Twenty years ago- years before you were even born, your homeworld repelled an alien invasion which arrived with no warning, no declaration, no communication. The invaders killed tens of thousands of your people before they all suddenly died- killed by their own ships.---You can read the previous threads here: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=COADECheck your stats and inventory here: https://pastebin.com/KhiAFNaWIf you believe you've spotted an error or omission in the inventory, please let me know. It's a large document and I'm bound to make mistakes somewhere.On votes with three or more options (not including Write-In), you can designate another option as your second choice. This helps increase the accuracy of votes, but don't force yourself to add one if you legitimately lack one. You have to specifically mark an option as your second choice for it to be counted as one. Please feel free to ask questions- I am happy to provide setting trivia that isn't relevant in the narrative. If you ask a pertinent question, though, I will generally answer it in an update.
You didn't trust yourself to speak, instead tightening your arms even harder around Mom. You bury your head in her shoulder, your eyelids twitching from how hard you were squeezing them shut. You didn't cry- the urge was present, but at some point it had grown so strong that your eyes had seized up, and none came."Okay." Mom grunted. "Settle down, kiddo. I need to breathe, too."You hesitate for a long moment before slowly relenting and pulling back from Mom.She shuffled over on the bed, making space so you can sit down next to her. "That's better." She said softly, reaching over and ruffling your hair a little. "How are you, Tiiris?""How are you?" You immediately blurt back."Passing in and out of a healing coma and eating as much food as I can." Mom smiled a little. "The Ta- your medical drone tells me it'll be a while before I can really be up and about again.""Is it... anything bad?" You ask carefully."Physical damage is... my implants were working just fine while I was in Gaaldj's loving care. I'm pretty okay, physically." Mom shook her head. "No, the most difficult part will be the mental recovery. And relearning how to be a person." Her lips thinned, and she glanced away to look out the window. "There's a lot of things I've forgotten how to do. Walk, eat, write... I'll have to relearn it all.""Doesn't that take years?" You think back to times Elan has spoken to you about his physical therapy.Mom laughed. "Not for us Valkans. Speaking of-" Her eyes slid over to you, and she smiled brightly. She had almost a teasing demeanor to her- never quite cheeky or smug like Kara did, but... quietly amused. "Tell me about yourself." Mom asked. "I-" Her expression flicked sadder for a moment. "I want to get to know my daughter.""Um... where do I start?" You mutter to yourself."Ah..." Mom paused for a second. "I- spirits, I don't know how to go about this... your... hobbies? Do you still want to be a fighter pilot? Er, naval aviator..."You feel your lips twitch. "You still remember that?""Honey, you used to never shut up about it. You were four." Mom teased gently. "I suppose- what have I missed? I don't even know where to begin, it's been so long. How's the world? How are you and your father?">Start with the state of the world.>Start with how Dad is doing.>Talk about yourself and your own interests a little.>Relay some of what you've been up to.>What about HER? How is Mom really doing?>[Write-In]
>>4520566>Start with how Dad is doing.
>>4520566Well, if she needs to relearn and recenter herself, talking about family would help.>Talk about yourself and your own interests a little.She wants to get to know her daughter. Might as well start from there. Kind of a sad story, since the vision and migraines disqualified Tiiris from most of her early dreams (and 'being Valkan' led to the same problems even after fixing the eyes...).
>>4520566>>Relay some of what you've been up to.
>>4520566>Start with how Dad is doing.>Talk about yourself and your own interests a little.
>>4520566>>Start with how Dad is doing.
>>4520564Hey, just wanted to express my disappointment at the bait & switch with the prologue. The prologue has an interesting MC with a full backstory and was the captain of a significant ship. Then in thread 1 proper the MC is now a highschool girl with vision problems, and from skimming the suptg descriptions, is doing much less interesting stuff.
>>4521142We'll probably get there eventually, if things pan out that way, after all we already have a ship Sort of. . And we might get more POV shifts as time goes on.
>>4521142It starts slow but things do get more interesting
>>4521144To be honest, from here it doesn't look like it's worth the effort. I was drawn in by the promise of a fleshed-out military officer fighting in ship-to-ship combat. I'm not interested in following the fumbling of a highschool girl with issues in the hopes that things will eventually claw their way to where they started.It's a shame, Bentus looks to be a solid writer from the way the prologue unfolded.
>>4521142Hey, no worries. Sorry I couldn't hook you, but I hope you find a quest that's cool and fun. There have been quite a few writing fuck ups since I've started that I regret a lot - most of them pacing related - but there's nothing really for it but to try and do better next time. Maybe I'll write something you'll like one day, here's hoping.
>Start with how Dad is doing.Writing.
"Dad? He's, uh, studying to become a nurse.""A nurse?" Mom asked. "He's not still working the gas mines?""We moved back planetside after you died- er...""You don't have to phrase it so delicately." Mom said gently. "You thought I died. There was a funeral. Er, I hope.""A small one...""And here I thought the mayor would show up." Mom drawled a little. "I can't say I can imagine Sigmund as a nurse, though. He always preferred simple labor to anything too demanding...""He's a butcher right now, but it doesn't make much money...""...okay. That sounds more like Sigmund." Mom admitted. "At least he still has work. I..." She paused, her lips thinning. "Are the two of you still...""Poor?" You offer, bluntly. "Yeah..."Mom winced. "Gas mining doesn't pay much, but the company covers your cost of living at least. I was planning on getting a job when you were old enough, but..." She made a vague gesture to the air."I work too." You admit, rubbing your neck. "Although I haven't been showing up as much as I probably should, lately...""Too busy breaking into Valkan cults?" Mom glanced your way, raising an eyebrow.>"And lifeships.">"And looking for artifacts.">"Yeah, pretty much.">[Write-In]
>>4521707>"Dad wants to see you."
>>4521707>"And lifeships."We're not a proper family again until Mom is every bit as concerned about our sanity as Dad is.
>>4521707>"And lifeships.""I have your god and all your personal posessions on my cool spaceship by the way"
>>4521707>"And lifeships."Not only breaking in but also breaking out of them leaving a massive fucking crater behind
"And lifeships." You add."Lifeships?" Mom looked at the door automatically. "So the drone that's been taking care of me really is...""The same one you tried to see when you were pregnant with me." You nod. "It told me about you when we met.""So you've been to a lifeship..." Mom leaned back in her pillows with a sigh. "What did you think of it in there?""All of the dead bodies were a little creepy..." You wince and rub your arm. "I managed to explore some of the insides. Met some friendly drones, like LL in there. A couple funny ones, but they were all nice to me.""I'm sure they were. They were probably lonely in there." Mom lapsed into silence for a second, looking down at the floor. "But... how did you get in? Is it open to the public nowadays, instead of being locked down by the military?""No, it's still a military site, but it's, uh, less intense now?" You hesitate, and your face flushes guiltily. "It was less intense..."Mom was quiet a long moment. "Tiiris, what did you do?""Well..." You tap your fingers together. "I might have spooked the military a little bit... I don't really know what happened afterwards, they've been keeping real hush-hush about it...""Tiiris...">"I... might have accidentally gotten the military to blow it up.">"I, um- well, you see I...">>[Sub-Option] "I found Xol.">>[Sub-Option] "I found a small ship called the Rontah.">>[Sub-Option] "Found a few warskins.">>[Sub-Option] "Found your old room.">"Can we talk about literally anything else?">[Write-In]
>>4522505>"I, um- well, you see I...">>[Sub-Option] "I found Xol.">>[Sub-Option] "I found a small ship called the Rontah."
>>4522505>Just go through the whole story from the topDoesn't make much sense picking and choosing what to tell her and what to leave out especially considering it was us rooting around in her (old) home with a pyrotechnic ending. And remember, the tanks shot first.
>>4522505>"I, um- well, you see I...">[Sub-Option] "I found Xol.">[Sub-Option] "I found a small ship called the Rontah.">[Sub-Option] "Found your old room."
>>4522505>"I, um- well, you see I...">>[Sub-Option] "I found Xol.">>[Sub-Option] "I found a small ship called the Rontah.">>[Sub-Option] "Found a few warskins.">>[Sub-Option] "Found your old room."
>>4522563Seconding this.She's pretty much the only person Tiiris can unload the entire story on, being both family and a Valkan, and capable of understanding. Might as well make it thorough to be cathartic.
>>4522505>Just go through the whole story from the top
>>4522505>>"I, um- well, you see I...">>>[Sub-Option] "I found Xol.">>>[Sub-Option] "I found a small ship called the Rontah.">>>[Sub-Option] "Found a few warskins.">>>[Sub-Option] "Found your old room."
>>4522505>>4522563Actually, yeah, switch my vote to just a full recount
Can't believe Bentus is fucking dead™
Ahem.FUCK COMCAST.That is all.
>>4524286So no update today?
>>4524430No update.I get that they have to do maintenance or restarts on the infrastructure, and that it normally is only a blip at like 1am- but could it not end up being for 4+ hours every week?
I can't believe Bentus is fucking dead
>Just go through the whole story from the topFull recount time baybee.
>>4525226Apologies for the delay, it's still coming. Just proving to be a complicated update to write.
>>4525943Did we give you a big task by making you recount the whole escapade in-character?
>>4525964Yes, but also no. Most of the difficulty was in planning and figuring out how to not have a four post update recounting shit you already know. Writing it is proving to be remarkably simple, even if I basically sacrificed my night to it.Prolly won't call an update tonight, in order to give people time to vote.
>>4525978Okay, this is taking too long and I've stayed up 24 hours without sleeping three days in a row by this point and I need sleep. Update delayed, I'm really sorry about this.
>>4526189It's ok Bentus
>>4526189we await your return from being fucking dead with both eagerness and patience, Bentus
Anon killed bentus with their write in
>>4529348I'm slowly chipping away at it. I can now safely say I underestimated how severely I have been neglecting my sleep schedule. Upon returning from work yesterday, I elected to take a short nap before doing the update. I woke up eighteen hours later to a string of texts from my boss wondering where the hell I was and with a new, exquisite understanding of exactly what it is to feel 'crusty'.I intend to channel this new experience if I ever have to write Tiiris entering a healing coma.
>>4529713Looks like we have a new objective, I guess
>reach the current COADE thread after 20 amazing story threads.>Laugh at the "bentus dead" meme.>Discover that the meme is real.Oh no
>>4530547Also dead tired, and sometimes dead asleep.Bentus has a lot of deads.
>>4530732That brings me a rather curious doubt regarding lore: just as bentus dies and returns, the valkans could through their implants feign a prolonged death and then come back to life? In the plan of a kind of suspended animation but without giving any major signs of life. Or on the other hand, could they still control a brain dead body? Because it is still an issue if we suddenly discover that Tiiris's mother died but her implants continued because of the connections they had and maintain access to her memories and memories. With a zombie Bentus, we still have to worry about Valkan zombies.
>>4531082I think LL mentioned how this works at some point, but implants are only part of the brain. Surviving the implants or brain being destroyed without the other going would probably reduce most Valkans to vegetables, and without a will to channel the Abyss, the implants would quickly rot and die. If you had just gotten implanted, had your organic brain rendered brain dead... and then somehow survived due to outside medical intervention... the result would probably be an amnesiac Valkan.
We did it. We memed Bentus to death.
Is bentus kill?
>>4532843Its canon now? What a plot twist
So is this how it ends?
Bentus is just sleeping haha there's no way he'd just up and leave like my other favorite QMs hahaHe's probably just gone for smokes haha
>>4535504A similar thing happened, though not quite to this extent though we are asking about a significantly larger amount of info to whittle it down into something coherent. when I collated the list of questions for Xol. it took some additional time before the update was posted.they last posted two days ago so it isn't like we haven't seen anything from them at all after the vote was closed, so i'm sure that it's just taking a while, since there is a lot to consolidate into a response.
P A I N
>>4535504Smokes were a few towns over, it turns out. Also I've mostly spent the last few days in a series of exhaustion-related hazes while forcibly shifting onto a more sustainable sleep schedule. The details are pretty boring, but the short is that there will probably be bigger gaps between updates in the future, but it'll be more sustainable long-term.Speaking of...
You sigh and slump your shoulders. "I- fine..." You stop and think for a moment, then take a breath. "Okay. I'll start at the beginning.""How far in the beginning?"You wince. "A few months ago? With the lifeship- no, a little bit before..."---Isle of Illiir, Northern SeaThursday, 21st of 6th, 1173. 7:45PM.The tide had come in, slowly rushing up the beach to break against the cliffs many meters away from the shoreline. The shoals here were long, and flat. You could wade out into what appeared to be open water and barely sink to your chest. In the distance, the blotchy orange spot of the sun was slowly sinking towards the horizon, and turning the roof of clouds grey.Tomom was getting impatient. His master was just sitting there, her elbow resting against a nearby rock as she gazed out at an indistinct spot on the horizon. "Um... so what are we going to learn?""Hmm?" She replied without looking."What are we going to learn?" He repeated. "You said to meet you here...""I invited you to come watch the sunset with me." She sighed, turning her head away from the sunset and looking at him. "We've been covering the basics all day. Don't you want to rest?""No!" He exclaimed. "I can keep going, really!""Well, I want to watch the sunset." She shook her head and turned back to the horizon again. "Why are you in such a rush, anyway? You're young, so why don't you open your eyes and enjoy this wonderful view?" She spoke softly, as if afraid of raising her voice.Tomom opened her mouth to reply, then slowly shut it and bit his lip."Afraid I'll disapprove?" His master's lips curled up in a wry smile. "Come now, you must think I'm a fool. You asked me to teach you how to fight as a warlock does. Did you think I bought that story about it being out of interest?"He squirmed slightly. "It's... I have something I have to do.""I'm not going to judge you. All I'm interested in is passing what I know onto the next generation. No matter how impatient they may be." Her grin grew wider as he looked away sheepishly. "That was sincere, by the way. You have heart, Tomom. Don't give up, you'll get this all eventually."He blinked, his eyes widening, then bent his head low enough he couldn't see her rolling her eyes. "Thank you, master..."---Hukak Household, Miir, 3rd FloorThursday, 21st of 6th, 1173. 8:30PM.You waited in silence. Occasionally, you stole a furtive look at your mother, who was hunched over next to you. An elbow was pressed into her leg, and she rested her chin in the palm of her hand, letting you speak mostly uninterrupted. Her hair hung down slightly over her eyes, so you couldn't quite tell what her expression was."And that's when I left aboard-""The Rontah.""Yeah." You nod. "Which brings me back to the thing before, about Xol being under the ocean now... on the Rontah... um..." You trail off into silence, uneasily.
>>4535651Mom was almost completely still for a few moments. Then, her shoulders shook gently. She choked back something, then pressed her hand over her mouth tightly, her shoulders shaking."Mom?" You ask worriedly.She made a tiny, choking gasp, a quiet cry coming from her smothered mouth. It slowly grew louder as she quietly heaved, her whole body shaking."O-oh, no it's... Mom, I'm sorry-"Mom finally pulled her hand back from her mouth, and promptly burst out laughing. Leaning back, she glanced over to you with tears in her eyes, gave you a strange look and began laughing louder. Occasionally, she'd thump her hand on the pillows opposite you, pushing her hair back to wipe her tears. "You- I can't believe you blew it up. And you stole an entire ship?""I-" Your cheeks heat up. "It's not stealing it if nobody wants it!""Yes it is!" Mom gave you a flat look, but couldn't hold it long enough. "Stole a god, oh, the Sarak genes are just too strong...""...Sarak?" You raise an eyebrow."Our family name. Oh, you would have done your grandfather proud..." Mom put a hand on your shoulder and smiled. "Honey. Please, don't do anything like that ever again.""I make no promises." You give her a flat look."Now, that is also something your grandfather would have said." Mom reached out and gently poked your forehead.You clear your throat. "As I was saying.""Yes..." Mom put a hand over her mouth again, and appeared to be calming down. "Yes, I- I'm sorry, Tiiris, I just- took me by surprise, that's all." She took a breath. "So, you have Xol?""Yes. Um... you don't seem too surprised about that?" You tilt your head. "Did you know?""I knew we had a reliquary, I just didn't realize it was a serpent, honey." Mom shrugged. "I'll... believe it when I meet it." She coughed. "And... you went through my things?""Yeah." A thought occurs to you, and you turn to rifle through your bag. "Speaking of...">"I found this photo of you and... your brother?">"This is apparently a grimoire? I can't really read it, is it special to you?">"I found these loose datachits. I found... vacation photos on it? Seemed like something you'd want.">Try calling the bound blade to you again so you can show her.>"All of this started when I found this sketchbook. Do you recognize it?">[Write-In]
>>4535653>"I found this photo of you and... your brother?"
>>4535653>"All of this started when I found this sketchbook. Do you recognize it?"
>>4535653>>"This is apparently a grimoire? I can't really read it, is it special to you?"
>>4535653>Try calling the bound blade to you again so you can show her.I wanna show off the cool sword we found!
>>4535653>>"This is apparently a grimoire? I can't really read it, is it special to you?"2nd:>"All of this started when I found this sketchbook. Do you recognize it?">>4535646[/spoiler] can i cry? i truly believed you was out just when i came out of the archive. Bentus please dont die, and get a healthy sleep cycle. Glad to see u back.
>>4535653>Try calling the bound blade to you again so you can show her.IT'S! NOT! DEAD!
>>4535653>"I found this photo of you and... your brother?">"This is apparently a grimoire? I can't really read it, is it special to you?"
>>4535653>>"This is apparently a grimoire? I can't really read it, is it special to you?"And on the third day bentus rose from the dead
>>4535653>Try calling the bound blade to you again so you can show her.
Work ran overlong, so ain't closing the vote tonight.
>>4535653>>"I found this photo of you and... your brother?">>"This is apparently a grimoire? I can't really read it, is it special to you?"
>>4535653>"All of this started when I found this sketchbook. Do you recognize it?">"I found this photo of you and... your brother?"
Rolled 1 (1d2)Alright, seems to be an even split between the photo of her brother and her grimoire. These'll both have follow-up prompts to them, so I'll roll for the one we start with first, then we'll move on to the other one. 1 for bro, 2 for grimoire.Prolly looking at the update getting posted tomorrow.
"I found this photo in your room..." You reach over the side of the bed and rummage through it, before holding the photo out to your mother with two fingers.Mom took it with interest and examined it for a moment. After a moment, she smiled sadly. "Ah, yeah. That's my brother, Javob-" She pointed to the man on the log. "-and that's me. He had just joined the military back then. I was in my third term.""So I have an uncle?" You ask."You have two, actually. Javob and Pol. They're my two younger brothers. Although, uh-" Mom chuckled a little as she looked at the picture. "This certainly takes me back. I wonder if it's been long enough for pointed ears to become retro with the other fleets...""How long ago was it?""This was..." Mom checked the back again. "Oh, about a hundred and ninety years ago, in Valkan years."You were silent a moment. "...and in Tagaran years?""Hundred and seventy?" Mom said. "Little more.""...just how old are you?" You ask incredulously."Ah..." Mom rubbed her forehead. "I think I hit two hundred and forty a few years ago? That seems roughly right." She glanced down at you and tilted her head. "...don't give me that look. That's basically middle age for a Valkan. You'll live that long too, you know.""I... right." You nod quietly, looking back down at the photo in her hands. "...are either of them still alive?""Ah, no." Mom smiled sadly. "Pol died a long time ago. Javob... I think he died in the battle." She made a vague gesture.>"Was he... you know, on our side?">>[Sub-Option] "Were you?">"You were in the military for two hundred years?">Say nothing.>[Write-In]
>>4539901>"Who were you fighting against before the invasion?" >"Was he... you know, on our side?">>[Sub-Option] "Were you?"Awkward questions time
>>4539901>>"You were in the military for two hundred years?"
>>4539901>"Was he... you know, on our side?">>[Sub-Option] "Were you?"Brutal.But it's really more of an open ended question about when and how she abandoned Alich's crusade. Nothing in her past is really indicative of a diehard Valkan-supremacist crusader.Unless they all secretly want giant Tagaran teddy bear husbands.
>>4539901>"You were in the military for two hundred years?"
>>4539901>>"Who were you fighting against before the invasion?">>"Was he... you know, on our side?">>>[Sub-Option] "Were you?">>4540181All Valkan women came here for big stronk Tagaran men. It is known.
>>4539901>>4539990+1 for this one
>"Who were you fighting against before the invasion?">"Was he... you know, on our side?">>[Sub-Option] "Were you?"Writing. Looking at an update probably tomorrow.
"Were you at war back then?" You ask."Ah, no. It was a training exercise, making sure we were ready for the real thing. Every fleet needs a skilled standing army, after all." Mom gestured. "We had a lot of skirmishes and small campaign over the years, but no protracted conflicts until Tagara. Certainly no formal ones.""Like?""About... fifty years ago, I participated in a small campaign against pirates that were trying to probe our fleet for weaknesses.""...space pirates?" You ask incredulously."Oh, yeah." Mom nodded. "Not really pirates in the Tagaran sense. These were more... ah, non-consensual salvage production. Valkan ships are quite valuable, after all. Not often that one is recovered the right kind of intact to be useful to non-Valkans. There are also the types that are just after valuables without going for the ships, but they don't really go for us. Too risky of a target unless you're desperate."You nod. "I can imagine...""That was a short campaign. Mostly skirmish conflicts until we determined where they were hiding. Then we crippled their largest ship in a surprise raid. They gave us a very wide berth after that.""That's all you did?" You ask in surprise. "You didn't... bomb them into submission and rip them apart?"Mom shrugged. "There was no point. Without their biggest gun they didn't feel capable of taking us on, and there was no point in sinking extra rounds into a disabled ship other than wasting ammunition." She glanced away, then looked at you, a look of guilt crossing her face before hastily correcting herself. "These weren't Tagaran ships. They don't tear apart like paper when hit, even if they were far inferior to ours.""I... I see." You trail off, slowly looking back down to the photograph in Mom's hands. "Was he... you know, on our side?" You ask quietly, looking up at Mom."Ah..." Mom tried to smile, her lips firming and eventually sliding down into a frown. "...no, no he wasn't. Javob was very dedicated to the... the cause.""Were you as well?" You gently lay against some of the pillows next to her.Mom got a look of guilt. "...no, no I wasn't." She sighed. "I used to be, but... I don't know. Something happened towards the end. I just wasn't sure anymore. I feel like we all got swept up in his vision- like we were doing something important, but then only some of us woke up in the end...">"What was the cause?">"Do you mean Alich?">>[Sub-Option] "He's still alive, as it happens.">Don't dwell on it and show her the grimoire instead.>[Write-In]
>>4542123>Don't dwell on it and show her the grimoire instead.We should remember to ask about Alich at a later time, preferably after she has recovered.
>>4542123>Don't dwell on it and show her the grimoire instead.
>>4542123>Don't dwell on it and show her the grimoire instead.We can add the sketch book and ask about it and the signature what leave it 4 us? Opinions only, to see if anyone else knew that she was a valkan in Tagara and that she was pregnant. Perhaps an old friend of hers wanting to reach us without exposing himself.
>>4542174That's definitely something to probe, in more detail when we show her Kathari's Sketchbook.While we are talking about the grimoire we should see if we can get any more detail on the limits of contract that was made with the dead, in return for their service, we know that it summons the dead if we are about to be harmed, and that it ends just before our 19th birthday.And If the Bound blade, Ser Housley, or the Plasma rifle come up we should mention the locked crate to see if she has any ideas towards opening it.
>>4542123>"Do you mean Alich?"She was a knight sworn to his service, she's probably a better source than anyone we've met so far.So far everyone else has either avoided the topic or been a robot (and Xol was stuck in a box the whole war).
>>4542123>Don't dwell on it and show her the grimoire instead.There's a time for that later
>>4542123>Ask about the Aliens
>>4542123>"Do you mean Alich?">>[Sub-Option] "He's still alive, as it happens."
I had a wonderful reaction to a medication I was placed on, so I'm going to take it easy for the rest of the night lest I test my blood pressure. Vote closed tomorrow.
>Don't dwell on it and show her the grimoire instead.Writing, update probably tomorrow.
>>4546212to convert Bentus Time to Real Time, start by doubling it. Then add days as appropriate.
Bentus? More like Deadtus
>>4546272Extremely accurate, honestly. Even the current pace I'm on isn't where I want to be, sleep-wise.
You take a breath to say something, but something about the look on Mom's face stops you. Her expression was flat, mouth curving down into a light frown. She sighed, and it was full of nostalgia and grief. You clamp your mouth shut, then rummage in your bag again and pull out the grimoire before holding it out to her. "Recognize this?"Mom took it curiously, then looked at the cover, glancing back to you before her head suddenly snapped back to it. She opened it and flipped through a few pages. "...oh my god, you really have been in my room.""Told you." You reply smugly. "I can't read it at all, though.""Well, it's written in Valkan, honey. It's not exactly a language that translates easily to Tagaran." Mom replied. "Plus, half of it probably doesn't make any sense to someone who didn't grow up around the Art.""So, what is it?" You ask. "There's something about people without the right... mojo or whatever being unable to open it.""You have to be able to use the Abyss, for one. But that's most Valkans." Mom shook her head. "Then later sections won't reveal themselves to you unless you know the right symbols and cants- which is really just there to ensure that you'll actually read it instead of skipping to advanced rites. As for what it actually is..." Mom took a breath. "It's our family grimoire. Er, one of them. There are a bunch.""Our family has a grimoire?" You quirk an eyebrow. "Is that a big deal?""Well, no." Mom admitted. "Most people have a family grimoire, but it's closer to a cookbook than anything. There aren't any special secrets in most of them, just a particular way their ancestors liked to do things. Ours is..." Mom flipped through a few of the pages, her mouth curling up into a indulgent half-smile. "...well, it has it's fair share of combat spells. Our family has had a lot of soldiers in it. A few enchantments and forging techniques, too." She tilted the book, showing a diagram spread across one page. "See that? I contributed that one."You peer at the diagram, which appeared to be a breakdown of a long tube... to which electronics and some kind of computer was attached? It seemed to be vaguely a gun, but you weren't sure... "...what is that?""It's a active shot deflection system for a rifle. Prevents vibrations from sending shots off target.">"Wow, that sounds incredibly boring.">"I don't really get it...">"That's cool...">[Write-In]
>>4547018>"That's cool..."Even if Tiiris doesn't understand how it works, what it does is still kinda neat.
>>4547018>"So even with the synchronization of the implants with the OS of the rifles, can deviations occur that need that level of corrections? That's interesting."Tiiris, start flexing rn.
>>4547018>>"I don't really get it..."
>>4547018>"I don't really get it..."So far we have destroyed foliage, "picked" a lock, and brained some guy with our gun.Tiiris is either a really bad space redneck, or a really good one.
>>4547018>"I don't really get it..."
>>4547564Remember that she wound up with 'bad at tech' as one of her traits.>Light User>Technology has never been Tiiris' strong suit. Despite using computers since she was a child, and the sincere efforts of her teachers, she remains abysmally poor at any form of advanced computer or technology use.
"That's cool..." You reply, uneasily.Mom glanced down at you. "Do you understand what it means?""Uh, no." You admit sheepishly. "But it sounds like it makes you more accurate?""Something like that." Mom laughed. "It deflects a bullet a tiny bit so that if you're standing on something that's shaking, like a truck, the bullet will still hit where the sight says it will. It also keeps the scope accurate over longer distances without adjusting."You stare blankly. "Um... that means...?""It's a smart barrel that helps you aim the gun." Mom developed a light grin."Okay..." You nod carefully. "...so, wait. You're, like, an engineer? I thought you were a knight or something?""It's not like we're armored knights on horses." She scratched her cheek. "We operate in space- that means orbits, fuel management, weapons calibrations. It takes a certain degree of technical knowhow, especially when the Abyss is involved." Mom waved her hand a little. "The armaments and components have to be individually-made, and there isn't always a philosopher-engineer on hand in the field. Plus, you have to know the machine. Linking with a normal strider is one thing, but linking with a warskin can be a whole different beast.""So..." You look down at the grimoire, then back up at Mom. "You're a huge nerd?"Mom snorts, then raises a finger. After a moment, she shrugs and drops it. "Yeah, I guess."You let a little smile creep onto your face. "I've been learning a bit of the- er, Art myself...""That must have gone well." Mom raised an eyebrow."I didn't delve too far into it..." You admit. "I'd just found a teacher-" You gesture towards the door. "-you actually met her. Tina, or, er-" You try to recall her Valkan name."Yes, I've spoken to Tina a little." Mom sounded amused. "She apparently only got a single lesson in before I, uh, wound up taking your attention. You've apparently figured out some of the basics yourself?">Ask her about Shadows.>>[Sub-Option] Tell her about Wander.>"Not really. I've just about mastered breathing.">"I just sort of went along with some stuff I found in books.">"Another Valkan named Jess offered to teach me, but life sort of got in the way...">[Write-In]
>>4548304>>>Ask her about Shadows.>>>[Sub-Option] Tell her about Wander.
>>4548304>Ask her about Shadows.>>[Sub-Option] Tell her about Wander.
>>4548304>Ask her about Shadows.>>[Sub-Option] Tell her about Wander.Wander returns for the Christmas thread confirmed. (Maybe?)
>>4548304>>Ask her about Shadows.>>>[Sub-Option] Tell her about Wander.
>>4548304>"Not really. I've just about mastered breathing."
>>4548304>"Another Valkan named Jess offered to teach me, but life sort of got in the way..."
>>4548304>Ask her about Shadows.>[Sub-Option] Tell her about Wander.I wonder if she'll recognize the name
>Ask her about Shadows.>>[Sub-Option] Tell her about Wander.Writing, update probably tomorrow.
>>4549246Full disclosure, I completely forgot today was Thanksgiving. Turkey and dinner took up my entire evening, so update tomorrow.
>>4550231Food Coma is definitely a step up from Dead
>>4550231Happy Thanksgiving Bentus
>>4550231Hope you had a great turkey day bentus
"I did..." You nod, carefully. "I figured it out mostly from books and a few- uh, accidental casts."Mom snorted a little. "Yeah, I remember adolescence.""Did you have that kind of thing when you got your powers?""Oh, yeah." Mom nodded. "Pretty much everyone does. I remember... I was in class or something. History, I think." She scratched her cheek, looking sheepish. "I think I started daydreaming or something about a girl I liked. Next thing I or anyone in the class knew, I had shot up a foot, almost ruined my clothes and gotten the kind of... ah..." She waved her hand vaguely. "'Assets' that I thought she would like.""You had a crush on a girl?" You ask.Mom gave you a strange look, then sudden understanding dawned. "When everyone is capable of looking... more or less like whatever they want, little objections like sex really stop mattering. And that's before you contemplate that half of your mind is composed of a computer with little concept of sexuality anyway."You nod, think about it for a moment, then blush deeply."Tina did mention that she started with shapeshifting..." Mom reached over to the nightstand and picked up a glass of water. She raised her eyes over the rim as she took a drink.You look away and cough. "I had a serious question, you know.""Shoot." Mom swallowed and set the glass aside."Do you know anything about... Shadows?" You ask timidly."Of course I do." Mom said levelly. She fixed her gaze directly on you, although she tried not to look directly at you. "How'd you find out about them?""Um..." You feel slightly uncomfortable with the look she was giving you. "I had one, for a bit. Her name was Wander." Your cheeks heat up a little. "For a bit, I thought it might be your ghost or something...""Ghosts don't exist." Mom snorted. "Did you engage in any deals with it?"You shook your head. "Not really...""That's good." Mom said mildly. "Shadows are dangerous, and deals with them are not to be made lightly.""What are they, though?" You ask. "Why are they dangerous. Wander was... she was kind of weird, but she was friendly and always tried to help me out. Er- help herself, I guess."Mom was silent a moment. "Shadows are... I suppose you could say they are subconscious thoughts. You know how your powers are shaped by your thoughts?" At your nod, she continues. "Powers are most often shaped by conscious thoughts, but there's runoff shaped by unconscious thought that we call minor manifestations. The problem is that those thoughts don't necessarily have to be relevant to an active effect- like, say, freezing nearby water. Shadows are manifestations that develop from our own unconscious thoughts, and develop into an entity that can have it's own thought process. They aren't..." Mom hesitated slightly, then very carefully said. "They aren't exactly evil. But they are always disruptive and usually dangerous."
>>4551590"But... if Wander is based on me, isn't she on my side?""Yes and no." Mom said. "...not all thoughts are good, Tiiris. Especially subconscious ones. Shadows tend to fester, and feed on negative thoughts which are usually disruptive to using the Abyss. Once they have grown powerful enough, they often manifest and offer deals. They offer power - their own power - in exchange for actions that will generate more of the negative emotion that they feed on. They are parasitic, essentially. And it makes them all the more persuasive that they usually tend to offer things that their hosts actually want.""But...""Invariably." Mom continued over you. "A Shadow eventually drives it's host into self-destructive behavior, which makes the Shadow stronger until it's capable of manifesting and utilizing it's abilities without the host's will once their host's misery reaches critical mass. Hedge mages with no defenses or automatic systems in place to help them regulate their power will lose control of their Shadow and essentially start casting random, wild manifestations at random."You think. "I thought you needed positive emotion and will to cast spells. Is that something a depressed person can really do?"Mom nodded and smiled. "You can't manifest a power without the correct intent and will, that's true. That kind of will doesn't come from misery and pain, but a desire for things to be different and a powerful longing. Shadows often, ah, 'flame out' along with their hosts once they cease being able to do this, as thousands of minor manifestations tear the host's body apart and often induces disfiguring partial shifts. That's why our implants suppress them by design.""...oh. And..." You bite your lip. "So is that what a w... wildebeest is? Someone who's lost control of their Shadow?""Wildebeest, wild beast, Beast, curseling..." Mom waved her hand. "There are lots of names for them. Old legends about monsters are sometimes actually dated references to them. But yes. They're extremely dangerous." She glanced at you out of the corner of her eye, and leaned forward out of her stack of pillows. "Do you think about Wander often?""A little." You say. "It's just that- ever since I suppressed her, I've been having trouble with, ah, you know...""I understand." Mom said. "That must be frustrating, but- Tiiris. You have to promise me you won't try and awaken her again. Okay? This is extremely important.">"Okay, I promise.">"There has to be more to it, though. Is there something you aren't telling me?">"I'm not sure I believe she's evil...">[Write-In]
>>4551592>"I'm not sure I believe she's evil..."Just more focused and a little more than willing to engage in things that might end up a little self destructive than they should be, I think we should agree to her terms, though I'm not sure that simply giving a straight promise, over further dialog And allowing her to convince us. would actually assuage her fears.She might be trying to ascertain how far 'Wander' actually managed to progress.Show her the Bound Blade next, I guess since it might be something similar or worse.
>>4551592>>"Okay, I promise."
>>4551592>>"There has to be more to it, though. Is there something you aren't telling me?"
>>4551592>"Okay, I promise."I dunno I think I'm gonna have to trust mom on this one guys. Maybe we should bring up playing with her on the station as a kid though.
>>4551592>"I'm not sure I believe she's evil..."This, but second choice this:>"There has to be more to it, though. Is there something you aren't telling me?"I'm sure she has good reasons to believe what she believes... but I'm not sure a culture that would decide the righteous and logical path is to decimate a planet is any more trustworthy than Wander. Valkans seem intent on suppressing their emotions and medicating their thought processes whenever it's convenient. The implants certainly jump to doing that in a lot of situations.The deal thing is weirder. First thing I remember Wander offering us is to just forget the Abyss stuff and lead a normal life. Be a normal person. Is it possible for a shadow to feed on an emotion like Contentment?So much of this is strange. I feel like the only person who can give us an actual answer at this point is Kathari.
>>4551592>"Okay, I promise."
>>4551592>"There has to be more to it, though. Is there something you aren't telling me?">"Okay, I promise."
>>4551592>>"There has to be more to it, though. Is there something you aren't telling me?">>"Okay, I promise."
Not gonna have enough time to start writing tonight, so we'll leave the vote open another day.
>>4551592>"There has to be more to it, though. Is there something you aren't telling me?"
Kind of a weird split. We're even between agreeing and asking for more info, with some votes for both, so instead of rolling, we'll agree, but not with complete conviction. Tiiris isn't setting her mind in stone here.Writing.
>>4553919I think it's a mixture of agreeing and curiosity.
"There has to be more to it, though..." You mutter under your breath. "Is there something you aren't telling me?"Mom sighed and rubbed her temple. "I- yes, there is. There are a few schools of magic that involve Shadows, but they're neither here nor there. There are people who try-" She stressed the word. "-to deal with Shadows, but they never work. It's not stable, and it doesn't hold, and in the end it can erode the protections granted by your implants. I've never heard of anyone reaching a stable or even close to stable relationship with their Shadow."You nod, lowering your head a little. "...okay, I promise."Mom sighed in relief. "Thank you, Tiiris." She relaxed a little, leaning back into her pillows with a sigh. Her eyes drooped slightly, and she rubbed them a little.You eye her carefully for a moment. "You feeling okay?""What? Oh, uh- yes." Mom covered up what you thought might have been a yawn. "It's been a long time since I held a conversation... longer than five minutes, really. It's surprisingly tiring." She grinned a little. "The last time Gaaldj tried to talk me into joining his cause willingly was- oh, six years ago at least. After that, he became far too dependent on me as a battery to really bother.""You want me to go so you can rest?""No..." Mom yawned. "You can stay if you want. I'm just not sure I'll make for good conversation.">"I have work tomorrow, so I'd better get to bed anyway.">>[Sub-Option] Ask Tina if you can stay over. You'll sleep on the couch or something.>"What was Gaaldj like, anyway? Who even was he?">"Do you think you could... teach me a little about the Abyss- er, the Art? Not today, but someday...">[Write-In]
>>4555214>"What was Gaaldj like, anyway? Who even was he?"Her 'Death' and disappearance from her perspective could be interesting.
>>4555214>"Do you think you could... teach me a little about the Abyss- er, the Art? Not today, but someday..."
>>4555214>"What was Gaaldj like, anyway? Who even was he?"
>>4555214>>"I have work tomorrow, so I'd better get to bed anyway."
>>4555214>"I have work tomorrow, so I'd better get to bed anyway."
>>4555214>>"What was Gaaldj like, anyway? Who even was he?"Does he have valkan blood?
>"What was Gaaldj like, anyway? Who even was he?"Writing, update probably tomorrow.
"What was Gaaldj like, anyway?" You lean back into the pillows, turning your head on it's side and looking at Mom. "Who even was he?""He was nobody." Mom shrugged. "That's how it is with power gaps. I don't know who he was before the war- and I suspect it doesn't matter. All I picked up over the years is that his followers believed he could get them 'through' it. Whether they thought... getting back to the Fleet, or civilization, or just take over the planet... I doubt Gaaldj ever intended on following through on it. I'm not sure if he ever gave them a promise.""But what was he like?"Mom looked at you, her brow furrowing. "He was... sad. When I first met him, I thought he was some radical. Someone who had gone nuts after..." She swallowed. "A-after everyone died. I could have understood that, at least. But over time, I saw more of him in his private moments, and he was just... nothing. He knew what he was doing was wrong, but he couldn't be stop or slow down at all because it was... just pointless, to him. He was starting to waste even back then, I think. Why should he care if something was wrong or not? He was going to die anyway.""How he'd get people to follow him with an attitude like that?" You murmur."Mild technical knowhow, and strength. He was a part of the military, I think. I'm fairly certain that's how he managed to subdue a washed up knight with some help." She gestured to herself, slightly."Right..." You rubbed your head. "There's something I've been wondering about that.""Yes?""How exactly did they... get you? Because... we buried you. There was a body and everything.""Her name was... Jara, I think." Mom frowned. "She was a civilian. Kidnapped, I'm pretty sure. That or a cult member. Addle the mind with the Abyss, then reshape her into a rough facsimile of the target- in other words, me. Then compromise her health somehow- I don't remember with what. Give it a day of mom not feeling too good and you have a natural 'death' on your hands."You nod. "So, they boarded, grabbed you and...""And just left, yes." Mom nodded. "They sedated me pretty soon after, but I surrendered to them when they came. I wasn't exactly helpless when they came, but..." She closed her eyes and sighed. "I'm not trained for that kind of thing. If I had tried fighting on a civilian ship..." She bit her lip for a second, then shook her head. "I would have ripped open half the bulkheads and decompressed the whole thing. A bunch of asphyxiated families isn't something I can condone."The thought of how she could fight against Tagara blips in the back of your mind before you push it aside. "Are you worried he'll try to come back for you?"
>>4557403"His power base is likely broken without me, but I fully intend to end him. And anyone who follows him." Mom's face hardened in a strange way, her lips thinning further than they should. Then, she caught herself and glanced at you self-consciously. "Of the inner cult, that is. Your friend that helped us- those people. They haven't done anything wrong.""I'm not sure Netana is really a friend, but I think she would be happy to hear that." You quirk an eyebrow."Oh. I see." Mom nodded slowly, then winced. "How does... your father feel about all this? Have you told him?" She rubbed the back of her head sheepishly. "I didn't ask before, but...">"I think he'd like to see you again. You should come over, when you're ready.">"Do you want me to bring him over? I'm sure he'd come.">"He thinks about you a lot.">"He's kind of in shock about everything, still. Sometimes I feel like he's overwhelmed.">[Write-In]
>>4557404>"He's kind of in shock about everything, still. Sometimes I feel like he's overwhelmed.">"I think he'd like to see you again. You should come over, when you're ready."
>>4557404>"I think he'd like to see you again. You should come over, when you're ready.">"He's kind of in shock about everything, still. Sometimes I feel like he's overwhelmed."We walked in through the door, right as they were trying to tell him that we were dead.I guess we should try and Maintain OPSEC as best we can, since you can't tell someone something that you don't actually know.
>>4557404>>"I think he'd like to see you again. You should come over, when you're ready.">>"He's kind of in shock about everything, still. Sometimes I feel like he's overwhelmed."
>>4557404>"I think he'd like to see you again. You should come over, when you're ready.">"He's kind of in shock about everything, still. Sometimes I feel like he's overwhelmed."Think about it. His wife has just reappeared out of nowhere from the dead, the last howevermany years of his life are a lie, he's on the verge of being dragged into a world of cults, conspiracies and aliens (well, not strictly aliens, more a slightly different estranged human subspecies from space), his only child is rapidly becoming a different person and a witch, his wife and brand new (late) in-laws are from space, his daughter is repeatedly putting herself in situations with a significant risk of death or worse and his house is full of talking robots. I think we should keep a close eye on his mental health, since something like that has to take a toll on someone's psyche.Also side note, while digging back into the archives, I was reminded of a small side-sequence from earlier threads about the robots in the countryside that conquered the farm. Did anything come of that, or do I not have the memory/IQ points to see where it ties in with our story?
>>4557721Nope, not quite yet. though it may be signs of things happening elsewhere. we should probably go get Talos soon. a better opportunity might take a while to appear again.
>>4557404>"I think he'd like to see you again. You should come over, when you're ready.">"He's kind of in shock about everything, still. Sometimes I feel like he's overwhelmed."
>"I think he'd like to see you again. You should come over, when you're ready.">"He's kind of in shock about everything, still. Sometimes I feel like he's overwhelmed."Forgot to hit post. Update probably tomorrow.
"He's still kind of in shock about everything." You shrug on the pillows. "I'm not sure he knows what to do, or even how to do it. It's only been a few months since... it all started, and now I'm doing all these things. I didn't even tell him I went to go get you, it just kind of happened.""It really is a shame your grandfather isn't around. You would have gotten along splendidly." Mom commented dryly.You ignore her. "Sometimes, I feel like he's overwhelmed. Like all of this came on so fast that he has no choice but to shut down and try to process it.""I can sympathize..." Mom muttered, rubbing her head gently. "His little girl growing up is probably bad enough for him, but instead you're also becoming a Valkan, with all the implants that involves..." A guilty look crossed her face."You know it's not your fault that I didn't..." You say gently."As nice of a thought as that is, Tiiris, it unfortunately is my fault. One that I'd like to make up for, if you'd be okay with it." Mom shot you a little smile. "And to Sigmund...""I think he'd like to see you again." You say, carefully. "He really misses you.""What he said when you told him...?" Mom asked gently."That you were alive? More shock, I think. It just kind of... overwhelms him, most days." You fidget a little. "Life wasn't exactly easy before. I didn't help with any of that, admittedly.""I'm sure..." Mom nodded. "Tagara seems like it's seen better days.""People are still rebuilding and in war mode. I, um." You bite your lip. "Okay, blowing up the Tanoh probably didn't help that.""Understatement of the century, Tiiris." Mom said dryly. "Are you on summer break right now?"You nod. "I go back to school in about a month.""A lot can change in a month..." Mom sighed. "For better or for worse."---2310 HOURS21ST OF 6TH, 1173FORT HOTHRAN PLANETARY GUARD BASE"And this is what you recovered?" He picked up the drive with interest, turning it over in his hands. "Doesn't seem like much.""It doesn't, that's true." The officer in front of him nodded. Patches on his shoulders marked him as a warrant officer- a kind of technical specialist. "But this- this is a one of a kind find. We're still analyzing the data, but a lot of the data within is mirrored in multiple languages. Even if none of it is in Tagaran, it could provide several inroads into the Valkan language."His superior nodded very slowly, then turned to the man beside him. "Go ahead and call Charan in, I think he'll want to hear this.""Charan? Are you sure?""Trial's over, and if he's innocent, he's innocent. I don't have time for politics."---Residential District, Miir, 1st FloorFriday, 22nd of 6th, 1173. 9:00AM.You blink your eyes open, then rub your head. This wasn't your bed... but it wasn't Elan's house either. You remember going home after finally exhausting Mom to the point that she fell asleep...
>>4559497Turning over, you nearly roll off the couch. In the background, the television is still quietly autoplaying through whatever journey you ended up sending it on last night. Right, you tried to have a quick bite to eat before bed and ended up falling asleep on the couch due to the hour. Oops. But, one night on the couch probably wouldn't kill you.It's Friday, what do you want to do?>Check in on Netana.>>[Sub-Option] ...and bring Kara along, like she wanted.>Ask Mom if she's willing to teach you some things out of the grimoire.>Ask if Tina is feeling up to teaching you some magic still.>Speak to Joran.>Speak to Mr. Soban.>>[Sub-Option] Actually, go to Taylor instead.>[Write-In]>[Optional] Skip work today to get more things done.
>>4559501>Speak to Mr. Soban.>>[Sub-Option] Actually, go to Taylor instead.We should probably get to planning a trip to Kana for the Car Heist we should also probably let them know about the Cult falling apart and to look into that one famous Chef, that was there.
>>4559501>[Write-In]Examine the things we took from the cultist base. Perhaps we can try to fix their broken drones?
>>4559501>Speak to Joran.I don't think we have spoken with Joran since the incident. It's about time we catch up with him.
>>4559501>Speak to Joran.
>>4559501>Check in on Netana.>[Sub-Option] ...and bring Kara along, like she wanted.Assemble posse, bully cute cultist.
>>4559501>Check in on Netana.>>[Sub-Option] ...and bring Kara along, like she wanted.
>>4559501>>Speak to Joran.The heat we put on him for the lifeship escape should've cooled down by now.
>>4559529+1Can we also try to look for more valkan junk and drones again?
>>4559997wherever OH made landfall could prove interesting.
>>4559501>Speak to Mr. Soban.>>[Sub-Option] Actually, go to Taylor instead.We'll a new thread by the next update bentus
>>4559529+1What's the point in nicking them if we're not going to do anything with them?
Ran outta time, leaving vote open. Update will probably be in new thread.
>>4560033Steal from the rich collector
>>4561343That collection probably isn't going anywhere, and will be somewhat well protected so it will likely only expand over time so leaving for later when we are better equipt to handle it is probably for the better since a wider selection might be available, and we might come across something that would let us take more than just what we could carry with us, since it might have some, very spicy loot.On that note, when OH made land fall they were part of a Warskin's drone compliment so they might be relevant salvage for our attempts to restore LT's ruined Chassis, or more Drone components that someone might be able to restore for us so we can begin to regenerate ST's compliment of drones.
Archived: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.htmlI feel like utter dogshit so it might be an extra day or two until the new thread goes up, since I don't want to just have an empty OP sitting at the top of the catalog. Will tweet when it goes up.>Speak to Joran.Is the winning vote.
>>4561624Get well soon bentus
>>4561373I'm quite apprehensive about steling from Rich Person. While they could have some nice loot, it also sounds like pulling the tiger's tail and potentially putting us in over our head. A wealthy collector who's angry about one of their prized alien artefacts being stolen could earn us an enemy who wants to find out who swiped their stuff and has the resources to throw at it, if we managed to pull it off at all. Much moreso than a rando schoolteacher, at any rate.