>April Fools' EditionThe coastal town of Diamond Shoals, a popular tourist destination in the summer but otherwise relatively sleepy in the off-season. Occasionally though, there is some supernatural activity abound which is usually seen to by a few strange denizens of the town. For as unnatural as this activity might be though, it usually goes unnoticed by most everyone else. Usually.You've seen your fair share though and are starting to think you picked the wrong town to move to.
>>1326235Special circumstances (the day) allow for a temporary selection of bonus characters for play, if such a thing is desired. The choices are; Owen the human ex-track star supermart worker, Lee the human Jill-of-all-trades waitress, Soleil the stylish gem, or Emma the mercurial gem.>Please select your character!
>The continuation of an ongoing quest, with previous iterations available here;http://pastebin.com/E9Eu48Kz
Apologies for the late start, got tied up. Will start at least for now though, to get things rolling for when resuming next.>Most votes>>1328605>>1328718You are Soleil, a gem being of the sunstone variety, and occasional resident of Diamond Shoals. Currently you're providing directions to some tourists though, who are looking to visit the Native American center and museum in town, after stopping at the lighthouse for a tour. Directions though you can manage, you've been living here for a little over ten years now, ever since Sarah was born."Ah, oui. Travel back along zhis road till you reach Main Street, zhen look for Cedar Cape road. Zhere is a sign along zhe way, you cannot miss it.""Well thank you kindly, and for the tour as well! We've got to ask though, where's that accent from? Canada?""Somezhing like zhat, oui..."Thanking you again, the tourists peel off along the road in their minivan, leaving a little cloud of sand in their wake. You of course don't mind visitors, and being the most human-savvy gem here the usual public relations and interactions fall to you. However today you're actually busy, so you welcome the chance to get back to the matter at hand. Specifically, Emma has been doing some research and thinks there may be a location interest that is worth checking out. She's been very busy of late, ever since she discovered an old warp hub a reasonable distance away and managed to get one of the warp pads there working, so you've been trying to help out however you can in order to lessen some of the workload for her.The least you can do then, in this case is to properly locate this place, since the problem she seemed to be having was finding it to begin with>Try and find Emma if you can, probably easiest just to ask her what the details are.>Head down to the vault, and see if you can't make sense of this yourself.>In the meantime, find someone to deputize as the public relations person in your stead, in case any more folks come by the lighthouse looking for something. Even just a random passerby, whoever you can find first.>[Write-in.]
>>1331833>Try and find Emma if you can, probably easiest just to ask her what the details are.
>>1331833>>Try and find Emma if you can, probably easiest just to ask her what the details are.
>>1331833>Try and find Emma if you can, probably easiest just to ask her what the details are.>But look over Sarah first, you are worried that she might get in trouble again. You understand that she is a child by human standards, but she is also a Gem, maybe you should get her some combat training? Teach her to not be do trusting?
>>1331896>>1332417>>1332672It would be nice if you could take care of this matter on your own, maybe as a surprise to Emma, but you decide it could just make things more complicated and waste both your time. So heading back to the house you start searching for her, in what turns out to be a surprisingly easy search since she left a note on the fridge saying she was going into town. You really ought to check there more often, since she started trying to use the house more now, because of Lee coming around to help from time to time. From the kitchen though you see the door of the garage across the grounds opening, and realize you must have just missed her in the house. Wait, why is she in the garage?If the note said she was headed to town, then this can mean only one thing, as you panic, and throwing the back door open you run out of the house and across the grounds as fast as you can for the garage in the hopes of stopping her in time. It would be obvious to pretty much anyone, but with Emma you can't ever be sure."No, not zhe bike!" you shout as you burst into the garage from the side door, half expecting Emma to cause massive collateral damage to the town with the chopper, but instead finding her standing by the car."Ooooh hey Sol! I was going to borrow your car if you didn't mind, but now that you mention it, I could take the chopper..."Sighing in huge relief, you regain your composure but the situation is still a little concerning. Not death and destruction concerning but it's not often the car gets taken out, even by you. Emma taking it on her own though, you can't remember the last time that happened if ever."...I don't mind. 'Ow are you getting in zhough? You'll take zhe roof down to 'elp, oui?""Riiight, and don't worry, I'll shapeshift to fit inside!"You're worried. Nothing about this sounds like a good idea, least of all Emma and changing shape, given how unstable she normally is. At the same time though, you want to at least give her a chance, and don't think you have it in you to refuse her. >Offer to drive, if she has to get to town. At least you can fit in the diver's seat without difficulty.>No driving. She's nearly the tallest gem of all of you, she can put her long legs to work.>Let her go, you're of a mind to go find Sarah anyway. >[Write-in.]
>>1333850>>Offer to drive, if she has to get to town. At least you can fit in the diver's seat without difficulty.
>>1333850>Just Hulk-jump our way to town. We can do that, right?
>>1333930>>1334465Some curiosity about the means of travel, since you are gem beings. Although you cannot as you aren't such a physical sort, you imagine Chalcedony could jump her way to town, and perhaps Emma as well since she is quite big and physical herself. There's always the risk though that such a thing would scare people or otherwise attract attention, not to mention cause damage potentially from a misdirected jump. Because of this, you have to respect Emma for trying to take the car since it was you yourself, who asked her to try and behave more sensibly around humans if you all were going to be living in close proximity to them. So considering that, you decide to help her out and drive her into town. She's very appreciative for your help and also the chance to spend time together, giving you the car keys. You're the same size as an average human so can sit in the driver's seat without trouble, and after folding the roof down Emma could fit in the passenger seat but you figure to let her have the back row for an easier time.---Cruising down the road from the lighthouse into town, it's nice to feel the whip of the ocean breeze through your hair, having taken off your beret when you knew you'd be driving. Emma is the impressive one though, with her mass of long hair flowing behind her as you drive. Seeing how much she's enjoying herself, you feel better for it now, even if you still have things to take care of."So Emma, what do you need in town? I was surprised 'ear you wanted to go zhere in zhe first place.""I need something in town? I thought we were just going on a drive together..." she looks genuinely confused at first as you glance back, but as usual you give her some time, "...oooh right! Yes, I wanted to go a human map store to see if the warp hub or this temple shows up on any of their maps! Without being able to access Pearl's work on the matter, I have to try and find some other way... that's something that exists riiight, human map stores?"Well you don't know about a map store specifically, but Diamond Shoals is a tourist destination so even the many gift shoppes have maps available. You're not sure of world maps though, something that would be great to ask if Lee was available. Maybe just settle for the store owner instead.>Seek one of the various tourist traps you know of.>Try and ask someone if they know of a more specialized store.>Go to the town hall, the human government center must have something.>[Write-in.]
>>1334546>>Seek one of the various tourist traps you know of.
>>1334546>Seek one of the various tourist traps you know of.>Ask if anyone there knows of a more specialized store if you don't find the maps.
>>1334584Having lived in Diamond Shoals for a number of years and a more regular frequenter among the gems of the town proper rather than just around the lighthouse, you know a few stores which might have what Emma is looking for. Reaching Main Street and pulling off onto the "highway" that traverses the island, you reach Fat Boy's Treats and Tours. Not as much of a gift shop as some of the others but no less a tourist trap, and more likely to have maps. A little building among others to share a parking lot just off the highway but eminently visible with signs and lights to attract customers (like many stores along the highway), you pull into the parking lot but immediately Emma just up and climbs out of the car while still moving, to approach the stores. As such, you quickly try to find a space for the car before she wanders off."Non non, zhat one!" you call out to her, pointing at the correct store after parking the car and trying to catch up without running. Already the two of you have turned heads of a family passing by, Emma's sudden abandoning of the moving car a big contributor.Either way she stops to wait for you, so she can follow after just to be sure. The ring of the bell on the door announces your entry to the store together, though you have to hold it open so Emma can lower herself a little to fit through the doorway. ---If ever you needed to say, build a wall of saltwater taffy around the town to stop a tidal wave, then this would be the place to come to. There's an abundance of all sorts of goodies and candies, but for every one item of... well, anything, there's at least twenty more little globs of taffy in those waxy paper wrappers. Individually or in bulk, you're not too keen on them but you figure while you're here you can buy some for the house. Sarah likes sweet things at least.>...
>>1334944While perusing through the selection though, Emma scares you by resting her head amid a shelf of stuffed animals and waiting till you walk by. "Gah! A-Aren't you looking for somezhing?""That's riiight, look at this strange human spyglass! Did they suddenly evolve compound eyes when I wasn't looking?" she exclaims, pulling back from the shelf and moving around to show you a kaleidoscope she must have found. "Non, zhe maps!"Eventually Emma facepalms when she recalls, and apologizes before heading off through the store again to find what she came for. Given the time apart, you're able to find a suitable candy basket while Emma found some road maps. She seems confused and a bit frustrated though, when none of the ones available depict more than just this country. The warp hub she was able to find in one booklet, depicted off the coast farther north as a crystal sea stack seemingly of natural origin. The temple she's looking for though, she believes is farther to the south in another country. To help her out, you tell her to keep with her that one she found with the warp hub in it, and make your way to the counter to ask after something more comprehensive. Though you've been here before, the human woman at the counter doesn't recognize you, or maybe she's just too distracted by Emma's size."Excusez moi, you wouldn't 'appen to 'ave any maps of a larger scale?""W-Well we've.. got the whole Eastern Seaboard! You looking to go north or south?"Already leaning to the side a little, she points past you to where she's already looking and you turn to see Emma unrolling a souvenir pirate map, having trouble making sense of it based on her assumption that it is modern and accurate."...and of ozher countries? Or zhe entire world per'aps?""Oh you mean like a geography book? No, I don't think we'd have anything like that here. You could try one of the bookstores though, Between the Lines is a good one, right over on Main Street. You can't miss it!"Right, that would make sense. Well at the very least you can pay for what you and Emma already picked out at least. You choke though at hearing the total price of the assorted candy basket and Emma's little booklet of East Coast maps. Tourist trap indeed.>Take your leave and drive over to the bookstore now. Honestly it's probably worth just owning a big map book of the world, at least for the house.>How much does Emma really need one of these maps? If the problem is gaining access to Pearl's work, then maybe it would be better, or at least easier to solve that problem?>You can just drop her off at the bookstore with everything she needs to know, some money too. You want to get back home though, you've been meaning to see to Sarah since finishing that tour of the lighthouse.>[Write-in.]
Just a heads up, will probably be my last post of the night. Will continue later, as usual.>Thanks all for playing!
>>1334947>Take your leave and drive over to the bookstore now. Honestly it's probably worth just owning a big map book of the world, at least for the house.
>>1334947>You can just drop her off at the bookstore with everything she needs to know, some money too. You want to get back home though, you've been meaning to see to Sarah since finishing that tour of the lighthouse."Okay Emma I will just drop you to the bookstore next.But I think I remember that the maps tend to get less detailed the more of the world they display. If you don't find what you are looking for you could try using the computer and that... global maps program I think? Or just search the Internet for terms like crystal caves, crystal temples and so on... is hard to keep track because humans seem to change the names of places every few centuries. I have to check on Sarah... try to not destroy anything unless a Gem monster appears.">Really you think you all have been going too soft on Sarah, yeah she is just a kid but also a Gem. She at least needs to know when to run away, some fighting basics and to use her Gem weapon. That also reminds you... when was the last time you guys worked together fighting a Gem monster? You don't mean just getting humans to help but you and Emma... fusing... no no no. Focus, just drop Emma at the bookstore, get some candy to Sarah and try to find a way to train her by tricking her into thinking is some sort of game. Maybe... maybe use candy as prices if she does things well? Yes that could work!
>>1334947>>Take your leave and drive over to the bookstore now. Honestly it's probably worth just owning a big map book of the world, at least for the house.
>>1335765>>1335856>>1335886Not the same responses but will try to combine into a working action.
>>1335765>>1335856>>1335886Back to the car after leaving Fat Boy's, and on to Main Street, you're actually vaguely familiar with the bookstore you're after. You can't remember if you've been inside but you do know the place, and after finding another place to park in a back lot you and Emma head inside. Welcomed by the owner, you make your way around the little bookstore searching for something with maps of other countries. While the place seems decently organized though, it's heavier on actual novels rather than more information-based books. It's some tens of minutes before you find the appropriate section and start to look. Out of the corner of your eye though, you notice someone else coming down the stairs of the place. Normally you'd think nothing of it but Emma standing closer to the stairs also notices, and almost reflexively jerks an arm out to catch the person, by the throat no less. A struggle ensues as she lifts them up, and you rush over to stop her, fearing the worst."Emma non! Let zhem go-""Heeey Sol, look what I found! It's Owen!"Coming around the bookshelves in a hurry, you see that it is indeed Owen. Initially struggling in Emma's grasp from the sudden shock of being picked up, he eventually just gives up when he notices who it is. You get a resigned look from him as you move closer and lower Emma's arm to set him back down again. "Pardonne-la, Owen. What are you doing 'ere zhough?""I live here, upstairs. What are you doing here?" he responds, fixing the neckline of his jacket after being grabbed. You still feel bad about that even if Emma doesn't, but you're actually glad to have run into him. This is the perfect chance to part ways with Emma for now without just cutting her loose in town, unsupervised."Ah, well we are looking for a book of maps, of ozher countries or zhe world even.""...an atlas?"That's right, that's what the humans call such a book. "Exactament! Per'aps you could 'elp Emma wizh zhis, oui? Merci, tres bien!"And with that, and a quick au revoir, you leave Emma with Owen and take your leave. He's worked with her before, helped her with the warp hub no less, from what you heard so it shouldn't be a problem. Heading around to the back lot them, you return to the car for the drive back the way of the lighthouse.---The trip home was uneventful enough, and a quick one since you want to take care of the things you've been meaning. After parking the car back in the garage though and standing outside, you wonder where to look for Sarah, first of all things.>Wander the lighthouse grounds, see if she's around.>Check inside the house, ask Chalcedony if you have to.>Try some of her usually frequented spots? The ones you know of, at least.>[Write-in.]
>>1337503>Try some of her usually frequented spots? The ones you know of, at least.
>>1337598Walking back towards the house from the garage, you go to open the back door but get the sense that on a nice day like this Sarah is naturally going to be outside. As to where though, you have no idea. She does have a bunch of areas and places around the island she tends to spend time, but you only know of a few. Admittedly you don't spend a lot of time with the girl, none of you do really, so this might be harder than you think. Hopefully she's at least in close proximity to the lighthouse grounds, as that's all you know of her usual spots.So stepping back from the door a few paces, you turn to look around and recall some of the locations she might be. First the beach why not, since that's where she seems to be most of the time. Stepping off the gravel and onto the grass, you head around the house till you're faced by the sea breeze, and head towards the ocean out past the dunes.---Not running along the beach (at least not within seeing distance of the lighthouse), not hiding amid the Reedy Sea that you can find, not climbing around the beginnings of the woods or exploring the scrubland. Eventually though after an hour or so of searching, with the help of a passing truck and standing in the bed to get a view as it drives, you catch sight of her splashing around in the inland lagoons along the main road to the cape point. Thanking the driver and jumping out, you run over to angrily give her a piece of your mind, and tell her how concerned she had you. About halfway along though, trying to avoid getting in any water, you start to have second thoughts.You're trying to engage her, get her more interested and active in the gem side of her life, and hopefully gain her trust. Between you and Emma attempting to raise her though, it's no wonder she'd rather spend all her time just exploring around the island and playing all day. It's been a learning process these years, and you're getting better, but you worry that it's not enough, or at least not fast enough as she continues to grow with age. Ironically, despite being the gem to have spent your time on Earth living with and among the humans, it took you longer than you'd like to admit to actually try treating Sarah like one of them. Rather than like her mother.A complicated business indeed, all this child raising, and you're glad it wasn't you to have been the one to make the sacrifice of having one. At the end of the day though you're the one raising her, and left considering how to approach.>You want to become closer with Sarah, not drive her away. In this instance however, she still could use some discipline, tough love like how the human fathers do.>Maybe a softer, kinder approach is best? Like how the human mothers do.>Try relating to her, see what she's up to and join in. Rather than a parent, a friend.>[Write-in.]
>>1338319>Maybe a softer, kinder approach is best? Like how the human mothers do.
>>1338319>Maybe a softer, kinder approach is best? Like how the human mothers do.>Bribe her with candy so she trains to use her Gem weapon.
>>1338831>>1339018Discipline has tended to be your approach before, but you can see that it hasn't really worked. Most likely because you're simply not present in Sarah's life regularly or enough to have an impact. With the candy though, this is about as good a chance as any to try a softer approach, as you've been trying more recently."Bonj- ...'allo Sarah! 'aving fun?""O-Oh! Hi Sol... I'm chasin' crabs and pickin' up trash."Jumping in panic when she hears you call out to her, you notice her stiffen up and speak shortly, her eyes pinned to the ground. She does gesture to the shore of this particular lagoon, where a little pile of trash is, along with some seagulls clustered around and picking through it. She does tend to busy herself with cleaning up around the island, especially after tourist season so this isn't really a surprise. Her appearance though is quite disheveled and dirty, which is nothing out of the ordinary for her, but you can't help but wonder when was the last time she had a bath."Ah, tres b- well done! You know, I've been looking for you... and I brought you somezhing!"Awkwardly you try to appeal to her, showing the candy basket in an attempt to disarm her reserved demeanor. She does at least look up when she hears the rustle of the wrapping, but perhaps the opposite of your intent, she just looks very suspicious of you."What's this for? What'dya want?"That hurt. You try not to let it show in your voice, though you know she's perceptive."Wh-What? Oh, nozhing, I was just 'oping we could spend some time togezher!"Trying to maintain an uneasy smile, you make an attempt at genuine kindness. Maybe it works, maybe she's just testing your sincerity, but she slowly makes her way out of the water to you with trepidation. You get a similar feeling as if you were trying to feed something to a wild animal, and make the offer with as much care. With some initial hesitation though she does reach to take one of the taffies and unwrap it, but the whole time she never takes her eyes off you, and you nearly cave under the scrutiny."Zhere, see? Zhat's-" you reach out to put a hand on her shoulder but she instinctively flinches away, so you just settle for taking the empty taffy wrapper from her, "...not so bad."It's not a complete failure though, at least for now you've gotten her attention and have her participation. Like something delicate though, you worry about holding, let alone dropping it.>You've got her here now, be honest and direct with her.>Take an indirect approach. Usually she avoids any sort of gem activity of involvement, but then you've not tried such a soft approach with her before.>Before anything else, at least try to get her to come back to the lighthouse with you. It's... nice out here, but not really the place for this sort of interaction.>[Write-in.]
>>1340968>Take an indirect approach. Usually she avoids any sort of gem activity of involvement, but then you've not tried such a soft approach with her before.Nice and steady boys, don't spook her.
>>1341049You're an intelligent alien space rock, and so able to learn from past experience. If you're open about your intentions with her so directly, and after baiting her over with candy (that didn't sound good in your head), then she's going to be even less likely to trust you in the future. And considering it's nearly at the point where she seems to be on better terms with near-stranger humans she's only known for a couple months, well you'd like to avoid that."I can see you 'ave done well cleaning up zhe et- pond 'ere... so I was wondering, if per'aps you would like to come wizh me and explore zhe new place Emma 'as found. Maybe you could 'elp me clean it up as well?""Where's it? Not on the island?"Again, she seems suspicious, but at hearing the word explore you can tell she's interested. Overjoyed, you can't help but show it a little, before reigning it in so as not to show all your cards. To be fair, you don't even know all the details either, but it's all part of the learning process of the task you've set yourself to."Non! I am not sure myself yet, but I know we can find it fasto- easily! We will 'ave to take zhe bike zhough, so back to zhe light'ouse.""Awright, lemme get the trash first."Finally accepting to go along with you, Sarah crosses the little shore of the lagoon to where the gathered garbage is, drawing an old plastic bag from among the pile to stash everything inside. You don't feel too keen about that and normally would just form a bubble around it all and send it all back to the vault, since Sarah can't even create bubbles yet (much to your chagrin). You know it would upset Topaz unduly, and quite frankly you don't want trash floating around in storage either. So for now you just cringe and accept Sarah to gather up the trash, and maybe you can carry it back. You'll have to remember to make her wash her hands at least once getting back home though, since she can get sick from germs and such... you think.So after a few minutes spent, you start heading back together to the beach road, and on to the lighthouse beyond it. You're pretty ecstatic that you've managed to interest Sarah into coming along with you, and though you don't want to jinx yourself because of it, you start to recall that as of yet you don't actually know where this other possible location is. Emma has been busy trying to find it, and you'd wanted to try yourself at some point, but maybe you can figure it out anyway?>This shouldn't be too hard! Sure Emma is the more skilled one with these things, but you can manage without her... probably!>You're probably going to need Emma's help on this one, and so might need to take the car out again and find her if she's still in town.>Actually, now that you've got Sarah's interest, maybe do something else? Something *she* wants to do, you're just happy to be able to spend time with her like this.>[Write-in.]
>>1342718>>Actually, now that you've got Sarah's interest, maybe do something else? Something *she* wants to do, you're just happy to be able to spend time with her like this.
>>1342718>Actually, now that you've got Sarah's interest, maybe do something else? Something *she* wants to do, you're just happy to be able to spend time with her like this.
>>1342756>>1342898The walk back isn't really notable, it's not like you talk to one another or anything. Just a trek alongside the sandy road back home, with the passing of an occasional car. Even so, Sarah seems to be having a decent enough time, kicking a rock along as you go, half-humming half-singing something to herself and waving at the passerby's. Compared to how standoffish she normally is towards you, it's nice for once to see her acting normally again as she used to around you, and nice to know that you were able to put her as much at east. Enough that you start to question how important this other gem place really is."Excu- ah, pardon Sarah... what were you going to do after cleaning zhe pond?""Huh? I was gonna' go to my fort inna' woods."She has a fort in the woods? Well that's news to you. Imagining if you had tried searching for her later on, you probably wouldn't have found her then today. Really, it's a little embarrassing to not know about even half of her activities on any given day, since you're about the closest thing to her primary caregiver. The gem work is usually so busy though, but recently with Lee's help, and now Owen's... well, they're a greater help than just getting Sarah interested in gem stuff, when some other humans happen to be involved."Per'aps... we can go zhere instead zhen? I would love to see zhis fort of yours.""Um... okay then!"That same hesitation as before, when she pauses and glances back at you as if expecting this to be all some big trick. You try to express your sincerity though and some real interest in her activities, and coming to believe you, she accepts your offer with enthusiasm. Happily, you realize. Something you haven't seen as a result of your actions for some time.>...
>>1344768Diverting from the beach road towards the woods, the walk isn't too long, just a trek across some of the dunes and through the Reedy Sea. She stops here and there a few times to get her bearings or check on little markers she seems to set for herself all over the place (and anyone else would just overlook), but finds her way to what you'd guess to be a specific area of the woods where she leads the way. A ways through the trees, enough that you think to be on the grounds of the nature preserve, she asks you to cover your eyes. Pulling you by the skirt, you stumble a bit over the rough ground along the way, the both of you laughing as she tries to keep you from falling over. Eventually though she says that you can look, after letting go and getting into a position that she can show it off."Ta-daaa! You like it? Me and Sonny made it!"Opening your eyes, you're witness to an impressive stick fort, surprisingly so for some kids. Sonny, right, that's her little friend she plays and explores around the island with sometimes, you've seen him by the house a few times. An odd child, but then Sarah isn't the portrait of normalcy herself, but you didn't think them capable of this. It must have been standing for some time too, with natural plant growth across it in parts. Well it's no substitute for school or things proper for a human girl her age, but it's nothing to scoff at. If this is just one such hideaway she has, you wonder what else she's got built up around the island.>Compliment their work, you doubt even some adults in town could accomplish something like this.>It's nice but it won't keep out the rain, or the wind. Offer to help out, add on to the fort and improve it together.>A stick fort is nice, and a mighty wooden bastion this is! From one gem to another though, she should strive for even greater heights... a treehouse, perhaps?>[Write-in.]
>>1344770>Compliment their work, you doubt even some adults in town could accomplish something like this.Then offer>It's nice but it won't keep out the rain, or the wind. Offer to help out, add on to the fort and improve it together.or>A stick fort is nice, and a mighty wooden bastion this is! From one gem to another though, she should strive for even greater heights... a treehouse, perhaps?Her choice.
>>1344770>>Compliment their work, you doubt even some adults in town could accomplish something like this.
>>1344770>Compliment their work, you doubt even some adults in town could accomplish something like this."Eh... Sarah... I am sorry. I am sorry I couldn't be a mother to you. I am sorry you couldn't go to school with other kids... is just... I was so busy... and... depressed... and maybe we used to give you... nasty looks... I am really sorry." You look down in shame, the apology could have gone better. But back then, all you thought was 'without Sarah, SHE would still be around.' Is funny, how you believe yourself the better Gem with human culture but you have no clue how to deal with the Gem that's half human.
Apologies for the recent inactivity, haven't had much free time the few couple of days.>>1344828>>1344863>>1345066You're honestly quite curious yourself, as to how some kids made something like this. Not as though it's impossible, for them or any others, but you'd loved to have been there to see how they did it. Watched them cooperate, problem solve, and make decisions. At least in part, of why you seek to involve Sarah with gem things in the first place, is to help her learn and improve that way. To be able to work as a team and deal with difficult scenarios. You'd never have thought though that she could do, or learn as much on her own, let alone just playing around the island like any other human child."Sacr- my word, zhis is very impressive Sarah, for you and your friend! I do not know anyone who would disagree, zhough I must say it could stand to do better against zhe weazher. Per'aps I could 'elp you make some improvements? Or maybe even somezhing bigger, better... a tree'ouse per'aps?""Wow, really?! We talked 'bout makin' a treehouse but thinked it too hard!"Clearly excited by the prospect, and running around trying to pick a place she wants the treehouse to be, Sarah talks about this and that and already imagines something grand with your help and possibly even gem powers. You're just happy to see her like that and be involved, and wonder if in time that same excitement could be drawn towards other pursuits. For now though, you're fine to leave her to her own interests, and look forward to helping her out.>...
>>1351203You spend the next hour or two helping Sarah out in her desire for a treehouse, and having a nice time in general. It's a bit of a challenge to be sure since these coastal trees aren't as suited for it as old growth trees, and you do most of the actual hard work since you can lift, carry, and move much more than she can. All in all though it's still a cooperative effort as she sits in the tree placing things here and there and fastening what she can. At some point you'll need to return with nails and a hammer to make anything safe enough for normal use, and so far you've only gotten the barest requirements laid out, but it's a good start.You certainly hadn't expected it but it was a great afternoon spent, as Sarah sits on the stick perch set as the beginnings of the treehouse, digging through the candy basket for ones she likes. For some tens of minutes now though, you've been trying to think of something to say for the time spent together. It's tough though, understandably, just the situation in general. Definitely not as tough as for Chalcedony or Emma, who knew Sarah's mother, but despite the closeness others had with her it ended up falling to you to raise her eventually. It's not something you've ever regretted of course, but more and more you wish you could have done better. How could you though? You weren't prepared back then, and you're hardly prepared now. While you're not ready to just pour your feelings and emotions out on the matter, you can at least address something that's been bothering you."Eh... Sarah... I am sorry, if I ever seem 'ard on you. Whenever I get on your case, you know I don't mean it... right?" at the last part you try not to sound too emotional but you're almost pleading, almost as much for your own sake as for hers, "I care about you, and even if I am not a good replacement for a mozher... mother, I just want what is best for you...""Thas' awrite Sol!" you hear from above, some candy wrappers dropping down beside, "Hey, didn' you wanna' do sumthin' before? Go explorin' to some place?"So quick to forgive, you think, but she is just a kid. Interestingly, for once she actually seems interested now in something gem related of her own volition, rather than being pressured or coaxed into it. Maybe she's just doing it to appease you after helping her, which wasn't at all your intention, but it's a step up.>That's alright, you don't want to cut short the nice time you're having together.>Well you don't want to do anything if she doesn't, but if she actually is interested then you could get back to the task you were on.>Actually, if you're already in a teamwork mood, why not gather a whole team? Head back to look for Emma, maybe even one of the humans while you're at it.>[Write-in.]
>>1351210>>Well you don't want to do anything if she doesn't, but if she actually is interested then you could get back to the task you were on.
>>1351210>Well you don't want to do anything if she doesn't, but if she actually is interested then you could get back to the task you were on.
>>1351598>>1351862>>1351957Naturally you wonder if this is just an attempt to make you happy, and unfortunately you don't know her well enough to be able to tell for sure. For now though you'll settle for working together, and just the two of you. Maybe a little selfish, but you're liking the time together and don't need anyone else as a third wheel."Well, only if you want to. I zhought you preferred it out 'ere.""Naw I wanna' see this new place!"You figure to help her down from the tree but she's more than capable on her own, and after making some more markers to leave along the way so she can find her way back, the two of you head out of the woods and back towards the Reedy Sea. Beyond that, and it's not too long of a trek through the dunes and along the beach, back to the lighthouse and home. Before you go though, Sarah thanks you for the help with a hug, which practically melts your gem but you can't bring yourself to return it. Not yet at least.---Awhile later by the late afternoon sun, and you feel the grass of the lighthouse grounds' lawn underfoot. Sarah runs ahead to throw away the trash she'd gathered up earlier, joining you by the front door as you make your way inside together. First thing's first though, as you tell her to wash her hands, giving you the chance to check around if Emma is home yet. Just a sweep of the ground floor tells you she's at least not in the house, but very well could be down in the vault, which will certainly make things easier. Chalcedony of course, is also home, upstairs but that's nothing new since she doesn't leave the house.Eventually returning to the kitchen then, you find Sarah raiding the pantry for something to eat, and are reminded of the task at hand. To figure out where this place is, on your own or not, you're going to need to head down to the vault. Not a problem on your own but you know Sarah doesn't like it down there and has refused to go in the past. Probably finds it scary which you can't blame her for, even to you it's a little eerie, though to be fair you'd spent so much time among humans before Sarah was born that it's bound to feel strange. >If she's enthusiastic, then she shouldn't mind so much. Head on down to the vault with her once she picks a snack out.>Spare her a trip if it's unnecessary, try and figure out the problem on your own first and then fetch her after.>You might need her help for this, but don't feel comfortable with her alone in the house with Chalcedony. Ask her to play outside or something, nearby in case you need to get her help.>[Write-in.]
>>1353134>>If she's enthusiastic, then she shouldn't mind so much. Head on down to the vault with her once she picks a snack out.
>>1353134>If she's enthusiastic, then she shouldn't mind so much. Head on down to the vault with her once she picks a snack out.
>>1353158>>1353958>>1354439Normally you'd be inclined to exclude Sarah from this, knowing she doesn't like the vault. She's shown an interest though in this task so it should be alright together. So once she's finally settled on getting a Shark Sizzler out of the freezer instead, you ask if she's ok with accompanying you below. She stops to think about it, probably not expecting that finding this other place would require that, but she ends up accepting it. So exiting the house together, you walk around to the side where the cellar door is and head down below. The vault begins to open as you approach, and stand together waiting for the hexen entrance and corridors beyond to present themselves. Something you didn't expect but don't refuse, is Sarah reaching to hold your hand while waiting. You accept but don't react much to it, as if you drawing attention to it will cause her to change her mind. Certainly glad for it though, seeming like a further step in the right direction after the day spent together. Hopefully, there's no need for it though, the vault might be a little creepy but any fears about it have never been grounded. Besides, Sarah's been inside before without issue. Heck, even some humans have been inside.>...
>>1356812"Welcome back, Sunstone." sounds the vault system when you enter the archival room."Aaaah there you are! I found a map book with Owen's help, but even with his help I couldn't find the car! Thanks be that I didn't need his help to find my way home though, can you imagine?!" you hear Emma respond as she acknowledges your entry. It was a short enough walk through the blue hallways to get here, but you wonder how long Emma's been here for. Maybe not all that long after you left her, seeing as she's pouring over the world atlas Owen must have helped her find and buy."Ah well, I 'ad wanted to find zhis place you spoke of on my own, as a surprise for you... anyway, 'ave you 'ad any luck zhen, now wizh zhe book?""Welcome back, Pearl."Before Emma gets a chance to respond, and looking like she was about to blast your ears off with a ton of information she learned, the vault system sounds again. This time when Sarah enters the room, having caught up. The poor thing is more than a little surprised though, looking like she thinks she did something wrong and visibly considering just backing out the way she came. Emma is about as surprised as well, clearly not expecting you to have brought Sarah down here, though she's quite excited by the prospect. Her attention though, and all of yours' really, is drawn to the flourish of activity on the system display. The big screen, shows a webbed network of information and icons spring up and partially obscure whatever Emma was working on. Jumping at the chance, she takes control with apparent glee to begin navigating the new information."Ooooh this is just perfect! I knew Pearl had her own portion of the system buuut I could never access it, never see what she'd been doing. It was always guesswork, hence needing the human maps to try and find anything. If the system recognizes Sarah though, that changes eeeverything!"Emma is occupied with searching through the information available now, like someone who just figured out an important missing piece to a huge puzzle they've been working on for ages. It's all quite impressive and you're glad to see her so focused, it's good for her, when her mind is directed to something. You notice Sarah though having backed away to a wall and looking reserved about all this. As quiet as she had been, this is something that worried you earlier, and you hope it's not truly a problem."It thinks I'm... her?" the little girl half-whispers in dismay.It had been alarming to her at first but now she seems upset, to see Emma just casually digging through and pulling apart something which could be very personal.>[Write-in.] Say something to her.
>>1356830Honestly, it's kinda hard to write the kind of response necessary for this when we don't know the first thing about this Pearl. Anyway,>apologise and reassure her that no one expects her to be Pearl>she can leave if she wants>tell Emma to cut that shit out
>>1356830>Walk slowly to Sarah and give her a hug."No one expects you to be your mother but... you have her Gem. You... you can leave if you want... we can find that place some other way."
>>1356965>>1357165Seeing how uncomfortable Sarah is with all of this, you're starting to have second thoughts about bringing her down here, especially if parts of the vault will react to her this way. You can't blame her either, how could she have any idea what she'd be suddenly faced with, without warning? Especially considering you had no idea either, since the last time you brought her down here (to the testing room) nothing untoward happened. So in a rushed attempt to try and make her feel better, you first get on Emma's case and tell her to stop snooping around in Pearl's activity, just get to point and find the location. She seemed completely unaware that anything was wrong, and quickly snaps out of her new information craze when you turn her attention to the issue, apologizing profusely to both you and Sarah before busying herself with trying to find only research pertaining to locations. After that, you move over to Sarah to speak with her personally, taking a knee and hoping you aren't overstepping yourself by giving her a hug."It is alright Sarah. No one expects you to be your mozher but... you 'ave 'er gem. You... you can leave if you want... we can find zhat place some ozher way."Reluctantly at first, she does return the hug. Not as wholly as you, but it's still heartfelt. You can understand it, this is a bit much to have just sprung on her and a lot to deal with."N-No... I want to stay. I want to see this place."Before you were concerned that she was just feigning interest for your sake, but now she sounds steadfast in her desire to find and explore this other location. Almost as if to spite it, for her own sake. No better time then, when Emma working away before the big screen, finds a map of the world. With some manipulation she pulls it off the big screen to have it suspended as a hologram globe in the center of the room, for easier visualization. She still has to maintain control of the console with at least one hand, but focuses on the projected globe, whereupon a number of points of interest are visibly marked out."Theeere we go. These are the obvious places Pearl had found, and was looking into... maybe with the warp hub in working order now, we can actually visit them?" Emma sounds a little reluctant to speak at first, still coping with the earlier guilt of just delving into Pearl's old work without a second thought and clear for all to see.It's quite an impressive display you have to admit, and admirable the amount of work put into this map, showing much more detail that you notice besides just some old gem locations. Sarah though, pulling away from you nears the hologram, looking up at it with determination. As she speaks though, it sounds a little harsh to you, certainly more than you've ever heard her sound before."And all these places, she... Pearl never went to any of them? Then... I want to go."
>>1357590>Credits Rollhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XuDCTzqJc40I think that's a good place to end things for now. Apologies again for the shorter thread due to business, but I think it worked as nice little chance to play as Sol, in between the usual activity. Anyway, thanks to everyone for playing, hope you enjoyed it! And don't forget, the twitter has notifications whenever a new thread is up.