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You hadn’t really thought about it, but you have to admit that there’s a bit of irony that the girl who’s all about acting and showing off and whatnot is the one asking you for introductions into the movie industry. Life’s funny like that. But, you can’t help but huff as you consider it. She’d probably get a real kick out of it to boot, and it’d be nice to have someone there that you know- but ultimately, it’s not your decision to make. “No promises,” you warn. “But I’ll at least mention you. Everything afterwards is outta my hands.”

The tackle-hug that was the response wasn’t expected, and forced the wind out of you as she latches onto you like a limpet. “Oooooh, thank you! Thankyouthankyouthankyou!”

“L-ungs!” you choke out- but fortunately she gets the gist and lets go, still giggling before she cavorts off to the back of her apartment, still thanking you. Grand.

Mono just looks at you oddly, but it’s Nura who speaks up. “Do you really think you’ll be able to get her a position?”

You shrug. “Not up to me, really. Like I said. I’ll bring her up, see if they have room for a bit part, but that’s really all I CAN do.” You can’t help but glance towards the hall; the girl’d darted into the bedroom for...whatever reason. “Any idea what she’s doing in there?”

“Not a clue,” Nura admits, as Mono shakes her head.

http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=Magical%20Girl%20For%20Hire%20Quest
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>>4886989

When she comes back out, she’s wearing something along the lines of the sort of thing you’d find in a post-apoc world. A lot of tight leather and spikes, and...why does she have an eyepatch? Nevermind, probably because it just looks cool to her. “Bam! What do yo-snrkkk!” almost immediately, she breaks down into laughter. “Da-ahahaha-amnit! I couldn’t hold it, I just couldn’t!” The other two break down as you allow yourself a snort of amusement as you realize the rib. That girl…

There’s a few more laughs, and a bit more light conversation, before you’re feeling done for the day. With a hug and a cheery wave from the other two- who might be staying the night, apparently- you take your leave. You still have to respond to that Roller Derby invite, and beyond that? You hear your bed calling your name…

-----------------

The next day comes with- well, a bit of worry, but that’s just due to your missing Pecker. He’ll be fine, though...hopefully. Owlia wanted to see him today, and even then you’ve still got a few things on your to-do list. Need to formally talk to those filmmakers, and then there’s the Care House kids…probably some other things you’re missing today, too.

>What are your priorities for the day? Pick 3.

>Getting Pecker’s pre-surgery work done. You’ll need to fetch Owlia (and likely Cylica) for that.
>Catching up with the kids. You kinda need to see what they’ve been up to since you’ve been gone.
>Seeing about that new film they want you to take part in. You STILL are kinda surprised, but they’d asked you for a meeting, so…
>Looking more into the Extreme Roller Derby Association’s invite. You’d accepted, but they’d also wanted you to drop by HQ ‘if able’. That DOES mean it’s optional, but…
>Other
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>>4886990
>Getting Pecker’s pre-surgery work done. You’ll need to fetch Owlia (and likely Cylica) for that.
>Seeing about that new film they want you to take part in. You STILL are kinda surprised, but they’d asked you for a meeting, so…
>Looking more into the Extreme Roller Derby Association’s invite. You’d accepted, but they’d also wanted you to drop by HQ ‘if able’. That DOES mean it’s optional, but…
Welcome back.
Let's go with these, it's early so I won't go with any custom write-ins.
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>>4886990
>Getting Pecker’s pre-surgery work done. You’ll need to fetch Owlia (and likely Cylica) for that.
>Catching up with the kids. You kinda need to see what they’ve been up to since you’ve been gone.
>Seeing about that new film they want you to take part in. You STILL are kinda surprised, but they’d asked you for a meeting, so…
>>
>>4886990
>Getting Pecker’s pre-surgery work done. You’ll need to fetch Owlia (and likely Cylica) for that.
>Catching up with the kids. You kinda need to see what they’ve been up to since you’ve been gone.
>Seeing about that new film they want you to take part in. You STILL are kinda surprised, but they’d asked you for a meeting, so…
>>
>>4887007
Forgot to say, that we need to give the kids the souvenirs before we forget.
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>>4886990
>Catching up with the kids. You kinda need to see what they’ve been up to since you’ve been gone.
>Seeing about that new film they want you to take part in. You STILL are kinda surprised, but they’d asked you for a meeting, so…
>Looking more into the Extreme Roller Derby Association’s invite. You’d accepted, but they’d also wanted you to drop by HQ ‘if able’. That DOES mean it’s optional, but…
>>
>>4886990
>>Getting Pecker’s pre-surgery work done. You’ll need to fetch Owlia (and likely Cylica) for that.
>>Seeing about that new film they want you to take part in. You STILL are kinda surprised, but they’d asked you for a meeting, so…
>>
Bird, Kids, and Film it is. Writing.
>>
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I hope this one won't be a death-race/Wasteland flick.
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We should probably have Pecker trained a bit some tome later - don't want him to eat Mewla or smth.
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>>4886990
>>4887001
>>4887007
>>4887009
>>4887024
>>4887036
Well, might as well start early. You decide to call Owlia first and foremost; she’ll probably want to look at Pecker for a while, but that’s not happening until that device gets fixed. And since she hadn’t said anything about making a late visit yesterday…

“Yeeello?” Owlia’s quick to pick up. “‘Randa? Was just thinking about that whole bird situation from the other day.”

“Yeah, I was wondering if you’d be good for going over there this morning,” you admit.

“Yeah, sure! Hadn’t started anything yet anyways. I’ll leave some instructions- Cylica’s not gonna be able to make it for this, but she said she’ll be around for the surgery thing.” Oh. Well, that’s unfortunate, but not particularly so. “So, we meet up around the entrance? Send me the address again?” You do so, and she chirps a confirmation before you head out.

When you see her, she’s in work clothes, it seems- overalls and such, and she even has goggles and a small bag of tools. “Alright, let’s get a move on for this house call!”

“Technically a commercial area, but sure.” You’ll pretend not to see her roll her eyes at that.

The trip isn’t too long, fortunately, and when you both enter, you can tell that the dryad lady wasn’t expecting you to return, idly thumbing through something on a tablet in an empty waiting room. “Oh! So you’re back like you said…”

“Yup,” you acknowledge, putting a hand on Owlia’s shoulder. “This is the expert I was talking about. I’m guessing you got permission for her to look over your Manapulse Auto-Generator?”

“Well...Dr. Argo figured it couldn’t hurt,” she admits. “At least, that much.” Getting up with a rustling of leaves, she motions you to follow her. “It’s back this way.”

--------

You’re taken to a small storage area; and she points at the device- it’s a mid-sized spherical device with rings around it, and a small table in the center, almost like an aerotrim. “Here she is. Doesn’t regulate like it should, but that’s all I know about it.”

“Right!” Owlia says as she marches up to the thing, looking it over. “Alright, I’m gonna have to run some tests, and dig into this thing’s guts a bit to figure out what exactly’s wrong and how to fix it. Might take a bit, though.” She turns to you in question. “Probably could take off, get a break and all while I figure out how the sausage is supposed to be made.”

“You’ll need to be supervised,” the dryad warns sternly. “Dr. Argo gave his permission to let you look at it, but only under watch.”

“Are you expecting anyone else today?” you ask, doing your best to keep a level face.

“Well…” she frowns, but says nothing. Still…

“We can stay,” you decide. “Let’s just get comfortable for a bit...”

>Roll 1d100+20, best of three.
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Rolled 87 + 20 (1d100 + 20)

>>4887222
>>
Rolled 29 + 20 (1d100 + 20)

>>4887222
>>
Rolled 43 + 20 (1d100 + 20)

>>4887222
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Our nerds are too good.
>>4887222
>while I figure out how the sausage is supposed to be made
Reminds me about the time when O&C burned Miranda's kitchen.
>>
We should probably ask about the new research assistant bot while she's here. Also, in case if she finishes it today we can dump all the research data and loot from the last mission.
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>>4887286
I should probably find a way to stop using these parasite words...
Even if she doesn't finish it today, we need to decide which items we're going to give to our researchers:
>Clothes with mana-resistant fiber: Drogan Military Uniform jacket, Officer's Armor and Helmet, Queenstone Robe - this one is high priority because we want the robe back before the next mission
>Fairy Statues (Nature, Water, Fire and Wind) - because they're elemental crystals
>Fairy Totems (Fire and Light)
>Scans of the books: 'Breath of the Life', ‘The Myriad Ways of Inner Manipulation’ and ‘Transitory Nature of the Abyss and is far thinner’ - the first two are about endomagic
>Scans of the primitive mana-siphon and the data from experimental items
>Healing herbs that we stole from the hero and Sweetsap Mushrooms - Nura has some knowledge of making potions
>Orbs and Gems: Induction Orb, Wind Gem (from Drogan Fortress), Drained Purple Gem (had earth magic mana before we siphoned it) and Mysterious Green Orb (found it in the third Lockstone dungeon)
Not sure about the staves and wands, I think it'd be better to share them with our teammates instead, and Faemetal is not worth bothering with imo. Is there anything else I've missed?
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>>4887332
I don't think the nerds will want the books, ironically enough. Maybe Nura? We can mention them.
Lending equipment (for R&D or otherwise) is something we should probably set up a closet at HQ for to begin with.
Oh yea we can get a book scan reward from the library, we should do that, after we read them, incase they disintegrate or something wild.
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>>4887385
The library needs physical copies, so we can just read the scan. Also we haven't donated the books from summoner mission yet, and we've already scanned them. With the two we've got from Ah-Rul that'd be 2.5 Lotes + small bonus for whoever is at the counter at the moment, either Izumi or Delilah.
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>>4887385
>set up a closet at HQ
Izumi got us an armory for our HQ in thread #76 for completing an HQ task
>Minus-One Storage System installed in Silver Eye Solution Headquarters! Enjoy!
>Beginning installation of your new room space! Thank you for using Ulti-struct!
and we've purchased the Containment Room for our lab in the same thread
>Containment Room- A room explicitly for containing a number of test subjects, this room comes with a suite of airtight square containers and stasis tubes- 4 of each. Keep your experiments fresh! Cost: 80 Large Motes- PURCHASED
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>>4887222
>>4887226
>>4887232
>>4887234
It doesn’t take her too long- about a half hour of poking around and taking apart things- before she seems to hit on something. “Ooooooh that don’t look good.” She’s busy poking around in one of the rings, and you can see a grimace on her face. “Thiiiink I found the problem. You’ve got a whole section of wiring here that’s burnt out. Probably the whole thing, really. If that connects to what I THINK it’s connecting to, that’d do it.”

“Huh. That was quick,” the dryad exclaims. “Can you fix it?”

She shrugs. “Eh, most likely. See, from what I can see, what basically happened was the equivalent of a bad power surge, only it ALSO ended up screwing up a lot of the regulator hardware in here- and borked some of THAT, too, since it started trying to perform above spec. Now, I’m not the best electrician around, but I’m pretty sure I could at least rewire this and fix up a new regulator panel, buuuut…” She frowns, looking around. “Yeah, I’m not seeing anything here that I could use for material. I’ve got some spare metal back at HQ, buuuuut…”

“We can pay you for your efforts,” she says, side-eying you. “But I was told the rates would be...favorable.”

“I mean, you’re doing something for us. Miranda. Us.” She pauses. “Not sure how that works out, actually. Anywho! Yeah, I guess.” She frowns, calculating cost. “Eight large- even.”

What. That was- what? You look to the dryad- who’s surprisingly not reacting like you thought. Rather, she seems thoughtful. “Hmmm…”

Owlia merely shrugs. “I mean, it’s gonna take me round-the-clock work to fix this in time for the surgery- that’s on the weekend, right? So like, three days. I can do it, but the problem isn’t the wiring, that’s easycakes, and I got plenty of that. The problem is the regulator panel. That’s waaay more precision work, and I’d need to source materials from my personal supply.”

Geez. If she could charge that much fairly for (comparatively quick) repair jobs...maybe she really IS just with you for the science and knowledge opportunities.

You hate that you feel a little anxious about that. Not that you have much time to debate the issue, as the dryad responds. “I’ll discuss it with Dr. Argo, but I think he’ll be favorable to it. The last time I checked the price by a professional-”

“I’m TOTALLY a professional!” she chirps.

“-the cost came in at about twice that. Just a moment,” she insists, as she heads out the door.

(cont.)
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>>4887484

Given some respite, Owlia stretches a bit, her already lanky frame getting that much taller. “Mmmm! Nothing like early morning diagnostics to wake you up, huh?” She giggles slightly at her joke. “But seriously, this is a neat piece of tech! It’s not way too complicated, but I wouldn’t have thought of how they used it. Clever.”

As for you...well, you’ve got more than one thought running around your head.

> So...that much for a repair job? Never thought of doing THAT full time?
> Wait, did you really mean fully around the clock? Damn, I was trying to STOP doing that to you…
> Any idea what Cylica’s doing today, then, if she couldn’t come with you?
> Don’t say anything. You’re kind of not in the mood.
> Other
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>>4887489
> Wait, did you really mean fully around the clock? Damn, I was trying to STOP doing that to you…
> Any idea what Cylica’s doing today, then, if she couldn’t come with you?
I thought Outgoers are the top earning group around here?
Anyway no way they're leaving us - we're their top beta testers after all.
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>>4887489
> Wait, did you really mean fully around the clock? Damn, I was trying to STOP doing that to you…
> I'm really going to have to spring for the Sleeping Area upgrade, aren't I?
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>>4887489
> Any idea what Cylica’s doing today, then, if she couldn’t come with you?
Silly girl most nerds and enthusiasts don't do it for the money.
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>>4887500
They are, in general. However, also remember that Owlia doesn't go on as many or as lucrative jobs as the main three.
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>>4887489
> Wait, did you really mean fully around the clock? Damn, I was trying to STOP doing that to you…
> Any idea what Cylica’s doing today, then, if she couldn’t come with you?
>Ask about getting a new research assistant bot for the lab, any preferences?
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>>4887515
a new research bot should reduce her workload, we've discussed it in the last thread
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>>4887489
>>4887515
Yeah let's ask her about a new bot too.
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>>4887489
>>4887515
Taking this instead then.
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>>4887489
>>4887515
adding this
>ping Sal about this
he told us to call whenever we take deals with others. remember when he showed up when we hired Mitzi to help Owlia with our aircraft?
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Will resume tomorrow properly. Around 12-1 PM PST, methinks.
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>>4887511
> I'm really going to have to spring for the Sleeping Area upgrade, aren't I?
Our girls have purchased this upgrade off-screen during the time-skip
#95
>Not horribly, mind, but with the added expenses from your new metallic component of the company, things were getting more expensive, and even the HQ itself had to take a bit of a backseat lately- you’d managed to get the Sleeping Quarters upgraded, at least. Mono and Nura both tended to sleep there, and Owlia could usually be found trudging about as well after burning long hours in the lab. Ultimately, fairly useful.
>>4887540
Thanks for running!
>>
And we're back. Writing shortly.
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>>4887489
>>4887500
>>4887511
>>4887512
>>4887515
>>4887524
>>4887532
>>4887533
Frankly, the most concerning thing is the meaning of the timeline she gave earlier. “Wait, did you really mean fully around the clock?” You have to frown at that. She’d ALREADY been overworked, and...gah, “Damn, I was trying to STOP doing that to you…”

“Eh,” Owlia seems to brush off. “I more or less asked for this one, so don’t knock yourself. If I didn’t want to see your bird that badly I’d have just said I was busy. Which I am, but not as much as before thanks to the help. Nura and the assistant bot have been greaaaat to have around!”

“Hm. Sure you don’t want another one?” you hazard. “Maybe something more focused towards research assistance? I’m pretty sure something can get scrounged up. Say if you have any preferences, too.”

“Weeelll…” she pauses, considering as she juts her lip out in thought. “I gueeeess I wouldn’t mind another one. But so far I’m still getting used to the help I got. Cy’s stopping in more often now, too, so…”

Ah. That DOES remind you. “Actually, on that front, any idea what Cylica’s doing today, then, if she couldn’t come with you?” You were mildly surprised, being honest. They were rather attached to each other if situations permitted. But then again, you suppose everyone needed their personal space, so maybe that was just that…

“Well, honestly? Iunno. When I asked her, she said she had ‘something of the utmost importance to accomplish,” and she didn’t say much else.” Huh. Weird. “But I-”

Suddenly, the conversation is cut off by the door opening again, and the receptionist coming back in with a small digital tablet. “We’ve agreed to the costs. Please, look over this if you want to formalize the contract.”

“Just a sec.” She takes it and looks at you. “Weren’t we supposed to call Sal for non-Outgoery stuff?”

“Thaaaaaat you are!” a disembodied voice comes out of nowhere. You ALL jump briefly as his shimmering form materializes- although you notice that it’s translucent. “A toooouch busy, can’t be there entirely, but if you’d just hold it up to me- theeeeere we are…” There’s a bit of silence as he looks over the contract, before nodding. “Seeeeeems simple enough! By allllll means!” With that, he slips away, and...well, that seems to be that.

“...right-o!” Owlia seems to ignore that. “Then lemme just sign this and we can get started!”

(cont.)
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>>4888980

With that handled, and Owlia insisting that she’ll be able to work solo for now, you’ve got time to bring your attention elsewhere. Namely, the kids you’d been assigned. You’d gotten a bit attached, you’ll admit. And it’s been a while, so you want to make a good impression on them. Fortunately, you’ve got a few things you could likely give over as gifts...you think. Probably nothing TOO violent, but…well, yeah.

“Hi, Miss Miranda!” Tami’s the first one to greet you- but the others aren’t far behind after you put in a notice to the front desk that you were here. “We’ve been waiting for you! We passed all our primaries tests!”

“Oh, you did, huh?” You’d...damnit, why’re those important, again?

“Yeah!” Noran looks awful proud of himself, and Mewla you can imagine as well. “So now that means we can start the advanced classes!”

Geez, it’s been so long, you’re trying to recall it all- if it’s not new. “...wait, in what, again?”

“...financial culpability,” Harpsicorie whispers out. “A-and self-defense. I-it’s new for people interesssted in Outgoer careers.” She seems a bit...shy about it? You’d thought she was coming out of her shell, last you checked… “It’sss pretty tough…”

“Aw, she’s just being humble! Your trainin’ helped us out plenty!” Tami says cheerily, by way of puppet. “In fact, she’s one of the best in the class!”

“Yup!” Noran agrees. “All thirty o’ us, and she’s one of the top 5.” Huh! That wasn’t expected, but it’s pleasant to know. “She just keeps runnin’ and whipping at us and she’s awful slippery ta catch, too. Hard fer anyone ta get a shot in on ‘er…”

“I-I don’t really like getting hit,” she says, as though it’s something to be ashamed up. “I-it hurts me.”

...yes, getting hit generally is supposed to. But right, anyway…

> You have to admit, you’re proud- and you should say so. She shouldn’t feel bad about keeping herself healthy.
> That’s good to know, but it’s probably best to not let them get a swelled head. You’ll keep things muted.
> She’s going to have to learn more tricks than hit and run if she’s going to excel, though that’s a start.
> Might be best to turn away from school and towards more fun things. ...whatever ‘fun’ things might be.
> Other
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>>4888981
> She’s going to have to learn more tricks than hit and run if she’s going to excel, though that’s a start.
> Other
Give some presents. I remember we have four bucklers and a couple of staffs, plus a few pistols waiting. Also unload the mushrooms to whoever we bought them for.
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>>4888981
> You have to admit, you’re proud- and you should say so. She shouldn’t feel bad about keeping herself healthy.
> "Well, how about today I teach you guys a spell to help patch yourselves up when you do get hit?"

>>4888992
The fourth buckler was supposed to go to fairy-kid, though. If he didn't find his way into our bag of holding somehow, we should probably just turn it into a couple of motes.
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>>4888981
> You have to admit, you’re proud- and you should say so. She shouldn’t feel bad about keeping herself healthy.
> She’s going to have to learn more tricks than hit and run if she’s going to excel, though that’s a start.
> give presents
Fine with teaching them but don't go deep. We still need to do the movie stuff.
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>>4888981
this>>4888998
I kinda like the kids, but I'd like to keep a couple of bucklers for our team members since they're enchanted.
>Magical defensive measures inlaid consistent with minor mana barrier.
Give shrooms to Mewla, cleric's and mage's staves to the girls and a buckler to the boy.
Those blackpowder pistols are trash, it'd be better to just sell them off.
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>>4889014
For the pistols, I just think of them as novelties really. These kids don't seem like they're knowledgeable about different tech levels.
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>>4889016
Also we don't have a place where we could teach them how to use guns yet. Hope we have enough motes in our HQ funds to buy the firing range - our new recruits could use some practice and the nerds could test their stuff there as well.
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It's no bad thing to be able to avoid injury.

Writing.
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>>4888981
>>4888992
>>4888998
>>4889010
>>4889014

You can’t help but nod at that. It’s a basic tenant, and you can’t say it’s not an important one, either. “That’s good. I’m proud.”

That seems to catch her by surprise. “R-really?”

“Yeah,” you affirm. “Staying alive is always priority one. If you can avoid injury, inflict damage around that and accomplish your objective, so much the better. It’s nothing to be ashamed of- can’t say I’m a fan of getting hurt, either. Sucks.”

“Y-yeah, I guess that makes sense…” she trails off.

“See! Toldja!” Tami crows as she throws an arm around her friend. Fortunately, Harp doesn’t try to shy away- merely blushes as she’s drawn in. “Soon you’ll be sliding and slithering and poking at people all over the place!”

There’s a bit of giggling at that, but you can’t say it doesn’t sound good. "Well, all that considered, how about today I start to teach you guys a spell to help patch yourselves up when you do get hit?" Their wide eyes say everything, and you continue on. “It’s not something you learn too quickly-” Unless it’s kind of a life or death situation regarding bleeding out near a pack of carnivores, but you digress, “-but I can promise you’ll be thankful for it later on in your careers. That, aaaaaand…” you let the word trail off a bit, even though you feel a bit grody for doing so. “I might have a few gifts. Maybe.”

The cheers you got there told everything. Of course...well, you know you wanted to give them gifts, but...what bits were gifts? You knew at one point, but it wasn’t a major consideration. Gonna have to think about it on the way home…

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1H43OFoxE9QyMgIqBg_YdPO7IPn7_ES6iST7Xnv9Ou7Q/

>What are you giving:

>Noran/Mewla
>Harpsicorie
>Tami
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>>4889231
Pretty sure everyone gets a buckler, except for Mewla, who gets most of the shrooms. Maybe we should keep one of each of the more expensive ones to plant at the Care House Arborium, so she doesn't eat through all of them at once, though...

That's all I remember, you guys probably have more up to date gift lists.
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>>4889231
I don't remember the one who wants the shrooms, so let's just dump them all into them and give Noran a buckler. He's a survivalist, he should know how to use them. Maybe give him a pistol as well.
>Harpsicorie/Tami.
Let them choose between the Graceheal Staff, Ruby Staff or Cleric's Staff. Tami's trained in wands but she should be able to use these too.
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>>4889231
>>4889242
Let's just go with this, want to get to our audition fast.
Give Tami a buckler too because Cleric specs rock.
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>>4889231
>Noran/Mewla
A buckler for Noran and mushrooms for Mewla: Dragonsbreath Mushrooms, Sweetsap Mushroom, Navamund Mushrooms and Longdrift Mushrooms - three of each. Keeping some Sweetsaps for ourselves for now.
>Harpsicorie
I want to give her the Graceheal Staff, although it's out of charges.
>Tami
Ruby Staff - could work as training wheels for our little puppeteer

Cleric's staff might be too dangerous for them for now, same with guns. Maybe later, when we buy the Ranged Combat Training Area for our HQ. It kinda irks me that we're sharing our stuff with the kids before sharing it with our team members. Instead of giving them actual training equipment we're handing over some potent stuff.
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>>4889231
>>4889240
>>4889242
>>4889252
>>4889253

“Alright, soooo…” Seems like once you got back to HQ, they’d gotten even MORE anxious. It’s amusing, really, and now they’re all on the mats in the training room, waiting for your souvenirs. “First up, a few bucklers for all of you. They’re nothing too special, but considering how small you all are, they’re probably as good as regular shields. Should come in handy.”

“We’re not THAT small,” Noran notes idly.

You decide to dismiss that. “Mewla, I have a few mushrooms for you-” she’s almost in them before you can really give them out, and you’re forced to pull away. “Whoa there! Not ALL of them. Just most. Look, here,” you mention, sorting them out; one of the Dragonsbreath Mushrooms, Navamund Mushrooms and Longdrift Mushrooms each, and three of the Sweetsap Mushrooms. “The rest I want to work with, see if I can’t do anything with them.” You’re pretty sure she’s still grateful, judging by the way she’s flittering about and around you.

Noran just chuckles. “Think I’ll haveta hold on to those for ‘er.”

“Then, let’s see...Harpsicorie? This is for you.” You show her the Graceheal Staff. “This was used by one of my targets to infuse mana, basically allowing for some extra resources. It’s got nothing in it right now, but that can probably be fixed with a bit of effort. Probably a good idea to wait on that until you learn how to heal yourself, though. Could be this could make what you learn even better, but it’s not good to have as a crutch.”

“T-thank you,” she says gracefully as she accepts it, and holds it close. “I appreciate it.”

“Right, aaaand-” you barely get the staff out before Tami bounds up to you.

“Issat for me? Pleeease say it’s for me!” Huh. She seems awful eager.

But, no sense in denying her. “Yup. This one helps augment your magic as well. So if you’re still wanting to learn puppetry…”

“I am!” she quickly affirms.

“...then this might come in handy. It’s a bit big for you, though…” Indeed, the girl was much taller than Tami- the staff was taller than SHE was. “We’ll see if we can’t modify it. Hopefully the magic doesn’t run through the whole thing, so maybe we can cut it down.”

“Awesome!” she cheers.

“Right, I don’t think I need to warn you to be careful with those. There’s more, but I need to make sure you won’t hurt yourselves first,” you note. No way were you giving them anything sharp or gun-shaped.

“No problem! We’ll prove ourselves lickety-split!” Tami boasts. Well, points for spirit.

“Really now?” you give an eyebrow at it nonetheless. “Well, let’s see if you can back that up. Get ready to try and learn some healing, kiddos. Now, sit down, and focus. First things, first- you have to be calm…”

Not a one of them gets more than a momentary glow, but you can tell there's progress, and that's good enough. You DID warn them this one might take some time...

>Invite them along to the movie set. Why not?
>You'll keep this movie deal thing to yourself, you think.
>Other
>>
>>4889302
>You'll keep this movie deal thing to yourself, you think.
>>
>>4889302
>Indeed, the girl was much taller than Tami- the staff was taller than SHE was.
does it mean that it's also too big for Miranda, just like her fancy robe?
>>
>>4889302
>You'll keep this movie deal thing to yourself, you think.
>>
>>4889302
>Invite them along to the movie set. Why not?
>>
>>4889302
>You'll keep this movie deal thing to yourself, you think.
>>
>>4889302
>You'll keep this movie deal thing to yourself, you think.
>>
>>4889302
>>You'll keep this movie deal thing to yourself, you think.
>>
>>4889302
>You'll keep this movie deal thing to yourself, you think.
Sidenote, we should try and convince the director that our character should have a pet so we can bring Pecker to the big screen and into everyone's heart.
>>
>>4889380
Woah there he'll have to spend some time in rehab after surgery as much as I like that idea.
>>
Writing.
>>
>>4889302
>>4889310
>>4889328
>>4889356
>>4889367
>>4889371
>>4889380
Honestly, it might be a good idea to let them practice a bit more, but perhaps with more...serene supervision. You need to get a few things done before the day’s out, but...well, they’re kids. They’d probably blab about it to whoever they saw first after realizing you might be in a movie. Sure, you could likely spin it as a lesson on keeping intel to yourself, but at the same time...they’re kids. It’s not likely it’ll stick immediately. “Alright. I’ve got something to do. I’ll be back before long, but it’s a personal thing. And last I checked, you all hadn’t been really acquainted with my partner Izumi, have you?” They shake their heads no. “Thought not. I’d wanted to get you some time with her anyway- she’s probably better with kids than me- so I’d like you all to get to know her a bit better while I go handle this chore.”

“Aw, we can’t come with you?” Tami pleads. “We promise we’ll be good!”

“It’s not that,” you half-lie. “It’s more like I can’t LET anyone else know about what I’m doing right now. Under agreements and all.” Kind of a lie, but you suspect that’ll change soon enough. “Anyway, lemme call her and see when she can get here…”

It’s another half-hour before she does manage to show up, having been finishing up a few of her own errands. “I’m glad you called me when you did,” Izumi mentions as you meet her out at the front door. “Otherwise I might’ve been even further away.”

“Where were you, out of curiosity?” you ask.

“Talking with that girl from Flashpoint,” she responds. “Amanda Kane? Nothing specific,” she adds, noticing your concerned look. “Just catching up. She’s doing well enough, apparently had a bit of a team reorganization, but nothing major.”

Oh. Well, that’s good. “Alright, then. I’ll be back.”

(cont)
>>
>>4889608
As it turns out, you weren’t intended to show up at a film set, oh no.

The Everstyle Entertainment corporate building is an impressive one. Massive and circular, but open on end, kind of like a horseshoe. Stepping in, everything is well kept, with a gold and purple sheen to the environment. Naturally, there’s posters of all their movies framed along the walls. You walk up to the receptionist, a opaque blue slime creature in the shape of a buxom woman with yellow eyes. “Hello? I’m Miranda Styles, here for a meeting?”

“Aaah, yes, yes,” the slime-lady quickly reacts, typing away at her computer console. “I was informed you’d be along.” Her voice is smooth and dulcet. “Please, third floor, room twelve. I’ll let Mr. Reynault know you’re coming.”

You follow the directions up, and the door seems perfectly normal. But, well...this seems like it might be a big deal.

When you enter, you’re surprised to see little more than a couch, a window, and a desk with an older man sitting behind it, the wall behind him framed with shelves with various folders and papers on it. “Ah, hello there!” The man seems perfectly human, with tanned skin and greying hair with a sharp beard. Despite that, he doesn’t look that old- a bit past middle age, perhaps, but still with a zest for life. “Ms. Styles, correct? Please, have a seat.” You do so, and he continues on. “My name is Laurence Reynault, and I’m the Executive Producer for the Nightmare Run series of films, among others. Now, I’ll get right to the point, as I understand Outgoers tend to prefer directness.” Not wrong. “We had a...surprising response to your performance in the last Nightmare Run film. It proved unexpected, but fortunate. Now, you’ve gotten the general pitch in the mail we sent- but that was asking for general interest. I’ve asked you here because we’d like to make you a formal job offer- temporarily as an actress, as I’m sure your Outgoer position is paramount...correct?” He allows a brief bit of hope in his eyes, but it’s quickly dashed as you affirm your loyalties. “Right, then. So, this would be a contract position, purely for the length of filming…”

“Wait, a contract?” You’d kinda thought they’d just wanted you back for a bit piece. “Isn’t that more like a professional thing than for what I’d be doing?”

He pauses. “Ms. Styles, what you would be doing IS the ‘professional thing’. As I said. We discussed it, and...well, the Director liked you. The Casting Director liked you. And I was impressed. So, we’d like to formally offer you a major role in our next movie: Nightmare Run: Takedown- as the revived Silva, out for revenge after coming within inches of death from the last movie.”

(cont.)
>>
>>4889610
...wait. “Wait. You want me in a starring role?”

He nods eagerly. “You’d be one of the primary characters. The film is based around revenge, as a theme; Silva wants revenge for her...rather callous treatment from before. She’s not the main character, but she planned to be a marquee one and have a good portion of the plot related to her efforts. Mind you…” And here he seems less enthused. “We understand your primary job, as I said, but if you’re willing to, then we’re ready to offer approximately 28 Large Motes total for the contract, lump sum. We anticipate about two months of shoot time; you’ll be paid for being present for most of that, since your role is so central. What do you say?”

...Good question.

>How do you respond to this?
>>
>>4889616
>Ask about filming schedules.
>Ask for acting teachers.
>Mention Lori.
>"Do I get to keep my hair?"

This is all I've got.
We can use this opportunity to boost our sneaky/acting skills as well as level up our name. Lori's a great actor too.
>>
>>4889636
About the acting teachers, stealth is still her downfall but I think we can use this experience to make some of Miranda's bad skills less sucky. Mainly acting and infiltrating. We can cross-practice with Lori too if she gets in.
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>>4889616
this>>4889636
try our best to sell them on Lori. we know that they want us specifically, but Lori is much better at acting and she has more free time than us.
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>>4889616
First of all, did we check with Sal beforehand about this? We're Outgoers first and foremost, and we're the top earner of SES. While the Upfront cost of 28 Lotes sounds good on paper, this is for us remaining on standby for filming for two months. This means no contracts for us during that time, and those contracts usually pay about the same amount WITHOUT accounting for Secondary Objectives and are also finished before a week is out at most. If Lori gets a prominent role too, this means two out of three Old Guard are out of commission for better part of two months, and that is a major loss of profit for SES.

>Check with Sal first if we're allowed 2 months off our Outgoer job to do filming, and if we're allowed to recommend Lori for a role too

If we get Green Light, we follow up with >>4889636 , maybe ask if we can recieve a copy of the script too. Make a mental note to try and bring our birb companion to the stage when he recovers so he maybe can be part of the movie too.
If the boss shoots us down, we'll have to decline for now.
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>>4889814
They obviously will talk to Sal before anything solid. That said holy fuck our schedule's tight.
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>>4889974
True, Sal is probably listening in with at least half an ear on this and would probably interject on his own, I just feel we owe it to him to ask permission first rather than accept and have to work out the terms with him afterwards. Nothing in the text or Anon's write in makes mention of speaking to Sal, so I just felt the need to clarify.
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>>4889814
>you’ll be paid for being present for MOST of that, since your role is so central.
Doesn't mean we can't go on missions at all, just have to keep to really short ones. But it wouldn't hurt to call Sal right now.
>>
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When she sex?
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Writing shortly.
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>>4889616
>>4889636
>>4889714
>>4889814

“Well, first thing- what about the filming schedule? How’s that going to look? I know I’ll mostly be sticking around for this, but if there’s gaps…” Then maybe you could take on smaller jobs, at least.

“I can’t recall it off the top of my head, obviously,” he responds. “But I can say that as one of the leads, you’ll be shooting more often than not. I’m not sure how much you know about movies, but we don’t shoot everything in order; I THINK a lot of your scenes are scheduled early in the shooting day, as I’m pretty sure we had you in mind mostly from the beginning. But yeah, it’ll be mostly daily, but anything else I couldn’t say off the top of my head.”

Tch. Fair enough. “Alright. What about acting teachers? I’m obviously no professional, so-”

He mulls it over, considering. “I think you’d be alright, since the role is intended to be more brusque and direct, but you bring up a fair point. It’ll be largely trial by fire, but I can see to getting you a coach. Shouldn’t be too hard, though you’ll have to schedule lessons yourself.”

“Fair enough,” you respond. “Now, if you don’t mind me putting it up...I’ve got a friend of mine who’s pretty good at acting- way better than me, actually, and she’s pretty trained. You wouldn't happen to be hiring for other parts, would you?” You DID say that you would give her a mention at the least.

Fortunately, he seems to at least not dismiss it outright. “Mostly minor parts, but if she’s still interested, then we might have something. Bring her by tomorrow and we’ll see about it.”

...Honestly, better than expected. “Then one last question:” and you take a deep breath, because this one is important. "Do I get to keep my hair?"

He laughs, but doesn’t answer, instead just saying to talk to the makeup artist. You’re not sure how to take that.

“...Well, I suppose I need to talk to Sal first-” you start.

“Oh, don’t worry, I already siiiiiigned off on it! It’d be FANTAAAAAASTIC promotion!” ...ah. Well then. Wish he wouldn't do that 'out of nowhere' thing, though.

"Then in that case," Reynolds says with a smile, "Should I arrange for transportation to the set? First thing tomorrow? You can get to know your coworkers and go over your scripts- and we can see about your acting coach."

Right, you- wait. What about the kids? Crap, just spending a half day with them wouldn't go over well. How to handle that...?

>You might HAVE to tell them, considering how long this'll take. Maybe they can learn a few things on-set.
>You'll just have to make time in the later parts of the day for them. You don't want them messing anything up.
>Other
>>
FINALLY. The site got borked, soo...
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>>4892508
>>You'll just have to make time in the later parts of the day for them. You don't want them messing anything up.
>>
>>4892508
>You'll just have to make time in the later parts of the day for them. You don't want them messing anything up.
Just save it for a surprise.
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>>4892508
>You'll just have to make time in the later parts of the day for them. You don't want them messing anything up.
>>
>>4892508
>You'll just have to make time in the later parts of the day for them. You don't want them messing anything up.
Maybe ask if the director might allow a few dedication credit for them?
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>>4892508
>you'll just have to make time in the later parts of the day for them. You don't want them messing anything up.
I feel this is the first time in DECADES that miranda will be consistently in the intersection
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>>4892508
>You'll just have to make time in the later parts of the day for them. You don't want them messing anything up.
Sorry kiddos, Mama Miranda is becoming a movie star. Maybe we can leave them with Lorelei when we have to film so they can learn bad life lessons from her.
>>
Writing shortly.
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>>4892508
>>4892512
>>4892518
>>4892519
>>4892562
>>4892611
>>4893529
Thinking about it- you might want to keep things private, for sure. You know they’d either be inconsolable or insistent if you explained what was going on to them, and that’d just cause issues you don’t want. They’d probably cry or get depressed, and you’d really rather not do that to them, being honest. It’ll be a difficult thing, but...well, you can probably just excuse it as business, and IF what he said about their schedule for you is accurate, then you can likely spend time with them during the later half of the ‘day’.

“Alright,” you decide.”I’ll do it. Where’s the contract?”

You hope this is worth it.

Later, you find yourself riding home, wondering if there was something you could’ve asked- or how you’re expected to play this part. Wasn’t there someone else who was supposed to be in this role? And she got shunted out in favor of you. Hopefully if you’re going to do this you’ll be able to perform to expectations…

When you get back, you’re surprised to see Izumi walking and talking with the kids across the parking lot as you park Red. “...ultimately, there’s really a number of factors when it comes to the execution of such issues- make no mistake, violence is not always the best answer, even if it often the easiest. Being a good Outgoer means knowing when to determine when to put down your weapons and try the power of words. You may find that it’s more challenging and rewarding- oh!” She stops as she turns back to you, just noticing. “Back already? I’d thought you’ve have been gone longer. I’d thought to take them on a bit of a trip.”

“A trip?” you ask. The news you needed to tell them is pushed to the backburner for a bit. “Why? Wait, where even?”

“I’d been thinking a bit of a historical tour. They know some of the Outgoers, but they should know what they’re helping growing by going down this road.” Oh. That sounds interesting. “They’d also mentioned that they’d done some Outgoer history in school before, which made me think perhaps it’d be interesting to continue down that path, if they wanted. They’d had some ideas for who they wanted to learn more about, mind…but since you’re here again, then perhaps that can be done another day.” Right. Fair enough. Which begs the question on if you wanted to even do that, or if you’d rather just have them for yourself for now.

>You’d rather keep them around for yourself this afternoon.
>Sure, you’ll tag along with the history tour. You’re not gonna be the guide, though.
>Fine, you’ll go along with them if they’re doing more with Outgoer VIPs. You’re curious.
>Other
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>>4894108
>Sure, you’ll tag along with the history tour. You’re not gonna be the guide, though.
>>
>>4894108
>Sure, you’ll tag along with the history tour. You’re not gonna be the guide, though.
I'm curious about this one myself.
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>>4894108
>Sure, you’ll tag along with the history tour. You’re not gonna be the guide, though.
>>
>>4894108
>Sure, you’ll tag along with the history tour. You’re not gonna be the guide, though.
Finally some city worldbuilding. And nice of Izumi to give the kids some good pointers.
>>
History it is! This city's got a fair amount of it.

If at any particular point you spot a contradiction from earlier, presume it invalid as of now. I'd done a lot more actual history-crafting recently.

Writing.
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>>4894108
>>4894109
>>4894110
>>4894115
>>4894117
You shrug. “Alright. If you’re doing the history thing, I’ll tag along with the history tour. Not gonna be the guide, though.” Not that you’d be able to. Fortunately, it seems like Izumi is more than happy to retain that role, judging by how she seems to light up at that.

“Excellent!” She even gives a clap of appreciation. “Now, it’ll take some time to get around the entirety of the city, but we’ll keep things to a general overlook. We’ll take the rail and simply go clockwise. Gives me time to explain a few things and let you ask a few questions.”

Tami raises her hand immediately. “I have one. Are we going to have a test on this?”

“Perhaps,” Izumi says playfully. “Best you pay attention, hm?” She’s practically skipping. “Besides, there’s no reason you shouldn’t know this.”

“When did YOU learn it?” you find yourself asking.

“Oh, some time back. I was interested in where I’d found myself, and so I did research.” Ah. Fair enough. “Now, let’s get going. Not everything will be open at all hours, you know.” With that, she motions for the lot of them to follow her. Yourself likely included. “Now, while we’re on our way, we can start with the Grand Pavilion.”

“Oh, we know a little about that!” Tami notes.

“Yeah. ‘Parently it was the first place in the Intersection, right?” Noran asks.

Izumi nods in response. “That it is. It was and is the centerpoint of the Intersection, and was the initial area the Deal Makers designed. It holds the oldest buildings in the city, and several of the business proprietors have been here since close to the beginning!”

“Wait, so how old IS the place?” Noran asks. “We was told it was around 500 years old or so. Not much at all.”
“Wait, wasn’t it more than that?” Tami asks, turning to her friend. “I thought it was waaaaay older.”

“Ah, maybe for this current expansion,” Izumi corrects. “The Intersection tends to be expanded in...well, think of it kind of like rings on a tree. Although that may not be the best explanation...but I digress.” She waves it away as you walk on. “The point is. It’s only expanded when there’s deemed enough Motes to finish a predetermined amount of work. It’s not done bit by bit. So there’s sections to it. We’re currently in the middle of creating a NEW section, along with making some improvements, but the most recent complete one is only around 500 standard years old.”

“Ohhh.” they all chorus. “Are we gonna visit it?” they ask as one.

Izumi flinches- naturally because they’d just gotten BACK, but she shrugs. “Perhaps. The Grand Pavilion is incredibly large, and impossible to see everything in one day. But the fact that it was originally the ENTIRE Intersection is why everything’s so clustered together, and why there’s so many different floors. Any other questions?”

Of course there are. They’re children. They’re bound to have TONS of questions.

>What questions do they (you) ask as you ride through to the Learner’s District?
>>
Ask your questions. It's viciously hot where I am, and it's hard to focus, gonna be honest. But I will respond tomorrow. Maybe. I might just be trying to not bake in my own home.
>>
>>4894306
Do we need to vote on a set of questions or is it free-for-all like the Q&A thread?
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>>4894311
Free for all provided it's related to the topic at hand. Figured I'd give you the opportunity to learn as much as you care to, plus anything I think of.
>>
>>4894305
Well, here's mine then.

> What exactly are Motes? Can you go into further detail as best as you can?
I know they're pretty much normal currency to us, but I'm curious on why they're valued as such. Are there any other uses beside expanding the Intersection itself?
> Are there any big non-Outgoers names that we should know about?
> Do local products get exported at all?
> Do we have any holidays?
> How can Outgoers keep track of time in the Intersection while they're on a job?
> Are there any specific etiquettes between Outgoers we should watch out for?

> Does the Intersection have any video games?
>>
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>>4894305
Well, since you're rewriting Intersection's lore, then let's start with the basics.
>What does each District do, what kind of buildings are there?
>Are there any business, science or other conferences in the Learner District? If outgoers have their training center, then where do other people can apply for further education and training?
>Most of the food is delivered here from other worlds by dealmakers - does it include livestock? Have there ever been food/water shortages?
I assume all the waste goes to the Crafters District where it's recycled.
>Where does non-recyclable/dangerous waste go?
I think this is the first mention of 'rail', so
>What types of public transport is in use in the Intersection? Is there any air traffic at all?
>Are there any floating structures in the Intersection?
>Who were the first civilians of the Intersection and what was their role? How did they contribute to the Intersection, what were their jobs?
>>
>>4894460
apparently FutureSights come with some videogames preinstalled (#81)
>>
>>4894305
Hmm, one more. I think this is important enough.

>Who designed/made the FutureSights? What organization currently is maintaining its' distribution and revisions?
>>
>>4894305
Might as well put as many questions as I can for some lore:
> how did the pavilion manage to organize the residents at first?
>Who is the current head/manger of the pavilion?
>when did the intersection start expanding from the grand pavilion? Who started that?
>any interesting major events that happened in the grand pavilion?
> When did the other districts come about? Which got built first?
>Give us a short history of each major district.
>Who is in charge of the electricity/energy? How do they power the city?
>How about the water? Where does the water they use for bathing come from?
>When did they implement internet and telecommunication?
>where do certain cultures cluster in? Like Oriental, swords and sorcery, sci-fi/high tech, anthro animals, supernaturals and etc, what districts do they live on?
>Who's the most numerous culture/demographic in the Intersection right now?
>Do charities even exist here?
>Where are the farms? Where do they get the food? Where do they get fish, meat, vegetables,fruits and all that?
>Was there ever a time the Intersection faced a shortage with food, water or electricity?
>Do "unions" or something like that exist here?
>Are there stock brokers here?
>Who/which group was the first to take on cultural things like art, music, dance, writing, philosophy, movies, shows and the like or was it different groups doing that at the same time?
>How's the video game industry here?

You don't have to put this in the story but, there are paparazzi in the Intersection right? It just occurred to me that Miranda is going to get an important role in a movie and with more media exposure comes annoying reporters.
>>
Note: I didn't mean to infer I'm rewriting EVERYTHING, but I'll do what I can. Expect something later.
>>
And boy howdy do they. Almost as soon as you board the train. You largely just sit back as the barrage comes.

“So, we know about the important Outgoers an’ stuff,” Tami starts, “but we didn’t learn much about any bigger non-Outgoers. Do you know about any?”

“Aside from the obvious one in the Phoenix?” Izumi asks. “Mostly perhaps Mal the Viper. He was an Import by way of The Phoenix coercing him in exchange for escaping death. He's on a short leash, but he runs the Grand Pavilion. Aside from that, there’s no one too important, I think...although that’s obviously subject to interpretation,” she admits. “I’m sure there are several civilians that are rather important that I’m unaware of because I’ve never had cause to learn of them.”

No, yeah, he was the major one. You just sit back as you watch the scenery go by. Skyrail was easily the fastest way to get around if you didn’t have a personal vehicle; taxis were too iffy, and buses were okay, but they took forever. You got to pass up all the stoplights, at least. The floating devices were annoying, if necessary. Glad not much else had to just...hover up there. Streetlights, maybe, but that was really it.

“So, we were told that the Grand Pavilion was the start of it all an’ that the Deal-Makers decided to make everything later to make room for more people moving in,” Tami starts. “Buuuut they said that it was the Learner’s District that was first and everything else came afterwards, and THEN I heard somewhere else that it was the Crafter’s District that came first. Which is it?”

“Oh? Hm. Well, from what I’m aware, actually, they largely came about at the same time. But the Crafter's District was the largest in sheer size for quite a while due to all the production placed there. That might be what you’re thinking of.”

“Oh.” She doesn’t seem happy about that. “So what’s the newest?”

“The Festival District, actually,” she answers. “It was only relatively recently that the Festival District overtook the Crafter’s District for size, although it was always well populated.” She spares a glance out the window. “Shouldn’t be much longer now.”

“Ummmm…” It’s Harp who speaks up this time. “Iiiif I didn’t want to be an Outgoer after all...theeen is there anywhere else I could try to learn things? Like in th’ Learner’s District?” Hm. You’re not sure what she means by that…

...although Izumi seems to catch on. “Ah, you mean if there’s any sort of training center for general education? Somewhat,” she informs. “Generally, things here work in an apprenticeship system more than anything else, barring The Care House. There ARE smaller specialist schools, but I couldn’t tell you much about most of those.”

You couldn’t either. The train slows to a stop as the passengers stand up, and shuffle out. The kids don’t seem too enthused, but they do seem to enjoy the scenery of the various domes and surprisingly angular buildings. The Learner’s District isn’t for much beyond that, but they have style.

(cont.)
>>
>>4896895
“Are we going out there?” Tami asks, but Izumi shakes her head.

“Not today,” is the response. “But, if you’re interested, then perhaps we can talk about looking around one of them either tomorrow or another day.” They seem only slightly disappointed, fortunately. “Alright, then,” she announces as the doors close. “The Learner’s District isn’t much else, so now we move on to the Crafter’s District. This is one of the most important districts, as you might’ve figured out by now. It’s where a great deal of the base material for most of our construction and creation is transmuted.”

“Oh, that’s cool!” Tami seems interested. “What’s the difference between there and anywhere else?”

“The general purpose,” she exclaims. “While people can craft statues, weapons, and whatnot for specialized, outgoing use or for other personal uses, they still need the general resources to craft them, as I mentioned. This is also where a large portion of ‘local’ structures are planned, such as the buildings throughout the city or the devices utilized. Mostly a great deal of mundane, but essential, works are concepted here, and more than a few are made. You’ll largely find warehouses dedicated to building planning, stone and metal storage, and whatnot here, along with a few smaller things meant for the betterment of the city.”

“So...wait, how does the increasing the land thing work if they make other stuff and put it here?” Noran asks. “You said they didn’t expand until they felt like they could do it all at once- oh.” He seems to understand as the sentence leaves his mouth.

And Izumi confirms. “Right. Just because they don’t have enough now for expansion doesn’t mean they never will. There’s always a portion of motes that is allocated for material construction- and once the minimum for land expansion is reached, they already have building materials and plans ready to go. Any other questions?”

“Make sure to keep it to this or what’s coming up next, so...that’d be the Eatery District,” you mention. “We don’t want to get sidetracked too much with questions.”

That doesn’t much dissuade them.

>What questions do they have? (8 total, please. I don't think I could handle that many questions again.)
>>
>>4896911
Learned a lot from that.

> Do local products get exported at all?
> How can Outgoers keep track of time in the Intersection while they're on a job?
> Are there any specific etiquettes between Outgoers we should watch out for? Or in-jokes?
Mostly repeats, but I'll add in a new(ish) one.
> When exactly did the Intersection start taking in civilians? Why?

I'd ask for
>Who created the FutureSights? What organization currently is maintaining its' distribution and revisions?
too but the kids are too green to know about it so it's too OOC.

That leaves 4 more for other anons?
>>
>>4896911
With so many inhabitants with different physiological traits and quirks, there's got to be some stuff that is dangerous for consumption for some folks or products infested with something.
>Is there a type of food or other products that are prohibited for import in the Intersection?
>Do we import livestock, birds, fish and other animals? Are there any breeding facilities?
>Are food processing plants located here or in the Crafter District?
>Who regulates and oversees sanitation and safety in the Intersection?
>Were there any pest infestations or disease outbreaks in the history of Intersection? How stuff like that is handled here?
For Miranda and Izumi
>What's your favorite place there? What kind of cuisine do you prefer?
>>
>>4896955
oh, I thought we were supposed to ask about Eatery District related questions only.
>>
>>4896911
>Where does water and electricity come from?
>where does the waste go and is it recycled?
>>
>>4896911
>>4896935
>>4896955
>>4896986
“So, if they make so much, do they ever send anything out? Like...I guess for tradin’ and stuff?” Noran asks. “I remember that used ta be a thing ‘afore…”

She shakes her head. “Not on any regular basis. A Deal-Maker may occasionally make a deal where they exchange something made in the Intersection for something they want, but it's always replaceable- and never anything important to the Intersection's secrecy or access.”

“Well, do we bring anything in? Like animals and all that?” is the followup. “Cause, where I used ta be there was whole farms and junk, an’ I haven’t heard o’ any here…”

She shrugs. “Mostly, yes. However, the underground levels of The Intersection are for food and water cultivation and sanitation, you see. It’s rather off-limits for all but those that monitor and work there, and THAT is a rather exclusive club. While we have the ability to make our own, locally sourced meat is often considered a delicacy and a sign of wealth. Most meats you find are those that have been brought in and processed quickly and time-preserved in various centers around the Crafter’s District. That said, enough food tends to come in via trades that there's enough to go around, and there are certain smaller animals that can be cultivated on a smaller scale for certain restaurants.“

“For those that can afford it, anyway,” you can’t help but tack on. That earns you a glare from Izumi, but you just grin and shrug. Not like you’re wrong.

“ANYWAY,” Izumi continues, “Yes, they’re rather expensive, but the imported foodstuffs are more than serviceable. There are a countless number of worlds with creatures whose lives would, sadly, affect nothing and no one locally were they to vanish.”

“Wait, so do Outgoers handle that, too?” Tami asks.

Izumi nods...and then kind of waves her hand in a ‘somewhat’ manner. Yeah, it’s kinda hard to describe to kids. “In a sense...those are more Courier positions, but to be quite frank, those kinds of tasks are generally left to...how do I put this delicately…”

Ugh. Softhearted… “No hopers,” you speak up, headless of the attention you might get. “Folks that try for a position as an Outgoer and bomb so hard that the whole system goes ‘nope, never happening in any reasonable stretch of time’. The Intersection hates wasting anyone, though, so what generally happens is they formally get slotted into a Courier category, but really they’re just-”

“Please don’t,” Izumi groans. She knew full well what you were about to say.

(cont.)
>>
>>4898581
You kinda still want to, though. “It’s not like it’s THAT disrespectful, and they’re important. I just think the name’s funny,” you admit.

“That doesn’t mean you SHOULD-” she starts, but you’re just gonna go ahead anyway.

“Most folks call them ‘Hunting Dogs’ behind their back,” you explain. “Cause it’s not polite to call them that to their face. Because all they do is go to a couple of worlds without sapients and hunt whatever animals grow there, and haul their catches back. It’s really more of a grinding day job than an ‘Outgoer’ position with a lot of risk. They get a buncha easy gear and have regular shifts, and a buncha other rules besides. Still don’t get paid anywhere near as much as us, and they work WAY longer.”

“Ohhhhh,” Noran seems satisfied by that answer. “But it’s safer?”

“Yeah, tons,” you shrug. He didn’t seem that interested, just curious. “From what I’m aware of, it’s a lot of just carving up dumb animals and bringing back a few live ones for cultivation and breeding. Nothing too special.”

“Is there anythin’ they AIN’T allowed to bring back?” He continues.

“Awful curious, ain’tcha?” you ask, raising an eyebrow.

“He’s allllllways asking where the meatloaf in the cafeteria came from,” is Tami’s word on the subject as she rolls her eyes. “He doesn’t TRUST it.”

“Hey, have you SEEN the stuff?!” he counters. “It’s all...weird. Loafy. Meat don’t look like that!”

“It totally does here!” Tami rebuts. You can see Harp nodding ever so slightly in the back, though she doesn’t seem to want to interfere as they start arguing about good foods versus bad foods. Izumi just sighs, but doesn’t move to break up the argument. It’s a bit until the Eatery District, anyway.

"Tell him that there won't be a buncha rats or nothin' just because the meat smells weird!" Tami demands at one point.

Izumi just sighs. "No, there won't. There hasn't been ANYTHING like a major infestation on a grand scale in the history of the Intersection so far. Perhaps a few places end up having a non-sapient rodent problem here and there, but that's largely it. Anything else is up to IntSec, and THAT doesn't happen often."

"Intersection Security," you explain to questioning eyes. "They mostly serve as peacekeepers in case any unpowered civs get too rowdy or try anything stupid. They don't see much action for that, so they're kinda jack of all trades."

"Oh," they both say. Then immediately go right back to arguing. Oy.

(cont.)
>>
>>4898590
There’s at least a full 5 more minutes of verbal sparring, before suddenly Tami turns to you and Izumi. “Hey, what’s YOUR favorite foods?”

You both blink at the sudden shift in tone, but you recover quickly enough as the various billboards and advertisements of the Eatery District come into view. “A lot of seafood stuff, actually. Fish, shrimps, that and pasta. That kinda thing, though I’m not at all adverse to red meat or most else. I’ll eat a good steak same as a lot of others.”

“I tend to prefer lighter fare,” Izumi says. “More fruits and vegetables than anything else, but I do eat seafood and a few bird types as well. It’s...well, to be honest, I tend to prefer more...customary fare, though I’ll perhaps try something new once in a while.”

“Actually,” she says as the train stops, “I know we mentioned we’re on a bit of a schedule, but I think we could afford a bit of time to eat, if you care to.” THAT was met with some nods and muted cheers. Grinning she turns to you. “Miranda?” She looks to you, but you just shrug.

“I don’t mind. Where to?” you ask.

“Ooh, ooh! Take us to one of your favorite places!” Tami suggests.

“Are you sure you don’t want to walk, maybe see what might jump out at your yourselves?” Izumi offers. That sends them deep into thought.

> Suggest they go to one of Izumi’s preferred restaurants. You know she’ll be grateful.
> You’ve got a place in mind they might like- one of your favorites, in fact.
> Agree with letting them walk and try for themselves; that’s how they grow, after all.
> Other
>>
>>4898591
> Suggest they go to one of Izumi’s preferred restaurants. You know she’ll be grateful.
Very intriguing. So there are drop-outs.
Is C or D the lowest rank possible?

We kinda dumbed the kids on her, so let's give her this one.
>>
>>4898591
> Suggest they go to one of Izumi’s preferred restaurants. You know she’ll be grateful.

Miranda is right, the "hunting dogs" are kinda important, seems like a good job for former game hunters and low powered explorers. Also, it has good chance of discovering other resources like minerals, rocks, metals and other things in which they can gain more motes from (unless that is relegated to another group). Seems like a good and maybe low risk job imo, they're another useful cog that helps the Intersection power on.
Well, yeah I guess the shame of being shitty outgoers is in the air but at least they're still earning cash.
>>
>>4898591
>> Suggest they go to one of Izumi’s preferred restaurants. You know she’ll be grateful.
>>
>>4898591
>You’ve got a place in mind they might like- one of your favorites, in fact.

We can't get in THAT much trouble for bringing a bunch of kids to femboy hooters, right?
>>
>>4898591
>> You’ve got a place in mind they might like- one of your favorites, in fact.
>>
>>4898591
>Suggest they go to one of Izumi’s preferred restaurants. You know she’ll be grateful.
>>
>>4899165
that just made me think that miranda would definitely go to those women only clubs where a bunch of beautiful men/strippers would pamper her and ask her how her day was.
>>
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>>4898591
> Suggest they go to one of Izumi’s preferred restaurants. You know she’ll be grateful.
Hopefully her place can make something close to pic related.
>>
Writing!

>>4900880
Yup.
>>
>>4898591
>>4898611
>>4898657
>>4898687
>>4900231
>>4900880
“Y’know, Izumi’s generally got pretty solid taste,” you volunteer. “I don’t think you’d go very wrong with going to one of her favorite places.” Izumi seems mildly surprised, but grateful nonetheless.

Fortunately, the kids agree with a cheer, so you all exit the train and hit the streets, Izumi leading. The station was built around some of the bigger restaurants in The Intersection, so you’re quickly bombarded by neon and animated signs advertising seafood, barbeque, and other foods in large, multi-story buildings. Izumi, however, walks right past them all. “Where I’m taking you all is a bit more...sincere,” she explains. “Not that most of these places aren’t good, but I tend to prefer a bit more...solemnity.”

It’s a couple blocks as you weave around the pedestrians heading to and fro- evening rush, seems like. You have to remember to keep the quartet together, especially when Tami seems surprisingly interested in a bardic fellow trying to busk. Not very well recommended, but...well, none of your business. Where you eventually find yourself is a place you haven’t been very often, but know it’s pretty good- ‘Ai’s.’ Simple name, but meaningful. It was a small place- not quite a hole in the wall or a shack, but it was far smaller than a number of other surrounding restaurants. “This is an acquaintance of mine, but she’s often very busy, so we don’t talk much,” Izumi explains. “But, she’s quite a chef. Always what she wanted to be- always loved putting smiles on people’s faces with food.” She looks at you and half-shrugs with a grin. “A bae sort.”

You can’t help but chuckle at that. “Bound to be good, then.” Bae, or rather BAE around here meant ‘Best Afterlife Ever’- it was a bit derogatory, but...well, essentially meant those that firmly believed they were dead and in something of a heaven or paradise. They weren’t, but those sorts tended to be particularly stubborn. In this case, seemed like she was one of those that lived to cook and whatnot. So yeah, you could see why she’d probably feel like that, considering the endless types and sorts she could attempt to cater to. “After you, then.”

(cont.)
>>
>>4902734
There’s no line or anything, thank goodness. Upon entering, however, the place seems rather welcoming, actually. There’s gentle blues and yellows, and it all has a bit of a beach or undersea theme, if you had to guess. The walls are awash in paintings of gentle waves and seaside vistas. The seating seems plush and comfortable, too, and the customers eating there all seem content and happy enough. There’s even a small bar area. You can barely see the kitchen itself in the back, but there’s a number of people helping with serving and all that. A young, green-haired girl practically skips up to you. “Hello! Table for 6?”

“Yes, please…” Judging by how Izumi looks, coming here was the right choice. She seems so relaxed here.

With the way the kids are looking at her, though, you know they're about to ask more questions, though...

>...Which resulted in her telling them how she met Ai.
>...In particular, how the Eatery District came about and got as big as it did.
>...and that ended with her talking more about how Outgoer work tends to mean being open minded- including with food.
>Other
>>
>>4902752
>>...and that ended with her talking more about how Outgoer work tends to mean being open minded- including with food.
>>
>>4902752
>...In particular, how the Eatery District came about and got as big as it did.
>...and that ended with her talking more about how Outgoer work tends to mean being open minded- including with food.
loredumps
>>
>>4902752
>...In particular, how the Eatery District came about and got as big as it did.
>>
>>4902752
>>...and that ended with her talking more about how Outgoer work tends to mean being open minded- including with food.
>>
Writing!
>>
>>4902752
>>4902756
>>4902757
>>4902767
...and that ended with her talking more about how Outgoer work tends to mean being open minded- including with food. A few questions about foods and habits had eventually turned into a longer story about how Outgoer work didn’t always let you enjoy the finer things in life. That was true no matter where or who you were; Izumi was no exception. “Some times you have to live off the land, and that’s far less appealing than it might seem at first glance,” she warns. “Skinning animals is a skill unto itself, one that you’d be surprised to learn that many Outgoers don’t have- or didn’t until the situation forced itself upon them. And that’s not even to mention the other factors involved in field preparation of an animal.”

“...but that sounds kinda gross.” Tami notes. She’s not wrong, but…

“Well, unfortunately, there’s little choice in the matter in those cases,” Izumi says with a bit of amusement. “Now, that’s not saying you have to deal with it all the time. Just it’s something to prepare for inevitably happening,” she points out. “Even if you’re in a more urban environment, it may be that you’re not in a position to just order out. In which case, you have to prepare to make due with the worst.”

“Wait, what do you mean worst?” Tami says confusedly.

Izumi just shrugs. You’re about to mention exactly what they mean when- “Heeeey!” A cheery voice comes out of nowhere, and the lot of you turn to see a pink-haired, teenaged-looked young lady in a chef’s outfit. Her eyes are practically sparkling, and her smile is directed squarely at Izumi. “I haven’t seen you in ages! Where have you been?!”

Izumi, for her part, lets out a chuckle. “Oh, here and there. Working, mostly. I’d ask the same of you, but I know what you’ve been doing.”

“Yup! It’s been another good day. A good number of customers, and they all left happy!” She seems particularly proud of that- reasonable, you suppose.

“As always,” Izumi adds, before turning back to the rest of you. “Ah- sorry about that. This is Ai, the owner and proprietor- and good friend of mine.”

“Hello!” she greets. “I noticed you while I was waiting for the latest loaves to bake, so I thought I’d come out and say hi!” A round of greetings are exchanged, and almost immediately they get lost in conversation, with Izumi mentioning how she got her start here and began with little more than rice balls, and Ai trying to deflect such praise. Not enough, if you were to say. Especially not after she mentions that coming up soon is her 150th anniversary of opening Ai’s and gave a subtle hint to drop by for a discount.

(cont.)
>>
>>4902884

Orders are taken, and Ai dismisses herself to get it to the back. There’s a bit more in the way of casual conversation before the food’s delivered, but it’s pleasant nothing. Soon, however, Katsudon, Gyoza, takoyaki, and more end up filling the table as she returns, personally delivering the orders. Soon, there's an amiable silence as the lot of you dig in. However, it’s when she comes back to check on how everyone is doing that the kids ask her something you didn’t expect.

“So if your food’s so good, why aren’t you so much more popular?” It’s Tami, of course, and even the others seem aware that it wasn’t the nicest thing to say- though they don’t speak against it, clearly just as curious.

For her part, Ai stiffens only slightly. “Well, I- that’s really just because I feel I can’t give as many people the care and attention they deserve with their meals if I were to expand. You aren’t the first to mention it, however…”

It’s about then that there’s an odd feeling that comes over you- not a warning bell, but something close as you see her fidget slightly. Not in the embarrassed way, but possibly...something else. A glance at Izumi has you realize that she might not have noticed- she’s busy chastising Tami for her statement, even as Ai waves it off, and retreats to the back. You're not sure how to take that, but...well, it's Izumi's friend, not yours to worry about.

>...still probably should mention it to her at least. You can't really spare time to help with whatever it is, but...
>Eh, you're doing so much already. Why the heck not add something else to the list? Izumi would appreciate it. Probably.
>Blah. It's probably nothing. Keep quiet, aside from maybe suggesting you all bail early. Might be awkward.
>Other
>>
>>4902889
>...still probably should mention it to her at least. You can't really spare time to help with whatever it is, but...
>>
>>4902889
>...still probably should mention it to her at least. You can't really spare time to help with whatever it is, but...
>>
>>4902889
>...still probably should mention it to her at least. You can't really spare time to help with whatever it is, but...
>>
>>4902889
>>Eh, you're doing so much already. Why the heck not add something else to the list? Izumi would appreciate it. Probably.
>>
>>4902889
changing>>4902907
>Eh, you're doing so much already. Why the heck not add something else to the list? Izumi would appreciate it. Probably.
>>
>>4902889
>>4902901
yeah changing to
>Eh, you're doing so much already. Why the heck not add something else to the list? Izumi would appreciate it. Probably.
Because we're such a good samaritan. Wonder what the hell was that? Some kind of mana-based cooking aid?

And damn she's older than Miranda.
>>
>>4902889
>...still probably should mention it to her at least. You can't really spare time to help with whatever it is, but...
>>
Ah, I should've been started writing.
>>
>>4902889
>>4902917
>>4902923
>>4902933
Sighing inwardly, you resolve to tell her. Frankly, it’s a minor thing atop the growing amount of stuff you're doing already. Why the heck not add something else to the list? Izumi would appreciate it. Probably. At least, she’ll probably jump at the chance to help her friend. But that’ll have to come later. Right now, you still have food in front of you, and kids you need to keep an eye on.

Fortunately, the scolding that Tami got seems to have convinced the rest of them to be quiet for now, clearly embarrassed. Tami in particular seems humbled, which you have to admit is a rare thing for the sheepkid. But she doesn’t so much as say a peep as the food is finished. Fortunately, Ai doesn’t skimp on the customer service, as she comes back out again with drink refills, with a smile that, to your surprise, doesn’t seem too forced.

Once Tami notices, though, you can practically see her blush through her fur as she mumbles. “...m’sorry.”

Ai, fortunately, just giggles. “No, no, it’s fine! It wasn’t expected, but...I suppose that WOULD be a reasonable question for anyone who didn’t really know. Besides, you’re a child. It’s your job to ask questions!” Yeah, it seems like she sincerely doesn’t take offense. At least, on the surface.

Before much longer, however, it’s time to leave. The bill is paid (and you can’t help but notice that what’s on it doesn’t quite add up to how much you’d THOUGHT it would), and the kids all give their sincere thanks and goodbyes. “We really appreciate you taking care of us,” Izumi says as you all get up. “I’ll be sure to come by more often.”

“Oh, don’t push yourself!” Ai insists, but the wink tells you otherwise. “It was nice meeting you all!” After that, goodbyes are given- although before you all leave you insist they visit the bathrooms. True to children form, they all scramble upon realizing what their bodies might be telling them. That’s what gives you and Izumi a bit of time alone…

“I don’t think she’s entirely being forthright with you,” you admit. “She looked...nervous earlier when Tami made that little faux pas. Not offended, more like…” how best to put it…? “She was reminded of something she’d rather not remember.”

That, as expected, gets Izumi thinking. “That’s...worrisome. I wonder if there’s something going on with the business, then? Perhaps she’s having financials issues. Hm. I’ll have to see if there’s anything I can do to help.”

“We,” you correct.

Of course, that gets you an odd look. “Pardon?”

“She’s your friend, right?” you point out. “Well, I figure that means she’s worth helping. You tend to have a good judgment of character.”

“My...I...wouldn’t have expected that from you,” she admits. “But it’s more than welcome. Perhaps we can confront her in the coming days. There’s still much for us to do…”

“Right, I’ve got a pretty full schedule, so we’ll have to approach it casually for now.” It’s then you look behind her. “Oh, they're back. Talk later.”

(cont.)
>>
>>4903106
With that, you leave, and instead of taking the railway, Izumi suggests the bus. Probably because the buses that stay around the Festival District tend to have a more...well, festive appearance. She figures it’d be fun to see their reactions, and you suppose that would be a nice memory. Naturally, of course, they go about asking about it themselves.

“The Festival District is...well, it’s not the most venerable District by any means,” she starts, “but it very much IS the most popular. Oftentimes new, eh, ‘transplants’ tend to be rather...inconsolable. The Festival District is meant to allay their heartache, at least a bit. Interestingly, the name is a bit archaic, you see. Originally, back when it first came about, there was a particular lack of technology in The Intersection. This meant that for individuals to have some way to relax, have fun, and de-stress, the idea of near perpetual festivals was brought about. Hence the name. This lasted largely until more worlds were discovered, and more technological media came about. Parades are still common, but they’re far from perpetual. I wasn’t there for those times, mind, but either way, the name stuck.”

“I’ve never been,” Noran admits. Harp nods in agreement.

“I went there once,” Tami admits. “It was really loud and confusin’.”

“Yes, it tends to be a bit overwhelming for first timers- and especially without a chaperone,” Izumi agrees. “But, we’ll be with you, and we’ll be very careful to make sure you’re kept safe. Now, any questions?”

>Keep it to five, please.
>>
>>4903109
>Tell us about one of the more memorable parades you saw.
>Do big categories like music and sports get their own sections/areas here?
>Are there any arcades?
>What are some of the most major attractions?
Asking about the most well-known places for this one.
>What games/places that are popular with Outgoers in this district? What are your favorites?
>>
>>4903109
This>>4903187
>>
>>4903109
There obviously have arcades here and videogame related stuff. No one would mind if I slip another question in then, yeah?
>What is the most memorable event here that you've attended?
>>
>>4903109
>>4903187
>>4903275

“What was the BEST parade you ever saw?!” Tami asks. That puts a spark in the eyes of all involved, and judging by how they’re looking at you too, the question was meant for you both.

“Not quite what I meant…” Izumi mutters, but sighs good naturedly. “I suppose if I had to say any, it was one that seemed to be more of a celebration. It was a while ago, and it was...well, surprisingly, it wasn’t anything like home. It was more like...like a moving circus,” she explains as you see her memory turn back. “Three lanes of fanfare, and waving banners all in golds and oranges. A great deal of acrobatics, and synchronized stunts. Animals that followed commands to the letter, and rich, powerful trumpets and drums. It was all...so very impressive- I hadn’t seen anything like it before. Honestly, I caught it after it’d started- I’m not even sure what it was for. But I haven’t seen anything like it since.”

“As for me?” you volunteer. “I’d say one of the ones that was a bit more...regimented. It was...some sort of exhibition thing, I think, for dancing and music.” It’s hard to recall- you weren’t a big parade person, but you could appreciate form and function when you saw it. “I want to say it was, at least, but I distinctly remember seeing marching sword performances, so I can’t remember. I just remember being impressed by it.” It didn’t sound as dazzling as Izumi’s, but it was interesting nonetheless.

“So where’s the sports and music stuff?” Noran asks. Mewla seems to bob around as though dancing- there IS some faint music playing, so maybe she’s just listening to that, really…

“Well, there’s a stadium further down- it’s near the train stop, but it’s not exceptionally huge. It’s a pretty all-purpose place, actually. You can see anything from old-fashioned sword fights to concerts to any number of sports,” she points out. “It’s rather multifaceted.”

(cont.)
>>
>>4904553
“Umm…” Oh, hey, Harp finally is speaking up. You’d been wondering how long she’d remain silent. “Ssso, that’d be the nicest place to go? Or, uh...is there other places? Nice? To go?” Uncertain but trying as always, Harpsicorie.

“That YOU’RE allowed to go to? Yeah, there’s a few good places,” you shrug. “I mean, there’s the POPULAR places, like the Little NeverEnd Dance Hall if you just like dancing, the Backyard Playground for younger kids- but that’s basically like a massive playpen…” What else…? There were plenty of places, but not all of them- a good majority of them, if you’re being honest with yourself- weren’t exactly child-friendly. Wait… “Oh yeah, there’s this Holotech Mystery Theater if you’re up for that. Uses similar tech as the OTC, but it places you in the middle of a basic mystery. Lets you solve ‘crimes’ and stuff.” You’d actually tried it out once or twice, but it was a bit simple for your tastes. Although, thinking about it, it might actually be good for them to practice investigative skills, really…it was more of a relaxed thing and VERY exaggerated. Last you checked, there was even hardly any combat.

“Ooooh! So, do Outgoers ever play those kinda games an’ stuff?” Tami asks. Seems like she might’ve caught onto the idea as well.

“I couldn’t tell you for sure,” you admit. “I’ve only recently tried to do the whole ‘socializing’ thing. Izumi?” You turn to her, only to get a shrug. “Well, I guess that answers that as best we can. I mean, I’m sure there’s stuff out there they play and hang out at, but I couldn’t tell you what exactly.” Besides, the only thing you’ve ever heard most Outgoers do with any consistency is go out for drinks or other stuff not exactly fit for kids. Well, you’ve got some people to ask now, so maybe it’s something you could answer later.

“I wanna try the mystery thing!” Tami says eagerly. The other two seem less enthused, but they’re not denying it...well, it's something to consider. It's an involved affair, those things. At least, you're pretty sure they are. Tomorrow was already a full day for you. You need to catch up with Owlia, and see how things are coming with Pecker, and start getting set up for that movie, to boot.

...geez, you're almost more busy than you are on jobs. But for now, you've got a bit more time, at least. IF you want to bother.

>Probably be time soon to corral them and bring them home, really. The Festival District later at 'night' is no place for kids...
>There's probably an evening event that you can find. Like a fire performance. Would be a good capstone to the night.
>You'll let Izumi keep a handle on things, you suppose. She's been doing a solid job of it so far. No reason to just yank control.
>Other
>>
>>4904555
>Probably be time soon to corral them and bring them home, really. The Festival District later at 'night' is no place for kids...
Yeah we probably will need to get to bed early.
>>
>>4904555
>You'll let Izumi keep a handle on things, you suppose. She's been doing a solid job of it so far. No reason to just yank control.
>>
>>4904555
>>You'll let Izumi keep a handle on things, you suppose. She's been doing a solid job of it so far. No reason to just yank control.
>>
>>4904555
>You'll let Izumi keep a handle on things, you suppose. She's been doing a solid job of it so far. No reason to just yank control.
>>
>>4904555
>You'll let Izumi keep a handle on things, you suppose. She's been doing a solid job of it so far. No reason to just yank control.
>>
Writing shortly!
>>
Also what the HELL is this Captcha?
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>>4906727
Exactly my reaction when it popped up 2 days ago. Got used to it though, wasn't that bad.
>>
>>4904555
>>4904816
>>4904848
>>4905506
>>4905615
“Up to you,” you say simply as you turn to Izumi. “You’re the one that brought them out here and all.” Besides, if they’re up late, then so much the better for you. Means they’ll sleep in while you get your morning stuff done. Not that you’re going to say that out loud- you don’t want them to think you’re just abandoning them or anything crazy like that.

Izumi seems to give it consideration, at the least. “I think we can spare at least a bit of time. They DO tend to have some rather nice displays around now. A nice facsimile of evening. I think they’ll like it.” Oh, neat. “In fact, there’s one in particular that I think will be rather appreciated by you kids. If you’d all follow me?”

The lot of you end up walking down the street for a while, having to keep your charges from walking into random revelers and general pedestrians, and also having to avoid street performers like various dancers, painters, singers, and other individuals. It’s always a bit of a sensory overload for newbies, you think. But Izumi seems to know exactly where she’s going. What you end up going to is an outside set, but it’s the people on it that's the interesting bit. There’s a pair of...well, what it seems to be magicians. Species is uncertain due to their costumes- they’re both dressed like near stereotypical magicians; they both have sparkling starry capes and robes, along with floppy hats. Wands as well. They’re rather brightly colored, and one has a much longer hairdo than the other that makes you think of toothpaste. And the two seem to be...arguing? “Now, now, Alec, you should know that haste makes waste!” the long-haired one chastises, wagging her finger. Higher above her is a floating sphere of water? Huh. Just out here, using magic? That’s...unexpected. The Intersection generally halts that kinda thing...

She has an arrogant air, and the other girl seems rather put out- but a closer look tells why- she’s drenched in water, it seems. “There’s a matter of PRESENTATION to be had!” Why she got loud on that part, you don’t know. “It takes confidence! Poise!” She’s striking poses for the crowd for whatever reason as she raises her wand. But you also notice that, standing behind her, the other girl has her wand carefully aimed at the bubble, which is slowly lowering. “And most of all-”

And suddenly the wand pierces the aqua bubble, which pops, drenching her as well. The crowd laughs at her as she’s soaked, and the other magician seems to wave her wand to clean herself in moments. “Ego?” the girl snarks back. “Because you’ve got plenty of that for sure, Selene.”

As it goes on, you quickly come to realize that it’s intentional- it’s an open air comedy sketch show combined with a low-level magic show; the point isn’t to marvel at the tricks themselves, it’s to laugh at the two sniping at each other and subtly sabotaging each other’s tricks in humorous ways. It has the kids laughing in short order.

(cont.)
>>
>>4906889
And y’know what? That’s fine. You appreciate that.

Riiiight up until they start asking for volunteers. “Now, leeet’s see. We will need some bold and capable vic-volunteers!” You’re sure the slip was intentional. Surely. “After all, these tricks are meant to astound and bewilder, even here! They are FAR from for the faint of heart! Let’s seeee…you!” With that, she points at Tami intensely. “Yes, yes! I can see a bold heart behind that expression- a mighty soul waiting to burst forth!” She’s puffing her up really big…

The other girl sighs. “Fine, but if you get one, I get one. How abouuut…you! The young girl to her?” Wait...Harpsicorie? Harp flinches in surprise. “Yeah! Don’t worry, her bark is waaaay bigger than her bite, I promise.” At least the shorter haired girl seems more willing to play nice, but...a glance at Harp clearly shows how nervous she is. Tami’s already halfway up there. Izumi and Noran seem silent, though they’re all looking at her in curiosity- ah. They’re letting her decide by herself...although that might just paralyze her. Maaaybe...

>Encourage her to go up. It’ll be good for her, you think.
>She’s practically a rattlesnake right now. Measured exposure is the way to go, not this.
>Say nothing. You’ll leave it entirely and wholly up to her.
>>
>>4906912
>Encourage her to go up. It’ll be good for her, you think.
>>
>>4906912
>Encourage her to go up. It’ll be good for her, you think.
She's not going to go far if a little public attention stuns her this bad. Let's start fixing that early.
>>
>>4906912
>Say nothing. You’ll leave it entirely and wholly up to her.
>>
>>4906889
>Encourage her to go up. It’ll be good for her, you think.
>>
>>4906912
>Encourage her to go up. It’ll be good for her, you think.
>>
>>4906912
>>4906918
>>4906937
>>4907532
“You should give it a shot,” you mumble. She looks at you in surprise as you start to hear more encouragement. “It might turn out better than you expect.”

“Umm...I...okay…” She certainly doesn’t seem enthused, but your coercion seems to have done the trick. She gets polite applause, as does Tami, who eagerly waves to the audience. “H-hello…”

“Hello there!” Alec seems to be at least personable. “Trust us, we’re pretty professional.”

“I am a professional,” Selene says haughtily as she straightens her hat. “YOU are a bookish nerd whom I allow to continue clinging to my coattails...”

“...Who’s the only one who knows how to work the Replicator…” Alec slips in.

“...who’s the only one who- wait! No! Don’t you try your sophisticated wordplay on me!” That gets a few laughs, at least. Quickly moving on to keep the crowd’s control, she continues. “Now then, with our bold volunteers, we shall engage in a contest of subterfuge! Of clever manipulation and tactical acuity!”

“Aaaand by that you mean you want another round of ‘guess the squares’,” Alec deadpans.

“Correct!” Wow, shameless. “Now, for the uninitiated- such a simple name belies the complexity of this challenge of the mind! It takes a keen eye and steady nerves, and-”

With a wave of Alec’s hand, a large, vertical game board suddenly rises up from beneath the stage. “Basically we stand on one side, they stand on another, and we have to match the squares that they match- while not letting the other players match the right squares themselves without either of us seeing,” Alec explains simply. Those rules seem...open ended, but maybe that’s the point?

>Roll 2d100, best of three.
>>
Rolled 81, 6 = 87 (2d100)

>>4908794
Here goes...
>>
Rolled 91, 85 = 176 (2d100)

>>4908794
>>
Rolled 17, 42 = 59 (2d100)

>>4908794
Kids you can do it!
>>
Rolled 56, 11 = 67 (2d100)

>>4908794
>>
Neat! Writing!
>>
>>4908794
>>4908820
>>4908822
>>4908824
>>4908827
The ‘competition’ is really little more than the two magicians performing a complicated illusion match against each other, utilizing a number of visual tricks...at least, you THINK they’re tricks and not actual magic, now that you’re thinking of it...could’ve been technology. There’s a number of moments that make you suspect, but it’s ultimately nothing worth too much thought about. Honestly, your concern is less the mechanics of the show and more how Harp is holding up.

To your relief and fortune (and maybe a couple other words you’d rather not admit to yourself) she seems to be...dealing with it, at the least. She’s got her eyes laser focused on the one person she knows up there, that being Tami, and on occasion needs reminding to work at the grid, but for the most part she holds up well, trying to drown everything out as best she can. That’s good, really. Eventually, however, the ‘game’ ends when Selene manages to ‘trick’ both Alec and Harp into executing a series of moves that forces them to admit that they’ll have less matches...mind, the way that that happened was by Selene blatantly cheating and swapping out a pair of matches, to which Tami giggled at, but said nothing. Harp had, likely with Alec’s assistance, been distracted as well, allowing the moment. The audience seemed to half complain, half awe, but any problems were forestalled in the midst of Selene’s gloating by Alec’s parting shot:

“And that means that, as the winner, you get to plan out the next show! Meaning you’re also doing the advertisement, and the preparations, and the scheduling, and the prop repairs…” You can see the excitement drain from her face as Selene realizes what she’s saddled herself with, to the laughs of the crowd.

Meanwhile, you’re just happy Harp is able to take a bow without fainting at the end of it.

(cont.)
>>
>>4908997
The girls are starting to get tired at this point, once they’re off the stage. Noran and Mewla don’t seem adverse to heading back either, and after some thanks and appreciations from them, everyone boards the next bus home.

“So what’re we gonna do tomorrow?” Tami asks. Right, you think they’re staying over for now. Well, you have several things to handle tomorrow. You need to check in on Owlia, the roller derby thing, AND see about the movie situation...maybe some other things. But ideally, you'll do all that early in the morning.

"We'll figure it out when tomorrow gets here," you decide, pushing it off. "No rush."

"I hope whatever you do, you enjoy it," Izumi says with a smile. "I'm afraid I'll be working for most of the day, so I won't be available." Damnit.

Fortunately, it doesn't take much longer before you're back home, and the living room is made up for them as usual. As for tomorrow, however...wait, shit. What about breakfast?

Back to this stuff...maybe you can ask someone for help? Izumi would be the best bet...but she's not available. So...who?

>Mono. She's kinda a kid herself, she can keep an eye on them.
>Lorelei. ...It'll only be for a bit. You can trust for half a day, right?
>Cylica. They might not like her, but she'll keep them under control, for sure.
>Nura. She's...it should be fine, right? She's a sweet sort.
>Other
>>
>>4909000
>Lorelei.
Because shenanigans.
>>
>>4909000
>>Lorelei. ...It'll only be for a bit. You can trust for half a day, right?
might as well inform her about the movie deal
>>
>>4909000
>Lorelei. ...It'll only be for a bit. You can trust for half a day, right?
The nerds have things to do all the time, and Mono might be still recovering, so...
Trusting Lori with children seems oof, but we need to remind her we still got her a chance to break into the movie biz.
>>
>>4909000
>Lorelei. ...It'll only be for a bit. You can trust for half a day, right?
>>
>>4909000
>Lorelei. ...It'll only be for a bit. You can trust for half a day, right?
It's time for "Bad Lessons of the day" with Aunt Lorelei!
>>
...welp. Okeydokey.

Writing.
>>
>>4909000
>>4909015
>>4909017
>>4909019
>>4909029
>>4909050

Well...Mono might not be ready for watching kids. Cylica might just traumatize them. Nura...no, too new. And that, unfortunately, only leaves one real choice left…

“Aha, uuuh, me?” Lorelei seems as uncertain as you feel as you make your request once you’re back. “I mean, I COULD, I guess, just...don’t expect a ton out of me, right?”

If nothing else, you appreciate that Lorelei is entirely candid about her capabilities. Always something appreciated on the job and off. “Just...try to keep them out of danger, is the important thing. I’m not going to be all day. Just make them breakfast, keep them busy, and I’ll be back before very long,” you insist. “Maybe teach them a few things about keeping hidden and quiet. Turn it into a game. They like games.” That does seem to make her think a bit.

And it’s why you don’t breathe a sigh of relief when she nods. “Okay, okay...I guess I owe you for putting in a good word for me anyway.”

“Thanks a ton,” you respond, allowing yourself a pat on her shoulder. “I appreciate it. So, my plan is to get up early and get going. Think you can get here so you can cook them up something?” As you talk it out with her, you have to admit you’re a bit relieved. That’s one issue off your back.

Now, you just need to deal with tomorrow…

...and when you wake up, tiptoe past the cots and kids still well asleep for them, you slip on a jacket, board Red, and ride out. Owlia hasn’t contacted you yet, but you know she tends to be rather...single-minded. So! First thing on the docket…

>Heading to the studio. Let’s see what’s about this movie deal…
>Off to the Extreme Roller Derby Association HQ. Let’s see what they want with you.
>You should probably drop by the vet’s. Knowing Owlia, she’s probably up by now.
>Other
>>
>>4909168
>Off to the Extreme Roller Derby Association HQ. Let’s see what they want with you.
We did the other three first, might as well look into the one that didn't get picked.
>>
>>4909168
>You should probably drop by the vet’s. Knowing Owlia, she’s probably up by now.
I'd like this one. Our birb's life's on the line here! So let's take care of this nagging feeling first.
>>
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>>4909168
>>Off to the Extreme Roller Derby Association HQ. Let’s see what they want with you.
Huh, strange. From the way she was giving us advices and how she's talking with children in general (like with the kidnapped girl in the superhero job) I though Lori would be way more confident in her ability to handle kids.
>>
>>4909168
>Off to the Extreme Roller Derby Association HQ. Let’s see what they want with you.
>>
>>4909168
>>4909174
>>4909188
>>4909190
To the Roller Derby Association, then. You might’ve answered in the positive, but you hadn’t actually met THEM yet. Probably a good idea to if you’re going to do another thing with them. Their HQ is, as you might expect, out in the Festival District- a bit further back into it, too. Not too old, then. Interesting.

Unlike Everstyle, the Roller Derby HQ is far smaller, being what appears to be a simple three story building; there’s little in the way of fancy designs aside from a single, moderately sized sign outside. The building itself seems rather stark and plain, actually… A far cry from the thrills the sport promises.

Also unlike before, it seems like the owner comes down to meet YOU. “Hello, hello!” That voice sounds vaguely familiar, but it might just be your standard announcer voice. He’s...you WANT to say he’s human, but he’s putting off a distinctly non-human vibe. His chiseled jaw and sunflower blond hair- perfectly coifed and slicked back- makes you feel like there’s something else to him, but nothing you can place immediately. His pressed purple suit and and matching shoes give him a pretty high class look. “A pleasure and a privilege!” his baritone voice rings out. “You must be the last of our richly experienced Outgoer Team- name pending! I’m Yani Harcourt, CEO of the Extreme Roller Derby Association!” His handshake is...fierce. “And I have to say you and the others were rather most impressive out there! Fierce, stylish, innovative! Why, I daresay you’d have a future in this sport if you wanted it!” It’s clear he’s not ACTIVELY trying to recruit you, but it’s more a semi-mandatory pitch.

“I appreciate the compliment,” you return politely. “But do you mind if I can ask what I’m here for? You wanted to meet me?”

(cont.)
>>
>>4909301

“Oh yes! You were one of the more notable individuals during our little exhibition, y’know! Got a lot of tongues wagging! Good for business! And they’ve started to wonder if we’d ever do another one of those! And I’m thinking ‘Why not!?’ so here we are!” Fair enough. But that still doesn’t answer your question. “We’ve got a whole new team lined up to square off against you- buuuuut, I was wondering, ‘Randa- can I call you ‘Randa?”

No. “No.”

“Miss Miranda,” wow, didn’t miss a beat. “I looked into your organization a bit, and I got to thinking, ‘Hey now! Wouldn’t this be killer if we had something a bit more long-term?’ Especially with such an illustrious outfit? So-”

“Hold on,” you quickly say. “Before anything else, you’d need to talk with my boss about that kinda thing.”

“Oh, of course, of course! But, there HAS been some preliminary discussion, and everything is looking positive so far, soooo- thought I’d just get your opinion!” He seems entirely confident it’s going to go through...whatever this is.

“...fine. What’s your pitch?” Might as well at least hear him out.

“Picture this! A semi-regular GUEST STAR match series! Think of it like a stylistic exhibition! Dazzle the crowd, make ‘em scream! Unlike normal matches, you’d be paid per appearance- with a bonus on performance- so wins and losses don’t matter! These matches would just to puff up the sport, get eyes on it, y’know what I mean?” He even winks at the end of it. That seems...committal. To say the least. “Naturally we can work around your schedules, but we’d love to have you as known names, Would really boost the ol’ profile, don’tcha think?”

Huh. With the movie thing to boot, this seems like...a lot. You’re an Outgoer, not some entertainment star. Kinda annoying how all these offers are coming at you…

>Refuse. You've got enough on your plate, and Outgoing still pays more anyway.
>Accept. It's decent spending cash for a few hours work, you suppose.
>Other (Further questions?)
>>
>>4909302
>Refuse. You've got enough on your plate, and Outgoing still pays more anyway.
No can do for me boss. I still prefer magiblasting for motes, much more exciting.
>>
>>4909302
>>Refuse. You've got enough on your plate, and Outgoing still pays more anyway.
>>
>>4909322
On one hand, he's really committed and from the way he's kissing up to us we can ask for some long-term partnership special deals - like discounts or access to sports-related gear or HQ upgrades (we got the 'Advanced Weight and Exercise Training Room' after the first match). The crafters who create clothes for extreme/violent sports might also be making stuff for Outgoers as well - this could expand the list of the items available for purchase (https://pastebin.com/R263U7Hp).
On the other, I don't want to take a permanent deal - we can earn notoriety and other special deals through HQ Tasks without locking ourselves in. These tasks are also opportunities to see different aspects of the Intersection.
>>
>>4909302
>Refuse. You've got enough on your plate, and Outgoing still pays more anyway.
>>
>>4909302
>Refuse. You've got enough on your plate, and Outgoing still pays more anyway.
I mean, I'm not against going back out there for a show-match once every now and then, but a permanent contract isn't something I feel we can or want too commit to.
>>
>>4909302
>Refuse, but leave the door open to play a few games when we’re finished with the movie.
>>
>>4909302
>>4910085
Supporting this
>>
Writing. Thought I'd be free a bit earlier than I was, but I'm here now.
>>
>>4909302
>>4909310
>>4909322
>>4909393
>>4909723
>>4910085
>>4911277

You’re...well, you appreciate it, but… “I’m gonna have to refuse,” you insist, shaking your head. “Outgoing still pays more, and besides that, it’s more something I’d do as a hobby or a here-and-there thing. I mean, I'm certainly not against going back out there for a show-match once every now and then like this, but a permanent contract isn't something I want to commit to.” Although there’d likely be a couple of nice perks, you’re not in it for that.

Fortunately, aside from a pout and momentary sound of disappointment, he seems to take it well enough. “Awww. Well, worth a shot! Now, as for the ACTUAL reason I wanted you here- mostly we were just interested in getting some nice photographs and renders for some graphics- you’ll officially have more than one game under your belt; so you need a stat record! And that means ideally we need images for you for the crowd!” Ah. “Shouldn’t take too long, though, so if you’d follow me…” Alright, sure, that’s reasonable enough. “And hey, if you maybe change your mind…”

Ugh. “No.”

“Had to try! Now, just pick a cool pose and our photographers will take care of the rest!” Right…after this...

>You did have one more thing to ask about while you were here… (what?)
>You decided it was high time you checked on Owlia and see where that’s at. Hopefully she’s done as she promised...she can lose track of time.
>You needed to drop by the studio as promised to get the details on this movie. You were supposed to get transportation, but you’d begged off.
>Other

(I don't like this CAPTCHA.)
>>
>>4912482
>You needed to drop by the studio as promised to get the details on this movie. You were supposed to get transportation, but you’d begged off.
>>
>>4912482
>You needed to drop by the studio as promised to get the details on this movie. You were supposed to get transportation, but you’d begged off.
>>
>>4912482
>You needed to drop by the studio as promised to get the details on this movie. You were supposed to get transportation, but you’d begged off.
Time to make another smash hit cult classic.
>>
>>4912482
>You needed to drop by the studio as promised to get the details on this movie. You were supposed to get transportation, but you’d begged off.
>>
To the movies!
>>
>>4912482
>>4912539
>>4912545
>>4912549
>>4912550
Alright, that’s that. The good thing is that the movie set shouldn’t be too far away- they’re both in the Festival District, at least, so that drops the travel distance. You’d initially figured you’d want the fancy travel, but after realizing you’d have other places to go, you’d decided it’d just ultimately be better to take Red yourself. They’d also wanted you there first thing in the morning, but...well, it was still pretty early. They shouldn’t be too annoyed.

The studio set is pretty nice- as well as fairly familiar. You can see that there isn’t too much in the way of actors and major setups yet- clearly still in pre-production, but getting the supplies and resources ready, it seems. Much like the producer said. It seems like there’s a permanent building nearby, and you can see at least a couple of well-dressed people heading in- probably a business building. There’s a number of trailers, as well as people milling about- you actually recognize at least one of them in Mavara- the guy who played Letch, a secondary antagonist. Guess it makes sense he’d be in this one- his fate was ambiguous in the movie, so yeah. Aside from that, there’s also the Director off on the side, talking with a few other team members, it looks like. He also seems VERY deep in discussion about something, judging by his gestures and frustrated expression.

You were never much an actor...but where do you go from here? There should be some place to check in, right? Or is it just that they expect you?

>Talk to Mavara, see if he can guide you a bit. He’s done this before, so he knows what’s what.
>Might as well see what’s in the building- it looks like they’re using it as a base of operations.
>The Director is probably the best option- you just hope he doesn’t mind you interrupting him.
>Other
>>
>>4912622
>The Director is probably the best option- you just hope he doesn’t mind you interrupting him.
We're a leading role.
>>
>>4912622
>>Talk to Mavara, see if he can guide you a bit. He’s done this before, so he knows what’s what.
Might as well see how he’s been doing, never hurts to make more friends outside of our job circles. Especially if we’re going to be doing this regularly.
>>
>>4912622
>The Director is probably the best option- you just hope he doesn’t mind you interrupting him.
>>
>>4912622
>The Director is probably the best option- you just hope he doesn’t mind you interrupting him.
I hope we won't actually have to go through 2 months of in-universe time. I'm missing the actions already.
>>
>>4912622
>The Director is probably the best option- you just hope he doesn’t mind you interrupting him.
Stand awkwardly on the side and wait for him to finish his conversation. Maybe clear our throat if we have to wait for too long.
>>
>>4912645
We'll get some action during the roller derby show match, also that guy didn't tell us when exactly it's happening.
Tbf, I had this idea that we could switch to another character if Miranda has to spend too much time on the things we've decided to do in the Intersection. But only after the HQ meeting and team training. Honestly, Izumi could be a good pick - she's our second A-rank candidate and we still haven't played a solo mission as her.
>>
Oh, writing.
>>
>>4912645
>>4912680
I'd imagine that we'd maybe make one roll per In-game week during filming, and then we'd have certain events trigger if we're doing either good or bad and it'll give us chances to rectify shit if we're doing too badly. It'd certianly speed up this Intersection-section, and perhaps as you say we get to swap over to someone like Lorelei or Mono (we haven't touched Mono in a while) in the meantime as we wait for the filming to end.
>>
Yeah, just as a heads up, I had the idea that you wouldn't be rolling for every single scene. It'd be more of a general 'set' of scenes', with the occasional major moment to go a bit more in-depth. In between you'd either be doing other stuff, but I do like the idea of changing to someone else, if it proves popular.
>>
>>4912482
>(I don't like this CAPTCHA.)
Try the auto solver
https://github.com/AUTOMATIC1111/4chan-captcha-solver/
>>
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29 KB .png
>>4912731
>>4912622
What the hell? This thing actually works. Thanks for the hack anon.
>>
>>4912622
>>4912630
>>4912639
>>4912645
>>4912648
Might as well talk to the director; he might be busy, but you also need some info on just what you’re planning on doing around here.

He definitely seems preoccupied as you approach; in fact, none of the three individuals in conversation even seem to notice you as you get closer. In particular, one of the others has the floor right now, complaining. He’s a thin four armed, red-colored humanoid with a very nice green vest. The colors make him seem more vicious than he likely is. “I- look, we keep going over this time and time again: you want me to make the setting there look more ‘visceral’,” he says frustratedly. “I can do that, sure, but I’m still waiting on just what ‘visceral’ means!” “I’ve given you at LEAST twenty mood and composition sketches THIS WEEK alone, and they were ALL rejected- you’ve gotta do the directing thing and give me-!”

“Look, I have,” the director says in a tone that tells you here’s about a couple more moments aware from blowing up in stress. “Did you NOT get the reviews and markups I sent back yesterday? Me and Leona went over them and she said she’d get them sent to you!”

“I didn’t get JACK from anyone yesterday!” the man complains. “I’ve been heads down for the last three days for the final art and scene pushes!”

“So where the hell is Leona?” the Director asks, looking towards the third individual; a slate grey humanoid with bone white skin, apart from what looked like splashes of color along her body as far as you could tell- a long dress and business shoes covered up most everything but her arms. The most notable thing on her, however, was the large horn protruding from her forehead. “I thought you said that everything was on task, Nia?”

“Everything WAS on task, and I REMINDED Leona to make sure she had reported and logged everything for the day!” the admin complains- and you swear her body starts flashing in a couple places. “I’m a coordinator but that doesn’t mean I can babysit everyone on AND off the set twenty-four seven!”

"Begging your pardon?" you politely interject.

At once, all three of them look down at you. "Oh, thank good sense, at least SOMEONE important is here when they should be," the Director moans. "Styles, was it? Great, awesome, glad you're on board. People, this is Miranda Styles, our Silva. Styles, this is Agrest, our Art Director-" he points towards the multi-armed man, "and Nia, our Production Coordinator, get to know her later. Sorry to cut this short, but we're in the middle of an issue right now- can you go find a gal named Xia? She's our Line Producer."

"Also my sister," Nia explains. "She looks like me but a second horn. I'd walk you through myself, but APPARENTLY I have to resolve a missing persons crisis." She says this with a glare to the other two.

>Leaving THAT alone. Xia it is, then.
>This seems a bit involved for you- but you can wait.
>Well. This might be an issue. Maybe you should ask if you can investigate?
>Other
>>
>>4912823
>Well. This might be an issue. Maybe you should ask if you can investigate?
Think we're the most free round' here? Might as well.
>>
>>4912823
>Leaving THAT alone. Xia it is, then.
Running Errands, no no no. We're not involved and shouldn't be involved with this internal communications failure.
>>
>>4912823
>>Leaving THAT alone. Xia it is, then.
>>
>>4912823
>Leaving THAT alone. Xia it is, then.
Birb's waiting.
>>
>>4912823
>>4912831
>>4912846
>>4912853
“Noted,” you decide as you step away. That’s not any of your business, and shouldn’t be, frankly. “I’ll go look, then.”

“Should be in the big building to your right,” Nia continues, but it’s only for a moment before they go right back to arguing. Right, that’s the building you saw earlier, then…

Their voices fade into the background- hopefully they’ll solve this shit before you have to do too much.

The building is fairly normal; although it’s very clean, and there’s a number of clear office areas easily visible. It’s easy to ask the lady sitting at the desk for directions, and before long you’re going up a flight of stairs, after passing by a rather large and well stocked lunch area. Very fancy looking, if you’re being honest- very art deco.

Before much longer you come across a traditional door with a frosted window- the title of ‘Line Producer- Xia X.’ sits on it. A quick knock, and a tenor voice sounds out with a quick ‘come in’.

Indeed, the lady is very similar to Nia- whether she’s a demon, extraterrestrial, just a strange humanoid, you aren’t sure, but the two demonesque horns on her head give you assurance that this is the lady, who’s busy thumbing through something on a hologram tablet. “I’m Miranda Styles. I’m here to report in for the shoot?” Is that how it went? You’re not sure.

“Ah, good.” Her voice is curt, but professional. “I’m Xia, as you likely saw from the door. Just a moment, I’m trying to make certain that the latest budget revision is accurate.” There’s a few moments as she taps and swipes, sighing in annoyance, before she lifts her head up. “Sorry about that. You’re just getting here?”

“Basically,” you admit. “Not sure what all to do here.”

(cont.)
>>
>>4912995
She leans back, closing her eyes in thought. “Wellll, you need to get acquainted with the staff, the cast so far, get you your script copy, make sure you know what’s where, all that sort. And all that’s usually handled by my little sister, Nia, but it’s good that you checked in with me- I can make sure that your presence on set is logged and noted.” She almost immediately brings up another holoscreen and starts swiping away at it.

“Actually, it was your sister that told me to come here,” you explain. “Said you’d be able to do it.”

At that, Xia pauses, and looks back up at you, letting out something close to a laugh. “Pft. ME? Does she REALLY think I just sit here and do nothing time-sensitive?” Oh, no. “I’m sorry, but no, I REALLY don’t have the time. Nia’s the one who should’ve made arrangements for that- there should’ve been at LEAST a runner to show you around ready.” She frowns. “If she’s not taking this seriously I’m going to have to have a talk with her, sister or no.”

>You should probably mention the whole ‘missing person’ issue. She sounds like she’s the person to tell, even if someone getting a tongue-lashing is in the future...
>Well, this is a rollicking good start, but you’re not going to mess with their production. You’ll just wander and ask around. Shouldn’t be too rough.
>Hey, she said it. Might as well head back to Nia and see how she takes it. Hopefully well- you’re just the messenger, after all.
>Other
>>
>>4912996
>You should probably mention the whole ‘missing person’ issue. She sounds like she’s the person to tell, even if someone getting a tongue-lashing is in the future...
>Well, this is a rollicking good start, but you’re not going to mess with their production. You’ll just wander and ask around. Shouldn’t be too rough.
This is all because of one person screwing up. Have been there before.
>>
>>4912996
>>You should probably mention the whole ‘missing person’ issue. She sounds like she’s the person to tell, even if someone getting a tongue-lashing is in the future...
>>
>>4912996
>You should probably mention the whole ‘missing person’ issue. She sounds like she’s the person to tell, even if someone getting a tongue-lashing is in the future...
>>
>>4912996
>You should probably mention the whole ‘missing person’ issue. She sounds like she’s the person to tell, even if someone getting a tongue-lashing is in the future...
>Well, this is a rollicking good start, but you’re not going to mess with their production. You’ll just wander and ask around. Shouldn’t be too rough.
Welp, mention the fuckup currently obstruction the shooting and then sit back with some popcorn and watch the drama I guess. Sometimes it's good to be on the sidelines.
>>
Writing!
>>
>>4912996
>>4913015
>>4913038
>>4913040
>>4913045
Well, first thing’s first. Should probably let her know what the actual situation is. “Actually, she DOES seem to be trying to put out a rather important fire,” you mention. “I’m not sure about the details, but it seems like someone named Laura, or Leona went missing? She was supposed to have some information for the Art Director, I think, and she’s not there, so Nia is trying to-”

“Leona’s missing?” Xia repeats- and you’re quick to notice her attitude has dropped from something curt yet professional to something icy. “Again?”

Again? “I guess?”

There’s a long pause...and then a sigh. “Right. Fine, then. I’ll arrange for a runner to show you around. And I’ll need to speak with my sister regardless. Please, wait outside the building- this shouldn’t take long.”

With that, she ushers you out the door, giving you some time to think on things as you head back out. You’re not sure how badly this Leona’s going to get it, but it sounds pretty bad. Fortunately, it’s maybe a minute and change before there’s someone else running up to you; a young rabbit-eared girl with nice suit- maybe a teenager at most. “Excuse me, miss! Are you Miranda Styles?”

“That’s me,” you confirm.

“Great! I’m Nini, honored to meet you!” Her voice is high, as you expected, but she seems nice enough. “I’m s’posed to show you around the set an’ all, right? If you’ll follow me?”

You’re just stepping off when the door of the building flies open with a slam, and you can see Miss Xia floating, eyes almost literally ablaze as she levitates just above the ground at speed in the direction you’d came from earlier.

Well...good luck to her.

“Alrighty! So, I’ve been here a while, been on a couple of shoots. Catering’s not far, we should show you your temporary housing, aaand a few other places. Any questions you got while we walk?”

>Yes, actually. (What?)
>None for now. Might as well get used to the place.
>Wonder what the others are doing…(perspective change)
>Other
>>
>>4917625
>None for now. Might as well get used to the place.
Not now for me. I think I can wait until Pecker's 100%.
>>
>>4917625
>Wonder what the others are doing…(perspective change)
>Prima
It's been over a year since the last time we've actually seen the bots.
>>
>>4917625
>None for now. Might as well get used to the place.
>>
>>4917625
>None for now. Might as well get used to the place.
>>
>>4917625
>Yes, actually. (What?)
"What's the deal with this Leona I'm hearing about?"
>>
>>4917625
>>4917631
>>4917646
>>4917685
You shake your head. “None for now. Lead the way.”

“Righto!” she cheers. “So, first off…”

The tour is fairly standard...not that you know what the standard would be. You’re brought to the catering area, more of a full cafeteria than just a few tables and food. “We got plenty from around the city, and if you STILL don’t see anything you like, you can just order delivery like usual. So long as they bring it here.” Right. You notice that there seems to be a lot of chairs- around- clearly there’s some missing, but they’re probably still setting up. “We’ve got a number of stasis-frozen ready to eat meals as well as some a la carte options, but those aren’t out in public yet. Shall we move on?”

“Right.” Hopefully this wouldn’t take too long. You need to get back to Owlia and Pecker. You’re just glad they haven’t called you yet…

Soon, you arrive at what looks like an indoor sports area. The place is massive, with four multipurpose courts, and several small rooms leading away from it. There are basketballs, volleyballs, frisbees, and non-descript blue balls that you figure could be used for whatever. “This is our recreational area. Kinda redundant in the city sometimes, but often our crews don’t want to get too far apart or away from filming. If they want to take a breather and just have some fun, they can come here! It’s only open while shooting ISN’T happening, however. Just something to keep in mind.” There’s no one there at the moment but you two, so likely it’ll be open later. “Moving on!”

“These are our actor trailers and employee barracks!” she announces. It looks a lot like a trailer park, if you had to ask- although several of the trailers DO look impressive… “This is where the cast and crew all stay while shooting- or at least, we’d reeaallly like them to,” she explains with a blush. “Obviously, it can’t happen all the time, but we try to insist that anyone shooting the next day stay within their trailer the prior night.” Oh...crap. “You’re an Outgoer, right?” You nod. “Well, I dunno how much we can force you, but it’d REALLY make life easier on us if you were nearby.”

“I’ve got...other priorities I need to see to as well,” you try to explain gently. “I’ll stay when I can, but no promises.”

“That’s all we’re asking!” she agrees. “Alright, then, come on! Next is the actual studios!”

(cont.)
>>
>>4920143
“Right. I saw a bit of them before…” you mention.

“Yeah! They’re a really cool mix of traditional, tangible props, instant matter, and holographic tech. We can set up and change scenes in the blink of an eye! Although it’s kinda a hassle to do it anyway…” Wait, how does that make sense? She clearly notices the unsaid question on your face, though, as she continues speaking. “See, while we CAN do it, the systems behind doing it are locked- only the director, director of photography, production designer, OR Art Director have access to the key codes that let them adjust the set- and even then, you need three out of four of the codes to do it, and each of them only have one specific code.” Thorough. “That way, no one gets too auteur-ish and starts taking over everything.” Fair enough. “Aaand here we are! This is Stage 2- we’ve got 5 of them, if you hadn’t noticed from before.” You really weren’t paying attention. You both head through the door, and...

It’s… an empty studio. The floor is pure white, with some grid lines on the floor running the span of it save for the back end, nearest a door. There’s a few height marks as well, on the left wall. “Yeeah, not much to look at right now, but trust me, when things get rolling, it’ll look REALLY impressive.” You’ll believe that.

"Anything else?" you ask.

"Nothing you need to be worried about," she assures. "There's the equipment warehouse not far from here, but you shouldn't have any reason to go in there; it's just for film crew. And you've already seen our temporary administrative building, right?" Ah. That must be Xia's building. Well, clearly not just hers, but close enough. "Those are pretty much the only other two areas of any particular note, and yeah- nothing for you there." Right. "Cool! So, that’s it for now- at least for the major locations. Any questions about what might be where?”

>None. You should find the director and their cohorts and tell them you’re off for a while.
>Actually, there IS something you were wondering now that you've had a tour…
>Other
>>
>>4920147
>None. You should find the director and their cohorts and tell them you’re off for a while.
>>
>>4920147
>>None. You should find the director and their cohorts and tell them you’re off for a while.
>>
>>4920147
>None. You should find the director and their cohorts and tell them you’re off for a while
>>
>>4920147
>None. You should find the director and their cohorts and tell them you’re off for a while
>>
Hello all. Writing!
>>
>>4920147
>>4920210
>>4920395
>>4920454
>>4920532
“No,” you decide. “At any rate, I need to get going soon, I’m afraid- I’ve got a bit of a prior engage-” it’s just then, actually, that your phone rings. Checking the call, you notice that it’s just who you’re hoping for. “And that’s them now. Do you mind…?”

“Oh, not at all!” she insists. “But it’d be REALLY appreciated if you can get back here some time this evening, maybe…?”

“I’ll try,” you say, before answering the call. “Hello? Owlia?”

“Yup! It’s all fixed up and ready to go!” she says cheerily. “Took a bit, but wasn’t too bad a problem! They said they should be able to perform the surgery later today if you really want, now!”

“Go ahead,” you insist. “I’ll be there before much longer.”

“Cool- I’ll let ‘em know and try to get Cy here! See you soon!” Good. Now you just need to find the Director and let him now. At least that’s one concern that’s likely to be alleviated pretty soo-

Suddenly, something slams into your back, sending you stumbling forwards. If you hadn’t been used to that feeling, it’s likely you’d have lost your phone, or at least scuffed it up pretty badly- not to mention yourself. Fortunately, you’re able to catch yourself- although groaning behind you tells that what, or rather ‘who’ impacted you wasn’t quite so nimble. “Oooow.” A turn of the head shows a rather hunchbacked...what is this guy? He reminds you of a...what’s that lizard? Big eyes and- chameleon, that’s it. He seems almost like a chameleon with his bulging eyes and hunched frame, though to your surprise he doesn’t quite seem like he’s fully reptilian. More...mutated human, almost, if you had to guess. Or maybe just unfortunate… “Dangit, dangit, dangit! Everyone’s getting in my way, always freakin’ happens…” Before you can offer an apology or a hand up (or even just an annoyed word), he lifts himself up, giving you a clear stinkeye. You return it, but he seems to dismiss it with a snort, moving past you with a number of documents under his arm.

Annoying. Now, where is- “Hey, you okay?” -ugh. Well, that’s your first impression, but turning to the voice, you realize that it’s someone familiar- Mavara, or ‘Letch’ in the movie. “Sorry about him, that’s Platty for ya. Dedicated as all getout, but not a friendly bone in the body. Glad you made it on set!” He grins. “Will be good working with ya again.”

“Likewise,” you offer politely, “but you kinda just caught me at a bad time. I was trying to find the Director, since I was leaving for a bit since I have to get to a medical emergency.” You’re counting this as one, anyway.

(cont.)
>>
>>4921496

He grimaces at that news. “Ooh, ouch. Well, good luck with that. If you want ol’ Langil, I just saw him giving Leona a jawjacking over near the admin building.” Ah, good to know. “See you soon!”
Sure enough, the Director is there, and you can clearly see him and Nia rather...disgruntled, to say the least, standing near a young looking, orange-skinned girl with bright ruby eyes. Humanoid, otherwise, save for the lion-like tail. Apt name, you suppose. She seems humbled, embarrassed, but the others just seem annoyed. “Excuse me…” you interrupt, and the girl looks to you almost like a savior, while the other staff try their best to school the expressions into something neutral. Sorry, but you’re not here to play savior…

------------------

Although the Director isn’t happy about you leaving, he knows he can’t really STOP you, perse, and much like the runner, he asks that you come back later today. He notes that he’ll be working late- as will Leona- so you should be present to at least get your character bible and current up to date script, as well as wanting to talk with you about your acting coach. Fair enough.

The trip back to the vets isn’t much, fortunately, and Owlia’s quick to greet you when you pull up. “Heeeey! Made it right on time! They’re about to bring the cutie in. Y’know, he’s soooo adorable! I hope it all goes well- they said me or Cy can’t help with the surgery, but I can take notes. And that’s fine enough- honestly, it’ll give me some good insight, I think. I STILL haven’t felt comfortable with that Ivonium stuff, but maybe this’ll give me some ideas.”

“Ideas how?” you hazard.

“Well, I’ve started on some general containment concepts, is the thing. That stuff is DANGEROUS, I can say that already,” she notes with a grimace. “It’s unstable, but not in an ‘explosive reaction’ way, it’s more...subtle. And subtle ain’t good when it comes to experiments.” You’re not sure if you agree with that entirely, but you can understand the worry. “Anywho, c’mon. Cy’s waiting inside.”

The girl in question greets you with a nod, clearly with a notepad and prepared to take as close a look as she can. The good Doctor Argo next to her nods. “Your friend...does good work,” he acknowledges. “Come. We will heal your pet.”

Finally…

>Roll 2d100
>>
Rolled 24, 31 = 55 (2d100)

>>4921498
I hope the rolls for O&C and not for the surgery.
>>
Rolled 30, 5 = 35 (2d100)

>>4921498
>>
Rolled 16, 84 = 100 (2d100)

>>4921498
>>
>>4921502
Just so.

Seems like at least one of them was paying attention beyond the basic details, at least...

Writing.
>>
>>4921498
>>4921502
>>4921505
>>4921515
Honestly? You’re not interested in watching the surgery yourself. You’re no crystal mage or scientist, and you’ve got no interest in being one. You just hope the little thing makes it through.

Even with the device, however, it takes a couple of hours, much like the Doctor had said. The device’s repair sped things up, but only so much. Which means that you just end up waiting. And waiting. And waiting. And-

Oh, that’s your phone. Huh. “Hello?”

“Hello?” Who is… “Hi, this is Leona from Everstyle Entertainment! I was just calling to make sure that you’d be back later today?” Ah, that.

“Yes, I’ll be back,” you assure. Going to have to find some way to make it up to the kids…

“Great, thanks! Is 8:00 acceptable?” Huh. Pretty late, that. But, it DOES give you some time- so maybe your prior worry shouldn’t be one. You could come back AFTER the kids are in bed. Maybe you can mention something about Lorelei’s work, too.

“Alright,” you decide. “I’ll be back by then.”

“See you later, then!” And with that, the conversation’s over…hm. Maybe you should take a nap or something…

Almost as though you got no time, however, you’re being woken up by a nurse. “Ms. Styles?” You nod. “The surgery is complete. Dr. Argo would like to see you now.” Hm. Right, then.

The doctor is...neutral, apparently, and Owlia seems to be being...comforted by Cylica? For a moment your heart skips, but then- “The operation was successful.” Oh, thank goodness. “The little one must sleep for now. But he will be healthy. More active. This is good.” He nods to himself. “Thank you also, for your mechanical assistance.”

“Well, that was all Owlia, but it’s appreciated,” you insist.

“We will watch him for a night, to be certain,” he reminds you. “Then, he will be yours again.”

“Good to know. But, uh…” you look past them to your subordinates. “What’s with them, then?”

“Ah. The mechanic... lost herself in the construct’s make,” he explains. “She failed to study its proper physiology beyond theory. The other seemed to have made notes, however. All may not be lost for her.” He nods in approval. “Rare to see such curiosity, even if not directed well. Now...will need to get used to activity again. Coerce it,” the Doctor advises. “Not so much sleeping.”

Well, good to know. And that task hanging over you is finally finished, for the most part. So now...

>Time to get back to the kids before they have more than a morning away from you. They might ask questions.
>You've got something else to do before you head back home, and then to the studio... (what?)
>Other
>>
>>4921643
>You've got something else to do before you head back home, and then to the studio... (what?)
>Scan, copy and then donate the books we've collected during summon and dragon girl jobs to the library
‘Transitory Nature of the Abyss and is far thinner’
‘The Myriad Ways of Inner Manipulation’
Grey Codex
Titleless Book
"To Rend The Beyond"
A nice way to thank Izumi for the help yesterday and get a few motes. Might as well see if everything alright with Delilah.
>>
>>4921643
>>4921654
+
>>
>>4921654
for the reference:

#64
“It- it’s not much!” she cautions. “Just from twenty to fifty Small Motes per book!” Drat. That ISN’T much. But...well, it’s something. You can at the least keep an eye out, you suppose.

#75
The process is quick enough once you get to the desk; the three books are each priced at 50 small motes (thank you, Friend and Family bonus), so, hey, 1.5 more is 1.5 more.
>>
>>4921643
>>4921654
Sure, let's visit the library. Maybe borrow something to improve Gart and our basic endomagic spells while we're at it.

Seems Owlia's more versatile in machineries while Cylica's better at anything crystals.
>>
To da libury.

Writing.
>>
>>4921674
Want to ask something.

How long usually do we have to wait for our items to be treated again? Until the crafter notifies us?
I want to lend the dress to the nerds a bit, they should be able to get something out of it.
>>
>>4921643
>>4921654
>>4921660
>>4921666
Thinking about it, you probably should get rid of a few of those books that you’ve gotten- or at least transcribe them so that they can be used. It shouldn’t take too long, at least…

“Oh, hello!” Delilah seems just as excited to see you as always- that is to say, a bit intimidated but mostly accepting. “Uh, I hope you’re doing alright?” Yup. Same as always.

“I’m fine. Just here to donate a few books,” you mention as you show the tomes in question. “I’d like to scan them for digital reading first, though, before you take them.”

“Oh, sure! Let me just show to you to the machine…” Right, right, you’ve done this before- but procedures and all.

The five books prove to be pricey- at least four of them are fifty small motes, while one, the Inner Manipulation one, is thirty. Overall, 2.30 motes? That’ll work for you. “Thanks a lot,” you offer. “How’ve you been holding up lately?”

“Pretty well!” she admits. “Me and Mr. Lawrence are doing kinda okay now- he got a raise!”

Oh. Well, that’s better for her- you still recall her worrying all that while back. “Good for him. Anything like that in your future?”

“Maybe. I think they think I could be an...uhh...what was it…?” She pauses. “Executive Technician. They liked how I helped train Miss Izumi. I dunno if I’m old enough for something like that, though...Lawrence thinks I could be a good helper, but...” Hm. Well, if she got a better position, it might be good for you in the longer run. She might be able to inquire a bit more about these strange layoff issues. But, you’ve heard of some kids trying to grow up too fast and it...causing issues, from time to time.

You’re not sure if you’re included in that number, really.

> “I think you should take it. It’ll be good to learn more responsibility, plus better pay is better pay.”
> “You don’t need to worry about that so soon. You’re young, and a vampire besides. You can be patient.”
> Remain silent. It’s her decision and hers alone.
> Other

>>4921718
Essentially, but it takes a couple days on average.
>>
>>4921835
> Remain silent. It’s her decision and hers alone.
>>
>>4921835
> Remain silent. It’s her decision and hers alone.
>>
>Random factoid: Miranda hates having to snipe a target herself. Generally, when she does, however, she has a habit of humming Entry Of The Gladiators- also known as 'that circus music you hear everywhere.'

>She doesn't know why, but it seems fitting to her.
>>
>>4921835
> Remain silent. It’s her decision and hers alone.
>>
I'll continue tomorrow!
>>
I'm here. Later than I thought, but I'm here and will be for a few hours. Writing.
>>
>>4923224
Hooray!
>>
>>4921835
>>4921848
>>4921855
>>4921934
After a bit of thought about it, though, you mentally shake your head. You’re not going to push her one way or the other. It’s entirely her decision, and you don’t really have much right to say anything about it.

There’s a few moments of fairly companionable silence as you and she walk to the entrance, before she just sighs. “I...I guess I’ll have to come to a decision soon. I think I might take it, though. I’m...I think since I wasn’t going to age very much anyway, I might as well? Maybe I should ask around…for, uh, opinions.” Probably a good idea. “But, anyway, I hope you have a-a good day, Miss Styles!”

“Likewise,” you say amiably. “See you around.” If she ends up a bigger name around here, then whoopee. But anywho, that little task is done. Now you’ve got the rest of the day to mess with the kids before you have to go back tonight. Hopefully you can come up with something to do with them...might be good to keep them around the apartment or HQ today, though. Traveling with them all the time is...rough.

Of course, when you get back, you don’t see the kids outside or anything, which is vaguely worrying, but when you step into the apartment, you’re surprised to see Lorelei sitting on the floor, in front of the kids. She’s actually apparently doing alright with them...at least from first glance, as they all have their attention on...something. “Okay, so now that you know they’ve got something in there, whaddya do?”

“Uhhh...then I do the ‘walk into them’ thing, right?” Tami asks.

“Nope! Try again!” Lorelei says with a grin.

“Uhhhh…” she puts her head down to think. “Oh yeah!” After a moment, she jerks her head up with a smile. “Check to see if they’re paying attention!”

“Bingo. And how do you do that?” Ah. She’s teaching them. Although…

> “Pickpocketing isn’t exactly a vital skill for Outgoers.” Not really what you want to teach them.
> “Made it back. You’re busy, I see.” You’re not going to dissuade them from learning a potentially useful new skill, even if you can’t help.
> “Please tell me you haven’t just been teaching them thieving skills.” Because oy.
> “If you’re going to teach them, move over.” You’re not going to just let her get in their heads like that.
> Other
>>
>>4923285
> “If you’re going to teach them, move over.” You’re not going to just let her get in their heads like that.
Miranda will want some tips on that too, but she won't admit it.
>>
>>4923285
> “Made it back. You’re busy, I see.” You’re not going to dissuade them from learning a potentially useful new skill, even if you can’t help.
Doesn't seem like the kids will be able to punch/blow up every problem the face like Miranda when they grow up. We've seen a fairy pickpocketing the Duke in the last mission, it could work well for Tami because of her puppetry skills and Harp prefer to avoid violence - so I think this could be useful for most of them. They'll also learn how to avoid being pickpocketed.
>>
>>4923285
> “If you’re going to teach them, move over.” You’re not going to just let her get in their heads like that.
>>
>>4923285
>>4923304
Changing to
> “Made it back. You’re busy, I see.” You’re not going to dissuade them from learning a potentially useful new skill, even if you can’t help.
Anon's right, randa's too high-caliber
>>
>>4923302
*punch/blow up every problem they might face in the future
>>
Just gonna let them have at it for now...
>>
>>4923285
Yeah let's leave them at it.>>4923302
>>
>>4923285
>>4923302
>>4923308
>>4923317

Well. You can’t say your method of things is a one-size-fits-all, you suppose. “Made it back. You’re busy, I see.” Maybe you could fix something up for them…

“Yup!” she says as you walk through, the kids greeting you on the way. “Me and the tykes got finished with breakfast not long ago. Decided they could use some learning on how to be more street smart and less smashy smashy. Soooo I’m teachin’ them how to pickpocket! And how to avoid getting picked!” Yup. As you figured. It’s not unuseful, you have to say. As you fix yourself a small breakfast, you decide it might not be a bad idea to at least sit in on it…

“...so, that’s the major key! Don’t pickpocket alone, don’t get too chummy with the mark- they’re gonna start getting suspicious sooner than later. Keep yourself quick and quiet, ‘cause distractions only last so long. You’re only as good as your partner!” They seem to be taking this rather seriously. Tami in particular. “Now, if there’s no questions-”

“Oh, wait!” Yup, Tami. “Are there pickpockets here, too?”

Lorelei waggles her hand. “Eeehh, you hear about them, but usually not really. Since physical money isn’t much good here except as curiosity pieces or trade goods, pickpockets don’t usually have much to target except small trinkets or valuables like pocket watches or the sort. But really, getting caught is usually more punishment than whatever the target was worth. Pickpocketing is way better suited to Outgoer work. Never know when you need to filch a key or something off a guard on the sly.” Ha. True. Not that you’re any good at that...usually just kinda knock them out. You’re not really great at the Silent Assassin thing, no…

“Aw. I kinda wanna try it!” Tami admits. “I wanna try an’ use my puppet pals to do it!”

Oh yeah. “You’ve been practicing that?”

“Sometimes. It’s really hard, cause if I focus too long my head hurts,” she says with a grin. “But it’s okay!” Hm. Never DID get back in touch with Suzette...you need to.

Noran just sighs, Mewla lazing on his head. “Iunno about all those dolls. Startin’ to creep me out.” Tami just laughs. “Jus’ sayin’.”

“I...think it’s kinda neat.” Harp whispers. You’re indifferent, but part of you figures you should at least try to support Tami somehow. The question is...how? You’re not sure you want to get out again, however.

>Maybe you should just invite Suzette over here and hope for the best…
>Perhaps you could allow them a bit of live practice- on willing subjects, that is.
>You can let it go for now- Tami’s a strong sort. You’ll get to it properly in due time.
>Other
>>
>>4923385
>Maybe you should just invite Suzette over here and hope for the best…
I think her teammates also recommended her as a teacher for Prima and Jago, might as well introduce her to Lori. We can also skip the visit to their HQ and tip her off about our investigation much sooner, striking this out of our to-do list. Three birds with one stone.
>>
>>4923385
>Maybe you should just invite Suzette over here and hope for the best…
>>
>>4923385
>Maybe you should just invite Suzette over here and hope for the best…
>>
>>4923385
>Maybe you should just invite Suzette over here and hope for the best…
>>
>>4923385
>Maybe you should just invite Suzette over here and hope for the best…
>>
>>4923385
>>4923391
If wer're going to bring in tutors i'd like to try and get help for all of them, yeah?
>>
Who's here? I'll be running probably in about an hour 30.
>>
>>4925515
ready!
>>
>>4925515
Heya.
>>
>>4923385
>>4923391
>>4923433
>>4923524
>>4923687
>>4924256
Thinking about it, Suzette’s crew might be a bit...intense, even for her. It may be better served for her to come to you, if she’s able. “Well, if you’re interested, I might be able to get in touch with someone...forget if I’ve mentioned her before already or not.”

“Uhhhh…” Tami clearly doesn’t remember either, then. Fine with you.

“Hold on a bit. I’m going to go make a call,” you decide, as Lorelei decides to take the other two aside and start talking to them about better approaches and how to identify possible locations for valuables on a body. Now, if you recall, there was a number at least to their HQ… “Greetings,” a morose and familiar voice called. “You have reached ze dark den of the Guild of Shadows. Speak your moz wicked wishes and we shall respond should ze be deemed worthy...”

Right, enough of that. “Excuse me, am I talking to Suzette the Full Witch?”

There’s a sigh on the other end of the line. “Yez. ‘Oo am I speaking to?” Ah. Maybe you should’ve went with the shtick. She kinda sounds disappointed now…

“Ah, this is Miranda Styles? From Silver Eye Solutions, we talked a bit back…” Great, how to open this, is the question. Might be worth it to just dive right in. “I was hoping you might be willing to help an, uh, a trainee of mine. She does puppetry, you see, and-”

“You wish your charge to learn the ancient and terrible secrets of manipulation of ze strings?” She actually sounds vaguely interested. “To puppet, whezer it is wood or flesh, iz no easy task. It requires a certain mind. Or perhaps, ze lack of such. A powerful technique, if one holds ze gift for it, and much more zan most believe it to be.” No, hearing that, you can imagine just what’s going on there. “I could be inclined to assist.”

You sigh. “Great. When can you get over here? I can give you the address…”

“Alas, perhaps only in agreement for a task I have yet to perform. I recall mentioning such that time.” Had she? You think so, now that you recall. It hadn’t been anything binding, but she’d inferred… “But, you do not strike me as ze sort to betray their word. Give me such, and ze address, and I will be over tout de suite…”

Phew. Well, you’ll owe her, but it’ll be worth it, most likely. “Right, thanks. Okay...”

After you get off the phone, you turn to the lamb in question. “Alright...so don’t be scared, okay?”

The look of confusion is expected. “...scared of what?”

“Greetings, child. Zo, you seek to learn ze ways of puppetry, yes?” Suzette, or Suzie, had come in full witch regalia, hat with bone fetishes, voodoo puppets hanging off of her shoulders, and all sorts of strings and loops around her.

You think she’d even put on some makeup; you swear she wasn’t this very very faint shade of olive last you saw her.

(cont.)
>>
>>4925759
“Yup yup!” Not that Tami seems to worry. “Everything you know, please!”

“...everyzing I know would require profane rituals and zacrifices of ze body you are yet incapable of surviving.” Naturally, Tami’s face droops with that. “However, I can perhaps teach you ze basics of one aspect of Puppetry. Perhaps in ze Living Wire; if you can be ze Puppetmaster, you can control ze strings. Zis is near universal in fact, if not in method. It iz most complicated, but quite rewarding, should your will hold.”

“Ooooh…” Tami’s eyes sparkle at that.

“Or, perhaps, ze creation of Material Puppets. Zees take on many forms. Shadows, energy, ozer mass. Common indeed, limited in ze ways for TRUE control, as ze methods of control are simple by necessity, but by far ze easiest to learn and vary, depending on ze material used to make them.”

“Also cool!” Tami squeals.

“Mm. And zen...well, zere is ze Puppets.” She grimaces. “Dangerous. For all involved. But is iz more potent zan ze othar deux.” Huh. Her accent’s getting thicker. “Ze mental pupptry iz a forlorn tactic. It iz not so crass as, zay, ‘mind control’. It iz not zublimation. La vraie marionnette est de faire de l'âme votre jouet.” She shakes her head. “I do not recommend it but for ze direst of circumstances. And yet…” she takes a breath. “Ze basics...zey are most useful, and far less risky. But, I have spoken too much. Which path would you care to peer into? Know zat I am no teachar- I will not be here all of ze time, even were you to gain access into my Guild.”

Wow. She’s taking this more seriously than you thought. And those specialties- especially that last one.

But as you're musing on it...a sense of deja vu comes over you as Tami turns to you. "What do you think I should pick?! They all sound cool!"

Again with these choices...you'd rather not-

"C'moooon, help me pick one!" Ah. REALLY wants you to, huh? Well, you ARE supposed to be her mentor, or something like that, you suppose.

> "Go for the Material Puppet thing. Easy to use sounds good. You don't need to get complicated right now, and you can put it to use quickly."
> "Try the Living Wire thing. It sounds like it could be versatile if you're willing to stick with it- and versatility is very good."
> "I don't like the sound of this Mental Puppetry thing. But the basics sound useful enough...just be careful, okay?
> "Hold on, I've got some questions for Suzie." (What?)
> Other
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>>4925791
>"Try the Living Wire thing. It sounds like it could be versatile if you're willing to stick with it- and versatility is very good."
>>
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>>4925791
> "Try the Living Wire thing. It sounds like it could be versatile if you're willing to stick with it- and versatility is very good."
> "Hold on, I've got some questions for Suzie." (What?)
Ask if she knows anyone interested in teaching robots about magic
>>4923391
I remembered it wrong, but I guess she could know someone who could help.
>>
>>4925791
>>4925821
Let's ask her this, why not.
>>
Robot magic? Writing!
>>
>>4925791
Sighing, you give it some thought. You really don’t like the idea of trying anything like how the Mental Puppetry thing is- especially not for someone her age. And while Material Puppets are okay sounding, it does seem like they might be limited or dependent on her environment. “Maybe you should try your hand at the Living Wire thing,” you suggest. “Seems like it’ll be versatile enough.”

“Oui, it is,” Suzette agrees. “Alzough not as common as Material Puppets, Living Wire is moz flexible when one haz ze capacity for it. Ze major roadblocks are often finding ze medium in which to cast it- zome require no medium, zome require string, ozars actual full puppets, and zo on. The catalyst can quite varied.” With that, however, she fixes Tami with an iron stare, one that actually causes the eager lamb to still in worry. “HOWEVA. Living Wire can be quite dangerous to onezelve. It requires force of will to keep control, yes? Conzentration. If your mind iz weak, or flighty…” And here she leans in close, and you can see a shiver run through Tami for a moment. “Zen the Puppeteer can become ze puppet, no? Such a HORRIBLE fate...to be wound and set about like nozing…” Her voice gains a much more hissing quality, her eyes unblinking. “Knowing zat your own skills were at fault, and little else…zat the only zing preventing horrible disfigurement of your own limbs iz ze-” Okay, she’s starting to get a bit intense.

“Pardon.” That single word seems to snap her out of it, jerking and looking back at you. “While I’m thinking about it- are you aware of anyone that might be able to teach robots how to use magic? Even slightly?”

She looks at you oddly for a moment, before schooling her face into its usual deadpan. “Non. I deal with ze supernatural, not ze supersciences. Technology and I are not ze best of friends. Indeed, more like ze fiercest of enemies.” And then she turns back to your charge. “Much like ze enemies you will make if you cannot maintain ze connection az you must for any proper puppeteering, yes? For example...”

Alright, alright now...

>Warn her off- if she’s going to teach her basics, teach her basics, don’t scare her like she’s a full recruit. You’ll do the warning around here.
>Ugh. You suppose someone has to play the bad guy here. Better her than you...you suppose. Not that you like it.
>Other
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>>4926016
>>Ugh. You suppose someone has to play the bad guy here. Better her than you...you suppose. Not that you like it.
I think she's scaring her to test Tami's force of will, which, like she said, is extremely important for a puppeteer.
>>
>>4926016
>Ugh. You suppose someone has to play the bad guy here. Better her than you...you suppose. Not that you like it.
>>
>>4926016
>Ugh. You suppose someone has to play the bad guy here. Better her than you...you suppose. Not that you like it.
She can take it
>>
>>4926016
>Ugh. You suppose someone has to play the bad guy here. Better her than you...you suppose. Not that you like it.
You guys think we should get Lorelei to describe to Suzette what happened when she soul modified Prima and Jago?
>>
Writing! There's an obvious joke here, but I'm not gonna make it.
>>
>>4926107
I'm really mad at myself for forgetting that she's a technophobe. We can try, but don't expect much.
>>
>>4926138
I figured it might interest her a bit, seeing as before Lorelei put magic into their cores, they were more like limited AI's that followed directions, possibly similar to Suzette's puppets. Who knows, it could help her create more advanced thinking puppets, ones that have their own wills and personalities.
>>
>>4926016
>>4926024
>>4926034
>>4926064
You make a point of looking away- Tami’s gotta realize how important this is regardless of how scared she might be, and Suzette is making a good point- not that you know the first thing about Puppeteering, but it does SOUND important enough. She’s the expert, and above all else, she IS an Outgoer, so you’re sure she at least has some level of professional interest in making sure people understand the dangers of her art.

You’re...not sure what faces she or they are making, but judging by the tales of ripped limbs, arms twisted like licorice, permanent scars across the face and elsewhere, sores and maladies, and worse (though she doesn’t SAY death, she proves to be VERY good at wording things so that the imagination runs wild). You can even hear the poor girl yipe a couple of times. And she still keeps going.

It’s after a solid five minutes of monologuing that the entire apartment goes silent. Whatever Lorelei had been talking about with the others...well, it seemed to have stopped in order to see what was going on with their other friend. Not that it sounded like they had done anything to interrupt, but when you turned back all of them were staring at Suzette like she was the creepiest thing they’d ever seen- and they couldn’t turn away from it.

Still, she had her normal, neutral-yet-morose look on her face as she looked down at the young child. “Well, then. Zose are my warnings. Do you still wish to begin to dip your toe into ze dark, cold waters zat is Puppetry?” The question is toneless. Without curiosity nor disdain.

And Tami looks at her. She’s nearly crying- no, no, those ARE tears through the wool. But she takes a deep breath. She nods. “Yup, ma’am.”

(cont.)
>>
>>4926213
There’s a moment you think Suzette might actually smile. Her lips twitch a bit, at least. But then? “You ‘ave NO idea what iz to come. Even for ze basics.” And then she turns to you. “Iz zere perhaps somewhere quiet we can away to?”

Hm… “Well, we have a training center in our personal HQ. Probably the best you’re going to get. I’ll tell Owlia and the others to keep it down.”

“Excellent. Lead ze way.” As you head down, you run a quick search- it seems Mono’s off on a job herself, as is Prima. Jago’s still around, interestingly enough. Wonder why they both didn’t go? At any rate, it’s not much longer before you all arrive at your HQ’s training area. She looks around idly. “It iz a bit bright for my tastes, but, eh. It’ll do. To learn iz to suffer learning. Now zen.” She turns to Tami. “Zis will first be a bazic test of your affinity to various types of common mediums used for puppeteering. It iz ‘armless, but requires CONZENTRATION.” Wow, that’s THE loudest you think you’ve ever heard of. She’s really serious about this kinda stuff, huh?

That’s only reinforced when she turns to you. “If you would leave us, please?”

> “Denied. They’re my charges, I’m keeping an eye on them from here on.” Letting your friends look after them for a bit is one thing. Letting someone you don’t know all that well train them in private is another.
> “...Fine. But if you injure them it’ll be more than monetary payback I’m after.” You suppose that if she wants the best results she might prefer to have some alone time- and Tami might be too tense with you staring a hole in one or both of them.
> “Alright. Good luck, you two.” You’ll let her have this without complaint; she already has a student, which means that she must at least be somewhat competent at this whole ‘teaching’ thing. Shouldn’t be an issue.
> Other
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>>4926215
> “Alright. Good luck, you two.” You’ll let her have this without complaint; she already has a student, which means that she must at least be somewhat competent at this whole ‘teaching’ thing. Shouldn’t be an issue.
Well, we already owed her by calling her outta nowhere.
Is there anything we can do to stop things from getting out of hand?
>>
>>4926215
>“Alright. Good luck, you two.” You’ll let her have this without complaint; she already has a student, which means that she must at least be somewhat competent at this whole ‘teaching’ thing. Shouldn’t be an issue.
>>
>>4926215
>> Other
>Ask what exactly are they going to do and how long would it take.
>Ask Tami if she's okay with it
Her own student already had some knowledge base unlike Tami. I'm not sure she would be able to concentrate that if we left her alone with a scary witch for a long period of time.
Also, since we're already in HQ, should we dump our stuff in the lab? Even if we haven't yet agreed on what items we're going to donate, then we can at least give them data from recorders and provide some comments on the experimental stuff we've used.
>>
>>4926215
>>4926247
Basically this.
This puppetry thing sounds rad. I wonder if any of the main three are capable of learning even a quick stun spell from that.
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>>4926261
>quick stun spell
isn't shock touch a stun spell? we can channel it through our sticky mana as well, zapping several targets at once.
>>
>>4926270
Not an expert at this but I think from the way Suzette explained things a simple mindlock shouldn't require a catalyst/medium so it should be faster than the combo you described.
>>
>>4926273
> a simple mindlock shouldn't require a catalyst/medium
>Ze major roadblocks are often finding ze medium in which to cast it- zome require no medium, zome require string, ozars actual full puppets, and zo on. The catalyst can quite varied.”
It's not guaranteed that we wouldn't need a medium and it doesn't look like we need a lot of time to cast shock touch. I think learning more about Endomagic would be be better than getting into Puppetry, we already know some spells and have picked up several textbooks.
>>
Writing! Although we'll need a new thread after this post...
>>
>>4926215
>>4926229
>>4926246
>>4926247
>>4926261
“Well, after a quick question,” you decide. She doesn’t complain, so might as well. “So, what exactly does this test consist of? How long will it take?”

She looks aside momentarily. “It iz a method of testing via a variety of ovah-sensitive materials. I prezume she ‘as some level of magical capability, yes? If she is adept wit one or more, I will recognize such. Az I said, it is ‘armless, but quite conzentration heavy.” ...Abstract, but...alright. “It takes az long az it takes to find out. It could be minutes. It could be ‘ours.” Not a fan of that, but...well.

Looking at Tami, she seems...well, concerned would probably be the best descriptor. She wasn’t edging away or anything, but she was clearly keeping an eye on her. Good. “You alright with that?” If she said no, then all of this would be meaningless.

...but no, she nods. No vocal agreement, but maybe she doesn’t trust herself to speak. “Alright, then. Good luck, you two.” Hopefully, the fact that Suzette already has a student of sorts means that she knows what she’s doing here...
With that underway, you need to get back to the others. Although when they quickly ask if Tami was going to be okay, you have to promise that she’ll be fine by way of distraction- namely, candy and dessert. Lorelei just watches all of it (although she does help with the cookies), laughing all the while. “You’re awful cute with those kids,” she mentions as she helps clean up some of the baking tools. They’re in the oven now, so it’s just a matter of waiting. The kids are busy watching some sort of animated adventure comedy movie- you’d completely forgotten you had it, something about a fairy that wanted to wander the world using a train. Whatever, it seemed to grab them. “Never thought when we first met you’d TOTALLY be a mom-type.”

“NOT a mother-type,” you fire back. “Just happen to like the kids, is all.”

“Suuuuure,” she says, rolling her eyes. “Do I need to watch out for you getting a minivan or something?”

Ugh. You couldn’t even BEGIN to imagine that. “Ha. Ha.” ...although it WOULD be useful to get them all in at once and not worry about- gah, nevermind. Lorelei’s just screwing with you.

> Forget her and go back to the kids. You don’t think you liked the movie, but it’s a convenient distraction.
> Turn it around on her- what’s with Prima off on a job with without Jago? Trouble watching HER own ‘kids’?
> Other
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>>4929595
> Turn it around on her- what’s with Prima off on a job with without Jago? Trouble watching HER own ‘kids
>>
>>4929595
> Turn it around on her- what’s with Prima off on a job with without Jago? Trouble watching HER own ‘kids
She's slowly, but surely getting there.
>>
>>4929595
> Turn it around on her- what’s with Prima off on a job with without Jago? Trouble watching HER own ‘kids’?
>>
>>4929595
>>4929609
>>4929618
>>4929668
New thread!

>>4929917
>>4929917
>>4929917