )
682294

I look down the murderhole again, and I see Lav scrambling backwards into me.

>"This is Lav!" he starts shouting into his walkie talkie. If you can hear me out there, Penn is the murderer! She's in a passageway through the billiard room, and...."

He trails off. He must be hearing his own yells echoing louder and louder through the receiving end, from behind me.

I push my walkie talkie send button down, loudly.

"This is Kirtar." I say, then turn it back off.

"You are dead." I say clearly, behind him. "Pap."
>>
No. 682300 ID: 5ad4a7

>>682294
I love it. Put him with the others. Penn can keep watch while you transport the corpses, as you're likely stronger and can thus do it faster. If anyone comes running, Penn can shoot them.

Also, he said the passage in the billiards room, which means they would be coming from that direction.
>>
No. 682302 ID: 211d83

Did he just refer to Penn instead of her character name?

Anyways lure him out unless he wants to leave his corpse in the tunnel. Unless you want to roleplay dragging him out of there.

Figure out where to hide the corpses and then figure out if there are more walkie talkies on this channel.

Then confer with Penn on what to do next.

If there are more talkies out there you will have to be her hands while she stays out of sight.
>>
No. 682304 ID: 12b273

>Yeah, I'm probably not doing a great job for team murder.
Well, if we kill all the murderers but Penn, we might be able to convince the others players the case is solved and leave.

...and it also gives you a certain amount of credibility as a good guy, so you can defend yourself if you're accused. In fact, even if Penn is caught, you can convincingly claim you didn't know.

Might allow you to play both sides, or continue to work the evil agenda from the outside.

>Did he just refer to Penn instead of her character name?
He slipped up, it happens. He must know her from one of their classes.

>what do
Loot body, move body.

Check with your criminal mastermind. Who's our next target?
>>
No. 682305 ID: 7a92ea

Well, that's another two bodies to dispose of. If these walls here aren't as thick as the billiard room's, move them quick, before anyone gets here who might have heard that shouting. If they are, though (and I suspect this whole place has pretty sound-proof walls), take the time to smear some fake blood where their bodies would have landed.

Commiserate OOCly with Smith and Lav for a moment. No hard feelings! Then ask Navo who's left and who's next on the list.
>>
No. 682306 ID: 12b273

Oh! Take the walkie talkies so you two can keep in communication.

...change them to a new channel, so in case anyone else has a walkie talkie, they won't overhear your plotting.
>>
No. 682309 ID: 5ad4a7

...ah, that's right. With the walkie talkies, Penn and Roxie can pretend to be enemies, and stay apart, while secretly working together.
>>
No. 682312 ID: bfb318
File 144696191553.png - (114.26KB , 800x800 , 117.png )
682312

Correction: Lav didn't refer to Penn as Penn, but as Navo.

I 'drag' Lav's corpse out by telling him to walk out, and we end up in the murderroom. Penn closes the door behind all of us while I figure out these walkie talkies.

"Navo, what is next?" I ask.
>"Let me, uh, think for a minute, here. Um... I think a lot of people died during the blackout, so there might be a gathering soon. I don't know if you should show up, since... empathy. It'll make you a suspect, though, so I don't know about that plan."

>"Hi, sorry to interrupt, you two can keep conspiring. To the other three dead guys, I'm Blade." the big neumono says to Jonah, Lav and Smith while dumping fake blood on himself. "I'm getting dummy corpses out for you. Over here is the passage to reception. You're more than welcome to get to know the players over some food and drink, and there'll be a clear exit for whenever you'd like to leave. Thanks for playing, you guys."
>"I just wish I wasn't killed so fast." says Smith. "But it was fun while it lasted."
>>
No. 682313 ID: bfb318
File 144696192340.png - (94.82KB , 800x800 , 118.png )
682313

>"Oh, just a second." Jonah says, coming up to Penn. "Hi. Navo - that is, what's your real name?"
>"Ah, it's, um, Penn."
>"I'm Milo. I liked playing with you quite a bit. Could we meet someplace after you're done playing tonight? I know of a good cafe. And I won't be playing a haughty character this time around, I swear."

Annnnnd there goes Penn's comfort.
>>
No. 682316 ID: 5ad4a7

>>682313
Well let her decide whether or not to turn him down. I expect she'll only have trouble if he insists. He seems okay, actually, and probably won't. If she's having trouble maybe you can pull her aside and ask her what she thinks about this, maybe help her come to a decision, or help her say no if she's having problems. Or help her say YES if she's having trouble working up the courage.

One thing that worries me though. Is this the guy that was staring at her while talking on his cell? ...also, Penn has to study. She probably doesn't have time to go on a date tonight, so it'll have to be scheduled for after her tests, at best.
>>
No. 682317 ID: 211d83

Whisper to Penn that its up to her if she wants to go but if she wants to then give him her number maybe.

Meeting for some food is simple enough and she might make a new friend.
>>
No. 682318 ID: 799984

"Remind" Penn she has to study, like she isn't an antisocial nerd and that it's what's stopping her.

If you think you can pull it off, it could be less awkward. Might be more awkward later though!
>>
No. 682319 ID: 7a92ea

Introduce yourself into the conversation by saying hey, you and her are roomates, that she has previous plans for later tonight, and you actually have been keeping close in part to make sure she doesn't get held up into the late evening, which is why you're butting in now. But that you're sure she'd like to exchange contact details and get in touch when she's freer, some time during the later half of the week.

After all, she could do with some hobbies, and seems to enjoy roleplaying games quite a bit!... That's what you're talking about, right? Getting her into your dungeon crawl campaign. With your friends. Rolling dice and character sheets and all that. Right?
>>
No. 682321 ID: 12b273

Good game guys. Sorry I killed you and all.

>Annnnnd there goes Penn's comfort.
Tell him it depends on how late this lets out. You're already cutting into her study time getting her out tonight.

That gives her a convenient excuse if she needs it. They should at least trade numbers or emails or something!

>"I just wish I wasn't killed so fast."
Too bad this isn't the kind of game you could come back as a zombie or something.

>I don't know if you should show up, since... empathy. It'll make you a suspect, though, so I don't know about that plan.
The real problem is we've been working together enough that your absence would make her look bad, too. Not sure how you're supposed to avoid empathy... short of pointing out Yules and the other dude already vetted you.
>>
No. 682349 ID: 799984

Guys, Roxie has been over this. Penn's not into relationships, and Roxie's already gone over trying to get her into one. It didn't turn out well.

Being weird about this wont be being helpful; it will be disrespectful. A good friend respects their friend's wishes, and those aren't a mystery here.
>>
No. 682401 ID: bfb318
File 144700086838.png - (164.38KB , 800x800 , 119.png )
682401

>Is this the guy that was staring at her while talking on his cell?
It is.

"Hey. Milo. I'm Roxie, Penn's roommate. She's got plans and studies, and can't stay out too late."
>"Oh, that's fine, it doesn't have to be tonight, but could we exchange numbers and set up a meeting time another day?"
"Maybe she could get into the whole roleplaying thing. That's what this is about, right? Getting her into your tabletop group or something?"
>"I'd be more than happy to help her look into that, if she likes, but I meant to get to know her in general."

I pull Penn off to the side and start whispering.

"You still have no time for guys, right?"
>"Well, maybe, if it's just one meeting, it wouldn't hurt after my tests?"
"The guy acts like he wants to pull you in close to him. If that meeting goes halfway decent, he's gonna want another."
>"Oh, um... um..."
"Two ums. I gotcha."
>>
No. 682402 ID: bfb318
File 144700087553.png - (106.77KB , 800x800 , 120.png )
682402

I leave Penn back there and go back to Milo.

"No dice, Milo. She's too busy, and it sounds like you won't be satisfied with just a single dinner meeting."
>"Don't you think it's weird that you appear to be controlling her social life?"
"Don't give me that shit while I'm looking out for her."
>"She can look out for herself. Penn, I want to hear it from your mouth, not your roommate."
>"Hey, Milo." Blade says. "I have to ask you to not interfere with the game, and go to the reception area."
>"Fine. Penn, I'll be at the reception area, and will wait for your decision from you."
>>
No. 682404 ID: bfb318
File 144700089897.png - (80.77KB , 800x800 , 121.png )
682404

He leaves, and Blade shuts the exit and goes back to playing dead.

"My absence will look just as bad as chancing other neumono seeing my empathy." I say, returning to planning.
>"... yeah." says Penn. "I guess that won't work. I don't really know what to do now, to be honest."
>>
No. 682405 ID: 9e48fb

Character has been broken anyway, it looks like Penn might be concerned about something other than the game. Attempt to bring up FEELINGS
>>
No. 682416 ID: 12b273

Hmm. Well, the way I see it, we either need to plan to make your absence not-suspicious, or for cover stories if you do show up.

I mean, the easiest excuse is you're missing and presumed dead, but then you run into a lot of suspicion when you run into anyone, and they'll probably want to test your empathy. Not showing up means stealth, avoiding people, and killing those you come across.

Penn might be able to use the walkie talkies to her advantage. Story: one of the two people she was with turned on them. Murderer and her defender ended up dead, but she found the walkie talkie on him. He was working with someone! (Implication: obviously not me, why would I give away the advantage of the walkie talkie if I was the baddie).

Of course, that gambit would mean you'd have to ditch or hide the other one, and you wouldn't be able to use them to communicate yourselves (except covertly) without arousing suspicion.

Your best front might be to pretend to be furious that she almost got killed, and be the over-compensating protector. Refuse to leave her side, let anyone else get close to her, and glare suspicion at everyone else. It discourages accidental contact, and the real murderer wouldn't risk being so openly antagonistic, right? It draws too much attention.

tl;dr- we hide in play sight by playing off of expectations.
>>
No. 682417 ID: 211d83

Lets take a moment and talk things over before getting back to the game Penn.

First of all the thing with Milo? You can do whatever you want. Can give him your email and meet after tests are over or politely decline. I will back you up either way.

We have until the game is over for you to think about it ok?

That being said we are doing awesome so far and I would like to go back in there and win this thing. But you are the one with all the plots and intrigue. If I go in there alone its just going to be me running around paping people until they gun me down. I already sort of got that crazy serial killer look going on now.
>>
No. 682422 ID: bfb318
File 144700959564.png - (154.29KB , 800x800 , 122.png )
682422

"Penn, if you want to give him your number and meet up, just let me know, and I'll either back you up or back off, whatever you like."
>"No, it's... I'm just wondering about what you said about getting real social experience. Maybe I should open up a little."
"Yeah, I'd like to see that, but I know how much you like studying, too. Plus, you don't need to settle on that guy if you don't want to. You can find a better one."
>"Right..."
"We have a game to win, and I know you can focus on that until it's over or you don't like playing anymore."
>"Yeah. Okay, let's do it. I know that some of those people are going to be really aggressive in finding a murderer. Also, a lot of the belenosians have been killed, now, so a lot of the survivors will be neumono. There's going to be a lot of accusing, and I don't think many will use their heads about it, so random people might be accused. Including you or me or another murderer, even if the reasons given are completely wrong. So, uh, if we try to lay low for awhile it'll probably mean we'll be big suspects when we turn up alive, but if we show up now we might be aggressively scrutinized."
"I could act enraged that you were almost murdered, and refuse anyone to get near you or me."
>"Some of those neumono I spoke too seemed like they could get pretty aggressive, too! And it'll look really bad if you don't accept hand holds. Um... it might be best if I go out there and say that while you saved me, you took a gunshot wound and have to rest it for awhile, and I won't say where, for. Um, Blade, is the rule on that that neumono need to be shot twice to be knocked unconscious?"
>"That's right. The rules won't make your story unbelieveable."
>"Yeah, um... but, that means you'd have to lay low for awhile until I get a chance to come back, Roxie. I don't think you'd find that very fun. I'll bring the walkie talkie though and try to guide you though when I get the chance. I'll do my best to get you involved as soon as possible."

Even though I might find it fun to get in the face of other neumono, it's Penn's night, and if she thinks me laying low is best, it's best.
>>
No. 682429 ID: 211d83

Ok while she is doing her thing you should be lurking in secret passages and pretending to be injured.

You can either wander around and try to catch people unaware and kill them or you can use yourself as bait.

Like say you found a side room and flopped yourself down so it looked like you were dead or injured. Then when people came over to check your body you pap them.

Honestly if you strategically adjust your clothes a bit any guy that wanders by will ignore the danger just to sneak a peek.
>>
No. 682435 ID: bfb318
File 144701266780.png - (125.15KB , 800x800 , 123.png )
682435

"Sure, you can go out there and do that. I might be able to pretend to be dead or injured and lure people over to me and then pap 'em, though."
>"Oh, yeah, but would you still be able to receive walkie talkie messages?"
"As long as you just ask for me to pick up or somethin', and we make it open that you left a walkie talkie with me, it shouldn't be too suspicious to hear your voice coming out of my bag." I also give Penn the knife that Blade has, so we each have one knife and gun.
>"Well, it's up to you! I just hope my timing won't be bad if I need you to do something fast."

So either hang out and let Penn work her magic, or go out solo and hope I don't get gunned down.
>>
No. 682436 ID: 211d83

Go shower and lure in murderers with your wet naked body.
>>
No. 682437 ID: 3f771e

>>682436

Go for it. No one will suspect reverse shower murder.
>>
No. 682438 ID: 12b273

Let Penn work her magic. It's her night to shine- we live or die by her efforts.

(Though I hope we leave the walkie talkie on, or somehow get to OOC see her work her magic. Maybe cut ahead to her retelling us what she did?).
>>
No. 682440 ID: bfb318
File 144701639703.png - (260.98KB , 1000x800 , 124.png )
682440

"I think I'll try and murder some guys. Leave your walkie talkie on for me though, I might want to listen in to you."
>"Oh, sure."

Penn leaves, and I'll wait awhile before I do. Like Penn said, people gather out in the halls. She's staying quiet at first, but offers some insight now and then to the group. The most important thing I glean from it is that some people are saying that anyone not in the group gathering should be treated as murderers, but others disagree saying that there's so many hidden passages and stuff that innocent people could easily miss the people calling for a public gathering.

"Hey, Blade, is it normal for dead people to be on their phones?"
>"Hey, you know I'm dead." he says, but puts it away anyway. "If someone comes around here, I turn it off and flop over."
"Cool."
>"By the way, that looks like real blood on your shoulder. You okay?"
"I may have broken a door down going in to save Penn."
>"Damn, try not to break property over a game."
"My bad, but I was worried, I realized I left Penn in a room with two random guys."
>"Didn't see the sign? We have surveillance in every room with people watching. People get pretty riled up sometimes and do shit they'd never try otherwise, so we take security pretty seriously here."
"Oh, then that was pretty goofy of me."
>"Hey, don't worry about it."
"I'm going to the showers, by the way. There any rules about being snuck up on?"
>"People can sneak up and murder you in the shower."
"Holy shit, seriously?"
>"It's under surveillance, too. There's other single stall bathrooms, but the showers have a sign on them explaining the rules. Usually if people need to use the bathroom, they use the single ones downstairs. So don't use the shower unless you want to be the highlight of one of my hivemate's day."
"I'll just read that note, since I'm going over there."
>>
No. 682441 ID: bfb318
File 144701641128.png - (125.78KB , 800x800 , 125.png )
682441

I remember where the showers were though, so I hold a nearly muted walkie talkie to my head while I sneak to the room.

Game note: This public bathroom is has non-holiday usage as a fully functional restroom with shower stalls. This is not considered a safe zone for characters, and do not come equipped with locks. In the interest of safety for players, these bathrooms are currently under temporary surveillance. Respect player's wishes. Private, single stall bathrooms with locks can be found downstairs. Use these at own discretion. Call 78-1556-8212 if there are any questions or concerns.

I wonder what non-holiday place has use for a hundred secret passages.

What's on my mind now, though, is that when I crack open the door, I hear a shower on already.
>>
No. 682443 ID: 211d83

Go check it out. But not with your knife drawn just yet. Just have your gun at hand. Someone else might be trying the reverse shower murder.

Plus if you need to you can explain why you are not with the group because you are here to get cleaned up.
>>
No. 682450 ID: 12b273

...are we going to become the shower murderer ourself? Well, why not. Sneak sneak. Maybe we should wait till they step out to shoot them, though.

>surveillance everywhere
Makes sense, really. Also, watching some of the tapes means players who die can still see how the story ends up, or what their friends are up to.
>>
No. 682452 ID: bfb318
File 144702026627.png - (147.10KB , 800x800 , 126.png )
682452

I'm lucky, these doors don't creak too much when I open them.

The gun is under my hand. It looks like there's no ones in the bathroom stalls or hiding under a counter or anything like that. Just one person in the shower. Not even a door to the shower either, it's just around the corner. Considering that I didn't see any gender signs on this bathroom, I'm betting this place is owned by a neumono hive and the downstairs stalls are for aliens.
>>
No. 682453 ID: 211d83

Can you boost yourself up with the sink and peer over the top?

Could be just someone left the shower running to set up a trap. Might not be anyone in here. Or someone with the water on to mask noise and then they pap anyone who comes around the corner.

That or someone blissfully showering who has never watched any slasher movies.
>>
No. 682455 ID: 12b273

Is it possible someone's just waiting with a gun or knife out around the corner? It would serve you right if someone had set a trap for shower murderers.

Hmm. If it's a real shower user, you could maybe try turning on the sink of flushing a toilet so the water ran cold. If they're actually showering, that might get a gasp or reaction out of them, so you know they're not hiding in wait, and give you a quick opportunity to PAP them while they're off guard.

(It's totally gonna be Yules, ain't it. RIP).

Also, might want to turn down your walkie talkie enough that if it makes any noise, it doesn't give you away.
>>
No. 682456 ID: bfb318

Keep your KNIFEGUN at the ready. Try your best to take a peek over the shower barrier, or around if possible. It could be Yule, after all. If it is, call out for them and let them know you were here to wash up. If it's not, it's probably murdertime.
>>
No. 682457 ID: bfb318
File 144702133485.png - (264.08KB , 800x800 , 127.png )
682457

I double check that my walkie talkie is fully muted, and then lift myself over the shower. It's a guy scrubbing fake blood off of himself while staring out the main entry point.
>>
No. 682458 ID: 12b273

>>682457
PAP him in the head, then give him a cheeky grin.

And then make sure no one ambushes you from behind, cause that would just look bad!
>>
No. 682459 ID: bb78f2

Oh it's Razor, right?
Or Yule, I guess.
>>
No. 682460 ID: bfb318

STRANGER DANGER! Hold your gun towards him for INTERROGATION. Name, why he's washing fake blood off himself, etc. He looks kinda familiar, but he just might be someone from the haunted house tribe.
>>
No. 682461 ID: 211d83

Looks like one of the murder hive. Would explain why he is comfortable showering here.

Pap him twice and smile and wave. But check behind you first for witnesses.
>>
No. 682462 ID: 12b273

>>682459
We left Razor behind, he has a different ear shape, and he'd dead anyways, so he wouldn't be worried.

I think he's too tall and his ears are too long to be Yule, although that's harder to tell.
>>
No. 682464 ID: bfb318
File 144702205623.png - (226.75KB , 800x800 , 128.png )
682464

Almost looks like Yule, but it's not. He doesn't look that scrawny, but doesn't look like the beefhive employees, either. I can't be too sure, but I'm gonna bet he's a stranger. I give another look behind me before going for it.

"PAP PAP" I go, smiling.

>"AHHHH?!"
He screams loud as heck!
>>
No. 682465 ID: 12b273

You're dead, sorry, dude.

Um, we might want to get clear or find a hiding place before someone catches you in the act!
>>
No. 682466 ID: bfb318

Offer an apology for the startling, but it's not against the rules! Maybe a compliment, he doesn't look too bad, the poor guy.
>>
No. 682468 ID: 211d83

Oh come on man you have never seen Psycho?

Shush him and apologize then get out of there before people come and investigate.

If you can't get out before someone comes you might have to hide in there with him.
>>
No. 682470 ID: bfb318
File 144702304990.png - (122.20KB , 800x800 , 129.png )
682470

"You're dead, sorry!"
>"Oh my god, you scared the shit out of me! Damnit!"
"Now be quiet, your dead."
>"S-sorry, but... geez!"

I turn the walkie talkie on for a second. I hear some more talking. It looks like they didn't hear.

>"Come on, I heard it come from the bathroom!"

Damn, someone did, though!
>>
No. 682471 ID: 12b273

Um, quick, are there any hiding places here? Other ways out?

Failing that, I think your best bet might be to play dead. Stash your cardboard weapons and walkie talkie somewhere (under a sink or something), get out of some of your clothes, and flop over under some spraying water. Let them think you killed each other, or the murderer already got clear. Count on wet nakedness being too awkward too investigate too close.

...maybe keep a weapon on you just in case someone is bold enough to try and get empathy of your 'corpse'.
>>
No. 682475 ID: 211d83

Yeah stash your stuff somewhere in the corner and pretend you are dead next to the shower guy. Make sure to get wet though so you are not out of place.

Worst case scenario Yules and the others see you and assume you were boning this guy in the shower though. So it does have its risks.
>>
No. 682478 ID: a21c7b

Uhm, as you discussed, if a neumono is shot twice, he's not dead, just knocked out.

But yeah, pretend to be pretend-KO too.
>>
No. 682479 ID: bfb318
File 144702454736.png - (196.39KB , 800x800 , 130.png )
682479

>2 paps is just a knockout
"Pap pap pap pap"

I was thinking I might wanna ask him questions, but it's too late now, so I properly kill 'im!

There's a couple hiding places, but they're way too easily spotted as hiding places to be safe.

"Lie down, guy, we're both gonna play dead."

I undo a bunch of my bandages and ruffle the rest of my clothes, keeping my gun close while I stand under the shower to get wet. The guy just gets a towel on his crotch, which is understandable. The door is flung open before I can get nude, so I get on the ground.

>"Careful! Check under those stalls and in that closet, don't let anything sneak up on us!" one neumono says.
>"O-okay." another goes.

It's just a moment before I hear their voices behind me. I don't recognize either of them.

>"Damnit, we're too late! The murderer must have gotten away."
>"Uhhhh... d-do we want to investigate them? Maybe the girl with... some clothes on?"
>"Real fucking subtle, man. No, the murderer's gotta be close. We should look around the bathroom!"
>"F.... fiiiine..."

If I'm gonna kill these guys now, this is my chance.
>>
No. 682481 ID: 3f771e

Go for it. But remember there are two of them. You could get shot by the secobs one while you gun down the first. Think you can knife one and shoot the other?
>>
No. 682483 ID: bfb318

Don't know who they are? MURDER. KILLIN TIME and so forth.
>>
No. 682486 ID: 211d83

You do not know what they are armed with so have to be careful. If you shoot one the other one might shoot you right after.

The water is still running so you might be able to knife one without him hearing you. If not might be a good idea to stay still.

See if you can get a look at them first. Can explain your movement on being worried about there investigation comment. If they see you move just scowl at them and shake your head before going back to being dead.
>>
No. 682487 ID: 12b273

There's just the two of them, not one watching the door to make sure no one sneaks up on them?

>If I'm gonna kill these guys now, this is my chance.
Wait till they aren't starring right at you and have started to search. If you can, try to knife one quietly so you can pap the other. Otherwise you're gonna need to pap-pap pretty fast, cause one of them might have a weapon.

Getting quiet the body count just going full on killer, here. I wonder how Penn's doing with the social sneaky thing?
>>
No. 682488 ID: 12b273

>>682486
I wouldn't 'break character' on being dead to get a look at them, cause it might get them thinking we're faking. Or they might expect the guy to break character too, and he could inadvertently let something slip.
>>
No. 682490 ID: 57006e

Remember, you only have four more paps before you have to reload.
>>
No. 682492 ID: bfb318
File 144702710160.png - (126.84KB , 800x800 , 131.png )
682492

>Not one watching the door to make sure no one sneaks up on them?
Okay, maybe there's a whole platoon watching over them for all I know.

I wait until I'm pretty sure they're leaving. Then I get up and go around the corner.

"Pap pap, pap pap!" They were at the door, both facing away. I got 'em., and should have a chance to reload now.
>"Of, fuck." the smaller one says.
>"I guess we should've been perverts about it." I hear the big one whisper to the small one.
>"Yeah, jeez, I thought it was suspicious she had her clothes on, too! Augh, damnit!"
>"Well, she got us, let's just lay down. We have that spare blood packet, too, so we can mess ourselves up."
>"What about our uniforms?"
>"They said the blood actually disintegrates after about 12 hours and is easily cleaned off."/
>>
No. 682493 ID: 211d83

Nice that is 3 down. Anyone searching the bathroom is going to have a surprise.

I would wait a bit to make sure no one else heard him scream and then head out. Can turn on your walkie talkie and see if you missed Penn saying anything while it was off.

Just remember that your biggest threat is getting caught alive. They could grill you for info on Penn. So if you get caught go out in a blaze of glory.
>>
No. 682495 ID: bfb318
File 144702792118.png - (116.06KB , 800x800 , 132.png )
682495

>Check the walkie talkie

I hear some voices and Penn talking about how a three people went to the bathroom, and if they don't return shortly, that the murderer or murderers are still out there.
>>
No. 682497 ID: 12b273

>>682495
Cool, our rampage will distract from the fact that she's still among them. When they go searching for you, she'll be able to work against them from the inside, pick some off, lead them into a trap or something.

Let's vamoose. There will be people here to check on these guys before long.
>>
No. 682498 ID: bfb318

Shut the shower off to hear what's going on better, take it careful since you still need to reload and you still have the knife for ambushing.
>>
No. 682500 ID: 12b273

Don't forget to dry off, so you don't leave a trail.
>>
No. 682506 ID: bfb318
File 144702957422.png - (183.21KB , 800x800 , 133.png )
682506

While I also stand still for about 15 seconds of sportsmanship to reload, I realize that if people find my walkie talkie on me while I'm on killing sprees, it could cause problems for Penn. Either way, Penn's group returns to discussing who dunnit.

After shaking myself dry, I step out of the bathroom while getting my bandages back in place. I'm also not sure where to go from here. Someplace new, or back to the passage I was just in. I'm still bloodied either way.
>>
No. 682507 ID: bfb318

Try and scan out-of-the-way but in-use areas for good ambush spots. KNIFEGUN will protect you.
>>
No. 682508 ID: 12b273

>I realize that if people find my walkie talkie on me while I'm on killing sprees, it could cause problems for Penn.
Didn't you overhear the two people you just killed talking on the walkie talkie? That means they have one. Loot it from them.

Then ditch / hide one of your two walkie talkies. That way, if anyone kills you and finds one on you, they'll think it's the missing one from the shower murder. They'll think you took it to listen in to their coordination, not to coordinate with Penn.

>Someplace new, or back to the passage I was just in.
Someplace new, I think. The passage is too close if they start a thorough search near the bathroom after they find the mess you left it in.
>>
No. 682509 ID: bfb318
File 144703051644.png - (148.78KB , 800x800 , 134.png )
682509

>Didn't you overhear the two people you just killed talking on the walkie talkie?
No, I'm just listening in on Penn's walkie talkie. I've only heard the other two speak to each other after they overheard the shower guy's screaming.
>>
No. 682511 ID: 12b273

Oh. Then if you plan to get in a fight you might want to hide the walkie first? Doesn't help you if you're ambushed, though.

It's a risk you have to take, for now. Yeah, it potentially compromises her, but you need the intel to keep ahead of hunting groups.
>>
No. 682518 ID: 211d83

Hmm with you out here killing it will let them know there is a killer out here. Which helps keep the heat off of Penn.

Course it also extends things as well. Check your cell and see what time it is.

Lets go somewhere new. We have made our choice to be a roving killer so lets keep it up. If you get caught out can retreat to the secret passageways you know about.
>>
No. 682520 ID: bfb318
File 144703373510.png - (182.76KB , 800x800 , 135.png )
682520

Since I'm leaving anyway, I'm going to keep the walkie talkie. I'll just have to remember to hide it if I feel like I'm to go out in a blaze of glory.

I go to check my cell phone for the time. I barely get it out of my pocket before I feel hands go around my neck, then a squeeze so tight that I can't cry out.
>>
No. 682525 ID: bfb318
File 144703385340.png - (184.23KB , 800x800 , 136.png )
682525

It catches me so off guard that I drop the phone, but even if it didn't, another hand grabs my right arm, and whoever it is, is way stronger than beefhive. The grip on my neck shouldn't have entirely prevented me from spinning around, but the claw pushing against my skin keeps me from moving without realizing it. My forearm is put behind me and shoved forward into my back, shoving my body into the wall next to a desk. The desk doesn't give me any levereage I can use, at least not to any effect.

The girl isn't trying to seriously harm me, but she's making sure to use enough force that I'm not going to get a shot off. She also feels like she's a recently uplifed tribal and isn't taking it easy on me. My left hand can't reach to the gun on my right without trying to grasp hard, but I don't get the time. Her left hand release my neck, but I'm just left fumbling with her pinning me on the wall.
>>
No. 682527 ID: bfb318
File 144703387012.png - (157.33KB , 800x800 , 137.png )
682527

I cry out as she says 'thunk', raking a fake knife into down my back.

Goddamnit, I didn't even feel like I had a chance! Those passageways had walls that messed with my eyes so much, I forgot to keep an eye out for little things, and I don't even know where this neumono came from!

The only thing I manage to do during that is shove the walkie talkie between the nearby desk and the wall, hoping that she didn't hear me do that between the sounds of struggling.

Damn it.
>>
No. 682529 ID: bfb318

Well, it sounds like that's it for you, unfortunately! Time to "bleed out" and try to keep your assets concealed from your assailant until you're hauled off to the loser's party. You can probably trust Penn to be clever enough to finish whoever is left off, since it doesn't seem like there's that many.
>>
No. 682535 ID: 211d83

Don't feel bad Roxie. You did great and helped Penn have a good time. With any luck she will be able to do the rest on her own.

Just make sure she killed you and not incapacitated you. Do not want any info getting back if we can help it. Hopefully one thunk is lethal and not just unconscious.

We missed the shadow in the closet behind you. She must have been hiding there waiting for someone to come out of the bathroom. Once you were distracted with the cell phone it was easy to strike.

At least now you can clean up and root for Penn in the lobby.
>>
No. 682536 ID: 12b273

Well, you're dead. You had a good spree while it lasted. Unless it takes more than one "thunk" to kill a neumono? We never checked the knife rules. Small chance they might spare you for questioning, or when they realize you're on team murder from empathy too.

Not much to do but hope you caused enough chaos for... actually, no, don't think about that! You don't want to give anything away with empathy.
>>
No. 682539 ID: 57006e

That was kind of unfair, she got you while you were checking your phone! Your character wouldn't have been doing that. Well, it would be petty to complain about it.

Hmm, we never asked the rules for knives, did we? Are two stabs necessary to incapacitate a neumono, like you need two bullets? You could break character for a moment, to ask.
>>
No. 682545 ID: 5ad4a7

There was a side passage with a grated panel over it. You can just barely make out a silhouette through it. That's where she came from.

Anyway if you're out, you're out. If you're not (and you should be able to tell via empathy?) try kicking off the wall to get some space so you can struggle for real and try to reach your gun.
>>
No. 682551 ID: 9e48fb

Oh well, salvage your phone and try to browse the net with your massive oven mitts to kill time
>>
No. 682555 ID: bfb318
File 144703709742.png - (126.88KB , 800x800 , 138.png )
682555

>Side passage with grates
In hindsight, that was it. I saw it in the back of my head, and didn't think anything of it.

"Does it take one - "
>"Shut up, you are dead."

Goddamn, she's kind of an ass, but answered if one thunk killed me. She flings me down unnecessarily hard. What a lame way to go out, but I guess half the people I offed could say the same. I won't be petty and bitch about it when no one else really did.

>"You let your guard down. Don't be disappointed you were killed."
"Don't rub it in, just get some more fake blood and pour it on my back if you want."

It's just a game, but getting offed like that is pretty scary to me. She's fresh out of a tribe, and is looking at me like a real kill. It's an odd mix of feeling the matter-of-factness of life and death, and a sense of blunt accomplishment.

>"You are from the jungle?" she asks, putting her foot on me. I don't bother responding, she catches that I am. "Hrmph, like all the others, you became domesticated and soft."
"You know we always start off saying the same shit you do, but we end up the same." I don't expect that to change her mind. It's only obvious to us in hindsight.

She's right, though. Even if she's strong as hell, I'm a jungle neumono, not long from uplift, and I shouldn't be taken out that easily by some redgrass neumono. She's really making this personal, intentionally or not. She even wants to drag me around to show off her accomplishment.
>>
No. 682559 ID: bfb318

If she tries to drag you around, that'd probably be against the rules, so you can call shenanigans. Can't actually get empathy off a dead neumono, after all. Don't let her bring you down to her level, Penn would be disappointed!
>>
No. 682560 ID: 211d83

For a tribal just recently uplifted I could see the lure of a game like this. Lets her act out some of her aggression that does not quite fit in the new society she is in. If she wants to haul you around and show off remind her to not use any out of character knowledge from touching you or the organizers will disqualify her.

As for you feeling bad about yourself missing her don't. Tracking and ambushing someone inside a building is a whole new thing. The military has months of training to teach people urban combat tactics.

Plus this place is designed to be sneaky murder central. If you had actually been fighting for your life you would have made a lot of different choices.

If it really bothers you start going to the gym after this or something. The only way to keep the survivalist edge is to practice really.
>>
No. 682562 ID: 57006e

Maybe you should let her drag you around. She might be so chuffed with herself that she lets her guard down against someone else.

Hmm. While you were scrabbling with the walkie-talkie, could you have pressed the transmitter accidentally? Penn might have heard it as clicks, and maybe heard a bit of what's going on. She could be coming right now. Too late to save you, but maybe soon enough to take out this lady before she starts blabbing about what happened. Then Penn can claim she was a murderer.

Yeah, that sounds good. Try think about how embarrassed you'll be being dragged around and shown off like a trophy (it is pretty embarrassing), that'll probably help convince this girl to do it. She's probably not used enough yet to non-hive neumono to pick up on more than emotions, so she shouldn't catch on to the plan.
>>
No. 682563 ID: 12b273

>>682555
Offer her the fake ears if she's so intent on dragging around a trophy.

Dragging you around would just slow her down, if she wants to make things harder on herself.
>>
No. 682564 ID: 5ad4a7

Tell her that you will not consent to being dragged around like that. If she wants a trophy, she can get a doll from the people running this place.
>>
No. 682572 ID: bb78f2

>>682555
"So did you join this game or get hired as a staff member just so you could get a chance to kick around 'soft' neumono legally and act all big, tough and superior? Not so tough on the aliens, aren't you? Too afraid of them locking you up."
>>
No. 682574 ID: bfb318
File 144704002412.png - (77.20KB , 800x800 , 139.png )
682574

>While you were scrabbling with the walkie-talkie, could you have pressed the transmitter accidentally?
If that happened, maybe I could play off of that. But it didn't, it's quiet on Penn's end.

>If she tries to drag you around, that'd probably be against the rules, so you can call shenanigans.
It is if I don't give my consent to do it. She wants that consent so she can do it without breaking the rules.

"Don't actually drag me around for real."
>"You won't accept your defeat?"
"I will by sitting here waiting to be able to leave. I might go with it if I were really unconcious, but you shouldn't be able to sense my empathy right now." She's definitely not an employee here, just another player.
>".... I can't argue with that." She grunts. "Then I'll sit down until the staff comes to pick you and give me a doll to drag."
>>
No. 682575 ID: bfb318
File 144704003397.png - (135.51KB , 800x800 , 140.png )
682575

She sits with me while I bring out my phone, and grabs my hand.

>"How do you stand not being able to hunt, and being at home with your surroundings? Do jungle neumono not get this sense?"
"Of course we do. You don't like thinking or hearing that those feelings get less important, but they do. Then you realize you were always kind of an ass."
>"I won't become weak and careless."
"I didn't say that. I didn't like the idea of that either, though, and... well, fuck, now that you just did what you did, I still don't like it."
>"My hive here still trains with other hives in combat and strength. You care enough. Let me give you my number, and you may call me later if you still wish to become competent."

Maybe I will. She's an ass, but I can't even be that mad at her for it, because I was exactly the same way, wanting to kick around neumono weaker than me.
>>
No. 682576 ID: bfb318
File 144704009898.png - (167.98KB , 800x800 , 141.png )
682576

I'm picked up by a new staff, who dumps dolls around and brings us over to the closest exit once we're all given a chance to clean up. We end up in the reception area, where I see Yule.

"Hey, Yule. I didn't think you'd be off'd already."
>"Yeah! Got caught in a murder scheme."

I guess I can mingle with the other losers while eating and drinking, but I see a spectating area where we can spy on the players to see what they're doing.
>>
No. 682577 ID: bb78f2

Pfft, yeah we want top spy on Penn. God I hope she wins.
>>
No. 682579 ID: bfb318

Drag Yule over to spy on Penn, have a drink and a snack while you're at it. I'm sure mingling will happen naturally eventually, but we gotta see how our girl is doing on her own!
>>
No. 682582 ID: 12b273

>>682576
Exchange real names with Yules, find a camera with eyes on Penn, and see how she does with the end of the game.

Catch him up on your murder spree and changing sides if he missed it. (Give him a hard time about the shower scene, if he watched it).
>>
No. 682585 ID: 57006e

Go watch, but see if you can spot Milo spectating, you could have a little chat with him, explain the situation with Penn. At least, explain it enough, that she's kind of inexperienced with people and awkward due to probably overthinking potential bad scenarios and things, and you've kind of taken on the duty of looking after her. Tell him you think it'd be good for her to have more friends (or more) but she'd need some that would have a little patience getting her to open up. And also that her sponsor wouldn't be happy if she got a boyfriend to distract her from her studies even more.

Her joining a roleplaying group could be fine with him, though. I hear a lot of AI development involves weird dungeon puzzles. And a setting in which she can wear a character as a mask would probably get her to open up more, and get her practice and acclimatization to socializing.

Speaking of gradual acclimatization, Roxie, if you want to get Penn used to the idea of physical contact with you, maybe you should get her a proxy. Christmas isn't too far off now - you could find a plush of a green neumono girl and give it to her, tell her she can get hugs from it whenever she needs them and they'll be from you! And eventually that'll get her more used to the concept of hugs and hugging you and maybe she'll actually do it some day. For extra cheesiness, you could also get a plush of a belenos girl for yourself.
>>
No. 682588 ID: 211d83

Yeah grab Yules and go watch the cameras with him. Can find out what happened on his end after you got separated.

If you see Milo tell him that Penn might be interested but to go slow with her. She is new to social stuff and has a ton of advanced tests coming up soon.
>>
No. 682596 ID: bfb318
File 144704493926.png - (156.33KB , 800x800 , 142.png )
682596

>Christmas isn't too far off now - you could find a plush of a green neumono girl and give it to her,
That is amazingly narcissistic and really obvious I have an obvious motive behind it, but I still like the idea!

I get Yule, who introduces himself as Cris, to grab the two of us a pile of snacks and drinks and watch Penn do her stuff. I saw Milo in the reception area, but he isn't spectating.

The main group, with Penn, is pretty quick to investigate the place where I and the other 3 were off'd. Penn visibly appears nervous, but so do other people.

I'm impressed, though. Despite everyone looking around, Penn manages to pocket my walkie talkie. When someone notices she put something away, she pulls out my knife that I originally gave to her, saying that it was mine.

People get suspicious at her for working with me, but Penn is quick to point out that at this point, we've all worked with someone who didn't end up truthful or good.
>>
No. 682597 ID: bfb318
File 144704495648.png - (149.95KB , 800x800 , 143.png )
682597

The rest of it is watching Penn start talking to people more and more. I don't even know what she's just nerding out about, and what she's actually influencing. I know she's doing a lot of influencing, but I can't keep up with it. I have a feeling though that she just keeps trying to reveal information to get people to go to certain places at certain times.

I get a little nervous when she grabs a murderer named Bol, and uses him to to confront someone Penn claims is a murderer. Penn manages to weasel her way into a reason involving Bol's interests and the murderer's presumed innocence to convince Bol to make the confrontatio privately, without letting the rest of everyone know.

That fake murderer ends up being Volkak, the neumono that killed me. She gets pretty aggressive when implying that Volkak is a murderer, and Penn is visibly scared. So much, I think, that Penn flips around and agrees with Volkak that Bol is actually the murderer. Volkak then kills Bol, and while stabbing him, Penn stabs Volkak. That makes me the most nervous, but Volkak just grumbles and lays down.

It would've been damn perfect, too, . A party happens to come out of a secret entrance right then and sees Penn with that. She gets murdered in a lamer way than me, and as far as I'm concerned, she should've won the whole thing.

Like a vulture of some kind, Milo comes over.

>"I guess she'll be out soon, huh."
"Milo. She's inexperienced with people. If you get a tabletop with her, or even if you get a date with her, take it slow for her sake."
>"Do you helicopter her all day? I already have more faith in her than you do that she's perfectly capable of making her own decisions. She's about to come out into the reception area. Just let me have a few moments with her, here in public, without you influencing her. Does that sound fair?"
>>
No. 682598 ID: 5ad4a7

>>682597
It kinda feels lame to say she's inexperienced with people when she just spent a couple hours ruthlessly manipulating people into killing eachother.

Let her try to deal with Milo.
>>
No. 682599 ID: bfb318

It really doesn't sound fair to Penn, because until this point, she's had the benefit of a character to play. She hasn't had to be herself, she's been social and scheming for the sake of the game. When the rush of the game is over, she's going right back to her nerdy self. Pressuring her is just going to make her super anxious, and we're not gonna let some dude ruin the good time she's having for a date that isn't gonna go well.

Once that's been made clear to buddy here, go congratulate Penn on her near victory! That was some grade-A backstabbing she pulled off.
>>
No. 682600 ID: 88e46e

"I helicopter her because she's specifically asked me to in the past because of situations like this. Up until now, she's been uncomfortable with anything like this, capability or no. If that changes, then yes, I'll be happy that she feels more comfortable."
>>
No. 682602 ID: 211d83

Go for it. I was being overly protective in there because I assumed everyone was trying to lure her into a back room to be murdered. She might get nervous but she can decide if she wants to do stuff with you on her own.

To bad about Penn not making it all the way. But that's how these things go. The fact that she managed to get up the courage to stab a big neumono is impressive.
>>
No. 682604 ID: 12b273

>Penn sort of avenged you
Heh. Neat.

>I already have more faith in her than you do that she's perfectly capable of making her own decisions.
Hey, I have faith in her decision making. I'm just trying to save her some awkward discomfort.

>Does that sound fair?
Talk to her if you want. I reserve the right to butt in if she sends a panic look my-ways.
>>
No. 682605 ID: 3f771e

I will leave you alone to talk if she is ok with it.
>>
No. 682607 ID: bb78f2

>>682597
Dude, you do NOT know her. This is the first day she hasn't studied her entire college career, she's just experimenting and learning more about socializing.

Don't tell me how to be a good friend, Milo. You're not inspiring confidence in me. I would be absolutely ecstatic if Penn ever goes out on a date, but I want it to be on HER terms. I don't want some boy to strong arm a shy girl into a bed because she's too damn scared to say No even though she wants to. She IS an adult, but with social anxiety, and I need her to overcome it. Don't make it worse.

So, buddy, if you want your moment, you pull it off flawlessly and DO NOT make her uncomfortable.
>>
No. 682609 ID: bfb318
File 144704713171.png - (138.18KB , 800x800 , 144.png )
682609

I just realized that I said she's inexperienced with people, right after she managed to spend a few hours ruthlessly manipulating them.

She still acts and looks like Penn, but those actions seem like someone else. Even if it was under the guise of someone else, I wouldn't have expected it.

But she is going to go back to normal Penn, I think.

"Not completely. I'm going to remain in sight, and if she looks too uncomfortable, I'm butting in. And don't dare insinuate you know my own roommate more than me, you dick heavy tailswinger!"
>"... fine." Milo says, and approaches Penn as she shows up.

I can't hear what's going on, but at some point in time, Penn glances my way. She doesn't look too uncomfortable, though, so I wait. Milo ends up gesturing a bunch.
>>
No. 682610 ID: bfb318
File 144704714586.png - (117.99KB , 800x800 , 145.png )
682610

I start going up, but Milo turns around and walks off, looking dejected.

"Hey, Penn. I'm really impressed at you, back there! I never knew you had it in you to manipulate the heck out of people like that."
>"Ah..hah... yeah."

Damn, I got too enthusiastic, she puts on a look like she's offended.

>"I had a lot of fun tonight, but I'm pretty tired. Is it okay if we go back, now?"
"Yeah, I think that's enough! Oh, hey, did you accept Milo's advance?"
>"N... no. I just can't afford it, still. I accepted his number in case I change my mind, and maybe I will, but, not now. Anyways, let's go back. Oh, wait, you probably still want to do things tonight, right?"

I'll still walk Penn back to our place tonight, but I still may want to do something. Maybe join that predator group or something.
>>
No. 682611 ID: 12b273

>Oh, wait, you probably still want to do things tonight, right?
I think before I do anything else tonight I was to get cleaned off in a shower where spy cameras and murder-ambushes aren't options.

>what do
Walk home with Penn, maybe we can drag Yules Cris over to the predator game later.
>>
No. 682612 ID: 5ad4a7

>>682610
Predator group. Then a party if you got time.

Also uh, are you interested in Cris? I forget how taboo cross-hive relations are nowadays. Maybe you can set up a date with him.
>>
No. 682613 ID: bb78f2

"I might take a chill pill out at home for a while, but I might see what's left to do before the campus calms down too much. Also, we have to get some dinner."
>>
No. 682615 ID: 211d83

Make sure to give Cris your number and maybe invite him to come along for the predator stuff. Would be a good way to get to know him better and see if you enjoy his company. Plus you need to taunt him with your butt some more.

Tell Penn that you will gladly walk her back to the dorm but are probably going to hit a party or two before you turn in. If she wants to come along she is welcome but you completely understand if she wants to relax.

I would say give her a hug when you get home but she might get nervous. So maybe hold your arms open and say you are proud of her and that you had a lot of fun tonight.
>>
No. 682619 ID: bfb318

What's Cris gonna be up to? It'd be nice to maybe follow up on some of the folks from the game, if not now then later.
>>
No. 682629 ID: bfb318
File 144704999391.png - (174.75KB , 800x800 , 146.png )
682629

>I forget how taboo cross-hive relations are nowadays.
They're practically encouraged, since it means we can get along with another hive to that level. At first it was nauseating for me to think of having relations with another hive.

Now I bounce around all kinds of hives.

"Yeah, Penn, I still have energy. Hold on - hey, Cris."
>"Yeah?" he responds.
"Let's trade numbers."
>"Wha - really?"
"Yeah. I'm gonna take Penn home and then hit a group of tribal costumed people under a predator. Wanna join that?"
>"Oh, well, I don't know how I feel about dressing up like.... that."
"What the heck, this is just mine, you can be a tribal in actual wear or something. But do you even have one?"
>"I don't."
"Don't worry about it then, I'll call you after I'm done or tomorrow." I say, walking off with Penn.

We get home without trouble, and just pick up some food for dinner on the way back.

>"Well... thank you again, Roxie. It was actually really nice, I'm glad you pulled me out."
"Good! Maybe we'll do it again next year. And next time I'll relearn my fighting so I won't get rocked like that."
>"Ah, well, mayyy...be. But maybe not, I was so nervous the whole time, I don't know if I could do that again."
"Well, if you're on a roll with beating your discomfort... how about a hug?"
>"Um... maybe something else...?"
"Hold hands?"
>"That's a little too, uh... a handshake is too businessy, holding hands is... I don't know."
"Well, something! Anything?"
>"Do you like being scratched behind the ears?"
>>
No. 682630 ID: bfb318
File 144705000174.png - (106.17KB , 800x800 , 147.png )
682630

>"Ahhhhh noooooo I'm sorry I'm so sorry I didn't mean that!"
"Didn't mean a question? What? I like that."
>"No but I mean... that's too... you're not my pet!"
"Does scratching behind the ears mean something to belenos I don't know about?"
>"No! I mean... not like... well I mean... it's sorta something you do to, uh, animals. Not... neumono."
"We are animals, though. We're all animals."
>"Well, technically, but, something done to... non-sapient animals."
"Fuck that, ear scratches are great, I don't want to lose out on that shit just because I'm smart."
>"It's just.... I'm sorry, Roxie, I really kind of was just okay with your costume tonight because, I mean, it's weird, but if I see neumono fully clothed it seems like they're these... and if they're almost naked but not entirely it's actually okay because it's like actual... animals... and not... but if they wear just revealing clothes it's like... but not.... it's really awful of me to think that way so I don't wanna say it!"

I think she just removed all the words she thought might offend me or something, and as a result, is making no sense.
>>
No. 682631 ID: bfb318

ENGAGE HUG. She's so scared of accidentally being racist that she's locking up. Besides, it's a good way for "sapient species" to show they appreciate one another.
>>
No. 682634 ID: bb78f2

>>682630
She's adjusting to aliens like you are.
The poor thing is that she doesn't realize that humans think of them like they're just sheep furries and we're bunny furrys. We can bond on that.

Tease her with a baaaaahhhhd pun.
>>
No. 682636 ID: 2ccbb3

Well, this might be too much drama for one Halloween. Go back go your lives and think about the offers you got when you have some spare time and actually care.
>>
No. 682644 ID: 12b273

>ear scratching makes you a pet
Might want to explain that putting your hand on someone's head means something rather different between neumono, culturally. Especially with the whole hands empathy thing.

>we're all animals
She means animals as opposed to people. She's uncomfortable with the idea of treating you the way she would a non-person, probably because you're already alien and push that boundary a bit.

>I think she just removed all the words she thought might offend me or something, and as a result, is making no sense.
Penn, you left enough words out of that last bit it didn't make any sense.
>>
No. 682646 ID: 5ad4a7

>>682630
Sounds like she sometimes thinks when neumono wear normal clothes they're pretending to be something they're not, and seeing you in tribal gear was like you were being honest with yourself. More natural.
So she's struggling with the racism she's basically learned through being exposed to other belenos?

Tell her she can work past it, but she should probably continue to not outright say what she's thinking there.
>>
No. 682660 ID: 799984

You know, this is actually a really interesting subject in how it intersects with AI.

Like, when developing an AI, how do you make sure it doesn't end up with biases like Penn's that limit their function?
>>
No. 682665 ID: bfb318
File 144705388130.png - (131.59KB , 800x800 , 148.png )
682665

"I think I get what you're saying about the clothes. Maybe."
>"O-oh."
"I'm not even a little offended, but I'd keep on not saying that to other neumono, cause who knows."
>"You're not?"
"Maybe I should be, but I'm just not even a little. But dang, where'd you get that racism from? Other belenos?"
>"... I, uh..."
"Nevermind, forget I asked. For neumono, though, putting hands on someone's head either means the person holding the head is in control, or the person getting their head hold trusts the holder. Or both. In our case, it's the last one. That includes ear scratches. So go for it."

She does it in an amazingly non-intimate way, like a robot would do it. But the fact that she's doing it at all is way more than good enough for me. The only thing that would be better would be a hug, but I can't hope for that much. Someday.
>>
No. 682666 ID: bfb318
File 144705391413.png - (115.00KB , 800x800 , 149.png )
682666

Penn spontaneously excuses herself and moves back into her room. I think that's about as good as anything could go, so I let her know that I'll be going out again.

I give a call to the predator.

>"Hey. Roxie, right?"
"Yeah. You all still out on the town?"
>"You know it. You interested?"
"Yeah. Where are you guys at?"
>"Looking for trouble at the east end of the clocktower plaza right now. So here's how it works. The soft rule is that you gotta do what I say, no questions asked. The hard rule is that you don't have to do shit, and can leave our group any time. Right now, we've accosted a hot dog stand and are barking at any other neumono who want to get a hot dog, buying all the hot dogs ourselves, with my credit card, cause I'm in charge of feeding the neumono. Here's a picture of the hot dog stand owner. It's cool."
>>
No. 682667 ID: 2ccbb3

Why don't you just buy hot dogs in bulk at the nearest hot dog factory?

Anyways, just go to bed and worry about this in the morning. You're exhausted.
>>
No. 682669 ID: 12b273

>>682666
Pff, okay, you want me to bring anything mister master predator.
>>
No. 682670 ID: bb78f2

>>682666
So she's... giving all neumono customers who aren't scared of her barking free hotdogs?
>>
No. 682672 ID: 5ad4a7

>>682666
Haha that's hilarious let's go get some goddamn hot dogs.
>>
No. 682688 ID: a107fd

Yay meat tubes! Go for it.
>>
No. 682705 ID: 9e48fb

How did you not notice your killer's empathy anyway? You came within like 2 feet of her and walked right on past.
>>
No. 682708 ID: 88960e

>>682705
There was a jammer active. Otherwise empathy would give away the whole murder mystery thing pretty fast.

Roxie mentions it going up here: >>680935
>>
No. 682710 ID: 9e48fb

>>682708
oh of course, my bad
>>
No. 682712 ID: bfb318
File 144707922357.png - (78.58KB , 800x800 , 150.png )
682712

>Why don't you just buy hot dogs in bulk at the nearest hot dog factory?
The point is the fun, not eating the hot dogs.

"What about neumono that don't get scared off? They get free hotdogs?"
>"No neumono's gotten far into the barkzone. For every neumono we scare off though, we buy a hotdog ourselves."
"Cool, I'll be there. Need me to bring anything?"
>"Now that you mention it, yeah. Get us some drinks. Your choice, we're not picky. I'll reimburse you either way, but don't go crazy expensive. Hold on, I gotta go, see you soon."

He hangs up, so I guess I gotta think of what kind of drinks to bring for them.
>>
No. 682713 ID: 28bcec

That vendor is adorable.

Beer or soda? Whatever neumono like to drink while partying I guess.

Brands of caffeinated booze are often popular with college parties.
>>
No. 682714 ID: 9e48fb

Get the stuff you need to get faces smashed, but also get some stuff that won't totally smash people's faces in in case somebody isn't totally ok with that.
>>
No. 682715 ID: 88960e

Get some sodas and some booze. Not like, complete swill, or really pricey stuff, or the really strong get you shitfaced stuff.
>>
No. 682726 ID: c9fe1a

Check in with Penn before you go, ask if she wants you to get anything for her while you're out. You can tell her you'll stay if she wants you to, but I think she probably wants to recharge her solitude circuits after all that socializing, and you can say that to her too. Tell her you'll be around the next few days to cook for her and clean and do laundry and whatever else she needs to maximize her study time to the utmost.
>>
No. 682734 ID: c22069

Do Vodka Bombs with random energy drinks. Also how many hot dogs do you think you could fit in your mouth while doing the 5 stick trick at the same time?
>>
No. 682738 ID: 9b8ee6

Guys caffeine is slightly poisonous to neumono, buy caffeinated everything
>>
No. 682741 ID: 88e46e

>>682738
I'm pretty sure it's more than "slightly" poisonous to the point that Kappa had to build up a resistance and very carefully monitor his intake. Hospitalizing people isn't a funny prank.
>>
No. 682744 ID: 28bcec

Cola, sprite, and vodka. Maybe some solo cups to go with it.
>>
No. 682755 ID: de8ef5

>>682744
Caffeine in cola
>>
No. 682842 ID: c22069

>>682738
>>682741
>>682755
Maybe moderation then? Reverse the recipe so its more booze then caffeine, so shots of caffeinated whatever in Vodka.
>>
No. 682861 ID: 2dce7f

>>682726

Do this, but knock first, because she's probably changing out of her costume.

If you think she's still awkward about that whole racism/animals thing, you could comment that, if being a person means being like that girl from earlier, it'd be better to be an animal. Animals have a lot to recommend them. It's a weird definition of personhood that doesn't include anything that can think and talk, though. What experience do belenosians have with animals anyway, their home planet only has... what, toyas? Maybe "animal" in this case is a translation of a different concept, like "lesser being" or something. You're a linguist, right Roxie?

Anyway, check on Penn, makes sure she's settled in and happy and she didn't end up with anything else stolen from her, then go out and make more friends. It's been a profitable night on that front, with Yule and that recently-uplifted girl, who's offer seems like it was practically an open declaration of friendship compared to what seems to be expected from people in her stage of development. When you go home, how well do you interact with your hivemates who are still like that, or worse? You must get back often, to avoid any risk of enrougening.

Oh, and did you get any details about that hive who were playing as murderers? Why were they all so buff, do they run a gym or something? You should try contact with them as well, at some point. They were also in tribalish gear, so since the murder mystery let out, maybe you'll meet a few of them hanging around with the predator teams.
>>
No. 682931 ID: f4d940

Soda's tasty. I assume you know better than us what kinds of soda are non-toxic?
>>
No. 683070 ID: dd338c
File 144720137889.png - (123.50KB , 800x800 , 151.png )
683070

I go knock on Penn's door, first off.

"Hey, Penn. I'm going to the store. Need anything?"
>"Oh, um, I need to check the fridge for my usual."
"Don't even, I'll check it if it's just normal stuff. I'll stay here tonight too, if you prefer."
>"No, no, go out!" Of course that's the answer even if she could benefit from me staying here, but I'm not going to interrogate her to make sure of it.
"Gotcha. I'll be around most of this weekend to help you out studying."
>"Thank you!"
"Oh, and if your worried about your earlier comments, don't be. I'd rather be an animal than that bitch of earlier, for starters."

>What experience do belenosians have with animals anyway, their home planet only has... what, toyas?
Yeah, but since alien contact, various animals have been introduced to the belenos environment, and of course they still learn about alien pets and animals and stuff.

>Maybe "animal" in this case is a translation of a different concept, like "lesser being" or something. You're a linguist, right Roxie?
For a long time, belenos barely even had a word for 'animal' since that basically just meant 'toya', so the word 'animal' for them just means whatever it means for humans.
>>
No. 683071 ID: dd338c
File 144720139312.png - (175.79KB , 800x800 , 152.png )
683071

>Also how many hot dogs do you think you could fit in your mouth while doing the 5 stick trick at the same time?
The reason it's the 5 stick trick is because 5 is the max without any weird obstructions!

>Caffiene drinks
A little caffiene here and there doesn't hurt, but I'm not going to send my group's stomachs down the gutter. Neumono brand soda is either caffiene removed, or caffiene substitutes. There's other species' versions of same sodas, but for the most part, all of them are interchangeable and can be treated like different flavors.

Energy shots are way more specialized for us, though. They still mix well with vodka. I grab some cups too, but most of the drinks are either soda or booze. Then just some beer and juice on the side. The line is damn long though.

>When you go home, how well do you interact with your hivemates who are still like [the neumono that murdered you], or worse? You must get back often, to avoid any risk of enrougening.
I go back frequently, but it's more complicated than just me going rogue. It's also to bring the concepts of being uplifted directly into the hive as well. It shows them the changes that occur to a neumono.

I interact perfectly fine with other individuals of my hive, but I am basically the body representing the hive's awareness of changing times. I bring in the idea that maybe that hive we fight with now and then aren't totally different than us.

We still gotta fight them though, cause even if my hive recognizes that, it's not gonna stop that other hive from murdering us for real.

Generally they're still worse than the girl that killed me for pretend, though. That girl at least was trying to fit in, even if she was still wanting to cling to old beliefs.

Speaking of that, I check my phone about that event while waiting in line. It looks like that buff hive actually owns that murderhouse building, and it's a lasertag house during off season. They basically own a gym, but it's just a personal use small gym for them. From what I see, a good chunk of them are on a power lifting team, but others just exercise because they're also in the hive. I'll mention them to my new predator boss, but they may be way too busy tonight being staff to participate.
>>
No. 683075 ID: dd338c
File 144720149163.png - (263.35KB , 800x800 , 153.png )
683075

I make it to the hot dog stand before too long, though.

>"Hey. Glad you made it. You got a lot. That's good. Booze? Wasn't expecting that."
"I thought you meant drinks like... drinks."

>"Mistake is mine. That's cool, though, I didn't even think of it. Alright, everyone, guess we can get drunk for those who like. Just remember. We're pretending to be tribals, not intoxicated assholes. You act out of line, you're out of our line. Rules still stand. You only do stuff I give you explicit permission for. That includes talking with other tribals here and only other tribals here, and asking me questions about what you can and can't do."
>>
No. 683082 ID: bc24e4

Hey, is that big lady in the back the same one who was hovering behind him earlier, too? She's about the same size and has the same top on. But she looks like she's been roughed up a bit since then. Has there been some of that fighting with other predator teams already? Is there still going to be more later, and if so is it just straight-up roughhousing for chuckles or has someone offered up some sort of prize or something?

Give us a rough estimate how big your "predator's" slave-hive is, Roxie, and give us a read on the group's empathy. Everyone having a good time?

I suppose the obvious questions as to what you can and can't do are like, can I eat and drink just however I like with what we've got, can I buy hotdogs without asking, are there any standing orders, what's the plan for later and what is your command to your new mind-slave, master?
>>
No. 683083 ID: 12b273

>>683075
All right, boss predator man.

Any standing orders I need to know? (Things he already told the group to do). You want me to do anything? Can I had these out? *heft drinks*
>>
No. 683089 ID: 211d83

Hand out drinks. Then tease the nervous hot dog salesman.
>>
No. 683109 ID: 272485

Ok now have a good time!
>>
No. 683110 ID: dd338c
File 144720733491.png - (136.41KB , 800x800 , 154.png )
683110

It looks like there's about 8 people other than me and the predator. Everyone's having a good time. There's a little bit of worry that they might be making too much trouble, but that's about the worst sentiment to the game so far.

"Hey, was that girl behind you that roughed up before? Was there some fighting?" I say, laying out the drinks for people to take.
>"Nah, she just figured ruffling up her head would suit her better. No fighting. Not yet anyway, that's for tonight, and only for those who want to fight, with those who want to fight."
"Just for fun or is there some prize?"
>"Still deciding on that one actually. This is the first year we're trying this, dunno if we want to put up a prize for a test run. Me and the other predators were thinking the biggest possible prize would be that the losers' have to be the winners' slaves for the night. The willing losers, of course. But hey, only rule we have so far for the fight is to make sure it's just some fun roughhousing, and making the prize too awesome may make people care too much to win to make it fun and, who knows, buy out a whole wrestling hive for the night or something. I'm allowing the booze though, even if we're the most clumsy tribe in the pile."
"Can I eat or drink whatever, or buy a hotdog?"
>"You have have whatever you want in the communal pile, which is what you got there and the hotdogs we bought so far. But you can't buy a hotdog without my go ahead. Unless you're just that hungry, but just ask me to get it. In fact, hotdog man, get us three hotdogs for the girl. She's hungry." He picked up on that, at least. I bought stuff for dinner, but Penn's social meter ran out of gas too fast for me to make it for us.
"Cool, thanks. Any standing orders?"
>"Nah, we're just hanging out taking a break for now. If someone comes, we're probably gonna bark at 'em, but don't do it before me. Once we get tired of it, or get pushed out by the authorities, we'll go run around the town and find something else to do."
"I'm in. Any orders for your new mind-slave, oh master of mine?"
>"Not yet. Unless you got any fun ideas to do, for now or for later."

Only idea I had right away is to tease the hotdog salesman.
>>
No. 683113 ID: 211d83

Get your hot dogs and eat them in the most suggestive manner possible.

Complement him on how delicious his thick meat is. Store one of your hot dogs in your top while eating the other ones.

That sort of stuff.
>>
No. 683117 ID: 12b273

Go the five- well I guess the three stick trick. Unless that's not impressive enough to matter?

>Only idea I had right away is to tease the hotdog salesman.
I think you'd have to ask for permission to approach or talk to the salesman first. Asking for permission to do exactly what you mean to do isn't good though, since that spoils the surprise / ruins the joke a little.

>fun ideas for later
I'm half tempted to crash that nerd-party you mentioned, earlier. Cause a little silliness and awkwardness before getting thrown out or scampering away.

Hey, did we ever find out who killed Trimble, at the end of the game? Did he fake his death?
>>
No. 683119 ID: bc24e4

>>683113

I half suspect some girl here has tried that already.

You could suggest looking up the buff hive, or that tribal girl from earlier, though she probably still takes it too seriously to be a good fit for this. You could see about finding and harassing that bitch from earlier, but... no, that wouldn't end well in any way. Still, spread the word about her, while you're in a big group. She probably targets lots of random neumono around here with her manipulation bullshit.

Other ideas... find a dance club? See if your "predator" can "train" you to do synchronized dancing or singing? Find some place serving more of a variety of food than hot dogs?

Other than that, mingle. See who you're hanging out with. Anyone who's taking any interesting courses? Any of the more esoteric clubs or society's members? Heck, if you still think of this as this being Penn's night despite her not being here, you could probe a bit for stuff related to her studies, or the wave of thefts she's experienced. Nothing that'd press too hard or bring down the mood, but if the gossip suggested there were other people suffering the same, that'd be interesting. Maybe you want to focus on yourself now, though, since you've promised to spend the next few days helping her out.
>>
No. 683129 ID: dd338c
File 144721251540.png - (168.87KB , 800x800 , 155.png )
683129

>Hey, did we ever find out who killed Trimble, at the end of the