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/qst/ - Quests

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What makes you feel understood?
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THE RULES v1.03b: https://pastebin.com/Fsi2Sv2s

Days past: https://pastebin.com/Nusqv9Wc

Misc Notes: https://pastebin.com/6yj3uZXj

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

Previous thread: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive/3173101/
"Five?" The bald police officer shakes his head and grins. “That’s not a name, not even in
Japan. You playin hard to get, lil nipples?”

From behind the bars, he's met with a poker face. The very day you joined you knew the
odds of ending up in jail were real. Yet it would have taken an actual, working cristal ball for you
to even consider that the circumstances of your imprisonment would be as they unfolded.
Because, holy fuck.

Your real name isn’t something you can share like candy, though- being in the yakuza and all.

“Oh, you wanna play good cop bad cop,” he says, then chuckles. “Well, there are no good
cops here. It’s just you and me.”

“And me.”

You look up- and keep looking up. The bald man in the poor man’s jacket is tall, taller than
anyone you’ve ever met. Your eyes meet with his sunglasses as the lesser baldie instantly
steps aside as if pushed by another kind of gravity. Timeless, the lanky giant walks up to
your cell. The back of your neck hurts.

Then you recognize him.
It's all blurry. It all began when Four, one of the heavy boys at the clan, flooded the town with
plastic dicks and /deep/ artwork. This would doom the pact between the police forces and
the yakuza should it be found out it was him, so forces were moved in order to stop him- more
than you had expected. You managed to pin him down in an abandoned soda factory and
have him reveal his 'true self'- right before mayhem ensued.

You phased out. Back in reality, titan baldie's still just staring at you. You wait for him to
repeat himself if he had said anything, but he doesn't, and it's unnerving. The greater baldie's
stance is deformed as his head and arms are always leaning forward from his body- and his
arms are very long. You step out of the shadows to face him, a short woman with short
black hair and bags, wearing jeans, a plain black shirt, and glasses with black rims.

And you smile widely like a shark. "I need a cigarette."

The lesser baldie chuckles too hard then stares at the giant, who doesn't look at him.

"I forgot the ribbon," you hear the small-by-proxy cop say, as he cheekily walks towards
the bars. "And I can't ship her. You see, she's coming to take her. So what's the plan?"

"Ask her," he says, and his voice is deep, yet funny. "She knows."

You wonder what you know- then know. Your eyes widen.

Carefully, you remind him: "This is a police station."

And he nods, firmly, only once. You are still staring at him in disbelief when the wall behind
you explodes into concrete splinters, as the blinding light behind you casts a shadow over
both the cop and the thin giant- who gently opens the door to your cell.

"Don't worry," ultra-baldie says as he gently pushes you towards the crushed car behind
you. "I smoke too."
From the back seat of the red Honda, you watch the police patrols grow smaller by the
second. At some point, the car stops and you are dragged inside another car, a white Fiesta
whose engines were already purring. After watching the Honda fade in the distance, you
give up and sit properly, a man of massive muscles sitting at each of your sides.

"Clever," you point out at the baldie, who's driving the car, "wasn't it for the cameras."

"I'm not clever," he admits freely with his deep voice, "but I've got friends. Friends that can a
variety of things. Like erasing recordings."

"Friends in the police," you emphasize. "You are admitting this too freely."

"I need you to know that," he simply admits.

The soda factory Four took shelter in was sealed from every side, and even the higher
windows were reinforced. Despite his raging sensitivity, Four proved to be a clever man that
thought things through. The same could be said of you, you'd like to think- yet you wouldn't
have expected a truck ramming straight into the factory, either. We expect people to be rational
and to care about the consequences: that limits their possibilities. But when someone doesn't-

"Jazz," he says as the radio is turned on.

-then anything is possible. You glance past the retardedly ripped man in top-tank next to you;
the houses had grown basic and stiff, the streets are now dirt and sand. This is certainly
the humble part of the town, the vaster part of it. Clothes hang over almost every house, and
few men wear shirts. As Frank Sinatra sings in peace, your stomach twists to a knot.

"Where are you taking me?" you ask, maybe too fast.

Both massive men at your sides turn to grin at you. Their teeth are big and perfectly white.
With his massive hand, the bald man struggles with the tiny radio.

"Oh this one's good," he mumbles to himself. "Yes, this one's good."

You attempt to lean forward, but the man to your right gently stops you with a single hand,
big as your chest.

"Where are you taking me?" repeat, louder.

Instead of a reply, you are met by the eyes of the front-seat passenger- a stupidly big
rottweiler that is happy to see you. It has big eyes and it drools on your knee. The sound of
the radio finds you with your teeth bared; it's a program about rottweilers and different ways to
breed them.

"Training your rottweiler to sit does not have to be a chore for you or your pet, Mike. Training
can be fun, too!" You glance back at the dog, it's big blue eyes are fixed on you. "I wanted to
focus on how to teach your Rottie the first command necessary when training. It is
important when preparing your training sessions to make sure you have a reward
system for your Rottweiler."

You glance out of the window, again: you remember that bakery. You just saw it.

"What-" you ask even louder but are shooed down by the bald man instantly. After a while,
you spot the bakery yet again fading at the distance, the sound of rottweiler advice the only
filling the car.
One particular benefactor of the treaty between cops and trash was the deadly lady known as
One. She demanded that you show her to Four in order to simply and cleanly kill him off, but
you managed to at least let her have a talk with him first. Which was cut short when men in
polar masks stormed into the factory and clashed with Four's little band of loyal men, a
chance One took to go after him- a chance you took from her. As you had figured, the tall
blonde's elegance did hide some tight muscles. One grabbing two men by their head
and flinging them like ragdolls towards you is, to you, the proper example of traumatic

"I really," you state, "really need a smoke."

The car stops. It had been running around in circles for at least half an hour. You know more
about rottweilers now that you know of Jung's archetypes. Both massive muscleman remain
at your side as you step out of the car, leaving you no choice but to follow the bald one up the
rusty stairs of a grim, basic looking house. As you do, shirtless kids run around screaming,
playing. Their parents must be the fat men sitting on beach chairs in the middle of the

The way up is dark and long- or at least feels long. More than once the steps proved too big
for you, or maybe you were trying two at once because you couldn't see. When the light finally
floods back your sight, you notice the home inside is actually kind of fancy- at least,
compared to the outside.

"Home," the bald man says, his voice strong. You notice he has to crouch under some of the
wood beams by the roof.

You are gently pushed towards the table by the living room. When you sit, the two massive men
sit by your side again. When you look up, your jaw drops. Trophies. Dozens of them. Golden,
silver, with badges, big, small; the stand right in front of you, tall as the bald man, is infested
with them. Dogs. All dogs. Most of those are rottweilers.

"...no no, add banana, it will be fine," you realize you had phased out again as you tune in to the
kitchen. It's the bald man talking. "And add chocolate, not cacao. Do it."

"Jesus Christ, Guillermo," you hear a rash, manly voice say, "go sit already. I made cake
before you ever took a shit."

"Cakes and cookies are different," Guillermo, the massive bald man, complains, but he does
walk out of the kitchen. Silently, he sits by the side of the table, leaving the trophies clearly in
sight. That's when you notice a big, fat drop of sweat running down your forehead.

"Just a month, eh, Guillermo," one of the musclemans says, the blonde with very short
hair, then laughs like a hyena. "Told you liver was the best call."

"Boy got so big he's fighting mine," the other men of muscle says. "They grow up so fast."

You think one of them glanced at you as Guillermo looked away.

"I mean, man," the blonde one says, then laughs, "those happy boys could eat me

You aren't imagining it. They /did/ glance at you. Somewhere near, you hear barking.
"What do you want," you finally manage to muster out. "What the fuck do you want?"

It came out a lot louder at the end. They all turn to you at once, but then ignore you and keep
talking about dogs. As they wait for the cookies, they even take out their cellphones
with pictures of dogs- pictures they show to you too.


Silence falls. A man comes out of the kitchen. It's a fat, funny looking policeman wearing its
entire uniform- under a kitchen dress. Slowly, Guillermo sits in front of you.

"Whatever you could give us," he simply asks.

>>Five closes her eyes to think.

>Try to lie.
>Tell him the truth.
>/Write-ins not allowed/
sorry guys, shit happened and i couldnt prewrite
so this time session will be shorter cuz fuck
a nice detail to remind yall:
this quest runs from 17:00 to 23:00 EST
have fun
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>Try to lie

I missed everything apart from the first and half of the second quest. Can I get a quick rundown?
worry not, my elegant black man
all you need to know will always be in each thread
in this case, you are a yakuza and one seriously big motherfucker is asking you to spill the beans
five knows about him as much as you do
Not so much of him as how we got there. I'm assuming we did a little bit more than our job details and got busted for yakuza?
but that isnt relevant right now
all the data that matters is on the table
>Tell him the truth.

>Try to lie. Give him bad intel.

Lying is an extremely complex ability. Not only does it involve speed and creativity, but
awareness and dominion of one's automatic physical reactions. Truth explains itself like an
endless domino; lies try to knock down tiles that haven't been reached.

And that takes balls.

"What," you ask, eyes fixed on the trophies, "what do you want to know?"

He shrugs slowly, like a monk learning about the new hot videogame. You wait for him to
answer, but he doesn't. It really is unnerving.

You saw this man before when One had you and Four cornered- she had been chasing you
all over the soda factory. Guillermo showed up just in time, or maybe he had been waiting for
the right moment. He blasted the monster lady away with a water hose, after which he messed
each of One's attempts to catch Four, over and over, from the shadows- until you fell into a
massive, rusty soda container.

That's where the police found you, soaking in the worst makeshift Coca Cola. With One
rampaging around, though, maybe you should feel grateful.

Guillermo is still staring at you, is body melted over the chair as you sit uptightly. You mull it
over a bit more.

"I was paid to check if business were empty right before Barney raided them," you start,
focusing on your voice. "They would only go in when I said it was safe."

You wait a bit to see if Guillermo says anything. He doesn't. His sunglasses leave you out of his

"I went there to get paid, then," you resume, "because I need the money to afford my
sister's medicine."

That sister being Two, the maid you met barely two weeks ago. Slowly, Guillermo turns to face
his comrades. One at a time, without rush.

"It's always something good," he says. "Never a new computer. Never some fancy clothes."

You just look away. He's right. If you are going to lie, the least you can do is embarrass

"And what do you care?" you answer, adding edge to your voice. "It's none of your

"Why was One chasing you?" Guillermo asks straight-forwardly.

Suprised he mentioned her, you stop to think. "I don't know who that is," is what you finally say.

Silence falls... except for the barks and cries of dogs outside. You bare your teeth; this is
clearly rehearsed. And it works.
"Why did you save Four?" Guillermo asks.

You want to ask him how he knows about him- you don't. He knows about you as much as you
know about him, and that leaves too many questions: how he knew of the factory, why he's
after Four, or alive after making One wet in the worst way imaginable.

"He... he's a good man," you spill out, looking away.

"What makes you think that?"

You stop. You need to think. You need time.

"You risked your life for him," Guillermo adds. "Why?"

God dammit, you need more time. Back then, you broke a pipe with a wrench so the steam
would get between Four and One. That got you... barely enough time to reach a corner.

>>Five is thinking hard.

>"He wants to change the world."
>"He still had to pay me!"
>"It's not his fault!"
>/Write-In Allowed/
ayay nigga, got a second too late lol

dont forget to check the fancy new shit, Five's Observer Mode
it makes Five simplify situations and explain whats what
just remember
time still runs when you think
>"He wants to change the world."
You wouldn't understand! His notion of "guerilla art" stems from the French concept of detournement established by the Situationist International
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"He wants to change the world," you rush to say, look at each of the good boys. "It's not all
about money. It's about heart and soul!"

You grimace at your own words, then twist that grimace into a frown.

"Can't you see?" you finish it up with some fervor.

They all stare at you intently, tapping steps the only sound filling the room. You are shaking,
and shaking is making you dizzy.

You are almost thankful when Guillermo talks. "Tell me how," he says.

"How what?" You stutter, yet answer.

"How is he trying to change the world. How this would change the world." Slowly and without
pause, Guillermo talks like a compactor crushes rocks.

God dammit. God. Fuck. Damn. "You- you wouldn't understand," you almost yell at him.
"It's too deep for you."

The barking outside gets louder; you notice the big blonde guy has his cellphone under the
table. Guillermo shares a look with his boys, one at a time, before slowly, like an excavator,
turning around to face the cop. Who shrugs.

"Try," he asks.

You shake your head. "It's pointless. No."

"Do it."

"I can't. It's beyond words."

He says nothing. Guillermo doesn't even change frame.

"It's all there. All in the streets," you spit. "If you can't see it then there's nothing I can do." He's
still quiet so, out of nerves, you press on. "You can't teach men to see."

You are nervous. Too nervous. The sweat running down your nape makes your shirt cold
and wet.

"And you can see it," he finally says.

"Yes," you almost shout. "I can."

The silence is getting the better of you. A lack of feedback is a lack of guidance; it feels like
being lost in the seas without a compass. During a storm.

Yet you see land.

"Let me go," you demand.

"Yes," he says.

You blink. But nobody is moving.

"Just one last question," Guillermo says, very calmly.

But he just stares at you. It actually makes you angry.

"What? What?" you ask louder.

Guillermo lean closer, his hunch all the more prominent. "Where is the penis-headed

Your eyes shot open. You dug your own grave. If you were Four's snitch and really cared for
his message... then you'd know where his stuff was. Lying is an extremely complex ability; no
matter what anyone says, you can't lie if you are too nervous.
"...What?" you repeat, a lone drop of sweat tickling all the way down your cheek.

"The penis eagle," Guillermo repeats as one of the blonde giga-muscleman shows you his
cellphone: the eagle is noticeably large. "That one."

Dogs bark. You look away. "I wasn't there for that one," you almost mutter.

Guillermo's friendly rottweiler drools at you from the door.

"The boys got it on camera. When they took it inside the supermarket," it's the old police
officer talking as he places the banana cookies in front of you. "That was the last place he shat
on. It's all recorded."

"Was she there?" Guillermo asks.

"I'd have to take a look," the policeman says cheerfully, "but I'm sure that's a waste of time."

He sits in front of you, gasping loudly as he cleans his forehead. The boys dig in as you
stare at the cookies in silence. You ended up in the ghetto, kidnapped by gigantic, ripped
professional rottweiler breeders that know of Four and One, adult men that eat chocolate
cookies while talking about dogs.

"Boy, the good boys could eat me and nobody would notice," the one that's not blonde says.
"You don't want to drop that sauce over you."

"Word, man," the other man replies.

You grit your teeth out of anguish.

"Want some?" blonde-man says, nodding at the taste. "It has protein."

When you turn to face him: that's when you notice you are crying. He stops chewing.

"Oh- oh- Dude," he blurts out, "we overdid it."

You look away, seriously angry, and close your eyes shut. Yet your arm is dragged without
mercy out of the table, and soon you are following Guillermo towards the balcony. Once
there, you realize where the barks came from; the balcony gives to a park, and the park is
filled with dogs and makeshift obstacle courses. It's green, beautiful, and rusty.

"Everyone should be given a chance to tell the truth," Guillermo says, looking at the dogs play.

"Or what, you'll feed me to these fuckers?" you lash out.

"No," he says. "You are going to jail. By the book."

You turn to glare at him. "I had nothing to do with all this."

Honest to his word, Guillermo pulls out a cigarette- but doesn't give you one.

"I can't know that," he says. "You lied to me. I don't know why, but you had to lie. That can't be

You fully turn at him.

"I'm a therapist," you say. "I... work for the yakuza."


"No," you reply instantly. "It's the truth."

Guillermo finally turns to look at you, his every motion done with utmost calmness. He takes a
heavy sip as you watch your reflection on his sunglasses.

"Now that's a new one," he admits. "Yeah. A new one."

He gives you a cigarette, then his lighter. It's Goofy's head, and the fire comes out of his

"Prove it."
The ride ends back where it started. Guillermo drags you into the same police station he blew
a hole into, humming the first Shrek's opening all the way in. He greets the old receptionist
politely, who giggles, then simply takes you with him across the place. Men in blue rush in and
out, yet some are stuck to their PC's, their backs arched. But where you end up is the
dungeon. Eyes sharp, you turn to Guillermo.

"You said-" he cuts you off with a big finger.

"I know what I said," he mutters.

The blue man bows and steps aside as he opens the cell. Both you and Guillermo walk in,
but you are not alone. Hugging his legs, a young man with exotic blonde hair lies
against the rough wall. You can barely make his face out.

"I see," you say. Then you look at Guillermo. "Leave me alone, then."

He shrugs and walks out. After all, this is a police station, and you are already in a cell. The
tall man still locks the door behind you, and thoughts of betrayal flood your head. But when
you look back at the young, broken man, whatever had just happened fades; there is
work to be done. You sit on the bleak white mattress.
5: "I can get you out."

(If he hadn't turned up see you before, now he will for damn sure. And he does. His face is
rosy and androgynous; his body is covered, except for the arms, by black leather.)

Boy: "R-really?! You will?"

5: "I can. But I need your help."

Boy: "Sure as hell! What can I do?"

(His hands too. And his blonde hair stands in a way that implies the man sweats gel instead of

>>"Tell me..."

>"how you ended up here."
>"why you dress like that."
>"what makes you sad."
>"where you work or study."
>"if you do drugs."
>"your name."
>/Write-In Allowed/
>"what makes you sad."

Boy: "Uh? What? Why that?"

5: "Do you want to be sad?"

Boy: "Who wants to. What kind of question is that?"

5: "Then answer."

(The boy looks at you in the eyes, mouth slightly open.)

Boy: "I, um... I don't know."

5: "Think. Take your time and think."

Boy: "Ok."

(He does. The young man even mutters to himself.)

Boy: "I, uh, never had friends you know. I have now, but... but..."

5: "It's ok. Take your time."

Boy: "I don't know why they stick around. That's the thing. I make jokes and buy them
stuff and listen... I don't want them to leave too. I don't know why they'd stay if I stop."

(He hugs his legs again.)

Boy: "But it's a lot of work... and I don't really enjoy it."

>>"Huh, I see. Now, I want to know..."

>"how you ended up here."
>"why you dress like that."
>"where you work or study."
>"if you do drugs."
>"your name."
>"why you are so afraid."
>"why you didn't have friends before."
>"how long you have been friends with these."
>/Write-In Allowed/
>>"how you ended up here."

Boy: "You mean... you don't know?"

(The boy perks up, his mouth curling in horror.)

Boy: "O-oh, they got you too."

5: "They thought I'd get a cleaner version straight from you. That's always for the best."

Boy: "For the best? What do you mean?"

5: "I'm not judgemental."

(The young man glances at you frozen on his tracks, yet with interest.)

5: "Lying to me is a very bad idea."

Boy: "W-what? I wasn't thinking that. Seriously."

5: "You can lie to me. If you lie well enough, you can get out of here. In fact, you
don't even have to lie that well."

(The boy doesn't answer. A shadow is cast over you, but you don't give a damn.)

5: "But you won't get out of /here/."

(You touch his head with a finger.)

5: "And you'll end up here again."

(He just stares.)

Boy: "Who are you?"

5: "A friend."

(You are glad you asked why he was sad before. The word has the intended effect.)

Boy: "Fine. Ok. I stole a camera. Well, I tried to."

5: "Why?"

Boy: "B-because they are too expensive! It's unfair, you know!"

>>"Huh, so a camera. Interesting. Yet..."

>"how did you end up here?"
>"why you dress like that?"
>"where do you work or study?"
>"do you do drugs?"
>"what is your name?"
>"why you are so afraid?"
>"why didn't you have friends before?"
>"how long you have been friends with these?"
>"why a camera?"
>"you went for an expensive one, didn't you?"
>/Write-In Allowed/
>>"why a camera?"
>>"you went for an expensive one, didn't you?"

Is everyone gone? You might try advertising in the qtg
Damn 5 sucks at lying. I'd thought she be better and running the police men in circles with artsy/philosphical/psychoanalysis bullshit.

>>"why a camera?"

Boy: "I'm an artist. Can't you tell? Haha."

(You study his clothes more intently, all of which are black. Past the darkness, you notice some
of his wear has loose ends and fake pockets. As if it was some sort of cosplay.)

5: "So it was all in the name of art."

Boy: "Of course! They'd be grateful once they saw my pictures. No one would curse Da
Vinci if he drew his designs with a stolen pencil."

5: "I see the logic there. No selfies, then."

Boy: "Why not?"

(You mutter the faintest "huh".)

>>"you went for an expensive one, didn't you?"

Boy: "What makes you think that?"

5: "I told you, you can lie to me-"

Boy: "I-I know. I get it. But why did you thought that?"

5: "Nowadays, it isn't that hard to get good definition with a cellphone. I need to know
what do you settle with."

Boy: "Oh, okay... okay... Well, yeah, it was good. A very good one. How else do you think
those pictures get made? It's necessary."

>>"What an interesting philosophy. Now..."

>"how did you end up here?"
>"why you dress like that?"
>"where do you work or study?"
>"do you do drugs?"
>"what is your name?"
>"why you are so afraid?"
>"why didn't you have friends before?"
>"how long you have been friends with these?"
>"how long have you had this hobby?"
>"what made you pursue this hobby specifically?"
>"do you have a girlfriend?"
>/Write-In Allowed/
>>"how long have you had this hobby?"
>>"what made you pursue this hobby specifically?"

>>"how long have you had this hobby?"

Boy: "Oh, I- for a while, I guess?"

5: "I'm actually kind of racist."

(He just stares at you, dumb-folded.)

Boy: "Where did that came from?"

5: "It's the truth."

Boy: "That's not good."

5: "It's still the truth."

(He opens his mouth, but no words comes out. You remember Two doing that same gesture lifetimes ago.)

5: "Aim and shoot. If we don't know where the problem is, we can't fix it."

Boy: "Oh, um... I think I get it?"

5: "I don't like being racist. But I am. If I wasn't aware, I would be until I died. Do you understand?"

(He looks away, then whispers 'yeah' after a bit.)

5: "So, how long-"

Boy: "I'm... new to the whole thing. Like two weeks."

5: "Huh."

>>"what made you pursue this hobby specifically?"

Boy: "It's, eh, really cool don't you think?"

5: "Fencing is, but I never stole a sword."

Boy: "Because you could afford it."

5: "I couldn't. I clashed brooms with my dad for the sake of the Fairy Kingdom."

(He genuinely smiles at this. Which is kinda creepy.)

5: "So why take the risk, then?"

Boy: "You can't replace a came... wait, you can. With a cellphone."

(You just nod, a bit surprised.)

Boy: "Because, well..."

(He fidgets with his fingers like a shy anime girl.)

Boy: "...it's part of my character."


>"Why do you dress like that?"
>"Where do you work or study?"
>"Do you do drugs?"
>"What is your name?"
>"Why you are so afraid?"
>"Why didn't you have friends before?"
>"How long you have been friends with these?"
>"Do you have a girlfriend?"
>"Tell me about your parents."
>"Is there any traumatic experience that comes to mind?"
>"Do you watch anime?"
>/Write-In Allowed/
>Tell me about your character. Would your character have stolen the camera? Or did it?

>Tell me about your character. Would your character have stolen the camera? Or did it?

Boy: "My character? If my character stole the camera? No, no, I'm not a character, I'm
me! I have a character!"

(You study his clothes intently. Back then, you used anime conventions for research a lot. A
common pattern in their clothes was both the lack of subtlety and pointless ends just for
show. Both of which fit.)

5: "Isn't that a cosplay?"

Boy: "N-no! No! These are my clothes! I'm me! The only one!"

5: "I see. Do you wear those at school too?"

Boy: "I... I was going to."

>>"Jesus fucking Christ. Ok..."

>"Why do you dress like that?"
>"Where do you work or study?"
>"Do you do drugs?"
>"What is your name?"
>"Why you are so afraid?"
>"Why didn't you have friends before?"
>"How long you have been friends with these?"
>"Do you have a girlfriend?"
>"Tell me about your parents."
>"Is there any traumatic experience that comes to mind?"
>"Do you watch anime?"
>/Write-In Allowed/
>"Why do you dress like that?"
>"Where do you work or study?"

>"Why do you dress like that, then?"

Boy: "That's a loaded question. Why wouldn't I?"

5: "I can't see why it's loaded. I'm sure you'd get a few weird looks."

(He seems to ponder about this.)

Boy: "S-so what? So what if people don't like me for what I really am? They are all liars
anyway, they all just do what the rest does to be safe. Why would you care if the sheep hates

5: "Mostly because they wouldn't feel safe around you. This society is all that feeds
us- and your parents are a part of it."

Boy: "I'd rather die being myself than a phony."

>"Where do you work or study?"

Boy: "Computer sciences."

5: "I see, that's very nice. How do you afford it?"

Boy: "My dad does."

5: "A full-time student, then. Doing well? How's the pressure?"

(He looks away at once.)

Boy: "Yes... but it could be better, I guess."

>>"Finally getting somewhere."

>"Do you do drugs?"
>"What is your name?"
>"Why you are so afraid?"
>"Why didn't you have friends before?"
>"How long you have been friends with these?"
>"Do you have a girlfriend?"
>"Tell me about your parents."
>"Is there any traumatic experience that comes to mind?"
>"Do you watch anime?"
>"Don't you care about what others think?"
>"Why Computer Sciences if you are doing badly?"
>"Why don't you work?"
>/Write-In Allowed/
takin a lil break
be back in 30
>Better, how? Better grades? Better friends? Better love-life?

>Better, how? Better grades? Better friends? Better love-life?

Boy: "...Yes. Hahaha!"

(His cheerful laugh doesn't sound that cheerful.)

5: "Are you keeping up with your subjects?"

Boy: "Kiiiiiiiinda? Why are you racist, though?"

5: "A black man almost choked me to death."

Boy: "Woah, cool. I mean, not cool. Not cool at all. I'm, ah, a bit behind with academics.
That's not cool either."

5: "What about your current friends? The ones you dread losing."

Boy: "Oh, there's three of them. They are really cool. One is really strong, the other is
really smart, and the other is kind of a mood-killer- but a great guy overall! I have to make all
the jokes, though. They are all so serious."

5: "What about your girlfriend?"

Boy: "What about her?"

5: "So you have one."

(He smiles a toothy smile and shakes his head around.)

Boy: "It's just..."

(You blink at him.)

Boy: "...she doesn't know it yet."

>>"Something doesn't fit."

>"Do you do drugs?"
>"What is your name?"
>"Why you are so afraid?"
>"Why didn't you have friends before?"
>"How long you have been friends with these?"
>"Tell me about your parents."
>"Is there any traumatic experience that comes to mind?"
>"Do you watch anime?"
>"Don't you care about what others think?"
>"Why Computer Sciences if you are doing badly?"
>"Why don't you work?"
>/Write-In Allowed/
>You mentioned buying gifts for your friends earlier. Where do you get the money if you're not working?
>You mentioned buying gifts for your friends earlier. Where do you get the money if you're not working?

Boy: "From... from my dad of course."

5: "I see. Does he know that money goes to your friends?"

Boy: "Yes. No. No, he doesn't. Why does this matter anyway?"

5: "What do you tell him the money is for?"

Boy: "Why are you racist?"

5: "You already asked me that."

(Albeit subtly, he's baring his teeth.)

Boy: "For college."

>>"For college."

>"Do you do drugs?"
>"What is your name?"
>"Why you are so afraid?"
>"Why didn't you have friends before?"
>"How long you have been friends with these?"
>"Tell me about your parents."
>"Is there any traumatic experience that comes to mind?"
>"Do you watch anime?"
>"Don't you care about what others think?"
>"Why Computer Sciences if you are doing badly?"
>"Why don't you work?"
>/Write-In Allowed/
>>"Tell me about your parents."
>>"Tell me about your parents."

Boy: "They aren't my real parents. My dad is a lawyer. My mom is a traveling agent. They
are nice."

(He stops short, keeping up a poker face.)

Boy: "I don't know much about them."

5: "I see. How old were you?"

Boy: "When I was adopted? Like three. Four. I was fat. They don't talk much."

5: "Do you know anything about your real family?"

Boy: "My mom's sister was my real mom. That's why I ended up with them. They had a
son already. He wasn't fat though."

5: "Huh..."

Boy: "Did you say anything?"

5: "Not exactly. At any rate, I take your parents are the type to give money over

Boy: "Eh, yeah, you guessed that right."

5: "I see."

Boy: "Are you bored?"

5: "Do you think I am?"

Boy: "I don't know."

5: "Do you think you are boring?"

Boy: "My dad never laughed at my jokes. And my mom laughs too much."

(He looks away; then back at you.)

Boy: "Am I cool? ...Do you think I'm cool?"


>/Write-In Allowed/
>>/Write-In Allowed/
I think you're fascinating. Very fascinating.

>How are you going to get out of this cell?

>I think you're fascinating. Very fascinating.

(You enjoy his recoil as your words land.)

Boy: "...What? Me? Why me?"

5: "It's just you and me here."

(However this teenager is named, he's clearly grasping for words. You don't cut him off.)

Boy: "Everyone thinks I'm so boring though."

5: "And you can read minds. Even better."

(Again, he's shocked. It takes him a while.)

Boy: "But you don't even know me..."

5: "It doesn't matter. The time it takes to know someone deeply is the same it takes to
find the right perspective. I'm good at perspectives, so happens."

Boy: "But 'very'? 'Very' fascinating?"

(You flash a little smile at him.)

5: "Very much so."

>How are you going to get out of this cell?

Boy: "What do you mean? You are going to take me out of here. Right?"

(You nod firmly.)

5: "I can. I will- if it would help you."

Boy: "What?"

5: "Freedom is a burden. Sometimes we aren't ready to take on all the possibilities;
some people see a ramp where there's a cliff. We all do, really. It's just that some aren't ready
for the fall."

Boy: "What are you talking about? How would being stuck in this sh-... in this cell be any
good for me?"

5: "It would stop you from doing something very stupid that would haunt you for
the rest of your life. Puppies always try to cross the street, you know. That being-"

Boy: "I'm not just a-"

5: "Then tell me what you want to do. Tell me your plan."

(His eyes bolt from side to side. It creeps you out a bit, since his face is steady.)

Boy: "Just go to school. That's what I want to do, just go to school. To college."

5: "Dressed like that?"

(The young man stops, then looks at you from toe to glasses.)

Boy: "Yeah. Why not? Wasn't I fascinating?"

5: "In a way. Yes."

Boy: "...but why do you think I'm fascinating?"


>"You are a very unique subject."
>"You do what you want."
>"You look like an anime."
>/Write In Allowed Help Me Out Here/
>>"You look like an anime."
aight cuttin it for today
we really short on niggas
should have added dragons
>You do what you want
He legitimately seems to not give a fuck about his appearance despite everything, so we can feed off of that.
>"You look like an anime."

Boy: "...I look like an anime? What? Really?"

(He looks away, forgetting to close his mouth.)

Boy: "Why? Why do you say so?"

5: "Why do you think?"

Boy: "I don't know."

5: "Do you think I'm being mean?"

Boy: "I don't know."

(You let him fry his brains for a while. It's healthy.)

Boy: "It's just... there's a lot of hate going on. You know... right? That some people hate

(He looks away again. Keeping eye contact is a chore for this man.)

Boy: "As if it was for retards or something."

5: "I'm aware."

Boy: "So? Why did you say that? Do you think I'm a retard? Because of the way I

5: "Does it matter what I think?"

Boy: "Uh? What?"

5: "Just answer."

(You wait a while until he does. He doesn't.)

>You do what you want

5: "Most people live aware of social etiquette. They let it shape them. It's safe, after
all; if you do what the rest, then you are good, you are living well. They will support you
because you resemble them, and keeping up the good man's image is a shared job."

(The boy is squinting at you, his mouth still open.)

Boy: "I... don't really get it. I'm sorry, I'm not so smart. Haha."

5: "You are acting like you want in a society where being alienated has dire
consequences. That is fascinating. And yet-"

(You lean forward.)

5: "-it remains to be seen if you act like this because you are aware of social etiquette,
or because you can't bring yourself to understand it."

(His stupid stare remains.)

5: "I want to know if you behave like this because you understand society or because
you don't."

Boy: "I do. I know how things work."

5: "So you stole a camera."

Boy: "I already told you why."

5: "How much do you like anime?"

(He looks away. Again.)

Boy: "Is it bad to like it?"

5: "Depends to who. That's the whole point of this. So..."

Boy: "...A lot. But I used to watch anime a lot more than now. Back when I was fat."

5: "You wanted friends."

Boy: "Yes."

5: "And you want to be yourself."

Boy: "Yes!"

>>Five closes her eyes.

>"You want your life to be like an anime."
>"You are torn between doing what you want and pleasing others."
>/Write In Not Allowed/
>"You are torn between doing what you want and pleasing others."
>"You are torn between doing what you want and pleasing others."

Boy: "...But I want to please others. I want to please my friends."

5: "In your own way. Not theirs. And that makes all the difference."

Boy: "So what? What makes you think this isn't their way too? What makes you think we
don't share it? We are friends!"

5: "It wouldn't feel like a chore then."

Boy: "What? ...What?"

5: "You said so yourself from the start. You don't know if they'd stick around. And you
were about to meet them dressed like this, with all that gel, for the first time."

(He looks away- but you sit where he's looking at.)

5: "Lying is a full-time job. It's tiresome. We only work when we get paid, and you
clearly aren't getting what you wanted. That's why you dressed like an anime. You are tired of
acting, tired of being afraid of being discovered."

(He covers his head with both hands.)

Boy: "I don't feel like it's that way... I don't know."

5: "Maybe because you are convinced that you will be accepted. You hadn't had many
friends; at least that's what you told me. That's a huge step you are taking."

Boy: "...Then what? What do I do?"

5: "It depe-"

Boy: "If I keep acting, I'll explode. If I show myself, I'll be rejected. Alienated; that's
what you said."

(He curls behind his legs, hiding his pale face and spiky blonde hair.)

Boy: "I don't know what to do with myself."

>>This is it.

>"Find people that like you for what you are."
>"Find the middle ground."
>/Write In Not Allowed/
>"Find the middle ground."
5: "You are afraid of doing what you want because you don't understand yourself. You
are scared of yourself be."

Boy: "Yes... Yes, that's true."

5: "Knowing yourself takes a while. It's like teaching a dog to walk without a leash. You
don't know if he'll run under a car, but it'll become a burden if you never let go. That's
why you should-"

>"Find the middle ground."

5: "-which takes practice."

Boy: "What do you mean? What does finding the middle ground mean?"

5: "It's pretty self-explanatory- if you think about it. Be yourself- but be mindful of what
your friends are willing to tolerate."

(He seems sad.)

Boy: "But how? How would I know?"

5: "It takes poking. Seriously. Say a thing here and there, test the grounds. Instead of
dressing like an anime character, ask your friends if they are into the medium. Don't go in
blind- after all, it's more likely they'll like your clothes if they like Final Fantasy or something
like that. I'm sure you haven't asked them about it."

Boy: "H-how can you be so sure?"

5: "Because you are extreme. That's why you ended up here. You wouldn't be so
negative if you at least had a clue. You dread their reaction, it's simple as that."

Boy: "F-fuck you."

5: "Huh?"

Boy: "Nothing. Really."

(You sit right next to him and smile your trademark smile from above, the one that took
you months of practice.)

5: "You've got balls; you'll be fine. You'll mess up a couple of times but live to see the
end of it. Just don't go all out. That's it. Look, think of it as a mix. A part of what you do has to
be because it's what you want- and the other part has to be out of consideration of the rest.
You won't be able to fully be yourself at once, but you'll learn what you are, what you want- and
let yourself be a little bit more every day."

(He glances at you from below, slowly peeking from his knees.)

5: "I won't lie; it's a lot of work. Anything worthy is. But come on; you dared to steal a
camera. And having friends is worth it."

(He finally dares to look at you in the eyes again, his hair a mess now.)

5: "If you keep this up, you'll hate your friends- and look for happiness elsewhere.
Don't. As long as you remember it's a lot of work, and that the work is worth it, you'll have
friends forever."

(He laughs. It's a faint laugh, but gentle.)

Boy: "What do I do with this now? With my clothes?"

5: "I'd go to an anime convention. I'm sure you'll make some friends like that."

Boy: "Yes. I think I will."

5: "Don't change all of a sudden; that never works. It's a lot of work, but it gives you a

(You stand.)

5: "Be right back."
You finally lit a smoke as a jailer takes the boy out of the cell. It's a slow, blissful moment;
therapy takes a lot of brain, and it's heavier the more is at stake. Right before turning the
corner, the young man in black clothes turns to you.

"Who are you?" he asks, as the jailer pushes him pushes him forward. "What's your name?"

"Lumina," you instantly answer. You wave him out. "Nice to meet you."

"I'm Prompto," you hear as the corner swallows him. "Promptoooooo..."

And he's out of sight. As Guillermo's shadow looms over you, you let yourself finish the

"All you did was talk," he says.

"That's all it takes," you answer as you walk away.

You stop when you notice he isn't following you. The big baldie had stood in place.
Guillermo walks in a very particular way. First, his head moves forward- then the rest of the
body. Much like a pidgeon, he strolled across the police station as if it was his own backyard.
That's how everyone calls him. Guillermo the Pidgeon.

"You mean you didn't know that?" the fat police officer asks you, back at the car. "Our boy here
is a legend."

"A legend," you mutter. "Huh."

The car takes a turn instead of heading straight to the ghetto. While it is relieving, it also leaves
you wondering.

"I'm just gonna say what everyone knows by now. Don't give me that look," he tells
Guillermo, who's driving the small car. "Our boy Guillermo is not a cop, he's just a man that
cares. Like everyone else should be. He does his shit and we hated his guts, but more good
than harm comes his way. So we let him."

That much you noticed. Back at the station, either greeted him or stood out of his way.

"I wasn't aware of you," you tell Guillermo. "And I've been here for two months."

"You must live in a can. A Trash-can. Get it?" You don't answer the old cop. "So the girl's the
yakuza therapist," he says, then laughs. "What the fuck is old Daddy thinking?"

You aren't exactly sure, either. All you wanted was a safe spot to do your research without
wasting time on pointless, shitty reports about Freud and the Anal stage.

"What is it that you do?" you ask Guillermo, this time alone in the back seat. "Besides crashing
trucks into factories. Just tell me what everyone knows already."

"He won't tell you. He's too humble," the old cop says. "Guillermo is the only one that
actually tries to change people, to get them in the system. And he does. He's the best of us."

"I see," you say. "How does he do that?"

"I keep in mind they are human," Guillermo says. "That's all it takes."

"Thief," you mutter.

The rest of the ride goes in silence. You don't even ask where you are going. This is the local
police, the dam between the world and the Trashcan. Where you belong. When it finally
stops, you sigh in relief as street is still concrete, and the house isn't about to fall apart
at any minute. Both the cop and Guillermo exit the car. You follow suit.

The big bald man simply heads for the door and rings the doorbell. There's a heavy wind
howling, and your black shirt isn't meant for it.

"Who is?" the speaker asks Guillermo.

"Hello," he answers.

It goes silent.

"Guillermo?" the slightly sweet voice finally says. "Hello, how are you?"

"Let me in," the bald man says.

"I'm sorry," the sweet voice says, "I'm sorry."

And Guillermo sighs. Only then he looks for you. He steps aside, but you walk up to him
instead. You beckon him to crouch with a finger; it's only after staring at you longly that he

"Why isn't she letting you go up?" you whisper him.

"She can't hear us," he whispers too.

"She might," you tell him. "Don't risk it."

"I don't know. I don't know why she doesn't let me up. Andrea bunkered up," he says, "and
has been there for a whole week."
Guillermo doesn't know why she locked herself and he isn't good at talking. That's what you
gathered. You stand on your tip-toes next to the speaker, a picture Two would surely laugh at.


"Hi there. I'm Lumina," you tell the speaker. "Let's talk."

"What do you want to talk about?"

"You," you say. "Wouldn't you rather speak in private, though?"

"...well, yes, but... I'm sorry," it says. "I don't want to."

Huh. This won't be easy. You turn to Guillermo.

"Background? Anything?" you whisper at him from below.

And he just shakes his head. Great. You've got /nothing/ to lean on.

>>You just stand on your toes again.

>"We are really worried about you."
>"I'm a therapist. I can help."
>"I have something very important to tell you. It's a secret."
>"Can I use your bathroom?"
>"Can I use your bathroom?"
>>"I have something very important to tell you. It's a secret."
5: "It's ok. I understand. But,

>"Can I use your bathroom?"

(The speaker spawns opaque gray sounds as if someone was breathing over a microphone.)

Speaker: "There's... a gas station nearby. Head for the beach, and you'll find it."

5: "-Now. I need it now. Please. I really mean it."

Speaker: "Now? Right... now?"

5: "Yes. Yes. /Yes/."

Speaker: "Do you see the bar across the street?"

(You turn around. It's more a restaurant than a bar, with menus and all stuck to the windows.)

Speaker: "It's customers only, but tell them you are friends with Clair. I have a tab
there. Go, hurry!"

5: "Oh god thank you so much."

(You hang- glance at Guillermo- and walk across the street. And you end up in the girl's
bathroom. You open the door to the toilet and scare two young girls making out. Sighing, you
close it. You open the one next to it; the toilet is flooded. After slamming the lid down, you sit on
it and stare at the hearts and dicks carved on the wooden door for fifteen minutes.)

>"I have something very important to tell you. It's a secret."

Speaker: "A secret...? Do we know each other?"

5: "We don't. That's the point."

Speaker: "The point?"

5: "Guillermo doesn't know about this. He won't either; you won't tell him. And I /certainly/
can't tell you from here."

(The speaker goes silent briefly.)

Speaker: "Do you want my phone number?"

5: "No."

Speaker: "Umm, what about my email? You can use any address."

5: "No, no, certainly not. That's just not safe."

(You hope she isn't a programmer or anything like that.)

Speaker: "But, what is this secret about?"

5: "You already know."

Speaker: "I do? I already know what's it about?"

5: "Yes. So let me in. Let's not make Guillermo wait for too long."

(The line goes silent.)

Speaker: "Am I in trouble?"

(You glance at Guillermo. He shrugs.)

5: "Not yet. It can be helped."

Speaker: "I see. Do you see the mailbox in front of you?"

("God dammit.")

Speaker: "I'll come pick it up. It's locked, so its safe."

5: "Huh. And what makes you think that?"

Speaker: "The caretaker is on vacation, so he left me the keys to it. Thank you for coming
by, I'll be sure to take care of it. Thank you again."

(The line goes dead silent. You simply stare at the speaker as if it owed you an apology. You
glance at Guillermo; he's looking away.)

>"We are really worried about you."
>"I'm a therapist. I can help."
>"This secret is /very/ important."
>"Have you lost a necklace? I think I found it."
>Give up.
>/Write In Allowed/
sorry lads
shit happened but here i am
with my tea
>>"Have you lost a necklace? I think I found it."
(So you ring again.)

Speaker: "Hello?"

5: "Forgot to tell you,

>"Have you lost a necklace? I think I found it."

Speaker: "Necklace?"

5: "A golden necklace. It was right under my feet. Maybe when you went out shopping?"

Speaker: "No... I don't think so."

5: "Are you sure? Do you have one?"

Speaker: "I do."

5: "It has a blue diamond etched on a heart, right? The one they call sapphire?"

Speaker: "Um... Em..."

5: "No? That's ok, I'll keep it."

Speaker: "...I think it would be better if I do, though. The owner must be someone from

5: "I see. That makes sense."

Spealer: "Just leave it in the mailbox. I'll go get along your letter."

5: "It broke."

Speaker: "The mailbox...?

5: "It's broken. I couldn't even get the letter in."

Speaker: "How were you going to tell me the secret then?"

(Briefly, you scratch your head in desperation.)

5: "I passed the letter under the door. I don't think anyone else will care about it. This,
though, I'm sure you'll agree this is a different story."

Speaker: "I see."

(The line goes silent yet again. You decide that rushing her would backfire.)

Speaker: "Stay right there."

5: "Are you comi-"

(The line dies. You turn to Guillermo, wondering if it's not too early to claim victory. Slowly, it falls
from heaven; a hook. Like a spider, but sharp and silver. Both you and Guillermo follow it's faint
line only to find a fishing rod looming from the balcony. The hook waves around, pushed by the
wind, as you look straight at Guillermo's sunglasses and walk up to him. You motion as if
you were taking off a necklace yourself; it stops the man.)

Guillermo: "This is from my mother."

5: "Is she dead?"

(He nods. You point above.)

5: "She isn't."

(With no further comment, Guillermo takes out his golden necklace and you place it on the
hook. It's elevated to the heavens, more beautiful than ever.)

Guillermo: "She'll know its mine."

5: "She'll delude herself to think it's different."

>"We are really worried about you."
>"I'm a therapist. I can help."
>"This secret is /very/ important."
>"How about a date?"
>Give up.
>/Write In Allowed/
>Ask her what she knows. Clearly somebody who is so sure of her actions must know something important. Please tell me!
(You still stare at the fishing rod in disbelief until it's sucked by the window. People truly are

>Ask her what she knows.

(You have Guillermo push her number on the speaker again, which he did no more than ten
minutes ago.)

Speaker: "Yes? Hello?"

5: "Did it get there?"

Speaker: "Yes. Thank you so much."

("You're welcome", you were about to say. Yet the words get stuck in your mouth.)

5: "How long have you been locked in there?"

Speaker: "...Um... I got to go. Bye-"

5: "Wait."

(She doesn't answer. But the line stands.)

5: "Is it because you know something? Something you think you shouldn't?"

Speaker: "...No? ...Not at all?"

5: "Please tell me."

Speaker: "But... there's nothing. Like... a super secret or something? Like yours?"

5: "Yes."

Speaker: "No... nothing."

(God-dammit. Now it's you that's lost for words. You scratch your head frantically again; so far,
nothing worked.)

5: "Hey."

Speaker: "Yes?"

5: "Why are you locked in there?"

(The line goes silent yet again for a while. You hold your breath, almost angry. But then, it

Speaker: "Do you really want to know that much?"

5: "Yes. Yes, I do."

Speaker: "...Ok. Come on in."

(The door to the hotel rings. You push it open as if trying to ruin a joke. Finally, you are inside.
You look for the button Guillermo just pressed, and it's 6F. Sometimes, you just have to show you care.)

>>Pause for Nintendo Direct!
the fuckers saved all of smash for later
mk and drq are good stuff though
oh well
(The elevator never comes; it's most likely broken. By the end of the third floor you are
already sweating, by the time you find her apartment you are gasping. You don't move
much. Your mind does. It just can't walk for you.)

(You knock on the door, once, twice. One, two, three locks open, and the door barely creaks
aside to let two green eyes peek at you. She goes away, leaving the door open instead of
inviting you in. You help yourself inside. The house doesn't look that bad, but it's dimly lit at
best- and still has a full-blown Christmas tree with LED lights. You find her sitting on the floor
next to it; red hair and slim face. Curious, she studies you through the darkness, as the blue,
red, and green lights lit her face.)

5: "Should have gotten myself a big, white beard."

Andrea: "What about my present?"

5: "You fished it."

(You look around for somewhere to sit. There are seats and a table, but far from her. She taps
the floor; you sit next to her. From here, everything else looks dark.)

Andrea: "Um... hi."

5: "Andrea, right? I'm Lumina, a friend to Guillermo."

Andrea: "Hi Lumina. Nice to meet you."

(You nod. She's dressed only with a big brown shirt, most likely Guillermo's.)

5: "I take you've been like this all week."

Andrea: "I... yes."

5: "Why?"

Andrea: "You are sweating so much.)

(It's true. And kinda sad too.)

5: "I skipped gym a few years."

(She laughs heartily, repeating what you said.)

5: "Thank you for settling for a sixth floor. It's already enough to kill you if you jump."

Andrea: "I'll... keep that in mind."

(You turn to look at her.)

5: "What is it, then? What's happening to you?"

Andrea: "Do you promise to never tell anyone?"

5: "Don't have to. I'm a therapist. Gossiping is the quickest way to murder my

Andrea: "A therapist..."

5: "Don't worry. We don't know mind-tricks. At least not enough to make this a full
time job."

(She giggles- then looks away.)

Andrea: "Ok. I... I'm scared."

5: "Not of darkness, I see."

Andrea: "Of...choices."

(Her face sinks lower into the knees.)


>"When did this start?"
>"Afraid of what choices?"
>"What do you mean?"
>/Write-In Allowed/
>"What do you mean?"
>"What do you mean?"

Andrea: "It's...it's really silly."

5: "It isn't if it's keeping you stranded. Tell me."

Andrea: "It's so silly..."

(She sinks further into herself, but you wait her up. After all, you are already here.)

Andrea: "I'm kinda... scared of making a bad choice and ruining it all."

5: "We always make choices. All the time."

(Andrea shakes her head, brushing her fringe against her knees.)

Andrea: "Not that kind of choices. This... this kind of choices. The other. You know?"

5: "Not really, no. There's only one way of making a choice. You pick one path from those
you know of."

Andrea: "I know that."

5: "So?"

Andrea: "I always, always, always- make the bad choices."

5: "And locking yourself up is your way out."

Andrea: "...it's working so far."

>>"Wonder why."

>"When did this start?"
>"Afraid of what choices?"
>"You can't always make the wrong choices."
>"For example?"
>Write-In Allowed/
>>"When did this start?"
>"When did this start?"

Andrea: "I think... I don't even remember anymore. I can't remember the first bad thing
that happened. Or the worse. They... keep coming."

5: "I see. Do you believe in curses?"

Andrea: "I used not to. Now..."

(She pauses to grab a small jar next to her, filled with plain water. Andrea takes a deep sip; some
of it spills on her neck.)

Andrea: "Are you thirsty?"

5: "Kinda."

(You grab it and give it a go yourself. It tastes like metal.)

5: "So, why is this happening? Your bad thing streak."

Andrea: "I don't know. That's why I'm here."

5: "Under the Christmas tree."

Andrea: "It's been safe here so far."

(You consider taking out a cigarette- then reconsider it.)

5: "How long? An estimate will be fine."

Andrea: "...Christmas."


>"Is this related to Christmas somehow?"
>"Afraid of what choices?"
>"You can't always make the wrong choices."
>"For example?"
>Write-In Allowed/
>>"Is this related to Christmas somehow?"
>>"Afraid of what choices?"
I forgot what time of the year it was but theres a 11 in 12 chance that it's out of season.
>"Is this related to Christmas somehow?"

Andrea: "F-fuck you."

5: "Hmm?"

(Andrea lets her feet slide until her legs lay on the floor. She must be taller than you.)

Andrea: "I'm not sure. I can't be sure because... every choice I make is wrong. So I
can't. There's something very wrong with me."

5: "Yet this started near Christmas time."

Andrea: "Maybe. Maybe I'm wrong again."

5: "It has been barely a month, though. How many things can go wrong?"

(The redhair looks at you straight in the eyes.)

Andrea: "/Many/."

(Holding eye contact, you slip a finger into your pocket only to remember your cigarettes are on
the suit.)

>"Afraid of what choices?"

Andrea: "Any kind. If I say something it's wrong. Very very wrong."

(She looks away from you and gazes into her toes.)

Andrea: "That's why I'm here."

5: "So you make choices and things go bad. That much I gathered. Which was the

Andrea: "I don't know."

5: "One of the worse?"

Andrea: "I killed my dog."

5: "Huh. Was that the choice or the consequence?"

Andrea: "The- the consequence. It was morning and... I had a puppy. A Golden
Retriever. It had... too much energy, and it kept crying. It wanted to go out. I wanted to take a
shower first, so I left it in the balcony because it gets restless, and when it gets restless it bites
everything. It... it used to. Then a bird sat on the rail and my puppy jumped after it."

5: "My condolences."

Andrea: "It fell on a hotdog stand."

(She sobs. Once, and then tears start running.)

Andrea: "I didn't even know it could jump that much."

>>All dogs go to heaven.

>"You could have seen that coming."
>"What else happened?"
>"You can't always make the wrong choices."
>Write-In Allowed/
>"What else happened?"
>"What else happened?"

Andrea: "This one time... we were buying presents for my nephew's birthday, a nine years
old boy. We get along. Or used to. I had this idea of giving him a cat and talked it with his
parents, and they agreed with me because he spent all day alone playing video-games. A
friend from his dad's side wanted to give him a cool back-pack since he is about to start school.
So I had an idea. We'd put the cat inside the back-pack. We laughed. They all liked it."

(Andrea cleans her eyes and forehead with her massive brown sleeve. You still wonder who Clair
is, but maybe that's not important.)

Andrea: "We later found out my little nephew had been reading stories from H.P.
Lovecraft on the Internet."

5: "I think I see where this is going."

Andrea: "He wasn't happy with his presents. He always keeps this straight face.
Never smiles. I wanted to see him smile. I told little Johnny to stand still and spread his arms. I
had him wear it, tied it tightly, then went to show his mother cause he looked so cute."

(Andrea covers her face with both hands as if shielding herself from the bright lights of the
Christmas tree.)

Andrea: "Then he started screaming!"

5: "Knew it."

Andrea: "We couldn't stop him! He was so loud! The backpack wouldn't come out, I had tied
it so tightly... He took his clothes off, but it wouldn't come out. We had left the door open so
the guests would come in... one of them was a big boy with downs syndrome. Ryan. He got
scared. He ran away. He was flapping his arms so much, he wanted to fly...an ambulance sent
him flying into a card magician."

5: "Hope he doesn't think it works now."

(Andrea gives you a weird look, which you correspond with a silly grin.)

5: "My job requires that I find some fun in anything."

Andrea: "I... I see."

5: "What happened with the kid?"

Andrea: "Didn't I tell you? Johnny cried so much he hyperventilated, and when we opened
the back-pack the cat ran away. Now he really thinks there was a demon or something in it.
He's only gotten worse, and it's all my fault."

5: "At least he won't be scared of cats for the rest of his life. Was the little demon found

Andrea: "Yes... he's here. Nobody wanted it. Sean Clawnery is... very afraid of me."

>"At least no one died this time."

>"You could have seen that coming."
>"What else?"
>"You can't always make the wrong choices."
>"Why do you think this is happening?"
>Write-In Allowed/
>"Why do you think this is happening?"
(First, you mull it over for a bit. This is the question where all others lead.)

>"Why do you think this is happening?"

Andrea: "I don't know!"

5: "Do you think magic could be involved?"

Andrea: "Magic?"

5: "Yes."

(Andrea glances at you longly, lost in thought.)

Andrea: "Maybe."

5: "I see. Do you think you have been cursed?"

Andrea: "Do you think that could be it?"

5: "I'm asking you."

(Your sharp answer leaves her staring for a while.)

Andrea: "Yes."

5: "I see. Andrea, do you smoke?"

(She shakes her messy, red hair. God dammit.)

5: "So these accidents have happened constantly for too long, yet you couldn't draw a

Andrea: "Pattern?

5: "Something that repeats itself. Like your way of calculating, or a pill you drink before
most of them happen."

Andrea: "I don't do pills."

5: "Would you vaccinate your children?"

Andrea: "No."

5: "I see."

Andrea: "Is that relevant?"

5: "Yes."

(Andrea opens her mouth for a while, but nothing comes out. People do this a lot with you;
maybe you are too intimidating.)

Andrea: "How else would you explain it?"

5: "Tell me about other choices you made. Just the context and your decision."

Andrea: "A man was hitting on me at the supermarket. He called me a "horny bitch" so I
slapped him. It turns out he was autistic, some guys were laughing while he cried. Maybe they
sent him. He went to hit them."

5: "Think about it. Was there any tell about the guy being autistic?"

Andrea: "He... had a shirt that said 'Disgaea'. I don't know what that means. And he
was really slim. I can't think of anything else."

5: "What else?"

Andrea: "That very day, earlier, another man had left his empty cart in the middle of the
way. I was annoyed and didn't have one, so I took it. Walking away, I turn to see him doing a
blackflip from the other side of the gondola. He fell on his butt. There was a girl with a camera,

(You nod and let silence take over. It is an interesting scenario, and you need to mull it

Andrea: "Why is this happening to me?"

>>"It's simple."

>"Like plain bad luck."
>"You are doing something wrong. (Write-In)"
>>"Plain bad luck."
None of the things that she mentioned were her own fault, and in some cases she did the right thing but she seems to think it's the end of the world. I think what happened was that she's had too much time to think these things over and they've become exaggerated in her mind.
>"Plain bad luck."

5: "Simple as that."

Andrea: "Bad luck. This many times? This constantly?"

5: "Yup."

(You hold her stare steadily. Patients must think you believe in your shit.)

5: "People win the lottery. There are too many people, after all. The way I see it, you won
the reverse lottery, the one nobody wants to play."

Andrea: "Reverse lottery?"

(You nod, then grab the jug of water and give it a fair sip. Damn stairs. Damn ladders.)

5: "Simply walking down the street is already exposing you to all the possibilities, no
matter how far-fetched. A plane could fall on you, a cat could jump on your face, a lost
childhood friend could recognize you among the faces- all of these at the same time."

(She visibly chortles at this. It's a measured laugh.)

5: "'Shit happens' is such a good quote because it reminds us we cannot control
anything. Even the most trivial tasks could fail. We can, of course, reduce the odds of failure
by facing the truth. And we should."

Andrea: "Do you want... hotcakes?"


5: "I'll think about it. We can only improve our chances by spotting the patterns that
underlie any happening. It just so happens that, at times, those patterns are out of our reach, or
there isn't a pattern at all to begin out besides simply existing."

Andrea: "...Um, I'm a bit lost, to be honest. Please don't get mad."

5: "You can't tell when it's your fault and when is luck that causes these accidents."

Andrea: "Yes... you are right."

(She hugs her legs again. This is almost the exact same way Prompto used to sit back at the
cell. What a coincidence.)

Andrea: "Lumina? Is that how you are called?"

5: "Yes."

Andrea: "I don't want to hurt anyone with my bad luck, Lumina.. I don't want to make
choices that risk other people. I'm scared. I don't know how they do it, or how I did, but I
can't now. I always feel like I'm missing a detail."

5: "We all feel that way. Always. We just settle for what mostly seems to make sense. A
blade can always be sharper, and a plan can always take more details into account. Factors
are infinite."

Andrea: "But I'll hurt everyone else. I don't want to."

5: "We all do with our every choice. Everything we do hurts someone else. What
matters is why. Constant coincidences like these are what drive people crazy. They figure there's
a pattern where there's only luck."

>>"This is the plan: "

>"Challenge that belief. Keep fucking up if you have to. Even if you hurt others with your choices, they aren't wasted if you learned."
>"Stay away until you've figured out how things work. The more you think, the less the odds. Learn from the choices of others until you feel ready."
>/Write-In Not Allowed/
>"Stay away until you've figured out how things work. The more you think, the less the odds. Learn from the choices of others until you feel ready."
>"Stay away until you've figured out how things work. The more you think, the less the odds. Learn from the choices of others until you feel ready."

I like how you went back to the roots OP, i must admit i disliked chasing 4 about, the start to this thread had my expectations low but i'm pleasantly surprised.
I've found that my favourite part of the quest are the consequences of what we say, Sugar being the perfect example. On the other hand the 4 arc felt very directionless and inconsequential, especially when 1 was introduced.
I vastly prefer singular cases like Andrea here, the thief from Jail or the smoker sexaholic (forgot his name).
yeah, i figured the first thread was a success because it was spontaneous
lets keep it like this for a good while

writan in four and a half hours
>"Stay away until you've figured out how things work. The more you think, the less the odds.
Learn from the choices of others until you feel ready."

5: "You aren't letting yourself think things through. That's a dead end. You can't mend
without understanding."

Andrea: "But... that's all I've been doing lately. Trying to figure it out. The curse. The-the
pattern, I mean."

5: "Then give it time. We all have to take a step back sometimes. If you keep ramming your
head against the wall, you won't notice the door right next to you."

(Andrea looks at you from below, her head close to yours.)

Andrea: "How will I know I'm ready?"

5: "Once the time spent outweighs the consequences you'll say 'fuck it' and run with it.
Factors are infinite. It's just that at some point we grow tired of planning. You'll know when."

Andrea: "Then I'll stay here. What do I tell Guillermo?"

5: "I'll handle that for you. He's just worried. Is Guillermo your boyfriend? Your

Andrea: "No, no, we don't see each other like that. He's my friend."

5: "Interesting. How did you meet him?"

Andrea: "I used to do deliveries between local gangs and customers on the fish-car and
one day he sat on the passenger seat wearing a huge banana outfit and kidnapped all of my
customers in the fish-car."

5: "Fish-car."

Andrea: "It's... a car. With a big fish above, on a spring, with a human smile. It looks

5: "And here I thought delivery jobs called for subtlety. What did he do with your

Andrea: "He had them watch Sponge-Bob backwards on a dark room until they confessed."

5: "Interesting?"

(You stand to leave. Further words aren't necessary. And you've finally caught your

Andrea: "You are leaving?"

5: "I've left your friend stalled down there. And I've lost track of time here."

(You stretch in silence. As you head for the door-)

Andrea: "D-don't you... want hotcakes?"

(This seems like an extremely relevant choice.)


(Standing in front of the door, ten feet away from her, you finally nod at Andrea.)

5: "I'll tell him to come up."

Andrea: "N-no. Don't."

5: "He's still waiting."

Andrea: "It's ok. It's ok. He'll go smoke or something."

5: "You want to eat alone with me?"

(Andrea would wear the same expression if she realized her lungs stopped working.)

Andrea: "Y-yeah. I'm sorry. Maybe you should go."

5: "It's ok. Hotcakes sound-"

Andrea: "I-it's a reward. A reward."

5: "I see."

(You stop to look around. The dining table is at the furthest corner from her, shrouded in
shadows. Not looking at you, Andrea taps the spot next to her with a hand, where you were
sitting. You grab a pillow from the sofa on your way to the Christmas tree and sit next to her,
right as she stands and vanishes into the dark kitchen. The faint sound of gas bursts to fire as
you take out your cellphone. There's a single message, and it's Sugar's.)


Lumina Canima:
[Sugar, stop wasting my fucking time.]

(Five minutes later)

[haha biech]

(It can't be helped. You sigh right as the hotcakes arrive, an unlucky coincidence.)

Andrea: "Um... Is something the matter?"

(You show her the cellphone.)

5: "This imbecile keeps calling me a bitch whenever he has free time. See, this is one of
those coincidences we were talking about. You could have thought I was sighing because of

Andrea: "Oh? I think you are right."

(Andrea sits next to you under the Christmas tree. The towering dish is laid between the two of
you. She also helps herself. Silence ensues as you dig in since you hate talking while you eat,
something Two will never understand. You are pleasantly surprised by the softness of the milk
flesh, and focus on your mouth as you chew carelessly. It's only after you swallow that you
compliment her.)

5: "This is really good. If only all of my patients paid me like this."

(She visibly beams up at this, giggling away. You just hope she's not another fucking lesbian.)

Andrea: "I... I've been thinking a lot, lately. All this time."

(With the fork looming on your open mouth, you look at her.)

Andrea: "I... realized a lot about me. About the things I want. About the mistakes I made. I
replay things that happened in my head, over and over, and over again."

5: "I see. You are going for a clear view of your situation."

(Andrea looks between her legs.)

Andrea: "I always find something new. There's always something else I could have
done, something I could have said, something I didn't take into account or realized. It all... is
starting to seem so, so, so complex now. I'm really scared."

5: "The more you know, the more you realize you didn't know."

Andrea: "-and I'm wondering how long will it take to pull myself together. Are... are you
sure... I should stay here?"


5: "Thinking it up more will only do you good. Time spent preparing is never wasted."

Andrea: "It's all so complex... And there's just so much at stake..."

5: "It's always like that. Most people survive by actively ignoring all the factors beyond the
ones they know. Maybe this shock will even be good for you."

Andrea: "...that makes sense."

(You don't ask what does as you main another innocent hotcake. Truly a reward worthy of your

5: "Don't worry. You'll be fine. Just take a walk every now and then."

Andrea: "Ok."

5: "It comes a time for every one of us to step back and watch. Try to enjoy it while it

Andrea: "Ok."

(You slice apart the helpless hotcake in perfect silence. There are still some left, plenty of time-
but yours is a small belly. You take your time to stand, and dust off your shirt out of compulsion.)

5: "Thank you. That was very nice of you."

Andrea: "Hey, em, I have something to ask you."

(You walk a bit away and turn.)

5: "Yes?"

Andrea: "Can I have your phone number?"

(Andrea's looking very straight at you as she talks, though her words vary in timber during the
sentence. Her mouth opens as you shake your head.)

5: "It's part of my code. I only work on schedule; sudden calls throw me off. And I had
a lot of those thanks to this."

(You show her your cellphone with derision. One time, one guy flooded you with repeated sound
messages saying "HES WATCHING ME.")

5: "I can give you my email, though."

Andrea: "...It's just... I think you are cute."

(You tilt your head.)

5: "Thank you."

(She simply nods, visibly blushing but playing it straight. You realize your business cards are on
the suit, then grumble.)

5: "Give me your cellphone."

(Andrea lightens up.)

Andrea: "S-sure! It's 5-"

5: "The devices, not the number."

(She stares at you in confusion as you take it from her hands and type away a message to

5: "There. That's my email. Let me know if anything comes up."

Andrea: "Ok. Thank you."

(You nod at her, flashing your practiced smile.)

5: "Goodbye."
brb food
The heavy wind greets you as the door opens. You look up; the sky wears a dense gray. It's
going to rain for sure.

"I swear, everyone is a fucking lesbian nowadays," you grumble under your breath.

"So what went there?" you hear from your left, and it's Guillermo at the side of the entrance.
He's smoking.

"Your friend needs time. That's all," you say as you pass him by.

You look up again, as your body splits the wind. It feels cold and wet.

"Be a gentleman," you ask Guillermo, "give me your coat."

He does; no jokes, no questions. He just doesn't wrap it around you. That's up to you. It's so big
you might as well wear it like a full dress.

"Thank you," you say.

"Get in the car," he simply asks.

You look at it. "I think you should be pretty convinced by now."

And he smiles a stupid smile. "I didn't see what happened up there."

One of your eyes flinches.


It's raining full force on the other side of the window, the drumming sound of rain overhead
anything else but soothing. Guillermo hands you an umbrella before simply stepping into the rain,
no coat or anything, just on his plain white shirt. Once outside you slam the door shut behind
you, and follow him in his bird-like steps.

"Must be nice having a free therapist," you grumble firmly. "I wonder if that car is yours."

Once under a small roof, Guillermo takes out a few bills and pushes them into your hand, not
even counting. You clench them without shame. A few steps further, Guillermo dives into a
garden at the left, soaking in the evergrowing rain. You cross and join the atlas baldie in front
of a door, finally safe of water. He knocks hard, over and over, until five dozen locks go out one
by one. Then a screeching sound, as if someone was moving a piano barehanded.

A tall, worried-looking man with a tremendous body leans from the door. Then smiles.

"Eh, Guillermo! You fuck!" he greets.

He steps aside, and you both walk in. When you enter, you notice a big black piano next to the
door, facing the wall- a piano the man pushes again against the entrance. You suddenly feel
quite claustrophobic.

"Sit!" he demands, not looking at any of you as he vanishes into a corner. The place looks
barely build, some walls are raw concrete, there's no furniture except paint cans with trash
inside and paint cans upside-down surrounding a big box. Over the big box is an open pizza
paperboard package filled only with some olives. The man finally comes back. With his cellphone.

"What do you want?" he asks the air. "Pizza? Chop-Suey? Do I get chinese?"

"I want chinese," Guillermo asks.

"I'm not hungry. Thank you," you decline.

"Something to drink? Soda? Water? Juice?" the man says, maybe too fast.

"This is Brian," Guillermo says. "Brian, this is Lumina. Lumina, Brian."

He grabs your hand across the table and shakes it furiously. "Hey, nice to meet you, I'm Brain."

"That much I gathered," you say, gently freeing yourself from his grasp.
(This time, Guillermo is here too. Not that it bothers you, but you do feel the pressure.
Sessions are one-on-one for a reason; patients must not be allowed to seek relief in others
during therapy. Mob mentality is a thing even with two persons.)

(As the men catch up, you glance around the poor man's building: the walls are trimming with
tribal weapons, the windows have steel grids and locks, there's a camera pointing straight at you.
Paranoia with this man is a given, but you wonder what Guillermo expects you to do about
this. Maybe he's hoping you'll make the right call instead of giving you instructions, which is

>>Yet you are floating in space.

>"So many weapons. Are you a blacksmith?"
>"How much do you ask for delivery food?"
>"Do you play piano?"
>/Write In Allowed/
>>"How much do you ask for delivery food?"
>>"So many weapons. Are you a blacksmith?"
>"So many weapons. Are you a blacksmith?"
(Guillermo's drenched clothes are dripping on the wooden floor, yet none of the men seem to
mind. He looks even lankier.)

>"How much do you ask for delivery food?"

(They keep talking, not paying you any heed. You wait until they wind down a bit, but it doesn't
happen. It's Brain, the man of the frizzled beard, that does most of the talking. His hair,
instead, is almost a square put together with gel. Dressed in a short black shirt and cargo
pants, the man doesn't even the gun at his belt or the knife under his arm.)

5: "How much do you ask for deli-"

(Your words are lost to an exaggerated storm of laughter. Brian slaps his leg hard as
Guillermo nods as if broken, laughing way less than his friend. You roll your eyes and grimace

Brian: "Jeeeesus. Fuck platypuses, am I right?"

Guillermo: "Yeah, dude."

5: "Say, how much do you ask for delivery food?"

(You are finally heard. It draws mixed feelings.)

Brian: "How long till delivery food? Like ten minutes. I always tip them."

5: "No, no. I was wondering if you ask for delivery food constantly instead of cooking.
Like every day."

Brain: "No! It's just so my friends got something to taste. I can't cook."

5: "I see. Usually, what do you eat since you can't cook?"

Brian: "Military rations."

(You make a point of raising an eyebrow to leave very clear that you are interested in this.)

5: "How do you get them?"

Brian: "My good-good boys are green berets, you know? Real charming fuckers. I
love em!"

5: "I see."

>"So many weapons. Are you a blacksmith?"

Brian: "Yeah! I sell em. Do you like them? It's great stuff."

(You take a look around. There's a bit of everything; swords, axes, spears, even shields,
all messily scattered over the wall, some not even tribal.)

5: "They do look quite pretty."

Brian: "Any favorite?"

(You realize pointing at the soap of blades would be pointless. It's like the wall held back a
storm of weapons during the old times of magic.)

5: "The rapier with the black blade looks appealing, even if impractical. I used to do
fencing, so I'm naturally biased."

(Sharing about yourself, sometimes, is the only way you get others to do the same.)

Brian: "Yeah. That one's awesome. I love it. Five hundred bucks."

5: "I'll let you know if I ever feel like killing somebody."

(He laughs too loudly. Guillermo simply smokes away from you.)

>"Guillermo, is there a reason all your friends are so gigantic?"
>"Do you play piano?"
>"Were you in the military?"
>"This place seems safe."
>/Write In Allowed/
>"Were you in the military?"
>"This place seems safe."
>>"Were you in the military?"
>>"This place seems safe."
>"Were you in the military?"

Brian: "Spec-ops! A boy of the Spetsnaz. FSB."

(Your mind draws a blank as you recalibrate. Spetsnaz. You've heard the word somewhere
before. It reminds you of Sergei, your russian patient for who rules are laws of physics.)

Guillermo: "It's the counter-terrorism group developed by the KGB after the attack
on Munich in 1972. The Olympics. The Alpha group."

Brian: "That's right bro. Teach her. Hey, tell me about you. Sure you're not hungry?"

5: "I've got little room for food as you can see. I'm a therapist working for your friend. We
just had a heavy tour and we happened to be nearby, so we crashed here."

(You suddenly stop and giggle to yourself. It's a silent giggle.)

Brian: "What is it? You laughed."

(He doesn't seem worried; in fact, the man is smiling.)

5: "It's too silly. I'd embarrass myself."

Brian: "Come on, tell us. Don't be shy."

5: "'Brian' is 'Brain' if you swap the vowel letters. Don't ask me why that's funny. I warned

Guillermo: "He's got another bicep for a brain, though."

Brian: "Shut up! That's bullshit, I'm smarter than you are."

>"This place seems safe."

Brian: "You bet your ass, nobody enters Fort Tesla without weed or an invitation. I have
twenty-five cameras installed."

Guillermo: "It wasn't that hard to come in, though."

Brian: "See my garden? Do you know what I'm planting? C4's. And besides, the
windows are reinforced. Snipers ain't got crap on me."

Guillermo: "You aren't scaring them if you are blowing them apart with explosives."

Brian: "Shut up! They shouldn't come here in the first place! And I'll warn them before
so they leave!"

Guillermo: "What if they think you are bluffing?"

Brian: "I'm working on a wooden sign."

Guillermo: "I hope my dogs never shit in your garden."

(You don't feel safe anymore.)

>"Guillermo, is there a reason all your friends are so gigantic?"
>"Do you play piano?"
>"Why did you leave the russians?"
>"What are you afraid of?"
>/Write In Allowed/
>"Guillermo, is there a reason all your friends are so gigantic?"
>"Guillermo, is there a reason all your friends are so gigantic?"

Guillermo: "What do you mean?"

5: "What else could I mean?"

(Guillermo goes from looking straight at you to scratching his chin towards the rough concrete

Guillermo: "Hey, you are right."

5: "You hadn't noticed?"

Guillermo: "No."

Brian: "What, really? What about... that guy, no. Woah."

5: "What about the friends I don't know?"

(Guillermo takes off his sunglasses. His eyes are small, and he looks quite serious. He
squints as he thinks.)

Guillermo: "One has a bear."

5: "Ok. Maybe there's a pattern going on."

Guillermo: "What do you think?"

(You take the opportunity to shine with care.)

5: "Association. If it is association then it's because most of the people you were fond of-
that helped you during your life were body-builders. Then your mind may have justified
your preference, rationalizing that people with big muscles are healthier, or more disciplined,
or confident because they can defend themselves and have sex. Something along
those lines."

Guillermo: "You lost me."

Brian: "Not me!"

Guillermo: "Lum, let me hear this."

5: "Lum?"

Brian: "What Lum is saying is that you look for ripped friends because they are the
ones that did you good, so now you believe only ripped people are good people."

(You clap slowly, wearing a tiny smile.)

5: "You really are 'Brain',then. And why would that be?"

Brian: "Because he's scared of tiny people and doesn't want to let them have a

(You just keep on clapping. Brian is laughing.)

Guillermo: "I dunno, to be honest."

5: "It does seem accurate. I wonder how your training was."

Brian: "You can't be KGB if you are dumb."

Guillermo: "Yes, you can."

(Brian just pouts and looks away. It's oddly adorable. This was a waste of time.)

>"Do you have any hobbies?"
>"Do you play piano?"
>"Why did you leave the russians?"
>"What are you afraid of?"
>/Write In Allowed/
>"Do you play piano?"
(You focus on the last 'lock' of the door with an analytical glare as if it was a complex labyrinth
drawn on the wall.)

>"Do you play piano?"

Brian: "Nah! I just fixed that one. Guy said he'd pay me four thousand bucks but never
came back. It's been three months since."

(Brian scratches his head.)

Brian: "I did try. I can play the birthday song."

5: "Why do you lock your door with a piano?"

Brian: "In case I dropped my keys somewhere."

>>"What the hell."

>"Do you have any hobbies?"
>"Why did you leave the russians?"
>"What are you afraid of?"
>/Write In Allowed/
>>"Why did you leave the russians?"
>>"What are you afraid of?"
>Do you have any hobbies? Besides fixing and collecting things?
(Guillermo is still laughing. You wish he wasn't; his laughter is creepy and jaded. These men
clearly have their own particular set of limits.)

>"Why did you leave the russians?"

Brian: "Eeeeh, I'm not sure you should know about this, Lum."

Guillermo: "She's safe."

(Brian hugs Guillermo from behind the neck and pulls him away from you. The two of them
whisper fast back and forth. As they split, Brian is left big-eyed, then looks at you.)

Brian: "You work for the mob?"

5: "It would be quite the thing if I also was a russian spy, wouldn't it?"

Brian: "You look kinda Dmitri, though."

(You shrug.)

5: "My father is japanese and my mother is from Kaliningrado. I'm what you get if you put
a japanese flag, a russian flag, and fill the rest of the blender with ice."

(Brian laughs at this, maybe too much. You can't tell if he exxageres to comply or if he
actually finds it really funny. It takes a while before he pulls himself together.)

Brian: "Alright. You see Lum, there's no room for questions in the military. You do what
they say. End of story. Questions waste time and time isn't something you want to waste
when ten or so sandfuckers are unloading AK-47's on your ass, to make more holes
where to fuck you."

5: "Quite efficient."

Brain: "Yeah, but too efficient, sometimes. I won't go into details, but they had me
endanger civilians for the sake of the mission. Looking back, y'know, maybe they weren't so
wrong. Killing innocent people really is the thing of nightmares, but we were trying to stop
something worse, something I can't talk about. So, well, they fired me before I could quit. I got
a good eye, but it also takes stomach- and I found out too late you can't train that."

5: "You don't need to be specific. Just the overall picture will do."

(Brian shakes his head in disbelief, suddely smiling.)

Brian: "Why the fuck do the yakuza have a therapist?"

5: "Why not? We all have a mind."

Brain: "Do you also shoot people and shit?"

5: "Only when they talk too loudly."

(Which makes Two a phoenix.)

>"What are you afraid of?"

Brain: "They want me dead."

5: "...Huh."

(He shrugs it off as if his mother scolded him from grabbing a chunk of cake with his hand.)

5: "I see. Yours is a very interesting situation, then."

Brain: "Yeah, I know. Pretty fucked up. Sounds like bullshit, doesn't it?"

5: "I don't mind being lied to. I just respond to the situation presented and that's it.
A doctor can only do so much with false symptoms."

(Guillermo slowly leans closer to you. It still startles you.)

Guillermo: "You don't dig in?"

(This time it's you that shrugs.)

5: "Not my job, not my problem."

(Guillermo simply stares at you in silence.)

Brain: "Eh don't worry, he does that. Guillermo."

(Who gives a sharp, fake smirk.)

Guillermo: "I'm sorry. Bad habits."
Brian: "Anyway, they realized I know some stuff I shouldn't know and sent my own
team to shred me. One of the boys managed to broadcast their whole ambush to me while
they were at it, I don't know which of them, but he saved my fucking life. They tried to fry me
on a bus. I had to hide in the cargo of another and ended up in Cheliabinsk. The packing guy
freaked the FUCK out when he saw me come out. It was a forty-five hours trip so I got bored
and fucked around with every luggage I could open. Thank God a kid forgot to take his
GameBoy Color with him."

5: "I see. I wonder what kind of knowledge could be that dangerous."

Brian: "Even if it's dangerous, they are just paranoid fucks. Guys in green don't get
people. But good or bad, dead people don't talk and that lets them sleep."

(The door rings. Seems food has arrived.)

Brian: "It wouldn't let me sleep, though."

(You nod sagely. Some people prefer to die than to kill. They know their conscience will
always be there.)

>Do you have any hobbies? Besides fixing and collecting things?

Brian: "Yeah. I fucking love music. I like going for entirely different genres, or at least
for a new genre every time."

5: "Do you play anything? Besides the piano?"

Brian: "The armonica. I got very good lungs, so I can practice a lot. I don't know how
music could harm people. It's such a good force."

5: "I see. Anything else you enjoy?"

Brian: "I like the little monkeys with the big eyes. The japanese ones. My girlfriend got me
into them."

>>"There's just no escape in this time and era."

>"I see. So a girlfriend."
>"Isn't the pressure of the globally famous KGB going after you too much to bear?"
>"Have you ever had to kill someone?"
>/Write In Allowed/
>>"Isn't the pressure of the globally famous KGB going after you too much to bear?"
>>"Have you ever had to kill someone?"
What year is it?
it's the year 19XX
which means its irrelevant
same as the place the story takes place
im wasting a lot of opportunities here,
but it lets me focus fully on the cases
>"Isn't the pressure of the globally famous KGB going after you too much to bear?"

Brian: "Eeeh, when you die, you die. You wind up thinking like that. For convenience,

5: "Aren't you afraid of death, Brian?"

(Not you; it's him that looks around the house. You just let him mull it over. There's many that
never think about it.")

Brian: "You know, being scared can tire you out. And being tires is the only way to numb
out the fear."

5: "I see. Would you say that you keep yourself busy to not think about it?"

(Brian looks up; then shakes his head.)

Brian: "It's kinda, I'm just trying to last as much as I can. It's like having sex. Kinda."

5: "I see."

Brian: "I don't think I'm scared of death. There's no telling how it's gonna be, and I've
seen so many good people die that it can't be all that bad."

(You only realize Guillermo was gone when he comes back with two white plastic bags. One
scratches your ear as he passes by. He drops the food on the box-table, bags and all.)

Brian: "Heeell yeah brothers. Dig in!"

(You watch both men take their oyster pails out. Each comes with a set of chopsticks, which
Guillermo ignores but Brian picks up eagerly. The box opens up like a flower, leaving the
food inside, which you recognize as asian wraps, steaming freely into the ceiling. It...
does like kinda tasty. As he grabs one with a hand, Guillermo notices you staring. He grabs
your hand and uses your fingers to take a wrap.)

Guillermo: "Women."

(You decide to let him win. It is pretty tasty, after all. As you chew and focus on the taste, Brian
surprises you by swallowing a roll whole.)

Brian: "The way I see it, Lum, if they haven't found me yet they never will. Patience
is the mother of virtue but these men ain't got mothers. I just have to lay low. Or maybe my
secret buddy called them off. It's like a tacit agreement; I shut the fuck up, they don't find
me and fuck me up. Fancy."

5: "Iw swwe."

Brian: "So yeah. I sleep well."

(After saying this, Brian nods to the air. It's subtle, but you notice it. Those who find peace
after war cling to it until the very end.)

>"Hwwaee ywu ewwer hwd wo wiw woewwe?"

(Brian visibly tunes out, nodding away.)

Guillermo: "You don't save bullets, don't you?"

(You stop him with a hand until you swallow.)

5: "I'm willing to risk some harm for the bigger cause. I'm sure Brian can relate."

Brian: "Yeah. Yeah, I can."

(You nod at him with your eyes. That's quite the subtle 'yes'.)

Brian: "I don't wanna talk about it, though."

(You just look at him straight in the eyes and steal a roll from his dish. He grins like an idiot.)

>>"Time to change the subject. It's a dead end."

>"I see. So a girlfriend."
>"Is blacksmithing your only job?"
>"How did you meet Guillermo?"
>/Write In Allowed/
>>"How did you meet Guillermo?"
>>"I see. So a girlfriend."
He mentioned one and we have yet to see her.
>"How did you meet Guillermo?"

Brian: "So one day this asshole kicks his girlfriend in the knee because she helped up a
guy that slipped on vomit. Nobody did shit cause he was a heavy guy or something, had a suit
and all. So there I was, going to bury my whole arm inside his ass when this bald guy stands in
my way and asks me if I want a drink. This one big motherfucker right here. So I got a drink."

(That makes you smile. It's a weird, shining feeling that scares you, fortunately,

Brian: "So we end up sitting behind assface here and out of nowhere skinhead here
starts talking about his grandma, completely out of nowhere. I didn't know what was what, but this
guy is pouring his heart so I won't leave him hanging. So he talks to me, about World War II,
about how his grandma always did an extra dish from then on because his kid could show up,
about a friend of his uncle that used to beat his wife and ended up waiting on his porch for fifty
years, about a seventeen years old girl that ran an orphanage all alone. And by the end of all
that shit, guess what? Asshat is crying, and I cannot fucking believe it. We left and never saw
the end of it, but I still can't swallow it. If you told me I'd call bullshit, but man, I was there."

5: "Interesting tactic."

Brian: "Guillermo said even the worst assholes are just poor idiots with bad luck that
makes them do dumbshit stupid crap."

5: "Cheers to that."

(Guillermo stops you from grabbing his last wrapped roll.)

5: "How am I going to cheer for you?"

(He hands you Brian's cellphone.)

5: "I'm not that hungry."

(He glares at you.)

>"I see. So a girlfriend."

5: "I don't know anything of what's in this menu."

Brian: "But this is chinese food."

5: "Chinese, not japanese. And the only japanese food I've ever tasted is sushi. I wasn't
raised there."

Brian: "You mean there's a difference?"

5: "I hope your girlfriend is neither for your own good."

Brian: "Eh, naah. She wishes she was. For sure."

(Brian sits back on the upside-down paint can, resting his hands under the nape.)

Brian: "She's got a thing for those lil monkeys with big eyes. Like, a big thing."

5: "I see. She likes anime."

Brian: "Like, a very, very big thing."

(He talks no further. You dial on the cellphone and order what Guillermo points at in the menu,
which is like five things at once. It's either left-overs or hunger.)

5: "Brian, how does her room look like?"

(He grimaces. Now you know.)

Brian: "Filled with weird shit. And tits. Who knows, maybe it's good stuff."

5: "Maybe."

(He lifts an eyebrow at you.)

5: "Anime series are like books. There are shitty books, and there are great books. Good
series or not, sometimes, people get way too invested in them- and start drawing conclusions
about reality from them.."
5: "That's certainly not a bad thing in itself. Books teach shit too. The real issue comes
when people find excuses in anime to not reach out or not change the way they are, which
leaves them stagnated, starving for approval, and arguing on the internet to protect their excuse."

Guillermo: "I watch Dragon Ball."

Brian: "Me too!"

5: "I never did. I'm picky with characterization."

Brian: "Then you should see Vegeta. That guy is so real. I love him."

5: "What other animes do you like?"

Brian: "Wait, is Dragon Ball anime?"

5: "Yes?"

(Brian looks around, confused.)

Brian: "What?"

5: "Yes?"

Brian: "Oooooh now that makes see."

(You simply tilt your head to the side and wait.)

Brian: "Last time, she came to my job dressed like Bulma. Blue hair and all."

>/Continued tomorrow!/
(Anime in itself is just another medium, one with complex, titanic stories that so deep they mark
people forever. And with good reason. Some of those stories are so relatable that people
find answers to real problems, answers delivered with such taste and care that melt
straight into the core of their personality. But that's not always the case. Most come to anime
for stories that support their way of thinking, stories that just tells them 'you are right', stories
that could be on books on drawn on sand; stories that reinforce their delusions. Those
guys that pretend to fall on their back when someone says something stupid, they make
you grit your teeth so hard it hurts. Like right now.)

Brian: "Lum, you okay? Hey?"

5: "I'm fine. I often dive too deep into my own head and react externally to internal stuff."

Brian: "Holy shit, I do that too. High five."

(He lifts his hand and you instantly oblige, not feeling it at all. It's all part of the job.)

Brian: "Yeah!"

5: "Bulma is a character from Dragon Ball, I take?"

Brian: "Yup. And really fucking real. For shame Guille, you didn't show her the good old

Guillermo: "My bad."

Brian: "You know, I usually grab my babe, look into her eyes, and tell her, 'girl: you are
special'. She loves it, she goes apeshit. But I mean it."

(The way Brian looks at you must be the same he looks at his girlfriend.)

Brian: "And I mean, like, It's fun. I dig that shit sometimes, we sit back and watch the
anime and then we fuck like rabbits and I love it. But lately I've been thinking about it while we
fuck. While we are doing it. It's so fucked up, but I can't stop myself. It's like I'm fucking the
anime somehow."

(You wonder how this relates to his heavy military backstory as you listen.)

Brian: "She's a walking heart alright, but sometimes she goes on a rant and I listen and
I don't get it at all. Sometimes I kiss her so she'd shut up."

(Brian sits back and takes out a cigarette of his own. To your surprise, it's an electric cigarette,
a fake cigarette.)

Brian: "I dunno. Maybe I'm so fucked up I can't enjoy it."

(Brian looks genuinely sad.)

>"What kind of animes does she make you watch?"
>"How often do you two go places?"
>"Do you browse the internet?"
>"What does she like to talk about?"
>"How did you two meet?"
>/Write In Allowed/
>"How often do you two go places?"
>"How often do you two go places?"

Brian: "She likes to stay in."

5: "I see. So not too often?"

Brian: "Yeah, not too often. Last time we went out for burgers. Her name is Akane-chan.
Did I say that?"

5: "I don't think that's her real name."

Guillermo: "I don't think so either, bro."

(Brian sighs loudly, like a piston as it pulls.)

Brian: "So we go out to eat. We eat burgers. And she turns off. You know? Like,
she just answers with her head or goes 'yeah' or just giggles at my stuff. She doesn't look
around. Oh, I forgot to say, she was clinging to my arm hard all the way in."

5: "I see."

Brian: "And it turns me off, you know? She's a great girl. I know she is. So I thought,
'hey, maybe she's thinking' and dug in. To give her space, you know. To give her time. But
she never talked. It got awkward."

5: "Were your other dates like this too?"

Brian: "Yeah. It's always like this."

Guillermo: "She's dovey-dovey when they are alone and furniture when they go out."

Brian: "Yeah, pretty much."

5: "Has she ever taken you out on a date?"

Brian: "Yeah, we went to one of those conventions. People get freaky in those. She
had wings or some shit, and a big ass cane with wings too. And one short-ass skirt. And like
a cat with wings, everything had wings. That's the only place she talks to other people."

(Guillermo chuckles.)

Guillermo: "Nice girlfriend."

Brian: "At least I fuck, asshole."

(Guillermo chuckles again.)

>"What kind of animes does she make you watch?"
>"Do you browse the internet?"
>"What does she like to talk about?"
>"How did you two meet?"
>/Write In Allowed/
>"How did you two meet?"
>>"What does she like to talk about?"
>>"How did you two meet?"
>"How did you two meet?"

Guillermo: "Let me get my beer."

Brian: "No beer. Seriously, I'm out."

(Guillermo grabs his cellphone again and starts dialing.)

Brian: "So I was kinda new here. Right? And I was scared. I had money for at least two
more months doing nothing since I own the place. So I watched my cameras. And I found
this girl."

(Guillermo turns away from the conversation, demanding beer as if it was his birthright. You
only smoke because It helps you think better; you don't get why people numb their own
minds. It fixes nothing.)

Brian: "This girl, you know... she's up to something. She always comes by, always with
her cellphone, always so shady, like, why would a girl wear a hoodie? She comes by time and
time again, always stopping by the street corner. This one time, though, I catch her
pointing her cell at my own. So I go get her."

Brian: "I was so afraid I was mad, you know? Mad angry. I took her cellphone out and
began yelling. 'Who do you work with?' 'Are you KGB, are you Impel? FBI?"

Guillermo: "FBI?"

Brian: "You'd never think the soviets and yankees held each other secrets, but they do.
Nothing would stop them from snitching the other team if theirs are revealed, so they
protect the other's. Anyway, so this girl starts screaming she's sorry and coughing real hard. I
don't buy it until she's pale white- then I freak the fuck out and steal her home. Jesus Christ,
my ass clenches shut just bringing this back."

Guillermo: "Goddammit where's my beer?"

Brian: "So there I was, thinking 'I fucked up for real, I'm doing some CPR on this bitch',
and I did. This weird girl I just straight up stole from the street. She was trying to grab her
backpack, so snatched it, opened it, and turned it upside-down. There wasn't a gun, though.
What I found was an inhaler."

5: "Asthma. I see."

Brian: "I go through her cellphone but there's nothing, I find nothing. And I'm like
'awwww shit'. So I'm like, then, 'I'm sorry. I was scared. I don't want to hurt you. I'll open the
door now' and she's crying and scared and that's how I met my girlfriend."

Guillermo: "He isn't lying, Lum. The guy couldn't come up with all this on his own."

5: "I told you, I'd believe it regardless."
Brian: "Anyway, so I let her go thinking I'm doomed, but next day this girl shows up again,
shaking like a guitar's string, and I don't hear what the fuck she's saying until I lean closer.
She tells me if I want to learn to play Pokemon. I'm like, what the fuck, but I guess it's the least I
could do. It turns out, in Pokemon you have to walk around and take pictures of animals that
aren't really there, and one just happened to be on my lawn the day before."

5: "Huh."

Guillermo: "Romantic."

Brian: "And that's it. We walk around, we talk, I try to make her laugh, I make her laugh, I
buy her shit, I treat her to chocolate and shit... I wasn't trying to fuck her, mind you. I was a
gentlemen trying to ammend my mistakes. But I think I overdone it cuz now we fuck twice
every day and she calls me 'Bewear'. Which is like 'my bear' I guess."

Guillermo: "Fuck."

>"What does she like to talk about?"

Brian: "Eh, she's all feely and stuff. Like very mushy. Likes to touch me a lot."

Guillermo: "She asked you about your topics of conversation, not about the ways you

Brian: "Yeah, those would be wasted on you. Akane writes, and she talks a lot about the
stuff she writes. She sucks me in. Her characters aren't people, she writes horses,
horses that talk. Ponies that talk. She's making her own path."

5: "Actually, that comes from a very strong trend. There's a certain show about
ponies aimed at children that earned a very powerful adult audience. It's called 'My Little

Brian: "Is that so? Oh well. At least she does what she wants. Besides that, she asks
me a lot how I feel, she shows me videogames and series, and overall she talks a
lot about feelings. She writes poetry, and there's some heavy stuff there you know? Like,
dark stuff. She's got her thorns too."

5: "What do you talk to her about?"

Brian: "Eh, she asks me about my upbringing, the military, that sort of stuff. I lie to
her, cuz the truth is some very heavy shit, and she asks a lot and sometimes I end up
cornered and telling her the truth. Well... I have to say... she talks a lot about herself. Or stuff
related to her. It's like she's the sun, the center of the galaxy, and I'm just there getting a tan."

>>"Someday I'll meet a real normal person."

>"What kind of animes does she make you watch?"
>"Do you browse the internet?"
>"Do you think she'll change?"
>/Write In Allowed/
>>"Do you think she'll change?"
>>"Do you browse the internet?"
>"Do you think she'll change?"

(And that's the good stuff. Not even angels would invest without interest.)

Brian: "Eeeh.... we all change, you know. Can't be helped."

5: "Do you think you she'll turn into something you'd like?"

Brian: "I dunno, maybe it's me who has to change. Y'know? I've seen shit. That does

5: "I see. In any relationship, we always change the other person to suit our own
preferences. It happens even when you don't try, and it's for the best at times."

(The door rings. It's Guillermo that stands and leaves.)

5: "However, Brian, we all have our own goals and preferences."

Brian: "Yeah but we can change those too."

5: "Do you think yours will align? Do you think she'll be more like you?"

(Brian has this soft grimace.)

Brian: "Not like this."

(You are left wondering; Guillermo comes back.)

>"Do you browse the internet?"

(You taste the rice. It tastes nothing like Two's. Not that there's anything wrong with hers, but
this feels like a completely meal altogether, as if it should have another name. Guillermo snags a
handkerchief from under your elbow, making you stumble. And Brian is going hard on some sort of
chop suey.)

5: "So, how's the Internet?"

Brian: "I'm loving it, but I'm new to it. Didn't care much about it before. Always said living the
life and going around the world beats jacking off to numbers. But I'm beginning to see the appeal
of it."

5: "What do you use it for, mostly?"

Brian: "I just fuck around mostly. Too much to see. I'm learning to make sushi."

5: "For your girlfriend, I take?"

(He giggles a bit, softly.)

Brian: "Yeah."

Guillermo: "Then wear a yukata too."

Brian: "I don't even know what that is, but yeah, Internet's great stuff. Too much to see. It's
a world as big as this without people that want to shoot at you in the nape."
(Brian goes too quiet all of a sudden. Both you and Guillermo glance at him, your mouths full.)

Brian: "It's just, man, I love my girl to death. But it's so awkward sometimes. And I'm
all balls deep into her, and I told her 'babe I love you' so many times, I dunno what the fuck
to do now. It's like I'm sinking."

(You just stop to listen. Interrupting a man puking his soul out should be the eight capital

Brian: "I watch her shit and I laugh and we have fun, but every time a bit less but it's like
she thinks it's all right. She's so fragile. She's like a balloon I made too big, you know? That
would explode real bad if I tell her."

5: "I see."

Guillermo: "Man up. Tell her."

Brian: "What?"

Guillermo: "That you want her to change. That she's fucking up."

(Brian grimaces hard at Guillermo, and that man must have seen landmines tearing people

Guillermo: "Why not?"

Brian: "Cuz it's a mined field, man. Every time I told her 'I love you babe' a landmine
came from USA bringing white fences."

>>Finally an actual problem.

>"Guillermo's right. Nothing changes without input. Tell her or live in fear."
>"Make up a bullshit excuse and leave her. One false step and you'll end up with blood on your hands."
i fired pepper spray inside my own room and almost drowned
my lips are all big
i just wanted to rest my elbow
>"Guillermo's right. Nothing changes without input. Tell her or live in fear."
If I can ask one more question.
>What do you want her to be?
If not
>"Guillermo's right. Nothing changes without input. Tell her or live in fear."
>What do you want her to be?

Brian: "I dunno. Maybe she's fine, man. Maybe I just don't get her."

5: "What do you hope to find in her once it all makes sense?"

(Brian just stares at his food.)

Brian: "Just a normal girl."

Guillermo: "What about a third tit?"

(Guillermo chuckles at his own joke.)

Brian: "I just want someone who gets me and someone I get. The rest we can work out,
you know. Everything can be worked out. We've got the time."

5: "Quite convenient of you to say that."

>"Guillermo's right. Nothing changes without input. Tell her or live in fear."

Brian: "What If I hurt her? She's so hyped, you know. She thinks everything's
alright. I fucked up."

Guillermo: "If you don't tell her, nothing changes."

5: "Most couples find the same convenient solution; they go crazy togueter,
support each other's delusions. But you can't, it seems, because you've seen the real shit."

Brian: "I don't think she's crazy, man, I just don't get her."

5: "We never know who's crazy or not, we just settle for a fair amount of clues. Clues she
isn't giving you. You aren't even sure of how she thinks. The way I see it, you idealized this
girl, saw her for something she wasn't, and pushed right in."

(Brian slaps both his legs hard.)

Brian: "Now what, Lumi? What would you do with an asshole like me?"

5: "What I've been doing so far: talking."

(Brian grimaces again and buries his sorrow with meat. You let him.)

(As you try some of Guillermo's weird stuff, Brian finally swallows.)

Brian: "So how do I tell her? How?"

Guillermo: "That you took her for someone else all this time?"

Brian: "Yeah. That very shit."

(You go 'hmm' mode.)

5: "If you had to tell your kid the plane isn't going to Disneyland after hyping him up for
the past, hmm, how long were you two together?"

Guillermo: "He's been fucking the kid for two months already."

5: "Think about it. It's like a promise; you made her expect something she isn't going to

>"Let her know her flaws and why you couldn't tell her before. Tell her about your flaws, too. Put everything on the table at your own time. Fix this."
>"Keep lying to her until she grows sick and leaves you. If she was ready to believe you with such ease then your girlfriend was already crazy to begin wtih. Let the fire die slowly."
>/Write In Not Allowed/
>"Let her know her flaws and why you couldn't tell her before. Tell her about your flaws, too. Put everything on the table at your own time. Fix this."
>"Give her feedback."

Brian: "No way. Nononono. She'll explode. Oh fuck. And I've seen shit go 'boom'

5: "Think about it. It's neither your fault or hers. Both of you came already messed from
the box; I don't know her past, but I can guarantee it wasn't easy for her. Even if her
family has all the money and she ate from a silver tray. Even so, she isn't healthy."

Brian: "So?"

(You shrug, grinning.)

5: "Blame it on the world. You lied to her because you were desperate for affection
because war and etc. And she's acting this way because of whatever she tells you, as long as
you buy her bullshit. What matters is that you both set the field, that you both understand
each other. Your relationship is doomed to a messy end if you keep silent."

(Brian hides his face and beard behind two big, coarse hands.)

Brian: "Maaaaaaaaan, I don't even want to fuck anything anymore..."

5: "You'll never forgive yourself if you leave thinking there was potential. Dodge the
blame. Put things on the table. No feedback means no improvement, and feedback means
balls and care."

Brian: "What if she gets angry and goes batshit crazy? Seriously, like, seriously- what if I
hurt her?"

5: "The tact is up to you. Brainstorm a bit; find a way to tell her all of this without making
her stupid or evil. The trick here is to cast this scenario as unavoidable- as if there was
nothing the both of you could have done to prevent it. Funny thing is, there actually wasn't.
So rejoice."

(Brian is tapping furiously on the floor. He sighs, loud and hard. But he looks up when you

5: "I'm done here. We are leaving."

(Guillermo stops you with his hand, as he goes through his rice with fervent relish. Rice turns
into something else with some onions sauce.)

Brian: "But... I don't know what to tell her."

5: "That's up to you. This is the optimal path for your particular scenario. The details
are up to you."

(Still grimacing, Brian at least powers through to acknowledge you. Guillermo rushes his rice
down and takes the rest of the bags, some still untainted.)

Brian: "Hey what the fuck, leave something for me."

Guillermo: "Left or right hand."

(Brian snatches the bags from Guillermo's right hand, the furthest from him.)

5: "See ya."

Brian: "Hey, come whenever you feel like it, alright?"

(You wink at him.)

"He's turning that girlfriend into the Niagara's Falls tonight."

"Yup. That's how feelings get fixed," you reply from the passenger's seat.

The car soars under the heavy rain. The level of precipitation in this region is downright
impressive; it's as if it sucked the neighbor clouds in. Not that you mind. You don't go out
much anyway. Today, however, was a heavy exception. You were all over the place, and it's
already dark.

"Where are you taking me now?" you ask Guillermo.

He doesn't answer. Whatever. It's not like you can stop him.

You think back to everyone you met today; Guillermo, Andrea, Prompto, Brian, even that
fat guy. Most of your job as a therapist is earning your patient's trust by relating to their
shortcomings, by showing that you understand them- which is what makes them believe in you
whether they want to or not. Trust gives you power, and power without aim can backfire.

You are perfectly capable of pointing them in the wrong direction.

-and sink them even deeper with your words only. Nobody would even blame you, not even
if it was your intention. You are dangerous.

You glance back at Guillermo, silent as ever under the relentless rain, wearing his
sunglasses under clouds. Then you think back to Andrea, the girl scared of hurting, the girl
who wished to keep consequences to herself. You told her to feel ready. You never feel ready.
All that kept you moving was fucking up over and over.

"Let's get some coffee," you hear him say.

"Then let's get good coffee. I'll pay too."

"Got a place in mind?"


"Close to the Trashcan?"

You don't answer at once. It is close to it.
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The place is so crowded you don't hear each other talk; after all, Blackblood's is the only
serious place around. This is where you and Wolf first met for your interview, and, destiny
has it, you ended up sitting in the same table. You barely catch Guillermo leaving when you lift
your glasses from over the perfect coffee, and give it another quick sip before following him
outside. The rain is so hard on the street in turns straight to fog. Guillermo rests his back
next to the door. You take out a cigarette.

"Quit the Trashcan and join the police," he says. "You'll have a spot."

You walk away from the warmth and busy chatter, near a traffic light but still under roof.

"Why do you think I'm there in the first place?" you ask him.

"Do you kill people?"


You gaze into the clouds and stars, watching smoke rise from your mouth.

"That's the truth, Guillermo."

"You didn't want to. You never wanted to," he states.

"I never cared. I do my job," you tell him, fixed on the sky. "Sometimes it works, sometimes it
doesn't. Like anything else, really."

"You don't care if you kill."

"How do you think I got this far?"

You turn to face him. There's a good distance between the two of you. Neither is going
anywhere. Guillermo is fully standing.

"Why do you do it?" he asks.

You slap your tights as Brian did. "To understand," you tell him. "To learn how people

He doesn't answer. Instead, he draws a cigarette of his own.

"Do you want to work with someone like that?" you ask him, almost shouting.

And he just lights his cigarette. "It's up to you."

>Join the police.
>Go back to the Trashcan.
>Join the police and go back to the trashcan
We still have people there that we care about and the police would need someone on the inside.
i'll allow it. you were the only anon most of the thread
>Join the police and go back to the trashcan

You rest your back against the wall too. It's as hard and cold as the truth, now that you aren't
wearing his coat. You glance at him from the
side for a while, curious.

"Daddy won't like it," you tell him.

"Daddy can go fuck himself," Guillermo confirms.

You giggle silently.

"How did you know about Four?" you ask him.

"Met him before he sank. Couldn't be anyone else."

"So you want him too," you tell him.

And, to your surprise, he shakes his bald head.

"I want his dicks," Guillermo says, slowly as usual. "Four goes down, Daddy goes down.
Daddy goes down, One goes down."

"One," you mutter, their brutal showdown coming to mind. "She's your target."

Him lighting another cigarette confirms it. A happy couple walks through the door, the man
laughing too much.

"Tasty, isn't it?" Guillermo ventures. "Sweet intel. That's as much as you get."

"Thank you, but I'm filled," you reply. "I managed so far."

"You aren't joining us?"

He steps up to you. The man is almost as tall as you are. It feels like Zeus is talking to you
from the clouds. It is intimidating, but you ignore the fear. It only makes thinking harder.

"Not exactly. And not because you could step on me," you clarify.

He doesn't answer. In order to face him, you bent your neck back as far as you can, while
still standing straight.

"If there's one place in the world that needs a therapist," you tell the giant, "it's the Trashcan.
That much is obvious."

"It's not the only place with crazy fuckers."

"It's the only place that gives crazy fuckers guns," you say, "and tells them to play with
them. I'm not going to spend my life hearing grandma tell me her cat talks to her. And a
motherfucker that crashes cars into his own station won't be giving me advice anytime

Softly is how he chuckles.

"I'll join," you finally tell him, "but I'm going back. I'll be your mole only as long as I'm sure
it's safe."

You look for your business card- and of course, you left it on the suit. You forgot again.

"Don't worry," Guillermo says. "I can find you."

You don't even nod. You turn around to leave; you'll ask one of the boys to come get you.

"One is a serial killer. The worst I've ever heard of. She's after you now."

And you turn around again, comically so, meeting eyes with him as the rain flows.

"Goodbye Five."

aight guys, that kills this thread
desu im tempted to start another quest
since i kinda sunk this one on thread 2
which is a shame since its fun to write, but im getting no feedback so its not helping
maybe even reboot this one? idunno
more than half the posts are mine lol
Dunno how yo help you mate, been here since i think the second thread
This new direction is certainly good but i think its just that no-one here is interested.
I really dislike that site myself but you probably would have better luck on akun, seems like the sort of thing they would like
nah, this place has its charm
help me brainstorm brotha
im between a reboot of this quest
since thread 1 was a punch
a quest about a very rich guy that ends up working at a 911 service
a kinda civ about robots in waterworld going apeshit
or a good-to-the-core yotsubato-style slice of life about raising a cute little fuckwit
does any of that seem appealing
or am i really out of touch with this place lol
>or a good-to-the-core yotsubato-style slice of life about raising a cute little fuckwit
That seems like something you would be good at but I would read any of those prompts. For any quest that you run in the future, I would put in some kind of plot or even a maguffin to keep anons interested.
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>which is a shame since its fun to write, but im getting no feedback so its not helping
Ah, feedback, some qms react rather poorly when given unsolicited. The anons are not particularly conditioned to give it. It is often given post mortem, if ever.

I read the first two cases of the first thread. Above all, take into account that I may not be your target audience. I will probably finish the first thread, at least.

1.- Most of the question seem inconsequential, or at least not excluyente. It feels like pressing control to skip dialogue or trying to extinguish a recursive dialogue tree.
The only choice that seems to matter is the diagnostic. When it comes, it does abruptly. There is little to no hits of which one is the correct answer. And there is an expected choice.
It is not only the classic "make choices meaningful", there is also a problem in how you present those choices. Eliminating the in between questions is not a feasible option, I think. I don't know how to fix this problem, but there is one, that much I can tell.

2.- Kill this quest? y/n
This is not an option that should be given, ever. You don't want the anons to take it, so don't allow them to make it. The temptation is just to great.
>[ ] fuck you peaceful, fuck your lack of punctuation, fuck your asinine formatting, fuck your low res pictures, fuck your quest
Some people are going to take that option, even people that like the quest.
What is more, the existence of that option diminish the investment of the anons that would vote for the quest to continue. In their minds, it will always creep the idea that, at some point, some anon could vote "fuck you peaceful" and kill their beloved quest.
If you want to kill your quest, do so. No sugar coating, no plausible deniability. Kill it.
If you don't want to, don't put it as an option.

To be taken with a grain of salt:
3.- The quest would have benefited with an introduction. It would have made explicit the position and objective of 5.
"Do I philosophically kill this people and turn them into productive members of society?" or "Do I make these rusted mannequins work for one more day so 'Daddy' can keep running his lawful business?"
Win conditions are not clear, at least at the beginning. It doesn't' seem that 5 is struggling with these questions either, so is simple unclear and not a plot point.

Tinfoil Hat on:
4.- Unfortunate naming and some details of the first two patients can deceive some anons into thinking this is a fetish quest. Some people are really jumpy about it here.

I don't like it, so it is bad:
5.- The patients are too willing to cooperate.
These are people that would have resolved their own problem if they just sitting for 10 minutes to so some introspection and think.
They clearly don't do that, ever. I would have expected more resistance, even if they finally reached for help. Omissions, lies, evaciones, something.
Maybe they are just reatarded?
>im between a reboot of this quest
Maybe, but take some time to ponder why it failed the first time, don't try EXACTLY the same thing again.

>a quest about a very rich guy that ends up working at a 911 service
Not interested, at all. No idea if it would work.

>a kinda civ about robots in waterworld going apeshit
God, no; Just no.

>or a good-to-the-core yotsubato-style slice of life about raising a cute little fuckwit
I think that your writing style could work for a sol quest in the vide of Ryushika Ryushika or yotsuba.

>or am i really out of touch with this place lol
peaceful, I...
>2.- Kill this quest? y/n
As QMs we struggle to see if anons actually enjoy the things we write or are just skimming through the post and selecting one random option.
>5.- The patients are too willing to cooperate.
To be fair, real therapists take years to reach what we get in one session. Realism doesn't exactly work in our special brand of escapism.
I hope I was helpful, one more thing, have you run any other quest before?

>As QMs we struggle to see if anons actually enjoy the things we write or are just skimming through the post and selecting one random option.
Live willfully, AND wisfully, ignorant! Samefags? No such thing! Just a bunch of relatively shy committed players that only vote when necessary. And odd option taken with no explanation?Just anons with particular time frames to read, and maybe just bad at taking decision.
It just strikes me as an overly passive-aggressive move.

>To be fair, real therapists take years to reach what we get in one session. Realism doesn't exactly work in our special brand of escapism.
I understand the contranmets of the medium and of this particular quest, still, I think it would be better if some more unwillingness to cooperate transpired. As I said, maybe just my personal taste.

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