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Your name is Shu, and after peaceful business talks with Madame Yurei devolved into a desperate melee against your own departed Dream Daughters, you now find yourself in the shadow of a towering threat that toes the line between the waking and dreaming worlds.

Your ideological opposite, the very woman who would have dragged the world kicking and screaming into a world of illusion and lies with the Cord’s power is now broken and Hunger-mad, her fitful death throes and unyielding determination having coalesced into the looming abomination that now lumbers towards you with ponderous, thundering steps. The Gashadokuro’s body trembles and flickers with every footfall, great, billowing voids tearing open in the wake of the colossal skeleton and offering glimpses into the primordial chaos of an ill-remembered past.

Your chattering swarm churns the air overhead as you and your exhausted family brace for a renewed fight, all the while keeping an eye on the Daughter that crouches in front of your party, her runner’s stance aimed at the titan before you. Francine’s coat clings tight to Isabelle’s petite form, her eyes focused on your mutual foe. Rath’s attention is fixed on B’ni to the exclusion of everything around them, her fists clenched tight as she glares at the back of a head of short dark hair.

“If I may be so bold in this time of crisis, I do believe a two-pronged assault would prove fruitful.” Francine offers, leaning forward as she taps the frames of her spectacles. “According to my observations, this particular spooky scary skeleton has one foot in our reality and the other planted firmly in the Dreamlands. Destabilization of only its physical body would be an exercise in frustration, and its own mind appears to be a veritable labyrinth of foul memories and self-delusions. Attacking both simultaneously will effectively pull it in two separate directions, and Yurei isn’t in the frame of mind to hold this thing together if we start a tug-of-war on either side...or at all, for any great length of time."

~~~

Previous Vein: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive/3805827/

Archive: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=Body%20Horror%20Quest

Character Abilities: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/15ctgm_liaNO0e0B6zAcIUrmfDN0tWiXds3L4FvogI2M/edit#gid=0

Trypophilic Hive, Ver. 3: https://pastebin.com/bUWG6TNF

Relics, Ver. 4: https://pastebin.com/c4J9mpPK

Dual Techs: https://pastebin.com/2jZ5Zhyx

Twitter: https://twitter.com/bodyhorrorquest?lang=en
>>
"What do you mean, Doc?" You demand, your unblinking focus trained solely on Yurei's last, desperate bid to defeat you as Francine rubs the bridge of her nose.

"In short? She's gone too big, too fast." The good doctor sighs bitterly. "She can't sustain this form for more than a few hours at most with what little power she has left, so this isn't nearly the same level of threat that Uzu posed."

“And if we just leave?” Dorian asks, glancing back to where his colorful constructs cradle Amara’s unconscious form between them. “What’s stopping us from leaving this thing to run itself until it just stops?"

"Very little, aside from the possible destruction and Hunger-based chain reactions it might provoke in any nearby settlements or errant Daughters, respectively." Fran replies casually, even as her glasses bounce back down her nose as another titanic step sends a rippling shudder through the Fleshscape. "...Though I'd imagine that's probably the only reasons you'd need, Darlings."

A choice, then. With Amara down for the count, getting an update on any forthcoming reinforcements is mostly out the window, and even though your group is a dozen strong, almost half of them are elements you're not entirely comfortable with...some moreso than others, as you chance another furtive glance at Isabelle.

Your empathic channel envelops your family and the titan both, a whirlwind of emotion swirling within reach of your extrasensory gift...a fool's gift, to be sure. From Gina's trepidation to Rath's fury at the entire scene, from Julia's desire to help Yurei to Dorian's barely-restrained urge to take his love and Amara in hand and run as fast as he can to the waystation. Francine duels her own overwhelming curiosity as the flame of a soldier's resolve flickers in November's heart. The Barbers...well, they're just happy to be here, and as for Isabelle...

...she's tired. So very, utterly tired, but beyond that there's something you cannot quite put your finger on. Hope? Regret? Shame?

Much like the creature Yurei birthed into existence, she's feeling all that and more, all at once. You begin to speak as you stare up at the pure, unbridled storm of negativity and turmoil that is Yurei, the Yume Gashadokuro.

You speak, and in doing so you take the futures of everyone present in your hands, once more.

>>Form Real- and Dream-World Assault teams from the following (Shu, B'ni, GG, Rath, Julia, Dorian, November, Francine, Rosa, Sia, Betty, Sugar) There is no current party limit for either assault team.

OR

>>Rescue the members of the Hyenas along with any stragglers, and evacuate while you can. You're not endangering your family by trying to interrupt Yurei's last gasp of power.

>>Write-In

YOU ARE IN CONTROL
>>
Well that just leaves us with the uncomfortable question:

What happens if Yurei dies, but the dreamworld collapses on the Dream Team before they could escape?
>>
(Gentlemen, I hope you are having a good morning. Voting shall remain open for the next two hours.)
>>
>>3863035
>>Form Real- and Dream-World Assault teams
we took this fight, its our responsibility to see it til its end, and prevent it from harming bystanders.

>Dream Team
>> Shu, Rath, Francine, Sia, Rosa, Betty.
Shu, Rath, and Francine will all do better in the dreaming where they can make up for their exhausted states easier. Sia for some neuromancy and Mind fuckery inside her, Sia should know all about how a broken mind works. Rosa and Betty to just fluff up the numbers for us.

>Real Team
>> Isabelle, Gina, Julia, Dorian, November, Sugar
>Goal; Keep it here, keep it busy, keep it contained.
Ginas Terraforming and Neuromancy will do wonders for that, and Julia and Dorian are both the healthiest and together have the best other methods possible to keep her from going wild. Isabelle is just a powerhouse who would do better in the waking i think. November because im not even sure if she needs to sleep, so unsure she can even enter the dreaming. Sugar due to having Terraforming aswell to help beat this thing down and contain it at a distance.

>>3863047
a good enough one so far.
hey BHOP, when can we expect your responses for in the last Vein you think? no rush, take your time, just want to know if you are trying to get them out as you can, or plan for it to be a evening only thing.
>>
>>3863051
I disagree on Isabelle. We fought Isabelle in the Dream World once, so we know what she's fully capable of.
>>
>>3863047
Morning, BHOP. How long has it been since last turn, in-character? Did that pause when we thought Yurei was done for count as one turn or more?
>>
>>3863059
well yeah shes capable in either, but i still think shes more capable on the outside. that, and she's hardly the one mentally to throw into the horrible muck that will be Yurei's mind. we already fucked up with her being here n the first place, the least we can do is not force her to have to deal with that nonsense too. hell i dont want us to have to deal with it, but someone has too. plus, if Yurei has many mental mindfuck tricks inside of herself, Isabelle will be the most likely to be affected or fall for it i personally think.
>>
>>3863035
This is no Question

>>Form Real- and Dream-World Assault teams

>> Shu, Rath, Francine, Sia, Rosa, Betty.

Shu, Rath and Francine need to recover and they can do that best in the dreamworld while her body heals.
It would also be sucide to not have at least one Halo in there to ward against Illusions and such. Also Shu might be needed to give things a presonal touch to lay her to rest

>> Isabelle, Gina, Julia, Dorian, November, Sugar

That Anon has also given good reasons and a plan to do things like that

>>3863059
Isabelle is not by any stretch of the imagination stable enough to confront what is a massive nightmare that is probably very close to what is in her own head.
She will do better in the waking world by being a massive nuisance and distraction with little fear of death and massive regeneration
>>
>>3863051
I'd like to have Gina on the inside. The Neurotic Halo gives her a big advantage in dreamscape combat. Having her terraform out here might be effective for slowing the Yume Gashadokuro down, but Yurei might still have immunity to terrain.
>>
>>3863065
i think thats immunity to terrain effects, like touch terrain slowing down movement or the spiral. Gina can still slam a pillar into her or terraform terrain around her to trap her, like what affected her with the ice cocoon.

and while Gina would be helpful within, i disagree we can afford to have her there instead. Francine just compared Yurei to the Spiral, and the one issue there is, that thing moved fast and took a shiton to even slow down. the outside team will need her to keep it from causing further muck, hell even with Gina they still might struggle to slow her down properly.

plus, most if not all Ginas Halo advantages deal with our own Dream Daughters, which im very unsure we can rely on having and im against taking the risk on. maybe if BHOP confirmed something there, but otherwise theres no actual real advantage to having her in there.
>>
>>3863069
>>3863065
And what about November? Mind of Platinum would give us a walking zone of stability in the dreamworld. And Dreamworld's supposedly the place where Neuromancy and Phantasmal Conduits are at their strongest.
>>
>>3863071
i dont think she can enter it. she also wouldn't do us any good in there unless it makes her ore re-activate, instead of be dead. plus, wouldn't platinum still work and help on the outside? hell, id argue more, as it would be potentially be cutting off her physical forms connection to its dream half, which seems to be exactly what we want, according to Francine.

plus, its possible that outright makes her incompatible with walking around in the Dreaming, and/or might backfire and affect us in there too, simply by merit of we do kinda need Yurei's mind to be at least be stable enough for us to have dream ground to stand on, and who the hell knows what Platinum would do to that.
>>
>>3863072

It kinda wraps around to the question that I asked earlier and no one tried to give a plausible answer posted >>3863043

If we're splitting the teams into two, with one team entering the dreamscape and the other team staying in the real, how will the dream team get out if the portal to the dreamworld collapses on them before they could fully escape? Yurei's existence is what keeps the rift open.
>>
>>3863069
>i think thats immunity to terrain effects, like touch terrain slowing down movement or the spiral. Gina can still slam a pillar into her or terraform terrain around her to trap her, like what affected her with the ice cocoon.
I suppose. Didn't really think about that idea because it would require some huge terraforming effects to effectively do it, the Yume Gashadokuro is kaiju-sized. Might be possible.

>and while Gina would be helpful within, i disagree we can afford to have her there instead. Francine just compared Yurei to the Spiral, and the one issue there is, that thing moved fast and took a shiton to even slow down. the outside team will need her to keep it from causing further muck, hell even with Gina they still might struggle to slow her down properly.
Agreed, I'm just not as sure she'd be the most effective way to keep Yurei stationary. Not on her own, at least. It might work if we left Rath out here, though. Phantom Limb-boosted punches automatically knock down the opponent, Rath could keep the Yume Gashadokuro pretty well occupied all on her own. Partner her with Gina burying it as well and I think that would keep it occupied pretty well. Even if we do bring Rath with us inside, we should open up by punching Yurei down and then Shu and Gina (and any of the Barbers with terrain alteration) partnering to bury her. Also try to sever any key connections we can. Julia possibly still has sixteen ACTs and +480% Damage, Critical Chance and Critical Damage this turn, she can probably sheer through Yurei's cervical vertebrae once they're on ground level with her.

>plus, most if not all Ginas Halo advantages deal with our own Dream Daughters, which im very unsure we can rely on having and im against taking the risk on. maybe if BHOP confirmed something there, but otherwise theres no actual real advantage to having her in there.
Neurotic Halo level seven makes her great at tearing through enemy dreamscapes. And even if it wasn't, she's still a strong Neuromancer, it would be very effective.
>>
>>3863076
I dont think we will enter the Dreamscape as a physical existence via teh channel Yurei has hewn into reality. We go in there like we always did. Via Neuromancy.

At least that is my opinion. Our bodies need rest and if we go in there via Neuromancy we will be at our best. Which we will have to be to distract he rlong eonough for her to burn herself out
>>
>>3863078
>>3863072
You know. Rath's ability for punching titans to hard that they automatically fall down prone is a better crowd control tool than relying on Gina's Neuromancy alone.
>>
>>3863076
well hey, to be fair, i thought you were asking BHOP and that sounds like a BHOP question. i literally have no idea, we have never had to do this before or seen anything to give us context. but Francines no slouch in her knowledge so i trust shes right that this is our best shot, meaning regardless of those risks we have to send someone in.

either we just get punted out, have to make a mad dash for the exit, or theres a chance we get caught in the literal dreaming and the next story Arc is us wandering through it til we find a sufficiently powerful Phantasmal to get to let us out, or something, are my guesses.

>>3863078
Gina will have Sugar helping at least, to some degree. will take the pressure off both of them a bit.

you're ignoring Sugar is also a Terraformer, and Dorian can slow her down too.

i still disagree she would be better served in the dreamscape.

>>3863082
i disagree. not because its not a good ability or would help, but we dont know if Yurei has immunities to that, and Rath is in no position to risk it.
>>
>>3863082
Rath is also the only one to specifically have trained to fight in the Dreamscape, which BHOP said gives her some form of advantage in there.
>>
>>3863084
It might be a "this only works once" sort of thing, but it's the best way to open up the fight.

>>3863047
Bhop, does Yurei still retain the adaptive Immunities from the combat in the last vein?

Her immunites gained from the fight against her in the 31st vein: IMMUNE: Stun, Terrain, Acid, Slashing, Cold.
>>
>>3863084
>i disagree. not because its not a good ability or would help, but we dont know if Yurei has immunities to that, and Rath is in no position to risk it.
She shouldn't be. Knockback/knockdown wasn't one of the conditions that Yurei made herself immune to. A solid hit should down her. Francine can heal Rath real quick if you're worried, and their Dual Tech would let November pay the Health cost to activate Phantom Limb.

>>3863086
Depends on how literal a battle we have inside Yurei's mind. I think Rath could still be effective if it's more a metaphorical battle just because she's good at cutting through bullshit, but I doubt boxing skill will be a big factor.
>>
>>3863043
(There's no way to tell, I'm afraid.)

>>3863051
(Regarding your spoilered question, I'll likely end the session earlier this evening to give me some time to address that and touch up the Relic and Swarmling sheets a bit, too.)

>>3863061
(It's been three turns.)

>>3863069
(Gina would be strong in the Dream or the Real.)

>>3863071
>>3863072
(Given the nature of Yurei's creation, November's entrance into the Dreamscape would be...interesting.)

>>3863089
(Yurei does not keep her immunities, no.)
>>
>>3863096
So does that mean she starts off with a clean slate of immunity slots that she can adapt to? Or does that mean she's unable to gain new adaptive immunities? There's a difference, and I want to know that distinction.
>>
>>3863096
>(It's been three turns.)
Ah, darn. So the boost from the fourteen enemies downed in the last turn of stage two of the fight have faded, and Julia isn't still a badger-shaped tornado of punches.

>(Yurei does not keep her immunities, no.)
Oh, okay then, let's get that terrain shaping in place. Knock the Yume Gashadokuro down, drop some Fear To Tread on the area, terraform some restraints over the major bones and also the ribs.
>>
>>3863096
>I'll likely end the session earlier this evening
sound reasonable enough.

>November
you're not really giving me confidence there with November. we really dont need 'interesting' here, we need guarantees about the best moves, and that just sounds like it could end horribly. Novembers Platinum should still have an effect from the outside, i think thats still our best bet for this to go even mildly smoothly. mind you BHOP, talking to everyone here, not really you.

>>3863092
>>3863097
yeah that is a very important difference here.

>>3863092
it was implied heavily to be way more than just boxing techniques.
>>
>>3863099
>it was implied heavily to be way more than just boxing techniques.
I don't recall that. I remember her training with Meg on her boxing form in preparation for fighting B'Ni. When did they go over mental combat techniques?
>>
>>3863101
no idea, but BHOP confirmed Rath specifically trained on Dreamscape fighting techniques and now had an advantage to it after the fact.
>>
>>3863035

>"I know it's tiring, and I can tell everyone is just about sick of this fight. I am too. I think after all of this, we should go to Laoc and just relax and enjoy the day. No, we WILL go to Laoc and relax."
>Wrap one hand around Isabelle, give her a measure of comfort by having her lean on you.
>"But letting Yurei run amok is something I cannot rest my conscience on. Not after what happened with Uzu and the Monastery."
>Guilt seeps into your speech at the mention of the Monastery.
>"So for just one more fight, lets put this starving ghost to rest. Yurei must be tired."
>>
>>3863101
>>3863102
its was OOC info said by BHOP, to be specific, not something said or shown IC.
>>
>>3863097
>>3863099
(You've effectively overloaded the Calcite Halo with your last assault so it's completely deactivated, and since it was what was giving her the adaptive immunity, she's completely vulnerable to any and all status effects and damage right now.)

>>3863099
(Considering that Heather Neeson's dreams, flashbacks, and regrets were so hurtful that she opted to become more machine than woman should give you some idea of what she'd bring with her when you venture into Yurei's mind.)

>>3863102
>>3863101
(Can confirm. Rath is fairly resistant to Dreamscape shenanigans thanks to spending time with Meg.)
>>
>>3863105
yeah that sounds exactly like the reasons we dont want to bring in Isabelle.
>>
>>3863105
>Overloaded a maxed out Calcite Halo.
Jesus.

>>3863108
>>3863101
It also tells us the Criteria that Waking Daughters need to have in order to safely venture in the Dreamworld.
Stable daughters that have dreams that are relatively easy to deal with when their past catches up to them in the dreamscape.
>>
>>3863103
>>3863035
im not so sure im comfortable giving Isabelle that sorta affection. gonna have to Veto that.
>>
>>3863111
Yeah, same here. At most a hand on the shoulder. Arm around her is too much. Even for Isabel, I think, let alone Shu.

Anyways, if Yume Gashadokuro Yurei has lost her Stun immunity, do you think it's worth it to open this fight up with Gina hitting her with the Neurotic Stun while we get the terraformed bindings in place? Or do you think there's a possibility that while not immune, her general psychic haze could cause negative effects from jacking in like that? I mean, we're going to jack in anyway, but for all we know Gina making a connection will suck her into Yurei's dreamscape and she'll be forced to be on the mental assault team.
>>
>>3863115
that entirely depends on if the Halo stun counts as its own sorta thing. it forgoes normal neuromancy, so id think maybe it doesn't actually dig that deep. might literally just affect the nervous system, unlike alot of Neuromancy which seems to affect the actual brain to a degree.

i still think Rath should go inside and Gina stay out, but im fine now adding an opening to put them to better effect.

>>3863035
>>3863051
adding on;
>Have Shu, Gina, and Sugar work together to hold Yurei Back a second, be it Terraforming and/or Halo Stun, so Rath can be pumped full of what Health and Bio Francine can really afford to pull from others and give her, to get her Stun Punch off on Yurei, before the two teams split up and go on their assignments.
>>
>>3863103
I think we need to have a talk with Isabelle first before we give her any more affection but kind words.

We also have to think about what Rath would interpret that gesture as. She still hates Isabelle. Just getting her to tolerate her presence after the fight will be difficult enough. She hates her enough to completely ignore the masive enemy in front of us and if we want to stand a chance she can not be allowed to become distracted by somethign as minor as that. You should also think of Shu. Isabell ahs jsut woken many painful memories and physical contact could be very uncomfortable for both of them. Not to mention such intimate contact might cause Isabelle to loose it again.

>>3863115
I think Yurei will be pretty difficult to bind as her body is no longer completely bound by our reality. I would imagine that she could be something akin to a deamon as we have to dislodge her anchor in the material and immaterial planes of existance to truly defeat her. SO she will probably be still very resistant to most effects we can inflict on her.

I think the stun itself will be ineffective due to the nature of her power. Not impossible just improbable as her core is still active i think
>>
>>3863035
>>3863103
Amending this vote.
>"I know it's tiring, and I can tell everyone is just about sick of this fight."
>"But letting Yurei run amok is something I cannot rest my conscience on. Not after what happened with Uzu and the Monastery."
>Guilt seeps into your speech at the mention of the Monastery.
>"So for just one more fight, lets put this starving ghost to rest. Yurei must be tired. I'm sure you are too. I think after all is said and done here, we should go to Laoc and just relax and enjoy the day. No, we WILL go to Laoc and relax."

>>3863115
Maybe, but I don't really want to rely on Terraforming and stunning a giant skeleton alone. It's easier to pin down and bind a prone skeleton than a standing skeleton. Remember Ashen Vagrant?

Anyways, we're running out of voting time, lets come up with a plan.

Dream Team:
>Shu, Rath, Sia, Francine, Rosa, Betty
Real Team:
>November, Isabelle, Gina, Dorian, Julia, Blood Sugar

Opening plan/Round:

Rath:
>Smash Punch Opening, We'll fly you up so you can cave the Skeleton's chest in with a Smash Punch in order to knock it down. Aim for the Sternum.

Shu:
>Fly Rath up on a Knighted Grappling, Escort Rath with a squadron of what Knighted swarmlings you have so Rath can get a clear shot at Knocking down the Skeleton with her SMASH Punch.

Gina and Shu:
>Combined Terraforming arts, Manipulate mud and Swampwater and have it wash over

Gina:
>Stun the Skeleton, at the same time, Terraform its legs with the Mud + Swamp Water so that Rath's Smash Punch will have a bigger effect
>Then Collaborate with Shu to cover the rest of the Skeleton with Mud and Swamp Water. Gina Does the Liquid Freezing while Shu works on Covering the Skeleton with as much Slurry as possible.

>Dorian:
>Relic loadout change: Minus Manus Caelorum (Sent to Julia)
>When the Skeleton is down, Run around as fast as you can and throw as many paintlings onto the Skeleton, Have the Paintlings mix with Shu and Gina's Terraformed Swamp Muck to provide them more liquid Biomass to terraform them with.

Julia
>Relic Loadout Change: Equipped Manus Caelorum (Given by Dorian)
>Expend as many attacks to build up stacks on the Skeleton
>Then Double the stacks so that the stack count for Malleable flesh hits 23 STACKS.

November:
>You're on anti-ghost duty. Keep the Real Team safe. If we're visibly jacking into the Skeleton instead of going through a Portal into the dreamscape, keep our bodies safe.

Francine:
>Tether to the Dream skeleton.

Barbers:
>Support us in any way possible.
>>
>>3863124
i dont think there were any ghosts of the sort November would need to face.

also Yurei is still immune to Stacks so Julia cant do anything with that. stack Immunity was from her core, not the Halo Immunity gains she has lost, and id imagine she at LEAST still has her core working in some capacity. because of that the Relic is still better on Dorian too.
>>
>>3863118
Yeah, it does seem to target peripheral instead of central, that might make it safe to use.

>>3863119
>I think Yurei will be pretty difficult to bind as her body is no longer completely bound by our reality. I would imagine that she could be something akin to a deamon as we have to dislodge her anchor in the material and immaterial planes of existance to truly defeat her. SO she will probably be still very resistant to most effects we can inflict on her.
Yeah, I'm expecting her physical properties to be weird, but I hope that she's at least material enough to be held down. Knock her down, terraform restraints over her bones.

Okay, battle plans.

>>3863035
NOVEMBER
>Place Amara in the tank. It's mobile and armored, the safest place for her right now.

FRANCINE and Shu
>Use Creation's Strings and Dominus Bloodline to redistribute and boost Health to get people into as good a shape as possible, put emphasis on Rath since she's in the worst shape.

GINA
>Halo stun the Yume Gashadokuro, use this jack-in to also terraform terrain around Gashadokuro's feet to unsteady it

NOVEMBER and RATH
>Use Familial Armament to power a Phantom Limb smash with November's larger Health pool, knock Yurei over when stunned

GINA, SHU, any members of the Barbers with terraforming
>Construct restraints around the bones of the Yume Gashadokuro. Tie down the long bones of its arms and legs, as well as some loops through the ribs. Don't let it have any leverage

>ALL
>Divide into parties for combat
>Dream world: Shu, Rath, Francine, Sia, Rosa, Betty
>Real world: Gina, Julia, Dorian, November, Sugar, Isabel
>Standing orders for external team to keep Gashadokuro restrained while working to cripple her. Gina focus on making sure it stays buried and unable to move its legs. Melee combatants attack lumbar vertebrae, attempt to sever lower body so it has to crawl if it escapes bindings. Dorian should summon SIBLING constructs if has the chance, have them assist in his work. Julia and Blood Sugar inflict whatever debuffs they can. November keeps any non-moving bodies safe in her tank while maintaining Mind of Platinum aura and being ready to fire a shell into the spine.
>>
>>3863124
>>3863035
Amending this vote:

>"I know it's tiring, and I can tell everyone is just about sick of this fight. I'm sure you are too. I think after all is said and done here, we should go to Laoc and just relax and enjoy the day. No, we WILL go to Laoc and relax.""
>"But letting Yurei run amok is something I cannot rest my conscience on. Not after what happened with Uzu and the Monastery."
>Guilt seeps into your speech at the mention of the Monastery.
>"So for just one more fight, lets put this starving ghost to rest. Yurei must be tired.

Dream Team:
>Shu, Rath, Sia, Francine, Rosa, Betty
Real Team:
>November, Isabelle, Gina, Dorian, Julia, Blood Sugar

Opening plan/Round:

Rath:
>Smash Punch Opening, We'll fly you up so you can cave the Skeleton's chest in with a Smash Punch in order to knock it down. Aim for the Sternum.

Shu:
>Fly Rath up on a Knighted Grappling, Escort Rath with a squadron of what Knighted swarmlings you have so Rath can get a clear shot at Knocking down the Skeleton with her SMASH Punch.

Gina and Shu:
>Combined Terraforming arts, Manipulate mud and Swampwater and have it wash over

Gina:
>Stun the Skeleton, at the same time, Terraform its legs with the Mud + Swamp Water so that Rath's Smash Punch will have a bigger effect
>Then Collaborate with Shu to cover the rest of the Skeleton with Mud and Swamp Water. Gina Does the Liquid Freezing while Shu works on Covering the Skeleton with as much Slurry as possible. At the same time, Have Gina Lockdown Yurei's Core ability.

>Dorian:
>Relic loadout change: Minus Manus Caelorum (Sent to Julia)
>When the Skeleton is down, Run around as fast as you can and throw as many paintlings onto the Skeleton, Have the Paintlings mix with Shu and Gina's Terraformed Swamp Muck to provide them more liquid Biomass to terraform them with.

Julia
>Relic Loadout Change: Equipped Manus Caelorum (Given by Dorian)
>Expend as many attacks to build up stacks on the Skeleton
>Then Double the stacks so that the stack count for Malleable flesh hits 23 STACKS.

November:
>You're on anti-ghost duty. Keep the Real Team safe. If we're visibly jacking into the Skeleton instead of going through a Portal into the dreamscape, keep our bodies safe.

Francine:
>Tether to the Dream skeleton.

Barbers:
>Support us in any way possible.

>>3863126
Changed a few actions. Had Gina Lock Yurei's ability down while Terraforming at the same time (Thank the spine relic) in order to allow Julia to build Stacks on Yurei.

>>3863128
Shibari anyone? Because of Yurei's Yume Gashadokuro form having Japanese origins, I couldn't resist adding in a Japanese style binding on the skeleton.
pic related for how it looks. Now apply that to a skeleton.

Additional fun fact: Before it was turned into a sexual fetish, the Shibari binding method was an actual method used to bind criminals.
>>
>>3863133
Gina cant choose what she locks down is the issue. that ability is just too unreliable to ever trust.
>>
>>3863133
>Changed a few actions. Had Gina Lock Yurei's ability down while Terraforming at the same time (Thank the spine relic) in order to allow Julia to build Stacks on Yurei.
Isn't it random which ability Gina locks down? She couldn't reliably knock out Yurei's Core. And now I'm imagining her getting lucky and managing to lock out Calcite Halo and the Gashadokuro falling to pieces. "Oh, that was easy." Probably not on the list of skills she can disable for that reason, though.
>>
>>3863137
>>3863135
Damn.
It does however bring into question on what Julia could do in the Real. Julia's ability to find out and empathize in the dreamworld would help out since Badger Monk can't provide any other utility other than stacks. I'm doing this just in case it is successful.

Also, Yurei's Core is Vitruvian, the ability that allows Yurei to assume Giant Ghost Skeleton form is probably Phantasmal Conduit in Nature.
>>
>>3863137
yeah, it is random, which is why we never use it. fights already have too much randomness as it is to rely on a gamble as big as that. if we could unhook the lockdown and try for another random role it might be worth the risk, but it gets locked in for the entire fight what it locks down once you use it, and that just really doesn't make it worth using. even if it could keep rolling it still feels incredibly iffy to waste time trying.
>>
>>3863137
>>3863135
If you do have alternatives, please share, otherwise this is an option that Gina could do with the action economy provided by the Spine and an avenue for Julia to help out in keeping the Skeleton down.
>>
>>3863150
no, its not. she needs the spine to do both the Stun and Terraforming. the Stun forgoes any and all other Neuromancy actions, but the Spine MIGHT be a work around. still she only has two Acts and that alone is two Neuromancy actions.
>>
>>3863150
Julia is still simply strong. she can still help out with simple strength and ability to keep Yurei distracted from other targets, as she can actually take a hit while Gina cant, and/or Gina and Sugar being directly attacked would distract them from their jobs. having her around to act as the target will still help just by doing that.

>>3863145
its too big a risk to waste Ginas actions on a gamble.
>>
>>3863145
Yurei's a giant ghost skeleton because of the Calcite Halo, it's apparently a "Siege Mode" that it unlocks at level fifteen. And now I'm kind of disappointed that we hybridized Gina's Halo, if this is the sort of stuff level fifteen Halos give. It's just five more levels. Say, we technically got the Neurotic Halo from Meg, does that make it a valid target for Knowable Kadath? BHOP did say that Kadath could target skills that had been put into hybrids.

>>3863150
As mentioned in my plan, I want our melee attackers knocking out Yurei's spine. Julia is not limited to her stacks, she has very good melee damage in general. Carnivorous Carver claws plus Sculptress of Flesh speed plus Elemental Digestion touch damage means that she does amazing melee damage even without inflicting stacks. Plus, she'll be close to Yurei and laying on the Seasonal Oppression field, that should mess with her, too.
>>
>>3863133
>>3863035
Amending vote one final time.
>"I know it's tiring, and I can tell everyone is just about sick of this fight."
>"But letting Yurei run amok is something I cannot rest my conscience on. Not after what happened with Uzu and the Monastery."
>Guilt seeps into your speech at the mention of the Monastery.
>"So for just one more fight, lets put this starving ghost to rest. Yurei must be tired. I'm sure you are too. I think after all is said and done here, we should go to Laoc and just relax and enjoy the day. No, we WILL go to Laoc and relax."

>>3863115
Maybe, but I don't really want to rely on Terraforming and stunning a giant skeleton alone. It's easier to pin down and bind a prone skeleton than a standing skeleton. Remember Ashen Vagrant?

Anyways, we're running out of voting time, lets come up with a plan.

Dream Team:
>Shu, Rath, Sia, Francine, Rosa, Betty
Real Team:
>November, Isabelle, Gina, Dorian, Julia, Blood Sugar

Opening plan/Round:

Rath:
>Smash Punch Opening, We'll fly you up so you can cave the Skeleton's chest in with a Smash Punch in order to knock it down. Aim for the Sternum.

Shu:
>Fly Rath up on a Knighted Grappling, Escort Rath with a squadron of what Knighted swarmlings you have so Rath can get a clear shot at Knocking down the Skeleton with her SMASH Punch.

Gina and Shu:
>Combined Terraforming arts, Manipulate mud and Swampwater and have it wash over

Gina:
>Stun the Skeleton, at the same time, Terraform its legs with the Mud + Swamp Water so that Rath's Smash Punch will have a bigger effect
>Then Collaborate with Shu to cover the rest of the Skeleton with Mud and Swamp Water. Gina Does the Liquid Freezing while Shu works on Covering the Skeleton with as much Slurry as possible.

>Dorian:
>When the Skeleton is down, Run around as fast as you can and throw as many paintlings onto the Skeleton, Have the Paintlings mix with Shu and Gina's Terraformed Swamp Muck to provide them more liquid Biomass to terraform them with.
>Attack Yurei's Spine

Julia:
>support Dorian

November:
>You're on anti-ghost duty. Keep the Real Team safe. If we're visibly jacking into the Skeleton instead of going through a Portal into the dreamscape, keep our bodies safe.

Francine:
>Tether to the Dream skeleton.

Barbers:
>Support us in any way possible.
>>
(Writing now, Gentlemen.)
>>
>>3863035

"I can tell everyone is just about sick and tired of this fight." You begin, glancing among the assembled Daughters as a pang of guilt weighs on your heart. “But letting Yurei run amok is something I can’t abide, not after what happened with Uzu and the Monastery."

"So for just one more fight, let’s put this starving ghost to rest. Yurei must be tired. I'm sure you are too.” A glance to Isabelle, black hair shielding her expression from your eyes. “I think after all is said and done here, we should go to Laoc and just relax and enjoy the day. No, we WILL go to Laoc and relax."

A ripple of hope blooms in your allies’ hearts, at that.

But first, your plan.

“Rath, Francine? You’re with me.” You declare, tearing your eyes away from the scene before you to lock eyes with the Barber’s eccentric leader. “Rosa? Would you, Sia, and Betty mind accompanying us into the Dreamscape?”

“So we’re…you could say we’re…” Rosa begins, barely restraining her gleeful expression. “…a Dream Team?!”

“What about Sugar?” Sia asks, her arms still folded from earlier as she blatantly ignores her leader’s pun.

“With you and Rosa’s permission, I’d like to have her on Gina’s team, out here.” You explain. “Sugar, Gina, and everyone else will keep this thing occupied in the real world with terraforming and relentless attacks, while we put its core to rest. Sound good?”

After sharing a few assorted glances the Barbers reluctantly agree, and with that you turn back to Gina as your marching orders go out across the empathic channel. She cups her palm against your cheek, the warmth of her hand a welcome reprieve from the chill moors around you.

“I’ll be fine, Shu.” She assures you with soft words and a gentle smile, your unspoken worries evident over your bond. “Kill me once, shame on her. Kill me twice, shame on me, right?”

You shoot her a worried scowl, and she just chuckles as she shakes her head. “We’ll be fine. She feels…different. I can’t put my finger on it, but I think we’ll be alright.”

“…Okay. Alright, I trust you.” You relent. Rath, Francine, and the Barbers are at your side as Dorian’s familiars retreat to the Metall Geschoss with Amara. Within a few short seconds, everyone’s in position, November funneling her remaining strength into her niece for the opening blow, with Francine topping off Rath before running back to your and the Barbers’ side. Another thundering footfall, and Yurei is almost on top of you and your family, her skull tilting down to leer at you with empty sockets before she leans, opening a single, massive hand to smear you all across the moor in a single swipe of her bony talons.

[Now] You order, and everything happens, all at once.

(Continued)
>>
>>3863217

Rath disappears, leaving a fresh crater in her wake as she leaps, her empowered jump carrying her at blistering speed towards her foe. You watch as Yurei’s sternum buckles, caved in by a single punch thrown by your furious red-head that sends the towering abomination toppling backwards. The haze that covers the field is blown back by the deafening collapse, and just as Yurei begins to rise your terraforming blends with Gina’s to seize the titan’s limbs, rock candy-like crystals reinforcing your efforts as Sugar brings her powers to bear. Yurei’s body begins to flicker, struggling to phase her body through the restraints as you fight against the clock, a Knightling catching Rath mid-flight and swooping her back to your side.

[Gina, send us in]

She nods, her arms flickering with amethy-

You expected some resistance, some measure of barrier that would have fought back against your intrusion into Yurei’s mind. What you get instead is the feeling of being drawn into her very being, getting sucked body and soul through a sieve and pulled deep into her tumultuous existence.

You’re back in her mansion…*a* mansion, of a sort. It is and it isn’t, every surface of the vaguely familiar space tinted with a dark cinnabar light, the very weight of the air surrounding you becoming a stifling, suffocating thing, to say nothing of…

“Goddamn, it’s fucking freezing in here.” Rath grumbles irritably, wrapping her arms around herself to stay warm.

“I’d offer you my coat, but alas. Seems we’re both resigned to this chill, unfortunately.” Francine sighs, glancing around your eerie surroundings.

“Yeah, and who’s fucking fault is that?” Your brawler fires back, with Francine opening her mouth, then closing it as she swallows her reply.

“Sia, could you…?” Rosa begins, pausing as her friend’s hand raises to stop her.

“Already on it.” She replies as your allies begin to shimmer, their very being becoming an ill-defined, nebulous thing. You can make them out, but it’s only with the power of your empathic field that you can tell who’s who among the Daughters surrounding you.

“Visual Aphasia.” Sia states, answering your unspoken question flippantly. “Explains my face’s lack of explanation, and should help us avoid detection for a while, or at least give any attackers some pause.”

A creak echoes out from somewhere in the depths of the aged home.

“…hopefully.” Sia adds.

(Continued)
>>
>>3863221

“Intriguing.” Francine murmurs to herself, peering into the dim, reddened rooms that lie beyond the hall where you currently stand. “Not the rooms as they were, but…memories, perhaps?”

You spare a few, furtive glances into the rooms the doctor mentioned, finding a classroom, and office, and a study where the library and event space should have been.

“We’ve fought a couple of dream-based assholes in our time and your fighter seems pretty strong here, so we both stand a good shot independently. If we want to be quick about this then we could split up, your people and ours.” Sia offers, with Betty giving an exaggerated shrug behind her while Rosa cocks an eyebrow at her. “We go stealth, each of us run through the place to find Yurei. We knock this out, double-time.”

“Any particular reason for your haste, Darlings?” Francine queries, still examining the doorframes that yawn open around you all.

“Sugar’s a sweetie, but she’s prone to biting off more than she can chew.” Rosa guiltily replies, and you’re about to speak when a sharp, prolonged creak echoes out from the floor above you.

“Whatever we do, we’d best not tarry here long.” Francine murmurs, her voice low. “Yurei wouldn’t have let us in so easily if she didn’t have some countermeasures. She may be Hunger-mad, but she's still a threat.”

“Together or apart, doesn’t matter to me.” Rath barks, impatience plain in her clipped tone. “Let’s just get this shit over with. The sooner Yurei’s dealt with the sooner…”

She pauses when you raise your finger to your lips, nodding at everyone to remain silent in this Dreamscape, for what it’s worth. As you weigh the options before you, Rath’s implication rings clear in your mind.

The sooner Yurei’s powers fade…the sooner you’re rid of anything she’s brought into your reality.

>>Stick together, and explore the [Classroom/Office/Study] together.

>>Three and three, you’ll cover more ground here if you split up. Your team will explore the [Classroom/Office/Study], while the Barbers will investigate the [Classroom/Office/Study].

>>Write-In

YOU ARE IN CONTROL
>>
(Voting shall remain open for the next two hours, Gentlemen. Technical difficulties on my end kept me from posting the update for the last hour, so my sincerest apologies for the delay.)
>>
>>3863225
>Split up three and three

>Our Team will go to the Classroom while the Barbers go to the Office

Yurei is a programmer. Something tells me she probably has a facination with technology that probably started in her younger times. She could have also been a professor/teacher of course but i think the Classroom will give us the best chance to try and identify what her trauma is. Though we will probably have to meet up with the Barbers again to exchange what we learned and then go and investigate the last point being the study where i ssupsect Yurei will be

But to lay her to rest we need to understand her and we need to start understanding her fast.

The Barbers will be fine with Sia as their guide

>>3863229
So long as your work is not on fire again its all good OP
It actually gave me soem more free time to work on chapter 8..... where you will get to see a bit more of Melissas and Gabis Powerset. I managed to get over my writers block that had kept me on the first page for weeks now as i reworte the intro again and again.....
>>
>>3863225
>Stick together
>smile, and put a hand on Rosa's Shoulder. "We do this together, side by side, everyone having everyone's back."
>Turn to Sia, and give her your respect at what you are about to ask her, as it could be difficult and personal. "Sia, and and all idea here would be appreciated. any tips or hints too. besides being our Neuromancer here you... have a unique perspective on dealing with scattered and unstable minds. anything at all you think could help, we will need."
>This is the dreaming, the limits arent what they are in life.
>Send forth a wave, a swarms swarm of recursive swarmlings to search and scan each room and in every bit of detail you can muster. use your Halos and Empathic Field to pry and dig into this place, not just as a physical location, but as what it is; Dreams, Memories.
>You may not know Yurei well, but you know what she has said and wanted, you know she had loss. Find those, and you should find her. otherwise, something should give you a hint of her location.
>otherwise, the physical group should go to the Classroom.

>>3863236
i am very against splitting up. Yurei is still powerful, this is her mind, and worse, she is a strong Phantasmal. the last thing we need is to make it easier for her to take anyone out, and/or permanently split us up, or any number of tricks. we're stronger together, mentally and physically. stronger then she could ever hope for. that, and many tools we would need on both teams are on only one person.
>>
>>3863229
oof, thats terrible, never fun when that happens. glad its working now though!
>>
>>3863221
>“Yeah, and who’s fucking fault is that?” Your brawler fires back, with Francine opening her mouth, then closing it as she swallows her reply.
Um...not Francine's? Rath, you feeling okay? Why are you blaming Francine for that? Don't tell me that Yurei's mind-palace has some sort of conflict field driving up tensions.

>“Visual Aphasia.” Sia states, answering your unspoken question flippantly. “Explains my face’s lack of explanation, and should help us avoid detection for a while, or at least give any attackers some pause.”
Oh god. Sia's a Neuromancer specializing in agnosia. Well, that's terrifying. Definitely not one to make enemies with.

>>3863225
>>Three and three, you’ll cover more ground here if you split up. Your team will explore the [Classroom/Office/Study], while the Barbers will investigate the [Classroom/Office/Study].
Us to Office, Barbers to Classroom. Yurei mentioned "hitting her stride" in her programming career and no longer fighting for scraps. Her professional context sounds of interest, then. Let's check that out while the Barbers see what her education was like.
>>
>>3863229
It's fine.

It's a shame though, my shift starts earlier than usual, so I won't be of much help. amateur exploration of the psyche of a person is something that I kinda like to do, so I'll do my best to provide what I can before I have to leave for work soon.


>If we have to split up, then we'll stay tethered together.

>Have Shu spawn Hundred Handed Tether chains that can variably lengthen and contract, with a Jackling at the end of each arm that connects them to the Barbers. That way they can still get the benefits of Neurotic halo protection and the hand chain link system can retract them super fast if they need a quick escape, while providing a Communication system via the Jacklings.

I'm neutral in Splitting up.

In any case, lets review what we know of Yurei.

Her plan is basically setting up "The Matrix" with her as an overseer.
She is a career programmer where she must've struggled in the early years of her career.
She must've experienced a personal loss at some point in her life from her early testimony and dialogue.

>>3863236
I've hit a roadblock in Carter's escapades. Also, work, family, and my cat are giving me a hard time concentrating.

The Library will likely reveal her pasttimes and hobby, the Classroom must be her struggles, but the office is the struggles of her career.
>>
>>3863240
i think Rath was just angry, and blaming Yurei. remember, Francine gave her coat to Isabelle, its Isabelle being here Rath is angry about, not Francine. Francine just made the mistake of reminding Rath Isabelle is around, not that she is directly angry with or at Francine.

>>3863243
>>3863240
>>3863236
you three as asking for things to go absolutely fucking terrible splitting up. its exactly the type of moment someone like Yurei would be waiting for.
>>
>>3863221
So the bitch can phase though solid matter... or at leat attempt to god that would be a nightmare of an ability if on a regular daughter. here it is bad since she is just a massive bonemech and has her core so we cant even really stun/ debuff her with any efficency.

But luckily her ability seems to not be perfect and she proably has not full control over herself and her powers since she went hunger-mad and is breaking apart right now.

>>3863238
>>3863245

Hm what you say makes some sense.

I think however that this place is still limited by her own mind. it is obviously based upon the Mansion even if the places are in different locations in the real world.
And if she could jsut split us up without any hope to reconveigne she would have done so the second we entered her mind. Split Disorient and move in for the kill. I think this place might be under her control but not only her concious one. She still wants everythign to stay together and make sense even in the state she is in. And our subconcious is a beast that brings up many things we cant control why should Yureis be different just because she has better control over the concious part of her mind?

I get your worries i really do but i think they are exagerated do to what i brought up right now

If you have counterpoints to this please tell me
>>
>>3863245
>i think Rath was just angry, and blaming Yurei. remember, Francine gave her coat to Isabelle, its Isabelle being here Rath is angry about, not Francine. Francine just made the mistake of reminding Rath Isabelle is around, not that she is directly angry with or at Francine.
Oh, that's right, I forgot she gave her coat to Isabel.

>you three as asking for things to go absolutely fucking terrible splitting up. its exactly the type of moment someone like Yurei would be waiting for.
Maybe. But haste is also of importance. So if we're not going to split, we need to figure out where the most important location is. I'm inclined towards the office, because of her comments about her programming career. Anyone else think a different one will be of more importance?
>>
>>3863225
>>3863245
Thank you, never split the party.

Yurei seemed to lean heavily on her programming experience for understanding the world so office is probably the best bet for our understanding her.
>>
>>3863229
Hey bhop, if Yurei inner psyche anything like like Sam's inner psyche, then there's got to be an emotional attachment to each of the three places: Library, Office, and Classroom.

Are there any emotional connections from each of those places? Things like desperation, frustration, hope, optimism those sort of emotions.
>>
>>3863249
The office will definetly be very important Yurei is a very driven woman. So work should turn soemthign usable up.

The second location is a bit more difficult to pinpoint however. I would personaly say that the Traume she experienced was probably soemthing in her puberty or early adult life (or third possibilty she lost someone who still went to school) so the Classroom should be a good place to start

The Study could be the place she worked from of course or it could contain a hint to the Trauma since she could have gotten the news there first and then tired to cope with it there

Difficult decisions
>>
>>3863252
No...It's more like...Yurei falls back to her programmer's mindset as a coping mechanism to the stresses of everyday life. Like Sam with her coping mechanism of wanting control, and Isabelle with her obsession.
>>
>>3863248
not truth at all, she may not even know were here yet. shes scattered, but just like with the Uzu fight, not without ability to do tactics or think things through. the simple fact is, she may still be limited, but that doesn't mean she cannot do anything. splitting up 6 people who just entered and are prepared for anything is alot harder then 3 people who are searching through clues. even in the dreaming timing matters.

i highly disagree with all of that. the minute she's calculating, she already was willing to sow chaos and break any barrier to defeat us, she wont be any different here, desperate, and making a last attempt to win. she may be stuck in her memories, but the second we start interfering with those, she will see us as a threat and come for us, one way or another, and splitting apart will only make that easier for us. we're strong, but she is stil a major threat, and taking down only three of us will be tremendously easier for her then a group. further splitting us apart will be too. if she tries to do anything mental, the less people around, the less to interfere with that, and pull someone out of their own nightmares or other scenarios.

this also feels exactly like what a calculating mind would do. give us too many options, force us apart, then trap us when we arent together and take out the easier kills. nothing about splitting up does anything but play exactly into her hands, no matter her level of control or sanity. even the most basic of predators know a split party is easier to take on.

>>3863249
no, we are not in such a Haste as to put our only major advantage on the line. putting yourself in more danger and playing into your opponents hands and advantage is never worth it.

Office or Classroom ,but my bet is on Classroom. Loss usually hits harder when you are younger, so that easily could lead to the foundation of her entire being. she lost someone when she was young, maybe many people, and so she became a programmer as a way to try and wrestle control and order into her world.
>>
>>3863253
(It's difficult to pin down, but in general you feel negativity from the study and classroom, while the office carries positivity around it but with an undercurrent of trauma at its core.)
>>
>>3863257
>>3863252
>>3863253
>>3863255
plus i mean, starting at the closest we see to 'the beginning' is usually a good bet too. some other things might not even make sense without knowing what her furthers back foundation is.
>>
>>3863255
>>3863257
Yeah, I can see Classroom for the early life trauma. She lives in a mansion, what business does she have complaining about the problem of want and resource scarcity? Unless she didn't always, and she's very new money off of that programming dosh. Does make me wonder what she's doing living in...Missouri, I'd guess, from what context clues we have to the pre-Crucible location. You're some big bucks programmer and you're not living in some massively-gentrified hotspot on the West Coast?

>>3863258
Hmm. That fits with what she said about hitting her stride in her career.
>>
>>3863260
work from home? i cant see it being too hard now-a-days to do that kinda work from... basically anywhere to anywhere. could be she couldn't move, or couldn't bring herself to, so cut some sorta deal with the company. maybe freelance work?

that, and/or the company is playing the money game. of course we have a Missouri branch, cheaper land and less competition on the doorstep, or something like that.
>>
>>3863257
If she is as strong as you claim it is impossible for her not to have noticed us enter.

This is her palace of dreams and hopes our very beign here disturbes things to a massive degree already before Sia pulled her invisibility trick

Those were several seconds we were very loud in and that she could have used to split us up. if she has such total control over this place she would have noticed immediatly and seperated us. Then again Raths outburst could have been Yurei trying to interfere with one of our party members already

I am a bit conflicted between speed and strength in Numbers.

But lets say she notices us and wants to split us. She can still do taht even with all of us standign around each otehr. Distance means next to nothing int he dreamscape its a realm of pure thought She could just have moved us all into diferent corners/versions of the same memory the moment we start poking at them

She is quite possibly likely to be able to support several dozend trains of thought at once.


>>3863259
That is something i can agree on

>>3863260
Probaly work from home. I have a friend working as a programmer who works most his time from home and only goes into the office if someone wants soemthing form him that can not be explained via a call or contains sensitive information
>>
>>3863225
>>3863243
Amending my vote:

>Spawn a group of Stealthed Jacklings and tag everyone with them. They'll function as our wireless private comms channel that will allow us to communicate with each other at the speed of thought, Activate the Neuromantic Halo Lockdown. Secure the private communication channel.

>Visit the Study or classroom, priority on the classroom.

>>3863238
recursive Swarmlings might be viewed as programming bugs in Yurei's mindset. that'll tip her off too easily. Lets keep it more low profile.

>>3863267
Work From home in terms of programming career more or less equates to Freelance work. Freelance work is a very harsh environment for a programming career, where one can't really secure food on their plate unless they find a company they can shack up with.
>>
>>3863271
>Work From home in terms of programming career more or less equates to Freelance work. Freelance work is a very harsh environment for a programming career, where one can't really secure food on their plate unless they find a company they can shack up with.
Maybe this is just the darkest timeline, and gentrification has spread ever farther out from Silicon Valley until you need to hit the Mississippi to find reasonable property values. Yurei has an eighteen hour commute to work every day, this is why she's so fed up with physical reality.
>>
>>3863274
>>3863270
>>3863240
Can't we boost Sia's Visual Aphasia and agnosia? Have her invisibility cloak cover the entire group by having Shu, Rath, and Francine boost Sia's power with their own neuromancy branch abilities.
>>
>>3863270
nah, we know for a fact the 'physical' still matters in the dreamscape. theres also the fact that no matter how you slice it, even if it is only purely 'mental', we still have much more mental power together than separate. two Neuromancers can still block, negate, or undo anything she tries better together than separate, and Shu herself isnt the strongest one so splitting leaves her without Sias aid and her team super vulnerable.

no matter how you slice it, sticking together gives us better odds against her, by a large magnitude, no matter what and what level she is capable of.

>>3863271
so would us jacking into anything, even ourselves. id argue that would alert her much faster then a bunch of tiny things going about their business. make her react faster too, as its not just 'objects', it would be use directly trying to pierce into the dream or affect it. she either will know we are here or she wont, and you were the ones wanting to act fast, and this allows us to act faster without splitting up.
>>
I must leave for work I wish to stay and bounce ideas off of you fellows in helping exorcise the tortured programmer but I can't. good luck.
>>
>>3863280
Lets say we go with stickign together and have our swarmlings move around to all areas except the classrooom or should we send them there too?

If we can make her think we are tackeling everything at once she might try to divide and conquer by splitting them away from us while we stay with Sia under the cloak and go throught the classroom to find the starting point of the red thread that will lead through her memories

I think i am starting to warm up to your plan. There are some things we will need to hammer out i think but we can work that out

The Telepathic channel could be interesting but instead of activatingthem immediatly keep them just on everyone in case we get seperated. it will cut bakc a bit on our ability to search the place but we can potentialy keep up communications if she manages to seperate us anyway


>>3863283
See you later
>>
>>3863280
Three Neuromancers, Francine has Neuromancy even if it's a more indirect sort than ours. But it's also a sort specialized for gathering information on the target, once we actually decide on a place to go I imagine Francine will be able to get a lot of insight into what it represents. But that might be what alerts her, so we should try to minimize our signature until such time.

>>3863283
Have a nice day, anon.

>>3863292
I don't want to draw her attention any more than is necessary, even if it's away from us. Chances are she can do a widescale response to her mind palace being invaded and we'd get caught in a response to swarmlings. I do like the idea of leaving Jacklings on everyone just in case we need them. If she does become aware of us, having those already spawned and ready to use would be very helpful.
>>
>>3863292
well, sending some to explore the rest was part of my plan yes. we can have them help in the classroom i guess but might not be necessary with all of us there.
>>
>>3863283
(Have a good day at work, and good luck.)
>>
>>3863306
But the missign swarmlings in one location could tip her off to where we really are and she might send in more elite units like the leftovers of her dreamdaughters

I can see however that she might at first just give a wide sweeping resposne and send a response to everywhere within her dream Palace and only send in tougher things when they encounter stronger resistance


>>3863307

One thing OP Ever since i read the "Ahriman" books i just adore the concepot of a mind palace where all memories are stored and if you master it you can live through your own memories at will and even sort through them like a libary. I think Yurei will be something similar
>>
>>3863316
i mean if you think having Swarmlings along with us will help for any reason then sure.
>>
>>3863319
I dont think they will be necessary
>>
>>3863225
Ammending my vote from >>3863236 to

>Stay together
>"Everyone has everyones elses back. We do this together"
>"Sia, an idea on where to start? My guess would be the classroom to find the beginnign of the red thread we can follow trhough this I think your own experiences could help us with dealing iwth her quite posssibly fracturing mind. "
>Give everyone a Jackling but leave them dormant on their form only to be activated if necessary.
>"A lifeline should we get seperated."
>Send forth a wave, a swarms swarm of recursive swarmlings to search and scan each room and in every bit of detail you can muster. use your Halos and Empathic Field to pry and dig into this place, not just as a physical location, but as what it is; Dreams, Memories.
>You may not know Yurei well, but you know what she has said and wanted, you know she had loss. Find those, and you should find her. otherwise, something should give you a hint of her location.
>otherwise, the physical group should go to the Classroom.
>>
>>3863322
We should also have Francine gather what information she can with her glasses. Those are practically purpose-made to analyze a psychic construct like this.
>>
>>3863335
I think that is unnecessary. Francine will be there with us and we all will take a look at the room after we have come there and seen what we could see.
I think that would be unnecessary since we dont know what the place looks like and so we dont know what places we can even use the spectacles on
>>
>>3863335
>>3863356
do relics even come into the dreamscape anyways? regardless, Francine will use them if she thinks they would be helpful, id imagine.
>>
>>3863356
I meant as part of the "figure out where to go" part. The Spectacles give information on the target's intentions, we are currently inside Yurei's mind, knowing her intentions could help guide us. Like, if the intention reads as "trying to keep Shu from seeing X", that tells us we need to go look at X.
>>
>>3863359
I think they do if they are part of the daughter but iam actually not sure.... A question for OP

If they do she could have a dreamversion with the Sui Armor she had had in the real world. She was probably intimitly familiar with the suit

>>3863307
Do relics come with into the dreamscape?

>>3863361
Probably could work but i think it will be kinda difficult since she we see part of her not all of her
>>
>>3863364
(Relics do manifest here, yes.)
>>
>>3863249
>>3863245
at work, found a brief period of respite.

Rath and Isabelle’s relationship feels like a burned bridge. Isabelle clearly has regrets about her past actions, but she’s also remorseful for the fact that there will always be someone that hates her guts for what she did to them.
>>
>>3863371
i apologize for the...pun(?) here, but i think Rath and Isabelles relationship is a bridge best crossed when we get there.

i mean, i get it, and why you bring it up, but not much we can do about it now. and honestly, i dont really blame Rath. its only been like 2-3 days IC for one, and Isabelle didn't just cross a few lines, she sailed over them on calcite skates. I really dont feel we have a right to ask Rath to forgive her, at the very least, if thats what you're going for.
>>
>>3863225

Okay then. With someone who can manipulate memories and present illusions, I recommend staying together. I would hate to end up attacking/be attacked by an ally due to illusions.

That said, I'm good with >>3863322 in general, but as part of our purpose is to pull Yurei both inward while Gina keeps her focused outward, I suggest we also send out our swarm basically everywhere, to A. see where Yurei doesn't want us, and B. to make Yurei focus on multiple locations all at once. I know I'll be shot down hard on this, but I'd even consider going loud with full Cicadaling.
>>
>>3863371
Yeah, I expect much awkwardness when we get back to reality. I think that someday in the future Rath might be able to forgive Isabel, but as >>3863372 said it's been two days. It's something that may come in time, but right now not something to worry about. Hell, Isabel might not even be corporeal by the time we get out of here, with Yurei shutting down she might fade before Rath gets a chance to interact with her. Or last just long enough to say "I'm sorry, everyone" before disappearing back into her crystal, my sense for the dramatic makes me think that's likely.
>>
>>3863371
I think by now the best thing we can do for now is to stop Rath from murdering Isabelle before we had a chance to talk. afte rteh Yurei fight

God i get Rath and it might be necessary for her to let off some steam by pummeling Isabelle a second time....

At lest she wont stick around for longdue to being a conduit tied to Yureis Powers. If Yurei dies so does she and goes back to sleep

I just really hope that we dont wake up to find Isabelle trying to murder Gina again. Not that she would stand much of a chance right now. It would mostly be the princiuple of it. In that case i would be for full purge mode to kick her back into her own little corner....
>>
>>3863375
we’re here to put Yurei’s mind to rest and at peace, not ruin her death by making loud cicada noises.
>>
>>3863381
no, we're here to stop a giant phantasmal skeleton from rampaging through the countryside. thats it.
>>
>>3863372
>>3863379

That bridge I feel is Isabelle's to try and rebuild. If and only if Isabelle tries would I even initiate a talk to Rath about such a thing as the far future potential of forgiveness.

>>3863381

Then we need to at least hurry, because I'm horrified by the prospect of putting Yurei to rest and coming back to find her physical form has smeared someone across the fleshscape. You're right though, I shouldn't let those fears destroy what the Defiant stands for either.
>>
>>3863384
I am sure things will beocme violent and loud soon enough

There is always a circumstance and time whe to go full pink Mohawk. The beginning of the Yurei Fight was one such time and place this is not the right time nor place. WE willl ahve to go in wearing our best trenchcoats so that we dont stand out to much

It is also one of my big contentions with staying together but that one anon >>3863383 is right. Splitting up while faster also can get us into trouble faster
>>
>>3863384
We'll hurry. We won't split up, because this is a haunted mansion (in retrospect, it should have been obvious not to), but we can still move fast. Multiple information-gathering tools are in play, we've got a large party to deal with whatever we find in here, I think we'll be good.
>>
>>3863225

"Everyone has each other’s back. We do this together, with these as your lifeline should any of us get separated.” You declare firmly, no room for argument in your voice as five dormant Jacklings flit over to each of the women gathered in the scarlet hall. Lifelines now in the hands of your allies, you turn to the girl whose face you couldn’t begin to describe. “Sia, any idea on where to start? My guess would be the classroom to find the beginning of the red thread we can follow through this, and I think your own experiences could help us with Yurei’s current frame of mind.”

“Stuff like this, you have to start at the beginning.” Sia affirms as you send forth a wave of Recursive Swarmlings into the surrounding rooms, your Halo and channel pulsing through the halls as the sheer weight of Yurei’s grief presses down on your consciousness. “You can get cute and work your way back, but people are linear. They grow and move forwards, healthy or no. You want to figure out why that nutjob wanted to put everyone in The Sims, then start as early as you can.”

Looking towards the door to the classroom, you can sense fear and regret emanating from the space beyond.

Beginnings is it, then.

You reach out, fingertips grazing the space beyond the frame when you find them caressing the angle of a dog-eared page. The binder laying open before you is filled with complex forms and figures, filled corner-to-corner with a nigh-unreadable shorthand that makes your head swim. You notice that the corner is occupied with a cramped set of doodles, a collection of surprisingly well-drawn fantasy characters with some assorted stat blocks off to one side. To your right lies a much smaller notebook, filled with a far more readable script.

“You done?” A voice to your left asks, and you’re met with a pair of tired eyes belonging to a much younger face. “I don’t want to miss anything, so are you done?”

A teenage Yurei cocks her eyebrow at you, and you slide the binder back to its rightful owner.

“Yeah, thanks.” You reply, catching the eye of Rosa, Sia, and Betty in casual clothes, scattered in various seats throughout the space, while three seats away and within your direct line of sight sits Rath, utterly bewildered at the academic setting you now find yourselves in. Light streams in through a large set of windows to illuminate the lecture hall, and a bright college campus stretches as far as you can see. Exaggerated by memory for sure, but...this is hardly what you expected to find when you set foot in here, watching Yurei furiously jot down notes as the teacher lectures on with a familiar voice.
Francine’s diction and projection allow you to hear her easily despite the distance, and she falters for only a moment as she realizes she following a script written by a mind that’s not her own.

(Continued)
>>
>>3863225

A vibration runs up your leg as a phone buzzes next to you, and it’s when Yurei gives a little irritated grunt that you realize it belongs to her, tucked into her jean pocket.

“Hey, there’s gonna be a party at Chi Kappa tonight. Starts at ten. Interested?” The faceless mannequin beside Yurei asks, and she just mutters a reply you can barely hear. The stand-in just fades away as Francine settles back into the flow of the memory, launching into a discussion of…bytes, you think? You’re ill-prepared to comprehend any of what’s being said, given that you’re clearly in an advanced class for something you know nothing about.

Yurei’s phone buzzes again as a cloud begins to roll over the sun outside, slowly casting a hazy pall over the deathly still campus. Glancing back to her page, you see her smile as she abandons her notes to put the finishing touches on what you assume to be some sort of stylized dress, worn by a small hobbit-like woman who’s sporting a small, quiet smile. A knight in armor, a rugged farmer, a stoic, yet serene princess; all of them are rendered in loving detail, the illustrations flowing from the young woman’s hand with inspired ease.

Another buzz, and her pen scratches the paper as she curses under her breath, the sky outside darkening as rain clouds roll across the sky beyond. The girl next to you seems…content, if annoyed at whatever she’s avoiding. She’s a solitary sort of being, shut off from what’s going on around her…even as the sky grows ever darker outside, the lights doing their best to keep the growing gloom at bay.

You glance past Yurei to meet Rath’s eyes, and the look in her eyes tells you that she can feel it, too.

Something’s coming.

>>Dig a little deeper. Ask Yurei about the class, and maybe a little about herself.

>>Keep things light by asking Yurei about the fantasy characters in her binder.

>>Cut straight to the point and ask Yurei about who’s blowing up her phone.

>>Write-In

YOU ARE IN CONTROL
>>
(Voting shall remain open for the next two hours, Gentlemen.)
>>
>>3863439
>'Act your part', to keep suspicion down and get her to open up easier.
>"Yurei? something wrong? i can feel you're phone vibrating in my spine, no offense. some guy not letting you go or is something more important going on?"
>Nod to Rath to keep a lookout, and see if you cant use your swarm as a sensory array to see what may be on its way. you dont want to be caught off guard here.
>>
>>3863439
Where to start.....

We could start by going to talk about the characters eh is designing.It appeasr to me that she probably wanted to be a designer of some kind. Or at least that was part of her dream. It is quite possibel people did not really approve of her hobby/pastime. She appears to be a bit of an outcast by choice. Trying not to interact with the other people. I could imagine she is a passionate Gamer and would probably greatly enjoy things like WoW and stuff like that.

Digging Deeper might come of as unnatural and could trigger a violent reaction without telling us much about her as a person. She is probably invited to somethinga she does not want to go to.

So i will say to be cautious and ask her a bit about her phone blowing up

>"Hey. I can feel your Phone vibrating from over here. Is someone pestering you again?"
>Nod to Rath to keep a lookout, and see if you cant use your swarm as a sensory array to see what may be on its way. you dont want to be caught off guard here.


>>3863448
I would try to avoid names as that will give away our not belonging immediatly. We dont know what name she used in school or later in life. I would guess that Yurei is a monicer she put on herself in some game and then just used it going forward in the crucible. Not somethign she used while in School
>>
>>3863460
my guess is, she was much more interested in fantasy. Roleplaying, Games, Etc. but then something bad around this time, probably related to this phone call maybe, shattered the idea for her. here she is, carefree, doodling, ignoring what she thinks is a parent or sister or someone who thinks shes a slacker, when in reality, unlike usual, this call was important, this call was something he needed and wanted to know immediately. and instead she ignored and got mad at it for ruining her doodle.

it doesn't feel like that important a memory. she probably doodled and got phone calls like she thinks shes getting all the time. yet this time, something was different. because it wasn't just 'another phone call' or 'another annoyed family member' or something. we'll see, of course, but seems like the case. an important question of course, will be exactly whats in that phone call, and how that makes her flip flop from her love of fantasy to a dedication to coding.
>>
>>3863470
It is the start and all heroes journeys start with a single step of misfortune hitting the main protagonist.

We have to find out what this first step was and what exactly it meant to her. Then we will probably have to follow her life up to the point of her meetign us and dying by our hand. We will probably have to shoulder her sadness and trauma to truly put her to rest. But as you say we will know more after this memory and then we will also have made her mad..er at us
>>
>>3863470
I'm thinking it's more of a release valve. She's taking an advanced class despite still being in the "teenager" age bracket, so a couple years early at least. Her notes are extremely detailed and other students apparently asked to copy them often enough that we could land in that context. And her eyes are tired even this early, though that may just be some self-image thing where that's so much a part of her identity by now that she projects it onto her past. Still, I think the evidence is pointing to her being extremely driven and using her art and gaming as a way to decompress. Possibly her drive is externally-imposed, maybe by a really demanding parent?

And then, yeah, I think something bad probably happened and she's being called about it, only for her to later regret having ignored it. Something that convinced her that the physical world is not worth existing within. A less likely alternative is that she does answer the phone, winds up invited to an event where things go bad, and that's what leads to her trauma. "Oh, if only I hadn't picked up that phone, I never would have gone there and gotten into that trouble." But like I said, less likely given the evidence we have.
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>>3863439
>"Hey. I can feel your Phone vibrating from over here. Is someone pestering you again?"
>Nod to Rath to keep a lookout, and see if you cant use your swarm as a sensory array to see what may be on its way. you dont want to be caught off guard here.
>>
>>3863474
i wouldn't call Yurei a hero. this feels like its shaping up more to be a tragedy than a heroic tale.

>>3863479
maybe, i was never saying she wasn't driven or anything, only especially given her demeanor and the situation, the art feels like something shes care more for than the class. shes a child genius type i think, but one who's just being one to please others, not herself.
>>
(Headed home now, Gentlemen. I'll post when I can, and thank you for your patience.)
>>
>>3863439

"Hey, I can feel your phone vibrating from over here." You whisper, Francine's lecture nearly drowning out your words before they reach their intended recipient. "Is someone pestering you again?"

"Sorry, I...it's my Mom." Yurei whispers back, responding to the subtle prodding of your empathic field even as you shoot Rath a pointed look, glancing to the window for her to keep a watchful eye on the darkening window. "Asked her if I could change majors. Didn't go over well. We've had a stalemate for the past week, and it looks like she broke first."

"...Shouldn't you answer it?" You say, watching a veil of black rain sweep across the campus.

Another buzz.

Another twitch of Yurei's eyebrow.

Buzz.

Buzz.

Buzz.

Then...

Thrusting her hand into her pocket, she yanks the phone free and flips it open in frustration, slamming it against her ear as black rain begins to beat against the glass like a thousand angry fists.

"What?!" Yurei hisses, Rath rising from her seat and frantically trying to shuffle her way to you as the world outside goes pitch black. "I'm in class Mom, what do you wa-"

Silence.

No fists against the glass.

No chaos in the classroom.

Just cold, unfeeling silence.

You and Rath could be anybody, for in this moment you're both nobody to the girl next to you.

This is how it happened.

A single word, uttered not by the young adult next to you, so clever and defiant...but murmured softly by a little girl, scared and alone for the first time in her life.

"what?" Yurei asks in disbelief.

It's in that moment that her world comes crashing down, the dream cracking all around as you and your allies are sent into a tumbling freefall through an abyss of disjointed mannequins and shattered glass.

(((I cCan SssMELL yyOU, DDefiant!))) Yurei howls, her furious screech echoing in the broken abyss. (((ttHHis iS mmY MinD! Myy PasT! iiiI wiLL eEnd yyOU, Dddefiant! iI Will SsHOW yyOU tHE mEanIng of LllOSS!)))

It's more than you can bear, the pain and rage that stabs into your mind from every direction. You screw your eyes shut and pray for it to stop, the wind roaring in your ears as plummet, hurtling through pitch darkness while you sit quietly in a cold, white hall, the only sound to be heard a gentle beeping from nowhere and everywhere, all at once, interrupted only by the sound of your own harsh breaths.

You look up to see Rosa, Sia, and Betty sitting across from you, and a glance to either side reveals Francine and Rath.

"...Fuck me, man." Rath mutters with a shuddering breath as the Barbers try to steady their collectively racing hearts. "Shit, is she on to us? She didn't feel close, that big-ass void just felt like..."

"Trauma." Sia interrupts, voice as steady as she can make it. "We didn't do anything wrong, but it was still only a matter of time 'til Big Boo realized what was up. That abyssal shit was how she remembers all that, in a weird sort of way."

(Continued)
>>
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>>3863692

"We played along, as well as could be expected." Francine says quietly, glancing up and down the cavernous halls as faceless figures begin to emerge from the doors, going about their routines in what appears to be a hospital. "Yurei's actively searching for us, but if we keep on the move, it'll be harder for her to detect our precise location, even moreso if we can play along well enough with the memory."

The figures are close, now; a faceless, silent multitude that scurry to and fro, smocks and nurses outfits too perfect to be anything resembling reality. No one looks your way. No one even seems to care that you're here. You're just waiting in silence. Silence, except for...

Beeping.

Slow, steady beeping, coming from the four open doors to your left. The one closes to you smells of cut grass and morning dew, refreshing and quite at odds with the palpable despair that seems out from the half-open door. Opposite that is a room with the door thrown wide, and despite the chill that persists in the hall, you feel a strangely pleasant warmth emanating from within. Further down on the same side is a half-cracked entrance that's allowing a few faint rays of orange light to show from under and around the door, while opposite that...

...the door is closed to a cold, unwelcoming place, a deadly frost having settled around frame and doorknob, both.

Doors down a vast hallway...it's strangely familiar, though you couldn't quite say why. Of all the questions you have, the echo of Yurei's vengeful threat leaves only one relevant and ringing in your mind...

...how deep do you want to go?

>>Enter the room that smells like Spring.

>>Enter the room that's warm, like Summer.

>>Enter the room that glows with the light of Autumn.

>>Enter the cold, unfeeling room of Winter.

>>Exit the hospital. Yurei's drawing in, and delving deeper is exactly what she expects you to do. Instead, retreat to the Dream-Mansion and delve into the [Study/Office] to throw her off your trail.

>>Write-In

YOU ARE IN CONTROL
>>
(Gentlemen, I shall be pausing here for the evening. Voting shall remain open for the next thirteen hours with posting to resume in approximately fourteen. Thank you for your continued participation, enthusiasm, and patience, and know that I'll be popping between here and the 31st Vein to address questions in the former and post my thoughts on your replies in the latter. I hope you've had a good day and I wish you a restful evening, one and all.)
>>
>>3863692
ah, so yeah. someone died, probably not a fun death either, be it fast or slow. either her Mother herself or the only supportive family member she had. Mother is probably the safer bet, and regardless of who its certainly probably the only person she really had.

>>3863700
hrm... tough one. but its not happy thoughts that made Yurei who she is.

>>Enter the cold, unfeeling room of Winter.
>But send a Jackling into each of the other rooms, and have them prepared to flare with a mental image of yourself if necessary to try and pull Yureis attention, even for a moment, in the wrong direction, if you feel her true self drawing near.
>Have Rath prepare to Burn bright, literally and metaphorically. if Yurei's memories in this room start to feel overbearing again, let Raths literal heat mixed with her emotional heat enhanced via your Empathic field act as a counter balance, but only if it is necessary to stop or lessen the overflow of emotions onto yourself that may leave you vulnerable.
>>
>>3863704
same to you. been an interesting thread at least, not surprised but still not exactly what i expected. while not all the pieces are in place yet, gotta say im interested in what the twist is gonna be. this just feels... too typical, for just how adverse to some things Yurei is. or maybe, its just hard to visualize as it was, her typical trauma mixed with the crucible giving something most who go through this never would imagine; their perfect escape.

regardless, as ironically cold as it is gonna be, im more interested in how this is/can help us defeat her, as id imagine that is at least part of the point. not exactly had this situation before so we'll see how it works i suppose.
>>
>>3863700
Why am I getting deja vu right now? This is a weird thing to feel like we've done before. I'm about 99.999% certain we haven't, yet it's incredibly familiar for some reason.

>>3863704
Thanks for running, BHOP. Have a nice evening.

>>3863714
Yeah, it doesn't really fit together, what we've seen so far and what her pathology is. Like, okay, mom died, so she wants to make a world without death by uploading everyone into the Cord. But then where the hell does all that stuff about want and scarcity come from? It wasn't a very well-reasoned argument, really, because she told us that resource scarcity was a huge problem in the same breath that she claimed that everyone living inside the Cord won't pose any RAM issues because the Crucible breaks conservation laws. Either matter and energy are limited in supply or not, you can't have it both ways. So if that's something she believes, then it's such a deeply entrenched belief that she's able to have doublethink about it. There's got to be something that twists it further and gets her really convinced about this.
>>
>>3863730
yeah, i get what you're saying.
only guess ive got is, more losses pile on this one. maybe greed hits? maybe her mother is in a savable position, but resource scarcity due to the rarity of the disease or something is her 'real' killer? i mean... technically it works and is possible but... i dunno, that option feels hollow to me, and i cant quite word why. feels way too much i guess like she would be blaming the wrong thing, as in that case, its less resources, more just bad luck.

id also say maybe something more common but money got in the way but... well, i guess she could be on scholarships but i still feel like signs so far have pointed to money not being the biggest issue for her family, and even if it was, theres still options there, and usually when its a truly bank breaking issue, its over something that being rich still may not of been able to solve. dunno, any idea for that part of it i can come up with jsut feels like shes making excuses or something along those lines, and/or not that big of a twist to truly explain her ideology. not impossible, just... i guess underwhelming, as the reason.

like, and this is gonna sound dickish, but yeah those situations suck, they are terrible, but at the same time, they arent uncommon. and to have that be what broke and entrenched her that hard? well, it makes her seem super weak and fragile, even compared to most people. but hey, maybe that will be the point, who knows?
>>
>>3863704

Back from work.

UGH. Dining manager is asking for anyone to fill in for Tomorrow and came to me because no one else volunteered. When I was supposed to have tomorrow as my. day. off. Fucking hell. Way to go, co-workers. Doesn't even help that we're already shortstaffed.

>>3863736
>>3863730

Now that I'm back, Hopefully I can help piece parts of this disjointed scenario together with the freudian clues that Bhop has sprinkled in.

Also. Why do I get the feeling that solving this requires us pulling an INCEPTION on Yurei? Calm the source of Yurei's trauma, help her get over her delusion somehow. Plant subconscious suggestions?

>Why am I getting deja vu right now? This is a weird thing to feel like we've done before. I'm about 99.999% certain we haven't, yet it's incredibly familiar for some reason.
Remember how we found out Sam's true trauma and downward spiral of manipulation? Same thing.
>>
>>3863756
the context for Sam was alot different though. both in how we went about it and got to that point.

honestly as much as i have gripes over Yurei, if such an inception thing was possible, id be against it. thats just wrong, in my opinion. feels hypocritical to fight her over the right to choose, then go into her head and twist her thoughts to manipulate her, on her 'deathbed' no less. dont even think its the main point, but if she is gonna get over herself, she does it herself, not by any underhanded trickery from us.
>>
>>3863736
And it all comes back to the big problem I have with Yurei's plan, namely "why does any of this require a virtual world?" You've got (according to her) unlimited energy and mass from the Crucible's physics-breaking. Even if you don't, the rest of the solar system is within reach, because you've also got the incredibly powerful technologies that can be derived from the Crucible's biology. And you've got those incredible technologies. It can be on Earth as it is in your artificial Heaven. The tools and resources needed to make a better world are already within humanity's grasp, the only reason it would not be would be due to institutional apathy and corruption letting problems go unchecked. But that's a thing that could easily happen in the virtual world, too! Even more so, really, since she's planning on being the solitary administrator for all minds.

>>3863756
I'm sorry to hear that you got volunteered. I hope that it's a slow day tomorrow, at least.

>Remember how we found out Sam's true trauma and downward spiral of manipulation? Same thing.
Nah, there's something about this specific scene, being in a hospital with weird seasonal door things and the worry that we might have to withdraw quickly. I don't know why that feels familiar to me, but it does.
>>
>>3863761

>honestly as much as i have gripes over Yurei, if such an inception thing was possible, id be against it. thats just wrong, in my opinion. feels hypocritical to fight her over the right to choose, then go into her head and twist her thoughts to manipulate her, on her 'deathbed' no less. dont even think its the main point, but if she is gonna get over herself, she does it herself, not by any underhanded trickery from us.

And you are correct about that. It's hypocritical of us.

Let me get some food first. I'll post my analysis of what I'm seeing and deducing so far.

>>3863768
>Seasonal Doors.

Wait. I have it. Those doors represent the seasons of life. This is a hospital, and the seasonal doors represent the health of the patient. Yurei's significant loved one.

>Spring: life is at its prime. Hope is abound, with the patient still healthy and full of vitality despite the initial sickness
>Summer: Life continues, a steady routine is maintained. Despite doubts, hope still remains for a cure.
>Autumn: Despite the treatments, all the money thrown at the doctors, the disease progresses, and has entered terminal stage. It's just a matter of time now. Despair and desperation sinks in.
>Winter: Death. The final sentence. The Nail in the coffin. The patient that resides in that ward is dead or on their last breath.

More to come. Let me get some food dammit!
>>
>>3863768
yeah, not much i can say really, i agree overall, with the caveat you are giving some things up actually as ive said in past conversations by going in a virtual world too.

>The Deja Vu
you might be infectious because the way you just worded it kinda made it hit me a bit too. might just be a naturally familiar scene or something for people who like this genre though, perhaps.

>>3863756
also yes sorry you got volunteered too.
they at least give you a new day off? any protections for turning that stuff down? depends on... alot of factors really, but there are places where you can say no to that without getting fired on the spot.

>>3863777
sound like cancer then, though could be something just as bad. you get some food though, yeah.
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>>3863777
>Wait. I have it. Those doors represent the seasons of life. This is a hospital, and the seasonal doors represent the health of the patient. Yurei's significant loved one.
Maybe, but I think there's more than that. Spring and autumn are both half-open, summer is fully open, winter is closed. Put that in a circle, it's the door opening and closing from summer to winter to summer again. Suggests a cyclical thing going on, to me. Maybe a recurring health problem, going into remission only to relapse, time and time again? And then something unexpected happens during a spring period that cuts the cycle short despite it looking to improve, and that's why there's a sense of despair coming from the spring door.
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>>3863709
I'm opposing the plan to enter the Winter door. Us opening it and breaking in would tip Yurei off the easiest. Yurei has an ability that allows her to vent jets of Freezing wind. So she must've sealed that door for a reason.
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>>3863888
her not wanting us in there also means it probably has the most important information for us to gather. we need that info, we're not here to respect or console Yurei, we're here to stop her. and anything she doesn't want us to see has the greatest chance of helping with that. hell, even if you wanted to help her, you're not going to be able to without knowing what she truly fears enough to lock away.

as for garnering her attention, we already have that. we stick around these doors at all, she's gonna find us. the best we can hope for with any of these doors is the plan to distract her to work, regardless of the one we go through. i also think you're wrong that its related to her powers, over simply being related to winter and its connection to the darker outcomes/emotions here.
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>>3863894
>her not wanting us in there also means it probably has the most important information for us to gather. we need that info, we're not here to respect or console Yurei, we're here to stop her. and anything she doesn't want us to see has the greatest chance of helping with that. hell, even if you wanted to help her, you're not going to be able to without knowing what she truly fears enough to lock away.
I wonder what it means that the Spring door is open, then? Shu is sensing despair coming from it, but it's not sealed like Winter is. So the thing that Yurei doesn't want seen is not the thing that gives her despair. Oh, I just had an awful thought. Remember how Rath and Gina were comparing Yurei's home to Silent Hill? What if she mercy-killed her mother, Silent Hill 2-style? And her pathology centers around how she copes with the guilt of having done that.
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>>3863954
well, im unsure thats entirely true, i mean i see some merit to it but;
>...the door is closed to a cold, unwelcoming place, a deadly frost having settled around frame and doorknob, both.
seems to imply to me some actual emotion behind the door, not just pure coldness itself. more like the cold and closed door is symbolic, not just Yurei casting ice on it.

really, we simply dont have enough info here to fully know what the hells going on. spring could be despair because its the beginning, her Mothers or others first day of their slow decline. despite the sickness not being anywhere near its worse yet, in some ways those first days can probably seem the worst, due to the outright freshness of the news and no frame of context like in the middle for if its even gotten a little better.

meanwhile the Winter door still to me feels like the true trauma, her true reason for all this. cold, unwelcoming, closed off. all the things that one would feel towards the end, the memory that stings, the true loss. but such is how im reading it, and we shall see.
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>>3863954
>>3863894
So then what do we disguise ourselves as in this section of the dreamscape hospital?

Francine's got the profession as an actual Medical doctor as her background so she might be able to walk into any of the patient rooms without rousing suspicion.

But everyone else will need to blend in better. Rosa...Rosa could blend in as a hospital patient who needs to be bound in a wheelchair strapped to a lifesupport system judging from the profile picture Bhop gave us.

Rath would act like a visitor.

Sia would be a Nurse in surgical scrubs and surgical mask.

Betty....I'm not sure. Receptionist?

Shu could pose as patient or an Intern doctor in training that rides behind Francine's coattails.

Am I missing anyone?

Depending on which door we enter, we may have to re-arrange our disguises.

Also, not everyone should have to go into the room, we should have some of our team members keep watch outside the door in order to fit in with the hospital setting.
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>>3863972
Im still against splitting up and i dont think our appearance is that big a deal. Sia has the face cover thingy on everyone which should help them be ignored, and just like the classroom i think the memory itself will fill us into the roles it needs, as it was.

Now that we actually have Yurei's attention splitting up even with just a door(more important than you think considering how memories seem to shunt us off to who knows where half the time with just a few steps) isnt a good idea. Some people will just have to be wall flowers, as it were, unless its one of those rooms just chalk full of people or her other/person got alot of visitors from a large family.
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>>3863964
If Spring was the beginning, then going by Sia's advice we should head there first. But we don't have the time to hit all of these rooms in sequence, and we don't actually know it's the earliest point. Darn.

>>3863972
We should fit into the memory on our own, Francine didn't need to actively become the teacher role in the classroom. And space isn't fixed in this place, so having some people outside the door might not actually be possible. Once we open it up we all get sucked in or the like.
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>>3863979
In any case;

We can slowly deduce that Yurei's trauma stemmed from the powerlessness of watching a loved one slowly wasting away and knowing that they're on a timer.

The additional fact is that Yurei got the call from her Mother's phone number while Yurei herself was in college. Yurei apparently had changed majors after much intense arguing with her Mother and got her way. So it must also be Yurei's mother that's in the hospital ward room. We just don't know the exact cause of the disease.

This is what I'm compiling right now:

>Classroom: College Years, possibly 2-4 years in to College, Yurei's struggles in her college life, signs of butting heads with Mother, but then Yurei gets the Call
>Hospital: 4 stages and distinct Memories associated. Spring summer, fall, winter. Yurei's frequently visits to her Mother. At least 4 significant visits, probably within the span of 1 year given the 4 seasons. Will need to check dates for confirmation.
>Study: Speculating that Yurei is torn between her studies and the instinctual frequent need to visit Mother. Given the fact that Yurei's visited her mother only 4 times, this might take place during her mother's internment in the hospital or after her mother's death.

>Office: Post college, making headway into Yurei's career life. Past is buried, Yurei is a self made woman, yet the trauma still stings.

Anyways. More important information can be found by checking the Patient records on the foot of the hospital bed, if we have that sort of information, we can get a better understanding on how that trauma ate Yurei up from the inside as well as seeing how Yurei behaves during each visit.
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>>3863700
I will support this>>3863704

The most important information can always be foun in th darkest and most uncomfortable places to look. And as such the darkest places usually reveal the most about someone.

but after that we should probably leave this part of ehr mind we are already pulling enough attention as is

Which migh tnot be bad. By calling her back into the dreamscape she has to divert more and more resources to this plane and her skeleton form should weaken
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>>3863980
Yeah you're right, and that is our best bet fir the start, but im personally thinking we only are gonna have time to hit one more door here. Figured if its only one potentially, and we're gonna have to fill in some gaps anyways, then we can still get alot of info from the end while the end will also tell us some things about earlier ones too. If winter door is the end, but it still at least feels very important.

But it could be a trick too. We aren't getting any emotions from it, well we are, but Not super direct or powerful ones. And we know despair probably played a major role in all of this, so that one may be a good idea.

Really depends on which of the two you think she is trying to use to distract from the other, with the issue being she has Abilities to potentially make either one a trap/distraction from the other.

Despair is more out of place here though for its season, but that could also be on purpose.
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>>3864155
It is somewhat odd to think that any of the doors are valid, when you think about it. Why have a 25% chance that intruders guess right when you could have a 0% chance by not putting the information you want to conceal in an accessible room? Make everything a trick or trap. The fact that we're finding valid information therefore says to me one of two possibilities. The first is that she can't do that, that there's some rule of how her mind palace works that says that she can't completely isolate a room. The second is that she can, but she hasn't, and the obfuscation we're seeing so far is just a natural part of how her dreamscape is laid out. Like the door being closed is not because she's actively trying to conceal it from us, but because that's just symbolic of something she doesn't want to face and is repressing her emotions over. I feel like that one is more likely, given that she doesn't know where we are thanks to Sia's agnosia field. So it's likely neither is an intentional trick, just different information being presented with no guarantee it fits our priorities.

>>3863700
>>Enter the cold, unfeeling room of Winter.
>>Write-In
>Try to get a sight of the other rooms through their doors without actually entering them. Have Jacklings poised to enter rooms at same time we open Winter door, just in case it relocates us dramatically upon opening. Prepare for Rath flaring passion and Francine emotional dissection as a way to bust out of any overwhelming memories.
>Also have members of Barbers with us ready to do what they can to contribute to information gathering and/or dreamscape disruption. Rosa using boiling blood in a metaphorical sense, perhaps.
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>>3864194
well, I wasn't thinking she was actively doing it, so much as a subconscious thing. one or the other was her wanting to ignore the other.

and if it is active, you're ignoring it could still take concentration and effort she has a limited supply of to change them, so she might only be able to afford to change one. but that does imply she would know where we are, sure, but even without it she could be shotgunning her whole dreamscape or taking some guesses. less 'i know where you are', more 'i just sensed you in this area, so where are you likely to go next.'

but we'll have to see i suppose. ill admit it's unlikely just not a possibility to be ignored.
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>>3864135
i think you clicked on the wrong post?
though, it wouldn't be the first time we've given some control over to BHOP, im just unsure if this is the moment for that.
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>>3864219
Yeah I clicked the wrong post
Thank you for making me aware of it
>>3863704
I am out right now so I will ammend my post from my phone from>>3864135
To support this>>3863709

Sorry about the confusion
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>>3863700

Considering her aversion to violence, greed and the like, I have a sneaky suspicion that Mom was the target of the kind of horror that lives in our own world, no fleshscape needed. Let's see what dark Winter of the soul pushes Yurei.

I'll buy in on the Jackling dummies/Rath ideas of >>3863709 as well.
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>>3863700

You rise slowly, careful not to touch any of the faceless staff as you gesture for Rath to follow you to the frozen door. The others join you, Rath’s hands igniting as she seizes the doorknob. She struggles to pry the door from the frame as you send out a trio of Jacklings, one for each of the other rooms to serve as a decoy in case your hunch promptly backfires. A gust of frigid air whips across your face as the door gives way, and when you open your eyes you’re met with a cold, empty room, save for a figure sitting in a chair by the far window, gazing out at a world blanketed by white. You’re alone with the weary-looking figure, but you can feel the allies you’ve brought with you, looking through your eyes as the six of you occupy the same space in this lonely memory.

Yurei looks almost exactly as you first met her, the patient’s bed immaculate and empty as your foe just sits and stares out though the frosty glass. Glancing down you, realize you’re in a nurse’s uniform, a clip-board clutched to your chest.

“I’m sorry, but you shouldn’t be here.” You say reluctantly, reciting rote lines from a script that isn’t yours.

“When did Lucy die?” Yurei asks, not bothering to avert her gaze from the glass, chin in her palm as she leans on one elbow.

“I’m sorry, Ms. DeGasperis passed away late last night.” You explain, confused. “What’s your relation to her?”

“None. Just a friend. She didn’t have any family left, so I…” Yurei trails off, finally turning to face you with her exhausted expression, dark circles under her eyes. “…I haven’t seen you here, before. I’m guessing you’re a new hire? Who’d you interview with? Lorraine?”

“Y-…yes, how did you…?” You stammer, the clipboard cold against your chest.

“I’ve spent a long time in these halls.” Yurei replies with a wry, tired smile. “First my mom, with her brain tumor. Then my husband and his hemorrhage. Now…well, turns out some things run in the family.”

“…Oh.”

“That’s life. Lucy here, she’s had it much worse.” Yurei says, staring at the empty bed. “Ms. DeGasperis lost her first husband two years into their marriage. She was twenty. She remarried seven years later, had two beautiful children…and then lost her second husband in a car accident, along with her daughter. Her son overdosed seven years ago, and…she wound up here. Alone, at the end.”

“That’s awful.” You breathe.

“That’s life.” Yurei says again with a bitter sigh. “I first set foot here when I was in sophomore year, and if there’s anything I’ve learned it’s that no matter how bad it is for you, there’s always someone that has it worse. There are so many good people in this world. People with hopes, loves, dreams...”

Yurei nods towards the bed once more as the room slowly gets colder.

“…and this is what they get.”

>>Ask about [her Mom/her Husband/Herself/]

>>Write-In

YOU ARE IN CONTROL
>>
(Voting shall remain open for the next two hours, Gentlemen.)
>>
>>3864300
Vote;
>Nod, and thank her for her willingness to keep others company and that you're sorry for her loss.
>Then, head back to the main mansion, then for the Offices. Have your defenses ready to try and draw Yurei off and away from you.

Ah, so i was right she lost more than just one person. And she herself also ended up in a bad health state, surrounded by good people who also suffered.

Yeah, i get it, i do Yurei... But thats life, thats still an important, sad part of life... And as blind as you are to it, you yourself wouldn't care so much, be os passionate, have grown so strongly into what traits you that are good, without that loss and suffering. You yourself are an example of why those sad, horrible things still matter.
>>
And there it is... The crux of her resolve. The underpinning of why she wanted to create the 'The Matrix'.

First her Mother, then her husband, then seeing the tragedy of one of her closest friend experience the same thing but worse.
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>>3864310
And, again, WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH FORCED UPLOADING? Yes, fine, create a virtual universe without death. But everyone's brain is already being backed up by the Crucible, Yurei! We can already have clinical immortality. And being alone when you die? Your plan would make everyone more alone because they'd be in an isolated solipsistic dreamworld.
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>>3864300

Sometimes I hate empathizing with our foes... but it's what keeps us human. Yurei's loss is terrible, but not the horrors of violence and greed that she talked about wanting to stop. All of these deaths were random chance, the poor luck of fate. Something changed later, something that turned her from despair to disgust, unless she was trying to tell us what she thought would get her the ideal world where bad things didn't happen to good people.

I think we need to head to the Offices, see where things went from here.

>>"Life, and death, are not fair. It's about what we do in the face of that. You kept one soul company into the final darkness. You did a beautiful and good thing. Ms. DeGasperis wasn't alone at the end. She had you. Thank you."
>>Head to the Offices.
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>>3864313
Yeah, but for me it still wraps back around to choice. That's fine, really, if she and others want to run away. I still dont like it, but that would be their choice.

But it should still be others choices not to run away from that and risk that suffering. Its not her choice and never should be anyones to make others avoid that.
yes i know we have talked this to death and i apologise for that.
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>>3864323
She missed lucys death actually, though i do think the thought still counts, but still.

Also i get and am ok with trying to be a but comforting to her, but i do think we need to do it 'IC' still at the moment, and am unsure that one is. Feels too odd for a nurse caught off her guard, too much like Shu for the illusion to hold i think.

>>3864322
Yeah some pieces are still missing here but its a good chunk to start seeing the full picture. My guess is, in offices, we're gonna see her have to deal with greedy folks who throw others under the bus for profit.

By itself not much, but stacked atop a shiton of loss i can see it still affecting her, if only due to their uncaring nature, over their outright 'evil' nature or something.
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>>3864310
>>3864322
>>3864324
I think the point is that it her idea of 'The Matrix' Stemmed from the idea of seeing constant suffering. If she could create a world where people like those who have terminal illnesses don't have to suffer the slow death at an early age.

>“I’ve spent a long time in these halls.” Yurei replies with a wry, tired smile. “First my mom, with her brain tumor. Then my husband and his hemorrhage. Now…well, turns out some things run in the family.”

>some things run in the family.
Wait a minute.

Does that mean Yurei's got a Hereditary health problem involving her brain? If her mother died of a brain tumor, and her husband died of a brain hemorrage... what sort of brain problem did Yurei have?

>>3864323
>"Life, and death, are not fair. It's about what we do in the face of that. You kept one soul company into the final darkness. You did a beautiful and good thing. Ms. DeGasperis wasn't alone at the end. She had you. Thank you."
Remove the first half of that statement. It's too recognizable for Yurei. It would break the script too hard because it's too much like Shu to say the first half of the statement.
change it to:
>"You did a beautiful and good thing. Ms. DeGasperis wasn't alone at the end. She had you to keep company. Thank you."
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>>3864303
Bhop, some obligatory ambient music for Yurei's Dreamscape from our pov.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yv5UAdAa9v4
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>>3864330
She was there as she was dying, even if not at the moment of death.

>>3864333
Fair edit. I know I'm prone to flowery phrases in my writing. So, yeah, let's tone it to your change.
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>>3864333
Well yes, thats what i said, i just said i dont think she has a right to force people to avoid suffering or the risk of suffering, especially the way she is doing it.

And yes something medical was going on with Yurei too.

And that edit works, yeah.
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>>3864300
>"You did a beautiful and good thing. Ms. DeGasperis wasn't alone at the end. She had you to keep company. Thank you."

>Leave for the office, make sure to close the door on the way out. It will be our next destination.

Classroom, Hospital, We've got a pretty clear idea on Yurei's life, but we need one final piece of evidence to figuring out the crux of Yurei's motivation: How does she grow from the final trauma of her life. She's lost her mother in college, then her husband post-college programming career, and now one of her closest friends.

>>3864330
That begs the question, what sort of counterargument are we going to throw at Yurei in order to make her snap out of her delusions? It's got to refute the central argument of her philosophy, not the main argument of her solution. We've got some key pieces of the puzzle.

Also, not gonna lie. I'm liking this kind of puzzle challenge where we run around trying to perform an exorcism for the restless hunger-mad ghost that is Yurei. It's a nice change of pace too.
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>>3864358
Well, like i said earlier, she herself is the perfect example of how all that loss and suffering can make good traits/people. Well, sorta. She went a bit too far but not for bad reasons, at least so far.

But hey, look at our family. They're all wonderful people, yet it is loss and suffering that truly made them understand what was important to them, it was people being willing to help them through all that that made them understand life and what they really wanted from it more.

Also, she is trying to stop the uncontrollable aspects of life by taking away people's control over their lives.
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>>3864358
>That begs the question, what sort of counterargument are we going to throw at Yurei in order to make her snap out of her delusions? It's got to refute the central argument of her philosophy, not the main argument of her solution. We've got some key pieces of the puzzle.
I'd suggest we go after the "dying alone" part. Point out that the problem of people being isolated from others by the whims of fate isn't going to change if she puts everyone into a simulation where they're all partitioned in their personal dreamworlds. People are just going to feel more alienated from their fellow human beings, less able to feel like they have any connection to others. The problem Lucy faced is only going to multiply, our hedonic needs may be met but we won't be happy.

It's like the Culture, which is what Yurei's goal most resembles. Everyone is happy in their perfectly hedonically-optimized Orbitals, with the Mind AIs doing their best to keep them all having as much fun as possible. But a recurring theme of the Culture books is that the Culture don't have a greater sense of connection to the world, and so they find themselves going on these grand missions to bring their way of life to the rest of the galaxy in order to feel like they do. Only Yurei wouldn't even provide that because she's got to keep everything contained, so humanity in her scenario would just flounder entirely.
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>>3864300
I will support this write in>>3864358
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>>3864360
also i feel like i should say mire here, but i got distracted by getting blood drawn fir the first time ever and am eating lunch, so, i apologise if it feels lacking as argumental points.
>>
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>>3864300

"You did a beautiful and good thing, Ma’am.” You say, Yurei’s sad eyes meeting yours from across the room. “Ms. DeGasperis wasn't alone at the end. She had you to keep company…thank you."

The older woman just nods thoughtfully, returning her gaze to the static-white snowfall as you take your leave. Gently closing the door behind you, your allies re-appear before you in the cavernous hall as you lead them to the hospital’s exit, the softly glowing sign above it flickering out of existence as the mansion reappears around you.

“Alright.” You start, taking a deep breath. “I figure we’ll hit the offices next, then maybe double-ba-“

You’re interrupted when the mansion’s double-doors are flung open, a woman tumbling to the floor with Yurei hot on her heels. The blonde woman scrambles to get back to her feet, but with a burst of frigid air Yurei launches herself skyward, a second blast bringing her heel deep into the woman’s chest with a terrible crunch that echoes through the hall. A pained groan is cut short by Yurei’s boot on the other woman’s throat, and you watch as your allies stand guard…only they’re not yours at all in this violent memory, but rather softly flickering Geists at Yurei’s beck and call.

“You, stay here and keep watch.” Yurei commands you, sweeping her eyes across your allies. “The rest of you, scour the mansion. If you find anyone, bring them back here, alive. Exterminating them is up to me.”

The girl underneath her heel groans again, prompting a swift kick across her jaw.

“You have no right to speak, not a single syllable more.” Yurei hisses with cold fury. “Amalgams. There are hundreds of those things crawling across the world, but hunting Daughters for…what? Food? Sport? Whatever your reason, your powers could’ve helped make this world better, but what do you do? You turn a nightmare into even more of a terror than it has any right to be…and that?”

Yurei’s eyes narrow.

“That, I can’t abide.”

The helpless woman’s eyes widen as frost spreads across her throat, freezing her last gasps before Yurei presses down one final time. The woman’s face buckles in as Yurei’s foot slams down onto the floor, the sound of the woman’s shattered skull echoing throughout the space. Suddenly Yurei’s narrowed eyes go wide, and she whirls around to focus her attention as she peers the mist-laden moor outside the mansion when your own vision flickers out. Spending only a half-second in darkness, when you re-focus you find yourself occupying the eyes of a stranger, slowly emerging from the mist to the sight of Yurei, poised dangerously just inside the mansion’s mezzanine.

“You.” Yurei breathes with a mixture of disbelief and fear.

“Me.” You intone in a deep, familiar voice.

(Continued)
>>
>>3864467

“My Dream Daughters, how did you…” She falters, then grimaces. “…no, of course you could. Are you here to kill me?”

“I’m not here for you…at least, not in the way you think I am.” You say, stopping a few yards away from her as Yurei takes a cautious step back. “I heard tell of a Daughter, a Vitruvian and Master of Dreams who proclaimed she wanted to make a better world to all who’d listen. Even more impressive is the fact that this woman, this defiant soul has busied herself with laying low any who’d make themselves a threat to their fellow man. So tell me…”

You cock your head to one side in idle curiosity.

“…are you that woman?”

“I…I am.” Yurei replies, standing a little straighter despite her trembling fear at your countenance. “I’d imagine what I’m trying to do has labelled me a threat to those who’d rather things stay the way they are. For those who think there’s only one way to win this thing. Those who’d perpetuate this cycle…or worse, return us to the ways things were.”

Yurei hesitates but a moment before striding forwards, glaring up at you despite the foot of difference in your height.

“So, now that you know who I am, and what I stand for...” She says, voice dangerously low. “…are you here to kill me?”

You just chuckle as you remove your calcite helm, shaking free your head of silver-blonde hair.

“As I said before; I didn’t come to kill you...” You say, Mara’s voice flowing from your lips.

“…I came to hear the Master of Dreams tell me her grand plan.”

Her eyes go wide in the second before you blink, and you’re suddenly surrounded by cubicles, dimmed screen savers bouncing around the screens tucked in every stifling box. The office space seemingly stretches out infinitely in every direction, and as you whirl around you find your allies trying to catch their bearings.

“So did you guys…?” Rath mutters, her question answered by your nod and those of the other women present. Glancing around, you realize the endless space has three different themes, each one drastically different. The section you’re at the edge of is pristine and shining, the cubicles almost non-Euclidian in their configurations. The one to your right flickers between light and dark, the bulbs suspended overhead barely illuminating a few sparse, run-down desks and chairs. Finally, to your left is an unfortunately familiar sight; biomass, veins of scarlet and azure that grow and pulse over the ruins of the office space.

“Feels like we’re doing a pretty good job of not rocking the boat.” Sia mutters, stretching her arms in front of her. “Here’s hoping that lasts, huh?”

>>Venture further into the fresh, brightly-lit cubicles.

>>Approach the dim and depressing area.

>>Explore the bio-choked ruins of the future office space.

>>Write-In

YOU ARE IN CONTROL
>>
(Gentlemen, voting shall remain open for the next two hours. Apologies for the delay, as it's been nothing but appointments and meetings, today.)
>>
>>3864470
So Yurei had a run in with Mara while taking over the Mansion

She was probably in her office when the crucible hit and as such woke up there.... That must have been a shock as well. Would be interesting to see hwo she reacted to that.

I think the brightly lid cubicles are when she started her programmers career when she was full of optimism and hope while the dima rea is probably around the time when she was just a gear and probably when her husband died.

If we want to learn more about how she started to devlop the hatred of how things were we would have to start form her optimistic place and then go to the dim area

I can imagine that she would fidn the fleshscape like the garden eden and a possible new start after her depressing time at the office.

>Venture into the fresh, cubicles
>"I think i have an idea as to what Yurei had here and that the fleshscape after her initial adjustment period was probably like a present form heaven or something. So if we follow the same logic we should start where she would have at least some faith in a brighter future"

>>3864472
Sorry to hear your day has been so busy
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>>3864470
>>Approach the dim and depressing area.
seems like where the worst of her time here would come from. though maybe getting something positive from her life for a change would help our case, but not if later on it just turned to ash anyways, as she would just use the later stuff to override the earlier. though i am making assumption on order hear, ill admit, the theme of her life and such would indicate to me things get worse for her more often then getting better.

also, neat to know Mara visited her, but not surprising either. If i thought about it, i probably could've guessed that, but its... whatever it is, where its such a non-thing you just dont. its so obvious something that could've happened id never think to mention it. not that its not interesting or a neatly written scene mind you.

also, possibility then she started the crucible in her office, neat, though it could be she just visited it afterwards. i like her stance on not hunting daughters, but that ones kinda a given for people in our positions to be for, except under very specific cases. it also sounds like a stance she had at a time when Amalgams were much more common, so there was less of an excuse for it. now though, i could see some areas having no real choice. which doesn't make it ok, but only understandable.

>>3864472
oof, yeah i understand. had a doctors appointment myself this morning.
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>>3864467
>“Amalgams. There are hundreds of those things crawling across the world, but hunting Daughters for…what? Food? Sport? Whatever your reason, your powers could’ve helped make this world better, but what do you do? You turn a nightmare into even more of a terror than it has any right to be…and that?”
I feel like this is at least somewhat hypocritical. Hunting Daughters for food is of comparable villainy to trapping them in the Cord. Because Daughters don't really die, they just get transitioned to the dreamscape, and unless their consumer has an ability like Secluded Mind then nothing bad is going to happen to them once there. In fact, becoming a Dream Daughters gives the consumed access to their own malleable virtual reality to play in. Brief moment of suffering, non-consensual uploading to the dreamscape, access to personal VR playground. Tell me Yurei, how is that different from what you're planning on doing to every Daughter on the planet? At least these Daughters you're fighting are getting something out of it, all you want is to force your ideals upon everyone else.

Also, as a side note, just realized that Yurei's Core is definitely a reaction to her experiences with illness. It protects her against status effects, stacks and corruption, exactly what you're expect from someone terrified with the slow decay of the flesh.

>>3864472
No worries, BHOP. Sorry to hear your day's been hectic, though.
>>
>>3864477
>I think the brightly lid cubicles are when she started her programmers career when she was full of optimism and hope while the dima rea is probably around the time when she was just a gear and probably when her husband died.
Alternatively, it could be the other way around. Remember her comment about how she hit her stride as a programmer and stopped fighting over scraps? Dim could represent early days when she's struggling and feels like it's all pointless, bright could be later career where she's respected and doing well.
>>
>>3864470
>go to the dim and depressing area
What Yurei is in the dark.
>>
>>3864498
She kinda reminds me of an adept of the Adeptus Mechanicus wanting to achieve unity with what she percieves to be a pretty much omnipotent(or somethign close to that) being by stripping away her own flesh and that of everyone else. While she does not replace it like the DOs have done the esscence of what she tries to achieve is a society based in data and leaving behind the weak and flesh that has been left wanting where every day can cause you massive suffering.

I think if something like virtual reality would have been invented she would have probably left for it and played in her own version of reality until her body gave out
>>
>>3864498
huh, yeah i somehow looked over how hypocritical that is. i mean, im against consuming daughters unnecessarily(mind you, not saying you aren't aswell), but yeah, it has similar effects as uploading to the Cord. hell, it even has similar threats and drawbacks, aka, outside forces could still kill or tamper with your vessel. which, yeah is your point. theres also something to be said about how theres trauma involved in getting forced consumed and put inside someones head, but if anything, that just brings up the point that could happen forcing everyone into the Cord too. unless you plan to forcefully wipe everyone's memories, in which case, fuck you Yurei.

more ammo for the pile i suppose. nice catch on her core too.

>>3864503
yeah, we cant know for sure, which is why for me personally, i just think if its 'clear trauma' or 'not clear trauma', we will be served better by finding out her trauma.

>>3864505
i can see it. me personally, im honestly paranoid of any tech that will come up that plugs into your spine or brain. fuck you hackers and corporations, people mess with eachother enough without that bullshit.
>>
>>3864508
I can see the applications fo that kind of tech and while i personally like the thought of becoming more than human through the use of technology i agree that the manipulation of someone thorugh the very technology that keeps them alive is something incredibly dangerous

We would need massive safeguards and probably decades of testing before something like that would be considered even close to legal. But maybe it would be completely outlawed once the first people get turned into mindwiped servitors to plant bombs or commit criminal acts..... Kinda like what happened in the Deus Ex Series with all people using prosthetis becoming hacked at the same time and turning to violence and causing chaos

There are postives to something like that as wel but they would rely on people not being massive dicks to each other So people stop being people...... its a sad reality
>>
>>3864512
yeah my issues exactly. im just not personally willing to give people another avenue into my head. id be part of an anti-Neuromancer and Phantasmal inquisition probably easier than id like to admit, honestly. certainly the first goal id have after learning they exist is to get hard defenses against them.

everyone has their line where they are willing to take risks, or conversely not let anything lack to defend against, and that type of stuff is a personal line of both fear and personal ideals/convictions id be in the picket lines over, not gonna lie. albeit hey, others can take that risk, you just try to force a society where i have to have that shit to buy breakfast or something and we're gonna have a problem.
>>
>>3864512
Mostly, I'm glad that the technology is advancing relatively slowly. Gives us time to come up with decent security systems along the way. Right now it's a struggle just to receive sensory data from the brain, let alone transmit it, so we've got time to develop protective measures before we start the full cybernetic integration you'd need to actually take control over a person like that. That stuff is decades away.
>>
Oh, yeah, need to properly vote. Let's see...I'm going to go for the fresh cubicles, just for the difference in perspective. We've seen Yurei fresh and innocent, we've seen her depressed and aimless, we've seen her resolute and kicking ass in the Crucible. Let's see her at work, in her element.

>>3864470
>>Venture further into the fresh, brightly-lit cubicles.

Also, just noticed that her minions in attacking the mansion were Geists. Where the hell did she get Geists? Why didn't she use any when fighting us? Those things are seriously dangerous due to not registering as part of the Crucible to a Daughter's body, even if she was using human Geists instead of the Hexane ones from Almath that would still be a powerful weapon. Did she lose her stock somehow?
>>
>>3864532
i could imagine so. they also were said to need an emotionally charged place, so its also entirely possible she herself wasn't enough to last, and/or whatever item(s) she had that were were lost or ran out of juice, as it was. that, and they still have free will, so maybe they just left her on their own, if they are like the last Geists.

also Votes a tie, dangit. never feels right for these to become a dice roll.
>>
>>3864535
>also Votes a tie, dangit. never feels right for these to become a dice roll.
Oh, it is. I missed a vote, I thought I was breaking a tie. Whoops.
>>
(Gentlemen, I'm headed home from work, so I'll consider voting reopened for the next half hour or so if anyone wishes to break the tie.)
>>
>>3864470
>>Venture into the fresh, cubicles
>>
>>3864517
Actually, an anti-mind manipulation group gives me some interesting story ideas...

>>3864569
I really dont want to go fir the bright area over-
>>3864589
Oh nevermind what i was gonna say doesn't matter now.
>>
(Back home and writing now, Gentlemen.)
>>
>>3864470

In silence you take the lead, forging a path deeper into the endless expanse of cubicles. There's little rhyme or reason for their layout, with each cramped space boasting a random height, though always adhering to either a dull blue or drab grey. You're not sure how long you spend navigating between the winding gaps between the stalls before you become aware of the rumbling coming from underneath your feet, but the gentle swaying of the overhead lights draws your eye

"We're still off the radar...not sure what that's all about." Sia mutters in response when you and Rath look to her for an answer.

"Mounting success in the real, perhaps?" Francine muses, and you can only hope she's right as you press on into the nonsensical labyrinth. The second time you're given pause in your wanderings is when you hear the tell-tale clicking of keys, rapid-fire typing echoing off thin, yet stifling walls. Rounding a corner, you see Yurei as she leans back in her chair, staring at her screen with her arms folded in frustration.

She groans, throwing her head back as she stares at the ceiling, her face a little brighter, a little less weary than you've gotten used to. You approach, and you're suddenly wheeling up to Yurei in a chair of your own, two sealed cups of yogurt in one hand and a pair of spoons in the other.

"Hey Sarah, how...what's this?" Yurei asks as you thrust one of the cups into her hands, followed by a spoon a few moments later.

"Celebratory yogurt for being two weeks away from going gold....duh." You say with a wink as you peel back the lid of your banana-flavored carton and dig in as Yurei does the same to her strawberry. “So, how’s the coding?”

“Programming. Network programming, specifically.” Yurei corrects, her eyes shifting back to her screens. “And it’s…work. Easy to get lost in.”

“How’s hubby?”

"Great." Yurei replies with a smile, spooning a small bit of reddish yogurt into her mouth as she relishes the taste. "He doesn't know I know, but I think he's taking me out for dinner this weekend since we've both been so busy."

"Aww, neat!" You chirp happily, spooning another bit of food onto your tongue as Rath rushed by with an armful of coffee cups, while Sia passes her while texting furiously. You swallow, just as a scrap of paper by Yurei's elbow catches your eye.

"Hey, what're those?" You ask, nodding at the homely, happy farmer on the torn page, rendered with loving detail. Yurei starts, sliding her chair to itnerruptyour line of sight in embarrassment.

“Oh, you know, just some doodles." She says disparagingly, but all it takes is your cocked eyebrow to make her break.

"Fine, just don't laugh, alright?" She pleads, and you just roll your eyes.

"Yui, you're fine." You fire back, prompting your friend to explain as Francine settles back into work in the cubicle opposite you.

(Continued)
>>
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>>3864719

"Okay, so...I when I was a kid, I…I wanted to make games.” She begins, voice faltering as she corrects herself. “*A* game. One game, really. I loved these stupid little slice-of-life sims. Animal Crossing, Stardew, Harvest Moon. They were places where everything was just…okay. Where no one has to get hurt. I wanted to make an MMO like that. Where people could exist, and just be at peace, living out their little virtual lives.”

"So like...no fighting?" You say, a little confused. "Do you level up, or...?"

"You can, but when you try to hurt another player you'll kind of...spin off into your own session, and your avatar in the other person's world will get controlled by an AI, for a...well, a hypothetically seamless experience. I'm toying with that or just a system where there's no collision...oh, and there's a little bit of language in it, but it's in a system that no-one can understand. Kind of like Journey, if you've ever played that."

"Hm, yeah." You mutter back as you swallow, and Yurei's eyes light up.

"Excellent! So yeah, basically like that, where you can't hurt anybody, and you just explore and...live, in this endless, procedurally-generated world."

"Wow, that's...ambitious." You reply, mulling over her idea. It's a cool concept, but something about it doesn't sit right with you.

"I know it's silly, it's just...I don't know." She says hesitantly. "I'm working on all this porting and networking, and there's so many games out there that are just chaos and whatnot but there's also a big market for games where you just...chill out. Go shear some sheep and plant a garden with your neighbors. No grand adventure, no big bad, just...life, lived peacefully."

For a long moment, the girl your body calls Yui is thinks in silence, a sad, strange look in her eye before she snaps out of her reverie and back to reality.

"So, um...what do you think?" She asks nervously. "It's stupid, I know it is."

From a pet project to a vision of humanity's future...whatever happened to make her elevate her idea to a paradigm for human existence certainly didn't happen here or overnight, but it happened all the same...

...and all the while, you can feel an ever-growing tremor, a low rumble through the entirety of Yurei's Dreamscape.

The questions ringing in your mind are 'when' and 'how', as you weigh how to reply to Yurei's own query.

>>"Not at all, Yui. I think you should pitch it, it'd be a great alternative to most of what's out there!"

>>"I think it's a little...bland? I mean, I get the appeal, but wouldn't that get old after a while? Day in, day out, no 'downs', just 'ups'?"

>>"So...do the players really have choice? If you're just spinning off iterations of the game any time someone's a dick, then why even have the option?"

>>"Yeah, but...procedural generation *and* iterative sessions? How'd that even work?"

>>"It's neat and all, but...is something else on your mind, Yui?"

>>Write-In

YOU ARE IN CONTROL
>>
(Gentlemen, I shall be pausing here for the evening. I'd intended to press on, but several nights of little sleep and a busy day have finally caught up with me, I'm afraid. Thus, voting shall remain open for the next thirteen hours, with posting to resume in around fourteen, give or take. I appreciate your kindness, participation, and patience as always, and I'll be around for a short while longer before heading to bed somewhat early. I hope you had a good day, and I wish you a restful evening, as well.)
>>
>>3864735
>several nights with little sleep
BHOP HOW COULD YOU.
You look like Yurei, baggy eyes and almost about to collapse.
>>
>>3864730
Okay so she came up witht he idea of what is pretty much the matrix without violence and fencing people of if they try and do something violent.

Great........ she tries to make the perfect happy world and while i get the appeal of a world with no conflict and just exploration in absolute and perfect harmony..... Humans can not survive that for long without going mad. It is nice as an escape for a couple hours but nothing more. Humans are craetures of Turmoil and conflict. Our souls kinda die when we have reached perfection. there would be nothing left to strife for and it would one day descend into complete self destruction to have anything happen at all.

>"I think it's a little...bland? I mean, I get the appeal, but wouldn't that get old after a while? Day in, day out, no 'downs', just 'ups'?"
>"people need change and freeedom. Isnt that why most people play games? To escape the world for a limited time? It might be nice for a time but i think some time in the future players would try to exploit the game to cause conflict and pain to whatever they can reach just to get a little more feeling form the game."


>>3864735
Go and get your Rest when you need it OP.
my own day was nice i played some Kill Team with a firend to get back into the system and i had some good fun
Do you have the questions you wanted to ask in the last vein about prewritten and ready to post or not?
>>
>>3864730
i want to go with;
>"So...do the players really have choice? If you're just spinning off iterations of the game any time someone's a dick, then why even have the option?"
as honestly, thats a very damn good question. i think i know the answer, of course, but from a game design point of view that just sounds silly. plenty of games simply dont allow you to hurt other players at all, so adding it in just to punish players seems silly, at least from a game design perspective. clearly, her little fantasy was being influenced by real world ideals too, but still.

it may sound silly, but im very disappointed that Yurei's idea for humanity is literally just her old game fantasy. not in a 'BHOP wrote this poorly' way or anything, mind you, its a perfectly fine story element, its more of disappointment not exactly in her, i mean it is, but like... really girl? i know that doesnt make much sense but thats how id describe it.

but, the only choice that really makes sense is, and my actual vote;
>Stay on script. her friend would've had a very specific response here, or at least idea for one. you cant risk going too far off what her friend would say, so you'll leave this one up to the memory.

>>3864735
you get some sleep BHOP. this is... a surprisingly slow Vein so far, and not in the 'you aren't posting much' way, dont mean that, but in a 'things are super calm in whats happening' type. i expected Yurei to either find us by now, or something to have happened alot more.. severe, to force our hand or make us think we dont have time to continue. instead, we somehow haven't really felt a true need to rush. makes me paranoid we're doing something wrong actually.
i'd assume your further questions in the last Vein are postponed til tomorrow? perfectly fine if they are, just asking so i know if i should be paying attention to it or not.
>>
>>3864750
There’s actually an mmo like that that actually exists. It’s called “Second Life”
>>
>>3864750
im honestly against any of those responses. we're info gathering here, not trying to actually have a true debate with Yurei yet. we pick the wrong option here, and it could very well speed up or even break the immersion, as it was, and ruin our chances to learn more. we simply dont know Yurei's friend enough to know let the Memory pick, unlike with the nurse where the line of thought was a very clear and easy one to know she would take.
>>
>>3864754
Okay.... havent really heard of it. I am not big on the whole mmo thing.

But you still only go there for a limited time. If you would have to life there forever you would probably go somewhat mad after maybe a couple months or years i would guess. Is there any form of resource scarcity in that game?

>>3864757
you actually make a good point i am probably to tired to think about that form that point of view

I will probably head to bed soon as well
>>
>>3864746
(I...really do, actually. Hrm.)

>>3864750
(I shall, and I wasn't able to get as much work done on the questions as I'd like, so I'll wait until tomorrow to post them.)

(Also, I'm very glad to hear you had a good day, it sounds like you had fun.)

>>3864753
(Honestly, the slowness wasn't what I anticipated, either. You've been doing surprisingly well so far, though the difficulty is ramping up, as I'm sure you can tell.)

(And yes, I'll be holding off on posting those questions since I don't have them in a state I'd like quite yet.)

>>3864754
(I feel like an utter goof for not remembering that until you mentioned it. It was fascinating when I first learned of it.)
>>
>>3864766
well i hope you get some good rest.

for what its worth, like i said in my post(sorta), i do understand the urge to want to argue with Yurei, im just saying now's not the time and there are consequences to timing it wrong, especially considering the circumstances. we'll get our moment to have more words with her, im sure of it, but best to save our ammo til then.
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>>3864778
No talking! sleep!

also, there’s no such thing as “catching up on lost sleep”
>>
>>3864778
and i look forward to those questions.
you get some Rest BHOP, before you have to start resorting to Coffee vein drips.

>>3864753
>>3864730
Adding in;
>See if Sia, Francine(with her swarm), or your own swarm cant figure anything out about the growing Tremors.

my guess here is, Yurei either is getting angry at being unable to find us, and so is starting to try and bring the whole dream down so its back to the usual dreamscape void place, or the more memories we unravel, the more unstable her mind is getting naturally via unwanted emotions and the like.

or worse, both.
>>
>>3864786
>also, there’s no such thing as “catching up on lost sleep”
technically no, but the term is meant to say 'i haven't gotten proper sleep and thus had bad days for several in a row now, so i want to get a night of proper sleep to break the cycle.'

its a mental thing too, as breaking the cycle can make you feel better about your situation and self aswell.
>>
Am >>3864786


Okay...
I'm getting the gist of things now.
>>3864788
>>3864766

>"Celebratory yogurt for being two weeks away from going gold....duh."

>Going Gold

"Going Gold" is a terminology in the Videogame Industry where a game studio as finished coding its game and stating that it's all ready for publishing and finalization.

Given what we can put together so far:

>You notice that the corner is occupied with a cramped set of doodles, a collection of surprisingly well-drawn fantasy characters with some assorted stat blocks off to one side.
>Glancing back to her page, you see her smile as she abandons her notes to put the finishing touches on what you assume to be some sort of stylized dress, worn by a small hobbit-like woman who’s sporting a small, quiet smile. A knight in armor, a rugged farmer, a stoic, yet serene princess; all of them are rendered in loving detail, the illustrations flowing from the young woman’s hand with inspired ease.

Yurei was a brilliant programmer with a mind for fantasy. She probably liked Fantasy RPGs and wanted to be a game developer. So she had a huge mindset for traditional Fantasy games. It took lots of arguing against her mother but she won.

Then came the phonecall that lets Yurei know that her mother got a seizure from a Brain tumor.

We then went to the hospital, we didn't go through spring, summer, or Autumn, but we could infer that each ward had a patient who was significant to her life given that Yurei was like who she was in the Winter room. Exhausted physically, and weary of suffering and death. Current speculations: (Spring: Yurei's Mother), (Summer: Yurei's Husband), (Autumn: Mrs. DeGasperis's First husband?), (Winter: Ms. DeGasperis)

So here we are. Yurei's prime of her career. She's made it into a game studio, and her skills at coding has led the game studio to be close to publishing their game.

From what I could gather and speculate about the other office space options:

the dimly lit office room of depression is probably Yurei's time at the game studio after her husband's death and the death of Ms. DeGasperis. Yurei's all alone in the game studio working on her midnight coding, where a co-worker might've stumbled upon Yurei burning the midnight oil either working on the game-studio's game or her own personal hobby.

The Bio-encroached office space, it might be Yurei's time of awakening. Given that there was an eclipse before the Crucible hit, then that would tell us that the Crucible hit Earth midday. She must've awakened early given that her subjective time-clock told her that 4-years have passed.

>>3864730
>"So...do the players really have choice? Wouldn't it be frustrating if the game ruined all of the player's progress if they threw a hissy fit and broke a vase during their session and caused a reset?"
>"I-I mean it's a really great idea! but...it's not a game that I would play all the time. Sometimes, I like to play fighting games, like Smash bros."
>Try to stay on the script.
>>
>>3864891
it shouldn't be an issue to 'stay on script', if we actually vote and let that happen, much like how Francine and others naturally knew and were even compelled to say the actual memory lines, which is still think is our best option to just let it happen, instead of forcing or risking any line. honestly all but the first and maybe the last one feels like Shu herself is tainting the line, which could end very badly for us.

Best to just leave well enough alone for now.
>>
Blarg, fell asleep after dinner, what did I miss?

>>3864730
Okay, so creating this sort of non-conflict environment has been a goal of hers for a while now. It doesn't really seem like the sort of thing that would really work, though. In order for the session-splitting to be seamless the interactions between players can't be particularly complex, or else it would be obvious what's happening. Maybe you can be upfront with the player instead of conceal the splitting, but it doesn't seem like that's the intent. And if you did, it would probably just lead to player dissatisfaction with this weird mechanic trying to limit how they play. Players do not like it when you try to force gameplay methods on them, check out this Game Maker's Toolkit episode on "protecting players from themselves". https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7L8vAGGitr8 (I think the bit about Mark of the Ninja also brings up the point of how mechanics inform play, so having PvP at all suggests to players that such a thing is an intended feature and they'll feel betrayed if you punish them for doing what they think they're supposed to). So you've got to keep this fairly minimal, which fits with the Journey-based language system where everything is abstracted and super basic. Interactions between the players have to be kept to a minimum so that when the mind piloting an avatar gets swapped out for a drone it's non-obvious.

But even that doesn't really work because Journey only ever expects to have two players in a session at once and Yui wants to make this an entire MMO-based massive server. Which one, does not work if language is so minimal, MMOs are fundamentally a social experience and so this restricted communication will harm it. But two, how are interactions handled if there are multiple players on a server and I strike one of them? It would cause contradictions if the struck player experienced the AI version of me while everyone else interacted with the real me, so I've got to be isolated from the entirety of the community for "crimes" (for there may be good cause to strike them, or it even being an accident) against a single member. What you'd get is a single community with its members slowly being exiled to their own pocket universes and replaced by AI drones. That might give you interesting data as a social experiment, but it's a very unsatisfying gameplay model and would be even less satisfying to experience in a more complex VR simulation. This is a flawed game model, Yui. I'd like to tell you that, but I don't know how in-depth your coworker's understanding of game design is and so we'd probably break character. We're programmers, but apparently not game programmers or you wouldn't feel so sheepish saying you wanted to make a game.

But seriously, Yui, just don't have PvP., it will work so much simpler. Or confine it to dedicated PvP zones where everyone consents to it. Like Runescape! Be like Runescape, Yui.
>>
>>3864996
anon. Yui is Yurei's Coworker. Shu is RPing as Yui.
>>
>>3864999
No, Yui is Yurei's real name. The memory we're inhabiting is named Sarah.

>>3864719
>"Hey Sarah, how...what's this?" Yurei asks as you thrust one of the cups into her hands, followed by a spoon a few moments later.

>"Yui, you're fine." You fire back, prompting your friend to explain as Francine settles back into work in the cubicle opposite you.
>>
>>3865004
>>3864999
(I can confirm that Yurei's real name is Yui.)
>>
>>3864891
>>3864730
>"So...do the players really have choice? Wouldn't it be frustrating if the game ruined all of the player's progress if they threw a hissy fit and broke a vase during their session and caused a reset?"
>"So if you're trying to make a game like "Second Life"...what about sports like football or boxing? Would that be included in the MMO?"
>Try to stay on the script.
>"Overall, it's a neat game idea. Is it playable? Can I play-test it sometime soon?"
>>
>>3864730
Alright now that my mind is not as clouded by being tired anymore i have taken a new outlook on what i want to do

Ammending my Vote from>>3864750 to
>Stay on script. her friend would've had a very specific response here, or at least idea for one. you cant risk going too far off what her friend would say, so you'll leave this one up to the memory.
>Signal for Sia or Francine(with her swarm) or your own swarm if they can bring some light on what is causing the tremors
>If nothing is forthcoming go with
>>"Yeah, but...procedural generation *and* iterative sessions? How'd that even work?"
>>
>>3864730
>>Write-In
>Stay on script as much as possible, adjusting words to sound more natural to the memory
>"No, it's a cool idea. That session splitting idea sounds like it would be a hassle to program, though. Why not just leave out PvP?"
>Try to contact rest of team via empathic field, see if they know what's happening with the tremors.
>>
>>3864730
>>3864753
>>3864788
well, utterly defeats the point of trying to stay on script, but if everyone else is gonna break that point and make trying to stay on script pointless to add to orders, im gonna at least get what of the options said id prefer voted on.

>Stay on script. her friend would've had a very specific response here, or at least idea for one. you cant risk going too far off what her friend would say, so you'll leave this one up to the memory.
>See if Sia, Francine(with her swarm), or your own swarm cant figure anything out about the growing Tremors.
>"So...do the players really have choice? If you're just spinning off iterations of the game any time someone's a dick, then why even have the option?"
>>
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>>3864730

"That sounds really cool, but...do the players really have a choice?” You ask after finishing your cup. “If you're just spinning off iterations of the game any time someone's a dick, then why even have the option?”

“Well, yeah…yeah, of course they have a choice.” Yurei replies irritably as she leans back in her chair. “It’s just if they decide to be a jerk then they get to be that way, while their victim’s not suffering for the other player’s decision. Everybody wins.”

“Also, procedural generation *and* iterative sessions? How'd that even work?" Comes your follow-up, and the moment the words are out of your mouth you can see the other woman’s shoulders drop, her tone becoming defensive and bashful in equal measure.

“Procedural generation’s kind of a pain, yeah. I think that part’s probably a good many years off in an MMO setting…” She admits. “…I have some hope for the iterative sessions, though. If Mara says the Cord can do it then…”

Yurei pauses staring into her cup as she blinks, as your blood runs cold.

“I’m sorry, what…what were we talking about?” She murmurs, eyes scanning the surrounding cubicles as if she’s searching for something.

“You were going to tell me about your game!” You reply cheerfully, scrambling to save face as a stronger tremor shudders through the Dreamscape.

[Status, everyone?] You call out across the empathic channel.

“Yurei’s physical form appears to be under tremendous strain thanks to your family’s efforts.” Francine replies immediately in her clipped, businesslike tone. “That, and our work in keeping Yurei’s true mind occupied trying to sniff us out has allowed the damage they’re dealing to stick. We’re making excellent progress.”

“Spooky’s getting closer and crazier, though.” Sia chimes in. “From where I’m sitting I can see that the undergrowth and darker areas of the office are starting to creep in. It’s all starting to get muddled the more she breaks down, and the more it breaks the more cracks Yurei has to peep through to get eyes on us.”

“Guys, we gotta move.” Rath pipes up tersely. “All three office scenarios are trying to clump together, and the Yureis in them are getting sucked together.”

“Hey Yui, sorry for keeping you so long.” You begin, trying to take your leave as your attention re-focuses on the girl sitting in front of you. “I know you probably wanted to get back to…”

It’s then that you realize she’s just staring at you, her tired eyes flitting between yours as you can feel the gears turning in her mind, the tremors beneath your feet intensifying.

(Continued)
>>
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>>3865316

Wordlessly, you stand, backing off with a forced smile as Yurei just stares at you. The empathic field flares as you find your allies, with Francine being the closest to your side as you see what Rath and Sia were talking about. The entire office space, from cubicles to lights, is starting to curl in on itself like a dying spider, the endless cubes rising on either side of you as the dream begins to succumb to the strain. Francine seizes your hand and pulls you along as she breaks into a run, racing to rejoin your allies as you run past Yurei with a tear-streaked face shuffling past you with one hand on the maze-like walls. A flicker of recognition flares in her eyes as you dash past her, with Rosa and the rest of the Barbers rushing out of a nearby hall to follow in your frantic steps.

Rath rounds a corner several meters ahead of you, and the moment Francine takes her hand you find yourself catching your breath in the mansion’s mezzanine once more…but not quite. Cold, impersonal white blends with warped wood, cheaply-built cubicle partitions jutting out of the patchwork walls at impossible angles. Glancing around you realize the Study’s changed, as an unnatural chill wafting from the space sends a shudder up your spine at the same time that a tremor runs through the mansion’s misshapen halls. The Dining Hall is now a biomass-choked jungle, while you could swear you caught the glimmer of white armor and platinum-blonde hair disappear into the door that leads to the Engine and Forge.

“Christ…Shu, the layout.” Rath groans, head whipping around as she takes your surroundings in. “It’s the same. It’s not the same place, but to her, it’s…”

It hits you, in that moment. The reason the clinically pale halls seemed so familiar when you first saw them. The mansion, the hospital. The nurses, the maids. Warped reflections of each other, sorrow reflecting sorrow. Whether she realized it or not, Yurei surrounded herself with the very echoes of her darkest memories…and at the very end of the hall, at the very heart of the mansion, you can feel her.

The tremors are coming faster, now.

A terrible, rhythmic heartbeat that’s beginning to fail its master.

The path is open to you, should you choose to cut straight to the heart of this dying dream…

…You just have to wonder if you’re ready to bring it all crashing down.

>>Just a little further, and you’ll have the context you need to put Yurei to rest. Examine the [Unbearably cold Study/Bio-choked Dining Hall/ Softly humming Forge Room].

>>You’ve seen enough, and you have what you need…it’s time to end this, once and for all. [Confront Yurei]

>>Write-In

YOU ARE IN CONTROL
>>
(Gentlemen, voting shall remain open for the next two hours.)
>>
>>3865319
well, expected that kinda. knew we should've picked the gloomy area. we could push one more further, but guarantee if we do, she will come to us, instead of us to her. i think we have plenty of context, besides maybe how deeply involved with Mara she may of been, but thats not really something i think we need. Unless you're worried Mara was secretly deeply on Yurei's side or something, but my own guess would be she just saw Yurei and her method as an option to keep on the table, like everyone else in her folders.

>You’ve seen enough, and you have what you need…it’s time to end this, once and for all.

>Send yours and Francines Swarmlings forward, to eat any pre-placed traps or attacks she may naturally have, or simply lash out with at any who approach.
>Slowly approach, have everyone close together, Sia and your Neuromancy ready to block what may come.
>as you reach the entrance to the heart, stand firm and all out. "This is over Yurei. you've already lost. you talk about ending pain, preventing loss? what you've become out there wont do anything but make others suffer. thought you said you were above all this, better than it. then prove it. theres still some sanity kicking around in here, use it to help us stop this. no matter our differences, even you should know going down rampaging the countryside wont do anyone any good."
>"Im giving you your last words, last chance here. This fight didn't have to happen, but you left us no choice. it doesn't have to end like this, kicking and screaming into the void. you've feared and denied reality your whole life, let us help you come to terms with it before the end."
>"Or we can put you down the hard way, no tact or words. and you'll be alone in your dying breaths. and no one deserves that."
>>
>“…I have some hope for the iterative sessions, though. If Mara says the Cord can do it then…”
So Mara came to Yurei and asked about Yurei's grand plan, but apparently Yurei's personal dream project was still on the paper and theorycrafting stage and without any prototype builds. And then Yurei mused about using the Cord's power to simply refine her pet MMO project after Mara mentioned that the Cord has the power to do so.

>Francine seizes your hand and pulls you along as she breaks into a run, racing to rejoin your allies as you run past Yurei with a tear-streaked face shuffling past you with one hand on the maze-like walls.

That Yurei must've been from the memory scene of Yurei being alone in the office crying her eyes out.
>>
>>3865319
I would like to know what she and Mara talked about or if what we have seen maybe even is a fragment of Mara that was left here to help Mara should she ever have to fight Yurei

Well the only way is forward probably.. Mght as well make it an encounter on our terms(as much as that is possible within the dreams of another)

God Francine can just pump those Ichthyoids out since we dont have to worry about BIO. She can just send out over 80 in a turn since her BIO does not run out.... Thjose are some nice bonuses since she does not have a limit

Otherwise i will support >>3865326
Its a good way to tell her that this does not have to end in further bloodshed but we are ready to push her beyond the brink if she does not let go
>>
>>3865319

Is there any emotional resonance coming from any of the locations? what about the emotional resonance from where Yurei is directly located?
>>
>>3865335
(Some from the Study, and a powerful pressure coming from Yurei's Core.)
>>
>>3865337
Is there any specific emotions picked out or is it too faint and vague?
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>>3865340
(Anger, denial, and exhaustion...the last of these more acutely than the others.)
>>
>>3865319

>You’ve seen enough, and you have what you need…it’s time to end this, once and for all. [Confront Yurei]

>"Yui. You can stop looking for me, I'm right here. I've been through your memories. I saw day you got the phone call about your mother. I witnessed your husband's death, I saw the tragedy that struck Mrs. DeGasperis and her family. I saw your creative talent for game making at college with those doodles of Fantasy characters. I learned about your dream pet project about an iterative procedural generated MMO World where violence was forbidden. I saw the times you were happy with your husband, the times where you frequently visited your loved ones. All of that and more."

>"I saw all of those things and I can't help but feel the emotions...the sorrow behind it. You never really got over it didn't you? You never got the time and place to grieve for losing your mother, your husband, your friend, you never got the time and place to accept the reality and move on. That's why you kept on pushing and pursuing your passion project as a way of coping with the losses in your life. The Procedural MMO. A way to escape the pain and sorrow that happened throughout your pre-Crudible life. Before, you were doodling in the margins and making statlines in making a Fantasy mmo with knights, princesses, and adventure. But Your mother's death changed all of that. You couldn't see anything else in a game except for the escapist fantasy it provided.

>"It's escapism. And when you boil Video games down to the core? Video games a form of escapism. A way to postpone the harsh truths of reality. But you can't stay in that bubble forever. Just like real life, we have to go back and accept the harsh truth of reality and put our noses back to the grindstone."

>"I know you're tired Yui, you're angry, you're in denial, your Yume Gashadokuro form is literally breaking down as we speak. You probably have several minutes before this dreamscape breaks down completely."

>"Instead of dying alone, angry, exhausted, surrounded by your darkest memories...how about this?"

>Use Neuromancy to search through Yurei's memories for what her mother looked like, Conjure it up and assume the form of Yurei's Mother. Then open a memory door to Yui's wedding.

>"We play out a happy memory, where everything is right in the world for you. Your wedding with your husband, with your Mother attending, happy and healthy."
>>
>>3865349
im... against this, heavily. taking the form of her dead mother? besides if she was even alive for the wedding, whew, thats insulting as all hell. that entire last part just sounds like she would backlash to wanting to rip us to shreds over trying to meddle with or interfere with those memories, and id not blame her one bit either.
>>
>>3865349
>>3865319
Amending my vote
>You’ve seen enough, and you have what you need…it’s time to end this, once and for all. [Confront Yurei]

>"Yui. You can stop looking for me, I'm right here. I've been through your memories. I saw day you got the phone call about your mother. I witnessed your husband's death, I saw the tragedy that struck Mrs. DeGasperis and her family. I saw your creative talent for game making at college with those doodles of Fantasy characters. I learned about your dream pet project about an iterative procedural generated MMO World where violence was forbidden. I saw the times you were happy with your husband, the times where you frequently visited your loved ones. All of that and more."

>"I saw all of those things and I can't help but feel the emotions...the sorrow behind it. You never really got over it didn't you? You never got the time and place to grieve for losing your mother, your husband, your friend, you never got the time and place to accept the reality and move on. That's why you kept on pushing and pursuing your passion project as a way of coping with the losses in your life. The Procedural MMO. A way to escape the pain and sorrow that happened throughout your pre-Crudible life. Before, you were doodling in the margins and making statlines in making a Fantasy mmo with knights, princesses, and adventure. But Your mother's death changed all of that. You couldn't see anything else in a game except for the escapist fantasy it provided.

>"It's escapism. And when you boil Video games down to the core? Video games a form of escapism. A way to postpone the harsh truths of reality. But you can't stay in that bubble forever. Just like real life, we have to go back and accept the harsh truth of reality and put our noses back to the grindstone."
>>
>>3865334
>>3865355
so... think Yurei will actually even talk to us? im betting we will maybe get one more round of talking if we're lucky, but i doubt this isnt going to end in a fight. can't see her backing down now, especially as her sanity is technically gone but for some few strands hanging on.

actually, i wonder if thats kinda deaths door clarity thing here? technically shes already dead, so how would that even work here?
>>
>>3865393
I dont think we will be able to talk a lot to her. Her mind is splintering ever faster. She is broken already. I thinkj the best thing that Deaths door clarity can give her is the fact that she has to let go or she will destroy so much and become the monster she wanted to fight so much.

And she might be able to let go of her desire to create what amounts to the matrix and might just be convinced to become an advisor and intel source for us. If she can get over the fact she has doen quite a few bad things and does not just want to sleep forever. With how tired she is she might just want to do something similar to Isabelle
>>
>>3865402
im... we'll see, but honestly im against keeping her around at all if she doesn't repent from her plan. unfortunately keeping a powerful Phantasmal with a maxed Halo in anyone's head sounds exactly like asking for worse then the Gemma situation to happen. if anyone could do worse than what Gemma could do as a Dreamdaughter, its Yurei.
>>
>>3865403
What i said was for when she would realize that the amtrix plan is not a good plan on its own. If she is completely unrepentent we have to crystalize her or remover her soem other way...... Its a good thing the Dos are still around because we might just have to visit them to ask Cassandra to help us remove Yurei if she should get into someones head.

Because really we cant just squander the Halo after we overloaded it so it could be safely consumend. I at least am greatly against wasting the Halo. It just does not feel right. I know that it is a risk we take when we consume her that we get her anyway even if we do not take her core.
>>
>>3865410
its... really not worth it in my opinion. at all. Unless we can make sure the Halo nonsense doesn't activate and we do not consume her(if it comes to her being a hard set enemy), then its not worth the risk, the damage she could do in anyones head outweighs having the Halo.

also, we cant rely on the DOs here, Cassandra said we wouldn't have another chance to talk with her, implying she would be too busy with her own part in their plans after we left to help anymore.
>>
>>3865418
>>3865410
We need to ask Bhop about the halo interactions upon consumption. We clearly overloaded the Calcite halo, and fought a hard fight against Yurei.

>>3865342

I hope Bhop will shed some light on this matter with a ruling when it comes time to consume Yurei.
>>
>>3865418
OP has stated here that the halo is completely deactivated after we overloaded it so it should be safe to consume. But a ruling form OP would be nice on that thing

Sauce >>3863105
and Question linkage to OP>>3865342
>>
>>3865428
>>3865430
its combat capabilities sure, and BHOP has more than once answered a question with wording still only meant for whats being asked, even if it sounds like it means more. but id imagine the actual anti-consumption mechanics are a separate thing that id not be surprised if has its own backup system as it were. is my thoughts on it anyways.

this doesn't do anything for the fact Yurei herself is a dangerously potent Phantasmal, albeit if we just avoid consuming her Core with Appetites that ones a much less dangerous scenario. maybe Gina can block her from being saved too, if it comes to that. maybe Gina can in general do something here, with the Calcite Halo and all that. we'll see i guess, certainly not gonna let us consume her without Gina triple damn checking that hunk of geist-flesh. or geist-bones i suppose.
>>
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>>3865319

“We’ve seen enough.” You declare, Banelings beginning to spill forth from your hive as Francine’s arms unspool, allowing a squirming school of ancient fish to writhe out from the gaping stumps. “It’s time to end this.”

You lead the way into the heart of the mansion, to the very seat of Yurei’s delusion with Rath on your right, Francine on your left, and the Barbers bringing up the rear as the twin swarms surge through the halls. The mansion warps as you calmly advance, spears of wood and twisted constructs torn apart by the storm of chitin and scale as you begin to speak.

"Yui.” You begin, eyes focused forward. “You can stop looking for me, I'm right here. I've been through your memories. I saw day you got the phone call about your mother, I know what happened to your husband. I saw the tragedy that struck Mrs. DeGasperis and her family. I saw your creative talent for game making at college with those doodles of Fantasy characters. I learned about your dream pet project about an iterative procedural generated MMO World where violence was forbidden. I saw all of that and more, and I can't help but feel the emotions...the sorrow behind it.”

The entire house creaks and shudders as a tremor rips through it, a trembling death throe that you feel reach all the way into your chest.

“You never really got over it didn't you? You never got the time and place to grieve for losing your mother, your husband, your friend, you never got the time and place to accept the reality and move on. That's why you kept on pushing and pursuing your passion project as a way of coping with the losses in your life. The Procedural MMO. A way to escape the pain and sorrow that happened throughout your pre-Crucible life. Before, you were doodling in the margins and making statlines in making a Fantasy MMO with knights, princesses, and adventure…but your mother's death changed all of that. You couldn't see anything else in a game except for the escapist fantasy it provided.”

(((iiTS NOT a ffFAntASY! I ccCAN mmake A wWOrLd Whe-)))

"No, Yui.” You interrupt, your empathic channel flaring out through the hall as its walls begin to tear apart, a swirling void yawning between the cracks. “It's escapism. And when you boil Video games down to the core? They’re escapism, too. A way to postpone the harsh truths of reality. But you can't stay in that bubble forever. Just like real life, we have to go back and accept the harsh truth of reality and put our noses back to the grindstone."

Your and Francine’s swarms part, and you find yourself standing before the entrance to Yurei’s inner sanctum, reduced to little more than a fragmented door on broken frames, floating in a vast abyss through which swims fading memories, like fish in an endless black sea.

"This is over Yurei. You've already lost.” You affirm, reaching out with both hands and pushing the doors wide as a tide of emotion washes over you.

(Continued)
>>
>>3865447

Pain. Denial. Frustration. Despair.

And, through it all; utter exhaustion weighing on every thought, on every raw nerve of what’s left of Yurei’s consciousness. The tremors, only a few moments ago so tremulous and terrifying, are now reduced to an erratic pulse, a heart struggling to keep its host afloat when it’s being pulled in two opposite directions. Around you, you see glimpses of familiar scenes interspersed with your family’s frantic struggle outside. Julia bloodied, bruised, and defiant, having carved off the titan’s left hand while Dorian and Isabelle race over its torso, carving deep grooves into bone and Geist, alike. Gina and Sugar keep the titan bound with flesh and crystal while November’s clawing her way up its chest, her very presence anathema to the crumbling colossus.

And finally, in the center of the abyss rests a throne upon which sits a set of frail, deteriorating remains. Its fleshless skull tilts up at your approach as a beast emerges from the back of the decrepit chair. It’s an Amalgam-like Geist, a cobbled-together warrior assembled as a last ditch effort to repel the inevitable…

…to repel you.

“You talk about ending pain, preventing loss? What you've become out there and in here won’t do anything but make others suffer. You said you were above all this, better than it? Then prove it. There’s still some sanity kicking around in here, use it to help us stop this. No matter our differences, even you should know going down rampaging the countryside won’t do anyone any good."

You stride forward, the Geist’s malformed hands tightening on the back of the chair, even as its talons begin to flake into nothingness.

"I’m giving you your last words, a last chance here. This fight didn't have to happen, but you left us no choice. It doesn't have to end like this, kicking and screaming into the void. You’ve feared and denied reality your whole life, let us help you come to terms with it before the end."

Your swarm and Francine’s roil behind you as one, Rath’s skin beginning to glow and sizzle as her fingers curl into fists.

"Or we can put you down the hard way, no tact or words. You'll be alone in your dying breaths…and you know better than any of us that no one deserves that end."

(((I…I dDDon’t…I jJust ddidn’t want anyone to hurt.” She begins, her maddening voice slowly evening out to something resembling a fragile sanity. “I know it’s…I know the plan has flaws, but…what else is there? What else, when there’s the Hunger? Horrors beyond the stars? When we as a species just hurt, and hurt, and…”

Eyeless sockets lock on one of the errant thoughts floating around the throne, your family’s struggles displayed in graphic relief.

“What…what are they fighting for?” She asks quietly. “What world are they fighting to create?”

She knows.

She knows her dream is dying alongside her.

So...what takes its place?

>>Write-In

YOU ARE IN CONTROL
>>
(Gentlemen, voting shall remain open for the next two hours. Apologies for the delay, and I hope your day is going well.)

>>3865430
>>3865434
(The answer hinges on yours, actually. However, if there remains a risk inherent in consuming Yurei's Halo or Core after all is said and done, then I'll absolutely tell you, so no worries there.)
>>
>>3865448
>"There's the day to day life that goes on despite the Crucible Yui. The little things that keep our spirits up despite the Hunger, the despair, and the violence."
>"Show Yui our memories of the drinking games, of our party with the Midnight Crew. Relaxing, laughing. Having story time with Amara."
>"They're fighting to live another day. To make the most of their days on this precious planet earth. Regardless in the end if the planet was consumed by the horrors beyond the stars or if they succumb to the hunger. They're fighting for a world where they can be themselves. A world where they can be what they really wanted to be."
>>
>>3865450
GAH Of all the timing.
This sort of speech I somewhat excel in but I have to leave for work now.

>>3865457
So this is the most I can input for an answer.
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>>3865448
>Smile, and look to the dream bubbles
>"They're fighting for love. for family. for freedom."
>Look to Yurei, and shrug, smiling.
>"They're fighting because they have hope, hope not that people can be different, no, they KNOW people can be different. they are proof of that, them and all my family."
>"No, they're fighting for the hope that we can give people a choice, a chance to grow and be more. they're fighting so that everyone may make their own decisions, may learn from their pain, suffering, love, and pleasure, all of it."
>"The crucible came, and it tried to force us to be different, to change who we were and what humanity was. they fight to stop that, to give Humanity back its freedom to choose its own path, to be what it wants. everyone, individually."
>Sigh, and put a hand on Raths shoulder. on Francines, on Rosas, Bettys, and Sias. give each of them a smile.
>"They and us are fighting exactly because reality is hard. exactly because it is cruel, and terrible, and sometimes so, so sad..."
>Look back to Yurei, and offer her a hand aswell.
>"But if we try, if we work together, if we allow people to be people, humans to be humans... sometimes, they'll surprise you. they'll take that pain, that misery, and they'll learn. they'll grow. they'll learn to help others and end suffering where they can, help where they can."
>"But they cant do that, if you dont let them. if they dont have the freedom to fail, to fall, to see the depths of where life can drag one down to, so they know why dragging others up is so important. you cant learn if you arent free. you cant get better if you are caged. you stagnate, you becomes lazy, complacent, uncaring."
>take a few steps forward, extend your hand further.
>"they're fighting because reality cant be defeated, it cant be ignored. it will always be there, it will always be a threat, a pain, a terrible thing..."
>"... so we fight to make it something better, to make it all mean something. here, now, where we stand and where we live. and we would love to show you, love to help you understand, that no matter how bad it is, no matter how terrifying it looks..."
>"...That something good can come from it all, that hope can flourish here. in Reality, as Humanity. all you have to do Yurei... is stop being afraid, and give it a chance with us."
>If she lets you, take her hand, or if she seems to like it better, let her come to you.
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>>3865450
thats fair i suppose. we'll see how this plays out then.

and like always, no worries on the delay. have a neat picture over the work troubles.
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>>3865450
The delay actually worked out well for me, I spent most of the day away at lectures. This way I only missed one vote.
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>>3865448
I have been staring at my screen for the last hour and i am doing nothing but drawing blanks..........

I will support >>3865460
it captures pretty well what i was trying to scrape together in my own words........

Well back to writing chapter 8... there is someone that needs murdering the more conventional way
>>
>>3865448

Seconding this >>3865460 with one addition:

>>"... and we go through all this hardship and pain so that even when it's our end, Yui, we aren't alone."
>>
>>3865448
>"A world where we can face the horrors head on. Yui, I'm not going to tell you that there aren't awful things out there. But I do think that they're things we can fight instead of just run from."
>"It's not wrong to want to escape from the suffering. But there's a difference between the Flight of the Deserter and the Escape of the Prisoner. One flees from danger, the other dreams of freedom. Fantasy has value because of how it relates back to our struggles in this world. It lets us recover, look at the world with fresh eyes and reassure ourselves that there is meaning worth fighting for."
>"A story, told only for the sake of escaping into the story, is of little value. But a story that gives us hope to fight on, hope to make the world a better place? That's the most powerful thing in the world."
>"Because you're right, human existence has always been suffering. But it's also always been in a state of moving away from that suffering. It's a hard fight, harsh and grueling just to make even the slightest ground against an uncaring universe. But it's one that we've been pretty successful at, present circumstances excluded, and it's one that I think we'll succeed at again. And we only ever got this far because we have fantasies to inspire us. To tell us that a better world is possible, and that we shouldn't give up. That there is joy as well as sorrow."
>"That's what they're fighting for, Yui. Not to escape to the fantasy but to make it real. And I believe we can do it."
>"But we have to let people try. To struggle, and suffer, and hurt, but ultimately to change the world for the better. To learn from the pain, to recover in the fantasy, and then take both and make something new. We can't do that if we're all locked away for fear of getting hurt. The only way we're making a better world is with our own hands."


So the lecture I went to was actually on J.R.R. Tolkien and his philosophy on the function of fantasy. Feels kind of oddly appropriate. Just wish I was better at condensing it down to a short speech instead of the twenty-five page treatise I'm cribbing from.
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>>3865487
...where were you wanting that though? it really doesn't fit on the end at all.
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>>3865495
>"That's what they're fighting for, Yui. Not to escape to the fantasy but to make it real. And I believe we can do it."
i gotta say this line at least needs some work. this is... exactly what Yurei was trying to do in her eyes and is exactly basically what we said wasn't going to work. it makes it feel like we're agreeing with her despite, well, obviously not. and yes i am taking it within the context of the whole, but it still feels like its saying that and shifting the message to that.
>>
>>3865497

Huh. I thought it did... the offer underscoring that even here, with everything she did, she's not alone either. Someone came to see her off as much as she has seen others off.
>>
>>3865500
I'm not sure of a better way to say it, though. I mean, you get what I'm intending, right, that I'm saying that we shouldn't run away to fantasies but use them as a blueprint for the world we want to create? I'm having trouble coming up with a punchy way to say that.
>>
>>3865504
Okay, how about

>"That's what they're fighting for, Yui. Not to run away from the world but to make the world something we don't need to run from."

Does that work better?
>>
>>3865502
its too jarring in my opinion, as my last statement is, well, already made and worded to be a finalized statement. mines already kinda a 'dont be alone' scenario, so doing another feels a bit off. it also doesn't really flow from the same line of thought as my ending one is.

maybe it could slip in somewhere else but as least at the end i really dont like it.

>>3865504
i mean, i get what you probably mean, but its still not at all what im getting from the line.

>>3865505
thats alot better at least yes.
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>>3865506

I just want her to know that she's not alone at the end either. I like what you've got but I want to add that sentiment as well.
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>>3865514
i get what you're going for, i just disagree it meshes well at all with what i have written and thus would prefer not to tack it on.
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>>3865514
(I have a plan for it, no worries.)

(With so many superb write-ins, I try to include as much as I can.)
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>>3865519
take your time bhop. you have a busy work day. we aren’t going anywhere, so focus on your work first before you can focus on writing a speech for a lonely ghost
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>>3865448

You can’t help the smile of familial pride that spreads across your face as you watch your allies begin to grasp victory.

"They're fighting for love. For family. For freedom." You say, turning your gaze to Yurei with a simple shrug. "They're fighting because they have hope that people…no, they KNOW that people can be different. They’re living proof of that, fighting for the hope that we can give people a choice, a chance to grow and be more. They’re fighting so that everyone may make their own decisions, may learn from their pain, suffering, love, and pleasure, all of it."

"The Crucible came, and it tried to force us to be different, to change who we were and what humanity was. They fight to stop that, to give Humanity back its freedom to choose its own path, to be what it wants. Everyone, individually." You continue, turning to each of your allies with a smile that they return, in kind. Your hands find Rath and Francine’s shoulders, your Hundred-Handed reaching out for the shoulders of Rosa, Sia, and Betty as well. "We’re are fighting exactly because reality is hard. Because it is cruel, and terrible, and sometimes so, so sad..."

You begin to walk forward, holding out a hand to Yurei even as you extend a palm to Rath, when she tries to stop you.

"But if we try, if we work together, if we allow people to be people, humans to be humans... sometimes, they'll surprise you.” You continue, catching a glint of calcite, a blur of a Dogged Sprinter flickering across one of the fading screens. “They’ll take that pain, that misery, and they'll learn. They’ll grow. They’ll learn to help others and end suffering where they can, help where they can. But they can’t do that if you dont let them. If they dont have the freedom to fail, to fall, to see the depths of where life can drag one down to, so they know why dragging others up is so important. You can’t learn if you aren’t free…you can’t get better if you are caged.”

Your mind’s drawn to an emerald crystal…and to the woman you were in the world that was, granted freedom by your own hand.

(Continued)
>>
>>3865638

"That's what they're fighting for, Yui. Not to run away from the world but to make it something we don't need to run from. They're fighting because reality can’t be defeated, it can’t be ignored. It will always be there, it will always be a threat, a pain, a terrible thing...so we fight to make it something better, to make it all mean something so that even when it's our end, Yui, we aren't alone. And we’d love to show you, love to help you understand, that no matter how bad it is, no matter how terrifying it looks..."

You stand at the foot of Yurei’s throne, your hand extended as her geist fades to nothing behind her.

"...That something good can come from it all, that hope can flourish here. In Reality, as Humanity. All you have to do is stop being afraid, and give it a chance…with us."

She reaches out, and when you help her rise from her seat it’s Yurei that stands before you, whole and clear.

“That’s...a beautiful dream, Defiant.” She says with a small, sad smile, tears rolling down her cheeks as her last vestiges begin to crumble before your eyes. She opens your hand, and with her other one she presses two small, warm crystals into the palm of your hand.

“I hope you make it come true.”

Your fingers close around empty air and with that…she’s gone.

You open your eyes to clearing mist and a titan, felled. Great bones turn to dust and smoke as the last of the swirling Geists evaporate, finally at rest as your allies make haste to your side. You glance down at your open hand, finding two stones nestled in your palm. They’re warm to the touch, a pair of parting gifts from one dreamer to another.

>>[Calcite Halo: DISARMED]

>>[Yurei’s Core: DISARMED]

>>[Abilities CONSUMED from Yurei’s remains will be two Tiers higher in addition to boasting greater stat increase through the life of the skill, which will carry over to any Hybridizations.]

>>RELIC OBTAINED – Silver Key: A small, silver ball with engravings that churn your stomach to look upon, this Relic allows for stable exploration of the Dreamscape under one’s own power, and prevents the holder from being tossed about in another’s dream or ambushed by their defenses.

>>RELIC OBTAINED – Dreamer’s Essence (Consumable): A blackened crystal whose edges seem to devour the light around it, this appears to be a piece of a Sparagmos Engine’s spire. Having spent a prolonged time in Yurei’s possession, it’s taken on a rejuvenated and purified property, allowing it to be used at a Purified Engine to grant the owner an additional chance to bring an ally back from death.

(Continued)
>>
>>3865639

You look up, taking in your family as they surround you, looks of relief clear in their faces. November flings an arm around Rath, while Dorian helps a haggard-looking Julia to stand beside you and Gina. The Barbers scoop Sugar up in a group hug, causing the other girl to loose a joyous giggle-fit that echoes across the clearing moor.

“It’s over…for real, this time.” You say, meeting Gina’s hazel eyes. “How did things go on your end?”

“Honestly? Surprisingly well.” She replies, almost alarmed at her own declaration. “Dorian kept the thing distracted while November kept dealing damage by just…being there. No offense.”

“None taken.” November replies with a chuckle. “Any time my part in taking down a giant involves me just latching on for dear life and playing a waiting game, I call that a win.”

“Sugar and I kept it on lockdown…oh, and once Julia found out Ressentiment’s Mirror made actual bodies that weren’t constructs, then Isabelle just kept killing them off to make Julia a freaking powerhouse, it was awesome.” Gina recaps, and you can feel Rath’s ire spike at the mention of your old ally’s name.

You find her standing a ways off, watching Yurei’s creation crumble to inert biomass, other parts shifting out of this reality in silence. She finally turns, meeting your eyes for a fleeting moment with mournful emeralds before looking down again, taking a few hesitant steps towards your family. She stops a healthy distance away, staring at her hand as it begins to crack and flake, her temporary existence beginning to fail and spurring her to speak.

“I know I don’t…I know that I have no right to ask…anything, really.” She begins, her voice small in the vast space that surrounds you. “I thought everything was just a dream, at first. You letting go of Sam, everything with Charon…then, when they said that no one can get out of watching the Crucible, I realized it…I realized that what I was seeing was…”

“You’re running out of time, Isabelle.” You say as evenly as you can, her fingers already almost gone. “What do you want, Isabelle?”

“…To…to help, if…if you’ll let me.” She replies, her voice barely above a whisper. “If that’s what it’s going to be like, if all it’s going to be is just…just me sitting in the dark and dreaming, then I want to help, if…if I can.”

“Isabelle, I don’t think that’s…”

“You can’t learn if you aren’t free…you can’t get better if you’re caged!” She says suddenly, echoing your own words back at you across the moor. “Isn’t that why you let her go? You let Sam go, hoping she could be better, and so that you could move on! That’s why you convinced Gina to come back when she didn’t want to, so that she could help the rest of…”

“…How?” You interrupt, eyes hard as they bore into the emeralds opposite you.

(Continued)
>>
>>3865641

“What?” She breathes.

“You say you want to help.” You repeat. “How?”

“I…I don’t know, and I don’t care.” She says, her left arm almost worn away to elbow. “You could…I don’t know, you could put me in a Relic? You could make a fake body, or…or just make me a Dream Daughter, I just…”

Her face is red with shame and hope, desperation writ large in her luminous eyes as her collarbones begin to slither with hairline cracks.

“I want to show you I’m…I have to DO something to…”

She coughs, unable to cover her mouth as her arms end just below her shoulders, and when she collapses to her knees November’s about to reach out when her nieces’ fist bars her path. In the face of Rath’s barely-restrained rage and Dorian’s mounting impatience at Isabelle’s words, you find Julia and Gina calm in the face of your old foe. November, Francine…they have little context, merely watching and waiting to see what you’ll do. As for the Barbers…well, that’s neither here nor there.

You're not getting any more words out of Isabelle, her body unable to keep itself together in the wake of Yurei's passing.

She's fading, fast…your mouth works as you struggle with what to say, if anything at all.

>>You just…you need some time to process this, but you’ll tell her that yoy will talk to her when you’re ready, and on your terms.

>>Tell her you’ll place her in a Relic, so that she can get her wish [Note: Emerald Memory will still be active as a single-use consumable]

>>Re-absorb her as a normal Dream Daughter.

>>Say nothing, and let her fade. You’ve been through a lot, and right now? You don’t trust yourself to say anything that won’t end badly.

>>Write-In

YOU ARE IN CONTROL
>>
(Gentlemen, voting shall remain open for the next two hours. As always, I greatly appreciate your patience with my work schedule, and I sincerely hope your day is going well, one and all.)
>>
>>3865641
Isabelle got herself murdered dozens of times to make Julia an aabsoulte monster god o just laughed so much about that

>>3865646
>"I will need some time to think this over..... and converse with the rest of the family. This decision is not mine alone to make. I hope you understand."
>Let her fade afterwards and then go and gather what you can of Yureis body and whatever shards of relics she may have held that you could maybe retrieve
>>
>>3865639
well, thats all neat. im assuming Yurei's core being DISARMED means it could've been very bad to consume it, but wont be now? i mean, obviously it wont be now, more of asking exactly what disarm means here.

>>3865646
>Look at Isabelle, and take a long, deep sigh.
>Then, step forth and take a knee before her.
>Put a hand on her chin and have her look at you and...
>Smile. give her a small, genuine smile.
>"Isabelle... i cant forgive you. not over just this, not after just two days. you... have alot to answer for, you understand that, right?"
>"But... you dont deserve to suffer either. to rot away in a crystal thats no more peaceful than a nightmare."
>"I cant offer you the engine. that must be earned, and theres plenty who have done more to earn it. but name it. Relic crystal? Dream Daughter? whichever you wish. hah, i have a fancy new option that would even let you fight in the real world beside us, if thats what you want."
>chuckle, and shrug.
>"I told you, i was tired of this. of us hating each other, of us fighting. gonna be honest with you, if you do this, you're earning your place with us. you're making up for your mistakes, but... you'll be it, freely, and with us not pressing down on you. you'll do it how you think you can do it best, but at a level you have earned and we're comfortable with. that sound fair?"
>>
>>3865646
>Re-absorb her as a normal Dream Daughter.
I'll let Holly try things first.
>>
>>3865658
>>3865646
adding on;

>Once Isabelle has said he piece and she is gone, turn to your Family, and sigh, arms out.
>"Alright. lets hear it. Honest words, nothing held back. I know that isnt going to settle well with all of you, and I apologize for that."
>Look at Rath, with a sad smile but an honest one.
>"But I know the feelings Isabelle brings up, and I want to hear that, nothing held back. doing so wont do any of us any good."

>Turn to the Barbers real quick, before your family has this discussion.
>"Sorry for all this, but my Family has some things to talk about. Please, id still very much like to talk with you all and still owe you that, but for now, you have first pick of Yurei's biomass, you've earned your half."
>Toss them the Appetites.
>"Just... if you don't leave Yurei in our hands, please, treat her well, she was wrong, but her heart meant well. thank you, for all you've done to help."

Mind you BHOP, i could see the second part working better as said first, use them as you think is best, if it gets support.
>>
>>3865646
I will ammend my vote from >>3865651
to support >>3865658 and>>3865687
>>
>>3865658
(You are correct. Both the Halo and Yurei's Core may both be consumed, as the Halo's natural defenses and Yurei's own Conduit powers have been nullified since she's bequeathing both to you of her own volition. Otherwise, a Hexane rewrite and Yurei's own attempted possession of the consuming party member would have been things that you'd have had to deal with, and you'd have received neither of the Relics you did if you hadn't handled things so well.)

>>3865651
(It was as funny to witness as it was to roll, I assure you.)
>>
>>3865639
>>RELIC OBTAINED – Silver Key: A small, silver ball with engravings that churn your stomach to look upon, this Relic allows for stable exploration of the Dreamscape under one’s own power, and prevents the holder from being tossed about in another’s dream or ambushed by their defenses.
Oh, that's going to be important when we use Knowable Kadath, isn't it? Randolph Carter used the Silver Key to help him explore Kadath, so I'm betting there's going to be some interactions between this and the weird visions Shu gets when she uses it.

>>3865687
I think Isabel's already said as much of her piece as she's going to, by the time we're done she probably won't have a mouth left.
>>
>>3865691
well thank you.

mind you, i fully understand your want to wait, but i also feel at the very least, regardless of what our family says or thinks, we cant keep her in a crystal under those conditions, but it didn't feel right to otherwise not give her an actual conversation and choice if we were going to have to go at least that far.

just.. i still have some bad notches over Isabelle, but regardless of our families opinion or if it upsets them, given what we just learned she deserves at least something, not out of anything she has done, but out of the fact we put her in there to avoid her suffering, and thats not working, so something needs to be done. sometimes even our Family might be upset with us over doing the right thing.

mind you, i dont actually think they will be horribly non-understanding over this, but still. Even Rath i think we can get her to understand. whether we take a reactive hit to the face fist or not is the question, aswell as how long she will need to stew.

>>3865700
oh, i was super right on the money there. thats... very terrifying actually, congrats on that BHOP.

>>3865701
very possible, but still, no harm in at least giving Isabelle the option, no? worse case, we get a sad but also lets be honest, very slightly funny moment of Isabelle not having time to say anything and Shu just going "...well damn, timed that like shit. guess i gotta get her answer later on that."
>>
>>3865700
oh! BHOP!
now that the fights over... is it possible for Gina, Shu, and Sugar to dig the Engine back up? i mean... im actually unsure if theres a point to it, given we have Artisenal Appetites but... if its possible and you think we would have a reason, i dont see why we wouldn't.
>>
>>3865718
(You most certainly may, by all means.)
>>
>>3865709
I dont think any of them would have much of a qualm if we put her into a relic that maybe is exclusively used by Shu

The Dreamdaughtrer thing is probably more controversial...... And yeah she will probably never get the engine until after she had a couple thousand sessions with a therapist

The Rath hitting Shu over this is unlikely but may be necessary since she couldnt beat Isabelle up. So Shu may need to take a substitute hit.

I was mostly wanting to tell Isabelle that we will discuss it with the family as soon as possible but we cant make that decission without consulting with our family

>>3865718
We should definetly dig it up and put it somewhere safe, either in storage or trade it away to some city that may need it. These things are dangerous if left in the wrong hands. And we dont need a fanatic diggin it up and turning it into a bomb to go and suicide bomb a city they didnt like

>>3865723
Can we transport it via the Wheel (so teleport it into the Lair for instance)?
>>
>>3865709
>oh, i was super right on the money there. thats... very terrifying actually, congrats on that BHOP.
Yeah, I was expecting hostile psychic attack, but not an outright takeover attempt. That would be a very scary thing indeed. So go us for talking Yurei down, I was worried we'd have to forego consumption at all.

>very possible, but still, no harm in at least giving Isabelle the option, no? worse case, we get a sad but also lets be honest, very slightly funny moment of Isabelle not having time to say anything and Shu just going "...well damn, timed that like shit. guess i gotta get her answer later on that."
Fair. I just don't think it's likely she'll get a chance to respond.

>>3865718
It might have the value that we could spread the Calcite Halo to multiple users. I'm not sure if Arbiter's Appetite would count that as a skill that multiple people can consume innately. We managed it with the Neurotic Halo on Gina, but that was an Acceptance scenario so the rules might be different there.
>>
>>3865646
>>3865658
>>3865687
consolidating the vote for ya BHOP, with one small addition about the engine;

>Look at Isabelle, and take a long, deep sigh.
>Then, step forth and take a knee before her.
>Put a hand on her chin and have her look at you and...
>Smile. give her a small, genuine smile.
>"Isabelle... i cant forgive you. not over just this, not after just two days. you... have alot to answer for, you understand that, right?"
>"But... you dont deserve to suffer either. to rot away in a crystal thats no more peaceful than a nightmare."
>"I cant offer you the engine. that must be earned, and theres plenty who have done more to earn it. but name it. Relic crystal? Dream Daughter? whichever you wish. hah, i have a fancy new option that would even let you fight in the real world beside us, if thats what you want."
>chuckle, and shrug.
>"I told you, i was tired of this. of us hating each other, of us fighting. gonna be honest with you, if you do this, you're earning your place with us. you're making up for your mistakes, but... you'll be it, freely, and with us not pressing down on you. you'll do it how you think you can do it best, but at a level you have earned and we're comfortable with. that sound fair?"

>Once Isabelle has said he piece and she is gone, turn to your Family, and sigh, arms out.
>"Alright. lets hear it. Honest words, nothing held back. I know that isnt going to settle well with all of you, and I apologize for that."
>Look at Rath, with a sad smile but an honest one.
>"But I know the feelings Isabelle brings up, and I want to hear that, nothing held back. doing so wont do any of us any good."

>Turn to the Barbers real quick, before your family has this discussion.
>"Sorry for all this, but my Family has some things to talk about. Please, id still very much like to talk with you all and still owe you that, but for now, you have first pick of Yurei's biomass, you've earned your half."
>Toss them the Appetites.
>"Just... if you don't leave Yurei in our hands, please, treat her well, she was wrong, but her heart meant well. thank you, for all you've done to help."
>Help them dig up the Engine, incase anyone sees a use for it. Worse case, you’re sure more creative family members can think of something for it later.
>>
>>3865730
Only the cores she has should be unique

The Halo should be capable of being consumed by everyone.
I wouldnt put it on everyone though We dont need it on some of us. Francine could use one and probably Rath could profit from it No one else has really any 'slots' free or will get much use from it
>>
>>3865726
>>3865730
yeah, we'll see, better to have it and not need then need and not have, and all that.

>>3865735
well, maybe, but Halos are also super unique in how they work, they might work under their own rules. i mean, they might not, but hey, just incase we have the engine, so, not a big deal.

i also agree on not putting it on everyone. feels like the Neurotic Halo is already such a space taker on others already. for some good reasons, but again, anything level-able is a temptation, and we dont need more of those. maybe replace some Halos with the Calcite one, i dunno. im holding back full judgment til we get to that point.
>>
>>3865726
(Regarding the transportation of the Engine via Escher's Gear, that's certainly possible.)
>>
>>3865742
Yeah. even if the barbers take it and we cant take it anymore we can just ask them if we can get a copy and they get a level from our share of Yurei using the engine we have right here
>>
>>3865735
It depends on the skill, it may be like the Neurotic Halo where even the level one bonus is really good. But yeah, Rath is the only one I really want it on. I'm just worried that if it counts as a unique that one of the Barbers would grab it. So here's hoping it doesn't.

Speaking of Halos, after seeing what the maxed out Calcite Halo can do I'm feeling a bit of buyer's remorse on hybridizing the Neurotic at level ten for Gina. I vaguely recalled BHOP saying that Kadath could level skills already in hybrids, but I'm trying to find that and not having luck so I'm probably misremembering. I guess we'll just have to upgrade it the next time Gina has ten levels and nothing better to spend them on, so probably never but I want to hope. Because if Calcite level fifteen is "create a giant bone-mecha", then Neurotic level fifteen must be pretty great, too.
>>
>>3865756
The bone mech was not what the Halo did that was her core and the phantasmal powers she had aquired.

She had the skill Hollow Bastion which made her into a normal sized skeleton.... and it would be useful for all the resistances it can grant
>>
>>3865756
(You're quite correct in that Kadath can level the component skills of Hybrids, and is actually one of the reasons for Kadath's creation.)
>>
>>3865758
No, it was the Calcite Halo. Hollow Bastion is an ability that the Halo gives her. From last thread

>>[Calcite Halo - Hollow Bastion: ACTIVATED]

>>[Calcite Halo - Hollow Bastion: SPENT]

>>[Siege Forme – Yume Gashadokuro: ACTIVATED]


>>3865759
Oh, I am remembering correctly? Nice. Okay, does Meg count as the Daughter that Gina got the Neurotic from, even though it was deactivated on her? Because if so, definitely voting for that at next level-up.

>>3865646
Also, since I didn't properly vote

Supporting >>3865734
>>
>>3865766
(Meg is the correct Daughter, yes.)
>>
[Steinanon from home]
>>3865646

Thank you BHOP. Supporting >>3865734. We'll probably need Gina's help to find out what Isabelle wishes with how far gone she is.


Also, with how angry Rath is, it looks like it's family talk time while the Barbers eat.
>>
(Gentlemen, before I start on what will likely be the last post of the evening, I wanted to see which of the following scenarios works best with your schedules. Given that there's Isabelle, the Barbers, and the Hyenas to deal with, alongside the fact that my weekend is looking rather full, would you prefer to have the level-up vote take place over the course of the weekend while I keep the Vein open, or would you rather I drop it when I resume posting Monday morning? The decision is yours, as I'll structure the general flow of the upcoming posts around it. I'll admit, I'd originally intended to open the CONSUME voting tonight, but it does seem that you have quite a bit on the docket as far as conversations go, and I would like to take some quiet moments to give your crew a chance to speak their minds without cutting anyone short.)
>>
>>3865817
I would like it over the weekend as i probably wont be able to attend if it happens during the week on monday.
>>
>>3865817
im ok waiting til Monday, that way no ones having to worry or hassle over defending their vote all weekend long. thank you for asking and giving us the time to talk to all the groups we have to deal with.
>>
>>3865817
>>3865822
i would prefer and count that as a vote for Monday, just to clarify, just to avoid any confusion with my wording there i just realized it may cause.
>>
>>3865817
Or maybe you could.... if possible post the consume options on Sunday and we could preapare for it a bit in advance so that on monady we dont need as much time to analyze what we want to do.......

If that could be aranged i could be happy with Monday as well
>>
(Actually, I'll also add Monday night as an option, as that could work for both evening voting and a shorter voting block for those that prefer such a setup.)
>>
>>3865817
I want to see the new toys, but I'm not sure it works for me from a narrative perspective to start so soon. The party's got other things to worry about, first, before we can start thinking about that. I guess if the consume debate was done out of chronological order, so the party isn't worrying about it yet and our voting will be inserted into the timeline when appropriate. Otherwise I wouldn't want to do it.
>>
>>3865831
(Ah, Sunday evening's not a bad time, either.)
>>
>>3865833
>Another sleepless voting night
i mean, i can do it and if that works better for you or others, i can and will do it. but i personally could see the merit in posting it earlier so you dont have to worry over it for too much while at work, as we both know how your Mondays go.

so, Monday for me, but ill compromise time-wise.

>>3865840
well, thats what BHOP is saying, he doesn't mean right now, regardless of this weekend or Monday, but even for the weekend one it would happen after our other stuff wraps up.

personally i could see opening up a new Vein with it working out very well. or well, a new session. this threads only on 300 posts.
>>
>>3865841
i would prefer it if the list(with the consume options) could then be posted sunday nigt and the actual voting starts Monady morning.... Then i can at least attend part of the debate

Or if it starts with your monday morning I could take part of the debate for some time before having to go to bed due to timezone issues and having to go to work the next day
>>
>>3865846
(Well, that was also another option I was considering; continuing this Vein into Monday and through a portion of next week to allow plenty of time for discussion, planning for next moves and the like, and then take a few days to touch everything up before opening a new Vein on the morning of October 21st with the Consume vote, and then moving from there.)

(What are your thoughts, Gentlemen?)
>>
>>3865756
>Speaking of Halos, after seeing what the maxed out Calcite Halo can do I'm feeling a bit of buyer's remorse on hybridizing the Neurotic at level ten for Gina.

We can always use the Engine to reverse the procedure and level the Neurotic Halo up normally, if we'd like to experiment.
>>
>>3865859
Alright that sounds like a plan.....

would be fine with me.

I hoe our day has been good OP
How are the Questions for the last vein going?
>>
>>3865859
Entirely depends on if you think theres enough steam as it was to keep us IC having an excuse to put the vote off that long. would feel wrong to just... unnaturally try to haggle it into place too much.
>>
>>3865866
>>3865868
(I'll see how things flow and then go from there. Thank you for your input, and I'll bear your schedules in mind.)
>>
>>3865859
If this works for your schedule and allows you to run the game without any undue stress, I'd be happy with this option.

>>3865851
Also, giving us some time to plan out CONSUME options and point allocations before voting sounds like an interesting idea.
>>
>>3865817
wait until monday
>>
>>3865859
just got off work
it was shitty.
drop the consume vote on monday.
Less time for flip floppers to screw with the ballot and it also keeps the thread clean.
>>
>>3865734
You could've at least put a Neuromancy plug into Isabelle again so she could answer with her thought process!
>>
>>3865988
it felt like BHOP was implying a chance for more here, and trust him with it. regardless, that might not even work. if shes decaying that fast, stabbing her with a jack might just make that part turn to dust, rather than actually make a connection.
>>
>>3865988
oh, plus, her response would be better suited told out loud so the whole family can hear it. some things are better said, not empathically projected.
>>
(Gentlemen, my sincerest apologies but I am afraid I will have to pause here for the evening. I wasn't exactly able to get the sleep I'd hoped last night, so I'm going to try and get some rest tonight and resume as early as I can tomorrow morning. Again, I'm sorry for the delay, as I've tried about six different times to get rolling on writing only to almost nod off on my decrepit Chromebook.)

(As such, I'll update as soon as I can tomorrow morning, and I'll continue on for the rest of the day before capping things off in the early evening, and I'll also post my questions for the authors still monitoring the 31st Vein at that time, too.)

(I appreciate your time, patience, and enthusiasm, and I hope you get some very good rest...and I hope I do, too.)

>>3865866
(My day went well, it was just much more emotionally draining than I expected it would be, which is probably one of the reasons I'm as exhausted as I am. Regarding the questions, I feel like I have them ina good spot, as a few of them are fairly open-ended regarding your own characters' mechanics and several points regarding how several characters bounce off each other with dialogue and the like.)
>>
>>3866040
Get some sleep OP

Have a good night.

Looking forward to those questions
>>
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>>3866040
Good night bhop. have fun in the dreamscape.
>>
>>3866040
im sorry to hear that, but damnit BHOP, get some sleep! i saw that post you made at like, 1 or 2 am yesterday! sleep boi, SLEEP!

seriously though, i understand, and appreciate your honesty. your commitment to quality never ceases to amaze me, and im glad to see you taking your own limits... well you still have some work there, but you're certainly trying and that counts for something.

i look forward to the update, tomorrow, and the questions. you get some rest.
>>
>>3866040
Oh my. Go get some sleep, BHOP. Don't exhaust yourself for our sake. Rest well, recover from your taxing day, and we'll see you tomorrow.
>>
>>3866040
>decrepit Chromebook.

Have you tried finding a time to purchase a better computer? Black Friday is coming in about a month. Take the time to get a new cpu or a laptop...

And I think it's best if you took a week off after closing this vein. You sound and seem half dead.
>>
>>3866051
>>3866050
>>3866046
>>3866056
(If I'm being honest, it's been your kind words and gentle nudgings that have helped me take better care of myself. I want to bring you the best Quest I can, and to do that I need to take better care of myself, too. I appreciate your consideration, always.)
>>
>>3866066
(That's a good idea, actually. It'd certainly make writing much smoother when I get home. Also, taking some time to rest and update all the sheets and the like sounds like a good idea.)
>>
>>3866066
>>3866067
imagine, BHOP has been running such a stellar quest on a Chromebook that cannot run Chrome and Google programs. the sheer absurdity of it all.

>>3866069
yeah, if you need a week, then take it.
though i wont lie either and say that does make me wish for the level up sooner than later.
>>
>>3866067
No worries. You taking time off to rest and recover means more time for us to focus on the fan fics for your quest so you can read and be amazed at the fruits of your endeavors that you have instilled in this community.
>>
>>3866073

>Local man creates literary masterpiece with a clay-fired brick.
>>
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>>3865646

You breathe in deeply, your lungs filling with cold air as you stare at the girl before you while she struggles to remain upright. Exhaling, you walk to her side and kneel, cupping her face in your hands as you gently tilt her head up so that you can meet each other’s eyes…and the awed look in hers defies explanation when she sees the small, kind smile on your face.

"Isabelle...I can’t forgive you. Not over just this, not after just two days. You have a lot to answer for; you understand that, right?" You ask, and she gives you a slight, solemn nod as she stares unblinkingly into your eyes. "Good…but you dont deserve to suffer either, or rot away in a crystal that’s no more peaceful than a nightmare."

"I can’t offer you the engine.” You say firmly. “That must be earned, and there’s plenty who have done more to earn it. But name it. Relic crystal? Dream Daughter? Whichever you wish. Hey, I have a fancy new option that would even let you fight in the real world beside us, if that’s what you want."

You can’t help but give a weak, weary laugh.

"I told you I was tired of this, Isabelle. Of us hating each other, of us fighting. Gonna be honest with you, if you do this, you're earning your place with us. You’re making up for your mistakes. Do it how you think you can do it best, but it’ll be at a level you’ve earned and we're comfortable with. That sound fair?"

“Yes, of course, I…” She stammers as her voice begins to break, though whether from emotion of dissolution, you couldn’t say. “…Spiritus. I want to protect, to fight again. I’m…it’s the only thing I’m really good at, so…please? Would you let m-“

She cracks, her form fading to nothingness as she leaves your hands cupped around thin air. You crouch a moment longer before you finally stand, eyes sweeping across the silent faces of your family before you turn to the Barbers, their celebrations forgotten as they watched what just transpired with rapt attention.

“Evidence for B-?!” Rosa begins, giving a small yelp when Sia smacks her hard on the back.

"Sorry for all this, but my Family has some things to talk about.” You explain, meeting each of the girls’ eyes as you speak…or as best you can, in the case of their Neuromancer. “Please, I’d still very much like to talk with you all and still owe you that, but for now, you have first pick of Yurei's biomass, you've earned your half."

With a flick of your wrist you send the Arbiter’s Appetite spinning across the space, and Betty’s lanky arm stretches more than three times its length to snatch it from mid-air and deliver it to Rosa’s waiting hands. "Just... if you don't leave Yurei in our hands, then please treat her well. She was wrong, but her heart meant well. Thank you, for all you've done to help."

“On no no, we’re definitely leaving her for you!” Rosa replies happily, marveling at the calcite sigil in her hands.

(Continued)
>>
>>3866638

With that, she and her allies trot over to the crumbling remains, and with a sigh and your arms spread before them you turn to your family, ready for the worst.

"Alright. Let’s hear it.” You say, walking closer with a heavy sigh. “Honest words, nothing held back. I know that isn’t going to settle well with all of you, and I apologize for that."

Looking to Rath, you find her eyes pointedly averted from your as she stares off across the moor, her skin flickering with furious patches of orange heat.

"But I know the feelings Isabelle brings up, and I want to hear that, nothing held back. Doing so won’t do any of us any good."

Your family’s quiet for a few seconds before Gina steps forward, willing to get the discussion rolling for everyone’s sake.

“I know you all have some reservations…hey, I do too, for obvious reasons.” She begins, turning to face the rest of your family as Francine begins to pace a little ways away from the group. “That being said, in reading through West Prime’s notes and coupling that with some of my own observations, it looks like B’ni was dealt a pretty bad hand with her Vitruvian Core, since immortality and mental corruption in the place of the physical didn’t do her any favors. So, I…I think we should give it a shot.”

“Um…I’d l-like to s-second that.” Julia adds, Dorian’s focus snapping her, his eye wide. “I wouldn’t b-be here if it wasn’t f-for Shu, B-B’ni, and Gina taking the t-time to give me a chance, and get t-to know me as a p-person. If you hadn’t, t-then I’d never have m-met any of you, and that’d b-be…”

She looks up at Dorian, her kind eyes fixed on his azure orb.

“…I d-don’t know what I’d do without you, or everyone e-else I’ve b-been so b-blessed to meet.” She says, turning back to you. “As for w-what she’s d-done…I think any of us c-could be capable of that, if w-we were in her s-shoes. So I’m w-willing to give her a c-chance.”

“Okay. Alright.” Dorian sighs, nodding his head in spite of the extreme reservations he clearly has, hesitation practically flooding the empathic channel. “You extended the proverbial olive branch to me in spite of my tenuous control over my familiars, when we first met. I will be honest, I hardly relish the prospect of fighting alongside someone like her, but I must admit she’d be a formidable ally…she’s already proven herself quite the formidable foe, after all.”

He looks to you, eye studying both of yours with a hard intensity as he speaks. “Should the family decide to give her a chance, I would relent on that point. However, I would very much like to have a private conversation with you before you speak to Isabelle again, Shu. There are certain factors that I’d like to make you aware of, just given my personal experiences. Do you find this amenable?”

(Continued)
>>
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>>3866639

“Absolutely, Dorian. Thanks for that.” You say honestly, glancing to November. She just glances to Rath, who has yet to meet your gaze with her own.

“Rath, what do y-“

“Stop. Just…fuck me, man.” She fumes, clenched fists flickering a radiant white. “Actually, no. Fuck all of you. It’s been two days…TWO. GODDAMN. DAYS. Have you all forgotten what she did to us, to our family?! She almost killed Dorian, she almost killed ALL of us, and what else? Oh, yeah, almost slipped my shitty mind that she fucking MURDERED Gina, if you can remember that far back! GG, what in the actual FUCK are you thinking?!”

“We’ve taken the Fool’s path, Rath.” Gina replies softly, approaching Rath with an even tone as she continues to speak. “It’s hard, but giving people a chance is what we-“

“We’re Fools, not fucking IDIOTS, G! No, screw it, do whatever the hell you all want, I’m taking a walk.” Rath cuts in, throwing her hands up over her head as she storms off across the moor. “You want to drink that poison again, knock yourselves out, but I’m having no part of that toxic bitch.”

November gives her a bit of a head-start before she follows her niece, holding out a gentle hand to stop Gina from doing the same as she follows the angry trail of sizzling footprints.

“I’ll talk to her after November’s had her say.” You sigh, glancing around to find the good doctor. “What about you, Francine? Any thoughts on...”

You find her caught like a deer in the headlights, stooped low over her coat in the middle of shaking off the last remaining shards of dream-stuff.

“…What? She was quite done with it, I assure you.” She says haughtily, hurriedly donning her trademark coat once more as Gina just gives her a withering stare. “Right. Sorry. Too soon. Well then, regarding the topic at hand; I cannot speak with any authority on the subject of the girl herself, but I could certainly vouch for having a replacement at your disposal upon the execution of my plan.”

She bushes off the topic of her own demise with such flippant disregard that you don’t quite know how to respond, and by the time you do she’s adjusted her coat back on her angular shoulders and whipped out her notepad, now immersed in jotting down the afternoon’s events.

A palpable tension hangs in the air, and given your allies’ reactions you’re not sure who you want to tackle first.

>>Talk with Dorian. He clearly has something he’d like to talk about, and you don’t want to keep him waiting. Plus, it’ll give November and Rath some time alone before you go to speak with her.

>>Talk to Francine. You thought she was growing a little closer with your family, but what she just said and how she said it doesn’t sit well with you.

>>Talk to Rath. At least she didn’t take a swing at you, but she has good reasons for being angry at B’ni, and it’s worth a conversation sooner rather than later.

>>Write-In

YOU ARE IN CONTROL
>>
(Good Morning, Gentlemen. Voting shall remain open for the next two hours.)
>>
>>3866642

Yikes. That's quite a bridge that's been burned between Rath and Isabelle. iirc, Rath's Core is also Vitruvian so the mental corruption's going to amplify her anger issues by a ton.
>>
>>3866642
We defintely leave the pendant with Isabelles Gem with Gina.. if we are going to talk to anyone we need to make sure that she is not there listening in, even if she does not want to.

>Give the pendant with Isabelles Gem to Gina. "Take care of her and dont let her play fly on the wall."
>talk with Dorian. Rath needs some time to cool and November needs to help her cool.
>Take a small stroll with Dorian away from your family. Terraform a small bench out of the gorund where both of you can sit. You are both exhausted after this fight. Retract your empathic field and offer him a jack and see if he wants to go that far to talk privatly. "You wanted to talk in private. Let us talk in private. Isabelle is not here only you and me."
>>
>>3866647
Am this Anon >>3866046
no idea of why my ID switched
>>
>>3866642
Yep, that went about as well as I figured it would. Rath, to be honest, I'm with you in a lot of ways. I want Isabel to be better, but we also gave her plenty of chances before. I'm not super happy about the idea of putting her on probation like this. And yet...we saw how that sort of isolation affected Sam. It's torture, Rath, and even if we dislike B'Ni she doesn't deserve to be tortured. We don't have to fight alongside her, I agree that's a tall order to accept, but I don't think we should leave her in that crystal. Put her in the dreamscape, give her the chance to at least talk to other people, maybe eventually she'll become someone we can feel safe around.
>>
>>3866642

Rath's anger is absolutely valid. So let's give November and Rath some time to talk this out among themselves first. That said, I think Francine is going full martyr prep and we need to broach the subject of her own redemption, instead of sacrifice, over being a West Iteration sooner rather than later. We still need to talk to Dorian, but if we don't get through to Francine real quick it's going to get worse. We don't sacrifice people, and despite everything that Dr. West tried to do to make Francine just a puppet, Francine is her own person. We need to stop/stall Dr. West, but Francine ceasing to be alongside that is the last option, and only if Francine agrees to it.

I do agree with >>3866647 that we should leave the Isabelle Gem with Gina for a moment though.
>>
>>3866647
yeah this is fine. i have... alot to say and write for our talk with Rath, as i truly do feel for her and understand her, but letting her punch some dents into November first is probably best.
>>
>>3866646
i think we can use that personally. its still corruption, but its still her anger, if that makes sense. if we try to re-direct the anger over putting it out, i think it can actually help a bit.

>>3866650
>>3866652
yeah, like i said earlier, and as the person who put this vote forward i do apologize if it felt like jumping the gun but... its one thing not to trust her, or think her chances have won dry... but its another to leave her in the crystal in that state, regardless of what Rath or anyone else thinks, and with her clearly at least somewhat having come to terms with her issues and helping us here, aswell as any option to not leave her in the crystal basically forcing us to give her another chance anyways... well, seemed like the choice to put forward.

>>3866652
yeah, my plan is to go on a few adventures with Francine, warm her up to life, her value, and the family, then broach the topic once shes grown into being her own and with us a bit. if we do it too soon, the lack of a true connection with all of us will just have her brush it off instead of properly listen.

also
>>3866656
>>3866647
>>3866642
linking to BHOP my support so he sees it properly.
>>
>>3866661
but that's the problem. The moment she gets angry but doesn't have an outlet or an actual target where her fists can solve that sort of stress, it automatically channels that anger towards herself which is a problem.

Isabelle is a walking source of anger for Rath. And as much as she would love to pummel the shit out of Isabelle and make that problem go away by perma-killing Isabelle, she can't do that. She's unable to. So that leaves her with a smouldering anger that eats Rath alive since it has no where to go.
>>
>>3866664
I disagree. i dont see any anger at herself at all here. and that also implies and ignores my very point of we can channel the anger elsewhere and possibly give her another outlet for the anger. im hoping to get her ranting first and have us respond to her rant once some steams been let out.
>>
>>3866642
Supporting >>3866647. I wonder what Dorian has to say to us in private. Given the context, I'm worried it's going to be something about his father being abusive and his mother making excuses for him, and how he doesn't want to see us falling into the same mistake of forgiving an abuser so easily.

Also, on a different tangent, I'm kind of perplexed why Francine is still talking about her suicide. Shouldn't she know by now that that's not a solution? Not in the moral sense but the very practical one. Charon told us that minds get backed up in the Cord regardless of whether someone consumes the corpse. No one really dies so long as the Crucible persists. If she actually wants the West collective to end, she has to stick this out for the long run, climb the Cord with us so that she can get access to its databanks and delete them. Even from the more selfish interpretation of her suicide, the "I just want to stop being Francine West" aspect, killing herself solves nothing because then she'll just be Francine West in the Cord.
>>
>>3866707
well, all the clones might not be backed up. Charon was talking about base Humanity from when the Crucible landed, we never asked or confirmed if its getting new backups of the active Daughters, or if people like Shu have a backup there. still some questions to answer there.

the issue is still to her, that she fears any version of West out in the open might be a threat to the world. Whatever West is in the cord, simply isnt a threat to anyone in there, but all the Wests out here are. She also might think/hope that pre-crucible West can still be 'saved', due to no influence from the Cord, but that parts wild speculation ill admit, and unlikely.

Regardless, i see her logic she's trying to use here too, and it does have merit. but from a moral angle yeah its bad, and really just shows she still sees no value in herself as a non-west and still doesn't trust herself to be different or apart from them. still have work to do with her there, like i said.
>>
>>3866710
>well, all the clones might not be backed up. Charon was talking about base Humanity from when the Crucible landed, we never asked or confirmed if its getting new backups of the active Daughters, or if people like Shu have a backup there. still some questions to answer there.
No, Charon told us Daughters persist past death no matter what. There's no way to find peace until the Crucible ends.

>>“There is no rest for Daughters, Most Honored Shu.” Charon sighs wearily as the fingers of your right hand curl around the necklace. “As any high-level Conduit can tell you when it comes to the living or the dead; we may sleep, we may dream…but there is no averting one’s eyes from the Crucible, until it is done.”

>the issue is still to her, that she fears any version of West out in the open might be a threat to the world. Whatever West is in the cord, simply isnt a threat to anyone in there, but all the Wests out here are. She also might think/hope that pre-crucible West can still be 'saved', due to no influence from the Cord, but that parts wild speculation ill admit, and unlikely.
That's a valid point, though. If she's just interested in ending the immediate threat of the Wests, suicide now might be a good option. I still think that she should see it through until at least the death of West Prime, though, get rid of every active West. After that, if she wants to trust erasing the backups from the Cord to us, then I guess she can. But still, feels a bit selfish to follow us right up to the final dungeon and then leave.
>>
>>3866716
i still interpreted Charon saying that as talking about all the backups in the Cord though, is my take on that. Daughters(in theory) are all people who would have backups in the Cord, so no one really leaves the crucible til its over, even if your Daughter version dies fully.

>feels a bit selfish to follow us right up to the final dungeon and then leave.
fear and self loathing blind her. to her, she is doing us a favor by getting rid of herself, not being selfish.
>>
>>3866718
>i still interpreted Charon saying that as talking about all the backups in the Cord though, is my take on that. Daughters(in theory) are all people who would have backups in the Cord, so no one really leaves the crucible til its over, even if your Daughter version dies fully.
I don't think that fits with the mention of awareness. Charon was talking about how dead Daughters are still aware of what happens in the Crucible, and that passage was then followed up immediately with "the only people who get to be blissfully unaware are the original saves of your pre-Crucible selves". That says to me that there are multiple backups. Might not follow all the way up to the Daughter's death, we don't know how often the Crucible records saves, but there should be at least some post-Crucible ones.

>fear and self loathing blind her. to her, she is doing us a favor by getting rid of herself, not being selfish.
Yeah, I suppose she sees it that way. I think she's wrong to, hopefully we'll convince her otherwise, but you're right that that's a longer-term goal.

Anyways, I've got to go to a doctor's appointment, so later, everyone. Probably going to miss at least the discussion with Dorian, hopefully I'll be back in time to talk to Rath. Have fun dealing with the drama.
>>
>>3866722
i dont remember him mentioning some of that, and you forget he compared the Cord backups to Isabelles crystal, and we now know that that is far from some restful sleep.

take care though Anon, hopefully you dont have cancer!
besides the cancer we all inherently are by using this site.
>>
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>>3866642

“Dorian. If you have a moment, I’d like to talk.” You say, and with a polite nod and a squeeze of Julia’s hand he joins you when you beckon for him to take a walk with you. As you pass Gina, you pause to slip the emerald pendant from around your neck, pressing it into her hands.

[Could you look after her while I talk with Dorian and whomever else needs it? I think it should be pretty obvious that it wouldn’t be conducive to anyone for Isabelle to hear what’s gonna be said] You say, and she just nods before you and Dorian continue walking. After putting a respectable distance between you and the rest of your family you throw a jack into the ground and summon forth a calcite bench from the moor’s depths, and you take your seat first at Dorian’s behest.

“Miss Shu, you asked us to be honest, and to hold nothing back. Out of respect for you, I will do so.” He begins, settling into the seat beside you with his hands on his knees. “I believe that allowing Isabelle to interact with any member of our family, alive or departed, is unwise at best and a catastrophic mistake at worst.”

“Okay. I appreciate your candor and I’d like for you to elaborate, if you would.” You say, crossing your legs as you prepare to listen to his concerns.

“Likewise Miss Shu, I appreciate you being open to it.” He replies with a respectful nod. “Given my mention of previous experiences, I am intimately and unfortunately familiar with people who would slather on excuses and apologies for past sins and then offer nothing but the same. My father was one such example, and should Isabelle or Francine prove themselves to be of the same cut, then I am prepared to take swift and appropriate action to protect the ones I love, regardless of objections.”

“Even from me?” You ask, eyebrow cocked.

“Even from you.” Dorian replies calmly.

(Continued)
>>
>>3866729

“You, Miss Gina, Amara, and Lady Julia…you are good. You are kind. You are trusting. I adore that about you, about all of you…but I will not abide those that would take advantage of your virtues. If I see old habits, I will bring it to your attention…once. The moment Isabelle or Francine make ill intentions apparent, I will bring everything I have to bear to make their treachery a non-issue. I trust you follow?”

“…I do.” You nod, voice even as you hold his electric blue gaze.

“That being said…” He continues, relaxing a fraction. “…I will not make myself inhospitable, should you and the others choose to allow Isabelle a physical form with which to interact with us. I like to think I’ve shown the Doctor a gentleman’s courtesy, so I would be remiss if I didn’t extend your guest the same respect.”

“Respect…not trust.” He adds, his brow furrowing at the clarification.

You nod, weighing how to respond to his declaration as you scan the moor, a difference in the silhouette of the mansion making you focus in on the shambled masonry. To your surprise you spot Ivey, crouched atop a ruined beam jutting out of the mansion’s ruins. A half-crushed cigarette dangles from her lips, and when you meet her gaze she just gives you an acknowledging tilt of her head, weariness evident in her posture and in the look in her eyes. To your surprise there’s no anger, no resentment emanating from her but rather a sense of displacement, an uncertainty in her core reminiscent of a ship adrift at sea.

Dorian’s drawn a hard line in the sand, and while you’re rather surprised at the lengths he’d go to to ensure your family’s safety, you can’t help but appreciate it, all the same.

>>Reply to Dorian (Write-In)

AND

>>You’ll give Rath a little more time while you talk with Francine about what she said.

>>You think you’ve given Rath enough time to cool off, so it’s time to have your talk.

>>Thank Dorian for his time, then go talk to Ivey. She’s been through a lot, and you’d like to see where she stands.

>>Write-In

YOU ARE IN CONTROL
>>
(Voting shall remain open for the next two hours, Gentlemen.)
>>
>>3866730
>"I get where you are coming from Dorian. I do.... And i appreciate your honesty. Many of the things you have said have crossed my mind as well. During the fight with Yurei and then when Isabelle stood with us to fight Yureis Ghostly form. She has earned herself a chance to try and make things right. A chance to try and make the right decisions from now on. I am completely on board with keeping a close eye on her for any bad habits coming back. I will trust you to have my back should we ever need to take action. But she is a responsibiltiy we have to take care of"
> "I will definetly have a talk with Rath soon. And if she is completely against this i will reconsider and talk with Isabelle about the options we can then provide for her. Because leaving her in that crystal is the same as forcing Sam to slowly go mad from loneliness and isolation. Isabelle did say she wanted to be useful for us so we could go ahead and put her into a relic if it comes down to that. That way she can at least be of some help instead of dangeling around my neck to look pretty."

>Have a talk with Francine about what she said

We could go and talk with the Hyenas right now but i think we should wait until we have consumed their former boss. They are subdued so they will go exactly nowhere until we let them go and it think that the Barbers would at least elt us know when they go to cut the Hyenas loose again
>>
>>3866730
>Give Dorian's shoulder a pat.
>"I respect your stance Dorian, and... i understand it. i Do, really. honestly, if Isabelle causes trouble, you'll be fighting to get past me as i go in for the first swing."
>Sigh, and look out at the mansion, take a moment to collect your words.
>"But its not about Isabelle, not really, not fully. i mean, it is, it never wont be, but, its about myself aswell."
>"Isabelle did us bad. worse then bad, she did us stuff ill never forget, probably never forgive... But so did Sam."
>"Us? our family? we were just caught in the middle of two girls decades long struggle. i get it, it in some ways only makes it all worse but... who's anger, who's justice would i really be upholding if i kept her locked up and in a nightmare? Sam's? Sam's gone, and doesn't deserve us to hold that up for her. Gina's? Gina can and would say more if she felt more, would've put her foot down harder if she wanted it. Mine? what good does it do me, to watch her suffer? to continue on the struggle i never wanted to be a part of?"
>Turn to Dorian, and shrug, hand over your heart.
>"I still feel it. every time i look at her. anger, hate, betrayal. i dont think that will ever go away."
>"But ive watched people change, ive watched people turn out to be so, so much different than you thought them to be. when i look into her eyes... i dont see a killer anymore. i dont see that fierce, world ending girl we faced before... i see a sad, tormented soul, who genuinely just doesn't know what she is or what she can be."
>"Maybe thats not good enough to give her another chance, i struggle to accept it either. But its something, and we've given people a chance over less before."
>"Im not forgiving her. im not trusting her. im not asking you or anyone else to do that. Im asking us to treat her as human, and to remember why we fight. to give everyone a chance to BE human, to choose their own path. And im starting to wonder if anyone can truly do either of those so long as the Crucible remains in control."
>Chuckle, and turn to Dorian, putting a hand on his knee.
>"I thank you for this, really. being willing to stand up to me? to say whats on your mind? it matters, and its needed. so, promise me this Dorian... if you ever think im going too far, do what you have to... I dont think i will, ill fight to not be every day... but make sure i never becomes another Yurei, or West. I trust you of all to be able to do that."

>Thank Dorian for his time, then go talk to Ivey. She’s been through a lot, and you’d like to see where she stands.
>Let Ivey open up the conversation, im sure she has something to say.
>>
>>3866734
i disagree with talking to Francine yet. until she feels more comfortable with us, our family, and herself, any and all attempts to convince her she should stick around wont stick. we still have a looong ways to go before trying to talk to her about that will do anything but possible harm, as she brushes it off as 'thats just how you are Shu.'

we haven't had her around long enough for her to believe er think her a part of the Family, or she herself think that. and Dorians comments would just make that a lie too. our foundation to convince her of another path simply is not there yet, and it will be a wasted conversation, maybe even worse, take us back a step with her.
>>
>>3866734
also Ivey isnt subdued, nor would i think the rest of her group. shes leaning on a rock smoking, out in the open, no restraints. no one is forcing her to stay here, she just hasn't left yet. might be our only chance before she does, though the empathic field is making it seem like she isnt in the mood to go anywhere, but still.
>>
>>3866730
Ammending my vote from >>3866734
to
>"I get where you are coming from Dorian. I do.... And i appreciate your honesty. Many of the things you have said have crossed my mind as well. During the fight with Yurei and then when Isabelle stood with us to fight Yureis Ghostly form. She has earned herself a chance to try and make things right. A chance to try and make the right decisions from now on. I am completely on board with keeping a close eye on her for any bad habits coming back. I will trust you to have my back should we ever need to take action. But she is a responsibiltiy we have to take care of"
> "I will definetly have a talk with Rath soon. And if she is completely against this i will reconsider and talk with Isabelle about the options we can then provide for her. Because leaving her in that crystal is the same as forcing Sam to slowly go mad from loneliness and isolation. Isabelle did say she wanted to be useful for us so we could go ahead and put her into a relic if it comes down to that. That way she can at least be of some help instead of dangeling around my neck to look pretty."

> Go and talk with the Hyenas
>>
>>3866742
I cant find that line. In which poost was it. I just remember OP saying that the Hyenas were subdued by the Barbers. I dont think they were left completely up to their own devices.
>>
>>3866742
Forget what i said i just found it
>>
>>3866745

its right here, near the end.
>>3866730
>To your surprise you spot Ivey, crouched atop a ruined beam jutting out of the mansion’s ruins. A half-crushed cigarette dangles from her lips, and when you meet her gaze she just gives you an acknowledging tilt of her head, weariness evident in her posture and in the look in her eyes. To your surprise there’s no anger, no resentment emanating from her but rather a sense of displacement, an uncertainty in her core reminiscent of a ship adrift at sea.

she couldn't of gotten there if she was tied up, and no Barbers are in sight around her, shes alone.
>>
>>3866730

>>"Rath is right. There is a line between Fool and Idiot. Right now I think we have a toehold into Fool territory, but it's only a toehold. If Isabelle is truly trying to be better, we let her earn her way back. But if she hasn't truly grown. If she isn't fighting to be a better person than she was, I don't know who will be the fastest to swing, you, of me. Probably you though, what with your slick speed." Chuckle a bit.
>>"And Dorian, as silly as it is to say this here, I'm only human. I'm going to make mistakes, and I'll need people to call me on my follies. Thank you for standing up to me, and for being willing to take me on. If I ever become Yui, or West, or Ozmas... take me out, and do not hesitate."

>>Go talk to Ivey and the Hyenas.
>>
>>3866749
Sorry i had missed that line during my initial reading. i later found it but at first had searched for the line in an earlier post......

I feel slightly embarrased right now
>>
>>3866754
(Don't feel bad, I find myself forgetting the Barber's names regularly for no good reason whatsoever.)
>>
>>3866754
nah you're fine. took me three reads to understand it as my mind was reading Ivey as the plant, not the person. as you can imagine, my brain was really going for a ride trying to figure out why Shu was recognizing a plant and why it was smoking a cigarette.
>>
>>3866730
>Thank Dorian for his time, then go talk to Ivey. She’s been through a lot, and you’d like to see where she stands.
>hundred hand rappel yourself onto the I-beam. Sit next to Ivey.
>just sit in silence for a while...

>"Sorry for killing your boss...and ruining the mansion. So what now? What's next?"
>>
>>3866804
>"See you around Ivey. I just hope our next meeting will be one purely for pleasure and not require you to helpo me out with some life or death situation."

>Go and give Novemeber a quick glance with your Empathic field see if she thinks Rath has cooled down enough and then go and talk to her.
>>
>>3866802
well not gonna lie, that was a disappointing and lackluster. felt like Dorian needed to hear more then that.

>>3866804
>You think you’ve given Rath enough time to cool off, so it’s time to have your talk.
>Wait to see if she's finishing anything up with November, then either approach once November leaves, or if it looks like the two are Ready for you.
>"Well Rath... for what its worth, im sorry i didn't talk to you all first, but I knew what i needed to put on the table and she needed to hear it then, before she collapsed."
>"Im sure you have alot more to say. say it. you deserve to. and ill listen. to all of it. and... if you need to let some steam out... i probably deserve a good smack too."
>Let Rath say her piece, let Rath let it all out, let her unleash what shes holding back, before you respond in true.
>>
>>3866813
>>3866816
(Rath has indeed calmed down enough to speak with...as much as she's going to, anyway.)
>>
>>3866820
that doesn't really change what i voted for or think is the best way to go about doing this, but alright.
>>
>>3866804
>>3866820 If it is like that i will support

>"See you around Ivey. I just hope our next meeting will be one purely for pleasure and not require you to helpo me out with some life or death situation."
>You think you’ve given Rath enough time to cool off, so it’s time to have your talk.
>Wait to see if she's finishing anything up with November, then either approach once November leaves, or if it looks like the two are Ready for you.
>"Well Rath... for what its worth, im sorry i didn't talk to you all first, but I knew what i needed to put on the table and she needed to hear it then, before she collapsed."
>"Im sure you have alot more to say. say it. you deserve to. and ill listen. to all of it. and... if you need to let some steam out... i probably deserve a good smack too."
>Let Rath say her piece, let Rath let it all out, let her unleash what shes holding back, before you respond in true.

instead of >>3866813
>>
>>3866816
(...and that's because I completely goofed, since I had a post that was supposed to come before those two that blended yours and the other Anon's replies. Good Lord, there's a bamboozle incoming.)

[spoilers](I got a good night's sleep, I swear.)[/spoiler]
>>
>>3866820
>>3866823
mind you, i do thank you for the info, which i realized my response might seem to imply the opposite of, just simply wasn't relevant to my vote is all.
>>
>>3866804
I actually wanna talk to B'ni again before we make any decision about it. We need to know what kind of mental corruption she had due to the Crucible vs due to her own shit. I wanna ask her if she feels mentally any different inside the crystal vs in the physical world. Because it seems like there's a pattern of vitruvians going crazy due to hyperfocus and I'd rather avoid that with Rath if possible. (Maybe it's all just a big coincidence but that seems like a large if to me)

Also if we want to try dream daughter route with B'ni, we should enlist Holly to test out the limits of her influence on our mind just so we know what were getting ourself into. Already Gemma has more influence on Julia than I expected and I don't wanna end up in some situation where Mother has convinced B'ni to try and take over our mind or something once we eat her.
>>
>>3866830
...i knew there was a reason that post felt like it was starting off like it was a continuation.
er, well we all make mistakes, you're fine BHOP, but i also wont lie, i am chuckling a bit.

>>3866833
Isabelle doesn't really have any abilities that could influence our mind. it takes very specific things to attempt that stuff, which Isabelle doesn't have.
>>
(And my meeting is commencing. Thanks for bearing with me, Gentlemen, I'll update as soon as I am able.)
>>
>>3866837
Does Gemma have those kind of abilities? I don't remember desu
>>
>>3866876
Gemma is a unique case where her split personality literally becomes different people makes them all have a mental connection to one another. so no, but Gemma is a unique exception, and keep in mind, even then all she can do is interact with her other personalities, such as seeing where they are and from their eyes, and increasing the already existent pull they have to her location to be stronger for those she wished to. its bad, but still not actually influencing or controlling Julias mind.
>>
Alright, I'm back. Looks like things with Dorian went fairly well, him expressing his caution but in a reasonable way that we agree with. Nice. Now comes the hard one, talking to Rath.
>>
>>3866885
well, BHOP has to re-post the Dorian and Ivey conversation, though it did seem to go alright.

already have posted what i want to start off with with Rath though, hopefully letting her let out her steam in words(and maybe fists) first will make her listen to what we say next more.
>>
>>3866730

Dorian seems pleasantly surprised when you reach out and pat his shoulder, and even more so by the appreciative smile on your face.

"I respect your stance Dorian, and...I understand it.” You say with a sigh, staring out at the mansion as you take a moment to collect your thoughts.

"This isn’t about Isabelle, not really. I mean, it is…it never won’t be, but it’s about myself as well." You admit, staring down at the backs of your left hand, spread against the starry night sky of your shimmering dress. "Isabelle did us bad. Worse than bad, she did things I’ll never forget, probably never forgive... but so did Sam."

You turn to face Dorian fully, eyes focused intently on his.

"Us? Our family? We were just caught in the middle of two girls’ decades-long struggle. I get it. Hell, in some ways that only makes it all worse, but...whose anger, whose justice would I really be upholding if i kept her locked up and in a nightmare? Sam's? Sam's gone, and doesn't deserve us to hold that up for her. Gina's? Gina can and would say more if she felt more, would've put her foot down harder if she wanted it. Mine? What good does it do me, to watch her suffer? To continue on the struggle I never wanted to be a part of, one that I had no memory or part in until they dragged me into it?”

Your left hand hovers over your heart, your emotions flowing openly and honestly across the empathic channel.

"I still feel it, every time I look at her; anger, hate, betrayal. I dont think that will ever go away." You confess. "But I’ve watched people change, I’ve watched people turn out to be so, so much different than you thought them to be. When i look into her eyes...I dont see a killer anymore. I dont see that fierce, world-ending girl we faced before. All I see is a sad, tormented soul, who genuinely just doesn't know what she is or what she can be without Sam’s shadow looming over her.”

He’s about to protest when your hand goes from your heart to the space between you, a gentle request to allow you to finish.

"I’m not forgiving her, Dorian. I’m not trusting her, and I’m not asking you or anyone else to do that. I’m asking us to treat her as human, and to remember why we fight. To give everyone a chance to BE human, to choose their own path. And I’m starting to wonder if anyone can truly do either of those so long as the Crucible remains in control. Leaving B’ni in that crystal is the same as forcing Sam to slowly go mad from loneliness and isolation, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to just let Isabelle suffer while she dangles around my neck in a pretty prison.”

Your hand finds Dorian’s knee as you smile once more.

"Thank you for this, really. Being willing to stand up to me? To say what’s on your mind? It matters, it’s needed, and I respect the hell out of you for saying what you did.”

“I…alright. Thank you, Miss Shu.” He relents with a smile. “And what of our Starlight, then?”

(Continued)
>>
>>3866888

"Rath is right.” You admit, rising from the bench as you fluff out the creases in your dress. “There’s a line between Fool and Idiot, and while we have a toehold into Fool territory, it's only a toehold. If B'ni's truly trying to be better, we let her earn her way back…but if she's not sincere then I don't know who will be the fastest to swing, you or me. Probably you though, what with your speed."

Dorian matches your chuckle as he rises in turn, the bench receding as your jack slithers back underneath your wrist.

"And Dorian, as silly as it is to say this here, I'm only human. I'm going to make mistakes, and I'll need people to call me on my follies. Thank you for standing up to me, and for being willing to take me on. If I ever become Yui, or West, or Ozmas... take me out, and do not hesitate."

“I…I don’t believe you would slide that far down, but…you have my word, Miss Shu.” He says hesitantly, you meet his low bow with one of your own before you turn, striding over to the pile of ruins and the woman smoking atop the heap.

“Hey there.” You greet, staring up at the wild-looking woman. “Mind some company on your smoke break?”

“Not if it’s you.” She casually replies, and with a burst of Hundred-Handed you’re flung up to her side, almost missing your footing as you find a stable place to rest.

“Glad you stuck around, Ivey.” You begin, crossing your legs as you sit next to her on your elevated perch. “You and the Hyenas alright after your scuffle with the Barbers?”

“Yeah, we’re fine. Barber’s leader rezzed me and my crew told me to stay out of whatever happened next. Was about to argue when my crew and I saw the fuckhuge skeleton that used to be our boss, so…that was a thing.” She sighs, sending a swirling cloud of smoke spiraling into the air. “Anyway, where’s your girlfriend?”

“Watching over my ex’s disembodied soul so that I can have some private conversations with my family before we maybe bring her back from the dead in some form or fashion.”

Ivey blinks.

“…Don’t have time to unpack all that, but sounds like you’ve got your hands full.” She finally says with a small chuckle. “Why’re you wasting time with a dog like me?”

“Figure you’ve been through a lot, and I just wanted to touch base.” You reply honestly. “You seemed really passionate about all this when I met you, in your own way. If you wanted to talk about what happened, I’m willing to listen.”

“Heh, you’re a sweetheart, but me an’ mine’ll be just fine. We’re just gonna take some time to ourselves and cough up some of that Kool-Aid we were drinking. Give me a smoke and a drink, and I’ll be back to rights.” She grins, taking another drag of her cigarette before regarding it with an arched brow. “’Least, I think this is a legit smoke. Kinda hard to trust after, well…”

She gestures to the ruins around you both as she heaves a heavy sigh.

(Continued)
>>
>>3866890

“Gotta wonder if it was all smoke and mirrors from the start.” She muses, watching the embers slowly devour the end of her cigarette. “If she was blowing smoke up our asses in the name of that ‘better world’ of hers.”

“I don’t think she was. At least, not in her mind.” You reply. “Yurei’s heart was in the right place. She wanted to make a difference, but obscuring reality doesn’t help anyone in the end.”

“Maybe...I liked your speech, by the way. You got a good way with words. Better than Yurei, even.” She says, eyeing you with a measure of respect. “Old gal had a lot of friends, a lot of enemies. She was ramping up in power, and now she’s gone…’cause of you. I’m thinking you’re going to have some of them knocking on your door, trying to figure out if you’re looking to replace her.”

“Replace her?” You ask, and Ivey just shrugs.

“Yurei was setting herself up to be an active spiritual leader, as opposed to organizations like the Altered Altar and such that’re content to sit pretty and wait for a savior.” She grumbles, sucking in hard on the withered cigarette. “She was mobile, active, and kinetic. Seemed interested in the bigger picture, and was quick to make friends…kinda like someone else I know. All I’m saying is, don’t be surprised if you get some lost souls looking for guidance showing up on your doorstep...more than you have now, anyway. I got the sneaking feeling that your little counter-speech is gonna make the rounds, and it’s gonna make a bigger impact than Yurei’s escapist scenario.”

She makes a face as the light at the end of her smoke dies out, and with a snap of her fingers it flares back to life.

“Think I’m good to finish this pathetic little thing in peace, if you don’t mind. Good shooting the breeze with you…regardless of circumstances.” She smiles, and you give her a nod and smile as your Hundred-Handed carry you back down to the moor’s spongy terrain.

“Defiant.” She suddenly calls down to you.

“Yeah?”

“You ever need some warm bodies in your corner when someone’s givin’ you gruff, send word to the mayor of a little outfit called Laoc. She knows how to reach me.” She says, giving you a sideways glance out of the corner of her shining eyes. “You can count the Hyenas in your corner, if push comes to shove.”

“Thank you, but…why?”

She just shoots you a jagged, toothy grin.

“Maybe I like the cut of your jib, or maybe I just like the cut of your dress.” She chuckles, flicking some ash into the mist. “You really gonna look a gift hound in the mouth?”

Ivey’s an odd one, but…no.

No, you suppose you won’t.

>>You’ll give Rath a little more time while you talk with Francine about what she said.

>>You think you’ve given Rath enough time to cool off, so it’s time to have your talk.

>>Write-In

YOU ARE IN CONTROL
>>
(There we go, that makes more sense. Voting will be reopened for the next two hours, and thanks for bearing with that bamboozle.)
>>
>>3866891
>The bridge between Rath and Isabelle's a smouldering pile of ashes isn't it?
A smoldering pile of Ashes........ i think that is to generous a term more like it is a pile of dust cleaned with hard radiaton and thrown into the warp to reemerge and then get cleansed again by Rats holy fury

>>3866892
Vote is the same as last time

>"See you around Ivey. I just hope our next meeting will be one purely for pleasure and not require you to helpo me out with some life or death situation."
>You think you’ve given Rath enough time to cool off, so it’s time to have your talk.
>Wait to see if she's finishing anything up with November, then either approach once November leaves, or if it looks like the two are Ready for you.
>"Well Rath... for what its worth, im sorry i didn't talk to you all first, but I knew what i needed to put on the table and she needed to hear it then, before she collapsed."
>"Im sure you have alot more to say. say it. you deserve to. and ill listen. to all of it. and... if you need to let some steam out... i probably deserve a good smack too."
>Let Rath say her piece, let Rath let it all out, let her unleash what shes holding back, before you respond in true.
>>
>>3866892

>You think you’ve given Rath enough time to cool off, so it’s time to have your talk.

>Spawn 5 Rev-platelings and 5 Rooks. Merge the platelings and the rooks together to create Rook Class Rev-platelings, disable the chaff and acid function in the platelings, equip them onto yourself.

>Ready up a back-support of Hundred Handed Arms to absorb the blows like spring cushions and terraform the ground to give you a solid foundation of support so that Rath won't send you flying.

>Dominus Leash yourself on Rath and Dorian so that you can survive Rath's punches.

>"Alright Rath. Let me have it, lemme hear it. Your opinions and your fists. Hold nothing back. I'm ready."

>>3866816

I think Rath needs a punching bag to vent even further. And if we're having Rath vent her anger while punching, we'll need to armor up in Rook class heavy plate armor.

Great.... I think we went too big too fast on this one just like Yurei in the social sense. It hasn't even been 3-4 weeks since Shu's birth and she rocked the proverbial boat so hard that the and the oceans flipped upside down.

And Isabelle's poked her head out of the grave literally triggering Rath's wrath not 3 days after her break up, tantrum, and mad dash for power.

The wound's too raw for some.

>>3866820
The bridge between Rath and Isabelle's a smouldering pile of ashes isn't it?

>>3866833
I agree to that, but lets do this after we talk to Rath. We can converse with Isabelle in the dreamworld after letting Rath say her piece.
>>
>>3866892
>You think you’ve given Rath enough time to cool off, so it’s time to have your talk.
>Wait to see if she's finishing anything up with November, then either approach once November leaves, or if it looks like the two are Ready for you.
>"Well Rath... for what its worth, im sorry i didn't talk to you all first, but I knew what i needed to put on the table and she needed to hear it then, before she collapsed."
>"Im sure you have alot more to say. say it. you deserve to. and ill listen. to all of it. and... if you need to let some steam out... i probably deserve a good smack too."
>Let Rath say her piece, let Rath let it all out, let her unleash what shes holding back, before you respond in true.

>>3866893
>>3866890
well, yeah that made that post actually feel like it made sense. like a puzzle missing pieces its come together.
>>
>>3866895
>>3866892
nah, feels too disingenuous to not take the hit properly. if she doesn't hit us, doing all that is just a sign of distrust. if she does hit us, thats on her and we deserve it at least a bit.

gonna have to veto all that.
>>
>>3866900
>>3866895
it also might outright provoke her. a 'oh? you're trusting ISABELLE but come to ME armored up like im a threat?'

regardless of if she proves us right and hits us, she might not listen if we do that.
>>
>>3866892
Amending my vote >>3866895

to support
>>3866897
>>3866894
>>
so what do we have left?

i agree we should probably talk to isabelle in private a bit more. less for the same reasons as some others, but even giving her the best benefit of the doubt, she still didn't get to say much before she crumbled, hell i think she was even basically cut off. would stand to reason given that, regardless of our decision, she should probably be talked to before we do it.

then i guess the Barbers is all thats left. not sure here is the best place to talk, but we still need to then find us a place. guess we invited the Midnight Crew over to the Penthouse over a similar fight, certainly didn't know them much better then too, so that might work. we need to take the Engine home anyways at least, and id imagine alot probably want to sleep after this, before we go anywhere else.
>>
>>3866909
There's also Yurei's Corpse that we need to decide about the voting distribution which is a MASSIVE undertaking for everyone involved (bhop, you, me, the other anons).

And we DID say we were going to Laoc to relax when all is said and done after the fight.
>>
>>3866892
>>You think you’ve given Rath enough time to cool off, so it’s time to have your talk.
Alright, time to face our platinum star.

>>3866909
Wasn't the plan to head over to Laoc and get a drink? Let's go with that. Besides, we can't actually teleport to the Lair until Amara wakes up. One of her clones has the Gear, remember? We've got to wait for her to wake up and call it over here. So we've got to stick to the regular Waystation network for the moment.
>>
>>3866909
Sounds like a good plan.

Isabelle will probably be a massive discussion over at least two rounds after we talked to Rath... which will probably span at least two rounds as well.

We could invite the Barbers to some real alcohol if they want it and bring them back to the penthouse together with the engine. Then one of the family can put the engine away while we have a small discussion with the Barbers and what they think of us. Or we make it so that we go there build a car and then drive to Laoc with the Barbers(if they want to) to get to know them better

>>3866913
The Yurei Thing is something we can quite possibly postbone a bit until after we went to laoc and in the meantime put her on ice before voting
>>
>>3866915
>Wasn't the plan to head over to Laoc and get a drink? Let's go with that. Besides, we can't actually teleport to the Lair until Amara wakes up. One of her clones has the Gear, remember? We've got to wait for her to wake up and call it over here. So we've got to stick to the regular Waystation network for the moment.

Oh lawd. If we have to get our missing Escher gear back because someone stole the fancy paperweight that's basically our house keys, I'm gonna be very salty.
>>
>>3866913
>>3866915
well yes, i was talking before we consume her corpse though. i got off track is all. the rest and engine and home bits are either after, or we consume her at home.

the Laoc was before we fought a badass Phantasmal and 30 dream daughters then a giant half dream skeleton. im all for letting our team relax but id imagine we can sleep the wounds away then go to Laoc, though personally i say just invite people to the penthouse again myself.

Laoc just doesn't sound or feel right after this. too impersonal if we wish to get to know people, too open and public if we simply wish to rest. Laoc is for when we just want to casually info farm, meet new people and leads, and shop, not for parties for blooming friendships and victory celebrations, or sleeping off a fight.

>>3866915
theres a waystation in the rust town and we know the non gear way into the Penthouse, if it even comes to that.

>>3866916
yeah Isabelle is gonna be a conversation i feel.
>>
>>3866920
The clone is still capable of acting independently and will try to keep the gear afe while stayinga away from people. If we put the Shawl ove ramare the clone will also be invisible.
>>
>>3866923
Amara might not be able to keep clones active if she hits Deaths Door.

>>3866915
>>3866916
>>3866920
regardless, i just realized, its possible she found someone and someone is still trying to rush their way to us, especially if they saw the Amara Clone collapse or mention Amara was down.

that might be a bit awkward. 'oh, uhh, fights over, but thanks for coming, still means alot.'
>>
>>3866921
>the Laoc was before we fought a badass Phantasmal and 30 dream daughters then a giant half dream skeleton. im all for letting our team relax but id imagine we can sleep the wounds away then go to Laoc, though personally i say just invite people to the penthouse again myself.
Actually, it was only before the giant dream-skeleton. "Let's all go get a drink at Laoc and relax after this" was part of the rousing speech we made before fighting the Yume Gashadokuro. Granted, the fight with said giant dream-skeleton is arguably enough of a drain that we shouldn't head to a bar but a more intimate setting we can relax in away from others watching. I can agree with that. Especially with us being unwitting reality TV stars (side note: given that it started with a B I'm guessing that the ship name for Shu x Isabel is "Bugs Bunny"). Really, I think I just want to go to Laoc because I feel guilty for interrupting Dorian and Julia's date. Sorry, guys. We'll give you a chance for a visit another time, right now we should just go someplace more homey than a bar.

>>3866926
>that might be a bit awkward. 'oh, uhh, fights over, but thanks for coming, still means alot.'
That would be pretty funny. Especially if the Amara clones wake up to explain it and are sullen because Amara was unconscious for the giant skeleton part and really wanted to see it. "Nah, don't even bother, Mom already got the cool part out of the way."
>>
>>3866941
after we consume, rest, and maybe party, we can have a true relaxation day for the whole family(unless certain ones WANT to go out and hit up something on the list, of course). we can then either all go to Laoc, and/or 'order' them to bugger off and enjoy eachothers company alone for while.

though personally, im still hoping/looking forward to out Ant Queen meeting.

>That would be pretty funny. Especially if the Amara clones wake up to explain it and are sullen because Amara was unconscious for the giant skeleton part and really wanted to see it. "Nah, don't even bother, Mom already got the cool part out of the way."
i laughed. poor Amara. didn't get to pet the kitty, didn't get to see the giant skeleton. the disappointments are piling up for her.
>>
>>3866985
Lets hope there was a crew of Skintalker sitting around watching the entire thing and recording it to upload to the Talkertube where they can get mad clicks form all the Defiant fans
She can then wtch it all back and maybe we can show her what we learned inside and wwht we did in the dreamsacape
>>
>>3866996
>>3866985
You know...Amara has that skill that lets her make the fleshscape replay the battle. So why be disappointed in missing out on the giant skeleton fight when she can ask the fleshscape for action replay?
>>
>>3866999
you mean the one thats technically an attack/terrain upheaval? i mean, sure, but id not want anyone to be in the area when she does.
>>
>>3866999
Yeah, but it's just not the same to watch the giant skeleton fight instead of taking part and getting to cast spells on it.
>>
>>3867005
We'll just have to satisfy her with storytime then... But how do we weave a story about Yurei with the tragedy of life that she had?

ok. I have a few parallel stories that I could theoretically base a retelling of the Giant Skeleton fight with Shu's journey into Yui's past memories.

One of them that comes to mind is either Journey to the West, and the legend of the Nine-Tailed Fox (Tamamao no Mae). I'm thinking the latter but embellish the story structure with the battle that Amara participated in with the Giant skeleton fight as well as Shu's quest to lay Yurei's spirit to rest, given that Amara's particpated in half the story in the fight against Yurei.
>>
>>3866999
Have her work in syndication with Gina. While Amara could replay the battle, Gina can terraform a section of land twenty feet on each side. Neurally connecting with Amara, she can fine tune the details of her terraforming and create a 3D movie of the whole fight.

And now I'm imagining an audience of ants, watching this whole thing like a midnight screening, with chunks of biomass as popcorn.
>>
>>3866909
There's also the meeting with the Ant queen. I'm just wondering about the timing of all of this.

We do want to take the rest of the day off to relax and drink in Laoc, and then find time to consume Yurei's corpse and level up. Then go see the Disassociated Rocket launch.

That's a short long-term plan that I have currently.
>>
>>3867016
To be fair, Shu herself didn't see the skeleton fight, so the part Amara would actually care about might best be told by julia or gina.
>>
>>3867021
Well, its not mine.
>>
>>3867003
It's meant for distractions or investigation, so I don't think it physically recreates the event. Probably doesn't have any real substance able to cause harm. Be spooky, though, having a giant skeleton show up and pass through you harmlessly. It would not be helped by the fact that it was already an ethereal skeleton, so phasing through you doesn't mean it's not the real one.

>>3867016
I'm not really sure how to tie this to Journey to the West. Who's the monkey king in this scenario? Tamamo-no-mae might work, if we were going with one of the modernest retellings where Tamamo wasn't always evil, until she was so mistreated that she became malicious in response. Definitely don't use the version where she's the same entity as Da Ji, though. There's a reason no one tries to make retellings of Da Ji's story where she's not evil.
>>
>>3867029
>the Journey to the west
It was the most vague comparison that I could come up with that had demon exorcisms and epic fight scenes happen hand in hand at the same time.

>Da Ji
Is that the version of the 9-tail fox story where the character in question was basically malicious in general?
>>
>>3867029
i think when Asked BHOP said it was physical, and it wouldn't make sense for it not to be.
>>
>>3867037
>Is that the version of the 9-tail fox story where the character in question was basically malicious in general?
Yeah. Empress Da Ji was pretty evil. She tortured to death so many people.

>>3867038
I was thinking technically physical, but without much mass or structure. An illusion of what amounts to fog, being physically present but easily dispersed by any resisting force.
>>
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>>3866892

"See you around, Ivey. I just hope our next meeting will be one purely for pleasure and doesn't require you to help me out with some life or death situation." You say, waving goodbye as you stride to where you watched your fuming ally run off to. Ivey gives you a grin and a wave, and within a minute or two of walking you come upon the Neesons. November sees you before Rath does, and upon alerting the younger girl of your approach, Rath reaches out and pulls her aunt in for a hug before sending the solider your way.

"Am I in for a punch or two?" You half-jokingly ask, pausing when you and November come shoulder to shoulder facing opposite directions.

"Maybe." She admits, with a small shrug. "Just...hear her out, alright?"

"I'd always listen to her, Heather." You reply. "Because she's always worth listening to."

November just gives you a nod before the two of you continue walking; her, back to your family and you, from the frying pan to the fire.

"Well Rath... for what its worth, I'm sorry I didn't talk to you and everyone else first, but I knew what I needed to put on the table and she needed to hear it then, before she collapsed." You begin, standing before the red-head, her crossed arms and furrowed brow leaving little of her emotions undercover, empathic channel or no. "I'm sure you have a lot more to say, so say it. You deserve to, and I'll listen." You say earnestly. "To all of it...and if you need to let some steam out, then I know I probably deserve a good smack, too."

"Good thing you know it, 'cause I have every fucking reason to punch you in the goddamn mouth right now, Shu." Rath seethes, unfolding her arms as she storms up to you, her nose less then an inch from yours, despite the height difference. "Francine? I get that! She's not the quack, but B'ni? She's the same fucking monster that threw our kindness in our face, that MURDERED Gina on the beach, and who almost killed us all in the dumpster fire that was Almath!"

"I understand, and I k-"

"Nah man, I'm just getting started!" She roars back in the face of your calm tone. "What the legitimate FUCK are you thinking by pulling B'ni back into our lives?! My mom, my dad, and my sisters are fucking GONE, and in the span of a week I get something resembling a family together again, and in the same fucking week they almost all get killed, TWICE, by the SAME nutty cunt! AND WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO?! You wanna welcome her back with open arms, make her a nice little room in your head, and what, forget any of that ever happened!? How could ANY of that be construed as a good idea by anyone, EVER?!"

She storms away from you only to pace in a tight, two meter loop as she continues to fume.

(Continued)
>>
>>3867186

"And Gina! WHAT THE FUCK, BITCH?! Some rabbit-themed motherfucker straight-up MURDERS you, uses the power of a god to try and kill your girlfriend and found family, and now, again, not TWO DAYS later, you're all set to be chummy with her again? Maybe invite her over for some of Julia's tea? I get she's trying to be nicer, and I'm sure she feels guilty about everything that happened between her and B'ni in the past and very recent present, but this is just BULLSHIT! At least Dorian's got sense enough to not welcome bunny-bitch back with open arms and legs spread wide just so B'ni can give the rest of us a swift kick in our collective vaj the next time she decides to flip shit."

Her visible limbs are smoldering a radiant white, her temper flaring as her footfalls threaten to catch the ground on fire.

"Like, seriously?! Can not one of you see that SHE. IS. PLAYING. YOU! The goddamn SECOND we let our guard down, she's gonna make a run at the Engine! And how do we know this isn't some bullshit gambit by Mother, either?! We know the alien cunt can talk to US, so why couldn't she swagger-ass on up to B'ni and try to cut another deal by playing on the fact that we're trying to be the good guys in this fleshy bullshit hell-hole?!"

She glances at your neck, suddenly storming back up as she glares at your chest with violence in her eyes.

"Are you listening to me, you shifty bitch?! I want you to hear every goddamn word of this! I want you to LISTEN to EVERY FUCKING REASON WHY YOU'RE NOT HERE AND I'M JUUUust yelling at Shu's boobs."

You give a small, stifled snort as Rath just plants her hands on her hips, throwing her head back as she sucks in a long breath, exhaling forcefully as she gathers her thoughts. After a few tense moments pass her shoulders relax, hands still on her waist as she aims her irritated citrine eyes at yours.

"Look, Shu...I get it. You're nice." She says, a hint of sadness beneath the layers of frustration. flowing off her petite frame. "You're...you're the nicest person I've ever met, and I just...I just get so fucking mad that...you'd...that someone would take advantage of that, and you'd let them! I see how far we've come, I see all the progress we've made, and...I just see us throwing that away by getting embroiled in this...this pit of drama, and paranoia, and all the godawful bullshit that comes with B'ni."

She tilts her head back again, massaging her temples as she stares at the sky.

(Continued)
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>>3867196

"I'm not...she's not hopeless, yeah? I know that. I KNOW that." She repeats, running both hands through her fiery hair. "She can get better, and I really, truly hope she does. But that's not OUR job, Shu. We're not here to play therapist to someone who needs, like, really REALLY needs help that we can't provide. Maybe after all this is over we could...fuck, I dunno. Get her a therapist that isn't a fuckin' hack? Have her go to Sociopaths Anonymous? I don't know, I don't care, and absolutely, positively NONE of that is on our shoulders, Shu. I'm...fuck man, I worried you're taking on a burden that was never yours in the first place. This fuckery between B'ni and Sam? That was THEM, that was NEVER on you. You're the best person I know, and I worry that people are going to see that, and they're going to use it to their advantage, and you and the people that...that love you, they're going to get hurt in the process."

Her tone's evened out, her initial rage simmering down to more of a freshly-forged lump of steel than the volcano it was when you first approached. Now, as Rath stares up at you, you note an undercurrent of fear woven into the deep-seated fury that emanates off her.

"I...I see this girl, this person I used to think could have been my friend, and I see how bad she's hurt us in the past. Then I see her again, and I'm...fuck it, I'm scared shitless that this time, when she fucks us over? That the third time's the charm, and I...I'll lose my family again."

Her hands shake as she reaches out, placing her incredibly warm hands on your shoulders as she stares unwaveringly into your eyes.

"I...I love you, Shu. I love Gina, Julia, Amara, Dorian, Aunt Heather, and...fuck, even the Doc's not so bad, once you get to know her." Rath says, her skin cooling. "And it's because I love this family that I'm not going to let anything hurt it...and B'ni? She can hurt us, Shu. She has before, and she will, again."

Placing your hands on hers, you softly hold her fingers in yours as you wait for her to continue.

"That's...that's it. I'm done." She sighs, arching an eyebrow at you. "I've said my peace, and...I'm still mad at you, but you heard me out so I'm gonna do the same."

So you speak, and Rath listens.

>>Respond to Rath (Write-In)

AND

>>Touch base with the Barbers, and maybe invite them back to the Dragon's Roost for a time while you and your family relax before returning to Laoc.

>>Now that you've heard Rath out and voiced your reply, only Francine remains. Go visit the Doctor, and see if you can diagnose what she's struggling with.

>>You've settled things with Dorian, Ivey, and Rath, so now it's time for the one on everyone's minds [Speak to Isabelle].

>>Write-In

YOU ARE IN CONTROL
>>
(Gentlemen, I shall be pausing here for the weekend. Thank you so very much for your patience, enthusiasm, and participation, and I look forward to continuing this Vein on Monday, October 14th at 9:00AM, Eastern time. I'll be available over the weekend to answer any questions that arise, and I'll also be posting the questions I have for the authors that are still monitoring the 31st Vein at some point tomorrow, as I also have some replies to one or two posts there as well and my open Friday evening has become considerably less so due to recent events. Thank you all again for being the best group of players I could ask for, and I truly hope that you have a marvelous weekend, one and all. Take care, Gentlemen.)
>>
>>3867215
Take care of yourself. It's a slow vein, but it's a good one now that you've taken the time to care for yourself a little bit more.
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>>3867215
Good Night OP.

I think you will be able to look forward to another chapter of Minas Journey pretty soon.
I am a bit sad about the delay on the questins but nothign i can do about that now. enjoy your evening
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>>3867215
See you Monday, BHOP. You get some rest while we come up with a response to Rath. Thanks for being a great QM.
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>>3867212
>Sigh, and nod.
>Then, bring Rath into a tight, tight hug.
>"Rath... before say anything else, i just want to you know, how proud i am of you, how much i respect your candor, how much it means to me that you would speak your mind, regardless of how i might take it."
>Pull back, looking her in the eyes as you chuckle.
>"you deserve better honestly. and i dont deserve you."
>Sigh, and let your hands fall from her shoulders.
>"But its not about me, or you. It's about what we stand for, what we allow to happen. its about what example we wish to make."
>"And me? i cant sit by, i cant stand by and let anyone, no matter how bad they are, no matter what they have done to me, or anyone i love, sit and rot in an endless nightmare, caged and suffering around my neck."
>"And... theres only three other options that leave's us."
>"Rath, i get it. i know you dont see it, but i do. I still feel anger, hatred, betrayal. all of it. i still see Ginas head lopped off her body. i still see Dorian, Julia, and Amara laying on that beach, dying slowly."
>"But i also look at Isabelle, and all i see is a tired, broken husk. one that just wants to figure out who she truly is."
>"No, Rath. this isn't our responsibility. it isn't our problem to fix her. and thats exactly why we cant ignore it, we cant look away while she sits and suffers."
>"Because if we do that, then whats the point? what makes us any different than anyone else? why did we stand and fight Yurei, if we only care about ourselves? why did we fight so hard to break the corrupted Engine? why did we burn Wests lab? why do we keep marching forward to do something about all this, if we would just leave her to rot in an endless nightmare?"
>"Im not asking you to trust Isabelle. im not asking you to forgive her. i dont. i might never. i have no reason to. But she is, yes, she IS, a victim of the crucible, just like each and every person who wanders it. and no matter what else, she doesn't deserve its uncaring hand squeezing the life out of her. no one deserves that."
>Sigh, and look about, chuckling as the tears roll down your face, as you fight back the sobs.
>"I love Gina, so, so much. When i saw her die? saw her sacrifice herself? when i heard her tremble, when i heard her think she doesn't deserve to live? to regain the life stolen from her?"
>Shake your head, and look back to Rath.
>"But im not that person Rath. i cant, i wont let myself become another Isabelle. i wont let her and Sams petty squabbles, no matter what they caused, no matter who they hurt, let me becomes nothing but an agent of vengeance. its not right. She hurt us, she hurt Gina. she hurt you, Dorian, Julia, and Amara. all the people i love. my family. But she did it out of pain. out of decades of suffering in her own right. it doesnt excuse what she did, it doesnt make me forgive her..."

(1/2)
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>>3867257
>>3867212
>"...but i know, ive seen what holding onto those emotions does to a person Rath... and i wont let it rot me, i wont let it change who i am and what i stand for. not like it did her."
>"Rath. im not doing this for her. im not doing it not understanding the risk. if she does anything, if she even so much as looks at any of you funny, you yourself wouldnt be able to stop me from putting her down like the dog she would be."
>sigh, and let all your anger and emotion fade. chuckle, and shrug.
>"But i cant ignore what i see. and i dont see the Isabelle we saw before. she isnt. shes lost, and scared, and suffering ,just like the rest of us."
>Look up to Rath, meet her eyes.
>"And if ignore that, if i dont give her her last, one fair chance... then everything ive ever stood for, everything ive made myself to be... it will all be a lie Rath. ill be a hypocrite. no better than Yurei or West."
>Stand tall, arms wide.
>"And if you cant forgive me for refusing to be that... then i understand. and ill forgive you for doing what you think is best."
>"Gina has Isabelles crystal. ill send word you're coming. i wont stand in your way. but i wont help you either, and i wont ignore what you did. If you think its best, if you cant live with her being in my head, with her trying to make up for it. then go. kill her. smash her crystal and be done with it."
>"Im tired Rath, tired of letting her pull at my emotions. im not doing this for that, for her. i know where i stand, and i have to stand firmly here. and i respect where you need to stand. but this only ends one of two ways. and as much as i love you, as much as i respect you, as much as i understand your position... i need you to understand mine."
>Smile, and lower your arms, shrugging again.
>"And i'll forgive you, no matter what you do."

>>Wait for Raths response, she deserves that, before you decide what to do next.

(2/2)
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>>3867215
this has been a fun and interesting philosophical thread BHOP, lovely as always.

i look forward to Monday, and those questions BHOP. regardless, until then, have a wonderful afternoon, and rest of your weekend for your other activities.
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>>3867262
>>3867257

Goddammit. I want to get emotionally invested into making my own write-in but the combination of my work schedule giving me the emotional disconnect of missing out on the posts on top of being exhausting and the quality of your vote just resulted in you practically ripping the words right out of my mouth.

The only point of contention I'm having is letting Rath have the agency to go up and permakill Isabelle. I get the point that you're trying to make, I fully understand Rath's concerns, and I understand what you've written fully fits with the principles (everyone gets to have a choice of agency) that we've stood by throughout the entire quest, but at the same time the final part of your write-in feels like you're implying for Rath to kill Isabelle anyways which doesn't sit well with me.

It makes my stomach churn, yet I know it's the right decision. Yet I worry that Rath will succumb to her baser instincts born of anger, worry, and love, and kill Isabelle. It would've made all of the efforts of talking with our respective parties feel...wasted.

I'm conflicted anon. It just feels weird to give agency over a character's fate to another character.
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>>3867304
its not a 'go kill isabelle', its a 'if you can hear all this and still do it, then im not going to fight you to the death over it' situation. it fits with the rest perfectly well i think. the entire stance is not all, but majorly in part saying 'im not gonna let my emotions or how Isabelle effects them make me forget what i stand for and control me' and that part is asking Rath in response, 'can you?' without outright being accusatory to her that such a thing is happening.

i get the worry, but i think its something Shu would do IC, and its no different then the risks we take letting our family do anything without Shu(us) there to decide things. id be disappointed too, and in Rath, if she went and killed Isabelle too, but I also feel its a point we have to make saying this and giving her the choice is the best way to hammer home our point and see if she even will listen. because id argue if Rath does go do it, then its indicative of a bigger problem, but we would want to know about. it just what felt natural writing all that out, and just felt like the best way to make our point.

i suppose it comes down to this really, do you think Shu should be willing to physically fight Rath potentially over the morals shes taking a firm stance on here? because while I can see the argument either direction and am willing to listen to both, id at least say first theres a difference between Shu standing with those Morals to give Isabelle a chance, and Coming to blow with Rath over them. and i am personally actually unsure if not coming to blows with Rath would be breaking them honestly.
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>>3867322

Yeah...You're right about that. And I can see the difference in the actions...Coming to blows with Rath would make Shu a hypocrite in a sense. For Shu to say her piece yet stop Rath from doing what the latter thinks best is taking away agency and more or less starting the slow descent into hypocrisy and villainy.

It would've meant that Shu would've started discriminating and become picky, which culminates into becoming someone no better than all the other previous Crucible winners.

It would also meant that Shu would allow the past to control her in a sense that her attachment to Isabelle would take priority even though She already swore to cutting ties with Isabelle at the time of Isabelle's death in Almath.

It's a very painful decision to me. But it's one that has to be made.
>>3867212
I'll support your vote
>>3867262
>>3867257


>>3867262
The only thing that I would like to add is this:

>If Rath's answer to your response is to execute Isabelle, don't look away from the execution. Even if you cry in the end, don't look away. Afterwards... find a homely place to give Isabelle's remains a proper burial, she deserves that much at least. Then quietly grieve for the girl who was pivotal to your early life in the Crucible, grieve for the things left unsaid, the "what-could-have-beens", and the loss of someone who was once a dear friend to you.

Goddammit. writing that out makes me cry. As controversial as Isabelle is in this quest for all the bad things she's done out of pain and misery, she's an endearing character with her strong points and her fatal flaws. Executing Isabelle prior to this I could understand because we thought it would be final. But the possibility of this hypothetical execution...There's no way around it.
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>>3867390
yeah, as you said, thats part of the issue too. we said our piece, stood by our decision to give Isabelle another chance, and made it very clear why we think its important to do and hypocritical not to... but we also cant stand in her way and prove her right and ourselves wrong, about us wanting to be detached from Isabelle. If Rath makes the wrong choice, as i said, we wont ignore that, and we'll have some clear issues to work out with her but... that would only mean those were issues we may of already had that needed to come to light.

Its Rath that cant let go of her, oddly enough Rath is being as Isabelle was over us. but thats Raths cycle of Violence to continue or end, not ours. and i think we would be doing Rath a disservice not to let her have her chance here.
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>>3867406
Having Vitruvian Corruption is suffering it seems when you think about it.

If you count Hybridization, Rath's Core ability Tensile Strands (Vitruvian) is technically at lvl 9, which means that the mental corruption that has accumulated in Rath (which is her inability to control her temper) is near the half-way point. If you haven't noticed, Rath's first response to anything unpleasant is to become riled up into a burning rage.

Isabelle's Corruption was to double down on her decisions and let her obsession (Shu as a waifu reserved for her and her only) rule her mind

Yurei's Corruption (Unyielding Spirit) was to be uncompromising as all hell by stonewalling and being emotionally cold and distant.
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>>3867451
yeah, mental corruption is so much worse then physical. yet, and of course this is the point id imagine, it fits with the personalities of Vitruvians and why they become Vitruvians. the Mental Corruptions not working off something new it made, its working off their pre-existing stubbornness and issues. BHOPs actually done a really good job of showing that actually.

and its disturbing how much i understand such characters, even if i dont agree with them, as im probably without a doubt in the same category as them.
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>>3867451
Yeah. The theme of Vitruvians seems to be that they possess an unbending nature. Like the Crucible's seen how they're so unwilling to mutate and become weird monsters like all the other Daughters that it's decided "fine, okay, your mutation is going to be that you're unwilling to change, how do you like that?". I think that's the mental criteria that gets you assigned to Vitruvian, a certain set mentality that refuses to shift, and then the corruption makes that so much worse. Isabel couldn't escape from her obsession with Sam, Yurei couldn't escape from her fixation on saving everyone, Rath can't let go of her anger. We can only hope that this is something that can be combated, that between Rath's Core being hybridized and her having a good support structure of family and friends to help her adjust she won't get too crazy. Because if she's going to be like Isabel or Yurei and require dying to have some sense knocked into her, then that's not a good scene.
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>>3867451
>>3867483
actually, how does corruption work with Hybrids? i could've sworn BHOP said most corruption doesn't start til level 10, and Hybrids reset that aswell as their level. so unless Vitruvians Corruption just sets in from level 1 unlike most others, Rath should just be running on her own anger here, not corruption. which, if this is her without it...
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>>3867467
>>3867483
Do you know what's even more worrying? From what I've observed so far, the apparent trends in corruption that could be boiled down into two categories:

>Inhuman in form, Human in mind
and
>Human in form, Inhuman in mind

Please note that some of these are speculation

And the following core classes could probably be categorized as such:

For the classes that are Inhuman in form, but Human in mind:
>Hive Mistress
Physical mutation of spawning constructs
>Calcite Armory
Physical mutation of the skeletal structure
>Fibromancer
Physical mutation of the Muscular system
>Generator
Physical mutation of the Glands
>Gluttonous
Physical mutation of the Digestive System
>Flesh Artisan
Physical mutation of the Dermis and soft tissue
>Humoral Paladin
Physical mutation of the Blood
>Unnatural Predator
Physical mutation of Species

For the classes that are Human in form, Inhuman in mind
>Phantasmal Conduits
Mental Mutation of the Emotions
>Vitruvians
Mental mutation of Vices
>Neuromancers
>Mental Mutation of the Mind
>Skintalkers
Mental Mutation of Instinct and awareness of the World in general.

>>3867497
I wouldn't say the Vitruvian corruption has completely settled in for Rath because of what the stats say, but I would like to point out that much of her life in the crucible in the past week has been emotionally draining. She lost her family from the Crucible, then found a semblance of a family, then nearly lost it again. The whole experience has made her very twitchy and paranoid.

I think for this up coming level up feast, we should leave Rath's core alone so Rath could spend some time to get her emotions settled down and back in order while we bring her other abilities up to speed. That way Rath can get her emotions in better check.
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>>3867505
Rath sorta doesn't have anything else to level as a focus though. actually, technically she has nothing. all her abilities now are just enhancements or passive tools, all her actual utility and 'weapons' are locked into her Core.

it works, it works really well so far actually but... also now that i think about it doesn't feel a bit weird and maybe a bit iffy. the problem still is this leaves not leveling up her Core not something i can support, as its simply still too integral to her fighting style.

also you're list has Neuromancers in the wrong section. Neuromancers have always been seen to give physical corruption, actually many give it really early on too, oddly enough. i personally think this makes sense, as Neuromancy would require one to be sound of mind or at least in control of their mind in a good way to even gain it in the first place, so mental corruption doesn't make sense for them to get.

regardless though, theres clear and heavy evidence Neuromancers are physical mutators, not mental.
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>>3867497
Well, BHOP's told us that the Crucible has a pre-set plan for a Daughter's corruption, and that any skill she acquires will have the mutation it creates adjusted to fit that plan. Like, Mara was always going to be a dragon. She might have gotten a different aesthetic depending on what skills she got, but she was always going to be some sort of dragon. So if the Crucible has decided that Rath's going to be a rage monster, then it will probably keep to the mental corruption even with her Core being hybridized.

But yeah, I think you're probably right that this is just Rath being angry on her own. This is her base personality, no need for alien brain-meddling influencing her. Which is a good thing, because it makes us more likely to talk her down.

>>3867505
I don't we've seen enough corruption to say if this theory is right or wrong, but I will note that Neuromancy causes physical corruption. West Prime has a translucent body (as of the last entry in her journal we've read, she's probably a jellyfish-monster now), and Gina has glowing circuitry-pattern tattoos. Oh, and Ceres had the cracked-open head.

>I think for this up coming level up feast, we should leave Rath's core alone so Rath could spend some time to get her emotions settled down and back in order while we bring her other abilities up to speed. That way Rath can get her emotions in better check.
We have seen that mental state influences how a skill levels. There are a number of entries on the character sheets about a character taking influence from another, or a change in values affecting a skill, or what not. Leveling a skill that may cause mental corruption when you're already angry probably isn't a great idea. Let's put her levels into Alabaster Endoskeleton, Unrelenting Cold, and Calcite Halo. Not a bad move, anyway, Rath can always use more defense.
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>>3867505
>>3867526
Generators are also an odd one, as from what i can tell, its less direct corruption, so much as simply 'losing control' of the ability, such as our good friend 'the ball of arms'.

mind you, this is a hard thing to pin down, as its heavily implied physical mutations are supposed to all be physically shown, so its hard to guess how they are supposed to appear. Fibromancers for instance, i simply cant see them being mental corruptors, hell its a thing where it was implied Vitruvian is one of if not the only class to have it, but how does Fibormancer start to show? muscles so strong they start to break the skin? id imagine Raths Phantom limbs long term would've made her whole body start to look all spooky with glowing white blood, but i also feel like thats not the best example.

>>3867535
no, he didnt say a daughter has a pre-set plan. he said it like to consolidate corruption into a recognizable form if it can. thats very different however. Mara was not always going to be a dragon, its just what her abilities were able to best consolidate into, but different abilities could've easily made her something entirely different.
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>>3867551
>no, he didnt say a daughter has a pre-set plan. he said it like to consolidate corruption into a recognizable form if it can. thats very different however. Mara was not always going to be a dragon, its just what her abilities were able to best consolidate into, but different abilities could've easily made her something entirely different.
I'm looking back and it seems I am misremembering and you're correct. That said, I'd think that the Crucible has to have some sort of plan in mind, or else it doesn't have a cohesive form to build to. It might not make such a plan immediately, but I think it has to develop it at some point. And the later it develops the plan, the less it can fit a Daughter to it, because they may already have mutations inappropriate to the idea. Unless it can just alter the mutations, retroactively change what corruption any given skill gives. But if it doesn't, then the plan would have to be set pretty early.
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>>3867526
>>3867535
Fair point on Neuromancers, Gina's got Tron-line tattoos which is miles better than Peeling one's own skin off to expose the nerve lines.

As for Rath's abilities, we do have a few ability trees that we could level up.
>Unrelenting Cold
>Erupting Grasp
>Alabaster EndoSkeleton
>ForgeMistress Fingers
>Neurotic halo

Do you think we should swap out Neurotic Halo for the Calcite Halo? I won't lie, the fact that Neurotic Halo gives Rath Immunity to mild Neuromancy bullshit with Isolation mode has worked wonders in some occasions like against Yurei. Otherwise, we would have to deal with Yurei's Illusion bullshit instead of cutting right to the chase.

>>3867551
Also, I just realized that it's the 4th time it's been mentioned that Isabelle has lost a set of clothes from battle (she lost it from having one of her bodies be destroyed by November's Autumn Protocol). Poor girl can't catch a break.

>Bhop saying that corruption tends to create a totemic form.

oh. didn't we have this discussion before where we speculated on the totemic forms that our family would take upon hitting endgame level of corruption?

Current speculations:
>Shu: Queen Bee, or Hexane Human 2.0
>Gina: Tron lady with glowing tattoos
>Rath: Fiery Star girl.
>Julia: Badger Monk/Wolverine
>Dorian: Dracula but as The Flash, with Lightning
>Amara: Samurai-Ninja Cat girl spellcaster
>November: Already a Machine Space Marine
>Francine: ???
Francine's probably the latest member in our family where she doesn't have a cohesive totemic form given the fact that she's relatively low leveled.
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>>3867580
>Do you think we should swap out Neurotic Halo for the Calcite Halo? I won't lie, the fact that Neurotic Halo gives Rath Immunity to mild Neuromancy bullshit with Isolation mode has worked wonders in some occasions like against Yurei. Otherwise, we would have to deal with Yurei's Illusion bullshit instead of cutting right to the chase.
Not swap out, but stop leveling. Neurotic Halo doesn't do much for Rath, there's not much point in raising it past level two, but I see no reason to get rid of what she already has. Keep it, those abilities are good, just not worth pursuing any further since she doesn't use Neuromancy.

>Francine's probably the latest member in our family where she doesn't have a cohesive totemic form given the fact that she's relatively low leveled.
Maybe a spider, with the threads and the good eyesight (well, the glasses give the eyesight, but still).
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>>3867580
you seem to be ignoring what i said entirely on Raths abilities.

id have to see the Calcite Halos actual description to properly decide.

>Isabelle and clothing
yeah she was wearing nothing but Francine's doctors jacket. im beginning to think BHOP has a certain kink.

>Corruption Final Forms
we have talked about it before a bit yes. im running out of steam for the night though, so all i can think to say is we kinda need to know more about how certain classes do Corruption a bit to really figure it out. us having highly controllable or level 0 starting corruption abilities has left our info here very lacking. maybe we can hound Francine for some more info... wait, that actually sounds like a fun bonding experience and way to get her more engaged with the family.

have her play 'guess our corruption final forms' with everyone. including November, just to see the looks in both their faces as Shu(or maybe Gina) dead seriously asks her where she thinks Novembers will go. the look will be priceless.

>>3867586
i still really want to know how much the Halos edit themselves to the user though, is my thing. BHOP said it only starts at level 4-5, and we haven't done more than that on a non-Neuromancer, so for all we know it edits itself enough to still be spectacular on even non Neuromancers. im against not checking that out and finding out how that works.
>>
>>3867599
fuck me, LEVEL 10 starting corruption abilities. yeah i may need to continue this tomorrow....
>>
>>3867599
>i still really want to know how much the Halos edit themselves to the user though, is my thing. BHOP said it only starts at level 4-5, and we haven't done more than that on a non-Neuromancer, so for all we know it edits itself enough to still be spectacular on even non Neuromancers. im against not checking that out and finding out how that works.
Maybe, but it's definitely something of lesser priority to me than pretty much everything else Rath has. We know those are going to be worthwhile investments, we don't know if Rath is going to get anything useful to her from Neurotic Halo. I'd be willing to put a point or two into it every so often, but I can't see it ever being a focus like her other skills.
>>
>>3867637
that might be too slow for me personally. i dunno, maybe Francine again can enlighten us on the topic, though maybe not as the Halos were one of the few places West was lacking on a bit.

...i just thought of another fun and also kinda dickish thing we can do with Francine. lets team her up with Amara and her Skinternet and have them compare notes and talk these things out with us. im sure theres some scientific study notes on there for Amara to read, but she will interpret and read them Amara style, even if she somehow actually fully understands them, and im not sure Francine could properly deal with that without a few bottles of scotch or vodka.

>>3867257
>>3867262
also, something im thinking of adding, but am unsure about(or even where i would), is the fact that Rath probably wouldn't want to admit it, which is we all already have people in our heads we have forgiven who have done things just as bad or even maybe worse than Isabelle ever did. the only difference is Isabelle did it to us, and at times maybe was more competent at doing it. but as much as some might not like to admit it, her doing it to us doesn't make it any better or worse morally then other things we have possibly forgiven.

Meg listened to West and used the Corrupted Engine, which was clearly much worse for Daughters then just getting killed and consumed. much worse. Bella tried to eat someone while still alive, and regardless of reasons and how it turned out, thats just not right. Eloise was in her right mind and tried to kill us anyways, same with Meg, who did it for even less of a reason then most. Penny and Sarah ambushed us and tried to kill us all too. and this is just what we know they did, not what they did to get to the point we fought them. sure i see the argument not all of them are actually worse, but the point is, are you so sure none of them wouldn't of jumped at a chance to get Mothers direct help? im not. and besides maybe Isabelle being more competent, thats perhaps the only worse thing she may of done.

even her betrayal, which i still think it was, was her peacefully leaving our group, which again, as much as we may not like to admit to, is a group she never wanted formed and we never asked or got her consent to form. the real betrayal was coming back and targeting Gina, but even that had other personal goal reasons behind it, and had pre-crucible history behind it. again, not saying none of this makes what shes done ok or forgivable, only she actually really isnt that much worse than some others, except for the fact her actions personally affected us. and while that does matter, when it comes to morally giving her a chance, it kinda doesn't. we've 'berated' people who did things due to hunger madness more than we have some who actively sought to do terrible things. our stance to not give a girl the same chance as we have others is at least not on the most solid of ground here, i guess is all im saying.
>>
>>3868114
>Meg listened to West and used the Corrupted Engine, which was clearly much worse for Daughters then just getting killed and consumed. much worse.
You mean Johanna. Meg's the girl who had the Neurotic Halo. Johanna's the Gluttonous one who spouted the God philosophy while using the Corrupted Engine.
>>
>>3868144
yes, i did mean and know that. a mistype, im not gonna always catch all of them.
>>
>>3863033
Sauce for art?
>>
>>3867526
Have we tried finding a different ability to compliment her fighting style besides passives and augments?
>>
>>3868427
not really, as the base abilities that went into her Hybrid Core have so far worked superbly well. they just cant be leveled anymore, so any possible further variety or uses from them is stagnant, aswell as that means our only option so far (and currently still is) is to upgrade Ignition as its the core building block for those stagnant abilities getting better.

we also id argue haven't really seen anything wholly worth adding to her list for the purpose of a new weapon/tool, but then again its not really been a discussed potential issue til now for anyone, so we may of just never looked closely for one.

personally, i feel like fearing corruption, even mental corruption, will simply scare us off way too many abilities and halt progress too much, and not just for Rath. we also have no idea how Hybrid corruption works in this situation. sure, with all mental or all physical, you can ascertain its just a new ability that will have a new corruption ascetic, but how does a mixed one work? it at the very least id assume is still a new thread and would have a new mental effect, but that is only if it still has it at all.


also just to broach the subject, but where is Yurei going? auto into Shu's head for thematic and safety reasons, or base it solely on the ability/stats if we melt it down?
>>
>>3868212
https://www.deviantart.com/julian-faylona/art/Procession-804854369
>>
>>3868427
I'm not really sure Rath needs it. She's got a pretty potent Core, components to the hybrid that are very effective even at their locked low level, and some good secondary skills. I think Unrelenting Cold and Erupting Grasp should get very strong as they level. Especially if Rath gets the Kinetic Remnant's ability to grow by absorbing thermal energy, I can see all sorts of tricks to play combining that with her own heat output.

Plus, I just don't think we've seen anything that looks super great to pair with her existing fighting style that isn't a passive aura like Unrelenting Cold. What would Rath really need? I guess just offensive options that don't require Rath to spend Health to activate them. If we see something good, I guess we could consider taking it.

>>3868442
>also just to broach the subject, but where is Yurei going? auto into Shu's head for thematic and safety reasons, or base it solely on the ability/stats if we melt it down?
Probably into Shu, but maybe into Francine. Francine did well with the super-Judo when she was borrowing it, I could see that being a dedicated part of her arsenal. Problem is that we then run the risk of making Francine our dedicated crazy person repository. Would having Yurei around be good for Francine's mental health? Not sure, but I think the answer is probably no.
>>
>>3868502
well, IS lepisma crazy? we really dont know. she just had high levels f corruption and didn't talk, but she was actually very clearly not hunger mad, and was very intelligent. for all we know shes a sane, calm grandma in there. we really need to see i guess. or ask BHOP.
>>
(Good Afternoon Gentlemen, and I hope you're doing well! I've posed a few more questions in the previous Vein for your perusal, and I have some more coming that I realized rather belatedly into my three pages of shotgun questioning would be better served as follow-up to your answers, as I was getting too ahead of myself in my line of interrogation. I'm intrigued to hear your replies, and I have follow-up questions from there.)

>>3868488
>>3868490

(Now, from this Vein;)

>>3867535
>>3867551
>>3867572

(Regarding the Crucible and pre-set plans; while it doesn't necessarily shoehorn Daughters into a particular powerset, it will tailor their possible abilities to reflect one of the major issues they're dealing with, albeit a character flaw that it chooses to highlight or a manifestation of their inner struggles.)

(For example, though I may have touched on this before, your own possible abilities all would have reflected some facet of Sam's Pre-Crucible aspects, and the slow reveal of Sam's misdeeds would have been tinged by your own selection. Trypophylic Hive, for her own desire to be master of those around her and her resentment at having little control. Epidermal Rogue, for how she hides her true nature and her own lackluster communication and openness. The Calcite Armorer powerset would have highlighted more of how she shifted herself to adapt to the situation at hand to gain the upper hand, and its defensive bent would have also depicted her own resistance to change and growth. Finally and most uncomfortably, the Fibromancer set would have focused more on raw, unrelenting strength, and would have focused on her own predatory nature towards B'ni that...would have been difficult to write without delving into some topics that *nobody* would have been comfortable with, in retrospect.)

(Glad you didn't pick that one, myself.)

(To conclude, all of the currently playable Daughters went through several different iterations of classes before I settled on theirs, but other power sets would have also been valid in revealing aspects of their personalities that could have promoted growth and examination. I also have to admit most of the main cast is fairly transparent, if primarily to offer a baseline lens through which to view some of the more problematic and opaque allies and enemies you'll encounter, like Yurei's main weapon being a Phantasmal Conduit's, while her Core was Vitruvian, as both her starting classes and supporting powers spoke to things she was dealing with and her own philosophies.)
>>
>>3868511
Didn't we get the sense through our Jackling that Lepisma was curious to the point of sociopathy, kind of like West Prime? Something about how eager she was to take us apart and see how we made the Jackling.
>>
>>3868512
expect another big response from me soon in the other thread BHOP.

>the Fibromancer set would have focused more on raw, unrelenting strength, and would have focused on her own predatory nature towards B'ni that...would have been difficult to write without delving into some topics that *nobody* would have been comfortable with, in retrospect.
im.. morbidly curious what you mean by this, though dont expect you to go into anymore detail than you are comfortable with.

>Regarding the Crucible and pre-set plans; while it doesn't necessarily shoehorn Daughters into a particular powerset, it will tailor their possible abilities to reflect one of the major issues they're dealing with, albeit a character flaw that it chooses to highlight or a manifestation of their inner struggles.
speaking of, have people been correct in out observations it feels like using Artisenal Appetites over the random selection has made the possible choices not bend to who is possibly taking them?

otherwise, you have done a superb job making personal Cores reflect their user, truly.

>>3868527
maybe a bit? i dont remember it being that bad though. i think we got that over the swarmling yes, but i dont think we ever got it to mentally unstable levels when she met us, only more the fact she thought that way at all about us was unnerving, but that in and of itself is far from a sign of insanity or even malice.
>>
>>3868512
>like Yurei's main weapon being a Phantasmal Conduit's, while her Core was Vitruvian, as both her starting classes and supporting powers spoke to things she was dealing with and her own philosophies.)
Yeah, Yurei was neat. I was so certain that she would be a Core Phantasmal, if only because that was such a focus of hers, but once we got to see her psychology more it made perfect sense that she was a Vitruvian. You do a good job of tying the Cores to character traits. While I don't think that we'll ever be able to predict Cores with complete accuracy (because, as you said, there are usually multiple character traits a Core could be based off of), it always fits in hindsight. You have made NP-complete thematic powers.
>>
>>3867212
> Regarding the Vote, Write-in as in:
>>3867257
>>3867262
AND
> Now that you've heard Rath out and voiced your reply, only Francine remains. Go visit the Doctor, and see if you can diagnose what she's struggling with.

I have to say that i DON¨t support the execution offer on Isabelle, and I am frontally opposed. But I have to say that Rath and Dorian have VERY valid points, and that mayyybe B´ni should be offred the Relic or Dreamspace daughter in our head to make her testing run and prove her willingness and how well-adjusted she is, before an Spiritus. I supported to save her, and it is good to have her alive, but the strife she is inciting within our family is not worth it. I would rather have her undergoing therapy in the friendly, cozy dream daughter space, and having our other dream daughters evaluate her mental health, that having her in running around in the flesh all of a sudden.
>>
>>3869092
Isabelle also detracts from the focus I wanted to devote to our current family. Francine´s situation is far more problematic than Isabelle´s (she is firmly commiitng to suicide, for Christ sake!), yet ANOTHER problem is detracting from the time we want to devote her.
While i really LIKED Isabelle, I don´t want her to hog the time we could invest dealing with Rath or Francine.

I really want to devote some good time to Rath. We knew she had a REALLY harsh trauma coming from her sister´s suicide, and November´s mind contained so much suffering that she wanted to commit suicide through upload.
So I just really want to devote time to our "trauma triangle": Francine > Rath > November, in order of urgency.
>>
>>3869092
im still against talking to Francine this early, and if you insist then i suppose ill have to go add to my vote a contingency to avoid that.

we had a pretty lengthy discussion already on why we even put the offer to Rath in the first place, so theres nothing i can say that wouldn't just be said better if you went back and read those posts.

Isabelle cannot becomes a Spiritus without becoming a Dream Daughter first and as far as BHOP has made it sound, being in a Spiritus is and can easily be a temporary measure only done when we expect to need them out, so its a step up process naturally no matter what and we would have fully control over when and how long she is out. i mean, its not like we just constantly have Holly and Johanna out, despite them being willing. albeit we kinda should've had at least one of them premade before going to Yurei, but it is what it is.

>>3869109
not really. if anything, showing Isabelle a bit of compassion despite everything she has done can easily be used to help Francine come to terms with giving herself a chance despite spawning from West. another good reason to add to the already mentioned reasons in previous posts as to wait to talk to her about it, so we have more ammunition for reasons she shouldn't be so hard on herself.

i also disagree November needs that much attention. her entire arc of NOT being a DO is literally her coming to terms with living with those emotions, and she has already shown to have accepted them and moved beyond them in our previous conversations. Novembers arc, at least in those respects, has already canonly been shown to be done, she literally wouldn't be here right now if it hadn't been.
>>
>>3869092
I personally agree. I don't have any plans to use Isabel as a Spiritus any time soon. For one thing, we still need to level that skill some before I'm comfortable with it. But even if it was combat-ready right now, I'd still prioritize pretty much every other Daughter we have before Isabel. I'd like to make her a Dream Daughter, give her the ability to interact instead of slowly going crazy inside the crystal, but we're definitely not making her physical unless we don't have any better option.

>>3869109
Also very true. We've got enough trauma to deal with from our living friends, Isabel. We might check in on you every once in a while, we do with all our Dream Daughters, but most of any therapy you get is going to come from other ghosts. I recommend Johanna, I actually think she'd be very helpful in dealing with your issues.


>>3869120
On this, though, I agree that Francine probably needs a bit more time to percolate before we address her issues. She's been with the party for about eight hours, she's not going to be able to open up super well to us. I think she may also need some time to process Yurei's situation, too. I feel like Francine is backsliding in how cold she is because of seeing Yurei's mind. Yurei and West both have an issue with ends justifying the means, seeing how far gone Yurei went is probably reinforcing the idea in Francine's head that all Wests need to be destroyed to prevent them becoming like that. I think that giving her a bit to see us show compassion to those who were once our enemies will help shift her thinking away from that. Get her considering that okay, sure, she may be predisposed to monstrosity but that doesn't mean she isn't worthy of consideration and care.
>>
>>3869134
yeah i think this is another issue of OOC time VS IC time. like, has Francine even been with us a single DAY? she hasn't even been with us a single night, im not even sure shes been with us long enough to have her own room(though, we did send word ahead on that, but unsure if it actually got made).

even taking OOC time into consideration, this is really the only major event she's done with the family. while im sure all that time info collecting was fine bonding, its still hardly the type of thing to change ones mind on such a major factor of their thought or form strong bonds. even OOC it feels like she really hasn't been here that long or done much, and when it doesn't even feel that way OOC then it certainly hasn't been long IC, given the oddity of time in this quest.
>>
>>3868512
Hi bhop. I just got back from work so I'll transplant the questions from the previous vein to this vein.

>LUNA

>(Do you see Luna traveling alone for the duration of the Crucible, or have you come up with other characters you'd like to explore? I know that in my own narrative I have a great many characters that are more interesting to explore with solo playthroughs, while others like the Barbers and the Midnight Crew are more enjoyable as a unit. Do you have other characters you've been working on that you'd like to explore?)

Luna came off to me as more of a whimsical yet dangerous force of nature due to her preset madness gimmick and exploring that sort of madness feels wrong in taking the mystery out of the mystery moon rabbit, but at the same time she best shows off when there's something to bounce that madness off of.

As for the other characters, I've been working on The "Man Hunters" whose origins of their founding will be shown in the story that I'm currently working on.

>(Sort of an open question for everyone; what aspects of the Crucible do you most enjoy exploring in your own writings? It should be pretty obvious by now that I enjoy writing domestic scenes, exploration of the strange and/or bizarre, and vicious combat, but what other aspects of the Crucible or the world in general are you looking forward to exploring with your narrative and characters? I don't necessarily mean physical locations [though that's certainly an excellent avenue, as Journeys shows quite well with the view of Europe and how it's changed due to the Crucible's influence], but I mean more with characters and people. For example, I know there are different organizations that are beginning to rear their heads in at least two works that have been shared here, so what else do you plan to or look forward to highlighting in your narrative?)

The aspects of the crucible that I'm beginning to enjoy in my writings is just creating the colorful cast of Women (and men) with their own unique issues and just putting them together in unusual circumstances and seeing them bounce off of each other naturally, each with inane reasons and powersets. Human society still functions in this crucible, so I wanted to write stories of how different aspects of human society (Like brothels and the bounty hunting guilds) would function as if the Pendulum Guillotine Scythe of the Hunger never existed.

>>3869154
>>3869134
>>3869109

>Issues with Isabelle and Francine needing more time to get themselves settled.
the Time Dilation between IC time and OOC time is really screwing with us.

I think we should start taking things more slowly for this arc. When I mean slowly, I mean do at least one major activity for the day and then spend the rest of the day relaxing.
>>
>>3869196
it would probably flow better to keep those questions in the other Vein, as BHOP and others did.

>I think we should start taking things more slowly for this arc. When I mean slowly, I mean do at least one major activity for the day and then spend the rest of the day relaxing.
thats not really entirely in our control id argue. like, we really didnt exactly expect a fight with Yurei and ending one of the major factions of the area afterall, as example. i think what matters more personally, is that the flow of the actual quest feels right, and so far for me at least it has been very good in that regard, and so i dont see any actual need to change that or ruin it trying to shoehorn in unnatural constrictions or anything.
>>
oh wait, damn it all. Julia and Gemma. thats way too damn important not to do in all this mess, even if its a bit disconnected from the whole. i guess it can wait til we head back home after/to consume Yurei's remains, but i certainly want to get that dealt with before we party,sleep, and/or relax.

eh, hell with it, actually...

>>3867262
>>3867257
>>3867212
adding;
>If whatever Rath has to say or does doesn't require anything else much from us, then Head to Julia. its a bit off the path of the current atmosphere, but you should see how she's dealing with Gemma, emotionally and literally, before that becomes an even bigger issue.
>>
>>3870247
We should touch base with all of our Dream Daughters real quick, I think. They just went through a somewhat traumatic experience, being drawn out of our dreamscapes by force and compelled to fight us. Check in on all of them, make sure they're alright and there were no lasting effects, and then address the issue of Gemma.
>>
>>3870257
yeah, thats a good point. a good few i think can brush it off as "eh, i hate it but thats the nature of the fleshscape", while others i can see... not taking that ordeal well at all. oof, yeah Uzu might uhh, might not be in the best of shape right now. i cant imagine the Soroitas would be ok with it either. Holly too actually, by a mix of it probably being like the hunger, and her natural want to help people being crushed.

yeah... again, you make a good point...
>>
>>3870263
Bella, too, after her experience with the parasitic Neuromancer she ate I doubt she'd be happy with something taking control of her. Mulvath might have similar issues to Holly's, if I remember right they went crazy (though not sure if it was the Hunger or just hunger, the description was about them getting overwhelmed by the experience of eating) and had to be put down by the other Ascendants. And Silvis will probably be feeling shitty because they've got a "decent bloke"-type personality and will be guilty they punched a kid.
>>
>>3870280
yeah. its ok though, im sure Amara will forgive Silvis with hugs, whether he wants her to or not.
>>
>>CHAIR; this oddly off putting relic looks and feels exactly like an ordinary, plain wooden chair, a sight that shouldnt draw any looks or odd feelings. That is, until one remembers such a device should no longer exist in the crucible, certainly not one of such an organic composition. The device has a simple, and mostly obvious use. One sits down in it, and relaxes. What one might not expect however, is the chairs deeply Phantasmal nature, drawing upon all of one's good, calm, and relaxing thoughts to build an illusion around the chair of the sitters perfect environment for relaxation and thinking. While sitting in the chair, one's mind is able to safely work at an extremely heightened speed and depth, or perhaps, this is just a side effect of the fact time moves 100x slower within the illusion of the chair than what is truly happening in reality, giving one plenty of time to think. But one should be wary, as long bouts of chair sitting has been known to have the illusion start to… glitch, splinter, and show things that none can describe, as if something incomprehensible was trying to make it way through… or so, the half remembered ramblings of those who have fallen off with a start have said, though such supposed happenings always leave ones memories too scattered to properly piece together any solid evidence. Regardless, such a possible break from ones worries without actually wasting any time is a sought after and valued asset for more than a handful of weary daughters.

chair.
>>
>>3870525
...Chair can't be complete without a Daughter that channels Jackie Chan using it.
>>
>>3870531
what, does she bash people over the head with it til they feel its relaxing properties in their broken bones?
"You!" *smash* "Will!" *Smash* "RELAX!" *smash*
>>
>>3870540
It fits for a Jackie Chan movie. I can totally see that scene happening.

Speaking of Relics, one that I thought up for November's new bonus slot. Might not be the best in all situations, the ability to double up on armors or the like might be really strong, but I think it would give her a lot of versatility.

>>KIMOTA AMEMBO: A band of yellow leather with a jagged red buckle of Calcite, the Kimota Amembo is the perfect storage system for the Daughter on the go. By attuning to the Amembo, a Daughter may spend 1 ACT to place a Relic into storage within the belt, vanished away to whatever extradimensional space a Daughter's body stores its biomass. Retrieving a Relic, however, may be done freely, though only a single Relic may be withdrawn this way per round. (Any Slot: Double number of storage spaces. As a free action, though only once per round, November may store away any of her slot-equipped Relics of her choice, immediately followed by withdrawing up to as many Relics as she has slots available to instantly equip).

Could give her some potent capabilities if we ever get enough Relics that November could rapidly switch between loadouts. Give her one for defense, one for sniping, one for mobility, etc. We don't have enough Relics for that yet, but maybe someday.
>>
>>3870540
>>3870571

More like abuse the relaxing properties to appear as unflappable as possible while abusing the mental boost of increased perception and processing speed to plan out the fighting choreography. While hitting people with the chair and fighting using the chair as a weapon.

Videos related is a good example of chair-fu.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AGG9E_VGacg
>>
>>3870575
ah, so i see. now im just imaging the hilarious image though of a daughter that just carried a chair around with her wherever she goes.
"No, trust me, once we find a fight, it'll all make perfect sense!"
>>
>>3870571
Is that Doraemon's Interdimensional pocket?
>>
>>3870580
Not where my mind was going, but I see the resemblance.
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>>3870571
think it would be more balanced and make more sense for it to only work on whatever slot its put into, allowing it alone to switch.
>>
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>>3870247
Really late but it feels jarring to not talk to Isabelle about this after seeing to Rath's answer if Isabelle lives because we just got done with talking to the dissenters and those who don't approve of Isabelle. It wouldn't feel right to ignore Isabelle and not establish the ground rules for Isabelle.

>>3870293
>>3870280
More good points, but touching base with all of them right in the middle of a ruined mansion where we fought Yurei? Can we find a more secure place to do that? We could do that at home at the Dragon's Roost and reunite with the Amara clone that has Escher's Gear (aka our personal teleporter relic) so we can all plan to go to Laoc and relax. And what do we do with the Barbers? It's clear that they're one of the groups who basically are part of the Defiant fanclub.

>>3870627
Also, I found a good baseline example of what Carter would look like and edited in a photo editor. Pic related is the final result.

Do you approve?
>>
(I hope you've had a good weekend, Gentlemen. Posting shall resume in approximately ten hours, and I look forward to seeing you there!)

>>3868548
(If I can remember to, I'll go into more depth on that point at the end of the Vein.)
>>
>>3868512
>>3870627
To both Bhop and the anon who created Carter:

Would Charon introduce themselves as the name Shu gave them (basically telling daughters that their name is now Charon)?

Would Carter learn of Charon's name?
>>
>>3870525
(...chair.)

(I like it.)
>>
>>3871245
(Charon would introduce themself as 'Charon', yes.)
>>
>>3871244
You mentioned that you had more questions. Are those additional Questions still coming or are they out of the picture by now? Or will you post them at the End of this Vein?
>>
>>3871291
those were the questions for the authors he posted in the previous Vein, as he linked to.

>>3871245
Carter would learn Charons name yes. or well, be willing to learn it. Charon having a name is actually a pretty recent change to the Crucible, now that i think about it.

>>3871244
ill try and remember to link/repost them for ya then BHOP.

>>3871226
we Give Rosa a thank-you hug so her brain explodes from fan girling so hard and then they attack us for killing their leader, obviously.

Carter is not as grumpy looking as i imagined him to be in that picture, and not what he would wear out in the field, but a good enough approximation yeah.
>>
Am this Anon at work>>3871291
>>3871644
He had mentioned that he had even further questions as follow up to those he had posted before and linked here>>3868512
I was more asking if there were any further questions he would want answers to and at what point he could expect them
>>
>>3871661
he meant he had questions to questions to answer i think, he is very clearly stating he has posted all he had to post, well, at that moment.
>>
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>>3867212

You sigh, giving Rath an understanding nod as you take in her words and feelings, both. She just stares at you, awaiting some form of rebuttal or counter-argument, something for her to fight against...so she doesn't know how to react when you reach out and pull the smaller girl into a tight, heartfelt embrace.

"S-Shu, what the hell?!" Rath stammers, caught completely off-guard as she squirms in your arms. "I thought you'd be pis-"

"Rath... before say anything else, I just want to you know how proud I am of you." You begin, allowing the truth behind your words to flow across the empathic channel. "How much I respect your candor, how much it means to me that you would speak your mind, regardless of how I might take it."

You can't help but smile as you hold her at arm's length, watching her citrine eyes sparkle with uncertainty.

"You deserve better, honestly...and I don't deserve you." You sigh, hands falling back to your sides as you speak. "But it's not about me, or you. It's about what we stand for, what we allow to happen. It's about what example we wish to set. And me? I can't sit by and let anyone, no matter how bad they are, no matter what they have done to me or anyone I love, sit and rot in an endless nightmare while caged around my neck."

You take her by the hand, slowly making your way back to the rest of your family.

"Rath, I get it. I know you don't see it, but I do. I still feel anger, hatred, betrayal...all of it. I still see Gina's head lopped off her body. I still see Dorian, Julia, and Amara laying on that beach, dying slowly." You say, a cold pit in your stomach as the scenes crawl back into the forefront of your mind. "But I also look at Isabelle, and all I see is a tired, broken husk. One that just wants to figure out who she truly is."

"You're right, Rath. This isn't our responsibility. It isn't our problem to fix her, and that's exactly why we can't ignore it, why we can't look away while she sits and suffers. Because if we do that, then what's the point? What makes us any different than anyone else? Why did we stand and fight Yurei if we only care about ourselves? Why did we fight so hard to break the corrupted Engine? Why did we burn West's lab? Why do we keep marching forward to do something about all this, if we would just leave her to rot in an endless nightmare?"

She stops when you do, your throat working to hold back the emotion you know she can already feel pouring off you. In the end you can't help the chuckle that escapes your lips any more than you can the tears that roll down your cheeks.

(Continued)
>>
>>3871678

"I love Gina, so, so much." You say, gazing once more into shining citrine. "When I saw her die? Saw her sacrifice herself? When I heard her tremble, when I heard her think she doesn't deserve to live, to regain the life stolen from her? Words can't describe how much I hated Isabelle, in those moments...but I'm not going to do what she did. I won't let her and Sam's petty squabbles, no matter what they caused, no matter who they hurt, let me become nothing but an agent of vengeance. It's not right. She hurt us, she hurt Gina. she hurt you, Dorian, Julia, and Amara. all the people I love. She hurt my family. But she did it out of pain. out of decades of suffering in her own right. It doesn't excuse what she did, it doesn't make me forgive her...and if she does anything, if she even so much as looks at any of you funny, you yourself wouldn't be able to stop me from putting her down."

Your pace resumes, Rath soaking in your words as you continue to speak, your family now in sight. "But I cant ignore what I see, either. Like I said, I don't see the Isabelle we saw before. She's lost, scared, and suffering, just like the rest of us...and if ignore that, if I don't give her her last, one fair chance...well, then everything I've ever stood for would be a lie. I'll be a hypocrite, no better than Yurei or West...and if you can't forgive me for refusing to be that, then I understand. and I'll forgive you for doing what you think is best."

"W-...why are you telling me this?" Rath asks, and you stare off at your gathered family, at Gina waiting patiently for your return.

"Gina has Isabelle's crystal." You gently interrupt. "I'll send word you're coming. I won't stand in your way...but I won't help you either, and I won't ignore what you did. If you think it's best, if you can't live with her being in my head, with her trying to make up for it? Then go. Kill her. Smash her crystal and be done with it."

You shrug, spreading your arms wide as you turn to face Rath once more.

"I'm tired Rath, tired of letting her pull at my emotions. I'm not doing this for that, for her. I know where I stand, and I have to stand firmly here...same as you. But this only ends one of two ways. and as much as I love you, as much as I respect you and understand your position...I need you to understand mine."

Her mouth is a hard line as you smile, lowering your arms as you send a silent message to Gina.

"And I'll forgive you...no matter what you do."

(Continued)
>>
>>3871681

She doesn't even hesitate, striding towards Gina with determination set into her squared shoulders. Gina's questioning gaze meets your resolute eyes, and you just give her a small nod before she hands over the softly glowing emerald to the other girl's outstretched palm. You walk up as Dorian and Julia do the same, having concluded their own conversation as they watch with curious eyes as Rath just stares at the gem for a long, hard moment before she places it against her tightly-knit brow.

"Hey asshole." She mutters, fingers curled around the necklace as she closes her eyes. "It's me. The one who's not falling for your shit, like everyone else is."

Gina looks at you again, but you just reach out for her hand as you meet Dorian's pointed gaze. He knows. The only reason you'd have handed it over to Rath is for her to do what she feels is right. Julia seems nervous, not having fully grasped the choice you're allowing Rath to make, and just as your hand found Gina's Dorian's finds hers, for the same reason.

To let what's about to happen...happen.

You're not in control, and that's the only way this will matter.

"I'm not...I'm not eloquent, like Shu, or Dorian, or...or any of them, but...even if I were, I don't think I'd have the words to tell you how much I hate you for what you did to us. To all of us." Rath continues, her grip tightening as Francine and November approach. "You spat in our faces, you stabbed us in the back, and now? Now, you wanna make things right? That's bullshit, man. You almost fuckin' BROKE us, and now you want to do right by us? By you? For what? To try and be better? Nah, 'cause all I see is a petty little bitch who didn't get her way in the game she was fucking playing and now she wants to change the rules. You couldn't beat 'em, then join 'em? Is that it?"

You hear a creak as metal grinds against stone, Gina's hand tightening around yours as Julia turns to you with a look of concern, to which you just give her a quiet nod and a wave of calm across the channel.

"I don't ever want to see your goddamn face again, in the real or otherwise. You've burned your bridges, you've had your chances, and I'm all out of fucks to give you or whatever shit you say you're working through." She growls, and there's a terrible screech as the metal whines against the crystal's surface. "In this moment, there's nothing you could do, nothing you could say that would make me want to piss you out if you were on fucking fire. I see nothing worth saving, nothing worth a second chance..."

Rath opens her eyes, and stares straight into yours.

"...but she does."

(Continued)
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>>3871682

"I don't trust you, rabbit. I don't respect you. I don't love you. All of that, I reserve for her." Rath continues, shooting you a sideways glance. "Shu says there's something she sees, then I trust her sight. She says something's worth fighting for, then I swing as hard as I fucking can."

Rath drags in a harsh, shuddering breath, speaking again through gritted teeth and a wall of resentment in her heart.

"She...she says she wants to give somebody a shot? I let her take it, and it's up to them if she misses...so it's on you and you alone to not fuck this up, man. 'Cause she may have said she'd beat me to the punch if you turned out to be full of shit..." Rath mutters as she tosses the crystal over to you, eyes locked on yours.

"...but we both know who's faster."

Catching the stone with one hand, you slip the strand back around your neck and tuck the crystal into your dress. Rath takes a moment to collect herself, training her thousand-yard stare to where the Barbers are finishing their meal. You can practically feel Gina and Julia breath a simultaneous sigh of relief, at the same moment that Dorian gives you a respectful nod.

"Alright Shu." Rath finally says, turning to you while heaving a shaky sigh. "What now?"

>>Hold a brief council with all the Dream Daughters that Yurei summoned. They deserve some face time after getting unceremoniously hauled into the real and used against their will.

>>Speak with Francine. Her notes can wait; you have something more important to bring up with her.

>>Speak with the Barbers. You know they'd wait on you to finish what you need to, but you also don't want to keep them waiting for long.

>>Speak with Julia regarding the touchy subject that is Gemma. You have a lot on your plate, but stopping Julia's treacherous Dream Daughter from broadcasting her location takes priority.

>>Her life's been spared, and you've had practically everyone weigh in already...it's time to talk to Isabelle.

>>Write-In

YOU ARE IN CONTROL
>>
(Good Morning, Gentlemen. Voting shall remain open for the next two hours, and I hope you had a truly pleasant and restful weekend.)
>>
>>3871686
>Speak with Julia regarding the touchy subject that is Gemma. You have a lot on your plate, but stopping Julia's treacherous Dream Daughter from broadcasting her location takes priority.

two parts here; i kinda want to see if we cant segue into Julia also giving a bit more word on Isabelle here, and also it doesn't feel right to jump into talking to Isabelle right this second. feels like something we should do in more private, not surrounded by our family, if only so we're not listening to distant 'fuck you!'s slipping into the dream while we're trying to have a conversation.

i feel like the Dream Daughters would be best suited for once we get home, so my idea is; Julia, Isabelle, Barbers, Yurei Consumption, Dream Daughter's. with going home either before or after the Yurei consumption.

>>3871688
pleasant enough, hope yours wasn't too bad yourself.
>>
>>3871644
>Speak with Julia regarding the touchy subject that is Gemma. You have a lot on your plate, but stopping Julia's treacherous Dream Daughter from broadcasting her location takes priority.
>>
>>3871686
>>Speak with Julia regarding the touchy subject that is Gemma. You have a lot on your plate, but stopping Julia's treacherous Dream Daughter from broadcasting her location takes priority.

I don't think we should be speaking with Gemma immediately, we should first check in on all the Dream Daughters to ascertain their current status before tackling her issue. And bringing Sia in on the conversation may be helpful. But for now, just alerting her to the problem isn't a bad idea.

>>3871689
I'd put Isabel after we speak with our Dream Daughters. Make sure they're alright before we give them a new crazy roommate. Same with putting the Dream Daughters before consuming Yurei, for the same reason. So Julia>Barbers>Dream Daughters>Isabel>Yurei Consumption, with going home probably happening after speaking with the Barbers.

>>3871688
It was alright. Nothing really of note. I read a nice book, that was good. How was yours?
>>
>>3871701
well, the Barbers could very possibly be coming home with us, is the issue there. i mean, not guaranteed, but still we owe them a hang out/victory party, and sooner than later.
>>
>>3871686

>>Speak with Julia regarding the touchy subject that is Gemma. You have a lot on your plate, but stopping Julia's treacherous Dream Daughter from broadcasting her location takes priority.

>>3871688
Pleasant yes
Restful no
Writing can take a pretty heavy toll on my sleeping schedule. But I made good progress with the battle for New Cologne so that was nice

I hope yours hasn't been to stressfull
>>
>>3871688
>>3871689
Made some progress on Carter's story.

>>3871644
Rest assured Carter will still act grumpy despite the effeminate pretty-boy face that I used for Carter as a baseline. I wasn't worried about Carter's clothes because where the story's involved complaining about having clothes will be the least of his worries and actually wanted to get the overall look of Carter's face, hair, and skin right above all else. So getting your overall approval on that is a relief for me.
>>
>>3871705
looking forward to it. poor sap probably has alot of trouble being taken seriously, but thus is part of the fun.
>>
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>>3871686

“Julia, I’d like to run something by you if you have a second.” You say, putting a hand on Rath’s shoulder as you pass her on your way to the artist’s side. Dorian allows you some space, trotting off to speak with November as you give Julia a recap of Sia’s revelations via the empathic channel. Her shoulders fall as the reality of Gemma’s actions filter into her mind, and when she looks up at you with disappointment in her eyes it’s all you can do to not wrap her up in a hug then and there.

“T-that hurts.” She says, her voice small in the vastness of the moor. “G-glad we know, though. So w-what are w-we going to d-do about it?”

“Well, jury’s still out on that. I mainly wanted to make you aware of it, since it didn’t feel right for you to stay in the dark about all that. Second chances on the back of betrayal…it’s a lot to take in.” You say, watching her eyes shimmer as she stares into the distance. “Speaking of, what are your thoughts on what we’ve been talking about?”

“Isabelle.” She murmurs, and you just nod. “It’s…it’s risky, b-but I think introducing her t-to some of the healthier D-Dream Daughters could really d-do some good. She n-needs a fresh start, with fresh friends, and b-bringing her around us too soon would hurt, m-more than help. That’s j-just my opinion, t-though.”

She gives the Barbers a little wave as Sia makes her way over to you, with Julia turning to face you before the other shard arrives.

“About Gemma…I d-don’t know what to do except t-talk with her.” Julia admits with a little shrug. “She clearly didn’t feel like we’d b-be accepting about her wish to reunite with her other s-shards, so I’d want to hear her out b-before we did anything. S-see where she’s coming from, if that’s okay?”

“Thanks for letting us have first crack at…oh. Hey, you’re Julia, right?” Sia asks, a little taken aback when Julia gives her a respectful bow. Sia awkwardly responds in kind, turning to you with her inscrutable face. “So, does she…?”

“Yeah, I just filled her in.” You reply.

“I was gonna offer to take the shard off your hands, if you’d like.” Sia posits, to your surprise. “I’m not happy with what’s she’s been doing behind your back, and while she’s not my responsibility she sure as hell isn’t yours, either. The process would need a Sparagmos Engine, which Sugar and Betty are about to work on excavating, so…just a thought.”

“I appreciate that, Sia. It's certainly something I’ll talk more with Julia and our family about.” You say, glancing over the girl’s shoulder as Rosa converses animatedly with the other two members of their team, casting an occasional glance your way. “I’ll see your offer and counter with my own; I wanted to extend the offer for you and yours to join us back at our home for some rest and relaxation, maybe some tea and alcohol. Would you all be up for that?”

(Continued)
>>
>>3871748

“You kidding? Rosa’d joy-puke the second the words were out of your mouth.” She replies with an amused lilt to her voice, folding her arms as her hips cock to one side. “Sugar and Betty would be pretty jazzed too, but it’s completely up to you. They can be a handful, FYI…oh, by the way. These belong to you.”

Sia promptly thrusts both her hands out, a collection of shards in one, and a tightly-compressed crystal in the other.

>>RELICS ACQUIRED: Sui Sacrificium (Shards) & Yurei’s Essence

“Betty found these Relic remains out while she was making the rounds. We’re not a huge fan of the Sui line since it’s kind of redundant with what Rosa can do, but we saw you’ve got some of them handy, so…yeah.”

“And the gem?” You ask, carefully scooping up the shards and dusting them off into your dress pocket.

“Yurei’s remains, condensed and crystallized by Sugar’s Gluttonous Core.” Sia explains as you take the item in hand. “She’s been great about letting us have meals on the go. We left you Yurei and the Halo, by the way. I know you said we had the option, but it wouldn’t feel right to take those after all that happened.”

“Anyway, I’m going to reconvene with those three and see what’s next on the docket. We’ll say bye before we’re about to head out, so if there are any invitations to be had, that’ll be the time to dole them out.” Sia finishes, giving you and Julia a little wave as she returns to her allies’ side.

With that, you’re just about finished with everything you set out to accomplish before making your way back home. Now that you have Yurei’s remains at your disposal for whenever you and yours are ready to settle in, there’s really only one question left?

Are you returning to the Dragon’s Roost with family, or with guests?

>>Invite the Barbers back for some relaxation, conversation, and an eventual meal. The moor is still cold, while the Dragon’s Roost is warm and far more conducive to a pleasant conversation.

>>While the Barbers are talking, you’d like to go ahead and touch base with [Francine/November/Dream Daughters] while you have the chance.

>>Write-In

YOU ARE IN CONTROL
>>
>>3871749
>Give the Barbers their time to dig up the Engine, you'll need to discuss with them what to do with it anyways.
>Its time. you and Isabelle never got to finish your conversation, so nows the time to do it, before celebrations or others things best done at home.
>>
>>3871749
>>While the Barbers are talking, you’d like to go ahead and touch base with [Francine/November/Dream Daughters] while you have the chance.
>Check in on the Dream Daughters. Make sure that everyone is alright and not too traumatized. Get our personal passengers' opinion on bringing in Isabel before doing so, they deserve a say as well.
>>
>>3871749

>>While the Barbers are talking and diggin up the engine, have your talk with Isabelle.

She needs some hard limits and an idea on what she can expect to receive in return for her living in Shu and helping us in fights. Just to make sure there are absolutely no understandings.

I think it will be similar to what we have told Sam
>>
>>3871749
>Talk to Isabelle. You never got to finish your conversation.
>>
>>3871761
I did have a random musing in regards to Isabelle. Rath equated Isabelle to a Rabbit girl, so things would definitely be very tense and awkward if they encountered Luna.
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>>3871768
i feel like theres some cat fight joke here, but rabbit based...
also would be an interesting interaction. while Isabelle isnt... all there upstairs, shes still a very very serious and straight forward type of person, very 'no funny business'. while Luna is.... none of those things.

Rath would probably rip out her own hair saying 'oh god crazy really does breed like rabbits.'
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>>3871771

>A̵͉̤̯͕ND͕̟̖͉ ̼̗͇̞͓̳I͈̩ͅ ̫̭͚̼̝̰H̡̞͓̬̪̠A̴̞̟̠̫V̸É̹̙̼̰͔̘ ͚A͖̝ ̛Y̘̺̬̼̞ͅA̞̺̝̫̜̗̙͢H̻̩͈Ț̼͖̩̟̘Z̟EE̸͔̻!̵͔̞̖̳̬

Greentext would be Luna's response to Rath's complaint. all the while bouncing around with her open shirt flapping about before powersliding on the floor to a stop right in front of Rath's feet lying on the ground before asking:

>H͈͓̟̹͕̬͝ͅo͖̻̭͜w͙̻͍̼̪'s̪̞̜̪͔̭͉ ̭̮t̖ḫ͇e̢̠͈͙ ̱̺͚S̥̙̼̟̣̹o͟d̳̙ą̜̻ ͉͢M̸a̫̦̥g͍̪͉̜̩n̼̰̘e̥͎̤͓̱͓t? ̷̖͓
>>
>>3871774
i am now imaging Rath playing 'whack-a-rabbit' while Dorian mumbles about why no one can stay properly dressed in the background.
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>>3871778
I think Carter and Dorian would become really great drinking buddies after I'm done putting Carter through the wringer in the story.

It's turning out to be more complicated than I thought. Writing Dialogue is fun but complicated because I have to consider Carter's MO as well as consider how each character bounces off of each other naturally.
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>>3871778
They can't all have quality clothing like Julia makes. All these fights on, and Shu's dress still hasn't ripped, while still looking stylish. Forget sculpting, Julia's real talent clearly lies in fashion.
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>>3871782
It's made from quality material using Shu's Bees. Their shells and caparaces making great defensive material due to the Augmentations her constructs have.
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>>3871783
Quality materials can only take you so far. I just want to acknowledge Julia's skill. Niku's, too, they worked together on that. We should do some cross-Dreamscape collaborations, get them working together on some projects.
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>>3871782
to be fair theres been scenes where without a doubt Shus clothes have had to have taken damage, its just implied it gets sewed back together off screen. that, and its a battle dress made from Chitin scales, so its a bit more up to the task than most clothing.
its also form fitting and made to highlight Shus frame well, so watching Shu fight must really be a spectacle for bystanders. meanwhile everyone else in the family just wears standard clothing of some form, which probably only makes it seem odder and more mesmerizing that Shu wears something so eye catching.

>>3871781
haha, yeah id imagine Carter isnt one to stray from alcohol at all.

im sure you're doing fine with the dialogue.
>>