Incidents at an Orphanage - 9Doctor Rikandra isn't a friend, but she might not be an enemy. Much like Rune, she has information, valuable information, and while you may have gotten most of what you wanted, she's now offering to you an opportunity of some sort. She apparently wants this insane operation shut down, regardless of the cost to her; her boss, the manager of the Edgewood Home for Troubled Children has been using the place as a laboratory to try and train a vampire - not a pretty, sexy, blood drinking one but a deadly, ugly, monstrous thing out of nightmares that simply drains the life away - to kill on command and on target.Using your kids as the bait and treats to train it.Timothy is behind a curtain in the infirmary where you and Doctor Rikandra are facing one another. In a very sort few minutes the vampire is going to come and try and devour the remainder of Timothy's life. Priscilla is nearby as well, still unconscious and quite insane after you freed her from the influence of what has been called a demon. You, on the other hand, have eaten one of the nightmare inducing malignant ghosts known as lemures, and discovered that you are indeed a monster. For the moment you're resisting the urge to become a true monster; you're still mostly a person. It costs you power, but you refuse to leave your loved ones behind without saying goodbye one last time.Doctor Rikandra's offer is very simple. If you cause a ruckus and call the attention of the authorities onto the situation here....well, really you're no sure what part of this is a 'bargain' really. You do know that if you make a bargain or a promise, you must keep it. On the other hand, there's nothing that prevents you from allowing someone to think you've agreed if you can avoid actually agreeing. Normally you're not much of a liar, but you're not incapable of it either.While Rikandra has outright admitted she can't do anything to make her bosses - and specifically Sister Christina - to stop what's going on here, she seems to be suggesting the police getting involved can help somehow. "What, if I get the police involved, you'll somehow make the people who are running this place leave it alone?"She takes a final drag from her clove cigarette and looks at the clock. Five minutes to midnight. Stubbing the pungent cigarette out she sighs and looks at you. "You get authorities, make noise, make trouble, I will make sure your kids, cats, are safe, yeah. Have friends, Eff-Bee-Eye, that sort of thing. Can't contact directly, but police can. 'Specially missing kids, one missing kid. You are gonna go away after this, yeah?" She looks at you with those piercing dark eyes. It will seem like it, but you better believe I am going to be watching this place. Sure, whatever you say. I'll make sure the police can't find me, don't worry about that. If it will help I can do something about that. Write in:
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>>2113401Hm. Moving the kid's -and- the cats out of here sounds like it'll render Hekah totally inert, which also seems as if it'll prevent us from keeping our bargain with Rune.
>>2113401>> It will seem like it, but you better believe I am going to be watching this place.
>>2113401> If it will help I can do something about that.So this is actual agreement> Sure, whatever you say.And this is "agreement" right?
>>2113401> It will seem like it, but you better believe I am going to be watching this place.
>>2113413It is very difficult to move every living thing out of a place....especially where cats are concerned.
>>2113401>What are you willing to tell me about the organization you work for? Considering this vampire thing is sanctioned, I'm guessing that means there's not really a market for people like Sebastian to grow up functional, is there?
>>2113419You are correct.
>>2113425And is >>2113423 doing either, which is what I meant to type?
[X] It will seem like it, but you better believe I am going to be watching this place.[X] Write in: What can you tell me about the people you work for? I guess people like Sebastian don't get to grow up normally, huh?"You might think so, and they won't find me, but you can be absolutely sure I'll be watching this place. I'll make that chick from the Grudge look like Casper the friendly ghost when I'm done here." She raises an eyebrow but you don't back down. "This is my place, and anything and everything that happens here is my business.""Genius Loci, hmn?" You don't correct her. Rune made it pretty clear that's not really what you are. "That's good then. Might be some hope for this place then." She stands up, and glances at the clock. "Have to check on Priscilla. Very messed up, what happened to her. Nothing good. Might have to hospitalize.""Why are your bosses doing this?" She looks at you, her expression a little surprised. "What gives them the right to do this?""Nothing. Certain people, have certain jobs. Experiments, fixing things, changing things. Different departments, different things. Left hand, right hand, not knowing what goes on. Big boss not always kept aware. But very low turnover rate. Most 'retirements' a lot like 'late night adoptions', yeah?" She smiles wryly. "Not for little girls, even magical little girls to know. Rather not 'retire'."You frown at her and narrow your eyes. Rikandra tenses, and frowns back. "So people like Sebastian get shafted, fucked over, and die because of people like your bosses?" You carefully leave her out of it. It's not entirely her fault, though she isn't blameless. She sighs and runs a hand through her hair. "People like that aren't monsters, until you make them into monsters, I bet."
The doctor snorts. "Wouldn't take that bet. But, some good people in company. Sometimes help such people find places int he world. Not my job, even if I wish it were. Sad, but true." Looking at you seriously, she takes a step towards you. You straighten and she immediately takes a step back, her eyes wide. She takes a few seconds to calm down and speaks softly. "You make noise, make mess, I'll bring FBI and get company out of here. Promise.""Don't break that promise, Doctor Simi Rikandra. You don't want to know what happens to people who cross me." You don't agree to the promise, no, but you can sure as hell enforce it! She shudders and quickly walks into the other room, and shuts the door behind her. and locks it. Go figure.Slipping behind the curtains, you see Timothy, still pale and breathing shallowly. Crookie meows loudly, which doesn't even make him stir as she rolls over on the bed next to him. You doubt the doctor let her in here, but here she is anyways. You stroke her soft hair and look around, trying to figure out how best to manage this. Under the bed is the best place for monsters to hide of course. You could probably manage to perch on the railings of the curtains. Just sit on the bed - the vampire will probably know you're here. You can just....hide in the dark. You're a monster, after all. Write in:
>>2113436> You could probably manage to perch on the railings of the curtains.It wouldn't be the worst thing if one of the less outright evil branches found this place, but that's not really within Rikandra's abilities I guess.
>>2113436>Just sit on the bed. This is your house, make it known.
>>2113436> Just sit on the bed - the vampire will probably know you're here.
>>2113436> Just sit on the bed - the vampire will probably know you're here.actually changing my vote. Not really much sense in hiding, and >>2113438 raises a good point.
[X] Just sit on the bed - the vampire will probably know you're here.[X] Write in: This is your house. Yours.You slide onto the bed and sit cross legged near Timothy's feet, which of course prompts Crookie to crawl into your lap and roll over to have her belly scratched. She's the only cat that you can recall who likes having her belly rubbed, not a little, but a lot, and has never bitten or scratched anyone for it. the medium sized black cat is actually quite gentle, rarely giving anything more than love bites or pawing at people, even in play. Any damage she causes is incidental, because she has the sharpest damn claws you've ever seen on any cat.You feel yourself drifting off into some kind of....well, it's not sleep, or anything, just a state of....you're not sure. It's like when you move strangely, or just before someone wakes you up. Fugue, maybe. Crookie purrs, timothy sleeps, and you....drift, you guess. The next thing you know, Crookie is on her feet, back arched and growling like a mountain lion (for such a small cat, she is loud!) with her tail brushed out. You open your eyes as you feel the awful sensation of something shifting, like it's pushing at you, but not on your body. Inside you, but not inside your body. Something moving through your awareness, your presence, without touching you personally. It's disgusting, and almost painful. you lean forward as the horrific visage of the vampire that is what Sebastian has become seems to slide out of the folds of the curtain, like they're some kind of otherworldly tunnel instead of a drapery.You wonder what you look like when you move through the shadows.The red, wet eyes gaze upon the hapless child, and then it stiffens as you smile, baring your teeth in a rictus grin, the same grin that terrified Marie, and scared Jake into calling upon the Christian savior to help him. so such things here for either of you. Just you, and the vampire, and Timothy. And Crookie, of course, growling and ready to fuck up some vampire's shit. Talk to him like you would a normal person. Be scary. You can be very scary. Wait until he does something untoward, then attack. Just attack the fucking thing. Write in:
>>2113458> Be scary. You can be very scary.
>>2113458>Be Scary. Be very Scary.>Wait until he does something untoward, then attack.Because those are the rules. Fuck with a kid, Hekah gets mad. And you Don't Make Hekah Mad.
>>2113458> Be scary. You can be very scary.> Wait until he does something untoward, then attack.
>>2113458> Talk to him like you would a normal person.>You're not quite Sebastian, like I'm not at all Anne, but for what little it's worth, I think I am sorry I didn't protect him, or the people you went after to... fill the hole inside you? But I'm here now. Maybe get a little more scary at that last line, to make it clear that it's a threat as well as other things?...I don't know, there's pretty much zero chance it'll respond to that at all, but I still vaguely feel like it's worth saying?> Wait until he does something untoward, then attack.Also shit, I forgot to ask Rikandra if killing or at least maiming Christina would count as "raising a fuss" or if that'd be going too far?
[X] Be scary. You can be very scary.[X] Wait until he does something untoward, then attack.[X] Write in: Maybe apology, maybe warning. A little of both.This time you can feel it. There aren't any of the usual cracking and popping noises as your body changes, shifts slightly. You can feel your body becoming more supple, stronger, more....alien. Yes you are still you, despite the dark, bloody thoughts, the desire to render this thing into torn and shredded flesh, a viscous slurry of dust and blood and bone fragments. This is your place, your territory, your child, your cat, your home. It is not welcome here, an intruder, a threat to be removed, if not driven off."You can't help it, can you," you murmur softly, your voice intense and rich with threat. "You have to finish what you start, don't you, Sebastian," you murmur thickly. "I'm so sorry this has happened to you, but you're not allowed to hurt these children. If I had known, or you had come to me, I would have protected you." The needle filled maw opens, and a vague, weird hiss comes from it, the first sound you have ever heard it make. It's a long, low exhalation, more like a death rattle than anything else.It reaches for you and you arch your back, leaning forward, staring at it. Whatever it sees makes it recoil from you, talons curling. your own nails slide through Crookie's stiff, electric taut fur. "You don't belong here," you say, a soft, melodious voice that seems to make the air vibrate. "You can't have this child. You can't have any child in this place. Your ghosts are not allowed here. You are not allowed here." Every word makes your voice thicker, richer, darker.
The vampire makes that weird, long hiss: part wheeze, part death rattle, part breathless inhalation. It stands upright, it's arms falling to it's side, and turns away from you to look at Timothy. Crookie hisses loudly, and then spits, a sharp report. The vampire reaches for Timothy....You and Crookie leap on it. Claws and teeth tearing. The previous time it was different; you were a child, a larva, ignorant and mostly human. Now? You tear into the dusty, semi-liquid flesh and grab bones, cracking them, breaking them. You bite, swallowing chunks of horrid, long dead, mostly decayed flesh. Each bite tastes of pain and hate and fear and an eternally empty pit of desperate need. The creature bites, flails, ragged claws tearing your pale flesh, shredding your black sweater and your black jeans. You bleed, oh, you bleed a lot, red and amber pouring onto the floor. the stench is horribly, but you and Crookie ignore it in favor of devouring, cutting, tearing, breaking.A high whistling shriek comes from the vampire and it wrests you off of it, it's broken bones and tattered flesh not hindering it's movements, only making it's movement disjointed, uncoordinated. It hurls you into the curtain, and you rolls off of them, slide to the floor. you feel it move through the room, towards the locked exit. Crookie yowls loudly, and bolts away from the fight. You don't blame her - you appreciate that she stayed as long as she did, lovely thing. Give chase, the door won't stop either of you. Follow it through the shadows. Check on Crookie, check on Timothy. Time for Shaun and Lyrica to do their part. Write in:
>>2113467>>2113468Huh, that's actually more of a response from it than I was expecting.
>>2113468> Give chase, the door won't stop either of you.
>>2113467>It reaches for you and you arch your back, leaning forward, staring at it. Whatever it sees makes it recoil from you, talons curling. your own nails slide through Crookie's stiff, electric taut fur. "You don't belong here," you say, a soft, melodious voice that seems to make the air vibrate. "You can't have this child. You can't have any child in this place. Your ghosts are not allowed here. You are not allowed here." Every word makes your voice thicker, richer, darker.Also I really like how you wrote this, it seems like she was maturing as she said them, but the way she grew up... I don't know, to me at least, it feels different than the uncanny vampire who seems almost as an illusion even as he's standing right there but instead it's as if Hekah became a bit -more- real than everything around her, if that makes sense.
>>2113468>Give chase>Shaun and Lyrica know what they need to do, trust them to do it.I feel like we'd know if there was anything seriously wrong with Timothy or Crookie, and shadow-stepping risks losing valuable time. Crookie is going to need a thorough cleaning and a fair amount of pampering later, though.>Crookie still best cat.
>>2113468> Follow it through the shadows.See, it's the kind of horror that prefers its victims frail and immobilized; no more than a scavenger. Time to make a point that he's the only target of this hunt. Hopefully no humans will ever see the chase going on.
>>2113468>If you can sense that Sickness still holds any power over you, take a couple seconds to wipe yourself clean of the vampire's "blood" with the curtain.I kind of figured that we'd just drive the vampire off for now, and then go into the tunnels at dawn since the time of day doesn't really seem to have any effect on what we can do?
>>2113468> Time for Shaun and Lyrica to do their part.Is that meant to be them following us into the tunnels to scare off the lemures? I guess it could be helpful, but I feel like for right now at least, we're probably the scariest thing in a several block radius.
>>2113479Is this a vote?
>>2113484It was mostly asking for clarification, but I guess... probably not. As worried as I am about the lemures swarming Hekah and actually being kind of a threat, I'm not really certain if the vampire is smart enough to go after weaker targets first.
[X] Give chase, the door won't stop either of you.[X] Write in: Clean up and trust Shaun and Lyrica to do their part.You rise from the floor, sloughing off the gruesome sludge the vampire seems to be made out of, more than actually bleeds and spread your hands wide, your hands more like talons than claws as you feel the vampire try to flee.You lean close to Lyrica, and whisper in her ear. "It's time, darling." she jumps and looks around at the empty room, and then takes a deep breath, pulling the slide of the tiny pistol and taking the safety off as she sits on the edge of the bed. Millicent meows softly to her.You lean close to Shaun as he waits, awake, his arms wrapped about his sister, who holds Bethany as her own little spoon. "It's time, my love," you whisper, prompting him to roll out of bed and look around the empty room. He walks to his closet and takes the flare pistol and the cartridges, his expression a steely mask of determination. Shauna sits up, waking the sleepy lil' rabbit and helping her bundle up; she and Shaun need no words between them. Maxwell cleans his paws as Bethany struggles into her clothing."It's time, sweetheart," you whisper to Jeanine, who jerks awake, knowing something is terribly wrong and that she needs to wake people up, get them out. Ginger meows softly to her, and she picks up the box with ginger's kittens."It's time, honey," you whisper, waking Kit from the nightmare that grips him. He screams, staring at the lemure before him, which scuttles out of the room in terror. Mouse leaps on it's back and tears into it, and it shrieks.You loom over Jackson. "It's time, little man," and he wakes up, sweating, bolt upright in his bead. He stares at the lemure straddling him and it stares eyelessly back. It licks it's face with a tongue of molten flesh and he screams, his voice cracking. the lemure whistles back, and scrambles out of the room only to encounter Tom. the big cat yowls and leaps on the lemure, making it whistle-shriek.
You nearly brush your lips alogn Marie's ear as you whisper softly to her. "It's time, slave." She jerks awake, and hears the commotion outside. She grabs her phone and picks up the little white Persian with mismatched eyes that jumps onto her bed. she dials three numbers. "Police? there's something bad happening at the Edgewood Home...." She watches the lemure slide into the vent, her hands shaking.You look at doctor Rikandra and smile, white teeth in a pale face, soft lips and ruby eyes. Your hair shifts and weaves as you look at her watching over Priscilla. "It's time." Doctor Rikandra drops the tablet she was holding and places a hand on her chest, a sharp gasp from her. You see yourself, pitch black clothing, porcelain face, ruby eyes reflected in her glasses. Priscilla starts to scream and thrash in her bed. Rikandra looks at the empty room, wishing it had been a hallucination, knowing it was not.There is a soft pop and then a loud BANG in the lower hall as Shaun fires the first star shell. It is followed by a n inhuman shriek of pain. It's time, you tell yourself and you follow the creature, the vampire, the prey through the infirmary, into the hall. It is little more than a wisp of shadow, a glimmering bit of dust, a shiver in the air. You are black lightning, sliding between door and jamb, darting between legs, deftly avoiding the hands that grab at you as you scatter cups of coffee, pens, papers across the desk. You ignore the dull yammering and shouts of the humans as they curse at you, damn you, squeak in dismay and stumble away from you.You skid to a halt, and look up at Lyrica who is pointing her gun at an angry and wary Jeremiah. She doesn't see Allison sneaking up behind her with the asp.  Trip Allison and then continue the hunt. Scream at Lyrica to let her know about Allison's threat. Attack Allison. No one hurts your kids. You are the scariest thing in this place. Allison and Jeremiah need to know that. Write in:
>>2113496> You are the scariest thing in this place. Allison and Jeremiah need to know that.
>>2113496>You are the scariest thing in this place. Allison needs to know that.>Take the Asp, keep moving. It is in your house, so it's your weapon now.Allison wants her fingers to stay on, she can let go.
>>2113496> Trip Allison and then continue the hunt.>maybe whisper to Lyrica that most of the staff doesn't really seem to be in on it, and their crimes are willful ignorance at worst (at least when it comes to the vampire thing) and thus not worth the trouble....I guess a Tutelary Deity is still technically a deity.
[X] You are the scariest thing in this place. Allison and Jeremiah need to know that.[X] Write in: Take the asp. You should probably leave her fingers intact.You scream and Jeremiah jumps, dropping the taser in fright; Allison yells "SHIT!" and starts to move in on Lyrica, who turns towards you in surprise but not fright. The distance between you and Allison becomes nothing and you tear her hand open, slicing with razor sharp claws and biting with vicious fangs. She screams and hurls you away, smashing you into the wall, where yourise up, your eyes ablaze and grabbing Allison by the wrist. She takes one look at your eyes and screams, right before you fling her into the wall where she flung you seconds before. The impact makes the whole wall shake, and a picture falls down nearby. Jeremiah takes one look at you and lunges, the taser sparking with blue-white lightning. Lyrica shoots him in the face and he jerks back, grabbing his bloodied mouth and cheek, the gun sounding like a firecracker after the blood starts to spray. Lyrica is breathing fast and you smile, laying a hand on her shoulder, as kids start to flood the hall.Allison is wailing, screaming about the fucking cat, the fucking cat, she's sorry about the fucking cat, it wasn't her fault. She has broken ribs, her leg is twisted unnaturally under her, and one arm hangs limp. You hiss at her and bolt down the hall, into the stairwell, sliding between legs, leaping over the railing and into the midst of confused, startled girls. Black lightning. Shauna is close to the wall, guiding Bethany. Bethany looks at you and asks, "Crookie?" But you are gone before she can say anything else.You dart the rest of the way down the stars to the kitchen. Standing up you look around, and then stalk to the replaced and brand new counter. you fling it aside and lift the heavy grate, the scent of dust and rot leading you unerringly. The fire alarm goes off but you jump into the darkness below instants before the sprinklers begin to pour their payload of water. Shrieks and screams and high pitched whistling noises of the ghosts follow you.
The lemures flee the sewers, rising up the pipes, your presence here far worse than the noise and fire and screams above. They cannot stay, will not return. Their loss pains the vampire even further, his hunger worsened by the interrupted feeding. The tunnels are easily navigated as before, but this time you are hunting, the haunt in this place. You hear her grunting and straining gasping. Then her voice. "Oh god....oh Sebastian, what happened to you?" The soft, noisome hiss of the vampire, and the angry reply. "I'll kill her for this. I thought killing that cat would end it...."Stepping into the dull light of the fluorescent lantern, you look at Christina, sweaty, dirty, smeared with the gruesome ichor of the vampire as she supports it, embraces it. The vampire shudders, torn, bleeding blackness and shreds of rotting flesh that slowly fade and vanish, the blanket that covered it in tatters. She turns looking down at you, and you stare back, the shine of your eyes reflecting off of hers. You stand up slowly, rising from yourself to loom in the darkness outside the chamber where the lemures had gathered.Christina stares hatefully at you. "You." She drops the shovel next to the half dug grave, clover and silver coins strewn about it. the vampire quails, creeping away from it's grave, from you. Yes, me. It's too late. Your work here is ruined. You are ruined. You broke the rules. Apparently, all of them. I see you know my weaknesses. But there's one thing you forgot. Kill the vampire - she might get one or two good licks in, but you're going to kill that fucking thing. Write in:
>>2113519> It's too late. Your work here is ruined. You are ruined. You broke the rules. Apparently, all of them.> Kill the vampire - she might get one or two good licks in, but you're going to kill that fucking thing.
>>2113519> Yes, me.> I see you know my weaknesses. But there's one thing you forgot.>Please tell me you're joking and that this was all planned out from the second you laid eyes on Sebastian. Don't tell me after all this you STILL think you're helping him?
>>2113519>"I thought killing that cat would end it....">Kill her.Broke the rules. All of them. Rules no longer apply to her. Weaknesses are just more rules, no?
>>2113523I don't think so no.Also I think that falls under "one thing she forgot" which is either "Don't hurt Hekah's cats" or "Don't make Hekah mad"
>>2113524The main point is that the time for witty banter and/or mercy has passed.
[X] Yes, me.[X] It's too late. Your work here is ruined. You are ruined. You broke the rules. Apparently, all of them.[X] I see you know my weaknesses. But there's one thing you forgot.[X] Kill the vampire - she might get one or two good licks in, but you're going to kill that fucking thing.[X] Write in: You think you have control of that thing? That you helped him become something better?You slowly stalk around the grave site, watching the woman who has hurt your children, harmed your cats, made you truly and irrevocably mad. "Me," you agree softly, your lilting voice carrying throughout the room. The vampire cowers, broken, bleeding, decaying."Your like some kind of bad penny, some poisonous little spider bite that just won't heal." She drops the shovel and stands up straight, warily watching you. She pulls something from behind her back. A gun? A knife? It doesn't really matter."Did you ever think you were really helping Sebastian Van dyke when you forbid him to commune with his true nature, Christina?" she shudders when you say her name. You can almost see her skin crawl. "You think you're helping him? Controllign him?" You lick some of his amber-black blood-flesh from your hand. You you bare your teeth in a rictus grin and she stares, clearly horrified by what she sees. "He doesn't think. He doesn't feel anything except gnawing, constant hunger. He used you, Christina. He fed from my children and you gave them to him. How many? Twenty? Thirty? Do you even know, Christina?""Stop saying my name!" she barks. "You don't know anything! you don't know how bad it is out there, what terrorists have done, what enemies america has made! It's hell out there and I can FIX IT!""Oh, Christina," you say, softly, soothingly. Pityingly. "You should have listened to the children. You know my weaknesses, but that won't help you. Nothing can save you." You really can't help but smile sadly at her. "All your work, all that time and effort, ruined. and for what?" She points the gun at you, and you shake your head. "You don't get it do you? Even if you have silver bullets in there, it won't matter."She aims the gun, points it between your eyes. "I can rebuild this. I just have to move his body to a new location, and it can all be fixed." She starts to pull the trigger."But you forgot one thing, sweet Christina." The woman who has broken ever rule shudders and the gun wavers before she focuses it on you again. "Sebastian is hungry." The gun wavers again and she watches it fall from nerveless hands. "He hasn't fed in days now." the would be savior of America sways in place, her mouth open, her eyes uncomprehending of the gun on the floor.Christina's confusion is total, and then she turns around to see the vampire looking over her, staring at her.Feeding from her.>To Be Continued....
Thank you all for Reading and Playing. I believe that the final episode will commence tonight at approximately midnight PST.
>>2113537Thanks for running
>>2113537>No! I created you, how could you betray me?! But yeah, I find this more satisfying than killing Christina ourselves.Thanks for running, this is certainly quite a climax.
>>2113537That was a wild ride. Thanks for writing.
>>2113537So, when did you decide that best cat was actually ghost cat?Midnight needs to come faster.
>>2113555Best cat was always Hekah.
>>2113559Can Hekah now transform into a spooky catgirl, or is that too off brand?
>>2113567No, sorry. Catgirls are something different.
>>2113569Ah well, can't have it all.
>>2113559So wait... if Crookie was always Hekah or some form of her then that means any time Hekah was playing with or petting Crookie, Hekah was playing with and stroking her puss...Ohmy how LEWD DreadfulQM!
>>2113800I guess that means half the orphanage have stroked Hekah's pussy.
>>2114297HEKAH YOU THOT!Oh God... I am pretty sure Bethany has pet Crookie at some point... that means that without her knowing Bethany has played with Hekah's Kitty (with a capital K).My goodness.. the lewd levels are just too high!>inb4 the vampire realizes this and dies from the pure levels of LEWD>Inb4 vampire realizes he once kicked Crookie and thusly has beaten up/smashed Hekah's Puss*>Inb4 virgin Vampire-kun blushes and runs away from Hekah Senpai
>>2114367I could almost go with that.
>>2114428YESWe shall vanquish poor vampire Sebastian with the uncontainable power of Straight Shota!Fear the power of Hekah's all consuming Kitty!Okay I think I am done now>inb4 we try to have relations with Shaun and Shauna after leaving our imago form and end up leaving Shaun a drooling dripping husk who occasionally twitches and can't stop smiling, and Shauna is just sitting there horrified and aroused.
>>2114428Save it for the gag spin-off show.>>2114716Wonder how sex will be like for Hekah now. Can she even do it anymore?
>>2114716Heh heh heh heh....>>2114774Yes.
>>2114428Would it be possible to bury the corpse with something from the Fae realms, thus giving it back what it lost?
>>2115678Do you really wanna get the attention of the Fae? I mean maybe it would have worked out for Sebastian, but in a general sense?
You are watching a horrified middle age woman die at the hands of her very own creation.The vampire, the deathless revenant that known nothing but pain, hate, and an eternal and unending hunger looms over Sister Christina, it's bloody, hateful eyes fixed on her as it drains away her strength and her life. She backs away from it and falls, her hands and butt crushing the clovers and skidding along the silver filings she's surrounded the makeshift grave of Sebastian Van Dyke, one time half-faerie, now a mere devouring shadow. A smear of her blood follows her hand, the filings slicing tiny divots into her skin. The would be savior of America through the power of monsters stops when she feels the hard packed dirt of the cellar, and glances back at you.Smiling sweetly and sitting cross legged near the wall, you watch her die by inches, protected from you by the flowers and metal she's protected the vampire's grave with. Christina has broken all the rules that the kids who live in the Edgewood Home for Troubled Children learn by rote on their very first day.Don't Make Hekah Mad.Harming the children under your protection is the surest way to make you mad, and you have gone totally and completely mad. Oh, you're angry as well, but madness is part and parcel of the monster you truly are.Don't Hurt Hekah's Cats.'Sister' Christina thought that killing Crookie would kill you. She was terribly, terribly wrong.Tough as Nails, Thrice as Mean.While not unkillable, you may as well be indestructible. The orphanage, the cats who live there, and the children within are all part of you, or you of them. And if anything or anyone hurts them, you will always get your revenge.Always.
Currently, revenge consists of sitting and watching the starving, terrible injured vampire drain away Christina's health, her life force fading under the terrible gaze. "I imagine it is very painful," you murmur softly, smiling. Your voice is thick and heavy, filled with malice and joy. "Children have such strong, powerful lives. So much growing up to do, such intense, wonderful minds. An adult has much less life force, and a dulled, complex mind that has so much to think and do." She whimpers, her body trembling. The vampire's bons crack and snap, not....healing, per se, but knitting in their shattered, broken configuration. The gashes slowly seal over, still deep cuts in the flesh but no longer oozing or festering."I think," you murmur, yet being heard across the ill-lit room clearly, "that's why the vampire has to feed when they're asleep. Their life force burns so bright, that when they're awake they would burn it away like shining stars snuffing the darkness." The vampire moves closer and Christina glances back at you, waiting outside the circle of clover flowers and silver filings. She whimpers in terror. "Are bones aching, Christina? Can you feel your organs drying, your skin becoming parchment thin?" The murderer who has fed so many of your children to this abomination of dust and illusion chokes back a sob as you watch, eyes bright and smiling beatifically. Offer to save her from the vampire. Just watch and tease, see if she breaks before she dies. Make her beg for forgiveness. you won't give it to her, but it would be nice to hear. Ask her if she thinks that the creature got the best of the right person in the end. Write in:
>>2115691Starting off dark huh? I like it.Is Hekah herself still extremely wounded, or is that not really a concern anymore?I'm a bit uncertain how regrettable it would be to let the vampire "heal" no matter how satisfying it is to watch.
>>2115701Also is the vampire within the circle yet?
>>2115701She's hurting. She doesn't have a real basis for comparison as to how 'wounded' she is any longer.
>>2115708Yes, that is implied by how it looms over her and has her backed against the edge of it.
>>2115691> Ask her if she thinks that the creature got the best of the right person in the end.>I wonder, do you even have enough strength left to break that circle you crafted? Will you even try to help finish what you started?Tripping over the finish line is one of my greatest fears so my apologies for taking even longer than normal.
>>2115691> Offer to save her from the vampire. But only if she swears to return to it a piece of what was taken.  Ask her if she thinks that the creature got the best of the right person in the end.
>>2115691>[X] Just watch and tease, see if she breaks before she dies.
>>2115728It's a nice sentiment, I'm not really sure if purifying the vampire or putting it to a peaceful rest is really within our or anyone's abilities. Though I guess it's more just for the sake of it, like when I wrote-in for Hekah to apologise for not helping him.
>>2115728>Supporting thisDespite how much we want to see Christina dead, she is now terrified of us and will likely Jake herself later. But we don't want her death to happen in a way that can be linked to us.
>>2115691>Just watch and tease.>>2115747But we do want her dead. Doubly so because bodies without obvious cause-of-death raise lots of noise, so the Doc can do her thing.
>>2115747I'm pretty sure that is way past being a concern. We Went Loud, for the purposes of making the shadowy corporate overlords that employ Christina to leave, which means they'll be pulling their funding for this orphanage and it'll probably close down, at least for a little while. Also Hekah herself is way beyond mortal law, can probably make records say whatever she wants, and may go dormant pretty soon.I guess you could be concerned that being tied to Christina's death would make her bosses want to destroy us even though they'd likely kill her themselves for this failure, but being killed by the vampire is more just a logical outcome from her actions, and not really that directly tied to us.Also you should note that we specified saving her "from the vampire". Since she killed one of our cats, there's probably limits to how much slack we can cut her even if we wanted to. (Which I don't. It's just that I also unfortunately lack the stomach for gloating/torture most of the time)
[X] Ask her if she thinks that the creature got the best of the right person in the end.[X] Offer to save her from the vampire.[X] Just watch and tease, see if she breaks before she dies.[X] Write in: If you give back what you took from him, I might be able to save you. If it weren't for that circle, of course.'Sister' Christina sobs aloud now, the pain of the feeding overwhelming any stoic efforts to be brave. "I think this creature got the best of it's maker, don't you, Christina? Looks like Doctor Rikandra had it right all alone." She looks back at you, her eyes shocked and terrified. The vampire slowly leans down, the long, drawn out hiss more a case of it expelling air because of bending over than an actual vocalization. You think. It's really quite hard to be sure.Christina pushes herself away from it, as the bone which healed out of place stretch the parchment like skin, tenting it in unnatural ways, pushing at the pale, dusty flesh in what would be agonizing manners for anything that wasn't made mostly out of pain. Then Christina notices her hand isn't touching flowers or sharp slivers of metal, and she glances back, realizing she's outside of her home-made protection circle. She jerks her hand back to her chest, and then faces the vampire once more. The woman has aged, visibly, in the past five minutes."Oh, you're perfectly safe. It might not be a magical circle, but I'm not going to get near it. I have to conserve my strength. My friends are coming, eventually, and when they do, they'll need my help. It's such a pity....you didn't have any friends who could help you, did you? No one to move the body, to assist you in your ritual murders." You rise slowly and start walking in a slow circle around victim and monster. "I wonder if you even know what it was you took from him that made him give into despair, to wither and die like a mortal. Is it even anything you can give back to him?""....help me...." She whispers softly, as the vampire lowers itself to all fours, creeping even closer to her as it draws her life from her.
"Help you? How can I help you?" You look at her past the monster and her eyes are wide....and jaundiced, her skin soft and delicate looking, wrinkles slowly creeping across her face. "You made sure I can't get anywhere close to you or your pet, Christina. If you could break that circle, I could help you escape the vampire. If you gave whatever it is you stole from Sebastian back, I might not even have to destroy him."She hisses angrily, her face a mask of loathing. "He was born of faerie and woman, I didn't take anything he had, I just convinced him to live as a person, instead of a monster."Crouching,you smile sadly, placing your hands together and tilting them, leaning your cheek on them, mimicking a sleeping child's pillowed head. "Ah. You took his hope, Christina. You took faerie away from the fae. There's no fixing that. Only dying. Too bad.""Please!" she cries out, desperately. "Please help me!" She's nearly crying, but she can shed no tears. the vampire has stolen that from her."Leave the circle. Then I can help you." You cross your arms across your knees and watch her dying by slow, desperate inches, the vampire finally making a long, drawn out, raspy inhalation. It's ragged hole of a mouth is inches from hers.She breaks. Scrambling away from ti she crawls on hands and knees, the creature following her. Then you are there, in her face, your smiling visage a thing of such bright horror she shrieks. There's only one mercy you can give her. She should be grateful for it! Get her away from the vampire - and if doing so happens to maim her, so be it. If you had the time, you would make it last a lot longer. Good night, cruel monster. Kill the vampire. She's going nowhere fast, after all. Write in:
>>2115764> Kill the vampire. She's going nowhere fast, after all.>Pick up the gun she dropped, or break it or kick it far from her reach just to be safe.Because she would.This is not really out of sentiment, it's more just that it seems to be leaving itself wide open in its eagerness to feed, and I'm not really certain where it would go or what it would do otherwise.
>>2115764>...and thrice as mean>Break the two against each other.
>>2115776On the one hand, I don't think that'll be effective at all. On the other, it's hilarious.
>>2115772The gun is in the midst of the clover flowers and silver.
>>2115789Ah never mind then.
>>2115764> Get her away from the vampire - and if doing so happens to maim her, so be it.I also really like >>2115776
>>2115782>>2115776I'm not super-sold on it as an actual opion, but it depends on if XS thinks she can make it work.Also where'd those other two people go?
[X] Get her away from the vampire - and if doing so happens to maim her, so be it.[X] Kill the vampire. She's going nowhere fast, after all.[X] Write in: The only true justice is poetic justice.You almost hiss the words at her. "You don't deserve the mercy - you hurt my kids." There's no mystic power, no shadowy choice, just pure angry young girl, raw Hekah Strange."You promised!" she shouts, clutching desperately at you. You grab her wrists, and smile, a sweet, beautiful smile filled with all the raw malice and bitter resentment that you can muster."And I will. The vampire isn't going to kill you." You hold her wrists and she twists them, trying to free herself from your iron grip. You look at Sebastian, whose raw wound of a mouth smiled as he reaches for the woman who made him what he is. "Monster, meet vampire." His red, raw eyes widen comically, and Christina looks at you, understanding dawning in her gaze."Hekah, NO!"You dislocate both her shoulders as you pick her up and whirl her around your head, rising. Sebastian tries to move away but it's too late; you slam the screaming woman against his side, scattering clover flowers and silver everywhere, shattering bones and spraying blood and amber and black ichor everywhere. You're choking, the clover having it's dolorous effect on you, though the silver isn't too much of a threat as long as you stay standing. You drop the wheezing, broken, twisted body of the monster on the floor, and bolt to the wall, crushing the vampire against it and tearing him limb from limb. The vampire collapses, blood and grue and noisome crud pouring onto the floor before you. It slowly spreads, dissipating into the earthen floor of the cellar.
Staggering into the wall near by, you slump, the dusting of pollen and petals and tiny leaves leaving you dizzy and uncoordinated. You collapse and slide down the wall, breathing heavily, feeling as though you'd just run a marathon. You grin at the dying woman's broken, tortured body. "Shouldn't have broken the rules," you murmur thickly. Voices, young voices down the hall.Shaun steps into the room, flare gun ready and with him Lyrica. To your surprise, Kit and Jeanine are with them, kit even armed with a hefty looking baseball bat. Shaun steps over to you, kneeling and you smile wanly at him. Kit looks pale as he sees the barely breathing, shattered body of Sister Christina, while Jeanine gasps and covers her mouth. Lyrica walks over to her and kneels, touching her throat, then shaking her head as the evil bitch breathes her last."My hero," you whisper softly, and the young man smiles down at you. "Where are our girls?""Safe. Turns out Bart was the one who locked the door on us the other day; tried to kidnap Bethany. Shauna left scars that would do you proud, but it was Kit who beat him senseless with that bat." You smile and reach up, caressing the young man's face. He's no longer yours; neither is Kit, nor Lyrica. Jeanine, maybe for a while yet. "Are you gonna be okay, Hekah?" he asks, worry laced through his voice. There's a way to bind his body that no one would notice; he can take care of it. You're all grown up, but so is he. It's time for goodbyes. Oh, you'll be fine, there's no doubt. Just have to sleep a while. You'll see him soon; just have Lyrica give you the gun, you'll take care of it all for her. Write in:
>>2115827That was indeed satisfying.Also, by "his" you mean Sebastian and not Shaun, right?
>>2115827>He's no longer yours; neither is Kit, nor Lyrica. Jeanine, maybe for a while yet.Huh, is that because they've met whatever criteria Hekah uses to consider them "adults"? And does that mean the scars she gave Shaun, Shauna, and Lyrica have lost their power?
>>2115827> There's a way to bind his body that no one would notice; he can take care of it.> You're all grown up, but so is he. It's time for goodbyes.
>>2115827> You're all grown up, but so is he. It's time for goodbyes.> Oh, you'll be fine, there's no doubt. Just have to sleep a while.
>>2115827>Write In: Have them take care of Sebastian. Then try to find a way to keep Shaun and Shauna around. Maybe negotiate with the shadow group that runs this place through Rikandra and have Shaun and Shauna installed as staff.Im not sure if Hekah would be that willing to give up the twins even if she had become an adult, this is too much sad!
>>2115827> There's a way to bind his body that no one would notice; he can take care of it.> Oh, you'll be fine, there's no doubt. Just have to sleep a while.> You'll see him soon; just have Lyrica give you the gun, you'll take care of it all for her.I was initially wondering what this meant but it's probably to stop Lyrica from getting arrested for brandishing a gun at someone, right? Even if she's not technically "ours" anymore, she's still our friend, so that seems like a good thing to do.
>>2115834>>2115835Also one statement, they might be grown up but now so is Hekah.Grown ups can't have relationships with kids after all.Damn, too bad this quest isn't really about happy endings.
>>2115836Eh, the Shadow Group probably no longer has any interest in running this place, especially not in all the commotion we raised.It's possible things would have been better if we stayed stealthy the whole time and then took down Sebastian and Christina, but they probably would have just tried to hurt more of our kids.
>>2115827> You're all grown up, but so is he. It's time for goodbyes.> You'll see him soon; just have Lyrica give you the gun, you'll take care of it all for her.Dunno if it's an appropriate vote yet, but I'm all for>Greedily cling to whatever binds us to the twins
>>2115837I might just have to switch to supporting this.Remembering our friends even if they aren't under our protection anymore seems like a good thing.Maybe they will pay us a visit once and a while.
>>2115826>Satisfied Crookie purring
>>2115840Well I mean they could always use it as a safe-house for all their mentally ill midget agents! Or try to figure out how a thing like Hekah is created, seems like a damn effective guard-dog, imagine a version of Hekah created with the purpose to protect the President. Their protection is already transitive, not lingering with someone once they fail to meet the criteria, so once someone leaves the presidency they would no longer be protected. Sounds like a reasonably OP bodyguard.
>>2115827>There's been a lot I wanted to talk to you and Shauna about, but there never seemed to be time.>There's a lot I still don't know about myself, but one thing I do know is that I can't leave unless something really bad is happening, and even then it won't be cheap. I also know that I don't think you can stay for much longer, or at least I'll be surprised if you could.>I'm not sure how much of me you'll remember, or if the way I bound the three of your lives to mine will remain, but do your best to stay alive, just in case.>I'm not really sure what'll happen to this place in the long run, maybe it'll open up again after this blows over, maybe you'll work here or, if you work very hard and get very lucky, maybe even own the place. Or maybe you can just sneak in here sometimes, though I don't know whether or not I'll be around.>There's one other thing I know for sure: That I'll never stop loving you or Shauna.Feel free to adjust to a more appropriate time/based on what Hekah actually does know or is willing to say, or ignore entirely if it doesn't fit. I'm just feeling sappy right now.
>>2115837She shot someone. She didn't just brandish it. But she did it to protect Hekah.
>>2115844>Or try to figure out how a thing like Hekah is created, seems like a damn effective guard-dog, imagine a version of Hekah created with the purpose to protect the President.We already know things like Hekah are created, Rune told us, remember?> "There's always....a catalyst, a reason we come into being. It's usually because....because we failed to protect one of our people. And when they die as a result, then....then sometimes, if others who are like them come to a place, the memory of them takes root in that place. A ghost story, a rumor, a hint of something terrible in the past, that grows and learns and feeds on the memory of it's own birth, until it becomes....well, alive, for lack of anything else to call it."Suffice to say, it's not really something anyone good would want more of.
>>2115846Oh right yeah, she did shoot someone in the face I forgot. I mean still gonna help her out if we can, but that didn't seem hugely necessary.
>>2115848I am aware that WE know how something like Hekah is made. It doesn't mean THEY know, I mean they didn't even have a clue what Hekah really was according to Rikandra and Christine.>Suffice to say, its not really something anyone good would want more of.You seriously think that some shadow government organization wouldn't ritually murder a few people to create an unstoppable bodyguard for the president or some of their homes?Ah I get it now, you meant us making a deal with that involved. Who knows, maybe we can end up rewriting peoples memories when they come to shut us down.I feel like this is a "These decisions really matter" moment here.
>>2115852There's not anyone here to negotiate with. Rikandra is low on the totem pole, Christina is dead, and whatshisface was probably just muscle.I mean if some shady motherfucker in a suit, potentially a trenchcoat, and maybe smoking a cigarette walks out of the shadows then we might have something, but right now I'm uncertain if there's much of anything we can do to keep this place open, or if it'd even be the right thing to keep Shaun and Shauna close to us all their lives.Like the best we can do is let them go, and see if, by some miracle, they come back.
>>2115845Wait no, we can technically leave for free as long as it's strongly related to our orphanage.What cost us was just talking to Rune/receiving guidance from her.
[X] You're all grown up, but so is he. It's time for goodbyes.[x] There's a way to bind his body that no one would notice; he can take care of it.[x] Oh, you'll be fine, there's no doubt. Just have to sleep a while.[x] You'll see him soon; just have Lyrica give you the gun, you'll take care of it all for her.[X] Write in: All these things, and love for the ones who love you."I'll be fine. I'm just sleepy, that's all. The clover, you know." He looks around and his expression becomes appalled as he realizes you're pretty much surrounded by all the bad things. "Get the gun from Lyrica, and give it to me. I'll take care of it for her." you tuck your legs under you and watch as he goes over to the others, and speaks to Lyrica softly. Jeanine glances at them and creeps over to you. you smile at her and she relaxes quite a bit."The police and the fire department are here. There's some small fires, but they also found some of those....those things. they also found some old bodies of little boys and girls." You smile knowingly, and she bites her lip. "Did Sister Chrissy do that? Did she....""Yes, sweetheart. She did. And she paid for it." You reach up and cup her cheek and she blushes. "Be good, all right? Take care of yourself. Take care of your friends. I'll be watching over you." She looks confused and then nods, slowly. She rubs away a tear, not knowing why she's even crying.As she walks away you tuck a lock of your hair free, the wiry, almost metallic fibers twisting as you rub them, braid them without effort. You knot the end and look up as Lyrica and Shaun kneel next to you. Kit is already forgetting; he was a good boy, but he's not a boy any more. You somehow think he'll end up being one of Rune's people, or someone like Rune. Lyrica kneels opposite Shaun, and they both look at you with great concern and not a little love. You hold up the makeshift bracelet."Put this around his wrist or his ankle. Sebastian's. No one will notice it, and if they do, they won't remember noticing it. He won't be able to break away from it." Lyrica's eyes widen and Shaun takes it seriously, unquestioning. Maybe a man, but not entirely someone who isn't yours either. "I'm proud of you. Proud of both of you." Lyrica offers you the gun, and you take it, placing it in the pocket of your jeans. "Just leave everything here. They'll assume the worst, but it won't matter.""That's fine but we got to get you out of here...." Lyrica slips her arm under yours and tries to pick you up...and then sinks to one knee again. "Whoah." She looks woozy and you pat her cheek fondly. Shaun looks worried, but he doesn't try; he feels it, the way you feel it. They can't help you, not like this. "Hekah...." Lyrica looks at you and you reach up, holding her face, looking into her eyes. She takes a shocked breath and you smile.
"Take care of your girl, Lyrical. She's precious. She makes you happy, and what you do makes her happy. You're not going to find that anywhere else. so....take care of her." She rubs her arm absently, and nods. You let go of her, and she stands up, wandering over to kit and Jeanine in a daze.Shaun cups your cheek, his eye full of emotion, his expression worried and sad, but also a touch resigned. You open your arms and her hugs you tightly, holding you close as you embrace him. "I love you, Shaun. You were my first love, you and Shauna. I won't ever forget you. You can always find me, if you want to. I won't forget, and neither will you. It's the last gift I have for you." He nods, his tears soaking into your sweater."I love you, Hekah," he whispers, and you hold him tight."Take care of our girl, Shaun," you whispers softly.He stands up, looking around, and takes a deep breath. But you're already gone.You find Shauna and Bethany sitting in the back of an ambulance. Shauna has a black eye and is nursing a cup of hot chocolate; Bethany is bundled into a blanket with her, and is half asleep next to the dark haired twin. You smile and Bethany stirs. Then she shouts and is up in a flash, leaping into your arms. "HEKAH!!!" Catching Bethany in your arms you swing her around, and she giggles, half crying and half elated. Shauna smiles at you, her eyes glittering. You carry the girl back to the ambulance and set her down, and she beams at you. "I thought you were gone forever!""No, lil' rabbit. I'm here. I'll always be here." You lean over and kiss Shauna, who kisses you back, her hand slipping around the back of your neck. Bethany watches, wide eyed, and blinks as you break the kiss. "I'm glad you're okay, both of you.""Bart tried to kidnap me. He's a dick. Shauna scratched him up and kit bashed him!" You smile and Beth picks up her poor, sad, beaten stuffed rabbit. "Are you going away now?"You look at Shauna and she smiles sadly. She can feel it to, but it's not a bad thing, this. Not for her or Shaun, you hope."Yes, but she'll be around. Like bad penny, or black cat. Always trouble, yeah?" The three of you look up at Doctor Rikandra, who smiles tiredly. She leans against the corner of the ambulance holding a pair of manila folders. "You kept your promise. I keep mine. A little more too." She hands one manila envelop to Shauna. "Emancipation papers. Already signed. You, your brother. You stay with me a while, get on your feet. Don't kiss to much, yeah? Teach little girl bad habits." The look you give Rikandra makes her smile sheepishly. "Yeah, daughter.""So....you're all going away?" Bethany says in a small voice, her eyes bright and wide. Shauna looks down at her and starts to open her mouth.Rikandra interrupts her. "No. All of us, going away." She hands Bethany the other envelope. "Adoption papers, for my daughter. Have to keep an eye on you, you know? Don't want Hekah mad at me."
Bethany's hands are shaking as she takes the envelop and opens it, reading the adoption certificate. "You're....adopting me?" Her voice is soft and filled with wonder. Shauna's eyes are wide and you gently take her hand, squeezing it tight. "I'm going to stay with you and Shaun and Shauna?" The Doctor nods seriously. Bethany starts to shake and you gently take the papers from her, handing them back to the doctor. Hugging the girl tightly you let her cry, and she cries, a lot. You smile at Shauna, and she runs a hand through your hair, sad, yet happy.At your urging the doctor and Shauna step away, leaving you with Bethany for a moment. She sniffles and you clean her up with a few tissues. "I'm sad, though," she says softly."I know. It's hard, leaving your home." You smile and look up at her from your crouch. "I'm happy for you though. You take care of my twins, okay? Be a good girl....but," you glance at Shauna and the doctor, then lean close. "Not too good, right?"She nods seriously, then looks down. "I love you, Hekah," she says softly. "I mean, I really love you.""Oh, my lil' rabbit. I know. I have always known." You tilt her chin up and smile. "I love you too, Beth. I always will."She stares at you, and then thrusts her rabbit at you. You take it, seriously, and then look up. She surprises you with the kiss, the soft, warm, truly loving kiss. She slips off the ambulance and runs to grab Shauna's hand, and you rise, watching them meet Shaun. Shauna races to him, hugs him tight....then they kiss, unconcerned about who might see them. Bethany watches them, and then looks up at the doctor, before she timidly takes Simi Rikandra's hand. Rikandra looks down in surprise, her expression softening; you glimpse the care, the affection lurking beneath the mask she wears.You turn, watching the FBI take away certain staff members. The fires are under control, and the orphanage is intact. You can feel the lack of ghosts, the emptiness of it without any children. Your cats all survived, and many will be going home with others. Not nearly all of them, of course; there will always be a few here. With a strangely light heart you close your eyes.Epilogue to Follow Tomorrow Night.>I will take suggestions, but there will be one concerning Bethany, and one about the fate of the orphanage.
Thank you for reading and playing.
>>2115874Thanks for running XS. I have really enjoyed this.
>>2115874Thank you for this amazing quest and for sharing these nights to us, and also I'd really like to thank you for taking my write-ins and adapting them to something that makes sense for the character to say, and thank you for clarifying things for me whenever I forget something or am mistaken about some details, I know to you it's probably common courtesy but it just... really means a lot to me.
>>2115874Also I really liked that, semi-complicit in this vampire stuff or not, Rikandra really came through for us with Shaun, Shauna and Bethany>I love you, Shaun. You were my first love, you and Shauna. I won't ever forget you. You can always find me, if you want to. I won't forget, and neither will you. It's the last gift I have for you.I'm also really surprised, and happy that this was within Hekah's power to grant.As for epilogue suggestions: The obvious one is the first time Shaun and/or Shauna stopping and we're awake enough to greet them, another mini-thing I'm kind of interested in is how this incident is reported by the news/maybe Rikandra's report to her superiors if the epilogues can go outside Hekah's awareness.
>>2115878Sorry, I was getting a bit teary-eyed due to the ending, what I'm trying to say is that I really enjoy your quests, and I also really enjoy the way you run quests in general, even when I get unsure or nervous I'm always glad I'm able to participate and I want to thank you for that.
>>2115874And thank you for writing. It's always fun to read your stuff.>>2115878>also I'd really like to thank you for taking my write-ins and adapting them to something that makes sense for the characterThat's something I really like about XS's style of running. How she'll always try to include writeins and somehow make them work.>>2115880>I'm also really surprised, and happy that this was within Hekah's power to grant.Yeah. Would be too sad to let them go, even though they might've been better of for it.
>>2115875>>2115888>>2115892I'm glad you enjoyed and have had fun with this. It was interesting to write. You avoided some things,. managed a few tricky situations, and accidentally endgamed the quest.when you decided that Shaun and Lyrica could handle themselves without your help, you defined them as 'grown up' and therefore you needed to move on as well.
>>2115898Ah well. Sure, it would have just been another year for Shaun and Shauna at best, but it could have been a good one, even if what we got was pretty nice as well. Also if I have some questions for the quest as a whole, is it okay to ask them now, or should I wait until the next time you run?
>>2115899You can ask if you like but I can't promise answers for certain until after the epilogue. I'll answer some questions if I can though.
>>2115899Like when Rikandra told us that whenever we start to feel unsure of ourselves, to keep Shaun and Shauna in mind as a moral compass, did we manage to avoid any choices where that was needed, or did occasions arise to invoke that and we missed it?What would eating the lemures have done beyond letting us kill the vampire faster?Would Shaun and Shauna somehow been able to stay a bit longer/the orphanage itself close down if we didn't mark them as grownups?Was it always the plan to have Hekah be a darkling, or was that based on what abilities we chose?
>>2115904Eating all the remaining lemures, I mean.
>>2115904Also about how universal are Hekah's abilities across darklings? The enhanced durabily and associated weaknesses seemed to be a general trait, but I'm not sure if Rune also had the cats and abilities to mark people.
>>2115904There were no moral choices that would have necessitated it at this point; if you had been captured and taken away from the orphanage, that would have prompted some very important choices where that guideline could have saved Hekah's sanity (and a number of lives).It would have restored more of Hekah's memories and made her much stronger in personality and power. It would have made the vapire much weaker, much faster as well. It would also have alerted Chrissy that Hekah was becoming very dangerous.Yes, if they were not 'grown ups' then they could have stayed longer.It was indeed based on the abilities chosen. There were a number of end results. Darkling was one of the more weird ones. Witch, ACTUAL hag-child, faerie, phantom, and psychic were also possibilities. There were no wrong choices, but the choices were color coded.
>>2115909They are fairly close. Rune could mark people, but her animal was dogs, rather than cats. Birds and rats are also possible. silver is universally poisonous to them, as is the blood and prescience of innocents (actual innocents, not just not-guilty people). the flowers differ by darkling - Rune's allergy is ragweed.
>>2115898>when you decided that Shaun and Lyrica could handle themselves without your help, you defined them as 'grown up' and therefore you needed to move on as well.I was trying to avoid that for Shaun and Shauna, but I'm fine with what we got.
>>2115910>Captured and taken awayMan, I had no idea that was a possibility, I guess we picked the right times to play it safe?>It would have restored more of Hekah's memories and made her much stronger in personality and power.While it would have been nice to leave Hekah as complete as possible, she wound up strong enough and I liked the spying stuff, so I'm fine with this>Yes, if they were not 'grown ups' then they could have stayed longer.Ah well, I'm not as torn up as I thought I'd be, but I guess mainly that's because I'm categorising it as more moving up stuff that would be in the epilogue to now, and there doesn't seem to be anything magical at least to prevent Shaun and Shauna from stopping by now and then as unaligned adults who still love us, though it might be a bad thing if they made a habit out of it.Man that brings me back to Ryukusa quest where we chose her element. Even though I'm more than satisfied with how things went, it's not bad also wonder about how differently it could be.Also that answers my question about all that hag stuff earlier, and that it was just "close enough" for Hekah to be confused as one, and not something like "Darklings mature further into beings that fall under the hag umbrella if they manage to keep existing for a couple hundred years." But one thing I'm a little curious of is what was a "phantom" by the definition you were using? I get the feeling it's at least a bit more complicated than being a ghost?>>2115911Why do Darklings seem to be uninclined to get along with each other? Like could a more malevolent/ambitious Darkling take over another one's territory and add it to their own?
>>2115921>Why do Darklings seem to be uninclined to get along with each other?That's something that I can't explain just yet. As for taking over each others territories, that's an actual impossibility. I can say that Darklings don't like ANY competition with other spirits in their areas.
>>2115924That sounds like it'll be interesting later on then.That reminds me though, though I assume it falls under the umbrella of the fate of the orphanage, I'd like to see when the time comes for Hekah to pay up for her end of the deal with Rune.
>>2115927>I'd like to see when the time comes for Hekah to pay up for her end of the deal with Rune.I may misremember this, but wasn't our deal simply to take care of any homeless children from Rune's street that ends up in our orphanage?
>>2115924Is Hekah allowed to chase down and hunt the lemures who ran away since they used to be from her orphanage, or is that too tenuous a connection since they're no longer menacing what is hers?
>>2115924Are you going to run some new quest now?
>>2115969The deal was to protect any of Rune's people who entered the grounds of the orphanage,regardless of reason.
>>2115978The lemures aren't a threat or danger so they're not something she can pursue.>>2115987I'm still running two; I would like to finish a story or two, then I will consider another midnight short play quest similar to this or Dramatic Princess Rescue Quest. Or some equally strange and short quest.
>>2116782Would she be able to organize something to get them proper burials? Maybe Rikandra would help?
>>2116782Hold onWe didnt even reach our finaly formAlso are each of the cats is a past life for usThats y they help is and things and seem differnt?
>>2115910>There were no wrong choices, but the choices were color coded.So was each combination tied to the specific abilities, or was it more akin to RedGreenBlue, BlackBlackGreen, and so on and so forth?
>>2117342they're beyond that point - if it was that simple, Circe's efforts would have (and may yet) fix them. However, the bodies found in other places were undoubted the actual sources of the lemures, and they will be given burials and that should lay them to rest.>>2117388No, only Crookie - Christina believed that Hekah was a phantom or spirit, not realizing what a complex creature she was. It's less a transformation than it is a projection of a physical form, one that happens to look like a cat or a sixteen year old girl. Belief is what powers Hekah's manifestation, and the cats see the creature called Hekah as a cat.>>2118280Yes, the black abilities were one set, the blue another, but they were types of abilities as opposed to creatures (magic, physical abilities, primal knowledge, faery glamour, etc)., etc. The combinations (say, black, red blue, etc) determined specifics of the creature itself (sorceress, faerie child, hag daughter, darkling).
>>2118356Trying to find parallels between the colors:Green seems to be physical enhancements with mythical drawbakcsBlue seems to be the most outright "witchy"/magical as its commonly understoodBlack is mystical ties to animals (magical or not)Red is the ability to speak and make the world listen?I'd guess that hag daughter probably has 2/3 of the same categories as Darkling since we were confused for one, and probably Green/Red/Blue, since Darkling was Green/Red/Black?That's a pretty neat way to build characters, especially since each one also has an expanded series of abilities based on what kind of creature they are, since Hekah definitely expanded beyond the three primary ones.
>>2118433green itself, might also be most strongly tied to the fae with the shared category of being beyond normal capacity to constrian, but being bound/defeated to arbitrary stuff, red I'm feeling is connected to heaven/hell or at least gods/demons but that's mainly because of taking "voices of angels and demons" literally, blue to withcraft, but I'm not sure about black.
>>2118433Your first gueses were correct. Red is heaven and hell influenced. Black is primal, nature based things. Green is supernatural heritage. Blue is actual magic. Hags are very similar to darklings, the main difference being they are living creatures who use magic, rather than living creatures that are made of magic. Both are territorial, have ties to nature, and supernatural bodies. One IS magic, the other uses magic. That's an oversimplification and there were other possibilities that any given combo could produce, but that is the gist of it.
>>2118472I am continually impressed by how much you plan out various possibilities and contingencies, though I'm kind of sad that we can only see a small percentage of it no matter how satisfying the end result is.
EpilogueYou open your eyes, looking up at the leaves on the tree in your courtyard. Shauna smiles down at you, stroking your thick, wiry hair; Shaun is near the fence, watching, smoking a clove cigarette. It is undoubtedly a habit picked up from doctor Simi Rikandra, who walks along the building, looking up at the windows. A few are broken, and there is paint peeling and graffiti, but the building it intact and strong. Bethany tuns past her, arms outstretched, and whirls around, talking to the doctor. She is happy, smiling. Her mittens are gone and you can see that she feels safe, secure, and is healthy. You reach for Shauna and she accepts the embrace and the following kiss.Rune sits with her back against the fence, as do you, on opposite sides. Your fingers are linked through the gaps in the chain link, gripping the edges and one another. Neither of you speak, looking out over your territories, accepting each other as neighbors if not as allies or friends. You could pass as siblings. Another darkling looks down at you from atop her building, some distance down the road, her black hair braided into cornrows, black overalls and pale skin, green eyes glittering like emeralds even from that great distance. All Hallows' Eve. Circe chants from her cemetery, and the ghosts walks the world, careful to pay their respects for your mercy.You watch the trio from down the hall, looking up at them from your vantage in the shadows. They pan their hand-held cameras, calling out for responses, conjuring you by names that aren't yours. Looking for ghosts, and finding none, though they walk through the cold places where lemures have died and remark upon them. One of them, sees you and shudders, reluctant to film you. You yowl for them, and the other two become excited, gleefully calling out to you. Pacing them, you follow, watching, listening, guarding your place from them. They leave, excited but ultimately unfulfilled.
Shauna comes, alone this time. You watch her from the tree, as she sits upon the retaining wall. she is smiling, happy. You can smell the stench of blood within her, the baby that grows inside her body. Not innocent though - no union of theirs could result in innocence. It's a strange thing to see."We miss you, you know, Hekah," she says by way of greeting. "We're going to name her after you. I hope that's okay." She sighs softly, looking out at the litter strewn courtyard, the glass fragments of shattered bottles glittering in the sun when it bothers to peek from behind a cloud. "Shaun is a civil engineer now. He's doing his journeyman's work. Bethany....oh, she's so big now. And happy. she doesn't wear her mittens. I think she's disappointed by the boys and girls in her school though. You did set an awfully high standard for her. She draws too. Not just rabbits, but people, really well." She laughs softly, rubbing her barely swollen belly. "A lot of drawings of you." Appear in the distance for her, and show her you care still. It's for the best you don't get involved though. She's grown up now....but she's still yours. You can stand to give her a single kiss. Let her talk a little more, and maybe give her a present. You have just the thing. Hop down and rest on her lap. It will be more than enough. Write in:
>>2118545> She's grown up now....but she's still yours. You can stand to give her a single kiss.It's probably not great for either of us in the long run, but... it's hard to resist, especially since we're certainly not an angel.
>>2118545>Hop down and rest on her lap. It will be more than enough. >Well, maybe a little kneading, too.
>>2118580that's probably better in the long run, but even so.I thought I was able to get most of these feelings out of me just with the ending of the last thread, but I was wrong.
>>2118600That's ok, I thought I got most of the monster out of me, but it seems I still wanna channel the Crookie side more. Like, my first thought of what the "present" could be was Dead Bird/Rodent.
>>2118612I'm still kind of nervous, like rationally I'm almost certain one more kiss won't be enough to ruin Shauna's life, since I don't think any of our prior interactions have, but so many things in this quest have resulted in unintended consequences, so the "she's still yours" frightens me a bit, even though I still do want to hold on, at least just a little longer.
[X] Hop down and rest on her lap. It will be more than enough.[X] She's grown up now....but she's still yours. You can stand to give her a single kiss.[X] Write in: Maybe just a little kneading. A little.You call to her from the branches of the tree and she looks up startled. "Oh, hey Crookie! I was wondering where you got off to!" Shauna stands and gently takes you from the branch. you can't help but cling to it a little, but she gently and carefully disengages your claws from the thick bark, and settles against the tree. You drape yourself over her lap once she sets you down, and then purr for her, gently and carefully kneading her jeans as she strokes you slowly and firmly, just the way you like it."We missed you; we came back looking for you a few times in the days after the fire and the arrests. But no one could find you of course. You always knew the best hiding spots, didn't you sweetheart." You roll over and stretch along her legs and she rubs your belly firmly and gently, just the way you taught her to. You curl up around her hand and give her soft love bites, not using your claws or fangs at all. "I was just telling Hekah that we're getting a new addition. Bet you've probably repopulated the heck out of this place." You just purr at her."I always feel safe here. Everyone says it's haunted and that it's not safe, but I think we both know better, don't we?" She leans back and looks up at the clouds. "Simi - that's Doctor Rikandra to you! - Has set up a trust fund for Bethany, and has written both Shaun and I into her will. She was so awkward at first, it was adorable. She got a professional for Bethany, to help her with her problem. That was hard to watch, but it helped, in the end." She smiles an sighs softly. "She's been trying out dating. Tomboys mostly, go figure, but sometimes she'll try hanging out with nice guys."
>>2118618So I don't know, part of me feels like it would be better just to appear as a cat because we might unintentionally hurt her too much, especially if the options can't really be combined and possibly even if they can be, but the idea of something as seemingly simple as a kiss being too dangerous just feels painful to me, and the result is I'm a lot more upset than I probably should be.Sorry XS, I'm really bad at endings and goodbyes, especially bittersweet ones.
Her smile fades a little. "Kit is on the streets mostly. He has a pad, a place he crashes, but I see him on the back road." She looks over at the fence. "But he seems happy. He's safe too, so, there's that. Jeanine is a nurse now. Working towards her registration. Simi is helping her along too. Lyrical...." She whistles softly. "She's doing wonderful, but she's crazy. She's an artist, believe it or not. The stuff she paints....Hekah would have loved it. Scary, weird stuff. But her girlfriend is amazing. Beautiful, delicate, and completely nuts. But when she's in the room, you can see it. She's totally in love with that crazy woman; she doesn't say much, but the look in her eyes...."With a sigh she picks you up and holds you close to her face. You lean out, touching your nose to hers. Shauna closes her eyes, thinking of you as she starts to set you down, and you kiss her, softly, deeply, your hand over her heart, cupping, caressing. Straddling her lap you lean into her and hold the kiss as long as you dare. She moans softly, and opens her eyes, but you're already gone.You watch the three men chasing the teen. you walk along the fence, pacing them, their rage and hate and self delusion boiling over you like a storm. The prostitute is terrified, and he jumps halfway up the fence, and clambers over it. He strugles at the top, the lack of support making it dangerous. He tumbles, tearing his shirt. Bruises, fists. You looks down at him and he stares up at you in shock. The three men reach the fence and start climbing over, You watch them, their anger, their rage blinding them to your presence.But once they're over, they see you, and you look up at them, your head tilted, your eyes shining in the dark. Hate and rage and murder on their minds, while the boy scrambles back away from them in terror.The men's scent changes, becomes mingled with desires. You smile. Scare them off. They're not worth bloodshed. Warn them once, and then deal with them if they fuck up. Wait and see what they do; they're probably stupid enough to condemn themselves. Tell the teen how to get out of the courtyard safely, and make sure he does so. Write in:
>>2118634> Warn them once, and then deal with them if they fuck up.I feel like this is a fair enough policy.
>>2118634>Warn them once, and then deal with them if they fuck up.>Inform them of the Rules.
[X] Warn them once, and then deal with them if they fuck up.[X] Write in: Rules are Rules, of course."Look at what we have here, boys!" the one who is clearly leading this hunt says, walking around you. You let, him, not even bothering to follow him with your eyes. The other two get your attention though; they're not as strong, not as delusional, just followers. Pack animals. One realizes something is wrong; you smile at him, showing your teeth. "Another little bitch to fuck!" he punctuates this by kicking the prostitute in the ribs, but the boy curls up, taking the blow better. The leader comes back around to stand before you, trying to crowd you.Buildings, cats and darklings don't suffer from claustrophobia."You're not supposed to be here, any of you. He can stay; he's Rune's kid. Now mine, for a while." The weird pronouncement gets disbelief and laughter."You're not old enough to have kids yet....but if you want 'em, I can sure as heck give 'em to you." You look at the leader, your smile fading. He doesn't like the pity you replace it with. "Now get out of the way bitch before I-" You catch the hand he tries to shove you with and hold it in place. He gets a funny look, and you let go when he yanks back, making him stumble. The other two are becoming increasingly nervous. But he's angry now."Don't Make Hekah Mad," you murmur softly, and the one who realized something was wrong draws a sharp breath. "Don't Hurt Hekah's Cats." The big guy steps towards you reaching for your sweater. His friend reaches for him trying to hold him back, but it's too late. "Tough as Nails, Thrice as Mean." He grabs you and you grab his wrist again, squeezing hard. "Get out of my place, or I'll make you."The third one, the one who knows, he turns, climbing over the fence. The second one looks confused, not knowing, but not angry or smart enough to do anything about it. The leader, he's too angry, too deluded, too foolish."You stupid little cuAYYYAAAAHHH!" You break his wrist, grinding the bones together as he yells."You're making me mad," you inform him as you shove him back. He stumbles, coming up against the fence and gripping his arm, looking at the rapidly swelling joints you've damaged. they're rapidly turning red, and will be purple in a few minutes. "Go away. the gate's unlocked." The second one reaches for you, and you look at him, standing straight and opening your hands wide. Leaning into him, he staggers and looks up at you, his eyes wide and his face gone white. "Don't Make Hekah Mad," you whisper softly, your fingertips, your sharp nails, caressing his cheeks very, very lightly.
He screams and bolts, clambering up the fence and hurling himself over, crying out as he breaks his arm on the other side. The leader looks at you and then moves towards you. You step into him, mouth open, your nails shoved through his shirt, into the skin along his ribs. You score bone and tear flesh and he screams when you lock your fingers around his ribs. Not tearing anything important, just holding onto his ribs, but he can't stop screaming."I said, get out of my place, Henry. Or I'll tear you into little, tiny pieces and feed you to my cats." your soft whisper cuts through his screams and he nods, blubbering, whining, apologizing and pleading. You let him go and he staggers, bleeding everywhere, stumbling towards the open gate. Following, you lock it behind him, and sigh, watching him stagger out into the road.Rune grabs him by the ankle, yanks him down, drags him into the street. He screams and swats at her, but she nimbly leaps back, her course barking noises vicious. The car screeches, but it's too late: Henry takes the bumper to the back, and it bend in half before being flung forward, neck and spine shattered. He pants heavily as he lays on the ground, his eyes looking up as the crowd starts to take notice. Rune looms over him. "I told you to get off of my street Henry," she informs him. "Rune's Boys and Girls are Off Limits."You look up at the panting, terrified young man and hiss once, before you go away.You watch the workers come by, measuring, checking the electricity, making sure the plumbing is up to code. None of them see you.Bethany steps into the courtyard and you smile, watching her. Your lil' rabbit is a big rabbit, almost seventeen now: curvaceous, wearing a rabbit-eared hoodie and hands tucked into her pockets. A boy waits nervously for her at the gate, which lies open. It is always open for her. You can feel her forgetfulness, her memory faded, fuzzy. Not gone though; not clear but certainly not gone. She looks up at the oak tree, and then sits on the retaining wall, looking down at the ground. Her feet reach it now. Black leggings, sneakers, baggy hoodie, shorts over tights. Long, luxurious hair. Glasses, surprisingly. A trace, just a trace of magic along her skin, in her hair. Her very own. It's lovely and warm. You can visit with her for a bit, anonymously. Just wait, see what she has to say....if anything. Another bout of lap sitting would be just fine. You can give her a little more magic; she's yours, and she loves you. Write in:
>>2118674> Just wait, see what she has to say....if anything.> You can give her a little more magic; she's yours, and she loves you.>Though ask for permission first as best you're able, it wouldn't do to not follow through on all you taught her about consent, after all.Huh, those workers are a promising sign, since I don't think they'd care about things being up to code if it'd be demolished.
> Just wait, see what she has to say....if anything.> You can give her a little more magic; she's yours, and she loves you.>Though ask for permission first as best you're able, it wouldn't do to not follow through on all you taught her about consent, after all.Lurking is fun.
>>2118673Nice work, keeping our word to Rune.>>2118674>Yeah, >>2118676 pretty spot on. Support, with a side of>Another bout of lap sitting would be just fine, if the lil rabbit calls a cat over.
>>2118684You really enjoy Hekah being able to be a cat, don't you? Then again, it is kind of hard to pass up.
>>2118698Right?There's also the degree of separation that being a cat gives. It lets us get close without being too close, y'know?
[X] Just wait, see what she has to say....if anything.[X] You can give her a little more magic; she's yours, and she loves you.[X] Write in: That is, if she wants it. And she does have a nice soft lap....She sighs, deep and slow, and you watch her, curious. You really can't help the little smile that graces your lips. She's terribly cute, in a shy, unassuming way."They kept telling me I imagined you. Shaun told me not to listen to them, and Shauna just smiles that sweet little smile of hers, and doesn't say anything. But mom....Doctor Rikandra told me if I really doubted that they were right, if I wanted to make sure, I should come here." She looks around, the courtyard cleaned up, freshly paved. Bike rack off to one side, and a jungle gym set, freshly painted and shined with sweat from the cool day's condensation. "It looks a lot nicer than when I was a kid. I...." She swallows. "I don't even know what I'm doing here. I just get....it's hard to remember, and there's a lot that seems so strange. But mom said I should come back at least once. And talk my troubles out loud. So....here I am mom. I hope you're right.""Your mom seems like a smart person," you tell her.She jumps up and turns around with a small scream, her hand at her chest. You smile and tuck your hands in your pockets as you lean against the oak tree. "Sorry. I'm just naturally quiet."Bethany smiles and shakes her head. "No, sorry, I didn't see you there! I mean....ugh!" She steps close to the retaining wall and looks up at you. "Sorry.""Don't be. You seemed a little preoccupied." You sit down and make tsking noises at Bennie, the lean tom who runs the place. He pads over and you pick him up, stroking him as he purrs. "It's changes a little, but it's still mostly the same. I hear rumors that they'll be turning it into a psychiatric hospital for kids. Or something like that."The smile she has is happy, warm. "Yeah. My big brother - well, he's not really my brother, but we both lived here. It was an orphanage. Not a great place, but there were some people who were good. anyways, my big brother is making it into a clinic, mostly for poor kids and families. He said there should always be a place for kids here." She sits back down, and tucks her hands in the pockets of her hoodie. "They'll be coming along soon.""That your boyfriend?" you say, looking at the innocent young boy, who doesn't know much about the world. He looks through you, unseeing, unaware. Blind and unblemished. Helpless."Ye....well....no, not really. Just a friend. Not even with benefits." You smile and gently set the big cat down. Crookie slinks onto Bethany's lap and she smiles brightly, strokign the cat with love. "Hey, this looks like Crookie!""Crookie?" you prompt gently, watching Beth pet the soft black cat, who eagerly rolls over for belly rubs and purrs loudly.
"Yeah, she was a little black cat. Loud as hell, though. she could scream like a mountain lion. She...." Her expression becomes wistful. "I think she died in the fires that happened when they found out about the kids that were being killed. It was a huge scandal. Experiments, real conspiracy theory stuff." She glances at you. "What are you doing here?"You lean back and kick your feet, supporting yourself on both hands. "Waiting for a friend. My ex-lover, actually. She walks by here on occasion, and I like to see how she's doing nowadays. She has a husband. Just had her first child. They're wonderful." You look up at the grey sky. "There's another girl too. She means a lot to me. She's a witch. Not much of one, but she has talent. we weren't lovers, but I like to think there was something special between us.""They sound like something else," Bethany murmurs softly. She lightly bites her lip. "I have a little magic. Just a little bit of shadow play." She lifts her hand and the shadows of the retaining wall deepen, and a pair of shadows appear, a swords woman and a princess, dancing in silhouette on the pavement. "Mom says I need to practice, but I don't know if I want to."Looking up, you see the boy wave to Shaun and Shauna. You smile, and Shauna looks over. she lightly grips her husband's sleeve and he looks too, his eyes widening. She smiles at you, and waves just a little. The stroller stops and she picks up their child, showing you. You smile back and wave. "You should. You can never tell when it might save your life, a little magic, a little power. Or the life of someone you love." Getting up, you stand on the retaining wall as Crookie abandons Bethany's lap. "It's a good talent. But you'll find it gets stronger as you get older. Your power is a lot like that girl you think of often. She remembers you, you know."Bethany glances up at you, and you hear the echo of Doctor Rikandra in her voice. "Yeah?" she asks dubiously. she stands up as she sees Shaun and Shauna. "Of course she does. We always remember our first loves, Bethany. They're the ones who make us who we are, and we never forget." She stiffens and turns around....but you're already gone.
You watch as Shaun taps the microphone, and then speaks clearly and slowly. Shauna is there, her three year old on her hip, and Bethany, leaning against a slender redheaded woman who is blushing and nervous, but has her arm about Beth's hip. Beth's power radiates from her like a dark shadow, and her girlfriend's power is a warm brightness next to her. Between them they make a firm, powerful balance between light and dark, strength and softness. Beautiful. Doctor Rikandra is there too, in her wheelchair, looking frail and yet powerful, delicate yet so very present. Shaun speaks, his voice carrying clear and strong. "I am happy to announce the official grand opening of the Rikandra Memorial Children's Clinic. Thank you all for making this project come to life." The cheers and clapping drown out most anything said. while Beth doesn't notice, and Shauna is taking care of little Hecate, Shaun sees you, and nods once, slowly.You wheel Doctor Rikandra down the silent hall, letting her rest a moment. Stubborn old lady refuses to let anyone help her to the restroom of course. she's frail, but not an invalid. "So," she says calmly. "Still here." Still here. You too. You're dying, though. Do you want some help? Thank you, for this. This was you and Shaun together, wasn't it? Just smile, let her talk. Write in:
>>2118710Wow, Shaun and Rikandra did all that in just seven to eight years? That is very impressive.
>>2118710>Nod.>Smile, let her talk.>Maybe say thanks, if the conversation dies prematurely.
>>2118710> Still here.> Thank you, for this. This was you and Shaun together, wasn't it?I know that her own guilty conscience may have factored in at least a little bit, and she's likely to brush it off regardless, but I feel like this is still something to feel grateful for and worth expressing that gratitude out loud.>I wonder, did you ever figure out what it is I am?
>>2118710> Thank you, for this. This was you and Shaun together, wasn't it?
>>2118710>[x] Thank you, for this. This was you and Shaun together, wasn't it?>[x] Still here.Naturally.I look forward to seeing kids again. I wonder who are they?
>>2118710I'm kind of curious how exactly Hekah would help with Rikandra dying but I'm not sure about phrasing it like that. Maybe if we went with a more general>Ask if she would like anything from us?If she questions it, maybe play it off as talking back to someone who remembers us has put us in a generous mood? The tricky thing is respecting her pride, since I feel like that's also something she earned from us.
[X] Still here.[XX] Thank you, for this. This was you and Shaun together, wasn't it?[X] Write in: Did you ever figure it out?"Mmmnh." You don't really bother saying anything. It's obvious, after all.She sighs and lets you wheel her slowly down the corridor. You're alone, and she's next to helpless. Well, to look at her anyways. You can feel that her will is only now softening, only now, after the poison and the hard work, starting to bend. "Was a strange thing, this, you. Not a bad thing. You did good. Hope I repaid well." She smiles, that steel showing in her voice. "Took care of those kids good, yeah?""Yes," you agree softly.Rikandra relaxes again. "Could have done better. Never makes up for it after, but....maybe you make sure nothing goes wrong this time." She sighs softly. "Can't make up for broken rules after, yeah?""You still broke the rules, Rikandra," you remind her softly. She doesn't reply; there isn't much to be said. "You took care of my kids. Made this place. But they are still the rules."Mnh." She places her hands on the wheels and starts pushing herself along. You walk behind her, steady and slow. Suddenly she spins in place, looking up at you. Her face is drawn with pain and you can see the thready pulse of her heartbeat in the veins along her neck. Her skin is like tissue, soft and frail. Age catching up with her after they tried to poison her. She still got the better of them. "Then, you make it quick, yeah? And not let the kids find me. Not their pain I want to see."You smile, and lean close. She doesn't avert her eyes, doesn't look away from your unnatural presence, doesn't recoil at your thick, dark voice. "No, Simi. It won't be quick. It will be painless, though." She grits her teeth and closes her eyes, not out of fear, but out of weariness."Mom?" Rikandra opens her eyes and looks around sharply. But you're not there. You sit at the foot of her wheelchair, looking up at her, and she looks around confused. She never did quite learn what you were. That, you think, is a good thing. She slowly wheels her chair around to face Bethany and her lanky lover. "Are you okay?""Pah, always fussing, you," she claims shakily. she blinks and then looks at her hands. She closes and opens it, slowly, wonder dawning on her face.Bethany kneels and looks up at her adoptive mother, smiling. "You sure you're all right?" She runs her hand over the old woman's knee lightly and nods back when Rikandra nods to her, finally.The redhead looks down at you, confused. "I didn't think they let cats in hospitals." Her blue eyes are sharp and lively, and she's got that slight sweet-bright scent of crazy, just a touch. Just enough to keep Bethany happy.
"Hah! You try getting rid of that one. Dare you." Doctor Rikandra flexes her hands as Bethany takes over the handles of her wheelchair. "Come on. Good food goes to waste on these people. Have some ice cream, put meat on your bones. too skinny, you." the redhead blushes and Bethany looks up at her with a fond, arch smile, making her blush more. You watch them leave, Doctor Rikandra still flexing her hands in wonder, the persistent ache through her body gone for as long as she lives. which will be longer than perhaps would be natural for as frail and poisoned as she is.Still, you need Bethany to be watched over maybe a bit longer. You can always come after the doctor later. Much later. You open your eyes, looking up at the glowing images of the girl's skeleton. Spiral fracture, caused by someone pulling a delicate arm up behind their back and pulling. The room is dark, and the owner of said arm is sitting up, looking glum. Her right arm is in a heavy cast, and she tries to ignore the voices outside her room. The bright light streams from the doorway, breaking apart the shadows in the room along one aisle, and painting the rest in utter darkness.The heated argument consists of if they're allowing her to stay or sending her to her grandparents. You glance at the doorway, then cross it, ignoring the voices as well. The little blonde girl - nine, ten maybe - looks up at you, her thin hospital gown loose over her frame. Eyes wide with dulled but not completely suppressed pain look at you frankly. "Hi."She takes a moment to respond, and then glances at the doorway, where the argument becomes heated. "Hullo," she says in a soft voice, the whisper of the fearful."Hurt you good this time huh?" She nods. "Dad?" She nods again. "Where's mom?""Daddy hurt her bad. They're gonna lock him up." She looks down and plucks at the blanket across her waist. "They donno what to do with me.""Is you mom going to get better?" you ask, knowing the answer. She obliges you, though."You don't get better from being dead," she says dully.Tilting your head you study her. "Do you want to stay here a little while, and get better?" She looks up at you dubiously. Your smile doesn't seem to reassure her. "I think you can make some friends here."
"I don't got any friends," she whispers softly. She blinks as you present her with a beaten, clean, but thoroughly abused stuffed rabbit. She looks up at you doubtfully."He used to belong to a friend of mine. I think she'd like you to have it." She takes the stuffed rabbit in one hand and holds it tightly to her chest, her eyes wide. "I think you can stay a while. But you have to know the rules." The voices quiet and you can feel them listening, wondering who is in the room. You still them, their bodies rigid with fear, knowing something terrible lurks in the darkness beyond that doorway. You let them listen, make them listen, remind them that there are things in the dark, things that watch and listen....and lurk."Are they hard to learn?" she asks softly, fearfully.You shake your head with a smile. "They're very easy. And you wont have to worry about breaking them. They're for other people, not you. But you have to know them too, and tell anyone who asks, okay?" She nods slowly, relaxing as she realizes you're not going to punish her for not knowing them. "That's a girl, Angela." You lean close, and whisper softly, your voice thick and rich, your ruby eyes gazing into hers. You paint the rules across her mind, and those of the caring nurse nurse and the foolish doctor in the other room. Reminding them. "Don't Make Hekah Mad...."~End.XS
Thank you, one last time, for reading and playing.
>>2118747Thanks for running, this is a perfect ending in every way I can think of.
>>2118747Thanks for running, XS! A wonderful ending indeed.
>>2118747So what color were Hekah's eyes when they weren't red? Or is it more just that her powers kept everyone, herself included, from knowing they were red?
>>2118746Thanks for running XS
>>2118754No one could tell. the few photos show them as being black, but they weren't in person. they were pretty eyes according to anyone who asked. but no one knows what color to call them. They were listed as hazel in her file.
>>2118761Nicely spooky. Though ruby is a lovely color as well.
>>2118747This was lovely and creepy. Very well done, thank you. But!>>2118746Is Hekah wearing white?!>You try getting rid of that one. Dare you.Crookie always best cat.
>>2118747It's been a good run.
>>2118751The one thing I do feel is a little too bad is Hekah lacking a plausible way to see Lyrica's paintings due to them not at all bring appropriate for a hospital, though then again when Hekah is in one of her more active phases, I don't think there's anything outright preventing her from finding an internet-capable device and googling it if she wants.
>>2118764Limited choices for red eyed girls portraits with short black hair, anon. Unless I wanted especially anime or weird ones.
>>2118772Doesn't mean it doesn't fit her.
>>2118747Thank you for running, XS. I liked how merciful Hekah was to Rikandra at the end.
>>2118747Dangit, like I said before I thought I would hate this quest, but it is one of my favorites, I hate to see it end. Will Hekah ever become super-active again like before she entered her Imago stage?Even if it is just a series of short one shots I want moar. But I also understand letting a story end when it ends, always leave them asking for more.All I ask is whenever you choose to run your next quest, keep the same QM name so I can identify you and cheer with utmost joy at your return!
>>2120656I assume if she does become super-active, it'll unfortunately mean that something has gone very wrong, which doesn't necessarily mean it's impossible.As for XS, I think she likes being able to start off incognito, which I can respect even if that and her super-late (especially if you're on the East Coast) runtimes mean I'll almost certainly miss the first thread.
>>2120766But is the requirement for her to appear either>A lot of people thinking about her and following her rulesor>A lot of people needing her to be aroundAnd did any of this change between her being a larva and an Imago since Rune seems to be able to stick around whenever she wants.If we distribute the rules and imprint them on enough people Hekah could reasonably become a consistent being in this world. This raises the question. C-can Shaun..g-get us p-pregnant? How would that even be handled with how weirdly we experience time, would Shaun even get to see his own child? Could we keep Shaun and Shauna healthy enough to help us take care of our kids? Also, since Shaun and Shauna are still OURS does that make their kids OURS as well, if so why have we not cuddled them yet and become their bestest imaginary friend? I mean Hekah seems to legit love Shaun and Shauna as much as something like her can, probably more than Rune or any other Darkling in the area has ever experienced. I have a feeling Shaun and Shauna's bloodline are marked as OURS, primarily for comforting after baddreams and monster destruction. But we permanently marked these two.Also to be honest, these guys have devoted their entire life so far to bringing us back in full. We are not taking advantage of them or anything like that, they have devoted almost all of their resources to bringing back the woman they love. When alone we should great them with a glomping and rewarding whatever kink they have developed while we were apart as soon as our existence is semi-stable.Especially considering they are still OURS to some degree and their memories of us can contribute to the fullness of our being.
>>2120800I don't think we've ever seen Rune being able to just hang out except on that one night though, like it kind of seemed as if Imago Darklings are like spirits/kami in that they exist when needed only unlike most spirits, they have free will when they do exist, but it's not as if we ever got a primer on how Darklings work (and to be honest, I'm not really certain how Rune and Circe knew what they did).Hekah being able to become pregnant... on the surface it seems pretty unlikely, but Hekah seems to pretty much be a youkai and in XS's other quest they can have children both on their own and with human, though a lot of the time it doesn't quite seem to be akin to the way humans have offspring, and I think the cosmology might be a little different here?Also I think the thing keeping us from Shaun and Shauna for long is because they don't really need us even if they like us, plus serious human/immortal relationships are generally iffy? Or it could just be another aspect to Darklings that Hekah isn't consciously aware of, since there are probably a lot of those.
>>2120842Well Rune seems able to apearr whenever one of her people are in need,and we can appear when she wants to call in a favor like with her boi butt slut getting wrecked by that team of sissy-hunters.The question becomes what is "need" if Shaun and Shauna's kid starts crying from a bad dream is that enough "need" for Hekah to pop up and coo it back to sleep? If Shaun is away on a business trip and Shauna is alone for weeks is that enough "need" for Hekah to appear and lick some fluffy? vice versa?We need a clearer definition on how to break the system and turn ShaunxShaunaxHekah into a viable ship! We shall break this system and create the happiest of endings!!!
>>2120898To add to this about keeping Shaun and Shauna healthy in the long term.We have been able to remove Dr Rikandra's pain as well as that which causes her pain after only being an adult for 6-8 years with almost no one to remember us. Shaun and Shauna are in their mid to late 20's at this stage, give it another 20-30 years with enough people around to keep us conscious and functional, who knows what we could do for them, especially if they can still count as believers. With our ability to muck wiht records we could just continuously change records to make them be 20-40 something ex-orphans according to all records.>TL:DR Hekah loves Shaun and Shauna and will take extreme measures to keep anything (even DEATH) from claiming them!
>>2120898I mean... do they even live at the clinic? I know at the orphanage some of the staff seemed to live on site, but I don't think that would be the case here, especially since Shaun isn't a doctor and I think Shauna is a housewife.So that right there is a big barrier since casual travel is a no-no, though if some force places Shaun, Shauna, or Hecate in danger, the bond might be strong enough to allow Hekah to come to their aid, but even that's questionable.>>2120913I don't think Hekah's power can scale infinitely, she's not really a proper god after all, but then again, that is the nice thing about open endings I guess.
>>2120656I always use the same twitter and always use the same tripcode. I do not always use the same name because I think a quest should stand on it's own merits for the fiorst episode at least so that the name of the QM doesn't sully it with assumptions.>>2120656>>2120766>>2120800Both.Yes, Hekah will become very active once there are more children for her to watch over and more cats for her to be among. As the rumors progress and the Rules are known by more, she draws more awareness of herself and her charges. Darklings take shape according to the awareness others have of them or the danger that others are in. their memories are fluid, but so is their existence- Hekah's 'flickering' awareness also reflects how the world sees them as much as she sees the world. A half dozen kids, a dozen cats, and she'll be able to exist as she chooses, as long as she chooses to.The main change from imago to larva is the wquality of her awareness. She doesn't forget herself, and she can move her awareness with more surety and strength to the shadows in the building, or even blank places people are ignoring (behind shower curtains or on a counter top, for example).Darklings cannot become pregnant. However, babies concieved near them or by people they influence are special, and very sensitive. Often they are witches or psychically active. Their bloodline will be blessed and protected, even away from Hekah's place. Their next children, twins, were born in the hospital. Hekah was in attendance. Bethany was married to her red headed girlfriend in the garden of the courtyard two years later.>>2120842Circe was an honest to god, trained and true witch, who was also born a witch. She studied things, and learned thing. what she knew was the result of extensive training and bargains made, as well as summoning and instruction by the dead and by faeries and demons. She was in her thirties; she only looked young.Darklings cannot become pregnant. Their life cycle is exactly as Rune described it. A person under their protection dies after their failure to protect them (and the sex, age, or whatever else of that person has absolutely no bearing) and does so in aa palce that is suitablle for a darkling. If rumor and hints happen, and if there are animals and a group of people who are suitable for theirr protection that exist there, the seed sprouts, and a darkling is born. Darkligns are always pale females, with black hair hearkening back to the Morrigan and the Artemis, especiallt in that they are vicious to those who offend and gentle to those who supplicate. Their eyes shine unnaturally bright in varying colors, and they invariably wear black. Like ghosts and phantoms, they are not completely fixed in form, stretching and moving unnaturally when called for. They are tutelary deities, in that they are guardians and protectors of set places and people, and have a beast that they are represented by.
>>2120943>She was in her thirties; she only looked young.That explains why I got a different vibe off her when she was talking inside Hekah's head, relative to when we met her in person (though also I think Hekah left Circe genuinely flustered) because of how much she could unsettle the graveyard.
>>2120943So is Hekah a "mother" in the way Darklings are (and I think you at least implied like Rune is to Hekah)? Since by my count, at leat thirteen people died who are technically under her protection, though on the other hand they seem to have died at the orphanage for the most part.
>>2120966Also wait, is one of the (probably numerous) reasons Darklings, at least for the most part don't associate with each other is that if they share adjacent territory that means that one almost certainly caused the other to come into being by failing to save someone, and that's not really easy to deal with?
>>2120978Speaking of failing to save people, I assume that Priscilla... probably didn't recover, did she?
>>2120966No - she wasn't mature enough to have 'sired' those lemures, and they were not 'immortalized' in a place or a way that would lead to darklings being born. It's a pretty specific set of circumstances that would lead to darklign birth. Darklings don't associate with each other because they're very territorial, and their culture demographics are often wildly at odds with each other. It's rare for two darklings to be in proximity, and as you surmise, if they are there is usually an unfortunate reason for it.>>2120988She is in an insane asylum. Medicated, cared for, but ultimately she will never recover.
>>2121006Ah well, I'm not sure what we could have done for her short of using our essence to fill the void left by Salaah, but I'm not really sure if it was possible (since I think there's -probably- a bit more too it than plug and play) OR desirable even if we could do it.
>>2121006How'd Timothy get on?Also, what was the "perfect present" here >>2118545 ?
>>2121222My guess would be Bethany's stuffed bunny, but that might not be exactly right for an infant.
>>2118747I always hated endings but this was good damn epilogue.I wish Hekah could have gotten one more round of hugs from Rabbit, Shaun and Shauna ;_;
I am just gonna sit down and comfy myself in this thread until it falls off the board. Also >>Their next children, twins, were born in the hospital. Hekah was in attendance. Bethany was married to her red headed girlfriend in the garden of the courtyard two years later.*Happy Quester Noises*
>>2121233>>2121222A little black kitten of course. Timothy made a full recovery, over time, with specialist (Rikandra's) assistance to the standard doctors. Mostly vitamin deficincies and lowered hormonal levels. All eventually corrected, and he lead a fairly normal life after. He remembers nothing.>>2121273It just wasn't in the cards, I'm afraid.
>>2121685This quest was great, and had a good ending. Cheers for this, thanks
Here I am in the middle on the night, obsessing over this.Epilogue is killing my sleep. Not sure if it's a good or a bad thing. Only ever felt like this once and that was years agoMemorable quest, for sureDon't make Hekah mad indeed
I am glad you all enjoyed and felt things; that is the ultimate goal of any writer.>>2121738Then I have done my job well
>>2121839Damn, can't believe I missed the last thread.This was a truly special quest XS, touched me in a way I can't really describe.You've always had a way of doing that.
>>2125698Indescribable touching is my specialty.