A month and half ago - maybe more like two months? you found out your daughter Melon was a magical girl. Well, there went your dreams of being a normal all-American dad, warning boys off with a shotgun and having awkward conversations with your teenage daughter about sex and drugs and generally living life correctly.You definitely don't want her to repeat your mistakes, or her aunt's mistakes (your sister Ellie was the first magical girl you knew, and she's apparently a demon duchess of Hell now), or her mother's escapades (right, you married a kitsune with a very interesting history, and only found out about about her ears and fluffy tails when the whole 'honey, our daughter is a magical girl' thing forced the issue), and you certainly don't want her going down the trails some of her magical girl friends are blazing - Hell, one of them became a goddess in your backyard and ascended to a higher plane or sphere or something. And that happened earlier tonight!Unfortunately, this night seems to have been dragging on for almost a month. It was going to be a strategy meeting and barbeque with the small magical faction you accumulated by rod and staff (they comfort people, or so the Good Book says, and 'staff' had better be a Hebrew euphemism for 'shotgun' and nothing else), but a raunchy god of wine and madness crashed the party for kicks, along with Bernie, your daytime boss at the accounting firm (apparently known as Jormungandr in certain circles - a dragon/sea-serpent entity that claims to have dibs on ending the world), and your old Marine Corps battle buddy 'Superfly' Johnson, with his own team of teenagers with attitude and weird powers.Well, you did actually invite Superfly, after finding out he'd managed to plant a mole (your new assistant at work, Reynold) with a wire in the whole operation.Talking to other faction/group leaders has felt far too much like fencing. And that was never your sport.At least Dionysus fucked off into the night.Luckily, everyone else seems to have been talking about rewriting magical girl contracts, and offering some good ideas. They seem to have landed on an idea that involves additional signatories enforcing things between the girls and the rats, but even as you look into the cheerfully chatting dining room, you can feel a bit of tension.Things are always simpler when you can just blow off a couple limbs with your shotgun, instead of this political wrangling. But it's probably the first time in history someone's managed to get magical girls, normal people, witches, wizards, a dragon, and a fae talking something out without anyone getting dismembered, so you've probably done some good.[1/2]
>>2997953But there's no time to rest on your laurels, you think, leaning against the doorframe of the dining room and half-listening to the various animated conversations."YOU HANDLED HIM ADMIRABLY," the sword thrust through your belt intones into your mind, "TELLING A DRAGON THAT YOU MUST THINK UPON HIS WISHES - LETTING HIM SAVE FACE WHILE SHOWING THAT YOU HOLD THE POWER HERE, AND UNBALANCING HIM WITH QUESTIONS AND REBUTTALS.""I didn't hear you giving any advice back there," you think at the sword."A MOTHER BIRD TOSSES HER CHICKS FROM THE NEST TO LET THEM FLY," your hear in your head.That's actually rather zen, you think, still looking around the room. Liska is utterly absorbed in a conversation with several of the other mothers (probably about her novels, from what you can catch), and Superfly is finishing up giving Ellie a very unflattering anecdote about your time in boot camp....There's an unfortunate reason you got "Deuce" as a nickname. And Superfly has a bit more of an audience than you're comfortable with."You never struck me as the motherly type," you think back at the sword, "but I would like a second opinion on Bernie's pitch.""HE IS SCARED," it tells you, "HE WISHES TO GET THE MOST BENEFIT FROM YOU HE CAN, BUT HIS INTERESTS ARE ALIGNED WITH YOURS, LORD. HE SEEKS TO DRIVE THE BEST BARGAIN FOR HIMSELF.""Don't we all," you think at it, "and neither of his 'volunteers' are good hostages."Then Superfly slaps the table and says, "...so then we started calling him Deuce!" as a punchline.Half the table roars with laughter. Ellie's cuts above the rest, more like the laughs she used to give when you were kids, and not her demonic cackle.You sigh, and the sword speaks into your mind, "YOU ARE NOT MERELY A LORD, BUT A BATTLEFIELD COMMANDER. AND SUCH INSULTS TO YOUR HONOR GIVE YOUR TROOPS COHESION. STORIES OVER THE CAMPFIRES ARE WHY MEN FIGHT ALONGSIDE EACH OTHER."It might have a point. But that story's still pretty embarrassing."AND YOUR OLD COMRADE MAKES THE MISTAKE OF BINDING HIS TROOPS TO YOURS WITH THAT SHARED STORY," the sword thinks at you, "A TACTICAL ERROR, UNLESS HE MEANS TO BIND TO YOUR FACTION.""We'll see," you think, the ultimate dad phrase resonating toward the sword, as you watch Freebles nearly rolling on the table laughing.Doesn't seem anyone has noticed you yet. Then you catch Ellie's eyes. She turns her head back toward Superfly, and you walk down the hall.Last you saw, Melon was having a hell of a nightmare, so you peek through the shattered door of her room to check on her. Looks like she's sleeping peacefully now.That's probably the best you could hope for at this point.You turn away with a sigh, and almost bump into Ellie."Care to step into my office?" she asks, grinning and gesturing at the guest bedroom door, "Il Duce?">You're the duchess here - sure>You really have to work on your pickup lines>Where's your pet fox?>Yeah, guessing you've got comments about that meeting>WRITE IN
>>2998018>Where's your pet fox?>Yeah, guessing you've got comments about that meeting
>>2998018>Yeah, guessing you've got comments about that meeting
>>2998018>>Where's your pet fox?>>Yeah, guessing you've got comments about that meetingI would have gone for the pickup line f she wouldn't take it seriously.Welcome Back!
Oh boy, we're back!Twitter (for runtimes): https://twitter.com/HaikuDelugeArchive (for past threads, and catching up on this tangled web of plot): http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive.html?tags=ShotgunCharacter/Notes Doc: https://pastebin.com/1PQhyGrZ>>2997964Is that Red Cliff?
This shit was supposed to be a one shot, why are you still trying to stretch out this garbage fire?
>>2998018"Where's your pet fox?" you ask, looking at her, then the guest bedroom."Getting petted," Ellie says with a grin, and opens the door, then traipses into the room.You follow, as she says, "you did a great job washing him. His coat's so shiny... 'Deuce'," she finishes as you shut the door behind you and meet her dancing eyes, looking at you while flopped on the still-bloody bed.Then Ellie starts laughing, the laughter of an older sibling with some dirt on a younger one. The kind of laugh she used to have."Glad you enjoyed Superfly's story," you say, taking a seat across from your sister in this room for the second time tonight."I never would have thought THAT's how you would get a nickname," Ellie says, then laughs again.Yeah, that story's not very flattering."So you gave me that look," you say, "the one you'd always give when you wanted to talk about something away from mom and dad."You really can't tell what the expressions flashing across Ellie's face mean, but you can hear her strong, slow breathing, even across the room. Not quite a sigh, but not normal breaths either."Guessed you had your own take on that meeting," you finish, and lean back in your chair."Yeah," Ellie says, "I think that 'multiple signatories' idea is shit.""Why?" you ask, wondering how she even let it become a consensus without threatening violence."Who's going to sign on?" she asks, propping her head on her elbow, "if it requires us to have another signatory - who's going to get to say whether we can become magical girls? A dragon? A government stooge? They're in this for the power it can get them over the girls."That tallies with your conversation with Bernie earlier, but there's one sort of person you'd trust to sign on to something like that and look out for the girls."A parent?" you ask."I heard you enlisted at eighteen," Ellie says, her eyes almost boring holes in your face, "why? Because dad wouldn't sign off on your papers before that? THAT would have been parental approval. Same thing. It's our choice."She's... right. You remember being surprised when your father hugged you before you stepped on to the bus for MEPS. It was a kind of defiance, not really against him, but something you didn't want him to have a say in.But on the other hand, you think there needs to be some oversight on these contracts - the ersatz contract you have with Freebles is what lets you sleep at night."You know damn well if I'd had to get mom or dad to sign off on me becoming a magical girl," Ellie says, staring you down, "they never would have said yes.">And look where that got you>Someone needs to be looking out for them, though>You just pushed the wrong button (hug her and talk about your parents)>Bernie was hardselling me on him being the third party, and I don't like that any more than you do>Why didn't you make that point in the meeting?>Indepence. Is that what you see being a magical girl as?>WRITE IN
I'll probably be checking out in 1-1.5 hours, and hope to resume in the morning.>>2998202>This shit was supposed to be a one shot, why are you still trying to stretch out this garbage fire?Because there are people who seem to enjoy it, and got invested in it, and I'm invested in it, although I've had a lot of personal problems lately that have made running consistently more difficult.I've been in garbage fires. I've worked on garbage fires as a day job. I've reduced other quests to garbage fires with shitposting (luckily, those days are far behind me). This may be a meandering, slow moving narrative at this point, with more characters and subplots than I can comfortably juggle (which is completely my fault), and it certainly hasn't been helped by my recent short threads and lack of consistent/fast posting/running, but I don't think it's a garbage fire yet, and I want to see it through to the end.If you believe it's shit, then don't bother reading shit. Or keep telling me it's shit, and why, so I can hopefully improve. It doesn't really matter.
>>2998261>Bernie was hardselling me on him being the third party, and I don't like that any more than you do>Why didn't you make that point in the meeting?
>>2998261>Someone needs to be looking out for them, thoughThere's a reason you aren't legally your own person before 18, and becoming a MG is giving someone young a ton of power with most of the safeties off, and not much of a manual. There needs to be some third party oversight, someone that doesn't benefit from more MGs existing, or from controlling MG influx. But now we've got a "watching the watchmen" issue. We could try to build a self-regulating system, but I don't know where to even start with that.>Bernie was hardselling me on him being the third party, and I don't like that any more than you do>Why didn't you make that point in the meeting?>Indepence. Is that what you see being a magical girl as?See legally a person. Granting people that young that much power is what's allowed them to be exploited in the first place.>>2998298>Responding to the bait
>>2998261>Why didn't you make that point in the meeting?
>>2998261"Bernie was hardselling me on being a third or fourth party earlier," you say, "and I don't like that any more than you do. So why didn't you make that point in the meeting?""Because," she says, with a positively sharklike grin, "if I'd started that, it would have ended with me turning your dining room into a blender. It's..." she says, slumping back down on the bed and staring at the ceiling, "I... I can stop before the first move. After that, it just cascades. This is kind of the 'sanest', I guess, I've felt in a long time."There's probably a lot of thin ice here, but she, well..."You sound a lot more like when we were kids," you say, leaning back. Even then, and through the tumultuous teenage years, the two of you rarely met each other's eyes when talking about anything serious.And she sounds a lot more sane than she did when earlier tonight. The unfortunate thought flits across your mind that if Ellie really is dissipating demonic energy and impulses into the yarnball, this party might be about to get wild in the way that drives up insurance rates."Maybe it's because a very sexy 'radiator' followed me into Hell," Ellie says, "god, watching Haru rip into Butler was great. One more problem - Butler's all in for it. He wants me on the contracts. It's a way to expand my power, sure, but Hell, I want the girls signing up to make their own decisions.""And I need Butler," Ellie says, in a low voice, "he can RUN things."Good grief. She's not coming straight out with it, but if you read between the lines, it sounds like part of the reason Ellie didn't go off was that she didn't want to start a fight with her aide during the meeting. Or show the same kind of intrafactional weakness Superfly's team and Bernie's group did.Whether that's a demon pride thing or a sign of her coming down a bit, well, you're not sure."So," you say, looking at the ceiling yourself, "independence. Is that what you see being a magical girl as?"After a while, Ellie says, "that's what it was for me. Damn, that's what walking out of it into Hell was, too, once I figured out how badly they'd fucked me over. Hey," she says, turning her head back toward you, "wasn't that what enlisting was for you?""I didn't walk into Hell, exactly," you say, "but it ended up getting pretty close. Look," you tell her, staring into her face, "as long as magical girls need a rat to stay stable, they're never really free. I just want someone to be looking out for them. It's a codified version of what I did with Freebles. Of that collar Superfly has on his ferret. Of what James did to keep Madison's rat contained.""Madison would probably be really hot in bed," Ellie says, turning her head toward the ceiling again....You're not sure if that's a joke about the girl's fiery powers, or a real declaration, but you ignore it."I just want someone looking out for them," you finish.
>>2998484[2/2]>And you're not the worst candidate. Never thought I'd agree with Butler on anything but comic opera>And there might be a goddess out there who could, if we find her and she's moderately sane>And I don't think Bernie or the government is a great idea for that>Because I don't want Hell to be their final option - even if it kind of worked out for you>And that's a parent's job>Anything is better than the current system>Say, if any of the girls just cut their contracts, could you take care of them in Hell? Make things easier for them than you had them?>WRITE INThere are way too many ways to go with this conversation. Write Ins appreciated, and I'm going to bed.
>>2998486>>And I don't think Bernie or the government is a great idea for that>>Because I don't want Hell to be their final option - even if it kind of worked out for you>Anything is better than the current system>>And there might be a goddess out there who could, if we find her and she's moderately saneThis is an extremely tentative suggestion. We'd need to find her, talk to her, determine if she'd be a good candidate, and see if she'd even want the job before proceeding.It would be a sort of cruelty it impose on her, but short of creating a whole self-regulating system for managing MGs separate from the rats, who else would have their best interests at heart.We really don't want any sort of encouragement for the girls to cut their contracts entire. Ellie may look fine, but she's seriously messed up. A good chunk of that is because of what she's consumed while in Hell. Also, the radiator's "saturation" is being strained with one half-demon MG. Adding more will only makes things worse.Ellie is a lot better now, but without having being plugged into the radiator, she's not really role model material. And with her holding power in the stomping grounds of the Enemy, and also with her Aide holding much of that power de facto, she wouldn't necessarily have the footing to stay in a position of useful power.Bernie is too much of a sneak for me to trust him with this. Especially as he has feuded with MGs in the past over territory.
>>2998486>And there might be a goddess out there who could, if we find her and she's moderately sane>Anything is better than the current system
>>2998486> In a sense, the more signatories the better. When's the last time the UN got anything done since competing interests can Veto each other?> There could always be a time sensitive clause where in the case of a deadlock passing a certain time, the Magical Girl herself can overrule the signatories. Or something.
>>2998486>>2998507+1 for words
>>2998486Backing this >>2998507But also through in, The fact that maybe just maybe we could get them into there own system when we cut them finally free.
>>2998261As a supposedly responsible dad this goes against my interests and I was at least slightly better prepared about what I was getting into since they had a boot camp.(There's an idea?) I basically offered him a way better deal even if he doesn't have as much control.The issue sounds like it isn't that there are multiple signatories. it's who they are. Bernie is going to have a conflict of interest if that deal I proposed with him gets hammered out. That might knock him down to an extremely rich advisor. If that works out then girls are gonna start getting metaphorical and actual paychecks for their work.The government likes Supafly's contracts the way they are so he's not AS big of a stooge as you think he is. At the least he cares more about his girls than following their orders. I was also gonna say he ain't living forever either but I should actually check on that.We just gotta make sure we remember the main point of that council. Make sure the contract isn't shit and that the girls know what they're getting into.Maybe make sure they won't kidnap their crush for satanic rituals.aaand I noticed there are more posts way too late but it seems to work out with what i said so yay?Mary might be a good pick if she's moderately sane when we find her. It's not always a good idea for humans to be anywhere near a god but if they're stable any girls that become gods in the future would be pretty damn qualified.
>>2999621Derp. cut and pasted a line into the wrong spot. I also roughly agree with the posts by the other dudes. Everyone just seems to have different ideas about how to express that opinion.
>>2998486>nut on her forehead
>>2999621Man we don't need to TRUST Bernie to do "what's best".We just need to know what his motivations are and what he wants to get out of being a signatory. Then we can work out a deal. But as long as we feel like he's constantly trying to fuck us over, we can't put him in a position of responsibility like this over minors.It's an ethical issue. Quite frankly, barely anyone but especially children aren't really ready to deal with a dragon.Personally I find this magical contract stuff to be a boring ass slog. Call me when we can spend multiple threads autistically milling our own ammo, or souping up our car.
>>2999782To be clear, I'd rather return to the "My Wife is in Heat" arc.Which is not good.I'm not saying that I don't want this contract arc to happen, I'm just saying that it's getting to real world deal and I'm not a lawyer nor do I have any fucking clue how contract law works and it's starting to feel like I need to get one to play this arc.Y'all who are into this have some fun though.
>>2999789>To be clear, I'd rather return to the "My Wife is in Heat" arc.Oh God, why. I consider that the lowest point of the quest, easily.This isn't exciting, but it is direct progress the "main story" we're been neglecting for ages now, and it's something we can have an active hand in besides 'damage control'.
>>2999782I didn't say i need to trust Bernie to do what's best. We basically accidentally wrote wrote him out of the council due to conflicts of interest or bribed him to stay out. Whatever you feel like interpreting it as that's actually remotely accurate to the message i was trying to convey.Our wife in heat is still the worst arc. Things just need to get sped along a little at most if people are getting tired of the backroom deals. We roughly set things up so that everyone's contracts are ready and people are happy with the results. Now we prep for rolling out on an excellent adventure or the auditor suddenly shows up as one of the worst decisions concerning timing of his life.The only thing we're really missing in the To do list is dragging James into our journey for an ocean's 11 heist on the rats as revenge for taking so long. I just want to imagine the look on their faces when they suddenly notice their shit is gone.
>>2999842And now that I think of it. Madison should probably be on this council but her not being there atm is giving others some decent ammo against it.
>>2999799Because I felt like it was at least fun, if stupid fun.This part feels like work. Like
>>2999842This part is like playing EVE online.I get some people like that. I just don't know why. Honestly I don't want to get bogged down in details of contracts the same way other people feel about face to black sex scenes.This contract dealie shit is like, IDFK, weird nerd porn for details.
>>3000175To each their own. Though like I said, at least this is main story progress, something that's been severely lacking. And once we finish this up, we'll be stuck until something changes again.
>>3000175You mean the game where people perform corporate espionage to disable your internet/power after analyzing your sleep patterns to determine your physical location so that they can fuck years of planning and cost you the equivalent of hundreds of thousands of dollars while you're sleeping?
>>2998486>And that's a parent's job>>But we know some of them are terrible at it>There might be a goddess out there who could, if we find her and she's moderately sane>Maybe we should make a clause that if the girl is old enough she doesn't need one?
>>2998486"If they are looking out for them," Ellie says, gesturing her free hand at you dismissively, "I do NOT trust Jormungandr farther than I can throw him. I trust Uncle-fucking-Sam a lot less than you seem to.""I shot Bernie down earlier," you say, "and I don't like the government option any more than you do. By the way, don't you own some of it now?""Probably a couple senators," Ellie says, "Butler's still tallying what I took at the state and local levels and in the parties and stuff. According to him, it's 'a real chess game', or something."That makes a truly unfortunate amount of sense."Ellie 2020?" you ask, cracking a smile."Fuck no," she says, grinning back at you, then cocks her head to the side, "actually, talk to Butler about that. It could be fun. I wouldn't do - I'm legally dead, and I'm pretty sure the president still isn't allowed to decapitate anyone on TV, but a veteran, a family man, some guy who's got his head screwed on straight-ish," and she grins, "with a hot first lady..." she trails off, looking at you with a smirk.Wait. Is Ellie seriously suggesting she could take over enough demonic empires in Hell that their agents on earth could put you in the Oval Office?Ellie starts laughing, "the look on your face!" she says once she manages to recover her voice."Ok, ok," you say, "I started the joke, but we're getting off track here. I know Hell kind of worked for you, but, I don't want it to be their final option," you say, jerking your head at the rest of the house, then dropping it forward with a sigh, looking into Ellie's clouding eyes, "I don't want it to be Melon's final option. And this sort of thing seems to be better than the current system."She stares at you for a bit, her brows drawing down, then sits up on the bed, and says, "it's just changing who holds the killswitch," she says finally, glowering, "Hell, it's not even doing that! You could order your rat to cut them all right now, and he'd fucking do it! Or kill himself, which is the same thing! Fuck," she continues, slumping forward a bit, "you ever been a magical girl?"You wonder for a little bit whether that's a rhetorical question.The fire behind Ellie's eyes assures you it's not."No," you say."Some fucking rats sweet-talk their girls into it," she says, staring past you, "something about 'justice', 'saving people we care about', 'sacred warriors', other bullshit. Then we find out we're going to become monsters if we don't toe the line. You know why I did it?"[SET 1:]>Hug her>Don't hug her[SET 2:]>Stay silent>Same reason you walked into Hell>Other people probably had different reasons>I don't want anyone else to have to go through this>Freedom>WRITE IN
>>3005293>Hug her>>Same reason you walked into Hell
>>3005293>>Don't hug her>Stay silentShe's spooled up. Let her speak her piece.
>>3005293>Hug>Doesn't matter. >It sounds like some people didn't consider that when I said retirement fund I was making sure there are no killswitches. The most I want to happen is that a girl is stuck as close to a regular human as they can be after a contract and NOONE brings up any stupid grudges to any girl that does that. If a girl wants out she gets out clean and if she needs her power for some emergency like a vampire attack then she gets it.
>>3005293>Hug her >Stay silent >>Talk about the desert magical girls or soldiers, the difference isn't huge except for a retirement plan OH, maybe the New Rat Order should collect extra energy for that
>>3005360I honestly thought that was the plan. I get the feeling that others in the theoretical council didn't figure that out. There's easily enough in "taxes" because of the sheer amount of energy those rats were taking from the girls.That's the other reason why I wanted to hijack that energy the rats were hoarding. Steal that as one massive account that all the MG have to top up which ensures that everyone is incapable of defaulting.
>>3005293There are some times where saying the right thing will make everything work out.There are some times when the right thing to say is nothing.This may be one of those times, you think, stepping forward out of your chair, and suddenly hugging Ellie as she sits on the bed, and you feel her arms encircle your back, then one hand climbs to the back of your shoulder.She has to reach for it, and it finally hits you how small she is. You hadn't hit your growth spurt when she left, but she was never much taller than you before that.And she hasn't aged a day in Hell. Well, excepting her eyes, and the general atmosphere of unease that drips off her like the smell of money from a slimy tax accounting client.Her forehead digs into your chest."I wanted an answer," you hear, in muffled tones."This is my answer," you whisper, pulling her in tighter, feeling her nose press against you, and her fingers suddenly clutch into your flesh.After Liska's full-fledged-claws, they're nothing. Although you have to try to not wince, as Ellie presses down on a couple of places your wife scored you.Then Ellie starts shaking. You feel something wet through your shirt.And you bend your head down over hers, standing there as Ellie cries against you, shaking with sobs, drawing ragged breaths.It's still probably the wrong time to say anything, you think, as you hug your crying sister.You're not sure how long you stand there before she begins wiping her face on the front of your shirt."Thanks," you more feel than hear, then Ellie looks up into your face, a line of snot still dangling from her nose, "Hell, anyone would think you're the older one.""You've certainly aged better," you tell her, "and even younger brothers are supposed to look out for their sister.""And you -" she says, and then, after a long pause, "yeah, I guess. We were talking about something, right?"Uhh."Yeah," you tell her, "about how to get thing squared away so there's a committee on the contracts for the girls - and nobody can killswitch.""That," Ellie says, pulling away from you and sitting back down on the bed, "right. Fuck. They'd need something in the terms short of killing the rats, but enough to," and she half smiles at you, uncovering a mouth of very sharp teeth beneath still-teary eyes, "make the furry bastards hurt if they threaten to cut it. And the other people on it (whatever they're called) don't get to cut it either. Wizards should be able to do that much," she finishes, lying back onto the bed."I've heard we have an expert or several in that line," you say, not entirely sure whether you're talking about magical torture or drawing up magical contracts, "you alright?""No," Ellie says, sighing, then smiles a bit more gracefully, "I'm fine.">Then there's a hesitant knock on the door>Then there's a muffled, polite cough outside the door (Butler)>By the way, thanks for thirty years ago>WRITE IN
>>3005607>No you're not, you're Eliie!>And yes I can use a dad joke because I am a dad, it's part of the dad law.>Then there's a hesitant knock on the door
>>3005607>>By the way, thanks for thirty years agoIt's good to see the person, underneath all the posturing, and crap she's accrued on her soul over the years. I'm glad she's not all the way gone. It's the little things sometimes.
>>3005607>By the way, thanks for thirty years ago
>>3005607"No, you're not," you say, looking down at her, "you're Ellie."Her face distorts with anger, and you hurry to say, "it's a dad joke! It's a stupid pun!"There's a weird forty-car expressway pileup of emotions on her face, then she gets it and snorts with a half-laugh."By the combined powers of Annoying Little Brother and Because I Am A Dad," you continue, in a grandiose tone, "I am am entitled to make jokes like that."Then Ellie actually laughs."And as your older sister," she says, smiling, "I'm entitled to tell you to go fuck yourself," but there's no malice in it.Then you put your hand on her shoulder, and tell her, looking deep into her eyes, "jokes aside - thanks for thirty years ago. Not sure I said that yet."There's a very long pause. Both of you know why she left - she made the choice to cut her contract and go critical in Hell, where she wouldn't kill anyone she cared about when she went out."Hey," she finally whispers up at you, "if any," and she looks away, "of the girls do go out... Summon me. Or Butler. We'll take them in."It would be history repeating, rather awfully, but it's better than the alternatives. Your hand on her shoulder clenches almost reflexively."It's not a recruiting drive," she says, looking back at you, "it's just-""What I thanked you for," you say, giving her shoulder a loving squeeze, before letting go and stepping back."You know," she says, and wipes her nose on her sleeve, "I-"And she's interrupted by a hesitant knock on the door, before she can finish the statement."COME IN!" she bellows at the door, seizing on the interruption.Rob opens it, and steps into the room, shutting the door behind himself. His coat still smells like wet dog fox."I heard you had an 'internship' program," he says to Ellie, his demonic hand's finger flexing slightly, seemingly on their own volition.Before you can react, Ellie bounds across the room and slaps the boy across the face with the back of her hand."AND WHAT ABOUT YOUR SISTER, YOU FUCKING CUNT?" she yells, as his head rolls with the strike, putting another dent in the sheetrock, although the kid manages to keep his feet."I'm just here to ask!" Rob growls, and it almost looks as if one of his mismatched eyes is on you, and the other one is on Ellie, "even if you do, I'm not signing on until she's settled."Ellie breathes hard, glaring at the guy. Rob's holding his demonic hand by the wrist. It seems rather unhappy with the situation, by the look of its writhing red fingers.Your sister's teeth are gritted, and you're wondering if Rob could have POSSIBLY chosen a worse time to ask that particular question.>I'm still charging you for the repairs in here, Ellie>Did Butler put you up to this?>You two sort things out - I heard there was desert>Kid, is the camper on fire?>I heard there was desert - who wants to come grab some with me?>WRITE INThat's it for tonight. Got sidetracked by a friend calling.
>>3005970>Did Butler put you up to this?>is the camper on fire?>If you two can sort things out peacefully, I’ll leave you to it. I heard there was dessert.Fuck, Rob’s probably coming in from a conversation in the camper. We noted that he went missing during the meeting, right? And he chose the worst time to talk to Ellie about part of a sibling pair going to hell, since we just reminded her about when she left us to go to Hell.If his reasoning is that he belongs there as a half-demon, he actually has a lot in common with Ellie.
>>3005970> Did Butler put you up to this?> it's not actually a bad idea. Having someone in charge seems to . . . Work for demons.> And there's only one I would trust, who happens to be here. > But one thing at a time. Rob, can we go over this later? Or is this an urgent problem?
>>3005970>Did Butler put you up to this?>Is the camper on fire? >He is half demon because of his grafts, remember?
>>2997953>Fuck Me, My DaughterHmmmm.
>>3005970>I heard there was desert - who wants to come grab some with me?
>>3005970>>Did Butler put you up to this?
>>3005970"You might have the worst timing in the world, kid," you tell him, "is the camper on fire?""It's very not on fire," he says to you, rubbing his cheek with that weird red hand, his other hand still supporting it at the wrist, "kind of why I'm checking out my options. You've got a good slap, your grace," he finishes, looking at Ellie."You deserved it," Ellie says, "did Butler put you up to this?""I did ask him about it," Rob says, taking the comment in stride, "said I should talk to you directly."Ellie huffs, and you wonder again what sort of relationship she has with her 'prime minister'. This might be payback for the incidents earlier this evening.Or just the demon's love of messing with people."So," Ellie says, staring Rob down, "you gonna run off because your sister's wet for some two-bit wizard?"Wait a second. Where the Hell did Ellie get that idea? James seemed more like a sort of traveling companion or older brother than anything else.You see Rob's odd eye flare for a second, but he clenches his jaw, and it dies down."Look," he says, his lip pulling back for an instant to show half a mouth of very sharp teeth, "we're - I'm only standing here because of that guy. Don't give me that 'two-bit' shit. We talked a few things out - he's going to set the girls up here with half the reward money," Rob says, looking at you for a second.Good, those discussions did work out. And, well, it does seem right for James to do that with his windfall after they saved his life. Whatever else may be in the air doesn't matter right now.Then Rob looks back at Ellie, " honestly, I could make it on the road with this thing, back when we were just going town to town and I'd hide in the camper," he says, gesturing at her with his hand, "but you think I could settle down? Hold a job at Seven Eleven, even with a glove on? Let alone anywhere else - we/I can't type for shit, we/I can barely use a phone, and if anyone sees this, everyone's fucked. We/I have one skill: killing demons. I heard you might have openings."Shit, the guy's got a bit of a point. Even if the rest of the camper crew gets stable with an infusion of cash, and you fix the magical girl problem so they get to lead normal lives, this guy is stuck in the world of gods and monsters. Madison said something about that earlier, too.He doesn't even have some sort of fully-human transformation to hide it with.You're not sure if you should mention that his sister's worried about him for the same reason."I always have openings to be filled," Ellie says with a grin, stepping forward and grabbing Rob's jaw, turning his head like she's examining a piece of merchandise, staring into one eye at a time. After a few seconds, she releases him, saying, "not bad meat for the grinder. Both of you."That gets her a barely-held glare from the boy."I'll think about it," she tells him, then looks back at you, "I heard there was dessert?""I heard that, too," you say.>talk to [WRITE IN]
>>3009208In a sad twist, if he was a girl, a custom contract might have been able to help considerably with having the option of a more normal life. Freebles did make that unconventional contract with us, but I suspect the 'girls-only' rule exists for a reason. We'd have to even more research before attempting something like that on a larger scale.>talk to [WRITE IN]Is Harriet still knocked out on the couch?If she's out, try for one of the others from Mary's original crew. We haven't had a chance to talk to them much since she ascended.
>>3009208> (Say out loud while Rob is still there) I clearly need to check on if I really do have magical wingman powers in order to learn how to turn them off. Madison never struck me as the type to actually blow the meeting off for this long even if I am a bit dense.I also suspect they must be getting stronger since we have been getting supercharged with everything else by the yarnball so far.>Let's go check with the wizards. I was talking about the girls earning paychecks with the energy they get instead of trying to not drop dead with Bernie earlier. We've gotta see how viable it is.
>>3009208>>3009236+1 and i remember something about a limiter, that might be enough for him?
For the most part on this vote, I'm just interested in what characters/sets of characters/threads/topics people are interested in further exploring next. We happen to have a character sheet: https://pastebin.com/1PQhyGrZAnd, aas usual, just WRITE IN is great, too.>>3006003>he chose the worst time to talk to Ellie about part of a sibling pair going to hellI think there's a part of Ellie that sees Madison and Rob as a "we could have done that" scenario for her and the MC, which is part of the reason she reacted so violently to Rob's first question.>>3006019I liked where you were going with this, but I'm not sure how much is relevant to Rob's situation and reasons for looking into this.>Rob, can we go over this later? Or is this an urgent problem?He talks about 'options' plural, and he's looking into Ellie's faction right now because they're not always around to ask. (He could talk to Bernie, Rick, or the MC's staff wizards at nearly any time). Of course Butler nudged him into talking to Ellie herself because he thought it would be amusing. Or because anyone who's going to serve her needs to be able to deal with her (sometimes violent) mood swings.>>3006418>Hmmmm.Sometimes I regret this quest title. Other times, I find it hilarious.>>3009236>In a sad twist, if he was a girl, a custom contract might have been able to help considerably with having the option of a more normal lifeThat's a good point. He did kind of get shafted.
>>3009281>>3009293I was half joking but the more I think about it the more bigger the chance that us not having any actual control over our wingman powers are giving Sue yandere tendencies.
>>3009208Ellie takes a couple of steps toward the door, then leans over to whisper something in Rob's ear.That's an expression you never want to see on anyone's face again, as he processes whatever she's saying. You've been seeing too many of those lately, and they're all different.Before he can respond, she's out of the room, the door closing behind her."That's the weirdest job interview I've ever seen," you say, hoping to break at least a little ice, "and I'm sorry about-""Don't insult our sister," Rob says, staring at you with the jaw of a guy who took a slap in the face from a duchess of Hell and stood up to it - then he slumps back against the wall, white hair falling down over his mismatched eyes, "she just gave us/me a good taste of the work environment."Oh, hell, Rob's your sworn brother, too. So Ellie's technically his sister too, on some metaphorical level....Considering Liska's your sworn sister as well, that had better be a very technical, metaphorical, and semantic level."Jesus," Rob says, "this has been a hell of a night.""Yeah," you tell him, "any night where a god and a dragon invite themselves to your party, and an old Corps buddy show up in a black helicopter is. And if I actually have wingman powers, I have to learn how to turn them off. Didn't expect Madison to blow off a meeting like that, even if I am a little dense.""We were having our own little meeting about, well, dividing up the assets for the girls, and some other stuff - like what it means to not be nomads anymore, and how that works out," Rob says, "Hell, I'm a worse brother than you are - I let James and you go out first, instead of following her. And don't tell me you're going with your sister, well, our sister - these pronouns are going to kill me - on needling us/me about James and Madison. He never said anything about exactly how many people and things were after him, and I think she was really pissed about how much more danger that put everyone in, and how it meant he didn't trust her, and-" then he glares at his hand, "yeah, fucker, I know what you think is going on. I don't care, and you don't get a vote, and no, we aren't going for the duchess, you don't like blondes either! I will have you amputated," he finishes, then looks back up at you and sighs, "you mind if I sack out on the floor in here? We/I am having a bad night."Can't argue with that. You're a little amazed he held things together around Ellie.Or maybe demons respond well to that sort of treatment?"For a bit," you say, stepping forward to put a hand on his shoulder, "but I'm guessing Ellie's going to be sleeping here tonight. If you need help sorting things out, I'll be around to talk tomorrow. My hands are really full tonight.""Yeah," Rob says, looking into your eyes with half a grin, then he sits down on the floor.You flick the lights off as you exit the room, and get a muffled "thanks," before you close the door.[1/2]
>>3009715Well, fuck, you think as you walk down the hallway. You're not sure you have the personnel for an expedition right now. All the kitsune (and Melon) are effectively down, the other factions' support is a bit dicey, Mary's gone, Harriet's probably still passed out, half the camper crew is in the middle of some emotional crisis, Fred's house is covered in grapevines, and what should have been a nice, friendly barbecue has turned into at least a grade-B clusterfuck.How many times tonight has someone threatened deadly force?Nobody's dead yet, at least.Wait. Kelly actually died, and then came back. That's its own headache.You peek into the dining room as you walk past. It's a maelstrom of heated debate centered around W and James, with Bernie's pet priest and Butler interjecting in what sounds like bastard Latin. They're wildly gesticulating at small plates covered in the remains of brownies and ice cream, arranged like that odd Tree of Sephirot thing. Then Haru barks, gets a moment of silence, and make some arcane point in a dead language, then 'Kicker' points at a plate and says something in a mash of languages, Haru rebuts him with "Crowley was a hack!", W nearly tips his wineglass while responding, 'Ace' (his throat seemingly much better), asks if anyone's been higher on the tree, and just...Wizards, demons, and angels, you think, and get a sympathetic shrug from Heinrich as he catches your eye, leaning against the wall next to Shelby, who's watching the whole thing with rapt attention. Bernie is sitting at the table, seemingly absorbed in getting just the right ice cream / brownie ratio on his fork. Superfly looks very trapped at the far end of the room, then he winks at you, while Rick sets a glass down between two plates to make some sort of metaphysical point, and Freebles scrambles out of the way.It doesn't really seem like your scene. And you can't see the women anywhere.Jesus Christ, you think, glancing into the kitchen, where a set of magical girls seem to have grown like a fairy ring of mushrooms around Rosemary, how many people are in your house tonight?And that tale she's spinning sounds nothing like the fairy tales you remember hearing growing up.Too much military hardware.Alright, nobody's starting any fights. That's good.You finally make it into the living room. Harriet's sitting up on the couch now, sipping on a glass of water Karen's half-supporting for her. Sue's pacing around like a caged animal, and... is Angus actually SNORING in your recliner? In the middle of all this fuckery?You just hope it's weight-rated for minotaurs, or you're going to bill Bernie for a replacement.You walk over to the two girls on the couch.>Feeling any better, Harriet?>Had any religious experiences lately?>Bets on whether this is the wildest party I've hosted?>Where did Liska go?>WRITE IN
Guess I'm punching out and hoping to run earlier tomorrow (as usual).Twitter for next runtime: https://twitter.com/HaikuDelugeFuck, that took forever to write, because I had to go back and do a ton of re-reading to figure out where various people would be in the house, and what they'd be doing. I feel like a bunch of wizards, demons, magic ferrets, an ex-priest, and half an angel using dessert plates arranged as a Tree of Sephirot on a dining room table to debate magic captures what I'm looking for in the intersection of the magic and the mundane.>>3009236>Is Harriet still knocked out on the couch?Apparently she's getting it back together. Write ins for what to talk to her and the other remaining members of Mary's crew (Karen and Sue) are appreciated.>>3009538>I was half jokingWell, I ended up writing ~3000 characters off a joke line, instead of just shoving the MC back out into the living room.
>>3009720>>Feeling any better, Harriet?She's been out for a while now, though I don't remember when she knocked out. Start by bringing her up to speed I guess, ask her opinion on the contract rewrite council and third party signatories and such. Eventually, we should send her along to the council to see if she can glean enough to help if we managed to botch this timeline, though I'm in no rush to get rid of her.Maybe mention something about Burnie being grumpy about not being the one to end the world.>>3009775Thanks for running.
>>3009720>Feeling any better, Harriet?
>>3009790>I don't remember when she knocked outIIRC (man, this one Thursday night in-story has dragged on for nearly a month...), she got knocked out with everyone else when Mary ascended, had some level of emotional crisis after getting up from that, then played drinking games with Dionysus and Bernie with the express intention of getting wrecked, and ended up passing out shortly after the game was over. I think she missed a lot. (I need to do more re-reading to make sure I remember what she was around for.)
>>3009720>How are the both of you holding up? (We've been avoiding Karen due to Minotaur cock but we really shouldn't be ignoring her when she's right here.>Catch them up on the jist of what's happened if noone else told them since they probably missed out on it. Let em know about the idea you had with Bernie to get their opinions and Ellie's concerns. (I personally think there need to be more Veteran MGs or at least group leaders on the council. They know//survived most of the pitfalls and are an easier indication on if any new girls might actually understand the legalese happening than a dragon thinking it's easy to comprehend. Maybe some "contemporary" leaders could get nominated to sit for a few years for that effect? Keep the pulse on the youth getting into this instead of turning into a bunch of emperor Palpatine looking dudes like congress. At least one or two from each continent? If we can't get Bernie off the council with that conflict of interest thing then we can dilute his power to ensure the main goal isn't lost in stupid power plays. As for Supafly, he's easy to get off the council via pointing out that Ellie could easily be his boss by next week if she doesn't just make us POTUS.)>Float the idea about a boot camp for new girls. If the girls are unable to handle whatever decidedly "easy enough for a regular human" monster (assuming Melon didn't pick up our doomguy genes and is skewing our perspective here) we have em fight for the first part of practice they won't be able to handle the real nasty buggers.We're knocking all of these systems in place without the same sort of theoretical safeguards most governments have with each branch watching the other. Council members need to be able to or encouraged to recuse themselves when conflicts of interest arrive if contracts get involved due to how ironclad the rules might end up getting.
>>3009720Feeling any better, Harriet?
>>3009720"So," you say, and Karen looks at you, Harriet eyeing you from under her dark brows after a couple of seconds, and you hear Sue stop pacing, "how're you all holding up?"It sounds like a line more suited to a foxhole than a living room."I kept getting pulled into meetings," you say, "feeling any better, Harriet?""Feelin' a lot worse," she mutters, with the face of someone whose stomach is attempting to stage a violent insurrection, "kinda liked being out."Well then."Get some more water down, and you can go to sleep," Karen tells her, in a weirdly motherly tone, then the redhead looks up at you, "you have the wildest parties, man. Magic ferret pro wrestling? That shit with ripping your shirt off? The was - that was cool, right, Sue?" she asks, looking back at the blue-haired girl with what you can only assume is an evil grin."Looks like it was boring enough to put someone to sleep," you say, twitching your head at the minotaur in an attempt to stop a dangerous train before it pulls out of the station."It's a compliment," Karen says, turning back toward you as Sue walks up to the back of the couch, "Angus only gets to sleep when he feels like nobody's going to stab him. So...""Sounds like he feels really safe," you say, listening to the snoring minotaur, "the only Greek is gone now. There's a lot of string in the garage, though.""That's not funny!" Karen says, although she's sporting most of a grin."So you got rid of Dionysus?" Harriet asks, mustering a bit of a smile, "dammit - I wanted to finish that game.""He would have finished you," you say, "the guy killed another handle and grew grapevines all over Fred's house before he left to find a 'more exciting party'. You missed a few chapters.""We gave her the Cliff's Notes," Sue says, leaning forward across the back of the couch, her fingers digging into the upholstery."Rewriting contracts," Harriet says, "a sort of checks and balances thing. Ferret fights. Also some half-angel guy I apparently have to meet," she finishes, glaring at Karen."Seriously," the redhead says, "he is YOUR type. Cryptic pronouncements of doom, gives off that 'seen it all before' vibe, and hits the floor like you too!""Karen, PLEASE," Sue says, shifting a hand onto Karen's shoulder, "we're not all out to - anyway, there's important shit on the table right now.""I can hear the wizards arguing about how we go in after Mary," Harriet says, the fringe of her hair hiding her eyes as she looks down, "so did I miss anything else important?">The usual sparring with Bernie. But he doesn't want anyone else ending the world>A mostly-resolved episode with the camper crew>Prophecies of doom from a mad priest>If everything hits the fan, Ellie's said she'll catch any of you in Hell>I do want opinions on that meeting, since two of you were there, and one of your got the class notes, and nobody's right over our shoulders>WRITE INWish I'd cranked more out tonight.
>>3011977>>The usual sparring with Bernie. But he doesn't want anyone else ending the world>I do want opinions on that meeting, since two of you were there, and one of your got the class notes, and nobody's right over our shouldersEllie's Standing Offer is something we keep in our back pocket, for in case things go really, really FUBAR. Them knowing it exists will make them more willing to take stupid risks. And they make enough of those already.
>>3011977>Prophecies of doom from a mad priest>If everything hits the fan, Ellie's said she'll catch any of you in Hell>I do want opinions on that meeting, since two of you were there, and one of your got the class notes, and nobody's right over our shoulders
>>3011977>A mostly-resolved episode with the camper crew>I do want opinions on that meeting, since two of you were there, and one of your got the class notes, and nobody's right over our shoulders
>>3011977>I want opinions. It's your futures, not mine not Bernie's,not anyone else.>Bernie is solidly against anyone else causing an Apocalypse/Ragnarok without inviting him as a matter of pride and actually liking the stuff he owns.>I've got an idea about some sort of boot camp after Ellie compared me signing up to her becoming an MG since no sane parent would actually want this for their kid. All I knew him as was a hardass and then he was hugging me and trying not to cry when I went on the bus for the MEPS. I hadn't even thought about what the risk of losing me too after what happened to Ellie would affect him. Can you girls think of anything a normal human can do that would count as some sort of practice?>Ellie thinks Bernie is pushing the council thing for a shot at power over magical girls and that Supafly would just be a government puppet. Only reason she's not saying anything is because her "condition" means her opinion might come attached with an axe if she brings it up. I gotta admit that she has a point if she really can make me President if she feels like it by the next election.>I also talked to Bernie about the idea of magical girls getting some sort of paycheck for their work. If you work less, then people die or vampire populations start booming so he might be able to negotiate all of those folks letting you do the work for them starting to pay up for your services. That might also solve your hospital problems since anyone dumb enough to off you when the ambulance comes has to deal with an angry dragon that lost an income source. Not sure though. I just realized I never did ask who exactly is taking the bodies.
>>3011977>The usual sparring with Bernie. He’s jealous of anyone else ending the world>opinion poll them about the meeting>maybe say the camper crew was working some stuff out? Anything beyond “it’s fine”, they should get from that team themselves, but at least two of them saw Madison’s exitHoly fuck, Karen, not everyone wants to bone a magical creature. (Although good on her for getting the string joke.)I agree with >>3011990 about mentioning Ellie’s offer. Let’s keep that card close to our chest, along with any statements that imply Harriet knows about the end of the world. She’s been hiding the time travel thing from her friends, hasn’t she?
>>3012068She has, but she's clearly not as good at it as she thinks she is.Probably all the alcohol she drinks. I bet she blurts everything out while blackout drunk and her friends just pretend they didn't hear her.
>>3011977I do want opinions on that meeting, since two of you were there, and one of your got the class notes, and nobody's right over our shoulders
>>3011977"The usual verbal sparring with Bernie," you say, and rake your eyes across the three magical girls, "he wanted a potentially controlling interest on the new contracts, and I shut him the fuck down.""That's," Karen says, in a low voice, "how he does it. When he needs an inch, he asks for a mile."She would know how the dragon operates."Yeah, well," you say, leaning forward toward the three girls, and lowering your own voice to something like a hoarse whisper, "I'd give him three feet - of steel - before I'd give him any of you. But he'll settle for the inch, if I know him. I do want opinions on the meeting, since you two," you say, looking at Karen, then Sue, "saw more of it than I did. And I hear you got the class notes, Harriet?""It sounds kind of reasonable," Harriet says, "but does it matter? Even if we get new contracts-""It's a sustainable solution," you say, and grin as you put your hand on her shoulder and look deep into her dead eyes, "we're thinking ahead."Those dark eyes are hard to read."And Bernie is very much against anyone else ending the world," you say, with a fast wink at Harriet, "he's pissed his pet prophet is having visions of an apocalypse that doesn't involve him. The guy's probably just high, though."Harriet's eyes widen for a second, then she shuts them, "so he really is Jormungandr?""I'd put money on it," you say, "but I wanted opinions on the-""Fuck having my parents sign off on any of this," Karen says, looking up as she cuts you off, "can I get you to sign for me? Or - hey," she says, twisting around, "Sue, would you sign mine?"That sounds disturbingly like Ellie's complaint about the idea. But if it only needs 'someone else' to agree, then - shit, that's a loophole anyone could drive a truck through.Probably a useful loophole, right now."Get your fucking bull to sign it," Sue tells her flatly, then looks at you, "th' fuck happened to Rob? One and a half demons enter, one demon leaves?""He's fine," you say, and then think about it, "well, as fine as he gets.">He had a disagreement with his hand>Take the sword - he'll tell you about it>Ellie can't be satisfied easily>Your mom doing better?>WRITE IN
>>3013632>He had a disagreement with his hand
>>3013632>>He had a disagreement with his hand
>>3013632>>Take the sword - he'll tell you about it
>>3013632"He came in to tell me how things went in the camper," you say, "and had a disagreement with his hand.""Are we talking 'stop hitting yourself'?" Harriet asks."No," you say, "he didn't go Dr. Strangelove. He's... working it out."Although the way he talks to himself or his hand is a bit disturbing. You're beginning to wonder if the timescale for 'gestalting' is measured in years."Hey," Sue says, leaning down to put her head between Karen's head and Harriet's black locks, then she whispers something you don't quite catch."I don't think-" Karen begins."No, you don't," Harriet cuts her off with mercilessly, then looks up, "I'm the most senior member of Mary's squad here. Even if I'm still half-drunk. Karen - hallway. Guard Melon.""Who died and made you queen?" Karen asks, "I've been nursing your drunk ass back to-""Mary ascended," Harriet says, staring the redhead down with awful eyes, "she didn't die," and you feel a twinge of supernatural pressure, "thanks for that, but I'm in that really clear place after waking up from getting fucked up. Do you want to take me? Do you want to be the leader? Because I will fucking take you. I'll take your minotaur, too. 1V2 me!""Take another sip of water," Karen says, proffering the glass, "and you know you can't ta-"Oh dear. This is getting out of hand."We," you hiss through your teeth, "have much larger fish to fry here. And we don't have anyone over our shoulders right now - so this is probably our only good chance to talk strategy.""The strategy is," Harriet whispers, "- nevermind. All my strategies are shit now. But Karen, I need you in that hallway. Can you PLEASE trust me?">Karen, can you watch out for Melon?>Harriet - ...?>Sue, how's your mother doing?>Things fall apart this much when Mary isn't around?>WRITE IN
>>3013837>Karen, can you watch out for Melon?>Things fall apart this much when Mary isn't around?
>>3013837>Karen, can you watch out for Melon?>Things fall apart this much when Mary isn't around?This isn't the first time for her, that line about it being the first time? I don't think it's true. I think it was just necissary to get here.
>>3013837>>Things fall apart this much when Mary isn't around?>Karen, can you watch out for Melon?>Harriet - ...?
>>3013837"Things fall apart this much when Mary isn't around?" you say in a damning whisper."It's not Mary," Sue says, "It's... actually, uh, Melon is usually sort of our voice of reason. She can talk Mary down."That seems like the most ironically inconvenient thing your daughter could have possibly inherited.And you're pretty sure she inherited it from you."We don't need reason," Harriet mutters at the other two girls, "I need you - I need someone in that hallway! If you want to fucking fight me for leadership, Karen, I will fucking fight you. And your pet walking beefsteak. As long as Sue's got Melon. Or you can get Melon."You're about to ask Harriet what the fuck is going on, but her eyes look like she's reliving some awful past 'go' at this puzzle, and it sounds like it involves your daughter."Karen," you say, staring at the magic girl, "can you watch out for Melon?""Are we talking 'watch out for'," the redhead says, and then grins, "or 'brutally murder anyone who comes close to her'?""If you think it merits going from the first to the second," you say, "scream before you destroy my house.""Alright!" Karen says with a smile, almost bounding into the hallway. At least Harriet's still holding that glass of water."So now that we've dispensed with her," Harriet begins."Dispensed with?" Sue whispers, and you're a bit surprised swords don't begin materializing around her, "what the fuck are you talking about?""She has a family that's NOT part of our fuckery," Harriet hisses, "she has somewhere to go back to. So if we're doing this - she can't come. Sue, you probably shouldn't come either. You have people that care about you.">And you don't, Harriet?>Lady, you're NOT going on a suicide mission here>Let's go talk to the wizards before anyone does something really fucking stupid>Is this really your first time, Harriet?>WRITE IN
>>3013896>And you don't, Harriet?>Let's go talk to the wizards before anyone does something really fucking stupid
>>3013896>Lady, you're NOT going on a suicide mission here >>3013904come on dude it's pretty clear she mainly cares about Mary, let's not rub that in her face
>>3013896>>And you don't, Harriet?>Is this really your first time, Harriet?I want to include the suicide line, but truth is we don't know it's not. What are we walking into here, really?
>>3013896>And you don't, Harriet?>Flick her forehead when she says no>If you had no one you'd not be in a group of meguca.>Let's go talk to the wizards before anyone does something really fucking stupid>Also Suicide mission are nothing you want to jump into, much less while hungover and still emotionally vulnerable.
>>3013908'And you don't' implies at the very least /we/ care about what happens to her.
>>3013896>And you don’t, Harriet? We care about you!But make it clear we’re talking about us and her friends, because her family seems like a land mine
I swear to god I had a post, and I was going to put it out, but there was a blackout just before I posted., and it disappeared.Sorry.
>>3014018You should take better care of yourself. Random blackouts aren't healthy.
>>3014022It was a power outage (blackout), and my computer restarted before I saved the post.
>>3013896"And you don't?" you say, almost in unison with Sue."YOU FUCKING MORON," you hear inside your head, "JUST TAKE HER AS YOUR CONCUBINE ALREADY! ACROSS THE COUCH!"You have rather different ideas about relationships than the sword does."You just want to watch," you think back at it, "and I'm a happily married man.""KILLJOY," the sword mutters into your mind, "IT WOULD BE WORTH WATCHING.""Fuck you," Sue says, and you look at her. She's staring at the sword thrust through your belt.Dammit, she can hear the sword too."I'm down for that," Harriet says, looking up at the blue-haired girl with a smile as fragile as glass, "if you're really sure."Sue's face flushes. And then... ok, that's what it looks like when someone bluescreens.Oh hell. Harriet thought Sue was talking to her.Misunderstandings are the devil."Could we get our collective minds out of the gutter?" you ask, hoping to defuse things, "Harriet, WE give a shit about you. And you're probably still drunk.""Can you blame me?" Harriet asks."Yes," you say, "I can. And I am.""And I was talking to the fuckin' sword!" Sue says, finally recovering, "Harriet," she says, leaning over the back of the couch to hug the other magical girl, "what the hell is going on with you? We care about you, and yeah, you drink too much, but it's never been like this. 'Dispense with'?, and even - look, what's going on?""I'm botching this timeline," you barely hear Harriet say.Oh shit."Sue," she says, sounding terribly sober, "do you know how many times I've killed you, I've fucked you, and I've killed for you? You know how many times I've seen you die?""Huh?" Sue asks, looking baffled.>Remove Harriet from this situation>Remove Sue from this situation>Oh, you're going to give the 'time traveler speech'?>Just let it play out>WRITE IN
>>3015947>Long story short Harriet is stuck in a groundhog day loop and wants to commit suicide because Mary apotheosized, because she's sad and drunk off her ass and doesn't want to actually go try and find and possibly save her friend but give up like a pussy bitch.
>>3015947You're gonna give that cliche time traveler speech? Mandatory watching of Bill and Ted tonight you're gonna have to deal with being sober for the rest of this timeline, and you're now on suicide watch.Did you forget that you might not be the only one hitching a ride on that train right now?Blade, warn Sue if she attempts to try seppukku.
>>3015947"Sue," Harriet says, "I have been living this year over and over for thirty years.""Stuck in a Groundhog Day loop," you say, almost mechanically.Didn't she tell you that every time she's told the other girls, everyone dies horribly?"When were you going to tell us?" Sue asks, holding her tighter."Every time I tried, everyone died horribly," Harriet says."If this is your idea of a creative suicide," you say, "because Mary apotheosized and you can't deal with it -""I'm just pushing this loop farther out from center," Harriet says, glaring at you, "to see where it goes. It'll be helpful next time I find you.""Hang on," Sue says, "I have a LOT of fucking questions.""This is how it starts," Harriet sighs."You fucked me?" Sue asks."In another timeline, yes," Harriet says, "you are the best lay on our team.""Our team?" Sue asks, still trying to process what she's hearing, "wait, I'm not into girls.""Everyone is bi with a bit of persuasion," Harriet tells her."You're drunk, and you're fucking with me," Sue says, then looks up at you, "she's just drunk and she's just fucking with me, right?"Lying convincingly has never been your strong suit. Unless it's poker. You can lie your face off over cards.You wish you had a deck right now."She's drunk," you begin, "and she's-""No, I'm not fucking with you," Harriet says, then whispers something in Sue's ear."Get ready for the next loop," Sue says, "unless you say something great in the next-""No wonder everyone dies horribly when you pull this shit," you interject, "Harriet, you're not a salesman. Saleswoman. Whatever. And you had better not be trying to punch your ticket," you continue, "Sue, you'd better not punch it for her."Sue takes a deep breath and looks slightly less like she wants to murder someone."I'm not," Harriet says, "why do you think I got Karen out of here?" then she looks over at Sue, "I thought you could take it this time.""WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE," the sword says into your head."No," Sue says, "we're not.""When did you start using the royal we?" Harriet asks, a bit confused."You can't hear him?" Sue asks her, "ok, just spill the beans. You say I died? How?""You're usually the first one," Harriet says, "you rush in on something you can't handle. And who are you talking about?""ME!" the sword yells.Harriet sits there, with Sue's arms wrapped around her, looking slightly confused."You didn't hear that?" Sue asks her."Hear what?" Harriet asks.>Just throw the sword to her>Harriet, you're on suicide watch>An old family heirloom. That talks>What, you can't hear him?>Harriet, you think you're in any condition to go find Mary like this?>WRITE IN
>>3016276>The old family heirloom of mine that talks, apparently she’s resonant enough with to hear it at a distance.>Shake sword.>Also we’re yarnballed, who knows how that’d affect your looping.
>>3016276poke her with the end of the sword.
>>3016276>Touch her forehead with the sword's hilt to introduce each other.>An old family heirloom. That talks>Harriet, you're on suicide watch
>>3016276"SO ONLY YOU TWO CAN HEAR ME," the sword says."Let's fix that," you think back at it, and pull the 'Thousand Year Blade' out of your belt, scabbard and all."An old family heirloom," you say, holding the sword in your hands, "you've seen Sue using it, right? It likes her.""LORD," you hear from the sword, "I AM NOT THE ONE WHO SHOULD STAB INTO-"Then you rattle the blade. It's far too enthusiastic about certain things."WHAT RETAINER DOESN'T WANT THEIR LORD TO HAVE A MALE HEIR?" thunders through your head, "AND STOP SHAKING ME!""He talks," Sue says, "and wears a funny hat. Hey," she says to you, "let me introduce them.""Sure," you tell her, and hand the sword over."Ok," Sue says, holding the sword, "Harriet, grab him with me."Harriet wraps her hands around the hilt with Sue's still looking very doubtful. You're ready to pull it away, if this becomes a repeat of what Sue did with her mother.You needn't have bothered. It's only seconds before the sword clatters to the floor, and Sue grabs a couch cushion and screams into it. Harriet looks - as traumatized as usual."NEVER LET HER HOLD ME AGAIN, LORD!" you hear, as you pick up the sword, "I HAVE FOUGHT AND DEFEATED TERRIBLE FOES, BUT WHAT I SAW IN HER HEAD..."Time passes differently 'inside' the sword, right? So Harriet could have shown off years of memories."That..." Harriet says, "that... How the hell do you hold that thing?""How did I get seven magical girls, one-and-a-half demons, and three wizards to swear allegiance to me?" you ask her, "is Sue o-"Before you can finish your question, Sue is all over Harriet, hugging the black-haired girl like her life depends on it."I'm sorry," she manages to sob out."You only killed me three times," Harriet says, her voice muffled by the embrace."But," Sue says, "all the other - everything else - just, all of it!""It's ok," Harriet says."NOT IT'S FUCKING NOT!" Sue yells at her, "you died over and over! How are you still - how are you still going? We - I murdered you!""That's why I drink," Harriet says, barely managing to keep her voice from breaking, before Sue nearly crushes her in the tightest hug you've ever seen in your life, tears streaming down her face.>This seems like a good time to exit for the backyard>This seems like a good time to say something about yarnballs and resetting>This seems like a good time to hug both of them>This seems like a good time to go make sure the wizards haven't accidentally summoned Satan himself>This seems like a good time to visit the 'fairy ring' in the kitchen>WRITE IN
>>3016475>This seems like a good time to hug both of themDad mode now
>>3016475>>This seems like a good time to say something about yarnballs and resetting>This seems like a good time to hug both of them
>>3016475>Harriet, A) I know you're smart enough to realize that we aren't letting you die for some stupid reason whether or not you come back anywayB)Did you forget about those time phantoms and the yarnball? Everyone is probably going to get dragged along with you this timeC)You don't even know if it's the same timeline so you could just be leaving a trail of bodies across the multiverseD)(Double check that Bernie isn't walking in the door) Try not to say that out loud in a house where people that would actually find that useful enough to take from you are currently in.E)You already looked like you were breaking apart when I first met you. I don't think you can handle another time if we don't come with youF) You're staying sober now I've seen enough people including myself hiding behind a bottle when I was on active duty and it doesn't work.G)Kelly is the angel of death right now. It wouldn't surprise me if nothing you try works without his permission.H)H is for hugs. I know it's cheesey. Too bad. I)I'm putting you on suicide watchJ)You get through a timeline where everyone's alive, the rats might be about to lose,and you finally get a decent map? Self flagellation isn't going to help you.K) TYB, Monitor her if you can and warn Sue if she's going to try seppukku.J) Turn on BIll and TedI feel like I should stop here before something explodes in a different room
>>3016475>This seems like a good time to hug both of them
>>3016475>just let them have their moment, and go anywhere else
>>3016475"It's not that," Sue whispers, "it's just - you keep doing it. And you come back to us every time - it's..."This seems like a good time to administer the only medicine you have for emotional crises - a hug.Well, Sue got there first, so she gets included, too."LORD -" you hear inside your head as you embrace the two crying girls."Shut the fuck up," you think back at the sword, guessing what theme it's going to start harping on.Harriet might be trying to say something, but she's having trouble doing anything but crying. You can't imagine what it's like to remember someone as a friend, a lover, and someone who killed you - all at the same time.Or what Sue's thinking."Harriet," you whisper, "you don't get to die for some stupid reason this time. Even if you come back.""I'm not letting you go," Sue whispers, "I'm not the same me you... - loved, but I'll still protect you like she would have."You're not sure Harriet could even take another reset at this point. Tears are trickling from her shut eyes, like refugees through a broken wall. You hold her and Sue even tighter, kneeling by the couch.She's pretty close to the end of her rope, if you had to guess."We're doing way better on this run, aren't we?" you ask."I..." Harriet says, "we... I'm so scared of losing this one," she chokes out, "I'm scared it'll just be like the rest.""I saw it," Sue says, "Harriet, Harriet - just, you're not alone, you've got us. Fuck, we've all killed you.""I haven't," you say, "and I'm keeping it that way. I'm not letting you die, either."Well, apparently you know the magic words the take a girl from 'crying' to 'bawling her eyes out'.Not a useful talent."But you have to get sober," you say, "there's no bottle big enough to hide behind, and no truth at the bottom of one. Yeah, I've tried. And it always ends up like this.""Hey," Sue says, "lay off," then she looks down at Harriet's clenched eyes and whispers "for old times' sake," then kisses her gently on the forehead.You can't tell whether Harriet's redoubled tears are happy or sad, or whether you or Sue are the worse comforter."Thanks," Harriet whispers, "and fuck you for making me hold that thing and see it all again.">Then you realize you have an audience staring from the kitchen>Should I even ask...?>Say [WRITE IN] and disengage for the backyard>You know, you'll probably drag us all along next time>WRITE IN
Punching out.Twitter for the next runtime: https://twitter.com/HaikuDelugeI'm actually not sure whether Harriet was actually trying to reset out of this loop, and got stopped because Sue used the sword, or whether she really thought Sue was ready to learn about her 'condition' (and thus got rid of Karen) - but didn't bargain on having that sort of experience. Or some other possibility. I'm not sure she knows, actually. Either way, Harriet did NOT bargain for getting sucked into the sword and showing Sue those memories, and Sue didn't bargain for the experience either. It's gotta be really fucking weird to suddenly see alternate timeline versions of yourself murdering a friend - or being their lover. Or both.>>3016577I hope I hit at least a couple of these.
>>3016276>"Everyone is bi with a bit of persuasion," Harriet tells her.Thoroughly disagree. In fact, it's one of my major pet peeves in lot of media. Some (likely even most) people are happily straight or gay, and have no interest whatsoever in the other relevant sex.>You're not sure Harriet could even take another reset at this point.She doesn't have a choice, really. She never has. At worst, she'd go on another suicide spree until she got things stable enough to try again.>>Should I even ask...?I dunno if they want to talk about it, but if they don't it should keep them from lingering on it.>>WRITE IN>>You know, you might drag us all along next timeIt's a discussed possibility, but likely is a stretch with our current knowledge. If it is shared, it opens up questions such as is harriet's death the only trigger?Thinking about it, what is the full roster of the yarnball, or at least people directly connected enough to potentially share powers (such as her reset function?)
>>3016803I think it's two things. People get confused by the fact that it's going to feel good no matter what gender is involved and mistake it for their own preference.The other which ties into that is the widespread arrogance/fantasy of "I'm sure some alcohol and me doing XXX with a ____ will change their mind" that goes around.Lesbians think that about straight women. Men think that about lesbians. Women think that about gay dudes. Gay dudes say they could totally do that to straight men. Everyone wants to think they're so goddamn amazing at sex that they can alter gender preferences at will.
>>3016803>>3016836Actually make that a third theory.We saw when it got revealed just how much molestation and sexual assault goes on behind the scenes with the people that write or control those stories in the media at every level. They would much rather believe they were bi-curious than accept the full reality of what was done to them if they were victims as well as all of the myriad issues that rape victims get. Or they're the ones perpetrating it.
>It's a discussed possibility, but likely is a stretch with our current knowledge. If it is shared, it opens up questions such as is harriet's death the only trigger?>Thinking about it, what is the full roster of the yarnball, or at least people directly connected enough to potentially share powers (such as her reset function?)The thing handled a god bomb going off in the middle of it. the damn thing is probably stronger than Harriet's power and might actually either anchor her her if it doesn't drag us out with her or any number of weird effects in between. Harriet also doesn't know what the catalyst to her magic even is (supposedly) so she could live to old age in a happy timeline, die, and get right back where she started. Fortunately this doesn't seem to have occurred to her.Bernie would actually be the "best" person to have it by far if it's a single timeline repeated instead of multiverse theory since any ragnarok he does gets reset, he gets to keep his treasure hoard forever, is going to ruin ANY apocalypse that tries to happen without him till the end of time, and is used to an eternal life so he really doesn't have any downsides for himself.>>3016727Hold on a second.. TYB, those weird nightmares I had last night, were they Harriet's memories? I thought that was just an aftereffect of being around Dionysus.
>>3016727>Then you realize you have an audience staring from the kitchen
Quick question, has qmc yet told Harriett some phrase she can tell him to make him believe her or at least gain his trust if/when another reset happens?
>>3017409She has the Deuce story.
>>3017409She's still missing far too damn much information to be thinking of a reset. She's wanting to go back without her magic lessons, the proper information on how to rewrite contracts,anything that would convince Freebles,has no real method to stop freebles from going into panic mode when she tries to contact us because she can't see him astral projecting over her shoulder.If Harriet actually manages to scrap this timeline without dragging at least us with her she's going to crash and burn for another hundred timelines if the time phantoms don't get tired of her shit first. She's making one of those decisions that seem really great when drunk but you realize you should have actually thought through properly when you're sober.I was also apparently banned in 2017 on a board I've never been to. weird.
>>3016803>Thoroughly disagreeI don't think Harriet's right either. And that line, as well as the fact she's apparently 'sampled' the entire group over the course of a lot of Groundhog day loops (which has been brought up before) is (Doylistically) a thinly-veiled jab at the yuri undertones in most magical girl series. Watosnianly, Harriet has not been making the best decisions, and dug part of her hole herself - interacting with someone you've had a relationship with, but they don't remember any of it has probably been pretty hard on her, on top of the whole repeated death thing.>>3016836>Gay dudes say they could totally do that to straight menIf you ever want to 100% guarantee getting laid at a gay bar, pass yourself off as a straight guy who's maybe a little curious, or could be persuaded.
>>3017559If you want a 100% chance of getting laid at a gay bar just say you want to get laid. Men are the sluttiest gender with the least cultural restrictions or hangups concerning fucking.
>>3016727"Should I even ask..?" you ask."Fuck no," and "Hell no," you get from the two girls."IT WAS VERY INTERESTING VIEWING," you hear in your head, "FAR BETTER THAN THE FISHERMAN'S WI-""Stand down, sword," you mutter, before Sue can say anything. You're slightly worried she might smash the thing."Do you need some space?" you ask, "or do you want me to stay here?""I need a fuckin' football field," Sue whispers, "I just saw - a lot of things.""And I need another drink," Harriet says."No," you say, almost in unison with Sue."If you want me to fuck off, I will," Sue continues, "I don't think that's - Harriet, I'm here for you unless you kick me off. And you CAN'T kick me off," Sue finishes, and you feel blue fire flicker out from her eyes for a second, "do you want me to leave?"As an answer, Harriet finally returns Sue's embrace, wrapping her arms around the other magical girl."I need a lot of football fields," Harriet says, then she rears up toward Sue, whispering, "and -"The rest of whatever Harriet says is lost solely into Sue's ear."Thanks," Sue says, and you get the distinct feeling this is a very private conversation, but it probably won't take down the house."If you reset again," you whisper, "you might drag the whole yarnball with you. I'd ask a wizard, but they're all going on theories," you say, managing to disentangle yourself and stand up."Fuck," Harriet says, as you turn slightly and realize everyone in the kitchen is staring at you.Apparently this scene's more interesting than whatever fairytales Rosemary's been spinning."We're talking this out," you hear Sue tell Harriet in a low voice behind you, "and you aren't dying on my watch.">Obviously, you should head back to the kitchen and tell them [WRITE IN]>Obviously, you should decamp to the backyard>Obviously, you should rejoin the wizards - men should stick together>Obviously, you should secure all available alcohol away from Harriet>Obviously, if everything is obvious, nothing is>WRITE IN
>>3018395>>Obviously, you should secure all available alcohol away from Harriet>Obviously, you should head back to the kitchen and tell them [WRITE IN]>Give them some space
>>3018395>>3018408"Nothing to see here, move along."
>>3018395>Obviously, you should secure all available alcohol away from Harriet>Obviously, you should head back to the kitchen and tell them [WRITE IN]>>"Let them rest, i doubt anything but bringing back Mary in one piece could do any good."
>>3018395>whatever fairytales Rosemary's been spinning.heh
>>3018395>Obviously, you should rejoin the wizards - men should stick together
>>3018395>Obviously, if everything is obvious, nothing is
>>3018408>>>Obviously, you should secure all available alcohol away from Harriet
>>3018532As subtle as a brick house.
>>3018395You pick the sword back up from the floor, and slam it through your belt, then scrape up the bottles on the ersatz living room sidebar.One between each finger.They should be as far away from Harriet as possible. And you feel like you should give the two girls a bit of space - neither of them are the same person they were in those loops."BUT THEY ARE YOURS," you hear in your head. Is this the stuff Rob gets all the time?No wonder he's a bit of a head case."Would Nobunaga have gone for Mitsuhide?" you think at the blade. Your knowledge of Sengoku politics is a bit spotty, but hopefully it'll slam-dunk on the sword.Then you realize there are a lot of eyes staring at you from the kitchen.Swaggering over is a lot easier with a sword hanging from your hip."Nothing to see here," you say, leaning on the peninsula, setting the bounty of bottles down."There's a lot to see here," 'Rosemary' says, with several magical girls circling around her."And they need some space," you tell her, "we're not all - just let them rest. Do you want the Glenfiddich? The Stolichnaya? The Redbreast or the Jameson? Maybe the-""Just," Rosemary says, then her eyes narrow at you across the counter, "the cheapest shit whisky you've got from Ireland," and she sighs, "probably the Jameson.">Feeling troubled?>How many drunks are in this house?>What happened to Reynold?>You don't get a drink until you give me a fairytale>WRITE IN
>>3018834>You don't get a drink until you give me a fairytale>Feeling troubled?
I got grabbed by an old friend on discord, so that's the reason for the late post.I'm bailing, and hoping I manage to kick things off earlier tomorrow.>>3018532>>3018831Subtlety is not my strong suit. Technically, any tale 'Rosemary' tells is a fairytale. And the MC/Narrator knows that.
>>3018834>what fairytales have you been telling?Anything saying ‘troubles’ is a trap option, since she’s probably an Irish fairy.
>>3018846The real question is that is she an IRA fairy though
>>3018834>How many drunks are in this house?>>You don't get a drink until you give me a fairytaleI wonder if she'd like Faedka...
>>3018834>You don't get a drink until you give me a fairytale
>>3018834>>You don't get a drink until you give me a fairytale
New thread: >>3031412