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You’re STANLEY PARBLE: a girl with a weird name and an even weirder tale: after a centuries-old lich woke up during your graveyard shift at the GOOD BOY DOGGIE BONE factory, your simple life of janitorial work became a bit more… Complicated.

Sure, you became pals with your now-sentient skeleton (you named him LY) AND gained some nifty super powers from eating MAGICAL BONE MARROW, but that doesn’t change the fact that your hometown of Clearwater, California is overrun by HOMICIDAL SKELETONS Even worse, the guy in charge is dead-set on taking over the rest of the world while he’s at it. Not cool!

Thanks in no small part to your ever-growing army of misfits, your mission to stop undead general and overall prick GENERAL HAWKES from introducing an EVERYTHING-BUT-BONE-DISSOLVING CHEMICAL into Clearwater’s (Clear)water supply was a complete success--more so in that during your climactic battle with the maniac in question, your ass was saved by two old friends: GUS, your neighbor and pizza deliverer extraordinaire, and the late ART who turned out to not be as late as you thought! Turns out he’s actually pretty ALIVE! Together you defeated yet another one of the lich’s lieutenants leaving only a few left AND gaining some cool BONE ARMOR in the process! Not bad considering it’s still early in the day!

Joined by your best pal and magical Goth podcaster SYBIL, the ever-aloof security guard MITZI, the CLEARWATER U film students EDDIE, TUCKER, and KIKI, AND the eccentric DENISE VENAAS and her creation: the twelve-foot janitor-turned murder skeleton TALBOT, you’re on your way back to THE LODGE: a massive bunker that just so happens to be owned by GOOD BOY DOGGIE BONES: your employer and homegrown somewhat malevolent corporation.

As per usual, though, something decided to get in your way--specifically a convoy of APCs led by a suped-up SWAT VAN similar to the one you’re currently riding in. It’s always something in the SKELETON APOCALYPSE, and something tells you this particular something isn’t gonna be good…

THIS is where your story continues…
https://youtu.be/_wiwdlu-Zg0
>>
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>>4884984
Welcome to BONES QUEST--stick around for coffee and donuts after the thread! Make sure to check out the following resources:

Archive Link to catch up with the story!
>http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive.html?tags=Bones%20quest

Twitter account for updates!
>https://twitter.com/DemBonez3

Imgur Page for quest and FAN ART!
>https://imgur.com/a/dvF3SCN

A HANDY PASTEBIN for INVENTORY, SKILLS, and MORE:
>https://pastebin.com/u/DemBonez3/1/TvtRhtJK

Rolls are handled by a 1d100--I take the BEST OF THREE ROLLS! Certain boosts and maluses will be applied based on the situation and existing skills. Describing your actions, write-ins, and GENERAL CREATIVITY are all APPRECIATED AND REWARDED--we like to keep things LIGHT and CHILL here, so come on in and have some fun!

>CONTD.
>>
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“Well, boss? Orders?”

The ginger security guard white-knuckles the steering wheel of your suped-up SWAT VAN as he looks to you for guidance, but you don’t respond. The APC ‘wagon train’ stopped in front of you sits motionless, almost as if it’s waiting for you to make the first move.

The question is, should you?

Syb watches the vehicles with an intense look peeking out from her purple bangs--lord knows what Gus and Talbot are doing outside. Just when you’re about to tell Art to ram the pricks, you and the rest of your crew collectively hold your breath as the other van’s driver’s side window rolls down.

Your whole body vibrates and a primeval sense of ANGER courses through your body as your ears pick up the notes of a song that’s been tattooed into your memory--one that haunts you hours after you’ve stopped hearing it.

https://youtu.be/mHjH3DyKChU

A familiar blonde-haired man wearing a GOLDEN SKULL MASK, FIRETRUCK RED HEADPHONES, and a set of immaculately-kept GOOD BOY JANITOR COVERALLS grins at you from the driver’s seat.

“BUMBLEBEE!”

GodDAMN IT!

Trying and failing to block out the muffled club beats coming from the other van, you instinctively leap for the gas pedal at Art’s feet--we’ve gotta MOVE!

“Hey! HEY!” Art snags you by your collar mid-dive and wrestles you away from the driver’s seat! “BAD STAN! If we go FORWARD we’re gonna CRASH, moron!”

You DON’T CARE! Snarling like a feral dog, you wriggle out of Art’s grasp and tackle the steering column! Inadvertently honking at the convoy, you kick Art and Syb away as they try to pull you from the front of the van, flicking on the headlights and windshield wipers in the process!

“YOU GOOD, BUMBLEBEE?! I’LL SEND BEA OVER TO HELP!”

SHIT!

Despite your biting, Art manages to shove you into the back of the van where Eddie and Tucker restrain you. TRAITORS!

“Is-oof-this the Boris guy you mentioned before?” Eddie grunts, putting you into a FULL-NELSON!

“Yes,” Syb mutters, her face covered by a palm. “And no doubt that means his associates are there too. Explains why I couldn’t detect them.”

Associates. She’s probably talking about Bea, that Good Boy security mook built like a truck, and Curt, the wizard guy that Syb butted heads with. Before you can instruct your cronies to OPEN FIRE, you hear a few polite knocks on the van’s back doors.

>CONTD.
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>>4884994
“Errr… Stan?”

You relax a little bit as you hear Gus’ trademark monotone voice--that’s RIGHT! With him and Talbot you could totally wipe these bastards ou-

Before you can plan an attack, the van’s back doors are pushed open. Who the hell did that?! Sensing your ire, the crooked, humanoid form of your resident science geek Denise slinks into the van’s shadows like a spider with a fearful look behind her massive glasses. Shrugging, Gus points a finger towards the roadblock ahead.

“You gonna talk to these guys? The big guy looks like he’s about to zap ‘em or something.”

Pssh, if ONLY. You try to cross your arms, but Eddie’s still got you in a FULL NELSON. DAMN, HE’S GOOD!

“The sooner we deal with them the sooner we can leave, Stan.” Explains Mitzi, lowering her issue of WATER POLO MONTHLY to look at you. “... Would you like someone to go with you?”

You turn your head to the side and pout--MAYBE. That doesn’t mean you’re gonna enjoy it, though!

“Fantastic. Who are the lucky contestants this time?”

Your entourage looks at you expectantly as Eddie’s grip on you loosens. Guess this is how you’re gonna play it, huh?

“Don’t wanna rush you, Stan,” Art interjects as he glances your way, “but Bea’s coming this way. You know how bubbly she gets…”

Sure enough you can already hear the sound of servos buzzing and heavy footsteps approaching--must be that crazy EXOSKELETON she wears. Better choose someone NOW--you don’t wanna be dragged over to Boris alone, do you? DO YOU?!!

Who should you take with you? Choose 1-2 pals!
>ART
>SYB
>MITZI
>EDDIE
>TUCKER
>KIKI
>DENISE
>TALBOT
>GUS
>SCREW IT! You’ll GO ALONE!
>WRITE-IN
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>>4885000
>DENISE
>TALBOT

We need to explain why both of them are with us now anyways, and it's good to know our giant skeleton friend can smoosh Boris if he becomes too much :)
>>
>>4885000
>TALBOT
>ART
Denise is not going to be good for any kind of support here, we need Art to help explain some stuff to his coworkers.
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>>4885000
>TALBOT
>GUS
>>
>>4885000
>TALBOT
>ART
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>>4885017
>>4885071
>>4885125
>>4885193

>DENISE: 1
>TALBOT: 4!
>ART: 2!
>GUS: 1

Looks like we're bringing Art and Talbot! Writing!
>>
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Breaking free of Eddie’s LUNCHBOX HANDS, you let out a resigned sigh as you readjust your cap. Boris may be the worst thing since 9/11, but he’s easier to deal with in a group.

You barely stifle a snicker--pssh! NO he ISN’T! Jabbing a finger towards Art, you gesture for him to follow you out of the van, prompting a ‘deer in the headlights’ look from your stalwart companion who even DEATH couldn’t conquer.

“Whuh-buh-ME?

Yes, you snarl, HIM. If you have to suffer then he’ll have to as well! It’ll be fine, though, you’ll take Talbie along for th-

THERE YOU ARE!”

You turn around just in time to watch a pair of arms bigger than TREE TRUNKS dart towards you and wrap you in a metallic and muscly embrace!

“COME’ERE, STANNIE! NURSE BEA TO THE RESCUE!”

Clinging for dear life to the side of the van, you give one last glare to your supposed ‘friends’ sitting quietly in the van watching the spectacle unfold. This is it. THIS is what you get for being friendly!

“Hold up there, Bea!” You and your captor turn as Art gallantly strides over, the morning breeze rushing through his classic unkempt hair! “You can put her do-ERFGH!”

The not-so-gentle giant scoops your savior up as well in her other arm. “Artie too! I like the eyepatch--very roguish!”

Seeing Talbot loitering with a confused look on his obscured face, you mouth the word ‘HELP’ and gesture for him to come over! Cocking his head to the side, your new bodyguard stomps over and looms slightly above the exo-suited rent-a-cop.

“Wow,” Bea marvels as Art struggles to breathe in her grasp, “Made some new pals, huh Stannie?”

You nod as you try to squirm free while Talbot innocently watches from the sidelines. You’re gonna have to teach him some tricks once this is all over! Shrugging, Bea turns towards the other van and gestures for Big T to follow.

“Don’t worry, big guy--they won’t bite ya!”

As you and Art are carried off like sacks of flour, you spot a smug Syb waving to you both from the safety of the passenger’s seat. D’oooh, she’ll get HERS!

>CONTD.
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>>4885347
“You guys must have been busy, huh? You all look totally different from Karaoke!”

You don’t bother answering. Hanging limp from Bea’s amazonian grasp, you shoot a dirty look towards Art as he glances your way. Way to go, hero.

“Shut up...” Art hisses. As your group approaches, a handful of GOOD BOY CORPORATE SECURITY OPERATIVES raise their weapons towards Talbot, prompting him to shield his still-battered body with his arms!

“At ease, amigos--a friend of Stan’s is a friend of mine!”

Lowering their weapons at Boris’ command, the operatives go back to whatever it is they were doing before while your little group approaches the driver’s side window of the other suped-up armored van. Gently placing you and Art onto your feet, Bea takes a position next to Talbot, the latter getting Boris’ attention almost immediately!

“Well WELL!” He chuckles, removing the GOLDEN MASK from his face, “you’re just collecting ‘em now, aren’t ya, bumblebee?”

You scoff in response--people just can’t resist the STAN SQUAD.

“Hey, that’s great.” Examining Talbot closer, Boris points a finger at your bodyguard’s face. “... JANITOR?

Talbot’s remaining eye glows in response! “JAAAAAN! JAAAAAAAN!” Chuckling at his response, Boris points at his own jumpsuit. Oh DAMN IT…

“Check it out, buddy--we’re basically brothers! I’m a janitor too, big guy!”

Extending a fist towards the gentle giant, Boris nods as Talbot raises his own. Tapping his fist against Talbot’s massive hand, Boris gives the ex-murder machine a genial smile.

“Man, Curt would love to take a look at you. Here I thought this guy was on the other team…”

Well, you grin, you just so happen to have his creator in the back of your van! Wasn’t too simple either, you se-

“Woah! ARCHIE!” Boris interrupts, tapping his eyebrow while finally noticing Art, “Lookin’ cool, man!”

“It’s uh…” Art mutters, “N-never mind. Thanks…”

You scoff--thanks, ARCHIE.

“Well!” Boris sighs, looking at you all with that SHITTY perfect smile of his, “here we are again! Workin’ hard, amigos?”

Part of you wants to escape back to the van, but you dunno--Bea might be faster than she looks…

What DO?
>We’re BUSY. What do you WANT?
>Where’s CURT?
>What have YOU guys been up to?
>Let ART drive the convo.
>RUN FOR THE VAN! YOU CAN MAKE IT!
>WRITE-IN
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>>4885352
>Let ART drive the convo.
He's grown a bit, let him handle this douchenozzle.
>>
>>4885375
this
>>
>>4885375
>>4885396
>Let ART drive the convo!

Writing!
>>
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Abandoning your escape plan, you decide to go with the next best thing: rather than making eye contact with Boris, you instead glance at Art expectantly, eliciting a confused look.

WHAT?” He hisses, eyes bouncing between you and Boris. Crossing your arms and leaning against Talbot, you raise an eyebrow--isn’t he gonna answer Boris’ question?

“Guh-well I mean, er…” Art sputters, turning his attention to Boris waiting patiently in the van, “Y-yea, we are…”

“Sure sounds like it!” Boris laughs, slapping the side of the van! “Guess you guys had fun up in the woods, huh?” Art follows Boris’ finger towards the towering pillar of smoke emanating from where you assume THE LAB used to be.

“Yea, erm… I guess you can say vicTREE is ours...” As Boris politely laughs at Art’s pitiful excuse of a joke, your driver turns to you and suddenly realizes what you’ve gotten him into! Grinning amicably as he sends you a look of PURE HATE, you nudge Talbot in his side a bit and chuckle to yourself--that’s right, Art can’t escape a conversation NOW!

“So um,” Art begins, scratching the back of his head, “what have you been up to… Dude?”

“Oh boy, what HAVEN’T we been up to?” Boris gushes, leaning back in his seat. “Still tracking down stragglers, of course--just did a sweep near the coast and it’s uh… What did you say back then, Bea?”

“Deader than Disco!” Bea giggles, causing Boris to snicker as well! “That’s what it was! Yea, it’s Skel Hell down there right now, not to mention all the BEASTS roaming around…”

Art looks your way expectantly, but you don’t give him any rope. You’re totally fine hangin’ with Talbot!

“Beasts, huh? What do you mean?”

“Well Stannie here would probably know better than anyone.” Boris replies, jerking a thumb your way. “There were a bunch of animal skeletons holed up in the GOOD BOY FACTORY--now it looks like they’re on the move. Hence all the hardware.” He concludes, gesturing with his head towards the rest of the APCS. “Curt even brought a few of his ORDER pals along--they’re lurking around here somewhere… Guess they all wanted TEAM CBB to babysit ‘em! HAH!”

Art laughs politely as you contemplate what you’ve heard--looks like euthanizing KING didn’t get rid of his cronies, huh? You aren’t excited about dealing with pirates either…

>CONTD.
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>>4885590
“Oh, that reminds me, bumblebee! Remember when you talked about eating MARROW back at Karaoke?!”

You let out an irritated sigh--kinda?!

“You’re gonna love this, then--I did what you said and ate a bit after we got into a scrap--turns out you aren’t the ONLY one who feels good eating that stuff!”

You feel something snap behind your eye, causing it to twitch erratically. WHAT?!?

“Yep, took some of the glowing stuff and boom--felt like I just scored the winning touchdown! Minus the sweat and the pushy groupies at the end, that is!” Boris tries to nudge your shoulder, but you easily evade him. So what, he’s got a SUPER-POWERED MASK AND can regenerate from bone marrow now!?

“Pretty sure I told you before,” Boris shrugs, “but they already wanted some of my BLOOD in MEDICAL--pretty sure they were using it for REGENERATIVE SERUM or something or other…”

“No way!” Art exclaims, eyes wide in realization! “That’s what got me back on my feet earlier!” Sensing your glare burning into his cheek, Art clears his throat. “Errr, I mean, back in the HOSPITAL. Fixed me up like new!”

“Well then, you’re very welcome, Arch!” Boris chuckles. “Always happy to lend a hand or ear to one of Stan’s groupies!”

The other janitor looks your way and grins, causing you to snarl and look the other way! This is bad--if he gets some of that LIEUTENANT MARROW…

You shake the thought from your head (a skill you’ve perfected over the years). There’s no way he’s gonna steal credit from you THIS time!

“Hey, there’s Curt now!” Boris remarks, waving down the line of APCS at the man wearing a dark longcoat talking with some other robed figures. Seeing you and Talbot, a wry smile forms on the mage’s face as he heads your way.

“Hey Stan,” Art mutters, interrupting your observation, “wasn’t there something you were going to ask Boris? You were talking about it earlier.”

“I’m all ears, Stannie!”

You clench your fists as you stare Art in the eye. Mouthing the words ‘payback’, he gives Bea and Boris a smile as he quietly backs away a bit. That BASTARD!

“Always happy to help Stan out!” Boris explains to Bea. “She’s like a kid sister to me--no relation, obviously!

Adding Syb and Art to your mental GET-EVEN LIST, you turn your attention to Boris, Bea, and the approaching Curt.

WHAT NEXT?
>SO great catching up--what do you guys WANT?
>Tell me more about the COAST.
>CURT! What’s the ORDER doing out here anyways?
>BEA! What’s your ROLE in all this?
>WRITE-IN
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>>4885592
>SO great catching up--what do you guys WANT?
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>>4885592
>WRITE-IN
"Mind lending me your mask for a second? Wanna see if something crazy happens when I put it on"
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>>4885592
>SO great catching up--what do you guys WANT?
>>
>>4885604
>>4885690
>Whaddaya WANT

>>4885663
>Lemme try your mask, man

WRITING
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You take a moment to glare at the neat GOLD SKULL MASK hanging from Boris’ fingers like a pair of $3 sunglasses--that PRICK! Part of you wants to give it a try for a moment, but you quickly reconsider--it probably only works on people with PURE EVIL in their hearts, or something. Plus you’d have to put your face where HIS face has been--that’s like an indirect kiss but WORSE! No THANK YOU!

You slap yourself a few times to help remove that unpleasant thought from your head, much to everyone else’s surprise.

“You uh… You okay, sweetheart?” Bea asks, placing a gauntlet on your shoulder as gently as she can.

“She’s fine--kid’s just wired differently from the rest of us!” Boris chuckles. “Just give her a minute while her brain catches up!”

You respond with a snarl--HE’S gonna need to catch up when… You…

Give it a minute, you have something for this!

“Well well, I knew I sensed a powerful aura…” Groaning at the interruption, you turn to face Curt Blacquiere, the third member of Boris’ merry band of FREAKS. Studying you intensely from behind his green bifocals, the mage raises a thin eyebrow your way.

“You’ve gained more power, haven’t you, Parble? That would mean another lieutenant lies defeated--very impressive indeed…”

Yes, you huff, and that’s why you were headed back to THE LODGE-- to get some well-deserved R&R after yet another tango with Death!

“Stan’s right,” Art chimes in with an apologetic look on his face, “we’ve got a lot of tired people too, so erm-”

“I get it! You’ve got places to be!” Boris grins, tapping his mask against the dashboard. “We’re headed back ourselves, actually--been a long night for us too.”

Great, you growl, so why did they stop you then? You’re about to have Talbot clear the way if they don’t-

“Easy, bumblebee! I just figured since we ran into each other we could have a little fun on the way to the endzone!

You can’t help but chuckle at that--sorry, jerk, but you’re not sleeping with anyone on the way back--ever hear of CAR SICKNESS?!

“Woah, okay! Not the intended message, Stannie! Shoulda ‘Stan-Proofed’ the words a little--my bad!” stammers Boris with an uncharacteristic look of surprise on his face! “No, we just noticed your wheels and figured we could put ‘em to the test.”

You, Art, and Talbot all blink. “... Are you challenging us to a race?” Art asks, prompting a pair of nods from Boris and Bea.

Oh BROTHER...

>CONTD.
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>>4885839
Several GOOD BOY OPERATIVES emerge from the APCS chanting the word ’RACE!’--even a few of Curt’s people get into it!

“Wait a minute,” Art interjects, raising his raspy voice above the chant, “race with what? Where?! WHY?!”

“You’ve got a van, we’ve got a van!” Giggles Bea as she slaps a massive hand on the hood of their van. “As for where…”

THE LODGE is straight down that-a-way.” Boris explains, pointing down a road lined with burnt-out car wrecks and rubble. “Curt’s boys will lay a visible path, all you gotta do is follow it. Before we do, that is. Two racers, one winner!”

You raise an eyebrow Curt’s way. He actually supports this? The mage adjusts his bifocals and smiles.

“Consider it an experiment of sorts. Besides, there’s much to be gained from this activity…”

You frown--the hell’s that supposed to mean?

“Exactly what it sounds like!” Boris laughs! “I know bragging rights don’t mean a thing to you--you need something CONCRETE, right? So let’s make things interesting.

You feel something lurch in your chest as he says that word. Interesting HOW?

“A bet, of course!” Answers Boris as the other two nod in agreement! “Your team wins, you get a prize! Our team wins, well…”

WE get a prize!” Bea interrupts. “And we’ve got something you’ll really get a kick out of, Stannie!”

Snapping his fingers, Curt folds his hands behind his back as two of his fellow ORDER members levitate a crate out from an APC and over to you! Placing it in front of Talbot, you and Art peek in to investigate and nearly FALL OVER!

Inside the crate is a cornucopia of booze! Scotch! Rum! Bourbon! Vodka! Flavored Liquor! You can barely keep the drool inside of your mouth!

“YYou can have these--all FIVE CRATES of em!” Boris smirks. “... If you WIN, of course.”

“And what if we don’t win?” Art asks, killing the mood again. “If you lose, you’re footing the bill for breakfast!” Bea explains with a wink! “And I could eat a truckload of waffles today!”

“You’ll also agree to a few tests, Ms. Parble.” Curt adds. “Nothing painful, of course, but my organization could learn much from your… Quirks.”

“There ya’ have it!” Boris chuckles, throwing his hands in the air! “Sounds like you’re getting the better end of the deal, huh?”

You look to Art who gives you a shrug. Talbot’s not gonna chime in and Ly’s probably still passed out, so it looks like this decision’s on you. As usual!

What say you?
>NOPE! We’re in a HURRY!
>Sounds GREAT! Let’s RACE!
>Lemme TALK with my TEAM FIRST.
>I want to CHANGE the BET (WRITE-IN)
>WRITE-IN
>>
>>4885840
>Sounds GREAT! Let’s RACE!
The booze will help us fulfill part of our sidequest for the greasers + gives us a chance to screw over Boris

If they don't lay hard ground rules we'll just cheat, ez.
>>
Gonna check back in on WEDNESDAY around 12-1PM PST--getting a little tired and I gotta wake up earlyish tomorrow. Keep those votes coming and thanks for playing/reading! Hope to see you next time!
>>
>>4885840
>Sounds GREAT! Let’s RACE!
I have a foolproof plan thats sure to work, it involves lots of skill and effort and hard wo- HAHAHAHA.
Nah lets cheat
>>
>>4885840
>Lemme TALK with my TEAM FIRST.
>>
>>4885840
>Lemme TALK with my TEAM FIRST.
>>
>>4885840
>>4885881
Changing my vote
>Lemme TALK with my TEAM FIRST.
Lets pray that the trio left some sick ass nitrous boost somewhere in this bitch
>>
Hey folks, update will be a bit delayed today due to errands and such. Should have something for you before the end of the day, though! Thanks for your patience!
>>
>>4885845
>Let's RACE!

>>4885979
>>4885983
>>4885996
>Hold on, gotta talk to the crew!

Writing!
>>
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Tapping your foot on the pavement as you think, you begrudgingly look in Boris’ direction when you have your answer: is it cool if you talk it out with the rest of your team first? Some of them have like… Diabetes and stuff and might not last long without food!

“Well sure!” Boris replies with a shrug. “Good on you for talking with your team, Stan! You’re becoming a real QB, you know that?”

Pretending you didn’t hear whatever it was Boris just called you, you duck past Bea and motion for Talbot and Art to follow--time to PLAN.

“Don’t forget to UNLOAD YOUR VAN and CHOOSE THE DRIVER!” Boris shouts as you shuffle away! Well DUH!

“So I’m not going to ask if we’re racing them or not because I KNOW you’re gonna say yes,” Art remarks as you head back towards your van, “but why are we talking to the others, then? This is way more forethought than usual for you.”

You shrug--he saw that reward! You can’t afford to lose this bet--you CAN’T!

By the time you reach the van, the film students, Gus and Mitzi are loaded up with weapons, ammo, and faces that tell you they’re ready for WAR!

“What’s the plan? We fighting?” Eddie asks eagerly. You shake your head--not this time, unfortunately!

“They er, they challenged us to a VAN RACE.” Art explains as Syb joins the circle raising an eyebrow.

“... Why?”

Because they’re competitive jerks and want to prove they’re all goody-goody and BETTER THAN YOU! Clenching your fist menacingly, a toothy grin forms on your face. You’ll show THEM, though!

“Also,” Art cuts in, “they’re offering FIVE CRATES OF BOOZE if we win. Even if we don’t give that to our greaser buddies, it’ll still come in useful.”

“Not that I’m upset by it, but why did you come talk to us, then?” Syb adds, placing a hand on her hip. First of all, you’re gonna need to clear out the van to make it as LIGHT AS POSSIBLE. Second, you’re gonna need a DRIVER. FOURTH, you’re gonna need to do whatever you can to make these freaks EAT YOUR DUST!

“Yep,” Art nods, “Otherwise that Curt guy’s gonna test Stan like a lab rat.”

The air around Syb chills as she stares at you in disbelief! “WHAAAAAT?!

Dang it, Art…

>CONTD.
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>>4887340
You roll your eyes--that’s not even the worst bit--if you lose you’ll have to treat those jerks to BREAKFAST! That’s the most important meal of the day, Syb! It’ll be RUINED!

Talbot sympathetically pats you on the head as snowflakes form around Syb much to Gus and Kiki’s enjoyment. “Stan, you can NOT let those simpletons from the ORDER study you! Don’t you know what that means!?”

You lean against Talbot’s side and shrug. So they take a little blood and give you a lollipop--big deal!
“It means they get a piece of that WILD MAGIC attuned to your body!” Syb shouts! “What if they find a way to weaponize it or something!?”

Then you’ll let some OTHER quest protagonist handle it! You’ve got enough crap to worry about!

“Err, that’s also only if we lose.” Art adds, coming to your rescue. “And we haven’t agreed to race yet!”

“Well you know my vote.” Syb growls, crossing her arms and prompting everyone to start booing her. “What? NO! Stop booing!” She exclaims, her anger immediately turning into confusion! “I WANT to crush them beneath our heels! That’s what I meant!”

The team ceases their booing--guess we’ve got the go-ahead, then!

“So what’s the strategy, boss?” Eddie asks excitedly! “Are we gonna leave ‘em in the dust with our superior racing skills?”

You can’t help but snicker at that--no, you reply in between laughs, you’re going to CHEAT YOUR ASSES OFF!

https://iasip.link/?VGhlIEdhbmcgQ2hlYXRzIFRoZWlyIEFzc2VzIE9mZg==

Your merry band erupts into a chorus of devious laughter. Good… We’ll see who pays for breakfast!

“So who’s racing?” Gus asks, raising his hand lazily.

“Gus makes a good point. I volunteer!” Eddie grins, jabbing his thumb towards his chest!

“Hey now, wait a minute…” Art chuckles, “It’s Stan’s choice, right? She can choose the BEST DRIVER.”

You coulda swore you saw Art wink at you, but you dismiss it. He’s right, though--you should start by choosing your racer! Who should it be?

>YOU, DUH!
>ART! He’s got the experience!
>SYB! Maybe she can MAGIC something up?
>MITZI! She’s cool and collected!
>TUCKER! He seems responsible!
>EDDIE! He didn’t crash when you were escaping the lab before!
>KIKI! She did a good job driving near the dam…
>DENISE! If you lose you can blame her! Win/win!
>GUS! Dude’s a genius when it comes to driving!
>TALBOT! Wait… Never mind.
>WRITE-IN
>>
>>4887345
>ART! He’s got the experience!
Can we have Sybil use Haste on the van right when the race starts to make it go faster? It doesn't specify the target has to be living.
>>
>>4887355
Why yes... Yes you CAN!
>>
>>4887345
>KIKI! She did a good job driving near the dam…
>https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=atuFSv2bLa8
Lets fuckin go, hit that haste
>>
>>4887345
>ART! He’s got the experience!
Tell him he's just like Speed Racer!
>>
>>4887355
Also +1 to haste on van, incredibly based idea
>>
>>4887355
>>4887425
>ART!

>>4887409
>KIKI!

Aaaaand don't forget the HASTE! Writing!
>>
File: haste.jpg (46 KB, 760x357)
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Biting your lip as you survey your band of misfits, you finally point your finger at ART who lights up like he just won the lottery or something.

“R-REALLY?!”

“R-REALLY?!” Eddie groans simultaneously!

Before they can get into another MARITAL SPAT, you raise a hand and tell them both to shut the hell up--Art gets all the glory, sure, but if he screws up....

The horror that appears on Art’s face intensifies as he locks eyes with Syb.

“You’ll do GREAT!” She exclaims, wrapping her arms around his neck! “Though I will NEVER FORGIVE YOU if you lose…”

“Woohoo.” Art whispers, weakly raising his arms in the air. Shaking your head, you slap the guard on his back--Syb’s right, he’ll be fine! Besides, you’ve already got a few tricks up your sleeve!

“Should uh…” Art mutters, “Should I know what those tricks are?”

“It’d be handy if we knew the route…” Mitzi muses to herself. “Did they say anything about it?”

You shrug--apparently some of Curt’s bathrobe models are gonna mark it with MAGIC or some crap.

“It should be rather straightforward, then,” Syb explains, “you’ll probably see a glowing arrow or two on the street or buildings…”

“Just like that Burning Rubber game, huh?” Gus remarks with a small grin. Raising a hand in the air to shut everyone up, you feel a devilish grin form on your face as you turn towards Syb.

“Y-yes, Stan?” She mutters, taking a step back from your manic look.

Her HASTE spell--it wouldn’t happen to work on VANS, would it? Syb ponders the question for a moment, then matches your grin with one of her own.

“Why yes... Yes it does!”

“No offense, Syb, but won’t those guys notice a spell?” Tucker interjects, prompting a few ‘mhm’s from your pals.

“Not if they’re distracted.” The goth replies, rubbing her chin. “Any ideas?”

“I could show them a few BIKE TRICKS.” Gus suggests.

I co-could point out something wrong w-with one of their vehicles!” Denise squeaks.

“We could also just get Boris talking again.” Art shrugs. “Whatever we do we oughta do it fast…”

“WE RACIN’ OR WHAT, BUMBLEBEE?!!?”

Shooting a thumbs up to Boris’ distant and yet still very annoying voice, you weigh your options--how do you give Syb the time she needs?

>BIKE TRIIIICKS!
>MECHANICAL MALFUNCTION!
>Talk to BORIS (ugh.)
>WRITE-IN
>>
>>4887550
>BIKE TRIIIICKS!
Actually laughed at the (Ugh) in the other choice.
>>
>>4887550
>BIKE TRIIIICKS!
Make us proud
>>
>>4887552
>>4887554
>BIKE TRIIIIICKS!

Looks like it's time for GUS to WORK HIS MAGIC! ROLL 1d100+10 since Gus CAN BIKE! I'll take the BEST OF 3 ROLLS!
>>
Rolled 34 + 10 (1d100 + 10)

>>4887599
Watch THIS!
>>
Getting a bit tired on my end, so I'll check back in on this THURSDAY AROUND 11-12PM PST!

We still need 2 MORE 1d100+10's--you can do that by writing dice+1d100-10 in the OPTIONS field! Don't ask me why you put a minus there--that's just how shit works!

See you on Thursday and thanks again for playing!
>>
Rolled 35 + 10 (1d100 + 10)

>>4887599
>>
>>4887653
For reference it works with a + too. + or - gets you +10, but you need to write +-10 to get a -10. It really is strange
>>
Rolled 22 + 10 (1d100 + 10)

>>4887599
>>
>>4887606
>>4887656
>>4887715
>HIGHEST ROLL: 45!

Writing!
>>
File: talbnstan.png (96 KB, 800x600)
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The answer is obvious. Looking at your pizza delivery man friend, you give him ‘The Nod’.

It’s TIME.

Wordlessly mounting his bike, Gus rides over to the convoy, dismounts, and quietly gathers a pile of wood and a few chunks of concrete. Seeing Syb watch intently, you gently slap her on the cheek--there’s no time! She’s gotta do it now!

“R-right…” Syb mutters, turning away from the spectacle about to unfold. Positioning yourself between her and the jerks across from you, you eagerly await Gus’ show!

Hold on. Waiiiit a minute.

Snapping your fingers at Talbot, you motion for him to stand next to you to help shield Sybil’s dark deeds. When the giant stomps over, you climb up his side and take a seat on his shoulder--best seats in the house AND you get to hide Syb! Win-win situation, baby!

https://youtu.be/gfyNI0GAZ-A

If the convoy crowd suspects anything, they don’t say it--by now most of the security goons are watching eagerly as Gus finishes building a makeshift ramp. Boris watches intently from the driver’s seat of his van while Bea takes a seat on the pavement. Hell, even CURT and his magical mooks are watching! You can’t help but grin--all according to plan!

Walking his bike a few feet away from the contraption, Gus hits the kickstand and dismounts one more time. Confidently striding to the ramp one more time, your neighbor pauses to observe his audience before retrieving a small, dirt-flecked PIZZAMAN PLUSH from his pocket and placing it at the base of the ramp. Ignoring the concerned gasps from the crowd, Gus returns to his bike, flicks the kickstand up with his foot, and revs his engine three times.

This is IT.

“Just need to concentrate…” Syb hisses, prompting you to shush her! JUST DO IT, NERD!

A hush falls over the road as everyone watches in anticipation--now that you think about it you’re not sure if there are any skeletons around, but if there are chances are they’re watching politely! Starving the crowd for a few more seconds, Gus takes one final breath before hitting the throttle!

Like a rocket made to deliver pizza, the bike flies towards the ramp with reckless abandon! A few ORDER goons gasp as the motorcycle’s front wheel mounts the plywood ramp, but you know better--Gus is an artiste!

The machine sails over the plush like it was nothing and gets like… THREE FEET OF AIR! AT LEAST FOUR!

Landing with a triumphant THUD, Gus and his noble steed come to a rolling stop a few feet from Boris’ entourage. The delivery man basks in the glory for a moment, then turns to grin at the onlookers...

...Who promptly EXPLODE with shouts and applause!

>CONTD.
>>
File: sybspellfail.png (152 KB, 512x322)
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>>4888800
Gus wordlessly retrieves the plush from below the ramp as the air is filled with hoots and hollers! Not one to be left out, you join in on the cheering as well, prompting the rest of your gang to follow suit! The convoy tries to drown you out, but you’re not gonna let them, damn it! Raising your head skyward, you concentrate energy in your new eye and send a LASER into the sky, bisecting a section of clouds as it travels towards the stratosphere!

Rubbing the heat and irritation from your eye, you look downward again and find that all eyes are now on you... Or rather the van behind you.

“Hey, uh,” Boris mutters, pointing a finger behind you, “What’s going on back there, Curt?”

You whirl around on Talbot’s shoulders to find Syb with a panicked look plastered on her pale face as trails of energy trickle out of her palm and into your van. What the HELL, SYB??!

“I-I might have gotten distracted by the trick…” She stammers, not making eye contact with you. “A-and then I got performance anxiet-”

Haste. How elementary.

Turning back towards the convoy, you find Curt hovering menacingly in front of your van raising a VERY DISAPPROVING EYEBROW your way!

“It would appear they were trying to cheat, Boris.”

The street goes silent as you struggle to come up with an explanation--it… You know… Er…

Luckily Boris is able to break the silence! As usual. Chuckling to himself, your coworker shakes his head a few times and shrugs. “That’s our Stan! I’m not a cheating man myself, but even I’ll admit if I was her I’d get tired of losing all the time too!”

-1 MORALE!

As Curt saps the energy from your van with a few muttered words, Boris snaps his fingers at Bea, then jabs a finger your way.

“Bea, you mind helping Stannie here to her seat? I’m still game for a race, but if we waste any more time we’re gonna miss breakfast!”

Clinging to Talbot like a cat about to go to the vet, you frantically shake your head! WAIT, you squeak, it was ART! ART’S the driver!

Too late. Stopping in front of your bodyguard, Bea politely holds her arms out, prompting Talbot to deposit you without a fuss. Scratching at her arms like a rabid raccoon, you shoot one last withering glare towards Syb as you’re unceremoniously stuffed into your van’s driver’s seat!

“Safety first, hon!” Bea giggles as she buckles your seatbelt! Slamming the door behind her, the amazon cheerfully makes her way back to Boris’ van and waves you over.

SHIT.

“Uuuugh… Whad’ I miss?”

Shut up, Ly.

>CONTD.
>>
>>4888803
Sitting in the driver’s seat of the van like your first day of Driver’s Ed, you ignore the seething look Art’s giving you and groan--stupid SYB! Stupid BORIS!

“Let’s go, bumblebee! Don’t got all day to beat ya!”

Grinding your teeth, you adjust the van seat for someone of your stature and fix the mirrors while you’re at it. Looks like you aren’t getting outta this one…

You’ve probably got time to do ONE THING before Bea comes and drives the van for you, so what do you do?

“Hold on,” Ly grumbles as you feel his presence stir inside of you, “are we in a RACE?

Read the last few posts, man--we’ve got choices to make!

>Examine the STEERING COLUMN!
>Tune the radio to something APPROPRIATE!
>Get a feel for the WEIGHT!
>Try to figure out how to DRIFT or something!
>WRITE-IN
>>
>>4888807
>Tune the radio to something APPROPRIATE!
>Try to figure out how to DRIFT or something!
>>
>>4888807
>Try to figure out how to DRIFT or something!
>>
>>4888807
>Tune the radio to something APPROPRIATE!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kxLwGow0Tvw
>Try to figure out how to DRIFT or something!
>>
>>4888811
>>4888820
>>4888935
>RADIO AND DRIFT!

Gonna need you to roll 1d100+5 to see just how successful you are at KANSEI DORIFUTO. +5 thanks to appropriate music! I'll take the BEST OF 3 ROLLS!
>>
Rolled 59 + 5 (1d100 + 5)

>>4888956
Time to unleash our secret driving technique...!
>>
Rolled 72 + 5 (1d100 + 5)

>>4888956
GAS GAS GAS!
>>
Waiting on one more roll--feel free to go again if you want!
>>
Rolled 96 + 5 (1d100 + 5)

>>4889038
I was just about to ask if you wanted one of us to roll again lol
>>
>>4888962
>>4888965
>>4889039
>HIGHEST ROLL: 101!

That'll do it! Writing!
>>
File: skeletunes.png (106 KB, 856x688)
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First thing’s first--you aren’t racing without some appropriate tunes. The right music choice during a race adds at least TEN HORSEPOWER to your wheels--that’s a straight-up FACT!

“True… True…” Ly mutters, his voice still a tad hoarse. “Doubt da’ radio station signals are cuttin’ through da’ BARRIER, though…”

You scoff--Tim might be a lot of things, but he’s gotta enjoy music! Fiddling with the van’s radio knob a bit, all you get is a whole lotta STATIC. Come on!

“I don’t think hittin’ it is gonna help, cupcake…” Ly mutters as you slap your palm against the dashboard a few times! Baloney--that’s what everyone says until it works!

Like magic, a final smack to the radio causes the static to be replaced by an unfamiliar male voice!

“-’re back! The town might be dyin’, but that doesn’t mean the beat is too! You’re listenin’ to SKELE-TUNES--your 24-hour stop for Beats to Kill Meatbags to! We don’t have any left, really, but here’s a song to get that blood pumpin--rev your engines, cuz this is ‘Sprintin’ in the Nines!

https://youtu.be/kxLwGow0Tvw

You only need to hear the first few notes before a smile creeps across your face--yea, that’ll do it! You’re so inspired, in fact, you’ve got a good idea forming in your head!

“Dat’s da’ ticket!” Ly praises! “You got a strategy for winnin’, or somethin’?”

You shake your head--even better! You’re gonna learn HOW TO DRIFT!

Even the song seems to go silent in response to your claim. WHAT?!

>CONTD.
>>
File: therace.png (1376 KB, 1028x1336)
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>>4889146
“... Now?

Yes, Ly, NOW. It makes your car faster, right? Why wouldn’t you wanna learn now? Scanning the cabin interior, you look for the essentials of a good drift--STEERING WHEEL: CHECK. BRAKES: CHECK. GEAR SHIFT: CHECKAROO.

“... Can you even drift in an automatic?” Ly asks, raising one of your eyebrows. Of course--the automatic shift just makes it easier, Duh-DOI!

Revving the van’s engine a bit to the enjoyment of the people outside, you roll your window down and place your arm in its usual spot. First thing’s first--gotta get COMFY.

“... Great. What’s STEP 2?

You’re getting to that, sheesh! STEP 2 is MOVING. Can’t drift without moving. Putting the van into DRIVE, your ride lurches forward as you head for where Boris and his cheerleaders are patiently waiting.

Let’s see… STEP 3 is to go REALLY FAST! Pushing the pedal to the metal, your ride rockets towards the spectators, causing many of them to dive for cover!

“S-STEP 4???” Ly mutters, hanging onto your body for dear life! STEP 4 is… DRIFFFFFFT!

Mashing the wheel to the left, you stomp on the brakes as you jerk the gear shift up and down rapidly! A painful grinding noise and sparks behind the van tell you all you need to know:

IT’S WORKING!

Skidding in a lazy arc into perfect position next to Boris, you ignore the smell of burning metal and rubber and give your competition a smug look--is he ready to race or what?

“Sure,” Boris chuckles, putting on a pair of gold-rimmed aviators, “and just so you know, I WILL want seconds at breakfast.”

Placing your own pair of SHADES on, you snicker--he can have all he wants… It’s HIS paycheck!

As the two of you stare each other down, Curt floats over to your vans and clears his throat for attention.

“The rules are simple--follow the GLOWING PATH to the BAGEL STORE--the one with the giant bagel in front. Shortcuts and bumping are fair game, within reason.” The mage shoots you a practiced scowl. “Weapons, firearms, and any attempts on the other’s life will result in… Consequences.

Glancing at one of many watches on his forearm, Curt motions for Bea to approach.
“You’ll begin when Beatrix says ’GO.’ Let’s get this farce over with.”

As Curt and Bea trade places, your view shifts between your opponent and the amazon. Both revving your engines, your respective fans line up alongside your rides and cheer!

“You got this, Stan!” Eddie howls!

“Drive like we first met!” Art adds, prompting Syb to pop in too!

“You can do it, Stan! Grind their NOSES in it!”

Raising a hand in the air, Bea stares both vans down and giggles excitedly!

3! 2!

>CONTD.
>>
>>4889152
Looks like you’re about to start! What’s the plan?!
>Take off RIGHT when she says GO!
>TRIP UP BORIS a bit! Say or do something! (WRITE-IN)
>PEER ahead and plan a ROUTE!
>EXAMINE the DASHBOARD one more time!
>WRITE-IN!
>>
>>4889155
>EXAMINE the DASHBOARD one more time!
There's gotta be some extra tricks somewhere on here
>>
>>4889155
>TRIP UP BORIS a bit! Say or do something! (WRITE-IN)
Bring up what we learned about him from the records in school with his family issues.

"Hey, remember that accident you had back at the football game? I'm glad you healed up- was your family worried about you?"
>>
>>4889152
>>EXAMINE the DASHBOARD one more time!

Smokescreen or noxious gas button perchance?
>>
>>4889193
>>4889257

Also would like to add we should also verbally mess with the dickwad.
>>
>>4889158
>>4889193
>>4889257
>>4889258
>EXAMINE DASH AND PISS OFF BORIS!

Writing! Sorry folks, shopping trip turned into dinner turned into TV turned into.... You know.
>>
File: forcefield.jpg (23 KB, 299x220)
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Time slows to a crawl as you enter… THE DECISION ZONE! Not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, you spend the elongated second or two taking one last look at your dashboard for anything that could give you an edge! After all, it’s been a while since you drove this thing--who knows what THE TRIO plugged into it?

Your search bears fruit almost immediately by landing on a button you’re sure wasn’t there before--nestled in between the air conditioning and defogger controls, you almost didn’t catch it! A red triangle sitting inside of another triangle is printed on the button--Syb and Curt mentioned PYRAMIDS earlier, so maybe it’s some kinda FORCE FIELD!

“... Pretty sure it’s da’ emergency lights, cupcake.”

You roll your eyes. Yes, Ly, of COURSE you’ll only use it in emergencies! Waving his comment off, you notice ANOTHER neat addition to the ride just to the left of the steering wheel--a small, hastily-sautered switch with a crudely-drawn picture of… Some sort of DOT CLOUD underneath? The hell is this?

“Maybe some kinda SMOKE SCREEN?” Ly guesses. “Dat’ or a TURBO BOOST. I’m more surprised dat’ Eddie an’ Art never tried it out!”

Pssh! Eddie was probably just trying to impress you with his good driving skills and Art just hates fun--nothing new there!

“Dat’ reminds me,” Ly continues, tapping your fingers on the wheel, “didn’t he say he was gonna tell everyone how he survived? Did I miss dat’?”

No, he still hasn’t done it, but now that you think about it… Your eyes go wide as a realization hits you like a truck: what if you LOSE?!

“I mean, it’ll suck, but whaddaya’ gonna do?” Ly shrugs. He doesn’t get it, damn it--if you’re running tests with Curt’s LARP Group Art will TOTALLY tell everyone the story but you! You can’t afford to lose!

“Okay, quit snarlin’ for a sec--do you really think Art would do dat’?” You respond to Ly’s question with a hollow chuckle--has he really been so easily fooled? Despite his wimpy appearances, Art is easily the most evil and vindictive member of the gang!

“Hey bumblebee, you done talkin’ to yourself? I don’t think Bea can hold the number one much longer!”

Speaking of evil...

>CONTD.
>>
File: ball.jpg (33 KB, 612x360)
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>>4889552
Abandoning your train of thought to glance at Boris, you follow his hairy finger to a distressed and winded Bea, who appears to still be saying the number one. So that’s what that was! You thought there was a generator nearby!

“Didn’t wanna interrupt--I think it’s cute you still spend time with your imaginary friends!” Boris chuckles as you white-knuckle the wheel! “No worries though--there’s two types of people in this world, Stannie: those who make touchdowns and those who pass the ball!”

“You just gonna take dat’, cupcake?” Ly asks, goading you on. Not damn likely!

Being with Boris again takes you back to what you learned during your trip to the High School Counselor’s Office--specifically that juicy piece of dirt on the aftermath of the big game… A devious smile crosses your face as you raise an eyebrow his way--hey Bor, speaking of football, remember that accident you had at the big game?

You see a shift in his smile.

“What about it, Stan?”

Hook, line and SINKER. Even BEA stopped counting! Shaking your head sheepishly, you chuckle to yourself--you didn’t mean anything by it--hell, you’re glad his leg’s all healed up now!

Confusion spreads across his face. “Well uh… Thanks, Sta-”

How’d his family feel about it? Was daddy upset when his dear star quarterback couldn’t play ball anymore?

Boris’ lip quivers in a way you’ve never seen before, and for a moment you almost see a crack in his facade.

Almost. When he whispers his response you can barely hear it over the engines and the resumed counting:

“What do you know about my fa-”

GO!

Grinning madly, you prepare to take off as Boris comes back to reality! You’ve got the jump on him--time to take the lead!

Roll 1d100+10 to GAS GAS GAS STEP ON DA GAS! I’LL TAKE THE BEST OF 3 ROLLS!

This is also the last update of the night/day--got an errand or two to do in the morning so expect an update around FRIDAY 1-2PM PST! Might get it out earlier, but we'll see! Thanks as usual for reading/playing and hope to see you next time for racing shenanigans!
>>
Rolled 60 + 10 (1d100 + 10)

>>4889556
All of those years playing Crave that Momentum are gonna pay off
>>
Rolled 90 + 10 (1d100 + 10)

>>4889556
>>
Rolled 38 + 10 (1d100 + 10)

>>4889556

DO YOU LIKE. MY CAR? MY CAR?!
>>
File: Kuraido.png (169 KB, 600x600)
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>>4889564

Excellent...
>>
>>4889561
>Crave that Momentum
I love you, anon.

Speaking of love....

>>4889564
Holy SHIT. Guess you guys started off strong.

>>4889565
COME ALONG GET IT ON

>HIGHEST ROLL: NON-NAT 100, baby!

Turns out the shit I was gonna do today can't be done until Monday, so on the bright side that means MORE BONES QUEST WHETHER YOU LIKE IT OR NOT! Writing!
>>
File: pretenditsdavan.gif (1119 KB, 498x278)
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https://youtu.be/kxLwGow0Tvw
Shifting into ‘DRIVE’ and hitting the gas in one fluid motion, you charge out of the starting position like a bat outta hell! Mashing the horn as your gang fills the sweet, apocalyptic air with cheers, you hazard a look back towards Boris--your High School (and current) Tormenter cursing as he fiddles with something on his end!

“Da’ creep had it in PARK!” Ly cackles, planting his ASTRAL PROJECTION in the passenger’s seat! “Now we just gotta hold on to da’ lead, kiddo!”

You nod as you crank the radio knob--any chance he can give you a head’s up on the directions? You’re pretty sure Curt and his goons won’t be able to see Ly from this distance.

“Consider me da’ CO-DRIVER!” Your skeleton’s ghostly form shoots ahead as you weave through a slalom of burned-out cars--despite it all it looks as though the ORDER cleared this place up a bit! As you approach an intersection blocked by a stack of trucks, you notice a GLOWING GREEN ARROW directing you to the right. Preparing to turn, Ly hops back into the passenger’s seat and grins.

“Hear me out, cupcake--ya see dat’ CAFE up ahead?”

You follow his finger and nod--next to the aforementioned barricade sits a quaint little coffee shop with a sign reading The Daily Grind sitting above the entrance in fancy lettering.

“Take a look to da’ RIGHT.”

Following his directions, you frown--what, the barricade? What about i-

“No, stupid, that’s your LEFT. I meant dat’ SEATING AREA.

Oh. That makes a lot more sense! Sure enough, there’s a large seating area enclosed by a wall of glass--most likely to keep things bright while also keeping the homeless away. Not a bad bit of architecture!

“Straight through there’s da’ road--da arrow’s got us doin’ a HAIRPIN TURN!

You blink. So he’s suggesting you head STRAIGHT THROUGH? The astral projection nods eagerly.

“You can’t always be da’ one comin’ up wit’ crazy ideas…”

As your van approaches, you catch yourself biting your lip--you’ve got a lead now AND you learned how to DRIFT-- should you go for the shortcut and risk getting stuck, or take the safer, albeit LONGER way?
What’s the play?
>SAFER, but SLOWER--let’s do the TURN.
>THROUGH THE CAFE! Fortune favors the BOLD!
>LASER-BLAST the BARRICADE and GO THAT WAY!
>WRITE-IN
>>
>>4890455
>THROUGH THE CAFE! Fortune favors the BOLD!

Taking the safe option with Stan?
NO WAY!
>>
>>4890455
>THROUGH THE CAFE! Fortune favors the BOLD!
>>
>>4890455
>THROUGH THE CAFE! Fortune favors the BOLD!
>>
>>4890455
>>SAFER, but SLOWER--let’s do the TURN.
nice redline gif BTW
>>
>>4890455
>>THROUGH THE CAFE! Fortune favors the BOLD!

Get fucking rekt, Boris!
>>
File: goodshit.gif (7255 KB, 640x360)
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>>4890494
Thanks! Friggin love Redline--highly recommend it if anyone hasn't watched it!

That said,

>>4890460
>>4890461
>>4890483
>>4890504
>BOLD AND BRASH

>>4890494
>ACTUALLY INTELLIGENT

Looks like we're taking a coffee break! Roll me 1d100+5 for a REAL CAFFEINE CRASH! You get a small BONE-US thanks to your lead over that scrub BORIS. I'll take the BEST OF 3 ROLLS!
>>
Rolled 9 + 5 (1d100 + 5)

>>4890513
>>
File: 1619120255055.gif (255 KB, 326x326)
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>>4890517
>>
Rolled 1 + 5 (1d100 + 5)

>>4890513
>>
>>4890525
I'm gonna have to go back and check how many Nat 1's we've rolled in this quest--I get the feeling that we might be spitting in Probability's face here!

In any case, you still have ONE MORE CHANCE TO ROLL A 100! I'll update after that last roll.
>>
Rolled 61 + 5 (1d100 + 5)

>>4890513

>>4890525
Crawling in my skiiiiiiiiin, these wounds they will not heeeaaaaal
>>
>>4890517
>>4890525
>>4890535
>NAT 1

Welp, time to kill Art again. Writing!
>>
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You answer Ly with a toothy grin--see, this is how you know he’s YOUR skeleton! Always coming up with good ideas!

“I’m full of ‘em.” Ly snickers. “Shall we?”

We shall! Zooming past the turn indicated by the glowing arrow, you instead hit the gas as you careen towards the seating area! Looks like this place is about to get a drive-thru!

Connecting with the glass windows, the van instantly crunches into a cube with you in it, killing you instantly.

GAME OV

PSSSH could you imagine!? It’s GLASS, come on now! Crashing through the windows like an action hero, you and Ly chuckle to each other as your van makes quick work of the bougie tables and chairs in the seating area! Take that, tasteful atmosphere!

“Wait a minute,” Ly mutters as you approach the other end, “What is-STAN, LOOK OUT!

It takes you a moment to see what Ly’s screaming about, but by the time you see it it’s already too late! A massive dispenser machine labelled ’WELCOME TO TOPPING TOWN!’ sits on the counter you’re approaching! Before you can swerve, the van crashes into the horrible contraption causing a foul blend of SYRUP, CHOCOLATE, CINNAMON, HONEY, BACON BITS, and COUNTLESS OTHER TOPPINGS cake your windshield, completely obstructing your vision!

“What kinda’ animal needs all dese’ toppins’ anyways?!?” Ly sputters as you try to regain control of your van! CALIFORNIANS, you spit. They’re worse than animals!

ROLL 1d100-10 to regain control of the van! I’ll take the BEST OF 3 ROLLS! Don’t forget to include specific topping-removal strats!
>>
Rolled 15 - 10 (1d100 - 10)

>>4890579
We have isopropyl alcohol on us, lets try using that for a cleaning boost. We are a janitor damnit, lets clean. Plus if the isopropyl lights on fire we are gonna get a sick-ass Hell Rider effect with a super low temperature harmless fire.
>>
Rolled 33 - 10 (1d100 - 10)

>>4890579
>>
Rolled 99 - 10 (1d100 - 10)

>>4890579
>>
>>4890606
SO CLOSE TO A 100
>>
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>>4890606
>>
>>4890611
Some day, my friends. Some day!

>>4890592
>>4890605
>>4890606
>HIGHEST ROLL: 89!

Writing!
>>
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You snarl as the windshield wipers get stuck in the hot, multicolored mess on the windshield--this isn’t good!

Sticking his head through the mess, Ly does his best to navigate as you wrestle with the van! “AUGH! TURN LEFT!” He shouts, pointing to your ri-

Wait.. No, it’s your left. Whoops. You turn the way Ly points, depositing you safely on what you hope is road. Glaring at the goop obstructing your view, a dusty lightbulb flickers to life in your head--wait a minute! You’ve dealt with crap like this before!

“Then deal wit’ dis’!” Ly shouts! “Preferably NOW!

Rummaging through your pockets, you whip out the BOTTLE OF ISOPROPYL ALCOHOL you shamelessly stole from the High School Nurse’s Office! You remember this stuff did a number on that mold that was making its home in the GOOD BOY STAFF LOUNGE a few months back--a much more effective tool than a drink, that’s for damn sure!

“Your liver still bitches to me about dat’, ya know.” Ly mutters as you lean out the window. You hold the wheel steady with one of your feet and uncap the bottle, swooning a bit as the intense fumes tickle your nostrils! LATER, Stan! Dumping the concoction on the mass of coffee condiments, you duck back inside and flick the windshield wipers back on!

As expected, the mass withers and shrieks a bit before dissolving into nothing more than a foul memory! Pumping your fist, you regain control of the van and continue down the road! You take a peek in your mirrors as you take your ride past a burning helicopter wreck--a speck in the distance drifts around what you assume was the HAIRPIN TURN. HAH! Boris is practically in another ZIP CODE! Cackling with glee, your mirth is interrupted once again by Ly howling about something.

“Da’ hell is DAT?” your skeleton hisses, pointing to a FLOATING GREEN ORB above you! You dunno, but it’s weird! What do you do!?

>WAVE to it! It doesn’t cost anything to be friendly!
>IGNORE it. Probably just Aurora Borealis or something.
>ATTACK! It’s trying to get you!
>WRITE-IN
>>
>>4890660
>Write-In
>Press one of the new buttons on your dashboard!
>>
>>4890699
>>4890699
Hit the hazard lights! I see a hazard!
>>
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>>4890699
>4890660

Checked. Seconding.
>>
>>4890699
+1ing
>>
>>4890699
>>4890724
Let's press a button! Could you guys be a bit more specific, though?

Which of the following will Stan press?
>HAZARD LIGHTS
>MYSTERY BUTTON NEAR WHEEL
>ALL OF THEM! PANIC!
>>
>>4890734
>HAZARD LIGHTS
>>
>>4890734
>>ALL OF THEM! PANIC!

Cause we're Stan, that's why.
>>
Rolled 3 (1d3)

>>4890734
MY VOTE WILL BE RANDOM
1. Hazard Light
2. Mystery Button
3. All of them
>>
>>4890735
>HAZARDS!

>>4890737
>>4890741
>CLASSIC STAN

Writing! Thanks for the clarification!
>>
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Blanching at the UFO keeping pace with your van, you quietly, but firmly instruct Ly to buckle in--things are about to get bumpy!

“They’re already bump-oh, gotcha.”

As Ly’s fingerbones phase through his seatbelt, you unbuckle yours and clench your teeth--you’re not gonna let this thing take you out of the lead!

MEANWHILE AT THE RACE STARTING POINT…

“Gotta say, Basil, this is a pretty cool spell.”

A slight grin forms on the ORDER member as he conjures a GREEN SCREEN in the air for everyone to see.

“Please refrain from addressing him directly--this spell requires a great deal of concentration.” Curt snaps, earning a ‘who cares’ shrug from Mitzi.

W-w-w-would anyone like s-some popc-corn!?” Denise sputters, weaving through the audience members with a massive bag in her sweaty hands.

“Thanks, pipsqueak~” Bea giggles, snatching the bag from the scientist’s hands.

“She’s got quite the lead, huh?” Tucker remarks, prompting a grunt from Gus.

“It’s in the bag!” Eddie grins, taking a bite out of a breakfast bar! “Brsch wgng nrrdg err mfr-”

Tucker cuts Eddie off with an elbow to the stomach. “Chew first.”

“Doesn’t matter how you start--it’s how you finish.” Gus mutters, eliciting some knowing nods from Tucker and Kiki.

“So,” Syb begins, scooching a tad closer to Art, “you think she’ll pull it off?”

“Eh.” Art shrugs, gingerly placing an arm around Syb’s shoulder. “Her track record’s pretty… Erratic.

“True. Still, sh-”

“GOLLY, look at THAT!

Interrupted by the GOOD BOY GOON sitting in front of them, Syb and Art’s eyes go wide as the van snakes back and forth on the road!

“ABDUCT SOMEONE YOUR OWN SIZE, CREEPS!!”

The goth massages her temples as the screen zooms in on Stan angrily shaking her fist at the feed..

“... She doesn’t know, does she?” Art remarks, prompting Syb to shake her head. “Let’s just hope she doesn’t do anything stupid...”

>CONTD.
>>
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>>4890862
BACK IN THE VAN....

What’s wrong with this stupid thing?! Does it understand ENGLISH?! This is America--it has to! It’s the LAW! Grabbing an empty bottle from the drink holder, you send it sailing through the orb, but nothing happens!

“I don’t think dat’s gonna work, cupcake!” Ly shouts, still struggling to buckle up! Letting out an angry sigh, you shake your head--looks like it’s time for your LAST RESORT!

“Oh god, please don’t kill us.”

A resigned smile forms on your face--you can’t promise that. Not with what you’re about to do! Flexing your BUTTON-PRESSING FINGER as it hovers over the dashboard, you give a final salute to Ly. It’s been a wild ride, old ch-

KEEP YER’ DAMN HAND ON DA’ WHEEL!

Ending your salute with a frown on your face, you shake your head. Fine, you grumble, so much for a final sendoff…

“Stan, it’s not a final sendoff--I told ya’ already, it’s da’ friggin’ EMERGENCY LI-

Your finger depresses the EMERGENCY FORCE FIELD BUTTON before Ly can be all negative again, causing the dashboard’s readouts to flicker! What the he-

And that’s when you feel it--a peculiar buzzing sensation on your skin and teeth as if you were a human tuning fork.

“What in the hell…” Ly mutters as the van is quickly enveloped by a faint blue light! You can’t help but scoff--you told him already--it’s a friggin’ FORCE FIELD! Sometimes it pays to listen, Ly.

“No way…” Mutters the skeleton as a wayward pigeon flies too close to your ride and is vaporized. WAY. Now shut up--you’re gonna try the other one!

Before he can convince you otherwise, you MASH the button next to the wheel! The van’s engine sputters for a moment, but quickly recovers. Disappointed, you smack the button a few more times! What’s the deal?!

That’s when the music starts...

>CONTD.
>>
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>>4890867
Now that you think about it, though, it’s kinda hard to tell what happened first. Most importantly, you hear the van’s engine roar like a pissed-off grizzly bear as the whole thing rockets down the road! Grabbing your hat to keep it from flying away, your eyes are assaulted by a rainbow of flashing lights in and outside of the van! Bits of confetti shoot from the A/C vents and the defoggers outside, the latter instantly vaporizing against the FORCE FIELD!

Oh right, and the music.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY I LOVE YOU! HAPPY BIRTHDAY I LOVE YOU!”

Oh NO, not THIS AGAIN!

Instinctively clasping your ears shut at the horrible din, you feel the van skid out of control as whatever the hell you activated shoots you towards a PILLOW AND MATTRESS STORE at the end of the street!

“Stan, dat’ says PROPANE AN’ MATCHES STORE!” Ly howls. Squinting at the rapidly-approaching storefront, you frown--they really oughta use a better font for that.

“Let’s write a strongly-worded letter after we DON’T DIE!” Ly suggests. Agreeing, you fight the g-force and the volume of the worst song ever to try and push the button next to the wheel! At that same moment, however, one of the pieces of confetti decides to ignite rather than disintegrate, turning your windshield into a raging conflagration!

You’ve gotta say--this race thing did turn out pretty fun. Oh right, rolls.

ROLL 1d100 to GET CONTROL BACK! I’ll take the BEST OF 3 ROLLS!
>>
Rolled 8 (1d100)

>>4890870
>>
Rolled 6 (1d100)

>>4890870
YEEHAWWWWW
>>
>>4890891
Someone please save us
>>
Rolled 75 (1d100)

>>4890870
Watch THIS!!!
>>
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>>4890896
>pic related

>>4890881
>>4890891
>>4890896
>HIGHEST ROLL: 75!

Writing!
>>
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Using what little ab, arm, and finger strength you have, you fight against the speed pushing you into your seat and smash the button next to the wheel with a triumphant ‘CLICK!’ Whooping victoriously as the music shuts off, the lights go dark, and the confetti stops flowing, the van abruptly jerks into a much-lower speed, causing you to slam your head into the steering column! OW!

“You okay, cupcake?!” Ly gasps as you regain control of the wheel! Yea, you mutter, rubbing your head, but the question is, where to NEXT?

“Dat’s da spirit. Let’s see…” Ly’s spectral form ducks out of the van as you take another look in the mirrors--it’s harder to see with the flames from the dashboard reflecting off of them, but once you see the rapidly-approaching object behind you there’s no doubt about it: Boris is slowly catching up!

Eager to keep the lead, you whip your van around a corner as per the instructions of the glowing arrow on a building in front of you. Can’t be far now!

“It ain’t.” Ly reports as he suddenly reappears in the passenger seat. “Got a bit of rough terrain ahead--cuttin’ through a SMALL PARK.

You smirk--and he has a shortcut for you, right? The skeleton matches your devious grin.

“I do indeed. If we continue dead-ahead we’ll cross a field--couple trees, couple hills, no prob. Dat’ leads around a POND.

You blink. Where’s the shortcut there, then? Ly responds with a chuckle as he points to the PLAYGROUND on the side of the pond opposite of the field!

“Dodge da’ sandtraps an’ cut across--easy money!”

Hold on a sec, you interrupt, why can’t you just drive across the POND? Your skeleton looks at you with disbelief for a moment, then frowns.

“It’s a pond, Stan. You’ll sink the damn van!”

You rub your chin as you contemplate your options--you’ve got a lead on Boris--do you wanna risk getting caught in the sand and playground equipment to maximize your lead?

>Hell YES I do!
>NO thanks--we’ll stick with the safer option!
>FORD THE RIV-err, the POND!
>WRITE-IN
>>
>>4890934
>NO thanks--we’ll stick with the safer option!
We should probably make a safe choice at least once here, we already have kept a strong lead
>>
>>4890934
>Hell YES I do!
All the better to shove it in that smug prick's face!
>>
>>4890946
>>4890945
>>4890934
Ahhhhh screw it, ya convinced me
>Hell YES I do!
>>
>>4890934
>>Hell YES I do!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BOKCB5eZR78
>>
>>4890946
>>4890948
>>4890958
>I DON'T CARE WHAT IT TAKES JUST FIND A WAY TO WIN THE RACE

Let's see some ROLLS! 1d100+5 if you please--you get a BONE-US from your lead! I'LL TAKE THE BEST OF 3 ROLLS!
>>
Rolled 17 + 5 (1d100 + 5)

>>4891007
>>
Rolled 52 + 5 (1d100 + 5)

>>4891007

*nervous sweating intensifies
>>
Rolled 2 + 5 (1d100 + 5)

>>4891007
JUST WIN THE RACE
>>
>>4891099
Someone sacrifice a mammal to the dice machine
>>
>>4891101
DICELOR will come around, anon--have FAITH!

>>4891013
>>4891040
>>4891099
>HIGHEST ROLL: 57!

Writing!
>>
You feel yourself swell with resolve--bringing the van around the corner, you get a glimpse of your obstacle--a decrepit play area and a cluster of stands bordering a large pond! The grass around the sand pits and play equipment is strewn with debris and scrap metal--you’re not really sure what the hell happened here, but one thing’s for sure--you ain’t backing down now! Sensing which route you’re about to take, Ly turns to you with a look of pride.

“You really wanna kick dis’ guy’s butt, don’tcha?”

You nod--damn straight! Leaping the curb into the park proper, you cut across the grass as you hear the sound of Boris’ van rapidly approaching! Shaking that thought from your head, you step on the gas and thread the needle between the pond and play area using the bike path, just barely skidding past the benches cemented bordering it!

“Focus, kiddo!” Ly whispers as you hear an engine roar behind you! A quick glance in your mirror tells you all you need to know--Boris is catching up and he’s taking the safe route!

What a pity! Charging past a cluster of jungle gyms and monkey bars, you spy the eerie glow of the next arrow just beyond the park! Almost theAAAAUUUUUGH!

Just when you think you’re out, a patch of muddy grass sends the van swerving towards the food stands beyond the play structures! Wrestling with your steering wheel, you inadvertently send your ride into an erratic serpentine!

“Stan…” Ly mutters as you yank the wheel towards the exit. WHAT, LY?!

“F-f-FRUUUUUIIIIIT CAAAAAAAARRRT!

Sure enough, amidst the stands selling hot dogs, cotton candy, and other fine treats, you just happen to be careening towards the fruit cart someone parked right in your way! What are the odds?! Twisting the wheel with all your might, you can’t stop the van from skidding into the side of the obstacle! AAAaaAAaAAAH!

Bumping the cart with a dull ‘thud’, the van stabilizes almost instantly. Blinking, you quickly assess the damage and shrug--you don’t even see a scratch in the paint job!

“Err, shall we?” Ly reminds you, pointing a spectral finger towards the arrow. Yes, you nod, let’s!

Bursting out of the park like a dog without a leash, your mighty steed emerges on a long, clear stretch of road--the end of which is dominated by the BIGGEST DONUT YOU’VE EVER SEEN!

“Pretty sure dat’s a bagel, kiddo.”

Oh, right. Hey, that’s the FINISH LINE! Seeing Boris’ van rapidly skimming the side of the park pond, you continue towards the BAGEL SHOP, BRAGGING RIGHTS, and VICTORY!

You’ve clearly got the lead and it’s a straightaway--how do you play this?
>Just DRIVE--let’s finish strong!
>Use the BOOST! Who knows what Boris is planning?!
>Take your TIME--you can’t afford to SCREW UP!
>WRITE-IN!
>>
>>4891184
>>Just DRIVE--let’s finish strong!
>>Use the BOOST! Who knows what Boris is planning?!

Something tells me he won't take that comment we made about his family laying down...
>>
>>4891184
We've got a clear lead. Let's just drive because the dice gods have been pissy today.
>>
>>4891188
>>4891190

>>>Just DRIVE--let’s finish strong!

Changing vote to this.
>>
>>4891184
>Use the BOOST! Who knows what Boris is planning?!
>>
>>4891113
>Just DRIVE--let’s finish strong!
WE GOT THIS
>>
>>4891227
>>891184
>Just DRIVE--let’s finish strong!
Meant to vote for this, I'm very drunk
>>
>>4891198
>>4891190
>JUST DRIVE

>>4891227
>>4891260 (?)
>BOOST

Think I'll leave this open a little longer because if I'm reading correctly we appear to have a tie... I'll do a tiebreaker after dinner though if we're still in the same spot!
>>
>>4891282
I think it's three just drives to one boost, but just in case I'll switch my vote to just drive for the sake of moving forward.
>>
Whichever way the votes were meant to go, it looks like we're just gonna DRIVE.

Roll me 1d100+15 due to your SWEET LEAD! I'll take the BEST OF 3 ROLLS!

As for the shitty news, the day's catching up with me. Whatever the result, I'll whip up an update SATURDAY around 11-12PM PST! thanks for playing along and hope to see you next time!
>>
Rolled 21 + 15 (1d100 + 15)

>>4891381
>>
Rolled 31 + 15 (1d100 + 15)

>>4891381
Hit that Tokyo Drift
>>
Rolled 66 + 15 (1d100 + 15)

>>4891381
>>
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Oi! QM!

Mind if I borrow snippets of your imgur art for... a thing of sorts. I know there's no property ownership on 4chan but I respect users' intellectual property, etc.


I PROMISE I'M NOT WRITING FANFIC. THAT'S FUCKING GAY.
>>
>>4891429
Please do! I'm always happy for more fanart and stuff as long as I get to see it when it's done.
>>
>>4891383
>>4891397
>>4891405
>HIGHEST ROLL: 81!

Aw ye--time to put this race baby to bed! Writing!
>>
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Your BUTTON-PUSHING FINGER hovers over the BOOST PARTY BUTTON, but you hesitate. Even if Boris’ van grew wings it wouldn’t matter at this point, so you just DRIVE.

https://youtu.be/-DSVDcw6iW8

You continue down the straightaway with your foot on the gas pedal, nothing else. A quick glance in your mirrors tells you that in typical Boris fashion, the son of a bitch is rapidly approaching. Does that concern you?

Nope.

You can’t help but chuckle as the GREEN ORB follows along as he struggles to keep up--a small part of you feels a little bad for the guy, actually.

“R-really?” Ly asks, cocking his spectral skull to the side.

HELL NO! SUCK IT, LOSER!

Stomping the gas pedal to the floor, you mash the horn like you were making jam out of it--the noise following you all the way to the eerie glow of the FINISH LINE in front of the BAGEL SHOP! You take one last look behind you as you hear your opponent’s engine roar--some sort of boost? Too little, too late, amigo!

You skid over the finish line with time to spare, letting the van idle and hiss from the wild ride. As you let out a sigh of relief, you turn to your skeleton who looks at you with pride!

“Now DAT’S how ya drive!”He snickers, raising his ASTRAL HAND for a high five. Doing your best to slap a non-corporeal object, you and your skeleton share some laughter as Boris’ ride finally zooms across the finish line.

As Mr. Perfect shuts down his engine, you see a conga line of APCs approaching--no doubt carrying the spectators and your pals. Shutting down your own engine, you remove your SUNGLASSES and smirk at your opponent’s ride.

How do you celebrate your CLEAR AND OVERWHELMING VICTORY?
>SHAKE Boris’ HAND! You can be CIVIL!
>RUB his FACE in it! You’ve EARNED IT!
>IGNORE the jerk, go find your FRIENDS!
>WRITE-IN
>>
>>4892306
>>SHAKE Boris’ HAND! You can be CIVIL!

But do this as patronizingly and with as much rubbing-it-in as possible
>>
>>4892321
this would be fucking great
>>
>>4892306
Supporting >>4892321 and add some backhanded compliments and faint praise.
>>
>>4892321
+1ing the snarky condescension since he's always giving it to us
>>
>>4892321
>>4892322
>>4892328
>>4892331
>Shake his hand POLITELY! WINK WINK

Writing!
>>
>>4891429
>>4891442
Dropping the thing
May or may not be the gayest thing on this side of the universe
>justpaste(dot)it(slash)3jdj3
>>
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>>4892474
>>4892474
I friggin' love it, anon! Don't know what you were concerned about--this is really cool of you to whip up and I appreciate the time and effort you put into it! I just took it and surprisingly got Stan.. Really like all the thought you put into the questions and the results!

Do you mind if I pop it onto Twitter and the pastebin, or would you prefer to just leave it here? I get it if you don't want to spread it around!

On a more on-topic note, looks like the site's up again! Gonna finally post my updates!
>>
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You don’t waste any time kicking the door open and hopping out of the cabin. Your boots hitting the cracked, ash-strewn pavement with a muffled ‘squeak’, you plant your hands on your hips and feet on the ground in front of Boris’ van, a genial smile plastered on your face.

A moment later, the man himself opens the door and exits the van. Seeing you waiting for him, Boris chuckles a bit and gives you a slow clap.

“No other way to put it, bumblebee--you smoked me!”

Nope, you think to yourself, he’s not getting off that easy! Trotting over to the guy who DIDN’T COME IN FIRST, you extend your hand expectantly. Come on, you gush, he did a GREAT job--that was… What a race! So close! WOWSERS!

“D’ohhh, you don’t gotta try to make me feel better about it, Stannie,” he replies, grabbing your hand firmly. “You played all the right cards back there, no ifs ands or buts about it!”

Clenching his hand tightly in yours, you enthusiastically shake it up and down as if you were trying to tear his arm from its socket! You DID play all the right cards, didn’t you? Hell, if he wasn’t so scared of taking a chance or two he probably could have placed second a little earlier!

“Ahahah, guess that’s how it goes, huh?” Boris tries to pull his hand away, but you don’t let him. It IS how it goes, isn’t it? Here you are fresh out of your THIRD BATTLE with a lieutenant and yet you’re still able to beat him! That’s so weird!

“Guess you’ve learned a thing or two from what I’ve been tellin’ ya, huh?” Boris replies, not backing down.

Sure, you giggle, white-knuckling his hand. Or maybe he’s just LOSING HIS EDGE. He is getting older, after all!

You see your opponent’s smile falter a bit, if only for a second.

“Hey, gotta toss the little guy a win every now and again, right?” Boris chuckles, his bravado slowly returning. “Games aren’t fun if you get the same result every single time!”

You’ll be the judge of that. From where you’re standing, it feels pre-tay good! Laughing along with you, Boris pulls you in close so that your noses are a scant few inches apart.

“Then enjoy it while it lasts, bumblebee, because you can bet that this ain’t over!”

The two of you stare each other down, neither willing to let go of the other’s hand. Before you can rub it in any further, the sound of big engines approaches from around the corner!

“That’s how ya’ do it!” Shouts Art from atop one of the vehicles! Letting Boris’ hand drop, you turn and bow for the approaching spectators, receiving a chorus of cheers from the APCS! Shooting one last smug glance at Boris, you bask in the adoration.

THAT’S more like it!

>CONTD.
>>
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>>4892498
“We saw the whole thing through that ORB!” Eddie reports, hopping off of his APC and leading the charge your way!

“Pretty cool, Stan.” Gus adds, rolling up on his bike with Syb in the sidecar! Before you can respond, his passenger BLINKS over to you and tackles you into a hug!

“You did GREAT, Stan! Fantastic!” Art, Tucker, and Eddie help you both to your feet as the rest of the APC goons approach to join in on the fun as well. As you begin the process of shaking the hands of every GOOD BOY GOON and ORDER member, you hear the telltale stomp of heavy boots coming from around the corner the APCs came from. Turning your attention that way, your face lights up as Talbot rounds the bend carrying a queasy-looking Denise in the crook of his arm! Seeing you, a weary smile forms on the scientist’s face.

Th-th-th-that was SPECTACULAR, Stan!” She mutters as Talbot gingerly places her on the ground. “I-It’s not normally my thing, bu-

Before she can finish, your bodyguard grabs you by the shoulders and spins you around! Alarmed by the sudden movement, you nonetheless smile at the gentle giant as he plops you back on your feet and gives your head a light pat.

STAAAAAAAN.” He groans, sending a massive thumb’s up your way.

“We taught him a few tricks,” Mitzi snickers, appearing from the crowd of onlookers with Kiki at her side. “Could barely tear his eye away from the race, but we figured ‘eh, what the hell?’”

“It wasn’t really a nail-biter, but it was fun to watch!” Instinctively recoiling at Bea’s bubbly voice, you relax a little when you see her and Curt approaching from the convoy.

“Indeed. Very educational.” Curt grins, raising an eyebrow your way. “I was almost certain Boris would be the victor. Then again, we learn much more when our hypothesis is proven wrong…”

“Kid knows her way around the wheel--what can ya do?” Boris laughs, slapping the mage on the back.

“Indeed.” Curt replies before turning his attention back your way. “Naturally you are by no means obligated to visit us in THE LODGE, Ms. Parble, but you are nonetheless welcome if you ever seek…” The mage shoots Syb a sideways glance, “... Another perspective into the arcane…”

“Fat chance.” Syb replies bluntly. “Stan’s a busy girl--go find another science project!”

“Hey er…” Interrupts one of the GOOD BOY GOONS, “Ms. Parble? Got a CALL waiting on our radio for ya. When you’re ready, of course.”

What’s the next step here?
>Help load up your PRIZES!
>Talk to SOMEONE! (WHO?)
>Answer the CALL!
>WRITE-IN
>>
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>>4892474
Based as hell (pic was my result)

>>4892503
>Answer the CALL!

Boris and his people can load up the prizes
>>
>>4892493

Not a problem at all! Put the quiz wherever you want!

>>4892503
>Answer the CALL!
>>
>>4892503
>Answer the CALL!
Awwwww yisss, Skeleton greaser points. My favorite boys
>>
>>4892513
>>4892525
>>4892530
>Will YOU answer the call? Yes!

Writing! Also gonna plop the link onto my Twitter and the Pastebin--thanks again for putting it together, it means a lot!
>>
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Wrinkling your nose at the news, you turn to Boris and sigh--it’s been nice and all, but you’d appreciate it if he and his fanclub could load up your reward lickety-split. You’ve got a call to take!

“Hey, a deal’s a deal!” Boris shrugs, clapping you on the shoulder. If he notices your disgusted hiss, he doesn’t show it. “You do your thing--your people and mine will have everything loaded up before you can say ‘STANNIE!

Punctuating his statement with a laugh, Boris begins rounding his goons up when you ignore him. Gesturing for Syb and Art to come over, you lean in close so that only they can hear your instructions: Load everything up and keep an extra close eye on your reward!

“You don’t think they’d cheat us, do you?” Art whispers back.

“Well, we did try to cheat them…” Syb sheepishly mutters. “At any rate it’s a good idea. Leave it to us, Stan.”

Leave it you shall! Giving the two a lazy salute, you saunter over to the Good Boy Security Guard sitting in an APC’s driver’s seat. Fiddling with the radio, he removes a pair of HEADPHONES upon noticing your approach and vacates the seat for you.

“All yours, Parble. Great race, by the way!”

You give the guard a toothy smirk--it just comes naturally to you! Poking a finger at the APC’s dashboard riddled with buttons, gauges, and light, you raise an eyebrow.

“Oh err… Sorry! It looks tricky, but it’s pretty simple stuff. Here, let me just…”

The guard leans over and pokes a finger at a red, rectangular button with the word SEND printed on it.

“Radio’s already linked up--just press that when you wanna talk! Oh, and give it a second before speaking, otherwise your voice’ll be cut off.”

Yea, yea, you’ve used a RADIO before. Hopping into the driver’s seat, you plop the HEADPHONES over your ears, but pause--who’s the call from, again?

“You’ll uh… You’ll see. Or hear.” The guard nervously chuckles. Before you can get more information, they politely close the car door and walk a few feet away.

How do you START the call?
>IDENTIFY YOURSELF!
>HELLO?
>I’m kinda BUSY here!
>AHOY HOY!
>WRITE-IN
>>
>>4892623
>AHOY HOY!

10 bucks says it's Sonny Bruckmann Jr.
>>
>>4892623
>AHOY HOY!
I kinda hope we get a little bit of space to work on our sidequests now, since we just tackled two bosses in a row since we last got a rest. If they tamper with that alcohol is gonna be a real bad time all around though, the greasers wont be happy.
>>
>>4892623
>AHOY HOY!
>>IDENTIFY YOURSELF!
>>
>>4892637
>>4892641
>>4892643
>AHOY-HOY!

Writing!

>>4892641
It's up to you, anon! You've got a few lieutenants to go, but none of them seem like they're about to poison the water supply!

... Or ARE they?
>>
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Pondering the rent-a-cop’s words, you shrug as you get comfy in the APSEAT. Man, these are better than the ones in the van for sure! Maybe you can get Gus and Talbot to rip a few ou-

“Err, didn’t you have a call, kiddo?”

Ly’s right--ten bucks says it’s SONNY. Or erm… SUNNY? You never really established that spelling. In any case, you press and hold the SEND button and open with something cute--they’ll like that! And when dealing with a high-powered CEO who might be interested in a SASSY LIL’ GOLD DIGGER, well…

You’re getting ahead of yourself. Cute opening--right. Gotcha. Leaning in to what you assume is the transmitter, you give your listener a polite ‘AHOY HO-

PARBLE!!!!
https://youtu.be/FyHT_Ia0Cyc

You didn’t think it was possible to be launched backwards by HEADPHONES, but you’ve learned a LOT in the past few days. Slamming backwards into the (thankfully) plush seat, you shake the dull whine from your ears as you recognize the gruff, perpetually-angry voice on the other end…

B-Blumenkrantz?

“Were you expecting SANTA CLAUS, you worthless SLIME!?” He spits, tearing apart your eardrums! “I’ve been camped by a radio for an HOUR or so! Did you FORGET something?!?”

Your gaze wanders around the APC, then yourself. No… No, you’ve GOT a bra on! It’s not matching, but those laundry machines are expen-

“You were expected to REPORT, you miserable muskrat! We sent a distraction to the BASE OF THE DAM to support your operation--now you’re telling me you’re RACING instead of being DEAD?! Are you TRYING to PISS ME OFF?!

You nervously tap your fingers on the dashboard. Does it matter that you won the race?

“... No. No it doesn’t.

Well great, now that that’s covered, you were just about to call in to the nice robot voice! Where are they, anyways?

“Evidently NOT HERE. GUESS WHO HAS TO TAKE OVER?!”

… Him.

“GOLD STAR, PARBLE. Now listen CLOSELY: you and your TARD TROUPE are wanted back here ON THE DOUBLE! If I hear about any more shenanigans on the way, I’ll make you WISH you died at that dam!”

He’s always so charming. Seems like you caught him in a GOOD MOOD, though--anything you wanna ask or mention while Blumenkrantz is on the line?

>NOPE! Seeya soon!
>Why are you so ANGRY all the time?
>How about I REPORT right now?
>WHY are we wanted back?
>WRITE-IN
>>
>>4892741
>Why are you so ANGRY all the time?
>>
>>4892741
>Why are you so ANGRY all the time?
Especially while we are basically just doing his entire job for him. How many Lieutenants has he killed?
>>
>>4892741
>>Why are you so ANGRY all the time?
>WHY are we wanted back?
>>
>>4892744
>>4892755
>>4892813
>Why you so ANGY

Writing the last update of the evening!
>>
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You’ve got something to ask, alright! Adjusting your HEADPHONES to a more comfortable position, you slap the SEND button down and ask just why the heck he’s so angry all the time!

WHAT DID YOU SAY?!

You double down--he heard you! Isn’t all of this bad for his BLOOD PRESSURE or som-

“Repeat that, Parble--I legitimately did NOT hear what you said.”

Oh. Well then. Taking a deep breath, you repeat your question--why is he so pissed all the time? You’ve taken down THREE LIEUTENANTS including the one occupying the FACTORY-- aren’t you due a little KINDNESS by now for doing his job?

You’re answered with a low, rising growl. At its apex, your ears are assaulted by the sound of a sudden metal whine, followed by silence! Erm… Should you wait, or-

“PARBLE. COME IN!”

Flabbergasted, you respond immediately--yea, you read!

“Had to get another radio--they make these things too DAMN flimsy nowadays…”

That’s great and all, you interject, but what was he gonna say before the uh… technical difficulties?

“AS I was saying, that’s part of the reason why your butt needs to get back here--apparently CONGRATULATIONS are in order.”

A smile grows on your face--say, that’s more like it!

“For what it’s worth, FREAK, I commend you on ridding this Earth of that MANIAC HAWKES. Never liked that son of a bitch even before he came back.”

You blink--wait a tic--they knew each other?

“That SHIT-FOR-BRAINS was running the show for all THREE tours I did in ’Nam. If I didn’t DESPISE you so much I’d give you a medal, Parble!”

Alright, now we’re getting somewhere! Bracing your ears for impact, you ask a follow-up--why DOES he hate you so much?

Instead of shouting, you get silence. Just when you’re about to press the SEND button again, Blumenkrantz cuts you off.

“... I’m under contract to not discuss those details anymore, Parble, and I can’t change the past. But know this: your little FIASCO at the CHRISTMAS PARTY was the FIRST and LAST time I would ever allow a lapse in corporate security!”

Sonny’s words echo through your head like a bell--the CHRISTMAS PARTY… Where a BLACKOUT EPISODE resulted in you crushing someone’s windpi-

“There’s no sense in discussing it now,” Blumenkrantz adds with a noticeably less-angry tone in his voice. “Just keep killing those skeletons and I’ll keep these refugee ANIMALS from going stir-crazy and killing each other!”

That’s… Sort of an answer? Looks like you aren’t getting anything from the radio… Anything else before SIGNING OFF?
>NOPE! See you soon, B!
>How IS THE LODGE doing?
>You SURE you can’t tell me any more?
>WRITE-IN
>>
That's all for this evening! I'll be doing errands on Sunday, so expect an update SUNDAY AROUND 2-3PM PST! Thanks again for playing along and go try out that WHAT CHARACTER ARE YOU QUIZ if you haven't already! See ya then!
>>
>>4892844
>WRITE-IN
>I don't like telling people this, but I suffer from dissociative episodes. I don't remember a thing from this Christmas party, but everyone keeps talking about it. What did I do to you?

Please feel very free to vote against this
>>
>>4892856
>>4892844

>>I don't like telling people this, but I suffer from dissociative episodes. I don't remember a thing from this Christmas party, but everyone keeps talking about it. What did I do to you?

This but in Stan's level of eloquence
>>
>>4892844
>I don't like telling people this, but I suffer from dissociative episodes. I don't remember a thing from this Christmas party, but everyone keeps talking about it. What did I do to you?
>>
>>4892856
+1
>>
>>4892856
>>4892864
>>4893036
>>4893127
>Mind running that while CHRISTMAS thing by me again?

Writing!
>>
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Despite Blumenkrantz’ clear desire to drop the topic, something inside of you urges you to continue--to keep digging. Clearing your throat again in preparation, you refuse to back down as you tap the SEND button.

You don’t like talking about it, you begin in a level-headed tone, but you suffer from dystopian episodes--feudal states. Whatever they’re called, they keep you from remembering things and they stopped you from knowing what you did at the CHRISTMAS PARTY.

“... We KNOW you suffer from those episodes, Parble. I read through your doctor’s notes when we decided to hire your sorry ass!”

You can’t help but frown at that--so why can’t he just lay things out for you, then!? Why is everyone so damn obtuse-

BECAUSE WE CAN’T PUNISH A CRAZY PERSON!” Blumenkrantz snaps, his sudden outburst stinging your ears. You hear a few deep breaths on the other line, then a more measured voice.

“Listen, Parble… You’re off the hook. You got away with it. Let sleeping dogs lie and… And just do your damn job.”

No, you reply, stomping your boot on the floor of the APC! How the hell are you supposed to make amends for this crap if you can’t even remember what you did?! How is keeping you in the dark FAIR?!

Blumenkrantz growls, ready to unload another outburst, but he pauses. “... Why do you care so much, Parble? Why can’t you just drop it?”

Because…

CHOOSE ONE!
>I NEED to know the TRUTH!
>I DID something SIMILAR to my BROTHER.
>I want to MAKE IT UP to YOU.
>WRITE-IN
>>
>>4893993
>I DID something SIMILAR to my BROTHER.
>>
>>4893993
>WRITE-IN
"I want to make it up to everyone I've hurt"
>>
>>4894023
>>4893993

+1 Also cause we need to know the truth
>>
>>4893996
>It's for my BROTHER!

>>4894023
>>4894086
>It's for EVERYONE I'VE HURT!

Writing!
>>
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You pause in response to Blumenkrantz’ question--why indeed? It goes without saying that you wanna reconnect with your brother, but is that really it?

How many other people have you messed with anyways?

You did something similar to your BROTHER, you softly reply. Something that probably wasn’t as violent as the CHRISTMAS PARTY, but something bad enough that he doesn’t wanna talk to you anymore.

If the Chief of Security has anything to say, he holds his tongue. Seeing that as an invitation to continue, you do so.

What you did at the CHRISTMAS PARTY wasn’t the first time you lost control, and you’d have to be really dumb to think that it won’t happen again… You know you can’t go back and change what happened, but with everything going on right now you want to make it up to everyone you’ve hurt, even if it opens up old wounds!

Your plea is answered by a long, tired sigh on the other end of the radio. “You certainly have a knack for timing, Parble… Fine. You want a trip down memory lane? You’ll get one: I’ll set you up with the SECURITY FOOTAGE when you come back, but that’s IT. If you think I’m about to get another memo from HR about ‘Respecting Medical Boundaries’, you can think again!

You shrug. It’s progress! Wait a minute, though--what if you have ques-

“Then ask your BOSS! Not my damn PROBLEM!” Blumenkrantz snarls! “Not… Not anymore… She’s made so much progress… It…”

You hang onto that last bit--She?

“Just do me a favor for once, freak,” the security chief growls, “and REMEMBER. Write it down if you have to, just…” He pauses mid-sentence. “Just don’t bring it up again…”

The mournful tone in his voice takes you completely off-guard, prompting you to say ‘okay’ without thought.

“Good,” Blumenkrantz growls, his voice regaining its trademark bravado, “Avoid being a PAIN IN THE ASS and we’ll get along much better, trust me!”

That’s a relief. Anything else while he’s on the line?
>NOPE! See you soon, B!
>How IS THE LODGE doing?
>Who is 'SHE'?
>How do I MEET with SONNY AGAIN?
>WRITE-IN
>>
>>4894179
>Who is 'SHE'?
>>
>>4894179
Did we seriously almost kill Blumenkrantz' daughter/niece/something similar?
>>
>>4894179
>NOPE! See you soon, B!
Lets quit poking the bear
>>
>>4894179
>>NOPE! See you soon, B!
>>
>>4894181
>Who is SHE?

>>4894189
>Did I almost kill your relative or something?

>>4894194
>>4894223
Nope! Seeya soon!

Writing!
>>
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You resolve not to piss of Mr. B any more--he’s always pissed off, of course, but you could do with a break from all the animosity for once. As for this CHRISTMAS PARTY situation, you think you’ve got a decent lead to follow… When you have the time, that is.

With nothing else to discuss, you assure Blumenkrantz that your entourage will be there soon along with Denise Venaas and her science experiment Talbot.

“... Figures that pencil neck would fold! And if you’re talking about what I THINK you’re talking about, Parble, you can keep that walking murder machine outside! The people down here are rattled enough without that trenchcoated FREAK stomping around like he owns the place!”

You shrug--Big T probably wouldn’t make it through that BARRIER anyways, but you’ll ask Syb later just in case. Speaking of, you’ve got a LOT more people coming to visit!

“... I don’t care. Just let them know that they’re all on THIN ICE, and guess who’s waiting below for when they break it?!”

You think you’ve heard this one before… Him?

“HAH! Maybe you ARE getting smarter, Parble! Blumenkrantz OVER AND OUT!

You hear a slam on the other line signalling the end of your conversation. As far as things go that wasn’t really painful!

“He’s gettin’ softer.” Ly remarks as you pop open the door. Sensing your arrival, the Good Boy Goon from before helps you down from the seat.

“Everything go okay, Parble? Err… Connection stable?”

You respond with a weary nod--yep, everything was just dandy. As you’re about to rejoin your friends, you hear the rent-a-cop clear their throat behind you.

“Um… Didn’t mean to eavesdrop, Parble, but if it’s any consolation, well…”

You furrow your brow at the operative. Well?

“Well, Blumenkrantz treats everyone like that… Even if he likes them. So um… Try not to sweat it if he chews you out!”

You shrug--no promises.

“A-also, since I might not get the chance again, could you do me a SUPER HUGE FAVOR?

Crossing your arms, you raise an eyebrow at the rent-a-cop. Within REASON...

“G-great! No pressure, it’s just that me and the guys are slated to go on patrol in a bit and, well…”

The goon retrieves a BLACK MARKER from his kit and points it to his BACKPACK.

“W-would you mind autographing my helmet? The rest of the squad would love it, especially now that you’ve taken down so many boneheads!”

What say you?
>SURE, Skip! (WRITE-IN DRAWING/SIG)
>SORRY, pal, GOTTA RUN.
>Err… WHAT SHOULD I WRITE?
>WRITE-IN
>>
>>4894269
FUCK. Replace HELMET with BACKPACK. Too impatient to delete this damn post.
>>
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>>4894269
>SURE, Skip! (WRITE-IN DRAWING/SIG)
"Who do I make it out to?"

Gotta know our first big fan!

Drawing is my attempt at a signature, not super attached if someone's got something more Stan
>>
>>4894269
>>SURE, Skip!

>>4894274
seems legit. kek
>>
>>4894274
>>4894290
>SURE, SKIP!

Impressed that you guys actually made Stan's handwriting legible! You spoil her. WRITING!
>>
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Eagerly snatching the pen from the guard’s gloved hand, you grin as you uncap it! No problem at all, you reply, barely containing your excitement!

“Thanks! I know it’s dumb and all, bu-”

Nope, not dumb in the least! Biting your lip to get ahold of yourself, you hold the pen over the rucksack and glance towards the goon’s face. Who do you make this bad boy out to?

“Oh, right! It’s Cal!” Stammers the security guard. “Cal Holiday! With a C!”

Your tongue sticks out from between your lips as you write your first autograph to Cal! The first… Of MANY!

“Please don’t let dis’ go to your head…” Ly groans as you make the finishing touches on a quick doodle! Capping the pen, you hand it back over to Cal and give him a toothy grin--all set!

“Wow! You’re the best, Stan!” Gushes the guard as he looks over your handiwork. “Err… G-good joke! The guys will be so jealous!”

Your grin falters a bit--what joke?

“Y-you’re pretty funny! Anyways, I’ll get out of your hair now--thanks again!”

Giving Cal a polite nod, you return to the heat of the action just in time to catch the end of Art telling a story!

“And it was RAINING bullets--it was like fighting a whole army! Meanwhile Stan’s just ducking and weaving like--oh! Hey, Stan!”

Hey yourself, you reply, taking a spot next to Syb. What did you miss?

“Arthur’s been telling us about your fight at the dam!” Bea answers with a giggle! “You’ve GOTTA join me in the LODGE GYM sometime, Stannie--I’d love to spar with you!”

You wince--even with all the BONE MARROW coursing through you you still feel kinda tired…

“One thing at a time, right Stan?” Sybil smiles, resting her head on your shoulder! “Did your call go okay?”

You respond with a noncommittal ‘eeeh’, prompting Syb to nod knowingly. “Guess we’ll have something to talk about later, then…”

Yep.

Just when you’re getting comfy, Boris comes and ruins everything with a round of boisterous laughter.

“Bumblebee! Survived the tongue-lashing, huh? We were waiting for ya!”

Releasing a resigned sigh, you reach into your pocket for your CHINCHILL PUMP-ACTION. So it’s finally come to this…

“Woah, not that, Stannie! We were gonna take a PICTURE since we’re all together!”

“We could use our phones! It would make for some great Behind-the-Scenes material for the movie!” Eddie agrees!

What say you?
>We actually REALLY have to GO….
>SURE! Let’s do it!
>WHO’S gonna TAKE it?
>WRITE-IN
>>
>>4894373
>SURE! Let’s do it!
"Great idea Boris! You should be the one to take the picture"

That way we won't have to be in one with him
>>
Gonna call it here for tonight--getting pretty wiped. Should have an update ready MONDAY AROUND 11-12PM PST! Thanks again for participating and have a good start to your week!
>>
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>>4894377
>>4894373

This but instead we should not-so-accidentally block out his face in the picture like the Mike Wazowski gag in Monsters Inc.
>>
>>4894373
This >>4894377, with >>4894390 as a backup plan.
>>
>>4894377
>>4894377
>SURE! Let’s do it!
>"Great idea Boris! You should be the one to take the picture"
>>
>>4894377
>>4894390
>>4894424
>>4894455
>SURE! BORIS CAN TAKE THE PICTURE

But if it doesn't work...

>'ACCIDENTALLY' BLOCK HIS FACE! WINK!

Writing!
>>
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Your eyes light up at the prospect of a SKELETON APOCALYPSE PICTURE. Let’s see the government wiggle out of giving you an award when they see THIS crap! Retrieving your CELLPHONE from your pocket, you grin at Boris as you push it his way. He should get the honor of taking the photo!

“Hey, not a bad idea, bumblebee!” He replies, eagerly taking the phone from you. “Everyone get close now! Pretend you like each other!”

Chucking deviously to yourself, you take a look at your options for PICTURE DAY. The crowd is all set up by height, naturally, with GUS, TALBOT, and BEA in the back, ART, SYB, MITZI, TUCKER, EDDIE, CURT, and a few ORDER CREEPS and GOOD BOY SECURITY OPERATIVES in the middle. Being rather HEIGHT-CHALLENGED like yourself, DENISE and KIKI stand in front! Wow, these guys are pretty organized when they want to be! Mitz better put that magazine away, though, or you’re gonna slug her.

The question is, where should YOU go?
>The CENTER, DUH! You’re the protagonist, damn it!
>Get close to SOMEONE in PARTICULAR (WHO?)
>Maybe you can HOP UP on TALBOT or GUS?
>WRITE-IN
>>
>>4895050
>Maybe you can HOP UP on TALBOT or GUS?

Signature Talbot shoulder perch
>>
>>4895058
support
>>
>>4895050
>>Maybe you can HOP UP on TALBOT or GUS?
Make sure he is holding us near level with everyone else. If we are up high then Boris will 'accidentally' leave us out of the photo
>>
>>4895058
>>4895064
>>4895066
>PERCH

Writing! Also prepare for the shittiest-looking cast photo ever
>>
You make your way over to Talbot and tug at his coat expectantly like a cat asking to be fed. Reading your mind, the giant lifts you onto his shoulder and stoops a bit lower just in case. What a GENTLEMAN!

“Yea, you all have fun wit’ dat’...” Ly mutters, his ASTRAL FORM pouting next to you. Relax--maybe he’ll show up as a creepy orb or something on camera! Just like GHOST SEEKERS!

“Everybody ready?” Boris asks, fiddling with your phone. Receiving a unanimous ‘YES!’ your fellow janitor raises the phone your way. Yes, you grin, the fool was too nice to actually get in the photo! What a maroon!

Adjusting yourself to look as CUTE AS POSSIBLE, you smile when you realize you barely have to make any adjustments! Go YOU! Freezing in the most photogenic pose you can manage on Talbot’s shoulder, you and the rest of the gang wait for the picture!

“Here goes…” Boris mutters. “Say ‘BONES!’”

Just when everything’s going as planned, the HARDBASS ANTI-CHRIST prepares to take a GROUP SELFIE! DAMN, HE’S GOOD!

Pressing the TAKE PHOTO BUTTON a few times, Boris takes a moment to inspect the shots and gives the group his trademark SHIT-EATING GRIN, sending a shiver down your spine.

“Don’t like to toot my own horn,”

Lies.

“But I oughta’ be charging you guys for these pics!”

The only thing you’d pay him for is to get lost! Ignoring his stupid quips, you and the rest of the gang crowd around the phone to see how things turned out. Aside from the smudge of what you assume to be BIRD CRAP in the lower right corner, everything looks pretty good! Look how CUTE everyone looks!

“Are you guys ever gonna take your hoods off?” Mitzi asks, turning her attention to the Film Students.

“Probably.” Tucker shrugs.

“They’re pretty comfy once you get used to them!” Eddie explains, prompting an enthusiastic nod from Kiki.

“In any case,” Syb interjects, “We should probably get going soon, right Stan?”

“Not a bad idea!” Boris nods. “We’ve got some BREAKFAST to catch!”

You should, but is there anything else before you hit the road?
>DOUBLE CHECK your LOOT from the RACE!
>TALK to TEAM CBB (WHICH ONE?)
>HIT the DAMN ROAD!
>WRITE-IN
>>
>>4895186
>>DOUBLE CHECK your LOOT from the RACE!
>>
>>4895186
>DOUBLE CHECK your LOOT from the RACE!
>>
>>4895186
>DOUBLE CHECK your LOOT from the RACE!
>>
>>4895199
>>4895206
>>4895221
>PERUSE THE BOOZE!

Alright, folks, gonna need you to ROLL 1d100 for NO REASON AT ALL! I'LL TAKE THE BEST OF 3 ROLLS!
>>
Rolled 72 (1d100)

>>4895285
>>
Rolled 52 (1d100)

>>4895285
This better not be what we get a 100 on
>>
Rolled 27 (1d100)

>>4895285
>>
>>4895291
>>4895292
>>4895294
>HIGHEST ROLL: 72!

>>4895292
Imagine if you rolled another 1 though!

Writing!
>>
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You motion for Boris to freeze as you approach your van--not so fast, pal--you’re gonna check your loot before he and his cheerleaders run off!

“Fair enough--I’d be a bit suspicious too!” Boris nods, crossing his arms. “The rest of you guys can get ready to move, though!”

The Good Boy Goons start filing into their APCs as you open the doors to the back of the van. As expected, a mountain of goodies sits haphazardly piled around the back causing you to furrow your brow--is this what Boris calls LOADING?

“Err, that was us actually…” Eddie mutters from behind you. “Mitzi told us it was cool!”

Shooting a pointed glance at the security guard, all you get is a half-hearted shrug.

“I figured we weren’t gonna hold onto it for long, so…”

You’re not gonna hold onto HER for long if one of these bottles cracks open in transit! Grumbling as you climb into the back, you begin the painstaking process of inspecting the crates for cracks, leaks, and/or signs of the ferocious BOOZE CRATE RAT.

“I’m not detecting anything… Questionable…” Syb reports, pausing from some sort of spell to glare in Curt’s direction. “Nothing magical, at least.”

“Still,” Art remarks, not bothering to help you inspect, “We’re gonna need some more permanent storage soon--especially since we’re bringing those along…”

Following his gaze, your eyes land on the containers of EVERYTHING-BUT-BONE-DISSOLVING JUICE. He’s right--even before the SKELETON APOCALYPSE you wouldn’t want to leave stuff lying around in your car…

“It’s a bit outta the way, but my uncle’s FISHING CABIN’S always open!” Eddie reminds you.

“The key word here is safe, though…” Tucker retorts. “If this Lodge place has a barrier around it, it might be our best bet…”

You frown as you continue searching the crates--there’s a whole lotta talking going on instead of HELPING! Just when you’re about to toss some packing peanuts at Art, you spot something in the corner of one of the crates! Closer examination reveals it to be…

CHOOSE ONE!
>A CLIP-ON FLASHLIGHT! Could be handy when it gets dark!
>A RADIO HEADSET! Won’t be breaking THIS bad boy!
>A LASER SIGHT! This oughta make a weapon of yours more ACCURATE!
>A BOTTLE of ‘CHAMPAGNE MON CHERIE’! Someone in your gang might REALLY like this!
>A POUCH OF PONGOS! Looks like 10--don't ask how you can SEE that.
>>
>>4895335
>A CLIP-ON FLASHLIGHT! Could be handy when it gets dark!
>>
>>4895335
>A POUCH OF PONGOS! Looks like 10--don't ask how you can SEE that.
>>
>>4895335
>A POUCH OF PONGOS! Looks like 10--don't ask how you can SEE that.
We inch ever closer to the Haul of Paul
>>
>>4895335
>A POUCH OF PONGOS! Looks like 10--don't ask how you can SEE that.
>>
>>4895343
>A FLASHLIGHT!

>>4895344
>>4895352
>>4895360
>MO' MONEY NO PROBLEMS

Writing!
>>
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That’s right--a PONGOS POUCH! Fishing it out from between a bottle of S’MORES LIQUOR and a jug of something marked only with the word RATTLER, you chuckle to yourself as you examine the pouch’s contents. 10 PONGOS are added to your growing stockpile--these ones depicting various ALCOHOL MASCOTS. You remember being enchanted by WALLY WINO and his goofy commercial-length antics when you were a kid--in a way you almost looked up to him.

“So?” Art interrupts, crossing his arms as he lingers behind you. “We good?”

You turn around with a satisfied look on your face--oh yea, WE GOOD. Returning your smile, your favorite rent-a-cop (or is it Mitzi? Oof, tough choice.) Gives a thumbs up to that shitheel Boris.

“Happy that you’re happy, Stannie!” He grins, motioning for his cronies to move out. “We’ll have to do it again sometime--we gonna see you all at the CANTEEN?

“We can save you and your friends a table!” Bea adds, winking at you. Shuddering, you reply with a curt ‘we’ll see’ and whistle for your own crew to gather up.

“Don’t hang around too long, bumblebee!” Boris adds as he climbs into his van. “Won’t be long before some Boneheads come to investigate the racket!”

Yea yea, you’ve avoided dying for days now--you can handle another hour or so! Seemingly satisfied, Boris and his crew promptly make tracks leaving you alone next to a burnt-out BAGEL SHOP.

“So…” Art begins, idly kicking a chunk of concrete around, “we following them to THE LODGE?

“I’m excited just thinking about it.” Gus grunts in a tone that doesn’t belie anything resembling excitement.

“Me too!” Eddie adds with much more enthusiasm! “An underground city, huh? Sounds awesome!”

“We could also have that Paulie guy pick this stuff up.” Mitzi suggests, frowning at the tower of crates and boxes in the back of the van. “I need my leg room, Stan.”

All of the above are true, of course, but you know that once you hit THE LODGE you’ll have some sort of AWARD waiting for you… Decisions, decisions…

>Let’s CALL HAULIE PAULIE!
>Let’s HIT THE LODGE. All that BREAKFAST TALK is making me HUNGRY.
>Actually, let’s GO SOMEWHERE ELSE… (WHERE?)
>WRITE-IN
>>
By the by, PONGOS have now been listed at the TOP of the INVENTORY PASTEBIN just to make them more easy to find. Check it out for yourself!

https://pastebin.com/yANc7fJm
>>
>>4895445
>Let’s HIT THE LODGE. All that BREAKFAST TALK is making me HUNGRY.
I want them overalls. Lets stockpile them pongos
>>
>>4895445
>Let’s CALL HAULIE PAULIE!

Just pomade and vinyl records left!
>>
>>4895455
I think we already have the pomade already, I think its just the records left
>>
>>4895455
>>4895457
My records and memory tell me that you're still looking for POMADE and RECORDS, but keep those eyes open--they'll be there!
>>
>>4895461
What did we recover then? I have a clear memory of us getting at least one of the things on the shopping list pretty soon after we got the quest
>>
>>4895464
We got the CIGARETTES from the Gas Station where you met Tucker, Kiki, and Eddie. I took it off the list when I made it just for the sake of simplicity.
>>
>>4895445

>>Let’s HIT THE LODGE. All that BREAKFAST TALK is making me HUNGRY.
>>
>>4895453
>>4895731
>BACK TO THE LODGE!

>>4895455
>CALL-IE PAULIE!

It's a bit late on my end, so I'll whip up an update on TUESDAY AROUND 11-12PM PST! Thanks again for playing along and apologies for the jank-ass group photo--maybe I'll take another shot at it one day. Until then, hope to see you again on Tuesday!
>>
>>4895759

No that was a dope af group photo. I lol'd at it for real-- no need to apologize for your own quest content!
>>
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Part of you wants to give HAULIE PAULIE a little CALLIE, but you hesitate. Despite putting on a good show for TEAM CBB A.K.A team…

Um..

TEAM JERKASS, one glance at their faces (the faces you CAN see) tells you that your team is, to use a funny expression, POOPED. Motioning for everyone to rally around, you slap a hand on the side of DA’ VAN and raise an eyebrow at your crewmembers. Who’s ready to get some R&R!?

“Sounds good to me,” Tucker replies, barely containing a yawn. “Feels like we’ve been running a marathon since yesterday…

You’ve got just the cure, you reply with a wink! A heaping pile of BREAKFAST FOOD courtesy of your quasi-evil employers!

“Do… Do we have to?” Syb replies, a frown forming on her pale face. You match her look with one of her own--is she seriously suggesting skipping breakfast? What’s she got to worry about? She’s got the metabolism of a CAT!

“Do cats have a high metabolism, tho-”

Shut up, Art. We also need to hear the story of how he’s not dead, remember? Preferably when everyone’s together in one place.

Surrounded by hash browns.

“Don’t get me wrong, I really want breakfast!” Syb fires back, eyes glistening at the thought of the feast! “But erm… You realize who’s heading there right now, right?”

No, you reply, cocking your head to the side. Who?

“Seriously, Stan?”

Seriously! You’re under a lot of stress and pressure these days! In fact, let’s call it STRESSURE. You’ve got a lot of that! Life sucks!

“I’m sorry to hear that.” Tucker replies, sending a sympathetic look your way, much to Syb’s chagrin.

“But Staaaaan,” She groans, “We hate those guys…”

“Maybe we could eat somewhere else?” Mitzi suggests. “Pretty sure there are other places to get food in THE LODGE…

It’s not the SAME, damn it! Syb’s right though--you barely kept yourself from puking during that whole interaction!

I-I-If I could interject for a moment…” Denise interjects, “W-w-what about the CHEMICALS in the van? A-and Talbie? A-are those going to be okay in this shelter?

You shrug--the whole thing’s surrounded by some magic barrier, so Talbot might have to wait outside. The giant in question looks your way with a vaguely hurt look on his face… Damn it, don’t make it harder!

“You should be okay with all of the stuff in the van, Stan.” Art adds. “Didn’t they say you could take whatever the hell you found lying around?”

Yes, you nod, they DID. Still… What should you do?

>STORE your BOOZE and CHEMICALS OFF-SITE somewhere!
>LEAVE ‘EM in the VAN! The Lodge is the SAFEST PLACE around!
>WRITE-IN
>>
>>4896457
>STORE your BOOZE and CHEMICALS OFF-SITE somewhere!
We could leave it in the fishing cabin that got mentioned and then call Paulie to pick it up?
>>
>>4896479
+1
>>
>>4896457
>Store the booze in the fishing cabin and the chemicals in the van.
>>
>>4896636
+1, I love the skelly boys, but lets not give them a bioweapon that only works against us
>>
>>4896636
>>4896639
Fair point- +1ing this instead
>>
>>4896636
>>4896639
>>4896641
>BOOZE IN CABIN, CHEMICALS IN VAN!

Writing! Sorry for the delay--gym was more crowded than I thought.
>>
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Smacking your fist into your other palm, you look at your goons with determination. You’ve GOT IT!

“Oh boy, here goes…”

Shut it, Art. Pacing back and forth in what little room there is in the back of the van, you begin your explanation. First of all, you like THE GREASERS. You might even say you love ‘em. But…

“But?” Mitzi asks.

But you don’t want them holding on to a bunch of FLESH-MELTING GOO.

“I agree,” Syb nods, “friendly as they are, if the lich exerts more control over them or another group of skeletons comes to visit, well…”

“We’ll have raided the dam for nothing.” Tucker sighs, finishing her sentence for her. “So where are we storing them?”

A toothy grin forms on your face as you hop out from the back of the van and subsequently gesture to the back. It takes a few more repeats of the gesture, but eventually your pals catch on.

“So wait,” Art mutters, “You’re going to keep the top-secret, experimental chemical that almost turned the whole town’s water supply into a flesh-melting slurry… In the back of a van?”

Yep, you nod! Just gotta hide it under everyone’s nose! Despite your cracker-jack explanation, Art doesn’t seem satisfied.

“And what’s stopping someone from busting in and taking it all?” He continues, crossing his arms. Responding with a classic eye roll, you whip out your VAN KEYS and hold them up for him to see. WATCH, ART!

“Okay, but that’s not a foolproo-”

WATCH! Closing the van’s back doors, you stick your key in the lock and turn it. Satisfied, you turn back to the guard and raise an eyebrow. Go ahead, you hiss, OPEN IT.

“I mean I could just break the window an-”

OPEN IT, ART! Releasing an angry sigh, the security guard stomps over to the back of the van and yanks on the door handles.

“Gee, it doesn’t open.”

EXACTLY, you reply, adding a heaping tablespoon of SMUGNESS. Plus if Denise is gonna keep looking at this crap she’ll have to have it nearby.

B-b-b-but what if I’m caught with it?!” Denise squeaks as a new layer of sweat rushes down her face. “I-I-I’m n-not good at confrontations!

You shrug--just curl up in a ball and play dead, or something. You and Art got beaten up by security and YOU’RE doing okay!

Wh-what if they think I’m a terrori-

She’s smart, she can figure it out! CONTD. time!

>CONTD.

THAT'S what you're talkin' about.
>>
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>>4896711
Next order of business: the BOOZE! You’ve got an extra-special place to leave that stuff for the time-being!

“If it’s the VAN again I swear I’m gonna-”

Shut up, Art. Turning to Eddie, you raise an eyebrow his way--he mentioned his uncle having some kinda FISHING CABIN?

“Yea! It’s pretty big, too--more like a SUMMER HOME near the river, kinda. Secluded, cozy… Romanti- OOF!

Cut off by an elbow to the gut courtesy of Kiki, Eddie adjusts his cap and continues.

“Like I was saying… It’s on the BLUE RIVER downstream from where the dam was--we uh… We probably coulda’ gone there before…”

“Don’t mean to interrupt, Stan, but why don’t we just tell your Paulie guy-”

HAULIE PAULIE! Get it right!

“Err… HAULIE PAULIE, to pick the stuff up here?” Tucker suggests, jerking a thumb towards the MASSIVE BAGEL on top of the bagel shop. “That way we don’t have to deal with it anymore.”

Damn it, why didn’t YOU think or vote for that?!

In any case, what’s the plan?
>NO! I wanna go to Eddie’s CABIN!
>GOOD IDEA, TUCKER! Let’s have PAULIE PICK IT UP HERE!
>WRITE-IN
>>
>>4896712
>NO! I wanna go to Eddie’s CABIN!

I originally voted for him to just pick it up here, but now that we know about the sweet cabin I kinda wanna check it out before we end up at the lodge for the next while.
>>
>>4896712
>NO! I wanna go to Eddie’s CABIN!
Also we got some fishing to do
>>
>>4896712
>>NO! I wanna go to Eddie’s CABIN!
>>
Not to influence votes here, but don't forget that you told Blumenkrantz you'd be at The Lodge soon.
>>
>>4896724
We'll just pop over there for a bit, in and out, 20 minute vacation!
>>
>>4896712
>GOOD IDEA, TUCKER! Let’s have PAULIE PICK IT UP HERE!
Agh we should probably get the lodge all dealt with, we have an appointment
>>
>>4896734
support
>>
Gonna wait a bit while we work out this TIE here! Didn't mean to split things up!
>>
>>4896757
Guess I'll swap over- like I said I originally wanted to have paulie pick it up now anyways, assuming that's what the call paulie option was last time.

I'll switch to
>GOOD IDEA, TUCKER! Let's have PAULIE PICK IT UP HERE!
>>
>>4896734
>>4896738
>>4896764
>CALL PAUL

>>4896722
>EDDIE'S CABIN!

Looking good! Sorry if things are a bit circular--just didn't wanna step on anyone's toes before heading back to THE LODGE. Writing!
>>
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You try to stay enthusiastic about your original plan, but it’s too late--now you’re having SECOND THOUGHTS!

“Stan?” Syb whispers, snapping you out of your head, “Are you okay? Is your head hurting again?”

Your head is FINE, damn it! Shooting a preemptive pointed glare at Art, you catch the bastard opening his mouth to say something witty! Nice TRY!

Anyways, you just think that Tucker’s got a good idea--the BOOZE will be much safer with Paulie.

“Less travelling for us, too.” Tucker nods, a grin on his face from you agreeing with him. “Eddie’s cabin will be there after all of this, too.”

“You’d better call him now, Stan.” Mitzi interjects, taking a seat on a nearby piece of rubble. “He might be halfway across town right now.”

She’s right! Fishing out your RADIO, you flip to HAULIE PAULIE’S FREQUENCY and shout a few salutations! DOES HE READ YOU?

https://youtu.be/JenMS9t4byE

“Loud and clear, kiddo!” Booms a familiar jolly voice on the other end over the roar of a massive engine! “Am I glad ta’ hear from you! Heard about dat’ thing at da’ Dam--thought we’d find ya’ floating belly-up downstream!”

You shrug--not for lack of trying. Where is he? You’ve got another present for him!

“Dat’s what I like to hear! You’re in luck, too, we’re in town. You ain’t gonna believe it, baby--we’re pickin’ up some PALS!
You blink--how’s that now?

“Yep! No clue what you pulled at da’ dam, but a bunch of those soldier boys up an’ QUIT! said they wanted to throw their cards in wit’ us!”

A giggle escapes from your throat--well, they’re making the right choice!

“Great minds think alike! Don’t be fooled, though--these are only a couple of those GI JAMOKES. Word on da’ street is there’s a lot of ‘em still out for your blood, dig?”

Yep, you sigh, you dig.

“Don’t sound down, baby--I’m yours for da’ time being! You said you had a present, yea? We gonna meet up or should I send some of my guys over while you hit da’ road?”

Your PONGOS POUCH does seem heavier… Good question!

“Who ya talking to?” Gus asks, peering over from his bike in earnest. Oh shit, Gus would LOVE HAULIE PAULIE!

Wh-who are we talking ab-about?” Denise squeaks, looking at you with uncertainty. She probably wouldn’t like him, but who cares what the NERD thinks?

Y-yea… You’re right! H-ha ha!

Crap, was that out loud again? Quick! Make a choice!
>We’ve gotta GO, but SEND SOME GUYS!
>Get your BUTT OVER HERE, PAULIE! You're WANTED!
>WRITE-IN
>>
>>4896940
>We’ve gotta GO, but SEND SOME GUYS!
I'm still on the opinion that we should save up for the super overalls, but if people wanna go for some of the skill ups or the duck parts then be my guest.
For context, heres his current inventory list
https://pastebin.com/qsJP0qXG[/unspoiler]
>>
>>4896940
>We’ve gotta GO, but SEND SOME GUYS!

>>4896949
Agreed And obviously we're springing for the bunny outfit
>>
>>4896940
We’ve gotta GO, but SEND SOME GUYS!
>>
>>4896949
>>4896953
>>4896994
>HE TAKES THE BOOZE, WE GOTTA CRUISE!

Writing!
>>
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Ignoring Denise’ GEEK SPEEK, you turn your attention back to your conversation with Paulie. You’ve got some BOOZE for that party they’re planning--he can grab it at the err…

You pause to examine the bagel-shaped monolith rising out of the building not too far from where you are. What’s this place called again?

BAGEL STABLE.” Ly answers, prompting you to repeat the name into the radio. You’ll leave a few crates of beverages inside for them! Drink responsively~!

“And I’ll leave a few PONGOS lyin’ around in credit when you feel like buying something!” Paulie replies. “Once we’ve picked up the juice, that is.”

You know how it goes by now! Is he cool to pick the stuff up? Your question is answered by a loud guffaw!

“Cool your jets, doll--worry about yourself, dig? And if you’re especially worried about your well-being, you know where to grab supplies from!”

Indeed you do! Signing off, you stuff your RADIO into your pocket and look at your gang expectantly. WELL?

“Well what?” Mitzi replies, raising an eyebrow from behind her MAGAZINE. Well start lifting!, you answer, pointing a thumb at the BOOZE CRATES behind you! Paulie needs that crap inside the BAGEL SHOP!

The unloading process goes off without a hitch thanks to the combined effort of your crew--specifically Gus and Talbot. Nice to have some MUSCLE around now! With the PARTY FAVORS hidden away inside the store, your group reconvenes next to your van.

“This time I get to drive, right?” Eddie asks, examining the RIP KORD CUTOUT for any dents or damage.

“Yep, it’s all you.” Art replies, collapsing into one of the seats in the back of the van. “It’s gonna be nice to take a breather, that’s for sure…”

He can say THAT again!

Clearly sharing your sentiment, the others saddle up in their respective modes of conveyance and hit the road--next stop THE LODGE!

>CONTD.
>>
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>>4897055
It’s about midday by the time you arrive at the GOOD BOY SECURITY STATION, its concrete entrance riddled with new bullet holes, scorch marks, and even a few hatchets. Yow. New concrete barriers and a few burned-out car husks barricade the streets leading to the entrance, and the CAMERA you had Syb deactivate before stands at attention in the doorway.

Thanks to the wider viewing port Syb tore between the front and back of the van, it’s not hard to see the GOOD BOY SECURITY GUARDS waving you down as your entourage approaches the compound--hopefully not the same ones you and Art stole uniforms from. Hopping out the back, you trot over to the goons as they shakily aim their weapons at Talbot. Plugging the gun barrels with your fingers, you give the two a snarl--what’s their deal? Didn’t Blumenkrantz tell them you’d have company?

“W-well yes, m’am,” replies the one closest to you, “but he also mentioned to be careful…”

“It can’t tell its MASTER where we are, right?” The other hisses, not nearly as perturbed as his associate. “Is it tame?

You look back at Talbot who seems to be trying to hide behind you. Size differences, buddy.

How do you respond to these questions?
>It’s SAFE. He can WAIT a FEW BLOCKS AWAY if that’s SAFER.
>TALBOT is my FRIEND--you treat him with RESPECT, DIG?
>You’re NOT SURE, actually… Lemme DISCUSS with my CREW.
>WRITE-IN

Sorry folks, but I’m getting pretty tired on my end--can barely put a paragraph together! I should be able to update on WEDNESDAY around 11-12PM PST! Thanks for playing and hope to see you again next time!
>>
>>4897069
>TALBOT is my FRIEND--you treat him with RESPECT, DIG?
>>
>>4897069
>TALBOT is my FRIEND--you treat him with RESPECT, DIG?

Thanks for running man!
>>
>>4897069
>TALBOT is my FRIEND--you treat him with RESPECT, DIG?
For all their intents and purposes, we are his master right now. So they can back off. He's a good boy employee as well
>>
>>4897069
>TALBOT is my FRIEND--you treat him with RESPECT, DIG?
>>
>>4897069
>TALBOT is my FRIEND--you treat him with RESPECT, DIG?
>>
>>4897072
>>4897074
>>4897076
>>4897079
>>4897140
>R-E-S-P-E-C-T!

Writing! Site's been a little wonky today so hopefully we'll get some posts in! If you don't hear from me for a while just assume it's page troubles!
>>
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How do you respond, you say? Here’s how you respond: ANGRILY! You take a few steps forward to get up in the rent-a-cop’s collective ‘grill’ and poke one of them in the chest--the only thing they have to worry about is YOU!

… And the skeletons.

… And, like… Wild Dogs. Clearwater was chock full of ‘em before these dark times…

Never mind! They should worry about YOU! Talbie’s basically your BODYGUARD now, so if you feel threatened or irritated enough he’ll probably eat them or something. You punctuate your explanation by patting Big T on the side--you’ve given up on trying to give him headpats.

“W-well then, guess we’ve got nothing to worry about, huh?” Stammers Faceless Goon #3345. “Word on the radio is that you’ve been busy, miss--we all really appreciate what you’re doing!”

“Yea!” Adds the other security guard, “I’m a huge fan of water, myself--can’t stand juice or anything like that! Do you know how much sugar they put in those sports drinks? If the water supply got tainted, well…” Finishing his statement with a slash across the throat motion, the guard lowers his weapon.

“If you say your erm… bodyguard is safe, we’ll believe it. He might have trouble heading downstairs though, if you get my meaning…”

Yea, you were meaning to ask about that--where’s the STAIR ACCESS to THE LODGE? Elevators are great, but what if there’s a fire, morons?!

“I think he was talkin’ about THE BARRIER those ORDER OF THE WANDERING EYE folks whipped up.” Interrupts the goon’s pal. “Though yea, he probably wouldn’t fit into the elevators either!”

Right… THE BARRIER. You’re gonna be peeved if you get dizzy again!

“Hey, how are we doing?”

Turning around to find Sybil approaching, you shrug--things are good. Just explaining Talbot to these guys!

“”You’re all cleared for access,” explains one of the goons, “and if the big guy wants to stay up here, well… We’d appreciate the support!”

You raise an eyebrow at your bodyguard--does he wanna help guard the base?

STAAAAAAAN.” He replies with a somber look in his eye.

Well darn. How should you deal with this?
>If you get BORED you can HUNT for SKELETONS!
>It’ll only be a LITTLE WHILE, man!
>Will you do it if I get you a PRESENT?
>WRITE-IN
>>
>>4897851
>Will you do it if I get you a PRESENT?
He deserves it
>>
>>4897851
>Will you do it if I get you a PRESENT?
>>
>>4897863
>>4897864
>Will you do it for a TALBIE SNACK?

Writing!
>>
>>4897851
>>Will you do it if I get you a PRESENT?
>>
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Wracking your brain for ideas, you notice your friends waiting impatiently behind you! Oh man… Just… Just go in!

Nope, they aren’t moving. Glancing back at Talbot, an idea comes to mind! Would he wait here if you came back with… A PRESENT?

THAT makes him happy! Actually, you can’t really tell--his hood coupled with his skeleton face makes Talbot pretty hard to read. He seems pretty excited, though! Planting your hands on your hips, you give him a toothy grin--it’s settled, then! You’ll get Talbot a PRESENT if he waits here!

PREEEESEEEENNNNT.” He repeats, nodding in agreement. Adding the pertinent SIDE QUEST DEETS to your COMPANY-ISSUED BLACKBERRY, you pat his arm one last time and smile--you’ll be back in a jiffy! Seeing his expression lighten up a bit, you turn to the security goons one last time. Remember, he’s your FRIEND!

“Gotcha, miss! We believe you!”

They’d better. Waving to the guards, you lead the charge into the SECURITY STATION--its interior just as sleepy as the last time you visited.

“It’s kinda small.” Gus remarks as your entourage passes into the checkpoint.

“Yea, but it opens up a bit in the back.” Mitzi replies, winking your way. Smiling back at her, you and the team wait patiently as a guard emerges from behind the desk with a cup of half-empty coffee.

“Yea, yea, gimme a sec-oh you’ve gotta be SHITTING me.”

“Hey… This was that Dirk guy, right?” Art remarks, pointing a gloved finger at the goon behind the checkpoint. “Hey, man!”

“It’s DEREK!” The desk jockey hisses, slamming his mug onto the counter. “Typical--Muldoon gets to go on a WILD ADVENTURE while DEREK has to unjam the copier twelve times in one shift. Fucking new toner cartridges…”

“You never got me my chips, Der-Bear.” Mitzi frowns. “Don’t think I’ve forgotten.”

“Yea, yea, I’ll add it to the LIST.” Derek mutters, tapping a few keys on a keyboard. “Parble, right? Got a message for you around here… Ah, here it is. They’re looking for you in ADMIN.

You furrow your brow--any particular reason why? Derek takes a sip from his mug through his mask filter and sighs.

“Gee, that’s a good question. Let me look at this memo again… Hmm… ‘Parble to Admin.’ Nope, not seeing much subtext there!”

“You’re a doll, Derek!” Mitzi chuckles before leaning on your shoulder. “Mind opening this chicken coop up so we can get out of your hair?”

“Please, be my GUESTS.” Derek groans, slapping a large red button on his side of the checkpoint. “Enjoy your stay…”

The gates around the checkpoint retract into the walls allowing your team to file out towards the two elevators at the end of the hall.

“Nice guy.” Ly remarks.

>CONTD.
>>
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>>4898026
After a few minutes of entering, exiting, and shuffling people around in the two elevators (and a few MORE minutes because Art gets NAUSEOUS in the middle…) Your team finally heads downwards into the belly of the proverbial corporate BEAST!

https://youtu.be/9v9-Nw4nAZg

“So,” Gus mutters as you try to find a good spot between him, Syb, Art, and Denise, “You’re saying there’s a whole city down here?”

Breaking free of the hypnotic music, you nod--it’s more like a mall, but he’ll get the picture, right Syb?

“Urrgh… S-sure…” A quick look at your pale friend reveals that she’s much paler than usual… Right, THE BAR-

Aaaand that’s when it hits you. The floor of the elevator lurches beneath you like a ship in a storm as a piercing noise rings through your ears and rattles your brain! Sensing your distress, Art quickly leaps to Syb’s aid and catches her as she tumbles towards the floor! What a gentleman!

Meanwhile you just hit the ground like groceries out of a torn bag in front of Denise, who just stands there cowering. Thanks, NERD! As you lie there waiting for your senses to come back, you feel Gus picking you up off of the ground--at least SOMEone cares about your well-being! After what feels like a minute or two, the elevator stops spinning and starts… Well, continues to move.

“You guys okay?” Gus asks, a look of concern on his bearded face.

“They’ll be fine.” Art answers, helping Syb back to her feet. “There’s some sort of magic barrier around the place--really messes with magic folk.”

“Arthur’s right,” Syb nods, wiping the sweat from her forehead as she steadies herself against the elevator’s safety bar. “We’re getting a small dosage, as well--if Talbot had come down here he might, well… Cease to function.”

Regaining your own balance, you frown--isn’t he just a product of freakish science? Noticing your finger pointed her way, Denise clears her throat. “W-well the key is in the ACTIVATED GOODBOYNIUM animating Talbie… Since it required trace amounts of erm… MAGIC to be activated, there’s a very good chance that he wouldn’t react well to the barrier… That explains why he couldn’t track you down earlier too…

Before you can discuss things further, the elevator doors open with a polite ‘DING!’ revealing the rest of your team waiting patiently for you.

“Didn’t want to rush ahead...” Mitzi explains. “You guys doing okay?”

“It’s only temporary.” Syb explains. “The question is, where are we headed first?”
Where indeed?
>To ADMIN! Don’t wanna PISS OFF MANAGEMENT…
>To the COMMONS! You can drop your PALS at the CANTEEN!
>To MEDICAL! Maybe you can check in on DOC DEVON!
>WRITE-IN
>>
>>4898029
>To ADMIN! Don’t wanna PISS OFF MANAGEMENT…
Maybe they'll give us a reward that we can spend in the canteen.
>>
>>4898029
>To ADMIN! Don’t wanna PISS OFF MANAGEMENT…
Lets get this administrative bullcock all done and set, I want to fish damnit!
>>
>>4898029
>>To ADMIN! Don’t wanna PISS OFF MANAGEMENT…
>>
>>4898029
>To ADMIN! Don’t wanna PISS OFF MANAGEMENT…
Ah shit we forgot to get Devon some jam stuff
>>
>>4898045
SIDE QUEST FAILED!

Nah JK

>>4898032
>>4898035
>>4898041
>>4898045
>HEAD TO ADMIN!

Writing!
>>
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Trying and failing to ignore the feral growling coming from your stomach, you let out a resigned sigh--while you’d love to treat everyone to some BRUNCH, you’ve gotta handle this thing in ADMIN first.

“I take it that’s what the call earlier was about?” Syb asks, raising a pierced eyebrow your way. You nod--apparently you’re due for a komodo dragon or something.

D-d-do you mean a ‘COMMENDATION?’” Denise asks, prompting a round of ‘ooooh’s and ‘that makes more sense’s from your team. Sure, you’ll go with that, you reply. Leading your pals like a tour guide down the hall, you stride confidently past the guards and defenses in the ARRIVALS CHECKPOINT, sparing only a friendly wave to the guard manning the window where you retrieved your gear from the other day.

“Well I’ll be!” He remarks, marvelling at your retinue. “Didn’t think you’d be coming back, Parble!”

Happy to surprise him, you reply with a grin! Got places to go, but you’ll catch up with him soon!

“Lookin’ forward to it.” The guard chuckles, returning to whatever he was doing in his booth. Emerging in the CENTRAL SHAFT, you pause for a moment to let the students, Gus, and Denise take in the view.

“Wow.” Gus grunts, his eyebrows raising about a quarter of an inch. “Cool.”

Th-th-th-this place is HUMONGOUS!” Denise sputters, scuttling over to the edge of the shaft! “The amount of time it must have taken to build all this… A-and the ENGINEERING! I can’t imagine all the p-planning it must have required with the sea so close by… F-fantastic…

“You guys weren’t kidding.” Tucker remarks as Kiki and Eddie just stand there dumbfounded. “Hard to believe this was underneath Clearwater…”

“Wait until you see the food court.” Mitzi chuckles, elbowing Eddie in the ribs and freeing him from his stupor.

“It’s… AWESOME!” He exclaims, gaining the attention of several Good Boy goons. Alright, time to go before they think we’re tourists.

Leading everyone to one of the cargo lifts hanging above the abyss in the center of the chamber, you slap the button marked ADMIN/SECURITY and find a comfy spot as it rumbles to life.

Descending into the darkness below, you feel a familiar presence come to life inside of your body!

“Nnnfgh… Dat’ BARRIER’S gonna kill me… Whad’ I miss?”

Not much, you shrug--just the usual reactions to finding out there’s a massive salt mine-turned doomsday shelter hidden beneath the town.

“Right… Still can’t believe GOOD BOY had all dis’ lyin’ around…” Ly grumbles. “Even if the old boss was a TIM WORSHIPPER or whatever…”

Yea, but whenever you asked for a RIDEABLE FLOOR BUFFER they ‘didn’t have the cash’! Typical...

>CONTD.
>>
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>>4898234
After enduring another painfully long elevator ride, your lift docks near the bottom of the shaft and deposits you in front of the SECURITY HUB-- its entrance crowded by a horde of pissed-off people!

“Wonder what that’s all about…” Art muses as everyone disembarks from the lift. Before you can investigate further, the ceiling is riddled with bullets, causing the crowd to scramble!

DISPERSE!” booms a voice over a loudspeaker! “THIS IS PRIVATE PROPERTY! DISPERSE IMMEDIATELY!

As the mob retreats from the entrance to the SECURITY HUB, Mitzi lets out a low whistle. “Wowza. Haven’t seen that before.”

“Shouldn’t we investigate?” Tucker asks as a group of refugees dart past him towards the elevator.

“I suspect we’ll get more answers in ADMIN,” Syb sighs. “Though if I had to guess I’d say cabin fever is setting in…”

Avoiding the powder keg that is the SECURITY HUB, you bring your crew around the shaft towards the other bulkhead dominating the floor--the one leading into ADMINISTRATION.

“You were here before, right Stan?” Art asks as you push past a squad of Good Boy Operatives. “When you met with the boss?”

“You met with the CEO?” Eddie gasps, prompting a similar reaction from Kiki. “Damn, Stan, you’re moving up, huh?”

You smile to yourself--Hellyea! Before you can continue further, your mind is flooded with the sense of impending doom and an intense feeling of dread…

PARBLE!
https://youtu.be/tY_kfFnyoic
Oh boy, you recognize THAT theme song by now...

Looking in the direction of the shout, you instinctively freeze in place as a familiar wall of a man wearing a security longcoat stomps your way with a cigar hanging from his sneering lips!

>CONTD.
>>
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>>4898235
“W-who is that?” Eddie mutters as Blumenkrantz approaches. “WHAT is that?”

“That,” Mitzi hisses, “is our boss…”

Flanked by four exosuited Good Boy Operatives, the familiar imposing form of SECURITY CHIEF BLUMENKRANTZ towers over you. Glancing at one of many watches barely holding on to his beefy forearm, he peers back down at you through his mirrored aviators!

“You and your COLOR GUARD certainly took their time, Parble… Follow me!”

Spinning on his heels before you can get a word in, the Chief of Security makes for the ADMINISTRATION WING with his escort. Shrugging to your pals, you scurry after him past a checkpoint armed to the teeth with guards, barricades, and what appears to be several automated gun turrets, all of which seem to shrink as Blumenkrantz storms past!

Following him down yet ANOTHER maze of corridors, your trip ends when Blumenkrantz kicks open a door leading into a vacant boardroom, save for a PROJECTOR and a VCR wired into it.

SIT!” commands the chief as he makes his way to the projector. Grabbing a seat at the end of the long table, you get comfy as the rest of your entourage picks their seats as well. Clearing her throat, Mitzi glances towards the projector.

“So-”

The girl barely utters that syllable before being picked up and CHOKESLAMMED into the carpeted floor by Blumenkrantz! Leaving her laid out behind Denise’ seat, the Chief of Security ignores Venaas’ quivering form and retrieves a VHS TAPE from his breast pocket!

“Questions AFTER!” With one last growl, he jams the tape into the VCR and snarls at the exosuit goon closest to the door! “KILL THE LIGHTS, IDIOT!

Promptly following his directions, the room goes dark as the image of an OLD RED TELEPHONE RECEIVER appears on the projector!

>CONTD.
>>
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>>4898237
Your team exchanges a few nervous glances before a familiar voice rings out across the board room--the one belonging to the current CEO OF GOOD BOY DOGGIE BONES… SONNY BRUCKMANN JR!

https://youtu.be/_bIiXPPEm4A

“Stanley Parble! Associates! Pardon the unorthodox means of contacting you all--a company can’t run itself, I’m afraid!”

You open your mouth to tell them it’s alright, but a pointed glare from Blumenkrantz and Mitzi’s still-motionless form on the ground causes you to reconsider.

“If you’re hearing this, you’re alive. To be perfectly honest, Parble, I expected you to be rotting in some alleyway by now--kudos to you for exceeding my expectations! I’ll have to add that to the ever-growing list of things I adore about you…”

You tug on your hoodie’s collar a bit as all eyes fall on you. What can you say? You’re likeable! Heh…

“A thousand apologies for making anyone uncomfortable--Stanley’s very dear to me, you see… VERY. But I don’t suppose any of you came here to listen to me gush--no, you’re here because COMMENDATIONS are in order!

So that’s how you say it…

“In recognition of you and your team’s hard work, I’ve decided to reward you with one of the VIP BUNKERS located here in ADMINISTRATION. Regrettably its previous owner won’t need it anymore, but one man’s folly is another man’s fortune, yes?”

Fishing a BAGGIE OF KEYCARDS from his pocket, Blumenkrantz slides it across the table to where you’re seated.

“By now Blumenkrantz should have given you a set of keys--feel free to count them if you’d like--there should be enough for everyone in your… Retinue.”

You do a once-over of the bag and nod--yep! All there!

“You and your team are sure to find the bunker to be quite comfortable. Feel free to get settled in once this meeting is adjourned--I’ll contact you once you’ve made more progress above ground. This message is getting a tad long in the tooth, so this is where I’ll sign off for now. Please direct all questions to Blumenkrantz! Until next time, my pet…”

And with that the video comes to a close. As the guard next to the door flicks the lights back on, Blumenkrantz looks your way expectantly.

“Make it QUICK.

Questions?
>No QUESTIONS! Let’s CHECK IT OUT!
>How BIG is this BUNKER?
>You wanna MEET the BOSS.
>What’s INSIDE this BUNKER?
>WRITE-IN
>>
On that note folks, I'm gonna have to pause for the rest of the day... Been feeling like crap since I woke up and as you can tell by how long it's taken me to write this crap, I think I'd be better off resting until tomorrow. I'll write an update around 11-12PM PST on THURSDAY, you can count on that!

Sorry for the few updates today--hopefully I'll be in better form tomorrow. Thanks again for playing along and hope to see you next time!
>>
>>4898240
>No QUESTIONS! Let’s CHECK IT OUT!

Did this motherfucker just call us his pet?

>>4898246

No problem man, get some rest!
>>
>>4898240
>No QUESTIONS! Let’s CHECK IT OUT!
Lets get situated proper
>>
>>4898240
>>No QUESTIONS! Let’s CHECK IT OUT!

Sonny Bruckman confirmed sus
>>
>>4898257
>>4898269
>>4898428
>CHECK IT OUUUUUT

Feeling much better today, so let's do some UPDATES! Writing!
>>
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A smug grin gradually forms on your face as the news sinks in… Oh you’ll make it QUICK, alright!

Rising from your chair, you snatch up the KEYCARDS from the center of the boardroom table and jiggle the baggie a bit. You’ve got one question and one question ONLY: Where’s this bunker of yours?

With an impatient grunt, Blumenkrantz motions for you to follow, prompting the rest of your gang to rise from their seats. Before you can check on her, Mitzi quietly rises from the carpet and gives you a wink. Damn, that ‘play dead’ trick really DOES work!

Together the two of you catch up with the rest of the tour group, your conga line led by a snarling Chief of Security. GOOD BOY SUITS, EXECS, and SECURITY GOONS part like the Red Sea for Blumenkrantz as you’re led through another maze of hallways, offices, ashtrays, and fake plants.

“Don’t let it go to your head, RODENT. While you’re residing in THE LODGE you agree to adhere to all company policies, emergency OR OTHERWISE.

Grabbing the lapel of a suit who didn’t get out of the way in time, Mr. B flings the offender into a nearby fountain.

“You will not COPY those keycards! You will not GIVE them to anyone besides approved personnel! God help you if you LOSE them! Same goes for visitors--you’re liable for whatever trouble your DUMB-ASS FANCLUB gets into!”

The hallway slants downward as you continue your trek, leading you and your crew deeper into the bowels of the earth. Just how deep does this place go anyways?!

“As far as furnishings go, they’re YOUR responsibility! You break them? YOU replace them! Spill juice on your sheets? YOU’RE washing them! This is an EMERGENCY, not a STAYCATION!”

After what feels like a hike, Blumenkrantz and his bodyguards pause in front of a steel door bordered by a plaque with the number 221 and a KEYCARD READER.

“Availability of this bunker is subject to change once this shitshow blows over! In the case that your ownership is relinquished, damages, cleaning, and repair costs will come out of YOUR PAYCHECK.

Fishing a card out from his coat, Blumenkrantz deftly slides it through the card reader with a cheerful ’DING!’ You hear the sound of several mechanisms moving inside of the door, followed by a ’click’ as the door opens. Stepping back to allow you entry, Blumenkrantz glares at his watches impatiently as you peek inside.

What you see, well…

That’s not gonna fit in this post!

>CONTD.
>>
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>>4899692
“Stan…” Ly mutters, “You’re droolin’, kiddo…”

You can’t help it! Leaving your jaw dropped, you take a moment to let everything sink in as you and your crew file into the bunker.

Back in High School you and the rest of the CHESS CLUB flew out to Washington State for a weekend tourney--in retrospect it’s pretty damn unconstitutional that they had you doing school crap on a weekend, but at the time you were too spellbound to really care.

See, the tournament was held at a venue you could only describe as ‘ENCHANTING’: a resort perched next to a waterfall known as THE BEAR’S BLUFF LODGE. The ride up in the bus your teacher chartered was gorgeous, of course--you’re still not much of a nature gal, but you could still appreciate the winding, tree-lined road rising above the forest. When you entered the lobby you recall tripping over your own bag and tackling some European guy--that’s just how stupefied you were! The whole place looked like a ballroom for some fancy castle, and that was just the entrance! When you got to your room, well… You felt like royalty.

This, though… This bunker kicks that memory’s ASS! You let out a low, satisfied whistle as you take in the sights--in contrast to the sterile, brutalist architecture of THE LODGE in general, your new lodgings look like something out of a spy movie or something! A large, crystalline chandelier greets you as you enter, dragging your dirt-speckled rubber boots across a massive fuzzy carpet! Past a forest of coat hangers and shoe racks sits a common area with a circle of couches, easy chairs, and a massive table in the center carved out of wood!

“Kitchen’s to the right, bedrooms are over there,” Blumenkrantz growls, jabbing a finger on the far side of the common area. “Each with restrooms. Pool’s in the back--don’t even THINK of putting bubble bath crap in it!”

“Pardon my french, but holy SHIT.” Art breathes, rubbing his eyes at the sight while Syb just stands frozen.

“Cool.” Gus grunts, letting himself in and making a beeline for the couches. Mitzi, Tucker, and Eddie follow suit, the latter two racing to grab the easy chairs while Kiki skitters in the direction of the kitchen.

P-p-pretty cozy…” Denise whispers, looking up at you as if waiting to be invited in.

You don’t answer or react… Not yet. For the first and possibly last time in your life, you’ve done the impossible:

You’re a twenty-year-old homeowner. In CALIFORNIA.

Holy SHIT.

“Are we DONE, Parble?” Growls Blumenkrantz. “I don’t get paid to watch you STARE, you know…”

Anything else before you kick B out?
>About that THING we discussed…
>THANK him and THE BOSS!
>Had a question, actually… (WRITE-IN)
>WRITE-IN
>>
>>4899697
>THANK him and THE BOSS!
Blumenkrantz might not be the best person to try and get this information out of, and he sounds like is doesn't want to talk about it.
>>
>>4899697
>Check the faucets, they're probably leaking.
Otherwise it'd be too good to be true.
>>
>>4899697
>About that THING we discussed…
Pull him aside to get that tape while our friends are distracted.
>>
>>4899707
this
>>
>>4899707
Changing my vote to this now, I forgot about the tape.
>>
>>4899697

>About that THING we discussed…
>>
>>4899705
>CHECK THE FAUCETS!
THIS guy gets it.

>>4899707
>>4899737
>>4899739
>>4899830
>About that THING....

Writing!
>>
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A tiny, yet persistent bell rings in your head in response to Blumenkrantz’ question--now that he mentions it there is ONE more thing…

Before you get into it though, you turn to face the still-paralyzed goth in your new doorway and snap your fingers a few times. Syb. Syyyyyyb.

“Sngk-hmm? Wha?” Your purple-highlighted pal blinks a few times as she returns to reality before meeting your gaze. “Oh! Stan… Sorry, I was somewhere else…”

She’s here now, damn it, and she needs to do you a favor!

“I see… Well, I’ll be more than happy to investigate the pool area-”

Nope, nice try! Pointing in the direction Blumenkrantz said the bedrooms were, you ask Syb to check out the FAUCETS around the place! They’re probably leaking!

“Not a bad idea, Stan.” Syb nods thoughtfully. “Arthur, would you care to join me?”

“Wh-huh? Oh… Yea. Sure!” Syb drags Art away before he can fully snap out of it, leaving you alone with Blumenkrantz and his bodyguards.

“I’m not your damn BELLBOY, Parble…” He growls, dropping a pinch of cigar ash on your new floor. “Hurry up!”

Shooting a sideways glance at his backup, you lean in a bit closer to his ear, or at least try to. Is there a stool in here?

“Christ, Parble, you’d better not start crying…” Groans the security chief. You let that slide and get straight to the point: about that thing you were talking abo-

MASTER BEDROOM PILLOWCASE.” He hisses. “Anyone asks, you found it, you hear?”

Returning to the ground from your tippy-toes, you nod, you’ll try not to break anything! Bemused, Blumenkrantz chews on his cigar a bit.

“One more thing, Parble…” he growls, leaning in close, “Do me a favor: DON’T FORGET THIS TIME.

Leaving you with one last ‘watching you’ gesture, Blumenkrantz motions for his henchmen to leave. “Let’s let the FREAK settle in, boys. Parble, don’t get too comfortable--you’re still on the clock after all…”

As they depart, one of the goons lags behind to politely close the door. “Erm… Enjoy the place…”

With that the portal closes, leaving you to explore your new digs. Christ, to think you were sleeping in a STUDIO a few days ago!

What do you do FIRST?
>SECURE THE TAPE!
>Call a GANG MEETING!
>EXPLORE! (WHICH ROOM/S?)
>WRITE-IN
>>
>>4899866
>Call a GANG MEETING!
Should we start the strategy meeting now or later?
If not lets secure the tape
>>
>>4899866
>SECURE THE TAPE!
Before someone else finds it
>>
>>4899869
>>4900016
To keep things moving I'll assume we wanna grab the tape first. Sorry if I'm stepping on anyone's toes!

Writing!
>>
>>4900036
>>4899866

>Secure the tape!
>>
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First thing’s first--you’ve gotta grab that TAPE while everyone’s spellbound by TASTEFUL INTERIOR DESIGN! Creeping through the foyer in the direction Syb and Art disappeared, you arrive in a long hallway lined with another fluffy carpet and several doors. Bedrooms?

“Criminy,” Ly remarks, “You could fit a whole army in here!”

You nod--these were probably used by the previous owner’s servants… or CONSORTS.

“Speakin’ of,” Ly adds as you continue down the corridor, “What da’ hell did Sonny mean when they said da’ old owner won’t need it anymore? Is dis’ joint HAUNTED?

You freeze in place as his last word sinks in… Man, that would be just your luck, wouldn’t it? A free BUNKER MANSION and it turns out to be HAUNTED. Syb’s gonna want to check that out for sure...

Speaking of, you hear your goth gal and ginger pal as you approach what you assume to be the MASTER BEDROOM. Pressing an ear against the door, you listen in on their hushed conversation…

“... She’s outside, isn’t she?”
“Yep.”
“Hiiii Stan~”

You recoil from the door and stumble away! H-how?!

“You really need to stop talking to Ly so loudly, sweetheart.” Syb replies, peeking through the now-ajar door. “You mind if we claim this room?”

W-wait a minute, you stammer… W-w-w-W-w-WE?!

“Master Bedroom’s next door, Stan.” Art interrupts, peeking through the door as well. “Figure you’ve earned it.”

You glance at the double doors at the end of the hall for a second, then nod. Yes… You HAVE.

Giving them a lazy salute, you kick open the double doors at the end of the hall and enter…

YOUR NEW ROOM!

“Okay, no need ta’ get dramatic…” Ly mutters.

>CONTD.
>>
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>>4900120
The dark wooden doors swing open revealing a room more suited for some kind of DRUG KINGPIN... From the FUTURE! Feeling your heart flutter like you were a kid in a candy shop, you take a deep breath before taking in all the sights. A KING-SIZED BED dominates the room covered in several pillows just begging to be rested on! Every brain cell in your head is begging you to flop onto it, but you resist… For now.

Beyond that sits a MODERN WORK DESK: its surface sadly missing a computer of any sort. Still, the desk chair in front of it looks like it offers a lot of back support--something your rig at home could certainly benefit from! On the wall in front of the bed sits a MOUNTED FLATSCREEN TV nearly as wide as you are TALL! Even better, it seems like there’s only one REMOTE, too.

Below the TV are a set of drawers--further inspection reveals several stacks of CLOTHING in case you ever get tired of what you’re wearing. Making a mental note for the future, your eyes are drawn to the door nestled between the desk and the TV--no doubt the portal to the RESTROOM! Pushing the door open, your heart skips a beat--though the marble sinks and tasteful fake flower arrangement on the wall are nice, the star of the show has GOTTA be the WHIRLPOOL BATHTUB! You’ve GOTTA try that thing later!

“Da’ whole gang could wit’ how big it is…” Ly scoffs as you run your hand along the countertop. “Was dis’ architect compensatin’ for somethin’ or what?”

You shrug--does it matter?

“... Point taken. So, what about dat’ TAPE?

Your eyes go wide as you remember your mission! Sparing one last longing glance at the tub, you scamper back into the roo-erm… YOUR room and hop onto the bed.

“Oh boy, dis’ is dangerous…” Ly mutters as you pat down the pillowcases. He’s right--this bed is COMFY. Just when you can’t resist the urge to lie down anymore, your hand slaps against a foreign object inside a pillow! With renewed purpose you stick your hand into the pillow’s casing and retrieve a WEATHERED OLD VHS TAPE, the word ‘CHRISTMAS’ hastily written in red pen on the tape’s label. BINGO.

“Dis’ is it, huh?” Ly remarks, moving your head closer to get a better look. “Looks like we’ve got a movie ta’ watch later…”

Or now. Depends on whether you want anyone invading your privacy while you check it out. Then again, it wouldn’t hurt to see what everyone else is up to…

What’s the PLAN?
>GANG MEETING! Let’s TALK!
>WATCH the VID. Better get it over with now.
>Just TAKE A BREATHER for a sec, CHRIST.
>EXPLORE! (WHICH ROOM?)
>WRITE-IN

Sorry, pal was streaming and I got distracted. Gonna have dinner soon so expect delays!
>>
>>4900123
>Just TAKE A BREATHER for a sec, CHRIST.
This has been one hell of a fuckin week, we deserve a bit of rest
>>
>>4900123
>Just TAKE A BREATHER for a sec, CHRIST.
Calm before the storm. Stan should give herself a second to relax and prepare before checking out the tape
>>
>>4900151
>>4900209
>REST THOSE BONES!

Writing! Dinner and dishes are officially PUT AWAY!
>>
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No time to waste! TAPE in hand, you leap from the comfy, comfy bed and....

Ahem.

You LEAP from the comfy, comfy bed aaaand…

“You good, pumpkin?” Ly asks, looking over your immobile form with concern in his ASTRAL EYE SOCKETS. Sure you are--you just gotta… NGH! Summoning all of your strength, you try your best to escape the treacherous clutches of the bed’s silky covers… But fail. Miserably. Sinking into the plush mattress (is this MEMORY FOAM? This IS nice!), you let out a long, resigned sigh as your eyelids start to get heavier. Hey Ly?

“Yea, cupcake?”

The others, erm… The others aren’t waiting for you, are they? Your skeleton’s ASTRAL PROJECTION fades away into the walls of the bunker for a moment, then returns wearing a warm smile.

“Looks like da’ majority of ‘em are in da’ same state you are, Stan.” Hearing that you sink deeper into the bed--thank GOD.

“Three down, kiddo--if anyone deserves a bit of rest it’s you. How uh…” Your skeleton pauses, taking a moment to examine you, “how are you doin’?”

Wow. That’s the first time someone’s asked you that in… Well… A WHILE.

How ARE you doing?
>I feel GOOD. I feel like I’m doing something USEFUL!
>I feel TIRED. Taking care of the rest of these boneheads won’t be easy…
>I feel BAD. Not sure how much more of this I can do.
>I feel STRESSED OUT! I can’t just SIT AROUND like this, can I?!
>WRITE-IN
>>
>>4900264
>I feel GOOD. I feel like I’m doing something USEFUL!
On top of the world and under these blankets
>>
>>4900264
>I feel GOOD. I feel like I’m doing something USEFUL!

It's hard work, but being a hero is rewarding. Also we've more than tripled our number of friends since this started so based
>>
>>4900264
>>I feel GOOD. I feel like I’m doing something USEFUL!
>>
>>4900265
>>4900273
>>4900274
>I FEEL GOOD! I KNEW THAT I WOULD!

Writing!
>>
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https://youtu.be/4pZV3UPmXI4
Moving your head to the cooler side of the pillow, you give Ly a genuine smile. Truth be told, you feel GOOD. Really good!

“No kiddin’!” Ly remarks with a bemused look on his boney face. “Not da’ answer I was expectin’, ta be honest…”

What else can you say? It hasn’t been easy by any means, but you’ve MANAGED. You’ve had close calls--you’ve had some rough times, but at the end of the day it’s rewarding being a hero… Plus, you continue in a softer voice, it sounds kinda weird when you mention it, but you’ve met a lot of cool people through all of this.

“You have built up quite da’ followin’...” Ly agrees, looking at the doors. He doesn’t get it though--you didn’t followers. You’ve foundFRIENDS.

“Oof. A bit tacky there, kid, but I’ll allow it.” Chuckles your skeleton. Gee, thanks.

“For what it’s worth, Stan, you’re doin’ good,” Ly continues, pacing through the air above you. “Hell, you’re doin’ much better than these Paramilitary Palookas or dat’ Boris creep are! A few more scraps an’ we’ll be back ta’ normal in no time!

Your smile widens a bit. Can’t wait.

“So,” Ly adds, “Da’ Lieutenants can wait. What do YOU wanna do, princess?”

Right now? You really wanna…
>SLEEP. That fairy ruined your last cat nap.
>Take a BATH. That thing looked FANCY.
>Just WAIT AROUND… Maybe SOMEONE will come BUG ya. (WHO?)
>NEVER MIND, you’re ALL DONE. TIME for something ELSE!
>WRITE-IN
>>
>>4900312
>>Take a BATH. That thing looked FANCY.
>>SLEEP. That fairy ruined your last cat nap.


R&R time!
>>
>>4900312
>Take a BATH. That thing looked FANCY.
God even knows whats in our hair right now, lets get clean
>>
>>4900320
support
>>
>>4900320
Sleepin in da tub, absolute Stan move. Ly will make sure we don't drown!
>>
Just realized how late it was on my end, folks, so I'm gonna call it here for tonight! Should be ready to update on FRIDAY AROUND THE USUAL 11-12PM PST! Seems like we're already pretty close to a consensus, but I'll nonetheless check in on Friday before I write anything up. Thanks for playing and hope to see you then!
>>
>>4900320
>>4900323
>>4900324
>>4900325
>FALL ASLEEP AND DROWN IN THE TUB BAD ENDING

Writing!
>>
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As you lie there in the bed that’s probably worth more than your entire apartment, your eyes are drawn to the burns, rips, blood spatters, and other bits and pieces of debris caking your COVERALLS. Your SWEET HOODIE covers it up a bit, but no doubt about it--you’re getting a bit crusty.

“Yea,” Ly sighs, “I don’t think our dip in da’ river did us any favors either. We smell like a dead duck.”

Sitting up in the bed, a devious look forms on your face--guess you’re gonna have to do something about it, huh? Sensing your intent, Ly shrugs.

“Well it’s not like we’re gonna get another chance any time soon… I’m guessin’ I’m gonna have ta’ take a walk, huh?”

You nod--see? He’s LEARNING! Grumbling to himself, your skeleton’s ASTRAL PROJECTION peels free from your body and floats towards the double doors leading out of the room. “Just don’t take too long, yea? I’m gonna go possess a rat or somethin’.”

Yea, yea, you reply, waving him off. Once the proverbial ‘coast’ is clear, you make sure the doors to your room are locked before continuing to the bathroom--no one’s gonna bug you THIS time!

Letting your clothes unceremoniously drop to the floor as you start filling the tub--you resolve to get Denise or someone to do your laundry later. As the basin quickly fills with steamy water, you spy a small box leaning next to the bath and snatch it up.

A closer inspection reveals it to be a whole package of BUBBLE TROUBLE BUBBLE BATH! You don’t waste any time dumping some of the contents in, and within seconds the clear, pristine water becomes full of bubbles! Now all you need are some candles…

Foregoing those for now, you lower yourself into the tub inch by inch, wincing at the hot water touching your bare skin. Settling into the side with a head cushion, you stretch out and just soak for a bit, reveling in the beautiful marriage of JACUZZI and BATHTUB. Man, you whisper to yourself as the jets massage your neck and back, they’re gonna have to pry this thing from your cold, dead hands…

You barely manage to dab some shampoo and conditioner into your short, messy hair before a drowsiness similar to the one you felt on the bed grips you… Taking one last look around the bathroom for any sign of skeletons, creeps, and/or one of your dickhead friends, you abandon your worries and slip into a warm, deep slumber…

Goodbye reality…
Hello DREAM WORLD.


Where do you find yourself today? WRITE-IN details or leave blank for a random choice!
>FUCK OFF! I’M RELAXING! GO AWAY!
>A memory
>A good dream!
>A NIGHTMARE!
>Somewhere or something else (WRITE-IN)
>>
>>4900823
>Write-In

The narration slips away from Stan and into the adventures of...Ly as a rat! Or whatever else he finds
>>
>>4900829
I like this.
>>
>>4900823
>A good dream!
>>4900829
But also this. Stan deserves a bit of rest right now, we just speedran half the bonebags in this damn city
>>
>>4900829
>>4900837
>>4900843
>LY ADVENTURES

Writing!
>>
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Damn it! You’ll NEVER get this all cleaned up!

It’s another sweltering night at the GOOD BOY DOGGIE BONES factory and this shift really takes the gold medal for LAMEST SHIFT! Wiping the sweat from your brow, you use your TELESCOPING MOP to nudge the skeleton towards the furnace. Chop chop, you mutter, in ya go!

“Forgetting something, are we?” The bonehead purrs in a limey accent. Following his gaze to the side, you notice the growing crowd of skeletons idling in the middle of the factory floor, each one tapping where their watch would be on their bony wrists! This would go so much quicker if they would just MOVE!

“Forgetting something, are we?” They respond in chorus, crowding around you as they repeat the words. No, you snarl--you’re not! You’re getting things under control!

“What about you though?” You and the skeletons freeze at the sound of a familiar voice ringing out above all the others. Whipping around to face the speaker, you’re greeted instead by a faint silhouette against a blinding white light!

“Why are you so afraid, Stan?” They ask, approaching you from the void. “It’s not too late, you know…”

Too late for what? Shoving a few skeletons aside, you squint through the light and heat at the figure approaching you. Just when you’re about to give up, you feel a set of warm, gentle arms wrapping you into an almost INTOXICATING embrace. You open your mouth to say something, but the dream entity holds you tighter, filling you with warmth.

“You’ve done so much, Stan… Let me take care of you for once.”

Your vision swims as you try to identify the person--whoever they are, well… They know how to give a hug. Just when things can’t get any better, you feel their hands gently pull you in for a kiss.

“It’s me, Stan.”

Recognizing their voice, you lean into their lips. Of course, you think to yourself as your heart flutters in your chest, it all makes sense…

>CONTD.
>>
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>>4900916
MEANWHILE IN THE REAL WORLD…
https://youtu.be/Wh4WnHlsbvM
Your name is Ly and to be completely honest, you’re a little pissed off! For the first time in ages you get a little relaxation time and the first thing Stan does is tell you to take a hike while she takes a bath! The hell is she worried about anyways? It’s not like you haven’t seen everything already… Typical dames.

In any case, you’ve got some free time for now. Thankfully that magic Stan supposedly got from a fairy gives you a little freedom, what with the ASTRAL PROJECTION fly-through-walls thing AND that brand new POSSESSION deal, but that doesn’t change the fact that ONLY FRIGGIN’ SYB CAN SEE OR HEAR YOU! what are you supposed to do for fun around here?!

Crossing your ASTRAL ARMS, you weigh your options: you could find something to possess--lord knows there’s a roach or something around here. You could also try someone from the gang, but they might not welcome you with open arms… Speaking of the gang, you could always just EAVESDROP on someone--not very polite, but it beats waiting for Stan to wake up.

What’s the plan?
>Find a CRITTER to POSSESS!
>TRY TO POSSESS a GANG MEMBER (WHO?)
>SEE what SOMEONE is DOING (WHO?)
>WRITE-IN
>>
>>4900918
>SEE what SOMEONE is DOING (WHO?)
I'm particularly interested in the trio. Probably best to give Art and Syb some privacy anyhow.
>>
>>4900918
>>SEE what SOMEONE is DOING (WHO?)

Support for the trio but as a rat
>>
>>4900928
I'm down for this!
>>
>>4900928
We're the big rat who makes all the rules
>SEE what SOMEONE is DOING (WHO?)
Lets check on the trio in rat form
>>
>>4900928
>>4900933
>>4900937
>LY PREY AT NIGHT LY STALK AT NIGHT

'Rat's' good enough for me--ROLL ME 1d100 to see how easy it is to track down and possess some vermin. I'LL TAKE THE BEST OF 3 ROLLS!
>>
Rolled 77 (1d100)

>>4900955
Guess you could say we're da big cheese
>>
Rolled 20 (1d100)

>>4900955
Make da rules
>>
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Rolled 27 (1d100)

>>4900955

checked
>>
>>4900963
>>4900967
>>4900972
>HIGHEST ROLL: 77
Let's see what kind of trouble we can get ourselves into! Writing!
>>
>>4900916
Oh man, is it GAMUGO!?
>>
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You float in and out of a nearby wall a few times before giving up--yep, this is BORING! Floating down the bedroom hallway, you make sure to give an extra wide berth to Art and Syb’s room--you don’t have that FEMININE INTUITION Stan’s always shrieking about, but the closed door, muffled voices and your ever-reliable COMMON SENSE tell you that you oughta find entertainment somewhere else.

Now that you think about it, you barely know anything about the others save for Gus, Art, and Syb… Couldn’t hurt to check on that trio from CLEARWATER U... Passing through the bunker wall towards where you last saw the others, something catches your eye socket--a flash of movement through the walls of something small and furry.

Now there’s an idea…

Following the rodent through the bunker wall, you focus as hard as you can on the creature’s mind and body as you approach it. If it notices your intentions, it doesn’t protest much. As you stoop closer to the critter, you feel a sensation akin to standing on a doorstep… All you gotta do is ring the doorbell. Mentally reaching out to the critter, you feel the ’door’ swing open, its owner all but inviting you in. Barely containing your excitement, you enter without hesitation and emerge into-

Wow. Feeling your mind shift spots, you blink a few times with your new, bulbous eyes and examine your new host. A layer of thick fur envelops you, of course, and a multitude of smells and sounds caress your radar-like ears and long snout. Peering down at your claws, you twiddle your digits with familiarity--gotta love them HOMOLOGOUS STRUCTURES.

Similar bone structure, squat stature, a night-insatiable urge to chew on things… When you think about it, this body isn’t that different from Stan’s! You’ll have to freak her out with this body later--that’ll teach her to leave you high and dry… Finished getting your bearings, you take a moment to scratch a particularly persistent itch behind your ear and make a beeline for the nearest ray of light peeking through the wall in search of a way out.

Call it animal instinct, but as you skitter through the walls your senses pick up two familiar groups:

Up AHEAD you overhear a HEATED CONVERSATION, POOL BALLS CLACKING, AND THE RUSTLING OF A CHIP BAG. You think you might know who’s down that way.

To the RIGHT, however, you pick up a few more smells--MOTORCYCLE FUEL, SWEAT AND CHEMICALS, GUNPOWDER, AND SOMETHING SAVORY COOKING!

You should have control of this body for a little while, so how do you proceed?
>Up AHEAD! Sounds like a POOL TABLE?
>To the RIGHT! Gotta be the KITCHEN!
>On second thought, LET’S CHECK ON ART and SYB.
>SCREW IT! Let’s MESS WITH STAN!
>WRITE-IN
>>
>>4901052
Wait, how did we get past the barrier?
>>
>>4901052
>>Up AHEAD! Sounds like a POOL TABLE?
>>
>>4901052
>Up AHEAD! Sounds like a POOL TABLE?
Schniff Schniff
>>
>>4901054
The barrier knocks Ly out for a while, but he comes back after some time to recoup--that was actually a worry the gang had when they first infiltrated THE LODGE. From what you know so far it the barrier doesn't outright annihilate magical beings--it mainly deters them and masks people's presence inside. You can assume that if a skeleton tried to get in, they would be dispelled or at the very least urged to piss off, but you haven't tried it yet. Then again, Ly being attached to Stan might also be why he hasn't been permanently damaged.
>>
>>4901052
>To the RIGHT! Gotta be the KITCHEN
>>
>>4901058
>>4901060
>TAKE A CUE!

>>4901111
>SEE WHAT'S COOKIN'
Also, CHECK'd

Writing!
>>
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Scampering in the direction of the sound of what you believe to be pool balls, your trek through the walls leads you to a crack where several lights pour in amidst the sound of chatter and pool cues. Squeezing through a divot near the base of the wall, you emerge beneath a large four-legged table of some sort--most likely some kind of BAR or JUKEBOX if you had to guess. Hard to make out when you’re this short!

“It’s funny you mention that,” explains a familiar voice up ahead, “see, potato chips supposedly originated from a chef trying to appease a fussy customer.”

Inspecting the voice’s source, your eyes fall upon a bearded young man wearing a familiar green hoodie. Leaning on a nearby arcade cabinet is another familiar face--well, kinda. The short-haired Latino wearing a blue hoodie watches eagerly as Tucker lines up a shot on the POOL TABLE dominating the room, sending several balls into the table’s pockets with one precise ’CLACK’!

“Tuck loves his factoids…”

A grunt from a nearby chair turns your attention to the dirt-caked combat boots making their way over to the table. Taking their position near the opposite end, their wearer lines up a shot, hits, then swears.

“Son of a…”

You’d recognize that bored voice anywhere. Must be Mitzi.

“So what gave the chef the idea to make chips?” She asks, coming around to your side of the pool table. Upon closer inspection you see that her vest and security jacket are draped over the chair revealing a loose black tank top and a dog-tag pendant hanging from her neck. “Seems like a bit of a leap.”

“Natural progression, really,” Tucker replies, lining up another shot as you dart behind a chair with a better view. “The customer kept complaining that the fries were too soggy, so the chef kept cutting them thinner and thinner until they became, well…”

“Potato chips.” Mitzi answers as the student sinks another ball. “Damn, you’re good at this.”

“Tuck’s what you’d call a shark.” Eddie chuckles. “Dude probably could have paid his tuition by now if he hustled a bit!”

“Glad we didn’t bet anything, then.” Mitzi huffs, examining the table. “How do you know all of that weird stuff anyways?”

“Dude stays up all night reading net articles.” Eddie answers, much to Tucker’s chagrin. “It’s creepy.

“I’ve got a lot of free time when you’re always reworking the scripts, bro.” Tucker fires back with a grin on his face. “Besides, it’s interesting stuff.”

“Can’t rush perfection, Tuck,” Eddie sighs. “Can’t rush perfection!”

Oh brother. What do YOU wanna do during all this?
>Get CLOSER! Maybe you can make CONTACT!
>Keep LISTENING--no need to interrupt.
>Try and grab some CHIPS!
>WRITE-IN
>>
>>4901330
>Try and grab some CHIPS!
>>
>>4901330
>>Try and grab some CHIPS!

We SQUEEK we SNEEK
>>
>>4901335
>>4901361
>CHIPS AHOY!

ROLL ME 1d100 to STEALTHILY SNAG SOME SNACKS! I'LL TAKE THE BEST OF 3 ROLLS!

Let me know if you're not trying to be stealthy, though, like if you want to make your ratty self known. In that case you can roll to get like... A non-burnt chip or something. I dunno.
>>
Rolled 18 (1d100)

>>4901367
Factlet: the word factoid actually refers to an often repeated fact that is in fact not true, rather than a small fact like the common misconception
>>
Rolled 98 (1d100)

>>4901367

We can be sneaky but if they happen to notice us we'll just act like a rat collecting chips is perfectly normal.
>>
>>4901381
Factlet: DemBones is a native English speaker, yet he didn't know that about factoids! Seriously, what's wrong with me? Thanks for the info, man!

>>4901398
Holy SHIT.
>>
>>4901381

I will raise your factlet a twenty with a factlet of my own: the mantis shrimp can punch with the force of a 22 caliber bullet, which is approximately equal to 1.5e4 Newtons (or 3.372e3 lbs).

>>4901398

B A S E D
>>
Rolled 49 (1d100)

>>4901367
>>4901415

rolling again to get the plot moving
>>
>>4901381
>>4901398
>>4901418
Thanks for the extra roll, brother!

>HIGHEST ROLL: 98!
Ly's about to get some CHIPS. Writing!
>>
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You’re not sure if it’s the rat’s SURVIVAL INSTINCTS or your BURNING DESIRE TO TRY MORE FOOD, but whatever the reason you BOLT from your hiding spot and dash like a rat outta’ hell towards the CHIP SCENT! Locating your target on the edge of what appears to be a BAR (stools and all!), you feel your host take the wheel as you ROCKET upwards into the open bag, sending it tumbling over the side of the bar and down to the floor below!

As the whole thing topples to the carpet behind the bar, you hear a grunt of surprise from the folks at the pool table! Oh CRIPES!

“What was that?” Mitzi asks.

“Looks like your chips fell over--must have been the A/C or something!” guesses Eddie. “You want me to pick ‘em up?”

“Nah,” grunts Mitzi in typical aloof fashion. “I’ll grab ‘em once this game is over. You shoot yet?”

“Let’s see…” Tucker muses. “Say, does that JUKEBOX work?”

Peering out from behind the bar, you notice the three eyeing your recent hiding spot--a diner-chic JUKEBOX just like the one Stan used to beat Nico! Good times… Chuckling to himself, Eddie walks confidently over to the machine and leans against it.

“Let’s find out! HGH!” Punctuating his sentence with an elbow to the machine’s guts, the room is filled with mechanical whining!

“Damn it, Ed--seriously?!” Tucker groans. “Now it’s definitely not gonna wor-”

Before Tucker can finish admonishing his roommate, the strange noises are replaced by a scratchy, yet familiar tune:

https://youtu.be/hHOrpFeXUao

Giving his roommate a smug grin, Eddie returns to his post at the deactivated arcade machine. DAMN, HE’S GOOD!

Fuck yea.”

“Damn.” Mitzi whistles, pride in her voice. “Gonna have to try that on my router back at home…”

“We get it,” Tucker sighs, aiming his cue with a smile, “You’re a badass. Can we play now?”

The gang returns to their game while YOU return to your feast! With the music blaring over your snacking, you’re free to indulge in what the bag refers to as ’BARBECOOL CHIPS. You could get used to these! Stuffing your rodent cheeks, you savor every bite you take--no wonder Stan’s always snacking! Goes straight to her thighs, but what can ya do?

As you make your way through the bag, you overhear the conversation pick up again...

>CONTD.

Sorry, folks, had to run to the store! We're back!
>>
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>>4901562
“So,” Eddie begins as Tucker scratches, “Where do you think Stan is?”

Picking the cue ball out of a pocket and rolling it to Mitzi, Tucker shoots his pal a sideways glance. “Why? You have something to tell her?”

“No way!” Eddie replies, a hint of panic in his voice! “I mean… She’s the boss, right? Just think it’s a good idea to know what she’s up to…”

Tucker lets out a knowing chuckle. “Uh-huh. Sure. She’s probably resting her eyes or something, man--I think we’re fine.”

“Trust me on this one,” Mitzi adds, “If she needs you she’ll find you.”

“You’re ri-wait, where did you get that bag of chips?” Eddie asks in an incredulous tone.

“Erghs mrr ermrgnshr brg.” Replies the guard in between chewing. “Erwsh… Ahem, always be prepared.”

“Learned that the hard way,” Tucker sighs as Mitzi tries sinking another ball. “Goo Skeletons, Secret Labs… Stan and Syb’s freakout…

“You uh…” Mitzi interrupts with concern in her voice, “You guys okay with that, by the way? I mean you just joined up and-”

“I can’t speak for Tuck, but I don’t regret this at all.” Eddie answers proudly. “I mean, we’re trying to save the world, right? Plus Art totally almost died back there, then it turns out he didn’t? I’m still a bit confused, but… I think we’re gonna be okay.”

“Well well, looks like you DID speak for me.” Tucker adds as you take another bite of chips. “I was pretty spooked when Stan and Syb ran off, not gonna lie. Still, I’ve got faith.”

“That’s um… That’s good.” Mitzi replies with a pinch of relief. “You college students don’t mess around…”

“All part of the movie-planning process!” Eddie shouts! “Even if we do die horribly, I’ve been taking notes on everything so far, so at the very least someone’s gonna know our story!”

You hear a chuckle from Tucker and Mitzi. “Grim, but kinda cool.” Laughs the guard.

“Yea,” Tucker adds with a smile, “We’re pretty hardcore at CLEARWATER U.

>CONTD.
>>
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>>4901565
As you approach the end of the bag, the conversation and the pool game fall into an uncomfortable silence.

“Hey uh… Mitzi?” Eddie mutters, removing the dead air. “Can I ask you a question?”

“I’m not really a mind reader, Ed. I was just messing with ya.” Mitzi snorts, taking a seat once more.

“Wha? N-no, I… I knew that! Totally! Right, Tuck?”

If he’s looking for support, you don’t see Tucker give him any. Flustered, the college student continues. “Anyways, I wanted to ask--Syb, Gus, and Art all know Stan-”

“Denise too.” Tucker adds, thumping his cue on the carpet. “Chess club.”

“Oh shit, really?” Eddie replies with surprise! “So yea, they all know Stan, right? Except for Art because he was uh… Kidnapped, or something?”

Mitzi shifts in her chair. “Let me guess--you wanna know how I know Stan?”

“Err, sure!” Eddie responds. “I was gonna ask how she recruited you, but… That works!”

“Well,” the guard sighs, putting her chips to the side, “Do you promise not to tell Stan any of this?”

You yank your head from the chip bag to listen close--sounds like something JUICY’S coming!

“Okay!” Eddie answers. “Scout’s honor!”

“He was never a scout, but go ahead.” Tucker mutters.

“Guess that’s the best I’m gonna get.” Mitzi shrugs, leaning back in her seat. “Okay… So it’s a bit weird, but I’ve kinda already met her before. A long time ago.”

You find yourself asking the same question Eddie does:

“When?”

“Remember that camp we passed up in the woods?” She continues, prompting you to search your own memories.

“Yea, CAMP WAMPANOAG.” Tucker answers. “Did you guys work there, or something?”

“Close,” Mitzi answers. “We both went there, though…”

Your incredulous utterance of the word “WHAAAAAAT” thankfully doesn’t make it through your rat vocal cords. STILL, though!

>CONTD.
>>
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>>4901567
Collecting yourself, you dare to get a bit closer as the conversation between Tucker, Eddie, and Mitzi continues.

“So were you two like… ‘Bunkmates’ or whatever?” Eddie asks, prompting a smack to the back of the head from his roommate. “OW! It’s a valid question!”

“Nah, but we did a lot of the same activities.” Mitzi answers as Eddie rubs the back of his head. “Rifles, rowing, swimming. Kinda funny when I think back on it--she was smaller back then, but basically the same person.” A nostalgic look forms on Mitzi’s face, no doubt remembering some good memories. “There was this one time where her canoe capsized--we all rushed to help out, of course, but she was just underneath the overturned boat PUNCHING it and swearing…”

Punctuating her thought with a laugh, a smile creeps across the guard’s face. “Wore herself out to the point where she almost drowned--guess that’s what got me into swimming and water polo.”

“Sounds like you were close.” Tucker remarks, putting his cue down. Mitzi nods.

“Yea--that’s the weirdest part. By the end of the session we were all but ready to hang out for the rest of the Summer--traded phone numbers and everything. After that, though, she just kinda… Disappeared.”

You feel confusion build in your borrowed brain as Mitzi’s tone becomes more somber. Shit, was this something ELSE she forgot?! That YOU forgot?!

How much is missing, anyways?!

“Maybe she just lived too far?” Eddie asks, crossing his arms.

“Nah,” Mitzi replies almost instantaneously. “I didn’t go much, but Art and I went to the same school--I checked with him about a day ago to confirm--WEST HIGH isn’t that far away…”

“Maybe Syb would know?” Tucker suggests. “She is her best friend…”

Mitzi shrugs. “The weirdest bit was when I saw her again.”

“Yea, this whole situation isn’t the best place to catch up.” Eddie chuckles, prompting the guard to shake her head.

“No, man… I mean at TRAINING. We went to like… three seminars together: CORPORATE ESPIONAGE PREVENTION, TERRORISM PREVENTION, DISASTER PREVENTION… Every time I introduced myself she… She just acted like it was the first time we met.”

Letting out a deep sigh, Mitzi looks up at the two students with a pained look in her eyes. “So I decided to stop trying. Who knows, maybe she’ll recognize me eventually.”

“That’s uh…” Eddie sighs, “That’s weird…”

“Sorry, Mitz.” Tucker adds. “In a weird way at least you’re friends now, right?”

“Yea,” Mitzi mutters under her breath, “I guess...”

>CONTD.
>>
>>4901568
Wrestling with what you just heard, you feel a dull tingling throughout your host body--has it really been that long already?! Looks like you’ll have to leave eventually… AND make sure Stan didn’t drown in the tub…

What’s the plan?
>KEEP RAT
>DITCH RAT

>Keep EAVESDROPPING!
>MAKE YOURSELF KNOWN!
>See what’s cookin’ in the KITCHEN!
>CHECK on ART and SYB!
>RETURN to STAN!
>WRITE-IN

Gonna call it here for tonight, folks--it's Friday and I'm gonna play some games with a few pals. I should have some updates ready on SATURDAY AROUND 11-12PM PST A.K.A the usual! Thanks as usual for playing and if I don't see ya around tomorrow then I hope you have a GREAT weekend!
>>
>>4901570
>KEEP RAT
>Keep EAVESDROPPING!
>See what’s cookin’ in the KITCHEN!
>>
>>4901570
>KEEP RAT
The whole memory convo gave me an idea. We should try to recall the rat's memories. Not sure if it'll help with Stan since Ly doesn't remember those times either, but it could be useful in a variety of ways if we can search a possessed target's brain for info.

>CHECK on ART and SYB
>>
>>4901570
>KEEP RAT
>See what’s cookin’ in the KITCHEN!
WE's a rat
>>
>>4901570
>KEEP RAT
>See what’s cookin’ in the KITCHEN!
The spy is Stan, isn't she?
>>
>>4901573
>>4901601
>>4901693
>WHAT'S COOKIN'?

>>4901574
>ART AND SYB!

Looks like we're following our nose! Writing!
>>
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Scarfing down a few more chips, you scurry back to the hole in the wall from which you came as the trio’s conversation echoes through your borrowed mind… Should you tell Stan about Mitzi? What else do you not remember? Returning to the relative safety inside the bunker walls, your thoughts drift back to that tape Blumenkrantz left for Stan to find. Just thinking about it sends a shiver down your spine--did you and Stan really hurt someone?

So much for relaxation. In an attempt to distract yourself, you head in the direction of the smells you sensed earlier. Maybe a change of scenery will help you out! Following your nose, you climb upwards through the wall and eventually emerge overlooking a modern kitchen--pewter countertops stocked with all manners of cooking utensils, a massive REFRIGERATOR, FREEZER, and WINE COOLER dominate the room dwarfed only by the STOVE below you! Feeling a drool-inducing scent tickle your snout, you peer over the edge to see what’s cooking and find yourself staring at the heads of three familiar folks.

Th-th-that was s-so easy!” Denise exclaims, holding a spatula aloft like a sword of yore! Flanking her are Gus and Kiki, the latter’s hood lowered revealing a head of messy, raven-colored hair.

“Yep, that’s how you cook an egg.” Gus answers with pride in his voice.

It might seem hard, but take a look: it’s never too late to learn to cook!

Further inspection reveals a pan of SCRAMBLED EGGS, a plate stacked high with BACON, and a colossal bowl of FRUIT SALAD! JACKPOT!

T-to be honest I really only use th-the microwave…” Denise mutters, stepping back from the stove to sweat a bit. “I a-always th-thought cooking took too long…”

“It does,” Gus shrugs as he adjusts the stove’s heat, “but it’s worth it.”

“Good things come to those who wait--usually upon a plate.”

Nodding vigorously, Denise points a baggy sleeve towards the long dining table sitting just outside the kitchen, its surface dotted with place settings for each member of the crew.

“Sh-should we set th-the food out now?! S-Stan and th-the others will be getting h-hungry…”

“Not before adding the most important part.” Gus answers with an uncharacteristic grin. “Seasoning.”

He and Kiki go to work on the eggs, peppering it with all sorts of condiments and sauces that you can’t quite make out. Looks like the food’s just about ready!

What do?
>GRAB SOME CHOW!
>CONTINUE EAVESDROPPING--they don’t talk much, but maybe there’s something interesting?
>Screw it, CHECK ON STAN.
>See what ART and SYB are up to!
>WRITE-IN
>>
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Scarfing down a few more chips, you scurry back to the hole in the wall from which you came as the trio’s conversation echoes through your borrowed mind… Should you tell Stan about Mitzi? What else do you not remember? Returning to the relative safety inside the bunker walls, your thoughts drift back to that tape Blumenkrantz left for Stan to find. Just thinking about it sends a shiver down your spine--did you and Stan really hurt someone?

So much for relaxation. In an attempt to distract yourself, you head in the direction of the smells you sensed earlier. Maybe a change of scenery will help you out! Following your nose, you climb upwards through the wall and eventually emerge overlooking a modern kitchen--pewter countertops stocked with all manners of cooking utensils, a massive REFRIGERATOR, FREEZER, and WINE COOLER dominate the room dwarfed only by the STOVE below you! Feeling a drool-inducing scent tickle your snout, you peer over the edge to see what’s cooking and find yourself staring at the heads of three familiar folks.

Th-th-that was s-so easy!” Denise exclaims, holding a spatula aloft like a sword of yore! Flanking her are Gus and Kiki, the latter’s hood lowered revealing a head of messy, raven-colored hair.

“Yep, that’s how you cook an egg.” Gus answers with pride in his voice.

It might seem hard, but take a look: it’s never too late to learn to cook!

Further inspection reveals a pan of SCRAMBLED EGGS, a plate stacked high with BACON, and a colossal bowl of FRUIT SALAD! JACKPOT!

T-to be honest I really only use th-the microwave…” Denise mutters, stepping back from the stove to sweat a bit. “I a-always th-thought cooking took too long…

“It does,” Gus shrugs as he adjusts the stove’s heat, “but it’s worth it.”

Good things come to those who wait--usually upon a plate.

Nodding vigorously, Denise points a baggy sleeve towards the long dining table sitting just outside the kitchen, its surface dotted with place settings for each member of the crew.

Sh-should we set th-the food out now?! S-Stan and th-the others will be getting h-hungry…

“Not before adding the most important part.” Gus answers with an uncharacteristic grin. “Seasoning.

He and Kiki go to work on the eggs, peppering it with all sorts of condiments and sauces that you can’t quite make out. Looks like the food’s just about ready!

What do?
>GRAB SOME CHOW!
>CONTINUE EAVESDROPPING--they don’t talk much, but maybe there’s something interesting?
>Screw it, CHECK ON STAN.
>See what ART and SYB are up to!
>WRITE-IN
>>
>>4902316
>GRAB SOME CHOW!
We're racking up a high score
>>
>>4902316
>>GRAB SOME CHOW!

You know what rhymes with RAT? FAT!

Cause that’s what we’re about to become!
>>
>>4902316
>GRAB SOME CHOW!
Raticus Raticus Raticus
>>
>>4902330
>>4902349
>>4902358
>MAKE HASTE TO TASTE!

ROLL 1d100 to SNEAK A SNACK! I'LL TAKE THE BEST OF 3 ROLLS!
>>
Rolled 67 (1d100)

>>4902421
>>
Rolled 80 (1d100)

>>4902421
>>
Rolled 31 (1d100)

>>4902421
>>
>>4902428
>>4902512
>>4902525
>HIGHEST ROLL: 80!

That oughta do it! Writing!
>>
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Leering at the gorgeous-looking chow below you, you take a moment to lick your chops. If you know Stan, and you’d like to say you’re the expert, you know that she’s gonna DEMOLISH this food in a second, probably grab seconds, then sneakily grab thirds under the pretense of ‘washing her hands’. The worst part? You aren’t gonna taste a LICK of it! Stupid Nervous System--the guy never stops bragging!

Their work finished, Kiki politely points to the stained cutting boards and some of the used utensils still lying on the counter.

“Leave it to me.” Gus answers, dutifully gathering them all in the sink!

W-we can help!” Denise adds, prompting Kiki to follow suit. As the three move to the other end of the kitchen, you see your chance and skitter down the wall as quietly as you can manage towards the stove!

Dodging the still-warm burners, you snatch a paw-full of EGG and snatch up two pieces of BACON before scampering behind a nearby BREAD BOX! Placing your haul on the counter in front of you, you can’t help but grin--looks like Stan’s not the only one who can sneak around!

Though the bacon smells far more enticing, you opt to try the EGG first. You’re not sure what to expect, but Stan’s brother Sue used to make these all the time so they can’t be all ba-

WOAH.

It’s a good thing you’ve got four paws to steady yourself on, because hot DAMN! You barely have time to sink your teeth into the soft egg before your mind hops on a bus to FLAVORTOWN!

Scarfing down the rest of the egg introduces your mouth to a cornucopia of SALT, SPICE, and even a little SWEETNESS--whatever Gus and Kiki put in this, well…

There are no words!

S-so…” Denise stammers, ruining your experience, “Wh-where did you two l-learn to c-cook?

Gus shrugs as you take a bit of the bacOH MYGOOOOOD! It’s DELICIOUS!

“My dad works late a lot, so I helped my mom out.” Oh right, Gus was talking. MAN this stuff is delish! “Some of my younger siblings help, but the other ones are hopeless.”

When I was young I’d often haunt my family’s Asian restaurant.” Kiki explains, raising a hand covered in old burns and healed cuts. “I made mistakes--a lot, it’s true! But they made me respect what my folks do…

You nod as you continue tearing into the bacon--if their food’s anything like this bacon they made, you’ll have to visit!

>CONTD.
>>
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>>4902611
Th-that sounds great…” Denise replies, looking at the two of them with admiration. “M-my parents were too busy t-to show me any cooking tips… B-but at least I had a lot of alone time to study! H-ha ha!

“You’re pretty cool, Denise.” Gus grunts from the sink. “Cooking’s fun, but don’t lose sight of your own talents.”

The kitchen falls silent save for the clanking of dishes in the sink. A strip of bacon later, you hear Gus’ gruff voice once more.

“You uh… You okay?”

P-p-pretty cool…” Denise dreamily mutters under her breath. Oh boy… In any case, your food’s gone. What NOW?

>STICK AROUND for something POIGNANT!
>CHECK ON SYB and ART!
>REGROUP with STAN!
>WRITE-IN
>>
Rolled 2 (1d2)

>>4902613
>1=CHECK ON SYB and ART!
>2=REGROUP with STAN!
>>
>>4902613
>CHECK ON SYB and ART!
We have a time limit, though I guess stretching it right now is a good idea since its a no-stakes situation. Better to get the training in while we can, but we should be mindful of the fact that when we run out of time there will suddenly be a very confused and stuffed wherever we leave off
>>
>>4902613
>CHECK ON SYB and ART!
>>
>>4902642
>BACK TO STAN!

>>4902650
>>4902691
>SYB and ART!

Writing!
>>
Sufficiently stuffed with breakfast food for the time-being, you scamper back up to where you emerged from as the three chefs finish up at the sink. That’s 2 for 2 now, leaving one more group of people to harass before you’ve surveyed the whole bunker!

Should uh… Should you really be bugging the last two, though?

You contemplate things as you travel through the surprisingly-useful holes in the wall… Once this little experiment is over you’re gonna have to get Stan to caulk these up or something! That’s something to consider later, though--this is NOW!

Speaking of now, you use your newfound ANIMAL INSTINCTS to find a path through the walls near where you began your little ‘borrowing sesh.’ A short climb up a cluster of wires leads you to where you believe Syb and Art’s room is. Finding a gap in the wall, you pause as you hear the sound of hushed voices…

Th-they like each other, right? H-how exactly do you play this? Should you really creep in? You’ve never had to deal with this stuff with Stan--well, aside from those depressing ‘Bottle of Wine and Racy Website’ nights… But that was back when you didn’t have control over yourself! This is DIFFERENT! You see THREE issues here:

First, you can't help but feel a bit of camaraderie with Art, even if you are a rat. Something tells you that guys shouldn't be disturbing other guys when uh... When they're with a lady.

Second, if you're found out when something... Romantic is happening, Syb will KILL you. No question.

Third, and most important: you doubt these guys have FOOD in here. You stand to gain little and lose a lot, Ly!
W-what do you do? Darn it, you prefer when STAN takes the lead on this baloney...

>EAVESDROP, damn it--you’re a RAT! You’re fine!
>NOPE, this is gonna haunt you. ABORT!
>Just WAIT in the WALL for a MINUTE! Maybe you can AVOID AWKWARDNESS!
>WRITE-IN
>>
>>4902774
>NOPE, this is gonna haunt you. ABORT!
I feel like Syb is gonna notice us in the wall somehow. And I dont feel like having to do repairs on our swanky new bunker this soon
>>
Rolled 2 (1d2)

>>4902774
>1=EAVESDROP, damn it--you’re a RAT! You’re fine!
>2=NOPE, this is gonna haunt you. ABORT!
>>
>>4902774
>Just WAIT in the WALL for a MINUTE! Maybe you can AVOID AWKWARDNESS!
>>
>>4902881

Changing to this.
>>
>>4902881
support
>>
Gotta go shopping in a little bit, folks--back in a few hours!
>>
>>4902787
>ABORT!

>>4902881
>>4902892
>>4902899
>JUST WAIT, BRAH

Writing! Got a D&D thing soon so I'll probably cut tonight short--here goes!
>>
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Rather than make a choice then and there, you instead opt to hang around for a while before peeking in. It’s not like the rat’s fighting you off--come to think of it, this is some decent practice for out in the field!

So you wait. Not for too long, mind, but long enough for you to try and plumb your host’s memories a bit. Aside from a few images of CHEESE and CATS, your inward search doesn’t bear much fruit… Making a mental note to try on a more sentient test subject next time, your thoughts are interrupted by the voices in the room becoming clearer! Peeking through a nearby crack, your suspicions are confirmed--past the massive bed frame looming above you stands a pair of GOTH PLATFORM BOOTS, along with some pale legs placed inside them!

“I just feel…” Syb sighs, “I feel like I’ve cheated you.”

A second pair of COMBAT BOOTS stand near what appears to be a TV. Art.

“You don’t have to apologize for anything, Syb… Truth be told I kinda suspected that-”

“I know, but I don’t want to mislead you.” She interrupts with a sheepish tone in her voice. “It doesn’t mean that things can’t change, but…”

“But you’d rather not start anything right now.” Art finishes in a solemn voice. “I understand.”

The bed shifts a bit as Syb fidgets uncomfortably. “Arthur, you don’t have to pretend to be satisfied--I mean, after that… That greeting I gave you at the dam-”

“Which was appreciated, by the way.” Art interjects with a smile in his reply. A playful scoff from Syb precipitates a tossed pillow that harmlessly lands at Art’s side. “Really though, Syb--I totally get it.”

“Do you?” She retorts, crossing a leg over the other.

“Let’s be real,” Art says as he begins pacing. “If we started something now, it would be like… Like a Summer Camp Fling. Which is great and all, don’t get me wrong, but… Erm…”

“But it’s not totally authentic.” Syb concludes. “We’ve been brought together by extraordinary circumstances, yes, but I agree--would we feel the same without said circumstances?”

“... I don’t know what to tell ya.” Art sighs, returning to his post on the wall. “What I will say is, and feel free to tell me I’m stupid here, what I will say is that I get it. I don’t want to force anything, you know?”

Syb responds by sitting up and wrapping the guard in her arms, prompting Art to reciprocate.

D'awwwww...

>CONTD.
>>
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>>4903014
The two hold each other silently for a moment before Syb clears her throat.

“You’re amazing, Art. Whether we end all of this as friends or something more… I just want you to know that.” The goth punctuates her sentence with a kiss on his cheek. “And I’m so, so, SO glad you’re still alive…”

“Me too.” Art chuckles. “Gosh, I’m gonna have to tell the whole story for everyone again, aren’t I?”

“You know Stan.” Syb giggles. “Just enjoy it--everyone wants to hear about your DARING exploits…”

“Yea, yea…” Art snickers, letting her free from his embrace.

Yow. You think you’ve filled your GOSSIP QUOTA for the next millenium or so…

What’s next?
>EAVESDROP MORE!
>REVEAL YOURSELF! Maybe Syb can give you some pointers!
>BACK to STAN--she’s probably drowned by now.
>WRITE-IN
>>
>>4903015
>BACK to STAN--she’s probably drowned by now.

Pssh, it'll be good practice for fighting the ocean related lieutenants
>>
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>>4903015
Aaaaand I gotta run to D&D! Sorry, folks! Got some more bad news as well: tomorrow's 4th of July in Eagleland and I'll be spending it with some friends and family, so I probably won't be updating again until LATER ON SUNDAY OR AROUND 11-12PM PST ON MONDAY!

I drew a little gift to make up for it, though--hope you enjoy! Until then, Happy 4th to those who celebrate it! If you don't, then I wish you all a fantastic rest of your weekend and all the best! Thanks for playing!
>>
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>>4903021

Have a happy 4th, OP!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pEqxalOs_58
>>
>>4903015
>BACK to STAN--she’s probably drowned by now
Happy 4th! Now I pray the meth addled yokels in my state don't burn down our bone dry forests.
>>
>>4903015
>BACK to STAN--she’s probably drowned by now.
>>
>>4903019
>>4903053
>>4903057
>BACK TO STAN!

Hey all, mini update because I'm pretty tired and several drinks deep. Gonna write an update or two MONDAY AROUND 11-12PM PST, but I need some input.

When you vote BACK TO STAN do you mean:

>NO MORE LY PERSPECTIVE! GET ME BACK TO THE PROTAG!
OR
>BRING RAT LY to STAN'S ROOM!

Pop in some votes and we'll resume later! Thank you all for all the well-wishes and I hope your 4th was enjoyable whether or not you celebrate it!
>>
>>4904505
I assumed it'd be going back to Stan as Ly and then transferring to Stan's perspective again, but if we have to pick one then

>GET ME BACK TO THE PROTAG!
>>
>>4904505
>>NO MORE LY PERSPECTIVE! GET ME BACK TO THE PROTAG!
>>
>>4904505
>NO MORE LY PERSPECTIVE! GET ME BACK TO THE PROTAG!
>>
>>4904505
>NO MORE LY PERSPECTIVE! GET ME BACK TO THE PROTAG!
Make sure we leave Rat-Ly somewhere that wont cause problems
>>
>>4904509
>>4904515
>>4904527
>>4905158
>BACK TO THE TRASH GIRL PLEASE

Writing!
>>
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“Well then,” Syb sighs, “Shall we go see if breakfast is ready?”

“Sounds good!” Art nods, quietly opening the door. “Feels like we haven’t eaten real food in days…”

As the two wander off in the direction of food, you silently fade back into the relative safety of the walls. Satisfied with all of your newfound knowledge, you think it’s about time to make sure Stan didn’t drown or electrocute herself with a hairdryer or someth-

Before you can finish that thought, you feel a claw of some sort tap you on the shoulder. Cautiously looking behind you, you come face-to-face with a large, angry-looking rat covered in ancient scars missing an eye. Giving you what passes for a threatening look among rats, your new pal smacks a fist into his open palm and hisses.

Oh, bring it ON.

MEANWHILE, BACK AT THE BATH…

-ou feel like yo-AUUUGH!

The narration’s sudden return causes you to jerk upright in the tub with a loud snort! Wiping the bubbles from your face, you take a moment to look around the room and find yourself still in the bath. That’s right, you mumble as you rub the sleep from your eyes, you’re in that new bunker of yours! Splashing your face a few times to wake up, you run a hand through your short, chestnut hair and sigh--man, this thing did the trick--you feel good as new! BETTER, even!

Rising from the tub, you snatch a towel hanging from a nearby rack and wrap it around yourself, shivering as the cold bunker air hits your body. Heading over to the sink, you take a minute to look at yourself in the mirror--yep, still you.

Retrieving a HAIRDRYER from one of the sink’s many drawers, you get to work drying off as you give your reflection in the mirror a smile. You can’t remember what it was about, but one thing’s for sure: you had a damn good dream just now! Yow. You’ll have to pass out in the tub more often--whatever that was, it was much better than the usual nightmares and memories…

Anyways, it doesn’t take long for your hair to dry, so after a few moments of messing with it to get that classic ‘Stanley Bedhead’ look, you shoot your reflection a pair of GUN FINGAHS and a wink. Go get ‘em, tiger!

Emerging from the bathroom in a towel, you breathe an inward sigh of relief--no pals barging in, no Ly being obnoxious, just you, your room, and a closet full of fresh clothes.

The question is (as it has been several times on your journey): what do you WEAR?

>Oh hey, a FRESH PAIR OF COVERALLS!
>DAM MERCH! Gotta look the part!
>SOMETHING ELSE! (WRITE-IN)
>>
>>4905323
>SOMETHING ELSE! (WRITE-IN)
How Military can we look? I want a lil soldier cap or something at least, we just beat the General. Gotta flaunt it.
>>
>>4905323
>SOMETHING ELSE! (WRITE-IN)
A black shirt with an almost filled XP bar that says "DON'T piss me off! I'm about to level up, and you look like JUST enough XP"

And a pair of jeans
>>
>>4905334
>>4905323

Support
>>
>>4905336
HELL YEAH
Support.
>>
>>4905334
>>4905336
>>4905395
>>4905397
>XP SHIRT and MILITARY STUFF

Writing!
>>
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You take your time rummaging through your new digs and take stock of the stuff that suits and/or fits you, which turns out to be quite a lot. The paranoid side of you can’t help but wonder who picked out all of this stuff in your size, but the cheap-ass side couldn’t care less. Free clothes, man!

You start off, of course, with a fresh set of undergarments and let your towel drop to the floor. Satisfied that everything fits, you rummage around a bit longer in your short-list pile and retrieve a few CHOICE items!

The first thing you notice is a pair of dark military-style CARGO PANTS. Given all of the heavy lifting and TACTICAL SHENANIGANS you get into, there’s really no better choice, is there? Slipping them on takes a bit of work--despite all of your recent activity the pants still fit slightly snug. Not willing to throw in the towel, a few practice kicks and the addition of a plain black belt tells you that you still more or less have all of the mobility you had before.

Stuffing the contents of your inventory into the various pouches and pockets in your pants, you throw on a tight T-Shirt that you believe clearly communicates your GAMER CRED. Like your pants the shirt fits snugly on your torso, but it definitely breathes more than your coveralls did.

Finding a long pair of black socks with GHOSTS printed on them, you eagerly tug them over your feet along with a pair of STEEL-TOED BOOTS. Giving the bedframe a few test kicks, you smile at the small dent you make on the metal--it’ll be a blast trying these out on SKULLS!

As for the icing on the proverbial ‘PIE’, you find another cap to replace your old one--this one more reminiscent of the stuff those SKELETON SOLDIERS were wearing before you kicked their leader’s calcium-rich ass. Placing it on your freshly-shampooed hair, you take a moment to return to the bathroom and admire yourself in the mirror.

It’s good, sure, but is it what you wanna wear?
>YEP! We be STYLIN!
>NO! Let’s ADD or REMOVE (WRITE-IN)!
>>
>>4905734
>YEP! We be STYLIN!
Let's try to remember to turn our swag off before bed so we don't wake up covered in bitches
>>
>>4905734
>>YEP! We be STYLIN!

A B S O L U T E D R I P

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T59N3DPrvac
>>
>>4905741
>>4905759
>NO CHANGES NEEDED!

Writing!
>>
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Looking yourself up and down in the mirror, you finish up by doing a little spin to check every angle. It’s a good thing the police and local law enforcement have all but been wiped out in Clearwater--you look so DAMN cute it should be ILLEGAL!

Leaving your reflection with one last wink, you return to your new room and stretch a bit before depositing your old clothing into your inventory--maybe you’ll toss it in the WASHING MACHINE later. Maybe.

Flopping onto your fancy new bed, you let out a contented sigh--you could get used to this kind of life! Just imagine what things will be like once you take care of the rest of the LIEUTENANTS! Hell, think of all the cool stuff you’ll get once you take down TIM!

You spend a few moments imagining said things, giggling like an idiot the whole time. Jetpacks, butlers, and being fed grapes by the poolside, baby!

STAN!

Ly’s ghostly form hurtling through the wall and his sudden shriek causes you to tumble backwards over the edge of your bed! Landing with a dull ‘thump’ on the carpet, you readjust your cap and give your skeleton a frown--he’s back ALREADY?

“Yea…” Ly huffs, taking a seat at the foot of your bed. “Hasn’t… Hasn’t it been an hour or so?”

Ignoring his heavy breathing you shrug--you were gunning for a DAY or so, but who cares what YOU want, right?

“Sorry, cupcake…” Ly pants, taking stock of your new duds as he regains his breath, “Nice outfit, by the by… Very cute.”

Crossing your arms, you send the astral projection a glare. How about he tells you something you DON’T know? Why is he so out of breath, anyways? Taking a moment to process your question, Ly snaps out of his tiredness and turns your way!

“Wha, this? Oh! Right! Stan, you shoulda seen it! I possessed a rat, Stan! I ate chips! I checked on the others and learned a bunch of stuff! I even killed another rat! It was amazin’!”

Killed another rat, huh? Riiight, the POSSESSION thing! Ly nods with pride in his bony face!

“Yep! Think I’m gettin’ da’ hang of dis’ power! Might be trickier wit’ a bigger person, though…”

You rub your chin as you consider Ly’s words--sounds like he was pretty busy… What was that about LEARNING STUFF?

“Oh!” Ly mutters with surprise, “I uh… Well…

How much does LY tell you about your pals?
>EVERYTHING! YOU AND MITZI, ART AND SYB’S CONVO… EVERYTHING!
>A LITTLE BIT. He LEAVES OUT the part with (ART/SYB or MITZI)
>NOTHING! Dude SPINS a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT TALE!
>WRITE-IN
>>
>>4905840
>EVERYTHING! YOU AND MITZI, ART AND SYB’S CONVO… EVERYTHING!
>>
>>4905840
>EVERYTHING! YOU AND MITZI, ART AND SYB’S CONVO… EVERYTHING!
>>
>>4905840
>>EVERYTHING! YOU AND MITZI, ART AND SYB’S CONVO… EVERYTHING!
>>
>>4905848
>>4905862
>>4905868
>EVERYTHIIIIIING!

Writing!
>>
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“I’ve uh…” Ly stammers, looking down at his ghostly feet, “I’ve got some gossip, cupcake.”

Hearing the magic G WORD, you make a running leap onto the bed and land next to Ly with an extremely comfortable ‘THUMP!’ Resting your chin on your hands, you look up at Ly with a manic grin and do your best to control the raging torrent of DROOL leaking out of your mouth! The hell is he waiting for!? DISH! DIIIIISH!

“Cripes, fine!” Ly relents, scooting a few inches away from you with a disgusted look on his face. “So I heard some stuff… One’s about you an’ Mitz, da’ other’s about Syb and Ar-”

You don’t bother to let him finish--they… They DID it, didn’t they?! Holy SHIT, Syb, you FOX in the HENHOUSE, you!

“Errr,” Ly chuckles nervously, “N-not quite, kiddo…”

Once you’ve calmed down a bit, Ly explains what he overheard during his tenure as a rodent. Part of you wants to call him out for sneaking in on what could have been lewd, but if you had a nickel for every time you drunkenly-stumbled into Syb’s apartment when she and a guy were getting… Familiar...

“Anywho,” Ly concludes, “I’m worried about Art--da’ guy seemed comfortable wit’ da whole resolution, but he might still be bummed, ya know?”

You nod--Syb might need some talking to as well. It could just be her practicalness taking over, but she’s been hurt many times before… Her exes have too, of course, usually physically, but still. This could be her weird way of avoiding potential disappointment down the line, or something!

“They know you better than I do, cupcake.” Ly concedes. “I’ll let you lead da’ charge on dat’.”

Wow, you gasp, that’s SO unusual! He NEVER lets you take the lead on thi-OW!

“Doesn’t matter how many boneheads ya’ whack, kid,” Ly growls as a throbbing pain rolls through your skull, “I’ll still be able ta’ do dis’ to ya! Now quit bein’ a smartass or I won’t tell ya da’ other thing!”

As the pain in your head subsides, you respond with a growl--fine, but you probably won’t LIKE it! What’s the big scoop, huh? Did Mitz say she could beat you in an ARM-WRESTLING CONTEST or something? Get REAL!

“Close. She said you guys went ta’ SUMMER CAMP and WORK TRAINING together. Guess who forgot both times?”

You open your mouth for a retort, but your voice dies as you process what Ly says. Wh-wha?

Oh god DAMN it….

>CONTD.
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>>4905904
To his credit, Ly stows the attitude while he fills you in on Mitzi’s story--your time at CAMP WAMPANOAG, your subsequent FRIENDSHIP, and your second meetup at some of GOOD BOY’S TRAINING SEMINARS. Hanging on every word, all you can say once he’s done is mutter a quiet “Oh...

“Listen, Stan--it’s not just your problem anymore--I didn’t remember any of dat’ stuff either!” Ly explains with an apologetic tone. “Da’ way she explained it, though--I just can’t imagine why she’d lie about it… I mean, if it was us, sure! But Tuck an’ Eddie? I uh… I think she’s tellin’ da truth, cupcake. We have been pretty forgetful…”

Grabbing a pillow to groan into, you nod--it’s true: you barely remember your time at camp. For all you know you might as well have slept for most of the Summer! Finishing your business in the pillow, you glance back at your skeleton’s ASTRAL PROJECTION and ask what to do.

“Honestly?” Ly shrugs, “I dunno. She’s plenty friendly wit’ us already, right? Why tear off an’ old bandage? Besides, maybe she’ll tell us on her own eventually.”

You frown. Eventually.

“Listen, kiddo: she’s your pal.” The skeleton sighs. “Maybe she’s waitin’ on you ta’ remember--maybe she’s just waitin’ for da’ right time ta’ try again. Or…”

Or?

“... Maybe she just wants ta’ move on wit’ how things are now? It’s up ta’ you, Stan. We’ve already got a whole buncha’ things ta’ remember--what’s one more on da’ pile?”

Mulling it over in your head, all you can do is shrug. Guess you’ll have to play it the same way you plan on dealing with Art and Syb--bringing it up the next time they talk with you.

“So,” Ly sighs, clearing the rest of the weight from his chest, “Dat’s what I found out. Also we’re havin’ EGGS, BACON, an’ FRUIT SALAD for breakfast, so there’s dat’.”

There’s also the TAPE Blumenkrantz gave you. In any case, you’re not that tired anymore--what’s your next move?

>Get some BREAKFAST!
>Watch THE TAPE ALONE. Get it over with.
>WAIT… You have the feeling SOMEONE’s gonna VISIT you! (WHO?)
>WRITE-IN

Gonna call it here tonight, folks--still recovering from the 4th and it's starting to mess with my writing muscles. I'll check in TUESDAY AROUND 11-12PM PST and write an update then. As usual, thank you for playing and your patience--hope to see you next time!
>>
>>4905906
>>Get some BREAKFAST!
>>
>>4905906
>Get some BREAKFAST!
This is something best dealt with on a full stomach, and I'd rather we attend breakfast with a good mood and ruin it later. Rather than ruin it first and then socialize.
>>
>>4905906
>Get some BREAKFAST!
>>
>>4905906
>Watch THE TAPE ALONE. Get it over with.
>>
>>4905906
>Watch THE TAPE ALONE. Get it over with
>>
>>4905911
>>4905913
>>4905925
>BREAKFAST

>>4906067
>>4906191
>WATCH THE TAPE

Looks like we're chowin' down. Writing!
>>
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Hopping to your now steel-toed feet, you shoot a glance at Ly that says ‘you coming?’ prompting a confused look.

“Wh-wait, aren’t we gonna watch da’ tape?”

You respond by planting your hands on your hips and glowering his way. Is he dumb or something? What do you always say is the most important thing?

“... I think you mentioned ‘fat stackz’ once or twice, but ta’ be honest it’s kinda hard ta’ follow your character motivation sometimes-”

BREAKFAST, you shout! It’s the most important meal of the day--that’s what the food doctors say! Plus if Art and Syb are already on the way then that food’s probably already GONE! Not waiting for one of Ly’s classic snide rebuttals, you kick open the doors to your room and stomp with purpose down the hall towards the kitchen!

“I mean, there was a lot left when I saw it-”

You motion for Ly to ZIP IT before he makes himself sound any more dumber! Has he SEEN Syb eat!? She’s got the metabolism of a…

Of a really metabolistic thing! She’s probably gonna get all the CRISPY pieces of bacon too!

“... Dat’ ain’t a word, but I see your point.”

With a triumphant laugh, you stroll into the kitchen like you own the place. Wait a minute--you DO! Smiling at your good fortune, you finally realize that you aren’t alone: your crew sits around the table already engaged in a feast of EGGS, BACON, FRUIT SALAD, and COFFEE!

“Look who finally came out of her cave!” Remarks Art, winking at you from a non-patched eye. “I like the new outfit.”

“Made ya’ a plate, Stan.” Gus grunts, pointing to a large plate at the head of the table. “Dig in.”

Hold on a second, you hiss as you point an accusing finger Art’s way--where’s his EYEPATCH?! Why is everyone still wearing the same clothes?!

“We changed, dude.” Mitzi mumbles through a mouth of bacon. “Didn’t you check your drawers?”

“Yea,” Eddie nods, taking a sip from his mug, “every room had like… twenty hoodies, Good Boy Security Uniforms, and even long Goth… Sweater things…” He explains, shooting a glance towards Syb.

“Mine had way too many baggy lab coats.” Syb groans, shooting Denise a sideways glance. “It’s a bit peculiar, I’ll admit, but I needed to change, so…”

Her voice trails off as the others continue eating. Taking your seat at the head of the table, you continue frowning at Art as you shovel a fork of eggs into your mouth. He didn’t answer your queHOLY CRAP these are good!

“It was all her.” Gus smiles, glancing Denise’s way.

T-t-th-there’s a HIGH pr-probability of egg shell shards in the f-food… P-please don’t hesitate to let m-me know if you taste any…

Don’t worry, you answer through a mouthful of DELICIOUS EGG, you’ll be the first to let her know!
>>
>>4906450
Denise responds with her trademark pathetic laugh, then sinks lower in her chair. The table falls into silence again as everyone resumes eating--looks like this would be a good time to take control of the conversation if you want!

>NOPE! Let some other jerk TALK! We’re EATING!
>ART! You’d better not have told your ‘Back to Life’ story yet, you SLIME!
>How’s everyone LIKING this PLACE?
>Any IDEAS on WHICH LIEUTENANT to TACKLE NEXT?
>WRITE-IN
>>
>>4906453
>ART! You’d better not have told your ‘Back to Life’ story yet, you SLIME!
>>
>>4906453
>ART! You’d better not have told your ‘Back to Life’ story yet, you SLIME!
>>
>>4906450
>>ART! You’d better not have told your ‘Back to Life’ story yet, you SLIME!
>>
>>4906459
>>4906463
>>4906482
>STORY TIME WITH ART!

Writing!
>>
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Scarfing down a handful of bacon and ignoring the growing pressure near your heart, you continue glaring at Art as he deposits some fruit into his open mouth. To his credit he manages to ignore you for a solid minute or so before letting his fork drop to the table with an annoyed sigh.

Yes, Stan? I get the feeling you’ve got something to say.”

That’s RIGHT! You snap as you chew some more food! He better not haAAACK! GAAAAAAK!

A piece of bacon lodges itself in your throat mid-sentence and sends you into a gagging fit.

Real mature...” Art mutters, prompting the rest of the table to go back to their meals. Wait, damn it! This isn’t a gag! I mean… It sorta is, but not the ‘ha-ha’ type--more the ‘can’t breathe oh god help me’ variety! Help, by the way!

Tapping Syb on her pale shoulder, you frantically gesture to your throat as your vision starts to swim!

“Stan, please--we’re at the breakfast table…” Syb sighs before returning to a strip of bacon with her fork and knife. As the grim reality of the situation sets in, you look back on all of the fun and cool things you’ve done with your life as the color slowly drains from your view…

Look out, God, you’re coming to get him…

“DAMN IT, STAN! HOLD TIGHT!”

A bright light shines in your eyes just as you hear Ly’s muffled voice--it’s… It’s beautiful!

… Until it turns into a screaming sea of roaring flames. You know what? You don’t think it’s your time yet!

Feeling Ly take control of your bones, you feel your abdomen SLAM into the end of the table! The resulting push sends the offending piece of bacon soaring from your throat, out of your mouth, and into the center of the table to everyone’s displeasure! Gasping for air, you hiss a quiet ‘thank you’ to Ly as the vision of flames fades away. CLOSE CALL!

“Okay, it’s not that burnt, dude.” Mitzi sighs as she takes a sip from her coffee mug.

“Is this uh…” Tucker mutters, “normal for her?”

“She likes attention.” Syb replies, patting you on the back.

“You gotta slow down when you eat, Stan.” Says Gus in a firm, yet concerned voice.

You’ll slow down when you’re DEAD, damn it! And who the hell are these three, anyways?!

Following your fingers to the people wearing hoodies at your table, Mitzi raises a concerned eyebrow your way.

“Um… Eddie, Tucker, and Kiki, Stan…”

“You okay?” Art adds, looking your way with genuine sympathy.

D’OH!

>CONTD.
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>>4906553
You’ll be fine, you growl, once he answers your QUESTION, that is! Cocking his head to the side, the security goon looks at you expectantly.

“... Which is?”

Making a point to leave your remaining bacon where it is, you take a deep breath and try again: did he already tell his STORY? The one about how he’s NOT DEAD?

“Oh, that. Yep.”

“STAN, NO! IT’S A JOKE!” Syb shouts, intercepting the fork you toss at Art mid-flight! “He didn’t!”

“I was gonna save it for when everyone was together.” Art chuckles. “I can tell you guys now if you want.”

The table nods in collective interest save for Gus--dude probably already knows how some of it went.

“Okay,” Art grins. “You guys want the LONG VERSION or the SHORT VERSION?

Well?
>LONG VERSION! Gimme a FLASHBACK with a PERSPECTIVE CHANGE!
>SHORT VERSION! Just TELL US!
>NEVER MIND! Sometimes a MYSTERY is MORE FUN than the TRUTH!
>WRITE-IN
>>
Rolled 2 (1d2)

>>4906557

1=LONG VERSION! Gimme a FLASHBACK with a PERSPECTIVE CHANGE!
2=SHORT VERSION! Just TELL US!
>>
>>4906571

Changing to this. Me needs the full dirty deets.
>>
>>4906557
>LONG VERSION! Gimme a FLASHBACK with a PERSPECTIVE CHANGE!
>>
>>4906671

AAGghhh I meant changing to LONG VERSION.
>>
>>4906557
LONG VERSION!
>>
>>4906557
>LONG VERSION! Gimme a FLASHBACK with a PERSPECTIVE CHANGE!
>>
>>4906557
>LONG VERSION! Gimme a FLASHBACK with a PERSPECTIVE CHANGE!
>>
>>4906680
>>4906681
>>4906682
>>4906686
>>4906709
>Art Gaiden Kiwami

You jerks ASKED for it. Writing!
>>
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Leaning forward to shovel some more breakfast onto your plate, you gesture for Art to get started. You want the WHOLE ENCHILADA!

“I’d like to hear the whole thing too.” Mitzi adds, leaning back in her seat. “No offense, but you never really struck me as the Action Hero type…”

“That’s what makes it interesting, though!” Eddie counters with a twinkle in his eye! “The audience always connects more with the Average Joe--granted, movies with trained soldiers, veterans, and ex-hitmen are pretty cool too-”

“How about we let him get started?” Tucker interrupts, giving Eddie an apologetic grin. “I’ve got a feeling this will be a long story.”

“Well you’re not wrong on that front…” Art sighs, rapping his fingers against his still-full coffee mug. “Alrighty then: you want the long version? I’ll give you the LONG version.”

Clearing his throat, the security goon rubs his chin as he contemplates where to begin.

“It all started right after Stan and I got jumped by those GOOD BOY SECURITY GOONS outside the elevator-”

Hold it, Artie--you wanted to know how he survived, not his friggin’ autobiology! Art responds with a glare pointed directly your way!

“You wanna hear it or not?”

Biting into another piece of bacon, you roll your eyes. FINE.

“Thanks. Like I was saying, it all began when Stan and I first came to THE LODGE... I was put into a cell for a while, but enough complaining and coughing bought me a ticket to the MEDICAL WING. I remember it like it was yesterday…”

Art hangs on the word yesterday as if waiting for something to happen. A few moments later, he gives you a sheepish look.

“Err, you’re the protagonist, Stan--how do you set up one of those FLASHBACK SEQUENCES again?”

Are you the only person who reads the script around here? Massaging your temples, you let out a resigned sigh--he has to say “yesterdayTHREE times, and he can’t forget the beats in between!

“Right, sorry. Let’s try it again.” Clearing his throat, Art takes another shot at his last line. AMATEURS!

“... I remember it like it was yesterday… yesterday... YESTERDAY…

>CONTD.
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>>4