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910512 No. 910512 ID: 891b91

Chapter 0: >>/questarch/886861

Discussion: >>/questdis/123379
Wiki: https://tgchan.org/wiki/Dead_Dust
Inventory: https://tgchan.org/wiki/Dead_Dust/Inventory

Yesterday was a blur. They ended up keeping you in the infirmary overnight, so they could monitor your health; between the frequent examinations and the steady trickle of well-wishers showing up to ask how you were doing, you didn't get much opportunity to make sense of your current situation, let alone ask any of the growing number of questions floating around in your head. Of all the things puzzling you about this place, the people themselves are the greatest mystery. They've been friendly and welcoming, sure; but sometimes it feels like they find you familiar in some way. They keep calling you Sigarzghar,, too, and you have no clue why.

But these confusions don't trouble you -- you find the others more worrying, such as why you were in a coma for three days, or why all your posessions are missing from your pockets. You wonder how long you'll be stuck in this place, but you don't have much in the way of leads to figure out where else to go -- there're Delaney and Quincy over on Gansett shelf, the tentacle twins on the Concourse, and... that's about it. You're not sure how you'd get to either of those places from here, so you certainly feel stuck. Right now, more than anything else, you need answers.

You suppose that's why you're waiting here. They discharged you from the infirmary shortly after you awoke this morning, and led you here, telling you that Cider has invited you to her quarters to discuss a few things. You get the impression she's in charge around here; surely she can help you make sense of why you're here and how you arrived, and perhaps what to do next. At the moment there's already a visitor in there with her, judging from the muffled sounds of conversation; you wager it's been 20 minutes already, and you hope it isn't going to take much longer.
1347 posts omitted. Last 50 shown. Expand all images
No. 963233 ID: 529620

Hug mint. They obviously need some emotional comfort, after hiding away like that, and they are so distraught that don't seemed bothered by your at attire. Don't be weird about it and give a damn hug.
No. 963239 ID: e51896

Mint said Penny was spiky and looked to be in fear over that. A hug as Penny is now might just terrify Mint more.
I like the idea of hugging Mint, but we need to see if we can first turn off the spikiness feeling we are emitting, like maybe try disguising our signal to nothing, without rhythm.
No. 963246 ID: a9d8df

Im all for comforting Mint but, we should not reveal our powers or ethereal chat room to her or to anyone else at all. Its probably best to keep stuff like that to ourselves unless in extreme circumstances. Just tell her that Cider is the one causing this.
No. 963266 ID: e51896

I personally think we might need to tell her a little bit about our powers and about blade users powers to give her a peace of mind and understand our spikiness, and understand herself. She was very courageous to trust us about asking about how and why she feels fuzzy sensations, so we should keep that trust and bond between us and Mint strong by being courageous as well and tell her what we think is happening with her as well from what we learned if she presses us on the issue on us being spiky.

Plus, it will be good to have another person who relates to us in many ways as a friend to get through our time in Vesper, and potentially other blade users we might have to deal with. She feels like someone we need to protect.

But overall, we should mainly tell her why we think she feels weird sensations, and try to see if disguising our rhythm to nothing to see if we won't feel spiky to her again can help as I mentioned before: >>963023
No. 963318 ID: 4aa0a7

Its a bad idea to tell anyone about our powers now beside we dont we know Mint well orlong enough to trust her.
No. 963320 ID: f745f8

Does anyone else find it weird that Mint is not effected by Ciders powers?
No. 963323 ID: 10c408

No. There could be any number of explanations for this, given how little we know about the upper limit's on cider's mind control and the smattering of information pertaining to rhythm that Omen imparted to us.
No. 963357 ID: 891b91
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"It-- it's okay, I'll explain everything," you reassure Mint, cradling her head while she's latched onto your leg; you try to ignore the combined awkwardness of your nudity and the fact that she's chosen to bury her face into a spot disquietingly close to your crotch. "H-here, is this better? Am I still spiky?" You reactivate your signal cloak, hoping that it'll clear up the "spiky" sensation.
No. 963358 ID: 891b91
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Mint slumps onto her knees and gazes up at you expectantly. "Y-yeah... I-I mean no, you aren't... What was that, Penny?"

"I'm uh, sorry about the spikiness," you say as gently as you can as you slip the panties on and grab a bra. "Some... things happened while I was gone. The good news is that I think I know what the fuzzy and spiky feelings are." You look back at her. "Did anyone else come in here while I was gone?"

"Um, a couple people looked in here for a minute earlier," Mint sniffles. "I was hiding, because of the fuzziness."
No. 963359 ID: 891b91
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"I think they were looking for someone -- a serial killer. I found out that Cider has... powers, and right now she's using it to make almost everyone on the shelf line up outside so they can find the killer, since I guess the killer is immune to Cider's powers. That's what the fuzziness is -- Cider's powers, or something like that." You pause as you slip a shirt over your head. "And no, it's not me. But they might think it's me or you if they find out we're immune to it."

You catch sight of the mirror nearby, and it jogs your memory that you wanted to check to see if you had a tattoo like Millie's. You flip up your right ear, and... well, there it is. That just adds more questions on top of this increasingly strange situation, but considering the present circumstances you decide to file them away to consider later, when there isn't a serial killer on the loose somewhere on the shelf.
No. 963360 ID: 891b91
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"As for the spikiness," you continue, studying your clothes and committing it to memory, "something happened to me while I was out and uh, I guess it 'woke up' powers of my own. Which means I can do... this."

You attempt to will the color of your shirt to be something different, but your shirt just kind of flickers randomly. "Hold on, I'm still kinda figuring this out," you add, slipping your shirt and bra off. You try again, and this time it works -- despite being topless, you appear to be wearing a red shirt. "There. I guess it's not a lot compared to Cider's mass mind control, but it's something." You decide it's best to avoid revealing that you can go invisible as well, though, in addition to staying mum about your blade-stealing power.
No. 963361 ID: 891b91
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Mint stares at you for a long moment. "That... explains a lot," she finally responds, seemingly calmer now. She turns away, removing her glasses to wipe the tears from her eyes. "Can I... can I ask you a question?"

"Uh, I guess so, what is it?" You ask, slipping your shirt back on.
No. 963362 ID: 891b91
File 158771385956.gif - (339.74KB , 1024x1024 , 1-055-6.gif )

" H A V E Y O U S E E N T H E L I G H T S B E F O R E D A W N ? "
No. 963364 ID: 0fae41

Sounds like a rhetorical question. Shoo the bird away with a thrown shoe.
No. 963365 ID: b1b4f3

Coool, fake clothes! They don't wiggle though. To be completely convincing you'll need to fix that.

HOLY FUCK back away towards the door. "Lights before dawn" was part of the chant from earlier. This thing is either on Cider's team or the chant has some universal significance.
Ask who it is. What it wants.
No. 963369 ID: 015bf2


This sounds like something a Typhon would say. Be cool as a fucking cucumber. Mint must be the ‘mole’, someone Typhon can possess. Typhon is related to the weird two-eye animal thing, meaning they’ve ‘seen’ you before.

Their special power is probably something akin to possession, which might explain their god complex and ability to create sleeper agents.

“I have not. What are you doing to Mint?”
No. 963372 ID: b1b4f3

I had a thought that Cider might be a decoy and Mint is the real power behind Red Shelf, but the distortion was strong near Cider, not here. Mint would've had to have spotted Penny through invis and ran ahead of her once she saw where she was going.
Instead, it's more likely that Cider isn't the one with mind control, it's Typhon, and either the owl or Mint is Typhon. Cider's power is probably pacification or something, and had to use it to protect herself from Typhon.
Or it's someone other than Typhon? Let's remember, Typhon is like some kind of bogeyman for abcb03, so it could be misplaced blame.

Something of note: Mint isn't wiggling and neither is the owl. Either the owl is a hallucination, or Mint is, because they can't BOTH be using all their rhythm to attack Penny. Plus she was crying from both sides of her face before!

Penny could try to steal a blade from Mint. I'm thinking the way to do that is to shove Rhythm into her.
No. 963375 ID: 10c408

Close your eyes and put your hands out in front of you for a second, then ask Mint if she can repeat yourself.
No. 963377 ID: b34040

I'm not ready to assume Mint's the mole yet. It could still be Millie, or even someone else we haven't met. I'm also not convinced this isn't just happening in Penny's head, or in some other way not-entirely-physical.

Penny, I doubt you're in physical danger. If it charges at you, try to run, but otherwise this might be an opportunity to learn something. Don't assume that you're speaking to Mint right now (you probably aren't).
No. 963387 ID: 015bf2

Well it’s certainly a Rhythm play by someone with powers and since Mint wasn’t out and about investigating the disturbance caused by Penny’s ascension, Omen should already know Penny’s situation, Millie is in the mind-whammied crowd and Cider is busy doing the mind-whammying... that means this is a manifestation of the killer or Typhon, the only people we have reason to suspect might be monitoring the area (or have been monitoring it, since we saw the owl earlier).

Could be a third unknown party, I suppose, but this situation is getting real crowded, if so.
No. 963390 ID: bae7b0


Seconding the possession theory, and now they have revealed themselves to you. Time for some answers!

I'd really like to know if this is what has been causing Mint all the distress, too. Not that there is a lot we can do about that from here, but it would say something about who we are talking to if they're willing to do that to another person.

"You've been following me for a long time now. Can you tell me who I am talking to?"
No. 963393 ID: c84ff4

Interesting eye placement. Are those glasses like legit opaque. Also of note the (probably blade) wiggles are dashed and in out.
Probably also want another update on the blade chat log.
No. 963395 ID: 91ee5f

Bird in the window! There’s a weird bird in the window! It might be the same bird from right here: >>932537 and here: >>933785 !
No. 963397 ID: a0dfd2


Oh hey, a thing in the window with the same eye pattern, that may or may not be our bird buddy!

I'm beginning to wonder if this may not actually be a sort of remote possession ability, with the "tell" being that it causes the recipient / target of the ability to assume the appearance of the user (the foxes, that bird-thing, maybe-it's-that-bird-thing-again).

For now, take the briefest moment you can to assess whether there's a signal coming from them, or if Mint "feels different." (I presume yes, based on visual cues here.)

Let's just roll with this, but first say that "it's rude to eavesdrop on conversations." See which of them reacts to that first.


As for the significance of the tattoo ...

I was thinking that 37 might be our tripcode, but checking back, we're *35, so unless it's in some freaky base, that's a bust, but:

... I wonder if these are designations, something that can be used to look things up, which is both how Millie figured stuff out, and WHY.
No. 963399 ID: 1888a9

Focus and prepare mental defenses of any kind, be ready to resist this possession ability or whatever it is. Not to mention, have an escape planned.

Ask “What did you do to her?”
No. 963400 ID: 8679bc

This is why i said not to tell anyone about are powers...
No. 963402 ID: 2aa5f0

you mean the owl that seems to hate symmetry or are we talking about something else here?
No. 963404 ID: afd902

Huh. In case Mint is the mole or the killer, we should be ready to try and steal whatever blade she might have. We should also be ready to try & do the same it she's be possesed, on the off-chance that we can take the possesor's powers through her.

Right now though, ask questions, try not to get possesed yourself.

Brainwave! The fuzzies on everyone (except you & Mint) was Cider's power protecting them from Typhon. You're protected by your blades, but Mint isn't protected, so she is open to possesion.
No. 963406 ID: ce39da

If that's true, we need to act NOW before Cider loses her concentration!

Kiss the girl, you fool! Attempt spiritual assault on Typhon maybe!
No. 963407 ID: fb820f

The way Mint understood our explanation implies that she, whoever she is right now, is quite intelligent. Let's see if she can wrap her mind around this:

"Umm, is that a pickup line? Dawn? You'd like to... with me... until dawn? Oh my! I mean, I do think you're cute (and unlike Omen you have eyes), so I wouldn't say no, but this is all so sudden! Why is everyone so forward around here? Also, I kinda wanted to do something about Cider right now so, maybe this isn't the best of times..."

If that doesn't work, then I suppose you can go with some standard questions, such as, is she Typhon, who is she, what is she trying to do, who are the Alpha and Omega, what do the numbers 83, 917, 2000 mean, etc.
No. 963408 ID: 015bf2

Occam’s razor, guys: wouldn’t there have been a persistent signal in addition to Cider’s if so? Wouldn’t ALL of Cider’s associates be in a huge tizzy and not just the really invested one? Wouldn’t we have seen a new weird rhythm, like the one Mint is displaying now on them?

It’s possible possession is like a super stealth thing, but the simplest answer is that Cider’s the one doing the mind-control of Vespers, and it’s to hide the hunt for Penny.

Kissing/hugging to achieve ‘spiritual congress’ could still do something - such as allow a clearer, more private line of connection - mind you. We’ve been told conversations you don’t want to broadcast are hard to hold remotely.
No. 963413 ID: a0dfd2


Thank you.

The very idea that Mint had managed to plant herself in the Vespers, completely undetected, and remain there without acting against Cider until Penny realized her powers (and even then sit around and wait completely undetected) -- whilst spying on us via the funky-eye critters since even before we left O-Town -- is just too ridiculous.

And thank you as well for raising the point of other rhythms.

Likewise, as a friend recently pointed out: Mint was crying on both sides of her face before this, so unless she has illusion powers, too, this isn't Mint right now.
No. 963414 ID: e51896

Oh shit, good catch with those tears coming out of both sides of where her eyes were supposed to be!

if that is the case, then those fox looking animals we saw back in that abandoned city were also possessed in some way, meaning this person that is possessing Mint has been following us since around the start of this quest.
No. 963426 ID: 6c227a

Play it completely straight.
"I don't think I've been awake before dawn since I can remember, so... I don't think so?"
No. 963444 ID: e6eb48

Not actually true. Penny was awake and saw dawn come and go while she was walking on the road out of the Old City, before she reached the fork between the automatic evacuation zone and the roadblock that led to the town with the giant monster in it. (>>/questarch/889586)
No. 963445 ID: ce39da

I didn't think Mint was a (knowing) mole to begin with. I think she's just someone uniquely vulnerable to Typhon because Cider couldn't protect her with her blade - after all, possessing someone she's directly mind-controlling would be a REALLY bad idea. My suggestion for spiritual congress was mostly in response to the realization that Cider can only restrict Typhon's ability for so long, and it still stands, unless there's a good way to suddenly attack the bird.
No. 963459 ID: fb820f

Oh and, to answer Mint's question.

"Yes, I have seen them."
> >>/questarch/888233 >Glancing at the lights across the water
> >>/questarch/909256 >A thousand swarming lights are arrayed before you
One of these two should be the one they mean. Probably the latter one.

You could also change your appearance to that of Omen's. Perhaps this person would find it... intriguing.
No. 963461 ID: fd5772

I told you her immunity was suspicious and that we need to get out of here, so let's hightail it and head somewhere else right now. We don't need to be around the psychic side-eyed bird. Don't say nothing, just run.
No. 963480 ID: b9f243

Idea: maybe Cider's people were searching the bath house because Penny was talking out loud instead of using chat speak giving her location away.

If we found that killer through the owl, we might need to alert them again by giving our location again by speaking out loud in chat yo get backup.

Should we say "Titty sprinkles" out loud in chat and hope cider's gaurds senses it and comes help us?
No. 963495 ID: 10c408

No, because that's just going to compound our problems. There's a lot going on, most of which we don't have a full grasp on because of how little we know, and tipping off the search teams that will either detain or shoot us is just going to make the current set of terrible problems even more dire.
No. 963513 ID: 9c48ac

Seems unlikely, given the only location information in our chat log was the Shelf. I think it's far more likely they were searching the whole shelf and had the location narrowed down by that pattern detector.
Even if it does give more precise information, giving away our location is as likely to make the situation worse as better.

Anyway, it's hard to be sure, but I think this most likely isn't Mint anymore. So:
*Be prepared to GTFO, but if you do, try not to blow the fact you can go invisible.
*"Leave her alone, left-eyes!"
*Negotiate, but warily. We don't want to abandon Mint, but there's really not much we can do for her unless lefteyes leaves on their own.
No. 963518 ID: 891b91
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You step back in alarm -- your mind floods with possible explanations for what is happening before you. Is Mint possessed? Is she a blade user? Is she the killer?

"I-I don't know?" You respond, addressing both Mint and the owl in the window. "What did you --"
No. 963519 ID: 891b91
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The words suddenly refuse to come out, as if caught in your throat. You rapidly become aware of a growing pressure in your windpipe; it swells and swells until it bursts, sending a jolt of sharp pain that is soon replaced by intense burning.

You claw at your throat, coughing uncontrollably as your body tries to expel the sudden fire inside you!
No. 963520 ID: 891b91
File 158780853547.gif - (375.56KB , 1024x1024 , 1-056-3.gif )

You fall to the floor -- you try to regain control of your body, but it puts every ounce of energy you have into expelling some unknown substance from your lungs. Excruciating, searing pain spreads throughout your throat and chest, expanding and spreading until it envelops every fiber of your being.

"I-- I didn't--" Mint sobs, backing away from you and collapsing in the corner as she watches you in horror, "I didn't know, I didn't know it would, I'm sorry, I'm so sorry..."
No. 963521 ID: 891b91
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As you lie there, paralyzed by agony, your chest still heaving violently, you wonder if this is the end.
No. 963522 ID: 891b91
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Discussion: >>/questdis/123379
No. 963525 ID: 2aa5f0

No. 963545 ID: 015bf2

That's disconcerting.
No. 963552 ID: 710d90

I knew we couldn't trust Mint! Now look what happened. I cant tell if we're coughing up blood or dust. If we survive this we need to be more careful about who we trust.
No. 963561 ID: fd5772

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