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File 158335977730.png - (138.71KB , 800x800 , 222.png )
957925 No. 957925 ID: 5fc3a0

>"You think you're in control?"
"I never said that, Pillet!"
>"Then you'd better get in control so that you can."
Expand all images
>>
No. 957926 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158335983184.png - (245.43KB , 800x800 , 223.png )
957926

"Agh fuck it fell! Pillet why I gotta play jenga with energy?"
>"Because you suck at controlling it. If I had a tenth of your power I'd kick your tiny ass."
"You mean you could kick my ass?"
>"I mean that I would! Your power was meant for me!"
"Too bad, I own over 90% of all the energy. No one can get more than a tenth of my power."
>"Yeah, we'll see how long that lasts."

I practice my telekinesis to set the tower back up again, and Pillet pulls her phone out.

>"A private chatroom?"
>>
No. 957928 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158335997927.png - (118.22KB , 800x800 , 224.png )
957928

I peer onto her phone. She's connected to a chat with 2 other people. 'Pillet', 'Phantom Mask', and 'Anonymous1759'. After a moment, messages start getting sent.

Anonymous1759: I have Phantom's missing key.
Anonymous1759: <Image Embed>
Anonymous1759: I'm beginning a long term auction. The entry fee is 10 full crates of food. Each time you bid, you must deliver at least 10 more crates, and each person must wait 24 hours before making another bid. This will continue until one of you fails to bid. Then I will surrender the key to the winner.
Phantom Mask: Prove this photo isn't an edit. Write B@Q-B8B onto a piece of paper, put it next to the key, and take several pictures at different angles. Upload the album.


He follows directions. It looks like the real thing.

>"Looks like this is happening, Delli."

Anonymous1759: Get your 10 crates of food ready, and I will have further details on when and where to deliver them.
>>
No. 957930 ID: 0fae41

So, what stops you from letting the other person 'win' the auction then taking the key from them? The fate of the city is worth more than a few dozen food crates. Even if it is a real key, this 'auction' has got to be a trick.
>>
No. 957932 ID: 094652

>>957930
Agreed, just find a way to put a bomb in one of the food crates and mount a raid. No sense bidding on an auction with no credibility from a guy who can't prove he even saw the key.
>>
No. 957934 ID: 584c5c

Think of the jenga! Restrain yourself from acting rashly.
>>
No. 957935 ID: b1b4f3

>>957928
...hmm. Considering how valuable that key is, the "auction" will probably continue for a long time, as each participant will take more and more drastic measures to gather food to bid with. At some point, whoever's running the auction will have sole possession over most of the food supply of the city.

...do you need to eat? This could cause a famine. If you don't need to eat... how much can you eat in a day? Could the auctioneer just eat all of it to gain power and eventually rival yours?

Well may as well gather food for one day's worth of food while we decide how to handle this in the long term. If we're trying to win the auction the smart thing to do is immediately seize or destroy every food production or storage facility we can get to. Depending on how fast the food production is, we could just go after the storage facilities.
>>
No. 957937 ID: b07f1c

Technically all the food in the city should belong to you so, this seems kinda easy. I mean, we can just bid anything we want, and once we win the auction, we simply procure the amount that we bid.

A few questions that I'd ask is, is the entry fee something that you pay even if you don't win? Similarly, are the 10 crates per bid considered a fee that has to be paid either way as well?
>>
No. 957938 ID: e2f5cc

Why not just like... Put a gps tracker within the food in the crates with a slightly more obvious tracker on one of the crates itself, then whenever it stops/all the trackers stop responding you go over and beat the shit out of the people there, worst case you get information.
>>
No. 957939 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158336268783.png - (123.46KB , 800x800 , 225.png )
957939

We don't need to eat, but since it gets power...

"How much can a person eat in a day?"
>"Not 20 crates, I'll tell you that. But if this is a group? Then maybe, yeah, and their leader can kill the others if they want it all on one person."
"So this is all a ploy for power..."
>"Damn, you're right, I thought this was for charity! No shit. It'll take a longass time to rival your powe, but it's going to be a pain if we have 50 mid-powered guys hassling our rank and file."
"We could just let Phantom win, then take the key from her."
>"Haha, no. I don't know who this anonymous guy is, but I bet Phantom is way better at hiding a key. Shit, my guys haven't even been able to find a lot of her farms, and those are bigger than keys."
"How hard is a farm to find?"
>"Underground farms exist, you know."
"Right. Still, we should have way more food output, right?!"
>"I'm sure we do, but I'm betting Phantom can easily do 10 crates a day. I bet she has a ton stockpiled for emergency, too."
"And I don't suppose if we lose the auction, we get our entry fee back?"
>"Haha, no, this guys trying to gouge both of us in a bid war. And he can try it too, because keys are a buyer's market."
"Right. Okay. Let's stick a bomb in a crate then."
>"Or a tracker. That's worth a shot. Hey, speaking of Phantom, she sent me a private message. She wants to know if we're going to play along."
>>
No. 957940 ID: 465a14

What kind of countermeasures are possible to stop you from spying on the delivery and figuring out whose lackeys are arranging transport?
>>
No. 957941 ID: b1b4f3

>>957939
Ask her if she also realized this is a ploy for power. Tell her you have no interest in fueling another rival, and you're sure she doesn't either. Tell her she should try to find the auctioneer in her own way, and so will you.
>>
No. 957942 ID: b07f1c

I guess. Ask Phantom what's her plan. Other than bidding. And if she'd be interested in working together with you to scam the seller.
>>
No. 957943 ID: e2f5cc

Just say "Yeah" for now but still obviously go through with our plan. Just because Phantom seemed alright doesn't mean it's worth risking... What is this key for again? Lifting the magic fog around this place? Well in any case a little bit of subterfuge is nothing that can't be talked over afterwards.
>>
No. 957944 ID: a9af05

>>957939
You know what this means, right? You've gotta get good at controlling your energy.
>>
No. 957945 ID: 48ce40

Maybe you can get more food by selling, like, power favours? Exchange IOUs that say "good for one (1) feat of power, so long as it's not something that hurts anyone or is for asshole purposes or anything like that".

Anyway, whatever you go with will probably require at least looking like you're playing along.
>>
No. 957946 ID: 891b91

>She wants to know if we're going to play along.
Haha hell no. But we'll tell her yes. But she'll know we're lying. But we'll know she knows and she'll know we know she knows.
>>
No. 957949 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158336716287.png - (150.69KB , 800x800 , 226.png )
957949

I go back to controlling my energy. I don't think Pillet was bluffing when she said she could beat me with only 10% of my raw power.

Pillet dials someone.

>"Pillet?" asks Phantom. Apparently Pillet has her on speed dial.
>"Yeah it's me, hey. I've got you on speaker. Delli's here."
>"Oh. Hi, Delli."
"Hi, Phantom."
>"Okay stop smooching." says Pillet.
"Did you also realize this is a ploy for power, Phantom?"
>"Yesss?"
"Okay nevermind. Pillet said you were asking if we were going to play along with this auction, and yeah I will. This person did find the key and I do want to get it, and I don't care about food anymore."
>"I don't believe you."
"Wow okay you're right. You're enough rivalry for me. I mean we should at least pretend to play along at first. Can we find this guy?"
>"Maybe."
"What's maybe?"
>"What it is, is that I'm not telling you. I agree that we should at least play along to begin with and prepare our crates of food, but I'm not going to be strung along for weeks."
"I figured if I were serious about this, I'd just wildly outbid you beyond what you could deliver."
>"Maybe he's hoping that'll happen. Maybe after we put in our fees, he's going to drop additional 'rules' on us. With 10 crates needed for each bid, he might remove any sort of minimum bid, but make a maximum bid."
"That'd be fucked up!"
>"Yeah don't give him ideas, Phantom!"
>"You guys are in a secure spot, right?"
"We are. You have a plan?"
>"Simple trackers with the food, to begin with."
"We were going to do the same."
>"Good. We can push back, because there's no other group that can pay what we can pay, and they clearly want to get as much as they can from this. Then again, they are reckless."
"How so?"
>"You're still planning on opening the fog chamber with the keys, right? And removing the fog?"
"Yeah I guess so."
>"And it's generally accepted that the fog is what makes us immortal. So they're willing to remove their own immortality, and ours, just for some food."
"Say, what's stopping me from spying on the delivery?"
>"Not much at first, and they'll assume you will at first. Their countermeasures will be more about making sure you can't secretly follow wherever the goods go. I'm willing to work together, as they're going to try to take advantage of the idea that we're at each others throats. We might even be best off pretending we're trying to undermine each other."
>"Haha, pretending." says Pillet.
>>
No. 957950 ID: 86eb65

How does the internet even work here?

And remind me why we have not killed every person in town then razed it to the ground and shoved all the re spawns into concentration camps? Sure its not polite but neither are the idiots who want to keep everyone trapped in limbo with them forever.

How many keys are we down? Just this one or are there more? (has been a bit.)

If you do not participate in some fashion they might just continue the auction and stop sending you info about it. So we should do something about it probably.

Send yourself in one of the food boxes? All hidden under the sweet sweet chocolate? Then you bust out and save the day.

Also keep practicing you idiot or you will not be top dog for long. Age and treachery beat youth and vigor any day.
>>
No. 957952 ID: b07f1c

Ask Phantom if that means your date (or whatever chill session you had planned) with her tomorrow is canceled.
>>
No. 957953 ID: 86eb65

One nice thing about having all this power is getting to practice with it. This mess could take years if that key keeps getting lost. So practice every moment while you are doing other stuff.

As for the mystery auction people they would give you the key if they wanted the haze gone. And they would give it to Phantom if they just wanted there lives.

Whoever has it wants power. Either by getting food from you or by luring you into a trap and stealing yours. Your girlfriend made the power you have. Someone else could figure out a way to steal it or kill you.

I already voted for you to hide in the food and let yourself get delivered to there mystery location. Everyone else should have pretty tiny powers right now so for a bit you are superman.
>>
No. 957958 ID: b1b4f3

>>957949
Well if we're gonna pretend, may as well be convincing. Ask Phantom what she's willing to sacrifice to keep the auctioneer from suspecting that you're working together. Or mostly working together, anyway. Kindof.
You'll go wreck havoc on whatever she gives you, then you can throw in like 50 crates which seems reasonable for a big opening bid where your opponent is crippled.
Wait, won't it be basically impossible for the auctioneer to hide the way they're transporting the food? If you bid enough all at once he's gonna need to bring in a lot of trucks or make multiple trips, which will either leave lots of tracks or be easy to follow.
>>
No. 957962 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158337272626.png - (121.92KB , 800x800 , 227.png )
957962

"So what're you willing to sacrifice to keep them from thinking we're working together?"
>"We'll sacrifice our planned hangout until further notice."
"Damn. Okay."
>"Well, I'll be in contact." Phantom hangs up.

I get back to practicing this jenga thing.

"How's the internet work, Pillet?"
>"What? Like in general? Do I look like I know?"
"Hm. I assume there's like, some floating satellite up there, or one of those radio towers or something. Hey what happens if I raze the whole town?"
>"Then I hope you like sleeping on rubble. At least there wouldn't be as many bastards hunting down the keys."
"Yeah, but then we'd need to be immortal in order to spend the eternity it'd take for just you and me to find a single key in the rubblestack. And I don't want to do that anyway."

I can feel the three other keys in my pocket. The other gang leaders didn't break theirs, so it's only Phantom's that's missing.

"Okay, I'm going to leave the details to you since I'm not a people person."

Not like Pillet is any better at being a people person, but she likes doing it.
>>
No. 957963 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158337275106.png - (171.37KB , 800x800 , 228.png )
957963

Sure enough, the next day, Pillet gets a private message from the anonymous dealer where and when to deliver the crates. I guess he's giving us and Phantom separate dropoffs. We're told only one person is allowed to deliver the goods, underneath some underpass at night that just screams shady deals. After the deal is made, we'll be allowed to make our opening bids.

Pillet has one of her weird rebel people do the delivery after all the crates are packed up. She didn't tell me all of her plans, but I know that the boxes are picked up by several people!

They're moved to a different truck and driven off to a new location, and then taken off that truck.
>>
No. 957964 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158337276227.png - (175.47KB , 800x800 , 229.png )
957964

Then someone opens up my box, moves the food, and finds me.

>"... Uhhhhh. Right, er, looks like I found some contraband."
"Huh?"
>"The boss said we should expect contraband, so that's what we're lookin' for here. I sure didn't expect the contraband would be you, so that's gonna give me some weird nightmares tonight. So er... I think we're gonna have to wait for you to get out and fly away so we can continue working, that'd be great."
>>
No. 957965 ID: 86eb65

Yeah but now I can just hover over you for days. Watching all the time. When you go to pee I will be there. When you sleep I will be there. Just watching and judging.

Eventually you will have to take me to your boss. So why not we get this over with and bring them to me so we can chat?

Munch on chocolate bar and hand him one.
>>
No. 957966 ID: 48ce40

"Would you believe I just happened to fall in? Anyway obviously I'm going to need to fill the space that my body'd been taking up, aren't I?... Got any spare food on you?"
>>
No. 957967 ID: 4044a9

Reach out ever so slowly and place a tracker on his forehead. Then silently float away.
>>
No. 957968 ID: 695467

"It was worth a shot at least."
>>
No. 957971 ID: 448e94

You know Phantom is in the Box next to me right?
>>
No. 957972 ID: e2f5cc

>>957967
While hilarious, That is unfortunately a very bad tactical decision, as then they'll know what they're looking for, and since it's unlikely these people are opening up the food to find the trackers we (hopefully) placed in them, but they might start being more through if we give them trouble. But all the same if we just float above them menacingly they'll probably be more reckless! Keep >>957965 in mind for if/when it's required, just don't threaten them immediately.
>>
No. 957973 ID: 91ee5f

>>957964
>that's gonna give me some weird nightmares tonight
“Oh yeah? Well you’re gonna give me some weird nightmares! Because holy shit, I thought you were gonna eat me! Do you know how scary you are?! With your mouth and all those sharp teeth in them! Damn!”
>>
No. 957974 ID: 015bf2

>>957964
It seemed marginally clever-er than the expected trackers (you say, pretending not to have included trackers).

Because if he doesn’t put this crate back together and say he disposed of the contraband, you know his face now and there’s an eternity’s worth of sleepless night surprises you can throw at him from here on if he doesn’t.
>>
No. 957975 ID: cdabe3

“I’m not wearing pants.”
>>
No. 957984 ID: 10c408

"Sorry buddy, this is no longer a case of contraband and weird nightmares. It's a stick up!

Point your finger gun at him and get the others lined up against a wall before you take a picture of them for later identification.
>>
No. 957989 ID: b1b4f3

Yeah let's gather some information on them. Also check out the trucks.
You will eventually have to leave so that they can continue with the delivery, of course. Fly off, make note of the location, see if there's any way to follow without being noticed, like hide in clouds or something.
>>
No. 957991 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158340284684.png - (193.11KB , 800x800 , 230.png )
957991

"Yeah well your toothy face is going to give me nightmares!"
>"Do you really need to be mean?"
"No I meant it in like a flattering, you're kind of scary look, not a - look nevermind! This was worth a shot but you found me! I'll just hover over you from now on, watching you have nightmares about me! Until you show me your boss."

He turns to the side.

>"Hey Boss!"
>"Yeah? You find something?"
>"Delli's in here!"
>"What do you mea - oh shit."
"You're the boss?"
>"I'm not the boss, if you get me, I'm just in charge of these guys. So - everyone stop what you're doing until Delli leaves! Delli, any other contraband you want to talk about?"
"Phantom's in the box next to me."

The searcher next to me shakes her head.

>"Nice try." says this boss. "Whatever it was you were trying, anyway. Whatever. Please get out of the box and leave."
"I'm not wearing any pants."
>"We're all adults here, aren't we? Come on out."
>>
No. 957992 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158340286590.png - (263.66KB , 800x800 , 231.png )
957992

"Way to call my bluff." I say, shimmying around a bit before getting out of the box.
>"Huh, you really aren't. Start searching that box again, Kulton." says the boss, and the toothy guy starts looking at the crate I was in.
>"I found his pants in here!" Kulton says. I think he just took them off. Also there's empty wrappers in here, I think he's been eating some of this stuff."

I get my phone out and raise my finger. I'd slap a tracker on one of their foreheads, but I didn't think to bring my own trackers for this.

"Everyone get on the wall so I can take your pictures, before I start blowing people up!"

They look at their boss for confirmation.

>"No!" he says. "That's enough. The boss said to forgive you for pulling something like this on the first delivery, but not if you push us around. Get out of here, or else I'm going to pull out my phone and report that you failed to deliver."
>>
No. 957993 ID: 10c408

"You guys take all the fun out of being an unkillable jackass."

Fly away, be pretty obvious about. Leave your pants behind because who cares.

Start calling pillet and tell her your part of the plan didn't work out
>>
No. 957994 ID: cdabe3

>>957993
this
>>
No. 957995 ID: 60d648

Shoot him and take his phone!
Then interrogate the lackeys and finish what you were saying you were gonna do.
>>
No. 957996 ID: f13cd5

"Come on, just one group selfie before I go! It'll be fun!"
Your pants are done for, there's no getting them back.
>>
No. 957997 ID: 4286b4

Well, if we failed to deliver, it would probably mean that we're out of the game and that Phantom wins. And we can't have that. I'd also assume that if the real boss doesn't get a response from these guys in time, that he would presume they're dead and that we failed.

It looks like we'll need to find another way to find their boss and the key. To begin with, I doubt these food crates will ever come anywhere near the boss or their prized possession, so hmm.

That said, you should totally kidnap that cute girl in the middle back there before leaving.
>>
No. 957998 ID: 86eb65

"Dang it you guys are being way to reasonable about this. Not being a murderous sociopath is probably working against me."

"What happens if I blow up all the food and neither of us end up delivering?"

Before you leave make sure to very carefully float over to the main guy and teabag him before leaving. Just slow zeppelin of junk making a beeline to his dome.
>>
No. 957999 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158341424977.png - (180.07KB , 800x800 , 232.png )
957999

"Well there goes the fun in being an unkillable jackass."
>"This might be news to you, but it's it's not so fun being the bottom line!"
"Yeah, I know. Hey what happens if I blow up all the food?"
>"... failure to delivery for sure."
"I mean Phantom's delivery, too."

They shuffle their feet around."

>"You're giving us knowledge above our paygrade." The boss is looking like he's getting impatient, too.

I float out the window. Pretty sure even if I took this guy's phone, someone else would report the failure. There's no cloud cover or anything, so I doubt I can get away with tailing them.
>>
No. 958000 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158341428689.png - (91.93KB , 800x800 , 233.png )
958000

I call Pillet.

"Hey Pillet."
>"Hey."
"My hiding in the boxes didn't work."
>"Never coulda seen it coming. The tracker's moving. Did you find anything out when they found you out?"
"Not really. Their trucks had their license plates removed, they didn't say who their boss was, and so on."
>"Wow, nothing? Head on back, then, we'll just wait. Maybe Phantom's feeling generous with information."
>>
No. 958001 ID: 86eb65

If its dark out they cant see you following the trucks if you stay up high. Worst case you get a bit lost and have to fly back home.

Keep practicing power stuff. (Can people sense that? Can you do stealthy things with powers?)
>>
No. 958002 ID: 4286b4

I still think that kidnapping one of them would've been a good idea since it would allow us to question them and learn more about their boss or about their agenda. Actually, maybe if you did it right now, without them noticing it, they might think the person simply went awol.
>>
No. 958003 ID: 48ce40

They have to have lights on to drive if it's as dark as this, right? Just float high above the streets and see if you can see trucks moving and to where. If you don't see anything, that's confirmation at least that they're not using the roads and must have some other route.
>>
No. 958004 ID: 10c408

Honestly, there's no reason why you can't tail these trucks the old fashioned way. You just need a pair of binoculars so you can tail the rebel funkie making the next drop off and then the trucks. From above the city, as high as you can go without the fog kicking you back into town.
>>
No. 958015 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158342346613.png - (280.08KB , 800x800 , 234.png )
958015

"Hold on, maybe I can follow them." I look down. "Nevermind they just through a tunnel. Annnd it's the Spaghetti Tunnel, named for its unnavigable roads. Maybe if I follow them..."
>"You think they forgot to have any sentries there to make sure they weren't followed?"
"Mayyybe. Mayyyybe not. Ugh, they might have someone who can sense power too, I don't know."
>"If you can't even suppress your own power, get back here and work on that!"
"I've been trying, but suppressing the most power anyone's ever had in history has proven difficult, Pillet!"
>"Try more than anyone in history has ever tried, then!"
"You're being kind of a bitch right now!"
>"If you don't think you're up to the task, lemme kill you! Come back to base unless you think you can get literally a single piece of information from a single person in that group!"

Maybe I should've kidnapped one of them, but they all stuck together and I'm pretty sure the boss would've said 'failure to delivery' as he loved saying. If I follow them, it'll be risky. Well, worst case is that they don't play along and then Phantom gets the key I guess, but then I just have to find the key anyway!
>>
No. 958018 ID: b07f1c

Retire and go back, grandpa.
>>
No. 958021 ID: 86eb65

You can go all super hero and stick yourself to the bottom of a truck near them. Then quietly sneak along and what the fuck where did all these trucks come from?

Did they just exist here before people came? Have you all been here so long it all got reinvented? How big is the town?

Anyways if you can't sneak after them get back home and prep for the next mission.

1. Get trackers.
2. Find out if you can use your powers for more than basic stuff.
3. Practice power use.
4. Let Pillet come up with a nice plan if she is so smart.
5. Be nice to your girlfriend you doof.
6. Get map of spaghetti mess for future trips.
7. Explore said interchange.
8. Accidentally get into a fight over said intersection and collapse the entire fucking thing so the next shipment can not sneak around down there.
9. Use your powers to burrow around all over a hundred feet under town to find hidden area's
10. Fly straight up for a hour.
>>
No. 958024 ID: 8d23f0

>>958015
ask pillet if there is a power for scrying if you try hard enough
>>
No. 958028 ID: e2f5cc

...Wait a second, I just thought of two very important questions. The first and less immediately pressing one is: How hasn't overpopulation utterly fucked (heh) over this town? I mean, when you're immortal I imagine sex becomes more and more appealing as you run out of other things to do, and since more children mean more people that will grow up to make more children, it seems like things would get out of hand very fast.

The second and far more important matter is: Why don't we just give Pillet all our power? Not to put you down or anything Delli, but I think even you can admit she's far more qualified for it and if she asked you to do something you'd do it with minimal questioning, so why not cut out the middle man and be able to brag about having the most powerful girlfriend in the world and also not have to deal with that responsibility yourself. This all comes at the cost of... Being dead for a month? Since it's not like Pillet would get rid of the haze with you dead. And if you're worried about her only wanting you for your power or whatever, do remember that she was your sorta kinda maybe girlfriend even when you were just a random goon.

And now for two far less meaningful questions: One, what species even is Pillet? Two, have you put out for her?
>>
No. 958041 ID: b1b4f3

There's always tomorrow.
>>
No. 958045 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158344429879.png - (150.90KB , 800x800 , 235.png )
958045

I guess I'll explore the interchange later. Or get a map or something.

I float back to base.

"Is there a power for scrying?"
>"For what?"
"Like... magic crystal ball, viewing... them."
>"Never heard of anyone with that ability, nope. So how many people were there, when you were found?"
"I guess about 6 or 7?"
>"Hmm, and they had a bigger boss? Let's see... I put a tracker in each of the ten boxes. One of them just showed up again. The rest must still be underground." She gestures at her computer, where there's a blip on her map. "You can check it out, but I've got a guy nearby otherwise."
"If you're so smart, how about you come up with a plan?"
>"We put a bounty on information leading to these guys. They can't all be loyal, and I'm sure a lot of the people you spoke with wanted some of that food for themselves. If I had your power, I'd be flying around underground right now to see what I stumble on. You can probably fly through ground like most people could fly through air, too bad you're one lazy goat."
>>
No. 958046 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158344431532.png - (107.47KB , 800x800 , 236.png )
958046

>"Yeah well, you're one lazy... what are you anyway?"
"Who cares."

I guess I could fly around to see what I find. I know flying upwards will just get me to the fog, and it'll spit me back out in a random spot, but downwards might have cool ruins or something I don't know. She is right though and I feel like every moment I spend not blowing something up or threatening to blow something up is squandering the power.

Maybe she should have it. I mean, she probably would treat me well. And we weren't dating or anything before I got her powercluster, but she always seemed welcoming to me. It's a miracle I remembered her number, because I don't remember her well before I got this power. I'm struggling to remember, and I vaguely remember a time when there were there were less people. Less towering buildings. Even less vehicles, and the vehicles that did exists were practically just 4 wheels on a box powered by energy batteries, because people weren't as good at making materials from their own energy.

So, I think she'd treat me alright even if I went back to square one. It is true that she's more competent than me with using power, so she could make better use of it.

But on the other hand... that's kind of scary. Her bigger plan is to remove immortality. Maybe it's still me on my power high, but I don't know if I'm on board with that anymore.
>>
No. 958048 ID: 7ebbf9

What's the point of immortality if it means staying here? Get digging!
>>
No. 958049 ID: e6604f

This is why you should, for the time being, focus on staying alive and staying powered up. Remember how the gangs were assholes to everyone? Literally by not doing anything you're passively improving the lives of everyone else here. And making all the high functioning big-plan lunatics cool their freaking jets and start having dialogue with each other about this has been a pretty good start. Just remember, "immortality" might be nice now, but at some point it's going to be a living hell, either when overpopulation ruins things or the landscape becomes so completely destroyed over time that it's impossible to build back from. You don't have to end it now, but you should plan that sometime in the future it'll have to happen just for the sake of escaping when it comes time.
>>
No. 958051 ID: b1b4f3

>>958046
Go dig around underground and find cool shit.
>>
No. 958053 ID: e2f5cc

Well giving ultimate power to someone else is kind of a big decision, and it's not one you really make on the spot. Good thing digging around gives you a lot of time to think! Try looking around where the trackers last dissappeared and see if there's anything there first, just to have an idea on what to do.
>>
No. 958054 ID: 86eb65

Dude you have been here in a funk so long that a civilization has grown up around you. Are you actually happy or just not miserable?

Regardless its your power until its not and if you get all the keys you will be the one to decide anyways.

So go explore for sweet ruins!

Slap your bitch's butt before you go.
>>
No. 958055 ID: 7bcd27

Pillet has been here so long her species went extinct in the outside world. Heck you have been here since forever.

Just get the keys and decide later. And go ruin hunting cause that sounds like learning sweet mysteries about this place.
>>
No. 958056 ID: b07f1c

If the key was destroyed and you had to wait it out, it might make sense to let yourself get killed by Pillet. But until then, it would hinder the current situation.

Tell her that violence isn't going to get us the key here. We'll need to be more overt.

I also think that the chance their boss having direct contact with anyone in their group is low. At least if they were smart. If I was them, I'd only communicate with their own group through electronic means.

Ask Pillet if she knows any radio technicians or hackers that might be able to trace signals or devices in the city.
>>
No. 958057 ID: ea0a7b

Immortal life is meaningless though. Emotions, experiences, even loved ones; all of it means nothing without mortality. Death is an important part of that cycle, to deny it is to deny life. You’re not living, you’re just sort of existing. Haze town is nothing but an endless purgatory.

Pillet is right, breaking out should be your goal. And maybe she does deserve your powers, but that’s a big decision and shouldn’t be made too quickly. For now, see what you can find underground. But try not to wreck too much shit on your way.
>>
No. 958058 ID: 10c408

Just go back to jenga, Delli. But maybe try it with a big stack of furniture pieces to see if it's a bit easier than focusing on a very small set of jenga blocks.
>>
No. 958059 ID: c2f1f6

You have to keep her honest. She'll do anything to achieve her goals, which is dangerous. The fact that you haven't been using your power to break sit and hurt people is a good thing.

Try flying underground, without causing earthquakes if you please.
>>
No. 958060 ID: 48ce40

Look, to be frank man, the reason a lot more people aren't on your case is because they don't really see you as a threat. Everyone knows you're kind of a goof by now and that's probably relazing to them. Give the power to someone who everyone things is smarter and more ambitious and people will be a lot more stressed and willing to try more desperate things.

No offense, like. This is public perception.
>>
No. 958066 ID: afdebc

>If you don't think you're up to the task, lemme kill you!
How much of your time in the bedroom is her half-playing half-totally-serious doing stuff that could result in your death?

>>958046
If you went back to square one, you probably wouldn't be able to pseudo-flirt with phantom anymore. No reason to talk to you if you're a scrub, and she'd probably resent you passing the power back to Pillet, since she's more of a direct threat / harder to deal with, than you.

>>"This might be news to you, but it's it's not so fun being the bottom line!"
>"Yeah, I know.
Honestly, this is your best reason for holding onto these powers. You still remember what it's like to be a powerless guy on the bottom, which gives you a perspective more in common than any of the powered types. So long as the jerk with powers has perspective, the situation has improved somewhat.

>just fly through solid ground looking for a hidden base
If you did that, wouldn't that just cause collapses and stuff above ground? You're not a geologist, you don't know what dirt and rock not to break.

...if whoever is doing this understands your level of power, it's probably not an obvious underground base. Or anything that would look out of place if you started blowing shit up. I bet they took the stuff underground as cover, and wherever they're holed up, it blends in, like a normal warehouse or shop or something. A grocery store or something would kind of be a perfect place to hide all these food deliveries.
>>
No. 958107 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158349991911.png - (209.66KB , 800x800 , 237.png )
958107

"You know what, Pillet, flying around underground doesn't seem a half bad idea. While I'm down there, do we have any hackers or whatever to figure out who the boss is? Or that anonymous guy from the chatroom?"
>"That's mostly Phantom's bag, but I can go heckle the communication tower, they might keep records on who connected to what."

She gets up and I slap her butt.

>"Har har get to doing something, dork."
"Yeah yeah."

I'll hang onto my power now anyway, even if Pillet obviously wants it. At least she hasn't tried to kill me in my sleep or during sex. Yet.
>>
No. 958108 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158349993422.png - (208.24KB , 800x800 , 238.png )
958108

I fly underground and I only make my tunnel as wide as myself so that I don't cause earthquakes.

I'm mostly just finding the same kind of old town ruins that were around when I met Pillet. They go pretty deep, and I can go deeper still. I run into the fog a few times and get spat back out into town, but I go back down again. I figure if there's anything good down here, it'll be on the border of the fog.
>>
No. 958109 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158349994698.png - (189.45KB , 800x800 , 239.png )
958109

Oh! This time I crashed into something weird.

Huh, I think this was Phantom's gang logo decades ago.
>>
No. 958110 ID: 86eb65

Carefully inspect it and clear out a wider area before considering breaking it.

Is this stone and you were flying thru earth before? Or is it some weird haze town mystery stone/metal that can still bruise your snoot even with all the power you have.

Was that half rip in the "tape?" there before or did you just cause it by running into it?

Long story short see if you can burrow around it to get a feel for its size and location and how anyone would have gotten in here in the first place. If you can find its entrance and sneak in that way we can avoid messing it up on the off hand chance you want to use it for cool stuff later. No use ruining a nice secret base really.
>>
No. 958111 ID: 4286b4

Try to open the way in a way that doesn't cause a cave-in to whatever space is behind there.
>>
No. 958112 ID: 8d23f0

>>958109
well it says not to break and phantom probably knows whats in there so just go stright up and call phantom instead of jinxing it.
>>
No. 958113 ID: c2f1f6

Take a picture of that 'do not break tape' that's almost broken, see what either Phantom or Pillet have to think about it once you get phone signal again. It might scare their pants off which would be funny. DON'T break it, it's probably a booby trap for exactly what you're doing.
>>
No. 958118 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158350675879.png - (198.08KB , 800x800 , 240.png )
958118

This surface feels like some kind of artificial material. I didn't hurt myself flying into it, but it's so much tougher than the earth and rock I've been going through, that I rammed straight into it and got my snout dirty. I still put a crack in it and messed up the tape, so I can definitely break through it easily enough. It's probably not the food auctioneer's base I'm after. Come to think of it, they're probably delivering to a grocery store or something.

I circle around it a little bit. It's covered in this tape, and I think it's a sphere. Then I find a hatch.

Now, I could call Phantom or Pillet and see what they make of this weird thing, but I don't get reception down here. I'd have to fly all the way back up, and that could take entire minutes. And the hatch is right here.
>>
No. 958120 ID: 465a14

Pfff, caution, patience, fuck all of that nonsense, go right ahead.
>>
No. 958121 ID: 86eb65

Burrow around the area a little bit more before opening things. If this room does not have a tunnel attached to it or the ruins of one, then its some sort of long term storage that only a high powered person could access.

Once you check for entrances to the surface go ahead and open the door. You know you don't have the self control to wait.
>>
No. 958122 ID: e2f5cc

Think, yon gote! What if this is some sort of trap and you get merked so some other shmuck with less moral fiber than you gets all your power? Pillet will be pissed and you wont have super powers to save yourself with!

Call Pillet, be smart! A couple minutes up and back is a lot shorter than however long Pillet will keep you dead!
>>
No. 958123 ID: b07f1c

Pillet would say open it, Phantom would say get away from it.

You also can't fly away because there's a chance you wouldn't be able to find your way back with all the convoluted tunnels that you made.

Anyway, I think this may be the same energy growth chamber that Pillet used to grow the energy which you stole in the beginning.

Open up the kinder surprise. By spinning that wheel mind you.
>>
No. 958125 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158350847458.png - (209.44KB , 800x800 , 241.png )
958125

I know I don't have the self control to wait. Especially since I don't know if I could find my way back here easily. I open up the hatch.

>"Hello. Were you the one causing the tremors outside?"
"Uh yeah."
>"Okay. You must be new. Where is your mask?"
"I'm Delli. I'm not a mask wearer."
>"Oh."

>"Please leave."
"No."
>"What do you want, then?"
"What is this place?"
>"A library."
>>
No. 958127 ID: fa2754

>>958125
A library open only to Phantom's people? Ask if you can check out a book. Walk around anyways.
>>
No. 958129 ID: e2f5cc

>>958125
"Why is this place however many hundreds of feet below ground? Why are you all wearing masks? What does that sign behind you saying "Olley" mean?"

Of course if he starts giving you shit just flex your power.
>>
No. 958130 ID: 465a14

Eat the books. This will let you gain their power.
>>
No. 958131 ID: b07f1c

Tell them that you'd like to read Dynastic Towers by Van Quela.

Also, ask them how do they live down here. Do they get any visitors?
>>
No. 958132 ID: dbd72b

Let's keep things close to the vest, at first. What's stored here? What can they do to stop you? If they hesitate, do as you please. If they say "nothing"? Be careful. Phantom likes to play spy games, and the other gang leaders probably weren't really her friends.
>>
No. 958133 ID: 48ce40

"Why did it say "do not break" outside, and uhhh is it a problem there's kind of a crack-slash-dent in the side of this place now? Also how long have you been in here if you don't know who I am, I'm not being snotty or anything like I genuinely figured all you folks would know by now."
>>
No. 958134 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158351012962.png - (134.39KB , 800x800 , 242.png )
958134

"What do you guys do down here? Also how?"
>"We read and research. We don't eat or get visitors often, but we're all recluses down here, so it's okay. We also tend to the books, and the library. For instance, we'll be doing repairs on the outside since it sounds as though you may have hollowed out our surroundings some."
"Yeah I may've cracked the side when I ran into it. Why'd the outside say do not break, anyway?"
>"Many of the bookshelves reach to the wall. You'd be risking damaging or destroying lots of knowledge if you broke in. On behalf of our work and the authors whose work only exists here, thank you for not forcing your way in."
"Why's this so hidden anyway?"
>"Many books hold dangerous knowledge, some of which Phantom's rivals would not want. Or at least, that's how it was when this library was made."

>Eat books to gain their power
Maaaan if only it worked that way...

"Can I check out a book?"

She types, then I hear an instant message chime a moment later.

>"That may depend on the book."
"How about Dynastic Towers?"
>"Hmm... all of our copies are checked out, currently. Phantom says she could give you a copy herself, but she also questions if you have better things to do right now."
>>
No. 958135 ID: 465a14

No, indulging curiosity is the noblest pursuit of mankind. Also f*rries. What're the masks for?
>>
No. 958136 ID: e2f5cc

>>958134
"...Probably." But still take a quick walk/fly around to see if anything catches your eye.
>>
No. 958140 ID: b07f1c

Tell her to ask Phantom if she'd be ok with you sexing this nerd.

Other than that, check if there's any books on the short history of this city, or any books that teach on effective use of one's power.
>>
No. 958145 ID: fa2754

>>958134
You can pick up that book next time you meet phantom face-to-face. A book on how to train your power control would be appreciated. Let's get that and bounce. Let Pillet know about this pace.
>>
No. 958146 ID: 86eb65

So did you and the others here write all the books yourselves?

And what sort of knowledge would be considered dangerous?

Take a short tour of the library. It's good that this place exists. If it was not so secret it likely it would have gotten blown up at some point.

Let the librarian know you will keep there secret. Find out how to get back here properly though.
>>
No. 958149 ID: ad934e

I mean yes, but you've probably never seen a library this cool before. C'mon, at least ask when their hours are.
>>
No. 958151 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158351534436.png - (140.22KB , 800x800 , 243.png )
958151

"What sort of books are considered dangerous?"
>"I wouldn't know, I keep away from those."
"Well while you've got Phantom on the line, can you ask her if it's okay with me hitting on this nerd?"
>"What ner - Oh!"

Haha I got her riled up.

>"No I - that isn't appropriate. I've heard you were dating Pillet?"
"Yeah whatever she's probably cheating on me right now anyway. Why're you wearing that mask anyway?"
>"Phantom's gang is an entire team. We wear masks to remind us that our identities as individuals aren't as important as our part of the gang."
"So how come it's known as Phantom's Gang?"
>"Because the public misunderstood out name. We were the Gang of Phantoms, plural, not Phantom's Gang. That is most likely how Phantom lost her original name, too."
"Huh, okay. Well tell Phantom no, I really don't have anything better to do than indulge my curiosity."
>>
No. 958152 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158351535576.png - (230.13KB , 800x800 , 244.png )
958152

I float around and check out the books. There's a lot of people here on computers, typing up with a book in front of them. They might be digitizing books here for posterity, and that makes sense because I'm finding a lot of books that either look like they're going to explode into an atmospheric hazard if I touch them, or like they're more useful as an isolated petri dish of bacteria than as some kind of knowledge bank.
>>
No. 958153 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158351538962.png - (221.85KB , 800x800 , 245.png )
958153

While I'm looking, another one of Phantom's goons come running at me - oh that is Phantom. She must've flew here as soon as she could.

>"What are you doing here? Is it just because it's hidden that it appeals to you as some kind of forbidden fruit?"
"... Yeah?"
>"Ugh, it's just a library, like a personal project, it's not nearly as rivetting as it must be in your head."
"But look at all these books. I just found that this whole section is entirely devoted to book about training one's energy!"
>"There's a whole section of books like this in public libraries. Better ones, too, improved upon the books you see here!"
"Oh. Are there books on the history of the city?"
>"Yes, also in public libraries, like Dynastic Towers. That one takes the best of many books on the history of the town and distills it into a thorough outlook of our history, and even manages to make it sound like a story rather than a boring timeline of names and dates."
"You seem really uncomfortable with me here, you know."
>"This is a project I started in a past life, and you, a bomb, just rolled into the middle of it! Of course I'm nervous! How did you even find this place?"
"I just sort of dug down."
>"You did not come straight down."
"Well no I was curving around all over the place searching for cool stuff."
>"Cool stuff?! Like a library?"
"Forbidden secret library. We've been over this."
>"It's Olley's Memorial Library, Delli! You decided it was forbidden on your own!"
"I'm pretty sure the front desk secretary decided that."

That mask is not hiding her flustered face at all.
>>
No. 958155 ID: 465a14

Bully her into submission as you demand to know her innermost secrets.
>>
No. 958156 ID: 8d23f0

>>958153
get phantom to show you her favorite romance novel
>>
No. 958158 ID: 86eb65

Phantom you know I am not a crazy power mad idiot by now. I am not going to wreck your personal library or hurt anyone here or tell anyone about it.

Cept Pillet maybe? But now would be the time to bribe me if you want it totally secret.

Ask her how to get in the proper way in the future and show you around. It is a very nice little project she has here.

(If you make her give you a tour you can tell if she has secret stuff hidden here by watching her flustered levels as you move around the building.)
>>
No. 958159 ID: 86eb65

Oh wait ask who Olley is and why this is a memorial to them.
>>
No. 958160 ID: fa2754

>>958153
Remind her that blushing looks real good on her. Ask if she brought a copy of dynastic towers with her. She said herself that you have better things to be doing so if she wants to expedite this process she should have brought a copy for you. This place seems more like a preservation project than a library, honestly.
>>
No. 958161 ID: 48ce40

Maybe this is where she keeps her fanfiction.
>>
No. 958162 ID: e2f5cc

>[Pillet] is probably cheating on me right now
Oof. You sure your relationship is healthy? Or is sleeping around just kind of a side effect of being immortal?

Anyways yes bully the Phantom but not too much since you do want to keep her at least more or less on your good side.
>>
No. 958163 ID: 91ee5f

>>958153
Ask if she’s got any books on the keys and the fog? There’s gotta be a reason someone designed an off switch for the whole immortality thing.
>>
No. 958164 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158351899380.png - (143.09KB , 800x800 , 246.png )
958164

"What makes you think I'm going to wreck your personal library?"
>"Nothing, but nothing makes me think you won't either."
"Well I won't. So who's Olley?"
>"I don't know, no one remembers."
"So..."
>"Yes, it's ironic, I know."
"How about a tour. You can show me your favorite romance novel!"
>"I don't have high opinions of that stuff."
"Hm."
>"But if you insist... fine, a tour, but don't we have more important things to do? The auction is still going on, and our anonymous contact of course got riled up that we tried to follow him."
"Huh? I've been letting Pillet deal with that..."
>"Well all of your trackers were found, and a couple of my spies were spotted."
"Right, did you find anything about them?"
>"Not really. He chose Pillet the first to up the bid, so she did just before I left for here."
"Oh, okay."
>"You sound oddly disinterested in the keys."
"They aren't going anywhere, Pillet's on the job probably and right now I'm in your cool library."
>"Thanks."
"Huh?"
>"For calling it... nevermind."
"Blushing looks good on you, you know."
>"I am not blushing!"
"Mhm."
>>
No. 958166 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158351907629.png - (160.48KB , 800x800 , 247.png )
958166

>"Are you... are you hitting on me? Aren't you and Pillet dating?"
"Yeah and if I slept with another girl she'd pat me on the back and say good going! Yeah but like I told your secretary, she's probably cheating on me right now anyway so it's okay."
>"Gods, she is such a bad influence... or were you always like this? I'm going to ignore why in town you would tell your secretary that, but is your relationship with Pillet at all healthy?"
"You care?"
>"I'm... conflicted, about it."
"Well rest assured that I'm not dating Pillet for my health, Phantom! I can't think of anything about that girl that's healthy."
>"No kidding... but then... really, are you okay with that, if she does it? Or is it just because she'd be okay with you doing it?"
"Whenever I think about who she's cheating on me with, my mental image is her and Soletta and that's pretty hot."
>"That's enough, I'm sorry I cared! I don't mind a quick tour I guess, but I've never given one before. It's just historical books."
"Seems like a preservation project."
>"It's that, too."
"I'd like to see books on the keys and the fog."
>"That's dangerous knowledge, Delli, for you. Because I don't think you're a scholar, you're going to read a little bit of the books for awhile, get bored, and leave with only a little knowledge on the topic but with all the power to experiment with it."
"And that's dangerous how?"
>"It's dangerous in the same way that it's dangerous to try to make explosives with only a little bit of knowledge on how to make them. It's safer to know either as much as possible, or nothing at all. That's especially true on this topic, where there's so much misinformation."
>>
No. 958167 ID: 465a14

Study her hips and titties then.
>>
No. 958168 ID: 86eb65

"Well you had better point me in the right direction then!"

"So how long have you been in Haze Town?" (don't mention just yet that you might be old enough to have been here since day one.)

"Honestly Phantom if you want me to not use the keys you should teach me as much as possible so I can make a educated choice on the matter."

Chat with her and find out what sort of neat research she has done on things.
>>
No. 958195 ID: fa2754

>>958168
It's a fair point to see if either of you have the time and patience to learn more about her stance about the keys.
>>
No. 958200 ID: b07f1c

Tell her that you got her to guard you from misinformation and that if there would be anyone who you'd trust to be able to give you a proper synopsis of things, it would be her. Besides, her spying endeavors are on pause right now and this place looks cozy (and private) enough for you to put her on your lap and rub her ears while she reads you stuff.
>>
No. 958203 ID: b1b4f3

>>958166
Ask her if there's any cool forbidden knowledge that wouldn't be dangerous in your hands.
>>
No. 958204 ID: ad934e

That's true. But hey, when you get all the keys you're going to want to be a friggin' consummate expert in this stuff. Maybe ask to see her favorites, and ask if any of her employees would be willing to at least write a review or something of the most important parts and biggest misconceptions.
>>
No. 958206 ID: c2f1f6

Could you quickly reassess how completely irresponsible you think I am? I'm already plenty dangerous on my own and I haven't wrecked anything. Not even your secret forbidden library!

I'm thinking that's not the whole truth though, if a figurative botched chemistry experiment went off in my face it'd be good for you 'cause I'd be dead and my power would become untethered!
>>
No. 958207 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158352749103.png - (242.86KB , 800x800 , 248.png )
958207

"How long've you been in Haze Town?"
>"At least 5 lifetimes plus this one. It's too blurry beyond that."
"Wow, uh, that's some kind of memory record."
>"It's not, if you have the resources to help you remember each time. I wish I could remember farther, still. How far back do you remember?"
"One. I think. Maybe more but they blur together? I never thought much about my own rebirths."
>"Hm. If you die repeatedly in a single lifetime, it does make it more difficult, so that makes sense. And you are death prone."
"What's that supposed to mean?" Phantom pauses for a second when I say that.
>"I found out that just before you got Pillet's power cluster, you picked a fight at the vending machine. It's not a stretch in logic to think that people who pick fights like that are death prone, right? Just how many times have you died since you were born?"
"You know what that's enough on that! That was past me, new me is a powerhouse! One that's hardly blown anything up since I blew you up! Maybe it's time to reassess how irresponsible I am?"
>"... I'll try."
"Okay, then point me in the right direction to learn about keys. If you want me to not use the keys, you should teach me as much as possible, unless you don't think the educated choice is the right choice?"
>"I think you'd be better off learning how to be good manager, since you have the effective power to be in charge."
"I left Pillet in charge of that."
>"That's incredibly irresponsible. Is there really nothing else you want to study? You must find the study of at least one topic enjoyable. I can help you with just about anything."
"Maybe if there's other forbidden knowledge, that's less dangerous!"
>"Such as?"
"Such as your hips and tits!"
>"Oh my god."
"And you sure can help with that!" I wink.
>"Fine. If it distracts you from half-assedly studying keys... follow me."

I think she's joking, but she actually turns around and walks. I play along, but there's no joking as she leads me to some dark, forgotten corners of the library, and the worse the lighting gets the sleazier I start feeling.

"Phantom, you know I wasn't serious? You don't have to - "
>"Here."
>>
No. 958208 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158352751507.png - (225.14KB , 800x800 , 249.png )
958208

She hands a book to me.

>"This is an anatomy book. It's not much, but it should tell you want you want to know."

Even with her mask she can't keep a straight face, because she fucks up and lets out a snrk.

"... you god damned sassy little rabbit, you got me."
>"Ha, ha. Really, take it. It's not an anatomy book, I was joking. It's a list of hypothesis on what the keys could be and where they came from."
"Just hypothesese?"
>"It'll give you a good idea about how little is really known about them and how many guesses exist. It's an okay foundation for what to expect in your studies, if you're serious about this."
"What else you got?"
>"Right now, you'll have to take more by force. When you're done with that book, I'll quiz you on it. If you pass, I'll give you more options for new books, and quizzes on those will unlock more. Oh, and Dynastic Towers will be extra credit. We can make a little game of it. Is that okay?"
>>
No. 958209 ID: 465a14

Bite it, Delli. How do you know that isn't how it works? You haven't checked since you became the big strong guy. And goats can eat anything.
>>
No. 958210 ID: e2f5cc

Well, not with that mask still on, lookin' like it was made out of a paper plate.

But yeah, might as well play along. It will help build up rapport with her, and as much as I'd love to perform strip quiz you are actually here to learn things, and you can surely bargain for a date if you get everything right.
>>
No. 958211 ID: 86eb65

"Yeah that sounds fun actually. And will be a good way to grade my attention span."

"Honestly though from what you are telling me all these books are just people pondering on what they keys do via study right? So no hard answers just lots of thoughts?"

"Also what prize do I get if I pass your quiz?" Then give her a half suggestive leer.

Tell her your earliest memory of Haze town and see if she has any idea how long ago that was in comparison to her.
>>
No. 958212 ID: ad934e

This is literally exactly what you want.

Also being a manager sounds kind of good but like, the cool manager that just makes sure people don't murder each other while everyone does what they're good at. Look, you're new at this, they all know you are. But now that you're here, you might at least try to be a little better at it. Whatever "it" is.
>>
No. 958216 ID: b07f1c

Tell her you didn't really use to get much opportunity to read in your current life so... it seems more interesting than blowing stuff up at this point.

Also, does that mean you can't borrow her ears while you read? It would help you concentrate!
>>
No. 958219 ID: 8d23f0

>>958208
"so your saying I should take you by force then Phantom?" if she can gotcha you you can gotcha her right back
>>
No. 958221 ID: b1b4f3

>>958208
Sure.
>>
No. 958222 ID: c2f1f6

Playing games and taking by force, damn and I was supposed to be the flirty one. I will concede and take up your threats of a good time. Do I need a library card?
>>
No. 958223 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158353141705.png - (136.53KB , 800x800 , 250.png )
958223

"So I should take you by force then, huh?"
>"I'm afraid every time you say something like that, because I'm afraid that one of these days, it won't be a joke."
"Eesh. Yeah, I'll play along with the book game thing. Do I get any other prizes for passing your quiz?"
>"The more you show restraint for me, the easier it'll be to reassess you. So whether or not it's a prize depends on how much you care about my esteem."

>Are you sure you can't eat books for their power
>Bite it
>Goats can eat anything
>>
No. 958224 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158353148715.png - (169.70KB , 800x800 , 251.png )
958224

>"Just so you know, that book is the original version hand written by the author himself, over two centuries ago after lifetimes of study. My esteem for you is building slowly, but it is building, and your teeth are half a centimeter away from losing all of it."
>>
No. 958225 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158353155191.png - (125.51KB , 800x800 , 252.png )
958225

I pull the book back out.

"Okay okay. This is by far the most disgusting tasting paper I've ever had anyway. Hey, I'm curious how far back I can remember and the most distant memory I I have was hanging out at an unpopulated vending machine."
>"An unpopular vending machine?"
"Yeah I can't remember the name of it, but it only served really shitty coffee and artificial food, neither of which gave energy. So no one really cared, but me and some pals hang around it. I remember it being really cold, and I might've been playing hookey or something? I guess that's not much to go off of, now that I said it."
>"It's not, but I think I know those. It served coffee at a temperature so high that you had to wait like half an hour before you could even drink it?"
"Yeah!"
>"Right. They disappeared about thirty years ago, when Splicer made artificially supplied vending machines illegal. But, they were around for a long time, so if you don't remember anything else, then all we can say is that you remember at least thirty years back."
"Oh, okay. That's not far at all, huh. So I guess that's it. Should I get a library card or something?"
>"No, I'll have books taken back and delivered to you directly. Is there anything else you want while you're here?"
"Can I rub your ears again?"
>"I have things to do."
>>
No. 958227 ID: ad934e

Maybe apologize about the "by force" comment. You're (1) used to being completely pathetic so that isn't really anything people could take seriously, and (2) used to pillet, who is pillet, and you probably don't need to elaborate on that re: bad influences
>>
No. 958228 ID: b07f1c

Oh well. Tell her that you'd want to check the section on energy because you'd like to find out if there's any way to use your energy to learn faster. Unless she knows it's not possible, in which case you're ok with leaving.

It was nice seeing her cute self again.
>>
No. 958229 ID: 8d23f0

>>958225
but are they more important then the pride and accomplishment of having wonderful ears? its not like I am here to distract you while Pillet raids all the energy or something crazy like that
>>
No. 958230 ID: e2f5cc

"But do you have better things to do?"
>>
No. 958231 ID: c2f1f6

fffine, only because that by force comment is still fresh. Are you operating any other underground facilities I ought to know about?
>>
No. 958232 ID: cdabe3

>>958227
Yeah, maybe apologize

Also, thirty years? is that okay? are we okay?
>>
No. 958238 ID: 86eb65

"What is the proper way to come down here? I do not want to be leaving tunnels everywhere or accidentally damaging your library."

"Also what is your advice for dealing with the key bandits? I know either one of us want the other to have it but we are also not going to let them get strong on months of our food stores. I am going to attempt to be as subtle as possible but push come to shove things are likely to get blown up."

"You know while I do like Pillet I am not her. I don't know what will happen if I use all the keys but maybe its better than living in a fog where 30 years passed like a day. "

"But life could be good here if people like me did not have to live in a haze and be killed on the drop of the hat because someone tried to steal there food."

Head on out and either loop around a bit looking for more secrets or head back home to read.
>>
No. 958241 ID: e7848c

That is not a direct no.. regardless, let's head out for now. Thank her for humoring you.
>>
No. 958243 ID: afdebc

Phantom is a cute librarian nerd!

>aren't you dating Pillet
She didn't object when we hit on Phantom right in front of her. As I recall, she egged it on.

>book on management
>leaving it to Pillet is bad
Haze town was pretty shitty under the gangs, and while Pillet has talent for... being a rebel leader, she really hasn't shown a talent for making life not suck for people. If you want life to not suck for the non-super-powered people, like you used to be, maybe that would be a good thing to read?

You don't have to be a master bureaucrat to learn how to avoid some obvious mistakes, at least.

>>"I have things to do."
Ears and things, and rubbing them is a thing to do!

Yeah, okay. Sorry for busting into your library. Was hoping to stumble across our blackmailer's secret base, didn't think I would stumble across one of yours.
...actually, come to think of it, you and the gangs probably have a lot more secret bases than our mystery person, if I just search randomly.
>>
No. 958244 ID: b1b4f3

Hmm, maybe she can give you an area to search?
>>
No. 958245 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158353945503.png - (149.98KB , 800x800 , 253.png )
958245

"Are they better things, beyond the the pride and accomplishment from having great ears?"
>"Thank you, but yes, I strive for things better than my ears."
"And it's not like I'm distracting you from Pillet raiding everyone for their energy!"
>"Why did you need to distract her?"
"Huh? Wait has she actually been doing that?"
>"Yes?! Who do you think she is? I haven't complained because it's not like she's going around maiming random civilians on the street, but she's been picking off a lot of smaller gangs. Every day I hope she bites off more than she can chew gets killed."
"Damn, that's my girlfriend you're talking about."
>"And even if you're not Pillet, her amount of influence right now is alarming."
"If you say so. Oh before I forget, I'm looking for books on how to control my own energy."
>"Hrm..... Try 'You and Yourself'. You don't need my library for that, you can find it in the main town."
"Did you hesitate to tell me even that?"
>"Yes. I'm giving you advice on how to get stronger despite how we're enemies. You do remember that, can you?"
"I forget it while hanging out with you. Hey, how do I get to this place properly anyway?"
>"... I... I'll tell you if you study well. Until then, I'm just going to deliver your books to you."
"Hah okay well sorry for busting into your library. Apparently if I search randomly, I'll be finding all sorts of gang leader hideouts. So do I need to study well to get your advice on dealing with the key bandits?"
>"I'm not giving you advice on that. What part of 'we're enemies' don't you get?"

She takes my wrist and leads me away. I'd crack a joke, and it's not like she gave me a 'no' on rubbing the ears, but...
>>
No. 958246 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158353946736.png - (184.93KB , 800x800 , 254.png )
958246

"Uh, hey, sorry about the bad jokes. I'm used to being so pathetically weak that no one can take me seriously. Definitely not used to power."
>"But now you are in power, and your perspective I and the other original gang leaders lost means you should know better. You know what it's like to have someone extraordinarily more powerful than you make demands. You know how little it matter whether or not they're joking, because they get to hurt you based than the impression you left on them. You know how worthless your own feelings are when you're too powerless to stand up for them."
"... You know, this is the second time today I've felt bad for this crap, but you know how to drill it home."
>"I'm relieved you have the conscience needed to feel bad about it, and I hope that for as long as possible, it stays that way. I don't dare hope it'll last forever. I believe your power is going to change you for the worse. You certainly don't take your position seriously."
"Hey, that's not fair - "
>"Don't you dare tell me you take your position seriously until you put on some pants.

She led me to a hatch, and she opens it now.

>"This leads directly into the fog. After you, please."
>>
No. 958250 ID: b1b4f3

Wait a minute, you didn't leave the keys in your pants pocket did you?

>into the fog
Do you really need to leave that way? You can just go out the way you came in.
...would you lose the keys if you went into the fog?
>>
No. 958252 ID: b07f1c

Oh, oops! Cover your groin. Ask her why she didn't warn you sooner!

Thank her for her time, and off you go. And get that "You and Yourself" book on the way back to Pillet from some library.
>>
No. 958253 ID: c2f1f6

Something gives me the impression she won't follow you at all.

Alright then, here's a question- if everybody comes back from death anyway, what's there to take seriously? Life goes on no matter what disasters befall us, but here not even individuals are lost. If I die, someone else will gain my power and to 90% of people that will mean no difference at all.

Fall over backward into the hatch while blowing a kiss. You don't even need to wait for a response if you don't want to hear it!
>>
No. 958255 ID: 86eb65

Check for secret murder blender.

Ask how you should come back in the future. Sure she will be delivering books but you do not want to keep cracking the walls with your nose.
>>
No. 958256 ID: ad934e

Point taken. Try to pay better attention to your phrasing. And definitely remember the power corrupts thing, it's absolutely not just a saying.

She isn't being totally fair to you. After all, if you hadn't pushed for it, she probably wouldn't have come out on Valentine's day. But she seems to tend towards being scared as hell of everything, be it being weak despite enormous sprawling gang resources, losing immortality, or other stuff, so it's probably good if you tell her you'll lay off and try to pay more attention to other people's perceptions of you.
>>
No. 958257 ID: ad934e

Also maybe tell her to call you out if you start to act excessively like a dick. Or if she's afraid to, tell pillet to do it since she definitely won't hesitate to talk shit to you.
>>
No. 958258 ID: 0fae41

As chummy as we might be acting, it's worth getting a second opinion on where that hatch leads. Ladies first!
>>
No. 958262 ID: afdebc

>>958250
It's fine, I think? He ran into the fog a few times here. >>958108 It just warps you back.

>Pillet killing gangs
Hmm. Maybe you should talk to her about that. Which gangs is she picking off, and why? Do they deserve it?

>I believe your power is going to change you for the worse.
Did you think it changed you for the worse, when you were in power?
>>
No. 958272 ID: 10c408

"As your enemy who holds most of the power in this town, I'd argue that my increasingly destructive boredom and immortality is precisely why the fog must go."

Down the hatch, Delli.
>>
No. 958281 ID: a9af05

>>958246
You really should find out what exactly you can do with your powers.
>>
No. 958347 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158360392503.png - (147.05KB , 800x800 , 255.png )
958347

I check to make sure I was at least wearing my boxers. No one's called me out on not wearing pants since I took them off. My keys are still safely tucked in under my shirt, too.

"What's there to take seriously when we don't die?"
>"Because it still takes effort to live well! I thought you'd know this."
"As the enemy that holds almost all the power in town, maybe my destructive boredom and immortality is a reason why the fog's got to go."

I look down. It is just fog, there's no secret murder blender, not like that'd be much of a threat now.

"Oh, uh, one more question. Did power change you for the worse, do you think?"
>"Of course it did, but it's not like I was a hero to begin with. That was Splicer."
"... Splicer? That asshole that messed with me and tried to bribe me with food to give up or something?"
>"I'd say one and the same, but he used to be the closest thing this town had to a people's hero. He's changed the most. Then again, when he confronted you, he spent so long not killing you that he must still have a soft heart."
"Oh?"
>"That's a tale for another time. Please go."
"Ladies first?"

She pauses.

>"Ladies first." She gestures at me to go in.
"That's the spirit. Call me out if I'm being a dick, okay?"

I fall backwards through it.
>>
No. 958348 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158360397121.png - (179.00KB , 800x800 , 256.png )
958348

Once I pick up the book she recommended, I get back to base.

>"You were gone for awhile! Find something cool?" asks Pillet.
"Phantom's secret library."
>"Oh shit, I started doubting that it existed. You know how to get there?"
"Kind of? Phantom said she'd tell me how to get there after after 'studying well'. Uh I'll tell you later. Have you been going around beating up gangs, Pillet?"
>"Hell yeah! Before you get all conscientious objector on me, they're basically a buncha upstart dicks trying to fill in a power vacuum that doesn't exist."
"Cool. So find anything out the auctioneers, Pillet?"
>"Not yet!"
"Not so easy, huh?"
>"Shut your mouth, I did capture someone. There was one tracker that got visible, and it's because someone was a traitor. They grabbed a huge backpack full of candy from the crate and fled, and it just so happened they grabbed one with the tracker in it. So we stole it all back and kidnapped him, but now he wants a huge price to spill the beans on who's behind this."
>>
No. 958350 ID: 86eb65

Yeah sure lets go take a look at him. If his info is solid we can drown him in food.
>>
No. 958353 ID: b07f1c

I thought Phantom said that they removed all the trackers.

>him
Eh. Is he cute?
>>
No. 958354 ID: 8d23f0

>>958348
give him 2 crates of food or an energy blast to the face. next time he respawns you can just pick him up and offer the same deal
>>
No. 958358 ID: 214cda

Flat out ask her if she'd be mad with you sexing up Phantom if you got the chance.
>>
No. 958359 ID: 015bf2

>>958348
Could be a secondary extortion racket. Pay ‘em off and put better-hidden trackers on the second payoff. Tell Phantom’s people, too, get some spies on this guy when they abscond with their prize. If they’re legit, we get to know more about our key kidnapper, if they’re not, we take the food back and put this guy in house arrest with only a bunch of really hard puzzles for entertainment. If they start solving ‘em all with no trouble we know they’re s mastermind type. Or a puzzle addict.
>>
No. 958361 ID: 91ee5f

>>958348
Phantom said that this power is gonna change me for the worse. Do you think I’m gonna turn into an asshole?
>>
No. 958366 ID: b1b4f3

>>958348
Hey ask her how much sex she's been having while you're away. You wanna hear some details.
>>
No. 958369 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158361037038.png - (81.67KB , 800x800 , 257.png )
958369

"Okay let me go meet this guy."
>"Sure." She leads me to an elevator. We're high up, and apparently he's all the way down at the subground levels.
"Phantom told me they removed all the trackers."
>"One on accident apparently! So getting chummy with Phantom, are you?"
"Yeah uh... I think we could've been friends at least if we weren't in such a weird rivalry."
>"Nice. Too bad she's such a scheming little thing. Be sure she's not manipulating you, yeah?"
"I don't think she is. You know, I think she's scared. Of everything."
>"Yeah. The higher the tower, the longer the fall, and that girl's got a fear of heights. You made her fall badly, but left her high enough to be able to fall again."
"Yeahhh about high towers, she told me this power's going to change me for the worse. Do you think I'm going to turn into an asshole?"
>"Yeah, probably."
"Oh... you, too, huh."
>"Yeah, that's part of why I want your power. I'm immune to turning bad, because I already am the biggest bitch in town. You, though, you're at your best as a mid-level, captain level fighter."

I just realized this could've gone faster if I just jumped out the window.

>"Don't be so down about it. I'm shielding you from the worst of it by doing your grunt work for you, so stay light hearted."
"I still don't know what exactly is going to turn me into an asshole."
>"I wouldn't know, but I bet some of it's because no one likes the guy at the top. Everyone looks at you scornfully, and because you still give a shit, that'll weigh on you over time. Maybe Phantom fell hard enough that she can be liked again. You know, this might be a transformative time for her, so be nice to her."
"Yeah but I mean it's not like I'm gonna bang her."
>"Haha I didn't say anything about banging her, you nerd. There something you wanna tell me?"
"No, I just blurted it out because I'm a perverted fuck. I doubt she'd sleep with me even if I wanted. Wait would you even be mad if I did?"
>"Fuck no man, live it up while you're alive."
"Have you been having sex?"
>"Soletta's the secretary, what do you think? Shit, do you even remember who I am?"
>>
No. 958370 ID: e2f5cc

>>958369
"A rebel leader, right? Something along those lines at least."

And while I can't blame Pillet for tapping Soletta's ass the least she could do is invite us. Or like, record it.
>>
No. 958371 ID: b1b4f3

>>958369
Tell her you need a detailed report.
>>
No. 958372 ID: 8d23f0

>>958369
"69 nice" soon."the host of game night?"
>>
No. 958373 ID: b07f1c

I guess we could call this an open relationship.

Did you bring your book with you? You should read it while sitting in the room with the prisoner. Just to make him nervous haha.
>>
No. 958374 ID: fa2754

>>958369
One hell of a firecracker.
>>
No. 958375 ID: c2f1f6

I don't remember a bunch of stuff apparently, but I always suspected.
>>
No. 958379 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158361595820.png - (120.10KB , 800x800 , 258.png )
958379

"I don't remember a lot of things, apparently. Some kind of intense firecracker that's never gone out."
>"You're goddamn right."
"Do me a favor and record it."
>"I do, nerd. Sometimes. Enough times. Whatever. Check your email."
"I guess we could call it an open relationship."
>"The second it's not, we're going to have to have one of those serious talks couples have or whatever."

I start reading You and Yourself the rest of the way. Pillet shows me to a holding cell with the guy inside.

>"Oh, you're finally here."
"Yeah. For your information, I'll either offer two crates of food or a blast to the face."
>"'Scuse me? You sayin' my information ain't worth shit? Don't treat me like some schmuck that thinks that two crates of food is a fortune, because I know for a real fact that for you, supplying two crates to know who's behind this is nothin'. Get serious."
>>
No. 958381 ID: 0fae41

Really? All it took to get you to betray them before was a backpack full of snickers.
Two food crates, or we include you in the next ante.
>>
No. 958382 ID: 8d23f0

>>958379
how much do you think is reasonable then? for that matter how much do you think I have. prepare for blasting.
>>
No. 958383 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158361677469.png - (128.00KB , 800x800 , 259.png )
958383

"So you'd betray your guys for a backpack full of chocolate bars, but now you're acting like you're above two crates?"
>"That's right."
"How much are you asking?"
>"Now we're talking. 8 crates of food. 4 right away plus some cash so I can rent a truck to carry it off. Then I'll tell you what you wanna know, then you drop off the rest of the crates for me."
>>
No. 958385 ID: b07f1c

How would we know that what you're gonna tell us is true?
>>
No. 958386 ID: 48ce40

This guy doesn't expect any threats you make to have any backing, obviously. Sort of a good thing for the city if you have all the power and no-one fears you, but, eeeh, it's getting in your way right now.
>>
No. 958387 ID: c2f1f6

...He'd betray his guys for a backpack of chocolate bars, and he expects us to give him food and money BEFORE he gives the information? You know what, just let him sit there until he understands his negotiating position. You're not impatient enough to ask Pillet to cut his nutsack yet.
>>
No. 958388 ID: 015bf2

>Phantom getting some love from the people back after her fall.
From what you saw in the secret library, she might've never lost it, at least from nerd-members of her gang - and she was real overly protective of the place. Might've been her sanity spot.

Still, 's fair she gets a fair shake back. We're the ones being the villains, anyway. A crude and caprine-ious overlord and his beloved hench-Moriarty-ess... or somesuch.

>Remember who I am?
Weeeellll... you think, but your memory is shot as all hell, so, y'know, maybe you don't as well as you think you do? The oldest, foggiest memory you've got is hanging at an artificial vending machine that served cold non-empowering coffee. Like, about, maybe, 1x life ago? Thirty years back, at least?

Which, uh... how long have you actually known each other? How much does Pillet remember? Phantom says she can recall about five lifetimes and that's with a fair amount of help and prep.

See, crap like that is why the immortality business has to go - you're not even functionally immortal if the years just drag by and you forget everything! Plus the whole the way things are set up letting a goof being in charge because they accidentally too powerful'd. You're still on board, is what you're saying.

Say, Pillet. Is remembering a ton something that's providing you extra incentive to keep fighting? Is it the fact that you forget the reasons why you started doing something why all the power eventually gets to your head?

... like, how did Splicer 'turn bad'? Way Phantom was talking, he was a folk hero at some point. People change, you get that, but, like, it shouldn't be impossible for someone to have and stick with principles.

If anything, Pillet's HELLA sticking to her principles, and has been for a long while.
>>
No. 958389 ID: 8d23f0

>>958383
go back to discuss with pillet and ask her why she thought 8 crates was unreasonable. Counter offer to work for you under Pillet +2 crates and once the key is found 6 more, that way he doesn't need the truck or to risk getting mobbed by random people on hte street for the crates or Phantom's gang abducting him
>>
No. 958390 ID: afdebc

>>958383
Give him a (non-fatal) blast to the face, then agree.

When he complains, point out he now knows you keep your promises.
>>
No. 958391 ID: e2f5cc

No. you'll give him 4 crates and some money on the spot for the info or you'll just have to come in there and personally rip off his hands and feet then cauterizing the stumps so they wont heal up. And if he gets the bright idea to off himself to respawn, well, it's not like he'll have the chance with the people watching him, and if you so happen to catch wind of this, well, his eyes and ears will be next.

Good thing is though, the worst thing you'll have to do is remove a hand, since he'll talk easily. Might even be able to get away with "doing things slow" and just breaking some fingers.

Also, this is 110% a play from Phantom to see how quickly you'll abuse your power, so while you need to show you aren't completely just going to fuck around with your power, but also not give Phantom a reason to distrust you.
>>
No. 958392 ID: ac10e5

"You are vastly overestimating my attention span. Let's just go with 5 and the truck and we never see each other again. You aren't the only guy I need to deal with right now."
>>
No. 958393 ID: 015bf2

>>958383
Ah. Haggling. Raising stakes. You can play this game.

He can have 8 crates, which he can access here whenever he wants. You'll be his candy bank, and you'll allow a max withdrawal of half a crate per week, meaning he comes here and fetches 'em. If he's gonna 'tray his group, he 'trays 'em good and proper, alright?

Or he can have 2 crates, some cash and a promise to get Pillet off his ass. She hunts gangs who get too overpowered, so if he runs off with 8 crates and makes a gang, she'll hunt his ass down for the joy of it.

A 2 crate gang, though? Probably alright. You're literally having his best interests in mind here.
>>
No. 958394 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158361947981.png - (190.31KB , 800x800 , 260.png )
958394

"How do we know you won't be lying?"
>"I was in the group so I already know shit, that girl knows it, and I already betrayed them anyway just by leaving so why would I lie?"
"Maybe I'll just leave you in there until you understand your own position in bargaining."
>"Yeah, and when I get bored and you're still jerking me around, I'll blow myself up!"

Oh yeah, unless there's a way to totally block anyone's energy, they can just off themselves. Torture can't even be used as a bluff. And that's what it'd be. I don't even think Pillet would torture people.

>"I know you want my information more than you're letting on!"

Hm, then again, I'm starting to realize I don't know Pillet well at all. I feel like I've known her for a long time, and I probably have, but I just can't remember any details before the power cluster incident.

>"Why're you gawking at me, huh?"
"Oh, sorry, zoned out. Anyway I keep my promises."
>"Huh?"

I open the door, because I mentioned he either gets 2 crates or a blast to the face.

>"Where the hell are your pan - "

I give him the blast.
>>
No. 958395 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158361949258.png - (154.12KB , 800x800 , 261.png )
958395

For a second I thought I forgot what a 'non-lethal' blast was and killed him, but he's fine.

>"Fuck! Ugh, fine, two crates! It's Finnigin."
"What?" Oh that worked better than expected.
>"Finnigin! I work for Finnigin!"

Pillet taps me.

>"Gang leader? Spikes on the back of his head? Looks pissed off constantly? Kinda like this guy actually. Seems like Fishface is trying to climb back up his tower."
"Oh yeah that guy."
>"How bad have you forgotten things, damn?"
"No that's just because I never cared about him."
>"Hey!" Our prisoner speaks up again. "Can I get some bandages to go with those crates? I still want rental money too."
>>
No. 958396 ID: 465a14

Yeah sure.
>>
No. 958397 ID: 8d23f0

>>958395
well the thing about abusing power is you easily start abusing others so helping the people you hurt in the path to getting what you want is important. give him what he wants except the rental.
>>
No. 958398 ID: c2f1f6

Oh would it kill you to say please?
>>
No. 958399 ID: cdabe3

>>958397
This
>>
No. 958400 ID: afdebc

>Can I get some bandages to go with those crates? I still want rental money too.
Yeah, no prob. Go make some friends you won't feel like betraying over candy.

>"How bad have you forgotten things, damn?"
Dunno. Do you remember how we met?
>>
No. 958401 ID: 48ce40

"I did say 2 crates OR a blast, but I guess I'm generous."
>>
No. 958404 ID: b07f1c

Ok but, how would a little bit of food help him obtain this goal? Also, doesn't he know what happens if gives us the key?
>>
No. 958407 ID: b1b4f3

>>958395
Stop being a jerkass to this guy and give him a decent reward.
>>
No. 958410 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158362142327.png - (165.18KB , 800x800 , 262.png )
958410

"Okay whatever. Pillet get him his stuff."
>"Okay guy, 4th level basement, tell 'em Pillet sent you."
"Hey what do you even want the food for anyway?"
>"So that I don't halfta be at the bottom of the food chain all the time!" he says, which makes sense, and he runs off.

I turn to Pillet.

"So where were we?"
>"I know a couple secret hideouts of Finn's, but if he's got half a brain he's picked up and moved out of those. And he's got about half a brain, so it's a coin toss."
"Hey here's an odd question. Do you remember how we met?"
>"You were a farmer. I was a raider. We fought a lot, haha. Remember anything about that?"
"... not even a little. Does not even sound familiar."
>>
No. 958411 ID: ac10e5

Man it's just truck rental money, give it to the guy. And yeah, bandages are good.
>>
No. 958413 ID: ac10e5

Dude, try to think up how to farm. Farming things. Tools you'd use, things you'd want to do at what times, how different plants do things. Is there even any farming knowledge there whatsoever?

Still, it's Pillet. She's been a real help and also your GF. Even if she's lying her ass off it's not like you're going to just turncoat on her.
>>
No. 958414 ID: afdebc

>>958410
Try to remember if you know anything about being a farmer. Do you think you could keep any plants alive if you had to?
>>
No. 958416 ID: b1b4f3

>>958410
Ask Pillet how long ago that was, and how many times she thinks you've died since then.
>>
No. 958421 ID: e7848c

Delli, horny goat weed farmer extraordinaire. That's your forgotten legacy.
>>
No. 958427 ID: b07f1c

Everyone seems to have better memory than you. Fighting Pillet... Phantom was right, you really are death-prone lol

Eh, does that mean you have to go out and check these hideouts? Can't Pillet's lackeys do it? I'd prefer reading these books first.
>>
No. 958430 ID: 015bf2

>>958410
Heh, sounds like you'd resent the crap out of her for that - unless it ended up being one of those neat rivalries where she stole and you chased and a good ol' time was had by all from the break from serf-like boredom.

Or not. Perhaps better for her that you don't remember. Still sucks you can't, but them's the breaks in this rum ol' world. Sounds like it was a ways back, though. She can remember far?

You should probably go clear Finn's old hideyholes from the bucket list and put Pillet on figuring out where he might've gone with all half of his brain.
>>
No. 958439 ID: 86eb65

Don't be to huge a dick to the guy you just blasted. A bit of slapping around is ok but if you start doing that to much woops there you go being a evil dick.

All he wanted was not to be like you before you got stronk. Remember the little people Delli cause if you get got you will be one of them again.

So give him a bit extra.

Then ask Pillet what you farmed.
>>
No. 958441 ID: a9af05

>>958410
If Finn is so desperate to get back on top that he's shoveling all this food in his mouth, the only thing he'll end up doing is making himself fat. Unless he's been burning off energy to keep himself thin, which is what Pillet did on Valentine's when she was eating a bunch of chocolate.

If he's been burning off energy like that, then it would be pretty noticeable if he's been shooting off into the sky. So since we haven't seen energy blasts randomly flying into the sky, it's safe to say that he's hiding underground somewhere.
>>
No. 958442 ID: a9af05

>>958439
>Give him extra.
Only if he gives us a location on where to look. If he doesn't have a location, then he doesn't get any extra.
>>
No. 958446 ID: e2f5cc

Delli, My man. You do realize that what Pillet means by "We fought a lot" is "I killed you a bunch" and more than likely gave you her number as some sort of disrespect. And you absolutely know her well enough not to give her the benefit of the doubt on that sort of thing.

And to go a step further, has she done anything even remotely romantic towards you? Sex doesn't count what with the casualness she treats it, and her basically deciding your relationship is open without the serious talk such a thing should require also is a decent bit concerning, no matter if you were ultimately okay with it. (Even though you didn't 100% seem to be, at least not with how it came up.)
>>
No. 958448 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158363394804.png - (103.98KB , 800x800 , 263.png )
958448

"Hmmm."
>"What?"
"I'm trying to think of how to farm. Farming things. See if there's any memory about it still in me."
>"And? Think you could keep plants alive?"
"I could... water... them? Yeah no it's gone. Didn't I resent you for raiding my crops? Did you just end up killing me a lot?"
>"Are you kidding? You chased us off, you were scary as fuck! We had numbers though so we still could hit you, but we also let you regrow and thrive enough to keep going. The other farms are the ones who burned down your horny goat weed and completely ruined your business before taking over your land."
"... I did not grow horny goat weed."
>"How would you know with your fucked up memory!" She's laughing, but she has a point. She's probably lying about that, but I don't think she'd lie about the whole thing in general. "Hey, when's your last memory of me?"
"The last memory that I can actually remember the details of? Uh, when I called you after I got your power cluster?"
>"Wait, just last month?! How'd you even remember my number or even just to call me?"
"You were saved on my phone. And I remember you telling me to give you a call if I was in trouble, but hell if I remember when or where you told me that."
>"Haha, well I'm glad I managed to keep that number."

She looks at me a little weird.

>"You kept blowing yourself up, didn't you?"
"Huh?"
>"You cut contact with me. You said you had enough of this town and were retiring. The only 'escape' you can get is dying and spending a month in the fog, and there's people who spend all their time there. I didn't think you'd be the sort, I just thought you were just chilling underground and retiring from fighting. But if your memory is so bad... Delli, you can recover memories from one death, if you give it time to heal. But if you die over and over again, one after the other... Fuck. I didn't know."
"Funnily enough, I don't remember any of that. But you might just be right. It sounds right. The last time I woke up, I felt like I was forgetting something. I thought it was just something I meant to do right before dying and couldn't remember what it was, buuuut now that I'm thinking about it..."
>>
No. 958450 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158363416754.png - (91.55KB , 800x800 , 264.png )
958450

"I think I forgot to blow myself up again. I wandered around on autopilot for so long that I just sort of assumed I always lived like that. Maybe it was only a few years ago, but it felt like minutes and decades at the same time. I left some of my stuff at a death bank though, and got my phone back from there. Shit. I gave myself amnesia, huh. I wonder why I remember an old vending machine from 30 years ago."
>"... Wait hahaha that old shitty coffee maker? You remember that?"
"Yeah? You were there?"
>"Hell yeah I was there. We're together a lot. That's why I always let you leave me without a fight, because we've always come back together no matter what. Maybe when we have more time to ass around, we can check out memory lane and see if you remember more."
"Yeah. Hey uh, how long ago was I a farmer?"
>"Don't you want to go check out those hideouts of Finn?"
"Don't we have people to do that for us?"
>"Yeah but I'm changing the subject because I'm not telling you how far back I remember."
"Whhhyyy?"
>"Don't wanna."
>>
No. 958451 ID: afdebc

>Are you kidding? You chased us off, you were scary as fuck!
Weird to think of yourself as scary. Well, at least before you became an accidental god, now of course you're scary.

>>"Don't wanna."
Fine. It's rude to ask a lady her age, and since we're all stupid-immortal, asking how far back your memories go is about as close as we can get.

Go hunting for gangster bases.

...and see if you can use your superpowers and riches to order an old shitty vending machine on whatever part of your internet sells old retro stuff for way too much.
>>
No. 958452 ID: 48ce40

"Man, we were just getting into what felt like a sort of solemn realization of what living under the fog's been doing to us and it was all tender and junk. Kind of. Almost. Oh well."
>>
No. 958453 ID: 015bf2

>>958450
Arright. You’ll just trust her on this one. Let’s go get Finn.
>>
No. 958454 ID: c2f1f6

Chickeeeen. Fine, let's see what traps he's left for us. but QUIETLY. Pillet is no doubt watching our movements, if she puts two and two together she'll know what's up as well.
>>
No. 958456 ID: e7848c

>>958450
Seems like a good time to be concerned but your apathy levels are threatening to rise. Ask if you should stop pushing the subject. Though curiosity is demanding you ask if you two ever dated before.
>>
No. 958457 ID: e2f5cc

Hmm. We've gone past the point of red flags into... Whatever red flags usually warn about.

Here's a few retellings of what Pillet just said, this time reading between the lines a bit:

>>"Didn't you raid my shit?"

>"No! You, one random and suicidal goat, scared us, one of the biggest factions in town, away! Those other random jackasses though? They fucked your shit right up, the land-grabbing whores! Sure is convenient you can't remember anything to the contrary!"

>>"Wait, you were there with me by that random coffee machine 30 years ago?"

>"Obviously! We go way back, and I can always remember our good times together and that's why I'm okay with you always leaving me, because you always forget about why you did, so we'd always end up get back together! What, you want to know why you always left me? ...Don't wanna tell you."

And if you need a reminder of at least one time Pillet fucked you over, recall a month ago when you first got back in contact with her, you said something along the lines of "You killed me 12 years ago to make the power cluster!" with a rather clear implication you didn't exactly consent to being another part of the super sayian macguffin.
>>
No. 958458 ID: 86eb65

Worried the answer would worry me?

Well unless you know a way of recovering memories just consider me a whole new person. If we do end up together a lot this is your chance to swoop me up.

Honestly if I was that miserable its a good thing I forgot.
>>
No. 958460 ID: b1b4f3

>>958450
>gave myself amnesia
Hmm... isn't that pretty close to dying and being reborn? I wonder if you could use this to achieve Pillet's goal without lifting the fog? Spawncamp people until they got amnesia, so that life feels more interesting again and the town livens up a bit.
>>
No. 958462 ID: 015bf2

>>958457
No need for paranoia re: memory fakey bull. Delli said vending machine, did not mention it was a coffee maker, but Pillet even specified it was a crappy one.

>>958460
Grim, would require an organization to be responsible for it, and doesn't even seem to work 100%. Some asshole could also hide and take over once everyone else who knows stuff has forgotten how to, y'know, create power clusters or whatnot.
>>
No. 958463 ID: b1b4f3

>>958462
It could be done in stages, there are libraries to preserve knowledge, and if some guy tries to hide and come out later as some kind of weird razputin we can just kill them?
>>
No. 958464 ID: 10c408

>>958460
The town would basically be destroyed by all the fighting involved in this, no matter if Delli had help or not.
>>
No. 958474 ID: 91ee5f

>>958450
We could check out the hideouts, but as soon as we hit one, Finn will be alerted and go into hiding again. So unless we have a way to either hit all of them at once or figure out which specific hideout to hit, we can’t go after Finn.

I kinda like this >>958442 idea. We offer to give that guy extra crates of food if he gives us a location to start our search.
>>
No. 958489 ID: b07f1c

Ask her if you're her son.

Go read books.
>>
No. 958498 ID: 2b3343

Poking around a bunch of potentiality hideouts sounds like a job for spies, not the strongest man in the city. Time to delegate like a boss.

You've got books to read and powers to practice.
>>
No. 958499 ID: 10c408

Just go read some books and practice bigger-than-standard-set Jenga.
>>
No. 958503 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158367307742.png - (85.25KB , 800x800 , 265.png )
958503

"Well that was almost a tender, solemn realization of what the fog's been doing to us. Almost. Sort of."
>"We've had enough solemn realization!"
"Okay. Unless you know of a way to recover my memories, then, you can consider me a new person - "
>"No."
"No?"
>"Amnesia isn't death. People own their past even if they forget it." I guess to her, then, there's no amnesia based solutions to immortality.
"If that's how you feel, well uh... wait can we get a location from that guy that just went up the elevator before us?"
>"Oh, yeah."

Pillet makes a call, but no luck. He didn't know any locations, only Finnigan's name.

"So wait, if we get together a lot, does that mean I leave you a lot?"
>"Only if a couple times a century is a 'lot'."
"Why do I leave?"
>"Sometimes you just wanna chill for awhile, and I'm not into that!"
"Then I come back because...?"
>"Because you had your break, and wanted to fight again."
"Somehow I think there's more to it than that."
>"Yes, Delli, summing it up in two sentences might be generalizing centuries of off and on dating. So how about Finn's bases, huh?"
"Sounds like a job for spies. And help. I've got energy training to do, and books to read."
>"Okay, nerd, I'll look into Finn's stuff."
"Hey we're not something weird like mother and son right?"
>"No, goddamn, I'd have told you that by now."
>>
No. 958504 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158367308507.png - (152.06KB , 800x800 , 266.png )
958504

It's not like I stopped having questions for Pillet, but the elevator stopped and she got off, while my study room is higher up.

I study, but it's hard to focus. My lack of memory is making my relationship with Pillet feel a little bit more one-sided than I thought it was.
>>
No. 958505 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158367310041.png - (144.39KB , 800x800 , 267.png )
958505

I end up looking to see if there's a sale for that old coffee machine, but I end up looking at catalogues for retro and historic stuff I don't know about. I'd probably do it all evening too, but I hear a knock at the door.

>"Come in."

Soletta shows up.

>"Hi, Delli?"
"Yeah?"
>"Status report. Pillet's spies got found and killed in Finnigan's hideouts. Pillet ran after them, but by the time she got to those hideouts, any gangs had already packed up and moved. She's running after them while the trail's was as hot as possible, but right now she's mostly just sending her guys to start rounding up ex-Finnigan gang members and drilling them for information."
>>
No. 958506 ID: b07f1c

That sucks. I guess we'll need to go then. Ask her where you should go and proceed to go there.

Learned anything from the books?
>>
No. 958507 ID: cdabe3

>>958506
Do this while trying not to stare at her tits.

Also, I thought pillet said she was farmer before, too?
>>>921238

I wonder why she also fought us...
>>
No. 958510 ID: cdabe3

>>>/questarch/921238
>>
No. 958512 ID: c2f1f6

Time for an object lesson. Go out there and save your girl's butt. If it's gone loud, you can do loud.
>>
No. 958516 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158368214099.png - (131.86KB , 800x800 , 268.png )
958516

"Guess I gotta go. Where should I be going?"
>"Here, I'll show you on a nearby map. I'm sorry I interrupted you."
"No I'm just reading this energy control book and it's saying nothing but basic stuff like 'find your core' and 'meditate' and whatever."
>"Oh, they all say that. Okay, go to this building, dig straight down, then..." She gives me directions. It's pretty far underground. I hope Pillet's okay. Aside from her general well being, I have questions for her and I don't want to have to wait a whole month for answers! Especially if she dies too quick and starts losing memories, to, since -
>"And then bust through the wall you find."
"Er, shit, I zoned out. Say that again."
>"Which part?"
"All of it!"
>"... From the top, then."
>>
No. 958517 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158368217609.png - (246.39KB , 800x800 , 269.png )
958517

Somehow, I focus for long enough to learn the directions and to bust through those walls.
>>
No. 958518 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158368219192.png - (291.12KB , 800x800 , 270.png )
958518

>"Who the - ?! More of them?!"
>"... No! It's Delli! We're okay, it's Delli!"

Pillet's not here.
>>
No. 958519 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158368221918.png - (237.35KB , 800x800 , 271.png )
958519

Those guys in the back have gang tattoos on them. Must be Finnigan's.

>"Damn, almost cleaned up!" One of them yells. "You two go back and give the evac order! Me and the rest'll hold 'em off!"
>>
No. 958520 ID: 48ce40

Ha ha, "hold 'em off" he says. Knock out "those two" and then bowling ball the rest of the pins. Gotta look for your girlfriend.
>>
No. 958521 ID: afdebc

>>958505
Well, that sucks. Do we have a compensation package for guys working for us who get blown up? It's not death, but maybe we should offer something to make up for the month of lost time, possible amnesia, and resetting their power level.

>Soletta
Hey, we don't have a relationship going back centuries I've forgotten, right?

>>958519
Just shoot everyone with a blast just strong enough to embedded them in craters in the wall. Good luck holding anyone off it you can't move because you're being hugged by rock!
>>
No. 958522 ID: e2f5cc

For a plan of attack, just gat everyone except the two behind the one barking orders. The spotless one looks like a coward, so he'll probably break easy, but the scaly one might have better information.
>>
No. 958524 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158368410758.png - (233.74KB , 800x800 , 272.png )
958524

"Hold 'em off?" From behind him, I knock out one and blast the other into the wall. "Where's Pillet?"
>"... Even if I knew, I wouldn't tell you."
>"She went under the north overpass! We've been trying to hold off Finn's gang from pursuing her!"
>>
No. 958525 ID: 136ff0

Yeah just push everyone away and go straight for the goal. They're just a distraction.
>>
No. 958527 ID: 015bf2

"'kay. Grab a few of these who might know something, then retreat. Don't kill 'em unless they try fighting back. If they wanna blow themselves up that's fine, but losing memories sucks."

Blast every tattooed guy in the room, non-lethally (ish). Pause at the last guy and ask him a question.

"Wait, do the tattoos last or do you re-apply 'em every time?"

Then head for the overpass.
>>
No. 958528 ID: 48ce40

Take out all the opponents here before you go, for your pals, it's good manners.
>>
No. 958531 ID: 891b91

>>958525
This, but... you know what? You're practically all-powerful. Grab the most important-looking person from Finn's bunch and drag them along with you, just for shits and giggles. They might be useful as a hostage or maybe as a makeshift projectile. Make it clear to them that the latter option is growing more appealing to you by the minute.
>>
No. 958533 ID: b07f1c

Take their pants. Surely one of them should fit you.
>>
No. 958540 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158369115706.png - (184.57KB , 800x800 , 273.png )
958540

I blow up all the tattoo bearers, probably non-lethally. I stop at the person I blasted into the wall, and I pull his face out.

"I got a question for you."

"Do you guys need to re-apply that tattoo every time you resurrect?"
>"Y...yes?"
"Neat. What size pants you wear?"
>"38-30?"
"Too big, dang."
>>
No. 958541 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158369116335.png - (270.58KB , 800x800 , 274.png )
958541

I carry him with me to the overpass. Maybe I can make a hostage out of him.

The overpass here is a big portion of Spaghetti Tunnel. This time I can follow it, because of the trail of destruction I see.

Maybe I should have some kind of severance package for people who die while on the job, for missed months, and... no, if I got fat paychecks for dying on the job, I'd have all sorts of 'accidents'.
>>
No. 958543 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158369132361.png - (304.36KB , 800x800 , 275.png )
958543

The trail leads me to a building with a hole put in it, so I go in. Pillet's here!

"Pillet! Are you okay?"
>"Honestly? Fuckin' embarrassed. I overstepped, and this fatass must've been chugging food non-stop."
>"Basically, yeah." Finnigan shows me his grip on her. "I might not be as fast as I used to be, but I'm thinking I'm quick enough to kill your girlfriend if you take another step closer."
"... I don't suppose you care about this guy's life?"
>"He one of mine? Either way don't care, no. So here your choice. If you think I'm wrong and wanna chance it, then try to off me before I can off your girl. Or you don't play that risk, you let me go, and you get my promise that once I get a bit of distance from ya, I let Pillet go."
>>
No. 958544 ID: 86eb65

"What you think Pillet?"

Toss the guy at them to distract the big guy as you say this.

Then zoom around his side fast using the body as visual cover so you can get next to him or behind him to take him out.
>>
No. 958545 ID: 8d23f0

>>958543
ask pillet if phantom showed up since a mask is on the floor.
also if she is cool with being dead for a month while you take him hostage?
>>
No. 958548 ID: b07f1c

You have an awful track record with calling people's bluffs, so for now just chill.

Ask Pillet if this guy ever kept his promises before.
>>
No. 958550 ID: 48ce40

Really not sure what your promise is worth, there bud. Seems win/win for you to get me to go and then just kill her anyway. No offense.

Time to test out that fancy power control practice. Pull that guy lying behind him into him to make an opening before you gun at him full force.
>>
No. 958553 ID: afdebc

I don't really want to be bored for a month so yeah, get out of here. You bought yourself another round in the key blackmail game.

Also, I'm doing this this where I actually keep my promises, so if you wanna just drop her and go, you're fine.

If Pillet really disagrees, she can just blow herself up.
>>
No. 958554 ID: 015bf2

>>958548
>Bad luck calling bluffs
"Huh, yeah. Guess I do care enough to let your fat ass go. Unless she wants to blow herself up. Anyway, before you go, let's talk like civil people. Ask him questions while I can threaten him with casual murder if he casually murders you, Pillet. Like, where's the key, and was it even the real one?"
>>
No. 958558 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158369414925.png - (173.13KB , 800x800 , 276.png )
958558

Hmm... I could try fancy, efficient power control. I've been practicing that stuff for a whole, like... 8 hours or something? That's probably not enough to make a difference.

"You mind dying, Pillet?"
>"You think you can find that key without me? The answer to that is my answer to you."

On second thought, I won't be too hasty on calling that bluff.

"Kinda seems win/win for you to backstab me, or rather Pillet, once you get distance."
>"It ain't. I got a reputation. Not such a good one for making nice deals, but a stellar one for keeping them."
"Pillet? Is that at all true?"
>"He's an asshole, but yeah. I don't think he'd fuck up any trust he could get with you, especially not when all he'd gain by breaking his promise is my weak energy."
"Okay well just in case this goes bad, I wanna ask you and him some questions. Like, was that key real?"
>"If I was gonna do an auction with a fake key, I woulda done it weeks ago." says Finnigan.
"Where is it now?"
>"Gettin' moved, and no, I ain't telling you where."
"Oh, by the way, is Phantom here?"
>"Yeah." Pillet answers that. "Phantom did a raid, that's half why I rushed in like this. Heh, Finn, you're weirdly talkative. Are you buying time to get the key as far from here as possible?"
>"Could be, but I'm thinking I don't need to. Key's far enough away by now, and I'm just tryin' to save my own ass."
"Wait a second, why do I have to follow your promise? Can't I promise I'll let you go, if you let Pillet go?"
>"Yeah, 'bout that. After both you and Phantom responded to my little auction with trackers, spies and raids, I might have a few trust issues with ya. So no, I'm not gonna work that way."
>>
No. 958562 ID: 86eb65

Blah blah this is boring.

Shoot his head off while he is distracted talking.
>>
No. 958563 ID: b07f1c

Tell him that, ok. But you're keeping this guy here, because he looks like his brother or something, and you'll release him after you know Pillet is safe.

Ask him why he needs all the food for. But don't ask him too many questions, so he doesn't accidentally get any smart ideas.
>>
No. 958564 ID: 8d23f0

>>958558
to be fair he should have know this would happen cause he likely would have done the same thing, its not like you promised not to do so.
>>
No. 958568 ID: fa2754

Tell him you're just going to keep following him until he lets her go. Might as well just let her go now so he can walk freely.
>>
No. 958570 ID: 64913a

>>958563
I agree.

let's not try to get Pillet killed... yet.
>>
No. 958571 ID: 48ce40

Ok, here: how about you take some more of his guys? They're not worth that much to him, sure, but in numbers, maybe that would be enough to feel a little security? Just until he lets Pillet off. Then maybe you can re-build a little trust yourself, but letting them go.
>>
No. 958573 ID: afdebc

>>958558
Hey come on, trying to suborn the auction was the whole point!

But yeah, fair enough. Get your butt out of here, I'll trust you to let Pillet go, if you don't, this gets uglier, blah blah blah blah. You score a point for getting away this round or however gang competition is supposed to work.
>>
No. 958574 ID: c2f1f6

Oh be honest what did you expect.
>>
No. 958575 ID: b1b4f3

>>958558
I mean, killing him is not very constructive anyway. Just let him go so you can get Pillet back. Make note of what direction he goes and try to follow him after Pillet is released.
>>
No. 958590 ID: 015bf2

So, wait, if we upheld our end of the bargain and kept bidding, you'd actually sell the key to us if we were the highest bidder, despite everything we want to do? Because, it really seemed like you were gonna extort us until you became powerful enough to fuck me up so us getting the key wouldn't even matter.

Anyway.

If you mess with and hurt Pillet, I'll let her kill me once she respawns, so there.
>>
No. 958591 ID: 015bf2

Oh, and how many lifetimes back do you typically remember?
>>
No. 958613 ID: 91ee5f

>>958558
“Listen buddy, I’m gonna give you two options.

Option 1: You kill Pillet, then I kill you. And when Pillet respawns, I’ll let her kill me and she’ll have all of my power.

Option 2: You let Pillet go right now and I’ll let you leave.

If you want my advice, I’d pick Option 2 if I were you. I know you said you had trust issues with me, but I’m pretty sure you can trust me when I say if I gave Pillet my power, you wouldn’t like what she’d do with it. She won’t goof around like I do, she’d be constantly hunting you down.”
>>
No. 958632 ID: 10c408

"You are quite possibly the worst. I'm gonna go a few blocks that way and wait. If Pillet doesn't show up in the next ten minutes I'm going to make sure you regret crossing me."

Walk off, you don't have the precision to surprise laser snipe his face right off.
>>
No. 958633 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158375208101.png - (138.08KB , 800x800 , 277.png )
958633

"Did you really think we weren't going to suborn the auction?"
>"Nah, I thought you two would. But just cause I expect it doesn't mean I respect it."
"Alright, fine, I'll let you go, but if you make a fool out of me and make me regret this, I'm going to let Pillet kill me and use my power. So don't mess around with me or her! Also I'm keeping this guy until Pillet's back!"
>"Suits me."

I still kind of want to blow him up in his fish face, but he didn't lose concentration once during our conversation! He can keep eating his food to regain his power base I guess for now.

He moves to another room and around a corner. Then I hear someone call out to him.

>"Boss! We ran, but, Phantom intercepted us! She got the key!"
>"You're fuckin' with me!"
>"Sorry, boss..."
>>
No. 958634 ID: afdebc

>if you make a fool out of me and make me regret this, I'm going to let Pillet kill me and use my power
Great job, you just gave Pillet motive to blow herself up and blame it on him as soon as you aren't looking.

>Phantom
Well, try to find her.
>>
No. 958635 ID: fa2754

>>958633
This very well could be a ploy to get you off their tail. Start walking up to them. Slowly. We want to hear what they say next, not announce our breaking the deal.
>>
No. 958636 ID: 10c408

Dial phantom, now.

Also let your hostage go and tell him to get lost.
>>
No. 958639 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158375680241.png - (137.07KB , 800x800 , 278.png )
958639

I chance a look around the corner, but Finn kept on moving forward and I don't see them anymore, so I step out and dial Phantom.

... ... ...

>"Hi, th-- is Ph--tom." Damn, reception's crap.
"Hi, Pha - "
>"... You've r----ed my aut---tic m--sage mach--e. Ple-- leave a message after t-- b---. Beep."
"Hi uh, It's Delli. Call me back. Or I'm gonna keep on calling you."

I'd run blindly after Phantom, but I'd be just as likely to blindly stumble into Finn and mess up the whole deal.
>>
No. 958640 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158375684531.png - (265.87KB , 800x800 , 279.png )
958640

Oh, Pillet's running out! I let my hostage go.

"You made it!"
>"Haha, Finn was true to his word after all."
"Yeah that too but also I just realized that by saying I'd give you the power if Finn messed with you, I gave you the chance to blow yourself up and blame it on Finn."
>"Delli, Delli..." She laughs, and puts her hand on my shoulder. "I was so close to doing exactly that. You made it so goddamn tempting. But, no. I don't want to trick the power out of you."
"So... what now? Could that've just been a ploy to throw us off?"
>"Finn isn't a fast enough thinker to pull that off. I hate to say it, but Phantom's got the lead on us. The only position we're in to pursue is for you to start digging underground and randomly stumble on whatever group is carrying the key. I'm still losing guys out there, so I'm going to regroup back to base.
>>
No. 958641 ID: 86eb65

Time to practice digging I guess.
>>
No. 958643 ID: 5f3f48

Random digging seems like a bad plan. Better than doing nothing, but still bad.

Did that book cover anything like... sensing other sources of power?

Maybe we could do Sonar pulses or something. Smack the earth with power then go for hollow sounding places. But there are probably a lot of those.

If Phantom has the key, she's probably not headed for the library, since you know where it is, and a fight would just wreck it.
>>
No. 958644 ID: fb3c3e

Ok so, here's the plan. We don't tell Phantom that we know she has the key. We act as if Finnigan still has it and that the auction is still ongoing. While doing that, we keep reading books and stuff and try to get close to her and get her respect. That way, we will appear the most genuine in our efforts to build a better relationship with her, and she won't get the perception that we're doing it just to get the key.
>>
No. 958645 ID: 10c408

Respectfully disagree with Pillet. If you manage to stumble into anyone, you are just as likely to blow them apart or cause a cave in or goodness knows what else, and that's just going to break the key or leave it stuck somewhere underground.

And in the meantime... The rebels are getting pasted by overly fed thugs with aspirations of gangdom. That is a problem you can nip in the bud right now without worry for collateral damage.

All you need is an address.
>>
No. 958647 ID: 297592

It's gonna get out that phantom got the key. You probably couldn't keep up lying that you don't know Jack about it for long. Also you already called her. Still, this isn't the worst thing that could possibly happen, just keep on trying to build up with her and read the books. You've already shown you at least want to try to not be an ass so hopefully that'll help?
>>
No. 958648 ID: 1eebb8

Random digging seems to be way to random.

So with how things are going I think we have 3 main options.


1. Scorched earth campaign. You kill Phantom. You destroy her library. You kill everyone everywhere and blow everything up. Leaving only your building intact you reduce Hazetown to a pile of rubble and then reduce that pile of rubble to ash. Then you keep doing it. Every day you just do loops of the area blowing everything up. Keep everyone in the haze until they forget who they are and what keys are. It will take years and years. But eventually someone will bring you the key because you are the only one with food to trade for it and they can't remember what it was for anyways.

2. Polite Status quo. You continue to fight Phantom for the key. But you keep things polite. No wrecking her library or messing with normal people's lives. You work with Pillet to improve her gang and maybe years down the road things pay off and you end up with the keys.

3. Seduce Phantom. Convince Pillet to give it a shot and you both focus on reading and power control. Pillet and you can still go out fighting to keep the peace and keep any gang leaders from messing things up to badly. Read up on all the theories of what the keys are and slowly convince Phantom that using them is preferable to the endless power struggle. Give her a chance to convince you of her ideals. But focus on improving your power usage and learning more about the haze.


I would vote for option 3. Status quo means endless wandering around fighting idiots and lets be honest you are not the sort to get your kicks from beating people up. And Scorched earth is a last resort if the others fail.
>>
No. 958649 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158376750831.png - (169.54KB , 800x800 , 280.png )
958649

"I bet the key's not at her library."
>"So by process of elimination, that leaves the rest of everywhere."
"... I might destroy the key if I fly through the ground too hard at people."
>"That'd be pretty bad, but that's only third worst case scenario."
"What's second?"
>"Phantom having it."
"... What's first?"
>"You losing any of your three keys."

Pillet flies off, grabs a megaphone to order a retreat. I follow her around to make sure they're able to, and also to make sure Pillet isn't picked off. She's got her usual vigor, but I can tell she's pretty badly beat up.
>>
No. 958650 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158376752127.png - (83.82KB , 800x800 , 281.png )
958650

What to do... I don't have the heart to turn around and threaten Phantom with blowing up her library and everything she owns and the whole town while I'm at it until someone gives me the key. Hell, I don't even know if Pillet would do that. We could try to hunt down Phantom's hiding spot as usual, and who knows how long that'll take. Not like I'm in a hurry, but...

I think I can discuss it with Phantom. That was kind of the original plan anyway.

My phone rings.

"Hello?"
>"Hi. It's Phantom. You called me."
>>
No. 958651 ID: 465a14

>>958650
sup
>>
No. 958652 ID: 86eb65

So the idiot who got the key lost it to your guys apparently. I am not particularly in the mood for a running chase thing so figured I would call you up and ask you for it.

I figured rather than slap fight for it for the next however long we could sit down like adults and I could avoid flying around blowing crap up all day.
>>
No. 958653 ID: e2f5cc

>>958652
While that's a bold move that I do like, should probably ask her why she didn't originally pick up, since you called a bit ago, right? No need to immediately give out big info like that right out the gate.
>>
No. 958655 ID: b07f1c

Let out a sigh of relief. Tell her that Pillet did a raid on Finnigan but she got captured and you had to rescue her. Ask her if she's alright, because you saw some of her own people down here and you were worried that she got hurt.
Also mention that, Finnigan got away with the key, and that he'll probably be more careful from now on so another chance like this seems unlikely. So it looks like the auction's probably going to continue and, well, that you'll be heading back to read her books. But that you're glad that she's safe.

You should let Pillet in on the plan to get Phantom's trust.
>>
No. 958656 ID: 5f3f48

>>958650
Hey.

So I hear you have your key back? That or Finn's guys are good at bluffing.
>>
No. 958659 ID: fa2754

Invite her to another spa day. These past few days have been stressful. She can pick the place this time. We can talk like adults.
>>
No. 958660 ID: 015bf2

"'sup. Heard you got the key back, congrats, or too bad, etc.

When is the first quiz? I'm still up for it despite refreshed enemy-hood, but I haven't gotten started well on the reading yet. Also been thinking about maybe another spa day, but it might feel weird right now.

Finnigan's been chugging food like there's no tomorrow, by the way, so there's a weensy chance he'll actually come after you to get the key back. If he does, well, you got my number and he almost took down Pillet so I owe him a bit of petty, petty revenge even if I won't get the key.

Hey. On the note of old gang bosses, do you know what happened to any of 'em? Thought I might go talk to some of 'em at some point. People weren't really in a super talky mood last time."
>>
No. 958663 ID: 297592

To be honest you're happier that she has it than some random guy. Anyway glad she's ok. Not sure if you would actually want to use them but have you asked about memory retrieval techniques
>>
No. 958673 ID: b1b4f3

>>958650
Hmm, the reception is a lot better now.
I bet you could find where she put it by finding out where the reception is bad.

Anyway ask her where she's at right now. Now that all this is over you can go back to the hangouts you planned.
>>
No. 958674 ID: 297592

Give the option of a place that isn't a spa if she'd prefer that. Like a......... chocolate factory
>>
No. 958675 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158378259382.png - (89.98KB , 800x800 , 282.png )
958675

Oh good the reception's better. Maybe there's some clue in where the key is based on where the reception is bad?... No the reception is bad anywhere underground that doesn't specifically have equipment to relay signals back up over ground.

"Why didn't you pick up earlier?"
>"I'm not your secretary. Did you mean to call Soletta?"
"Oh no that's okay. I hear Finnigan got the key."
>"Yes, it was him who auctioned it, did Pillet not tell you? "
"Er wait - Finn said he lost it."
>"Yes, there's no point in me hiding it. I have it now. Are you going to begin bargaining for it?"
"I - wait, are you in the market?"
>"No."
"Okay I didn't think so."

...
>>
No. 958676 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158378260205.png - (172.92KB , 800x800 , 283.png )
958676

>"So what did you call me for?"
"Wow sorry it feels like I forgot how to talk. Uh - are you okay? I saw some of your guys got hurt."
>"I'm fine. They'll be back. Do me a favor and coup de grace anyone in pain."
"Okay. So I just... wanted to hang out. Still. I'd like to talk to you still! I mean, I should probably talk to all the gang leaders since apparently them dying once didn't just make them go away. But for us, there's a quiz but also that spa day. Or something else if you want."

There's a long silence. Why do I feel like I'm in middle school hitting on my first crush? I don't remember middle school! I'm not even trying to hit on her, I'm trying to settle this key thing like adults.

>"I already have plans with friends, tonight. I'm already going to be late to it because of getting the key."
"Oh. Can I come?"
>"I'd prefer you didn't. I want to watch a movie and relax with my friends. It's going to be tough on the mood if my rival of untold power that wants to remove our longetivity is just... there."
"Oh. Yeah I guess that makes sense!"
>"Spa day still sounds nice. Tomorrow evening, if you're free. It should take you at least a week before you're ready for the quiz."
>>
No. 958677 ID: 465a14

>>958676
ur doin it deli ur bein the boy

I'm sure nothing is suspicious here and we should just while away the time until that.
>>
No. 958678 ID: cdabe3

spa day is a great idea

also, even if she's our frenemy, it's probably safer for her to have the key than some random schmuck who clearly can't pull decent security. it might be time to start hooking up with some of the old gang leaders
>>
No. 958679 ID: b07f1c

That came out all wrong lol

So she's got the upper hand now. Something tells me that she's gonna be the one doing the ear-rubbing next time.

Go clean up the place, helping the Phantom's guys and cleaning up Finnigan's. Then fly back with Pillet and go do your reading. Yeah, lots of reading. You don't wanna fail that quiz haha.
>>
No. 958680 ID: 86eb65

Wow you did that all wrong yet it worked out somehow.

Go study for your test.
>>
No. 958681 ID: 015bf2

>>958676
"Alright. I'm good for quiz in a week and spa for the morrow."

Eh, this could've gone worse. Hindsight, you should've blasted in here like a cannonball rather than leave it to Pillet and her peeps, but eh, you might've messed it up differently if you did. Phantom's still chat-up-able and Pillet's alive, so chalk it all up as a kinda-win.

Wander about mercy-killin' peeps who need it and shooing away those who don't, while thinking about what to do next. There's a few ideas for what you can do that isn't aimlessly searching for where Phantom's got the key.

1 -Go to a public library and borrow Dynastic Towers, then get your quiz scholarship of both it and that other book properly started. Good way to spend an evening, but you may not be in the mood for it.

2 - Hit up some of those other gang bosses to chat up about the past, their memories and what their plans are/were, not necessarily friendly like, but not necessarily antagonistic either. Very curious about Splicer transformation from folk hero to gang boss.

3 - Try to find an old artificial coffee machine on sale somewhere to see if it can get your old memory jogging again.
>>
No. 958682 ID: fa2754

>>958676
Agree to it. Thank her for still hearing you out. You have to go though, there's some activity behind you.
>>
No. 958683 ID: 015bf2

>>958682
Oh yeah.

4 - Check out who's getting blow'd up / blow'ding up.
>>
No. 958684 ID: b1b4f3

>>958676
Who's getting blown up over there?
>>
No. 958696 ID: 297592

Just say thanks, sounds like she's throwing you a bone. Definitely study study until tomorrow night though. And hey, someone giving you permission to Mercy kill people, definitely do it (if they seem chill with that), more power is never bad.
>>
No. 958724 ID: c2f1f6

Uhhhh something just exploded. I'll see you tomorrow evening.

And don't be nervous, it's like Pillet said, this isn't the end. You only have to win once. Phantom won't gloat or avoid you, she'll keep the opportunity to have your ear.
>>
No. 958762 ID: 48ce40

Man, you sure you and Pillet don't just want to maybe end things because your social lives suck? Tell your girl that Phantom is having a social night with friends and now you're jealous and you want one.

A friend.
>>
No. 958774 ID: 1ed92d

>>958676
You're doing well. Mention that you really do want to talk about your past, then say your goodbyes and hang up.

It's important to give others breathing room and remember to concentrate on their emotions.
>>
No. 958861 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158393489840.png - (174.59KB , 800x800 , 284.png )
958861

"Alright, spa tomorrow, quiz in a week! I'll - "
>"Attention idiots!" Pillet puts the megaphone right behind me.
>"What?" asks Phantom.
"I said - "
>"Stop blowing each other up and go home, the gang war's over!"
"I said spa tomorrow quiz in a week - Pillet keep it down! I'll talk to you later, Phantom!" Maybe I can ask Phantom if she knows where to get old vending machines.

That last bit of people fighting seemed to happen because some people just wanted to get some aggression out by throwing cars off bridges. They fly off.

"And uh..." I talk again to Phantom. "I'm glad you're okay."

I hang up, and Pillet faces me with the megaphone.

>"~Someone's~got~a~girrrrlfriiiiend~!"
"It's you!"
>"And I'm going to fuck your brains out tonight!"
"Not on the megaphone Pillet!"
>>
No. 958862 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158393492162.png - (201.78KB , 800x800 , 285.png )
958862

Pillet and I go back to base. I start reading Dynastic Towers.

"Why're you using the jenga tower now?"
>"Finn kicked my ass way harder than he had any business to."
"Didn't he have more energy?"
>"So what? That's not an excuse. For all I know all the gang leaders can kick my ass now!"
"Right, I was sort of thinking maybe I should talk to them? Splicer and... who was that other guy?"
>"Crook. Both of 'em are in hiding, but if you really want to talk to them I can reach out."
"Yeah... maybe. Maybe not. Phantom was going out with friends. I figured I could use those."
>"What, friends?"
"I... guess so. I have you around to talk to, and Soletta's pretty calming, but outside of that, my social life sucks!"
>"Getting a little lonesome at the top? Do you even have time anyway? I saw that key lore book you were reading, and if Phantom's going to quiz you on that, you don't have much time to faff."
>>
No. 958863 ID: 86eb65

"I want to try and get that key without becoming a monster. Is pretty much that simple."

"I have no idea if any of this key lore is worth anything but it can't hurt. Phantom is pretty set in her ideals so maybe if I can see where she is coming from and offer my own thoughts on the matter we can convince her that making the attempt is better than sitting here forever not knowing."

"These stupid keys could end up doing nothing or anything once we finally get to using them. If there is any evidence one way or another its probably in these books."

"You know if you really wanted to train you should multitask during jenga."

Then waggle your crotch at her and get back to reading.
>>
No. 958864 ID: 4286b4

Well, you did use to die a lot, so studying back then wouldn't have made much sense. But now you don't have any such excuse to evade it anymore.

Tell Pillet that if she's got time to tease you, she can tease your dik. Maybe she'd find it more of a challenge than the Jenga tower.
>>
No. 958865 ID: a9af05

>>958862
>if Phantom's going to quiz you on that, you don't have much time to faff.
So does that mean that you're not going to fuck my brains out tonight?
>>
No. 958866 ID: a9acbe

>>958862
Two words: Study Group.
>>
No. 958867 ID: fa2754

Welcome to college life then. Try to get a chapter done each day. Take breaks. Practice Jenga with Pillet. Relax with Soletta and Pillet when possible. Repeat.
>>
No. 958868 ID: 2b3343

You can socialize and study at the same time, you just need to find some nerds.
>>
No. 958874 ID: b1b4f3

>>958862
Awww mannnnn...
>>
No. 958876 ID: ee7423

Time to get out your highlighter!
>>
No. 958877 ID: c2f1f6

Okay in any other circumstances socializing would just be fucking about, but we could use the allies, or just to keep tabs on people. If I've got to be the boss guy in charge I think that's where my priorities ought to be. We can wait a week to start so I can secure access to the library I guess.
>>
No. 958878 ID: a9af05

>>958876
If you plan on using that on the book then don't! Phantom already told us that it was the original, so we'd better not piss her off by marking it with a highlighter!
>>
No. 958881 ID: 8d23f0

>>958862
breaking upo stufy sessions with more memorable things helps retain the information. and why am I even studying all this if I just lock myself away and do nothing anyway.
>>
No. 958883 ID: afdebc

>"Didn't he have more energy?"
>>"So what? That's not an excuse.
Yeah, in theory, people with less energy can win fights against someone with more, if they use it better.

Granted, you probably don't have to worry about that personally with the current power gap between you and whoever has second place.

>"Getting a little lonesome at the top? Do you even have time anyway? I saw that key lore book you were reading, and if Phantom's going to quiz you on that, you don't have much time to faff."
Shrug. Well okay, maybe not this minute. But in general, it would probably be a good idea to try and make my life healthier. If I got to a place where I was blowing myself up on purpose, I don't really want to end up in that kind of headspace again.
>>
No. 958894 ID: 86eb65

Wait can you convince Pillet to practice energy control by giving you ghost blowjobs/handjobs?

Also would that even be a good idea.
>>
No. 959014 ID: 15a025

Hit the books Delli. Maybe you can also practice energy control at the same time? Try holding the book up with energy while reading it.
>>
No. 959016 ID: a2aa36

No experimenting on her nice first edition book. That is important to her and would be a dick move to damage it.
>>
No. 959686 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158516400065.png - (165.31KB , 800x800 , 286.png )
959686

"What if... I studied with others?"
>"Yeah I guess. Know anyone?"
"That would want to study with me? No not really..."
>"You can just order Soletta to do it."
"No! I don't want to order anyone to do it. There's got to be people who'd want to help..."
>"Just ask Phantom. Apparently she has a whole army of nerds down there! I'm sure she could spare a few."
"That's a good idea. For now I could use a buddy, and that buddy can practice energy control while distracted with other stuff!" I waggle my crotch at her.
>"... huh? Ohh. You've got to practice your pickup lines, buddy."
"It worked, didn't it?"
>"Yeah, yeah."

She pulls down my pants and I don't learn a thing from this book during the following events.
>>
No. 959687 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158516401122.png - (195.24KB , 800x800 , 287.png )
959687

Since I'm seeing Phantom in the evening the very next day, I study alone for the time. She texts me with the address.

>"You didn't say you were, but just in case, please don't bring Pillet."
"I was planning on coming alone."
>"Okay. 7 PM?"
"Sure."

I approach the spa at the same time she does. There's other mask wearers, and I think this spa is owned by phantom.

"Hey."
>"Hi. I'll meet you inside, past the changing rooms."
>>
No. 959688 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158516404985.png - (280.23KB , 800x800 , 288.png )
959688

I get changed, make sure Pillet's belt with the keys inside is still snugly locked around me, and head out. It seems like it's half spa, half garden.

Phantom's already in the pool.
>>
No. 959689 ID: 465a14

CANNONBALL
>>
No. 959690 ID: fa2754

>>959688
I think the term is an 'onsen'. Typically, you enter the water naked. She's still clothed through so keep your shorts on.
>>
No. 959691 ID: fa2754

>>959689
Do not
>>
No. 959693 ID: b1b4f3

Hm, how come everyone's masks are different though? Phantom said they were there as a symbolic thing, to represent the idea that the individual is less important than the group, but if individuals can be identified via their custom masks doesn't that interfere with that idea?

Bring up the topic of studying energy control with someone from her group. Maybe even her? Right here, right now?
Don't even bother talking about the key, it's pointless to bring it up, aside from simply going "hey you know I'm gonna look for your key right"
>>
No. 959694 ID: a9af05

>>959688
>make sure Pillet's belt with the keys inside is still snugly locked around me
Good, you're bringing the keys with you into the pool. At least you didn't do something dumb like leave them with your clothes in the changing room.

>>959689
As fun as that would be, no don't do that.

>>959693
Do this.
>>
No. 959695 ID: b07f1c

Enter the water and get really shy after realizing that she's got the upper hand now and that she can demand that you do anything in exchange for not breaking the key again. Say really fast that you hope she doesn't force you to wear the bikini like the one you were reading on the v-day.

Other than that, you can also tell her what a good boy you've been with studying. And ask her what movie she watched with her friends.
>>
No. 959696 ID: c2f1f6

Something must be bugging her, she got the key and she's still as dour as ever. Maybe she knows you only have to win once. She won't distance herself from you though, she won't give up the opportunity to have your ear.

If you are going to jump like an absolute imbecile, use your power to gently float into a sitting position in the water.
>>
No. 959697 ID: 10c408

>>959696
Phantom's entire motivation regarding the keys is that *everyone* gets a vote in the decision regarding their usage, not just a select group like the rebels or the former gangs.
>>
No. 959698 ID: 86eb65

Did you shower before pool time? Got to keep the spa clean.

Go find a spot next to her.
>>
No. 959700 ID: b1b4f3

>>959697
Everyone, huh?
What about the people that keep blowing themselves up and spending most of their lives in the fog, gradually losing all their memories? How do we count their votes...?

That's something to bring up with Phantom, probably.
>>
No. 959707 ID: 015bf2

It's just the two of you, so keep spa time as relaxed as you can make it, despite how you're going to be broaching serious topics. Slip into the pool like a mere mortal rather than the CANNONBALL GOD OF FUN TIMES.

CGoFT can come out at parties when there are more people to mess with, after all. Anyway, what to say...? Maybe start off with a relatively innocent side topic. Like this place, and property laws.

"Hi, uh, Phantom. Nice place. Between this, movie nights and the library, I'm starting to think culture's kind of your thing. I mean, it's nice to see someone doing a bit more with their power than just... ruling, I guess. How do you gang lords get to 'own' property anyway? Do you just show up and say it's yours and put some people on it, or...?"

Segue into talking about memories, by way of your old farm.

"I had a farm once, not that I remember. Got taken over by some other farmer asshats who resented my quality horny goat weed, at least according to Pillet. Say, did I ever appear on your radar? Ex-farmer, working with Pillet, I feel as if I might've been a bit more than your regular mook, at least at one point. I don't know. Maybe I just got killed too many times in the past."

While you talk, try to multi-task and use your powers to make small water sculptures. Or, well, basic shapes, since that's probably all you can do. Squares, triangles and spheres.
>>
No. 959711 ID: 365ffb

Check out the garden first, it's going to be a bit awkward staring at it when you're already dripping wet.

Also for the love of everything don't go full on with the serious talk immediately. You've got lots to talk about with regards to problems with immortality and your various standings and threats and your previous suicide seeking but you could really just lighten up for a bit first, it's kind of an important step towards de-escalation.
>>
No. 959720 ID: 1ed92d

>>959688
Sit in the hot-tub and explain your memory loss to her.
>>
No. 959755 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158525225748.png - (138.78KB , 800x800 , 289.png )
959755

>Cannonball
>>
No. 959756 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158525226506.png - (215.49KB , 800x800 , 290.png )
959756

I don't cannonball. Is this what being mature is like? I kind of hate it.

"This place is fancy. I had to shower beforehand and everything."
>"Is there any public pool in town that doesn't require showering?"
"Come to think of it I guess not. What's with all the plants?"
>"It's a place to get away from civilization for a short period. It helps to be surrounded by natural growth instead of constructed rectangles."

That's the answer to that and now I keep talking just to avoid the awkward silence.

"So what movie did you see?"
>"Saw Sabre. It was martial arts, but it was trying to be stupid and bad."
"Was it any good?"
>"It was stupid and bad in a stupid and bad way. I don't recommend it unless you like intentionally bad movies."
"Oh well, hey something I was wondering, I was told the masks were there to... something about showing the individuals weren't as important as being part of the gang, right? But they're all unique, so if individuals are still distinguishable, doesn't that get in the way?"
>"No. The gang doesn't make them sacrifice who they are as individuals. Wearing the mask is like being on the job, wearing it is offtime where they can be themselves, even if there are rules they have to follow while maskless. Other leaders have said it's a messy system, but it makes sense once you get used to it. There is more detail in my gang orientation."
"Orientation."
>"New members have to pass tests and show competence. It's not difficult, but I don't just throw masks at people for free. I don't mind talking casually to you, but we're just dancing around the business in the room."
>>
No. 959757 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158525228946.png - (187.63KB , 800x800 , 291.png )
959757

"Right uh, well if you want to talk about that... When we first fought, we talked about having a vote, right? We could do that. Except I don't know how to make sure we get everyone's vote, like apparently people who keep themselves dead."
>"How you get their votes is up to you. It should be possible, and it isn't a problem if the vote takes months to complete."
"Yeah I guess. Even I think I spent a moment to realize I was alive again before dying. Oh it turns out I wiped my memory clean since I did that for awhile."
>"I'm sorry."
"It's fine, I stopped. Apparently I used to be a farmer?"
>"Unless you had a small secret underground farm, that must have been a long time ago. Farming is, or was, highly monitored, and there are no records of you in modern day farming."
"Pillet made it sound like a long time ago. She didn't even tell me how far back she could remember!"
>"I wouldn't know, she's never been candid with me, but her persistence is unparalleled. For as far back as I can remember, she's existed, and she has never changed."
"Maybe I'll press her on that later. Anyway, vote, then?"
>>
No. 959758 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158525230877.png - (160.54KB , 800x800 , 292.png )
959758

>"You can run a vote if you want, but a vote alone isn't enough to convince me, but let's say that you win by a tiny margin of 51%. What right does 51% of the population have to kill the other 49% that don't want to die? Does 66% have more of a right to kill the 33%? 95 to 5? 10,000 to 1? Where do you draw that line?"
>>
No. 959759 ID: 465a14

Say that you could turn the question around and ask about the right to freedom. It's a good question, but everything has to move on eventually. Everything has to end. This isn't moving on or ending, just languishing.
>>
No. 959760 ID: 1ed92d

>>959758
Point out that the 49% does not have a right to force the 51% to persist against their will. Forcing them to live forever and ever is tantamount to torture as well, as you yourself have experienced.

Besides, there's scarce evidence of what exactly will happen when the fog vanishes.
>>
No. 959761 ID: fa2754

>>959758
Turn that around on her. She just admitted there's already people who are choosing psudo-death over eternal life.
>>
No. 959763 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158525519893.png - (164.86KB , 800x800 , 293.png )
959763

"What right does the 49% have to make the 51% persist against their will?"
>"None! And that makes my point stand even stronger. A vote doesn't work, because neither side has the right."
"There's hardly evidence of all that happening when the fog vanishes anyway."
>"That's just all the more reason not to remove it then. It's gambling everything. I know things may not seem great, but they could be so much worse. More than they could be better. Death isn't the right way. Everyone in town has all the time they need to find something they want out of life and pursue it. For starters, what do you want?"

I kinda want to go nuts and wreck up stuff, but I can't because then I'll wreck up all stuff.
>>
No. 959764 ID: 465a14

A better choice.
>>
No. 959765 ID: fa2754

>>959763
Being someone who has lived on both the extremes of the power scale, You want the power scale gone. Freedom to leave this town. To persue whatever you want without fear of someone taking what you've earned and becoming all the stronger for it. Maybe see Pillet calm down for once.
>>
No. 959766 ID: e2f5cc

>>959764
This, but if Phantom doesn't accept that, well, you've been too busy forgetting everything or being a demigod to really think on what you want! Other than Pillet's ass, anyway. You'll have time to think about other goals when this is all said and done.
>>
No. 959767 ID: b07f1c

To rail a bunny.

Also, tell her that in all this time, you didn't have enough time to find out what you wanted. Something about dying all the time. And even if you did find that one thing, it would only take a few deaths to forget it all. So that argument doesn't exactly apply to everyone.

If only there was a way to take control of the globe. Perhaps the answer to this question lies inside the dome chamber itself.
>>
No. 959768 ID: 86eb65

I want to move forward. The Haze might keep us alive but is very much a prison.

Even if we could make a utopia in here we will never be able to leave or escape the haze. And with how things work here I find it highly unlikely for any utopia to stick for long.

We could spend a million years in here being afraid of what might happen if the keys are used. But they might just open a door.

I will admit to not getting horribly far in your book. But it all seems like some sort of test to me. And I would rather be standing with a trusted group by my side when I open that door than to do it alone.
>>
No. 959769 ID: 10c408

Point out the obvious flaw in her logic that by ignoring the results and collective will of the majority, the minority vote is effectively tyranny unless the results are completely unanimous.
>>
No. 959770 ID: b1b4f3

>>959763
Well tell her exactly that, then.
>>
No. 959772 ID: 567477

The urge to wreck up stuff is probably a symptom of an underlying desire: the desire to matter, to make a mark, to have consequence. That was probably what you were trying to do back in those old farming days, that's why you got so mad when people messed it up. Basically, right now... anything you do will be undone. No matter how much good you do it'll eventually decay, and no matter how bad you do it'll eventually get fixed. If you can't make a true long term impact on anything, then how can anything you do matter to anyone, including yourself? Hell, your past self might have deliberately tried to erase your memory, just because it'd be something permanent.

You know? It's like... being immortal wouldn't be so bad if you were at least living in a world you could have an impact on. It's Jenga, man, jenga's the metaphor for your life. It's fun to play a few times, but eventually you realize that, hey, if the tower falls it'll just get built again. And you're being forced to play jenga and only jenga for eternity.
>>
No. 959773 ID: 365ffb

Apparently you would have rather died than continue living in your previous circumstances, and you were apparently a badass then. What you want is to never be helplessly pushed around again, but you also want to not go evil or have anyone else get the massive upper hand and do the same. Also you want to hang out, enjoy nice things, and bang whoever's up for that.

But here's one thing to think about--Phantom literally wanted this and was in charge. Difficulties of leading aside, the town did <i>not</i> turn into the utopia of everyone self-actualizing, it just sucked eggs for anyone who wasn't powerful. There's always the potential for someone to twist things around, just like what you did. What could you do to stop that? Kill literally everyone and have 100% of the power, then completely burn every food source in existence and somehow never go bad? That wouldn't even do it because then people could just kill each other to get strong, and everything would just be worse off as a memory-destroying bloodbath.
>>
No. 959775 ID: c2f1f6

First off, I don't think things for most people are as good as you remember.

It's not unreasonable to want a vote when the alternative is a dictatorship crossed with warlord states of whoever holds the most energy. And that means the only way things can get worse is if I make them worse. That's not a threat by the way, you're the one who's first worried about the corruption absolute power brings. I don't want to smash everything or make a dictatorship for 'the good of the masses' or whatever, but apparently sooner or later I might not be the same person I am today. So, what we're really gambling on, is whether your prediction that my power will change me for the worse is prophetic.

So, I guess I can only tell you what I don't want.

Hey, if you wouldn't have been convinced by a vote, why did you offer it as a solution, anyway?
>>
No. 959776 ID: e63147

>>959759
For starters, are we sure we should be talking in absolutes, in terms of completely removing the mist or not doing it at all?
Would it be possible to merely open a breach in it to escape? A breach in mist would be temporary by its very nature.
>>
No. 959777 ID: b1b4f3

If it's possible to let only those who want to leave the fog do so, then... that would be the best solution.
I feel like the only way to find out is to actually open the door, though.
>>
No. 959780 ID: a2d2ad

Eh, no idea. I’ll probably try fishing like you suggested that one time but I feel like every place would be fished dry. Other than that i have no idea.
>>
No. 959786 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158527041866.png - (184.50KB , 800x800 , 294.png )
959786

...
...
>"Are you there?"
"Yeah just thinking a lot of thoughts. What I want are options! Like making it so only those who want to leave the fog can! If a vote's not good though then why'd you suggest it?"
>"You suggested it while fighting, and I didn't think about it until after I resurrected. And of course having people have the individual option of leaving the fog or not is best, but all signs point to all or nothing."
"Right well I want to do something! It's not like life was great while you four were doing stuff!"
>"It was an improvement! I know it wasn't great for everyone, but it used to be much worse! Do you have any idea what real wars here are like? I shouldn't have to explain it!"
"Even if it's better, even if it gets better than this, this place is still a prison. I want to move forward! How about the removal of the power scale?"
>"That's impossible. You have the position to seriously reduce the amount of power, but there will always be people more powerful than others, and they're going to use it. Even if you removed all energy usage somehow, there's social standing, martial ability, power in numbers, on and on. You can't remove it all. Removing the power will just revert the town, and it'll be a step backwards. Can you answer what you want in more detail? What exactly is 'moving forward'?"
"I dunno, I wanna wreck stuff! Maybe it's because I want to leave a mark. I can destroy stuff, but it'll just get rebuilt! And if I built stuff, it'll just get wrecked by someone! None of it matters, and I gotta do more than just... fish! Even if I haven't fished. Yet. I will but - I want to leave a mark!"
>"And that's supposed to change if we're mortal?"
"Not as easily, maybe!"
>"Marks don't last forever. At least if you live, you can keep remaking that mark. That's why I've maintained my position for this long as a gang leader. As long as what I do is mostly beneficial, I'll keep doing it. I don't want to die and not even be able to see what happens."
>>
No. 959787 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158527042719.png - (144.50KB , 800x800 , 295.png )
959787

I don't feel like we're getting anywhere on discussing this.

"Hey this is off topic, but did you know me? Apparently I fought alongside Pillet a bunch about 10 years ago before I started dying a bunch."
>"A decade... Crook or Splice might. Pillet was fighting against them most of all at that time, and I heard about a goat that was going around causing mayhem for Crook in particular. That might have been you, but even if it was, I only had vague, impartial reports to go off of."
"Crook, huh. Splice didn't seem to recognize me when I last saw him."
>"It's been a decade, plus, he probably never saw you face to face, since you would've done hit and run tactics."
>>
No. 959788 ID: b1b4f3

Hmm. Maybe the best mark you can leave/maintain is to keep improving the power structure. Power will always be there, so help it serve the lesser man. Charitable organizations and such.
Law enforcement, even.
>>
No. 959789 ID: b07f1c

Lay on the side of the spa looking away from her.

Ask her if it's possible that there exists an exit to this place. A secret passage through the fog. Does she know of anyone ever going permanently missing?
>>
No. 959791 ID: 10c408

Shove your head in the water, make sure she isn't trying to get the rest of the keys.

If she isn't then tell her that you already had more than enough sex with pillet last night that you aren't feeling it.
>>
No. 959795 ID: 91ee5f

>>959787
Even though you guys are talking, just make sure you don’t let your guard down. She might try to snatch the other keys off your belt!
>>
No. 959811 ID: 015bf2

>>959786
Hmm. You can respect her reasons for wanting to keep things going... but you think it’s important to still question what is up with this place. Like... why are the keys even a thing? Why even leave it an option? It’s... like there’s an emergency exit, stays locked until enough people, leaders or whatever - I.e. the guys or gals who had the keys - decide to unlock it - like it exists so it was left as an option - but then they don’t ever do it or use it even though they could and maybe should, because they died too many times and got scared because they forgot what the keys were really for. Whoever set this whole thing off... would they be okay with the arch of Haze Town? Longest memory keeper that you know of very much ISN’T.
>>
No. 959816 ID: 1ed92d

>>959787
Point out that this place doesn't completely negate entropy. It just keeps things mostly static.

Also, just be honest, one of the main issues with this town is that you can't get AWAY. You're stuck here, in the same town, with the same people, forever. And ever. There's no way out but sitting in the fog forever in a state of quasi-death.
>>
No. 959898 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158537837847.png - (148.61KB , 800x800 , 296.png )
959898

I slam my head below the water!

She's not stealing my keys or anything. That would be impressive, because this belt was given to my by Pillet for this exact reason. It vibrates like mad when energy damages it. Sort of like when Pillet welded it around me. So there's no way to take it off without cutting it off, and the keys aren't even in pockets. They're inside the belt.

Pillet doesn't even let me take it off when I shower. She says I'll forget to put it back on correctly! I obeyed her though because she's probably right.

It's still nice to know Phantom doesn't look like she's trying, and it's not like I'm the only one messing around with the water.
>>
No. 959899 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158537839553.png - (166.54KB , 800x800 , 297.png )
959899

I swim back up, which mostly means that I stand back up.

>"Did you find what you were looking for down there?"
"All I saw was chlorine... And another point of conversation! What if there is an exit to the place? Has anyone ever just gone missing, permanently?"
>"It's hard to tell, because there's plenty of people who just go missing. You, for instance, if you kept doing just awhile longer, you may have forgotten your own name and looked too different to be recognized by others. Even me, I don't believe I've died in fast succession like fog dwellers, but I've forgotten my own name, or why I know I had a name before Phantom."
"So this place doesn't stop entropy."
>"No, it certainly doesn't, but that's why it's better in peacetime. You can leave notes for yourself so that even if you forget things, a past you wrote it down."

She lets out a sigh.

>"I think all we can agree on is that we should study fog and the chamber more, but that could be enough for now. I can arrange more researchers on those books, and if you want, there are various research labs that, with resources and protection you can supply, would love to study that."
"Why do they need protection?"
>"There's cults around fog, you know, that don't like them doing that. They're not that strong, but it's a consideration."
"Oh."
>"You can be involved too as a researcher if you keep interest in the keys, but I hope you'll still read the book I've given you."
"I don't get bored that fast!"
>"You and Pillet have a lot of resources devoted to finding the key. Both of you also know that you only need to find all of the keys once to get your way, so you're the side that can afford patience and breaks. Can I ask that you divert your resources from searching for my key, and instead we spend the foreseeable future working together to find an optimal solution that fits both of our wants?"
"I take it we don't know why the keys even exist."
>"Correct, no records exist of a time before keys."
>>
No. 959901 ID: b1b4f3

>>959899
Hmm, yeah. Information about the keys is good, and like she said you can play the long game if you stick with Pillet's goal.
If Pillet objects when you tell her about it, then tell her she needs to give you some information about her past in exchange for giving up this deal. Like about what happened to you just before you started blowing yourself up.
>>
No. 959902 ID: a2d2ad

i can ask her to not look as hard but I doubt she’ll do it. Wouldn’t it be better to study the thing the fog unlocks to understand how to manipulate it or is that too impossible a situation that we just don’t even bother speculating it?
>>
No. 959905 ID: f57349

Given that the fog was set up somehow in the first place, would it be possible to shut it down and then restart it later, after everyone who wants to leave the affected area has done so?
>>
No. 959906 ID: 365ffb

It's not like there's that much point in trying to get Phantom's key anyway without doing the fog research. Maybe there's no way to anticipate what effects using the keys could have, but do you <i>really</i> want to go using them without making sure of that first? Picture yourself standing in front of the big door for like 45 minutes next to an increasingly pissed-off Pillet. Better to at least try to figure this stuff out first.

Besides, maybe this will help her chill out a bit more.
>>
No. 959910 ID: 86eb65

That is why I am here. Would much rather open the door with several good friends by my side.

That being said if I am going to divert resources you will need to prove you have the key. The news of you getting it could be a tricky trick.
>>
No. 959929 ID: 1ed92d

>>959899
It is important to acquire as much information as exists about the keys and the fog. For all we know the universe was simply created this way by a divine being for the purpose of studying our responses. Still, as long as it's not simply a delaying tactic and there is more to be learned.
>>
No. 959930 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158542560811.png - (108.81KB , 800x800 , 298.png )
959930

"I have no problems with stopping the search, but I'm not too sure Pillet would agree."

Wow, I saw an honest flinch at the name Pillet. She's been sounding so dejected too, come to think of it! Moreso than usual.

"But I'll definitely do key research still! Look at that chamber, it's not natural at all, it's artificial and that can be made, so maybe we can learn how it's made and remake it after people who want to leave, leave. I've gotta know more about the keys anyway, and it's best I don't have all the keys until then anyway. If I did suddenly get the key now and refused to use it, Pillet would start getting pissed."
>"Pillet, Pillet... she gets such a large say in all of this, and has no position to be!"
"I like her. She makes me feel like doing things, and I like that feeling." I'm going to demand information from her if she objects anyway.
>"... As long as you research, I'll consider it a positive."
"Yeah as long as we make some progress and it doesn't just feel like a delaying tactic to hide the key, I'm cool with it. You do have the key, right? Can you prove it?"
>"Yes, I'll show you the key, as long as you don't expect to see it in person."
>>
No. 959931 ID: b1b4f3

>>959930
Sure.
Ask if she's alright. Is something bothering her?
>>
No. 959932 ID: e2f5cc

If the pictures have undeniable proof they were taken recently/not photoshopped, then yeah that should be okay.
>>
No. 959933 ID: 86eb65

You don't like me being with Pillet do you?

Or maybe it's not that. Worried she is a bad influence?

Not like I remember much of her. My history is pretty much a blank slate. Am hoping she is sincere cause if she is manipulating me with my non existent past then that is pretty awful.
>>
No. 959934 ID: a0dfd2

>>959930

Have we ever asked .... WHY phantom doesn't like pillet / being around her?
>>
No. 959935 ID: c2f1f6

You know, you seem knowledgeable on the history of- I don't know whether to call it 'outside' or just 'before'. But you speak with such familiarity it makes me think you remember- or even had something to do with- the creation of this place and the time before it, rather than just being particularly well studied. I mean, it's a little strange that the natural laws of this place suit you so perfectly. And you've got a certain zeal to you, like this is somehow personal, but I can't put together how.
>>
No. 959936 ID: 86eb65

Oh yeah and if you want to say something say it. I am a old amnesiac and can not take hints.
>>
No. 959938 ID: b07f1c

Tell her that rubing her ears instead of seeing her key also works.
>>
No. 959945 ID: 10c408

>>959934
It's increasingly obvious that Pillet's not exactly a good person. She's not the worst, but she ain't exactly good either.
>>
No. 959952 ID: d186fc

So, uhh, i have a theory about this, and it may be a bit long, but there isn't a dis thread for Haze Town...
>>
No. 959965 ID: 7ac7e7

>>959945
Pillet’s had to fight her whole life, multiple lives, for a distant goal that seems practically impossible.

Imagine spending the sum of numerous lifetimes trapped against your will, fighting a loosing battle against impossibly strong beings, dying uncountable times in a war for a better life. There’s no room for nice people in War, there’s no room for weak wills. Pillet has been in the shit, longer than anyone. She’s seen the truth of life on the streets, and decided she wants to fight for something better.

Phantom sits at the top, away from the reality of life in Haze Town. When was the last time she had to struggle and scrape for a fucking candy bar from a vending machine? She admitted herself that she can’t remember a time before she was the leader of a powerful gang. That’s what the people at the top get to do, they get to form ideals and morals and then impose them on their underlings, ignorant to the true cost.

I like Phantom, I think she believes in what she’s preaching. But I just can’t see that she understands what it’s like for the actual people of Haze Town. I don’t think she has the right to criticize Pillet from her high chair.
>>
No. 959970 ID: 15a025

Yeah sure. Just send us a pic of you holding the key sometime later.
>>
No. 960000 ID: fa2754

>>959930
Admit you are an awkward person, in an awkward meeting, awkwardly asking if she's alright and that she can speak freely.
>>
No. 960013 ID: 365ffb

>>959965
Not to mention she probably has some of the best memory techniques out there if she dies. Most people don't even get any.

Pillet pretty much said it herself, phantom is too high up and now she's terrified of falling. But she doesn't really have a good idea of what it's like to be a regular person anymore.

Still, hopefully she can relax and stop being so scared of what's normal. I advocate being super chill all the time and researching a lot.
>>
No. 960016 ID: 015bf2

A picture is fine. She's got her bargaining chip and while you could, you're not about to rock the boat.

What's gotten to her though? You've only started meeting recently, but you'd say she seems a bit... down? Somehow, if it was possible, LESS chill than during the first meeting?

Mm. Alright, how about this? You don't want to increase the load on her concern-o-meter sooooo you'll just have to try to negotiate a truce with Pillet for her. A month or so, at least, of no direct key hunting, just to let the power struggle between big gangs settle a little bit more and for you to go around and have a chat with gang leaders, former and current, maybe finish reading Dynastic Towers, answer a few quizzes, and figure out how to set up and defend the research teams.

Not to pry, but is the history between Pillet and Phantom outright bad? You don't need details, just need to know if there's anything Pillet's done that she considers unforgivable OTHER than the whole trying to un-haze Haze Town. Clearly, yeah, there's a serious rift there, but you really wonder if there anything else going on, because the animosity seems to mostly flow in one direction.
>>
No. 960017 ID: 015bf2

>>960016
Actually, that's way too much. Give up something in return. Like, I don't know. A song.

Pillet would probably accept a truce if I say I traded it for a song.
>>
No. 960193 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158568717499.png - (166.02KB , 800x800 , 299.png )
960193

"That's fine, as long as it's obvious it was taken recently and not shopped or anything. So you've talked about the history about this place's past, and you sound like you remember or even had something to do with the creation of town."
>"No, I've just studied history a lot. If I spoke like I knew... it's just me reciting what I've learned."
"I'll make a truce with Pillet for a month or something, but you two have a bad history together, like, beyond her trying to unhaze the town?"
>"I... don't know. The way she speaks to me like she knows me better than I do, yet says so many words without saying anything about her motives or how she's persisted so long through the years... and now she's gotten so close to her goals. The only way things could be worse is if she had your power. Why do you ask?"
"You seem kinda down."

She pauses.

>"You're right. I thought I'd be happier getting the key, but I'm not. People just don't seem to care. I mentioned I knew history, and I'm sure that we came to this town to avoid death and tragedy. But, if that's true, our motives don't show anymore. There were barely any communal efforts find and hide the key from you. I've spent all this effort finding the key and trying to save the town, but the public is responding mostly with apathy. It kind of hurts, and I'm doubting things I've thought and said, regarding why we came to this town, and what the public thinks."
"Uh, yeah, all your lifetimes at the top probably didn't do you any favors for understanding what it's like for the average dude at the bottom."
>"It's not like I haven't tried. I've even gone incognito to get jobs at the bottom. Maybe that wasn't enough."
"Yeah not really, I would've had a totally different outlook on my job if I knew I could blow up my boss, raid a vending machine, and go back to a mansion. Pillet's been fighting for multiple lives against you guys. Imagine spending lifetimes trapped in the town, fighting against impossibly strong people!"
>"I've fought lifetimes to make things better, if not perfect. If I've been so wrong about people this whole time, and I've spent those lifetimes making things worse... then maybe I can't imagine what Pillet's gone through, but I think I can imagine something comparable.

>Offer her ear rubs
On one hand she absolutely looks like she could use them, on the other hand I'm absolutely not sure if this is the time.
>>
No. 960194 ID: 465a14

Offer it anyway tho.
>>
No. 960195 ID: b1b4f3

>>960193
...starting to wonder if this place was built as a prison to contain Pillet specifically. Is she the only person who has never lost their memories? Or... maybe she built it as a sanctuary, then eventually she decided it wasn't worth keeping?

Hmm. Also Phantom's dismay over the apathy of the populace is pretty similar to Pillet's motivations.
Ask her if she'd like to conduct a survey instead of a vote. Find out what people want, not necessarily about the fog, but rather about their lives here. What do they desire? What's fun, what isn't fun? What would make them less apathetic?
>>
No. 960196 ID: e2f5cc

Yeah, offer rubs. Worst case she says no but also knows you care enough to offer. Either way though, a decision doesn't have to be made right away.
>>
No. 960197 ID: cdabe3

>>960194
Be sure to say you know it’s probably not the best time, but she looks like she needs them.
>>
No. 960201 ID: b07f1c

I'm pretty sure the people care. It's just hard for them to voice their opinions given that doing so could get their heads blasted off. In the end, even if made people happy, there will always be those wanting to leave, *coughpilletcough*, ultimately resulting in conflict.

Anyway, I think that agreeing to work together and improving the research into the dome chamber should be good enough for now. Also, being in the spa, we should be relaxing right now. Want some ear rubs?
>>
No. 960203 ID: 10c408

>>960195
Any place suitable to be considered livable, no matter how spartan or extravagant, posh or ramshackle, stocked or barren, is functionally no different than prison if you can't leave.
>>
No. 960206 ID: c2f1f6

>I'm absolutely not sure if this is the time
It can probably wait.

While you've been fighting lifetimes to make things better, so has everyone else been fighting for themselves. Almost all of them are still at the bottom. I don't think that fact reflects on you, it's the way this place is.
>>
No. 960207 ID: 10c408

Mention that as someone who did live on the bottom, you've only seen two major changes to everyday life in this place.

The first is Pillet's power cluster plan and the second is when you subjected yourself to the fog enough times to forget everything and quite possibly become an entirely new person.

And of those two, only one of them is going to stick.
>>
No. 960208 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158569871583.png - (111.72KB , 800x800 , 300.png )
960208

I wonder if this was a prison to contain Pillet, since she seems to remember everything. I'll put that down on the list of crazy conspiracy theories that exist, because there sure are plenty of those.

"Wanna do a survey, and figure out what people want? Not even about the fog I mean, but lives in general?"
>"I've done that. That was why I thought I knew what they wanted. You can look at the results if you want, they're not really private anymore. But their attitudes now, their desires and motivations, it doesn't line up at all! I don't think it was a badly run survey, so I'm starting to think that the public just doesn't know what they want, or what motivates them, or so on."
"Maybe they thought the wrong answer would get their head blown off."
>"Uuuughh, maybe... that might not have changed, but you can do a survey on your own if you want. Maybe you're in a better place for it, now that I think about it."
"Yeah I guess I might be, I'm pretty sure no one thinks I'm a tyrant yet! You know, I've only known of two changes to my everyday life, and one was when I went through the fog enough times to get total amnesia, or when Pillet's power cluster hit me. And only one of those things is something that'll stick."
>"Which one?"
"... The, uh... fog removing memories? Thought it was obvious."
>"Pillet is persistent. This is not the first time she's tried it, but now that she's succeeded with it, she'll never take it off the list of plans to enact to destroy this town."
"Yeah I guess not. Just remember she thinks of the town as a prison! No matter how luxurious or ramshackle it is, it's a prison if you can't leave."
>"I knowww."
"Want a - okay I know this is out of left field and this might not be the time but I really want to offer, want an ear rub? Totally up to you."
>"I - "

>"... Gh... God damnit. Yes."
>>
No. 960209 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158569872307.png - (147.77KB , 800x800 , 301.png )
960209

Huh. Weird response, but she doesn't even let me respond because she ducks under the water and swims up to me, so I rub at them. Fluffy as ever. It's sure a nice change of pace from this heavy conversation.

...

She sure can hold her breath a long time.
>>
No. 960214 ID: 10c408

Keep rubbing with one hand, make sure she isn't rifling through your pockets for the keys with the other.
>>
No. 960218 ID: 9bd3d2

I imagine being submerged in warm water, while having your ears rubbed gently, would be immensely relaxing. I probably wouldn’t be in any hurry to resurface either. Just let it happen for a minute, she’ll come up when she needs to.
>>
No. 960219 ID: a9af05

>>960209
Make sure she's not trying to get the keys.
>>
No. 960220 ID: 015bf2

Let the moment run. Give her ears a good, long work-over. Quietly wish you had some chill music, jazz maybe, playing in the background. Maybe hum a few bars of a half-remembered song.

If you're all that curious, you could just look down. Water shouldn't be that opaque. And can people even die of oxygen starvation here? Maybe Phantom's got a workaround, even so.

If she goes limp you should definitely pull her out.
>>
No. 960221 ID: fa2754

>>960209
Duck your head under and make sure she's not crying underwater
>>
No. 960223 ID: b07f1c

You'd probably feel if she was doing anything weird down there. Not to mention the belt protection.

But even if she got the keys... hmm. Is there actually any difference if she's got one key or all the keys? Because if she did have all the keys, she could, in theory, open the dome chamber and do stuff there. Wouldn't that benefit us? Might be worth asking her what she would do if she had all the keys.
>>
No. 960225 ID: 86eb65

Make sure you get the bases good. Some scratching to.
>>
No. 960228 ID: b1b4f3

>>960209
Keys are secure in the belt, don't worry about it.
Pull her out of the water though, to make sure she's not drowning or something. Powers though, she's probably using powers. Offer to move somewhere more comfortable.
>>
No. 960230 ID: a0dfd2

>>960209

Slow down a bit and ask if she wants you to keep going. You know, to be certain she's doing okay.
>>
No. 960233 ID: e2f5cc

Do a quick check to make sure that bubbles are coming up around her mouth. Also, what was Phantom's tone of voice when she accepted the ear rubs? Like, was she more resigned, indignant, or just more bashful?
>>
No. 960234 ID: cdabe3

>>960230
This
>>
No. 960235 ID: eb4a6c

>>960209
Try not to think too hard about what she could do with that talent. Focus on giving the best ear rub you can.
>>
No. 960237 ID: 567477

I mean, her ears are up there, man. You can just ask.
>>
No. 960238 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158570552680.png - (162.36KB , 800x800 , 302.png )
960238

I'm preeeetty sure she's not trying to nab all the keys while she's down there. I'm sure she's thinking about it, I mean, probably, maybe. I know I would.

>Is there actually any difference if she's got one key or all the keys?
Two differences, for one thing, Pillet and I had would have to find four keys, not one. Secondly, Pillet would be pissed. So there's not really any benefit to Phantom having more keys, it just gives her more insurance.

"Hey Phantom uh should I keep going?" Wait, she's underwater, she can't hear me. I tug at her ear, and she swims forward, headbutts me, and slaps her ears on my chest. Pretty sure that's a keep going, since if she passed out then she'd be limp and all that. She probably has special fancy energy techniques to like, breath underwater or something I don't know.

I hum a little tune since no one's listening,

>Look underwater to make sure she's not stealing your keys
I can kinda see underwater, it's a little tinted so I can't make out details but her hands aren't messing around. I 100% don't want to ruin the mood by getting all up in her face thinking she's a dastardly gang leader to use ear rubs as a ruse to steal my keys, but I use one hand to make sure my belt is there still anyway at least.

>Look underwater to make sure she's not crying
If she's actually crying down there then I'm 200% sure I don't want to get all up in her face if she doesn't want to be seen! Except now there's mystery about it because she sure hasn't been in a good mood.

I could rub these ears all day, and it's so easy since they're at the top and -

... Wait a minute she can hear me!
>>
No. 960239 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158570560030.png - (145.82KB , 800x800 , 303.png )
960239

And I've been humming like an absolute nerd right in her ear!

And that's embarrasing! And I don't even know how long it is to rub ears for! I should've told her that I like Pillet because I can rub her ears and smack her butt and do all kinds of stuff and if she goes 'what're you doing you goober' I can go 'I do what I want bitch' and it's all good!

.... this is nice too but I didn't actually expect this much.

>What was her tone when she accepted? Resigned, indignant, or just more bashful?
.... yes.

"Just uh let me know if you want me to stop and all."

Another small headbutt. Maybe I am going to do this all day.
>>
No. 960241 ID: 1ed92d

>>960239
You asked, you offered, and she accepted. Prepare to rub ears all day. Just remember to use telekinesis to check your phone regularly. Every hour or so.
>>
No. 960242 ID: 465a14

>>960239
demand earrubs in return.
>>
No. 960244 ID: 91ee5f

>>960239
Try not to think about how close her face is to your crotch.

Try not to get a boner and smack her right in the face with it.

Completely fail to not get a boner and totally smack her in the face with it!
>>
No. 960245 ID: 86eb65

You in for the long haul buddy. Make sure you get a good area coverage of the whole ear. No focusing on one spot and missing any.

Try to find one of those spots. The sort that have her all twitchy and gurgling.
>>
No. 960246 ID: d186fc

>>960239
What if, and I know this is a crazy idea, but what if you only think you like Pillet because you are supposed to like her (also lust)? Do you really actually like her for who she is? Lately it has seemed like you and Phantom have been clicking a lot more than you and Pillet ever did.
>>
No. 960247 ID: fa2754

Settle in. Rub them ears. Ask if she's comfortable, offer a position change.
>>
No. 960248 ID: e2f5cc

The blush has been deployed. The ship is now in the dock, I repeat, the ship is now in the dock.

Hasten it's departure by humming some more, if Phantom wanted you to stop she would've said something earlier. Also, don't compare her to Pillet you goober. At least if you want to continue this blessed life as an ear masseuse.
>>
No. 960249 ID: b1b4f3

>>960239
Rub them ears, for as long as she wants. Try giving some attention to the base too.
>>
No. 960251 ID: 78c316

Yes, Delli, it is a distinct possibility that you will be there all day. No, Delli, there is nowhere better to be. It’s either ear-rubs or back to morally ambiguous politics. Of all the hard choices you’re going to have to make, this isn’t one of them.
>>
No. 960252 ID: c2f1f6

>And that's embarrassing!
Good thing she's embarrassed too, so you can be sure it will never leave this room.

anyway get comfortable dork, it's time for the consequences of your actions. Oh what a terrible fate you have invited, but you must resign yourself to the floof.

It sounds like your relationship with Pillet isn't very deep. You should take her on a date or something, actually spend time together that isn't gang related.
>>
No. 960253 ID: 214cda

Girls love it when you softly hum in their ears, you nerd. Especially if you're rubbing them at the time. You're in a good place right now.
>>
No. 960265 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158571460236.png - (173.29KB , 800x800 , 304.png )
960265

>what if you only think you like Pillet because you are supposed to like her (also lust)
>don't compare her to Pillet
>it sounds like your relationship with Pillet isn't very deep
I hope Phantom doesn't surprise me with any girlfriendy questions like 'what are you thinking about' cause thinking about nothing but Pillet while I rub Phantom's ears I know isn't something I want to admit to.

Uhhh hm maybe I should set up a date with Pillet though but maybe I should stop thinking about her and focus on Phantom's fluffy ears. Which isn't a good reason to date someone either but uh, I'm not dating Phantom so that's okay? It's this or back to politics that there doesn't seem to be a right answer to so... guess I'm rubbing. Tips to the base. May as well be thorough. Part of the inner edge of her left ear makes it twitch a whole bunch so that's kinda funny.

>Hum some more
Not even on my death bed!

I've gotta focus! Ears. Phantom.

>Try not to get a boner

...

God damn it!
>>
No. 960266 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158571461355.png - (176.85KB , 800x800 , 305.png )
960266

I cross my legs and shuffle around and stuff. She doesn't move so I must've done a perfect job.

I manage to stop thinking about Pillet for like 4 seconds, but then her ringtone starts going off on my phone. She's calling.
>>
No. 960267 ID: 465a14

She knows you've got a boner. You have to distract her quick. Take advantage of the part of her left ear that makes her twitch, it's the best implementation for plan boner distraction. Also check out your phone to make it seem like your attention isn't on your dick.
>>
No. 960268 ID: fa2754

Tap out. Tell her you'll be right back.
>>
No. 960269 ID: 10c408

Tap out and get the phone.

Double check your pockets.
>>
No. 960270 ID: e2f5cc

Well, force pull that phone on over and see what's up, it'll take some serious shit to pull you away from these ear rubs though. But also don't tell Pillet that you're cheating on her by rubbing someone else's ears.
>>
No. 960273 ID: b1b4f3

>>960266
Grab the phone with your MAGIC POWERS so you don't interrupt ear time.
>>
No. 960274 ID: 91ee5f

>>960270
It’s not really cheating on her, when Pillet herself said that she doesn’t care. She said, “Live it up while you're alive.” so I’m pretty sure she’d be ok with this. Hell, she’d probably want to join us.
>>
No. 960276 ID: ac2125

Take the call with Pillet, but don't mention that you're with Phantom. You could say you're busy studying for Phantom's quiz as a way to cut the conversation short and keep rubbing dem ears.
>>
No. 960278 ID: 10c408

>>960276
...She was literally right there when we made plans with Phantom. Even without hearing phantom's half of the phone conversation it's not rocket science to put two and two together.
>>
No. 960282 ID: 1ed92d

>>960266
Telekinesis is your friend.
>>
No. 960283 ID: 214cda

Don't you dare answer that phone. Focus on the bunny.
>>
No. 960284 ID: 015bf2

Is your phone real sturdy and waterproof? If not, don’t grab it with your power unless you’re sure you’ve figured out a way to do so safely. Like... maybe you can grab the table it’s on and lift it over, rather than just the phone.

If you’re not confident your choice is to wait it out, or to rise and go get it. The former may be bad if Pillet needs your help all of a sudden. The latter will also interrupt the moment you’re having with Phantom, which... will be sad if this is just a status update. Seems like you’ve got a somewhat relaxing thing going on here and I bet Phantom doesn’t say ‘fuck it, I DO want ear rubs’ that often.

Then again, you could try to make it a part of the moment.

“Uh. Can you... grab that for me? I’m not confident in not crushing it aaand I kinda don’t want to stop.”

(I bet the whole point of going underwater is that she’s hiding her face so you can’t see her expression as you rub her ears. Probably because she’s a mega prude and showing that she just outright enjoys something is mega embarrassing for her.)
>>
No. 960285 ID: 9481c2

Answer phone with mind powers, speak softly so as not to bother Phantom.
>>
No. 960296 ID: cdabe3

Don’t you dare tap out

Or grab your phone and then go back to rubbing ears
>>
No. 960298 ID: eb4a6c

The phone ringing is probably not great for her relaxation, since she can hear it and all. Also, if you don't answer, chances are Pillet blows up the spa or something.

Grabbing the phone with telekinesis without exploding it shouldn't be too hard, right? But keep up the ear massages with at least one hand.
>>
No. 960299 ID: b07f1c

Answer the phone by saying that they've reached an invalid number.
>>
No. 960347 ID: 470289

Magic it over and press the speaker button.
>>
No. 960358 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158576015599.png - (152.45KB , 800x800 , 306.png )
960358

I might not have *great* control over my energy, but I can at least throw the phone to myself! I distract Phantom with the weak spots I've found on her ears.

"Sorry Phantom I need to take this, I'll keep it quick!" I grab the phone. I'm n sure if I know where the speaker button is, and I'm less sure if I want to press it. "Hi?"
>"Hey!" There's explosions and yelling over the phone. "Where the hell are you?!" Pillet yells at me.
"With Phantom like I said! What's going on?!"
>"Hell! Woresch kicked the ass right off of Laquerig!"
"... Who?!"
>"I'm at a tournament! How's your date with Phantom going?!"
"It - fine. It's not a date, Pillet."
>"What?!"
"I said it's not a date! I'm just r - we're talking and stuff!"
>"Put her on!"
"Why?!"
>"Because I want to talk to her, why else would I want her on the phone?!"
"No! I mean she's kind of indisposed at the moment!"
>"How's she indisposed?!"
"She's got a case of not liking you!"
>"Wow! Okay just tell her I said hi then!"
"Okay! I'm going to hang up now!"
>"Okay, see ya!"
"Bye!"

"Sorry."
>>
No. 960359 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158576016369.png - (148.15KB , 800x800 , 307.png )
960359

"Okay how are you breathing?"

Her ear flicks to the side. Oh, she made a straw out of energy or something. Neat. I go back to rubbing.
>>
No. 960360 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158576017964.png - (103.03KB , 1000x500 , 308.png )
960360

After half an hour or the entire night or something, she pulls back and resurfaces. Nothing's said.
>>
No. 960362 ID: 465a14

If she can suck with energy, consider what else she can suck with.
>>
No. 960363 ID: cdabe3

... does she need a hug?
>>
No. 960365 ID: fa2754

Hope that was at least peaceful for you, Phantom.
>>
No. 960366 ID: e2f5cc

"...You good?" And when she inevitably gets evasive about her feelings, push a little. She looks about ready to jump off a bridge.
>>
No. 960367 ID: 015bf2

That was nice. Her ears really are soft.
>>
No. 960369 ID: 91ee5f

>>960360
Pillet says hi.
>>
No. 960371 ID: 214cda

>>960363
She probably does.
>>
No. 960372 ID: 1ed92d

>>960360
...She seems a little sad.
>>
No. 960374 ID: c2f1f6

It might just be the water but you don't look any less down.
>>
No. 960376 ID: eb4a6c

Dang, sorry to her she doesn't seem like she's feeling better.
>>
No. 960377 ID: 86eb65

Look at what you did. You said it was not a date and now she is all sad.
>>
No. 960378 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158576503247.png - (92.28KB , 800x800 , 309.png )
960378

... "Pillet says hi."
>"If I say hi back, is she going to think that's an excuse to act like we're friends?"
"I doubt she'll act much different."
>"Then tell her hi back."
"Sure. I still like your ears. Fluffy as ever."
>"Thanks."
"So uh... are you good?"
>"I think so."
"Want a hug to go with that?"

I thinking something way more indecent, but those indecent things are basically intrusive thoughts now.

"Because either the water's making your face droop, or you look you need one."
>"I've already let this improper affection go on longer than it should've. I shouldn't let this kind of inappropriateness happen between a gang leader to an usurper."
"Th-"
>"But I'm considering retiring."
"Oh. Oh, uh, when you say 'retire'..."
>"Quitting, and passing on the gang's resources to someone besides myself. Now that I've stalled things for you... I can't see a point in my continued leadership. I might be of better use rereading all of my sources on the keys, just to see if I've missed something."
>>
No. 960382 ID: 86eb65

Soooo if you want to date me you don't have to make things that complicated.

It's not like I am over here trying to seduce you for the key. I mean I sort of am but was planning on it being a long term get you to trust me and find out more info and then we all work together instead of fighting.

Maybe stay as the gang leader and help reread things with me? Up to you though.
>>
No. 960385 ID: 567477

Hmm. That library was hers, right? The people working there seemed... pretty into it, so it'd be nice for them to keep going. And while you're a guy who erased his own memories, you're also a guy who's into people having options, so preserving stuff so people can learn about the past is something you'd approve of too, right? But it probably wouldn't be that hard to maintain that stuff.
>>
No. 960386 ID: e2f5cc

Before she does anything hasty, ask why she doesn't see a point in being a gang leader anymore, and what exactly she'd plan on doing afterwards anyway? Besides, ear rubs are a lot less "improper" if you think of them as being between friends rather than leader and usurper.

Also, Delli, keep your dick in line by remembering that going from friends to lovers is the best shit and that coming on too strong now will probably prevent that route, if you choose to go down it.
>>
No. 960387 ID: b07f1c

Tell her that she would have to let someone kill her if she did that. And dying because of you would make you feel terrible. She shouldn't do it. Also, because that would mean she would be gone for a month.
>>
No. 960393 ID: 1ed92d

>>960378
Aw. She's got depression because she thinks her attempt to improve society was a failure.
>>
No. 960402 ID: fa2754

There shouldn't be guilt about physical affection like hugs when shared between friends. Can we be that? Friends? Putting our resources and beliefs aside, we can find some peace between us. If it comes down to it, you'll have all the time for your preservation project. Maybe more engaged tutoring on the keys.
>>
No. 960406 ID: c2f1f6

I think you've got the right idea, buuut retiring might be a bit much. Maybe call it a vacation and see if you want to come back after a while.
>>
No. 960423 ID: 10c408

Look her dead in the eye and ask her if there's any book she knows of that happens to deal with psychology since in less than ten seconds she's utterly convinced you that she needs a shrink.
>>
No. 960443 ID: eb4a6c

The fact she cares is a pretty big point in favor of her continued leadership. But there's probably other people who care too. She knows better than we do what her options and their consequences are.

Definitely seems like a good leader to us though.
>>
No. 960445 ID: 015bf2

>>960443
Yeah. At the same time, she seems owed a chance to choose something different and change things up a bit, if that’s what she wants.

Gang leader ever retired before? Any contingencies she needs to handle? Successor in mind? Uh - not that you’re asking who that is. She might want to let them be anonymous to prevent the kind of flagrant fraternization that seems to come so easily to you.
>>
No. 960458 ID: 214cda

Or just maybe take a few days off to chill out instead of actually retiring or whatever. She seems stressed. Take a few days to clear her head and relax. Maybe enjoy some intimacy, if she wants. Not alot of people she'd let touch those ears, i'm sure.
>>
No. 960493 ID: 365ffb

Honestly... she was the one who said all that stuff about people finding their true callings with their lives. There's something in that. If she wants to try something else, she has the right to it. Besides, it really does seem like she could use a break from this, and she's freaking bonkers good at research and really might be important in that role. Hopefully just like... maybe pick a successor that's still someone you can talk to about all this. Like soletta.

Probably not soletta who knows what criteria this has But still hopefully that makes some amount of sense?
>>
No. 960508 ID: a2d2ad

>Now that I've stalled things for you...
She best not have done what i think she’s done. Ask her to elaborate what she meant by this.
>>
No. 960509 ID: 015bf2

>>960508
I wouldn't read too much into it. She's already stalled things for Delli by getting a key and putting it somewhere he probably won't easily find it, so it's probably just a reference to that.
>>
No. 960570 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158587517122.png - (117.78KB , 800x800 , 310.png )
960570

"You don't need to do anything hasty. Besides, it doesn't have to be affection between usurper and gang leader. It can be between friends, right?"
>"We could, but it's hard to just act like we're not usurper and gang leader."
"If you want to date me, you don't have to make things so complicated!"

I look at her face and I feel like my joke fell into the void and will never return.

"Uh, my point's that I don't know why you've gotta retire. I mean you can if you want, but..."
>"It's not a hasty decision, I didn't just decide that now. I've set my gang up so that I could have a successor eventually. Normally I would have to get killed by my successor to get my power, but now that my power's been removed by you, I don't even need to die."
"Well that's good, but it kinda seems like you could help me study as a gang leader just fine?"
>"Not as much. My gang isn't a gang of scholars, and they didn't sign up to read books. Much of my time running the gang is spent with different tasks."
"What were you even planning originally after you got the key?"
>"To keep finding them or grab them off you. To regain some territory and maybe start some businesses ourselves again, after they got taken over. My resources and manpower are scattered. Things are complicated. Even if what I did was right, I'm doubting myself and I'm tired."
"Huhhhh, well... you know yourself best, or at least better than me. I just hope who you pass it onto is someone I can talk to. Like Soletta."
>"It won't be Soletta, but they'll know diplomacy."
>>
No. 960571 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158587518064.png - (99.79KB , 800x800 , 311.png )
960571

"By the way you said you stalled things, you just meant that you found the key before me, right?"
>"That's right."
"Okay."

...

>"Please keep an eye on what Pillet is doing. The four gangs lost a lot of territory and rank and file when you killed the leaders, because the public decided they didn't want to pay taxes anymore. How do you pay civil employees to repair buildings and roads?"
"That's a pretty good question. I think Pillet's been dealing with all that."
>"I haven't seen Pillet do anything but make sure the gangs stay down and unable to recollect themselves in public. I think she's completely trying to snuff us out."
"Er, I think she pays them directly with food, through the farms?"
>"That's something, but it gets more complicated. Please keep an eye on what Pillet's doing. Her and her gang of rebels know how to fight a town, not to run it."
"Seems like it's worked so far!"
>"It's not something that gets broken instantly so fast! Just... keep an eye on her, or try to find someone who knows how to run things, if you don't want to be involved as anything but a weapon for those that do."
>>
No. 960573 ID: 465a14

Come to think of it, how far can you rely on Pillet, anyway? She seems like she's more obsessed than competent.
>>
No. 960577 ID: cdabe3

You know, if she doesn’t want to be a gang leader anymore, we could hire her to do some civil engineering. She seems pretty invested in that...
>>
No. 960578 ID: 86eb65

Welp it sounds like I need to hire you to run things then.

Honestly I know that Pillet and I are probably horrible managers. But somehow I ended up like this.

I would prefer to make friends and all team up to find out who made the keys and where they come from. But that all hinges on the idea that we will use the keys at some point.

Long story short if you want the world here to stay stable you should really be helping me.

As for Pillet? I am not sure if I need to do anything about her. People survived and made things work before the gangs did there thing. It will survive after. If we are all here forever and its such a wonderful existence than I am sure it will all work out in a few millennia.

Barely a breath to a immortal after all.
>>
No. 960580 ID: 567477

Well, Pillet ideally doesn't really want to stick around long enough to have to take care of everything. I dunno, do you think she's adapted to this whole "hard to make an impact" thing by being, uh, "loud"? People's memories are probably one of the longer-lasting ways to feel like you have consequence, though obviously it still doesn't last forever. Well, apart from that, she might feel that if she "settles in" for the long haul of keeping things running, it's sort of like she's giving up on getting out. Or, more practically, it might make her followers, who presumably agree with her desire to get out, doubt her commitment? To maintain loyalty, she has to keep looking like she's doing her best to work toward that goal. She's probably at least partially focused on stamping out the other gangs as a distraction, so the people behind you don't have time to stop and thing "hey this is taking a while".
>>
No. 960582 ID: fa2754

>>960571
What would she do in retirement?
>>
No. 960586 ID: e2f5cc

Well, you're looking at someone who knows how to run things right now!
>>
No. 960596 ID: 015bf2

Lean back and consider things. You could try getting involved in the administration of Haze Town, but from what you know of the gang leaders it’s a bit of a dead end and might get you bored out of your gourd and going power mad waaaay faster than your current chill dude lifestyle.

So what do? Who do you choose to help run ‘your’ town (town only being yours on premise of you being able to flatten anyone who doesn’t agree)? Phantom’s out, given her intention to retire to get her research on.

>Recruit Gang Leaders
Well, you were planning to talk to the other gang leaders anyway for info on Haze town history, your past history and the keys, so maybe use it as an opportunity for recruitment into a ‘civil administration’.

Pros: They know how to run stuff already. They’ve got name recognition, so it’d be easier to maintain status quo.
Cons: They way they run stuff is varying levels of crappy and they probably want to kill you.

>Recruit Someone Else
Maybe introducing fresh perspectives would be good as well. There’s people who aren’t so combat focused out there, but who may be leveler heads and better planners than the gang leaders, which would likely help with the research goals. The only question would be how do you find and recruit them? It’s not like you can just go advertise “Who actually wants to keep society from collapsing” job interviews.... uh. Can you? ... you probably can.

>Ask Phantom for advice on who to recruit, what qualities to look for.
Oh yeah, obvious solution right there. She’s got less skin in the game as a non-gang leader and her knowledge and intel’s pretty good. Not that you have to heed everything she says, but she’s probably built up a common sense for these things.

You probably also want to get Pillet’s perspective. As much as Phantom’s saying she’s suspicious etc., I just can’t find it wise to ignore the person with what must be the broadest perspective. And yeah, sure, she’s probably not gonna care if she isn’t already, but still.

And you probably shouldn’t forget your goal is to get that key, sooner than later. It’s just that you’re okay with figuring more about Haze Town’s past before you ramp up efforts to ask for it from Phantom or her gang.
>>
No. 960605 ID: b1b4f3

>>960571
She's got a point. You need to find a governor, or verify that Pillet is good at being one (I really doubt she is).
Hmmmm... who could we find that's got an interest in being a governor and has some experience with leading, plus won't be easily manipulated by Pillet...? WHO INDEEEEEED

Tell Phantom she's hired.
>>
No. 960633 ID: b07f1c

>Normally I would have to get killed by my successor to get my power, but now that my power's been removed by you, I don't even need to die.
That doesn't make much sense. The strength of a gang entirely depends on the strength of the leader. Otherwise all the rival gangs could wipe your gang out without fear and take all of its power.

Anyway, agree to follow Pillet's actions more closely and try to control her a bit more. Is there anything else that she wanted?
>>
No. 960634 ID: 10c408

>>960633
And yet all the major gangs are seemingly still alive and active despite Delli killing most of them in the very first chapter.

Almost like there's something OTHER than raw power metric keeping them together.
>>
No. 960677 ID: f57349

Offer to hire Phantom as an administrator as soon as she formally quits running a gang and divests herself of related assets. Deal is, you use your powers to rebuild infrastructure or otherwise help out according to whatever plan she composes, but if you catch her doing anything seriously unethical, after that you'll only give her ear rubs when she specifically asks, instead of just proactively offering when she seems to need them. Based on recent behavior that ought to be a sufficiently harsh penalty to make her think twice, without being so cruel that actually enforcing it would turn you into a monster.
>>
No. 960681 ID: c2f1f6

I'll do my best but... Look, if you're not satisfied with your own performance in improving this place, don't expect me to do much better. I'm convinced it doesn't reflect poorly on your efforts, but on the nature of this place. Or maybe life in general. I guess you can do everything right and still fail anywhere.
>>
No. 960702 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158598191652.png - (146.22KB , 800x800 , 312.png )
960702

"What I'm hearing here is that I should hire you, because even if you doubt yourself, I can't think of better options."
>"Thank you, but I have many, many hangups about working closely with Pillet."
"Even if it's to help me keep an eye on her? I see your point about her competency, I mean, I think she might know a thing or two about management, but I can't imagine she'd like doing it like she's settling down."
>"I..."

I usually have a tougher time reading people, but she blatantly looks like she's having an internal battle of wits.

>"No. I'll recommend some managers if you want, but you don't have infinite patience with the fog research. I want to get answers for us before it runs out, otherwise I'll just be trying to manage things a little longer before it all goes away. So let me focus myself on research."
"Okay. I'll try to rein in Pillet a little if she gets too intense about stuff."
>"I'll get back to you in a couple of days. I think that's enough to conclude our meeting. Is there anything else you wanted to talk about tonight?"
>>
No. 960703 ID: 015bf2

>recommendations.
Yeah, you’d appreciate that.

>Anything else.
Mm... seeing as you might get in touch with other gang leaders, what are they like? You don’t really know them except for having fought them. She’s had s working relationship with most of them.

You’re still on for quiz night. You’re not a great student though so... study tips?
>>
No. 960704 ID: b1b4f3

Yeah let's ask about the other gang leaders. Pillet is trying to suppress them but I feel like that won't work in the long run. Power vacuum and all that. Instead what we should be doing is trying to get them to work for us in some capacity, to make a unified government.
>>
No. 960705 ID: 1ed92d

>>960702
Recommendations are appreciated, especially since much of the status quo is fine, you were mainly about ending the eternal state of this fog-shrouded world and stopping the abuses of power.
>>
No. 960709 ID: b07f1c

>Is there anything else
Talk? No. But I wouldn't mind brushing your ears with a towel.

(Also we've been in this spa for half the quest now)
>>
No. 960749 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158603657445.png - (148.37KB , 800x800 , 313.png )
960749

"Uh maybe some advance notice about what the other gang leaders are like? If I'm going to work with them at all, since I don't know if Pillet's going to be able to really make them totally irrelevant."
>"The only one I don't believe you've spoken to is Crook. He's a narcissist who thinks he knows best. He'll only work with you if he thinks he'll come out on top, but maybe he isn't in a position to do that as well as before."
"I hope so. Not sure I want to meet him, honestly!"
>"You can meet his right hand man. The one you thought was cute."
"Man that fact really got around, huh. Okay well your recommendations will help, because I do want to avoid abuses of power as best I can, so uh, with that, I think we're about done here! Talking wise anyway. Want me to help you dry off your ears?"
>"You seem to like them, a lot."
"I do, a lot!"

She swims up to me and rubs mine, so now this is getting kinda intimate.

>"Hm. Receiving them rubbed is nicer after all. It just feels like an ear."
"More like rubbing yours is better. This just feels kinda plain. I mean it's not bad but... seems like you got more out of it than me."
>"I should stop before Pillet thinks to spy on me. What was that earlier, a tournament, she said?"
"Yeah, she's probably in like 5 fight clubs and hops between tournaments like people barhop."
>"A lot do, now that she made them legal."
>>
No. 960750 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158603658224.png - (218.02KB , 800x800 , 314.png )
960750

We get out, and she moves to the girls-only zone before I get the chance to dry off her ears. We meet up again in the lobby.

"So, meet you on quiz day?"
>"I'll invite you to research places in a couple of days, if you want."
"I do. Talk to you then, then?"
>"Yes. Goodnight, Delli."
"Uh, yeah, Goodnight."
>>
No. 960751 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158603659119.png - (159.10KB , 800x800 , 315.png )
960751

Feels like I've got crap to do, but maybe I should take Pillet on a proper date and see how that feels.
>>
No. 960753 ID: 86eb65

Yeah I think that would be good. Maybe put some pants on. Get dressed all fancy even.
>>
No. 960756 ID: e2f5cc

Going on a date with Pillet is probably the best way to get some answers out of her but is also definitely the best way to get into a fight, so just keep that in mind.
>>
No. 960757 ID: b1b4f3

>>960751
That's some strange window design on those buildings.

If you're gonna take Pillet on a date then those tournaments sound like a cool thing to take her to. She can't be tired of them already. Also you might learn a few things by watching people fight. Creative uses of energy and all that.
>>
No. 960760 ID: b07f1c

Go study. Or sleep. Until Pillet gets back.
>>
No. 960761 ID: c2f1f6

Ohhh my god SHES SO FLOOFY.

That sounds like a good idea- you're not doing any other kinds of networking this late at night. Then you can study all day tomorrow in between calling in potential lieutenants or whatever to meet with you. Remember; you're in charge. You don't go looking for people, make them come to YOU.
>>
No. 960764 ID: e7848c

>>960751
Don't get lost in the noise
>>
No. 960768 ID: a197b1

Ayep, Pillet date time. Maybe, if you could rein in your power, you two could spar bare-knuckle and she could teach you unarmed technique in a hot, sweaty training session. Then maybe you could practice some ‘grappling’.

Those buildings, is that what it looks like when you reconstruct stuff using power?
>>
No. 960769 ID: 8938cb

Take the rest of the night to absorb what Phantom revealed to you, either by studying or sleeping. Take Pillet on a date tomorrow to make it more proper.
>>
No. 960773 ID: 10c408

Uh, delli. where'd your belt go?
>>
No. 960779 ID: 15a025

>>960769
This sounds like a good plan. Relax for the rest of the night and study. Then tomorrow you can surprise Pillet with a date.
>>
No. 960961 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158620384869.png - (102.23KB , 800x800 , 316.png )
960961

>That's some strange window design on those buildings.
Stuff gets blown up a lot, and instead of replacing everything with the same ol' designs over and over again, it's common to get a little weird with designs.

>Those buildings, is that what it looks like when you reconstruct stuff using power?
That depends on the person, not whether or not power was used.

>Where's your belt?
Under my towel.

I fly back to base and get some sleep.
>>
No. 960966 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158620401666.png - (201.30KB , 800x800 , 317.png )
960966

The next day, I stare at the key book until my brain is full. After that, I find Pillet.

>Maybe, if you could rein in your power, you two could spar bare-knuckle
That's still a pretty high bar for me. I'm making progress, but it's like trying to fit a car in a shoebox.

"Hey."
>"Sup?"
"I'm taking you on a date."
>"What's the occasion?"
"I feel like it!"
>"That's good enough for me, but if you're taking me on a date, you're the one who chooses where we're going."
"I'm still weighing the options. Are you tired of fight tournaments yet?"
>"Hell no I'm not."

So that's an option, or one of those real stereotypical candlelit romantic places where they serve me 4 bites of food and each one costs 20 dollars plus a five dollar tip for each time I make eye contact with my waiter.
>>
No. 960967 ID: 2a0a29

Consider monster trucks or races.
>>
No. 960972 ID: 465a14

The date is simultaneously fighting and fucking until you improve your control.
>>
No. 960973 ID: e2f5cc

A stereotypical candlelit dinner place but try and see how much shit you two can get away with while also not being asked to leave or tone it down.

If it seems like you'd able to say that you own the place without the staff saying anything just keep going to shittier and shittier places until the people working grow enough balls to have a limit, but also still take some of your shit.

Also tell Pillet to wear/obtain/"obtain" a nice dress because she'd look hot as fuck in one
>>
No. 960981 ID: b07f1c

The one-month-later date. Kill Pillet.

This is because I predict that you will eventually have to fight her. And when you do, you will die.
>>
No. 960984 ID: 86eb65

Hmm you should make a arcade for you and your crew to power practice.

Anyways date. How about suspect ethnic food that is still the best in town and is in a tiny hole in the wall somewhere.

Then after go watch a show or event. Something not fighting. Although monster trucks is fun.
>>
No. 961003 ID: a9af05

>>960967
That sounds good.

>>960981
>Kill Pillet
No.
>>
No. 961007 ID: c2f1f6

You're thinking too fancy. Think more like a place that does nice steaks or Italian or something. Man if you could remember anything, that would really help you decide on some ideas.

If there are no monster trucks, a demolition derby is acceptable.
>>
No. 961009 ID: 567477

Do the superman flying date thing. And hey maybe you don't have the best fine control but probably you can just hold a big hunk of stuff up high in the sky, right? You could do that and have a picnic on top of it, looking down over the city. If you feel confident you can even move it around so you can both look down at things.

Make sure to dress casual if you do that so you don't look like you're lording it over the city.
>>
No. 961022 ID: 015bf2

For food and drink, how about instead of trying anything fancy you go primal instead? A place where you can get served simple meat, fruits and vegs grilled. Stuff you guys would've been eating/stealing way back when you were farmer and raider, just for the sheer 'stalgia factor.

Well, nostalgia from her side. You don't remember (you'd need a coffee vending machine to get in that mood), but you just wanna test out how it felt back in the day. There's got to be some restaurant that panders to an 'olden day' or 'primitive' vibe, right?

If you go with a fight tournament for entertainment, if you participate and not just spectate, you gotta make it interesting. Make it more like tag for you. You put something on your body - like a ribbon - and if the opponent can get it, or even just destroy it - they win. But if you manage to defend and not lose the ribbon within a certain time, they lose. Obviously you're not allowed to directly attack them either.
>>
No. 961111 ID: 365ffb

Nuts to fancy, take her on a dive that you'll both enjoy. Slum it, have a blast.

Do not actually blast anyone.

But maybe like burgers or something, unless 'dive dates' are all that you've been doing in which case maybe a deli or something. You know. For added pun value.
>>
No. 961605 ID: 15a025

Going to some race or demolition derby could be fun. Just leave the destruction to the "pros" if you do go.
>>
No. 961816 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158681461174.png - (113.78KB , 800x800 , 318.png )
961816

>A stereotypical candlelit dinner place but try and see how much shit you two can get away with while also not being asked to leave or tone it down.
That would sound way more fun if my face wasn't plastered around town with the caption 'don't fuck around with this guy or you will die'.

"Okay here's the plan. We go to some hole in the wall place that's ran by cooks who've never used a cookbook and only serve unidentified edibles, maybe with an arcade or something, followed by a monster truck rally. Or demolition derby. Or something like that."
>"Is there 'something like that' scheduled today?"
"Hell I don't know, but if there's not then there will be!"
>"That's my guy."
>>
No. 961817 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158681462001.png - (266.21KB , 1000x800 , 319.png )
961817

We fly to some side shack looking place just off a farm and sit down inside, where the menus get rushed to us.
>>
No. 961820 ID: 465a14

Well, what do the menus say?
>>
No. 961822 ID: b1b4f3

Order something that looks totally inedible, you goat you.
>>
No. 961823 ID: b07f1c

Tell Pillet that it's nice taking things slowly like this. Segue into asking her to slow down her assaults on the gangs due to the anarchy it's causing in the town, exacerbated by her poor city management.

Can also ask her about her experience with the tournaments she's been attending.
>>
No. 961825 ID: e7848c

>>961817
So how many mundane harmless little things can you ask without bothering her too much? Like her favorite food.
>>
No. 961826 ID: b07f1c

>>961823
Actually, save this talk for later and enjoy some romance first.

Ask her if she sees anything she likes.
>>
No. 961829 ID: 86eb65

Order one of everything.
>>
No. 961834 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158681839148.png - (113.35KB , 800x800 , 320.png )
961834

"See anything you like?"
>"I see a lot of things this place could screw up if they're not careful. This place is ambitious as hell, so it's either gonna be great or it's gonna be awful."
"I might get 'The Wiggle'."
>"The one hidden in the corner like a footnote, no picture, with a note saying that few have finished it?"
"That's right?"
>"You can be a brave man sometimes."
"What is it?"
>"Or a stupid man, one or the other. I don't know, I've never had it."
"Well I'm going to get it! Now tell me about the tournaments you've been going to."
>"A buncha fakers. I'm pretty sure half the participants in half the tournaments were there to throw the matches. I only found like 3 of them that had people actually fight!"
"Should I join?"
>Nah. You wouldn't gain anything for joining anyway, not when you can use overwhelming power. I doubt they'd want you anyway."
"Huh. I wasn't that interested until the idea that I'm not allowed."
>"Hahah, that's why you're a rebel at heart. Well if you need to fight on closer to equal ground, that's what video games are for, unless you want to help find the key."
"Er, right, about that... I agreed with Phantom to have a truce for awhile. I want to set up research teams for the keys and do our best to figure out what they're about before using them."
>"You don't believe me when I say they'll remove the fog?"
"I don't want to believe, I want to know."
>"Fine. I'm patient. Just don't twiddle your thumbs over the books forever."
>>
No. 961835 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158681840562.png - (162.78KB , 800x800 , 321.png )
961835

The waiter comes back.

>"What may I get for you two?"
"One of everything."
>"A fine choice, but there is only so much room on your table for much at once. May I ask what to start you with?"
"The Wiggle."
>"Alright, and you, miss?"
>"Salad Mountain."

He leaves, and Pillet looks at me weird.

>"One of everything? Really?"
"I panicked."
>>
No. 961841 ID: e2f5cc

Sit in awkward silence while stewing on your impulse ordering of everything on the menu until Pillet decides to have mercy and break the silence.
>>
No. 961842 ID: b1b4f3

>>961835
Well you CAN tell the waiter to cancel the everything. They couldn't have started cooking it all at once, but will probably make you pay for whatever they already used ingredients on. Which means you should just tell them to finish whatever they've started.

Ask Pillet how she knows what the keys will do.
>>
No. 961846 ID: b07f1c

>Fine. I'm patient
[x] Doubt

Salad? Ask Pillet if she's on a diet.

Video games? What are those?

Ask the waiter if they know anyone named Muschio.
>>
No. 961847 ID: 86eb65

It will be a long date then. Got to keep my fighting trim after all.

So yeah have a truce with Phantom. Her lack of public support shook her up hard and now she is wondering if not using the keys is the right idea.

She is also scared to death we will ruin the nice society she has been working on building for years. So could we be reasonable yet still paranoid battle ready?

We work to get her and the public on the side of discovering what the keys do. It sounds more fun than me sitting with you on one knee on a throne of skulls.

Although that is the final plan if it all goes wrong.
>>
No. 961849 ID: 015bf2

>>961841
Or just talk 'bout stuff, big and small. Like one does on a date.

Like... she got any hobbies, new or old? Or, oooh, did she ever build a mega secret hideout like Phantom's and, better yet, are the ruins of it still out there somewhere?
>>
No. 961854 ID: a9af05

>>961835
Declare that you'll eat it all and leave a generous tip.
>>
No. 961856 ID: e7848c

No one's patience is eternal. You already waited on me long enough for me to forget.
>>
No. 961866 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158683568169.png - (82.89KB , 800x800 , 322.png )
961866

The waiter leaves a couple glasses of water for us after taking an order of a beer for me and lemonade for Pillet.

As for patience? She doesn't act like she has patience.

>Sit in awkward silence while stewing on your impulse ordering of everything on the menu until Pillet decides to have mercy and break the silence.
>>
No. 961867 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158683569897.png - (113.01KB , 800x800 , 323.png )
961867

....
>>
No. 961868 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158683571258.png - (91.01KB , 800x800 , 324.png )
961868

....
....
>>
No. 961869 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158683572942.png - (115.19KB , 800x800 , 325.png )
961869

....
....
....
>>
No. 961870 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158683579199.png - (87.25KB , 800x800 , 326.png )
961870

Wait a minute I'm waiting on Pillet's mercy?

"No one's patience is eternal, Pillet!"
>"Haha, I can tell. Was that a staring contest?"
"No it - not important and yes okay I have no patience at all but you..."
>"Mine isn't eternal either. I won't wait forever on you, Delli, but I'll wait... I don't know, a few months? It depends, but if you show me constant progress, even if it's little, I'm okay. I got plenty of stuff in town to keep me busy. Did Phantom sweettalk you into this?"
"It wasn't hard, I kind of wanted it. She seemed pretty down about not getting the public support she expected."
>"She dismissed how the public saw her. As a gang leader, a tyrant. And you know what, I don't even blame her. If she looked at her own reputation head on, she would've quit a longass time ago. Or had a breakdown first."
>>
No. 961871 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158683585335.png - (142.84KB , 800x800 , 327.png )
961871

"Also, salad mountain? Are you on a diet or something?"
>"With the right dressing, it's as good as chocolate, and I won't take any guff from anyone who orders the wiggles. You should try it, and I guess you will since you got one of everything."
"And I'll have it all, too! I may as well since I know I won't be at the top forever."
>"Not with that attitude."
"I don't have it in me. I don't even have any secret mega hideouts like Phantom. I could, but the thought didn't even occur to me until now. You ever have one of those?"
>"Not in a long time. I was always a fan of decentralized systems."
"But... you did?"
>"Sort of. It was never anything with a big neon sign with my name on it, but it was stuff like a hotel, or a casino, or things like that, and inside of that I'd have my operations."
"Hm, really! Any ruins of it?"
>"Nah, it was all either looted of anything of interest, or just got taken over and became actual hotels or casinos or whatever it was. That or some other shady business used it as a front. Eventually I'd get found out and we'd have powerhouses running up my ass, so I stopped trying for centralized crap. A big fortress of fuckoff sounds pretty cool now that my boyfriend's at the top though."
"What, want to make a throne of skulls for me to sit on, and you can sit on my knee?"
>"That sounds badass, but it'd be more badass if you didn't say it all incredulously!"
"It's a little stereotypical! Also it sounds kind of... uncomfortable."
>"Practical or cool, you get to choose one."
"I've been in the mood for practical. Give me a throne of pillows!"
>"As you command."
"I was joking! I'll be too busy anyway, I kinda want to be productive too and study keys. For instance, how do you know what the keys will do?"
>"You don't trust me?"
"Not when you're not telling me something you've got no reason to hide!"
>"Oh you, I've got no problem at all sharing that answer, but it always leads to more questions, and those questions always get more and more personal."
>>
No. 961872 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158683586303.png - (89.54KB , 800x800 , 328.png )
961872

"So what if they do? Can't you tell me personal stuff?"
>"It never goes well."
"Yeah that makes it very hard to trust you."

She sips.

>"Mmhm, so be it. Do your research, I'll wait for you to agree that it's by far the most likely possibility."
"How're you so sure?"
>"You've done it before. We've done it before."
"You've studied it before?"
>"Well, helped you along with it."
"Really? You don't seem eager to help me this time around."
>"It doesn't work well, when you've lost trust in me. And really, I'm fine with it. I understand why."
>>
No. 961874 ID: b1b4f3

>>961872
Ah, you found another tidbit of your past.
Ask Pillet what she thinks your reasons are for not trusting her completely.
>>
No. 961876 ID: e2f5cc

That's probably because you insist on being cryptic even when giving me at least a hint towards what we studied or even your damn reason to why you think the keys will get us out of here.

It's pretty hard to keep siding with you when you keep trying to be difficult. I've figured out more about what we're actually fighting for in two days with Phantom than in [insert the amount of time you've been doing this here] with you.

And I'm not even going to get into the implications behind "Things always going poorly when I open up to you".

You might not need to go quite this in at this exact moment, but the general points in mind Delli.
>>
No. 961879 ID: e7848c

>>961872
Can we ask how many times we've done the same song and dance? This point that you're standing at right now?
>>
No. 961880 ID: 015bf2

Honest? I see no reason to doubt Pillet on this. Sure she’s got her mystery act, but it’s consistent. And she’s telling you you’re consistent, too, at least when you know what’s up.

Stop digging. Except into your dishes.
>>
No. 961881 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158684312325.png - (134.81KB , 800x800 , 329.png )
961881

"Yeah? Why do you think I don't trust you?"
>"Because I've been cryptic, and I haven't helped by teasing you with little hints at most."
"Right! You're being difficult! Phantom was more informative than you've been! And if things go poorly when you open up to me, that doesn't sound like I'd like the secrets you're keeping now! I'm getting frustrated here."
>"Never said I was easy."

Now I sip.

"How many times have we done this song and dance? Right now?"
>"It's always a little different. I'd go insane if I didn't learn to appreciate the little changes. But you getting frustrated with me? It's common. While on a date like this? Rarely, but sure, it's a good time for it. All while you're so much stronger than me? This is the first, and it's enough to make the whole thing seem new enough."
"Even when you're being consistent, it's frustrating not being on even ground."
>"You do best when you live in the now. The past is lost. Sure, I can remember what happened, but practically speaking, I may as well have made it alllll up. Does it matter you were a farmer, or that I used to have fronts for hideouts? It's interesting, sure, but I don't think so."
"'Cept you could learn from all of it."
>"Right now, honestly? It'd be easier to get along if I didn't know shit. If we both had amnesia in common and could go off on big adventures to find out our past and uncover unbelievable secrets about ourselves and the town or whatever. Like you said, we lack even ground there. Okay, look. There's an arcade machine over there we can fuck with while we wait for the food, or there's a head full of secrets up here." She taps her head. "Let me put it plainly. We're on a date, and we can either use it to have fun, or we can use it to discuss tough subjects and figure out where we're going. But if we try to do both, we're going to do a poor job at both, so choose one."
>>
No. 961882 ID: 0fae41

Let's get to know our date better. Secrets time.
>>
No. 961883 ID: eb4a6c

Secrets sounds more decisively unfun than the arcade sounds fun, so logically secrets conforms best to the parameters laid out for us here.

Secrets it is.
>>
No. 961884 ID: b1b4f3

>>961881
...uh. She just admitted that you've forgotten multiple times. Which means you've found a reason to forget, multiple times. Very worrying.

Anyway, you told her the stuff Phantom wanted you to tell her. Time for date stuff. Arcade machine it is.
>>
No. 961885 ID: 015bf2

Have some fun, you nerd. You set Phantom to dig into secrets of the past. Give her a chance to do that before you short circuit the process.
>>
No. 961886 ID: 8de5f3

We are trying to have a date and a fun time, leave the secrets alone. Show her a fun time.
>>
No. 961887 ID: 1524a1

Just chill for a little while. It’s been a good day so far, no need to sully that. Go play at the arcade machine. You can pry all the nasty secrets out of Pillet later, and besides that she makes a good point: can’t change the past, at a certain point it’s really just morbid curiosity driving one’s pursuit of history.

I wonder if they have a Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater pachinko machine.
>>
No. 961888 ID: c2f1f6

Awlright, here's an idea. I get three guesses, if I strike out, I drop it and we show that arcade cabinet who's boss. You in?
>>
No. 961890 ID: fa2754

>>961881
Sorry Pillet. The pursuit of knowledge is a luxury only the ones at the top could afford, you know. Maybe that's why Phantom was so into it.

But you're not like the ones who were at the top. Find a game with co-op. Get a high score and set your name to "Dillet"
>>
No. 961905 ID: 567477

Date time is for fun.
>>
No. 961906 ID: 86eb65

I vote fun.

Lets be honest Delli. If they keys do not have a manual somewhere that someone found long ago then no one knows what they do and never will until they are used. But the most likely explanation is that they open a door. A door designed so that one person could not easily do it alone. (assuming the keys are spread out.)

Pillet is sure it is a way out because if the keys do anything else then there is no hope for escape.

So go have fun and ask about boring secrets later.
>>
No. 961919 ID: 91ee5f

>>961881
Just have fun.
>>
No. 961923 ID: a9af05

>>961881
Let's just have fun already.
>>
No. 961924 ID: b07f1c

Ask her what have the two of you done on previous dates, and which parts did she like.
>>
No. 961932 ID: d186fc

>>961884
Tbh it almost makes you seem like a pet rather than an actual person, what with her leading you around in circles. Be it for her own sick enjoyment or because of her own insecurities, from our end it is effectively the same thing. We may have vastly more raw power than her, but she has let it slip here that she remembers so much that she is almost borderline omniscient simply because she has lived through, and remembers, so many possible orders of events (sort of like the mentats from Dune except in their case they only mentally simulate all of the possible outcomes rather than living them).

What if she did kill herself to the point of forgetting everything? Wouldn't that be effectively dying and starting over yet without forcing mortality onto everyone else?
>>
No. 961968 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158691411515.png - (111.05KB , 800x800 , 330.png )
961968

>Wouldn't her killing herself to remove her memory be effectively dying and starting over?
I recall her mentioning that she doesn't believe amnesia is death.

"What if I got three guesses then we have fun?"
>"Nope. No edging into one but trying the other. That defeats the purpose."
"Then stand up and let's do that arcade."
>>
No. 961969 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158691413444.png - (162.39KB , 800x800 , 331.png )
961969

I get the waiter to give us a few tokens to play. I called it an 'arcade' but it's just 2 machines they have for people to pass the time. One's single player, so we go to the second, co-op beatemup. I get knocked out on stage 2, but Pillet finishes it.

Then the next stage.

Then I revive, die, and she finishes stage 4.

>"Tap start and B to revive." She says.
"You've played this before?" I tap it, and even though it didn't say I could, it works.
>"Mmhm. We had this cabinet in the rebel base, so we all got real good at it. Bad luck, because I know it would've been better if we were both new at this one."
"Wait a second, did I steal one of your lives?"
>"Yeah, it's cool."

Somehow she beats the coop mode basically solo, despite how I spend the rest of the game using all of her extra lives to get combo'd into a fine, pixellated mist. She beats the last boss by crouching in a certain spot on the ground, and punching the boss, making him jump up and over her to the other side where she gets up, turns around, and punches again, and repeats the whole process throughout the boss's entire health bar.

>"When you two are ready!" I hear the waiter call out. "I've got your food on the table. I'll work on a good compliment to that dish next, Delli, sir!"

Pillet got us the high score, and she puts in 'Dillet' even though my D has no business up there.
>>
No. 961970 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158691421929.gif - (107.45KB , 1000x800 , 332.gif )
961970

Oh, the 'wiggle' is apparently just spaghetti.

Then again, looking at it...

>"What's wrong, Delli? Giving up before you even started with one of everything?"
>>
No. 961972 ID: 465a14

>Pillet got us the high score, and she puts in 'Dillet' even though my D has no business up there.
Your D has every business up in Pillet. Now eat your Wiggle like a good gote.
>>
No. 961975 ID: 567477

Ah, gagh. Suck it down, man, the wiggling will help your digestion, and you're going to need it!
>>
No. 961977 ID: 86eb65

Eat the crap out of that animated noodle mess.
>>
No. 961978 ID: cdabe3

Just remember: you wanted this.
>>
No. 961979 ID: c2f1f6

Be honest Pillet, how much of our relationship is me being an idiot and you being an idiot enabler?

now EAT THE WIGGLE, you are at the TOP of the foodchain! You may be crap at videogames, but you can EAT ANYTHING! Go where no other goat has gone before! remember to use your fork
>>
No. 961984 ID: b1b4f3

>>961970
That's no normal spaghetti. Ask how it moves on its own. But only after eating the entire bowl, because sometimes it's better to not know until it's too late.
Though actually you shouldn't give a crap.
>>
No. 961986 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158691830648.gif - (94.89KB , 800x800 , 333.gif )
961986

"How's it moving?"
>"You've never seen energy infused food? The cook slams some energy in there. It's safe, in case you're worried. You digest it just fine, and get a little temporary energy boost, not like it'll matter for you."
"And it... moves because of that."
>"It's a fancy trick, and hard to pull off without making the food explode or something."

Yeah... Even if this was made to be a bomb going off in my stomach, I just have too much energy in me to get damaged by weak bombs, even if it goes off in my gut.

I eat it, and I look away, and just imagine I'm the one moving it around in my mouth, and it's not moving. And that I have newly discovered muscles in my stomach that make it move around in there rather than them still squirming about as it goes down. It should stop. I can absorb that energy fast as hell but... the wiggles...
>>
No. 961987 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158691832231.png - (167.69KB , 800x800 , 334.png )
961987

"Pillet, I've got to ask, am I just being an idiot all the time, and you're an idiot enabler?"
>"Delli, Delli..."

She goes down on the salad.
>>
No. 961988 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158691834242.png - (126.91KB , 800x800 , 335.png )
961988

>"Wehh boff ihiohs."
>>
No. 961989 ID: fa2754

>>961988
At least she has something in semblance to grace! Own it, dude! Don't back out! Swallow!
>>
No. 961990 ID: b1b4f3

>>961988
but why
Alright, that deserves a laugh at least.
>>
No. 961992 ID: 214cda

I love her.
>>
No. 961995 ID: 465a14

Bring the rest on!
>>
No. 961996 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158692202395.png - (127.46KB , 800x800 , 336.png )
961996

Pf, I swallow.

"Was there a reason to do that other than try to get me to choke on my food?"

She swallows the whole thing in in one go, and I am glad she's wearing that turtleneck because I do not need to see her neck right now.

>"Cause' I'm hungry, Delli!"
"Somewhere in your memory you've got to have learned how to savor your food!"
>"What's better, one good bite than 20 boring baby bites!
"One of those options doesn't leave your jaw covered in dressing!"
>"That's just flavoring for the next food!"
"That's disgusting, Pillet!"

That's what she said but she's already napkining herself.

>"You just learned to savor it because you were poor and had to act like one candy bar was a three course meal. That's changed, so start noticing how that bowl is right about the same size as your snout."
"Are you daring me to down this thing in one go?"
>"Double daring you."
>>
No. 961998 ID: b1b4f3

DO IT
>>
No. 962001 ID: e2f5cc

Only if you agree to put your muzzle somewhere better later!

Like a book, to help us research! And then on Delli's dick
>>
No. 962002 ID: cdabe3

SNARF IT DOWN
>>
No. 962003 ID: 86eb65

Nom the bowl.
>>
No. 962004 ID: 9e3bd6

Lets not. As a power move.
>>
No. 962006 ID: 695467

Look, if you're both idiots, let's see who can out-idiot the other. So what I'm saying is DO IT!
>>
No. 962007 ID: 91ee5f

>>961996
Do it!
>>
No. 962009 ID: c2f1f6

I see what you see in her, Delli.

Thump your chest, take a breath, scarf it all down.
>>
No. 962010 ID: fa2754

>>961996
Despite all of Phantom's apprehensions, you know you and Pillet have been intertwined for a long time. This is just to help you rediscover why. Scarf it, goat boy.
>>
No. 962015 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158693447246.png - (120.44KB , 800x800 , 337.png )
962015

There's probably a power move somewhere in the idea of not doing this, but we both know I can't spin it from being a coward's move.

I chug the bowl and for a second I swear the spaghetti's going to eat me.
>>
No. 962016 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158693448379.gif - (58.30KB , 800x800 , 338.gif )
962016

Is this even spaghetti?! No! It's regret! Pasta tentacles powered by pure hubris, bathed in the sauce of my own folly!
>>
No. 962017 ID: b1b4f3

>>962016
Can you blast the inside of your mouth with some weak energy to silence the wiggling?
>>
No. 962018 ID: cdabe3

No, he must bathe in the regret! Consume the noodles, consume their power!
>>
No. 962019 ID: 28db16

Never let anyone tell you you aren’t poetic, Delli.
>>
No. 962022 ID: c2d219

Now chew and swallow. Optionally waggle your eyebrows at Pillet as you do.
>>
No. 962024 ID: b07f1c

Your mouth and this pasta just weren't meant to be.

Use your newly obtained pasta-telekinetic powers to propel this pasta out the nearest window.
>>
No. 962027 ID: fa2754

>>962016
You know, some horny goat weed seasoning would have made this go a lot smoother. Or more fun. Hard to say. Pillet would know. Here's a proposition for her; take us to do something that we have never done before in any of our previous cycles/dates. Something new for both of us
>>
No. 962028 ID: 015bf2

>>962016
You have made choices. Terrible terrible choices.
>>
No. 962030 ID: dbd72b

Food dares are a sacred date tradition. You can choke and make whatever faces you want, but those wigglers need to get to your stomach.
By any means necessary.
>>
No. 962031 ID: 86eb65

Chew like your life depends on it!
>>
No. 962032 ID: 91ee5f

>>962016
No going back now! Swallow it!
>>
No. 962035 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158696269662.png - (103.15KB , 800x800 , 339.png )
962035

There's too much to chew!

Maybe if I use an energy blast through my throat to -

>"Energy blasts are for giving up. Overcome it with your own will!" Pillet says, apparently now able to read my mind.
>>
No. 962036 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158696271198.png - (267.80KB , 800x800 , 340.png )
962036

I try. I wish I could say I succeeded because of sheer willpower to force the wiggles down.

Instead, I succeeded because of how massively uncool it would be to spew it all back out into the bowl.
>>
No. 962037 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158696272758.png - (162.43KB , 800x800 , 341.png )
962037

>"Haha, good job, you okay? You look like you're ready to faint."
"Just gotta... catch my breath..."
>"Take your time, you have a second before the next course."
"And I'm going to eat it like a civilized adult!"

Hmm.

"Hey, is there something we haven't done? Together, I mean, for as far back as you can remember."
>"That's a tough question. We've done a lot. Dates, arcades, demolition derby monster truck rallies... You seriously don't have to try to make this unique for me, but if you want to, you're going to have to help me out with ideas."
>>
No. 962039 ID: 465a14

Flamethrower racing.
>>
No. 962040 ID: 465a14

No wait, I know. Motorcycle chainsaw jousting.
>>
No. 962042 ID: 015bf2

>>962037
Hm. Maybe you can come up with something fun that utilizes her vast memory and your vast ignorance.

As in her vast memory is used to cure your vast ignorance in an amusing way for (mostly) the both of you. Your reaction to the Wiggler did at least get a snicker out of her (even if it seems she’s seen that particular reaction before).

So, is there anything in particular she’d like to see you experience first hand, with no forewarning, that she hasn’t before? Because - and you’re already regretting this - you’ll take on any challenge she’s got.
>>
No. 962047 ID: e2f5cc

Could you two get effectively disguised somehow and see what you can get away with while seeming like regular bums? Or is your power too much to be contained.
>>
No. 962055 ID: 86eb65

Dance competition. We wear disguises and enter.

And we have to make up the dances on the spot.
>>
No. 962062 ID: 214cda

Phantom Dating Competition.
>>
No. 962084 ID: 567477

Said it before and I'll say it again: superman date. Something that involves all that power you got. Without being like, massively destructive, of course.
>>
No. 962198 ID: a0dfd2

>>962037

What about simple things? Just a nice walk, through some nature.

Kind of like what Phantom was saying -- be around natural growth, rather than a bunch of artificial rectangles.

Could be good to chill on the edge of town for a bit (and who knows, run around like pretend hooligans (even if we're actually secretly real ones)).
>>
No. 962212 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158708119821.png - (114.37KB , 800x800 , 342.png )
962212

"Flamethrower racing? Motorcycle chainsaw jousting?"
>"We've messed with flamethrowers and jousting on motorcycles, and done chainsaw races I think that one time."
"Chainsaw races?"
>"You remove the safety on the chainsaw so that they *stay* on, so then you rev them up, set them on the ground and watch them go! Or trip and fly at the spectators. Anyway, we haven't done all that, but close enough things, so try again."
"Phantom dating competition?"
>"Now that's new. You serious?"
"No I like Phantom, I'm not going to force her on a mock-date with you, let alone a real one!"
>"Ha, it'd be less of a competition than you joining a fight tournament at full power anyway."
"Dance competition but in disguise?"
>"A disguise is new, but don't you hate dancing?"
"Do I?"
>"You did. Always froze up even when no one knew you. No idea what to do!"
"How hard can it be? You just move to the music!"
>"Haha, tell yourself that."
"Hmmmm, fine, fine. Disguised as random bums?"
>"And then what, live the shit life?"
>>
No. 962214 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158708124678.png - (117.41KB , 800x800 , 343.png )
962214

The second dish comes so I keep talking between normal bites.

"Man, just shooting all my ideas down."
>"Nah, I'm not shooting them down, I just think you're throwing out ideas for new things instead of ideas that you'd enjoy."
"You don't think I'd enjoy motorcycle chainsaw jousting?"
>"Not as much as being in a demolition derby or driving monster trucks around a course."
"Let me see, then... okay, fine, you've done it all, but there's plenty I haven't or have totally forgotten about, so how about you live vicariously through me and have me do something you'd want to see me experience for the first time?"
>"Have you been in a demolition derby before?"
"I wasn't even planning on participating in that, just watching."
>"You'd enjoy it."
"But would you?"
>"Yeah. Living vicariously through you... I'm not sure that's needed, but that's getting the right idea. Hey, come to think of it, I don't think I was clear before. About when you left the rebels. I've always let you go, but this time, I shouldn't have done it. I mean, not like I should've forced you to be in the rebels, but I shouldn't have let you take yourself to a bad place. Not without making sure I could check up on you. So if you can live it up for awhile now that you're back, that'll mean more to me than trying to come up with some weird ideas that I can do just because I technically haven't done it before."
"I want you to also enjoy what we do."
>"You're overthinking it. I like you. I could sit here and stare at you for the next two hours in complete fuckin' silence and have a great time. So just keep up what you're doing."

Then I'm split between following her advice to drive and wreck some cars and monster trucks, or to just have a more chill date involving flying around town and seeing the cool stuff the town has to offer. Simple things, just at a faster pace. Maybe other things that are put at the edge of the fog.
>>
No. 962215 ID: 465a14

Sit and stare at her in complete silence for the next two hours.
>>
No. 962216 ID: b1b4f3

>>962214
WRECK SHIT
>>
No. 962217 ID: 567477

Well, gee, Delli, what DO you want? To be frank, you don't actually seem like you'd enjoy the destruction derby kind of stuff so much. You can see stuff get wrecked whenever you like. Things like that, and things like the wiggles and the ordering everything on the menu and all that "wo-ho how craaAazy kapow" stuff is seeming more like stuff you feel... obligated to do? Like you've been dared or something. And it doesn't seem to actually give you much satisfaction, at least not lately.

Why not do something nice? If not flying around the city, something creative, or... something. Dig out a cavern underground, leave a big chunk of stone in the middle, and carve it into a statue of Pillet reclining in a pose, try to capture her beauty. Or just skip the power use and go buy a canvas and paints. Something like that.
>>
No. 962218 ID: 91ee5f

>>962214
While you could do those things, you’ve still gotta finish all the food you ordered.
>>
No. 962227 ID: 86eb65

Go do the demo derby with her. Share a car and she can yell out targets for you to ram.

Co-op it up.
>>
No. 962233 ID: 470289

Simple things, fast pace
>>
No. 962235 ID: 015bf2

>How hard can dancing be?
Indeed! Now that you can move faster'n people can blink you'd have to have a hell of a stage fright to not be able to pull off something.

>shouldn't have let you take yourself to a bad place.
You... actually really appreciate the sentiment.

>like you
And that one.

>>962227
Co-op derby mode sounds right. Vicarious living doesn't have to be the only way you two can have fun together, but Pillet is all on board on the idea and taking a cue from her is a good start.

Plus, this'll probably be hella stress relief.
>>
No. 962240 ID: e2f5cc

Guys.

Dance Sparty.

Think about it, a competition involving two paired individuals fighting while also having to move in rhythm to everything from a symphony to hardbass in order to prove that they've got more style than the other guy to the three judges and the fans, since whoever gets the loudest cheer influences the victor as well, meaning you don't technically even need to win the fight if you crush your opponent in everything but the final blow.
>>
No. 962286 ID: a0dfd2

>>962214

What about simple and slow? I mean, how often have we HONESTLY just hung out with Pillet and made a legitimate date of things -- and done so without there being some overtures of fighting the system, stopping the mobs, or finding the keys in the process?

Kind of like that bit with Phantom earlier, and rubbing her ears in contented silence.

Let's just walk around a little, enjoy what's left of the day, and ... you know, live it up a bit, now that we're back. Because I think, more than anything, that's what Pillet is asking for.

Not some clever activity, but to spend time with someone she genuinely cares about and to -- big maybe here -- make up for what she did in letting you leave the last time.
>>
No. 962300 ID: a9af05

>>962214
Why not try a normal date? Just hang out with each other. There's no need to do any sort of over the top stuff.
>>
No. 962305 ID: b07f1c

Chill date. Go watch a movie.
>>
No. 962339 ID: c2f1f6

Man, it's bugging me you know what I'd enjoy more that I would, but I have to pick. Uhhh let's try the demo derby.
>>
No. 962356 ID: d186fc

just chill
>>
No. 962453 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158724841025.png - (230.94KB , 800x800 , 344.png )
962453

"Let's keep it simple. I don't think I'd enjoy a demo derby as much as you think."
>"Why not?"
"If I had to guess, playing bumper cars to mess each other up feels hollow when I could just blow up every car and the whole stadium with a sneeze."
>"You've got to lear how to enjoy holding back, because at this rate, you're going to have a tough time enjoying anything. Or not, if you can keep it simple."
"Yeah. Let's hang out at I don't know, some satellite up high or something, or make a cavern or something."
>"Ooh, I haven't had a chance to check out the apocalypse beam cannon."
"They dismantled it pretty quick after I took over, so now it's just a floating satellite. But it is a floating satellie, and we can hang out on the underside of it to overlook the city."
>"Then let's head on up, once you finish the entire menu worth of food!"
"You're not going to believe this, but I may have overestimated my ability to eat every single item on the menu."
>"No way."
"I know."

Pillet makes a call.

>"Soletta, hey. Delli and I are going to need backup, at this restaurant we went to. Yeah. We can't possibly defeat all this food. Bring your friends. Seriously though, behave your butts and pay the bill. Okay Delli let's get outta here."
>>
No. 962454 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158724842052.png - (178.32KB , 800x800 , 345.png )
962454

We fly on up and find a catwalk running along the bottom to sit on. It's still mid-day, but at this elevation, it looks like night. We don't say anything at first, but I can tell her mind is wandering.

"What're you thinking about?"
>"Oh, you know, the stuff we agreed not to talk about the moment we played that arcade game."
"Ah, sorry I asked."
>>
No. 962457 ID: b1b4f3

>>962454
Use your energy powers to draw a penis on the underside of the satellite.
>>
No. 962461 ID: e2f5cc

Take a look around and try to see the edge of town/wherever the haze gets too thick to exist in, then consider why your parents named you, an herbivorous(?) goat, after a place where people get lunch meat.
>>
No. 962462 ID: e7848c

>>962454
Have you ever considered laying down next to each other and just listening to each other breathe for a little bit?
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No. 962464 ID: 465a14

Join the mile-high club!
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No. 962467 ID: 567477

Really should have tried bringing a canvas and paint set to try portray her captivating visage or suchlike. Now all you can do is talk about your feelings. Talk about your feelings! Or like just take a break from all your plans and goals and doubts and stuff and just be a pair of normal people.
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No. 962468 ID: a0dfd2

>>962454

Wanna break in and pretend we're renegade teens here to draw graffiti on stuff?

Then, I dunno, we could totally make out somewhere.
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No. 962471 ID: 015bf2

Nice view. Relaxing place. Lie down and put your head in Pillet's lap.

"I'll just chill for a bit."
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No. 962472 ID: 86eb65

So is this thing like stuck to the roof or something? Seems awfully low for space.

Also who built it? The more I learn about Haze Town the more confused I get.
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No. 962483 ID: 5fc3a0
File 158725568997.png - (244.98KB , 800x800 , 346.png )
962483

>Should have tried bringing a canvas and paint set to try portray