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851008 No. 851008 ID: 085408

This is going to make everything right.
919 posts omitted. Last 50 shown. Expand all images
No. 906200 ID: 13b84a

No, she's scaring you, no need to pass that onto Mac.
No. 906255 ID: 6cf0f1

"Can't find the peeler."
No. 906327 ID: 7f0aac


We are either on so many drugs right now or just fell into some kind of screwed up candid camera thing.
No. 906428 ID: a6405f

Oh shit, Mac is a mafia name; this is a mafia quest!
No. 906784 ID: 15a025

This. Just start trying to peel potatoes with the gun.
No. 907811 ID: 470289
File 154016346866.png - (128.36KB , 800x800 , 137.png )

>Be ready to move quickly
>Put the gun down slowly
I feel like a deer in headlights. I want to put the gun down but part of me thinks that’s a really dumb idea so I decide to pretend nothing happened and put it back, but I screamed something did happen through empathy, and then I think maybe I should just peel the potatoes with the gun, so I end up just doing nothing.

“Jeez, you’re scared suddenly! Did you find a spider?” She notices the gun. “Oh, you found another one? Under the sink, too? He knows how bad that is for their maintenance!”

“This isn’t a potato peeler.”

Luvi blinks. “Yes, it’s a gun. Be careful, it’s loaded.”

Luvi stands there and stares at me. I stare back. She finally puts the cleaver down in an exaggerated motion. She walks up and gently takes the gun from my hand before she unloads it and cocks the gun back to remove the bullet in the chamber.
No. 907812 ID: 470289
File 154016353044.png - (94.54KB , 800x800 , 138.png )

”I don’t keep potato peelers in the cabinet, silly.” She opens the drawer I thought was decorative and takes a potato peeler out of the shallow deposit. “Let’s hurry up and finish dinner.”
No. 907813 ID: 470289
File 154016364394.png - (108.05KB , 800x800 , 139.png )

>Are guns illegal in this district or something?
Guns aren’t illegal anywhere in the Tree as far as I know, but besides mandatory training I’ve never handled one. And I, uh, never really took that training seriously. I know I’m giving off apprehensive vibes and Luvi is kind of placidly confused at my reaction, underneath her normal sunny empathy.

“Your roommate stashes loaded guns under the sink?”

“Rocker’s not a roommate, he just likes to hide guns and knives and things like that all over the house when he comes over. I thought I had gotten them all, sorry.”

“So, I’m not going to find a loaded rifle in the bathroom?” I force a chuckle.

“Nope! My rifle is in a safe upstairs.”

It occurs to me that I just met Luvi this morning and really have no idea who she really is, besides being weird and nice enough to let a stranger stay in her home. And she’s close to someone who stashes loaded guns under her sink regularly. If I never left this house again I don’t think anyone would even know where to look for me, if anyone cared enough to try in the first place.
No. 907814 ID: deec6e


A kidnapping ring wouldn't be so... so... well, 'Luvi'. Or silly enough to hide guns all around their home. And an officer saw you leave with Luvi. If you do disappear, there's something of a trail, so relax a bit and start helping with the food.

Really, you might get some straight answers out of Luvi if you just ask, y'know. Why does she and her friend keep a bunch of guns? Rough neighborhood?
No. 907815 ID: 86eb65

You are getting a bit paranoid.

Normal people have guns for protection. Both from criminals and all the horrible animals that live on your planet. Depending on gun ownership levels half or more of the people you see on the street every day could be armed.

Long story short you need to get your own gun and learn how to use it. You are out in the world now and need a way of protecting yourself.

Ask Luvi about guns and if you should get one.
No. 907818 ID: 4854ef

Do remember that rogue's tend to be abused, attacked, and are often targets for others. Having protection in some form is a good thing.
No. 907819 ID: afdebc

>“Nope! My rifle is in a safe upstairs.”
Well, that's at least responsible.

>If I never left this house again I don’t think anyone would even know where to look for me, if anyone cared enough to try in the first place.
Naaaah. That's not true. If you went missing or turned up dead and the cops wanted to find out what happened, of course they'd talk to Luvi. Your hive called the office that dispatched her, she's on public record in a government office being sent out to meet you, was seen by witnesses picking you up at the library and than storefront, and you're both in the police reports from that attempted shoplifting. There's a paper trail connecting you two now- you'd have to be a really bad detective not to follow that!

>“Rocker’s not a roommate, he just likes to hide guns and knives and things like that all over the house when he comes over. I thought I had gotten them all, sorry.”
And that's... okay? Tripping over loaded weapons you don't know where there seems really dangerous.
No. 907824 ID: 977456

You are probably correct that nobody would look for you, but that is why you need a job! And friends! And to become an Ultra-Queen!
No. 907825 ID: c1212a

You should be more worried that guns are so cheap apparently someone can afford to just leave them around other people's houses like breadcrumbs.
No. 907842 ID: 0c3c2c

Why are you afraid of being kidnapped? Literally no one cares enough to kidnap rogues, and Luvi's got extreme niceness braindamage so she'd keep you safe, since that seems to be her fixation. Chill out. You're overstressed from a really bad day and you need to lie down and sleep or something.
No. 907860 ID: 7d4373

Maybe it's time to think about something else. You could ask her if you'll be getting a pillow and blanket while crashing on the couch.
No. 907875 ID: 91ee5f

>Literally no one cares enough to kidnap rogues
That’s where you’re wrong. Rouges are perfect for kidnapping because if one goes missing, nobody cares enough to go looking for them.
No. 907886 ID: b1b4f3

Ask why Rocker does that.
No. 907950 ID: 2202fb

Keep a gun and the bullets. While you probably wont need it, even Luvi felt having a rifle was necessary.
No. 908904 ID: 470289
File 154091414504.png - (148.10KB , 800x800 , 140.png )

Rocker… something about the name reminds me of something, but after thinking for a minute I can’t connect it to anything. It might come to me later. I go back to cutting carrots and Luvi dumps some vegetables into the pot.

“Are you… into guns?”

“Hmm… I wouldn’t call myself a gun nut, but I am familiar with them. My rifle is mostly a memento now, though. I don’t think I’ve had time to shoot it on a range in years!”

“That’s too bad. So, those loaded guns are kind of dangerous.”

“I know right! He put a hole in the roof before because he’s such a goober, and I had to completely replace the fridge! That’s why I set a strict ‘No Explosives’ policy in my house. I just had to put my foot down on that, even if it was mean.”

“That, uh, sounds like a good policy. Why does Rocker hide weapons in your house, exactly?”

“He… it’s about...” Luvi pauses. “He used to fight a lot and I think having weapons around makes him feel more comfortable.” I feel like that was a pretty loaded statement, but she doesn’t really want to open up about it.

The smell of good food is reminding me how hungry I am, so I stay quiet as we finish cooking dinner and set the table. Luvi occasionally pipes up with little comments or food puns.
No. 908906 ID: 470289
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“Is it dangerous around here? Since you have so much protection around, I mean.”

“Not really, Shattersteel is the safest roguetown in the city. That’s why so many aliens have moved in. I did get my bike stolen once, but Rocker… found it, and that’s never happened again.”

“So, like… should I get a gun?”

“If you want! But I should warn you it’s kind of hard to buy them. Gun stores tend to have high standards for rogue customers, especially around here. Oh! You can have the one on the counter if you want, Rocker won’t miss it. But his guns are kind of, a little bit, poooooossibly not registered properly.”

She sees the look on my face.

“Don’t worry! As long as you don’t wave it around in front of a police officer it’ll be fine. No one’s too fussed about that kind of stuff.”

Luvi takes the baked goods and puts them in the fridge before coming back to the table. “I should do something for Kark to thank him for getting you lunch. Did you have fun today? Tell me about it!”

Luvi wants to change the subject. I could come up with safe dinner topics or press her on something.
No. 908914 ID: 0c3c2c

Talk about the drug dealin' guy you met. He seemed nice enough. He did leave a weird book for you though.
No. 908924 ID: e9e28c

Did you ever get her opinion on that piece in the bank? I know it's still bothering you even if you think you might be over it.
No. 908925 ID: e9e28c

Also maybe ask about Rocker without bringing up the guns or his apparent history of extreme violence to help jog that memory. What he looks like for instance.
No. 908934 ID: 0dfaba

Have yourself a nice conversation with a nice dinner. Maybe talk about employment prospects. If someone could want that painting you saw in the bank, there should be someone who'd buy anything you'd make! Or at the very least you could help spruce up this place. Go to the dump and dig up some bits and bobs to make a nice art piece out of, make a centerpiece for this table. Recycling-based arts and crafts always hits with a certain kind of person, and you should be able to put together something that's actually nice.
No. 908938 ID: 4854ef

She did mention she's willing to tell stories about her crew during dinner, if she's still up for it.
No. 908940 ID: afdebc

>“Don’t worry! As long as you don’t wave it around in front of a police officer it’ll be fine. No one’s too fussed about that kind of stuff.”
She was working for the government this morning! Should she really be tell you it's okay to break laws?!

...well I'd be a little more fun to tease her about that if they hadn't just fired her.

>Luvi wants to change the subject. I could come up with safe dinner topics or press her on something.
Well, she asked about your day, you could tell her about your job prospects. Or what you did with Kark and stuff.

There's also sharing your crazier ideas and seeing how she reacts to them (like movie stuff, or working with aliens, or any of the other zany ideas that have passed through your head). Luvi's maybe not the best sounding board in the world, but it would be nice to see how someone with some real world experience reacts to your ideas, and you're probably never gonna find anyone less judgemental.
No. 909039 ID: c1212a

>Did you have fun today?
Turn off your acting mask and find out!
No. 909446 ID: 15a025

Seconding. Ask if she's got any stories she wants to share?
No. 910701 ID: 470289
File 154222102827.png - (80.50KB , 800x800 , 142.png )

>Turn off your acting mask
Not yet.

“Today was… fine, considering. I wouldn’t call any part of it fun. I hope it was productive and one of my applications gets me a job.”

“I’m sure something will turn up. You can’t have thought today was boring though. You helped stop that store from being robbed!” She widens her smile.

“I didn’t really do anything, though.”

“You did something! Sometimes that’s enough.”

“Not often.” Luvi just keeps grinning, inside and out.

I talk about my day, or at least the parts she wasn’t around for. I stood around Kark while he fed me, wandered the city failing to find employment, and called her at the first sign of trouble.

“Did you have any favorites out of the jobs you looked for?”

“I don’t think so, no.”

“Well what do you want to do, Mac? Ideally?”

I mention the ideas I’ve had, and she nods and seems to just absorb what I what I say. She doesn’t give her opinion so much as try to coax me into saying more about what I want, and I’m still so unsure about that it just makes me feel worse. Once I’m done there’s a lull in the conversation as I run through things to say and dismiss them as dumb just as fast. Luvi waits a minute before finally breaking the silence.

“You’re really into books, right?”

“Not just books. I’m… interested in most types of art.”

“Is that why you were staring at that painting so hard?”

“Yeah.” I shouldn’t ask but… “What did you think about the painting?”

“I think it looked nice. Very shiny.”

“Oh.” I lose some respect for her but she either doesn’t notice or isn’t bothered. I manage to keep my dumb mouth shut otherwise, so I don’t say something that might get me kicked out.

“The guy I got the book I was reading earlier also gave me some bitterweed.” I say instead. “Do you want some?”

“I only get high on life!” She shoots me with some finger guns and by the time I realize I was supposed to laugh she’s talking again. “I’m not judging, drugs like bitterweed just make me feel all iggly wiggly. If you do smoke, can you open a window or use a smoke recycler, so the smell doesn’t get trapped in the house?”

“Yeah, no problem.”

Another silence. I stuff my mouth with food, but it doesn’t buy much time. Why am I so bad at making conversation? Being the only awkward one is somehow worse than both of us being slightly uncomfortable.

“If Rocker comes by often, I should be able to recognize him. Do you have a picture or…?”

Luvi picks up the picture and points to the scruffy redgrass. “Rocker’s in the back! He doesn’t really visit that often, though. If he does visit and I’m not around just call me, immediately.”

“He doesn’t like strangers hanging out around here?”

Her smile goes a bit strange. “He really likes strangers. But don’t worry, you’re only a stranger once! Once you get to know him, you’ll…” She seems to struggle to find the right words. “You’ll know him.”
No. 910702 ID: 470289
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“You said you have some space stories to tell?”

“I did! What kind do you want to hear?”

“A love story.” My dumb mouth moves before my dumb brain and I stumble into the next sentence before there’s even a pause to turn awkward. “That’s something my Queen used to say. ‘Any story worth telling is a love story.’ It’s like a joke around my Hive.”

“I get it. Give me a minute, I’m not sure how many of my stories are really romantic…” Luvi scrunches up her face in thought for a moment. “Panica- the pomi in the picture- had a kind of on-and-off boyfriend for a while, but I was pretty self-absorbed when I was younger and missed a lot of context…”

“Do you know how they first met? Start there.”
No. 910703 ID: 470289
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“I’m not sure where they met, but I know Panica and Ralth were a new thing when Panica and I first met. We needed a pilot and she was the only one we could afford to hire to take us off planet. I met him once or twice hanging around her before we shipped off on her ship. He always seemed so smitten he never noticed anything happening that wasn’t in in her eyes reflection! She didn’t talk about him much afterwards but I think they must have been pretty close even then because his stuff was all over her ship when we left.”
No. 910704 ID: 470289
File 154222114518.png - (296.39KB , 1200x800 , 145.png )

“The next time they met we were playing a game in… I don’t remember the name but it was a satellite somewhere. Really homey and close-knit place. I’m not entirely sure how he found us, but if I had to guess Panica kept his number and called him sometimes when we weren’t around. She teased people she liked a lot. He hitchhiked his way to us and joined us in a crew vs. crew game with some fun stakes. She spent the entire game joking around with him. I think it’s how pomis flirt? I’m not too sure, but after we won, we left the station pretty quickly.”

Luvi isn’t a very good storyteller. She’s earnest and invested, which is good, but she lacks any empathetic subtlety and is too stream of consciousness and disjointed to tell a properly compelling narrative. Plus, she skips over a lot of details so it’s hard to imagine just what she’s describing. She didn’t even say what game she was playing. Probably Go Fish or something considering her personality. I get the feeling she’s aware of how judgy I’m being, but it doesn’t bother her, and she plows through with little vignettes about the two for a while.
No. 910705 ID: 470289
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“We just kept running into him. Or he kept running into us. You’d be surprised at how small space can feel sometimes! But usually he would show up, he and Panica would argue or be lovey dovey, or well, they were a lot of things. But I think Panica was happiest whenever he showed up.”
No. 910706 ID: 470289
File 154222120858.png - (219.65KB , 1000x800 , 147.png )

“She got pregnant eventually and, well, you know how pregnant ladies can be. She swore she’d blow his head off if she ever saw him again! But she said that a lot before she was pregnant too. Like I said, total kidder. Still I never saw Ralth after her kid was born and she never gives me a straight answer when I ask about him. Her son is a complete sweetie though. I’ll show you some pictures sometime!”

Luvi glances at the clock. “Oh wow, I was talking for a long time! You must be tired after the day you had. Come on, I’ll show you to your room.”
No. 910708 ID: 470289
File 154222125042.png - (98.98KB , 1000x800 , 148.png )

“Here’s where you’ll be staying. I’m just across the hall if you ever need me.”

It’s a room with a bed, desk, and a door to what I assume is a closet in corner. There’s not much else. I am feeling pretty tired, so if there’s anything I want to tell Luvi before I go to bed I should say it now.
No. 910711 ID: af7388


You have eaten well, you have a bed to sleep in and a creepily happy new friend to thank for it. Reflect that you could've done a lot worse for yourself.

Say "Thank you," with feeling - guilt will do in a pinch - and "Fair warning, I may have a bit of a break-down tonight... or at some point in the future, dunno." would be a good start.
No. 910712 ID: c915ef

You could thank her for the food, story and place to stay. Even if the story wasn't the best, she's generous to take the time to tell it, and much more generous to have given you the meal and the bed. Get your hand on her arm or shoulder and really try push out some grateful empathy. Even if you can't manage the feeling itself well, the fact that you're trying will say something!

You could also ask her if there's anything she especially doesn't want you to do. You'll probably suffer from a little insomnia and you should ask if she minds you wandering or poking around in the night. Or, uh. Crying.

Interesting picture. Pomi are supposed to have very tiny babies according to BTE so why did she get so much bigger? Maybe it's not the mass of the egg but pomi girls develop belly padding to protect it from damage? Or they shift metabolism while pregnant to make sure nutrients get packed in? Or maybe once she was pregnant she started stress eating, or stopped whatever exercise was keeping her slim before, or both. Maybe that contributed to the animosity.
No. 910724 ID: 86eb65

Give her a hug and thank her for helping out. She has made this trying time much less traumatic and you will do your best to be a good friend.

Also ask if her old job was as a space pirate.

Oh and if she likes any type of art. Lets make her a gift. Something personal and artsy to thank her. Also will be good practice if you want to try to make a new career around art.

(don't judge her to much for liking the painting. Art is very subjective and open to personal tastes)
No. 910758 ID: c1212a

>Probably Go Fish or something considering her personality.
...I think you're misjuging her there, but hey, I've never been to space nor do I know what fun stakes are.
You're a critic at heart, Mac, you should look for a job in that.

Thank her for everything she's done, you have no idea what you'd do without her.
No. 910762 ID: 91ee5f

Let Luvi know that you’re thankful for helping you out.

>questions about Pomi pregnancy and why Panica seems to be different
You could just go and ask all of these questions in BTE to get your answers. You could even direct a few of the questions to Panica to ask why her pregnancy seems to be different and she might answer you.
No. 910865 ID: 83bf07

"Thanks Luvi."
Sleep for 12 hours
No. 911029 ID: afdebc

Thanks a lot, Luvi. I don't know what I would have done today without you.
No. 911047 ID: 15a025

Tell her thanks for the help!

> Lets make her a gift. Something personal and artsy to thank her. Also will be good practice if you want to try to make a new career around art.

This also sounds like a cute idea. Try and think of something nice to make for her Mac.
No. 911132 ID: 2202fb

Thought about writing a book? Books are also a form of art.
No. 911827 ID: 470289
File 154325018396.png - (127.82KB , 800x800 , 149.png )

>Thought about writing a book?
Judging by what happened this morning the writing gene skipped me.

>Art is very subjective and open to personal tastes.
Subjective tastes can be objectively shit.

>Ask if her old job was as a space pirate.
I’m not feeling up to making more forced jokes.

>Make Luvi a gift.
I’ll think about it. I have the feeling she’d be equally happy with anything I made for her, but I’ll fish for ideas later. Maybe I can make it a surprise.

“Luvi, thank you for… well everything, I guess. Fair warning, tonight I may have a bit of a, uh…" I can’t believe I have to say this. Thankfully she waves off the rest of my sentence.

“I understand and won’t judge. It’s tough on everyone.”

“Do you have any house rules I should know about? Besides no explosives.”

“Nope, I want you to feel at home as much as possible. Oh, wait. Don’t go into the basement, please, it’s kind of off-limits. That’s it, though!”

“Okay.” I’m too tired to ask why. I enter the room but pause. “Hey, Luvi. Thank you for telling me a story. It means a lot to me.” I still don’t want to touch her but I put a hand on her shoulder, so she gets how much I mean it.

“Anytime! Maybe I’ll get better with some practice.” She beams as she closes the door behind her. “Goodnight Maccie!”

“…Mac.” I say to myself.
No. 911828 ID: 470289
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Stopping an act always feels slightly different, depending on who I was trying to be. On a great day it can be like waking up from a stupor because I was so far into the role. Usually it’s like finally letting myself relax after taking a hard test and I’m left a bit tired in mind, not body.

I stop thinking of myself as someone who can hold her shit together and I don’t feel any tears come. I don’t even feel surprise that I’m not crying. The misery and sense of failure I felt this morning evaporated at some point. There’s nothing behind the wall that I had up. I’m hollow.
No. 911829 ID: 470289
File 154325030520.png - (159.78KB , 800x800 , 151.png )

Everything is broken, and I don’t know what to do.
No. 911834 ID: b1b4f3

Look for things you can fix, and fix them.
No. 911847 ID: 298905

So... remember what happened at your performance yet, then?
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