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File: Yes, I'm the Father.jpg (765 KB, 1800x1200)
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This is beyond a midlife crisis.

This is a midlife catastrophe.

Once you found out your daughter Melon was a magical girl, the shocks came thick and fast. Your wife, Liska, revealed herself to be a kitsune - well, she always was a party animal. Emphasis on the 'animal'.

And you ended up starting a sort of magical mafia, just as an attempt to save your daughter and her magical girl friends from their contracts with the rats that gave them their powers.

Find out your daughter's doing work for her dealer to get her fix, beat up the dealer, get him to join your 'legitimate business' so your daughter can keep getting her fix, all in a day's work for a dad, right?

Yeah.

Then there was that nice, tense dinner with the nearly two thousand year old dragon who's set up in the city center. ...And is your boss 'Bernie' at your accounting firm day job.

And the visit to the in-laws, where Sachio, your brother in law, executed his father and took over his family. And then your mother in law (who's some sort of land goddess?) caused a flood that wiped out most of a valley, and a lot of bureaucrats suddenly got real hardline in their devotion to shintoism.

At least Melon got to meet her grandmother.

Oh, and by that point, the artist formerly known as T.T. (an alcoholic wizard you swore brotherhood with), and now know as 'W', and the magical girl squad you'd left behind killed enough demons that a Duke of Hell decided to challenge their leader to a duel.

So you named your shotgun as your weapon and charged in by yourself...

...that didn't end so well.

Gusion dragged you into Hell, banished by T.T., who burned his true name in the process. That's why he's U.U., or 'W' now.

So your soul was bought by a Duchess of Hell, who turned out to be your sister - a magical girl who walked into Hell something like thirty years ago.

And you're really not telling the story well.

You had a tearful reunion, and she let your soul go. W pulled you back, and you've spent a month recuperating, heavily drugged, seeing shadows around you, as the city falls into a four-sided shadow war.

One side is your crew.

One side is Gusion's most ambitious lieutenants, trying to prove their worth against the forces of the man that kneecapped their boss.

One side is the demons embedded in the local government and law enforcement.

And the last side is another crew of magical girls who decided to roll into town because there were a lot of demons to hunt.

Yeah, this is a midlife catastrophe, alright.
>>
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>>2716637
You've decided that recruiting the interloping team or magical girls is the first priority - you want backup.

And you don't want another rat playing around behind your back. Other than your sworn brother, Freebles, you don't trust any of those furry bastards as far as you could throw them. You've read the contracts, and they fuckin' suck.

Bernie's mad about what's been going on in the city, but he's given you a chance to sort it out. All he wants is 'peace in our time'.

Or is it? Dragons are damn hard to read. You're never sure exactly what they're thinking.

And somehow, you ended up talking to Harriet in your hallway. She claims she's been repeating this year for about thirty years, and an apocalypse has ended each time.

Also that the shadows you sometimes see are people who were there for a similar scene in another timeline. Or just the drugs and the aftermath of being dragged into Hell.

...the first time 'she' told you, you were probably dreaming or hallucinating, since she claims that she never told anyone.

"Could that have been another timeline's 'you'?" you ask her.

"No idea," she tells you, "I'm not an expert, it just happens to me."

"Are you fobbing me off on that 'family matters' question?" she asks, narrowing her dark eyes.

"No," you say, turning away from her and dragging the IV stand behind you, "I'm going to go back out and tell everyone. We're all..." you pause, taking a deep breath, "in this together."

She follows you back into the dining room.

"Alright," you say, cutting as impressive a figure as you can as a man in a bedsheet with an IV stand behind him, "I know you all know I've been to Hell," and you pause as all heads turn toward you, "and I need to tell you all something."

So you give them, well, as much of the story as you feel capable of. How Elanor bid on your soul, cried with you, and released you.

It's painful to recount, that short reunion with your sister.

And there's silence after. A long, awful silence.

"So if I go out on my contract," Sue pipes up, finally - and she's grinning, "and make it into Hell, I could become a Duchess?"

You can't tell if she's joking. And judging by the shock, giggles, and horrified looks around the table, neither can anyone else.

Then things devolve into a conversation scramble.

>And you grab Sue to tell her that's an awful idea
>And Kelly grabs you, saying he needs to talk about your sister
>And then you're talking to [WRITE IN SOMEONE IN YOUR CREW / AT THE TABLE]
>WRITE IN
>>
>>2716667
>And you grab Sue to tell her that's an awful idea
>>
>>2716667
>And Kelly grabs you, saying he needs to talk about your sister
>>
>>2716667
>>And you grab Sue to tell her that's an awful idea
Sister was doing well for herself, but not doing well. You don't want to get involved in that.
>>
>>2716667
>And you Grab Sue to tell her an awful idea while Kelly grabs you in a headlock to drag you from skinning sue alive.
>>
>>2716667
>Even as a joke that's an awful ide-Kelly grabs you and says he needs to talk about your sister.
>>
File: Definitely Also Sue.jpg (1.6 MB, 3000x3000)
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>>2716667
Just one spark like that, and the whole place goes up in a conflagration of conversation.

They aren't even looking at you now, diving off down a thousand paths of rabbit trails, muddling from demons to the celebrity gossip, and the little pieces that make up our lives.

You just stand there. Harriet pushes past you and descends into the wordy melee.

But you've got your target. You have someone you NEED to talk to.

And you stare at Sue until she glances back at you. Her eyes lock with yours, then you twitch your head down the hallway and start walking into the bowels of your house yourself.

She'll know better than you do how to get away from her friends.

And she's really talking about doing what your sister did - like it's a joke, or like something to aspire to?

You don't make it many steps before you hear small feet behind you.

"Which room?" Sue whispers from behind you.

That wasn't what you meant at all, you think, spinning around quickly enough the IV pulls free of your arm.

>Pin her to the wall and give the lecture - this is serious business
>Crumple to the ground and give her the lecture
>"My bedroom", and give her the lecture there
>WRITE IN
>>
>>2716710
>"My bedroom", and give her the lecture there

its the oddly enough only secure fucking place.
>>
>>2716710
>>Pin her to the wall and give the lecture - this is serious business
Maybe not physically unless she tries to leave though; it'll just make her excited.
>>
>>2716717
13:30 - 13:40 Voting period.

Archive: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive.html?tags=Shotgun

Twitter (runtimes and such): https://twitter.com/HaikuDeluge
>>
>>2716710
>"My bedroom", and give her the lecture there
>>
>>2716710
>Crumple to the ground and give her the lecture
And in other news today, the MC was in a fucking coma for a month!
>>
>>2716710
>"My bedroom", and give her the lecture there
>>
File: This is also Sue.jpg (489 KB, 1194x1194)
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>>2716710
"My bedroom," you tell her, in a low voice, clamping one hand over where the IV ripped out, and turn to keep walking down the hallway. It's probably the only place you'll get privacy.

Fuck, that hurts like a bitch.

"Do you, uh, need this?" Sue asks, and you turn your head again to see her with a hand on the rolling IV stand.

"Not anymore, if I'm lucky," you tell her, trudging along until you throw yourself on your bed. Yeah there were some doors in the way, but you don't really remember opening them.

Sue shuts the door behind her, and then just stands there. Like she's waiting for an invitation.

There's fear in her eyes, and something else. Actually, a lot of other things.

"Let me tell you something," you say, worming your way back into the nest of pillows they set up for you while you were sick, "but first, get me a fucking bandage."

Sue darts over to the side table, which has various medical stuff piled atop it, and returns with some gauze and tape.

She places a gauze pad where the IV was surprisingly gently.

And she's very close, bending over you from the side of the bed. You can feel the warmth coming off of her.

"My sister," you say, leaning back into the pillows as she starts winding the bandage, "was a magical girl. She walked into Hell when I was fifteen."

And you have to hold yourself back from reliving it again.

"And she became a duchess!" Sue says, excitedly.

"Don't," you tell her, opening your eyes and staring her dead in the face. Sue's eyes are shining.

This is why teenagers scare the living shit out of you.

"Don't walk that path," you tell her, "Ellie bid thirteen thousand souls for me. She had that many on hand, like a checking account. Thirteen thousand people."

"She's not alright," you tell Sue, as she finishes off the bandage, "I promise. That's what she told me."

"None of us are alright," she tells you, leaning toward your face, "look at me. I want to-"

And then the door opens, a little violently.

"Oh," Kelly says, his eyes raking the room, "medical treatment. Don't mind me," the assassin finishes, and you have the terrible feeling he's about to shut the door again.

"You're just the man we need," you tell him, hoping to keep him here, "I want to hear about my sister. And Sue..." you say, pausing, "probably needs to."

"Christ," Kelly says, looking at the two of you, "is she thinking about... Alright. You want to know the truth of ten years ago?"

>That sounds like what a defence attorney might say.
>I want to know what she was like there.
>I want to know what happened.
>Your story and what I just experienced are like night and day.
>WRITE IN
>>
>>2716784
>I want to know what happened. No more beating around the bush.
>>
>>2716784
>That sounds like what a defence attorney might say.
>I want to know what happened.
>>
>>2716784
>I want to know what happened.
>>
>>2716784
>Full disclosure. How bad could it be?
>>
>>2716797
Support
>>
>>2716784
this >>2716797
>>
>>2716784
>>2716797
Supporting.
>Give me, us, the full story. No holds barred
>>
File: Kelly Edwards.jpg (596 KB, 835x1182)
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>>2716784
"I want to know what happened," you tell him.

He grimaces, and light up a cigarette almost instinctively.

Then he grabs a chair for Sue, before pulling one up himself.

Were those the chairs your family sat in watching you try not to die?

"I'm fine," the magical girl tries to tell him, but he shuts her down.

"You're going to want to be sitting down for this," he says, and glares at Sue until she does.

Well, you probably owe him one for that.

"I want full disclosure - how bad could it be?" you ask.

And then Kelly starts laughing like he'll never stop. And then starts coughing blood into his hand.

He takes a drag on his cigarette.

"Seven way fight," he says, smoke pouring from his mouth, "between summoners and their demons. How bad do you think it could get?"

Well, when he puts it that way...

"I guessed it was some sort of proxy war bullshit for Hell," Kelly continues, "slugging it out on earth, where they'd just get banished at the worst."

Then he points at you with his cancer stick.

"I was trying to summon Agares," he tells you, "and what I got was Agares' corpse with the light dying in his eyes, and your sister's sword through his head. Oh, and your sister riding him like a surfboard through the summoning circle."

So that's how you get a dukedom in Hell.

"I wanted Agares to stop runaways from my sniping," he says, "look, I wanted to win. I was young and dumb. But she..."

He trails off, and you can almost see it in his eyes.

"I think her first words, as I bound her, were something like 'FUCK YOU!'. That sort of set the tone for everything after that."

That sounds far too much like Ellie's reaction to anyone interrupting her with anything. You remember that one time you walked in on her with her (then) boyfriend...

"It was a bloodbath," the assassin continues, "she wanted to kill them all and get back to Hell to finish whatever the Hell she'd started with Agares. 'Fuck human sacrifices, I'll sacrifice them to myself!'," he tells you, with a grim look on his face.

"Then the land god got involved," Kelly says, "I think she ate him. Or her. Most of that war was a blur, and I was on LSD half the time so I could mix it up in the spirit world. Not even sure when I realized it was all a ploy to open a permanent hellgate."

"Of course," he says, staring right through you, "she wasn't in on their plan. She'd killed one of the conspirators before I dragged her through. She thought it was legit, all that wish-granting fuckery they'd sold us."

"So she just wanted to kill them all and win," Kelly says, "and that squared pretty well with my goals, even after I figured it out. But she..."

He gulps, still looking past you.

"There's a Persian proverb," he says, "whiskey, please, Sue."

The blue-haired girl looks at you, as if seeking some sort of approval.

>Get it for him, Sue.
>You can't tell the story sober, you can't tell the story.
>I thought W was the alcoholic?
>You said human sacrifices?
>WRITE IN
>>
>>2716882
>>Get it for him, Sue.
He's familiar with the sort of stuff she's been through. If he thinks she can't handle it, she can't.
>>
>>2716882
>Get it for him, Sue.
He's gonna need it.
>>
>>2716882
>Get it for him, Sue.
>>
>>2716882
>>Get it for him, Sue.
>>You said human sacrifices?
>>
>>2716882
>You can't tell the story sober, you can't tell the story.
>You said human sacrifices?
>>
>>2716882
>>Get it for him, Sue.
>>
>>2716882
>Get it for him, Sue.
>>
>>2716882
"Get it for him, Sue," you say, and she...

Wait, there's liquor in there?

Must be part of Liska's 'makeup budget'. And how does Sue, of all people know that?

Seems like the month you spent in bed was a long one, you think as she pours three glasses.

GLASSES?

"Thanks," Kelly says, taking one from her, and you can't help thinking she'd make a good cocktail waitress.

You watch him take a big gulp as you take your glass from Sue.

...And of course, the third's for her.

"Ok, right," Kelly says, "where were we? Persian proverbs."

"And you said human sacrifices?" you ask.

"Where do you think she got thirteen thousand souls?" he asks you, eyes, narrowing over his glass, "selling girl scout cookies?"

"As I was saying," Kelly tells you, taking another sip, "there's a Persian proverb about how one that take a delusion from a woman snatches a cub from a tigress. Rather apt, hey?"

He glances at Sue, who's taking a sip, and then sets her glass on a table. At least she's not slamming it down like water.

"I made the mistake of telling her that it was really a plot to set up a hellgate," Kelly says, lighting another cigarette, "and not something that would grant her wish. She..." he pauses, taking a drag, "took it badly. I didn't have a choice when I put her down. After she'd burned a city to kill the rest of them."

Those words might have once carried enough weight for you to leap out of bed and try to strangle the man. But you've seen your sister. So you know it didn't stick.

It might also be the leftover morphine.

"She ever tell you what that wish was?" you ask.

"No," Kelly tells you, "and I didn't ask. Hey you," he says, glaring at Sue, "don't fucking try that shit. You don't want to be a monster. You're a decent kid - don't put that much blood on your hands."

Sue looks from him to you, and says, weakly, "it was kind of a joke."

"Don't make your Holocaust jokes around Jews," Kelly says, and wait a second, is his glass empty already?

>Kelly, that's not what I saw while I was over there
>Sue, just, I want something better for you
>Drink your whiskey and go to sleep
>I feel better, let's go back out
>WRITE IN
>>
>>2716959
>>I feel better, let's go back out
We've got some magical girls to steal.
>>
>>2716959
>>Sue, just, I want something better for you
>I think she wanted out.
>>
>>2716959
>Sue, just, I want something better for you
>I think she wanted out.

We just want nothing but good things to happen to them...
>>
>>2716959
>Sue, just, I want something better for you
>I feel better, let's go back out
>>
>>2716959
>Sue, just, I want something better for you
>Kelly, that's not what I saw while I was over there
>>
>>2716959
>Sue, just, I want something better for you
>I think she wanted out.
>>
File: Totally Also a Sue.jpg (408 KB, 1040x1280)
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>>2716959
"Hell, Sue," you say, "I just.. I want something better for you. We all do."

She looks at you.

"Something better than dying for the rats or becoming a demon like..." you trail off.

"Like his sister," Kelly chimes in, lounging back into his chair with the slack grace of a drunk man.

You can't tell what Sue's thinking. What gears are turning behind those eyes.

"It was just a joke," she says, but you can feel the lie there.

"I think she wanted out," you tell Kelly, changing gears without a clutch, "I think she just wanted out of her contract and out of being a demoness."

"And I think," the assassin tells you, "that she was trying to take over Hell. I don't care what you saw over 'there' - demons are creatures of emotion. One minute they want to cry on your shoulder, one minute they want to kill you, and the next, they want to fuck you, or hang you as a trophy."

"Sounds like women," Sue says, in a soft voice, smiling. With a smile that has far too many teeth.

"That's not the way I meant it, and you know it," Kelly says, "they'll act on it all! In turn. Or as their fancy takes them," he finishes, reaching for his empty glass, and emptying its dregs into his mouth.

>Let this play out
>I feel better, let's get back out there
>Kelly, are you implying you fucked my sister?
>Just slug your whiskey and go to sleep
>WRITE IN
>>
>>2717045
>>I feel better, let's get back out there
>>
>>2717045
>>I feel better, let's get back out there
This conversation is straying into dangerous territory, and we've got a mission to plan.
>>
>>2717045
>I feel better, let's get back out there
"Help! I've fallen, and I can't get (it) up!"
>>
>>2717045
>Kelly, are you implying you fucked my sister?
>>
>>2717045
>I feel better, let's get back out there
>>
>>2717045
>>I feel better, let's get back out there
>>
>>2717045
>Cry
>We're gonna go out there, figure out how to catch that rat for interrogation and then kill it.
>Kelly, Ive been having nightmares about what was happening to her since I was a kid. How high are the chances that they're real?
>>
>>2717045
>I feel better, let's get back out there
>>
>>2717045
>Kelly, are you implying you fucked my sister?
>>
>>2717081
+
>>
>>2717045
"Let's hope Gusion doesn't move beyond wanting to kill me," you say, sliding off the bed and finding your feet, "he's really not my type."

"It's not a set cycle," Kelly says, nestling further back into his chair.

"I'm feeling better," you tell the two of them, "let's go back in."

Sue is all too eager to please, rushing into the hallway. Kelly take a bit more time to get out of his chair.

You pull him aside as he starts walking out.

"I've been having nightmares about what happened since I was a kid, brother," you whisper to him, "what are the chances they're real?"

"If everything I said about Japan is news to you," Kelly whispers back, "they're probably not. If there was some weird sibling dream thing going on, you'd have the same nightmares I do," he says, pushing past you through the door.

That's more comforting than anything you've heard from a wizard in a month.

>Did you just imply you fucked my sister?
>Just go join everyone else and talk game plans for taking over a rival magical girl operation.
>Write in

(I'm giving this option again because some people wanted it. I'm going to do strict votes for the binary option here.)
>>
>>2717127
>Just go join everyone else and talk game plans for taking over a rival magical girl operation.
I'd say let's just talk normally with them for a bit, especially Melon and Liska. We've been a vegetable for the past month.
>>
>>2717127
>Just go join everyone else and talk game plans for taking over a rival magical girl operation.

Nope we are not bringing that shit up.
>>
>>2717127
>>Just go join everyone else and talk game plans for taking over a rival magical girl operation.
>>
>>2717127
>>Just go join everyone else and talk game plans for taking over a rival magical girl operation.
Back to business.
>>
>>2717129
16:47 - 16:57 Voting period, absolute majority on voting options, write-ins considered until writing's done. Unless those write-ins are thinly-veiled versions of the options given.
>>
>>2717127
>>Just go join everyone else and talk game plans for taking over a rival magical girl operation.
>>
>>2717127
>Did you just imply you fucked my sister?
>>
>>2717127
>Just go join everyone else and talk game plans for taking over a rival magical girl operation.
>The other team might try to rescue their pet rat so we need it's confession and death on videotape so that they don't retaliate out of some sort of misguided loyalty.
>>
>>2717127
To be fair, 'more comforting than you've heard from a wizard in a month' isn't all that great.

But, uh, you'll take it.

Even if there's a stray thought in your mind telling you that you still haven't gotten the full story about the 'Japan Incident'.

Given how secretive wizards are, you doubt you ever will.

So you walk back out to the dining room. Liska shoots you a LOOK, and then darts her eyes at Sue.

You glance at Kelly, as if to say 'my witness', then sit beside your wife.

"She just bandaged me," you whisper into a fuzzy ear, "then we talked to Kelly about Ellie."

"Since when do you use a nickname for your sister?" Liska asks back.

That's... actually a good question. Well, you did use it before she was taken away, but it faded. And after that stay in Hell, it's how you've been thinking of her.

"Since we were kids," you mutter at your wife.

"So I think we should just storm them," Karen says with a grin, "now that we know where they are."

"You're going to have to fill me in," you say, leaning across the table, "we know where they are?"

"Drones are the nearest thing to miracles," Kelly tells you, as if he'd never left the table, "seems like they're operating out of a Winnebago parked on some farmer's property. Five-man team," he finishes, flipping you a tablet.

You look at the pictures. Well, the people you can see around the mobile home look like magical girls. But the two other folks - pictures are a little blurry.

"You know who the other guys are?" you ask, "they don't look," and then your glance around the table for kicks, "frilly."

You get a laugh.

"Not sure," W says, "we haven't really run into them in town."

>We've got their number, let's saddle up
>Girls, are you sure you haven't run into either of these blurry photos in town?
>Let's head over, but I should probably go in first to negotiate
>WRITE IN
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>>2717242
>Girls, are you sure you haven't run into either of these blurry photos in town?
>>
>>2717127
>Just go join everyone else and talk game plans for taking over a rival magical girl operation.
>>
>>2717242
>Girls, are you sure you haven't run into either of these blurry photos in town?
Gotta make sure that our bases are covered.
>>
>>2717242
>Girls, are you sure you haven't run into either of these blurry photos in town?
>>
>>2717242
>We've got their number, let's saddle up

Let's head over, but I should probably go in first to negotiate
As if anyone would let us do something dangerous[read fun] by ourselves ever again
>>
>>2717242
>Girls, are you sure you haven't run into either of these blurry photos in town?
>>
>>2717242
>Girls, are you sure you haven't run into either of these blurry photos in town?
>>
>>2717242
There any magic related reason these two pics might be blurry? I'm sure you guys have confidence that you can take on the girls but for all we know the girls just made a deal with one side to hunt the other which means they have backup. See if you can sniff out a routine so that we can distract them.
> We have any of those teleport jammers? Could drop one from a done after the main team leaves on a hunt and get the rat somewhat isolated.
> Any chance of audio surveillance? I remember hearing that there's a trick using lasers for getting audio.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laser_microphone
That'll maybe get rid of the off chance that they aren't a group of like minded individuals.
>GIrls , Is there a time when you're barely awake after hunting all night? If you get well rested that seems like the time to strike. That seems like a time to schedule the attack if you can get some proper rest beforehand.
>>
>>2717242
>>Girls, are you sure you haven't run into either of these blurry photos in town?
>"Think they might be similar to our deal here?"
>>
>>2717242
"Girls," you say, passing the tablet to Harriet, "ever run into one of these blurry mugshots in town?"

"No idea who they are," she says, and giving you a quick glance that seems to read 'not in any timeline'.

"I might have run into that trenchcoat-and-tie guy at the store the other day," Mary says, after Harriet hands the tablet to her, "he gave me an odd look, but I didn't feel anything off him. Not even sure it was the same guy."

She hands the pad to Sue, and the blue-haired magical girl goes a bit pale.

"I want a rematch against that red-coat demon," she says, raising her head from the tablet, "he just left! in the middle of a duel!"

Wait, demon? you think, as that side of the table descends into bickering.

"He knocked you down before he left!" Rachel says, and Sue glares at her.

"And if he left you," Karen chimes in, with an evil grin, "he must have really been a demon."

"Were these guys active before those magical girls showed up?" you ask, hoping to head things off.

"I doubt it," Mary says, "I don't know them, and if they were around here before, I definitely would."

Great.

So there's more than just magical girls here?

>We're hitting them daytime, while they're still sleeping from hunting at night - but I'm going in to negotiate
>We're going to try to grab them one by one as they hunt - tonight
>We know where they are, we're going in hot
>WRITE IN
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>>2717309
>We're going to try to grab them one by one as they hunt - tonight
>>
>>2717309

>We're hitting them daytime, while they're still sleeping from hunting at night - but I'm going in to negotiate
>>
>>2717309
>We're hitting them daytime, while they're still sleeping from hunting at night - but I'm going in to negotiate
>WRITE IN
Let's take a handful of folks with us, preferably some of the girls, because showing up for negotiations with a magus and an assassin would not look all that convincing if we're trying for a nonthreatening image to start off with.
>>
>>2717309
>WRITE IN
>Hey Kelly, any chance you might be able to run this license plate or know anyone who can? Maybe that'll help us get a bit more info. If it's stolen, we call the cops which might wear them down, and then we can jump in from there either once their done, or if things get to hairy.
>Once everyone is inside and asleep, bring the drone down (Assuming it's a quadcopter?) and see if we can't get a better look at everything. Them, surroundings, all of it.

>We're hitting them daytime, while they're still sleeping from hunting at night - but I'm going in to negotiate
>>
>>2717309
>We're hitting them daytime, while they're still sleeping from hunting at night - but I'm going in to negotiate

>>2717328
Maybe have them ready nearby?
>>
>>2717309
>If they're demons, could they be the government?
>>
>>2717309
"We're going in," you say, standing up from your chair, "they should still be asleep, if they're hunting at night, right?"

You get a chorus of grins and nods from the table as chairs are pushed back.

"Kelly," you say, "play mission control back here. I know your reputation, and that's not going to do us any favors if we're going to try to solve this peacefully."

The assassin give you a wry smile "makes sense. Give me a shout if you need the Predator."

Wait.

So the 'drone guy' did come through?

And Kelly's got a fucking predator drone flying in civilian airspace?

You really don't want to know how rough the past month's been.

"We're going in for a negotiation," you tell the table, looking at every face in turn, "they're probably on our side, well, once they realize what our side IS, and we don't want to wind up their rat unless we have to. W, do you have enough enemies that you're going to be a liability for that?"

"How 'bout this," the wizard says, swilling wine at nine in the morning, "you let me off on the roadside before they can see me?"

...Yeah, he's got that many enemies.

"Fine," you say, "I'll take you, and as many of the girls as want to pile into the backseat."

Of course they all volunteer. Of course.

So there you are, driving out past the city limits, toward some sort of magical girl base Winnebago parked in a farmer's field, with W riding shotgun, and a crew of magical girls chattering in your backseat.

And the local punk rock station blaring on your speakers. It was the only thing everyone could agree on.

This is fatherhood.

Suddenly, W cuts the radio.

"Pull over," he tells you, "NOW!"

You slew onto the shoulder, and the wizard almost bounces out of the passenger side and runs up to a barb wire fence.

"You've got five minutes after I kill this barrier," he yells at you, "ready?"

You're not ready. But you're doing it anyway.

And Mary jumps into the shotgun seat and slams the door.

"Let's go!" she yells, and you're really not sure whether she's yelling at you or W. But both of you respond anyway.

W's doing something to the fence, and with a fast look in your mirrors, you're back on the road and punching it.

In a couple minutes, you see a Winnebago parked in a field, and you pull off the road. Everyone piles out of the car.

"I'm going to negotiate," you tell them, "only jump if things go sideways."

Mary starts giving orders, as you vault a barb wire fence and pick your way through cow patties.

"Sure you're gonna be fine, dad?" Melon yells from behind, and you wave one hand as you walk toward the mobile home.

You hope so, but if you're not... Well, a lot of other people aren't going to be either.

[1/2]
>>
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>>2717426
You walk up to the camper.

Seems like there's nothing around here to keep you out, although you feel the odd prickling on your neck from time to time.

Then you knock on the damaged door.

Nothing.

Then you knock again.

"Gimme a minnit!" you hear yelled from inside.

It's a long sight past a minute before the door opens, disclosing a man in a trenchcoat, with a barely-lit cigarette between his lips.

"If this is about the parking fee, we paid - " he starts, and then he looks you over.

"It's not," you tell him.

"So what's this about then?" he asks, stepping out of the camper and closing the door behind him.

>You're not who I expected as the spokesperson of a magical girl squad.
>Nice camper you've got here... Be a shame if something happened to it.
>You cook meth in this thing?
>I figured we should talk about the demon problem about here.
>WRITE IN
>>
>>2717447
>You're not who I expected as the spokesperson of a magical girl squad.
>I was thinking you'd be a talking otter of unusual hue.
>>
>>2717447
>You're not who I expected as the spokesperson of a magical girl squad.
>I figured we should talk about the demon problem about here.

Is that motherfucking John Constantine? Haiku, you glorious bastard.
>>
>>2717447
>You're not who I expected as the spokesperson of a magical girl squad.
>I figured we should talk about the demon problem about here.
>>
>>2717447
>You're not who I expected as the spokesperson of a magical girl squad.
>I figured we should talk about the demon problem about here.
>>
>>2717468
Supportin'
>>
>>2717447
>You're not who I expected as the spokesperson of a magical girl squad.
If constine is involved then shit us well and truly fucked
>>
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>>2717447
"You're not who I expected as the spokesperson for a magical girl squad," you say.

His eyes narrow just a little bit.

"I could say the same," he tells you, taking another drag on the cigarette, "am I to presume the 'shotgun shogun' has gotten his ass off his deathbed?"

Well, he could be more abrasive if he tried.

And, fuck, Melon has your shotgun.

"This very morning," you say, "I heard there'd been some trouble while I was down for the count."

"A Hellish amount of trouble," he says, and you can't tell whether he knows about your escapade in the netherworld, or he's joking about the demons, "we trucked in to hunt demons because we heard there was a low-key invasion."

"That's what I wanted to talk about," you tell him, "mostly that we're not going to get anywhere if we keep fighting each other."

"We'll get somewhere," he says, "might not be where we want to be. What's your offer? And I think a couple of my crew," he jerks his head back at the camper, "have some unfinished business with some of yours. By the way, I'm James."

"Pleased to meet you," you say, giving your name.

>They get their rematches - on friendly, sparring terms, and we work together on this
>You're on my turf. I'll dictate the rules. And my crew will finish that business.
>Tell me about your rat. Or your girls' rat.
>I'm kind of interested in how a Winnebago of magical girls with you at the helm gets along
>WRITE IN
>>
>>2717507
>They get their rematches - on friendly, sparring terms, and we work together on this
>We have at least one common enemy, that should be the priority.
>Tell me about your rat. Or your girls' rat.
>>
>>2717507
>They get their rematches - on friendly, sparring terms, and we work together on this
>Mind if I ask how you got in on this? I got introduced to the party by a talking ferret asking me to unlatch my window so he could see my daughter.
>Tell me about your rat. Or your girls' rat.
>>
>>2717507
>>They get their rematches - on friendly, sparring terms, and we work together on this
>I'm kind of interested in how a Winnebago of magical girls with you at the helm gets along
>Tell me about your rat. Or your girls' rat.
Ease into the last one. Push too hard or too early and it'll tell him something's up.
>>
>>2717507
> They get their rematches - on friendly, sparring terms, and we work together on this.
> I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that at least one of those girls is your daughter. Right?
> Tell me about your rat. Or your girls' rat.
>>
>>2717507
I'm sure they'll get a chance for a rematch eventually. You're kind of lucky that they didn't nuke you guys for going into their territory while I was out. I guess the whole try to act like sane human beings thing advice stuck with them.
> I found one of those rat bastards sneaking into my daughters bedroom and then everything has spiraled out of control ever since.What's your deal?
So what's your rat like? He one of those that likes to act all cuddly selling the love bullshit or has it gotten to the point where it dispenses with all the pleasantries and acts like Sean Penn on a date with Madonna?
>>
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>>2717507
"They'll get their rematches," you say.

Although you're wondering if one chainsmoking trenchcoated wizard in your life isn't enough already.

Because you're pretty sure this guy's a wizard. He's got that same je ne sais quoi around him that Kelly and W have.

"But it's going to have to be on friendly, sparring terms," you finish, "because we've got a common enemy to fight."

"Demons," he says.

"That's why you showed, isn't it?" you ask.

"Were you keeping them in check?" he asks you, "this has escalated a lot since you dropped off the grid, from what I hear."

Fuck, this guy's fast.

Maybe too fast.

"Your sources can tell you," you say to James, "I'm not some sort of barrier maiden or cosmic key. And how'd you wind up running with a crew of magical girls, anyway?"

He's about to say something, but a voice from the top of the camper cuts him off.

"We scraped him off the ground with a spatula," it says, and then a girl vaults off the roof, landing in front of you.

"So he decided to join Mystery Inc.," she says, smiling, "and ride with us on the mystery machine."

"It was something like that," James says, "meet... Madison. Our glorious leader."

She smirks at you, white hair falling in a torrent behind her.

"Having an adult along makes things a little easier," she says, "less questions at the gas stations."

"Pleased to meet you," you say, "but I've got an awkward question - what about your rat?"

Oh, that's shock on both their faces, if only for an instant.

They didn't think you knew.

"Restrained in a circle," James tells you, "with very good ideas about what happens to him if he fucks with us."

"James demonstrated some of them," Madison says, suddenly far too close to your ear, "he got the picture pretty fast."

So, if you've got this straight, this crew of magical girls has been hunting demons from town to town in a fucking camper, and they picked up an itinerant wizard off the pavement who sealed their rat? And maybe tortured it?

And you thought your situation was screwy.

>I think we can work something out - to beat these demons off
>Nice to meet you... Madison? How long have you been on the road?
>Well, that's one way to deal with a rat
>[WRITE IN NEGOTIATION PHRASES]
>WRITE IN
>>
>>2717593
>Well, that's one way to deal with a rat
>>
>>2717593
>The James is a demonologist
>It's the pretty justicars

Typical
>>
>>2717593
>>Well, that's one way to deal with a rat
>Nice to meet you... Madison? How long have you been on the road?
>I think we can work something out - to beat these demons off

We still got our rat in our pocket?

>to beat demons off
I thought you didn't want more smut, Haiku.
>>
>>2717593
>Well, that's one way to deal with a rat
>I made mine into my sworn brother.
>>
>>2717593
>>>Well, that's one way to deal with a rat
>>Nice to meet you... Madison? How long have you been on the road?
>>I think we can work something out - to beat these demons off
>>
>>2717601
19:59 - 20:10 Voting period.

>>2717605
>I thought you didn't want more smut, Haiku.
Only someone with a dirty mind would interpret it that way.

And honestly, I really don't give a shit about smut getting written.

Besides, I like making jokes like that.
>>
>>2717593
I'm pretty sure that it could just stop sending in payments any time it wants to and it's boss will show up. It's probably playing you somehow.
If you have some good info on how and where the bastards come from in the first place my girls might be willing to allow you some minor hunting rights. I've been talking to a great deal of people and none of them seem to know what exactly they are.
>>
>>2717593
>Well, that's one way to deal with a rat

>I think we can work something out - to beat these demons off
>>
>>2717614
This as well^
We gotta make ourselves look like we're extending a helping hand here.
>>
>>2717607
I don't trust them enough to be saying that out loud. Maybe something like we managed to do some persuasion is better? We don't actually know if we can trust these wizards and they have told us no actual motivation for why they're there even if it's something as simple as a moral one.
Probably best to not let em know that the demon problem is gonna be gone soon even if explaining that they're the reason we haven't solved it at it's root yet would feel nice.
>>
>>2717593
"Well," you say, walking away from the camper, and motioning for them to follow you.

They do, believing in strength in numbers.

"That's one way to deal with a rat," you say in a low voice, "but you know it could stop sending in payments to its boss any time it wants, and you'd never know until everyone got cut off?"

Oh, now that's SHOCK on those faces. You're learning to appreciate it.

"Or said boss made a personal appearance?"

"Fuck," James mutters, then turns to you, "that makes sense, but how do you know?"

"I turned my daughter's rat," you tell them, "he spilled a lot of beans."

"Then your daughter's one of those magical girls that faced us," Madison says, eyes shining, "was she the one with the swords? Or the lasers? Or the one with all those guns?"

That last one sounds too much like Melon to be a coincidence, and suddenly you wonder if you've really gotten the full story out of anyone.

It must have been a long month.

Then James' eyes go wide.

You hear him whisper something to Madison.

It sounds a lot like "the barrier broke".

Fuck, W did say you had five minutes. And it looks like five minutes are up.

If you know anything about magical types, this shit's going to escalate way too fast.

>We come in peace and have two common enemies
>How do you think I got in here?
>Don't scramble, it's just my girls - we're here to negotiate
>Slug James across the jaw
>WRITE IN
>>
>>2717593
>Well, that's one way to deal with a rat
>I think we can work something out - to beat these demons off

We need to get right to business.
>>
>>2717658
>We come in peace and have two common enemies, you down for listening or should I show myself out?
>>
>>2717658
>How do you think I got in here?
>We come in peace and have two common enemies
>>
>>2717658
>How do you think I got in here?
>Don't scramble, it's just my girls - we're here to negotiate
>>
>>2717658
>>We come in peace and have two common enemies
>>How do you think I got in here?
>>Don't scramble, it's just my girls - we're here to negotiate

KEEP THIS PEACEFUL! We could get a whole 'nother wizard out of this deal! Not like that is necessarily good but hey.
>>
>>2717658
>>How do you think I got in here?
>>Don't scramble, it's just my girls - we're here to negotiate
>>
>>2717658
>I must have taken too long.I'll make a call to make sure that it was my side that broke the barrier.
>Make some calls. Kelly first, then Mary, then W to say negotiations are going great. I just took a little bit. Be careful on wording to not alert the local demons wiretapping all the phones.
>Do you want to discuss things more now or at a restaurant later tonight? (don't want to be doing a battle on their "home turf". all sorts of magical traps might be in here.
>>
>>2717678
That wizard is fucking Constantine. Having him remotely anywhere near any situation automatically means that the only left who would WANT to be alive by the end of it is Constantine.
>>
>>2717688
Maybe on the surface, but I think W. might more closely resemble John than this guy.
>>
>>2717702
That is true, but on the other hand we wouldn't be having this conversation if the profile picture was Skeletor, Rasputin, or Alan Moore.
>>
>>2717709
Hey, all those options are better than the Winnebega sprouting chicken legs.
>>
>>2717709
If this dude's profile picture was Skeletor there would be no doubt that we're getting him on our side simply because Skeletor is the best.
>>
>>2717709
>Skeletor

...Damn it Haiku why COULDN'T you have gotten Skeletor into this quest? That would have been awesome.
>>
>>2717714
That's because none ever wants to fuck with Russians.
>>
>>2717714
Oh sweet merciful Jesus Christ.

Baba Yaga was a magical girl that went bad. She's probably /still out there/. Fuck all kinds of duck.

Rasputin, however, was just a fuck nugget.

>>2717723
>>2717717
Maybe a benevolent if slightly insane wizard-lich? I'd love to ham it up with a skelebro.
>>
>>2717743
>Magical Girl Baba Yaga
Yes
All of my yes
>>
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>>2717658
"I must have taken too long," you say, grabbing the wizard and the magical girl by their shoulders, "my folks are probably coming in to check on me."

And then you hear the alarm going off inside the camper.

"If you crossed that field," James says, teeth gritted, "you're just a human, so you get about thirty seconds longer to negotiate."

Madison gives him a look of... ok, you have no idea how to interpret that one.

"I'm fuckin' HERE to negotiate," you say, "we have two common enemies - demons and rats. And we're doin' nobody any favors but them if our crews kill each other here!"

But you're too late to stop the scramble out of the Winnebago. White haired guy with a sword. And two blondes.

One of which gets airborne on a fucking witch's broom.

"HEY!" Madison yells at them, "FUCKER'S HERE TO NEGOTIATE! DON'T FUCKING-"

Oh hell.

Those are lasers lancing up at the girl on the broomstick.

And probably some of Mary's arrows.

You've got your phone out as soon as you realize what's going on.

"STAND DOWN!" you yell into your phone as soon as Mary picks up, "STAND THE FUCK DOWN! MISUNDERSTANDING!"

The anti aircraft fire stops.

But the magical girl in the air doesn't.

"Hell," Madison says, and then she jumps into the sky, wings of fire erupting from her back, as she goes frilly and yells "MYRNA, STOP IT!"

You have never seen a magical girl get tackled off her broomstick and into a cow pasture before.

You hope you never have to see it again.

"Guessing that was a rogue on their side," Mary says through your phone.

"I think so," you tell her, with a glance at James.

"Let's do this the traditional way," he says, "both sides lined up in full view, representatives in the middle. I think that's the best bet for this not going pear-shaped."

>That sounds reasonable - bring in the girls
>That sounds reasonable - bring in the girls and W
>Just punch him
>What if we take everyone to a restaurant?
>WRITE IN
>>
>>2717774
>>That sounds reasonable - bring in the girls
W has a lot of enemies, it's not unlikely these girls are included. And if this does go pear shaped, we don't need to be wrecking a poor innocent restaurant.
>>
>>2717774
>>What if we take everyone to a restaurant?
FOOD! Cancer survivor needs meats badly
>>
>>2717774
>>What if we take everyone to a restaurant?
>>
>>2717774
>That sounds reasonable - bring in the girls
First things first, though. Mind if we stop by the nearest liquor store and get some meat for barbecuing? I prefer my magical girl fights over a couple of beers and sausages.
>>
>>2717774
>That sounds reasonable - bring in the girls
>What if we take everyone to a restaurant?

Fooooooood. Give us the flesh of fallen angels.
>>
>>2717723
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jjcq5yBk5Gk
>What if we take everyone to a restaurant? I'd suggest a barbecue but I guess you guys wouldn't trust me to not poison the food? (seriously. relaxing in the middle of whatever freaky runes that are setup has got to be bad for our health and yarnball manga exchange might cause us to set off some MASSIVE alarms via demon manga if we stick around long enough for the security system to notice. We need a semi neutral area that's reasonably safe from a random demon attack.)
>>
>>2717774
Whoops. forgot to link. >>2717792
>>
>>2717784
Supporting.
>>
>>2717774
>That's just asking for someone to get antsy - or worse, one of the other factions to hit us while we're all gathered in the middle of nowhere and watching each other rather than our backs.
>What if we take everyone to a restaurant?
Worked well enough last time.
>>
>>2717779
21:23 - 21:33 or so Voting period and all that.
>>
>>2717792
>>2717801
Oon,supporting this too
>>
>>2717792
>yarnball manga exchange might cause us to set off some MASSIVE alarms via demon manga if we stick around long enough for the security system to notice.
That is actually the reason all the alarms went off as soon as W's hack stopped killing the barriers.

Also, 'demon manga'? Like To Love Ru or Black Bird?
>>
>>2717813
My typing is more atrocious than usual in this quest. I guess we should have remembered to set an alarm although I figure we wouldn't have enough time to gtfo since the guy took so long to even open the door.


Like Berserk

I guess that means I have a ready prepared response as to why I set off the alarm now. Just got back from hell. I hope a good shower should rinse it off.
>>
>>2717774
"I'm thinking a restaurant might be better," you tell James, "conversations go better over food, and while I'd prefer to grill, I'm guessing you wouldn't trust me to not poison the food."

"You had me at 'grill'," Madison says, alighting next to you, "and we're fuckin' magical girls - you can't poison us."

James sighs.

"You know how many magical poisons there are?" he asks, with a a longsuffering voice, "stuff that can eat not only your body, but your soul?"

"It'll be fine, James," Madison says, leaning in and pecking him on the cheek, "we'll have one person in the kitchen, one person out by the grill, and one watching the path in between. And you're not scared of death by poison," she finishes, with a devilish grin, "or you wouldn't drink that much."

Oh god, are you hosting another barbecue?

You can see the defenses crumbling behind James' eyes.

Looks like you are.

"You're going to have to give us a ride," James says, "I spent a lot of time on these barriers, and I not moving the Winnebago out of them."

Then the van pulls up, Melon in the driver's seat and honking like a teenager trying to get his date to come out.

...oh, you never shut off the call with Mary. And you might have accidentally shifted it to speakerphone.

"I think we've got our ride," you tell him, and he grimaces.

"Alright," Madison yells at her little army, "there's food! Let's go!"

Now THAT gets a reaction. You can't imagine life on the road is great, but you didn't think food would be that much of a motivator.

Everyone piles into the van, and you manage to get Melon into shotgun, instead of the driver's seat. Yeah, she's licensed, but...

"Alright," you say, turning to look at the overcrowded back seats, "we under temporary, hopefully permanent truce. If you fight in my car, if you use magic in my car, if you get nookie in my car, or if you don't fasten your seatbelts, your head will be decorating a pike in my yard. Do I make myself clear?" you ask.

"What he said," you hear from Madison, "except his car, his yard - you know."

You get the full chorus of nods, including James.

Then you turn the thing around, and you're back to driving.

And there's W on the side of the road, sticking out his thumb like he's trying to hitch a ride.

>Pick up your sword brother and give him a ride
>Don't pick up your sworn brother
>WRITE IN

Somebody suggested barbecue, and I went with that over restaurant.
>>
>>2717870
>>Pick up your sword brother and give him a ride
>>
>>2717870
>Pick up your sword brother and give him a ride
>>
>>2717870
>>Pick up your sword brother and give him a ride
>>
>>2717870
>Pick up your sword brother and give him a ride
who wants to beat that they're cousins?
>>
>>2717870
>Pick up your sword brother and give him a ride
Right, let's get this over with. If he's calling to pick us up, he should have a plan.
>>
>>2717870
>>Pick up your sword brother and give him a ride
This can only end well.
>>
>>2717870
>Pick up your sword brother and give him a ride
I'm hoping that he was near the phone earlier. Otherwise he probably expected the car to be empty and the cluster is about to fuck.
>If anyone asks you're a rival softball team from out of town called the Winning Winnebago.
>>
>>2717893
> And a bear made off with your lunch so I offered you some barbecue for today.
>>
>>2717870
>>Pick up your sword brother and give him a ride
Watch magical girls for reactions, and give him the same speech, for appearance's sake if nothing else.
>>
>>2717870
>Stop the car in front of him
>What would Jesus do? *Turn to your passengers*
At best he can just teleport if no one picks him up
>>
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>>2717870
You pull over next to W, and you hear James muttering "you are fucking kidding me" under his breath behind you.

Someone pulls a side door open, and the wizard clambers in.

"You're fucking kidding me!" James yells, "this fucking bast-"

And you cut him off as the door slams.

"Are you going to fight in my car?" you ask, jamming the accelerator.

"Not now that we're going seventy!" James says.

"Are you going to use magic in my car?" you ask, "you remember the list."

"You think I could use magic without killing everyone?" James asks, "so, no."

"Have you fastened your seatbelt?" you ask.

"Yes!" you hear from damn near everyone.

"Then there's only one thing I have left to worry about," you say, piloting the minivan through traffic, "so you must be thinking of..."

"Holy shit, I'm not going to fuck this guy!" James yells.

Oh, if there's one thing you can count on magical girls for, it's good reactions to that sort of joke. A stand-up comedian couldn't hope for a better audience.

"Well," you say, "that's good news," you tell him after the chorus of giggles dies down, "pikes are bad lawn ornaments. Drive the property value down."

There's a dull roar of conversation the rest of the way home, and you can't really catch any of it.

So you call Liska, and tell her that there's going to be an unexpected number of guests for a barbecue tonight.

She's very happy. And the phrase 'blitzed like Poland' come up a couple times. You wonder if she's going to buy more liquor than meat at the grocery store.

>Then you're home, piling out of the car, and you ask James what his problem with ...W is.
>Then you're home, piling out of the car, and you ask W what James' problem with him is
>Then you run over a priest
>Then you're home, talking to Madison about making sure her troupe stays in line
>WRITE IN
>>
>>2717929
>>Then you run over a priest
Fuck it.
>>
>>2717929
>Then you run over a priest
Think of the dad jokes.
> Father O'Brien.
>>
>>2717929
>And then you nearly run over a priest that jumped in front of us on the highway.
>>
>>2717929
>>Then you're home, piling out of the car, and you ask W what James' problem with him is
>>Then you run over a priest
>>
>>2717929
>>Then you run over a priest
Maybe a holy man will be useful in dealing with demons. I've been wondering what the church's reaction to this invasion has been.
>>
>>2717929
Oh, yeah, should we invite Bernie and his beau to the party?
>>
>>2717929
Why are we running over a priest!?
>>
>>2717929
>Then you run over a priest
The fuck?
>>
>>2717929
>Then you run over a priest
Fuck it, meme option it is.

Think it's Kirei, or someone with an actual sense of decency and morals?
>>
>>2717929
>Then you run over a priest
I mean, at this point, we have everything but the kitchen sink. Why not a priest?

Also, it'd be fucking amazing if our partially divine daughteru started attracting attention from American spirits like fucking Coyote.
>>
>>2717929
>Then you're home, talking to Madison about making sure her troupe stays in line

Fuckin mystery box
>>
>>2717972
>Coyote starts propositioning our daughteru

As a participant in this madness, I'd laugh my ass off, but putting myself in the player character's shoes, that's a one-way ticket to shotgun city.
>>
>>2717949
I don't know man. We just lost our moral high ground over Shelby's tokyo drift skillz. I hope anons are happy.
>>
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>>2717929
A man stumbles onto the road in front of you.

And you slam the brakes.

Or was he pushed?

"Fuck your rules!" James yells, bursting across the seat. W has already slid back the door, so at least he doesn't damage your windows.

Then W dashes after him.

You punch the hazard lights button.

"We're going," you hear from several magical girls at once, as they follow the two wizards out the door.

So you clamber out the passenger side door and around to the man crumpled on the tarmac in front of your bumper.

"You ok?" you ask.

"I'm ok," he says, "I promise. Just give me a sec. Or maybe-" he coughs, spewing out blood, "a couple minutes."

And he's in something like a catholic priest's cassock.

"Don't bother with insurance," the man says, "I was pushed. Not on you."

You hear cheers from behind you. It seems like the magical girls killed a demon.

"By a demon," you say, "look," you continue, dragging him back into the van, "I know what pushed you," you say, looking into his eyes, "and I need you in for this."

"Fuck man," he says, "I got out of that business years ago."

"I don't care," you tell him, laying him out on the seat, "at least you're going to get healed and get to go to a barbecue."

"Sounds fun," he says, as the girls and (miraculously) both wizards come back to the van.

"Anyone who knows healing magic," you say, as they pile into the car, "do that guy."

"He doesn't need it," you hear from the back seat.

What? you wonder, swerving back into traffic, he got hit by a minivan and doesn't need healing?

Well, yeah, you braked hard, but it still couldn't have been nothing.

>You arrive home and interrogate 'James' about his connection with 'W'
>You arrive home, and interrogate 'W' about his connection with 'James'
>You arrive home and interrogate the 'priest'
>You arrive home and it's grill time, baahyybbeeeee!
>WRITE IN
>>
>>2717987
>>You arrive home, and interrogate 'W' about his connection with 'James'
We don't need a wizard duel at the house. Don't want to have to spend another weekend fixing the place.
>>
>>2717987
>>You arrive home and it's grill time, baahyybbeeeee!
>>
>>2717987
>"That's the dumbest diagnostic i've heard in a while"
>You arrive home, and interrogate 'W' about his connection with 'James'
>>
>>2717948
>You arrive home and it's grill time, baahyybbeeeee!
>Liska honey, we are not having a repeat of last time. Things are complicated enough without accidentally adding that to the mix.
I have absolutely no idea why we said that it was a demon out loud before we knew if the priest himself was actually magical. Great job keeping up the masquerade right there.
>>
>>2717991
>>2717998
>>2718008
Supporting
>>
>>2717987
>>2717998
second
>>
>>2717987
>You arrive home and it's grill time, baahyybbeeeee!
We’ll just ask the questions while we’re grilling.
>>
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>>2717987
"That's the dumbest diagnostic I've heard in a while," you say, while piloting the minivan through the streets of your suburban neighborhood.

"It's true, though." a voice says, and you could swear it's the voice of the man in the priest's cassock, "I mean it, I'm ok - trust me."

That sounds hellishly familiar.

'I'm not ok, I promise'? That's what Ellie said. And it's a line from the same song.

And then you're home, and the 'priest' walks out like he'd never been in a car accident. He wasn't kidding when he said he didn't need healing.

You pull W aside as he steps out, and ask "history with 'James', go."

"We worked together a few times," the wizard tells you, "last time we were in together things got real bad. Kill all your ex-and-current girlfriends-and-wives bad. That's when I bailed. Didn't want it to kill my future ones too. I think the curse collapsed in on itself after that. Not sure if he got out before that. He's probably still bitter."

"Got a good reason to be," you mutter at W, "know anything about that 'priest' we picked up?"

"Dude," W says, "that guy vanished when the catholics took him. At five. Then he resurfaced known only as 'The Priest' or 'The Drummer.' He's dead as fuck, but neither Heaven nor Hell wants him. I heard he played with a rock band at some point, but the band broke up."

"And he's in there with our daughters," you say.

"He's a catholic priest," W says, "as long as your son's not an altar boy -"

And then you start choking the wizard.

"It was funny the first thirteen thousand times," you say, "we're way beyond that now. And I don't have a son."

"Ok, ok," W says, gasping for breath as you let him down, "he's an immortal monster catholic priest drummer. Who probably went into Hell at some point."

"And I just invited him into my house, and my barbecue?" you ask, glaring at the wizard as you release him.

"The invitation doesn't really matter," W says, slumping against the hood of the minivan, "only vampires need that."

>Grill
>Find the 'priest' and interrogate him
>Find 'James' and get his side of the story
>Drag all the men in the house out to the grill
>WRITE IN
>>
>>2718049
>>Drag all the men in the house out to the grill
>>
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>>2718049
>Grill
>>
>>2718049
>>Drag all the men in the house out to the grill
fastest way to clear the air.
>>
>>2718049
>>Drag all the men in the house out to the grill
>>
>>2718049
'The Drummer.'
waiiiiiiiit, that sounds familiar...

>Find 'James' and get his side of the story
>>
>>2718049
>>Drag all the men in the house out to the grill
Ask pointed questions of the priest when possible.
>>
Are Rin and Illya actually here? I can't tell if they're in the main group now or spend spare time fobbing off since they've had no spoken lines for a long while.
>>
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>>2718049
This has gotten a little too screwed.

"Get to the grill," you tell W, "and pull any man, any male, anything with an XY genetic signature, and anyone who identifies as a man who you encounter on your way out there with you."

"Fuck," W mutters from behind you, as you stride into the house, "you're learning the loopholes of magic!"

That's something you didn't ever want to learn.

"Birnam Wood's not gonna kill me," you say, looking back at the wizard as you open your door.

And you head to the kitchen.

"Liska," you say to your wife, "are they ready?"

"Of course," she says, "and Harriet and Shelby set the grill up for you. I think Kelly's out there already."

"Thanks," you tell her, taking the platters of meat, and then you yell "men! To the grill!"

It's the last refuge of the American man.

And you've gathered all the men here around it, as you put on the meat.

Kelly, Shelby, W, the priest, James, and that white-haired guy in Madison's crew.

So you're all standing around the grill. Making small talk about sports, your families, the normal things.

Then Fred pops his head over the fence.

"You having another cookout?" he asks, and then his eyes light on the priest.

"Great," the priest mutters, "I get run over AND I have to kill an angel today. Justice is dead."

And that's a dangerous look in his eyes.

>Hold him back - Fred's a friend, man
>'Justice is dead'? What are you on, man?
>Harriet, please do that 'nobody notice' shit for this
>The burgers need flipping.
>WRITE IN
>>
>>2718089
Illya is Shelby imouto, Rin is the magical girl and Rachel imouto.
>>
>>2718097
>Hold him back - Fred's a friend, man
>The burgers need flipping.

Na man, Fred's not clued in, don't worry about him.
>>
>>2718097
>Hold him back - Fred's a friend, man
>I'm sure the whole accident thing got you shaken up, chill
>>
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>>2718097
>"Great," the priest mutters, "I get run over AND I have to kill an angel today. Justice is dead."

oh wonderful

>Harriet, please do that 'nobody notice' shit for this
>The burgers need flipping.
>>
>>2718097
>Fred the most innocent angel
>Probably Cupid

Yeah poor Fred needs three fiddy

>Harriet, please do that 'nobody notice' shit for this
>The burgers need flipping.
>>
>>2718097
>>Hold him back - Fred's a friend, man
>>
>>2718108
>Fred the most innocent angel
That... explains a lot, actually.
>>
>>2718097
>Hold him back
>Weird stuff keeps happening today/ >Accidentally ran over a priest while on the way to get this softball team some food. They must have given him some good pain medication. The Winnebago Wingdings got their lunch stolen by a bear so I decided to be a good neighbor and give em some grub.
>>
>>2718097
>Hold him back - Fred's a friend, man
>'Justice is dead'? What are you on, man?

>"Great," the priest mutters, "I get run over AND I have to kill an angel today. Justice is dead."
What
>>
>>2718135
>Winnebago softball team
Forty keks what is our team name? Shotgun suburbs?
>>
>>2718135
This
>>
>>2718135
Supporting this softball team I mean we have also have one.
>>
>>2718097
Is this like the angel from Neil Gaiman's "Good Omens" book?

Because that's totally Fred.
>>
>>2718135
>>2718097
Supporting.
>>
>>2718135
Support! Keep it normal!

Fred is the normal police and we have the greatest gathering of magic in the city second only to whatever blender we threw all the demons into last month.
>>
Looks like OP passed out again.
>>
>>2718217
Nah he's drunk business as usual.
>>
>>2718219
>>2718217
these are not mutually exclusive
>>
Quick since HaikuDeluge is asleep name a softball team that we can give to Fred.

The Firefox softball team [/spoilers]
>>
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>>2718097
>Fred, an angel
>>
>>2718097
>Fred's an angel.

So what, he's our guardian angel or something? Or maybe an observer sent to monitor us because our sister's a demon?
>>
>>2718262
it all makes sense now
>>
>>2718097
>Hold him back - Fred's a friend, man
>>
>>2718262
Nah. This priest just a gayboi smitten by Fred.
>>
>>2718282
>Fred pulls a keg of beer out of almost nowhere
>It is the best anyone has ever had
>Wait, when did Fred get so much gold jewelry?
>WAIT where his eyes always that color?!
>WHEN DID HE GET HAIR! MUCH LESS TURN BLONDE?!
>inb4 Fred is Gilgamesh or his wife is genderbent Gilgamesh.
>>
>>2718292
Chances are his true form will look like pic related
>>
>>2718304
>>2718292

Nah.

Fred is more interesting as a totally normal foil to the weird shit in our lives.
>>
>>2718312
Priest just thinks hes a angel because Fred brought home flowers for his wife that day.
>>
inb4 Fred is the Angel's equivalent of Dense Protagonist. Because all this spiritual/magic mumbo jumbo is commonplace for spiritual/magical beings, he doesn't realize how out-of-place it is in the mortal realm.
>>
>>2718338
Nah. He's just a normie so their magical disguises actually work on him.
>>
>>2718338
Also that is literally the angel from "Good Omens". He's *very* British.

But no. Fred works best as our flipped Hiroshi and Daisuke. Instead of showing us how wacky our antics are even within the setting, Fred shows how they're percieved by Normal people whom the disguise magic works on, coming up with mundane explanations instead of our hard no-sell on treating magical stuff as exceptional or special instead of annoying bullshit.
>>
...Okay, with the demon incursion, what if the forces of heaven got involved? I'm just hoping that maybe this "Fred" is a disguise of an angle and that actual Fred is just knocked out somewhere nearby

>>2718097
>Harriet, please do that 'nobody notice' shit for this
>Hold him back - Fred's a friend, man
>>
>>2718327
>Fred just has such a massive aura of goodly good that he gets mistaken for an angel
>His son later ends up being the heir to the Mantle of Mr Rogers
>>
>priest thinks fred is an angel because he's the only man on earth with absolutely no evil in his soul
>>
>>2718097

>The burgers need flipping

Also y dont you come over and bring your people
>>
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I woke up and it turned out I hadn't actually posted the "I'm going to sleep now" post I'd typed. Fuck.

Thread should resume shortly, once I've reread a bit and counted this mess of votes.
>>
>>2718097
>Hold him back - Fred's a friend, man
The care package he's given was nice, invite the guy
>>
>>2718099
Yeah I know that.
I went and checked the previous thread.
Both have exactly one line of speech in the previous thread and no interaction with us. Then another sentence or two where they're even mentioned. It's probably just a limitation of juggling so many characters since pink and red haven't made any impressions after we got back to town either now that I think about it. I'm sure they'll have their own chances.
>>
>>2718521
>It's probably just a limitation of juggling so many characters
Basically this. There really hasn't been a lot of time to deal with anyone except plot and family since the MC got back. And shattering the dreams of some idiot who thought 'witching out' in Hell was going to get her a shot at nobility.

Since a usual voting/post cycle takes about 45min to an hour, having an actual conversation with a character is a pretty big investment. and Einz, Rachel, and Shirley are the girls whose dads are actually around.

And now I have to juggle the priest, too. Why did we have to run him over again?
>>
>Fred angel
I've been wondering why Heaven has apparently been allowing demons to run free in the mortal realm. Even if the MGs have it handled, it doesn't seem like the sort of thing they'd let slip; after all, turnabout is fair play. My best guess is that they don't want to risk escalation, but that still doesn't seem right, seeing as a demon invasion is happening anyway. W is well read on demons, he should be at least aware of holy stuff, right?

>>2718521
>It's probably just a limitation of juggling so many characters
Haiku has made grumbling noises about the amount of characters before, even before we introduced another batch of them. We do have a lot of named characters, but I'm not sure how to shed them without it causing issues IC. Delegating part of the city to groups of our subordinates?
>>
>>2718526
>Why did we have to run him over again?
Rule of the highway of life: You get in the way of a larger moving object, expect to get run over.
>>
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>>2718097
Your hand clamps down on the priest's shoulder.

At about the same time as W, Kelly, and James grab the guy too.

"Are you high?" you whisper, "Fred's a friend. Probably the most normal guy I know."

"Yes," the priest says, looking at you with pinprick pupils, "they always look that way, don't they? Not sure I appreciate the group hug."

"You're my guest," you tell him, "and you'd better act like it."

Well, he's restrained for the moment, so you turn back to Fred.

"Yeah," you call back at your neighbor, "it's a post-game cookout. The girls had a pretty good game against the Winnebago Wingdings, and we invited them over."

"That's good sportsmanship right there," Fred says, "so is he one of the dads? I thought priests couldn't get married."

"It's worse," the priest says, smiling, "I was the umpire."

Fred cackles with laughter.

"Christ," he says, "I wish Jimmy's little league was this friendly. Inviting the umpire to a cookout? That's..."

"You want to come on over?" you ask him. Never hurts to be friendly.

"Nah," Fred says, "I'm going out with Marlene tonight. Just catching some fresh air back here while she gets her hair right. Thanks for the offer, though."

"And thank her for that care package - it was great," you tell him, "those guys you saw earlier complimented it too."

"That's wonderful," Fred says, "I think hearing that will help her with her hair," and he heads back into his house.

"Alright," you say, as the door closes behind him,

>'Justice is Dead'? The hell are you on, man?
>Umpire, seriously? Gotta give you props for playing along
>I think I'm going to need to know a little more about you.
>Why'd you think he was an angel?
>WRITE IN
>>
>>2718547
>>'Justice is Dead'? The hell are you on, man?
>>Why'd you think he was an angel?
>>
>>2718547
>>Why'd you think he was an angel?
>>
>>2718547
>>'Justice is Dead'? The hell are you on, man?
>>Why'd you think he was an angel?
>>
>>2718547
>>Umpire, seriously? Gotta give you props for playing along
>Why'd you think he was an angel?
>>
>>2718549
11:23 - 11:33 Voting period and all.

>>2718065
I couldn't resist it.
>>
>>2718547
>'Justice is Dead'? The hell are you on, man?
>Why'd you think he was an angel?
>>
>>2718529
I figure that they aren't supposed to do anything major until the apocalypse so them showing up is an EXTREMELY bad sign.
Plus there's the whole man was given dominion over the earth thing, so dealing with the demon problem is actually mankind's responsibility.

>>2718547
>No murdering my friends
>"Justice is Dead'? The hell are you on, man?
>>
>>2718547
>>Umpire, seriously? Gotta give you props for playing along
>>I think I'm going to need to know a little more about you.
>>
>>2718547
>Why'd you think he was an angel?
>Seriously, don’t kill him. He’s a refreshing oasis of normalcy in this complicated desert of magical contracts and demon hunting.
>>
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>>2718547
"'Justice is dead'?" you ask the priest, "the hell are you on, man?"

"Bad heroin I beat out of some dealer," he says, "don't want to know what it's cut with, don't really care. And a bit of ice to keep me on my feet. But Justice IS dead," he finishes, tossing two halves of a tarot card onto your lawn.

'XI' is on the top half, 'Justice' printed on the bottom.

"Turns out Crowley was right with his substitution," he says, "wizards."

W gets that thoughtful look on his face, and James mutters "you've got to be joking."

"Why'd you think Fred was an angel?" you ask the priest.

"I felt it, man," he says, sagging as W and James try to hold him up, "like 44. Like all that bullshit in Albuquerque. Like... how are you all still standing? An angel makes people hit their knees just by being there," he finishes, wriggling out of their hold and slumping onto your lawn.

"Get this guy some water," you say, and Shelby hares off to do it.

"The sepirot is collapsing," the priest says on the ground, and you bump heads with James and W as you lean in to hear, "Justice is only the first."

>He's just a junkie - Put him on a couch and let's get back to grilling
>I'm going to need to know a bit more about you
>W, James, is this guy making any sense?
>You're going to have to stop speaking in riddles
>WRITE IN
>>
>>2718583
>>W, James, is this guy making any sense?
So deep in the LSD, he's immortal.
>>
>>2718583
>W, James, is this guy making any sense?
>You're going to have to stop speaking in riddles
This is getting weirder and weirder.
>>
>>2718583
>>He's just a junkie - Put him on a couch and let's get back to grilling
He's sounding badly scrambled, and it's not lining up with all the other usual weirdness. Not everything we stumble across will be actually magical.
>>
>>2718583
>Drown the bad trip. Hand him over to the wife to get him drunk.
>>
>>2718583
>>He's just a junkie - Put him on a couch and let's get back to grilling

If Heaven is collapsing that's something we'll deal with later. There are actually manageable bullshit situations to deal with here and now.
>>
>>2718583
>>W, James, is this guy making any sense?
>>
>>2718583
If you kill one of my friends I am going to find an afterlife that keeps you there.
Does anything this guy is saying actually make sense?
>>2718589
The other magical guys actually knew him and you can't normally heal back blood that already came out of your body with junkie powers.
>>
>>2718583
>W, James, is this guy making any sense?
>Goddamn it, I’m going to have to use the Sword again, aren’t I?
>>
>>2718583
>W, James, is this guy making any sense?
>>
[Rock quest intensifies]
>>
>>2718583
"W, James," you ask the wizards clustered around the priest, "is this guy making any sense?"

You can see Kelly out of the corner of your eye, talking to the white-haired boy with a sword. He never really was interested in the academic side of wizardry, was he?

"He's scrambled," W says, "Crowley went with 'VIII' as 'Justice' and substituted it with 'Adjustment'. 'XI' is 'Strength' and Crowley substituted 'Lust'."

"Either way," James says, "he's saying that one of Geburah's paths is broken. Tiferet or Chesed. Take your pick, but we're still fucked."

"So there is no 'awe' or 'judgement' in love, by way of 'lust'," W says, "or there is no balance in..."

He trails off.

"Can you guys speak plain English?" you ask.

"We're fucked," James says again, "assuming he's not totally out of his mind. And I'm thinking we give him the benefit of the doubt - I've done some of my best work blazed. You know the sephirot?"

"God help me, I'm not a wizard," you tell him.

"Someone's trying to crash it," W mutters, "if he's right. But I can't verify anything. We're stuck in Malkuth, dammit!"

This has gotten all too weird, and they're still not speaking plain English.

"I can't really explain it from ground zero," James says, "but it's a model of the spiritual universe. Sort of. A bunch of rabbis got really high back in the day, and mapped out god's attributes to domains. Spheres. Then the gnostics -"

"Goddamn heretics," the priest interjects, "the 'gospel' of Thomas is a fanfic and you know it."

"So's Paul's work," W mutters, "unless you're going to admit 95 complaints nailed to a door."

The priest glares at him.

"As I was saying," James continues, "it's a map of the realms beyond our own earth, which is the lowest sphere - Malkuth. Crowley mapped it to the Tarot. And it's also a sort of map of the human soul. And an image of how the physical world is formed by the spiritual. I really can't explain it."

Well, you're not going to argue that. He really can't explain it.

You're more mystified than you were when things started.

>Is there any way to verify this?
>I'm going to go talk to someone else while you guys debate this
>We should put the priest on a couch
>I'm just going to grill now
>WRITE IN
>>
>>2718658
>Is there any way to verify this?
>Ok so what the fuck broke it?
>We should put the priest on a couch
>>
>So, what is Hell and what do you know about it?
>>
>>2718658
>I'm going to go talk to someone else while you guys debate this
This is way, way over our heads. They can come talk to us when they start talking plain english and have something we can do about it.
>>
>>2718658
>I'm just going to grill now
>Do you really think this is something to investigate?
>Call Harriet, is this her doomsday thing?
>>
>>2718658
>>Is there any way to verify this?
>>I'm just going to grill now
>>
>>2718658
>>I'm going to go talk to someone else while you guys debate this
We need to talk to the girls to get this alliance going. This is, for the moment, above our pay grade. We need to build our base before we start hitting this higher tier shit.
>>
>>2718668
Actually you know what? W and Kelly need to know Harriet's story now. Exclude everyone else and get us four together to discuss the absolutely real apocalypse we will be dealing with.
>>
>>2718658
>You guys can go talk it out. Seems above our pay grade to stop
>Grill that delicious meat
>Ask if anyone has any preferences
>>
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>>2718662
12:52 - 13:05 Voting period.

I'm Haiku, reporting to you live from the weirdest bounds of westernized Qabbalism. As told by a junkie ex-priest, a drunk wizard, and a guy who's been traveling with a bunch of magical girls in a camper.

You're the guys who decided to run over the priest.
>>
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>>2718680
And not a single fuck was given that day.
>>
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>>2718658
>I'm just going to grill now
desu I don't give a fuck about the last two posts
>>
>>2718680
If the damn priest can show up along with mentions of 44, then so can an expy of a certain motorcykle courier.
>>
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>>2718658
"Any way to verify this?" you ask, "and what could have broken it?"

The two wizards start arguing in about five different languages.

You just hope they don't manage to blow up your yard trying, you think as you stand up.

'Crash the spheres', huh? Maybe that's the apocalypse Harriet always runs into. You wonder about bringing her in for this, but those guys need to sort it out before they can tell anyone coherently.

They probably won't be able to tell it coherently even then.

"You guys debate this," you tell them, "I've got a grill to deal with."

"Oh," W says, grinning and taking a sip of wine, "this is going to get hotter than your grill."

That's not a comforting thought.

You walk back to the grill, leaving the two of them with the junkie priest. How the hell has he not been defrocked yet?

The meat looks good as you flip it. Liska made fine choices at the grocery store, as usual.

You don't know how she does it, but she always gets the best cuts.

"Decent of you to invite us in," you hear from your elbow, and find the the white-haired guy has wandered up to you, "and that stuff smells damn good."

"Course it does," you tell him, "it's on the grill. What's your name, kid?"

"Robert," he tells you, "but please call me Rob. God, it's been a while since we've had any decent cooking," he finishes, looking at your meat hungrily.

>So how'd you get roped into this?
>How long have you guys been traveling for?
>Oh, this is going to be better than 'decent'.
>I heard Sue wants a rematch with you.
>WRITE IN
>>
>>2718721
>Oh, this is going to be better than 'decent'.
>So how'd you get roped into this?
>How long have you guys been traveling for?
We should maybe not encourage Sue's bloodlust any further than necessary.
>>
>>2718721
>>Oh, this is going to be better than 'decent'.
>>How long have you guys been traveling for?
>>
>>2718721
>>Oh, this is going to be better than 'decent'.
>>I heard Sue wants a rematch with you.
>>
>>2718721
>Oh, this is going to be better than 'decent'.
>So how'd you get roped into this?


>>2718721
>looking at your meat hungrily.
Eyes front cowboy
>>
>>2718721
>>2718730
+1
>>
>>2718730
13:34 - 13:44 Voting period.

>>2718698
That would be something, wouldn't it? I don't think she shares a world with this quest, though.

>>2718689
>desu I don't give a fuck about the last two posts
You don't have to.
>>
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>>2718721
"Oh," you tell him, "this is going to be better than decent. So how'd you get roped into all this?"

"Madison's my sister," Rob says, "can't you tell by the hair? So I came along when she skipped town. We've been on the road together for about a year. Picked up James something like... six months ago?"

You can feel something from him. It's not just the white hair or the mismatched eyes.

This guy's part of their world somehow.

"Killing demons," he goes on, "skipping town to town, leaving when the authorities figured out our game. Or when the local magical girls drove us off their turf. Rough life," he says with a smile, "but it's fun. The food sucks, though."

You can only imagine.

And he came along with his sister when she left. You can't help but wonder if you and Ellie could have...

But that's an idle fantasy.

"This is the only place where someone's really welcomed us," he tells you, "so, thanks."

>You're welcome
>Kid, I can feel you're deeper in than that
>I think one of my girls wants a rematch with you
>How old are you?
>WRITE IN
>>
>>2718777
>>You're welcome
>I think one of my girls wants a rematch with you
>>
>>2718777
>>You're welcome
>How old are you?
>Kid, I can feel you're deeper in than that
>>
>>2718777
>You're welcome
>Kid, I can feel you're deeper in than that

It never hurts to say your welcomes.
>>
>>2718777
>>Kid, I can feel you're deeper in than that
>>
>>2718777
>You're welcome
>Kid, I can feel you're deeper in than that
>>
>>2718777
>>2718780
second
>>
>>2718777
I just didn't like the idea of carpet bombing a bunch of kids.
>>
>>2718777
>You're welcome
>Kid, I can feel you're deeper in than that
>>
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>>2718777
"You're welcome," you say, "but how'd a normal like you survive a year doing that?"

Rob shrugs.

"I'm pretty good with this thing," he says, slapping his sword.

Well, you've been doing pretty well with your shotgun.

But there's something off about this guy.

"Kid," you say, "I can feel you're in deeper than that."

He glares at you. With those mismatched eyes.

"You're damn sharp," he says, "I did fine for a while, but all good things gotta come to an end, right?"

Oh hell, are you in for a story? The wizards are still arguing with the priest, and now Shelby, since he's returned with the water. Kelly's nowhere to be seen - he's probably slipped back inside.

"Lucky it happened after we'd scraped James off the asphalt," Rob continues, "a demon took my arm. And some of my guts. And an eye."

"You look pretty good for all of that," you say, flipping your meat again. It looks almost done.

"Transplants," he says, then drops his voice to a whisper, "from the demon that took them. If we didn't have that crazy wizard, I'd be dead. Trust me," Rob continues, "you don't want to see what's under this sleeve."

That's... uh, a new one. Transplants from a demon? You glance back at James, who's waving his hands around as he tries to explain things to W.

>Good on you for sticking with your sister. I wish I'd... nevermind.
>I think one of my girls wants a rematch with you. A FRIENDLY ONE.
>Alright, all of y'all, food's ready! Let's get inside.
>So you're part demon now?
>WRITE IN
>>
So I'm out for the next little bit but i just wanted to say to all the players:

With the priest's shit just revealed to us do we keep our allies in the dark about what Harriet has told us? I mean we should clearly talk to her about this first and get her OK but i feel that things are rapidly spiraling to the point we'll reveal it whether she likes it or not.
>>
>>2718801
>>So you're part demon now?
>>Alright, all of y'all, food's ready! Let's get inside.
>>
>>2718801
>>Good on you for sticking with your sister. I wish I'd... nevermind.
>>I think one of my girls wants a rematch with you. A FRIENDLY ONE.
It's how the get friendly, right?
>>
>>2718801
>>So you're part demon now?
>Good on you for sticking with your sister. I wish I'd... nevermind.
>Alright, all of y'all, food's ready! Let's get inside.
>>
>>2718801
>So you're part demon now?
>Alright, all of y'all, food's ready! Let's get inside.
>Grab a Dr. Pepper from the fridge.
No damnit I can't let the Pepper go.
>>
>>2718801
>So you're part demon now?
>Meh, I've heard of worse things involving demons.
>I think one of my girls wants a rematch with you. A FRIENDLY ONE.
>>
>>2718801
Any side effects?
>>
>>2718806
14:31 - 14:45 Voting period.
>>
>>2718803
Harriet has looped plenty of times. I'm sure she's aware of how people would react if told, even if the particulars are different. And there's not anything to gain by telling them anyway.
>>
>>2718824
Kind of like how there wasn't anything to gain via getting us involved? She had some bad screwups at the start and she (reasonably) uses that as a reason to not confide in anyone else. Harriet doesn't really look for people that can help since she's rightfully paranoid about what happens if she runs into a person that can actually steal her powers.
>>
>>2718834
>anything to gain via getting us involved?
That wasn't a deliberate choice on her part this go around, nor did she have any reason to expect Melon's normal dad would be useful.
Actually, I wonder what she did to cause Freebles to come through our window that time, instead of Melon's.
This isn't the same anyway; This is a consideration of if telling our group that world will end someway or another within a year, and if that will help or hurt our ability to avoid it. Harriet, who's been through this many times with at least some of these people isn't inclined, meaning she thinks it won't help, or will actively hurt our chances.

>she's rightfully paranoid about what happens if she runs into a person that can actually steal her powers.
Is that something she's worried about? I don't remember her bringing it up, but we don't talk to her much.
>>
>>2718801
"So you're part demon now, huh?" you ask, "you've still welcome here. I've heard worse things involving demons."

And he's guy who stood by his sister. You can respect him for it - you're still having nightmares about the time you didn't

"Well," Rob says, "thanks. It's not a fun life, I can tell you."

You can only guess.

But he seems a little more sane than most of the folks you've met in this business so far.

"At least you went with your sister," you say, or whisper, or maybe you only think it, then turn and yell at the wizards and the priest, "alright, y'all, food's ready! Let's go in!"

"Help me out here," you tell Rob, and he holds up a tray for the meat, as the wizards finish their argument with a final yelling contest.

Well, you hope Fred's babysitter is watching a movie or something. Or doesn't know Yiddish. Or Hebrew. Or German. Or...

Ok, you don't know what the hell that is, so you doubt anyone else does.

Not that you knew any of the others, enough to understand them, but at least you know how they sound.

"God that looks good," Rob tells you as you load up the tray with freshly-grilled meat.

"It should," you tell him, "I grilled it."

"Can't wait to eat it," he says, carrying the tray inside.

"I wasn't joking," you say to the nutjobs in your backyard, "dinner's served."

James practically rushes for the back door.

How bad has their food been?

"Ok, ok," W says, half-carrying the junkie priest, assisted by Shelby, "we're coming in."

So you go inside and sit by...

>Madison
>Liska
>The Junkie Priest
>Mary
>WRITE IN

[Write ins about questions or attitudes for whoever you sit by are appreciated]
>>
>>2718859
I assumed that it's a good reason to not say it in earshot of a dragon as being cannibalized to steal power doesn't appear to be an unusual feature of magic.

My point was that she's been trying this whole thing alone the entire time without actually asking anyone that can help or even explain things better for her to learn the next time. This is the first time she even bothered conversing with wizards and it wasn't her as much as us deciding to do so. She's been doing everything in an extremely tedious low risk manner that her sanity clearly cannot handle. Harriet does everything alone and that's part of why she makes no damn progress.

To put it in an analogy. She's a person trying to guess the password on a combination lock via 000001, 000002, 000003,instead of grabbing a locksmith or breaking the lock.
>>
>>2718874
>>Liska
on one side
>>Madison
on the other side
>>
>>2718874
>>Mary
on one side for status update on how the girls are getting along,
>>Madison
on the other to try and get some more info about them.
>>
> "Transplants," he says, then drops his voice to a whisper, "from the demon that took them. If we didn't have that crazy wizard, I'd be dead.
https://youtu.be/Ur-8ibFvAY4?t=32s

>>2718874
>Liska
>Mary
>>
>>2718874
>Liska
>Madison
>>
>>2718874
>Mary
>Madison
>>
>>2718881
15:22 - 15:35 Voting period
>>2718859
>I wonder what she did to cause Freebles to come through our window that time
The Butterfly Effect is not the only thing that makes timelines different. And the MC's study used to be Melon's room, if I remember the first thread right
>>2718877
I'm guessing Harriet tried telling (different) people on several loops, but it turned out badly.
>Harriet does everything alone and that's part of why she makes no damn progress.
Nailed it.
>>
>>2718877
>combination lock via 000001, 000002, 000003,instead of grabbing a locksmith or breaking the lock.
I can't entirely blame her; She doesn't know any locksmiths, and she doesn't know what might happen if she broke the lock. So, sounds like she's been going slow, trying to make changes she could track the results of. Sure, it's slow, painful, and tedious, but it is the safest. I assume going lone wolf is an extension of that. Less variables means it's easier to track cause and effect.
And while she may hate her predicament, she doesn't appear to have a time limit, as it were.

>>2718897
>The Butterfly Effect is not the only thing that makes timelines different.
Or maybe that's all nonsense.
>MC's study used to be Melon's room
You're right, but if the butterfly effect was the only variable it would imply something she did caused the change.

Don't suppose we (or she) knows about what else is shifting the timelines?
>>
>>2718877
Slight adjustment to my analogy She's a person trying to get somebody else to guess the password incase something goes wrong*

>>2718874
>Melon It is our sworn duty to cockblock Shelby at this hour of judgement. Actually I'm just curious as to the aftermath of when we left japan.
>And Liska with Mary nearby as well
>Mary we always planned to bring more into this. What do you think of them metaphorically paying rent via getting some good info off of that rat of theirs (if they can) or becoming allies. Anyone that can cage their rat like that might be useful with intel on the rats from other cities instead of us jumping in blind when the time comes.
>>
>>2718874
>Liska
>Madison
Wifey on one side so Madison doesnt try any funny business

New prospect on the other side so we can talk

Also this way we can keep an eye on Liska
>>
>>2718909
She does have a sort fo time limit. It's her sanity and was already at the point of cracking before a batter timeline stumbled in front of her.
>>
>>2718909
>>The Butterfly Effect is not the only thing that makes timelines different.
>Or maybe that's all nonsense.
>>MC's study used to be Melon's room
>You're right, but if the butterfly effect was the only variable it would imply something she did caused the change.

Also who says Harriet is the only Looper. QMC is likely one as well. Remember that he remembers a lot of different versions of Ellie's entrance into the gate. he might not be conscious of it out side of clashing memories and a sense of Deja vu.

If QMC is more a subconcious save scummer with multiple save points something that caused Melon's room to be wrecked with her in it might have led QMC to reload an old save a change the rooms.
>>
>>2718925
Nah. I think everyone's mana is just mixing together. The next time Harriet dies She might be surprised by EVERYONE coming back with her.
>>
>>2718937
>Everyone's mana is just mixing together.

>Next Interval Harriet tries looking for us
>Turns out that Freebles and Us already did the bonds of friendship to cover our bases and called up everyone in the Conspiracy over to have a powerpoint presentation on what worked and did not work
>Even our sister is there in a Office Lady suit combined with plate armor preparing the Hell-Coffee
>MC: "So we all learned a very important lesson in WHY we do not touch the little red button of doom."
>>
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>>2718874
You step inside, and smell alcohol.

Or, rather, the scents of a place where people have been consuming a lot of alcohol. A place where there is alcohol to drink.

Maybe for free, if you can persuade the barkeep. And the barkeep's probably drunk.

It's a leftover instinct from your misspent youth.

You got a lot of free drinks back in the day.

This time, it looks like the barkeep's your wife. And if you know Liska, her goal was to get everyone slammed.

'Everyone', in this case, being two teams of magical girls and assorted male hangers-on.

You settle into a seat between Liska and Madison. You're not sure how things got set up this way, but it kind of works.

You see James do something with his hand, then he says "the food's clean. No poison."

Wizards.

"I'll say grace," the priest says, standing up, "our father who art in heaven," he says, and everyone bows their heads.

When in Rome...

"Hallowed be your name! Your kingdom come. Your drunk, abusive will be done! On earth as it is in the trasheap you call heaven!" the priest yells, "give us this day our daily beating, and forgive me for saying: suck my fucking cock, you alcoholic deadbeat basta-"

And W slams a hand over the mouth of the 'priest' and manhandles him back into his chair.

Well, that's not exactly a prayer you learned in church. Maybe catholics do it differently?

"He's the life of the party, isn't he?" Liska whispers to you, "and you ran him over?"

"Demon pushed him into traffic," you mutter into her fluffy ear, "not sure why, since he seems to be on their side."

"I'm not sure what the sides are here," Madison says, "but if we've got a fuckin' priest yelling that about god, I doubt the guy upstairs is on ours."

Damn, her hearing's pretty good.

>Sides are Us and Them. Which one do you want to be on, girl?
>So why'd you go on the road?
>Your crew been getting along with mine?
>Whisper to Liska: "So what do you think of her?"
>WRITE IN
>>
>>2718951
>>Your crew been getting along with mine?
>>
>>2718951
>Your crew been getting along with mine?
>So why'd you go on the road?
May as well be casual.
>>
>>2718951
Jeeze. Liska really wants to trick people into a pact super hard before we even know them. This is exactly why I voted to tell Liska nono on a repeat of the last time. Blackout drunk parties are less fun when you have to clean up and deal with all the passed out people. Not a vote. just an observation.

>>2718951
>In my opinion, people reading paradise loss have a tendency to forget that Lucifer is basically a biased asshole using his daddy issues to justify everything bad that he does while becoming worse than daddy ever was.

>So what made you start roaming in the first place?
>>
>>2718951
>Your crew been getting along with mine?
>So why'd you go on the road?
>>
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>>2718951
"Your crew been getting along with mine?" you ask Madison.

"Pretty well," she says, looking down the table, "although I think there are still a couple scores they want to settle."

Of course.

"I've got to thank you for inviting us here," Madison says, spearing a bite of steak, "we usually don't get any sort of welcome. Or, well, any good sort of welcome."

"So why'd you go on the road?" you ask, "it sounds like it's a rough life."

"It's hell," Madison tells you, "running from the law, running from local magical girls, but I didn't have a real option. We have to kill demons. Or we die," she says, looking you in the eyes, "or worse."

"So when they stopped showing up in our hometown," she continues, "we took the show on the road. I'm still not sure why Rob tagged along, or why James is still hanging around. They don't have to eat demons to survive."

You could probably answer both of those questions, but it's not really your place to.

"Was getting everyone sloshed part of your plan?" you whisper to Liska.

"It's the only way they were going to open up," your wife mutters back to you.

"I haven't had that much to drink!" Madison says. God, her ears ARE good, "look, you seem unreasonably sane. And you're feeding us," she continues, gesturing at the table, "so where's the fuckin' catch?"

"There isn't one," you tell her, "I'm just trying to be a decent father."

"Wish more guys were trying," Madison says, "we're out of gas, out of energy, out of luck, and that farmer's hounding us for another payment to stay parked in his field. James can only magic him for so long."

So that's why they didn't want to move the Winnebago.

"I've always thought," you say, "people reading Paradise Lost have a tendency to forget that Lucifer is basically a biased asshole using his daddy issues to justify everything bad that he does while becoming worse than daddy ever was."

"Listen to the man preach," you hear from down the table, as the 'priest' waves a hand at you, "does a better job than I ever did," he finishes, then recedes into a beer.

"I know, right?" Madison asks, "people see Lucifer as some sort of tragic, Byronic hero, and he's just trying to get back at his dad in the worst way possible!"

You see the spark in Liska's eyes.

You know that spark.

"And Milton played up into it!" your wife says, leaning half across you to talk to Madison, "that's the joke of the piece!"

Suddenly, they're tearing the work of a dead poet to shreds in front of your eyes.

>Let's get anyone who has score to settle - settle them outside. Then we can talk business.
>You alright with my brother doing a hostile takeover on your rat?
>Christ, you kids have lived a rough life. Want to stay here for a bit?
>The catch is that you're in my turf, with us, and you're a liability.
>WRITE IN
>>
>>2719052
>Dig in, we can actually do the pain in the stuff once we're all full.

>honey please hand me another beer.
>>
>>2719052
>Let's get anyone who has score to settle - settle them outside. Then we can talk business.
lawn ruined in 3, 2...
>>
>>2719052
>>You alright with my brother doing a hostile takeover on your rat?
>>Christ, you kids have lived a rough life. Want to stay here for a bit?
The scores should be settled somewhere with plenty of open space and a lack of infrastructure. Not really keen on needing to sdo more repair work.
>>
>>2719052
>You alright with my brother doing a hostile takeover on your rat?
>Christ, you kids have lived a rough life. Want to stay here for a bit?
Honestly they seem like good enough people to want to help out.
>>
>>2719052
>You alright with my brother doing a hostile takeover on your rat?
>Let's get anyone who has score to settle - settle them outside. Then we can talk business.
>>
I'm passing out. Voting from here to whenever I wake up and come back to the thread.

Sorry about that.

Next runtime on the twitter: https://twitter.com/HaikuDeluge

Questions, comments, death threats, etc. answered as the mood takes me.
>>
>>2719052
A few tips I've learned in the short time i've started learning things. It's not just demons. It's any magic source like leylines or your own natural magic if you have it. Those are probably well guarded but it's at least another option.

I think we could do some trading, or at least an alliance of sorts You seem to be excellent ratcatchers and we aren't fans of them. Plus whenever we go after a rat in the future either of us can distract the main force while the other team nabs the furry little bastard.

>The other thing is something you'd have to put an awful lot of trust in me to let happen. You could just as easily pretend you don't realize the rat is pretending that it can't cut you off at any time. This is it's own separate deal. If our rat were to take care of your rat and take in it's contracts you could be a bit more secure since the higher ups don't actually care how much you're paying outside of their quota. You can set some aside for rainy days.
>I've been a bit busy lately so I'm going to check on if one of my earlier ideas has panned out yet to sweeten the pot. W , hows your progress on figuring out a way to mess with or reword contracts going? Things have been hectic but I know you've been working on it.
>>
>>2719117
Actually, new idea. Probably going to have to check the original thread but basically the yarnball makes Freebles our brother is because we made a brotherhood pact and the rats make contracts with humans extremely easily. So if these guys were to make a pact with their rat on their own terms we'd have allies without risking them not trusting us enough to grab their contracts? I feel like W might have been prioritizing the yarnball over modding contracts due to Bernie revealing it to some other witch.
>>
>>2719152
>So if these guys were to make a pact with their rat on their own terms we'd have allies without risking them not trusting us enough to grab their contracts?
The only problem I see with that happening is the Rat's mindset and whether or not the Rat isn't planning on fucking them over the second they let it out of the circle.
Hell that's been my concern about Freebles that pops up in my head from time to time. He says he's loyal but what's stopping him from fucking everyone over after we kill his boss?
>>
>>2719052
>The catch is that you're on my turf, with us, and you're a liability.
Followed immediately by a
>You alright with my brother doing a hostile takeover on your rat?
It was, after all, stated earlier in this quest that business meetings go better over food.
>>
>>2719192
Same thing stopping the drunk wizard from doing the same. Unless the pact/contract of brotherhood gets removed he faces serious magical backlash for killing family if w go by all sorts of ancient myths. You don't get to kill family unless they're a complete douchenozzle and I recall there being one greek case where properly avenging a family member's death to get rid of the furies after a different family member killed their father(?) resulted in an inescapable feedback loop because the guy now had furies after him for killing his mother.
TLDR Sachio is EXTREMELY lucky that nothing happened to him after he committed patricide.
You also skipped over the whole pact part which would bind him to their servitude. Think contracts with demons or like those that were given to the girls as an example.
It would have to be an extremely thorough agreement to ensure no backstabbing with stipulations like it cannot knowingly tell lies to us unless it is an approved act of deception to fool other rats or rat bosses, it cannot allow or choose to modify it's own memory in order to tell lies, it must obey any order given to it preceded by Simon says, and so on in a very extensive legal document.contract. Then they exchange alcohol to cement the agreement.
And then they tag it with a teleport jammier so that if they accidentally say something stupid like "forget his orders" it can't port the fuck out before they realize to nab it.

We obviously have to hammer out details enough that it doesn't go wrong due to the QM deciding our character is an idiot (I wager the city) before deciding that route.
>>
>>2719265
This is also why I was/am super paranoid about Liska getting people drunk at these events. If the dude has extremely bad reasons he was scraped off of the side of the road then we're getting roped in too if a brotherhood pact happens.
>>
>>2719265
Except that there's so much shit involving magic that there's going to be a fuckup somewhere. Hell the whole soul binding yarnball thing is COMPLETELY new, so it's obvious there's going to be things that can go out the fucking 13th floor window
As for the servitude pact, I've skipped it on purpose because we do not know what the personality of this rat is outside of what we've been told by James and Madison. They've cowed it yes, but much like Freebles deciding that he's better off with us. Their Rat might think it's better off dead and commits sudoku.
You also have to remember that all of our soul bindings were of active willing participants that wanted to do it. The rat being coerced into it against it's will might make the bond weaker or go completely ass backwards.
>>
>>2719052
This first
>You alright with my brother doing a hostile takeover on your rat?
>>
>>2719302
Yeah. I was hoping to maybe trick it since the rat higher ups don't detail exactly why. That setup would require the backup plan of freebles jumping right to eating contracts if that doesn't work. The key problem is just how far the concept of "deal" can stretch. People can agree without actually knowing what the fuck they're in for like the magical girls, Sachio,and most of the yarnball. We probably need to get stories of when the rats made contracts with the MGs to see just how far without coercion can stretch. Eg Could they setup a situation where the choice is die from an "accident" or take the contract like in the original Madoka serie?

I think we should at least establish them paying a bit of rent (I feel like they probably can't count for the team to take down the Duke) and then have any nefarious rat experiments or interrogations (still need to question the rat before we do anything else to it imo) as a separate but related matter since making them able to help themselves helps us as long as everything is kept quiet from the rat bosses.
>>
I'm awake again. Might resume after I get something to eat.

No, Liska has not succeeded in getting anyone slammed. Yet.

For what it's worth, W and James aren't just talking out of their asses in >>2718668 - they're actually talking fairly standard Crowlean Book of Thoth stuff. Now, whether Crowley was talking out of his ass...

>>2719265
>I recall there being one greek case where properly avenging a family member's death to get rid of the furies after a different family member killed their father(?) resulted in an inescapable feedback loop because the guy now had furies after him for killing his mother.
That's the Orestia. Sachio himself made a counter-argument against Apollo's closing statement in The Eumenides after the shrine maiden slanged him about killing his father. This was partially because it was an easier target for him to hit than Confucius' statements about family and respecting elders, partially to emphasize that Sachio spent enough time in Europe to know the western classics, and mostly because Apollo's argument is hot garbage. Also, having a flood wipe out the town was kind of the 'divine vengeance' that comes with that sort of thing.

> the QM deciding our character is an idiot
I try not to do that, but it does happen sometimes.
>>
>Steamy MaddyXDaddy
>Rob crashes in
>"That's my sister you basta-"
>Melon crashes too making Rob sandwiched between door and the wall
>"Damn it Madison that's my DAD!

Kill me please
>>
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>>2719679
>Kill me please
>>
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>>2719052
You tune out the conversation about English literature Liska and Madison are having across you, and try to listen to the myriad conversations going on down the table.

W and James are still arguing with the priest about weird mystical concepts and gnosticism. Harriet's watching them like a hawk, and you can see her grit her teeth.

Ok, that crazy shit they were talking about earlier probably has something to do with some of the apocalypses she's witnessed.

You might need to have a talk with her and the academic wizards.

Sue's grinning, as she discusses swordplay with Rob. But you can almost feel the violent undercurrent in that river of conversation. They'd better not be indoors when the undertow hits.

Karen's talking with Kelly and one of Madison's crew about sizing on bulletproof vests. And you can see Mary glancing at Madison as she talks to Shirley and Iris about - well, you don't quite catch it. They're at the other end of the table, and your ears aren't quite that good.

Rachel's having a rather icy debate about beam coherency with the blonde who was on the broomstick earlier. That's going to blow up, unless you're missing your guess by a mile and a half.

When did your dinner table become a time bomb?

Suddenly, you find yourself wishing you'd never stumbled into this crazy world. Sure, you've probably done some good, but things were so much easier when you didn't have to worry about people having magical duels in your backyard.

And when you didn't know that your boss was a dragon.

But you look down the table, past the argument about whether Kipling or Jane Austen is the better author, past Liska's smiling face, and you almost see something in the air, around the girls, around the priest preaching rank heresy, around all these crazy people you've gathered.

You can't put a name to it, but it's better than the years you've spent with everyone around you hiding deep secrets.

Liska and Madison finally reach some sort of impasse about Robert Stevenson, and you decide to restart your conversation with the magical girl.

"I might be able to solve your rat problem," you tell her, and her head snaps around, "my bro here," you continue, as Freebles appears on your shoulder, "specializes in hostile takeovers. And contract law."

Madison's eyes narrow, "so that's the catch. We'd be on his hook."

"And I'm on his," Freebles says, patting your head with a furry paw, then turning around on your shoulder and...

"Why does he have tats?" a third of the table asks, with slightly different phrasing and timing.

Yeah, Freebles is flexing again.

There's an eruption of conversation again, as your crew starts explaining in varied ways what the hell is up with your ferret.

Well, at least that seems to have cut the fuse on a few dangerous conversations.
>>
>>2719732
>It's one option. You could try getting yours to swear loyalty to you.
>Liska, can these kids spend the night here? You seem like good people, Madison, but it's a decision you should sleep on.
>Oh, if you think that's crazy, wait until I tell you about the 'ball of yarn'.
>WRITE IN
>>
>>2719737
>It's one option. You could try getting yours to swear loyalty to you.
>Liska, can these kids spend the night here? You seem like good people, Madison, but it's a decision you should sleep on.

DO NOT TALK ABOUT THAT YARN!!

Madison and Sue talking about us decides to sneak to our bed
>>
>>2719742
Now that I think about it what if Madison choose to sleep with us because we have the fluffiest bed ever...

No not that one.
>>
>>2719737
If I remember right, the loyalty swear only really worked the way it did due to us being an adult male, rather than a teenage girl.

I'd rather the girls sort of their differences before they sleep over, to minimize property damage.

The yarn isn't something that shouldn't be talked about before you're a part of it. It's too powerful with too many unknowns to be giving that info out.

>Offer to take the girls somewhere they can have their rematches with breaking things.
>>
>>2719737
>If it makes a difference to you, my daughter's on his hook too. And we're doing what we can do get her and half the other people at this table off of it.
>It's one option. You could try getting yours to swear loyalty to you.
>>
>>2719751
supporting this
>>
I think we lost Haiku again.
>>
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>>2719737
"If it makes a difference to you, my daughter's on his hook too," you say, jerking your head at Melon, "and we're doing what we can to get her and half the people at this table off it."

Madison looks at you. And looks at Liska. And looks at your daughter.

"You," she says, and begins giggling, "you used to blonde?"

And Liska laughs, with that half-bark in it.

Well, your hair faded to brown during puberty, but yeah. Once.

Back then, it matched Ellie's hair.

That's really not the important thing here.

"For a bit," you say, "look, Freebles is one option. You could get your rat to swear loyalty to you or something."

"Fat chance of that," you hear in a deep, cigarette-ruined voice from behind you, "after what we've been doing to him."

Seems like James decided to walk over and check out your bro.

"So what have you been doing to him?" Freebles asks the wizard. As if he wants to take notes.

"I'm not sure magic rat torture is really dinner table conversation," you say. Even if dinner's basically over, it's certainly not going to help you digest.

"Yeah," Madison agrees, "I don't think he'd go for it. Might be worth having a rat that doesn't want us all dead, though," she says, looking at the ferret posing on your shoulder.

"Big decision," you say, and you really hope it's Freebles or someone behind you she's giving that look to, "you should probably sleep on it."

"And if you want," Liska says, "I think we've still got some room on the floor and some blankets - I hear you kids have been living in a camper for a year."

Madison's got conflict written across her face in large black marker.

"We've got showers, too," your wife says, like a cheap car salesman extolling the features of the new model, and you see Madison's resistance crumble like the walls of Jericho.

"Ok," the magical girl says, "James, you think this is going to bite us in the ass?"

"I'm not reading anything beyond basic warning wards," the wizard says from behind you, "and I would like to keep talking to... W. I haven't seen the guy since he was F.F. And that Judas priest has some hilarious exegesis."

So W's been pulling that name-switching stuff for years. You're a bit fuzzy on what a 'true name' is if someone can switch it that easily.

"There's only one problem," Madison says, looking from you to Liska, "I think some of my crew," and she glances down the table, "have a bit of unfinished business to settle with yours."

Fuck, you knew this was going to come up eventually.

Even if you tried to avoid it.

>They can keep it in their pants.
>Let's just find somewhere they won't cause too much property damage. After it gets dark.
>I've got a backyard.
>God, I hate magic types.
>WRITE IN
>>
>>2719813
>Let's just find somewhere they won't cause too much property damage. After it gets dark.
>>WRITE IN
If you guys want, use our gaming system to settle disputes, we got tons of fighting games
>>
>>2719813
>Let's just find somewhere they won't cause too much property damage. After it gets dark.
>God, I hate magic types.
If our crew is anything to go by, this isn't going to go away if we ignore it. Best to clear the air if we're going to working together.
>>
>>2719809
>I think we lost Haiku again.
Nah. I spent a while waiting for votes, since I only got three. And I was reading Constantine and Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas for fun.

I'm thinking about checking out for the night pretty soon, since player population seems low.

>>2719679
Ok, I laughed.
>>
>>2719819
i'll try and lurk less
>>2719813
>Let's just find somewhere they won't cause too much property damage. After it gets dark.
>>
>>2719819
>since player population seems low.
Yea, everyone seems to have vanished. It is ~1:30a here though, so I can't say I'm terribly surprised.
>>
>>2719813
>Let's just find somewhere they won't cause too much property damage. After it gets dark.
inb4 laser tag with real lasers
>>
>Let's just find somewhere they won't cause too much property damage. After it gets dark.
>>
I'm calling it here for the night. Voting period is until I wake up and come back.

Sorry about passing out and coming back with just two posts. Not sure why I crash so hard off caffeine. Hopefully tomorrow is better.

Next runtime on the twitter: https://twitter.com/HaikuDeluge

Archive, if I forgot to post it earlier: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive.html?tags=Shotgun

This has been a fun thread so far. I like the idea that the MC and his crew get along pretty well with people living on the edge of magical society, since they're not exactly standard either.

Just when you thought it couldn't get crazier, here's a camper full of magical girls, another nutjob wizard (wonderful, now W has someone to talk shop with), a guy who's gotten a bunch of demon transplants, and a refugee from Rock Quest - junkie 'after the band broke up' edition. Oh, and Crowlean Kabbalah dumped into the already twisted mess that is this quest's cosmology.

Next thing you know, we'll run out of budget and start playing Beethoven over stillframes to pad our episodes.

>>2719823
Yeah. It's 00:30 here. Probably better for my own sanity and continued existence that I go to bed.
>>
>>2719813
>hey W, take james and set up a couple of barriered zones in the backyard, so they can resolve their issues.
>>
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>>2719813
>WRITE IN
As a precaution if we going to let them go at it, shoot Bernie a quick heads-up message so he doesn't think all-out war is erupting and scramble to run damage control.

Also, may as well ask if he has suggestions for places to do this sort of thing.
>>
>>2719813
>>Let's just find somewhere they won't cause too much property damage. After it gets dark.
Probably should ask Bernie if there are any good places we can do that at. Also anyone notice we haven't told our real life boss that we are back. Also anyone notice Fred didn't even ask were we have been.
>>
>>2719870
>>WRITE IN
>As a precaution if we going to let them go at it, shoot Bernie a quick heads-up message so he doesn't think all-out war is erupting and scramble to run damage control.
>>
>>2719813
>God, I hate magic types.
>WRITE IN

Well if they want to talk it out we have all night. We ca be honest and open with each other and ourselves!
>>
>>2719870
>>2719873
I can support this
>>
>>2719870
This
>>
>>2719870
Supporting
>>
>>2719870
>>2719837
Supporting this, with the caveat that it's a one shot and that next tine they have to sit down with an adult and talk through their problems.
>>
>>2719837
>Next thing you know, we'll run out of budget and start playing Beethoven over stillframes to pad our episodes.

You do realize you have to do this now right?
>>
>>2719813
>grumble grumble, back in my day kids sorted out this shit through videogames
>not right away, gotta find a safe spot that doesn't cause massive property damage and I'd like to warn the local dragon so that it doesn't think we started a magical holocaust in his backyard.
>Oh and when i said contract with your rat I was thinking that James would dress up as a little girl, weave some illusion spells, and play as the farmer's daughter that wants her own magical pet and to become a lawyer when she grows up.
>>
I present you some writefaggotry of myself. And no this isn't smut.

It's about MC when he is 10 years old.

Author notes:As always sorry for wrong grammar, bad spelling, wrong punctuation and other English grammar debauchery.

Here I put whatever our MC reflected now in the story. I thought that our MC is 50 years old that is why I put 40 years ago. I put some obvious reasons why he hates rats, don't want to her daughter become a magical girl and some subtle hints why he became a soldier, party guy and an accountant. Even though he won't realized that. He is still doing his best for her sister. So I will root for him and hope that anons won't make a bad desicion for him.

https://pastebin.com/mWFRK68V

Also sorry HaikuDeluge I only just presumed about MC so I just put something on my own understanding plus on what the flow the quest is moving plus the suggestion from other anons that makes the MC today even though I was also part of it.
>>
>>2720103
I've been wondering when we're gonna do proper adult things again. I'm hoping this whole demon thing didn't piss Bernie off enough that we lost most of our pay raise.
>>
>>2720106
Nice
>>
>I haven't seen the guy since he was F.F.
He missed the fabulous time the many-named was PP.
>>
Hear ye, hear ye, there's a new Info Doc, updated with all kinds of new characters and magic stuff: https://pastebin.com/54JEEFtf

This is meant to be more humorous than totally accurate.

Questing should resume soon.
>>
>>2720264
He may have been around for double-D, however.
>>
>>2720485
Not until he make the D, O and double G
>>
>>2720264
>>2720485
>>2720547
I'm just imagining that the guy has names like these for only a matter of days, and once he realized what he did, or a demon started laughing at him for it, he just burned his name to get it over with and move on.
>>
Sports are basically proxy wars i modern times , right?
Think we should make them sort out their differences on a softball field with powers allowed?
>>
>>2720620
that would be interesting.
I'd support this if it's allowed.
>>
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>>2719813
"Why does it always have to be like this?" you ask, "why can't you kids just settle shit with videogames at an arcade or something? Like we did back in my day?"

And then you realize your hypocrisy. Back in your day, you usually settled shit with your fists. And sometimes you had new friends afterward, and sometimes you had enemies.

Hell, that all started after Ellie left, didn't it?

And if these idiots can grow back their arms, it's not much more dangerous than the fights you used to get into. Actually, maybe less.

Still doesn't seem right.

"It's not just about 'settling scores'," James says from behind you, "you're proposing an alliance. And we need to know whether your crew's strong enough to be worth it."

That puts a slightly more rational twist on it, but you're still not comfortable.

"Let's find somewhere where we won't cause too much property damage," you say with the sort of sigh the last sane man breathes out.

"That might be difficult," Madison says, glancing at Myrna and Rachel.

Oh, right, you've got two hotheads who fire laser beams. And you saw the damage Rachel and Sue did to your street when they fought.

"I might know a guy," you say, pulling out your phone.

"Negotiating with the other team of magical girls," you text Bernie, "might be fireworks. Need somewhere to minimize collateral damage."

"Abandoned quarry outside town," you get back, as if he'd been waiting for the message, and there are GPS coordinates attached, "even has rocks for you to hide behind."

You have the feeling this won't be the first time that quarry's been used for a fight between supernatural creatures.

"We've got a venue," you say, showing the satellite image around on your phone, "but let's wait until it gets dark."

"Sounds good," Madison says, then stand up and calls out at the table, "alright, anyone who wants to fight, we're doin' it tonight, so best behavior until then, right?"

Well, she gets an enthusiastic response. But things seem a little calmer after the announcement. Like knowing it's going to happen eventually means they're not on edge about it happening NOW.

Fucking magic types.

"Saturday night's alright for fighting," Bernie texts you.

Like you said, fucking magic types.

And the party's splitting back up into its little groups.

>Pull Liska aside and ask her what she thinks about these new folks
>Drift over to Karen, Kelly, and the girl from Madison's team you don't know
>Just sit and try listening to the room
>Pull Harriet aside and ask about this 'crashing the spheres' thing
>WRITE IN
>>
>>2720683
>Pull Harriet aside and ask about this 'crashing the spheres' thing
Learning more about the potential apocalypse seems the most pertinent right now.
>>
>>2720683
>>Drift over to Karen, Kelly, and the girl from Madison's team you don't know
Let's try to get a handle on these girls a little better.

Good call on asking Bernie.
>>
>>2720683
>Pull Harriet aside and ask about this 'crashing the spheres' thing
>>
>>2720683
Harriet can talk to us about that later and we have people with insane hearing in the room atm.
> Spend quality time with Karen kelly and that other girl.
For the record, I am highly disappointed that the suggestion to dress James up as a little girl who wants a fairy sidekick to trick the rat did not happen.
>>
>>2720683
>>Drift over to Karen, Kelly, and the girl from Madison's team you don't know
>>
>>2720683
>Pull Harriet aside and ask about this 'crashing the spheres' thing
>>
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>>2720697
16:27 - 17:00 Voting period, because I'm kickstarting a new thread and exceptionally lazy.

And it's 17:05. EXCEPTIONALLY LAZY.

>>2719870
Great call on asking Bernie about a venue / warning him about it.

I didn't even think about giving that option, but it makes perfect sense in this world. I love it.

One of my problems is burning all creativity on writing and saving none for the options.

>pic unrelated
Implying I didn't steal Melon going hanyou + magical girl + guns from some anon who posted G41 in an early thread with that idea.

>>2720722
>For the record, I am highly disappointed that the suggestion to dress James up as a little girl who wants a fairy sidekick to trick the rat did not happen.
To be fair, we already went with 'you guys should sleep on it', so if it does come up, it would be in the morning.

And unfortunately, I doubt the rat would go along with it after they've had it captured for six months and and have been torturing it.

Fucking hilarious idea, though.
>>
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>>2720683
Liska draws Madison back into their debate about literature. Seems like the magical girl has been heavily sampling libraries in every town their camper's gone through.

Is the 'priest' actually in a drinking contest against W?

Against a man whose magic relies on his liver being fueled with alcohol?

After he showed up here running a tainted speedball and crashed on your lawn muttering hermeticist nonsense?

Well, they say the drummers are the crazy ones.

You catch Harriet's eye, and jerk your head toward the hallway.

"I'm afraid I'm out of my depth," you say to the women arguing Donne versus Henley across you. Personally, you think Invictus was ok, but that's probably tainted by the fact that they made you read it in school.

"Oh," Liska says as you stand up, "we'll be fine," and then she dives back into her debate with Madison.

At least you brought someone into her orbit that gets literature the same way she does, you think, walking into the kitchen and pouring yourself a glass of water. You'd be willing to bet that Madison wants to keep her crew on here, if only to talk to your wife. That's, well, it's one way of doing diplomacy.

"Real subtle," Harriet says from behind you, then rummages through the liquor cabinet and comes out with a handle of something dark, "I thought Sue was going to murder me for a second there."

Of all the people at the table who could have noticed your gesture, why did it have to be Sue?

"Then that white haired guy started asking about her - I mean, your sword," Harriet continues, following you down the hallway, "and she got distracted. By the way, do you know what his deal is? He feels wrong."

"He told me in confidence," you say in a low voice, "so don't spread it around, but he," you tell her, pushing open your bedroom door and sitting on your bed, "he got some transplants from a demon."

"Oh," Harriet says, closing the door and collapsing into the armchair Kelly was using earlier, "I guess their wizard did it, then. Any particular reason you had me follow you to your bedroom?" she asks, one eyebrow raised.

"Thought I'd respect your privacy," you tell her, "because we need to talk about apocalypses. Apocali. Whatever the term is."

You're nipping that implication in the bud. Although you're pretty sure she was joking.

"Also because I'm nearly waxed," you say, flopping back on the bed, "I came out of a month-long coma this morning and I've been putting up a good front today, but I'm damn tired."

[1/2]
>>
>>2720781
>And unfortunately, I doubt the rat would go along with it after they've had it captured for six months and and have been torturing it.

I don't see why that matters. The magical girls don't want to get along with their rats but they're still bound by the contracts. If there isn't anything inherently magical about the contracts themselves then they aren't any different from a piece of paper while the rats have the magical girls by the metaphorical balls and the rats wouldn't be called contractors to begin with.
I guess that's why I'm having trouble making that connection? There has to be something enforcing the contract besides the blackmail or else there would be a great deal more dead rats and several very clever rats that decided to convert the demonic energy into the magical energy that the girls need to survive in order to get one extremely twisted harem setup.
>>
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>>2720889
"This is about what the wizards and that Judas priest were talking earlier, isn't it?" Harriet asks, taking a swig from the handle of Jack she grabbed earlier.

"Yeah," you tell her, "something about 'crashing the sephirot? Sephiroth? Something like that?" you ask, "and I was wondering if you'd seen that in any of your past... runs."

"Estuans interius, ira vehementi, right?" Harriet asks you, smiling.

That' some sort of joke, isn't it?

Oh.

"I played that game too," you tell her, "can you please be serious about this?"

"Not until I've had a bit more to drink," Harriet says, taking another slug of whiskey, "those runs sucked. And you know it's basic time traveler etiquette to not tell anyone about the bad future until after they stave it off - less Butterfly Effect risk that way."

You're guessing she's had a bit more to drink than anyone else currently in your home. She's usually a hell of a lot more serious than this.

Maybe she's drinking because she heard something that scared her.

Considering she's apparently fought in World War Three at least once, that's not a comforting thought.

>'Butterfly Effect' be damned, tell me about those
>Make small talk until she's drunk enough to tell you
>So what can you tell me without breaching intergalactic law?
>You hope for someone else to walk in just to make this scene in your bedroom with a drunk teenager slightly less sketchy [TAKING SUGGESTIONS]
>WRITE IN
>>
>>2720928
>So what can you tell me without breaching intergalactic law?
>>
>>2720928
She should at least tell us enough so we know how to recognize it.
>>
>>2720928
>Make small talk until she's drunk enough to tell you
What were you like before the alcoholism
>>
>>2720928
>You met other time travelers?
>Might be a bit late for that. I did a little thinking about why i could see those time phantoms of yours and since we have that magical yarnball sharing mana with everyone I think that if you have another round trip you're gonna end up taking everyone with you. I could be wrong though. I don't really understand wizard shit.
>>
>>2720959
>>You met other time travelers?
>>Might be a bit late for that. I did a little thinking about why i could see those time phantoms of yours and since we have that magical yarnball sharing mana with everyone I think that if you have another round trip you're gonna end up taking everyone with you. I could be wrong though. I don't really understand wizard shit.
>>
>>2720942
17:57 - 18:15 Voting period.
>>2720896
>If there isn't anything inherently magical about the contracts themselves
I keep managing to fuck up the explanation on this.

The rats don't just make a contract with the girls - there's a magical operation on the girls as well that makes them capable of transforming, and means they need to take in magical energy (from demons, leylines, whatever) to stay functional. More if they use their powers frequently.

It also makes them dependent on getting at least a trickle of a rat's magical energy, to keep them stable. Is it a feature, or a bug? Cooking oil and alcohol are both hydrocarbons, but only one will stop the shakes if you're an alcoholic. The energy from the rats, guided by the energy flows the contracts set up, is 'alcohol' in this analogy, other magical energy being 'other hydrocarbons'.

There is nothing magical about my contract with my ISP, but it I don't pay it, I disappear off the internet. Kind of the same thing with rats and magical girls. The contract states terms, and directs energy flow between them (rats getting a certain percentage of energy off demon's souls and all), but 'cutting the cord' is its own problem, because of what's been done to the girls.

Yes, this is complicated by the fact that the transformation and the contracting are often lumped together when talking about it.

Am I making any sense here?
>>
>>2720928
>>Make small talk until she's drunk enough to tell you
>>So what can you tell me without breaching intergalactic law?
>>
>>2720983
I get that part, but then it means that there's no real magical reason behind their naming as contractors and then that gets confusing because when they contracted with a male there clearly was a magical component to the contract itself as evidenced by the clusterfuck that ensued.
There's no perceivable magical reason for rats or the girls to uphold their end. It's just regular old black mail and the rats knowing they have it over them. No magical furies being enraged by oath-breaking or metaphorical backlash for not upholding the contract, no reason a rat can't kidnap a little girl, force the operation and then order them to go hunt? And then Freebles wearing brotherhood has actual magical contract effects?
>>
>>2720983
You had me until here
>There is nothing magical about my contract with my ISP, but it I don't pay it, I disappear off the internet.
Are you saying the contract itself isn't magical, only that what was done to the girls is?
So if the contract itself isn't magical, what mechanism takes the rat's cut, or feeds the MGs their "fix"?
>>
>>2720928
>So what can you tell me without breaching intergalactic law?

The government's collapsing, the forces of Hell are invading, and Heaven's collapsing. I don't think we want to toss in waking something beyond the universe because we took a peek at its calendar. Honestly, I'd be cool stopping this convo here and seeing if we can't get to know the two witches from the other team.
>>
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>>2720928
"So you've met other time travelers?" you ask.

"Only in books," Harriet says, snuggling back into the armchair, "but it makes too much sense. Tell a king his son's gonna kill him and fuck his wife, and he makes it happen by exiling his son. And yes," she tells you, "I've seen people cause exactly what I was trying to prevent BECAUSE," she says, taking another swig from the bottle of whiskey, and lets out an explosive breath, "because I warned them about it. That's why I don't want to tell you shit - until I think you've staved it off. Because my advice is as likely to make you cause it yourself as it is to help you fix it."

"Here's to you, Cassandra," you say, and take a drink from your glass of water.

Harriet answers with another slug of whiskey, "cheers!"

Jesus Christ, that's a handle. And she's pulled in down that far?

Even if you manage to stave off the apocalypse, she's going to have gaping holes in her liver.

Oh, right. she's a magical girl. If Sue can regenerate her arms, Harriet can regenerate her internal organs.

That doesn't really make it any better.

"So what were you like before the alcoholism?" you ask her.

"Meek glasses-wearing studious girl in the back of the classroom," she tells you, "but that's been something like thirty years. Thirty years of killing, dying, watching my friends bite it, seeing the world bite it, trying to say what I thought would stave things off, and biting the asphalt in the aftermath of all those attempts. So... suck my cock. I've seen it all."

She lifts the bottle again.

You know there's one magical girl you're not letting fight tonight.

"I don't think you've seen it all," you say, cocking an eyebrow at her, "after all, this is the first loop you really met me in."

"Yeah," Harriet says, "I always just thought of you as 'Melon's Dad'."

"And this is a crazy theory," you tell her, "but if I'm seeing 'time phantoms', your magic is bleeding through the 'yarnball'."

"Fuck," Harriet says, staring through you, "I might drag everyone back next time I reset. Guess I should," she begins, taking another pull at the bottle, "memorize another few lottery numbers, huh? Make sure everyone has a fortune."

"Or you could tell me what you can without breaching intergalactic law," you say, "about crashing the spheres."

You can see her hesitate, but she's too drunk to hold up against your will.

Like a few too many girls in bars you've been to over the years.

"Obviously," Harriet says, "it hasn't ever been a full-stack crash of every sphere in the sephirot onto Malkuth, and Hell and Heaven and the other realms didn't slam into earth simultaneously, and it didn't totally wipe the universe either time I didn't see it."

'Malkuth' is earth, or the material realm, right?

She takes another pull at the bottle.

"And that junkie you ran over?" she asks, "he's obviously screwed out of his mind."

>So are you, and you're going to sleep it off.
>And who didn't cause this?
>Somebody help me with this drunk
>WRI
>>
>>2721133
>at this point, who isn't?
>>
>>2721146
19:08 - 19:30 Voting period.

>>2721133
Last option is "WRITE IN", I ran into the character limit.

>>2721013
>It's just regular old black mail and the rats knowing they have it over them.
Why do you think the MC hates the rats so much?
>And then Freebles wearing brotherhood has actual magical contract effects?
This made sense to me three drinks ago. It's like, you have this tool meant to do one thing - a Phillips screwdriver (Freebles' magical 'machinery'). And you try using it on a standard screw (the MC). And you force it hard enough that it goes in and works, but that means you've fundamentally altered it away from being a Phillips screwdriver, although it might work for both Phillips and standard screws now. And now imagine that we're talking about a very complicated piece of magic that's tied to other pieces of magic, rather than a screwdriver.
>>2721016
>Are you saying the contract itself isn't magical, only that what was done to the girls is?
>So if the contract itself isn't magical, what mechanism takes the rat's cut, or feeds the MGs their "fix"?
It's the alteration to the girls to make them able to transform and make them, well, magical girls, that makes them need the rat's energy.
The contract handles the feeding/distribution of energy between the girls and the rats. Both the 'rat gets X% of demon souls' and 'magical girl gets her fix from the rat'. The actual contract itself has enough bullshit fineprint that rats can basically burn their end of it whenever they want.

I'm trying to make this moderately reasonable, but I kind of suck at explaining it.
>>
>>2721133
>Somebody help me with this drunk
>Mary
>>
>>2721133
>>And who didn't cause this?
>>
>>2721133
>So are you, and you're going to to need to find a better way to cope.
>You had an infinite amount of time and this is supposedly the first time you got in contact with a wizard. Never considered that you have enough time to learn magic so well that you could rewrite all of the contracts? Learn from the cheesy commercials. Knowing is half the battle. Going it alone might not always work, but the way you sound makes it seem like going alone doesn't exactly give you much of a chance either.
>>
>>2721133
>>And who didn't cause this?
>>
>>2721172
In which case... what's stopping Freebles from learning how to make a new and proper contract with the girls then burning the old one? What stopped any other magical girl like our latest batch from forcing their rat to do exactly this? Even with your setup there's nothing stopping a girl that's desperate or stopped giving a shit enough from killing off her rat for the fuck of it. Even with the ways rats burn their contracts out this should be a high mortality job for the rats too.

PS Cassandra wasn't a quitter who gave up and ran to glasses of wine.
And unless those books Harriet took notes from were written by actual time travelers then there isn't much of a threat of her becoming her own grandfather. Half of them say not to touch anything and the other half reason out that whatever you do is what you were destined to do anyway so you can interfere as much as you want.
>>
>>2721172
So the contract itself is magical, enforcing the terms as described.
>The contract handles the feeding/distribution of energy between the girls and the rats.
What backs the contract? Contract magic as a whole, the involved parties, or a third party?

If we had a more technical background, it might have been interesting to try and refine/synthesize the "fix" magic.


>>2721246
>what's stopping Freebles from learning how to make a new and proper contract with the girls then burning the old one?
Freebles is only a consolidator; he's supposed to just be passing the harvested energy up the chain. He doesn't convert the "fix" magic. Also, I believe the contract used is standardized. I don't know what is done to make it magically enforced, but it's possibly it's something done upstairs, and any modified contracts have to be approved before they work.
>>
>>2721133

>So are you, and you're going to sleep it off.
>And who didn't cause this?
>>
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>>2721133
"At this point," you say with a sigh, "who isn't?"

Or did she say that in the same vein as her 'opposite day' speech?

"I think probably everyone except me, the 'priest', and probably W," Harriet answers you, "I think we all had maybe one drink before you guys came in?"

"You have got to find a better way to cope," you tell her, "ever thought about learning enough magic you could rewrite the contracts?"

"You think I didn't try that?" she asks, leaning forward in her chair, "your 'bro' pulled my fucking plug every time he figured out what I was doing, and I had to hard reset myself before I became something like..."

Harriet looks at you guiltily, biting back a word. Or a name.

"Like Ellie," you say, "dammit, I'm sorry. And, well, this version of him isn't that."

"I know," Harriet says, "It's just so damn hard to not see him as a furry rat bastard, after everything I've seen him do. I went twenty resets playing chicken with him over Trismegistus' works in the local library. I lasted about ten minutes each time. And then I gave up."

She takes another swig from the bottle. And you can see the tears forming in her eyes.

Thirty years. And some of those trips lasted ten minutes?

But if you know one thing about drunks, it's that they can be redirected.

"So who didn't cause the crash?" you ask Harriet, hoping the momentary image you've got of her pressing a gun to her temple is just an overlapped timeline, or something you saw because of your sympathy with her and the story she's been telling, "who definitely didn't cause two apocalypses?"

"I don't actually know," she tells you, and there's no gun in her hand, just a bottle, "it happened on a different, uh, plane? In a different sphere? It," Harriet continues, then catches herself, "definitely didn't reach us like an avalanche started far up a mountain."

>You ever seen Elanor, Duchess of Hell?
>Freebles, I know you're around somewhere, and I need more of an explanation.
>You're drunk, and we're putting you in a bed.
>You want to try learning magic, since Freebles isn't a threat in this loop?
>WRITE IN
>>
>>2721293
>You ever seen Elanor, Duchess of Hell?
>You want to try learning magic, since Freebles isn't a threat in this loop?

Gotta get this out of the way so we know whether or not our sister becoming a Demon Lord was because of us or not. Or even the existence of the both of us to begin with.
>>
>>2721293
>>You ever seen Elanor, Duchess of Hell?
>>You want to try learning magic, since Freebles isn't a threat in this loop?
Or anything else Alt Freebles prevent you from attempting?

I like Harriet, but if she can make good use of this loop she should do whatever she can. I'm not afraid of us failing, but it doesn't hurt to have a backup.
>>
>>2721293
>You ever seen Elanor, Duchess of Hell?
>You want to try learning magic, since Freebles isn't a threat in this loop?
>>Freeb, you think that'll be safe, or does your boss have watchers in case some magical girls get too close to some books?
>>
>>2721293
>Freebles, I know you're around somewhere, and I need more of an explanation.
Explanation as in actual descriptions. He did apologize to her that time so no need right? Alsl having them both bounce their info between them might reveal something.

>>2721296
>>2721299
Supporting.
>>
>>2721293
>You're drunk, and we're putting you in a bed.
>>
>>2721278
Freebles proves that the potential is there in all of the rats, but that just means rigging up a rat detection system, figuring out where a rat is going to make a contract and nabbing the rat actually making said contracts.
The rats go on about love love power but nothing as we understand the contracts prevents rats from just kidnapping victims, dumping them in hell after a short training arc, and sucking up the energy flow as the girls try to survive the onslaught of demons. There has to be SOME legitimate reason that the rats aren't actually a thousand times worse than they already are if they act even a tiny bit pragmatic about these contracts.

>>2721293
>We have the internet now. You could have read it on your smartphone or as an audiobook while in class or somewhere more private.
>>You want to try learning magic, since Freebles isn't a threat in this loop? You got a bunch of good teachers around
>>
>>2721311
I think Iris or Alice should have been teaching you some of the er.. basics while I was in Japan.
>>
>>2721307
>>2721299
Now that I think about it: If we ended up showing up in one of her intervals. What if a different version of Freebles showed up as well at the same time as us?
Could it be possible that because of us and Elanor being born and doing the things we did that it caused the death of Japanese Salaryman Freebles and reincarnating into the Freebles we know now?
Or could it be that Harriet and the MG gang she's with ended up with a Freebles with more of their humanity intact?
Does this mean that We're the Yang to Freebles's Yin? In the grand scheme of things being manipulated by the ancient gods of fate and destiny?
Or should we repeat to ourselves "It's just a quest, I should really just relax."
>>
I want MC to learn something but not offensive magic. Things like detect mana, hightened senses, haste, barrier and some illusion magic. We just leave the offensive part to the girls.
>>
>>2721349
I was thinking about having the MC learn something that would involve pacts, deals and promises. We wouldn't be a main frontline fighter, but we could boost our vanguard up using all the contracts and written agreements we've made, and we could get a sort of negotiator bonus on dealing with other people. It might even be handy for work.
>>
Next post is super delayed because I'm reading old threads so I don't introduce continuity errors.

I'm not DC, I'm not MAHVEL, BAYBEE! - I can't afford any of that.

And no, I'm not about to give more fodder to the HaikuXFloor shippers.

>>2721307
>He did apologize to her that time so no need right?
That's actually the thread I'm rereading for this.
>>
On a side note, Harriet talking about her trying to sneak to the magic section of the library is making me extremely paranoid. If the smartphone idea idea wouldn't have worked because she tried it then that implies the rats can see through the eyes/ears of their magical girls whenever they want. If that is true then we just confessed to a conspiracy to take down the grand rat poobah and eat their rat WHILE IT CAN HEAR EXACTLY WHAT WE"RE GOING TO DO.
>>
>>2721414
I'm guessing it's one of those numbers of the Rat that's in charge of a MG group can see through their eyes, and while the higher ups can do this too, they only do it IF there's been something fucky going on that warrants their attention. Other than that it's more or less a hands off thing from the higher-ups/bosses.
>>
>>2721467
This is also something that W should have noticed when we allocated checking out those contracts to him. We've been slacking on sitting down and doing ACCOUNTING too but that being true would either be a massive failure on both of our fronts or a violation of the contracts somehow. So on one hand it shouldn't be something that could have possibly happened without anyone noticing. On the other hand it totally would be a good excuse to make a clusterfuck go down which means we have to rely on the QM resisting temptation while drunk. It had to have seen the tats on freebles. It has nothing else to do but look at whatever it is they see. If it is true then we might need to arrange some sort of doubleblind test with Madison taking part to prove this is an ability because it's going to look like a scam to take their contracts otherwise. We had also better HOPE that it's only visual.
>>
>>2721379
Quick question Haiku; the new girls don't know about best wife and best daughter being foxes, do they? Feels like the kind of thing we should announce so no one suddenly tries to attack our family.

Also, we should probably introduce the new girls to Bernie and Heinrich so they know exactly who their neighbors are.
>>
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>>2721293
"I'm guessing you ran into Elanor, Duchess of Hell, on at least one loop," you say.

"More like she ran me through with that fucking sword," Harriet tells you, "wait, oh fuck, that's your goddamn sister?"
Seems like someone didn't quite process your earlier announcement. It's probably pretty hard to catalog everything from thirty years' worth of war.

"Yeah," you say, "she was a magical girl, she walked into Hell and cut her contract."

"Oh my god," Harriet says, taking another drink, and is that handle almost empty? "every time the world's ended with a straight-up invasion from Hell, she's been leading it. Is there something in your genes that just says 'FUCK FATE, WE LIKE CHAOS'?"

At this point, you're thinking that might be the most reasonable explanation for all of this.

"Considering that you've been looping for thirty years," you say, and take a sip of water, "can you say that's a bad thing?"

"Not really," Harriet tells you, and starts crying, "at this point, I'm just doing it because I feel like I have to. I never make any progress!" she say through sobs, "the world always ends! When I think I've figured out how to hold off one apocalypse, another one comes up!"

Dammit. You've never been good with crying women.
And yeah, you're counting Harriet as a woman.
She probably almost as old as you are.

"It's going to be fine," you say, getting out of your bed and dragging her out of the armchair to hug her. She's nearly limp from the alcohol.

Given what you know about some of your old squadmates, she's probably spent a few loops shooting herself.

"Want to try learning magic or something?" you ask her, hoping to provide a positive direction, "Freebles isn't a threat in this timeline, and we've got two wizards on staff, another one that's probably friendly (and seems to have a soft spot for magical girls), and a heretic priest. Even if we all die," you say, pulling her tiny frame into you, "it'll be useful on your next go."

"But I don't want this one to end!" Harriet says, hugging you back, "I don't want this to be another nightmare! I don't want to wake up!"

You can feel her tears wet your shirt.

"You don't have to," Liska says, embracing her from the other side, "well, you are going to wake up with a hangover, but I don't think that's what you meant."

"How long have you been listening?" you ask your wife, as the two of you hug the crying magical girl.

"Long enough," Liska says, and kisses you over Harriet's head, "let's throw her in Melon's bed. She's toasted."

"I don't want to go back there!" Harriet sobs into you, "I don't want to reset to zero again!"

"You don't have to," Liska whispers gently into her ear, "it's going to be ok. It's going to be fine."

"It won't," Harriet says, "you're all going to die and I'll be the only one left!"

"Or at least it'll seem better in the morning," your wife says, "nothing sounds ok when you've killed a handle of Jack by Six PM. Ask me," she say, grinning up at you, "how I know."

[1/2]
>>
>>2721521
aaand she's gone. Christ, I can't imagine how much she's been through. She's holding up pretty well, considering.
>>
>>2721521
She has got some serious damage. Poor girl.

In the spirit of "things we hope are never relevant", is there something we could tell her to tell us to convince us she really is a time traveler, just in case we screw up this loop?
>>
>>2721550
What about our Daughter's first words? That's a good start as any.
Same with how we ended up taking Shrooms because the wife talked us into it.
Or how we have a sister who walked into hell and we have dreams about that event.
>>
>>2721561
I think an "we're all in this together now" of some sort might work?
>>
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>>2721521
"I'm not exactly sure I want to," you tell Liska, "but the punchline had better not be 'and that's how I ended up with you'."

"Oh," your wife says, as she guides Harriet out of your room and down the hall, "that was Smirnoff. I'm going to help her sort it out."

You're pretty sure Liska has a long history of 'sorting out' drunks, and... that's a gentle look in her eyes as she takes Harriet into Melon's bedroom.

As crazy as Liska can get sometimes, you're sure the magical girl is in good hands.

Christ. You can't even imagine what Harriet's been through by this point. She's probably holding up better than you would have if you were in her position.

"Bro," Freebles says, popping out of your collar as you walk back to the dining room, "I feel like you should know, and there's no good way to say this, but the rats have a standing 'pull the plug' order on any magical girl that starts researching certain magics and reading certain books. Those other versions of me probably did that."

You grit your teeth.

"If your apology on the floor of that low-rent convenience store was good enough for her," you mutter, "it's good enough for me. But I want you to tell the wizards EXACTLY what those magics and books are because it's probably the best starting point we've got for getting our girls out of this mess. Why the hell didn't you say anything about this before?"

"I didn't think about it," Freebles says, "I'd basically thrown all of the rat's rules out of my mind when I decided to sign up with you."

And then you walk into the dining room. W, James, and the junkie priest have descended back into a shouting match in languages you can't identify. Some of the kids are playing videogames. Others are talking, about god-knows-what.

Freebles jumps off your shoulder and onto the table. He grabs a napkin and spreads it in front of himself.

And by that point, most of the eyes in the room are on him.

"I've let you down, bro," the ferret says, picking up a steak knife with his right paw, "I should have mentioned that earlier."

Oh, he's not going to...!

Then Freebles slices off one of the digits on his left paw. A couple of the girls scream, but you can see the 'priest' smile.

You're too shocked to react, as the ferret wraps it up in the napkin, and presents it to you, bowing.

>Someone bandage him. Now.
>What the flying fuck?
>Tell Madison's crew "I told you I'd turned him".
>Accept it.
>WRITE IN
>>
>>2721588
>What the flying fuck?
>Bro I get that you're my brother but at least keep the finger chopping towards something more terrible than simple forgetfulness!
>Someone bandage him. Now.
>>
>>2721588
>What the flying fuck?
>Bro I get that you're my brother but at least keep the finger chopping towards something more terrible than simple forgetfulness!
>Someone bandage him. Now.
>I likewise forgot to ask.
>>
>>2721588
>>Tell Madison's crew "I told you I'd turned him".
>Internally panic
>Accept it.
>Someone bandage him. Now.

I'm not sure what this represents in particular, but we can't not accept it, even if we immediately try to reattach it.
>>
>>2721597
It's a test of loyalty in yakuza society. You offer your pinky finger to your boss as a sign that you have nothing to hide and will do anything to your boss. Because next time that he fails or bifes something depends of see severity it will become a hand/arm/head.

So yakuza culture ladies and gents.
>>
>>2721588
>What the flying fuck?
>Someone bandage him. Now.
>One more thing that I should have asked before entering this room,(Move to another room really quickly) Exactly how closely can you guys remotely monitor your girls. The story Harriet was telling me is making me a little worried for our new roommates if their rat can hear everything that's been going on today.
>If Yes to only visual recon, setup inconspicuous double blind test with Madison to test/prove it.
>If yes to auto surveillance too,Immediately panic.
>If no. Thank the heavens and let everyone know what scared you just now.
>>
>>2721610
Oh and I guess uh.. "accept" it in order to shove it in some ice and ask that wiz at surgery to try and reattach it.
>>
>>2721592
22:13 - 22:33 or so Voting period.

>>2721531
>>2721550
It was talked about earlier, but this is the first real demonstration.

>>2721597
>I'm not sure what this represents in particular
Yubitsume - it's a yakuza thing, where a subordinate has fucked up, and cuts off a finger (or just one joint), usually starting with the left pinkie, as sort of a atonement.

Freebles has gone full yakuza on us. First the tats, now this...

>>2721608
Hey, this guy gets it!
>>
>>2721608
>>2721597
Of course we should accept it. However it should be fair on Dad MC to have some sort of WTF reaction while we're accepting it because it hasn't crossed our mind that Freebles REALLY does believe in this Yakuza stuff full time.
>>
>>2721610
>>What the flying fuck?
>>Someone bandage him. Now.
>>One more thing that I should have asked before entering this room,(Move to another room really quickly) Exactly how closely can you guys remotely monitor your girls. The story Harriet was telling me is making me a little worried for our new roommates if their rat can hear everything that's been going on today.
>>If Yes to only visual recon, setup inconspicuous double blind test with Madison to test/prove it.
>>If yes to auto surveillance too,Immediately panic.
>>If no. Thank the heavens and let everyone know what scared you just now.
>>
>>2721626
We could do that while in the "operating room" with the doc present since that gives a good excuse to get privacy from the new magical girls while freebles is bleeding on everything. Probably the kitchen since it's the easiest place to clean up?
>>
>>2721619
Given that it's Freebles, he's probably more than capable of regenerating himself, but because he's committed to the role of "Yakuza lackey", he's probably gonna keep it as just a stump?
>>
>>2721608
That's fucking stupid and he should never do that again.

Like sure it's his culture, but we don't want people doing that sort of thing for us. It's distasteful, way too similar to how the girls were treated
>>
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>>2721588
"What the flying fuck?" you ask.

"I have failed you," Freebles says, holding out his digit, wrapped in the napkin, "I did not think to tell you something that might have helped."

"Someone," you yell, "bandage him! Now!"

Sue and Karen are up in a flash, and you hear the unmistakable noise of a controller hitting the floor.

You don't care.

And you... accept it from him. You're pretty sure you'd hurt his pride, or something, if you didn't. And given how fucky magic seems to be, 'hurting pride' might translate to a physical wound.

This ferret just cut his fucking claw off because he thought he'd failed you, you think, as Karen presses another napkin onto his wound.

What the fuck?

This has gone beyond insanity.

"We'll get it on ice," you say, "pretty sure a wizard could reattach it."

"Boss," Freebles says, and you can feel the room hanging on his words, "don't bother. I could regenerate it. But that would defeat the point, wouldn't it?"

"I get that you're my sworn brother," you tell him, "but keep the finger chopping for something more terrible than simple forgetfulness!"

"Boss," the ferret says, as the magical girls bandage him, "in the war we're fighting, incomplete information is a worse enemy than the devil himself."

That's actually pretty accurate.

"Then I'll ask what I should have asked earlier, based on Harriet's story," you say, "how closely can you monitor your girls?"

"We can surf the astral plane," he tells you, as Sue pulls the bandage tight, "like a ghost. We can see things from there. We can teleport. We can blink to anywhere our girls are, and we can be astralized when we get there, hangin over their shoulder like a phantom. I think higher-tier rats might be able to pull off crazier bullshit, but I can only be in one place at a time."

"Where two or three are gathered together," the priest says, and laughs.

"I'm worried about what Madison's rat might have heard," you say.

"What," James asks, and you realize that everyone's clustering around you now, "you think I didn't put enough shit on that shoebox to stop astral projection, teleportation, scrying, remote vision, telepresence, wifi, cellular networks, VHF, UHF, ELF, the Soviet mind-control rays, the CIA mind-control rays, HAARP, and a rodent trying to chew its way out? What do you think I am, an amateur?"

>I think you've got it covered.
>I did say I'd turned my daughter's... ferret (pet Freebles)
>Wait, the mind control rays are a real thing?
>I'm going to hit the couch.
>WRITE IN
>>
>Wait, the mind control rays are a real thing?
>>
>>2721692
>>I think you've got it covered.
>>I did say I'd turned my daughter's... ferret (pet Freebles)
>>Wait, the mind control rays are a real thing?
>>
>>2721692
>>Wait, the mind control rays are a real thing?
> And there's two different types of 'em?
>>
>>2721692
>I did say I'd turned my daughter's... ferret (pet Freebles)

Have we ever petted freebles?
inb4 the next lewdbin is freebles
>>
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>>2721696
23:14 - 23:30 Voting period or so.

Freebles is a head case, but then again, so is almost everyone in this quest.

>>2721668
Damn, nailed it. And after I'd already written that part.
>>2721687
Seriously, don't read this spoiler if you don't want to know more than you should.
The joke is that Feebles was a salaryman in his past life, and is actually just running off of yakuza movie cliches.
Well, if you read that one, have this one as a bonus.
The real joke is that it has actual binding effects. But we already knew that, given the tattoos.
Don't expect anyone else to pull shit like this - you'll at least have a shot to stop anyone who's trying to imitate him.
>>
>>2721692
>I did say I'd turned my daughter's... ferret (pet Freebles)
>>
>>2721717
A) I knew already, B) huh. So he's becoming more like a stereotype than the reality actually is.

Painful.
>>
>>2721692
I've known about this shit for all of seven(that's the right number?) weeks while browsing the internet during my lunch break and I was unconscious for a month of that in Hell. There are a great deal of gaps in my knowledge.
>Wait, the mind control rays are a real thing?
>How hard is it to uh.. physically catch those astral projections?
>Is it possible to train yourself to see them normally without resorting to shrooms? I've heard of at least a few stories about second sight and all of that but I have no idea if it's something you can learn too. The next time we consider ganking a rat I want to be somewhat sure it isn't watching us plot against it.
>>2721717
Our rat is a chunni salaryman
>>
>>2721720
>he's becoming more like a stereotype than the reality actually is.
At this point, that could almost be the tagline for this quest.
To be fair, the sort of cartoonish organized crime one runs across in fiction is way more fun to write than something truly realistic.
>>
>>2721710
DadXFreebles

A rat is fine too...
>>
>>2721699
Supporting
>>
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>>2721692
"Wait," you ask James, as you reach over and scratch Freebles behind the ears, "the mind control rays are a real thing? And there's two different types of them?"

You can see W holding his head in his hands behind the other wizard.

"I'm pretty sure they stopped broadcasting near the end of the eighties," James says, as you start petting the ferret, "that's why the USSR shut down, but it never hurts to be sure."

"He's funning you," W says, "that's not actually a thing."

And he's probably right, given that Kelly and the 'priest' are laughing their heads off.

"Got you pretty good there, didn't I?" James asks, with a smile on his face.

Well, at this point, you wouldn't disbelieve that the Lizard People were secretly ruling the world, given how much other crazy shit you've found out was real.

Wait a second.

'Lizard People'. And Bernie's a dragon who's been influencing world politics for at least eleven hundred years...

If all he's managed to end up with after all that is the central area of a single small city, then you're pretty sure the 'Lizard People' don't actually rule the world. You've been told it's demons, after all.

"But damn," James says, looking at Freebles, "you weren't kidding when you said you'd turned a rat. Move your hand for a second, willya?"

And you stop petting Freebles, while James looks at his tattoos. The ferret's fur was surprisingly, well, you can understand why people keep them as pets.

"That's some high-tier binding magic right there," James says, suddenly looking up at you, "entered into willingly by both parties. Once he thought he'd betrayed you, he HAD to cut his claw off, or it might have killed him. What the fuck are you?"

"I'm just a concerned father," you tell the wizard, "who found out my daughter was a magical girl, and I'm trying to get her out of it."

"Hmm," James hums, then says, "now I'm interested in those fights. Can't wait for nightfall."

>Astral projections, and fighting them
>Talk to the priest
>It'll be night by the time we to the quarry
>Ok, I'm new to this game, but the mind control rays were really a joke, right?
>WRITE IN
>>
>>2721783
>It'll be night by the time we to the quarry
>>
>>2721783
>It'll be night by the time we to the quarry
>>
>>2721783
>>It'll be night by the time we get to the quarry
>>
>>2721783
>It'll be night by the time we to the quarry
>>
>>2721783
>It'll be night by the time we to the quarry
>>
>>2721783
>It'll be night by the time we to the quarry
>Grab your Marine BDUs out of the closet.
>>
>>2721783
What day of the week is it? Bernie specified a day in his text which implies it wasn't tonight and texting "magical girls" after we were told that the CIA monitors everything when magical girls are an enemy seems like we just did something really stupid earlier if Kelly didn't make our phones secure somehow.
>Astral projections, and fighting them
>Where can we drop off your priest friend in the morning and can we trust him to keep his mouth shut?
>>
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>>2721783
"It'll be dark by the time we get to the quarry," you tell him, "place is half an hour from here," and then you say to the room at large, "alright, anyone who wants to fight, anyone with a score to settle, anyone who wants to watch - load up."

Well, that gets them on their feet.

While they're figuring out how to load themselves in the cars (you can hear a few voices arguing about who gets to ride in Kelly's Mercedes), you head into the kitchen, fill a pitcher full of water and grab a glass, then disappear back down the hallway.

You slowly open the door to Melon's room, and see Liska sitting in a chair by the bunk holding Harriet's hand. The magical girl is curled up in a little ball of misery.

"Wanted to make sure things were alright in here," you say, "and I brought some water."

"Thanks," Liska tells you, as you put the pitcher and glass next to her chair, "she's having a rough time."

"Yeah," you say, and kiss your wife's forehead, "Looks like I'm going to have to go play referee in the quarry."

"Hope you have fun," she says, tails waving, "too bad I'll miss it. But I can think of worse people to spend an evening in with," she tells you, glancing at Harriet and squeezing her hand.

"Not sure I want that list," you say, turning toward the door, "sorry to stick you with the sloshed girl."

"Some of my best nights have been with sloshed chicks," Liska says, "oh, and if the opportunity comes up, deck that priest."

"Why?" you ask, about to head out the door.

"No particular reason," your wife tells you, "but he looks like he wants it. Get going, I'll hold the fort."

That's an odd thing to say, you think as you head back down the hall.

And you're pretty sure you have an utterly illegal amount of people crammed in the minivan, you realize, as you set off toward the quarry.

At least Kelly took some of them.

The ride's fairly silent, other than the amplified guitars cranking out of the radio. You can feel the tension. Saturday night's alright for fighting, huh?

Finally, you pull into the quarry, and realize it's alright for spectating, too. There's already a car here. It looks all too familiar.

You park, and Kelly pulls in after you. People swarm out of the cars like ants from a mound.

"What's a guy like you doing in a place like this?" Bernie asks, strolling over as you get out of the van.

>I could ask the same
>Here for the show? Can't say I'm unhappy to have a third party around for it
>What, are you entering too? Or maybe Heinrich or Angus want to fight?
>Help me keep this friendly, please
>WRITE IN
>>
>>2721843
>Here for the show? Can't say I'm unhappy to have a third party around for it

Should we introduce Bernie to the new gals?
>>
>>2721843
>Here for the show? Can't say I'm unhappy to have a third party around for it
>>
>>2721821
>What day of the week is it?
MC woke up Saturday morning, apparently. It's now Saturday night which is alright for fighting, or so the song says.
>>
>>2721843
>Here for the show? Can't say I'm unhappy to have a third party around for it
>>
>>2721843
>I could ask the same
>Here for the show? Can't say I'm unhappy to have a third party around for it
>Help me keep this friendly, please
>>
>>2721843
>I could ask the same
>Here for the show? Can't say I'm unhappy to have a third party around for it
>>
>did you bring popcorn?
>>
>>2721843
> I'm here to take bets.

The show ain't free people.
>>
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>>2721843
"Here for the show?" you ask him, and you see Heinrich and Angus standing by his car. Well, it's probably for the best you didn't try flirting back.

"Of course," Bernie says, smiling, and his teeth are all far too sharp, "you really didn't think I'd give you a location for a fight and now show up to watch?"

Well, you might have thought that, actually.

"Can't say I'm unhappy to have a third party around for it," you say, "but I'm hoping it stays friendly enough we don't need a mediator."

Then you turn back toward the small crowd that's piled out of your crew's cars.

"Let me introduce you to the local dragon," you say, and you're pretty sure you see James' jaw hit his belt buckle.

"Bernhard," he gasps.

"You know this guy?" you ask, turning back toward Bernie, and you see a red gleam in the dragon's eyes.

That's usually a bab sign, and Heinrich and Angus are moving up.

"No," the dragon says, taking a step toward the wizard, "I've never met him. Certainly not fifteen years ago in Switzerland," Bernie says, now walking toward James, "definitely not during the largest vault break that's not on any records," he says, trailing a finger up the wizard's front, and... caressing his hand around James' windpipe.

Suddenly you feel that crushing pressure again.

Well, this hasn't even started, and it's gone farther south than you thought it would. You can see Kelly unlock the trunk of his car, and W's doing that thing wizards do when they think they're going to have to fight or die. The girls are on edge, and you're pretty sure Madison's trying to figure out her chances of pulling a Saint George.

"I'm warded," James says, as Bernie's fingers rake his stubble, "and I don't remember you from Switzerland."

[1/2]
>>
>>2721881
Oh, good. Surprise.
>>
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>>2721881
"Of course not!" Bernie says, drawing his hand back and spinning on the ball of one foot, then walking away from James as the deadly feeling evaporates, "and I'm sure you don't remember how you didn't do it, or who you obviously didn't sell the contents of those vaults to, because I obviously don't care at all. Angus!" he yells, and you see those horns nod, "fire up the popcorn machine and, Heinrich, please inform the good folks at UBS that they should not expect to process a five million franc wire transfer from me to an undisclosed account in the next hour," he says, looking back at James.

Oh, that's going to look real good on his next tax return, you think, as things rapidly devolve into chaos.

Madison's asking James a flurry of questions. W's trying to... wind down whatever magic he was calling up. Kelly's still rummaging in the back of his car. Mary is just looking at the scene from those golden orbs, and luckily her crew (which now includes Rachel and Einz) is taking their cue from her. Madison's group just looks a bit confused.

"I'm totally uninterested in any information you don't have about that incident," Bernie says, looking over his shoulder and spearing James with reptilian eyes.

"If you set this up," James whispers at you, glaring.

"I didn't even know he was going to be here!" you tell the wizard.

"Of all the quarries in all the towns in all the world," James mutters, "I walk into his. I'll be a minute," he says to the crowd in general, then walks toward Bernie's car, "or thirty."

>I think several of us came here to fight, so let's go. Who's up first?
>Follow James
>So, Madison, guessing you didn't know anything about his history?
>Kelly, W, Mary, what did we stumble into? And are we going to have to fight our way out?
>>
>>2721892
>Kelly, W, Mary, what did we stumble into? And are we going to have to fight our way out?
>So, Madison, guessing you didn't know anything about his history?
>>
>>2721892
>>I think several of us came here to fight, so let's go. Who's up first?
they appear to have handled this themselves. injusting ourselves into it won't help.
>>
>>2721892
Write-in
>Time skip all the fight with some details

I just want to raid hell
>>
>>2721892
>I think several of us came here to fight, so let's go. Who's up first?
>>
>>2721893
Supporting
>>
>>2721892
>I think several of us came here to fight, so let's go. Who's up first?
>>
>>2721892
>In the future if you have any other dragons you pissed off can you at least make sure you know what city they live in? I suspect that the only reason he didn't eat you on the spot is that deal we made to not attach each other's people.
>>
>>2721892
> Anyone feel like explaining, or should I just assume becoming a wizard requires a lifetime of bad choices culminating in a state of constant fuck-up.

> I sure hope not because if that IS how it works I'm probably one misspelling away from farting sparkles.

> Hey, Bernie, any chance you want to stop talking like a basic bitch's facebook posts and shed some light on the situation? It's gotta be cheaper to take 5 minutes to discuss things than spend 5 mil of a currency that isn't in use any more.
>>
>>2721892
>Kelly, W, Mary, what did we stumble into? And are we going to have to fight our way out?
>So, Madison, guessing you didn't know anything about his history?

>KIDS GET IN THE FUCKING PIT AND FIGHT ALREADY.
>>
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>>2721892
You see W straighten up and take a deep breath. You don't know what the hell the wizard was about to unleash, and you're glad you didn't have to find out.

"Kelly, W, Mary," you call out, and they circle in on you and Madison.

"Ok, what the hell just happened?" you ask them.

Kelly laughs until he starts coughing blood. Shelby steps over to hold him up.

"I think we're been dining with a legend, guys," the assassin says, once he recovers, leaning on his son's shoulder, "W, remember the idiot who managed to empty the vaults of three dragons in the Swiss Alps?"

"No," the wizard says, "there's no way that's him. You'd have to be insane to..." he trails off.

"He is that insane," W finishes, "betting he used the haul to pay off somebody else who wanted him dead."

"I'm not taking that bet," Kelly says, and then he looks a little more serious and whispers, "and at least he didn't hit Bernie's vault, or our new acquaintance would be getting eaten instead of getting five million swiss francs for info on how he pulled the heist."

You aren't the only one who's late to the party, judging by the look on Madison's face.

"Guessing you didn't know about his history," you say to the girl. Might as well try pretending you had an idea.

"Everyone you meet in this business has some terribly dark and twisted past," she shoots back at you, "come on, what skeletons do you have in your closet?"

That's really not a question you want to field right now. You can still almost feel Ellie's fingers on your face from your brief stay in Hell.

"Alright!" you yell, standing up from the impromptu huddle, "I believe several of you came here tonight to fight! Who's up first?"

The words are barely out of your mouth before Myrna and Rachel are in the air.

"Keep it friendly!" you scream as the two comets spiraling through the air, as the laser light show commences, "We're-"

And Madison grabs your arm, "they're not going to listen. Just run for cover," she says, dragging you and W toward a pile of rocks, "and hope they remember the cars are their ride out."

That's pretty decent advice, you realize, stumbling after her as a stray beam melts rock into a puddle next to you, and you stumble along with Madison and W. Shelby's helping Kelly along beside you.

This is some sort of grudge match. You settle in behind a pile of refuse stone, along with most of your crew, the 'priest', and Madison's group, watching the sky.

"Popcorn?" Angus asks, sliding in like he's trying to hit home base in the last inning of a tight game, and somehow gripping several tubs of the stuff.

He's got a reason to ruin his suit like that. The two girls are soaking the quarry in deadly lasers, entangled in a deadly dogfight.

W's got his game face on again, and you're pretty sure he's going to jump out any second.

>Don't mind if I do
>Hold W back - this is Rachel's fight, not his
>Look at Bernie's car and see if things are going well
>Just watch the fight
>WRITE IN
>>
>>2721918
>Hold W back - this is Rachel's fight, not his.
>>
>>2721918
>Don't mind if I do
>Hold W back - this is Rachel's fight, not his
>>
>>2721918

>Don't mind if I do
>Look at Bernie's car and see if things are going well

I trust W to know when to jump in if he has to and to not jump in otherwise. He has been in plenty of magical firefights and I am sure he has had a match like this before and knows the limits of a "friendly" fight.
>>
>>2721918
>>Hold W back - this is Rachel's fight, not his
>>Look at Bernie's car and see if things are going well
>>
>>2721918
>W , I don't really understand her daddy issues but I think she'll only get madder if you jump in. She's got some weird inferiority complex with her sister that's extremely obvious so she'd only see you treating her like she's the weak one. I'd suggest maybe having whatever girl you think has the closest to a reasonable standard and/or Kelly be the ones to jump in. I don't really know how to solve that problem and I think she might be the only way to sort through em. This just might be one of those dad times where you've gotta let em figure out on their own that you love em anyway and that's what matters.
>>
>>2721918
>>2721925
second
>>
>>2721929
(When James gets back)
>I was told once that my little group packs enough firepower to scare the crap out of him. You probably could have negotiated for more considering how much vault security is worth to a dragon and how much it's worth to all of the other dragons.Your mistake was probably showing him that you were scared.
>>
>>2721925
>>2721929
Supporting.
>>
>>2721921
Pull him over to the popcorn to
>>
>>2721918
> Dubs, It'll hurt her more to have her think you didn't believe she could win, than it would for her to lose.
>>
>>2721929
>>2721947
Brevity. Don't get into too many issues at once, especially during a firefight.
>>
>>2721881

Bernhard. Really? Burn Hard? Really?
>>
Is QM sleep
>>
>>2721993
QM is drunk and supporting the Haiku x Floor shippers
>>
>>2721996
Oh no
>>
>>2721996
Why isnt there HaikuxFloor smut written?
>>
>>2722001
Too lewd for everyone eyes. Also very messy.
>>
>>2722001
People could write that, but I can't
>>
>>2722001
Because everyone knows the otp is actually Haiku x Alcohol.
>>
>>2722022
OT3 HaikuxAlcoholxFloor, we all know they're filthy deviants!
>>
I crashed out, so I think I'm going to try to get as much actual sleep as I can now that I'm still half asleep.

Questions, comments, deaths threats, etc.

Next runtime on twitter: https://twitter.com/HaikuDeluge
>>
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>>2720620
>>
Beginning work on the next post.

We'll be resuming shortly.
>>
>>2721918
Your hand shoots out for W's shoulder.

"I don't think you're going to make it any better," you mutter at him, your fingers digging into his tense muscles.

You might have a bad sense for these things sometimes, but you'd bet your bottom dollar that having her father step in to 'save' her would crush Rachel somehow. There's a vicious anger in that lightshow.

She's fighting her own demons as much as she's fighting Myrna, and a lot those are bound up in her family somehow.

Your grip tightens on W's shoulder. You can feel him, taught as a bowstring, and yeah, you respect his desire to do something, anything, to help his daughter, who's spiralling far above your heads, angling for any advantage over the other girl.

"At least get your head down!" you yell, pulling him to the ground behind the rocks as another flurry of lasers soaks the area.

"Fuck," W says, and takes a swig from his hip flask, blue eyes tracking his daughter across the sky.

Yeah, you're betting little Timmy's little league is more friendly than this. But a parent running onto the field is probably going to go over even worse here. After that stunt Bernie pulled, it's only going to take one wrong move for this whole thing to go up in flames.

You glance around at the magical girls and other folks huddled behind the rockpile. Some of them have taken Angus up on his offer of popcorn, but they've all got their eyes glued to the sky. You can see clenched teeth. And that priest has an almost ecstatic grin on his face.

It's a different feeling than the usual party atmosphere you've usually seen surrounding supernatural fights.

This isn't friendly, you realize, as you watch Myrna gain a little breathing room and start yelling something. Those two are actually trying to kill each other.

Rachel circles up over the other girl's head, and even you can feel something in the air at Myrna stands on her broom, energy gathering around her.

It's probably too late for anyone to stop things at this point.

"FINAL-" Myrna yells, as a titanic beam of light lances toward the sky.

You see Rachel silhouetted against it for a second, diving down on her enemy, then crashing into the other magical girl and dragging the other magical girl down, down, down, speeding toward the quarry as the beam wavers wildly, until they slam into the ground like a meteor.

After that explosion, the silence is deafening.

>Run for ground zero
>Run for ground zero and yell "what part of friendly do you guys not get?" at Madison
>Walk carefully toward the impact crater
>Lose your shit
>WRITE IN
>>
>>2722449
Is that lose your shit option for anger or worry?
>>
>>2722449
>>Run for ground zero and yell "what part of friendly do you guys not get?" at Madison
>>
>>2722449
>Walk carefully toward the impact crater
>>
>>2722449
>Walk carefully toward the impact crater
>You better hope she is alright because I said this is a FRIENDLY match.
>>
>"FINAL-" Myrna yells, as a titanic beam of light lances toward the sky.
"Oh cute, she named i- OH SHIT!"

>>2722449
>Walk carefully toward the impact crater
We don't know what this girl is like, and we have no real clue what just happened. My gut is saying to tread cautiously
>>
>>2722449
>>Run for ground zero and yell "what part of friendly do you guys not get?" at Madison
>>
>>2722465
13:52 - 14:10 Voting period or so

>Is that lose your shit option for anger or worry?
Anger.

Wish I hadn't hit the floor last night, because this is a hell of a cold open for resuming a thread. But then again, we got some good votes/posts out of it.
>>
>>2722481
The Floor loves you, ya know.
>>
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>>2722449
>Walk carefully toward the impact crater
Letting the rage build, make sure they're alive, then
>Lose your shit
We're trying to make a future for you girls and I'm getting tired of deadly pissing contests.
>>
>>2722449
>Say "what part of friendly do you guys not get?" at Madison
>Walk carefully to them and see if they're ok.
>Start yelling at both of them.
>Myrna , Do you really want to be the kind of person that tries to or DOES murder a person in front of her family over some fucking sparring match?
>Rachel,sort out your damn issues.
>The next person that purposely goes lethal like that loses their match
>>
>>2722449
>>Walk carefully toward the impact crater
>>Lose your shit
>yell "what part of friendly do you guys not get?" at both of them
>>
>>2722449
>Run for ground zero and yell "what part of friendly do you guys not get?" at Madison
>WRITE IN
"So help me, if she's dead because you can't keep a handle on your team when I explicitly said that this was NOT a fight to the death for ANYONE, there WILL be consequences, and don't think I'll be the only one to hand them out."
>>
>>2722449
W rips free of your hand and vaults the pile of rubble.

"What part of 'friendly' do you not get?" you ask Madison as the ringing in your ears dissipates and you stand up. All your instincts are screaming at you that you really need to stay behind cover right now, but you stand anyway.

And start walking toward the crater yourself, over the slowly-cooling rock. Parts of the quarry have been melted to glass in streaks, so you have to pick your way across it, preferably over the parts that won't melt the soles of your shoes, toward the dust cloud.

"I get it," Madison says, falling into step with you, as Mary comes up alongside, "but, uh, honestly - those two were the reason we needed this."

"If Rachel's dead because you can't keep a handle on your team," you start to say, and Madison cuts you off.

"Because I can't keep a handle on my team?" she yells at you, "I don't know what the fuck Rachel's deal is, and I don't think I want to. Myrna's just a hothead! Rachel wants to kill someone! How many duels have they had, Mary?"

"Five or so," Mary says, and you look at her. That's a poker face if you've ever seen one.

How is the city still standing, again?

"And how many of those did Myrna start?" Madison asks, ice in her voice.

"One," Mary says, "look, better it happened here than in the middle of town," Mary tells you, then stands on tiptoe to whisper in your ear, "she's worse than Sue ever was."

Considering your introduction to the blue haired girl was at swordpoint, that's an awful thought.

"They'd better have gotten it out their systems," you say, walking up to the lip of the crater. God. Alcoholics, thrillseekers, psychos, people trying to work out their psychological problems with violence...

Actually, this is beginning to sound uncomfortably like some of the guys you knew back in the day.

They need a talking to, if they're going to try -

And then you see the scene below and that thought dies.

'Carnage' is an utterly overused word. But you can't come up with a better one.

W's cradling his daughter in his arms. Rachel's left arm is gone, half her torso is burned down to the bone, and the whole place smells like barbecue.

Myrna's just laying there, half her chest shattered, ribs poking out of her flesh. Madison runs down to her and starts talking.

This is bringing up some memories you really wanted to forget.

>Yell for anyone who knows medicine
>Go ssk Bernie if he's got a first aid kit
>Lecture them anyway
>Ask the girls if they're ok
>WRITE IN
>>
>>2722564
>Yell for anyone who knows medicine
>Go ssk Bernie if he's got a first aid kit
>Flashbacks of having to patch your sisterup but not knowing how.
>>
>>2722572
This^
We can do the whole talk later. Now is the time to make sure that the're stabilized.
>>
>>2722564
>>Yell for anyone who knows medicine

They are not in any state to listen or talk at the moment.
If we were deployed, I suspect we saw all sorts of medical unpleasantness. I dunno what sort of training marines get, but we should know at least the basics of field first aid.
>>
>>2722564
>Whoever knows medicine start first aid now!
>James was your team's doctor , right? I have an idea for if regular magic doesn't work
> Somebody ask Bernie if he has a first aid kit or if there's some sort of magical hospital nearby and grab James from him. PLEASE (gotta say the magic word)
That's actually a good idea for later? We can setup a magical hospital with Bernie in the future as a joint business venture?)

>(Crazy idea for if regular magic doesn't work. ) Freebles, how much can you regenerate? I got this idea from Madison's brother over there that might work.


>Write in selections for yelling at them when they're stable: Rachel, What the fuck is wrong with you? Stop it with the chip on your shoulder. I don't care about your stupid inferiority complex with your sister. Your dad gets to spend every waking moment knowing that you're going to die before he does because you can't stop for a minute to think about the fact that he loves you no matter what and I'm stuck here explaining that to you because you can't get it through your thick skull if he tries explaining that to you himself or does anything to even try to help you.
>>
>>2722605
>Other idea:
>W A magical girl's healing naturally siphon's off their magic, right? Do you think we could push our magic into another person in the yarnball so that she can heal?
>>
>>2722564
>Lecture them anyway
>>
>>2722610
Last random idea because i'm talking too much.
http://yokai.com/kamaitachi/
Ask if any of these guys are willing to part with some of their healing salve. Ask james if he's willing to pay for it if they ask for money since he seems to be the richest guy here atm.
>>
>>2722605
>>Whoever knows medicine start first aid now!
>>James was your team's doctor , right? I have an idea for if regular magic doesn't work
>> Somebody ask Bernie if he has a first aid kit or if there's some sort of magical hospital nearby and grab James from him. PLEASE (gotta say the magic word)
>That's actually a good idea for later? We can setup a magical hospital with Bernie in the future as a joint business venture?)
>>(Crazy idea for if regular magic doesn't work. ) Freebles, how much can you regenerate? I got this idea from Madison's brother over there that might work.
>>Write in selections for yelling at them when they're stable: Rachel, What the fuck is wrong with you? Stop it with the chip on your shoulder. I don't care about your stupid inferiority complex with your sister. Your dad gets to spend every waking moment knowing that you're going to die before he does because you can't stop for a minute to think about the fact that he loves you no matter what and I'm stuck here explaining that to you because you can't get it through your thick skull if he tries explaining that to you himself or does anything to even try to help you.
>>
>>2722564
"Medic!" you yell, and dart down into the crater. You know some basics, but it's just stabilizing people until the real doctors get to the scene.

And one look at those girls told you there's probably nothing you can do for them. Well, at least that's what your training would say.

But they're magical girls. You're guessing the normal rules don't apply here. You bend down by Myran, and can feel an impossible pulse in her neck.

W looks over at you, one hand on his daughter's carotid, and nods.

They're both still with you. For all the rats have fucked up, you've got to say they made the girls damn hard to kill.

Then the priest descends into the pit.

"Allow me," he says, bending over Myrna, "the other girl's cauterized. She should be fine. But I can..." he trails off.

"Disinfectant!" he barks at W, and the wizard tosses him the hip flask.

The priest dumps it over his hands, rubs them together, then begins putting her bones back together like a jigsaw puzzle, still with that grin on his face.

You can tell it's hurting her, and she grips Madison's hand so tightly you can see their fingers go white, but the priest says "I'd almost forgotten how wonderful working with self-healing beings is. You just get everything about where it needs to be, and -"

"Hell!" James yells, sliding down into the crater with a first aid kit (probably grabbed from Bernie's car) in his fist, "you IDIOTS! What the hell did you think you were doing?"

"Gauze, please," the priest says, holding out his hand, "actually, just set it down between us before the wizard does something really stupid," he finishes, glancing at W.

James looks over at W, who's inscribing some sort of circle around his daughter with a rock.

"Marbas?" James gasps, jumping at W, "you're a fool!"

James tackles the other wizard to the ground, "we'll bandage her, and she'll regenerate. Don't get carried away!"

Given what you've seen from the magical girls so far, he's probably not wrong. And... 'Marbas'?

W was about to summon...

And you look back at the priest. He's bandaging Myrna, but something in his smile tells you Liska's instructions about him might have been on the mark.

>Analgesics, or painkillers, if they're in the kit. For both the girls.
>Go bandage Rachel, since it seems like her father and James are a little busy.
>You're enjoy this, aren't you, 'priest'?
>WRITE IN
>>
>>2722656
>Analgesics, or painkillers, if they're in the kit. For both the girls.
>Go bandage Rachel, since it seems like her father and James are a little busy.
Time to be a medic.
>>
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>>2722656
>Priest with a constant grin on his face
Is he our worlds Anderson? But like a, shamed and abandoned Anderson?

>Analgesics, or painkillers, if they're in the kit. For both the girls.
>Go bandage Rachel, since it seems like her father and James are a little busy.
>You're enjoy this, aren't you, 'priest'?

All three seems within reasonable ability to do at the same time.
>>
>>2722656
>>Analgesics, or painkillers, if they're in the kit. For both the girls.
>Go bandage Rachel, since it seems like her father and James are a little busy.
>NO DEMON SUMMONING, You want her to get possessed or monkey's pawed?
>>
>>2722656
>>Analgesics, or painkillers, if they're in the kit. For both the girls.
>>Go bandage Rachel, since it seems like her father and James are a little busy.
Bad W, no demons!

I hope the rest of the fights don't go like this.
>>
>>2722656
W, I need you to get a hold of yourself for her, can we force mana some through that clusterfuck into her to make her heal faster without self sacrifice?
>James, do I need to drag W with me to try and convince some Kama itachi to healing them? You're the one with disposable funds right now, how much do you think you'd have to bribe them for help if none of them figured out that surgery is people paying you to cut them up yet?
Melon, Did your uncle's lessons cover anything that can help in this?
>>
>>2722678
I'm pretty sure this ends the fights anyway since the only reason the other side wanted to fight is because these two wanted to fight so badly.
>>
>>2722656
>Sucker punch the Priest
>>
>>2722656
>Go bandage Rachel, since it seems like her father and James are a little busy.
>Analgesics, or painkillers, if they're in the kit. For both the girls.
>>
>>2722656
Analgesics, or painkillers, if they're in the kit. For both the girls.
>>
>>2722656
>Analgesics, or painkillers, if they're in the kit. For both the girls.
>Hey Freebles, can you boost her natural regeneration?
>>
>>2722656
>Analgesics, or painkillers, if they're in the kit. For both the girls.
>You're enjoy this, aren't you, 'priest'?
>WRITE IN
"Whatever cosmic entity decided that girls with chips on their shoulders the size of Alaska made for ideal Magical Girls should be burned. Then pissed on."

Or have a complaint something similar to that effect. Just gripe, mostly to ourselves, but anyone within earshot can hear if they're inclined to. Vent a little, y'know?
>>
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>>2722656
"Analgesics, or painkillers, if they're in the kit," you say, and you start remembering your training, as you root through the box, and hand the priest a roll of gauze, "NSAIDs when she can swallow," you say, shooting a look at Madison.

She nods, and you toss her a syringe labeled 'Fentanyl', with a percentage on it. You've got sneaking suspicion that the 'priest', even if he's damn good at putting people back together, well, he seems to like seeing them in pain while he does it.

You've not a fan.

Melon bends down over the 'first aid kit' (you're pretty sure a private citizen isn't supposed to have half this shit legally), and you realize that the other magical girls are trickling in.

"Make sure they don't fuck it up," you tell your daughter, as you scrape together a handful of medical supplies and head over toward Rachel. Dressing burns IS something you learned.

And, yeah, you're just assuming Melon's familiar with what's in that needle. That's a conversation you're putting off.

"Learn anything from your uncle to help with this?" you ask your daughter, on a longshot.

And you see her shake her head.

You walk over to Rachel, since W and James seem to be having a rather spirited argument involving fists.

"It's going to be alright," you tell Rachel, leaning over her, and hoping you remember how to do this. You weren't a corpsman, and you've been trying to forget the desert. Although Rachel's magical biology probably means you aren't going to kill her if you fuck it up.

That's not exactly a comforting thought.

You start bandaging her ruined shoulder with Quik-Clot. Then you begin applying burn dressings to her, and she whimpers.

At least she's alive, you think, looking over at W and James wrestling while James gives a lecture about exactly 'how many inches of fucked' everyone would be if the other wizard tried summoning a demon to heal his daughter.

"Hey," Rachel whispers, "tell her that's a fucking cool finishing move. I want to learn it. And - this fucking hurts."

Well, you've got something for that. So you give it to her.

And if she'd been right in the path of that beam, she would have been incinerated, you realize. You're pretty sure even a magical girl couldn't come back from that.

"Your dad just tried to summon a demon to heal you," you tell the girl.

She frowns at you.

And then there's another girl at your elbow. A small, blonde girl. One of Madison's crew.

"Can I help?" she asks.

"Can ya dress burns?" you ask her, and hell, she looks too much like Ellie, "and what's your name, anyway?"

"Roxanne," she says, taking one of the dressings and laying it along Rachel's destroyed side all too expertly.

What kind of year have these kids had?

>Freebles, are they going to be ok?
>Where'd you learn that?
>W, the guy's right, you know!
>God, Rachel, don't try this kind of stunt again!
>WRITE IN
>>
>>2722779
>>Freebles, are they going to be ok?
>Where'd you learn that?
>>
>>2722779
>Where'd you learn that?
>Freebles, are they going to be ok?


>That Name
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JUOCe77P6cQ
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>>2722779
>Freebles, are they going to be ok?
>W, the guy's right, you know!
>God, Rachel, don't try this kind of stunt again!

I don't think we want to know why she knows how to dress burns so well. I don't think she'll listen to us tell her to stop, but we're still kinda in triage mode.

>pic
>blond hair
>red eyes
>long black dress
Vampire?
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>>2722779
>You'll tell her yourself, Rachel.
>Freebles, are they going to be ok?
and if freebs says not to worry
>>W, the guy's right, you know!
>>
>>2722779
Accurate bit of our time in the desert?
https://youtu.be/iy_GufndwTQ
I'd say this scene would bring back similar memories, not just of us patching up our sister.

>Freebles, are they going to be ok?
>Where'd you learn that?
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>>2722779
>Where'd you learn that?
>Freebles, are they going to be ok?
>>
>>2722779
>>WRITE IN
>Freebles, are they going to be ok?
> Congratulate Rachel on winning

> Tell her that if she ever does something like this again you'll drag her back from hell so W can spank her ass red if necessary.
>>
>>2722829
this
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>>2722779
>Freebles Are they gonna be ok as we are now or do we need to get somebody more skilled to come in?
>W, We'll schedule some time to beat the shit out of me later
> Are there seriously no magical doctors we can get to that aren't demon related? We can fucking teleport. Distance isn't an issue.
Congratulations on winning, hope it was worth your dad crying over what he thought was gonna be your corpse.
>>
>>2722829
>> Tell her that if she ever does something like this again you'll drag her back from hell so W can spank her ass red if necessary.

Definitely this.
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>>2722850
Er. Scratch the winning part out. She pretty clearly lost.
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>>2722779
>Did you become a magical girl because regular suicide was too easy or are you trying to prove your one of the dumbest people alive? I don't know what issue you have with your dad and I don't care. You don't make someone worry about you like that and you damn sure don't throw your life away over something as petty and stupid as this. If you do I'll drag you out of her myself so W can beat your ass raw. DO I MAKE MYSELF CLEAR?
>>
>>2722872
Ugh phone posting fucked that up.
>>
I think I'm calling votes here, further write-ins considered, etc.

>>2722800
>That Name
I'm regretting I didn't go with 'Rosaline' or something, considering my self-imposed initials restriction, but now we get all the red light jokes!

>>2722821
You're pretty on the mark. I've kind of been circling in on the MC's history as he allows himself to remember it (seems like the guy's been trying to forget a lot of it pretty deliberately), and that's probably the war he was in.

>>2722855
>Er. Scratch the winning part out. She pretty clearly lost.
I think it was a draw.
I'd say it was more seizing a suicidal draw out of the jaws of defeat. Myrna's a hotheaded idiot with a fistful of lasers, but Rachel would probably rather die than lose. It's a real question how many limbs Sue and Rachel had to regenerate after their 'befriending' episode that tore up the road outside the MC's house.
>>
>>2722894
I'm personally happy that you picked that name, it makes up for the sister's name in spades. And I get to post links to music about hookers.
>>
>>2722894
Eh. Broken ribs vs completely missing everything where there should be ribs. Rachel was the one most fucked up at the end of the fight.
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>>2722779
"You don't have to put on the red light," you say, almost reflexively.

And then you realize you're saying it to someone who might not be legal to drink.

"I've heard that joke so many times," she says, looking at you, and you realize her irises are blood red, "I can't turn off the red lights," the tells you, fluttering eyelashes over her red eyes, "please just call me Roxy."

That sounds worse, if anything. Are those eyes one of those changes the rats make in their victims?

You wonder if she's a vampire, but given the reactions you saw last time vampires came up as a conversation topic, you're guessing she'd be dead by now if she was. And half the city would be on fire.

"You dress wounds like that," you say, "and I'll call you anything you want. Where'd you learn it?"

"You pick it up on the road," Rosy tells you, "at least it was just Myrna's lightshow, and not Hellfire."

What have these kids been dealing with?

And 'just a lightshow'? Even grazing that laser cooked off the flesh on half Rachel's chest!

"Freebles," you mutter, and the ferret perches on your shoulder, "are they going to be ok?"

You can feel him shift his weight as he looks around.

"I'd give it eight hours," he says, "maybe less, since they got good triage. All the rat statistics I have are based on magical girls that dragged themselves away to heal out of sight. Getting picked up by an ambulance is basically a death sentence in this business. Fuckin' lucky Rachel missed that one's heart," the ferret tells you, "another couple inches to the left and that blonde would be dead, instead of just getting half her chest obliterated and the rest smashed."

Much as you hate it, the analytical side of your brain is filing away that cardiac trauma can kill magical girls. Bon Jovi was right.

"You're gonna get to tell her yourself," you tell Rachel, "maybe get some tutoring if you apologize for pulling this shit."

The magical girl looks up at you with pinprick pupils, and smiles. Good, the painkillers are taking hold.

"I don't care what your problem is with your family," you say, "but damn it, don't make someone worry like that, and don't throw your life away on something this petty!" you say, "your idiot of a father was about to call up a demon to heal you!"

"Mmm," she hums, and fades away into the anesthetic.

And you realize you've got W and James (both very dusty and a bit bruised), and Shirley leaning over Rachel with you and Roxy.

>W, you want to beat the shit out of me? Or schedule it for later?
>She's going to be fine
>W, I don't think we've had a brotherly fistfight yet.
>Leave Rachel to her relatives and check on the general situation.
>WRITE IN
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>>2723000
>She's going to be fine
>Leave Rachel to her relatives and check on the general situation.
>>
>>2723000
>She's going to be fine
>W, you want to beat the shit out of me? Or schedule it for later?
>>
>>2723000
>>W, you want to beat the shit out of me? Or schedule it for later?
>>She's going to be fine
>>
>>2723000
>She's going to be fine
Then we pull W aside and ask him the following.
>W, you want to beat the shit out of me? Or schedule it for later?

It's probably not something we want his daughter to overhear. Maybe.
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>>2723000
>She's going to be fine
>You ok, W? you can take it out on me if that'd help
>>
>>2723000
>She's going to be fine
>Leave Rachel to her relatives and check on the general situation.

She's stable, in the hand of someone that knows what she's doing, and tensions are high. Let's try to get things back under control.
If anyone still wants to fight after seeing this charnel house, we establish clear grounds rules before hand, including penalties for breaking said rules.
>>
>>2723000

>W, you want to beat the shit out of me? Or schedule it for later?
>>
>>2723000
>She's going to live. Whether or not she learns something is a different story.
>Let's get them somewhere more comfortable than on a pile of rocks.
>W, you want to beat the shit out of me? Or schedule it for later when we train to make sure we're ready for that Duke?
>>
>>2723000
W, I don't think we've had a brotherly fistfight yet.
>>
Someone should probably make sure a certain magical girl and Minotaur are still around.
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>>2723000
>>2723009
seconded
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>>2723066
>she's fine,just sitting on his lap, it's kind of cute
>until you notice the face she's trying not to make and the bulge in her stomach
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>>2723000
Shirley's jaw is clenched, as she bends down over her sister. And you think those might be tears in her eyes. That's...

Did you just stumble in at the moment the counter clicked down to "00:00"? You never had a chance to cut that red wire.

And you're probably not the right tool to cut it.

"She's going to be fine," you tell them, wondering how much of your earlier spiel they heard.

"W," you whisper in the wizard's ear, "I held you back. Want to beat the shit out of m-"

You have no idea what's in the icily blue eyes that stare back at you as he pushes you away.

"Just fuck off," W mutters at you, as Mary and Karen descend on their fallen comrade.

Something in you wants to start it up right there. But you're not that idiot kid anymore. And you're pretty sure W's having some sort of crisis. You know you would be having one.

At least his daughter's stable. Surrounded by friends and family. And she'll live.

You stand up.

Great, you've almost gotten two girls killed. You've delivered a rogue wizard to a dragon with some sort of blackmail on him, and a lizard-brain agenda you can barely guess at. Your wife's babysitting a blackout drunk magical girl at home. And none of it's really been your fault. Hell, it probably would've been worse if you'd taken any other path.

Or if you hadn't been there, you think walking toward the other group in the crater.

This house of cards would have fallen one day. And it could have been worse.

You just happened to walk into it first.

Ok, you did run screaming at a Duke of Hell with your shotgun. But if taking yourself out of the picture for a month was all it took to get things here, what if you'd never been in the picture at all?

'Grease', Sachio called you, and it's damn apt. You're just smoothing things. Pushing people as much as you can in the right direction, before they push back.

And Ellie's a duchess of Hell and has apparently spearheaded a demonic invasion style apocalypse in multiple timelines, you think, walking toward the other magical girl who's down for the count.

It's going to take more than 'grease' to fix that.

"Is she?" you ask, walking up to the group clustered around Myrna. It's grown from just the 'priest' and Madison to including Melon, Sue, Rob, and Einz.

At least your girls aren't holding any grudges. Maybe you managed to teach them something.

And why are you thinking like you're trying to write your own eulogy?

"She'll be fine in the morning," the priest says, standing up, "remarkable. I wouldn't move either of them for now, though."

>Madison, think we should cancel any further fights?
>'Priest', thanks for helping her, but I've got a message for you. That I'm supposed to deliver with my fists.
>Kneel down and take a look at Myrna
>Ask the 'priest' what the hell his history is
>WRITE IN
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>>2723252
>Kneel down and take a look at Myrna
>Ask the 'priest' what the hell his history is

I would like to thank the academy awards for voting to act like a imbecile towards a father who was more scared for their child than angry.
Fookin hell, W didn't even bring it up one bit this entire time.
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>>2723252
> Make a command decision to cancel any further fights. They aren't the only ones that get hurt in them when they go this far.
>>
>>2723252
>'Priest', thanks for helping her, but I've got a message for you. That I'm supposed to deliver with my fists.
>>
>>2723252
>Kneel down and take a look at Myrna
>fuck it, let's camp here for the night
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>>2723252
>Kneel down and take a look at Myrna
>Madison, has this gotten it out of everyone else's system or are we gonna need to setup something to make sure no one even thinks to repeat this?
>Let's teleport them back to the house.
>>
>>2723252
>>Kneel down and take a look at Myrna
If any of the others are harboring serious grudges, getting it out of the way before it reaches this point might be a good idea.
Conversely, if we ask if anyone else wants to fight in just the right way, we might be able to drive home how stupid of an idea it is to be tearing each other apart like this.
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>>2723269
Not our fault W fucked up to the point his daughter would rather die than be saved by him.
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>>2723269
20:47 - some point in the future.

I'm not sure whether taking an hour for posts but hitting character limits or over is better, or shorter posts on shorter cycles.

For more dialogue-heavy stuff, I really like write ins, but usually I only get good ones if I sit things out for a while.

Honestly, if the MC hadn't held W back (for a lot of very good reasons explained in the votes), things would probably be a hell of a lot worse than they are.

>>2723269
>voting to act like a imbecile
It wasn't an awful idea. Particularly considering our understanding of how his world seems to work, and the fact that W and James were beating the shit out of each other about thirty seconds earlier.

And I think it fits pretty well thematically, since neither W or the MC really understands what's going on with Rachel. (Or they understand but can't fix it.)

Hell, I'm pretty sure even Rachel doesn't really understand what's going on with Rachel.

>>2723021
>you can take it out on me
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9aRfUPnu2g0?

Unfortunately, I redacted the phrasing because I thought it was a bit too confrontational - implying W can't deal with shit himself and needs a scapegoat.
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>>2723332
Might be partially blamed on the rats too but we can't really say that in character since it would seem to everyone (including us) like we're trying to avoid responsibility.
Melon was pretty fucked up in the head and she's the sane innocent one of the group. Plus there was that line about how demonic energy alters the body/mind while the rats maintain the core. Sue was even said to be close enough to what some consider demons. I think being a magical girl does a lesser version of what Kelly talked about concerning out sister and that since she's a demon she has massive mood swings, so while she already had her issues before, being a MG made those issues teeter over the edge because they were much stronger now.
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>>2723332
It's less the "holding him back" and more "Asking him if he wants to beat the shit out of us/punch it out" because I'm pretty sure James took enough of the wind of out W's sails for that and two he was so desperate to save his daughter that he was willing to summon a demon over starting a fight with us.
No amount of offering up our face for his fists would change anything or make him truly feel better. Because the damage is already done.
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>>2723340
>It wasn't an awful idea. Particularly considering our understanding of how his world seems to work, and the fact that W and James were beating the shit out of each other about thirty seconds earlier.
So it makes the offering redundant and in bad taste, because W already got it out of his system for now and is concerned about his daughter is what I'm deciphering from this.
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>>2723252
You kneel down and take a look at Myrna.

She's - you put your eyes back on the ground after a quick glance.

Yeah, you'd kind of assumed they put themselves back together somehow, given that you blew Sue's arms off and then she showed up a few days later with all limbs intact, but seeing it in action...

You would really like to forget those few second of flesh crawling back over bones and internal organs knitting themselves back together you saw in Myrna's thoracic cavity.

Yes, you're falling back on clinical terminology to distance yourself from it.

"She's out, dad," Melon says, "she's not feeling a thing."

Well, that's good news. You don't want to think about how THAT would feel for anyone who was conscious.

But you're pretty sure that a lot of the girls in this crater have done exactly that.

"Good job," you tell your daughter.

"Madison," you say, looking up at the magical girl, your eyes carefully avoiding Myrna's wounds, "I'm thinking we should cancel the rest of the fight card."

"I don't have a problem with that," she says, her eyes scanning the crater, "they were the two that needed it. Roxy's a sweetheart, but I did want to spar..." she trails off as you frown, "no, actually, just spar Melon. But after this whole thing," Madison continues, grimacing. "that feels a bit, well, god, I don't want a deathmatch. And that seems to be the tone now."

"I don't want a deathmatch with you either," Melon says, putting her arm over Madison and smiling, "we could have a safeword or something."

You're not going to wonder about where your daughter picked THAT idea up.

"Pineapple?" Madison asks with a smile, "but I'm not joking," she says, looking Melon in the eyes, "if you've got something like THAT," she goes on, nodding at Rachel, "going on, please don't try working it out on me."

"I think I'm ok on that score," Melon says, standing up, "dad," she tells you, looking down, "it's not gonna to be like what Rachel pulled."

"And it's not as if we're going to be able to move them for a couple of hours," Kelly says, walking into the crater and lighting a cigarette, "by the way," he bends down to whisper in your ear, "James is square with Bernie, and he's getting a five million plus or minus exchange rates second payday for a job he did fifteen years ago."

You can smell the smoke coiling around you, but at least you didn't accidentally lure anyone into a deathtrap.

And your daughter's looking at you for permission.

"I'm thinking about it," you tell her, "and if I do give you permission, it's ONLY if the two of you actually agree to use the safeword."

Yeah, you learned what it meant from your wife. She... never used it.

Considering what you've heard about some of the other things she's dealt with, Liska probably never thought she had to use it with you.

>If it washes the bad taste of the last fight out of my mouth, fine
>No. We've had enough magical gore for one evening.
>Melon, are you sure you want to do this?
>WRITE IN
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>>2723418
>If it washes the bad taste of the last fight out of my mouth, fine
>Do you think you can get fancy with the magic? Like a dance instead of the rabid fighting that just happened? It's just a suggestion of course.
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>>2723418
>Melon, are you sure you want to do this?
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>>2723418
>>If it washes the bad taste of the last fight out of my mouth, fine
We're already here, they're promising to not tear each other to shreds, we can't go anywhere for a while, and maybe it'll help lighten the mood.
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>>2723418
>>Melon, are you sure you want to do this?

>If it washes the bad taste of the last fight out of my mouth, fine
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>>2723418
>Melon, are you sure you want to do this?
>If it washes the bad taste of the last fight out of my mouth, fine

They seem to be calmer about it and are clearly disturbed by what happened, so maybe that will help put a damper on whatever they might do? I'm... personally really not sure. but at the same time, if they don't do it now, it's probably going to happen later in a less controlled environment. Better it happen here and now I guess?
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>>2723418
>If it washes the bad taste of the last fight out of my mouth, fine
>Have fun, and remember, it's JUST a spar
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>>2723418
>WRITE IN

Domething about us wanting to trust them to know when to call it quits. Just because Einz and wossername didn't die, doesn't make it okay that they went this far.
>>
>If it washes the bad taste of the last fight out of my mouth, fine
>Have fun, and remember, it's JUST a spar
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>>2723418
>What about some sort of competition instead? >You said it's to measure how strong we are back at the house, we can do skeet shooting, races, and turn that softball excuse into the real thing. Like the Olympic games but not dedicated to that Zeus asshole.
That covers how well we can quickly hit targets, move around, and the softball thing can be for reflexes.Not sure if we should let Sue try to stab the clay pigeons with the sword or make some separate competition with sticks.
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>>2723418
>Melon, are you sure you want to do this?
>If it washes the bad taste of the last fight out of my mouth, fine
>>
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"Melon," you ask, looking your daughter in the eyes, "are you sure you want to do this? And is there a chance you guys could do some sort of dance or something instead of that sort of... rabid fight?"

"Dad," Melon says, "I can handle it. And I kind of want to see what Madison can do," she tells you, smiling at the other magical girl, "it's going to be friendly. It's not going to be like what... what Rachel did."

"As long as it washes he bad taste of that last fight out of my mouth," you say, watching the two girls climb out of the crater, "have fun and remember it's JUST a spar."

"'Pineapple', right? And then it's over?" Melon asks, as she and Madison face each other on the quarry floor, about twenty feet of so from each other, and Madison nods.

"If you can't say it, then it's assumed you said it?" Madison asks.

"Sounds good," Melon says, "let's go!"

Wait, 'if you can't say it'... Like if your jaw got blown off?

And Melon's still got your shotgun. And that bandolier. And you have no idea what Haru taught her.

But it feels different than earlier. They're interested, not deadly, you realize, seeing Melon smile with a mouthful of very sharp teeth, after saying it's on.

Madison's wasting no time, and sends a sheet of flame at your daughter.

Melon strips off the bandolier and throws it into the wall of fire.

"GET DOWN!" Shelby and Kelly yell in unison. You duck, and then you hear the ammunition cook off in Madison's torrent of flame, sending buckshot everywhere. At least you've got a foxhole.

Alright, we're talking 'friendly' for people who can walk off having their arm blown off, and those two aren't trying to actually kill each other like the first match, this is fine.

Right?

And throwing a bandolier of shotshells into a wall of flames so they cook off and plaster the enemy, uh, other fighter, with buckshot? Melon's really your daughter, you think, poking your head over the lip of the crater.

Holy shit. You're nearly hypnotized by the dance of summoned rifles and flames, melting lead bullets before they hit their target.

Then Madison realizes Melon's long range advantage, and those wings of fire flare behind her, as she dashes toward your daughter.

Things seem to slow, and you watch Melon spin your shotgun around her on its strap, "It's always good to have a backup option," you mutter, as your daughter presses it against Madison's chin.

"Pineapple!" the white-haired magical girl yells, and they stand there for a second, like Sue and Sachio with their sword at their throats.

Then Melon lowers her gun. Your gun.

"Pineapple," she says, and then her right hand shoots out...

And grips Madison's

"You snookered me in with that!" the white-haired magical girls says, "damn, you're good!"

"Thanks," Melon says, "my dad taught me," and she glances at you, grinning.

You start clapping, along with most of the folks in the crater.

[1/2]
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>>2723477
I think involving Sue in any competition with sticks with us around would result in a LOT of ineundo and her getting throat splinters while trying to maintain eye-contact with us.

Not sure how her lust for us has faired with us being in a coma for a month though.

Oh... oh.. OH SHIT

We where in a coma for a MONTH! FUCK! The girls were under a LOT of stress in this time. FUCK.
Please tell me we had someone by our bedside at all times and that NO ONE was dumb enough to leave us alone with fucking SUE. Because I dont think she would be into banging a comatose dude, but with how messed up magical girls can be and given the apocolyptic situation and God knows what our wife is in to...

Lets just hope that Melon was on her game or that at least Sue used a condom. Melon doesn't need a brother from another mother. I don't think we can deal with it if we find out.
>>