>The Decision EditionThe coastal town of Diamond Shoals, a popular tourist destination in the summer but otherwise relatively sleepy in the off-season. Occasionally though, there is some supernatural activity abound which is usually seen to by a few strange denizens of the town. For as unnatural as this activity might be though, it usually goes unnoticed by most everyone else. Usually.You've seen your fair share though and are starting to think you picked the wrong town to move to.
>>1128864Today will likely be no exception, having been asked to help out with an odd matter to say the least. A request by a strange local gem person for you to try and convince a girl you know, Sarah, to engage in a sort of test. Some type of endeavor to see if the subject can handle the sorts of difficulties faced in a "quest" or so you've heard it called. Unfortunately, the only way you managed to convince her to take the test, is if you would take it as well. And so you, Owen, have that to look forward to today. Thankfully it's a day off work for you, so this is the only matter on your mind. Rolling out of bed from a waking by a car horn below outside, you groggily try to set about your day. >Get washed and dressed, the morning ritual.>Breakfast first, the most important meal of the day!>Watch TV for a little while, till you're fully awake at least.>[Write-in.]
>The continuation of an ongoing quest, with previous iterations available here;http://pastebin.com/E9Eu48Kz
>>1128867>Breakfast first, the most important meal of the day!>Get washed and dressed, the morning ritual.>Check phone for time and any messages
>>1129433There's lots of things to do for sure, but you can knock them out one after the other why not? Eating is first, a mix of good and healthy things, everything part of a balanced breakfast! After cleaning up what can be cleaned up and throwing away what can't, you take to the shower and wash up for the day ahead. Finally after drying off you get dressed, probably the simplest step of the morning routine, given how limited your wardrobe is. That's right, a tracksuit!Unfortunately a lack of a phone prevents you from checking any messages, for that you need to speak to the landlady who has business phone downstairs. The time though is possible, a little after eleven in the morning as seen on the microwave. Not too bad for the chance to sleep in, and now ready to tackle the day, unless you had something else in mind.>Hang out a little while longer, check the news.>Go for a run, to get in the groove of things.>Head downstairs, meet with the landlady if you can and actually check if you do have any messages.>[Write-in.]
>>1129626>Head downstairs, meet with the landlady if you can and actually check if you do have any messages.>Go for a run, to get in the groove of things.
I'm also guessing you don't want this shilled over in /sug/.
>>1131001If they don't mind, I don't mind. All players are welcome.>>1130993Like most days you're feeling up for a run, to you something like to what other people is a cup of coffee in the morning. And of course you're always looking to best your personal records if you can. It also occurs to you that it could be good preparation for the test, when you get around to participating in it later.First though, you figure to check if you have any messages for once. Getting your shoes on and grabbing the basics (wallet and...) you head downstairs to the bookstore to look for the landlady. The place is almost empty save for one errant customer, though that's to be expected this time of day in the off-season. Thus, as expected the landlady is anything but busy, sitting by the counter and reading a book of her own. Some murder-mystery by the look of the cover."Hey Ms. Warren, this might sound weird but are there... or have there been any messages for me? On the phone, I mean.""Oh, Owen! I thought I heard someone come downstairs, that makes sense now." she's surprised at first, but marks the page and sets the book down, "No, not strange at all. There was actually a... ah, reporter? Called and was looking for you, something to do with the water tower as I recall."Looking around among the stacked books, she eventually ends up remembering to check the board on the wall behind her, and removes a pinned note card with a number and some writing on it. Chances are it's some news followup about your involvement with the water tower fiasco about a week ago, though you're not the most keen on getting dragged into all the complications and investigation. That is, if the reporter is after that to begin with.>Ask to use the phone, see what this is about.>Head on out, whatever it is can wait.>Ask her to cover for you, make up some story or excuse.>[Write-in.]
>>1131296Also, will probably be my last response of the night. Will resume tomorrow as usual.
>>1131296damn late again>Ask to use the phone, see what this is about.Better finished up this business before the gem businessAlso, i cant join ya for half a year but ill be waitchin. Good luck bro
>>1131296>Ask to use the phone, see what this is about.
>>1132156>>1131503You take the card from her and ask to use the phone if you can. She's fine with that so there's nothing stopping you, but you can't really expect privacy during the call. The phone itself is right there so even whispering, if you were that concerned, wouldn't be much good anyway. Reading off the card though you press the numbers and get a dial tone. In no time at all you hear a woman on the other end giving what sounds like a rehearsed bit about the news station, before asking who this is and if you've got a story for her. Jennifer, her name is, of Channel 10 News. "Hey yeah, this is Owen, I was just returning a call about the... recent events over at the water tower-""Which water tower?" she interrupts, sounding quite rushed."Oh... the uh, Diamond Shoals one?"At that she changes her tone, likely shifting her focus to you now as you hear some shuffling and commotion on her end, probably dropping whatever she was doing. She's a lot less short with you now, very nice sounding in fact as she tries to ask you some basic questions to confirm who you are and if indeed you were involved, before trying to set up an interview with you. Some date or time, whenever you can manage, she'd like to be able to do something more formal than a conversation over the phone. She's quite persuasive at least, clearly wanting whatever you have on record and likely in front of a camera.>Agree, set up a time convenient for you.>Decline, some questions over the phone are alright but you don't want to show up on a news segment.>Try to bargain, maybe she can make it worth your while?>[Write-in.]
>>1134819>>Agree, set up a time convenient for you.Agree as long as there are no cameras involved
>>1134884After being prodded some more and thinking it over yourself, you finally accept an interview if it's on your terms and there's no cameras. She's pretty insistent about that, but you set the terms of either no cameras or no interview. Eventually she relents, though expects you to meet her halfway on some of the terms, and she picks the time and place. Tomorrow, after work when you tell her your schedule, at the Sandpiper Motel. You're not sure where that is exactly, but maybe you can get a ride from someone, or just head out earlier than normal.Beyond that she seems more interested in leaving any further conversation for when you meet, and though she does thank you for your time and cooperation, she hangs up pretty quick. Back to the busy life of a reporter, you suppose... a reporter of a local news station in the most far-flung area of the state, that is."Oh Owen, why didn't you do it her way? You could have been on TV!" Ms. Warren adds in when you put the phone back, clearly disappointed. "At least be a dear and mention the bookstore in the interview if you can? It's like free advertising!"You don't suppose you can argue with that, as thanks at least for her help. Though, you're not sure yet how you can work the bookstore in, in a way that it would show up in the final piece to air on the news.>Take your leave, finally go for that run.>Leave, but hang around town for a bit before moving on.>Ask the landlady if she knows anything about the reporter, or the place she wants to meet for that matter.>[Write-in.]
>>1135019>Ask the landlady if she knows anything about the reporter, or the place she wants to meet for that matter.then>>Take your leave, finally go for that run.
>>1135027You're ready to go, but you figure it couldn't hurt to ask Ms. Warren if she knows anything about this interview situation."Hey before I go, you wouldn't happen to know Jennifer, or where the... Sandpiper Motel is?""I've seen her on the news before of course, she seems nice enough. The motel though, you'll want to head down main street till you get to Diamondback road, then it's about a ten minute drive on. You can't really miss it, one of the few places on that road with a parking lot.Just to be double sure, she also writes down the directions again on the same card Jennifer's number was on. Stowing it in your wallet for now, you thank her and head on out, the bell on the door ringing a little as it closes behind you. Now then, you can get running. Normally you keep to the beach, but you'll have to be heading out that way to help with the gem issue anyway, so you could take another way this time.>Along the beach, might as well head on over to the lighthouse anyway.>Through the woods, a little detour through the nature reserve could be nice.>Follow the motel directions, you could learn the way today in case you need it later.>[Write-in.]
>>1135133>>Follow the motel directions, you could learn the way today in case you need it later.
>>1135133>Follow the motel directions, you could learn the way today in case you need it later.
>>1135155>>1135203You've still got awhile till you'd think it start to be rude for you to show up that late, so you figure you could take the chance to find out where this place you're meeting is. By foot, if you have to.It's fairly straightforward then to follow the path laid out on the card, as you head down main street, actually technically the highway running the length of Hatrask Island and the others in the chain. Along the way you see some familiar faces and are greeted or told good morning, but you can't stop, you've got a busy day ahead of you! Continuing on you eventually see the turn for Diamondback road, and take to fully running when you see it's less trafficked by both cars and people alike. Now you've never been down this way but you can soon see why; there are some light businesses along here and there but for as sparsely developed as it is, for the most part it's residential once you get a distance from main street.Still, you can't complain about a good run, and that it is. You've gotten so used to running on sand as of late, that it's nice to feel some solid ground beneath you again when going the distance. You get beeped at a few times by passing cars, but none of them antagonistic in nature. Mostly people amused to see you going, some people you know, and some you get the impression are catcall honking. Maybe don't dwell on that though.---Some good tens of minutes later you're still going at your steady pace but you notice the motel coming up on the right, as Ms. Warren said, hard to miss from the parking lot and the sign of course. You're not sure what you expected but it looks harmless enough, at least for a place to do an interview. Out of the way for sure, you know if you were vacationing here you (or anyone really) would much more likely stay at the inn or one of the bed and breakfasts. It looks like the main appeal of the location is the proximity to the nature reserve, probably for folks on camping or hiking trips. You know the way now though, so that's some weight off your mind. Maybe you'd still want to catch a ride after work but it's not as though you couldn't make it on your own."Out of the way!""Whoah- sorry!"While checking out the place from the road, you nearly get clipped by Evan on his beach ATV. Appropriately enough you've seen him before along the beach while running, but this time he looks to be delivering papers with a little trailer he's pulling behind.>Head on to the lighthouse then, you got what you came for.>Ask Evan for a ride, maybe he can pull you in the trailer?>Make your way over to the campground visitor center, maybe Ranger Judy is around?>[Write-in.]
>>1135382>Make your way over to the campground visitor center, maybe Ranger Judy is around?
>>1135382>>Make your way over to the campground visitor center, maybe Ranger Judy is around?
>>1135382>Head on to the lighthouse then, you got what you came for.Where are the archives man?
>>1135428All the past threads of note are in the link here; >>1128874>>1135411>>1135420Well you've put it off long enough, and at the same time planned your day tomorrow. Probably best to get yourself over to the lighthouse then, at this distance it would take you upwards of an hour to reach it anyway, without getting lost trying to find the way through the woods. Taking the chance with the campgrounds nearby though, you figure to try the visitor center first. Ranger Judy might be around, and she could probably give you a ride over, make things a lot easier and cut down on time.So heading past the motel and down the side road to the campground a ways on, you make your way through another carpark to the visitor center. A pretty nice place, relatively new as well, though a little at odds with the island. It's more of a proper forest style lodge building, rather than the more coastal type of pretty much everything else around these parts. If nothing else though, it suits the uniforms of the rangers stationed here.At any rate, once inside you you look around for a bit, going past various information signs and boards as well as exhibits. No sign of Judy, though you do get approached by another person working there."Welcome to Hatrask Island National Park! I'm Ranger Jeff, can I help you with anything today?""Oh uh... well I was looking for Ranger Judy actually, wanted to ask her about something...""Judy is out nest counting today, but I can get her on the radio if you need."He's eager enough, motioning to a room behind the reception area through which a pretty detailed communications setup is visible. You'd rather not bother Judy though if she's out and busy working. You suppose it couldn't hurt to ask Jeff though for some help, it doesn't look like they're too busy in here after all."No, it's not that important. This might sound a bit weird though, but I don't suppose I could ask for a lift over to the lighthouse? I have a... I'm supposed to be meeting someone over there and got kind of sidetracked over here.""Well actually, now that you mention it... he's a little taken aback at your request out of the blue at first, but seems to remember something as he makes his way over to a board on the wall behind the reception desk, lifting up some papers, Yeeeaaahhh.... Ah, there it is! Right, we've actually needed to check out the reedy sea for near a week now after some... strange reports. I suppose I could knock that out now, let the intern take over here. That is, if you don't mind a ride in the buggy? We'll be going through the woods so it'll be pretty rough.">...
>>1135666Some twenty-odd minutes and a very bumpy ride later, you and Ranger Jeff part ways before he heads into the reedy sea. From here though you know the way to the lighthouse, having passed by more than once. You don't even need to run, just a brisk walk between the low dunes till eventually you find a trail to follow. From there, already you can see the lighthouse towering not so far away.Eventually you leave the sandy dunes behind and come to the flat grass of the lighthouse grounds, a short distance to the structure itself, and the keeper's house past that where the gem folks live. No cars as usual, though you do notice an adult-sized bike out front. Maybe one of the gem ladies has taken up riding?>Knock at the front door, see if anyone's home.>Let yourself in the backdoor, you're familiar enough for that!>Check the bike out, see what gem people money can afford.>[Write-in.]
>>1135733>>Knock at the front door, see if anyone's home.I'm going to sleep good night
>>1135733>Knock at the front door, see if anyone's home.
>>1135733>Knock at the front door, see if anyone's home
>>1135752>>1135778>>1135779You approach the front door and knock a few times, remembering the doorbell to be disabled. Some commotion inside, the sound of talking you think, before the door swings open to reveal..."I do believe I said noon Owen... ah, no matter. Entrez!"Soleil, the gem lady you're most familiar with. You have some slight dread at her seeming initial disapproval, but she warmly welcomes you which lays your worries to rest. Following her inside, she leads the way to the kitchen where you also notice Lee to be waiting, leaning on the counter top. That makes more sense with the bike outside now, than one of the gem ladies owning it."Heeey Owen! We were wondering if you were even going to show up! Ahaha... we weren't actually wondering that... hey so now that he's here, what now?" she tries to seem chummy but doesn't do a very good job of it, falling back on Soleil to carry things instead. The gem lady at least, has no such concerns."Once we 'ave Sarah 'ere, we can 'ead down to zhe vault, and explain zhe test to zhem. Would you go and fetch 'er zhen, Lee?"Jumping at the chance, Lee bows out and heads upstairs to fetch Sarah, leaving you to the kitchen with Soleil. You try to find something to busy yourself with, of course without being too nosy, but she's not one to just sit and wait for Lee to return."I want to zhank you again for zhis Owen, dearly. I know it may be very strange for you, but your 'elp means a lot to us.">Don't mention it, happy to help!>Don't read too much into it, I'm only here because I think it'll help Sarah.>Wait, why is Lee here?>[Write-in.]
>>1135988>Don't mention it, happy to help!>Apologize for being late.>Wait, why is Lee here? Is she doing this too?
>>1135988>Don't mention it, happy to help!>Wait, why is Lee here?Nighty Kon
>>1136036>>1136053You've never been a fan of all this weird gem stuff, especially not the monsters, and more than once has your life come in danger because of it all. Despite this though, you can't in good conscience have refused Soleil's request to help Sarah. Whatever your feelings about gem stuff may be, you're always willing to help a friend."No problem, I'm just sorry I wasn't here sooner, though... why is Lee here? Is she doing this too?""Ah non, Lee already passed zhe test some months ago. Since you are 'uman zhough, and Sarah is only 'alf a gem, I zhought it would be more fair to 'ave a 'uman 'elp design zhe test, at least part of it... also Lee did much to earn zhis chance."That seems fair, though at the same time it actually makes you more worried about the test. The only thing that can draw your mind from it is a flash of thought, inappropriate in imagining just what it was Lee had to do in order to "earn" this. Shaking your head to free your mind of such improper thoughts, you follow after Soleil once Lee comes downstairs, similarly with Sarah trailing behind her. With everyone grouped together, the gem lady leads the way outside, out the front door and around the house. Along the way she and Lee talk about this and that, though no such exchange takes place between you and Sarah, some unspoken sense of discomfort.Eventually the group comes around to the far side of the keeper's house to what looks like a very large cellar door in the ground. That can't be right though, none of the houses or buildings around here have basements. To your surprise though, indeed it does open up by Soleil's efforts, to some lower area beneath the house. Some definite confusion or at least curiosity on your part, as to how they managed that. You figure to head down inside with them, but Lee stops you and Sarah short."Wait wait! Just wait here for a bit you guys, we want to do something special for this, for you."With that, Lee heads down after Soleil, needing help to close the cellar doors behind her. At that, you and Sarah are left together beside the house on the grass by the door below. Sarah sits down while waiting, though doesn't say anything herself.>Just stand there, wait in quiet yourself.>Try to talk to her, apologize if you have to for dragging her into this.>Go get Lee's bike and do some sick tricks.>[Write-in.]
>>1136261Also a heads up, this will be my last post for the night. Will resume tomorrow as usual, hopefully earlier to make up for the late start today.>Thanks all for playing!
>>1136261>Try to talk to her, ask if she's feeling alright
>>1136261>>Try to talk to her, apologize if you have to for dragging her into this.
>>1136799>>1136828Rather than just sit there possibly forever, while Lee and Soleil set up... whatever it is they've got going on down below, you figure to try and get a conversation going maybe. It's difficult though, since her confidence in you was greatly impacted when you didn't keep her secret about skipping school. It was for her own good, but she didn't see it that way."Hey... Sarah, are you feeling alright? You've been kind of quiet these... well, couple of minutes."Her response is pretty delayed, as if she was thinking of something more complete to say, but in the end settled with a more simple response. Probably to avoid hostility as best she can."...I'm fine, I just don't wanna' be here."Eesh, this is what you were hoping to avoid. You still feel guilty from several days ago when you approached and basically pressured her into agreeing to do this, having to increase your efforts to convince her when she refused initially. Like how you heard Lee and even Soleil tried and failed at the same attempt, Sarah wanted nothing to do with any of this gem stuff and would rather just be a kid and play outside all her days. "Ahhh, I'm... I'm sorry. I didn't mean to drag you into this, you don't have to do it if you don't want to." a difficult position to be in, trying not to mention Soleil asking you to do all of this, and persuade Sarah in the first place. You get the feeling if she knew you were being put up to this by the gem lady, then she wouldn't have accepted doing this anyway."No... I'm here now. I wanna' get it over with so everyone'll leave me alone."You're left a little speechless, if only for a moment. Something about her words remind you, of when things started to go badly for you back in college, before you moved here.>Offer some encouragement, this won't be that bad.>She's not alone in feeling the way she does, as little as she wants to be here, you want to be here even less.>Try to win back some of her confidence, maybe together you can prank Soleil on this.>[Write-in.]
>>1137912>>Try to win back some of her confidence, maybe together you can prank Soleil on this.
>>1137912>Offer some encouragement, this won't be that bad.>Try to win back some of her confidence, maybe together you can prank Soleil on this.
Sorry for the delay, had to get something to eat.>>1137923>>1138072You can't do much to make it up to her you don't think, but at least you can make it seem not as bad. It's not like you're going to enjoy it either, so there's some weight to your words. A little encouragement, for the both of you."Well don't worry too much, it shouldn't that rough. I mean, if Lee helped to make the test..." you notice her try and keep from laughing at your comment, and try to use to that to get on better terms with her, "...hey, you want to have some fun with it? I wonder how annoyed Sol would be, if we didn't take it seriously.""Oh can we? She'd be so mad!"She gasps in excitement at your suggestion of the prank, and noticeably eases up, anticipating something fun. It seems neither of you want to go through with this, but you can have fun with it to make it easier to bear. Soleil had such high hopes for the two of you, but she probably wasn't expecting a pair of goofballs. So not long after the two of you start scheming, Lee finally returns, struggling to open the big cellar doors and saying everything is ready for you to come on down."Hey, what are you guys laughing about?" Lee asks, feeling like she missed out on some funny joke."Oh, nothing...">...
>>1138437The trip down was an odd one indeed, but by now you're starting to expect strangeness with anything gem related. The cellar below the house is normal enough, with various stuff and junk brought down for storage. At a far wall though is a rather odd looking door, like that of a bank vault as close as you can approximate, but a pale, slightly off-blue color. Whatever the nature of it is, already opened Lee leads the way inside. It was fairly dark in the cellar but in here the only source of light is a low glow from some small lights running along the floors of the hexagonal corridor. The interior floor, walls and ceiling of this place are the same color as the exterior and very smooth, so the light gives it all a glossy sheen. Coupled with the echoing footsteps of Lee and your's shoes, and it is a little eerie to say the least.Finally the three of you approach the end of the corridor as best as you can tell, leading to some darker room. Once inside, you squint to find any discernible features, and come to notice that Lee has left the two of you alone now. Rather disoriented now, you come to focus on a small pair of glowing lights some distance across the room. In your approach though, both you and Sarah lose balance as a soft blue glow pulses across the floor. Catching you off guard, it slowly increases in brightness till the room is bright enough to see clearly. The first thing you notice is that the two glowing lights in the dark were actually Soleil's eyes, while the second thing you notice is..."Ta-daa! Some surprise huh? Welcome to the testing room!" Lee excitedly proclaims, eagerly awaiting a positive reaction from the two of you.It's... honestly a little underwhelming though, the room itself very sparse and specifically shaped, like the hexagon corridor before. The only difference you can notice, is some sort of table or desk-looking expansion out of the floor over by Soleil and Lee, and a portion of the wall behind that with a distinctly darker color and little flashes of images and text scrawling across it. You don't want to rain on Lee's parade though, as excited as she looks, so you feign being impressed and nudge Sarah to do the same.It's even worse that it looks like Lee brought in some outside decorations, like streamers, and fancied the place up. Almost like a surprise party."Yeah, it's very..." you trail off, "...blue?" and Sarah adds.That seems enough to do the trick for Lee though, who does a little bow and leans aside to Soleil a bit, smugly satisfied."I told you they'd love it... just wait till you guys see the inside!">Is this a classroom or something, is the test going to be written?>Ask what this place is, how big is it to fit in the cellar?>Find out if there's any cake, for this surprise party.>[Write-in.]
>>1138440>>Is this a classroom or something, is the test going to be written?
>>1138440>Is this a classroom or something, is the test going to be written?>Wait, the inside of what? Aren't we already inside?
>>1138448You're not sure what you expected, but it wasn't this. The only thing you can guess at, is something to do with the table extension from the floor. Nothing like what was described when you agreed to all of this to begin with though."So like, are you gonna get out some chairs or something? Give us written exams to take at the table there?""Yeah I think I wanna' go now." Sarah chimes in.Lee is obviously confused at first, as if you're seeing something there that she can't or vice versa, going as far to do a double take at the table when you mention it. Thankfully Soleil finally speaks up, taking over for Lee, probably what should have been done from the start."Non, zhis is zhe preparation room. Zhe two of you will enter zhe chamber zhere..." as she says this, she reaches down to the table, and about halfway portions of it extend upwards to meet her hand. With a few motions a hexagonal portion of the floor in the center of the room lowers with a hum just a little, where you and Sarah are standing, "...and we will watch you from 'ere. We well be able to communicate zhe 'ole time, if you need anyzhing. Before you begin, you 'ave any questions, oui?"Regaining your balance from the floor lowering beneath you without warning, things make a bit more sense to you now. Just a bit. Sarah seems to have picked up on things about as well as you, maybe better since she just nods in understanding.>Sounds good, let's get this whole thing underway!>Ask for the basics, like what the rules are.>This won't be recorded, will it?>[Write-in.]
>>1138621>>Ask for the basics, like what the rules are.
>>1138621>ask for the basics, like what the rules are.
>>1138634It all seems in order to you, as you process everything in your mind. As the floor continues to lower with the two of you on it though, it suddenly and worryingly occurs to you, that you have no idea what the goal of the test is. Calling up from below, you try to get some last answers."Hey wait a minute, what are we supposed to be doing again? Like, what are the rules?"Soleil seems to need to continue operating the controls at the table and is now out of sight so just calls back down in response, though Lee is able to move over to the edge of the small shaft that you and Sarah are the bottom of and lowering still, holding onto the edge as she looks down at the two of you."I cannot give away too much, but inside zhe chamber are a series of rooms we 'ave created for you. Inside each room is is a special object, zhat togezher you must collect and bring to zhe exit. You will know zhe objects when you see zhem."With the floor having lowered about twelve feet down now, you see the space of the formed shaft above you begin to close up, likely a safety measure to stop anyone from up in the preparation room from accidentally falling down. Before it closes shut completely though, Lee half-whisper half-shouts down to you, and waves goodbye."The thing I left is a stuffed animal, the other two will be glowing! Good luck!"And at that, the space above closes entirely as the floor comes to a rest. Only a short passage lies before you, opening up in the same way to a dimly lit, and very much larger (from what you can tell) room ahead. Standing in silence, both you and Sarah seem to be waiting for the other to take the first step and enter the chamber ahead. Before long, the silence is broken by the unmistakable sound of elevator music.>Lead the way, confidence is key to victory!>Take it easy and head in together.>Ask Sarah if she's familiar with... well, anything that's going on. Maybe she has some experience here, where you don't?>[Write-in.]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xy_NKN75Jhw
>>1138778>>Ask Sarah if she's familiar with... well, anything that's going on. Maybe she has some experience here, where you don't?If she doesnt know about this place then>Take it easy and head in together.I'm going to sleep, good night kon
>>1138809Cya later, and thanks for playing!
>>1138778>Ask Sarah if she's familiar with... well, anything that's going on. Maybe she has some experience here, where you don't?>Take it easy and head in together.>Kinda wish they picked better music, huh?
>>1138898>>1138809Under the house and down some tunnel at the bottom of a pit, how much farther down can things go, you wonder? Maybe even figuratively, as well as literally. Were it not for Lee's presence, you'd think this all some elaborate ruse by the Soleil to make you... disappear, so to speak. At any rate you'd never have imagined to find yourself where you are now, when you woke up this morning."So is any of this making sense to you? I mean, you live here right? Well not here-here, but you know what I mean.""I always knowed 'bout the vault but I'm not allowed on my own. I only been inside two times with Emma and it wasn't this room."Well that wasn't very helpful, but at least you're both on the same page here. Better than being upstaged by a ten year old in a test for both of you, because she had a head start. Wait, there you go again, thinking of things as a competition. There's no I in team, and talking together, you go at an easy pace and proceed through the sort hallway into the large open chamber."Kinda wish they picked better music, huh?""You think it's for your guys' enjoyment? We get to see the whole thing, I've got popcorn up here!"From... somewhere, you hear Lee's voice over some sort of intercom or something, and it sounds like she's enjoying herself. You get the impression that up in the viewing room wherever they are, she and Soleil are having the time of their lives watching and making bets on the two of you. Fortunately the gem lady herself takes over the mic, as you and Sarah enter the chamber proper."Now you are in zhe chamber, you will see zhe rooms we 'ave made. Each of zhem are different, an will test for what we zhink is important while you are on a quest. Zhe order does not matter, as each room is connected at zhe end, but go ahead and choose my room first. It is zhe best, after all!">...
>>1139478>Take the yellow blocked path, what looks like to you, an exact recreation of a normal concrete sidewalk like those in town but more hilly with ups and downs.
>>1139476The place is surprisingly spacious, easily large enough to fit the house above inside. The interior surfaces look to be some sort of dark mesh pattern, at least to your eyes at this distance, since the room is similarly pretty dimly lit and you can just barely make out the border of the interior space. From what you can tell though, you're not even properly on the floor, instead on an elevated walkway suspended above the floor some distance below. The actual floor at least, is easy to see since unlike the walls and ceiling, it is illuminated by some sort of yellow glowing energy grid just above it. Aside of that, as Soleil said, along the path ahead, it branches into three which in turn lead to a small structure at the end of each, similarly suspended in the air above the floor.Although it all raises a ton of questions, you're starting to learn that the less asked about this gem stuff, the better. At least, better for your sanity."One last zhing before you begin, you may 'ave noticed zhe floor below already. Alzhough zhis test is based upon completion, zhere is a grading system in place. Try to avoid contact wizh any juane... yellow, or red objects. Zhey are only projections, but zhey represent zhreats you would encounter on a quest. Red is an enemy and a penalty, yellow is... well, zhe only way to fail zhe test."As if to demonstrate, emerging from the walkway before you float two glowing cubes, a red and yellow. You're not sure if it's intentional, but they each partially block one of the pathways to one of the rooms. Not that they are impassable, but one path is obviously unimpeded.>Take the unblocked path, a little winding gravel trail through a nicely kept hedge garden.>Take the red blocked path, what looks like to you, an exact recreation of a normal concrete sidewalk like those in town but more hilly with ups and downs.>Take the yellow blocked path, a completely straight walkway made of the same material as the interior surfaces of the chamber, and utterly devoid of any detail.>[Write-in.]
>>1139552>Take the red blocked path, what looks like to you, an exact recreation of a normal concrete sidewalk like those in town but more hilly with ups and downs.
>>1139640After talking among yourselves for awhile and trying to figure out which room to go to first, it comes down to a game of rock-paper-scissors between you and Sarah for the final decision. You end up winning, so the red blocked path it is, as the two of you approach and then carefully try to maneuver around the red block itself without touching it and without falling off the platform to the yellow field on the floor below.Once on the sidewalk path though, it's a little disorienting to go up and down and suspended in the air this high without railings or anything, but the two of you manage to reach the rather oddly shaped, misaligned room. There's an obvious space for a door where the sidewalk joins to the building, though it takes Sarah reaching out to tough the exterior wall there to actually cause the door to open. With that you both step inside.---The room is like stepping into an arcade machine, with everything resembling simple pixel shapes and forms, if each pixel was about the size of an apple. To match the visuals, the colors are just as simple and even the sounds. It makes you feel very out of place by comparison, but at the same time it's refreshingly simple and familiar compared to the other areas of the vault you've been in thus far."Haha, yes! They picked my room first!" you hear Lee joyous on the intercom, "I hope you like it, I only had a couple of days to make it and it was my first time using the design table, but I think it's pretty good!"The actual layout inside the room resembles some sort of little fantasy scene, complete with a tiny castle, a tiny mountain, a tiny waterfall and river, a tiny cave, and a tiny hill with a tiny tree. The room itself is relatively small too though is not evenly shaped, even in terms of the ceiling height in places, which would explain the very odd-looking shape of the room from the outside. Lee probably spent very little time shaping the room to some proper shape, rather than focusing on making it look good inside and work well.Well, it's not like you could ever hope to make anything as good as this, so you can't judge. All you can do is look for that stuffed animal. You have to be careful though, since there are some hazards in the room. Namely, red colored figure patrolling around the tree, another one in the castle, and then some yellow colored boulders that keep rolling down the mountain. At least, those are the threats you can see clearly, for now.>Split up, each of you start looking for the stuffed animal.>Try to work together, see if you can find it better as a team.>Let Sarah go ahead and try to figure everything out, you're just there to help if she needs it.>[Write-in.]
>>1139913Last post for the night/morning, will resume later.>Thanks all for playing!
>>1139913>Try to work together, see if you can find it better as a team.
>>1139913>>Try to work together, see if you can find it better as a team.
>>1140104>>1141238"I bet I can find all the things first!" you hear Sarah say, as she runs off around the room, getting a first impression of the different locations. She's seems pretty excited by it actually, to your surprise, which would probably make Soleil happy. You've even half a mind to take her up on that challenge, but taking a few paces across the blocky green "grass", you look around and wonder if the test really is just a simple completion."Wait, Sarah... you want to try working together on this? I think we'll do better against them if we do."Since you're being listened to, you can't outright speak of your intent against Soleil and Lee, but you can make it sound like you're talking about the red enemies and gesture otherwise. Sarah at first doesn't seem at all interested and more keen on winning, actually refusing your offer at first, but when she sees your gesturing and starts to understand your doublespeak, she slows down and takes the chance to think about it. Eventually she seems to understand what you're getting at, and changes her answer."Oh, ok... where we gonna' look first?"You do have some choices, though some are obviously more risky than others. The mountain, with the yellow-glow boulders seems like the last choice to make, being the most "dangerous".>Check out the little tree hill, watch out for the red guy though.>Try the castle, there's bound to be something in there, especially since it's guarded.>The cave seems suspiciously inactive.>[Write-in.]
>>1141264>>The cave seems suspiciously inactive.
>>1141267Of the available choices, probably the most innocuous looking one first."Well the cave is the only thing that doesn't look like it has any danger, let's try that."Sarah is fine with that, and crosses back over the "river" to your side, and together the two of you enter the cave. It's pretty small inside and fairly dark, with the only light coming through an opening at the far end which by the look of running "water" through it, actually opens up behind the waterfall. There also seems to be a crack in the roof of the cave, where occasionally a stray blue water block drops down, a small pile of them visible in the center. Taking a few steps inside, without much warning the cave entrance seals shut behind you and some sort of warning alarm sounds."Gotcha, you fell right into the trap! you hear Lee trying to laugh as maniacally as she can manage, "...err, sorry if that's kind of mean. I ran out of ideas after Boulder Mountain."Pretty soon and the cave floods with red light, as all the "water" (and waterfall of course) visible through the remaining opening turns red in color. Same with the occasional water block "dripping" down through the crack in the ceiling. It seems the only way out now is to have to escape through the opening in the wall and move through the red water blocks, though obviously that will cost you. "If we get stuck in here long enough, will it fill up with the red ones? Sarah wonders aloud.>Challenge Presented; Options closed, write-in needed to find a solution to the current problem.
>>1141387>>1141387>>Try to move through the red water blocks and reach the opening in the wall.
>>1141412The dripping red blocks from the ceiling aren't difficult at all to avoid, just a little pile in the center. Moving to the opening though, it doesn't look like you'd be able to get out without getting "wet", hit by the waterfall of those red blocks.
>>1141435>>1141435Are we allowed to touch the red blocks or we fail if we touch them?
>>1141443You can touch them but it counts as a penalty as if you made contact with one of the enemies, they're all made of the same red glow blocks. Now what exactly counts as contact, you're not sure yet, if that means touching any part of you, or skin contact.Though how seriously you want to take the test of course, is up to you.
>>1141455Then just pile the blocks high enough to reach the opening in the wall.
>>1141470The opening isn't that high, maybe only a foot off the ground and more than wide enough to fit through. If you wanted to just go ahead and climb out or jump through, both you and Sarah could without much difficulty. Sorry if there was confusion there.
>>1141494will the water touch us if we climb?
>>1141514Climb out of the opening? Yes, the waterfall is falling right on the other side. You figure if you're quick though, and do like a running jump, you can minimize contact, if you want to just go for it.
>>1141542Then just go for it
>>1141563Faced with not a lot of other options, you decide to just go ahead and do a running jump through, hoping to make as little contact with the red blocks as possible. You let Sarah know as much, and putting some distance between you and the opening, you make a run for it and leap out. You're hit with a shower of the blocks, which have very little feeling or weight to them at all, but the red glow is a little overwhelming. You also hear a number of unpleasant-sounding alerts, a barrage of them likely to match the amount of red blocks you jumped through."Oh wow, maybe uh... that'll count as touching them just once, all together?"Lee sounds worried, especially after Sarah follows after you in running and jumping through the opening out of the cave. The both of you are at least out of the "water" now though and back in the main area of the room. An unpleasant experience that was the cave trap, but it narrows down your choices of where left to go. Interestingly, you now notice that the two red enemy figures both on the tree hill and in the castle, are now nowhere to be seen."Why the yellow blobs are still rolling down the mountain? asks Sarah, noticing the changes and similarities to the room now as well.>Check out the tree hill, now that it's seemingly abandoned.>Take a running jump across the red blocky river to the castle, similarly empty.>The mountain is worth a look, though the yellow boulders look risky.>[Write-in.]
>>1141646>Take a running jump across the red blocky river to the castle, similarly empty.
>>1141653With less of a danger from the red enemy guys, Sarah wants to check out the tree while you run and jump across the river to explore the little castle. Quite small inside though with two stories, it's like one of those fancy wooden playhouses a rich family would get for their kids in their backyard. It might have been risky with the red enemy guy, but now you can go through freely. "No, nothin' here.Walking up some blocky steps to the second floor. you look around, down on the rest of the room. Across the river you can see Sarah sitting up in the tree, similarly looking around, though from where you are you can also see the the mountain better and the top of it. A quick glimpse that you almost missed, but doing a double take and looking closer, you can just make out the stuffed animal at the mountain top."Oh hey, there it is! It's up on top of the little mountain-thingy!""That's good, but how we gonna' get it? Sarah calls across the way from the tree, struggling to get down and join you on that side of the river. You as well, walk back down the block stairs and out of the castle, the both of you now standing a safe distance before the mountain while the yellow blocky boulders roll down and into the river.>Challenge Presented; Options closed, write-in needed to find a solution to the current problem.
How difficult would it be to climb the mountain?
>>1141851Difficult but not impossible, especially if you work together. Sarah isn't tall enough to make it on her own up each height "tier" of the mountain, but could manage with help. Then again, you could just try on your own.You wouldn't want to fall though, what with the boulders and the river right close by.
>>1141876Lets try on our own, have sarah watch for anything strange that might happen.I'm going to sleep, are you running tomorrow?
>>1141754Is there nothing in the castle or the rest of the room that can be used to bat the boulders out of the way?Are the boulders coming down in a set pattern that we could learn?>"You don't have any secret gem powers you'd like to reveal right now, right?"An open ended challenge with a very real possibility of failure! The bane of questers!
>>1141903The thread is in auto-sage now I do believe, so I will continue to run it but not at a rigid time structure. I'll just be posting whenever I have the chance, but yes, I definitely will continue to run it until the thread drops off the board.>>1141913There aren't any distinct "objects" in the room that you could just pick up and use, though you could try interacting with the environment around and see if it can be influenced by your effort. There's also of course whatever you have on your person, if you want to try that.As for the boulders, they are coming down at a consistent rate. After watching like three, you can tell the rate they come falling down at.
>>1141931Are there any enclaves or empty spaces we could fit into to avoid the boulders as they come down? Do they fit well enough going down where they would be unavoidable going up the path?
>>1141964The tiered heights of the little mountain are safe from the boulders, though as said they would be difficult to climb, together or alone. The boulders themselves, they are very blocky shaped and don't roll down cleanly, but going up the path itself would be asking to get hit. The path is basically a trough for the boulders to roughly tumble down, and as precarious as they go, it's somewhat unpredictable.
>>1141994Right. Then unless Sarah has some powers she wants to pull out of nowhere, climbing up out of the path of the boulders would be the best bet. Go as carefully as possible and carry Sarah if we have too.
>>1142051>>1141903It's not the most complex problem you've ever faced, even unrelated to any gem stuff. Still, given the current circumstances, you don't have a lot of options. Well, you definitely don't have a lot of options, but you're not the only one here."You don't have any secret gem powers you'd like to reveal right now, right?""No I... I said before, I don't have any powers!"Sarah's reaction is rather negative, and she's obviously hurt that you asked her something like that. It mush be a pretty touchy subject for her then, but you can't see the harm in at least asking. That's that option out though, so you're back to square one."Well I guess the only thing we can do is climb up then. Are you ok with that?""...ok then, let's go."She's still annoyed you can tell, but is fully willing to cooperate and work towards completing this challenge. So together you approach the first tiered height level of the little mountain, looking up to the top where you know the goal to be. If you jumped up you might be able to reach it, but you'd have a tough time getting yourself up there. With Sarah though, you can have her stand on your shoulders or just throw her up to reach the ledge, then follow after with your own jump while she helps you climb up. Not a lot of help since she's just a kid, but that extra bit counts.So together you manage this plan, difficult to coordinate at first and a few times either of you nearly fall down or get hit by a stray boulder. By the second height level though, you've pretty much got the hang of it, especially given how good she is at climbing. A fine display of teamwork, that gets you to the top of the mountain while avoiding the "dangers"."Hey, that's cheating! You were supposed to find a way to deal with the boulders... well, congratulations anyway." you hear Lee, sounding a little annoyed, but still celebratory nonetheless when the two of you reach the top. Little blocky fireworks go off in the "sky" of the room, when Sarah picks up the stuffed animal from the ground. You as well, happen to notice from here, a short path leading to a doorway at the back of the room. Another way out, probably the connection to the middle of the three rooms, that Soleil mentioned earlier."Hey, this is one of my animals! You stole it, Lee!""O-Oh... Hon hon hon! Gem apologies but Lee is not here at the moment! A gem well done though reaching the top, gem congratulations, oui oui"Weird, Soleil sounds different. It's probably just a glitch in the intercom or something.>Take the path up here from the mountain top, head to the next room over.>Exit the way you came, head back to the starting platform to skip the second room and go for the third.>Congratulate yourselves on a job well done, who needs gem powers when you have teamwork!>[Write-in.]
>>1142220>Take the path up here from the mountain top, head to the next room over.>Congratulate yourselves on a job well done, who needs gem powers when you have teamwork!>"You need to work on your Soleil impression Lee! 'A gem well done'? Come on now!"
>>1142231"You need to work on your Soleil impression Lee! 'A gem well done'? Come on now!" you call back, though the only response you get sounds like fumbling on the other end like the mic was dropped in a panic. Anyway, probably easiest just to do the rooms in order, so you agree to head along the path up here together. In a short distance it comes to another press-to-open door, opening up to the main chamber again. The path extends across the gap between this room and the next, everything suspended above the floor below. An intimidating walk to say the least, to take your mind off it you congratulate yourselves."H-Hey... so, y-yeah we did a pretty good job back there. You shouldn't worry about any gem powers, you don't need them to be a great teammate."By contrast Sarah doesn't seem at all bothered by the height, but she brightens up at your compliment. It seems your praise is worth something to someone, for once."Thanks... let's do even better on the next one!"---Having made it to the second suspended room with a very complex and shifting exterior of intricate shapes and patterns, you're definitely caught off guard once inside. Unlike the blocky pixel design of Lee's room, this one resembles a completely normal fancy ballroom, or at least as normal as fancy ballrooms can be. It all looks real to you, and even Sarah is in awe of the amazing design of the place. Like a grand dance hall of some royal palace."Bienvenue dans ma chambre. Zhis is zhe 'alfway point of zhe test... if you can make it zhrough. Let's see 'ow you fare."It's pretty obvious now whose room this is, as Soleil comes back on the intercom again... or Lee with a better impression of her. Whatever the case, at the center of the room is a pedestal, atop which is some glowing object, housed within a glass bell jar. Compared to Lee's room, it looks like no effort was taken at all to hide the goal object. "If this is her room, we gotta' be careful..." Sarah murmurs, looking around every which as if expecting something. It's all so lovely and peaceful though.>Approach the center, carefully if you can.>Just run over and grab it, she probably spent so much time designing this place that she didn't anticipate you just rushing through it.>Take an indirect route, split up if you have to, but avoid a direct approach.>[Write-in.]
>>1142375>Take an indirect route, split up if you have to, but avoid a direct approach
Just a heads up, will be my last post of the night. As always, will continue later, but as said above, whenever I get the chance rather than a set time, now that the thread is in autosage.But yes, will continue later.>Thanks all for playing!
>>1142402Thanks for running, Kon.
>>1128867>Try my absolute hardest to get up early, to no avail. Alarm goes off several times. Last alarm rings, my "This is your last warning" alarm. I am that alarm's bitch. I finally get up, wander to kitchen to eat breakfast.>I am not a fan of sweet breakfast food, or traditional breakfast food at all. Have leftovers from last night (more than likely oriental something or other).>Grab cloths from room, get dressed while I watch the early morning/late night uploads from video-streaming site.
>>1142704More like Lee's morning routine.>>1142387You're not sure what to expect of Soleil in this room, but you doubt going directly for the object will work. Talking it over with Sarah for a bit, you decide to separate, and go different ways around the edge of the room. Hugging the wall seems to work fine, and you manage to make it directly to the other outer side of the room from where you entered. You do so first in fact, and seeing as nothing seems to happen, Sarah (at about a quarter ways around) decides to just cut across the room diagonally towards you and skip the remaining corner. Along the way though, you hear the revving of some mechanism from somewhere, and all of a sudden the majority of the floor of the room save for the very outer edges, begins to rotate. Happening so sudden and at a speed great enough, Sarah is caught off guard and falls over. Fortunately she wasn't that far from you when everything started moving, so when the floor spins her towards you, you manage to grab ahold of her by the hoodie and drag her off the rotating center portion. "Wow, thanks... she responds as she struggles to her feet, still uneasy from being caught off guard.Together you watch the room as it starts to become active, noticing right away that there are several portions of the floor that move, on top of the overall giant rotating center. Furthermore, after you dragged her off, a number of figures emerged from a side door and take to the center floor in a waltzing dance if you had to guess. They're vaguely humanoid, but resemble fancy dressed animated mannequins rather than actual people. They similarly are spun around by the rotating portions of the floor, but don't seem to mind all that much, and continue to dance in pairs to some appropriate music that is now playing from somewhere.It's all quite impressive to say the least but you notice that the figures themselves glow red, so if traversing the rotating floor portions would have been hard enough, you'll have to do it without coming into contact with the dancers you imagine. Really the only two that aren't red, just a faint white glow, are a lone, separate male and female pair. They sit off the center floor at the other far side of the room in chairs, watching all the others go by. If projected mannequins could be sad, you would think these two to be so."If zhis is all too 'ard, you can just give up, you know." comes Soleil's voice gently, from above the music.And of course, there sits the glowing goal object at the center of the room, only slightly rotating in place due to being on the very center axis.>Challenge Presented; Options closed, write-in needed to find a solution to the current problem. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZg9Da3Tl6I
>>1144988Also an explanation of the included picture, a crude top-down view of the room, with the center rotating portions and four walls outlined in black. Blue lines indicate the direction of rotation of the circular floor portion they're adjacent to, red dots are the active (and "dangerous") dangers who are themselves waltzing about while the floor portions they are on rotate with them. The purple dots are the two lone dancers sitting by, and the green dots are Owen and Sarah. The center green, is the goal object.
>>1144993>the active (and "dangerous") dangers*dancers, that is
>>1144993How erratically are the holograms dancing? Do they move throughout their platforms or would it be easy to ride a smaller outer circle into a larger outer circle before hopping off in the center?>Check with the two sad holograms. Offer to dance with them?
>>1145242You think there to be some dance pattern, there must be if it's a waltz. However, with each platform spinning individually atop the great center one, and different platforms displaying different patterns of dancing, it's far too complex for you to figure out. You can try to focus on just one and figure it out, but by the time of a full rotation you've lost track of it amid the frenzy of other motion.For the lone pair though, to reach them I assume you mean to take the safe way around?
>>1145256Yes, take the easy way around. Theres nothing on the walls we could use to climb up and get a better vantage point, right?
>>1145318There's moldings and fixtures on the wall you could try to climb, probably Sarah since she's good at that, but you're not sure if a higher vantage point would come in handy.>>1145242Noticing the lone pair of dancers sitting out of the display, you consider the idea and mention it to Sarah before skirting the outer edge of the room yourself. Approaching the sad and lonely looking female mannequin, she livens up and looks about as happy as one can with only a vaguely featured face. Understandably, you apprehensively reach out a hand to her expecting some trap or penalty, but none of your fears come true as she simply takes your hand and rises to her feet. You of course had no way of knowing what to expect, but she behaves enthusiastically, bringing herself close and taking a hand of yours in hers while drawing the the other around her waist. A little sudden, though you're more embarrassed at not knowing how to dance, than by her forwardness. Heaven help me, she's not even real...You skill on the dance floor doesn't seem to matter all that much though, as she guides you through the motions and onto the rotating center of the room. It's a good thing you have her support, as you quickly come to realize that any portion of the floor you come to dance on, immediately stops rotating and remains that way for as long as you remain on it and in part of the waltz. The sudden stop of the rotation you pass onto is enough that it nearly throws you off your feet, but she holds you up firmly till you find your footing so she can continue guiding you through the motions. Naturally you're worried at first about the other dancers in red, but your partner seems to know the pattern and guides you among them safely, the two of you fitting right in at a steady pace. You dread to find out though, what would happen if you stopped dancing with her, while on the dance floor and surrounded by reds.Either way you think of how you and Sarah might be able to capitalize on this new knowledge and ability to stop the rotation of any floor circle you come onto. Sarah though, is busy struggling to keep upright from laughter at watching you waltz. You even swear you can hear shuffling on the intercom, and Lee in the background asking Soleil if there's a way to record this.>[Write-in.]
>>1145505How confident are we that we could still get thrown through the motions with Sarah on our back? If we can, have her climb on before jumping off when we pass by the center.If she can't get to us, try to wait out the dance and offer a hand to the male mannequin with Sarah in tow.
>>1145744It would be significantly harder to go through the dance with Sarah hanging on piggyback, and of course the difficulty of her reaching you, but it's not impossible.I'll assume that's the action you want to take.
>>1145744While being led through the motions by your partner, you try to think of how to be able to use this new development to your advantage. As you near her during a rotation of the waltz, you call out to her and tell her to follow along around the outside of the circle so you can tell her your idea. It's definitely hard to keep focus as you go, but you get across the idea for her to try and climb on your back as you make another pass, and then get off when she nears the goal object at the center of the room.She's just as skeptical of the plan as you are but it's the best thing you can come up with in a moment's notice. So eventually being led through the dance for awhile more, you near the outside of the circle, enough that Sarah is able to jump on your back and climb up to try and hang on for dear life. Fortunately your dance partner doesn't seem to mind and it seems her intended behavior helps out here, since the sudden force of Sarah jumping on your back which would have sent you to the floor, the mannequin takes it as a sign of you losing sync with the dance so she holds you up with enough force to offset Sarah's jump."Hey hey, you think you could go a little easier next time?""Sorry, sorry!" she tries to apologize without making things much worse.It's still tremendously awkward and difficult to maintain (and hilarious to watch probably) though, and you tell Sarah to get off just as soon as she can make it to the very center of the room. It takes another two passings of the waltz pattern before you all near the center, and finally Sarah does her best to jump off your back and land at the middle. At the speed of rotation of the floor you aren't dancing on though, when she lands it catches her off balance sending her into a roll."Yeeowch!" you hear her exclaim in some pain.While she did manage towards the center at least, she ended up tumbling right into the pedestal with the goal object in a painful looking display, and causing the whole thing to topple over. With a crash you hear the whole setup topple and hit the floor, the glass bell jar shattering, and you catch a glimpse of the glowing object rolling around on the floor out of the corner of your eye. Sarah seems in a daze from the nasty spill, and you worry to her moving around if she injures her feet on the broken glass, from not wearing shoes. At least, you think it to be a risk, since you're not sure how actually "real" the room is.The main problem now you notice though, is that all the other mannequins stop dancing, turning their attention to Sarah and the broken pedestal. They don't look happy, and still glowing red as they now try to approach her, though naturally with some difficulty since the floor portions are still rotating. You at least seem safe for the time being, your partner still leading you through the waltz to the music, and a safe distance from any red former-dancers trying to get at Sarah and the center.>[Write-in.]
>>1146389>swear in a TV-Y7 appropriate manner>apologize to the mannequin you're dancing with (hey, maybe it'll turn yellow of you just disengage out of nowhere)>Run over to defend Sarah, never leave a man behind!>Try to locate the objective that's in a free roll and move towards it with Sarah
>>1146466Well that's not good. Things turned pretty bad pretty fast."FFFFFFFFFFiddlesticks!"Needing to get over and help, you apologize to the dancer and thank her for being your partner. She seems to understand and doesn't fight your leaving her, though responds with a peck to your cheek with her vague "lips" and a smile, accompanied with a dainty curtsy. It's distracting enough that when you disengage from her, the sudden continuing of rotation of the floor you're on catches you off guard and you fall over.No time to get hung up on anything though, as you struggle to your feet amid the turning action of the room, and notice now that the red dancers are now noticing and angrily approaching you as well. You don't wait around to get got though and take off in a run trying to reach the center, ducking and dodging when you need to, to avoid contact or being grabbed by the reds. Eventually after a struggle against the floor rotations, you make a final jump and land in a slide beside Sarah, who by now has regained her senses and is able to stand. "I think that's our cue to leave! Watch out for the glass though, I'll carry you if you need.""Wait, but... the glowy thing!"You were about to take off in a run again and make for the exit with Sarah in tow, but she reminds you again of the goal object, now caught along the rotation of one of the floor portions and rolling around sporadically. On it's own it wouldn't be too hard to catch, maybe just a little difficulty trying to keep up with it while leaning low to scoop it up. With the approach of the red dancers though, some of them now close enough to try and start grabbing for you. You can avoid them if you're quick and clever about it, but you don't see a way that you and Sarah can both avoid them all while keeping together, and be able to head directly for the glowing object. Whatever you do, will require some creativity and fast thinking.>[Write-in.]
>>1146624Is the glowing thing clear of the glass?>Get clear of the red mannequins with Sarah>Distract the mannequins while Sarah gets the orb. Other way around if the orb is still surrounded by broken glass.>Request appropriate music from Lee and Soleil. "And it better not be Ballroom Blitz!" >It's still Ballroom Blitz
>>1146793If we distract the mannequins with the power of dance then I'm all for this plan
>>1146821Would that you could, but Owen is not a dancer, Owen is a runner.>>1146793It is yes, has rolled away from the center, though given how quick you'll have to be moving to get away, you still might want to help Sarah at first.
>>1146837Then yes, get Sarah out of there first, then lead the dancers away and issue a verbal challenge for a dance off, their turn first. If that doesn't work, run like hell and do the same after their turn is up and Sarah still hasn't gotten the orb.
>>1146883>>1146793The last thing you want to be is stuck in the middle with Sarah, surrounded by approaching enemies, so lifting her up for just a moment you hop over the glass across the floor and dash through a remaining opening between the dancers. Not completely to safety, you're still in the relative center of the room and the dancers are still after you, but you can drop Sarah now and move independently again. Unfortunately you can't leave just yet though, and a distraction seems necessary as you let her know your plan. Putting some distance between you and her, you wait till a number of the dancers near you, before making your play."Hold up! I challenge you... well, all of you, to a dance off!" you call out loudly so you can be heard over the music and across the room. You stumble back with some fear though when all the red dancers across the room turn their attention to you, stopping immediately what they were doing otherwise. "Err... the best of you that is. Them versus me! And can we get some more appropriate music?"Eventually the rotation of the room slows to a stop as the music ends up being changed, and the red dancers all move to gather around and form a makeshift ring around you for the competition. Your focus is more on Sarah, try to see past all the reds as she tries to make her way around without touching any, and grab the glowing object. It seems the distraction worked for her to get it, though now you're faced with a real challenge before you. One of the male dancers emerges from the gathered crowd, slowly approaching as the rest look on with as much anticipation as mannequins can muster. Stopping just short of you and standing face to face, you and the red fellow come to a deadlock stare, trying to study his vaguely humanoid features. You're sure he knows much more about you by looking, and though the music is playing, for the two of you it's as if you could hear a pin drop."Right, uh... so you first then." you finally mutter. He nods in understanding, cracking his neck to a side and loosening up for some grand display, and...
>>1147107Punches you right in the gut, hard."-oof!"A little warning alarm is head in the background as you collapse to the floor, from your contact with a red, and all the others start clapping and silently cheering with their lack of voices. The red fellow looms over you looking quite smug, and ready to show off for his friends as he winds back for another punch. Clearly Soleil wasn't playing around when she made these folks."Owen!" you hear Sarah from somewhere, clearly worried for your sake. You hope she doesn't try to get involved on your behalf and just continue on, though your salvation doesn't come from the half-gem girl but from a flash of white. Still trying to catch your breath from being winded by the punch, you struggle to sit up and see the red fellow shattered into pieces on the floor from a strong blow by none other than your dance partner from before, the white-glow female mannequin. She looks to you with worry and concern and silently mouths asking if you're ok, quickly trying to help you to your feet. When she sees you're able to stand though she doesn't give you much chance otherwise and runs ahead, charging through the now angry and approaching reds from all sides. She manages to push through many of them, and makes an opening for your escape. A small opening is clear through the red dancers she crashed through, and Sarah beyond it looking just as worried but holding the glowing object.>[Write-in.]
>>1147114>Take the opening! Grab Sarah and go!>Try to push away the feelings you have for holowaif- that holographic dancer.
>>1147162After that punch, you don't waste any time in getting out of there as best you can, and make for the cleared path. Some of the red dancers try and stop you along the way and make some contact in attempts to grab you, but it's not enough to prevent your escape. Sarah too, knows what's up and doesn't need your help or telling to head for the exit as well. You think follow her as fast as you can, but something inside brings you to a stop before you rush out the door.Looking back, you see your dance partner getting roughed up by some of the red dancers as others pursued you, and for just a moment your eyes meet hers. You see her mouth something, before a solid blow is brought down and she shatters, much the same your heart. Normally you'd have run back in to see if there was anything to be done, or at least to avenge her, but the door to the room is shut by Sarah, just in time before any more reds can get at you. ---Sitting against the door together, looking ahead to the final room suspended across the gap and bridged by a straight path, the banging on the door has long since faded. Although you get congratulations over the intercom from Lee at completing Soleil's challenge, you're both a little worn out from it. Sarah came to apologize for slamming the door on any chance you may have had at going back into the room, though you don't hold it against her. It was needed to put an end to the test, and you've been coming to grips with the fact that the white-glow dancer wasn't real."Before the end, what'd she say?""She said... thank you."Part of you wonders if any of that was intentional by Soleil in cruelty, but either way you're much more interested in not taking the rest of the test seriously, in order to prank her.>Pick yourself up and head to the final room, one step at a time.>Get a better look at Soleil's glowing object, see what it was you struggled so hard for.>Ask Sarah if she actually owns any shoes.>[Write-in.]
>>1147297>Get a better look at Soleil's glowing object, see what it was you struggled so hard for.>"Hey. You okay?">"So, any ideas about what's behind door number 3?">Pick yourself up and head to the final room, one step at a time.
>>1147379Out of curiosity you check out the glowing item you got punched got hard for. You're not an expert or anything but to your eye it looks like one of those fancy jewelry eggs that rich people collect, or you see in museums. It seems a bit irresponsible of you now, to have knocked it over on the floor and risked breaking it, and you wonder if Soleil accounted for that happening. Probably."Hey. You okay?""Huh? I'm okay, I hit my head but it wasn't so bad. You got hit a lot more bad I think."When getting a look at the glowing egg, you remember that Sarah took a spill to get it, and ask how she's doing by now. Thankfully she seems alright, and though she's probably right in worrying that your hit was worse, you can't help having concern for her. Although you're of the same technical team, as the adult you feel responsible for the both of you. For the most part you're fairly impressed at her ability to handle herself, and you wonder if she wouldn't be such a bad fit with these quests Soleil goes on about."Ah don't worry about me, I can take it. We've only got one room left anyway..." your gaze comes to wander over to the final remaining room again, some curiosity at what it contains buy mostly dread at it being anything like the previous room."So, any ideas about what's behind door number 3?""It's just a square... it's gotta' be Paz's room, but I dunno' what she'd put in there. She don't got a room in the house."Well, that's still better than no information. You'd guess the room maker isn't another human like Lee, or else you'd probably have seen or met them around town by now. That ends up leaving even more to the imagination, and at least a little bit, you're more curious towards the interior of the final room. Figuring to continue one step at a time and go on to the remaining goal, you decide to finally get up, though Sarah jumps ahead of you and offers a hand. Not that you need it but you appreciate the gesture, before proceeding along the straight path together.>...
>>1147866"Well that's a little......lame?"You wouldn't say she took the words out of your mouth, but Sarah does provide a word which at least isn't the worst way to complete your sentence. Like the outside, the interior of the room is just a cube, the only difference being a number of stairs in the walls, and a glowing object suspended by a pole of sorts in the very center of the hollow cube. Even the interior surfaces themselves aren't that great, just the same texture and color as the cube exterior, itself the same as the interior of the overall chamber that these rooms are situated in. There aren't even any red or yellow glow areas, that you can see.Disappointed is not the right word, but then neither are excited, surprised, or interested. Standing together in the doorway, actually getting into the room will require dropping down onto the floor, but that should be easy enough.>Go ahead with it, get down into the room.>You go on your own, have Sarah wait in the doorway.>Ask for any help or advice from whoever is on the intercom at that moment.>[Write-in.]
>>1147874A little explanation of the picture, imagine it as looking into the cube room, with the stairs as cutaways in the walls, and on every interior wall having a pair of stairs. the grey coloring is mean to represent the depth of the stairs into the walls. The green represents the pole extending from the ceiling sort of, to reach and suspend the glowing item in the space which would equate to the very center of the hollow cube room.
>>1147886I should also add, if anything is unclear, since my drawing skills are poor, feel free to ask of anything about the room and I'll try to better explain the layout or provide a different perspective.
>>1147874>Ask for any help or advice from whoever is on the intercom at that moment.>"There's no way it's this easy. Soleil! I'll trade you the egg for some good advice!"How high up is the the object?
>>1147984From the white shade (the closest elevation towards the center) it's suspended about fifteen feet in the air. If you were to stand directly underneath it and Sarah stood on your shoulders, she still wouldn't be able to reach it.
>>1147997How confident do we feel that we could catch Sarah if we tossed her up? How confident does Sarah feel?
>>1148010Catching her isn't so much the problem as that you can't really throw her as high as fifteen feet in the air.
>>1148015How solid does the pole and object look to be in place? Could we dislodge or break it by throwing our shoe at it? And how high is the drop? Would we be able to climb back up when we drop down into the cube?
>>1148046You could definitely try to get at it using items or clothing you have, though you can't tell of how secured it is just by looking, since the glow obscures any close observation.As for the drop, it's about six feet down, so only Sarah might have some difficulty without help. Then again, she is good at climbing.
>>1148071Aw screw it. Drop down after asking for help, it's time to start fucking up.
>>1148086Will do so then and continue here >>1147984 later. For now I'm headed off though, and won't be around tomorrow likely, at least not till late night.
>>1148098Thanks for running so long today, Kon.
>go to archive thread>someone else archives it at the exact same timeWell then.
>>1148117Anything for the players!>>1148135Well that's good, being able to use the archive over the other site is a nice change.
>>1147984>>1148086Standing at the elevated doorway to the room, you lean in a bit to look around at the other interior surfaces you couldn't see yet and confirm that yes, they are all in the same pattern. While reminiscent of some Escher-esque style with stairs upon stairs that don't seem to go anywhere, and impressive at a glance, the room looks to be the least complicated and difficult of the three."There's no way it's this easy. Soleil! I'll trade you the egg for some good advice!" you call out after some moments of hesitation, towards the success of this attempt. You do get a response though, shortly."Early to bed early to rise, makes a man 'ealthy, wealthy and wise! I'll be wanting zhe egg back now, when you are done."Well that's definitely helpful, and you feel ready to take on the world! So, sighing in defeat, you clamor down to the edge of the doorway and drop down to the room interior. You offer Sarah help, but she's capable on her own. Once you're both down, you begin to pace towards the center of the floor, making sure to hop over the gaps made by the stairs cut into that bottom face of the cube. Staring up at the glowing object above for a bit, you're distracted when you hear the door into the room finally close shut. Not a moment later after it closes though, you hear a something of a loud unlocking sound from somewhere, and suddenly the room begins to shift. Almost as if on an axis it begins to rotate to accommodate any weight within the room, in this case you and Sarah. A little off of the center of the floor, the cube begins to turn towards the side you and Sarah have your combined weight closest to, eventually sending the both of you tumbling down till you reach a bottom vertex and the cube can't turn anymore."Ah! I think I landed on the egg... oh, but it's not broken." trying to right herself, Sarah is having some obvious difficulty hanging onto the goal objects from the previous two rooms. You meanwhile landed in a pretty painful way after the tumble, though the harder part is trying to orient yourself upwards properly, when nearly any movement seems to affect the cube.>Challenge Presented; Options closed, write-in needed to find a solution to the current problem.
>>1152294A little explanation of the picture, the little top bit is to show the room from the outside, and the axis which it is turning on, and how it seems to be able to turn either clockwise or counterclockwise.The three-part diagram below shows you and Sarah in green when the room started turning, with blue showing your weight and the direction of it upon the room, causing it to turn to accommodate the weight of the two of you, till it couldn't anymore and the both of you were as low as can be.
>>1152294If I'm looking at the diagrams right, it should be possible to wedge ourselves between the stairs and the raised path. If we can get Sarah into the inner ring (she'll leave the egg with us and use the bear as makeshift padding) we could wedge ourselves into the outer ring and use our greater weight to shift the room until she's above the object. There she could jump onto the pole and shimmy down to the object. We should be directly below her by that point and ready to catch her.This all depends on how confident she is about jumping and climbing.
>>1152351That could work, though it will take quite a bit of work, and a bit of luck on both your parts. To continue using your greater weight to shift the cube around you'll have to keep moving along it like a hamster wheel almost, and she'll have to be able to hold on long enough to be above it, so naturally you'll have to be quick about it. Any mishaps could be bad, certainly for her since at the very highest point it would be around a 30 foot drop back to the floor.She at least is confident though, that if you could manage to spin the room around enough that she could reach the pole, then hanging onto it and getting the object wouldn't be hard.
>>1152370Since there's no apparent danger beyond falling over, we should probably practice shifting the room with Sarah running along side us. Once we get the hang of that, have Sarah practice hanging on and jumping off around 10-15 feet or whatever she's comfortable at.Making sure neither of us get injured is top priority.
>>1152814You sort of have an idea of how to get to the object, or at least get Sarah to the object, though it will require a good bit of work, practice and care. Explaining the plan to her though, she's accepting of it since there doesn't seem to be an easier way.So for the next few minutes you practice running together in order to get used to the turning of the room. It's quite difficult to say the least because the room rotates very fast and to the slightest weight difference, as well as that you're obviously great at running but Sarah has trouble keeping up. Still, the time spent practicing doesn't go to waste, and not only do you find a pace the two of you can keep together, but you're also quite good now at jumping over and avoiding the gaps in the floor made by the cutaway staircases while running. Along with that, she tries climbing up, hanging against, and jumping down from the stairs at different heights while the room turns. You try to help her as best you can, with the idea that eventually you'll have to catch her falling from a greater height, and though she takes some nasty spills at first she doesn't get hurt too badly and adjusts to the action and effort required.So after a few tens of minutes, the two of you think you're about as ready as you're ever going to be.>[Write-in.]
>>1153042If we feel tired or think we could use a break, then take a short one. After that, pray to our diety of choice that neither of us end up paraplegic and start.
>>1153190Neither of you have been exerting yourselves, but you take a short break to get into the mindset. Finally, taking your places, you begin the effort. Together you start running to get the cube into a steady rotation, then Sarah drops down into a set of cutaway stairs and holds on, after which you speed up and really throw your weight into it to keep the room turning just enough so that she ends up revolving around up to the ceiling. Finally when the chance gets about as good as it's going to for her, she lets go of hanging on and lands against the pole. "-oof!" she hits audibly hard, but with her body against it so she doesn't just bounce off. She can't hang on very well though, but probably doesn't need to as she ends up sliding down to the bottom of the pole and grabbing onto the object.By this time you've tried to slow the rotation of the room down so you can better be prepared for when she drops, though you don't have a lot of time, as well as a fair bit of difficulty of keeping your eyes up to her while trying to avoid tripping and falling in one of the staircase cutaways. Managing to detach the glowing object before she falls off the pole completely, you realize you won't be able to make it just running as you are, so quickly make one diving leap in the hopes of catching her before she hits the ground."BLEARG!" you yell out in a would-be death throe of sorts. It seems you overshot trying to catch her, but broke her fall quite well as she lands on you with a thump. She's just a kid so it's not like dropping a boulder on you, but you're an agile runner not a huge weight lifter, or even a fat guy. As such, with the added force of the fall she does kind of squash you pretty good. No serious damage you hope, but you're stunned and winded, obviously in a lot of pain."Owen! I'm sorry, please be okay Owen!"Although through the buzzing haze in your ears you can hear something in the background that sounds like someone on the intercom, you can't make it out well. All you can hear is Sarah worrying her head off for your sake, trying to help you over onto your back and see if you're alright. She looks to be holding back tears, but you see the glowing object in her arm and you feel at least a little better for it.>Let her know you're alright, especially now that the test is done.>Try to fake toughness, play through the pain and get up ready to go.>Curl up and try to nurse some potentially ruptured organs.>[Write-in.]
>>1153673>Let her know you're alright, especially now that the test is done.>Check to make sure you can wiggle your toes.>Try to make out what the intercom is saying.
>>1153741You've suffered worse than this, and even recently. Your encounter with the shell monster, the first of those gem creatures you ran afoul of, left you more badly injured. No need for Sarah to cry about it."I'm... I'm alright, just give me a minute. At least the test is over though."Visibly relieved that you're not dead, she takes your hand for awhile, before placing the glowing object in it. You take a better look, seeing it to be a fancy little wooden puzzle box, appropriate enough considering the room itself. A nice accomplishment for sure though, but at that moment you're more worried about your own wellbeing, and scrunch your toes just to make sure you can. A welcome relief that indeed, you still can."...believe you did it! Just wait till you go on a quest, that's the real deal!"Overcoming the initial impact of Sarah landing on you, by now your hearing starts to return and you can better make out what's being said over the intercom. It sounds like Lee congratulating the both of you on your efforts, and you'd guess Soleil had done the same. It's easy to take their encouraging words to heart, but you've still got something on your mind; how to prank them for this whole affair. Maybe overtime you've given up on that notion, or are simply too tired and hurt to bother with it, but you had planned on it before.>See if Sarah is still interested in getting back at Soleil.>Don't involve her, just do it yourself in case it causes upset.>Forget about it, you made it through and completed the test. That's triumph enough.>[Write-in.]
>>1153967>See if Sarah is still interested in getting back at Soleil.
>>1153983Feeling increasingly less awful, you eventually manage to sit up with some help. Looking around the room again, you notice the rotation has stopped. If you had to guess, probably from the object being collected, though you also notice the way out again. No convenient staircase though if there could have been, you'll have to climb back out."Hey so, you still want to pull a prank on them?" you keep your attention on the exit door, but lean over a bit to try and whisper to Sarah, in the hopes of not being listened to by the ones observing you. She obviously a little confused at first, but remembering the plan from earlier, realization hits her like a truck."Yeah! she exclaims at first, but quickly tries to quieten down to fit with the covert conversation, "...yeah, but how?"So you're not on your own with this, but how to go about it?>Intentionally fail the test, conveniently slip and fall off the starting platform outside and fall into the yellow-glow energy grid at the bottom of the room.>Rack up a huge penalty, return to a previous room and sit in contact with a red-glow object until Soleil ends the test.>Accidentally drop all the items, in the same way over the edge if you have to.>[Write-in.]
>>1154116>'Accidentally' drop just the egg over the edge. Preferably as we're handing it to Soleil. She seemed to really want it back.
>>1154214As much as you've accomplished, as funny as it might be you don't want to just up and fail the test at the finish line, but you already got the items so it could be funny to mess with them.So when you're eventually able to stand on your own, you ask Sarah for the items and head for the exit together, making your way up the formed stairs and out the door of the cube. Back again you're on the walkway platform to where you entered into this whole chamber containing the rooms, and by the elevator entrance you can see Soleil and Lee waiting. The latter even brought some noise makers and has a party horn she's likely waiting to blow. Seeing this, Sarah runs ahead excitedly and is greeted and congratulated by Lee, though Soleil waits and watches your approach actually looking glad for once. Going at a slower pace from the residual pain of several hard hits to the gut and torso in the last hour or so, when finally you reach the beginning platform again you make your approach towards Soleil with the items held for her to take."Tres bien! I knew you were zhe right man for zhe job.""Oh it was nothing, really! I had a lot of help to- oh whoops!"Before she can take the objects from you, you feign tripping and falling, dropping the items to the floor as they tumble over the edge of the platform to the floor far below. Sarah notices and tries hard to stifle laughter while Lee watches on mortified. You of course hide a grin, but it's Soleil who acts the most surprising. "Non! Not zhe... she instinctively dives to try and catch or grab the items before the fall over the edge, in a failed attempt. Just as soon as seeing them go however, she tuns back to you and moves to your side, a strong but gentle hand helping you up. "...ah, but are you alright Owen? Apologies, zhat must 'ave been 'arder on you zhan I zhought. 'ere, allow me..."With some genuine concern, she uses her other hand to reach both arms under you, and despite your protests lifts you up to carry you without much trouble. Perhaps thinking to help, she seems content to carry you in the rest of the way like a princess."Ah! your heart leaps to your throat from the surprise, ...you smell citrusy.Lee worries herself terribly for your sake, while Soleil lets Sarah know how proud she is, of both of you on the way back to the elevator as you all take your leave. >It was nothing, no match for the power of teamwork!>So what now, that you finished the test? You think you passed it, at least.>Wait, what about the items?>[Write-in.]
>>1157307>>>It was nothing, no match for the power of teamwork!
>>1157307>It was nothing, no match for the power of teamwork!>So what now, that you finished the test? You think you passed it, at least.
>>1157307Oh yeah, Soleil route unlocked?
>>1157587What sort of route would that be?>>1157326>>1157351Eventually you can convince Soleil to let you down in the elevator, though the congratulations keep coming from Lee."Eh it wasn't that big of a deal, we got through it as a team. You said Lee, you managed to do it on your own? Now that's impressive.""Well... the test I did wasn't the same, the rooms were different." she tries to brush it off, embarrassed from the praise. At any rate, eventually the lot of you return back to the observation room above, to the control table and the big viewing screen. Just for clarification, Soleil puts up the recording of you and Sarah going through the test, quickly speeding through it to certain moments where she points out mistakes made when incurring penalties. Jumping through the red-glow waterfall, and coming into contact with some of the hostile dancers. Overall though it's not that much, definitely not enough to count as a failure for the test. Soleil congratulates you and Sarah more formally though, saying that you're cleared now to accompany a gem on quests. To accompany this she pulls up some sort of roster on the big screen, on which you can see a number of profile pictures, separated into two categories. One one side are what you guess to be gems including Soleil and Chalcedony, while the other side already has Sarah and Lee, and now you added beside them. That's enough cause for celebration for them, Sarah and Lee, though you're a little curious as where things go from here."I've got to say, that was some experience... what now though?""Zhat is entirely up to you, zhough you are more zhan welcome to stay for dejeuner." Your confusion as to what she means is answered by Sarah, whispering about staying for lunch. Your main concern though, about the bigger picture and what it means to be able to attend quests, remains unanswered and you're not sure if it was intentional by Soleil.>Sure you can stay, you're pretty hungry after all that.>Decline, it was fun but you've got to get back to town anyway.>How about getting something to eat in town, in celebration?>[Write-in.]
>>1157716>>Decline, it was fun but you've got to get back to town anyway.
>>1157716>Sure you can stay, you're pretty hungry after all that.You know what kind of route I'm talking about.
>>1157850>You know what kind of route I'm talking about.To seek something like that with an alien rock woman, who would even think of such a thing?
Anyway, first response gets it.>>1157740You wouldn't mind staying for lunch normally, but it'll be a late lunch for sure and you've got work tomorrow. Although (you hope) it's nothing serious, you were injured from the ordeal and you'd rather get home early and take it easy, get a solid night's sleep so your shift tomorrow isn't miserable. "I'll have to pass this time, already walking home like this will take me awhile, and I've still got stuff to do in town.""Oh hey, I can give you a ride back if you like! Lee jumps at the chance to offer help, which does sound more appealing than walking home.Sarah of course seems a little disappointed at your departure, but Soleil is wholly understanding and offers apologies again, and would of course want to seek help if your injuries needed it. You wonder if they even have a means of transport here, if have like... a car or something. For a moment, you imagine Soleil sitting in an office of a dealership and signing for a lease on a car.>Accept the ride from Lee, probably the easiest way home.>Go on your own, the longer walk will give you a chance to think about things.>Ask to use a phone and call a ride, you don't want to trouble Lee if you don't have to.>[Write-in.]
>>1158584>Accept the ride from Lee, probably the easiest way home>"So what was your gem-test thing like?">"If you managed to get a recording of me 'dancing', I want a copy."
>>1158753You can take the ride home from Lee, sure, and tell her as much. After being led out of the vault as a group by Soleil and back topside, you and Lee say your goodbyes before heading around the house as you follow her. Before you actually get there though you start to remember earlier, and realize what she meant by offering a ride."Right, so you're okay with standing on the back? Commence operation Tandem Transport!" she proclaims dramatically, pointing in the general direction of town.She got here on a bike, not a car, and her wheels have pegs. Sure enough you can use them, but you'll basically be standing on the back of the bike and holding her shoulders for support all the way home. You can't help but feel a bit too old for this, the both of you, but it's kind of too late already to refuse now. So taking a deep breath and still feeling a twinge of pain through your torso, you muster yourself and step up onto the pegs of the back wheel, holding onto her shoulders. Hopefully none of your coworkers... or anyone really, sees you on the way back.---A bit awkward for her to get used to pedaling with you on the back, you can tell, but it doesn't take her long to adjust. Eventually you're going along at a decent pace even, much better than if you'd have been walking."So what was your gem-test thing like?" you speak up a bit, to be heard over the ocean breeze."Mine? Oh... well it wasn't as creative as yours. I had to do it without help and Sol made all the rooms herself. It was pretty tough though, but I managed, of course!" she tries to sound cool, and maybe she does. You're kind of glad though that Soleil didn't make all the rooms for your test, if her one room was anything to go by. And to have to have done it alone, too..."Well if you managed to get a recording of me 'dancing', I want a copy.""It actually was recorded, but on one of those gem tech- I call it that- things, so you could probably only watch it in the vault. I watched you though... you were pretty good!" she laughs in response, trying to explain what she seems to vaguely understand and you have no clue about whatsoever, before nervously complimenting your waltz. At least somebody wasn't laughing at you.>Ask her about the test versus a quest, how similar they actually are?>Wonder if she owns any gem-related stuff, like her own viewing screen.>Try and figure out from her what you wanted from Soleil, what being cleared for quests entails.>[Write-in.]
>>1159748>>Ask her about the test versus a quest, how similar they actually are?
>>1159748>Ask her about the test versus a quest, how similar they actually are?
>>1159764>>1160168A passing car honks at the two of you in passing, and your curiosity towards who'd be driving along the lighthouse road today is answered when you see it's Ray, the local treasure hunter. You've crossed paths a few times while he was out scouring the beach. In response you just keep a strong face and wave."Hey so, how similar is the test compared to a quest?""Hah, that rhymes! But uhh... I've only been on a couple, but they can be pretty difficult, like physically. I don't think you'll ever be dancing for one, but it helps a lot if you're fit and can think fast. I guess like that, an obstacle course sort of, isn't the worst way to test for it."A helpful reassurance since physicality is your specialty, at least a certain kind of physicality. If going on a quest is more like the test than like the times you've encountered the monsters, then maybe you're not so opposed to it. Maybe. Nothing is for certain, and you already filled your obligation to Soleil to get Sarah to go through the whole thing as well.---A good while later the two of you reached town again, Lee able to drop you off behind your apartment to avoid main street. Both glad to know where you live, but also surprised to find out you're living above the bookstore, you can tell she's more than a little curious as to how you afford it on minimum wage or thereabouts. For now though you'd rather not explain the arrangement of your living situation, since it ties back to your academic status."You know I can still get dinner for us and bring it back here, if you don't want to go out.""Maybe next time. I'm going upstairs, probably just doze off in front of the TV soon as I sit down. Thanks for the ride though, Lee. I'll see you around."She seems intent on hanging out longer if possible, but you've had a long day. Besides wanting to sleep off your injuries as best you can, you've not only got work tomorrow but also that interview with the reporter. There's a lot more on your plate now than before, what with all this weird gem stuff and the possibility of it becoming a regular thing if you want it to, but for now you'd just like to deal with things one step at a time. And for now, that means kicking your shoes off and collapsing on the couch in your room upstairs. "Aww, alright then. But do consider giving it a chance, the quest stuff. Later!" She's obviously a little disappointed, but accepts it for now in favor of the hope that you'll think it over and maybe give things a try. >...
>>1160547For now though you just enter the bookstore from the back, greeting Ms. Warren as you head upstairs to your room. Once inside you take a seat on the couch to get your shoes off, before chucking them across the room and slump sideways on the couch. You're not really paying attention to the TV despite having switched it on.Instead, you're more focused on trying and failing to stay awake, thinking about the day and wondering what things would be like if you were still back at school.
>Credits Rollhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XuDCTzqJc40I think that's a good place to end things for now. Thanks to everyone for playing, hope you enjoyed it!
>>1160606Thanks for running
>>1160606>OP was made 9 days agoHell of a marathon, Kong. Thanks for running!
>>1160614>>1160623No problem! And I should add, this thread brings to completion the requirements for next character unlock, so Lee is now available for play.Also since the thread hasn't yet entirely dropped off the board, I'd be open to any advice or recommendations, or even just questions about things. Any sort of feedback or input is always welcome.
>>1160790Out of curiosity, how do you determine the success of actions taken in the game by us and others? Do you roll dice or just decide how well it works yourself?Personally I think your writing is pretty good and that it's a shame that more people don't play.
>>1160979Whenever choices are provided, they usually go the way they're described, it's the player choice that steers the plot in that case.When choices were rescinded, like in the situations where the players had to use problem solving to find a solution, in that case I based success on how feasible and how creative/detailed the plan was. In cases like that though, I'd also not do something like say "No you can't do that." so if the players decide on something and it's actually a bad idea, it probably won't be successful as they will find out after.
>>1161022Another question I forgot to ask: Did you have set solutions for each room and how quickly did we throw those solutions out with our shenanigans?
>>1161062Only one room had a pre-determined solution, Sol's, because in-character only she planned that much and designed her room specifically around a solution. The other two rooms, one was open ended and the other was like a puzzle with the prize always available.For Sol's room, the set solution was thrown out the moment Sarah knocked over the pedestal.