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/qst/ - Quests

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“Oh I…” you trail off. You’ve known Naomi for all of a few weeks; traveling, talking, sharing your thoughts with her. While you know for a fact that all you can think about is getting back for Adam, you can’t truly imagine having one of your brothers in the same position as Sumi is in. You can’t imagine the stress, the fear, and all the worries that you would have with not knowing if your someone like that was dead or worse.

You know for a fact that whatever method this splicing thing they do for their ‘products’ isn’t nice. To be forced to do something like that could be considered worse than death. Forced against your will to create something like that… whatever devious plans they’ve come up with, this is truly the worst you’ve heard of humanity. These are the people who have Sumi.

Villians. Comically so…

“I…” you sigh, shaking yourself out from staring at Naomi. You clear your throat, breaking the silence “You’re pretty weird, ya know?”

“Oh?” She sighs at your off-hand comment flattening herself and staring up. , “weird, huh? You should have said something Sammy, I can be a lot weirder, you know. Like, I have a lot more weird stories if you’re interested, though, I probably can’t really tell you half of them.”

“What do you mean?”

“I should be the one asking you that, Sammy, calling me weird and all,” she says quietly. “I just meant that I can’t tell them, really… give them justice that is. My sisters always thought I was good with words, they said I should be a writer one day and wanted me to join one of the universities near our house. Like, really close by too -- thirty minutes close by. I didn’t think I would be someone to tell stories -- I didn’t like making things up -- so instead, I became a journalist. Those are the kind of stories I wanted to write, you know, something worth telling.”

“Ha… yeah,” You lean against the wall and stare up to a familiar sight -- It’s speckled -- not unlike your own bedroom. “My brothers always said I’d be some sort of designer -- an architect or a planner -- for those sort of companies, buildin’ ships, making a living like that. Said I’d be working for those big ones, like Apex or Exalt or somethin’ like that. Big names, big payout. When I heard from Adam that I’d be taking over his spot in Arcady, all I thought was that I should take it. Wasn’t really thinkin’ about the future then.”

“I get that,” she replies shifting on the bed.

“You know, I ain’t meant that you were weird in a bad way,” you say with a shrug, “just, you’re weird in a good way. You know a lot. I wasn’t ever like that.”

“I can tell,” she says jokingly with a half laugh.

“Yeah, fights or working on things, I was more of a hands-on kinda guy, all this… really ain’t what I thought it’d be.”
“It never is,” she says somewhat wistfully and distant, “I started pretty recently, really. My first time doing this whole blogger thing wasn’t that long before I found out about Sumi. It wasn’t something super serious, I just went to explore a problem in my local area. It was a gang, they’re called Rōnin, well, not the gang but what they are. Rōnin are kind of like deserters for the imperialists but there’s worse out there… the Rōnin that I found weren’t the worst around but they… anyways, I found a few things out. I don’t like a lot of what this work has to offer. I don’t. It gets personal and messy and it’s dangerous all the time. But…” she pauses, “it’s entirely worth it.”

It really is, you think. It’s something that would require you to pour your everything into just to find out the truth. The shows you’ve watched, the movies and films you’ve enjoyed for the past years all taught you that it’s always worth it. To be able to save someone, the feeling of doing something good. It’s worth it. A payoff that’s not monetary but spiritual.

“You know why I’m here,” you break the momentary silence, “right? After all that… today, just ain’t… I don’t know. I don’t know what I’m tryin’ to say, just that everything just… Just feels like we’re rolling with the punches, ya know? I’ve been feeling pretty bad about it all and…” you trail off, “we’re partners, right? I just wanted to know how you’re holding up… it’s just been like two days and we already thinking the worst… I just thought we should talk at least.”

She’s quiet, she doesn’t answer you immediately but you can feel her looking at you -- watching silently from the bed. Quickly, a smile washes over her face as you feel something tug at your chest, not a physical feeling but something beneath. It’s not a painful smile but it wasn’t one that told you that there was happiness behind it. It was a smile that a mother wears to placate their child.

“Yeah… I’m fine,” she says looking back up. She pauses for a moment as the two of you look away from each other. You don’t think she’s telling the truth but you know there’s no real reason to push. You just want to know if she’s alright and if she says she is, then she is, “Say,” she breaks the silence, “Do you still have any more of that… that vodka from the store?”

“Ain’t it a bit early to start drinking?” you glance at your display as you reply. It’s still kinda close to noon, almost around four.

“Oh come on, you’re the one who’s been drinking non-stop since we left Unity,” she begs as the two of you look back to each other.

“Pfft,” you laugh and lean forward, coming to a whisper, “That stuff ain’t worth drinking, what you need is something good. If you want to drink then we should go hit some bars -- get something to actually drink rather than what we got here.”
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“Well I think Ryo has some sake,” she says slowly sitting up, “We can ask him.”

“Sake? Wait, nah… nah, shouldn’t bother him. I can go get the drinks if you don’t want to go--”

“No, I’ll go, let me get dressed. Now that you said something, I think I have a place in mind,” she starts to slide out of the bed to pull you out of the half-chair thing. Pushing you along, she continues talking, “Go get something else to wear, something nice. If we’re going somewhere, you should be wearing something nice, right?”

“Something nice? We’re just going to a bar, right?” You say over your shoulder as she pushes you on your back to kick you out of the room.

“Yeah, yeah,” she says, convincing you little, “Just go get ready and we’ll go in… like… less than an hour or so.”

“Alright alright,” you raise your arms passing, rather you’re being pushed, through the doorway and turn around.

“Okay, go get ready. I’ll be out soon.” She gives you a smile then closes the door. You shake your head and look around the living room to see Coraline watching you before quickly turning away.

“What?” you say as you make your way to the couch, plopping down near her.

“Nothing,” she responds without turning back to you, her eyes glued to the screen. You don’t mind though, in truth you’re not paying attention to her. Didn’t Naomi just undress to go to sleep or whatever? Is she going to wear what she wore this morning? It looked pretty good… you think as you stare blankly at the screen. A scene of someone crying, something you’re not entirely unfamiliar with. You’ve seen your girlfriend cry plenty of times, your friends cry over failed relationships, family crying over anything else. Naomi hasn’t cried since the first day you started traveling with her. Nothing really seems to faze Naomi, does it?

She’s pretty quick to change her mood, she’s always been that kind of optimist, you think. Though that just makes it kind of difficult to know what she’s really thinking. You know it’s affecting her but you know she doesn’t want to think too much on ‘what if this’ or ‘what if that’. Maybe that’s her secret -- to keep thinking ahead rather than thinking about the consequences too much.

As you half-pay attention and think, you see Coraline looking at you from the corner of your eye. Her unchanging face steadily stares at you as if waiting for something, “What’s the matter?” you ask.

“Nothing,” she says before turning away again. She’s not acting like she usually does, something as if she has something to say. You wait silently for her to give you a real answer but it doesn’t come. Right… You push yourself off with your hands to stand up, drawing her attention again. Might as well go to the garage then. “Where are you going?”
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“Huh?” you ask as you turn around to look at Coraline who’s wrapped up in her blanket, “To the garage, why? I’m gunna go get into some different clothes.”

“Oh,” she replies and turns back to the screen without another word. You nod slowly, not really understanding her concern, before you yourself turn towards the garage door. You don’t know what Coraline is thinking so you don’t bother to ask since she rarely answers. Even if you wanted to, you don’t want to get into something like that right before going out with Naomi. Whatever her reasoning is, it will most likely remain beyond you even after direct questioning.

Opening the door, you survey the garage quickly to find the luggage still stacked on top of your bed. You click one of the cases open to check the clothes, some of the fancier looking sets that you had brought along to Leo. It’s not like you’re wearing anything too bad but it’s not like you have anything too different than what you’re wearing right now. At most you have a few sunday dress shirts or holdovers from school uniforms you rarely wear.

Your father’s jacket, khakis, and the nice looking shirt from the morning shouldn’t be too bad. It’s not like you’re going to any high-class kind of places. Even if they’re simple clothes, they’re better than most of your t-shirts, jeans, or athletic pants that you usually wear casually. You don’t have much in the way of the sort of suits that people wear around here. People like the businessmen with under Arcady should have enough suits to act as a bunker in case of a bomb going off above them. You, however, have a suit that Naomi herself said looked out of place and unfitting for you. You’re not sure what Naomi really expects you to wear though.

Despite this, there are a few shirts that you own that are better than what you’re wearing right now. So, you decide to change your clothes into something from those. A black button-up shirt with a white undershirt tank, black dress pants like the khakis, and some full black sneakers. You still decide to wear your father’s leather jacket since you, for one, can’t really stand wearing a full black outfit all that much.

Stealing a glance at yourself from a distant standing-mirror, you flatten your shirt, tucking it in before looping the belt through. Dabbing some cologne on, you put your display in your pocket and make your way to the garage door. Sliding the door open, you’re surprised to see Naomi standing in front of it as if she was just about to knock. Startled, you flinch back slightly, “Jesus!”
“Oh my,” she says just as startled as you. She’s wearing a simple pink dress, but even something like that fits her just as well as any high-class lady you’ve seen. Not just the dress but her choice of jewelry seems to be equally eye-catching as they match her in a way totally. Honestly, you’re kind of impressed since you haven’t actually seen her wear something this stylish. Even if her usual outfit tends to suggest otherwise, you have to admit her sense of fashion is well beyond your own. “Well, you don’t look too bad, though you could do with losing the jacket.”

“Ah, well…” you say with a shrug. Taking a step back and placing a hand under your chin, you make a dramatic show of looking at her outfit “You don’t look too bad yourself, didn’t know you could dress up so fancy.”

“Really now? What, did you think I was some country bumpkin like you too?” she snorts with a small smile, taking a slow spin to show her outfit in its totality.

“Oh, pfft, no, you wouldn’t last three days where I’m from. A princess like you…” you shake your head.

“Right, and you’re doing so well yourself? Ahh…” she takes a moment as she looks at the time, “Oh! Five o’clock, right on time, right? Isn’t that the time you go out drinking, right?”

“Yeah, guess so?” you say somewhat puzzled, “Never been drinking this early though. Why? We going to some other place you know?”

“Huh? No no, just a place I heard of, when you said we’re going out I thought we should go somewhere special, you know? Since we never really had the chance to go anywhere at all in Milo and we’ve been traveling all last month. It’ll be good to stretch out legs, don’t ‘cha think? hmmm?”

“Yeah… just… not somewhere weird right?” you say hesitantly, afraid to go any place she recommends.

“You’re the one who called me weird, you know. Besides, it’ll be fun, I promise,” she says with a dramatic nod of her head to emphasize her last word. It feels like she’s the original one to came up with the idea of going out drinking rather than you. It’s not like you have any place to actually recommend yourself, but it’ll probably be better than any place she has in mind. Still… you’re kind of curious.

“Well…alright,” you say with a curt nod. “Lead the way, princess.”

“Gladly,” she says as she passes you by, “I kind of don’t want to ride the tram in these clothes so, we’re going to take the ship --oh, uh, you’ll drive of course. It’s a bit off but I’ll tell you where exactly. That’s fine with you?”

“Yeah… no. We’re going drinking, Naomi. We’ll be taking the tram, can’t fly back if we take the ship,” you shake your head, “besides, I don’t like how it looks. Think something’s busted but I ain’t had a chance to take a look. Where’s this place you got?”
“Fiiine…” she sighs dramatically, “you’re right. Can’t fly back drunk… It’s on like the north side, I think? Well, anyway, we have maps so it shouldn’t take us too long. Let’s get going.”

“Right,” you say as you leave the garage with Naomi following you. As you leave Ryo’s house you stop for a moment and look back, “Wait, should we invite Coraline?”

“Nah, she doesn’t drink does she?”

“You’re right, she didn’t when we were on the ship, so I doubt she’d wanna come along,” you say as you continue on, taking a look at your display for a moment. You’re kind of worried that Coraline might feel bad that you’re leaving her all alone in the house. You’re sure she’ll be fine, even so, you feel bad going out and having fun while leaving her behind. It’s not like you want to actively leave her and it’s not like you’re forgetting her, She’ll be fine. “So, what’s this place supposed to be?”

“Oh, it’s just a little place I heard of from looking at the news. Heard it was pretty popular but I didn’t really expect to go, though if it’s with you then I guess it’s fine,” she says brushing off your question, “Let’s…” she looks at the map on her display, “Head to the… that tram.”

You nod and walk alongside Naomi as you scan around the station hallways; studying the people and the structure itself. It sort of feels like you’re in a building at times but other times it kind of just feels like you’re in a cramped city. You’ve been really impressed by everything you had seen so far -- impressed in good ways and in bad. Though you’ve seen a lot of the unsultry parts of the floating city, it still feels a whole lot different than back home. Everything you’ve seen is ten, twenty times more advanced than most things back home. From the walls to the floors.

As you make it to the tram, the two of you find a seat, though it’s only one so you let Naomi sit while you stand in front. “Those comfortable to walk in?”

“What these?” she raises one of her shoes and shakes her foot. The heels have been clacking against the metal the entire way here drawing your, and anyone else’s, attention, “They’re not bad, kind of comfortable but I didn’t really want to walk in them everyday and definitely not all the way to where we’re going.”

“Yeah, I know, but it ain’t like we got a say in things there,” you say as you look away, watching the rest of the passengers get on board or talk amongst each other. “You said north right, it ain’t that far away, is it?”
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“Well, not that far away, but we’re going to at least be on here for… maybe twenty minutes or so, I guess,” she says, taking out her display from her handbag. “Ahh… well, it would be nice if you pay for our drinks tonight, as a man should do, but since you’re still broke…”

“Ah, right, sorry I forgot about that,” you say a bit sheepishly.

“Oh it’s nothing, I wanted to go,” she replies without looking back up. “I kind of thought it would be nice to go out anyways…”

“Yeah,” your eyes drift over the other passengers, of which are all varied and admittedly strange. There’s businessmen getting off work, children coming and going diverse places, students with bags in tow, delinquents grouped and laughing, women chattering all while the tram is stuttering and moving. Like a mixed bag, everyone seems to be from a different place. From the professional look of a worker to the exotic look of a Imperialist, to the strange look of those with prosthetics. A diverse place to say the least. “What was your home like?”

“My home?” she says somewhat startled, “why?”

“Ah, no reason,” you say, still studying everyone, “I just thought that I hadn’t seen anything like this back home. I mean, been on a train or two, but this ain’t like the trains back home. These are packed with, I dunno, people that would never be seen in public back home.”

“Ah…” she says as she looks around as well, “Well, it’s not much different from here. I think it would probably be a lot more people than this and definitely not this clean… but it was home, you know?”

“So you feel at home here?”

“No…” she shakes her head, “no, not really. Home’s pretty far from here… pret~ty far.”

“Yeah…” you say absently. “Say, you miss home?”

She doesn’t respond. You probably shouldn’t have said that, but you don’t look back at her. You haven’t seen your home for a long time. You’ve known some strangers face more than your own family’s for the past few months. It has never been like that, it’s unsettlingly and it makes you feel strange. Being on a tram gives you a sense of nostalgia but everything feels wrong, it feels off. It’s not home. That’s probably how Naomi feels, it’s familiar enough to feel like home but it’s not home. Nothing about this place feels like home, but… you’re here now.

You hear the tram doors open, kicking you back to the present. “Right, no, sorry. I was just stuck thinking about how I rode the train back home. I didn’t mean anything about it.”
“Oh, no it’s nothing,” Naomi says, waving away your worries. “I miss home, yeah, I guess. There’s something here that I want though, so worrying about home…” she pauses to lower her display and looks out of the tram’s window, “-ah, it’s fine. Hm… so we’re not that far off. I guess it shouldn’t be too long now.”

“Yeah…” you watch one of the seats beside Naomi open up. You nod and inch your way past the other passenger. Sitting down, you lean forward and place your elbows on your knees to prop yourself up. “I’m looking forward to wherever you’re leading us to. Ain’t one of those dance bars, right? What, is it like one of those, like, places where they serve the fancy drinks, like those with the little umbrellas on them?”

“You’ll have to see when we get there, Sammy. Shouldn’t be much longer,” she says rolling her eyes with a smirk. “Why are you thinking about home so much?”

“Oh, nothing, no- no reason, really,” you say as you take out your display, “Sheesh, Look at this.”

“Oh, you’re just seeing that? That’s not that bad, heard there’s a place back on Earth that had something like that. The water is completely polluted so they’ve been having to import clean water for a while now…” she leans over your shoulder and points at your screen, “That’s the photos from Damascus, right? They’ve been having problems ever since they were founded. The… I think it was… the mineral deposits there turned the water red and everything before but now the pictures show the water’s glowing or something. Kinda strange, I think they’re saying it’s like a microorganism but I think they’re dumping waste products there. The place is one of the main research places for the Missive Drives.”

“Yeah, I was thinking it was something like that, yeah…” you comment while aimlessly scrolling through the pictures. The red, rusted landscape is suddenly broken up with glowing pools of red liquid. You remember there were problems with establishing the right terraforming procedures yet even a century later, the place is still yet to be fixed. The juxtaposition of towering industrial sites and the deserted seas of dust makes it feel like it’s a post-apocalyptic wasteland. “You know, my own drive is from there, well, most are.”

“Yeah,” she says without looking up. “Oh, they say a ship recently appeared in Genesis. An old sleeper ship, apparently it’s really really old and all that but they’ve yet to actu--”

Her words are cut off by the tram slowing down along with a calm robotic voice announcing the next stop. This is the stop the two of you decided to get off at, about five or so minutes away from the place Naomi recommended. “Ah! Alright, let’s go!”
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She jumps up and the two of you follow through the tram exit, walking wherever Naomi’s leading you. It’s actually quite a different environment from the place where the three of you are staying at. You do feel guilty for leaving Coraline alone if you’re actually going to a posh place like this but then again she probably wouldn’t care all that much. Naomi, taking the lead, quickly turns around and points to a place with a short line of people waiting to get in. It doesn’t look like one of those dance bars you heard about, certainly not the barns like back home, but it doesn’t really look like a bar either.

“What’s this?” you ask quietly as the two of you get in line.

“It’s called ‘The Tributary’, it’s a pretty cool place. They have a dance floor but it’s not like those sorts of places, it’s pretty classy from what I heard. There’s a lot of good drinks too!” she says somewhat excitedly as the two of you slowly make it closer to the armed guard outside of the entrance.

“Hello!” the tall man greets with a stern look. His statue and build point to him being a Red but his thick accent only hammers the guess home, “I am Luchok. Who are you?”

“Naomi, and this is Sammy,” she says, introducing the two of you to the single man security detail. He focuses on the two of you for a few moments of somewhat tense before nodding.

“Okay, okay. Right. You look good, go in, have fun. Drinks are sale now, we’ve big news. From the paper, yes? Yes. Right, so we have new drink. Good drink. Have few myself, I can vouch, see,” he says as he waves the two of you in. You’re not sure if he checked your background or something but he seems extremely relaxed for being a guard to a place like this. You guess what he said about the paper and the news was how Naomi found out.

After passing through the red-curtained entrance, you see the inside of the actual dimly lit place. Neon lighting and strange colors make it barely visible but the smell and look of it clearly show that it’s extremely well kept and clean. You nod, impressed, as you follow Naomi to one of the booths and sit down. The place is separated with the dance floor on the other side of a wall, a large window shows the various party-goers and patrons. You see stairs flank both sides of the doors that lead to the dance hall, one side going up and another going down. You’re guessing that there’s a balcony or something that wraps around the dance hall.

“What do you think?” Naomi asks, barely containing her excitement, “I chose a good place, right?”
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“Yeah, definitely better than the last…” you say with the last part of your sentence under your breath. Music escapes through the doors every time someone passes through to the dance floor. The actual bar area is pretty calm from the looks of things, though everything looks surprisingly fuller than you would expect at this time. You’re stunned and, in a sense, disgusted that there are so many people here when it’s just barely past five. As if ignoring the fact that there’s a serious drunkard problem here, Naomi turns to you with a big smile, “So, should we get drinks? I’ll get the drinks!” Naomi says as she pushes herself up and out of the booth, “What do you want?”

“Oh, uhh, nothing too heavy. We just got here so I guess a Blue Sun beer,” you shrug as you try to think of a drink to start off with. You’re thinking that it’ll be an awfully short night if you get drunk right off the bat and besides, you still haven’t forgotten the last time you drank with Naomi. She’s a lightweight for sure.

“Alright!” Naomi says before making her way toward the crowded bar. After a moment you couldn’t really follow her with your eyes as she melts into the crowd so you turn back to your display. It’s of course still pretty early. You’re used to getting drunk pretty fast and really hard but since it’s so early and you’d rather make it back to the house on your own two feet. Blue Sun is perfect for this since it takes you a few of them to actually get started. It’s not nearly as powerful as the vodka, but it’s a popular beer in its own right. The taste for one, is better than most cheap beers out there; Blue Sun always had a reputation for that.

You can’t remember the last time you’ve had a Blue Sun, maybe it was back when you spent that week with your friends right after graduation. It was a sort of sending away party for all of you. It was one of those times that makes it hard to forget but even harder to remember exact details. It isn’t long until you see Naomi coming back carrying two drinks; one is the Blue Sun beer and the other looks like it’s in a martini glass but it doesn’t look like a martini. She sets both of the drinks on the table and slides in opposite of you.

Her drink looks like a rainbow of colors layered on top of each other, “What’d you get?”

“I don’t know!” She exclaims, staring at the drink at eye level from the edge of the table, “It looks pretty, doesn’t it, though?”

“I guess,” you say as you look at the strange drink, taking a sip from your own. The distantly familiar citrusy flavor of the Blue Sun washes over your palate, “Is it like a fruit thing?”
“I mean, that’s what he said it was. He called it a ‘Sunset’ or something, I asked him what would be good to start the night off with and he started making this one,” she says and straightens herself. Taking the glass in both hands, she inspects the curiously colored drink; swirling it slightly to watch the colors dance, “And… I’m going to try it.”

She takes the drink and slowly puts it up to her lips. The colors of the drink look as if they bleed into each other as they all rush to one side of the glass. Her eyes go wide and she starts making ‘mms’ and ‘ahs’ and other higher pitched noises spotted between each mouthful. She quickly covers her mouth with her other hand and turns to you with slight embarrassment, “It’sh really ghood,” she says before swallowing. “It’s like every layer is a different fruit or something!”

“Oh shit, that doesn't sound too bad. A Sunset?” you repeat her before taking a larger and audible gulp of the Blue Sun, “That don’t sound too bad… might get one later.”

“Here,” she pushes the drink toward you, “try it!”

“I uh… well, alright,” you say and carefully take the glass into one of your hands. You’re not really one to care about sharing the same drink as someone else but it kind of feels odd that she’s the one offering first. Taking the glass, you put it up to your mouth and the smell of fruit but also the alcohol underneath quickly rises to meet you. It’s definitely not a strong smelling alcohol but it’s distinct enough to pick out between the citrus and fruity flavors mixed within. Hesitantly, you take a small sample.

The first thing you notice is the sugary taste before the any of the fruit. You guess the flavors are based on the colors as the first fruit flavor is a blueberry flavor before giving way to the various other fruit flavors that match the oranges, yellows, and reds that taste like what you’d expect them to taste like. All the while making it progressively more alcoholic tasting.

“Oh, yeah… wow, that ain’t bad at all,” you say as you put it down, barely even making a dent in the strange drink. Sliding the glass back to Naomi, you begin again, “Yeah, it’s good. Might not get one myself, though -- too much sugar.”

“Ah, but it is good!” she says, “I think I’ll order another one, it doesn’t even make me feel tipsy after the first few sips like that vodka you forced me to drink before!”

“I didn’t force you to drink that, plus the vodka is a whole hell of a higher proof than that,” you defend yourself, “Besides, we didn’t really dilute the vodka either with juice or a fizzy drink.”
“Fizzy drink?” she repeats after you, mouthing the words. “Wait, you call them fizzy drinks?”

“Yeah, what else you supposed to call them?” you shrug, confused.

“Uh, pop or, like, soft drinks. I’ve never heard anyone call them fizzy drinks,” she says.

“What about earlier today, you got that Orange Fizz. That’s a fizzy drink.”

“Yeah, but you don’t call every other soft drink a fizzy drink. Like do you call carbonated water, fizzy water?” she jokes.

“No, why would you want to drink carbonated water?”

“What? You don’t drink carbonated water on the colonies?” she asks with a furrowed brow, “I knew you were backwater, but I didn’t know you never had carbonated water. It’s legit just water that’s been carbonated, it’s so refreshing. Really surprised you guys don’t drink it back home, what do you drink back home?”

“Uh, normal water,” you say laughingly, “and beer I guess.”

“Ah yeah, right… I forgot you guys drank so early on, is all of Haven alcoholics?”

“Only the fun ones, yeah. I mean I didn’t drink a whole lot, the first time I got drunk was after graduation. The week after we drank a lot though, had a bunch of friends leaving system so we had a little party, ya know?” you say between another sip of your beer. You haven’t really made a dent in your drink but Naomi had already drank half of hers.

“What kind of friends were they?” she says, taking her drink in both hands, “You told me about your brothers a bit, but tell me something about your friends!”

“Ah, well… I guess they’re kind of like me? Tommy, Cole… they’re still in Haven, second generation colonists... David, Garrett, and Danny all left Haven a few weeks after graduation. Think Danny and David went to the same place, studying at some university they wanted to go to, dunno about Garrett though. Stevie, Rufus, Harvey… ah, I don’t know where they’re now, talked to them before I left Haven though.”

“But what about them,” she asks as she takes a small sip, “Those are just names, you know, that’s not really anything about them, right? Tell me about your friends.”

“You want a story?”

“Yes! A story, tell me a story about your friends!” she says pointing at you in emphasis.

“Alright, well… alright, so you remember that girl I told you about, Jessica, the one who broke it off with me after graduating, right? Well, Tommy, Rufus, Stevie, Danny and all went to like the same group for church, it’s like a church camp thing. You know, you ever go camping before?”
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“No, not really but I know what it is.”

“Ah, well it’s kind of like that but not really, they have these, uh, these… campgrounds already set up for you. Big cabins, separated for girls and boys. Danny and Rufus and I all shared the same cabin, Tommy and Stevie were in one besides ours and the girl’s cabins were all on the opposite side of the camp. Three nights after being at camp, it was like a two week thing, Rufus decides to tell us that he wants to go to see his girl, Jacy, who’s friends with mine. So Rufus gets all of us together and tells us he got a plan for tonight,” you pause to take another drink, “See, Rufus, Tommy and I were all in the same… same martial arts place. Both of ’em were better than me though.”

“You know martial arts, like kung-fu?” she asks.

“Kinda, I guess, hmmm… more like QCQ, MMA, kinda deal but Rufus decides that we should all dress up like ninjas, all black with, like, we tired black shirts around our faces to hide. The plan is, we were to sneak all the way to the other side of the camp, get Rufus’, Tommy’s, Danny’s, and my girls and then go to like the lake nearby. Think Stevie broke up with his a couple months back,” you say pausing, “So after curfew, the Camp Master comes by and checks to see if everyone is asleep. The lights were off in the cabins and there’s only a few lights on outside. Rufus and Danny were in the beds beside mine so right after the master left, we both got up and put on our ninja masks.”

“You know it’s pretty funny hearing that a country bumpkin is running around with ninja masks, right?” she says taking a gulp from her drink again. Waving her hand while drinking, “Continue, continue.”

“Yeah, so we went to get Tommy and Stevie from the opposite cabin before we start to cross the campgrounds. When I tell you it’s dark, it was dark. I couldn’t really see anything without the lights, makes most of the outer area pretty safe. We got around like that, moving from one shadow to another shadow like they do in the movies. It took us like thirty minutes to cross the entire way to the girls’ cabins. We all told them beforehand to be awake so we could go to the lake so when we got there, Tommy’s girl, Sylvie, waved at us and it wasn’t after we met up with Jacy and Danny’s girl when a Camp Master spotted us trying to get the girls.”

“W-wait a second for that,” she says as she puts her hands up, pointing at you before standing up, “I’m going to go get another drink, I’ll be Ri~ight back.”
“Alright,” you say as you see her slowly sink into the crowd, “You shouldn’t drink too much!”

She didn’t hear you as she leaves. You slouch in your seat as you think about the next part of the story. You really can’t believe it’s been years since this all happened. Everything back in Haven, you miss all of your friends. Everyone back then was fun to hang around with. Turning back, you see Naomi with another Sunset, “Alright, got it. Now, you were saying some kind- kind of master was finding something?”

“Yeah, yeah, exactly. The- one of the camp masters found us. He shined a light on us and started shouting something and everyone started to bolt in different directions. I think Danny and Stevie went the completely opposite way with the girls and Rufus, Tommy and I went straight someplace else. Tommy was faster than the three of us and I was in the back right behind Rufus. We were all sprinting as fast as we could and these like camp masters weren’t really fit like the three of us were. It wasn’t till we got to this open field where we were running through waist-high grass to try to get to the tree-line not too far off. Think we were heading to the tree line then backtrack to the lake. Halfway through, all I saw was Rufus suddenly spring up in the air, flip, and fall straight down. I couldn’t stop and all I did was pray the dude was good when I ran straight past.”

“What happened? Why did he start to fly or whatever?”

“He hit a tree stump, it was hidden in the grass. Couldn’t see it in the dark and it went up to your thigh. He hits it full fucking speed. Flips, and falls.”

“Did he break anything?”

“Nah, he was fine but when I passed him I didn’t hear anything. Thought the dude was gone for and I just kept sprinting past. I turn around and see that the masters don’t stop either. Apparently, Rufus said that they didn’t see shit.” you pause, “Tommy and I both make it to the forest and drop down, actually, I run past Tommy but he shouted at me to get down. This time the camp masters just gave up and shined flashlights around to see if they could see us, but of course, they couldn’t.”

“So what happened, did you two get caught later?”

“No, no… they didn’t see our faces. Tommy and I went to the lake only to see no one was there. I think the girls said something like they didn’t want to stay out if the camp masters were looking for us, so they all ducked out and went back to the cabins before we got there.”
“Re~aaallly? Poor Sammy didn’t get to spend time with his girl!” she says with a fake pout from the other side of her drink. “Oh, wait, so what happened to Rufus? You two got away but did you guys just, like, leave him out there?”

“Well, he’s on a whole nother level than Tommy or me when it came to martial arts. He had a reputation. The dude, he uh, he --with what he thought was a broken leg-- crawled all the way back to the boy’s dorm,” You pause, finishing your drink in a single last swig, “to the boy’s dorm and fell asleep on his own bed without a single person seeing him. No idea how he did it, but apparently all the camp masters didn’t even know anything about his leg or anything. The next few weeks he kinda just limped around the entire time.”

“So he broke his leg then, right?”

“No no, he just really bruised it. It was bleeding when he fell asleep but it healed up before we went back home. He was one of the guys that I’d spar with. I wasn’t any good but Tommy and Rufus were the reason I went into the thing,” you pause before leaning back. “Anyways, that’s one of the stories I got.”

“Yeah…” she says, “oh do you want some more? Your drink’s empty.”

She takes another sip from her glass, watching you from the rim of it. Her jade eyes stare at you as you stare back. As she puts down her glass, she smiles. A warmth that feels nostalgic all the same. Maybe you’re remembering the times before you met her, maybe she reminds you of someone you knew or even liked. She’s not like any other girl you know but she’s so… comfortable to be around.

It would be pretty lame to continue tonight without getting hammered, especially with a girl like her. You’re the one who brought up the idea of going somewhere for something better than the cheap vodka you got from Milo. Besides, Naomi is already long on her way to getting drunk. You check your display to see it hadn’t been that long since you came here, but around twenty or thirty minutes had already passed.

“Yeah, yeah,” you say, “I want something other than this. Don’t know the menu here, and I don’t do mixed drinks all that much… dunno, pick something for me. Nothing fruity like what you got, though.”

“Alight,” she says, pushing herself off, “Something not fruity, something strong, got it!” She puts a hand over her chest and bows her head, “Will do! Right away!”
You shake your head as you watch her make her way back to the bar. She’s probably getting drunk faster than you had thought she would have gotten drunk. She really is a bit of a lightweight when it comes to drinking, though you don’t remember the latter part of the last time the two of you drank together. You’re pretty sure she knocked you out on accident.

You don’t remember last time you blacked out when drinking. It would probably have been whenever you were drinking with your friends before they left but you’ve drank a bit after then, never to the extent of that one time though. Rufus, Tommy, Stevie, Danny, Garrett, David, Harvey… you kind of miss those guys. The names of the friends you’ve spent the majority of your life with up till now. Each and every one of those guys was someone you’ve known since the beginning of school to the end of it.

It’s always a trip remembering the times you guys spent the night awake together or when you guys went to go to the lakes around the town or when you went and got into fights with other groups in the school. Rufus and Tommy were always the top two fighters of the group, they were always reliable. You take a breath as you look at your contacts on your display. All those names, all the time you’ve spent. Your eyes rest on three names, in particular: Adam, Ben, and Kane.


“Alright!” Naomi says as she places a dark drink in front of you, the ice inside clinks against the glass. “He said this is something you might like. He said it was a bitter… or black- ...something. Anyways, he said it would be really good.”

You look at the dark looking drink in the dim light of the bar, the drink giving off a black sheen, before looking back to Naomi sliding into the booth. She takes a sip of her own drink and then looks at you in a sort of girlish wonder. You smile slightly as you furrow your brow looking back to the drink before you. It smells pretty strong, a bit like perfume which isn’t anything too different from some of the heavier drinks you’ve had. Taking the glass in hand, you hesitantly sample the drink.

Itself tastes somewhat sweet but bitter all the same. That’s probably because he mixed a soft drink in with it. The actual alcohol stings slightly as it makes its way down. Definitely stronger than anything else you’ve been drinking tonight. It has a sort of taste that kind of reminds you of some rum that you had a while back. “How is it?”
“Uh, not bad.”

“See! I knew he had it right,” she replies, “It’s supposed to be really good if you like that kind of drink. The dark bitter kind, that’s what I heard anyways. Ah, so you were telling me about your friends, You said that the three of you made it out, right?”

“Yeah… yeah, but… why don’t you tell me about your friends? I told you a story, now you tell me one,” you say as you put down the glass. You haven’t heard much about her own friends or family from her home system of Montaway.

“Ahh… FINE…” she grumbles from the inside of her glass, “It’s not that different really from your school system. We went to school, did stuff, and came back. I was good at English so I helped out a bit whenever anyone asked. Most of my friends that I made moved away within the next year or two so I don’t have a lot of stories like you do. Most of my stories are about my family, I guess.”

“Then tell me about your family,” you say as you take a small sip from your drink. She doesn’t have many friends? Didn’t she say that she had like a boyfriend or something a while back?

“Alright, my sisters and I lived together in this little, like, this little apartment that was on like the fifth, no, sixth floor of this old building. I… uh… I shared a room with Sumi, while Yumi and Sara shared the same room, they’re twins. Hara moved out after she met her husband and started living with him but after dad died, Sumi started working and Hana would come by every now and then to help with Yumi and Sara.” She pauses to stare at the bottom of her nearly-empty glass, “Oh, I’m almost done, I’m gunna go get another drink. I might just get what you- -are drinking.”

It’s a pretty small glass but you’ve started to feel something after the beer and now this thing. You accidentally drank most of it without noticing. You know Naomi is feeling it, it’s written all over her face. Her face is flushed from just those two drinks and she probably wouldn't do too well with what you're drinking.

“Ahhh, wait wait,” you say, interrupting Naomi before she starts to stand up, “hold on a sec, can’t go just yet. You ain’t really told me about your family, you said you’d tell me about your family. Come on, can’t leave before even starting!”
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“Ugh…” she rolls her eyes as she plops back down in the chair. “Alriiight… so, I guess we can start with school since, like, you said stuff about school. Hmm, so the school wasn’t all that different from, like, your school only there were more people. Mostly, like, from the border but every now and then there would be, like, an exchange student from closer to the core or from across the border. I think I told you my mom was an imperialist, right? Well anyways, there wasn’t many imperialists there, really. Mainly just UGE, and --”

“Wait,” you interrupt her, “ahhh… what about your mom? She’s an imperialist? I don’t remember you saying anything about that… at least I don’t think you did.”

“Yeah… well, she’s from the royal houses. She wasn’t really high-up, important-type person, though. She was just someone who worked-- actually I don’t think she really told me all that much about it, or at least I don’t think she did. Most I know is that whenever she left she had to sneak onto one of the freighters and, like, make her way off planet. When she got to Montaway, she met my dad and stopped. I don’t know much else before that though. Mom was always careful not to talk too much about her past because of the Imperialists that she used to work for were really strict about it all,” she says before pausing and looking down to her nearly-empty glass. Taking a breath, you lean back into the cushioned booth chair and look at your own glass.

It’s been a while, talking about family. It kind of feels odd, talking about them with Naomi. Her own family seems to be pretty big, with all her sisters in one house. You never knew anything about them, nothing deeper than their names and general hobbies, but you always wondered what kind of people they are. What kind of people would someone like Naomi risk her life to travel halfway across known space to save? Of course, it’s family.

You’re like that, your brothers are like that, hell, you’re pretty sure most of your family is like that. Blood is blood, everyone with yours is someone you need to help. Family… but friends are the same for you. Adam was family, still is. He will always be family to you, he’s been there since you were born and you had thought he’d be there for a long time after too. Your eyes unconsciously turn into a scowl as you stare at the drink before taking the last little sip having Naomi mimic you.

“Right,” she says, “my family isn’t all that exciting, really.”

“Ah, nooo…” you plead waving your arms quickly as if trying to dispel the changing mood, “it’s not like that. Just reminds me of my own family, really. I just thought it’d be something to talk about. Since, ya know, that’s why we’re both here.”
“I really liked watching all those movies about detectives. I know I ain’t really the one to seem like it but I always wanted to be a detective, ya know?” you pause for a moment, “When we started all this, that’s exactly what it felt like. Didn’t feel real, felt like I was in one of them shows. Now it doesn’t, but I can’t shake the feeling. I was kinda excited when you said you were a journalist, erm, blogger or whatever, but I didn’t think I’d actually be helping, much less being a part of it. I don’t know what I’m trying to say…”

“Ha,” she gives a short laugh, “no I know what you mean, I always watched those kinds of shows too. That was one of the reasons I wanted to become a journalist. To tell those stories that needed to be told, something to be said, now I’m part of my work too. Kind of funny how things work out.”


Yeah… funny how everything works out. you think as you look down to your empty glass. As you stare for a moment, an idea comes to you. “Oh hey, you know what? Why don’t we play a game?”

“A game?” she says bearing an apprehensive look.

“Yeah, a drinking game. Don’t worry, it’s simple,” you say trying to ease whatever concern she has, “All we have to do is get some drinks--”

“-- I like where this is going,” she says between your words.

“--and we ask a few questions. If we don’t want to answer, then we drink, sounds fun right?” you explain the game. “Let’s start with…”

“The drinks. Let’s get the same drink too. I’ll go get what you just had,” she answers quickly and gets up before you have any time to respond. You turn back to your own thoughts as you wait for her return. Most of your thoughts drift to what you’re going to ask as well as one other repeating question that you’ve been asking yourself for the majority of the day. There, locked away, you ask a single question. Why?

“Why” more or less applies to most questions, but there’s a general “why”. The kind of general question that begs itself to be asked but is often ignored due to it being obvious. Why do any of this? Not on your part but on their part, you know why you do this, but there is no real way to ask why they would do anything like this. Power? Greed? Something else? What can drive someone to do something like this? The purpose behind them kidnapping girls, forcing experiments on them, having wealthy people buy them, having-- startling you out of your thoughts, Naomi places a glass in front of you.
“Alright,” she says as she slips into the booth. Right, questions.. questions…

“Let’s start with something, uh, simple. Hmm, what’s your favorite color?” you ask, forgetting your previous train of thought. Naomi taps her chin as she thinks --an expression you feel is a bit exaggerated.

“Well, either blue or… maybe yellow?” she answers with a certain uncertainty.

“Wait, your favorite color isn’t pink?” you ask with some confusion, “Like, ya know, your hair?”

“Oh no, I was born this way,” she replies, “I don’t dye my hair.”

“Born…” you repeat, “wait, so that means that you’re gene-edited?”

“Well, yeah, my dad had pink hair too. I think grandma was born that way and her mom or someone paid to have her hair like that. Grandma was always eccentric too. She would have a different colored house every time we went to go visit. She… stopped talking to us after dad passed away,” she quickly replies, divulging more than what you thought she’d actually answer with. “Ah, well, let’s not talk about that. What about you, what’s your favorite color?”

“Red,” you quietly respond still dumbstruck with not only her hair being, quote, unquote, natural and her strange family relations. “Umm… ah, well, you ask the next question and we’ll, uh, go in a circle like that.”

“A circle with just the two of us?”

“You know what I mean.”

“Okay… hmm, what about… what about ‘what is your favorite food?’ I really like hotpots,” her answer feeling familiar.

“Uhh… probably steak… my dad would make them, really loved whatever he put on them. Really ought to have some whenever I finally get the recipe out of him,” you say and take a moment to think about your next question, “hmmm…”

>”Who was your favorite person to be around as a kid? Best friend or whatever?”
>”Where did you spend most of your time after school? I liked to go down to the creek near the edge of the farmlands. Had a little set up there with a couple of my pals.”
>”What is the worst thing you remember from going to school? I really hated my one teacher, she was always a stuck up.”
>[write-in] (you can ask multiple questions)
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Welcome back to For Hire. How is everyone today?

Kill me.

Good fucking God, sorry about the, what, nineteen-long op post? I have a reason, a good reason too, it’s because the last thread (Episode 7) died before I was able to actually make more posts in it. I misjudged my time and I ran the same week, well the weekend prior, of my finals. I didn’t want to archive some thread with only 48 posts with 5 updates in total so I decided, after asking people in my discord, that I will make a new thread for it and dump all the updates from the previous failed thread into here.

I did this once before, with the beginning of Episode 4.

Twitter: Kov_QM
Archive: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=FHQ
Discord: https://discord.gg/QznmEus
>”What is the worst thing you remember from going to school? I really hated my one teacher, she was always a stuck up.”
>”Where did you spend most of your time after school? I liked to go down to the creek near the edge of the farmlands. Had a little set up there with a couple of my pals.”
>”What is the worst thing you remember from going to school? I really hated my one teacher, she was always a stuck up.”

I like these two
>”Where did you spend most of your time after school? I liked to go down to the creek near the edge of the farmlands. Had a little set up there with a couple of my pals.”
>”What is the worst thing you remember from going to school? I really hated my one teacher, she was always a stuck up.”


>Do you trust me?
only ask the last one if she asks something risky too

if she doesn't we leave it to the second round
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>three for school stories


Surprise "go to a restaurant with us" fucked me. It's break so I'm staying over at my dad's house for two weeks. Sorry about the inconvenience.
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“Worst thing,” you gather your words, “name the worst thing from back in school. I had a teacher, a real mean hag of a lady. I swear that hag had it out for me, she taught my brother, Harrison -- Kane --, so when she saw my name the first day of class she went, and I quote, ‘Another Ward, huh? Wish they’d stopped before the first one.’ No lie but she was like that the entire year. Any time someone talked in class she would always blame me.”

“Did you talk in her class?” she smirks.

“Well… I mean… yeah, but that’s not really the point,” you defend yourself, “group projects she would always split us up and give us extra work whenever she felt like it. I wasn’t really well-known before her but when she gave me some stupid nickname, almost anyone I met called me by it.”

“Ha ha,” she laughs, “what’s the nickname?”

“Oh… uh,” you look to the glass, your lifeline, and pull it close to your lips. Her laugh turns into a disappointed pout but you’d hate it if she would start calling you by it too. Anything but that. You place the glass back down with a slight clink of glass against wood, “What about you?”

“In school?” she says, resting her head on one of her hands, “well I think it would probably be the time I forgot my…” her words trail off as she looks to the glass and, just like you, takes her first loss in the game. “No, nevermind that one. Alright, my turn. What is your favorite memory from school?”

“Favorite, huh?” you echo.

“I think the best time I had, while, um, not strictly school-related, was when the entire city froze-over for a few weeks during one winter. Sumi and I went out of the school to try to get something from one of the convenience stores two blocks away. The moment we stepped out of the front door, we both fell down and started to slide. My sides were hurt from falling and laughing since were were both dying of laughter trying to stand back up and sliding all over the place,” Naomi starts. “Freddie literally had to steal some cleats from the football lockers and walk all the way to drag us, literally drag us, back into the school.”

“Oh yeah, it was winter and Ice was everywhere. Literally, you couldn’t walk on the streets because everything had this real thick layer of ice covering it. The school was close for like a, uh, day. The entire school’s staff was there too so it was pretty safe with the school’s security and everyone there. I mean, It was, Sumi, Risa (a close friend of mine) and Freddie (Risa’s boyfriend at the time), and we were all stuck in the school for a day because it was so bad. They brought blankets and such for the students and set up beds in the gym and auditorium,” Naomi says.
“Oh right Sumi and I had to go out to get something from the convenience store and it was pitch black, I couldn’t see my hands in front of us. I think Freddie said that he only knew where we were because we were laughing so much. It was pretty much my favorite memory of school I ever had. I think Sumi wanted some hot coco, can you believe that? Hot coco! We went into the snow for some hot coco! The school had hot coco!” she finishes her story with you still entrapped in it. Honestly it reminds you of some of the winters back home. Sometimes the snow would pile so high, that if you walked into it you could probably stand at full height and still not be seen. “What about you?”

“I… “ you start, not sure exactly how you’re supposed to follow up with that one, “well, I think it was probably on a camping trip. I spent a week with a school club in the woods. It was the ‘woodsman’s club’ and it had around twenty guys. We basically fished, swam around in a lake, and goofed around for an entire week. The camping spot was overlooking this picture-perfect lake, gem-blue. We set up the tents and portable cabins before we really just joked around. I knew most of the guys there for a good while. There was a teacher but he was the chillest dude so we kind of just did whatever for what amounts to an entire week of school just outside,” you recall and explain with your hands.

“Oh wow,” Naomi gasps, “you really are a country bumpkin!”

You roll your eyes, shaking your head slowly, “Right well, my turn. My question. Where did you spend most of your time when you weren’t at school?”

“When I wasn’t at school…” she trails off as she rubs the bottom of her chin like a sagely old man.

“I spent it mostly at a creek. Me and my pals had set up a little hideout there. Had a TV and everything. It was really the only place I’d go to if I wasn’t around,” you say, leaning back and crossing your arms. You were proud of that place. It was the love child of many summer breaks and many more midnight hunts in old Bernie’s junkyard to get it all set up.

“Sammy, do you really do nothing but spend your time outside?” she asks with raised brows.

“Yeah, where else will I be at? I mean what, do you expect me to stay inside all day?” you shrug in disbelief, “What about you where did you spend most of your time?”

“Inside,” she states dryly, “at home.”

“Now that’s sad.” you fire back while barely containing your laughter.

>”What was your most embarrassing moment of your childhood?”
>”Who was the person you hated the most back then?”
>”Who was your first love?”
>”What was weirdest thing that you can remember happening?”
>”What was the dumbest thing that you remember doing but only now realize that it was dumb?”

>”What was your most embarrassing moment of your childhood?”

>”Who was your first love?”
>”What was weirdest thing that you can remember happening?”

They all seem great, things are picking up
>>”What was your most embarrassing moment of your childhood?”
>”Who was your first love?”
>”What was weirdest thing that you can remember happening?”

>Were you mad at me for going after you? I was worried you'd get hurt....
Sounds good.
>three for secrets

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“What was the most embarrassing thing you did as a kid?” you ask, looking at the drink.

“Wa- wa- wait a second, Sammy,” she says, “I thought it was my turn!”

“Is it?” you say, staring blankly for a moment. You’ve forgotten the game order. “Well, whatever, ask your question then.”

“Wait, so can I ask like any quest I want, right?”

“Aaaany question,” you reply and take the still full glass to center it in front of you. “Why?”

“Oh no reason, might ask…”

“Might ask what?”

“Uhm… What- what was something embarrassing you did when you were young?” she changes the subject quickly.

“--Hey! You’re stealing my question!” you jokingly protest before sighing and leaning back. “Embarrassing things… embarrassing things… ah, well I think the most embarrassing thing I did was… no, maybe not that one… It was summer break… no no no, wait, I got a better one. It was during the beginning of, um, I think it was like fourth grade, alright? We already knew each other since no one really moves in or moves out. This was like two years before I confessed Jess. I had a crush on her though. So every day at play time, I would always try to be around her.”

“Little Sammy was in love…” she mutters between your words.

“Yeah… so, I had a great idea. I will impress her by climbing a tree. It wasn’t a tall tree, like… maybe, I don’t know four meters? Anyways, I saw her under this tree, right? I went to climb it after I told my friends to back off. Of course I wanted to impress them too but they can watch from a distance. I straddled this tree, alright, and after ten-- like, I don’t know, around forty seconds and I’m in this tree. I was pretty fast. My idea was to climb and get on a branch then call her name. That’s what I did. Only thing is was when I got out to the limb, it started cracking.”

“Oh no,” she gasps.

“Yeah, it started cracking. The whole thing was weak. It’s a small tree after all. So here I was, on top of this tree’s branch screaming Jess’s name. She looks up and sees me fall. Right. Into. Mud. All I could say was that I don’t remember falling. I was told that I screamed her name by my friends. They said that I immediately stood up, saw her run off, look at my arm (all while still caked in mud), and then pass out just to fall back in the mud. And that’s story of how I first asked a girl out and broke my arm at the same time,” you shake your head as you finish.

That was something you hadn’t forgotten, though you’re pretty sure there’s other pretty painfully embarrassing moments marking your life. You nod to her to start her own story but you’re only disappointed when you watch Naomi take her second los. “You know you shouldn’t ask something you can’t answer yourself,” you prod.

“Ha!” she shout-laughs, “well it was your question anyways! Let me ask…”
“Pfft, but that was your question. It wasn’t even a good question either!”

“Yeah, my question that you asked,” you retort.

“Fine!,” she gives in, “fine, ask your question.”

“Alright, alright, Who was your first love?” you ask calmly, “Mine was Jess.”

“Jess? Well,” she says, “you always talk about Jess when you talk about your past, you know?” her voice lessens as she goes on, ending in a mumbling whisper, “you shouldn’t talk so much about past girlfriends on…”

She becomes inaudible and before too long she jolts back up only to gulp down some of her drink, “whatever,” she says, “dumb question. Now it’s my turn. So…” she pauses and looks to the glass in her hand before finishing the rest of it. “You said any question, so, umm… who do you like?”

“Who do I like?” you echo. Your brows scrunch up as Naomi smiles brightly again.

“Yeah… Who. Do. You. Like?” she repeats herself again. She’s obviously drunk, her face is flushed and her words aren’t pronounced entirely right… yet, the question is still there.

>No one.
>Take a loss on this one, answering anything will be a death sentence.

can't help it
Look her square in the eye, flush furiously, mouth the word you and then drink because this is hard!
>you shouldn’t talk so much about past girlfriends on…”
on a date! she was going to say on a date!

Either one is good, whatever works best, maybe the second while obviously making it clwar unintentionally.
but I can't believe it... don't say you like Sam- Naomi, pleaase. Noooo, this will make everything haard
oh but he will, or at least awkwardly make some noises kek
Ok, new objective: Survive

(and that means get naomi piss drunk so she doesn't remember a thing)
Why? Do you think she will run away if she knows we like her or something? It's a possibility I think
I have not a clue how women think, don't ask me!
>not knowing what women think

Yeah, checks out.
Grrr... I'll only let you go because your tripcode is awesome
I'm on the same boat.
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Sorry about the strange schedule for the past few days. Passed out yesterday because I didn't sleep the night before. Anyways, enough of that.

>three for being awkward but but still saying that you like her because you're all weird


A man of culture I see ;^)
Hey, lets not be that awkward, just a little embarrassed will do
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too late!
Nah, I trust you, we didn't vote that awkwardly....

Shit, you are gonna fuck with us arent you? Lol
We are dooomed
It will be ok jando, she is not gonna make that much fun about us.
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Her verdant eyes pierce through you as she leans forward and presses up against the table. Her hair hangs down like a curtain of pink, flowing down her shoulders to collect itself in a rosy puddle before her. Her fair skin is heated and dyed a pinkish red from intoxication. The dim light above outlines her in a picturesque beauty. She has a seductive allure that wasn’t there the first time you saw her.

Traveling with her in a ship that small for that long made your feelings bloom. You can’t describe why, or what, really made you feel this. Her humor? Her style? Who she is as a whole? It doesn’t matter why, it just matters that you do. Every time you’ve seen her makes your heart ache as you had fallen for her everything. You like Naomi.

Ever since you met her. Ever since you first laid your eyes on her, you’ve liked her. It’s like a perfect story, the first girl you saw off planet is the girl you fell for. And, you hope, the same is for her. Had she fallen for you? You’ve never been great with telling your feelings. Men aren’t supposed to be emotional, your dad had once said.

He was right, of course.

But it doesn’t mean that they aren’t. Like, for instance, your own heart. It’s been in chaos ever since she had said those four words. Her cute smile only edges you on. With your heart beating faster and faster, you raise a hand -- a finger -- and with the other you finish your drink; downing it entirely.

Liquid courage.

Placing the glass down, you return Naomi’s gaze. She smiles a little at your whole performance. “Copycat,” she sneers.

“No…” you shake your head, “just let me--”

“Think about it?” she cuts you off, “You know you’re won’t give me much confidence in your answer if you take too long.”

“I,” you start, “It’s not like that, I know who I like but I--”

“Need to think about a way to break it to me?” she mocks, “You’re not gunna break my heart, Sammy…”

“Oh, no no,” you try to explain, “I’m just ba--”

“Bad at talking about your feelings? You don’t have to worry about it, I’ll keep your secrets safe,” she inches closer, “your secrets are safe with me! I won’t be mad with whoever you say, I just want to know. Come on Sammy, I won’t tell anyone. Is it Coraline? Do you still have feelings for miss Jessy? Oh! Do you like that Abigaille girl? She’s kinda cute I have to admit. What about--”

“I like you.”
Your words hang for a moment as Naomi stares at you. It was as if time itself stopped and all that was left were the two of you -- sitting and staring into each other. For a moment she mouths silent words as she stood stunned. The next moment her brows scrunch up and she scoffs, casting you a sidelong glance, “Oh come on, Sammy. You shouldn’t joke like that. I mean I can but it doesn’t suit it.”

“No,” you repeat, “No, I like you.”

She leans back away from the table and sits herself into the couchoned booth. “Saaaam…” she rolls her eyes, “I told you that you wouldn't hurt…” she trails off, “No, nevermind, it was a dumb question,” she shrugs, “I was joking around. Forget that I asked…”

“Well--” you start.

“Let’s go dance!” she cuts you off, “Let’s get some more drinks too and go dance.”

>”Yeah, sure,” it doesn’t matter and the two of you came to have a good time and forget about today, at least for now.
>”Oh, come on, I said I like you.” push the letter, you want to make sure she doesn’t misunderstand you.
>”Actually I think we should probably start getting back home. It’s getting a bit late,” you want to get home. Not just because it’s getting later but you’re kind of disappointed by that reaction too.

>”Yeah, sure,” it doesn’t matter and the two of you came to have a good time and forget about today, at least for now.

Wew, she reacted better than expected. And she sure as hell understood it.
Time to let it simmer.
Rolled 91 (1d100)

Roll for performance!
>Dance with her.

That was nice, let's drink but not much, one of us has to drag the other home.
Rolled 55 (1d100)

Ere we go
>three for Dancing

Alright, and someone forgot that we roll under :^)

>DC Hard = 50
>Drunk = -10
>No Saved Crits
>DC = 40

0 - You fall down on the dancefloor and fumble your way back to the booth.
1 - You don't fall but you're not great either. Naomi leads you through the dance
2 - You're pretty good, for a drunk. You lead Naomi through the dance.
3 - The rhythm takes you. Your graceful dance skills impress Naomi.
I'll let you re-roll, I'll take the better of the two since I fucked the format
Rolled 49 (1d100)

Not so fast Kov
Rolled 21 (1d100)

Rolled 22 (1d100)

Roll under HUH
>>3302082 49
>>3302095 21
>>3302097 22

oh uhhhh... well that's something. I was going to make the dc 30 but it wouldn't have made much of a difference given that you had two successes both below 30.

>Two degrees of success, zero criticals.

0 - You fall down on the dancefloor and fumble your way back to the booth.
1 - You don't fall but you're not great either. Naomi leads you through the dance
2 - You're pretty good, for a drunk. You lead Naomi through the dance.
3 - The rhythm takes you. Your graceful dance skills impress Naomi.
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“Yeah, sure,” you say without argument. Naomi smiles and begins to shuffle out of the booth while taking your hand to lead you out. Though you’re not sure what time it is, you feel like there’s a lot more people here than what you has seen before. Her heels click across the black glass flooring, each step makes a small amount of light as she leads you by hand. You can see a mass of people jumping up and down in a rhythm you can only distantly hear.

You’ve only danced at a few places and it was never in a setting like this. One of the only three times you’ve danced publically was at the school’s dance that Jess-- you shake your head as you focus on the warmth of Naomi’s hand. It’s been forever ago that you had danced. That’s all.

Seeing Naomi this childishly excited fills you with a strange feeling but you too, admittedly, are excited for this. She looks great in that dress. you think. You haven’t been honest with yourself for the past month, you’ve liked Naomi and yet you didn’t do anything about it. Either too busy with worrying over things or too busy with worrying over other things. You haven’t had time, yet when you did have time she was on your mind.

That pink haired girl.

You feel your heart pounding as you enter the sealed dancefloor. Like jumping into a river, the music washes over your body. Each thumping beat reverberating in your chest with Naomi leading you deeper into the sea. The crowded floor is nealy glowing with each footstep as people around you dance and jump with the rhythm.

She stops, turns around and releases you hand. She shouts something but you can’t hear it. You can’t hear anything but your body feels light weight and floaty. That might just be because you’re drunk, though. You’re not sure what dance this is supposed to be but everyone around you seems to be doing whatever they want, just following the rhythm with their movements. A chaos of feelings rather than any structured movement.

Naomi doesn’t wait for you and begins to move swaying and laughing. She looks back to you only to smirk and egg you on to start. You smile back as she pulls you closer. Everything feels floaty and delayed as if you’re feeling everything dulled but not entirely. She’s warm, you can tell, the whole place feels warm.

You don’t know what you’re doing but you’re going through the movements, each step, each swing, each jump. It’s something that you hadn’t felt in a while. Every time you jump, Naomi clings to you. In part because of her shoes being heels and another because she’s worse off than you are. The thumping, the music, is your metronome.

She slips.
On the glass floor, her heels catch her weight at an odd angle. It’s not much but she nearly falls before you catch her. You can’t hear anything other than the music and her laughing at herself. Admittedly, you’re laughing too. You’re not too sure why since she could have gotten hurt. Maybe it was because she started laughing that you’re laughing. Maybe not, but the two of you aren’t dancing anymore. You’re just laughing.

Embraced, you can feel her against you. It’s crowded and you can feel people around you but the only feeling that matters is hers. She’s looking at you while pressed up against you trying to shout something, “Want to stop?”

>”Take off your shoes, I can carry them,” you haven’t danced in a while and you’re just now getting back into it.
>”Yeah, let’s stop,” it might be time to go back home too.
>”Let’s get a few more drinks.” You’re drunk but you’re not drunk enough.

>”Take off your shoes, I can carry them,” you haven’t danced in a while and you’re just now getting back into it.

Cue dj changing to a slow dance

>”Take off your shoes, I can carry them,” you haven’t danced in a while and you’re just now getting back into it.

Pfft, amateur. You remove your shoes first not last. Dancing I mean
>”Take off your shoes, I can carry them,” you haven’t danced in a while and you’re just now getting back into it.
>three for dancing without shoes

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“Take off your shoes, I’ll carry them,” you shout back. She looks around her for a moment before nodding and bending her leg behind her. Unstable, she nearly falls again just because of it. You catch her with a hug, embracing her as she turns back laughing. She pats your chest for you to release her so she can try again. This time, while supporting herself on your shoulder, she takes her shoes off and hands them to you. “They didn’t look comfortable when I saw em.”

It wasn’t a good joke but she laughs anyways. It was the same thing that you said when you noticed them on the train and it was the only thing you could think of. You watch on as she steps barefoot onto the floor with it lighting up beneath her. The glow illuminating the obviously difference between her and the other dancers but neither of you care.

She gets closer once again and climbs onto your own shoes while she, herself, pulls you closer. “I don’t want someone stepping on me.”

“So you’d rather step on mine?”

“Right!” she shouts back. You haven’t had someone step on your feet this entire time but you guess it’s a proper concern given she just took off her shoes. You don’t give it much thought and just hold her closer as the two of you begin to dance again. The two of you look as if she was mimicking your movements, with each step the same. It’s not like you’re allowed any of the more complicated movements so it more or less feels like the two of you are slow dancing. A strange juxtaposition with the rest of the crowd.

You feel her pressed against you as the two of you are embraced in a strange sort of dance. You’re not sure how you’re really supposed to dance like this or in a place like this. You remember vaguely that this was how someone from somewhere had learned to dance. You don’t know who but it makes you feel like you’re teaching Naomi how to dance. Yet, that’s not really what is at the forefront of your mind. What you’re thinking about is her.

With Naomi pressed against you, you can feel her everything. The dress accentuates her figure and only makes it feel more pronounced. It makes you somewhat uncomfortable with unintentionally feeling her like this. Then again, you don’t really care. You’re just enjoying everything. Her being against you, embraced by you, and the rhythm of the music while it commands your movement.

>Go for a kiss. It feels like the right moment.
>Right, time to stop dancing. You’re sweaty, your head hurts, and you’re not sure how you’re going to feel in the morning.
>Continue dancing, get lost in the music. You don’t care about it all. You just want to keep this one moment going forever.
>Get some drinks, You’re drunk but you’re not drunk enough.
Meanwhile, this plays in the background.
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>Go for a kiss. It feels like the right moment.

I totally don't want this
Say to her in her ear
"You know, I don't remember the last time I had so much fun dancing, if this was a date this is the part where I would kiss you"

Gouge for a reaction, see if looks at us THAT way, if yes go for it, if she doesn't we just keep dancing....

>Continue dancing, get lost in the music. You don’t care about it all. You just want to keep this one moment going forever.


I'm not suuuuure!!!

But if we look her in the eyes and see it, that thing... We can
>go for the kiss
Maybe ad in wispering while dancing.

"Don't run from me, ok?"
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Jando youbare right.

I retract this>>3302418
It will kill the mood.
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>three for kissy kissy if you wishy


Good move rapeman!
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Her rhythmic moves enchant you and as you slow down, she steps off and continues to dance. Who do you like? she asked, Who do you like? you repeat the question again in your head. There wasn’t a doubt in your mind that over the past couple of weeks you had fallen for her. It has been a long time since you had broken up with Jess and it took you a lot of courage to introduce yourself to Naomi the first time. She had surprised you with how she acts, more so than anyone else you had ever met.

You’re not sure how to handle someone like her but you certainly don’t want to lose her. Everything surrounding the two of you, it wouldn’t be wrong if someone said that tragedy brought the two of you together. In fact, it would be wrong to think that the two of you would have met without tragedy. You don’t know what plans she has for after, but you know that you don’t have any plans. You just want to be with her.

Within this limited time, you had become close with her. She feels just as close as family. She’s closer to you now than anyone else here. She’s the only person you have out here and you’re entirely fine with that.

Her pink hair dances as she moves with the rhythm of the music. Each beat you can feel in her heart as does you. It’s a cacophony, not musically but emotionally. You can’t help but smile when watching her move the way she does. It’s no reminder of what you had fallen for but an addition that you had never known about.

She gives you a sidelong glance, watching you from over the shoulder only to turn to you a moment later. She stops and gets closer once more to ask, “What’s wrong?”

“Nothing,” you say. You don’t want to tell her that you’re staring at her. Maybe the question had only made you realize your feelings, but you hadn’t truly seen her in this light before. It’s like a beacon shown down on her as if an angelic aura of beauty exudes from her very being.

“It’s not nothing,” she retorts while getting closer until she is again pressed against you. Wrapping her arms around you, she looks up, “Tell me, Sammy.”

Her eyes shimmer in the dull light, catching the ambient red and blue hues. The smell of alcohol was on her breath, yours too, but you had been smelling it since you arrived. She’s cute. is what you think as you place your arms around her, burying her in your chest. She places her head under your chin, “If this was a date, I’d wager it was around this time that I would try to kiss you.”

She looks back up to you and the two of you separate slightly, “Is it a date?”

“Certainly feels like one,” you reply as you look into her green eyes. The nervousness you had felt when she asked if you liked anyone has long since faded as the time went on. Only thing remained was how you feel.

>Kiss her
>Don’t kiss her; tell her that you should get back home.
>Kiss her

>Kiss her

>Kiss her
>Kiss her
>Kiss her
>Kiss her
"would you like to go out on a date with me?"

she says yes, we kiss and get slapped or something shit...

I'm changing my vote, I want to kiss her bad but I think she will not take it very well, she just discovered her sister can be in a very bad spot, maybe this is not the best time....fuck.

"I hope I was not a bad company, let's get home."
hardship IS the best spot for some kisses!
>two for kissing

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You lean in and pull her close, feeling her warm breath against your cheek. You can feel a coldness creep over your entirety and with it, your hairs stand on end. It is as if the only warmth is hers. Your hands are sweating, though you’ve probably been sweating for the past hour even if you hadn’t noticed it. You slowly guide your hands upward, bringing them to her shoulders than her neck. Bringing your hand to her face, you cradle her cheek while brushing her hair behind her ear.

A smile, washed over by peacefulness, breaks out for a moment as she blinks at you. Her eyes like a sea of grass, swimming and sinking through the verdant. Peace, is something you might describe it as. Peace is how you describe it. You yearn for that smile whenever you wake for the day and seeing it on her now feels like an accomplishment. A feeling of satisfaction.

“Do you want to go on a date?” you say while leaning in closer. You can feel her tight around your waist, trying to hug you with even more strength. You don’t allow her to answer as you bring her face to yours. On her lips carries the smell of strawberries and alcohol. It’s intoxicating. A feeling of electric warmth carries over your body from the bottom of your soles to the crown of your head as you connect.

A kiss.

You’ve had many kisses; on your forehead from when your mother tucked you in bed, on your cheeks and lips from when you were still with Jess. Yet, no kiss felt like this kiss. This feels electric. It is a spark that pushes you on. It feels as if it wakes you up from the drunken dullness from before, like a splash of cold water in the morning -- it shocks you.

Blink, once, twice, thrice and the music fades.

The view of the garage ceiling hangs above you as you stretch. You feel the cracking as your back still aches from the night prior. You fumble around the bed’s side before finding purchase on your display. You look at it only to close your eyes immediately. You’re still tired. Especially in a place with a moon or sun to tell the time for you.

You blink again as you stare with tired and glossy eyes at the dull display screen. You don’t remember much after dancing with Naomi and you don’t know how you got back, much less what time you got back. You feel your face as drool from last night’s dreaming pooled on your pillow.

Wiping it off with a hand, you blink yourself awake to finally attempt to read the time. It’s almost twelve. You lazily drop the display and listen to it bounce onto the bedding with a dull thump that feels. You turn to look around the garage to see your ship is still there and the whole place is still a mess. A trail of your clothes seem to follow from the door of the garage to your bed. Shoes and socks kicked off immediately and your father’s jacket lays against the bed.
You toss the blanket aside and gather your strength before pushing yourself off of the bed. You stand sluggishly and try to gather the clothes before tossing it into a small pile under your ship. Putting on sweatpants and a t-shirt, you clamber your way to the door that leads to the rest of the house. You run your hands through your somewhat long hair as you slowly open the door to be greeted with Coraline still sitting on the couch and everything else the same way as you had left it yesterday.

>”Where’s Naomi?” You hope you hadn’t left her somewhere. She’s probably in bed but she’s usually up by now even if she’s not a morning person.
>”When did we get home last night?” The last time you remember checking the time it was still not that late, you’re just unsure why you woke up so late.
>”Do you know anything on what happened?” you’re pretty curious on what you don’t remember. Like, for instance, what happened after you and Naomi kissed.
>>”Do you know anything on what happened?” you’re pretty curious on what you don’t remember. Like, for instance, what happened after you and Naomi kissed.

*cough* Fake ID's *cough*
>”When did we get home last night?” The last time you remember checking the time it was still not that late, you’re just unsure why you woke up so late.
>”Where’s Naomi?” You hope you hadn’t left her somewhere. She’s probably in bed but she’s usually up by now even if she’s not a morning person.

>”Do you know anything on what happened?” you’re pretty curious on what you don’t remember. Like, for instance, what happened after you and Naomi kissed.

>”Where’s Naomi?” You hope you hadn’t left her somewhere. She’s probably in bed but she’s usually up by now even if she’s not a morning person.
>three for what happened and where is Naomi

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You rub your head as a final attempt to wipe away any remnants of sleep as you approach the table. Leaning your weight against the table, you call out, ”Heey…” you call in a low groan of a voice, “Ah… what happened? Uh... How’d I get back and where’s Naomi? Why isn’t she up yet?”

You, understandably, have a lot of questions. The first of which is what happened and how did you get here, the second is where’s Naomi. At least that was how you view them in importance to most anything else. Your and her safety.

Coraline looks to you and blankly stares beyond the white blankets before she slowly uncovers her face. “She’s in her room.” she says, “You woke me up last night.”

“Right, sorry about that. Do you know what happened after we left the bar?”

“Why would I?” she retorts without missing a beat. You can’t tell if it was supposed to be sarcasm or if she was being mean or even if it was just unintentional. Tough you do doubt that you had drunkenly described to her about your adventures last night.

“How did we wake you up then?”

“You came in through the door laughing.”

“And then?” you urge.

“And then you went to sleep.”

“In… in our own bed?”

“Yes, why?”

“N- ...no reason,” you reply meekly. Right, what else coulda happened? You sigh and thank your drunk self. Turning away from Coraline, your eyes naturally rest on Naomi’s unmarked door. You’re curious to know what happened before you got home. More importantly, you want to know what happened after the kiss and why you don’t remember anything afterwards. You sigh as you kind of regret not remembering anything other than the kiss itself. You would have liked to know what she looked like afterwards; what kind of face she made.

Pushing yourself off, you make your way to the door and knock softly. You probably should have gotten a glass of water for her but it’s too late now. You hear shuffling of feet and rustling of sheets before Naomi quickly opens the door. “Hey Sammy,” she says.

You weren’t prepared for her to come at you full volume and flinch back slightly at her words. “Hey… Naomi,” you start,”Good morning, you remember how we got here? Or uh… anything before that?”

“Huh? No time for that,” she says, turning away and leading you into her room. Clothes and sheets are scattered across the room. It’s clearly messier than it was yesterday and it’s as if she was trying on a lot of different clothes. She stops and quickly turns back to you, “and why are you wearing that? Go get dressed!”

Her words get louder and louder as she goes, making it painful to listen to on a hangover. “W- why’s that?”
“Why’s that, you ask? Why’s that!” she starts off again, flailing her arms in the air before settling them onto her hips, “Why’s that… Sammy, did you forget? We have an appointment this morning! We’re already late as is and if you’re not ready then I’m leaving you in ten minutes.”

“Appointment?” you dimly repeat, though, it’s more like you’re mouthing it than repeating it. “Appointment for what?”

“IDs!” she shouts and again throws her arms up. She shakes her head in disappointment and turns away, “Do you know where my heels are? I was thinking of wearing them today and I can’t find them for the life of me. I know I brought them last night…”

“No clue… why are we going to the… or, uh, your ID guy? I thought we’re doing that tomorrow or like a few days from now?”

“Sam,” she says, “It is tomorrow. Get ready already, we’re going to be even more late.”

>”Right, I’ll go get ready, shower open?” might as well not argue.
>”I think I have your heels. Do you remember what happened yesterday?” You want to know if she remembers anything. How’d you got here, why you were so late… or if she remembers the kiss.
>”Isn’t it fine if we just go like this? It ain’t like we’re going to some high roller, are we?” If you’re this late then you don’t really have time to get ready.

At least get a better pair of pants and a straight shirt. And wash your fuckface and comb your hair. Steal the Red's cologne too, Sam probably stinks... Wait doesn't naomi stinks too? Smell her! Anyway

>Don't bother showering, get presentable as quickly as possible and let's go
>I think I got your shoes, you gave me them before we..ah...kissed. Anyway, they should be in my room, I'll take a quick shower and you can look for them there.
LMAO change vote.
>three for shower, shoes, and little red notes

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You didn’t realize it when it was morning with everything that happened yesterday, you had forgotten the appointment. You can’t blame yourself, really, since she told you almost immediately before she went and ran off. You still don’t understand why she had done that. “Yeah, sorry about that,” you shrug, “slipped my mind.”

“Slipped your mind? How could something so important slip your mind?” she says as if you had said something stupid.

“Well you can’t really blame me,” you defend yourself.

“Why’s that?” she says, turning back to you with her hands on her hips. Her pink hair, disorganized and disorderly, hangs down across her shoulders.

“I was too busy worrying about something a bit more important,” you mumble then clear your throat, “Right, well I think your shoes might be near my bed. I’m gunna take a shower.”

“Why would my shoes be in the garage? Sammy, now I don’t judge, you know me, but why would you have my shoes near your bed?” she asks, still with the same scrupulous yet roguish look.

“No, oh God no. Nothing like that,” you shake your head, “You took them off when we were dancing just before…”

“Before what?”

“Well.. just before we kissed,” you mumble.

“Oh,” she says, taken aback, “right… that,” she clears her throat, “Uhm, well I’ll… I’ll go look for, uhm, for my shoes in the garage then. I- Well, uhm, take your time then,” she stammers out before quickly brushing past you.

“Well I need to get my clothes first,” you call out, stopping her.

“Right, right,” she says without looking at you. “Well, go ahead.”

Guess she doesn’t… you think while walking past her. You might have made things a bit awkward given that she probably doesn’t remember much from last night, considering she doesn’t remember dancing. Either way, you need to get ready to meet with this guy for the ID change and you don’t have much time from the way Naomi is acting. You just hope that you hadn’t made anything worse. You wouldn’t want to ruin things with Naomi, not with you just confessing to her last night.

You sigh internally as you push past with her trying not to make eye contact. She follows you still, though, and the two of you make your way to the garage. You don’t remember seeing the shoes when you were picking up your clothes before but you suppose that they’re somewhere in here. “Check around I guess,” you say, making your way to one of your pieces of luggage. Stopping at one of the larger boxes, you turn back and give a snort of a laugh, “don’t run off like last time either. Don’t want another heart attack.”
“Yeah,” she says blankly as if ignoring your joke. You shrug and pull out a few things from the bag.

“About last night,” you start while pulling everything out, “We--”

“No, no,” she cuts you off, “just forget it. I don’t want to talk about it now. Go take a shower., we’re going to be busy today.”

“Right…” you turn to the door, “We’ll talk about it later then.”

She doesn’t answer and she stays quiet until you leave. You hope that you can make it up with her later but there’s no time to actually talk about it. She was drunk. Maybe you had messed something up or maybe she thought she had done something that she shouldn’t have. Either way, it’s become uncomfortable and awkward. You weren’t thinking about that at the time, you just felt like it was the right time to kiss her and she looked like she wanted to be kissed. She’s had it rough with everything about Sumi and you know that at times like this people need someone to lean on. You want to be that someone for Naomi.

It’s not like you had committed an atrocity or anything, at least that’s what you think when you start the shower. You can talk about it later with her, but yesterday is yesterday’s issues and today you have things you need to take care of first.

The shower is the same as yesterday; warm and comforting. Though, there’s something missing. It feels as if all your thoughts keep returning to Naomi and last night. Hidden away in the shadows of that sea of people, moving rhythmically, was the kiss you had stolen. You can clearly remember it. Like a crystal gem in a hazy mist, it sticks out as the most prominent memory of yesterday. Though you can’t remember anything that follows it, you’re just happy that you remember it.

You don’t regret kissing her. It felt right at the time. It still feels right.

You sigh and with a squeak of metal, the shower turns off. You stand for a moment and watch the water drip from your body, melting away into the puddle until disappearing down the drain. You can’t forget that moment. You won’t forget it.

It will stay with you forever, that moment of happiness.

You check your display as you exit the shower and clothe yourself. It hasn’t been long and you’re still in the green so you rush your daily routine. Skipping shaving, you dry your hair and make your way back to the garage to see, to your relief, Naomi sitting on your bed with those shoes. “Found them?”

“Yep,” she replies, still looking at her display, “Let’s go. It’s really close but only if we take the ship.”
“Fine by me. Unless we’re heading out of system it should be fine,” you say, giving the greenlight. You don’t want to bring up last night again so you wave her through to the ship after pushing anything away from under the ship. The two of you clamber into the fly closet of a ship and with her sitting behind you, you exit the ship.

The ship corridors seem empty as you maneuver the ship according to Naomi’s map. A bonus of your small ship is that it’s quite agile even if it’s barely considered a ship. As you watch a merchant ship pass by you’re reminded of something “Oh should we have brought Coraline?”

“What for?”

“Well… I just don’t like leaving her back at the house all day,” you still feel somewhat bad for leaving her last night, yet because of leaving her you were able to kiss Naomi so you decide not to voice that specific thought.

“We can take her shopping with us later. Agh…” she quickly points at screen, “take that turn and we’ll just barely make the time. Oh I hope Morah doesn’t get mad…”

“Morah?” you echo, “That’s the guy’s name that we’re heading to? Don’t sound too bad I guess.”

“Well, that’s not his real name,” she explains “And take that right… there. I don’t know his real name. Morah is his handle, it’s something that they use as like a username. I’ve only talked to a few of those ‘hacker’ types. They get what you ask for but they’re all weird from my experience.”

“Ah, well if his handle is Morah does it--”

“Oh wait, land right here,” she cuts you off as she taps the screen. “We’ll be there in a minute…”

You follow her directions and land at a somewhat inconspicuous personal pad. The ship’s landing gears whir and grind when they meet the hard surface of the pad. You pause for a moment and give a short prayer for your landing gears. You were flying at a pretty fast speed just to arrive here so you had to land at a similarly difficult speed. Naomi tugs you out of the chair and the two of you quickly make your way out of the ship.

Almost immediately after exiting, Naomi begins to shout the man’s handle while running, in heels, toward what looks to likely be a bulkhead of sorts. It’s certainly different from the garage you live in and on an entirely different level of security. You eye a small ball and socket camera as it turns silently to watch your every move. The only thing you hear is Naomi’s shouting, her banging against the bulkhead, and then the hissing of the pneumatic locks. Metal grinds on metal. It doesn’t take long for the door to open and release a mysterious white fog from within the building.
“You’re late,” a voice calls from within. The sounds of heavy footsteps herald the arrival of someone from deeper within the entrance. A yellow light draws your attention as it illuminates a figure before it. It’s awfully dramatic way to introduce yourself, you wonder.

“You do this pomp and circumstance for everyone you meet,” Naomi says with hands on her hips, “And I’m only late a little bit.”

“You’re an hour and fifty-four minutes late,” the man retorts. The fog fades and you can clearly see the man’s figure. His eyes are like golden orbs as if divine by nature. Similarly, his ostentatious robes are lined with golden strips of light and metal which pop out from the over all black cloth. A golden circle is lit behind his bald head, making his entire outfit entirely strange. He’s an eccentric. “Well, it matters not. You’re here so let us begin.”

>”My name’s Samuel Ward, glad to finally meet you.” Introduce yourself first and follow whatever Naomi and Morah says.
>Keep silent and follow them. You don’t want to be rude, not with someone you’ve arrived late to meet.
>”So how does this all work?” Ask about the process you’re supposed to go through to change the ID. You know it’s probably illegal but you’d like to also know the risk you’re taking in going through with this.

>”So how does this all work?” Ask about the process you’re supposed to go through to change the ID. You know it’s probably illegal but you’d like to also know the risk you’re taking in going through with this.

We know nothing about this so I guess...
>>”So how does this all work?” Ask about the process you’re supposed to go through to change the ID. You know it’s probably illegal but you’d like to also know the risk you’re taking in going through with this.
>>”So how does this all work?” Ask about the process you’re supposed to go through to change the ID. You know it’s probably illegal but you’d like to also know the risk you’re taking in going through with this.
>Keep silent and follow them. You don’t want to be rude, not with someone you’ve arrived late to meet.
you are right, we are late as hell, I'll change my vote to

>Keep quiet, and ask Naomi how does it work while we walk inside or something

Ok for me, let's move.
>three for keeping quiet

Sorry for the long ass delay, I got caught up in something else.

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His shimmering eyes land on you but the only pause momentarily before turning around dramatically with a flourish of his gilded robes. “Follow.”

You look to Naomi but she doesn’t seem to be all that surprised at his strange actions. She could have at least given you a heads up on what kind of guy he was. You hesentally follow the two soon after they had already made some distance from the pad. As he man leads the two of you down the dimly lit yet brightly decorated halls, Naomi begins first as always, “So Morah--”

“-reh, not -rah,” he corrects. “Moreh has not corrected you before but Moreh would rather you not tell others the incorrect way of pronouncing Moreh’s name. Moreh supposes since it’s not a very common word nor is it young, it’s forgivable --for now, at least.”

“Right, right,” she begins again, “Moreh, sorry about being late. We were caught up in something and didn’t get back home until late. Then with the traffic and my alarm not going off...”

“The girl should not lie so regularly, it is unbefitting of her.” he pauses at a large metal door. “Besides, Moreh is not too terribly displeased with your tardiness. It is no great affront, Moreh assure you. Do not let it be a cause for your concern. Is Moreh right that you have other things to worry about? Moreh will forgive it, though Moreh expects that you’ll not repeat this, yes?”

“Th- thank you… I guess,” she mutters. “I’m glad to have made it. I’m sure you’ll benefit from working with us. Anyways, from here on I’m in your care.”

“Likewise,” he says with a slight nod, “The girl will be pleased with Moreh’s work. Moreh has always enjoyed compliments from those who have requested Moreh’s work and Moreh assures you that you will be the same. Moreh also sees the girl has brought a guest with her.” he gestures toward you with an open palm, “Moreh knows what the boy wants and will serve him equally. Now please, follow Moreh.”

The strange man places an open palm against the metal doors while whispering something beyond your hearing. Soon, the doors shimmer a familiar gleam and as if magic, they shed the dull metallic look and take on a similar appearance to the man’s robes. The black and gold doors shutter and creak slightly before opening. Pushing the door lightly, it reveals a similarly foggy and irredeemably cold room held up by black pillars and inlaid gold. Golden light strips run the length of the room giving it a strange divine but dim glow within the mist.
“Moreh welcomes you to Moreh’s sanctuary, a library of codexies and tomes. This is where Moreh will operate and perform the task given. The promise was for Moreh to help and then, in turn, be helped. Moreh assumes the deal is still valid?”

“Yes, Moreh, I’ll keep to my word as long as you help.” Naomi replies and sticks out her hand for him to shake. So what? All we got to do is help this weirdo in turn for him changing our records? Sounds fine by me. you think as you watch the two agree to whatever terms they had set previously.

“Moreh will begin,” he says and then steps further into the misty library. You guess the mist is from some kind of coolant, at least that would explain why it’s so cold in here. You’re not sure but from the looks of it, everything here seems to be all part of the same system -- a computer. It’s as gaudy and eccentric as he is.

Light quickly begins to brightly shine from deeper within his sanctuary and then he calls out again, “Moreh knows that there are several questions you have, but please do not ask them. Moreh is tired of answering the same things, rather, Moreh believes just telling you will only feed your sense of curiosity and you will continue to ask questions. This is always true with clients. Moreh’s clients are always the curious types. What kinds are you two? The girl Moreh knows and made a deal with is curious in principle. It is the girl’s nature to be curious but Moreh knows nothing about the boy. Please do not feel intimidated, it is just that unknown clients are harder to please than known ones.”

He pauses for a moment before continuing, “Moreh knows of the boy’s name from the girl but, as you may well know, names rarely tell you of someone’s character as they are but titles. One’s true name is something different, it is special. One’s true name is given when one understands themselves fully yet others may discover one’s true name before the one who owns it. Ah but in this business, anything may change. A Sam for one may mean differently to another, yet some names carry similar meanings universally. A Jessica or a George, for example, may mean many things yet the foundation of the name is simple. Take the imperialist names, Hara means flower, Sumi means clear, Naomi can be split into straight and beautiful with Nao and Mi respectfully. Names are not just the study of the self but also the study of language.”
“Ahhh,” he shouts, “Well Moreh is rambling again, Moreh apologizes. Moreh believes that the girl and the boy knows what they want,” his voice grows louder as you see his figure reappearing, “The girl, you had said previously that you wanted a certain name for this day. Matching names with the boy was the idea, no?”

“Ah right, about that,” she starts, “I’m not too sure…”

“Well, there are several bonuses, if Moreh might say, as being married in record means there are several aids with married couples that the two of you may claim. Such as purchase of a house within the station or shared ownership and payment of a purchased ship. Though Moreh knows the reasoning behind the girl’s desire to change names, Moreh can see that your original plan allows you more freedom. Especially since Arcady tends to allow married couples to work together. Though…”

“Though there’s the chance of being too suspicious,” Naomi finishes. “We couldn’t walk around freely even if it would be normal for us to be together most of the time. That and… we wouldn’t be able to find out things that the other doesn’t know already.”

“Correct. The girl is learned. That will benefit you greatly for what is to come,” he says with a court nod.

>”Well, I think we should stick to the original plan. It would be dangerous to be seperated, and like ya’ll said, it won’t be too suspicious to be together when trying to find out things.”
>”You’re right. Sticking together ain’t the best way to figuring out everything. We should get different names.”
>>”Well, I think we should stick to the original plan. It would be dangerous to be seperated, and like ya’ll said, it won’t be too suspicious to be together when trying to find out things.”

>”Well, I think we should stick to the original plan. It would be dangerous to be seperated, and like ya’ll said, it won’t be too suspicious to be together when trying to find out things.”

So that's why you made all those married jokes.

Regardless, I think if we work together we can figure more things out, unless, you changed your mind.
>two for more marriage jokes

sry for being late. We should get Coraline in here, she could probably learn m4d h4xx from M0r3h. And return with a a golden finish to her metal legs, after learning
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You clear your throat, “Well,” you start, “think that the first plan wasn’t too bad. It would be dangerous to be separated from each other and when push comes to shove I’d rather not be alone out there.”

“Does the boy speak for the two of you?” Moreh asks, looking between the two of you.

Naomi shrugs, “It’s what I planned for. To get in the same work in the same office and everything,” she casts you a sidelong glance while talking, “besides, I think that it would be better to stick together.”

“If the two of you are fine with becoming one then allow Moreh to be the first to congratulate you,” he raises his arms as if in praise, “Joshua and Samantha Gauterot, Moreh understands that there’s a lot of things to do from now on as everyone here knows that time is limited. Your concerns are Moreh’s concerns as well.”

“Joshua?” you repeat the name he gave you, “I thought that we could choose our names?”

“Names are limited,” he replies, “There are, as Moreh knows it, very few names that exist without owners, do they now? To create an illusion, a trick must be played, no? But, yes, telling you now will no longer make Moreh a magician. As Moreh has said, there will be no further questioning on this matter. Next will be your part as Moreh has played his. As stated before with Miss Samantha, Moreh wishes to gain something for Moreh’s performance.”

“Yes, I know what you want,” Naomi says, “We have it being shipped right now. They should be here at the end of the week--”

“Yes, about that. Moreh seeks to do more business,” he pauses, gauging your reactions, “Of course, Moreh will pay well. Moreh believes that the two of you are in a unique position to acquiring a specific item that has made its rounds. Moreh only knows rumors but has known it to be real.”

“What are you talking about? I thought all you wanted was what they found on the ship?” She says, “What else could you want?”

“Well, Moreh is pleased that you asked. Moreh wants to acquire a rare item, like Moreh said. It is, currently, on this station but…” he clasps his hands together, “sadly it is impossible for Moreh to acquire it himself. Moreh is very busy and has many things to complete and unable to step away from his current work.”

“So…” Naomi urges the rambling man to finish.

“So… Moreh asks that you acquire it,” he says plainly.

“Yes, I got that, what is it that you want though? How can we,” she points between the two of you, “help you out?”
“Moreh has information that this item is being held at a certain place. It will be transported to another place, all you, the nameless, have to do is to… acquire it before it reaches its destination. There are not many guards that protect this item since it is not very valuable to those who have everything but, as a collector, Moreh sees it in a different light. It is a very very old piece of hardware that Moreh must have. I am more than willing to reward you very handsomely for this minor job.”

“What’s the pay,” you perk up.

“Two thousand standards. Each. Half up front as Moreh believes a nameless is trustworthy to the one who has named him and half after completion,” he says, placing a hand across his chest and bowing. “Moreh believes that one who has nothing monetarily should consider this request in earnest. Moreh may also mention that this will bring one recognition for one’s actions.”

Naomi turns to you and whispers, “What do you think? It’s probably dangerous and he’s always creeped me out. I know you’re short on cash though so I’m not going to call it for you.”

>”Well, he said it was pretty easy so why not? A thousand… no two thousand would really help. We should take it. He said he’ll tell us what all we have to do.”
>”I think we should wait on it. Maybe learn a few more things about his… whatever he wants.”
>”Shouldn’t do it. I don’t like him, he doesn’t seem like the kind of person I’d want to make any kind of deals with.”
>>”Well, he said it was pretty easy so why not? A thousand… no two thousand would really help. We should take it. He said he’ll tell us what all we have to do.”

WE ARE GOING IN AN ADVENTURE!! And illegal high risk low reward adventure that might get us injured and in the need of some facial rearangments but this Kov Mr. here
disposed of a week of his life to make a combat system that we haven't even seen. SO YEAH, I WANT FIGHTS!!

Ah, but on a condition

>Also, Moreh sir, I want you to introduce you to a friend of us, maybe teach her some of your skills with computers. You'll like her. But she's mine.
>”I think we should wait on it. Maybe learn a few more things about his… whatever he wants.”

More info, what it is and what are the obstacles.

>”Well, he said it was pretty easy so why not? A thousand… no two thousand would really help. We should take it. He said he’ll tell us what all we have to do.”

We've been leeching on the girls money for too long.
>two for accepting

trying something out real quick
Red ▲
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“Yeah,” you whisper back, “He’s weird but he doesn’t seem dangerous. Plus, he said the job’ll be easy so… why not? Two thousand’s a whole lot for me.”

“Well,” she says, bringing Moreh into the conversation. “It’s your call, Sammy. It’s not like I’d be much help with the job either way.”

“Oh, Moreh is sure the girl will be especially helpful in this particular case,” he turns back to you, “So the boy will give the final answer?”

You give Naomi a short nod then turn Moreh. His eyes pierce you with golden radiance while they focus in and out as if he was inspecting your every move. “I gotta admit, Moreh, I’m pretty low on funds,” you scratch your cheek in some embarrassment, “So you got me interested in it -- the job.”

“Ah, this is wonderful news. Moreh is pleased with your decision and will guarantee that you will as well,” he says, clapping his hands together, “Now Moreh send the information to your displays. Moreh thinks that the two of you will have this done quite efficiently as Moreh has an eye for these kinds of things. Please accept the package on your display.”

“Alright,” you say as you pull out your display. A light blinks at the top right and when you tap it, a box appears.

<Message from Moreh: 02/13/3330 09:42 >
[ Subject : “The Train Job” ]
[ “Intercept and extract “Special Cargo”, Marked with a ” ]
[ This message requires further action to proceed. ]
[ (Accept) | (Decline) ]

You hover your finger over the accept button, “Uhm, I’d also like to ask you about something else too.”

“Hmm? Moreh is interested in your request,” he says as he places a hand under his chin, “Please ask, Moreh will answer.”

“It’s about a girl--”

“A girl…” he cuts you off as he motions to Naomi, “Not this girl?”

“No, she’s someone you can probably help. Her name’s Coraline Kane… someone we’ve been traveling with and I was wondering if you could help teach her something. We… need to get something Arcady doesn’t want and we need to get into a specific system that controls it.”

“Ah, a nameless one as well?” He says as he taps his chin before shrugging, “In any case, Moreh is well aware of this system the boy speaks of. Moreh knows why you didn’t ask Moreh… hmm… yes we can work something out later, but for now…” he gestures to your display. You press (Accept) and several items appear at once. Maps, graphs and scans of what looks to be several different models of transport shuttles as well as one very important thing -- the thousand standards populating the top left of your display. You hold back a smile as you look over the maps trying to make out what exactly he sent you.
“If you will look at the plans…” he points to your display and several of maps begin to overlay each other with a clear line from one part of the station to the other, “You will see the route which the particular item will travel. Moreh had divined this information through several means so Moreh knows this to be true.”

“What… so it’s a ‘train job’ but what’s that supposed to mean?” you ask as you look up from the display.

“Simply put, this job will require you to intercept the cargo on a moving train. More assumes this isn’t a problem for any party present?” He says, “It is simple, someone stays on the train, goes to the cargo hold and moves it to a top hatch where it can be extracted through the roof. From there, a ten minute window from here,” a light pings at the entrance of a ship corridor, “to here, where the train moves through a corridor that is under maintenance. Moreh knows for a fact that the monitoring system will be temporarily shut down in that region for two months.”

“So, we’re going to have to fly and have someone on the train to get the thing or whatever you want?” Naomi asks. “What are we even looking for?”

“The package will be marked with a red triangle, similar to the symbol for the standard,” he explains, “The item itself is, like Moreh has said, is very special. You know Moreh to be a collector of old technology but a recent event has made Moreh curious and Moreh wants to find something out. So Moreh has searched for an antique Missive Drive for that purpose.”

“An antique Missive Drive? You know those are massive, right?” You say.

“Yes, well this particular item is not the full piece of the drive. Moreh has the rest of the components and pieces to the puzzle that is the drive but is missing the Mark Ones particularly difficult-to-acquire fuel cell.” he states as an image appears on your display. “The Fuel cell decays rapidly so, you see, it has been difficult for Moreh to find such a well preserved component.”

>”You said it was guarded, how many should there be and can you get me a license for firearms?” you know he has the power to give a person a new name so he must be able to give titles as well.
>”How many days do we have to prepare for this job?” You don’t have a lot of time since you’re on the clock for nearly everything else.
>”So we get you the fuel cell, then what?” You want to know what you’re supposed to do with it afterwards as well as about the other things that he promised. Particularly the prestige.

>”You said it was guarded, how many should there be and can you get me a license for firearms?” you know he has the power to give a person a new name so he must be able to give titles as well.
>”How many days do we have to prepare for this job?” You don’t have a lot of time since you’re on the clock for nearly everything else.
>”So we get you the fuel cell, then what?” You want to know what you’re supposed to do with it afterwards as well as about the other things that he promised. Particularly the prestige.

They are actually all reasonable questions

on that exact order
>two for all of the above

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“Alright… alright,” you say as you look over the strangely large amount of documents he sent you, “Get on the train, find the cell, grab it and go? Sounds simple enough… but what about the armed guards? You said they’d be some, how many?”

“Not too many, Moreh thinks. The company that was contracted to guard the equipment was Bachman and Associates. They’re a fairly recent start-up company and Moreh knows they’ve taken several jobs within this system as well as the surrounding system so Moreh believes them to have little men to guard this item. To bring up numbers, one should also know that the one who employs them has some wealth but Moreh believes that this job is unimportant to the associates. In total, Bachman has a hundred employed men, Moreh believes that there are only five to ten such men on board the train,” he says and turns away to touch one of the pillars behind him.

“Moreh believes…” he starts out again just when the pillar begins to glow ever so brighter as if reacting to his touch, “that you’re worried there will be some sort of disagreement between you, the nameless thieves, and the guards and when such an event occurs your personal health will be at risk. Moreh knows of these difficulties.”

“Wait so… they’re not Arcady?” you state. You had agreed to it because you needed the cash but him calling you a thief got under your skin. You’re not someone who would steal and kill for a little more than a few standards. You had thought if it was Arcady then it would be justifiable to take things away from them.

“Well…” he trails off, “Does it matter if they are Arcady or not? They will do the same actions as Arcady if provided with enough standards. To explain, they are not entirely Arcady. The man who employed them is, however, an official who works for Arcady. Moreh knows there may be some confusion between what one may call right or wrong but Moreh assures you that no one playing active parts in this is innocent. If it will ease the boy’s mind then Moreh will tell you that just three days ago the same contractors had taken a job to extort money from a merchant.”

“Well whatever, can you help us out then? I mean I can buy a gun with the standards but I can’t *have* it unless I got a license to purchase it and those can take from anywhere from a week to a month for background checks and what not,” you state.

“Very well, Moreh will do this,” he says, “As we both know a week, let alone a month, will be detrimental for both of us.”
“Right, talking about time,” Naomi starts, “You said that it was something you were worried about, right? How much time do we have?”

“Yes,” he nods, “yes, time is very important. We both value time, it was the reason why Moreh called you here and wanted you to arrive so early. It was because Moreh knew you would accept. Moreh believes that there is a date set on the documents, no?”

“Ah, right…” you say as you flick through everything he had sent to you before finding a single string of words. [02/10/3330 14:30]. “Wait a second…”

“Yes, it’s today in,” he pauses for a moment, “... Now that it is ten, that should give you four and a half hours to prepare for this. Moreh believes that this is more than enough time though Moreh planned to have given you an extra hour and a half. It is a shame, really.”

“You’re kidding, right?” Naomi says blankly, “I had a few things planned for today, you know! Moreh, you always spring these kinds of things on me! With that dumb whatever you wanted from unity to the fuel cell!”

“Yes yes, Moreh apologizes for not asking earlier yet Moreh believes that it will all work out,” he states with a calm face in contrast to Naomi’s anger. She rolls her eyes and turns back to face you, waving you in closer. Guns alone would take nearly three hours and you’re not even sure you’re that great of a shot to really use one. You had hoped he would say something like a week or more so you could sharpen your skills with a firearm. It doesn’t seem like you’d have the time to practice let alone choose something with proper research.

“Sammy, I told you that guy is weird! I planned to go and pick up a few things for today for interviews, but now we don’t have any time… ah… “ she sighs.

“Yeah… I mean…” you trail off.

“For someone who had so readily agreed to illegal activities, Moreh is disappointed that the boy and the girl is so distraught. Moreh knows that it may be sudden but in this business we must make use of our time wisely,” he says with a strange, supposedly, pacifying smile.

“Hey now, I know I let it slide when you called us thieves but…” he’s right. You did pretty much jump at the idea without considering how illegal it was. Potentially killing another person over what amounts to a month or two’s work. “You can’t spring something like that on someone without giving them enough time prepare, mentally that is. It ain’t right.”

“The boy worries too much, though Moreh apologizes,” he bows his head slightly, “This is the only time that Moreh can acquire the item so easily. There are plans for most things in the document, if you run into problems then the boy should reference what Moreh recommends. Though Moreh recommends not to do so during the problem.”
“Right… well what do we do after we get the cell then?” you say without wanting to push any topic of morality on him.

“You return here,” he says, “Moreh will then pay the two of you the other half.”

>”One more question….” [write-in]

>Time is limited, go and buy the gun. It doesn’t matter if it’s Arcady or not, you’d rather not die to either of them.
>Go get Coraline. She already knows how to handle herself and you should bring her along with you.
>Go to an armorer’s shop. Gun or not, buying something that’s more than a few layers of synthetic cotton will put your mind at ease.
>Go to a store with good wine. The entire train trip should be around two hours and from what Moreh has the guards will follow the package all the way to Arcady. It’s more than a week’s trip and you bet that the Guards would want to get a few drinks in.
>>Go to a store with good wine. The entire train trip should be around two hours and from what Moreh has the guards will follow the package all the way to Arcady. It’s more than a week’s trip and you bet that the Guards would want to get a few drinks in.
distraction seems good, we can put something to put them to sleep inside of it

protection too

>Go to an armorer’s shop. Gun or not, buying something that’s more than a few layers of synthetic cotton will put your mind at ease.

>Ask Naomi if we should bring Coraline along
In order of things to do with our time

>Grab something to knock the guards out, a concussion granade and protection for us, tasers or sedatives to use with the expensive wine. Maybe all of the above, we atart with the wine and if it doesn't work we move to tasing and granading.

>body armor

>get Coraline if we have time
>Three for Armoring up

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Yeah, return here… you think, crossing your arms in thought. It sounds great and all but you don’t have the conscience to kill another man, regardless of his employer. But you doubt the others would think the same thing, in fact you expect them to shoot rather than ask questions. For the purpose of actually returning, and for the fact that they have guns, you will need to buy something that you can stick between you and a bullet aimed at your precious bits. The only thing you can think of that you have that would be useful for that would be your E.V.A. suit… but it’s more or less cut resistant and not bullet resistant.

You main concern is the guards that Moreh said would be there. Not dealing with them entirely would be the best option, though you’re not entirely positive you’ll be able to avoid them. “The boy worries to much,” the man repeats. His bald head shines in his manufactured radiant golden glow. He’s a strange person to be sure. He’s basically handing a stranger a gun, pointing at a thing, and then telling them to go wild.

Of course, in this situation, you’re the stranger who had jumped at the opportunity. You had thought of the risk briefly but… in any case he’s right. If you’re going to be the one to protect Naomi and Coraline then you should at least have the strength to do something like this. It might not be a direct attack on Arcady but it still will hurt them. They hurt you pretty bad, maybe this will be a sort of sad justice -- something to get back at them for doing what they did. You know for sure there’s more to come and you’ll be the one who will bring it to them. Justice.

A strange train of thought, to be sure, but it is the thought that comforts you -- reassuring you as you shake the bald man’s hand. “Well Moreh, you’re a strange guy but you’re right. It ain’t worth worrying about too much, already accepted it anyways. Can’t back down now.”

“Exactly. Moreh knew the boy will see things the right way eventually. You indeed cannot back out now,” he says, taking your hand into his own, “Moreh will be awaiting your triumphant return, nameless one.”

“Right…” you say, “oh by the way, couldn’t we just have done this over a call or something? It ain’t like we did anything other than stand around.”

“A man without a face nor a name is not a man, is he?” he replies, “now, get going or you’ll miss the train. Moreh will be here as Moreh always is.”

You nod slowly, accepting whatever there is to come. You don’t have time to waste -- not now that is. First thing’s first, you turn to Naomi as Moreh leads you back out of his… sanctuary, “I’m going to buy some armor and I was thinkin’ of a few ways to handle the guards if it ever comes down to it.”

“Armor?” she whispers back, “I thought you were going to buy a gun?”
“It takes too much time, time we ain’t got. Getting some plated vest or something will be a whole lot cheaper and a lot less of a hassle when it comes down to it. Gun’s have too many regulations, you know,” you whisper back, “oh yeah, what do you think about Coraline?”

“What about Coraline?” she replies, “Are you feeling bad about leaving her out so soon? It’s not like she would care if were married or not.”

“No, not about that,” you roll your eyes mentally, “no, I was asking because she might be useful in a gunfight. You heard it yourself, she’d been able to take out those guys when she woke up in that ship. Bet she’ll be real good when it comes down to combat even if she don’t remember anything.”

“You’re right,” she agrees, “but…” there’s always a but, “would you want to put her in harm's way too? I mean, I don’t doubt that she would be helpful in a fight since I know for a fact that she’s stronger than most people. I just don’t know how she would react in that sort of situation, with her being how she is. It’s not likely to really affect her but there’s a chance both of you could get hurt because she reacts unexpectedly when you go down… oh yeah what kind of roles are we going to go with?”

“Right…” there are two roles. One person flies the ship and the other is on the train. Of course you’re the better pilot of the two of you since it’s your ship, but you’re also most likely the best at combat between you.

[Option 1]
>”I’ll fly the ship.” You’re the best pilot for the job. It’s not a small window but in a place that has traffic like it does, you’ll probably be better help in the ship than on ground.
>”I’ll be on the train.” You don’t like the idea of putting Naomi in any sort of danger, especially if the two of you were separated like that. You’ll be better suited on the ground than on the ship.

[Option 2]
>”Bring Coraline.” She’ll be a lot of help when it comes down to it. She has combat experience and her Augmentations will be an immense amount of help when securing the cargo.
>”Don’t bring Coraline.” She’ll become a problem if something happens unexpectedly. You’re not sure if she’s all there or not but if she goes and then she does something she shouldn’t have then it’s game over.

[Note- Coraline will be on the train if you choose to bring her with as the ship only requires one pilot.]

>”I’ll be on the train.” You don’t like the idea of putting Naomi in any sort of danger, especially if the two of you were separated like that. You’ll be better suited on the ground than on the ship.

>”Don’t bring Coraline.” She’ll become a problem if something happens unexpectedly. You’re not sure if she’s all there or not but if she goes and then she does something she shouldn’t have then it’s game over.

She is right, we don't know how she will react.

>”I’ll be on the train.” You don’t like the idea of putting Naomi in any sort of danger, especially if the two of you were separated like that. You’ll be better suited on the ground than on the ship.

Not putting waifu on harms way.
>”Bring Coraline.” She’ll be a lot of help when it comes down to it. She has combat experience and her Augmentations will be an immense amount of help when securing the cargo.

But ONLY as backup if shit hits the fan, otherwise she remains hidden

Protect Naomi and tell Coraline to stay hidden at all costs, she is not to interfere unless we are discovered.
We pretend to not know each other at the train to not raise suspicion
>”I’ll be on the train.” You don’t like the idea of putting Naomi in any sort of danger, especially if the two of you were separated like that. You’ll be better suited on the ground than on the ship.

>”Bring Coraline.” She’ll be a lot of help when it comes down to it. She has combat experience and her Augmentations will be an immense amount of help when securing the cargo.

Guys didn't you went to the theatre to watch Alita? She remembered part of her life when fighting! Coraline will totally have a training montage flashback if she gets to dodge some bullets and cave in some skulls! Plus, an extra pair of hands will help adquiring some... extra things we might find inside that train. Call it a bonus
Ok, this sounds like a good plan, change to this.

Also, let's not forget to get disposable clothes to burn after the deal is done. And going with the ship itself is... oh well, not the best idea. While the monitoring system in the region will be shut down for two months, I still feel iffy about flying the ship... oh well, no can do about that part
Yeah, and the concussion guns and tasers should be easier to find, as well as the sedative for the wine
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>four for on the train with Coraline

“Well I was assuming I’d be on the train,” you state, “Don’t mind you flying mt ship since you handled it just fine before,” you say nearing your ship. Moreh turns around and nods his head again and gestures back to your ship.

“It’s a pleasure meeting you,” he says, “Moreh knows you will return so Moreh will end it at that. The boy should take care and the girl should bring more interesting people, Moreh has enjoyed the girl’s guests so far. And…” he pauses, “About the boy’s friend, we can discuss this after you have returned with the cargo. Moreh knows monetary compensation is not the only reward for these things and Moreh will be willing to provide both if… the boy is willing to continue this relationship.”

“Right…” you say while walking past the man before pausing at the front of your ship, “I’ll bring back your cell.”

“Moreh knows this,” he says and then slowly disappears deeper into his misty sanctum. You shake your head slowly and climb up into the ship.

“Oh, call Coraline,” you find your way into the pilot’s seat and begin the initiation sequence, “I thought about what you said, but still think she’ll be more useful than not. If something happens then something happens. She ain’t had whatever you’re worried about so I doubt she’ll have one on the train.”

“You’re the boss…” she mumbles and opens her own display, flicking through the pages and contacts. You hear a light dial tone, “Oh, what should I tell her?”

“Just tell her to meet us at the station and that we’ll explain once we meet up,” you reply over your shoulder while feeling the thrusters pull on your weight. You, yourself, have been looking through the map on one of the console’s display screens stores near the station. “We’ll be heading to a shop near the station, only place I could find that sells what I’m looking for. Not like I got time to look for some other place for it…”

She doesn’t answer you as you can hear her in the call with Coraline. Curiously you don’t actually remember Coraline having a display. You’re sure that she’s most likely able to make and receive calls through whatever cybernetic magic she has stuck in her skull of hers. In fact, you’re not even sure on what limits her cybernetics have, if any. You know that her arms have been cybernetically enhanced but you’re not entirely sure how since they don’t seem obviously modified like her legs are. Though you’re not sure on what she can or can’t do, you’re positive that she will be a great help in securing the cargo on the train.
Your current plan is as follows; you will be the one to find the cargo and try to move it. Coraline will remain as back up if anything happens, she’ll come running. Naomi will be in the ship as the one that takes the cargo away. All that you have to do is find the cargo and get it to the roof of the train through a hatch that Moreh detailed in his documents. From there, you will hand it over to Naomi who will be hovering above the train.

You certainly hope that everything runs as smoothly as planned but there’s always back up plans for that. One of them -- one which will just put your mind at ease, if only slightly -- is to acquire something thicker than synthetic cotton between any bullets and your squishy bits. There’s also the possibility of picking up some same-day anti-bad guy repellant through the way of concussion grenades or some other sort of deterrent.

You eye the map and then half turn back as you hear Naomi finish talking with Coraline, “We should be there in ten minutes, how long will it take Coraline to meet us up at the station? We have four hours so I hope she doesn’t get there and wait on us…”

“She said it’ll be around twenty minutes for her to get to the station so I told her to leave in about three and a half hours and we’ll all meet up before the train with whatever Moreh wants,” she states, “Why would something like an old fuel cell even be useful or worth anything?”

“Well, he said it himself, right? It’s old. Think he said it’s mark one to boot. Those things ain’t really the best things around, sleeper ships use them mostly. That kinda tech hasn’t seen the light of day since… oh a few centuries at least even more if you’re wanting to talk actual use,” you explain, thinking about what he had said, “I know I said you were weird the other day, but I’m glad as hell that you ain’t that weird. Moreh off his rocker or something?”

“Moreh is… Moreh,” she non-answers with a sigh, “Met him a while back, only talked to him because I needed an Arcady contact for something else. Despite him being the way he is, he’s pretty efficient and reliable with what he does.”

“Yeah…” you trail off, “he said he wants to continue this relationship, what’d you think he means by that?”

“Probably has some more jobs like these in mind…” she replies.

“Ah…” you’re not sure if you like that, but if the money is easy like this… it makes, what, a month’s work in a day? This will certainly help you get places faster than anything else out there. You get lost in thought for a moment only to be dragged back to reality as you watch the console screen tell you that you’re arriving at your destination.
Feeling the thudding of your engines turning off just before the landing gears lock and whirr in disagreement to your handling. You mentally apologize to your ship, sighing at the thought of it being hurt over the last few days. The problems just been piling up and the worst is that your baby is hurting too. “Right, let’s go.”

The two of you exit through the same neon taped exit, clambering out of the cramped metal locker and taking a moment to get a feeling for your surroundings. The actual store you’re heading to is only five minutes away from the corridor station you landed at. So, you’re not exactly pressed for time but you still hurry anyways. You take a deep breath before making off for the place you plotted for before.

You hadn’t looked very hard for it when you were in transit since you just looked around the closest port near the tram station. The shop seemed reliable as it sells most items from military enthusiasts equipment to personal defence, it should all hold up fairly well.

You stop at a particularly scuffed looking metal door proclaiming, “This should be it,” and then sliding the door open. An equally scuffed looking man sits behind the store’s counter. His expression changes little before he calls out a name, summoning a dark-skinned female equivalent of him. Both look like they’ve seen some sort of fighting as they both carry visible scars on any of the skin they’re showing. You notice he’s missing an arm and she’s missing an eye, both replaced with cybernetic counterparts, as you approach them slowly.

Looking around the shop reassures you of your decision of choosing this place. The man calls out first, “Lookin’ to buy?”

“Can I see a list of things you have?”

>( https://pastebin.com/raw/0v955DGh ) for Dice rules on gear specific stats.

<Store List>
> <[ Shwarz Industrial ExoSuit - Designed to be used in mining or similar environments. (+20 armor on each body part. +20 bonus to DC on All Mining, Detection and Strength rolls. Will not be knocked down. Can integrate with cybernetics, 4 standard ports.) ] - [Reliability-Superior] [Quality-Standard] [2,500 ▲]>
> <[ Bryant Frontier Level 4 Hardsuit - A full body hardsuit designed for colony work. (+25 armor to each body part, +40 for head. Integrates with display, VISR system integration. -15 movement.) ] - [Reliability-Superior] [Quality-Shoddy] [1,500 ▲]>
> <[ Bryant Frontier Level 3 Hardsuit - A full body lightweight hardsuit. (+15 armor to each body part, +25 for head. Integrates with display, VISR system integration. -10 movement.) ] - [Reliability-Superior] [Quality-Shoddy] [600 ▲]>
> <[ Bryant Frontier Level 3 Vest - A vest meant to resist certain situations. (+10 to all torso parts. +10 movement) ] - [Reliability-Standard] [Quality-Shoddy] [200 ▲]>
> <[ Peacekeeper Vest - Essential vest. (+15 to all torso parts.) ] [Quality-Standard] [Reliability-Shoddy] [Quality-Superior] [300 ▲]>
> <[ Concussion Grenade - A grenade which stuns anyone caught in it. )-40 for two turns then -20 for one turn for any rolls that require visual or auditory inputs.) ] [100 ▲] [Requires License - Firearm Handling (SD)]>
> <[ S3lf D3f3nc3 St1ck - A stun baton which debuffs enemies. (Unable to reaction for one turn, -10 for next roll.) ] [Reliability-Standard] [Quality-Shoddy] [150 ▲]>
> <[ Peacekeeper Vigil - A self-defence handgun which fires electrodes to stun and detain the combatant. (Unable to react for one turn. 4 per cartridge.) ] [Reliability-Standard] [Quality-Standard] [300 ▲] [Requires License - Firearm Handling (SD)]>
> <[ Peacekeeper Martyr - A Half-body hardsuit that protects the torso and legs. (+15 armor for torso and legs. +15 movement.)] [Reliability-Shoddy] [Quality-Superior] [650 ▲]>

You look over the list and examine a few of the recommended items that had caught your eye. You have the license from Moreh, the one for self defence it seems, so you meet the requirements for everything here. You have a thousand standards so if you want to purchase a few things you’d want to keep some left over. You know you’ll also get another thousand after you complete the job. You can always take out a downpayment for the items, do a monthly payment plus interest… you sigh as you look over th list once more.

<These are just some premade options>
>CQC, Peacekeeper Martyr + Stun Baton. 200▲ Left.
>Hard Hitter, Bryant Frontier Level 3 Hardsuit + 2x Concussion Grenades. 200▲ Left.
>Gunslinger, Peacekeeper Vest + Vigil + 2x Concussion Grenades. 200▲ Left.
>Runner, Bryant Frontier Level 3 Vest + Stun Baton + 5x Concussion Grenades. 150▲ Left.
Oh I should also mention the Character Sheet, https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1z3WwwCvkilVxWx6uAuIThapoTypzZ_X9zP8OgdH3XMY/edit?usp=sharing
>>Gunslinger, Peacekeeper Vest + Vigil + 2x Concussion Grenades. 200▲ Left.
and our knife if things get too close
Bryant Frontier Level 3 Hardsuit
Concussion granade x2

And we have nothing left

Try to pay in 2 instalments and see hows the interest rate.
Offer them 2 payments of 600, half now half next month
is this actually possible, to split payment?
You can, but it won't exactly be a 50/50 split as the down payment would at least be 65%. You can of course pay it in full or you can let it go and pay it as stated. This will also become relevant when you decide to take out a loan from one of the banks as there are several benefits to allowing it to follow through, gathering interest, or paying it in full. Interest rates vary so that's also something to look out for as they can stack up pretty quickly if you're not careful.

Being able to pay off debts and everything will be exceptionally beneficial to you as interest might gather quickly but also having several outstanding loans will mean that you're not able to take out another loan for, say, a downpayment on a ship or house. The choice of taking it out as a downpayment now just means that you'll have extra cash for later purchases if you so wish to continue shopping in other places.

Also, the stats for the gear stats that they must be rolled for. That will be done by me since it would only take a single roll.
Ok, buy this>>3310508
with a down payment so we have some cash for the wine with some sedatives.
> <[ Peacekeeper Martyr - A Half-body hardsuit that protects the torso and legs. (+15 armor for torso and legs. +15 movement.)] [Reliability-Shoddy] [Quality-Superior] [650 ▲]>

>2 of <[ Concussion Grenade - A grenade which stuns anyone caught in it. )-40 for two turns then -20 for one turn for any rolls that require visual or auditory inputs.) ] [100 ▲] [Requires License - Firearm Handling (SD)]>

I think enhanced mobility plus expendable greneades is the way to go. The quality of the armor is nice but it will need constant repairs. About the greneades, we will be at a train, thus enclosed space hard to escape from. That means that the greneades will get lotsa value, the only bad part is that these are noisy, most likely.

But I still wanna go with hit n' run
How about a compromise, we go with the hit and run armor plust the two granades and the stun baton for cqc.

Pay with a down payment too.
I can go with this
Yeah sorry about being absent and not posting for two days. Had a few things to take care of as well as having my sleep schedule being fucked.

>three for purchasing these items (and for negotiating to pay in installments)

<[ Peacekeeper Martyr ]> - [{-650 ▲}]
<[ Concussion Grenade ]> - [{-100 ▲}] x2
<[ S3lf D3f3nc3 St1ck ]> - [{-150 ▲}]
Total = -1000 ▲

I will roll for the stats after purchase.

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Taking a few cursory looks through some of the information, various graphs and smaller details about the equipment, you decide on the first item fairly quickly. First and foremost is the single most important item -- the one that will differentiate you from being alive or dead -- the armor. Even while you had very little time to decide, It was the reason why you chose here instead of some of the other places. One of the items featured on the main site was the store’s connections with a certain ordinance manufacturer called Peacekeeper.

Peacekeeper had been something you had known a few things about. Of course you know Bryant Frontier was, among others, a veritable mainstay within the colonies -- a well and truly reliable name. But Peacekeeper is a trusted name not only because of it’s deep ties within the lawforce but also with its ratings with other similarly priced and pitched competition. Peacekeeper however, tends to produce strong equipment but the materials that go into the equipment aren’t exactly those that come back out of it. Like any over-complicated process that works well, it won’t work forever.

In terms of armor, it’ll stop bullets in their tracks and make sure you’re comfortable when it happens but it certainly won’t take them everyday with the same consistency. But you don’t need that. You certainly don’t want to continue getting shot at constantly so you would rather trust in something that works fantastically a few times rather than something that works okay forever. It suits your purposes.

Martyr is one of the specific suits that Peacekeeper produces. From the informational script on the display, it’s apparently originally designed for recon work for officers and other associates. It reads that the lightweight polymer that goes into the equipment is backed by another material that helps slow down and dampen the impact. It’s made for mobility and concealment which is exactly what you’re looking for. “Tell me about this one,” you say as you point to the display.

“Martyr?” the man asks, leaning in and squinting, “well, they’re Peacekeeper tech. Most guys I know wear them say that they’re pretty good for what it costs them. Vests are usually comfortable but between Bryant and Peacekeeper, I’d side with Peacekeeper.”

“Yeah, that certainly isn’t coming from bias, right?” the woman standing beside him jibes and then turns to you, “If you couldn’t tell, Jack and I are from the force. Peacekeeper might one of the main suppliers, but don’t let Jack fool you. A lot of their stuff gets scrapped after one or two go arounds. Had one of their radios bust on me four years back, caught this beauty because of it,” she points to a scar that runs the length of her right cheek.
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“Nah, she just doesn’t trust in the corps,” he says eyeing the woman, “She might say that,” he places a hand in front of his mouth and loudly whispers, “but between you an’ me, she was too far away from her partner.”

“Jack, you know full well that was because you didn’t want to come into that building,” she huffs.

He rolls his eyes, sighing, “oh right, it might have been something to do with that sniper, don’t you think?”

“I was just trying to get his position!” she shouts.

“Yeah and now you know where his position and angle all in a nifty scar there, don’t cha?” he laughs at his own joke before turning back to you, “ahem, anyways, yeah martyr is pretty good. I like some of their more full-body kits they have but on a budget these’ll save your life.”

“Well, actually,” the woman juts in, “Frankie comes in to get his repaired every week, he swears by the Marytr that it’s the best model Peacekeeper came out with.”

“Frankie’s fat, Janet.” he states.

“What does that have to do with it?”

“When you’re his kind of fat, it’s hard to move around when you got thirty more kilos strapped to you… not to mention the addition of the suit’s weight,” he says, “Look, kid, Martyr is good but if you really want to get something that works well then I’d recommend Paladin. Same suit I used for ten years in the force. VISR, Display, Image Linkining, and most importantly -- it has three visual enhancements built into the hud. Light shielding, Thermals and magnification. Nothing better than Paladin, though it’s a bit pricey with it being four-k.”

“Do we even have any in stock?” she asks.

“Ah, well…” he trails off.

“Right,” she says, “Well if you ain’t picking up Bryant then Martyr is a good choice too. Got anything else you were looking at?”

“Yeah,” you say, quietly listening to their conversation, “I was also looking at the stun baton and the concussion grenades, thinking about grabbing one or two of them.”

“Oho…” she sounds surprised, “Hmm… can I ask why?”

“Oh no reason--” you begin.

“Oh quit it Janet, you can’t be bothering the customers. You know how important self defence is out here. Shit, can’t remember how many times I was called out on a domestic just to arrive with the poor guy or girl’s head half-way cross the system.”

“That was in New Arizona, mind you. Leo’s safer.”

“Same difference. Bad guys everywhere,” he crosses his arms and then gives you a wink and a grin. “Either way, it’s better if more people get suited up than not… more importantly, a happy customer would always recommend his stores.”
“Yeah, I thought about that. Don’t worry, I got a plan for it,” you say. You don’t actually have a plan for it but you know for sure that it wouldn’t be an issue if you give it some thought. Maybe Coraline could do something about it? Maybe not. You look to the two arguing middle-aged cops, “I was thinking about returning anyways, I have the cash to pay in full but I was thinkin’ bout doing it in installments. I read on the site that it’s fine… how does that all work?”

“Right, installments,” he clears his throat and looks away from his conversation -- rather argument -- “Well there’s a few payment plans you can go with but if you get what you were talking about then… it’ll be around eight hundred or a thousand, which can be broken down to monthly payments of around a hundred plus interest.”

“What’s the rate… for the interest?” Naomi speaks up.

“Well, if it’s just 1000 standards, then we’d run for about fourteen percent per year. Which’ll run about…” he types something on his display, “eleven and then some fractions per month.”

“Isn’t that a bit high?” you ask.

“Hmm… not really?” Janet answers. Jack pats her on the shoulder and whispers something in her ear before he walks to the back, “Pretty standard if we’re talking about licensed equipment like the concussion grenades. You could break the bundle and pay for the nades in full and put a downpayment on the rest which’ll only be ten percent interest. That would only be like six extra per month.”

“What about the down payment?” Naomi asks, watching as the Jack returns with the items you requested.

“Right, six-fifty for the total and five-twenty plus the payment of the grenades so in total around seven seven hundred and twenty standards,” Jack says, laying out the items from a crate. “That’ll be if you have the license for the grenades. Should have asked earlier.”

“Yeah I have it,” you reply, swiping your display across one of the checking stations of the counter.

“Right, Joshua Gauterot… seems everything is in place, how do you want to pay?” Janet asks, gesturing to the equipment.

>”I’ll just pay in full, I was just curious about the payment options since I hadn’t seen that before. New buyer afterall,” too much of a hassle to deal with it all.
>”Break the bundle, I’ll pay the seven-twenty,” you wanted to pay it in installments but it’ll just get expensive if you’re not careful with your payments. You could pay it in a hundred and six each month and be over in three months.
>”keep it all bundled, I’ll pay it in installments.” It’ll be less expensive to keep it together and you can get it paid off in around four months.
I didn't have a picture of a girl with a scar on her cheek so I had to make do with this one.

>”Break the bundle, I’ll pay the seven-twenty,” you wanted to pay it in installments but it’ll just get expensive if you’re not careful with your payments. You could pay it in a hundred and six each month and be over in three months.

If we pay all the three installments next month we get a discount on the interest do no worrries I guess and we will still have some spending money for a distraction
I won't even start thinking about interest rates so this is good for me
Then it is decided!

>two for breaking the bundle!

Rolled 4, 3, 4 = 11 (3d4)


Rolling for:
<[ Peacekeeper Martyr ]> [Reliability-Shoddy]
<[ S3lf D3f3nc3 St1ck ]> [Reliability-Standard]
<[ S3lf D3f3nc3 St1ck ]> [Quality-Shoddy]
Rolled 3 (1d3)



Roll table: [Quality]

Scrap 1-4 1d4
Shoddy 3-7 1d4
Standard 5-9 1d4
Superior 7-10 1d3
Masterwork 9-10 1d2

<[ Peacekeeper Martyr ]> [Reliability-Shoddy] = 7
<[ S3lf D3f3nc3 St1ck ]> [Reliability-Standard] = 6
<[ S3lf D3f3nc3 St1ck ]> [Quality-Shoddy] = 7

Rolling for:
<[ Peacekeeper Martyr ]> [Quality-Superior]
damn, we got some good shit
<[ Peacekeeper Martyr ]> [Quality-Superior] = 10

Outcome: [Condition/ Reliability/ Quality]

<[ Peacekeeper Martyr ]> 10/7/10
<[ S3lf D3f3nc3 St1ck ]> 10/6/7
yeah, if you remember from before the knife you guys made is also a 7/10 like the armor.

that's a -15 for the knife, -15(or +15 do defend against injury?) for the armor and a -5 for the stun stick
yep! the character sheet has also been updated. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1z3WwwCvkilVxWx6uAuIThapoTypzZ_X9zP8OgdH3XMY/edit?usp=sharing
Another question, how much armor does our eva helmet provides? Could we use only the helmet for head protection?
it provides 15 armor for the head, 5 for the torso. I mean, you could wear it on your head and the Martyr suit, it's just that it would look pretty strange and the only way for someone to get a headshot is either on called shot or a critical so the actual chances of you getting killed via headshot would be minimal. There are modifiers to weapons or abilities that people might have that ignores that specific rule like some machine guns (though their spread is way different and [Quick Draw] which allows to have headshots in the roll table if a critical happened.

This being the wound table

1 - Left Foot
2 - Left Hand
3 - Right Foot
4 - Right Hand
5 - Lower Left Leg
6 - Lower Left Arm
7 - Lower Right Leg
8 - Lower Right Arm
9 - Left Leg
10 - Left Arm
11 - Right Leg
12 - Right Arm
13 - Lower Torso Left
14 - Lower Torso Right
15 - Lower Torso Important Left
16 - Lower Torso Important Right
17 - Upper Torso Left
18 - Upper Torso Right
19 - Upper Torso Important Left
20 - Upper Torso Important Right

(Importants cause double damage but can only be made after it breaks through armor, if armor is still there then the armor would take full damage plus what is on the hit table so it would essentially be double damage on a direct hit where as it would only be 2/4s damage if it was a glance and an important.)

Hit Table - Unaltered (So like unaltered due to circumstances or abilities/equipment)

1 - Direct Hit
2 - Direct Hit
3 - Direct Hit
4 - Direct Hit
5 - Direct Hit
6 - Strike
7 - Strike
8 - Strike
9 - Strike
10 - Strike
11 - Glance
12 - Glance
13 - Glance
14 - Glance
15 - Glance
16 - Miss
17 - Miss
18 - Miss
19 - Miss
20 - Miss

Direct hits = full damage
Strikes = 3/4s damage
Glances = 1/4 damage
misses = no damage

(Glances while behind cover count as misses)

But aside from the actual chances of it happening, wearing the helmet would be strange. You could wear it if you want though.
leave the helmet then, it would look silly and we operating this shit
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“Oh I’ll just pay the seven-twenty now, can I pay the rest next month or…?”

“Even if you pay it tomorrow it’ll still have the interest on it,” Janet answers as she types something on the counter’s display. “Right, so seven-twenty for the whole thing. The interest will be tracked on your display so just make sure to pay the two-eighty and then some whenever you get the chance.”

“Oh yeah and there’s a little bonus, for every thousand you spend here, you can get a ten percent off on your next purchase,” Jack chimes as he checks over the equipment. “So will this be all for you today?”

“Yeah, that should be all I need, thanks,” you say. You press your display against the checking station and sigh as you watch your newly-acquired standards rapidly pip away. Jack, after checking the purchase, begins to put everything back into the crate.

“Yeah, this stuff just came in too so I can guarantee it’ll be some good stuff. If it ain’t then you can come back and we’ll take a look at it for free, fixing anything that might be wrong with it. Oh and yeah, we also do repairs so if you ever need anything fixed up then we can fix it right back up fo you if you,” he places the last of the items in the crate and closes it. Pushing it toward you, “right so stay safe. Hope you don’t have to use any of it but… then again there wouldn’t be a reason we’d open up shop here. Come back safe mister Joshua.”

“Thanks, thanks,” you say, wrapping your arms around the crate to lift it up. It’s surprisingly lighter than you had expected but it’s still a good ten kilo if you had to guess. It’s nothing like what you had thought it would be. The two retired cops way and say their goodbyes as you leave the store. You turn to Naomi who seems to be interested in what you bought, picking up the stun baton to inspect it, “How much more time do we have?”

“A few more hours, we can probably go to somewhere else if you wanted to,” she answers while follows the sides of the baton with her fingers, “That’s why you wanted to pay in installments rather than spending your thousand in that place?”

“Yeah,” you reply, “I was thinking we could go to some other places and check a few things.”

“Ah,” she says, “so why did you choose the… that armor? Martyr doesn’t really sound very confidence inspiring, does it? Why didn’t you get that Bryant one? It had a helmet and everything. Say, why don’t you put on the EVA helmet too? It should provide some armor too, right?”
“Yeah, no, didn’t choose the Bryant one cause it’s bulky and hard to move around in. You ever wear some of those heavy suits? I did, had a tractor flip over and had to use one of my neighbor’s lift suits to turn it over. Takes ages to get anywhere in that thing,” you say, shifting the weight of the crate, “The helmet is a different issue. I don’t too much like getting shot at, definitely when it comes to my head but the thing is, the helmet just makes it more of a target. You ever see someone wearing a helmet on the train? I sure didn’t.”

“Ah, right,” she says, “that makes sense. Then what about the grenades? Couldn’t you have gotten that gun or the stun baton, right? It didn’t have to have a license, did it?” She points the baton out like a gun, closing her eye and looking down the length of it.

“Ain’t that great with a gun, only been hunting once and never been again. I mean, I’ve had some practice with some but I know for a fact that I don’t got that much time to be worrying about hitting something. So,” you explain, “I got the grenades and the baton.”

“But the grenades are loud, right?” she says, lowering the baton.

“Yeah, but they will really save me when I’m stuck. Hopefully, I don’t get stuck like how I might but you can’t ever be too sure,” you say and take the baton away from her, putting it back into the crate.

“Yeah,” she sighs, “you can’t really be too sure, you’re right… Oh right, I looked at the documents that Moreh sent us, you know since he sent them to you and me, and I saw that the guards won’t be in the same cart as the thing he wanted. It’s because it’s going to be put in a cargo cart.”

“Right, I saw that too,” You hadn’t. “It’s just good news for us then. If they’re not in the same cart then we can probably just get in and get out. They’ll never know what hit’em.”

“Hmm, so where are we headed? You said you wanted to get something else, right?”

>”No, I said I was thinking about going somewhere else.” you much rather looking over the documents and preparing yourself for the upcoming ‘job’
>”Yeah, I was thinking about going to a clothing store for a few things. Some throw-away clothes and such.” An extra set of clothes and probably a heavy coat to cover the armor or something.
>”I was just thinking about buying some food to offer to the guards. A bribe or something.” Your plan is to bribe the guards or get them drunk and then steal the cargo. If you time it right, you’ll have thirty minutes before the train is under the pickup site.
>”I wanted to go the the drug store to pick up some sleep medication.” you’re going to get them to pass out. Wine or water, either way a good night.
>>”Yeah, I was thinking about going to a clothing store for a few things. Some throw-away clothes and such.” An extra set of clothes and probably a heavy coat to cover the armor or something.

not exacly a coat as that will get as much attention as the armor, but we defnetly need something to blend in with the train crowd, maybe even a coat and a train crew uniform or the most similar thing we can find.

Let's see if we can find any photos of the people that work on the train in the documents and then look for some clothes that can pass up to being part of the maintenance or operating crew, so we won't look out of place in the cargo section.

we get in with the coat, shed it to reveal our work clothes, get the thing, go to the roof and extract via ship
I was going to push for the wine and sedatives plan but thinking about it now I don't want them to I.D. us since we actually have I.D.

Lets go with the disguise if possible.

As a distraction we could tell Coraline to send them some wine and snacks, she is a pretty girl and that would distract them a hell of a lot more than plain old Sam.
>two for clothing store

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“Yeah, the clothing store. Some throwaway clothes, ya know?” you shift your weight by adjusting the placement of your hands on the crate. It’s not a heavy box but it’s kind of annoying to carry any place too far away. Good thing you don’t need to go too far since in the same shopping center as the equipment store there’s a clothing store as well.

“Throwaway clothes?” she laughs, “Like when they investigate guys in movies or TV?”

“Yeah,” you shrug, “why?”

“Well, nothing,” she raises her arms, “I just thought it was funny you got it from TV. I mean… it’s just a little bit old-school I guess. I mean, well, it’s not like we can do much else. Like, there’s a thing I heard about that can hide you from cameras and there’s also a device that can even make you undetectable even with the naked eye! Like Hannah’s invisibility from The Four Witches.”

“Never watched it but I doubt we have enough money to buy magic,” you reply.

“No, not really the same thing from the show,” she pouts, “It’s something like it.”


“Yeah, I guess we can go with what you want. You’re the one who’s going to be in the line of fire…” she trails off and pauses for some time as the two of you walk, “Say, what are you thinking of buying? For clothes?”

“Well,” you begin, “I was thinking of either something to cover up the fact I’m armored, or something to disguise myself with.”

“Disguise?” she repeats.

“Yeah, like I was thinking bout some of the train’s uniforms, maybe disguising as a guard or something,” you answer in earnest.

“You…” a laugh cracks out, forcing her to hold onto one of the nearby walls to keep herself up. Unable to talk as between half-words she hysterically giggles, she points at you, pauses, laughs, and then repeats. “You…” she breathes, trying to catch her air and calm herself down, “You… you really did get it from a movie.”

“Oh come on, it’s a good plan!” you defend yourself, “I ain’t see you coming up with anything else!”

She shakes her head, still laughing to herself. “No, no, no… don’t let me ruin your master plan. I doubt anyone would notice you, the master of disguise, Sammy.”

“Come on, this is serious,” you grumble.

“Yeah, Sammy. I’m seriously serious. So totally and utterly serious, Sammy. You know me,” her laughing subsides and is replaced with a smile, “I believe you will be just fine. Country boy like you? You’ll fit right in. Besides, all that research you’ve done, you’ll be a perfect fit.”

“Really,” you narrow your eyes, “Well, what’ll you recommend then, princess?”
“Hmmm,” she gives voice to her thoughts, “well, I was thinking that you could just find the cargo room and hide in there until we’re able to pick up the cargo. Move it onto the top of the train beforehand or something. The carts are separated so it’s not like they’ll be able to see into it. I think you could hide on the roof too if you can make it there.”

“I don’t much like the idea of spending the whole ride on a roof,” you complain, “that sounds worse than fighting with those guards.”

“Well you’re much less likely to get spotted.”

“Yeah, but at what cost?” you exclaim, “you ever rode on top of a train before?”

“No… have you? Kinda sounds fun if I’m being honest…”

“No and I don’t want to. It don’t sound fun, sounds stupid,” you mumble as you spot the entrance of the store. Expensive looking clothes flank the sides of the door on the other side of a thick layer of glass. You hadn’t realized that the store itself was something like this but you are near a somewhat congested area. The marketplace here isn’t a main one so you didn’t expect it to be a posh designer store but from the looks of it, it seems to at least be catering to the more wealthy sort of people.

“Well, that’s fancy,” Naomi approaches one of the windows. A blue-white dress sits behind it in a bright light. The tight center and the bell-bottom reminds you of a dress that you would have seen in movies from a long time ago. Though you can remember a reemergence of that style of clothes, you wouldn’t think that something like that would be here. It’s not really like the dress Naomi wore last night but you can see why she might like it even if you have little fashion sense yourself.

“Yeah, I ain’t buying something like that,” you joke and push into the store’s door.

“Oh, don’t kid yourself, cheapskate. It wouldn’t look that great on you,” she replies.

“That’s why I said I ain’t buying it,” you shoot back from your shoulder. Looking around the store, you notice most of it looks to be high-class, business-type kind of clothes. Dress suits, dresses, professional clothes, and several pieces of what looks to be very strange arrangements of cotton and feathers with the labels of ‘high fashion’ under them. It’s a bit stuffy and if it was up to you, you would chose another place immediately. But since you’re pressed on time right now, you decide to keep going.

>[options next]

>Stick with the original plan of impersonation. You can find the uniform, or something similar to it, in here since they look like butlers to begin with.
>Go for something that would tag you as a businessman going in his daily routine. You’re just wear armor because you reeeaaally don’t trust the neighborhood.
>Try out some new clothes and see how they fit. You’re not going to adopt a persona but you’ve always needed to get a new suit. Something that fits and doesn’t make Naomi think that you’re a sports announcer.
>Find another place, go for plan B and find something to just cover the armor.
>>Go for something that would tag you as a businessman going in his daily routine. You’re just wear armor because you reeeaaally don’t trust the neighborhood.

>Find another place, go for plan B and find something to just cover the armor

The more I think about it, the more I like Naomi's plan, let's just buy something to cover our armor and then search for some zipline and harness to help us hold to the train roof. I would prefer to not get spotted at all

A business suit, a coat and something to hold on the train
both, let's get to robbing
Yeah. We space ninja now
>five for business man on a train

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This kind of throws a wrench in your previous plans of trying to impersonate the train operators and guards. You wanted to impersonate them because you would stick out less than just some dude wearing tactical armor in the middle of a train. You know the guards are most likely to be wearing kit too, probably strapped to high heaven if they’re worth their weight in salt. This was all to just avoid being noticed by them, to try to get by without causing a stir. But with how things are playing out, you might just have to switch to plan B.

You lean in closer to inspect one of the tags on the cuff of a black trimmed suit -- three zero zero. It’s damn expensive. you think while stepping back. Putting the crate under one arm, you pull out your display to check the time you have left. [02/10/3330 11:43] -- it gives you around three hours to complete everything though you know this is just the time till departure. The time the train will be under the right area is approximately thirty more minutes after that, so around [15:00].

“One hell of a Friday,” you mumble under your breath.

“What was that?” Naomi asks, looking from over your shoulder at the suit you checked the price on. “Oh, do you think this suit is nice? Ideally, you should get it personally tailored to you. Some of these suits are really just extra stock to show off their talents and shouldn’t really be something you buy. It’s better to get something to fit you than not, I remember going to help with one of my friend’s suits and they had it tailored to them. Even though most of it isn’t even hand-made like some of the more expensive stuff, it’s better than the normal stock.”

“No… I mean,” you trail off, “Right, yeah, what kind of suits do you think would look good on me then?”

“Why would you ask me?”

“Well you’re the one who said my other suit don’t fit right,” you reply, “besides, you helped your friend or whatever.”

“Yeah, but she was, first of all, a girl and it was a business suit. It wasn’t something fancy like this place has.”

“Business suit? Perfect, I need a business suit so why don’t you help me pick something out?” You ask. If you’re being honest you’ve only really worn a suit once or twice in your life with the interview being one of them. If doesn’t feel right trying to pick something out that you never really had any experience in. At least Naomi said that she had some experience. Which means it’s more than you.
“I don’t really know a whole lot about men’s suits. You should probably talk to the tailor. They could probably help you out more than I could.”

“What?” you feign exasperation, “You know everything.”

“You’re giving me too much credit, I only know what I know,” she replies and then turns to one of the women at the counter to wave her over. “Besides, I’m not that great at fashion. Weren’t you the one who helped out Coraline pick out some new clothes? I bet you’re much better than I am.”

“-unk,” you choke on your words, “please don’t bring that up. You know if I had known she wasn’t wearing any of that stuff I would of just asked you instead. It ain’t like that was on purpose.”

“Yeah, right. Infidelity is a sin you know.” she says but one of the workers arrives before you have a chance to respond.

“Hello, I’m Alice, do you see anything you like?” she asks as she looks between the two of you, stopping slightly as she rests her eyes on the crate tucked under your arm.

“Oh yeah, this place has such beautiful dresses,” Naomi answers.

“Did you see the one on display outside? It’s my favorite of the ones we have currently. A special item that one of our more wealthier regulars requested. It’s a real gem if you ask me,” she pauses, “I can tell you’re new customers, so what can I help you two with? We cater to a variety of needs; business suits, ballroom dresses, party needs, and even wedding dresses and suits. Are you perhaps here for wedding dresses?”

“Oh no-” you begin.

“No, we’re already married,” Naomi answers again, cutting you off.

“Oh? Are you perhaps newly wed?” she asks, intrigued.

“Yes, we are. It was four months ago,” Naomi turns to you, “Right, honey?”

She’s a natural, you think as Naomi’s lie seems to just flow out as naturally as talking about the weather. “Yeah,” you pause and look at Naomi before looking at the tailor, trying to make sure you don’t seem too obvious, “We’re just looking for a business suit.”

“Recently moved here?”

“Right, recently moved. Got a place not too far from here and all,” you see Naomi smile as you answer. You’re pretty sure her joke has gone too far by now to actually resist it. Technically you’re legally married but not with your own names. You’re probably going to have to talk to her later about it. The reason why you didn’t ask her when it was brought up by Moreh is mainly because you didn’t want to talk about it in front of someone else. Now you don’t even have time to worry about it since you got a train to catch.

“That sounds lovely, you moved for the job opportunities here, yes? Arcady really are doing miracles out here. I moved all the way from Goldilocks to work here. Really different experience here than back home,” she says.
“Really? I’m from Montaway,” Naomi pipes up.

“Oh? You’re Imperialist, or, well, mixed right?”


“I can tell, your eyes are such a beautiful green and I just- oh I just love your hair. I know this man is just the luckiest one alive to have someone like you on his arm,” she turns to you, “You’re looking for a business suit, right? You have one of those official and fancy sort of jobs here then?”

“No, I’m in-between jobs right now,” you say, “I’m uh, looking for one.”

“Oh really? Well you better get a good one this lady of yours has expensive tastes so if you ever want to buy her that dress out there you better get a nice job!” the lady says.

“Oh, no,” Naomi replies, leaning in and covering her mouth in a faux whisper, “he’s really a huge cheapskate. A total pain of a husband, I tell you. Last night we went to get some drinks to celebrate a little and he made me pay.”

“Oh!” the tailor gasps and softly taps you on your arm, “She’s kidding right?”

“I-- uh…” you stutter.

“Oh no! She’s not kidding,” she covers her mouth and wide-eyed turns back to Naomi, “Really? Well he really better get a good job! You certainly deserve to be pampered.”

“I’m trying,” you say.

“See, Josh,” It’s a strange feeling being called by that name -- especially by Naomi, “I’ve been telling you that you should pamper me more often.”

“Yeah yeah,” you mumble, “Anyways, we recently got into a bit of cash to spend on a suit for job hunting. Princess here already has a job so it ain’t all that dire like she’s trying to make it out to be.”

“Oh…” the tailor says, “well we better get you into a nice suit then! What kind were you looking for?” she begins to wave you to follow her and she stops in front of a few mannequins displaying various suit styles, “We have them in a few different styles. Personally I think it would be something sweet if you bought the imperialist-style suit here by Yasuda. It’s one of my favorites and it’s professional as well as very fashionable. But if you want something that’s more or less popular today then you just can’t go wrong with the new Gavelio-styled suits. Gavelio truly is inspired to make some of the things his company does. Other than that we also have some other styles that you might be interested in. Of course we’ll have to get your measurements first.”

>[options next]

>”I’ll take the Yasuda suit.” You’re a cultured man, but you also really enjoy the colors and the general look of the suit. The layering of cloth underneath and the high-collared jacket make for something you haven’t seen before.
>”I’ll take a Gavelio suit.” The suit itself reminds you of something extravagant. The futuristic cuts and edges on the jacket to reveal some of the shirt underneath really speak to you.
>”I think this one looks really nice.” it’s an average business suit and what’s really speaking to you is really your wallet than your eyes. Simple plain and it doesn’t stick out. Perfect for you.
>”What about this one?” It’s a suit that is just as plain as the other but it’s colors and the general feel of it makes it seem more relaxed than the others. Something that fits you better.

>”I’ll take the Yasuda suit.” You’re a cultured man, but you also really enjoy the colors and the general look of the suit. The layering of cloth underneath and the high-collared jacket make for something you haven’t seen before.

I was sold on the high collar
Rolled 1 (1d2)


1->”I’ll take the Yasuda suit.” You’re a cultured man, but you also really enjoy the colors and the general look of the suit. The layering of cloth underneath and the high-collared jacket make for something you haven’t seen before.
2->”I’ll take a Gavelio suit.” The suit itself reminds you of something extravagant. The futuristic cuts and edges on the jacket to reveal some of the shirt underneath really speak to you.

let's go with one of the good ones, we can use them later for something else

rolling for it
>henlo, yes, I'd like the most expensive suit to fill it with bullet holes please.

>”What about this one?” It’s a suit that is just as plain as the other but it’s colors and the general feel of it makes it seem more relaxed than the others. Something that fits you better.
>Two for a nice suit

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“Well honestly,” you shift the weight of the crate under your arm, “I ain’t got much of an eye for fashion so I might just leave it up to the professional here.”

She quietly laughs and with a nod she begins to examine the Yasuda suit, “It’s one of my favorites from Yasuda. This specific piece is from 3300, mind you it’s still very much in fashion and I wouldn’t recommend it if it was otherwise. It mixes both the proverbial western and eastern styles of clothing into one. It’s a common motif for Yasuda specifically to do this as he himself founded his company after leaving the Imperialist worlds. Most of his designs come in this sort of mixture that really makes it pleasing to look at.”

“Yasuda is from Hadena, no?” Naomi perks up, asking something that you didn’t really think she’d know much about. Despite what she claims, she really does seem to know quite a bit about almost everything if not everything in its totality.

“Hadena…” Alice repeats, “yeah… yeah, I think so. He just might be. Either way, he’s based out of Alchemy now. A lot of competition comes out of there in the fashion world and with Yasuda being there it’s almost a center of fashion just as Sol or Paradise is.”

Naomi nods silently and then approaches the suit, “So what about the measurements, you’ll be taking his measurements and then make the suit, right?”

“Yes,” she nods, “We’ll take the measurements and it will take about half of an hour to a full one depending on the complexity or fabric chosen.”

“So how’s it designer if it’s made on site?” you ask. You’ve never been shopping for suits and the one store that sells suits in your town sold secondhand or just did a small number of specific requests which were mainly maintenance on already whole suits.

“I assure you it’s in full compliance with the original drawings,” Alice answers with a hint of confusion or something you can’t really place.

“No I think he means how does it work, like how can it be designer if it’s all made outside of the original designer’s homebase,” Naomi clairfies.

“Oh, no, most suits are made on site,” Alice points to some place beyond the counter, “We use diagrams and blueprints and print out everything. Have you not seen something like that?”

“Oh nah, I just didn’t know. Thought most clothes are, I dunno, like made in a factory or if they’re really fancy made by a craftsman,” you finish only to give Alice a deeper display of confusion.
“He’s not really a city type,” Naomi whispers to the tailor who makes another, different, face of understanding. “He acts like he comes straight off a colony farm if you ask me.”

“I didn’t want to say something but…” Alice trails off before giving a clap and waving the two of you to follow her, “Right so if you’ll give that crate to your wife we can all go to the back and get your measurements”

“Alright,” you say pushing off the crate to Naomi. She takes it with both her arms, but even with wrapping around it she still seems to struggle, furrowing her brow and narrowing her eyes, “So what kind of measurements are you taking?”

“Well, chest, waist, arms, thighs, just measurements to get the right suit for you. It’ll be one size larger than your actual measurements since the fabric will be a bit tight otherwise,” she says, pausing to open a curtain to a room with a strange machine hanging from the room.

“That thing’s gunna measure me?” you point at it, “Don’t look much like something that measures, more like a torture device or something.”

“Ha ha…” she voices, “no, no, actually many other customers have said the same thing. All you have to do is take off your shirt and pants and stand on that pad in the middle there.”

“I gotta strip too?”

Alice quickly raises her hand as for a pause or to calm down a kid, “There are dividers that come down so you don’t have to worry about your privacy. We won’t be trying to take a peek, we promise you.

“Don’t worry, no one here wants to see you strip,” Naomi says hugging the crate to herself. You give her a sidelong glance and a frowning smirk before stepping toward the machine.

“Right, all I gotta do is…” you step under the machine and watch as a layer of thin panels descend from the ceiling to separate you and the rest of the room. It doesn’t take long to become flush with the ground and it takes you less time to take off your shirt and pants, laying them on a rack near the center of the machine. The machine itself is composed of several spindly arms like a spider glued to the ceiling but more dangerous looking. As soon as you step under the machine it kicks alive with a jolt of movement.

A screen in front of you displays a skeleton of what you look like and with each touch from one of the machine’s many hands, it measures your body and fills out the screen’s skeleton. The cold metal against your skin makes you tense up with each touch but you forget about it halfway -- you're in awe. Each measurement goes into this program to create a perfect model of your body.

As someone who works with their hands a lot, you can see how many implications just this one thing can do for someone back on Haven. It’s almost inspiring to watch it work its way around your body, lifting your arms and pressing against your skin to build a digital you. It almost makes you forget about what you’re doing this for.

It’s been stuck on your mind. The job itself can be pretty much simplified into a little thing that doesn’t actually affect anyone but in reality it’s almost like being paid to kill another person. Regardless of whether they’re right or wrong or if they’re Arcady or not, they’re still people. This was why you decided to go non-lethal and honestly you’re beginning to consider Naomi’s plan. Actually standing on top of the train, or rather, hiding away until you’re at the pick up point.

Not being seen is something you’re hoping to do. You’ve never spilt blood, well, you have, but it wasn’t taking someone’s life. It was in fights or anything else that doesn’t include death. You have no qualms about fighting, in fact, you think more people should fight. Fighting is just something natural. “Boys will be boys” is something your mom would say but that’s the truth of it. People need to fight, whether for honor or to let out steam. It’s only natural.

Only natural.

But murder is different. Murder is something that you’re not willing to commit. You’ll take breaking an arm any day over killing someone. It’s not like some people don’t deserve it but who are you to say who does or doesn’t deserve a life? What authority do you have to judge a man’s soul and condemn him? You don’t, or at least you don’t think you do. You know that if someone tried to kill you that you would, at the very least try, to kill him back. Self defence. But you’re not sure if you would be proactive in it. Nor do you think you can live with the guilt.

You’re not sure. Honestly this whole event is something of a stain on you. Of course you didn’t care all that much about it when you took it, because at then you were thinking about something else. You were thinking about being able to protect the people around you -- the people you care about. You need money, you need skill, and you need a way to defend them. This job would stab at someone who would, indirectly, harm you and the people you care about.

That was your justification. That was what you had thought but now you’re not too sure. Naomi might be right after all. She’s probably the only reason why you hadn’t thought too hard on it. That infectious optimism might just turn you into a sinner. Sin -- is justice sin though? Yet, what kind of justice will you be seeking on this? What sort of justice or self gratification will you gain from this? It’s simply that you have something you want to gain and they are in the way. Maybe simplifying everything might be the best way to look at it after all.
hinking too much on the morality of being a thief won’t make you a pious man. Like Moreh had said, you worry too much. It certainly is true. You have been worrying about a lot of things. Yes, but you are justified in your worries. It may not be a comforting feeling but it’s certainly something that is helping you get through this. To worry about someone -- someone you love.

Another jolt of the multiple spindly arms with a sound that reminds you of metal wires, the machine stops and raises up.

You stand there for a moment and look up at the white machine. It’s fascinating, truly is, but you have little time to think about it. After all you’re too worried about other things. You sigh as you fit yourself through your pants one leg at a time just like anyone else. Stepping off the platform, you watch as the divider automatically rises up to reveal the two beaming smiles of Alice and Naomi. “Why do you look so serious?”

“Huh?” you ask and watch Naomi approach you, “What?”

“Oh nothing, you just looked like you were scowling when the thing raised,” she points the the ceiling. “Did that thing touch you inappropriately?”

“What? No…?” you answer with a raised brow, “It’s nothing,” you say and then turn to Alice, “So what’s next?”

You know Naomi is probably thinking the same thing. She always seems to be thinking in opposite to how she acts. A strange showing of intelligence that doesn’t allow you to really know what she’s thinking. At least not fully. She might be worried about you though, since she did seem concerned. Maybe she’s thinking the same thing you are. That would make sense why she gave the idea of being on top of the train.

“Alright. So, now all we have to do is choose a fabric and then we can start fabricating it,” she says and steps over to another strange bulky machine on the opposite wall. “I recommend a Synth-Mouslin composite fabric for the whole thing. Now, it’s less expensive than a silk, cashmere or velvet, but it’s not that much less in quality. It still ranges around three hundred to four hundred -- in this case it would be around three fifty I believe -- but it’s not anywhere near the nearly double in price silk or triple cashmere. Oh, here’s the pricing as well.”

She hands you a list of fabrics to choose from but it really just boils down to preference and price tag. The designs and look is completely optional as well. “I can pay in installments too, right?”


>[options next]

>”Full synth cotton,” it’s a durable and common material. [160 ▲]
>”I want to try the Linen, the uh, ‘Alchemy Weave’. Says it’s a summer choice here.” it’s breathable and light. [230▲]
>”I’ll stick to the professional choice.” durable, luxurious and sumptuous to the touch. [350 ▲]
>”Velvet. Going for a special occasion.” very nice choice for a high roller like yourself. [430 ▲]

>”A plain design, solid colors.” Black and white, a classic.
>”A stripped design, blue and white.” Blue solid base and thin white vertical stripes. [10▲]
>”An imperialist design. Base of blue and white flowers.” the coat will sport the design while the pants will be the same blue and the shirt will be white. [25▲]
>[write-in] (Use the same metric for prices as seen above)
>>”I’ll stick to the professional choice.” durable, luxurious and sumptuous to the touch. [350 ▲]
>”A plain design, solid colors.” Black and white, a classic.
If we're gonna try and act like business man we need to look like one.
>”Full synth cotton,” it’s a durable and common material. [160 ▲]

>[write-in] (Use the same metric for prices as seen above). Black fabric with crimsom rose-vine mottifs.

Cheap and bombastic
Seconding. Let's not be tacky.
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Literally a rug

>”I’ll stick to the professional choice.” durable, luxurious and sumptuous to the touch. [350 ▲]

>”A plain design, solid colors.” Black and white, a classic.

The same deal as the other store to speed things up

Make the downpayment of 65% or whatever they charge here and then pay the rest in installments.
>three for business as usual

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“I’ll stick with the professional’s opinion,” you say tapping against the machine.

“Then what about the design? Something tame or something more… flashy? I’ll definitely recommend something that highlights the imperialist motif if you’re willing.”

“No no, I’ll rather stick to classics when it comes to colors. Not much for flashy things,” you turn around, having finished your inspection of the strange machine. “Oh right,” you say and move over to Naomi who’s still struggling with the crate. Taking the crate from her arms, you give a weak smile and thank her, “Yeah, just keep it white and black. Nothin’ too fancy.”

“Well, certainly. Customer knows best. Though I have to admit that making a good first impression is a key to success within business,” she places a finger on her nose before turning away to tap away at the machine’s screen.

“Josh is never the one to like sticking out too much, even if he’s bad at it,” Naomi says, handing off the crate to you.

“Oh what a shame, the two of you are quite the power couple. With the blond and pink hair, it makes a striking look,” Alice says without turning around, “I think you will love the way he looks in the Yasuda suit. It’s very chic and really compliments a lot of the features. Honestly if he grows his hair out a bit more and ties it up then he’ll have the look down entirely.”

“I’ve always kept it short,” you answer, “just hadn’t had the time to get it cut.”

“Really?” Naomi says, “I thought you were just growing it out or something. Couldn’t you have cut it on our way here?”

“It’s a bit small in that ship to get it cut, don’t you think? Besides I don’t have anything to really cut it with,” you reply.

“You could have asked me,” she says then turns away, “Well, in any case, how long should the suit take to make?”

“It shouldn’t take longer than,” she pauses to look at the screen, “around thirty minutes. How are you going to pay?”

“I’ll do an installment plan?” you answer-ask.

“Wonderful. You’ll have to pay one… hundred and seventy-five for the downpayment and then with and interest of ten percent per year, it should be around three dollars each month if I’m not mistaken.”

“Ten percent…” you repeat, “you know, is that the same for most stores? It’s a yearly rating, right?”

“Right, yeah, I think most stores around here do a ten percent interest rate per year. I was never too sure why it’s not actually just monthly interest rates but I suppose it shouldn’t be too much. I do most of my shopping with installment plans personally. It just helps relieve some of the stress at the time. Monthly payments are so much more easier to handle,” Alice answers. “Though I am, admittedly, an impulse buyer at heart.”
>[That's not alice btw. Alice isn't Imperialist, just couldn't find anything to post with this update.]

“Right,” you say,”so, one-seven-five and then I have to pay at least three standards extra each month?”

“Correct,” Alice replies,”Oh and also, the payments are automatic if you do not pay within a certain time, they will deduce a specific amount of standards from your account so be careful if you don’t want to pay a surprise thirty or fourty standards one month. There’s also a minimum on what you can pay for any given month which is the interest itself.”

“Okay,” you say with a slow nod. You’re kind of understanding what she’s talking about but you feel like most of it is going over your head. You place your display against the screen and again lament as you see the standards plink away. The remaining one hundred and five standards stare back at you dully before you finally close the display with a sigh. “So, do we have to stay here for it to finish or…”

“Oh no, you don’t have to stay here for it. The machine will send you a message on your display once it has finished your order. So if you want then you could leave and then come back any time afterwards. We’ll hold onto the suit so you don’t have to worry about getting back so fast of course.”

>”Alright sounds fine, we’ll probably just stay here. Do you know where the bathroom is?” You only have 150▲ left so you don’t exactly have enough spending cash to get much else. You’ll hold onto your standards for now.
>”Do you know where a hardware store or a place that sells construction equipment is?” You’re going to go with what Naomi had suggested. Wires and mag boots aren’t exactly the hardest to look for but they ain’t the cheapest. Your EVA suit has some but it’s not the same and you’re not willing to cannibalize them.
>”Do you know of a wine store nearby?” Some wine for the guards, you’ll find some pharmacy around there too. Two birds with one stone and you’ll be back in no time.
>”Do you know where a hardware store or a place that sells construction equipment is?” You’re going to go with what Naomi had suggested. Wires and mag boots aren’t exactly the hardest to look for but they ain’t the cheapest. Your EVA suit has some but it’s not the same and you’re not willing to cannibalize them.

Instead of canibalizing, could we carry the magboots from the EVA in a box or something? And put them on inside the train? That way we would save some cash and only buy the wires
(Ne)Kov QM probably means that you can't just remove the boots from the suit.

>to the hardware store!

>”Do you know where a hardware store or a place that sells construction equipment is?” You’re going to go with what Naomi had suggested. Wires and mag boots aren’t exactly the hardest to look for but they ain’t the cheapest. Your EVA suit has some but it’s not the same and you’re not willing to cannibalize them.
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>three for hardware store

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>[Ahhh, sorry guys, had to deal with a few things in the middle of writing the update so that's why it's so late.]

“Thank you,” you smile with a bow from your head. You’re not sure if you’re picking up on some of Naomi’s mannerisms or just because you’re beginning to absorb some of them from around you, “Do you know where a hardware store might be?”

“Around here?” Alice asks while rubbing her chin, “A hardware store…”

“Like a construction equipment place, you know, somewhere that sells furniture for the house, building material like wood, steel, and such or just tools and stuff.” Naomi explains, though you’re not positive that she knows why exactly you’re looking for a hardware store.

“Yeah,” you agree with Naomi’s explanation.

“Ah, are you going into the construction business? That makes sense, there’s been a lot of talk about construction work opening up lately around Leo,” she pauses, “Hmmm, yeah I think there’s a store around here but I don’t know the name of it. Never really bothered to remember it, sorry.”

“Oh no worries,” Naomi says, “I’m sure we can find it just fine if we look hard enough. Thank you anyways. We’ll come back whenever the suit is finished.”

“Right, well, it’s been a pleasure and I hope you two will like how the suit turns out,” Alice waves as the two of you begin to leave the store. You check your display and you not that you still have around two hours left. It’s not much but it’s still too much to just sit around and it’s not like you were planning to sit around in the first place. Adjusting the crate under your arm, you sift through the map still standing at the exit of the clothing store.

Most of the people you’ve met around here seem to be nice people so you wonder if this must be a wealthy area. At least from your past experience wherever retired cops settle down or wherever shops with designer names in them are then it must be a rich neighborhood. Though you’re not too sure how well your logic translates to places like this -- Leo’s Main station -- but you like to think that most things still apply.

Hardware stores aren’t really located in these types of places unless it’s near where the rich begin their building projects, that is. So, understandably, the locals wouldn’t really know of construction places. You just hope that the option for what you have in mind will still be sold wherever you finally find.

“So why are we heading to a hardware store? Finally starting to get on my side?” Naomi teases and nudges you in the side with her elbow, “You actually gunna ride on top of the train?”

Might be wearing on her too, you think as you laugh to yourself at her newly-acquired accent. “Yeah…”

“Ha ha!” she exclaims in joy, “I knew it! See my plan wasn’t so bad after all!”
“Well, yeah, I jus’ don’t think it’s that smart to be on top of a moving train,” you reply.

“So what all are you thinking about getting at the store? I mean the hardest part would probably staying on the top of the train. Something like how they tie down cargo, like those industrial straps that you can lock into the floor, right?”

“Eh… no not really, I think mag boots can work just fine,” you say.

“Mag boots? Don’t you already have a pair on the EVA suit? Can’t you just wear them?” Naomi asks excitedly, watching you look through your display.

“No no,” you look up, “If I do that then I’ll ruin the suit. The boots are a part of the EVA suit. They’re connected to the pants. Can’t take them apart unless I want to break the suit. I can take the boots off of the Martyr I just bought though, or I can just find one of those slide-ins that just alter the boots.”

“Slide-in mag boots? Do they really make those?” Naomi asks then turns away, placing a hand under her chin, “So those sound like the best option. If we can get mag boots then you can stay on the top of the train. I suggested it because I thought it might be better to not be seen by the guards entirely.”

You nod, “Right, that’s what I was getting at. Anyways, I think this place has what I need,” you say and point at your display screen. From what you can tell, it has the best chance of having mag boots or just something to help you stay on top. Even if they don’t it’s not the end of the line for the job. You can always go back to your original plan of becoming just a businessman on a train. Even if Naomi doesn’t think your plan really has any merit because you saw it on TV. Classics work just fine.

“Welcome,” a short man shouts from over the counter before quickly making his way over to the two of you. The smell of wood and iron filings hit you the moment you entered the store. It was something similar to nostalgia that fills you as you nod to the short man. It reminds you of when you were out in the back, working with your dad on whatever project you had that particular day. You don’t have and specific project in mind since you can’t really remember every single one but it’s overwhelmingly nostalgic. “How may I help you, what kind of projects you two after?”

>”I’m looking for some Magnetic boots.” They’re more expensive than some others but they’re certainly the most reliable out of anything you can come up with.
>”Magnetic slips for some boots I have. Can you guys do the conversion in shop too?” The cheaper of the two options for sticking to things metal. You did just buy a nifty set of gear and would rather not replace the boots with mag boots entirely.
>”Looking for straps and wires, something that can tie things down with?” The cheapest of all of the options and probably the worst of them too. It’ll keep you stuck down for sure though…
>”I’m just looking around,” you’ll probably see something else if you walk around for a bit. You have some time to browse, you think.
>>”Magnetic slips for some boots I have. Can you guys do the conversion in shop too?” The cheaper of the two options for sticking to things metal. You did just buy a nifty set of gear and would rather not replace the boots with mag boots entirely.

>”Magnetic slips for some boots I have. Can you guys do the conversion in shop too?” The cheaper of the two options for sticking to things metal. You did just buy a nifty set of gear and would rather not replace the boots with mag boots entirely.
Magnetic slippers
We'll have some time to spare after shopping, maybe its a good time to ask what happened yesterday morning and what did she need from those armed guys.

If we are going to die in a bit migjt as well die with some info.
>three for slippers

going to railroad slightly just to speed everything up and because you have no more standards to buy things with, we'll be going to the train immediately after getting the suit back.
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“Yeah, hey, we’re looking for some equipment. Doing a project on my ship an’ I was in the need of some mag boots,” you half-lie and adjust the crate’s weight. You’ve never really been that great of a liar, in fact, you tend to be blunt with most things. Personally, you though that you would have made the worst, or best, politician depending on who you ask. Lying wasn’t your strong suit but you’re not sure if being honest was.

“Ah right, I started a project of my own recently too. Had a coolant problem with my shuttle and literally every time I turned on the shower it would be freezing cold. One of the biggest pains I have to say,” the worker says, waving you two to follow him.

“Wait,” you pause, holding out a hand to tap him on his arm, “You got that problem too?”

“Yeah,” the man answers, “A real pain whenever I was moving over to Leo.”

“Yeah, yeah, I recently moved in to Leo too. My ship has that exact problem,” you say, “The whole thing with putting the water right next to the coolant and letting it run pipes over to the drive along with the actual coolant to keep temperatures down really doesn’t work out like I had planned it to.”

“Oh really, you had that problem too? Had set the coolant with the water, for saving space, but eventually it just froze my water until the--”

“The boiler heated the water up enough. With the coolant and the water right next to each other the water just comes out freezing cold every time you turn it on. Takes like thirty seconds just to get it cooled down,” you finish for the man. As if the two of you found kindred spirits in each other you share a smile as he gives you a nod.

“Exactly, exactly,” he says.

“So how did you fix the problem? With the space and actually keeping the same temps for the drive?” you ask excitedly, following him into one of the aisles.

“Right right, so to not sacrifice the temperatures or the space for the entire thing, I had to switch the piping as well as strip the water pipes. Now, really, it’s makes it a whole lot less cold for the drive. I know, but if you remove the heater for the water you can keep it relatively cold on a constant with the coolant somewhat sapping heat when the pipes come into contact. The drive heats the water and you get, on average, much hotter water than before,” he says proudly, “Plus, with the extra weight from the heater gone, I was able to strap in a newer set of displays and sound systems. Really solid stuff from Omnium.”
“You got Omnium?” you ask in surprise. The two of you, by now, have already made it to where the slips were and are just standing around them.

“Yeah I bought the newest CRYPT-tech with ADAM-integrated auto for the whole--”

“Ahem,” Naomi cuts off the two of you and points at the slips.

“Ah right,” the man says and quickly moves on from his ship and to the slips. “So most of these are just for sizing so if I can see the boots you’re putting them on…”

You raise the shoes from the Martyr suit, allowing him to take a closer look at them before turning around, grabbing a slip, and then placing it up against the shoe. He does this for a few of them before he finds one that looks like it fits perfectly. With a slow nod, he begins to walk away with a pair of the same size. The slips, themselves, fit just on the underside of the shoe, on the bottom of the sole. They lock onto the shoe after a few adjustments on the slip itself.

The man waves for the two of you to follow. You decide to take this time to lean into Naomi and whisper, “What? So you don’t like it when people talk about things you don’t know anything about?”

“Whaaat?” she rolls her eyes and crosses her arms “no…”

“Ha ha,” you laugh, “I thought you knew something about pretty much anything.”

“I only know what I know, besides we’re on the clock,” she says, turning her chin up.

“Yeah, uh, right, because you seemed so worried when you were talking to Alice about clothes,” you jab.

“That’s different, you know. That was to establish a story,” she defends herself, “You were just talking about ships with him, totally different. -- Oh!” she exclaims, a small beeping from her display shows that time’s up. Seems Alice is finished with the suit so you should be able to pick it up immediately after. “Looks like everything is ready..

“Sounds good, we’ll be heading there after we finish up here,” you say as the two of you arrive at the back workcounter. You take out the pair of shoes from the suit and place them on the table, allowing the man to inspect the shoes. “So… You actually have ADAM auto throughout the ship?” you ask, leaning onto the counter.

“Yeah, really makes the difference,” he replies, still engrossed in the work as he fits one of the slips onto the shoe. Taking a tool you haven’t seen before, he presses one of the locks down onto the shoe to secure it tightly. “The difference between the average auto and it is like night and day, I tell you. Really something as it can actually do real-time calculations on almost everything in the system around it. Save for maybe… not sure honestly, I haven’t encountered anywhere that that core can’t process.”
“Sounds like a pretty fancy piece of kit,” you respond. “Say, how much is the slips and the service for fitting them?”

“Not much, fifty standards. The service is free,” he responds, “besides, I’m glad to meet someone else who’s into ships like myself. I use slips like these pretty often when working so they’re almost a necessity for me. If you’re interested, we also have a few other things in stock like a mag belt for your tools.”

You look to Naomi and she shakes her head, you were thinking the same thing. You don’t have a whole lot of time given the fact that the suit is already finished. Plus the actual amount of time you have until the train departs is only an hour and a half and if you want to actually get there and board before the crowd gets there, you’ll have to arrive an hour earlier... “No,” you finally answer to much of the man’s disappointment.

“Ah, that’s all fine,” he says, “My name’s Rick, by the way. So if you have any problems with the slips you can come back and I’ll have a look at them without charging for service.”

“Right,” you say, taking the now finished shoes from the table and placing them back into the crate. “Thanks for everything. Personally I thought I’d have to re-adjust the entire piping or just move the coolant away from the water system.”

“Yeah, it’s something I saw on the net. Anyways, take care,” he waves as you and Naomi leave. Fifty more standards out of your pocket and now with the shoes, everything should be set up for what you have in mind. You nod to yourself as you check your display, swiping away at the notification from the store Alice works at. The suit is done so the two of you start to make your way there.

“So,” Naomi says, “What… what were you two talking about? The shower?”

You smile and breathe out a laugh, “yeah, the shower. You know how the shower’s cold every time you turn it on, right? It’s because of the collant for the ship.”

“Ah…” she nods “So it’s cold because you put it by the coolant? Why not just put it somewhere else?”

“It’s just the space I have plus the model isn’t really suited for moving the internals around a whole lot,” you answer. “Poly ain’t really that strict with modding on their ships but there’s limits to what you can do. Been stuck at the problem for a while.”

“Ahhh…” she nods again. It’s kind of funny seeing her not know something that you know. Then again most of what you were talking about is due to your certificate in Engineering. She would obviously not know something like that, just like you wouldn’t really know about… well then again her cert has something to do with English. Ain’t that just the same as everyone else? Who don’t know English? you think for a moment as the two of you approach the clothing store.
“Welcome back,” the familiar voice of Alice calls from deeper within the store. Naomi walks ahead of you and the two of you weave your way through the clothing mannequins and display stands to the counter where Alice is working at. “The suit is ready.”

She pulls up a plastic-wrapped suit that makes you think that it’s coming from the dry cleaners. “Thanks,” you say as you take the suit from Alice.

“Right, my pleasure,” she says, handing off the suit, “you better make an impression and get that job Mister Joshua. Your wife deserves to be spoiled!”

“Oh believe me, she’s plenty spoiled as is,” you say.

“Am not!” Naomi replies with a weak punch to your shoulder. The tailor covers a laugh with one of her hands as Naomi fake-pouts. “You’re just a cheapskate.”

“Hey, I’m trying to get a job, right?” you open the plastic covering the suit slightly to take a peek at it. “Can I change into it?”

“Yeah… sure,” the tailor says and points toward one of the changing rooms. She probably didn’t expect that you’d want to put it on right when you got it. The fact still remains that you need to put it on before you arrive to the station and since you’re low on time… You close the red curtain behind you as you enter the small changing room. Placing the crate on the bench provided, you take off your shoes and jacket first before tossing your pants and shirt down into a pile next to the crate.

Unzipping the plastic protector, you reveal the soft black fabric of the suit’s jacket. The classic look of a professional suit really makes you feel like you’re going somewhere in the world even if you’re not. Running your hands through your hair, you start to take everything out and put it on. The actual fabric makes it feel like one of the more expensive blankets or bedding and you’re not really able to stop yourself from running your hands over it. It’s soft, really soft and really sleek.

Taking this moment, you step back to look at yourself in the mirror. You hadn’t bought any shoes to go with it but if you had then it might have been even more expensive. The suit fits you well. No surprise there, given that it was made from the measurements taken from you. It’s also kind of poetic, the suit itself is a combination of imperialist and UGE fashion, much like how Naomi is a combination from her imperialist mother and her UGE-born father. Alice really did pick something that works, something that you think works really well. What can you say other than you like the way you look?

You step out from the changing room to see Naomi talking about something. The two of them seem to have hit it off the first time they met and now they look like old friends catching up. Does she really not like that I know about something she don’t? you think back to the hardware store for a moment before Naomi breaks your thoughts. “Looks good.”
“Thanks,” you say, flattening the front of the suit with a hand.

“Only problem are your shoes,” Alice says pointing to your running shoes you wore today.

“I don’t have any dress shoes,” you reply, “It’s alright, the interview ain’t till a few days later.”

“Right…” she says, “well, in any case, I’m glad like it. It’s one of my personal favorites and I think it looks great on you.”

“See, she says it looks great,” you gesture to Alice, “Why does it only look good and not great, huh?”

Naomi rolls her eyes, shaking her head as she laughs, “It looks great honey, wonderful even.”

“Yeah, much better,” you joke, taking out the display from your pocket. It’s around an hour before the train departs. Moreh and his job. It’s strange that he would spring something so important on the two of you just hours before it would happen. You’re probably not as prepared as you could be but you think that with the plan that you have right now, you can get it done. You’re just stealing from some armed thugs and then handing it over to Moreh. In the long run you know that Moreh will be more helpful than not.

You’re just worried about it all. Arcady is rotten to the core, you want to just poke at it and see it crumble against its own weight like a termite-infested tree trunk. That’s who those guys really are. Thugs and thieves. Rich who steal from the poor. You might not be comfortable with stealing but if you’re stealing from the rich then… then it’s justifiable. You’re like Robin Hood, steal from the rich and give to the poor. A hero… like your brother. You sigh and look to the two girls. “Right, well I got a train to catch.”


This is the end of Episode 7 for For Hire.

I originally intended for the episode to end after returning to Moreh but… things have came up and I don’t think I’ll be able to get to that point without the thread itself dying. I won’t be able to run until next weekend or maybe even the weekend after that, not sure. I’ll say something on discord if plans change though.

Twitter: Kov_QM
Archive: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=FHQ
Discord: https://discord.gg/QznmEus
Thanks for running.

See Naomi, it's not that hard to compliment.
thanks for running


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