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/qst/ - Quests

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>Discarded Edition

The 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.
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The requirements have been met for multiple characters, so two are available for play. Owen, the ex-track star supermart worker or Lee, the Jill-of-all-trades waitress.

>Please select your character!
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>Back again after some downtime. The continuation of an ongoing quest, with previous iterations available here;

You are Lee, a 21-year-old lifelong local of Diamond Shoals, and current waitress of a nearby restaurant. Which, in fact, you need to get back to in time for the lunch rush. You only took a regular break in order to help with a gem matter, the first in a couple weeks since the last big outing to some sort of forest facility.

"Sorry Emma but I can't stay, I already think I'm gonna' be late."

"Weeell that's not a problem, I only need to dispose of this-" she holds the waterlogged trunk from the little quest just now aloft, with but one arm, "-ah, but if you need a ride I couuuld..."

Initially you take to the offer, rather than having to pedal back over to town on your bike, but you quickly realize what she means. Enough time spent with her, you've got something of an idea on how her mind works. Vaguely. Probably. Not really.

"No! Ahaha... no that's, that's alright! No point in getting the chopper out just for that... though now that you mention it, can you take me in Sol's car?"

"Ahhh, if only! It's too small for me though, belieeve me I've tried before. Driving it that is, I can ride in the back just fine!"

Looking at her now and thinking back to the few times you've seen the car, yes that would make sense; Emma is quite big so she wouldn't fit the driver's seat at least, you imagine. All that aside, if she's able to accompany you then that should be enough, right? You do have your license and all, just not enough saved up for a car of your own. But this could be a chance for some practice.

>Your bike is fine, you may be late but better to keep to what you can manage yourself.
>With Emma along, you're sure Sol won't mind! After all, if she can't drive back then Emma will have to wait with the car anyway, and who better to keep it safe?
>Better not to invite any trouble, but you don't want to be late either. Call a friend maybe, ask for a favor?
>>Your bike is fine, you may be late but better to keep to what you can manage yourself.
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As tempting as Sol's car may be, you're not about to go for a joyride when she's not around. So while Emma goes to get rid of the trunk, you step inside for a bit to stow away the borrowed raincoat (a good idea in hindsight) and a quick check if Sarah is home, before heading outside again to get your bike and be on your way. Back to town it is then, some fifteen or more minutes even going as reasonably fast as you can, pedaling furiously along the sandy road to and from the lighthouse. You reach main street eventually, and your workplace not long after that.

Ah, that's not good. Already ten minutes over...

You expect to be chewed out by your manager, but slowing to a stop as you near the restaurant you're a little shocked to see the crowd of people there. Stashing your bike by the dumpsters like all the other trash, you sort of half-hurry inside, both anxious about being caught but curious about what's going on. At least you're already in uniform, but while getting on your work skates your manager happens upon you.

"Lee?! Oh Lee, thank whoever you're still here, you won't believe it!"

"Huh? Oh right, yeah I'm still here! What's up, Julie?"

You didn't expect such a warm welcome as she hugs you in relief, and to answer your question helps you to your feet once you've got the skates on. Sure enough there's that crowd you saw on the way in, lined up even outside and the registers more than busy with what looks like a skeleton crew including you and your manager.

"I don't know, but it's like half the town is here! Well, I think most of them are from over Dauphine way, but why? Did Holly put out a promotion or something and forget to tell us? Or, tell me?"

The lunch rush is always the busiest time for the restaurant of course, but you haven't seen this many people in... well, maybe ever. It's easily got to be close to the record. And with so few other employees around, it seems like a real run of bad luck.

>You've got your skates on, and you're a waitress, so get waiting! Only way to help thin out the herd.
>See if you can get the others to push self-service for awhile, so you can figure out what's going on.
>As good as you are, and you *are* good, some help is needed! Get Julie's permission to conscript some temps.
>>You've got your skates on, and you're a waitress, so get waiting! Only way to help thin out the herd.
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Sorry for the delay,


You'll stick to what you know, and what you know is how to wait. Especially with the particular gem fragment Emma gave you to help with balance, you don't even have to worry about falling over anymore! So with you on the serving floor both inside and outside, that's another job freed up as you take to rolling like it was your job.

"Alright, commence Operation... Rolling... Thunder? Ok that one was pretty bad..."

Not for compliments, not for a promotion, not even for tips. Just for standards of good service.

Zipping around you go to tables and folks waiting, even cars though that's not usually an offered service. Weaving back and forth, in and out, with the help of the gem pendant you've able to go as fast as you please without issue even through and amid the gathered crowd of people. Of course the whole serving process is a chain, so with the kitchen for example being understaffed, you can't constantly be waiting but it does free up the chance then to bus tables while you're at it. Another job saved! Now if only every role in the process have enough employees.

"Is that... Lee! Hey Lee, over here!"

While handing off another order to another happy customer, you see a familiar face among the crowd. Not the first since you started working the lunch rush, but the first to notice you it seems. Or the first at least enough to call you out.

"Ethan? Hey, how's it going? Sorry to rush but we're pretty busy here!"

"Aren't we all? So listen, weird request but I've got to get something back to my boss ASAP for a sale, something about local food? I hate to ask a favor, but you don't think you could get an order through for me? Normally I'd just wait in line, but..."

Well that's obvious, if he's got something urgent to do with the real estate business he works for, waiting in line today and now of all times is probably out of the question. But... well he is a fellow local, and an old schoolmate if not friend, but pushing his order through and ahead of everyone else? Like any true-blooded resident of Diamond Shoals, you have no love of Dauphine and it's denizens, but they're customers all the same. Same as him, in fact.

>It's no problem, a favor for a friend and fellow Shoal-er.
>Apologize, but if it were any other time you could. Not during the worst lunch rush in recent memory.
>[Lee] If he can make it worth your while, maybe you can work something out... {Specify?}
>It's no problem, a favor for a friend and fellow Shoal-er.
>[Lee] If he can make it worth your while, maybe you can work something out... {Specify?}

He will wait tables for us if he wants the hook up from us, and he will do it well or his boss isn't gonna be so happy with him either
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You can't turn your back on another local, even if his request is stretching it a bit. He doesn't get it for free though, and he's got to pull his weight for it! You quickly work something out, where if you agree to send his order through and have it out before... well, most everyone else's, then he'll wait tables during that time.

So you finish this particular run of deliveries and bussing, then bring Ethan back with you for him to give his boss's order directly to Shauna, and give him a very quick rundown on what he needs to do. After all, as long as he doesn't drop anything and get the customers right then it should be fine, especially since he doesn't have to wear skates like normal. Not half a bad chance to spread the work load out then, so you can better tend to the admittedly still large but thinning crowd of customers. Thankfully they've generally been patient, though some did see and seem to get an idea of the arrangement you made with Ethan, especially when his order comes out clearly ahead of other people's and he departs after thanking you. Grumbling abound for sure.

Ah but it's nothing you can't deal with, right?

"That one, you there! Come here, now! I demand service!"

Again you're interrupted while fetching a specialty drink refill, hearing through the buzz of the crowd a definite snapping of fingers at you and the shouting of a girl. You could probably place her by the voice alone with enough remembering, but the words and tone make it clear that the pride and joy of the Wentworths has come by. Jocelyn, around Sarah's age if you're not mistaken, is present and waiting with her dog and maid... or babysitter? You're not really sure, but it's Clarissa, always minding the girl and quick to apologize for her.

"Sorry Lee, but do think you could make a quick run? We need a cup or a bowl or something of water for Benson, but she's going to want something to eat as well. I'll... we'll... she'll make it worth your time."

Another special request? Already people are starting to get impatient now, but then... the Wentworths are one of the rich families if not the richest, in town and probably the island. You can imagine what your being made worth can mean, and you do work for tips, but... in any case you won't be able to ask for work help, since Jocelyn is too young and Clarissa has to mind her.

>You can't help but feel bad for Clarissa. She needn't worry, the "princess" will get what she wants.
>They can try the Mega World Mart maybe, you've still got plenty of customers to wait on first.
>[Lee] Don't fret, I'm sure we can come to an agreement... {Specify?}
Mega world mart then. Don't snap at me.
>>You can't help but feel bad for Clarissa. She needn't worry, the "princess" will get what she wants.
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Bit of delay with finicky internet, but ready to continue!


You can handle annoyed customers but you don't like being bossed, any more than you already are. It's hard not to feel bad for Clarissa but you're not about to fast-track Jocelyn's request when she acts like that towards you, even if she is just a kid. Water you can manage for Benson's sake, but if they're after something to eat and don't want to wait then they can head on over to the Mega World Mart. See how Mr. Nguyen responds to being snapped it.

And so telling them on the return trip with disposable bowl of water for the hot dog, you can just feel the extra monetary incentive slipping away, but it feels good to tell Jocelyn off. Or at least, not just bow down and kiss the ground she walks on. She got what she asked for, if she wanted something to eat as well, maybe she should have tried asking you nicely and directly. In so doing as well you also avoid any initial customer ire from anyone watching since a dog bowl is a reasonable enough request, but it doesn't help when Mandy happens by with a small horde of various dogs in tow for her dogwalking job. Seeing your service to Benson, she takes the chance to ask the same thing for all the other dogs she's minding, and unfortunately you can't really deny her after only just helping someone in the same way. Another trip, now drawing a little ire.

But that's that taken care of and you can get back to work, again making the most of your time and effort to try and make sure customers leave happy. And again, in due time the crowd thins further, now less than half of what it was and no one left waiting for too long. If only people would stop showing up, there's no way it's just chance or a random island-wide sudden hunger for Murricane Holly's of all places. Still, together with the suspiciously low number of co-workers you're pretty sure you can make it through this without too many complaints.

"Izzzat... Lee my girl! Ahhh, aren't ye *hic* theeeee busy lass! It'd be mighty kinddddd if'n ye *hic* fetches me another! Thereeeee's a good girl!"

Captain Carlyle? You don't even remember seeing him in line, much less serving him. The local drunk, about as nicely as you can put it, but who wouldn't be after all the hardships he's dealt with? He's something of a family friend, at least a friend of your dad's though and he's always been kind to you. It seems it's never too early for him to start drinking though, but his refill he's after isn't even something served here. Seems like he might have just stumbled along with the crowd in a stupor, but good luck talking sense into him like this...
>Maybe something else to drink will suffice? You're not sure how well he'll take to soda or other fountain drinks though.
>Enough! This is getting ridiculous, you're not the town's designated charity worker! Sorry Captain, but no.
>[Lee] If you're quick, you could probably go and buy him another drink off-site and be back in short order. Not like everyone would be upset to wait, if you can get the Captain to start going on about his history of seafaring and tales from the ocean.
>>Maybe something else to drink will suffice? You're not sure how well he'll take to soda or other fountain drinks though.
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You're cutting him off! In a sense at least, as you take the one of many bottles and skate back inside. You're not sure how to make up for the contents though and just end up getting one of the super special fancy shmancy drinks that costs five dollars or more. At least no one can draw ire from a refill and the return trip goes well enough, but it's when the Captain takes to drinking for awhile that trouble starts when he realizes it isn't at all what he asked for. Causing quite a commotion as he tries to make a complaint with the manager, it's out of your hands now and soundly in Julie's being that she is the manager.

At least the Captain is the only person unhappy, and nobody in town is unused to such outbursts so it's like lunch and a show for the Dauphine residents. Back to your job then for a final last push of effort in waiting and bussing to thin out the remaining crowd and newcomers. You swear, if the entire population of Dauphine came by today you wouldn't be surprised. And if the restaurant had to be swamped by some other town, why couldn't it have been Barnell, or even Waves? Ah well, that's life, isn't it?

"Alright everyone, I think we can call that a job well done! If you want to go on break now, that's only fair... ah, but not all at once!"

A little past 2 now, things have finally settled down, back to what you'd expect regular business to be like. And for basically a glorified cafe, things only wind down after the lunch rush, some days not even staying open for any sort of dinner time. You're still the only waiter on hand oddly enough, but things are at a much more manageable pace as you actually wait for people to be waited on.

"Hellooo Lee! You can spare a moment, can't you?"

"Ugh, what?! What is it, how many more favors are people going to a- oh! H-Hey Emma, sorry about that..."

While struggling with one of the folding umbrellas of a table while wearing roller skates then, after the rather hectic work day so far, it's easy to lose your patience finally when yet another local comes asking for your attention and time. Emma's presence is known to you quickly enough however, when a large hand reaches to help stabilize the umbrella.

>This isn't about another quest is it? Did the trunk from earlier get open somehow?
>You're still on the clock, but there's no impatient crowd of customers. If she does actually want something, there isn't anyone left now to upset if you ran it through.
>Wait a minute... how did she get here? Pray she didn't take the chopper.
>>You're still on the clock, but there's no impatient crowd of customers. If she does actually want something, there isn't anyone left now to upset if you ran it through.
As long as it doesn't involve cutting the work day short.
>You're still on the clock, but there's no impatient crowd of customers. If she does actually want something, there isn't anyone left now to upset if you ran it through.

Do it

It's work as usual but from here on things are only going to get less until closing time. You can't just check out even if some of your co-workers do, but no one's going to complain if you take some time aside. No quests or anything serious though.

"Apology accepted, juuust don't let it happen again! I was hoping to find you however, and heeere you are! You'd seemed... ah, worried about getting to work on time with only your bike, sooo I thought I'd give you this!"

You offer her to sit but she declines and probably for the best, else she break the chairs here. Instead, she produces a little bundled up parcel sealed with amber, a nice touch for sure if she didn't just go ahead and open it for you anyway. Another gem fragment? In the last couple of months she's been gifting them to you, mostly as thanks for your continued help with their gem matters, but you get the feeling more and more that she does it as answers to problems when she notices you have them.

If you knew better, it almost feels like she's treating you like her little pet project... or pet human.

"Oh Emma, I'm not sure I can... I mean, thanks a ton! It's just, after the last one only, what? A week ago? Can I really take all these?"

"You can if I say you can, and I saaay you need this! Probably put it on your bike, it'll keep whateeever it's attached to moving at a consistent rate. Nooow you won't have to worry about your sorry little human body becoming fatigued, just pedal up to speed and leeet the fragment do the work for you!"

So... something like a cruise control for your bike? At least it's not something you'd wear, you've already got more than a few of these gem shards on you as necklaces or bracelets or whatever. Any more and you'll start to feel like some old lady obsessed and covered with jewelry. Emma doesn't give you much a choice in taking it, but you certainly appreciate the gift and thank her for it. She hangs about a little longer to help you fasten the fragment to your bike as instructed, and see how you're doing in general, but knowing you're still working she lets you be soon enough. You share goodbyes, but before you can depart she snaps to attention in remembering something.

"Oh! And I nearly forgot, but you might want to be careful about how much you exert yourself with it. The fragment I mean! I'm not sure if it has a limit on what it can maintain."

You can guess that means she probably hasn't tested it? But then, she never really tested any of the other fragments she gave to you. Not for a human anyway, how could she? Given how well (for the most part) everything else has worked out though, it's probably not an issue.
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>Well that was a nice little break, but back to work! Finish out your shift like any good employee should.
>After as busy a day as that, maybe see if you could get off work a little early today? You don't think Julie would mind.
>See if you can't figure out what the reason for all that commotion earlier with the lunch rush was. It'll be hard since there isn't really anyone left now from before, but maybe you could learn something.
>>Well that was a nice little break, but back to work! Finish out your shift like any good employee should.
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Took a bit longer to write this one out.


You could go on break or try and cut out early, but you'll count that as your break. A strong work ethic, something picked up from your dad. At any rate you get back to it, albeit at a much easier pace as the customers dwindle till late afternoon and the end of your shift. Much easier to not have to try and skate through a bustling crowd holding orders of food, and not having to bus tables now that someone else can afford the time to do it. You still give your full effort of course though, even if it's just serving a few fellow locals now and then.

On your shift's end though a little after 3, you're approached by Julie who gives you immense thanks for your work and help today, and saying she'll find a way to make it up to you. You appreciate the effort, but don't get a chance to thank her when a loud smash is heard outside and the little restaurant even shakes a little.

"Again?! That's the third time in the last hour!"

Following Julie outside to try and locate the source, you find yourselves around back to the sight of some troublemakers. A few high schoolers having quite the laugh while one looks rather dazed and battered lying on the ground beside your bike. A clear imprint or at least discoloration in the wall of the building by the dumpsters where the teen must have crashed, it looks like they've been messing around with your bike. Not strange for kids to be messing around here since Murricane Holly's is a popular enough spot (what with the baseball field behind, a practice game in fact going on right now) but annoying for them to be taking liberties with your stuff. Part of why you started hiding your bike behind the dumpsters, but it looks like it was found again. And this time, apparently worth experimenting around with now that it behaves strangely thanks to the attached gem fragment.

"What the hell is this?! Give me your teacher's name, they're going to hear about this! And you better hope you didn't do any real damage!"

Julie flies off a handle at them, obviously still stressed about the day, though is she really out of place? Riding around and crashing into the building is one thing, but they might have gotten hurt or worse. Not you, not even Emma have gotten a chance to figure out what the fragment is capable of, after all.

>Julie's got the right idea, put these punks in their place! Chase them off while you're at it.
>No harm no foul. Well, for the most part. See if they're not hurt, inform them of the danger, then let them off the hook.
>[Lee] Flying Dragon Kick.
>>[Lee] Flying Dragon Kick.
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The tit for tat continues between Julie and the troublemakers, as they seem a little defiant against her threats.

"None of your business, lady! And good luck getting us to pay for anything if you can't catch us! There's no way you ca-"


The fearsome impact of your flying foot strikes the pushiest high schooler mid-sentence and sends him flying into the dumpster, much to the panic of the others. Actually the panic of Julie as well, a mix of shock and disbelief shared all around. One of the kids immediately bolts, while the other raises issue with your display of force.

"Wh-What was that for?! Y-You're go to jail for this!"

"Call the cops, see if I care! What are you gonna' do, tell em' a girl beat you up?"

Obvious hesitation in the troublemaker, as eventually his friend emerges, struggling to get out of the dumpster. For a moment it seems as though there might be trouble, until you adopt a fighting stance again and the remaining two teens hightail it out of there. Relaxing to stand as normal again then, you smile and wave to Julie after getting on your bike again, saying you'll see her for work next time as you pedal off. She merely stares after you, a clear and conflicted mix of emotions about the matter and your actions.

>Talk about a busy day, but you can take it easy now. Time to head home.
>You've been meaning to try out the bike, or more specifically the gem shard. This is as good a chance as any to see what it can do.
>It's still only the afternoon, you're free to hit up any place you wish. {Specify?}
>>You've been meaning to try out the bike, or more specifically the gem shard. This is as good a chance as any to see what it can do.
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You'd at least like to get out of your work clothes before doing anything, however this seems like a perfect chance to get a feel for the bike now and see what the fragment attached to it can do. Right away there's an obvious difference when you let up on pedaling and find the bike moving at the same speed. Great for joyriding you imagine, but you want to push it more. So letting the bike carry you over the main area of town, you make a few turns here and there and settle on a back street to test things out.

Alright, commence Operation Pedal Power... yeah, it needs some work...

First order of business, pulling onto the empty-ish back street, you start pedaling again and get it up to speed. As fast as you could normally ever go in fact, or at least as fast as you've managed for the Diamond Cyclist Club. Sure enough, you push yourself to the limit and though you make sure to keep your feet on the pedals, you ease up on them and find the motion continuing despite your inactivity in keeping at it. Just as Emma suggested, this will surely help for getting around town then, even the whole island if the gem shard can maintain this for long distances.

Why stop now though you figure? You recall what Emma said earlier, but it's not like you're ripping through spacetime like the chopper. At least you think it does. So coming up to the edge of the back street, you make a wide and early turn at full speed till you can find another long one. Pulling onto it already going quite fast, you take a few deep breaths and put some force back into your feet, exerting yourself as much as you can to really push the limit. A mighty struggle and a haze of activity as you breathe strong and force your muscles to straining, working up quite a sweat in the process despite such a brief effort. The payoff is clear though, as you begin to notice that indeed the bike is moving faster and faster, already more than you'd ever normally be able to push it. What an exhilarating feeling it is too, as you fight against the fatigue but embrace the sensation of it all, the wind and the speed and everything else.

"Ahahaha! This is amazing! Emma was right, I don't- ah... uh-oh..."

So caught up in the moment, there doesn't seem to be anything wrong with the speed until you quickly start to feel the stress in your legs from the pedals moving so fast. A steadily growing pain in fact, as it's more than you can take to even just keep your feet down. Yanking them free to the sides in a panic, you wobble precariously for a moment before the bike stabilizes. Still just as fast as ever though, even without your input effort, and you grip on as best you can in fear as you start to look around. The end of the street is approaching fast, and seeing everything zip by, you've gotten up to a much higher speed that you feel safe, or comfortable with.
>This isn't good! Try to slow down maybe?
>Will the brakes even work at this speed? Try and get off the flat roads, onto the sands maybe out by the shoreline.
>Try and head past a good spot, like some bushes or amassed trash bags, and then just jump free. The fall will hurt for sure, but you want off *now*!
>>Will the brakes even work at this speed? Try and get off the flat roads, onto the sands maybe out by the shoreline.
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Impressive that the chain hasn't jumped off or just broken at this rate, you're probably going as fast as a car at least. Braking at this speed then, with the normal bike brakes seems like a bad idea, and it's definitely too dangerous to try and get your feet back on the pedals. With some quick thinking then, you figure if you're not able to safely slow the bike down then maybe the bike could slow down on its own? You're going along blacktop right now, but maybe...

Some very close calls then as you make a few more wide, and early turns. Eventually though you're onto main street and then the highway leading across the island and beyond. You draw attention as you go, shouts from familiar faces and honks from cars passing in the other direction. Only for as long as you're in town though, once out on the highway it's a little more peaceful, or quieter at least. Few if any buildings around as well, much more open so easier to think. It takes no time at all, but finally you can see the ocean approaching and the beach under the afternoon sun. Watching the side of the road as you go, you scan ahead for a less rough portion and finally turn wide to get off.

"Whoah-ho! Ok ok ok... nice and steady!"

Some rough terrain as you zip along across the uneven grounds and then eventually sands. It does slow the bike some, but not enough to a safe speed. It's not a bad idea, but you should have known that there wouldn't be an easy path to the beach from the highway unless you followed it to the far ends of the island. The rough ground is bumpy for sure and you struggle to hold on as best you can, but before you reach the beach proper it's the dunes. Feeling your heart miss a beat as a reedy hillock fast approaches, you brace yourself for what promises to be either a dire impact or a mega sick jump.

"Nononono... waaaaaagh- oof!"

Surprisingly it ends up being a mix of both; a mega sick jump for the bike once it hits the dune, and a dire impact for you upon leaving it. The sudden jolt as the wheels hit the steep change in height, to which you finally lose your grip and fall off. The bike rockets off the dune and further ahead out of sight. You however, crash right into the sand but in a much lighter and safer spill than you'd have imagined.

What the... oh right, that fragment Emma gave me before the bike one...

That's right, the one you were given sort-of as a reward after the quest in the giant forest. Emma said it was supposed to dull impacts to you, and it seems she was right. Rather than crashing into the sand at high-speed, it feels more like a fall out of bed, in a rough but definitely muted landing. Shaking your head and the sand off of you, you struggle as best you can to the top of the dune, just in time to see your bike. Still speeding along, off down the beach at near enough the same speed.
>You've got to get it back, but how? Call for help maybe, you've got your cell phone still, at least.
>This is a gem issue now, or might as well be. Who else to turn to?
>The bike is a problem for sure, but after all that excitement you could really use a breather.
>>You've got to get it back, but how? Call for help maybe, you've got your cell phone still, at least.
>>You've got to get it back, but how? Call for help maybe, you've got your cell phone still, at least.
Maybe we can call Owen

Busy day today, but just stopping by to say I'll try to continue from here in awhile.
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Losing your bike is one thing but if it's left to speed around the island going so fast, someone could get hurt. Or well, it's not like it couldn't just zip off into the water or crash into a tree, but it seemed capable of keeping itself stable. You're not totally sure how these gem shards work of course, but the seem able to do their "job" with or without input from anyone or anything. You remember back to the fiasco with the boat and when the stability fragment carried it soaring on the wind, all without your control or will.

Yes, getting it back is a must, but how can you catch it? The bike was your only method of transportation, and you'd rather not just immediately go asking the gems for help if you don't need it. Help from them, that is, you're going to need at least a little help. So plonking down on the crest of the reedy sand dune and trying to watch the bike as it speeds farther and farther away to disappear into the distance, you reach for a pocket to get out your phone. Calling Owen is your first thought so that you can get to talk to him and hear his voice... and of course he's the other human around who has experience with gem stuff, yes of course that too! You recall though that he doesn't own a cell phone oddly enough, and you don't even know if he's working today in case you'd try calling the Mega World Mart for him.

So failing that, you scan through your sizeable contacts list, from friends to fellow locals and everyone in between. And of course, the majority of contacts being people in the many, many organizations and activity clubs you run.

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"Hey hey hey- careful!!"

In the end it's Mike you settle on, about the most prominent driver in town. He's able to pick you up en route to delivering a pizza, a main job of his, and you feel pretty content in your choice as you clutch the assist grip by your head for dear life as he swings his small but fast car along the sandy roads. His destination is one of the vacation rental homes farther out of town, but while he rushes the pizza to the door you get the chance to call the police about the matter of your bike. You don't expect them to take it seriously, and the gems do their best to keep a lid on any strange happenings in order to avoid scrutiny from the authorities, but hopefully they can at least spread awareness of the situation. Not like there's a whole lot to occupy them with otherwise, they let you know you can call back in to find out any updates about the bike. A similar call you make to the ranger station, with similar results.

"Alright Lee, back to town! Need me to drop you off anywhere in particular, or is this a two-person job you've got?"

Taking the lighted delivery sign of the car roof and hopping back in the driver seat, Mike revs back onto the highway, tires screeching till hitting the main road again. You're free now to pursue the bike, or as best you can manage as far as he's willing to keep to the roads since you doubt he's willing to go driving on the beach around the island, though it couldn't hurt to ask. You do wonder though if you want to include him or anyone else in this? He'll give you a ride back to town which was mainly what you were after, but do you want to go further with someone not familiar with gem matters?

>Why not? Mike may not deal with gem problems on the level you do, but he was present when the monster in the water tower attacked so he at least knows about them.
>Maybe not the gems, but you want to keep this to people who've at least gone on a quest before. Maybe Owen if you can find him, or even Sarah if you can sneak to her.
>No way, you're going solo. You'll take whatever help you can get, but when it comes down to the final capture of the bike, you're going it alone.
>>Maybe not the gems, but you want to keep this to people who've at least gone on a quest before. Maybe Owen if you can find him, or even Sarah if you can sneak to her.
And we can spend some time with Owen.
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After having only just gotten the gift from Emma earlier today, you don't want to have to let her know that you've already lost it. Besides, you can always count on Owen or at least want to believe that's the kind of relationship you have, so any chance to spend time with him is a chance you'll take.

"Nah, I don't wanna' waste your time. The ride back is all I need, thanks!"

"Not a problem, if you change your mind or need help later you know who to call. Well, call the police first but after that you know who!"

Any hopes of a nice and easy ride back to town are left behind in the dust as Mike hits the gas, tearing off along the road towards the late afternoon sun. Again clutching to whatever you can for dear life, part of you wants your own car all the more. Then you won't have to rely on other people for the Auto Club, and maybe you could start a racing team... or even a street racing team! At any rate, in an even shorter time than you'd expected, the outlying buildings of town proper come into view and town center not long after that. Clearing it up with Mike before he blasts past, and so you can get him to lower his speed on main street and not put anyone at risk, you get out near town hall and thank him for the ride.

Off he blasts again then, as you look around for anyone clearly annoyed by the speeding. Not wanting to get told off in Mike's place, you head through the little plaza in front of town hall where people are cleaning up after some event earlier, probably a speech or presentation. Soon enough you hit the back streets and cut over to the rear of the bookstore, taking the back way to get up the stairs to the second floor where Owen's room is. Figuring Ms. Warren leaves the back door open for Owen and therefore it's ok for you to use as well, you wait at the top of the stairs after knocking and calling for him a few times.

No answer, probably out running.

>Maybe he's still at work? Head back down and ask Ms. Warren if she knows where he is, maybe hang out in the bookstore if he's only out for a short while.
>No luck here unfortunately, the only other person you can turn to with this safely is Sarah.
>You didn't found the local Locksport team for nothing! Let yourself in, explore his place for anything of interest. {Specify?}
>>Maybe he's still at work? Head back down and ask Ms. Warren if she knows where he is, maybe hang out in the bookstore if he's only out for a short while.
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Couple days downtime but maybe we can get back to things, and reach a conclusion!


You like to think Owen is your friend, but neither of you are familiar enough to know each other's work schedule. For you it's hard because your schedule fluctuates, while for him... well he hasn't really told you. Maybe just go to his work and find out his schedule yourself, at a later date. For now though, you rely on his landlady for answers, heading back down the stairs to the bookstore itself.

"Heyo Ms. Warren! Is Owen around today?"

"Goodness Lee, you scared me! I didn't hear you come in... makes sense, since you snuck in the back way, "Anyway, yes Owen came by earlier after his shift ended. Went out for a run as always, but that was some time ago now. If you need him, you probably won't have to wait long."

Yeah, that's not too bad. The bookstore is never a boring place to spend time, and it's a good chance for you to look for anything new, for one of the several book clubs. There's only one other person in the small place, so you can browse the shelves and snag one of the recliners at the back to lounge in.


Although you lose track of time, it's really not all that long till you hear Owen return. A couple people have come and gone to the sound of the door bell ringing, but you can vaguely hear any talking going on so it's easy to hear who's who. Being welcomed back by Ms. Warren, it gives you the chance to get up again and put back the couple of books you picked out. Returning to the register area, you try to sneak up on Owen and surprise him, but Ms. Warren does a good enough job of spoiling that and he turns to notice you.

"Hey Lee."

That's it? You're a little stung, but try not to show it obviously.

"H-Hey Owen! I was wanting- err... hoping I could get y-your help with something? A g-gem something?"

That could have come out better, and you try not to seem flustered by him. You also could have picked a better time probably, as he's clearly worked out after likely a vigorous run. Leaving again so soon is probably the last thing he wants to do after only just getting back home, and indeed he does appear reluctant. Despite this though, he merely wipes at his face with his usual THU jacket against some sweat and takes a deep breath.


>Well that's a relief. Might as well get started right away then? Head out together, trying to track down the bike.
>Be a little kind on him, the problem isn't so urgent that you can't afford a rest for a little while. He's only just returned after all.
>Don't settle in, but don't just rush out the door either. Take a walk together, and try to figure out a strategy for the issue. {Specify?}
>>Don't settle in, but don't just rush out the door either. Take a walk together, and try to figure out a strategy for the issue. {Specify?}
Maby we can direct the bike to a place where it will lose it's grip.
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Best not to settle in or else you may end up getting too lazy to go out again. Probably. Under the guise of explaining the situation better to Owen then, you manage to lure him into a walk together, in the process giving you a chance to head over to the police station.

"...so your bike has a gem fragment tied to it, keeping it steady and moving on its own, and the worry is it will end up doing damage or hurting someone? If the problem is the fragment, then why not just pull it off?"

"Oh right... yeah, I think that'd work! Ah, but the only problem is it's keeping the bike going... well, really fast. Like thirty miles an hour, if I had to guess? Forty? Without a car or something, I'm not sure how we'd catch it..."

Some semblance of a plan is discussed as you walk along the sidewalk of main street together. Your secret wish to get closer together seems granted when someone else headed in the opposite direction approaches, and you take the chance to sidle up to him in order to make room. Your over-eagerness however, ends up with you rather quickly and forcefully bumping into him from the side, and knocking him into the road.

No traffic, heaven forbid, but it's embarrassing as you scramble to try and help him up and apologize profusely. Nice try, Lee.


Sitting on a bench outside the police station, you check your phone while Owen participates in some coordination exercises performed by the officers in the parking lot. When the both of you stopped by the station, they were quite eager to get his involvement, the chance for them to react to a fast-moving suspect. Apart from your bike problem it must be a slow day if they can work at some training scenarios. Upon reaching the station though after crossing part of town, you were able to get some more updates on your bike, and found that interestingly the park rangers of the nature preserve nearby also are active in the bike hunt. Something about it crashing through a nesting ground for waterfowl and continuing on.

"So I was thinking, we could figure out where it's likely to go, then try to cut it off. Or at least direct it to a better location."

Being thanked by the officers involved, Owen finally makes his way over to you and joins you on the bench, welcoming the chance to catch his breath again. He was having a little fun with them, but his mind is still in the bike-catching game thankfully.

"Finding it might be tough but we could probably pin it down with help. How to get... wherever it is though? Gotta' figure that out before we can force it into a dead end... maybe pick a spot and wait for it to come around the island to us? Otherwise I don't know what else to do."

If tracking it is possible, that's one thing. If the bike is keeping at a steady rate though, getting a chance to catch it will be hard. Even if you can head it off somewhere on the island, you'll only have a few moments at best to do anything given how fast it's moving.
>[Write-in.] You can probably track and predict the course of the bike with some help, but you'll need to come up with a way to both reach the bike and get at it long enough to remove the gem fragment. Or some other method you can devise.
Have a joint police training, to help them understand and help with gem events.
So they can later be of greater use evacuating the civilians in the event of a gem attack.

Well that's not exactly an immediate option, at least for the matter of the runaway bike. Also it brings up a difficult question of how exposed you want people to be to gem-related things. Or rather, how exposed the gems themselves want people to be to their presence. Even though you've lived here in Diamond Shoals all your life, you never noticed much gem-related activity. At best maybe just hearing about a monster sighting or something, but you can't even recall having seen them before that big hurricane when you were still a kid. Otherwise they've managed to do a good job of keeping to themselves and keeping a lid on their problems, even the ones here in town. Whether they want it that way, or it's just safer for everyone you couldn't say, but are you in a position to make a decision like this for them?

It is of course entirely possible to let people know and organize some sort of response effort, and you can imagine a lot of benefits of having people (or at least the police) know and understand, but deciding on that with or without the support of the gems is your choice.
Have Owen contact the local running team and have a contest of racing the bike and chasing it. They can spread out and keep an eye on it, while having a greater chance of catching it due to their speed.

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