LAST TIME, ON DRAGON SLAYER QUESTYour name is Noah Lee - straight C+ student, scrawny runt, and lover of old ballroom dance vinyls. After a chance encounter during detention, you discovered that you possess the mystical "Type O-alpha" blood-type, which marks you as...Monster bait. No cool powers. No "chosen one" status. But apparently, if you bleed around the wrong people, they will explode into gigantic, reality-warping monsters known as "Dragons" and immediately try to kill you. Silver lining! Surviving a Dragon attack gave you magic powers - "Alchemy", the ability to enforce your intent on the world and reshape matter and energy.After a fraught encounter with your teacher, who burst into a Dragon and attempted to kill you, you were saved by Kendra Shields (call her Ken), a gruff, battle-worn two-star Slayer for the Fraternal Order Of Dragon Slayers (FOODS), and became her apprentice in order to learn enough so that you could defend yourself from Dragons.After a harrowing experience at a school assembly that revealed the existence of Coach White as a dangerous Three-star Dragon, you were glad to take the opportunity to take some relaxing time with your friends - really, your only two friends. Rebecca George, to whom your romantic relationship is somewhat complicated, and Josh Masters, who is a big popular meathead and you have no idea why he likes you.Even with the evening spent relaxing, enjoying each other's presence, and doing homework and studying, your double life looms over you like a haunting spectre. After all, Coach White wasn't killed by the FOODS agents he was confronted by - he escaped, half-dead (literally, with a tracking device somewhere in him, but escaped nonetheless. And Rebecca seems to have more than her fair share of holes in her memory from Dragon attacks, not to mention the incoming presence of l'Ordine soon to encroach upon your hometown, the Vatican's personal Dragon hunting order.And, of course, there was Saint, a mysterious Two-star Dragon who'd been told by a mysterious figure to hunt down other Dragons so that they could become human again. You didn't expect him to show up at your friends' apartment looking for you (or at all), but quickly discovered he was wounded grievously and hunting you down for assistance.
After using some mundane methods to patch Saint's rather gnarly wounds, you found out that they've decided to become a monster hunter of some kind on the urging of a mysterious figure. Context clues lead you to believe, of course, that it's the same mysterious figure that's been going around giving people manuals on forbidden alchemy, who's urging Saint to bring them the "hearts of monsters" for a medicine that can turn Saint back into a human. You warned them not to trust the figure and to stay safe, and, now, with an hour left of your Dragon venom dose, making you invisible to normal people, it was time to do some snooping.You didn't linger too long in Rebecca's apartment where you shouldn't have been, unsure what sort of reaction they would have when the Dragon venom wore off and you snapped back into existence for them. You discovered that Rebecca probably had caretakers like almost everyone else, and they were gone, likely killed by a Dragon at some point and obliterated from her memory. In absence of a desire to snoop too much, you refrained from actively digging into anything and instead returned to the living room where you would sit and study and relax, waiting for your dose to wear off.Once it did, it appeared as if you sort of just... appeared back into their memory. Like you were there the entire time, or, to explain your absence, their brains just put you in the bathroom. When you started dwelling too hard on this, on how this ability could be used to maliciously interfere with someone else's life, well, you had a seizure. For about five minutes, passed out on the futon. Your friends fret over you by the time you come too, which feels nice, and the three of you mostly put it behind you, spending the rest of the night relaxing.You took an uneventful-for-once (thankfully) lyft ride home, went upstairs, and proceeded to pass out. A strange dream with a familiar man ensued, leaving you with cryptic comments and more questions than answers.Well, time for school!
>>4843026noah/<Hyde, got a moment?>hyde/<bro it's like 7 AM>hyde/<why are you awake>noah/<Because I'm a high schooler.>hyde/<touche>hyde/<whats up?>noah/<I had a seizure last night.>hyde/<you should tell your pgp this not me>noah/<I had a seizure I think for Dragon related reasons.>hyde/<okay im listening>noah/<You weren't before?>hyde/<shh>hyde/<elaborate>The world continues to fly by on the school bus, and you block it out with headphones in your ear. Sweet peace and quiet.>"I had to take a dose of Dragon venom for something and then I had a seizure afterwards... related?">"I think I got reminded of something that was erased from my memory and I had a seizure. Normal response?">Free Option.
>>4843027GLOSSARY OF TERMShttps://pastebin.com/ipHuwpgLCHARACTER LISTINGhttps://pastebin.com/imUJCpNeLISTING ON SUPTGhttp://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=Dragon%20Slayer%20QuestPREVIOUS THREADhttp://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive/4794105/If you're enjoying the quest, your upvotes are greatly appreciated, but not at all required
>>4843027>"I think I got reminded of something that was erased from my memory and I had a seizure. Normal response?"
>>4843027>>"I think I got reminded of something that was erased from my memory and I had a seizure. Normal response?">what about those other guys taking dragon drugs? I think one of them also had a breakdown trying to remember things.
>>4843027>>"I think I got reminded of something that was erased from my memory and I had a seizure. Normal response?">>what about those other guys taking dragon drugs? I think one of them also had a breakdown trying to remember things.
>>4843027>>"I think I got reminded of something that was erased from my memory and I had a seizure. Normal response?"
>>4843044>>4843060>>4843164>>4843635>>4843891There's a bump in the bus ride. Everyone besides you is predicting it, built on familiarity with the route - several seniors in the back of the bus give off an excited "Whoooa!" as they push themselves up into the air. One of them hits their head on the ceiling. You ignore it, for the most part.noah/<So, I think I got reminded of something that was in my past that I think got erased by a Dragon eating someone.>noah/<And then I had a seizure.>noah/<The two events were pretty concurrent.>hyde/<how concurrent?>noah/<I started thinking about the idea that someone could've hid something in my memories by using Dragon venom on themselves,>noah/<And then I woke up after having had a seizure.>noah/<In front of some civilian friends, might I add.>hyde/<hmm>noah/<Typical thing to happen?>hyde/<do you want the true answer or the nice answer?>noah/<Come on, Hyde.>hyde/<no fun>hyde/<no, that's not normal. most memories just slot back in once you become inoculated.>hyde/<you could've just had, like, a normal seizure, but i imagine the fact that youre bringing it up>hyde/<sort of implies a lack of seizures in the past yeah?>noah/<Correct.>hyde/<so stuffy>hyde/<i think its reasonable to assume this is something dragon and slash or alchemy related>hyde/<considering the concurrency and your presumed lack of prior seizures>hyde/<can you come over later today for an examination?>hyde/<i have theories but ill need to consult my books>hyde/<after youre done with your school or whatever>>Commit to an appointment after school.>Tell him you'll leave school early, you'll be able to handle the academic hit and you want this over ASAP in case it's something worse.>Agree that an appointment would be good, be wishy washy in case you're needed for something else.>Today won't work, when else is good?>Free Option.
>>4844805>Tell him you'll leave school early, you'll be able to handle the academic hit and you want this over ASAP in case it's something worse.
>>4844805>Tell him you'll leave school early, you'll be able to handle the academic hit and you want this over ASAP in case it's something worse.best bud can vouch for you
>>4844805>Tell him you'll leave school early, you'll be able to handle the academic hit and you want this over ASAP in case it's something worse.Yeah, let's not be blase about seizures.
>>4844805>>Tell him you'll leave school early, you'll be able to handle the academic hit and you want this over ASAP in case it's something worse.
>>4844805>Tell him you'll leave school early, you'll be able to handle the academic hit and you want this over ASAP in case it's something worse.We can get a doctor's note or something later. Seizures are kind of a big deal.
>>4846868>>4845401>>4845182>>4845073>>4845036>>4844962>>4844834noah/<I'll just peace out of school early.>noah/<This is slightly more important and my grades are fine enough to handle missing some classes.>hyde/<:shrug:>hyde/<live your life my friend>hyde/<ill see you whenever>noah/<See you around.>You shoot a text off to Josh asking him to cover for you if possible because you have to leave early to go see a doctor about the seizure thing - which is not entirely a lie! - and he shoots back a quick, silent OK, just around the time that the bus pulls in in front of your school.The day pulls like molasses-taffy, while you glance at the clock every five seconds, give or take a bit, just waiting for lunch. You shuffle along from class to class, turning in homework, and then, when the lunch bell finally rings, you quickly squeeze yourself to your later classes to turn in your homework early. The couple of teachers who are there seem pleasantly surprised, but some of them are also at lunch, and so you just leave your days of extra finished work on their desks before cramming some food down your throat and vamoosing.Helpfully, there are rides available on your ridesharing app of choice today at this time of day. Internally, you consider that you may need to get a part time job of some sort considering how frequently you need to get ferried from place to place. Or ask your mom if you can start training to get a license. Or both. You chew on the thought as the ride arrives to pick you up, thankfully not asking many questions or making small talk; your favorite kind of ride.You pull up to the converted community center now hosting the local FOODS compound, hop out the car, leave a generous tip, and then just kind of shuffle along, backpack in tow, inside. Dr. Hyde is already waiting for you inside, looking his typical exhausted, good-humored self, already ready to clasp a firm hand on your back as you push the doors open."Welcome, welcome! Why don't you step into my office and tell me what's your beef today?" He asks, leading you through the semi-familiar hallways, FOODS operatives shuffling around nervously in and out in your periphery.>"What's got everyone in a tizzy today?">Just stay quiet and follow behind him until you're in his office and it's more private.>"Find any useful info from your research?">Free Option.
>>4846982>"What's got everyone in a tizzy today?"
>>4846982>"Is it always like this?"
>>4846982>So you guys catch the escaped three star yet?
>>4847740>>4847018>>4847307>>4847138"What's got everyone in a tizzy today? Anything about that escaped Three-star?" You ask, immediately blanching all the color out of Dr. Hyde's face, which you are far too busy staring at to notice the figure looming in your periphery. At least, not until you bump into him.You look up and feel the immediate and striking need to take a couple of steps back and apologize - dark, round glasses hiding a judgmental gaze, a bill-like nose, short cropped hair, astounding quantities of sheer bodily mass. A single crucifix dangles quietly and silently from his neck, over top of his robes. "You."You look around quietly. Dr. Hyde takes two steps to the right, and then around the man, coughing nervously. You pull a hand up and point to yourself. "Me?"The man - the priest - jabs a finger gently into your chest. He says something in an unfamiliar language, and then adjusts his glasses with his other hand. "You are the new child, yes?" He asks, speaking with a thick Italian accent, bending his knees in some sort of attempt to get closer to eye level with you. Considering the fact that he appears to be 6'8" easy, it doesn't do much."I'm, uh, I've been called something of the sort. Why, who wants to know?" You ask, and he smiles. It doesn't feel like a malicious smile. You've seen plenty of smiles in your life, and his feels genuine, sincere, surprisingly good natured and good humored."Just curious. You have been getting yourself awfully involved for someone so new. Remember to stay safe and take time for yourself. Burn... Fire, um..." He starts, stumbling over his words, before continuing his sentence in what you assume is Italian before correcting himself. "Burnout, I think it is, is not uncommon. It would be a shame to see a promising young man such as yourself flare out. Burn brightly, but steadily, young one."Dr. Hyde stands nervously at the edge of a doorframe, the one leading to his office. You glance at him and he gives you an uncomfortable little wave.>Awkwardly thank him, sidestep him, follow Dr. Hyde to get the rest of your day moved in on.>Ask who he is and why everyone seems scared of him.>Brush him off and walk around him.>Ask him if HE knows why everyone's in a tizzy today.>Ask him if HE knows anything about the escaped Three-star.>Free Option.
>>4849268>Ask who he is and why everyone seems scared of him.
>>4849268>Free Option."Well, I haven't exactly had a ton of choice in that area so far, but I'll try to take your advice...Father? I'm sorry, I'm just assuming from the accent and the crucifix, you're one of the SOL members who are coming over, right?"
>>4849268>Awkwardly thank him, sidestep him, follow Dr. Hyde to get the rest of your day moved in on.
>>4849268>>Free Option.>"Well, I haven't exactly had a ton of choice in that area so far, but I'll try to take your advice...Father? I'm sorry, I'm just assuming from the accent and the crucifix, you're one of the SOL members who are coming over, right?"
>>4849268>>Ask who he is and why everyone seems scared of him.>>Ask him if HE knows why everyone's in a tizzy today.
>>4850016>>4849581>>4849434>>4849501>>4849300"I mean, I haven't had a ton of choice in that area so far, but I'll try to take your advice, uh... Father? Is that right?" You ask. Dr. Hyde looks at you with increasingly frenetic gestures, trying to call you over, but the priest doesn't seem to notice, presumably due to the lack of eyes in the back of his skull. He laughs."Yes, Father is the correct title." He tells you."Right, I just assumed from the accent and the crucifix, you're one of the, um, SOL members, right? Why exactly is everyone scared of you?" You ask, feeling far less afraid of him than something in your lizard brain says is wise. He bends down just a little bit further and smiles little bit wider at you."Excellent question, young flame. I am indeed a member of l'Ordine. You can call me Father Benedict." He says, not answering your other question in the slightest. He unbends his knees back to full height, tousles your hair, and strides past you. The hair on the back of your neck stands up - for perfectly normal adrenaline response reasons, and not alchemy related reasons. You hope, at least."Come on!" Dr. Hyde whispers to you, sharp and hissing.You turn your head just slightly to the side.>Ask Father Benedict why he didn't answer your question.>Ask Father Benedict your question again, perhaps producing an appearance that you think he didn't hear you.>Call it a wash and step into Dr. Hyde's office.>Free Option.
>>4851275>Call it a wash and step into Dr. Hyde's office.We can ask Hyde instead.
>>4851275>Call it a wash and step into Dr. Hyde's office.>Free Option.>"Well, it was nice meeting you, Father Benedict."
>>4851275>Call it a wash and step into Dr. Hyde's office.
>>4851275>>Call it a wash and step into Dr. Hyde's office.>>Free Option.>>"Well, it was nice meeting you, Father Benedict."
>>4851780>>4851591>>4851382>>4851301>>4851278"Well, it was nice meeting you, Father Benedict." You murmur under your breath, stepping past and into Dr. Hyde's office. He slams the door shut and lets out an evidently deeply held breath."Jesus, kid, you are absolutely too inexperienced to understand when you're in danger." Hyde says, sighing quietly as he struggles to reclaim the lost breaths once held. He shuffles you quietly over to his examination table and you sit down on prepared sheet of parchment. "Christ.""I feel like invoking His name right now is a little inappropriate. Why was I in danger?" You ask, crinkling up the parchment paper with your hands as Dr. Hyde grabs the usual checkup material - a stethoscope, various little peeky-things. He starts examining your ears. Nothing out of the ordinary."l'Ordine has a bit of a well-earned reputation for being, excuse my Italian, kind of bonkers." He says while staring deeply into your earwax. "Like, they do pre-emptive policing but their criteria for being a Dragon is "are you sinful, like, Catholically?". I don't know how much you know about Catholicism--">"I'm Christian, so, like, I don't NOT know.">"I'm Catholic. I think I know enough.">"What's Catholicism?" [Sarcastic]>Free Option (including silence)."-- but that's a pretty stringent list. And they have the Latin equivalent of "license to torture, potentially to death". Real Old Testament stuff. Just not someone you want to get on the bad side of."He peeks into your other ear.>"I don't know, he seemed pretty friendly to me.">"Don't worry, Hyde, I'll be on my best behavior." [Sarcastic]>"I am now going to go out of my way to actively antagonize him.">"Are there any other crazy priests on base or just the one?">"So how do my ears look, Doc?">Free Option.
>>4852959>"I don't know, he seemed pretty friendly to me."Good thing we haven't manage to know Rebecca out of wedlock yet.>"Are there any other crazy priests on base or just the one?"
>>4852959>"I'm Christian, so, like, I don't NOT know."My mental image is that Noah is the sort of default vaguely Christian that a lot of Americans are, not really that knowledgeable about the faith but just sort of immersed in the background radiation of the culture.>"Are there any other crazy priests on base or just the one?"
>>4852959>>"I'm Christian, so, like, I don't NOT know.">"Whatever you say, Doc. Not like I'm going to TRY to meet him again."
>>4852959>"I'm Christian, I guess, so, like, I don't NOT know.">Free Option.>Anything else you can tell me about them?
>>4852959>"I'm Christian, so, like, I don't NOT know.">"I don't know, he seemed pretty friendly to me."
>>4852968>>4853495>>4853477>>4853290>>4853257"I mean, like, I'm Christian, so I don't NOT know." You interrupt, but he only pauses for a second to roll his eyes at you before continuing on with his sentence."-- but that's a pretty stringent list. And they have the Latin equivalent of "license to torture, potentially to death". Real Old Testament stuff. Just not someone you want to get on the bad side of."He peeks into your other ear. "I don't know, he seemed pretty friendly to me. Any other crazy priests on base or just the one?"He pulls away, rubbing his chin quietly. "Nothing weird in your ears. Not -- not that I'd expect there to be, I just figured I would let you know. As far as crazy priests go, I think he's the only one actively in this building, the rest are just kind of out and about tracking our transponder signal. No comment on your lack of death avoidance drive."He grabs your eyelids and gently pries them open, shining one of those little eye-light-viewer thingies that doctors use during checkups. Then he pulls it away, looking at your eye again, and raises an eyebrow. Then he puts the light back in your face and you resist the urge to blink. He does this a couple of more times until you swat at his hand."Is my eye, like, exploded or something? What's the deal?" You half-shout. He shines the light again in your face, this time clearly to mess with you."Have you shone any lights in your eyes recently, Noah?" He asks, folding his arms across his chest."I try not to make a habit of it, why?" You ask right back, scooting back on the parchment a little bit."Well, for one, your pupils are super dilated. To the point where I'm frankly surprised you can see my face right now. You can see my face, right?" He says, and you nod, pulling your mouth into a taut line. "For two, you seem to be developing, uh, heterochromia?""...Developing?" You ask, scratching your head."Like, one of your eyes, real nice looking dark, almost black brown. The other one, almost entirely the same! But there's like... striations, sorry, is that a big--" "I know what striations are" "--Right, there's little striations of green radiating outwards from the center of your eye -- oh, your pupil's fine now. Weird. Anyway, there's like little green lines in your eye. Can I look again?"You shrug your shoulders and lean your face forward, preparing to wince at another light in your eye. He doesn't shine a light in it again, just getting uncomfortably close and looking at you, and then pulls away, a mixture of slight discomfort overwhelmed by scientific curiosity plain on his face. "Well, the green's gone. Like one of those weird sci fi doors where it's like a bunch of panels that slide open radially? It's gone now, brown covered it back up. I have no idea if this is related to your seizure, but, well, weird things tend not to happen individually, you get what I'm saying?"
>>4854597"Yeah, I get you." You ask, blinking the flashes of sparkling light out of your eye a little bit. "Does this mean anything in particular?""That's what I want to ask you! Any thoughts?">"Well, I did use illegal healing alchemy to exchange blood with another person and might have a psychic imprint of them running around in my head - maybe that's part of it?"... Patient-doctor confidentiality, right?>"Not a clue, but it's probably seizure related.">"Could it be, like, a Dragon venom thing?">"Doc, am I turning into a Dragon? Are there like, stages of this?" [Genuinely Worried]>"So, how long until I turn into a Dragon?" [Joking]>Free Option.
>>4854599>"Could you tell me about overusing alchemy? I DID have to do a whole lot the last few days"
>>4854599>"Doc, am I turning into a Dragon? Are there like, stages of this?" [Genuinely Worried]
>>4854599>Free Option.>"I've been having weird dreams lately. Very vivid, very lucid dreams. In one of them I saw every thing I had ever used alchemy on. Like they left an imprint on me, or something. Is that normal?"
No update today, ended up getting sick and my energy levels are, as the kids say, low. Thinking of making Su-F or M-F updates w/ breaks on Sa or Sa-Su the norm so at least you fellas can predict when I accidentally not update. Love you all!
>>4856598Feel better, dude.
>>4854610>>4854612>>4854613"Doc, am I turning into a Dragon? Are there like, stages of this?" You ask, genuinely sort of worried that you are turning into a Dragon. After all, the alchemy is probably illegal for a reason! He pats you on the shoulder twice."Nah, if you turned into a Dragon it would just rip out of you like a monster from Resident Evil. There aren't stages to it. I mean, there are, but, like... after the monstersplosion happens. Not beforehand." He explains, taking a couple of steps back to grab an office chair on wheels and spinning it around so he could lean against its back and scoot forward again."One thing that might be related is, like, I've been having weird dreams lately. Very vivid, very lucid. In one of them, I saw every thing I had ever used alchemy on, like they left some sort of imprint on me, or something. Is that... normal? Is this like, something from me overusing alchemy? I DID have to do a whole lot in the last few days." You rattle off to him. He rubs his chin quietly."It sounds to me like you have some kind of... I know there was a word for it in the medical books but I can't remember. Do you know what eiditic memory is?" He asks, squeezing the back of the office chair."Like, when you can remember everything perfectly? That thing they can't prove exists conclusively?" You reply, raising a slightly unamused eyebrow. He laughs."Yeah, that thing. There's also like... eiditic memory for alchemy. Well, there's a ton of alchemy-related conditions, it's a perceptory sense like the rest of them, it's part of your body. So, it can be diseased or malformed or different just like any other part of you like your ears or nose or lungs." He explains, kicking his feet back a couple of times."Are you calling me diseased?" You joke. He laughs hard, his chest shaking up and down."Not yet. But I am saying, at least with the dreams, that could be a manifestation of some sort of alchemical memory processing... thing. Your quote unquote "muscle memory" for alchemy could be better than everyone else's. Dreaming about alchemy happens sometimes but not with any real sort of vividity above and beyond the normal, and I'm not a neuroalchemist, so I can't really give you the up-to-date literature because I don't know it, but you are my patient and I do believe you, since these are apparently vivid and lucid enough that it's different from your norm and significant enough to mention." He rambles, and you feel yourself quickly getting lost."In English?" You ask."Dreams are the brain's way of processing your memories from short term into long term memory, or at least, that's how one theory goes. So if your "alchemical muscle memory" is acting funky, then it's possible your dreams might be acting funky." He explains."And is that related to the eye thing?" You ask.
>>4858066He shrugs. "No idea! I'm basically an alchemy PCP, not an alchemy neurosurgeon. I'll have to call in colleagues if we really want to dig into this. It is also definitely possible, since you mentioned, that you're burning through your pneuma, like if you work out your muscles too much and you start feeling like you get hit by a truck - that probably can't be super good for you, haha. That being said, I can reach out to some of my contacts and get you in with an EEG at the right places. If it turns out you have some sort of alchemy-related epilepsy... or, uh, just normal epilepsy, we can get it handled.">"What about insurance? Do I have to pay for this? I'm not sure I can afford anti-seizure medication...">"When's the soonest that can happen?">"Wait, what did that whole memory lecture have to do with any of this?">"Can't you just write me a prescription and if it works it works?">Free Option.
>>4858067>"I might be a bit short on cash for that. Wait, do I get some kind of commission for that homunculus thing?"
>>4858067>"What about insurance? Do I have to pay for this? I'm not sure I can afford anti-seizure medication...">"When's the soonest that can happen?"
>>4858067>"What about insurance? Do I have to pay for this? I'm not sure I can afford anti-seizure medication..."Just count yourself lucky you're not diabetic, Noah.
>>4858270I dunno, if alchemy takes the sugar straight out of your bloodstream, it would be a significantly safer way to clear your body than insulin injections.
>>4858430If alchemy is powered by bodily energy, it's likely it feeds on glycogen and not raw glucose.
>>4858438that sounds like the fastest way for non-diabetics to get diabetes.Hope that means free healthcare.
>>4858430Yeah, but then you're just starving yourself of glucose. You still need to get it into your cells.
>>4858067>"What about insurance? Do I have to pay for this? I'm not sure I can afford anti-seizure medication..."
>>4858067>"What about insurance? Do I have to pay for this? I'm not sure I can afford anti-seizure medication..."Later, check the Book to see if it mentions anything like it.
>>4858446>>4858442>>4858438>>4858430I'll be honest, I did not consider the biophysical mechanics of alchemy beyond the vague "consumes calories" and I doubt it'd be something Hyde would infodump at a whim, so if anyone has any suggestions or elaborations that make sense to them I'll gladly take them :P>>4858078>>4858100>>4858270>>4858506>>4858743"What about insurance? Do I have to pay for it? Or like, do I get some sort of commission for capturing that homunculus thing?" You ask, rubbing the back of your head sheepishly, blinking a couple of times. "I'm not sure I can afford anti-seizure medication..."Hyde's face narrows a little bit, evidently displeased for some reason at the mention. Then, he unwrinkles his nose. "You're probably on your parents's insurance until you're 26, but, I mean, if you really want to super hero this then explaining how you got a prescription for anti-seizure medication and also an EEG from someone that's not your PCP might be a bit hard to explain to them. That, and the credit card bill, heh." He chuckles, but it doesn't actually sound like he's amused much by the proposition. "FOODS generally handles all the paperwork for employees, but you're not on the table yet - plus, don't quote me on this, but I do think we still need to abide by child labor laws even though we're a clandestine organization of monster hunters. Oh, it's a mess..." He mumbles, rubbing his temples in circles. "And I don't want to seem like I'm pressuring you or anything, either. I know kids these days probably don't trust the government that much for... perfectly understandable reasons, it's just that this stuff is a lot easier when I'm doing it for people that actually work here, haha--" He continues, laughing a little nervously, clipped, not particularly confident."So, it's either hope I don't have some sort of alchemy related seizure disorder, or just normal epilepsy, and if I do, either I have to join FOODS, have a weird conversation with my mom, or collect a ton of medical debt. Nice." You grumble, scooting backwards on the parchment until it crunches."Yeah, that's life! Managing compromises." Hyde jokes, laughing nervously. "Oh, right, payment - the homunculus is in storage and I think the payment is getting assigned to Ken, who'd gladly give you an even share if you asked, but I'm sure if you talk to the chief he'd be willing to slip you some under the table as an independent contractor or whatever. He's a reasonable guy.">"The chief? You guys have a police chief?">"Alright, well, direct me to him at your nearest convenience, then.">"Can we get back to the whole crippling medical debt thing first? I thought this was going to be hunting monsters, this is getting way too real too fast. I really want to lay out my options here.">Free Option.
>>4859596>"Can we get back to the whole crippling medical debt thing first? I thought this was going to be hunting monsters, this is getting way too real too fast. I really want to lay out my options here."Murica
>>4859596>"The chief? You guys have a police chief?"
>>4859596>"Can we get back to the whole crippling medical debt thing first? I thought this was going to be hunting monsters, this is getting way too real too fast. I really want to lay out my options here.">Free Option.>"Like, what's it going to run me just for the EEG? Let's break this down into individual, manageable chunks."
>>4859596>"Can we get back to the whole crippling medical debt thing first? I thought this was going to be hunting monsters, this is getting way too real too fast. I really want to lay out my options here."
Having a real shite day today, going to have to tap out early and perhaps for once try to actually get an early update out tomorrow in tonights's stead. Love you all!
>>4861034It's fine, dude. Hope things get better.
>>4859883>>4859862>>4859600"Can we get back to the whole crippling medical debt thing first? I thought this was going to be hunting monsters, this is getting way too real too fast. I really want to lay out my options here." You say, sort of breathlessly, gently rubbing your own temples. "Like, what's it going to run me just for the EEG? Let's break this down into individual, managable chunks."He scratches his head quietly in thought. "Without insurance, or out of network, it'll probably run you a cool 400, 500 dollars. Assuming you don't need any other monitoring besides a basic EEG. And depending on your kind of seizure and slash or epilepsy, you'll need different medications that will run you anywhere from 60 to about 300 dollars for a monthly supply of pills. With insurance, probably just your copay costs, assuming the deductible is paid, so I imagine probably, like, twenty dollars each. Or something." He says, counting numbers on his fingers in between words. "So, I mean, not insurmountable, but also, you're just a kid, and I don't imagine you have a part time job yet.""No, not yet." You say, wadding up the parchment into little balls in your hand."Yeah... getting thrust into the world of adults like this kind of sucks balls, if you can excuse my French." He says, laughing nervously. "Sorry.">"For?">"Meh, life goes on.">"It is what it is.">"Thanks.">Remain silent.>Ask him for money.>Free Option.
>>4862720>"Thanks.">Free Option.>"Do you have any ideas for how I could bring this up with my mom without explaining the supernatural stuff?"
Sorry about that, 4chan went down as I was posting!>>4863549>>4863404>>4863113>>4862732"Thanks." You say, mutely. He gives a look like he'd just been punched a little bit, and crumples slightly. "Do you have any ideas for how I could bring this up with my mom without explaining the supernatural stuff?""Yeah, you tell her you think you had a seizure and go to your PCP, and they evaluate you without the magic involved, and if you've developed mundane epilepsy and not some weird alcho-epilepsy you just go do what's necessary for that." He says, matter of factly, hugging the back of his office chair. "And, hey, look... if worst comes to worse and you really find yourself hurting for it, I can go without coffees for a couple Fridays to help with whatever bills arrive. Y'know. If you need it and all that.""Thanks." You say, with a little less blunt pain this time. You try to give him a smile, and the door behind him opens. Your heart skips a couple beats, and he turns around, slowly,"Can I help--" He says, his mouth hammering shut when he sees Father Benedict consuming the entirety of the doorframe. You see his body visibly tense up, and his hands pull in behind his office chair's back, out of view of the Father - balling into fists. "Heh-hem." He coughs out, trying to sound dignified, even though you can see all the color draining out of his face from the angle you're at. "Can I help you?""No." Father Benedict whips, making Hyde wince. "I'm here for the child. Are you finished with your healing work, Dr. Hyde?"Dr. Hyde turns to you and looks at your hands in your lap. You ball your own hand into a fist, thumb sticking out. He glances back up at your face - his own has completely drained of color.Father Benedict's glasses catch the light, shrouding his eyes from sight.>Thumbs down.>Thumbs up.>Free option.
>>4864915>Thumbs up.Oh fuck
>>4864915>Thumbs up.adjusts imaginary glasses nervously
>>4865259>>4865112>>4864952>>4864931You tilt your thumbs upwards, and watch Dr. Hyde visibly gulp. You put your thumb back down immediately. "Yeah, we're good.""Excellent. Come with me, boy." Father Benedict says, and you really do not feel like now would be a good time to be snarky about it. You get up off the parchment, your body heaving with tiredness (more out of emotional exhaustion than anything else), and follow him out.As you pass by Dr. Hyde, he whispers "Stay safe." to you.Father Benedict marches you through the halls quietly, hands folded politely behind his back. Every one of his footfalls feels like it's heavy enough to shake the building. "I've heard that you encountered a, erm, Omunculo, in the wild, child." He speaks through his thick accent, parsable just enough to know what he's talking about. "That's certainly a strange heretical artifact to discover in these days and ages, much less a place like... this." He sweeps one arm out in front of him."What does "this" mean, Father?" You ask, trying to sound respectful."Well, it's certainly no Rome!" He jokes, laughing boisterously, his entire body shaking softly as he walks and laughs. It slowly titters down into a low chuckle. "Heretic activity is generally limited to large population centers... the City of New York, or Los Angeles. This is, how you say... periphery? Houses and gardens. City nearby, yes, but small. And yet Omunculo, found by you, developed by school children, outside official channels."He turns his head to look to you, a passing glance, and evidently, something on your face says you don't know how he knows this. He smiles, showing almost all of his teeth. "Your chief told me all about your misadventures. What brought you in conflict with Omunculo, I wonder?"You aren't sure if he's actually asking you, or if it's rhetorical.>"I could feel it with my spidey-sense.">"I just had a hunch that something bad was happening.">Stay silent, just accept the lecture.>"Are you accusing me of something, Father?">Free Option.
>>4865986>shrug. "I felt a lot of alchemy happening, enough to distract at school. I think anyone would've noticed if they spent a couple of hours asleep in the classroom."
>>4866130>>4866022>>4866001>>4865990You try your best to look nonchalant, and shrug your shoulders. "I felt a lot of alchemy happening, enough to distract at school. I think anyone would've noticed if they spent a couple of hours asleep in the classroom."Father Benedict raises an eyebrow and laughs. Unlike the other two, this one feels a little more sincere, and a little less braggadocious. "You sleep during class, child?""I try not to make a habit of it." You reply.He laughs harder. "Oho! Nun jokes!" He declares, clapping his hands twice, loud enough to both draw attention and make you acutely aware that he could probably box your ears in with zero effort just through how loud his clapping is. You didn't even intend to make a nun pun, but you're certainly not going to correct him when he seems to be in a good mood.You follow him through the hallways slowly while he talks. He's not leading you out, but further towards the back, chunks of the building you've just yet to explore. You round a corner and climb some stairs. "But it makes one wonder, does it not, why children with no initiation into our Rites knew of Omunculo, knew of the Art? It makes me wonder, that is. Does you?" He asks, and then coughs twice. "I mean, rather, don't you?"There's a door with a plaque on it that you're headed towards. Your eyesight's good enough - 'Gregor H. Grey" - that you can make out the text without much issue - "Chief of Operations".>"Yeah, I don't know how they got that.">"Are we visiting the chief?">"*Why* are we visiting the chief?">"There's someone going around giving out alchemy pills.">Free Option.
>>4867700>"Yeah, I don't know how they got that.">"Are we visiting the chief?">"*Why* are we visiting the chief?"We reported to FOODS about the pills. If they didn't tell the Vatican, they must've had a reason.
>>4867700>"Yeah, I don't know how they got that.">"Are we visiting the chief?">"*Why* are we visiting the chief?"Noah was entirely busy containing the homunculus, so we're in the clear for never getting to talk to the main two.
>>4867700Supporting >>4867713I think there's not much that our admission of the rogue alchemist would actually give away, Father Benedict can infer that someone must be handing out knowledge, but yeah. Let's keep to opsec just in case.
Taking my weekly break day tonight to tend to sick puppy (nothing major). Catch you all on Monday fellas!
>>4869402Sick pets are a special kind of suck, regardless of how bad. Do what you gotta do.
>>4867713>>4867779>>4868014"Yeah, I don't know how they got that." You lie through your teeth. Not only do you have a pretty good idea of how they got it, you have a feeling Father Benedict would react... strongly to discovering your own copy of the book of forbidden alchemy, much less your use of it for direct healing purposes. "Are we visiting the chief?""Hmm. Yes." Father Benedict replies, although you're not sure what the yes is to."Why are we visiting the chief?" You ask."Because I would like to." He responds. He knocks on the door twice.A polite, limber looking man smoking a menthol cigarette opens the door, almost matching Father Benedict in height. It takes him a couple of seconds to notice you - once he does, he hastily taps out the cigarette on the wall and pitches it behind him into a nearby ashtray without looking. "Feels like I haven't seen you in ages, Father Benedict. How can I help you?"There's a sort of strange tension in the air. Chief Grey's general aura feels more genial than the intimidating Father Benedict, but you get the feeling, from the way their expressions match each other, that both of these people are not used to others not being intimidated by their presence. Father Benedict presents a warm smile but the veins on the back of one hand are tensed up, while Chief Grey's free hand not leaning on a doorframe twitches for a cigarette, knuckles closing and unclosing repeatedly. "I have additional questions.""Sure, sure. Come in, come in." He repeats, stepping out of the doorway. There's three uncomfortable looking chairs crammed into the side of the rather ordinary looking sort of office. Wooden desks that wrap around the center of the room, bookshelves, computers, plastic trophies awarded to Chief Grey's kids at various sporting events decorating the shelves. A picture of a smiling family. A note on the wall notarized with some sort of dark brown splotch next to the signature, sealed in an ornate, wrought-iron frame. You don't try to read it. Instead, you just watch as Chief Grey pulls out a chair for the two of you and settles in on his office chair on the other side of the desk.He grabs his disused cigarette from the ashtray, wiggling it in circles with his thumb like someone would manipulate a pool cue. Father Benedict sits down next to you. "You two mind if I smoke? I won't if it bothers youse guys.">"Go for it, man.">"I'd appreciate it if you didn't, Chief. I'd like my lungs tip-top for chasing down Dragons and such.">Remain Silent>Free OptionFather Benedict stares at him from behind his glasses. From this angle, it's easy to see his steely black eyes, dark enough brown to consume the entirety of his pupil. He glances sideways towards you, and the corners of his lips turn up slightly.
>>4871443>>"Go for it, man."
>>4871443>"Go for it, man."So long as we don't make a habit of being in the Chief's office while he smokes, I'm fine.
>>4871443>>"I'd appreciate it if you didn't, Chief. I'd like my lungs tip-top for chasing down Dragons and such."Hate smoking.
Having an epic pogchamp mental health moment today so unsure if I'm going to be updating later - we'll see how I'm feeling in a couple of hours once I'm done my nightly deadlines.
>>4872822No big, dude. Take care of yourself.
>>4871598>>4871960"Go for it, man." You say, trying to sound casual and not nervous. You are unsure if you succeed in that regard. Chief Grey pulls his smoldering cigarette out of the ashtray and furrows his brow, hand curled up with pointer finger extended towards the ceiling. He inhales through his nose, exhales through his mouth, and a small jet of flame appears to emerge from his fingertip, which he uses to promptly light the cigarette before popping it into his mouth. The flame only lasts for a moment, and he shakes his hand out like it has pins and needles afterwards."Is that really necessary, Mr. Grey?" Father Benedict asked, unimpressed. "Would a match not suffice?""'Course not, gotta burn those burgers off somehow." He cracks, pulling the cigarette out in between sentences, popping open his lips just enough to jet smoke out towards the right, away from you. "What can I do ya for?""I'd like to apprentice Mr. Lee." Father Benedict says, and you exhale harsh - if you had a drink, you'd spit it out. "He--""Whaddoilooglike, his dad? Ask the kid yourself. He's basically an adult. He can say yes or no." Chief Grey spits out, his voice rattling along like machine gun fire, faster than you've ever heard a human being talk comprehensively. It reminds you, distinctly, of auction yellers, maybe a bit slower than that, and it takes a couple of seconds for Father Benedict to catch up mentally."But I--" He starts, only to get immediately cut off again."Plus, Noah, love you, great kid, you're gonna go far-- he doesn't even work here yet! It's not like I can write him a permission slip or one of them jawns. This is the first time I've ever seen him and we have no legal or career obligation to each other right now. Right, Noah?" He says, keeping his finger pointed towards you."R-right." You stammer out, and he puts his hand down. Father Benedict turns towards you."You do not yet work for FOODS?" He asks, slightly incredulous. An eyebrow is raised over the edge of his glasses.>"It's a long story.">"I prefer to freelance right now... examine my options. Don't like being tied too down.">Shrug at him.>"No, I don't. Were you under the impression I was?">Free Option.
>>4874890>"No, I don't. Were you under the impression I was?"
>>4874890"I honestly don't even know enough to keep myself alive, let alone anyone else."
>>4874890>Free Option.>"I'm a civilian, but I've been receiving training here. I don't think anyone expected me to need that training so soon, though. I've had a very strange run of luck since I learned about alchemy."
Will write up my response in about 15-30 minutes, gonna roll a d3 if there's no tiebreaker.
Rolled 1 (1d3)>>48749211>>48749442>>48757273
>>4874921"No, I don't." You say, bluntly. "Were you under the impression that I was?"Father Benedict looks slightly troubled. There's a little impish part of your brain that gets a tiny little dopamine rush from it but you quickly shush that part down. "I was simply not under the impression that civilians were allowed to combat demonic threats, that's all."Chief Grey shrugs, taking another puff from his cigarette. "Eh, kid pulls his weight. Oh, yeah, kid, good job with that Homunculus. Probably would not have caught it before something really bad happened before you clued us in. Remind me to cut you a lil' something once we're done." He says to you, turning to Father Benedict. "Look, even if he did work here, I ain't his daddy. You can't go over the kid's head here, he's got a good head on his shoulders. Look, I'll make it real easy for you, chief, just turn about ninety degrees to your right, my left, and ask, hey, Mr. Lee, do you want to be my apprentice?"Father Benedict's forehead is shimmering with a light sheen of sweat. He dabs it up with a handkerchief. Chief Grey leans back in his chair, turns ninety degrees to his right (away from the two of you), and starts to smoke as much as he can while the conversation stalls. Father Benedict doesn't seem nervous, or anything, just flustered and probably a bit embarrassed that his power play got shut down in front of him.He turns to you and cracks a weary sort of smile. You see Chief Grey keeping an eye on the two of you out of the corner of your eye. "Mr. Lee, I would like to apprentice you for the duration of my stay within this periphery. I will not request you to return to Rome with me, although, given what I have heard about you, you would certainly be a great asset to our cause. There is a great and terrible fire that I can detect within you--"You hear Chief Grey mutter "Oh, for fucks sake with the theatrics..." under his breath. You aren't sure if Father Benedict heard him or not, because he just continues right over top of him."--and I believe we could nurture it into a loud flame of righteousness together.""If you two are gonna get married can you do it out of my office now that you've figured out you don't need me for it?" Chief Grey requests. "Or, do whatever. I don't care." He turns away from the two of you entirely, the lingering smoke cloud getting sucked away into the air conditioning vents.>Gesture to Father Benedict to take a step outside, you need a minute to think anyway.>"No thanks, I think I'm good where I'm at right now.">"Why don't we walk outside and you can tell me about the perks?">"I'll have to think about it. How long will you be here, you think?">Free Option.
>>4876685>"Why don't we walk outside and you can tell me about the perks?">"How long will you be here, you think?"
>>4876685>"I've got a mom, Father. I could maybe get away with community service, but I don't think she'd be convinced with me suddenly finding religion.">"Do they play a lot of jazz in church?"
>>4876710>>4877441You flick your head towards Chief Grey. "Why don't we walk outside and you can tell me about the perks there?" You ask, and Father Benedict's face furrows slightly."Certainly." He says, quietly, scooting his chair out and stepping out from it."Don't be a stranger, kid." Chief Grey says, waving his cigarette-holding hand backwards towards the two of you. You wave to him awkwardly, but he's not looking to begin with, so it makes you feel a little odd.Father Benedict shuts the door behind the two of you, pinching the bridge of his nose with quiet irritation. "What was that you asked, "perks"?""Yeah." You confirm. "And, while I have questions, how long will you be here, you think?"His face softens only slightly. "I intend to be here as long as necessary to remove the heretic and all traces of their devilry from this place. This will require both investigation and, likely, execution. I do not expect it to take longer than a couple of months." He stretches his fingers until his knuckles pop, and then folds his hands together. "After which, I and my team will be returning to Rome. If you'd like, once your primary education is completed, you would have an open invitation to join us. That is your "perk"."You get the slight feeling he didn't like you describing it in that way. You fold your arms and try not to look intimidated."Outside of that, you will learn techniques that I am certain they would be unable or unwilling to teach you at this place. These techniques are necessary for maximal destruction of demonic entities. You will also receive the satisfaction of a job well done." He says, and then sucks in air through his teeth. "As well as a stipend, should you wish one."You resist the urge to ask if you look poor that everyone keeps offering you money. You glance down at your clothes and kind of get where they see that impression. Or maybe they just think kids are easily swayed by money?...Maybe.>Free Option.
>>4878494I'm kinda lost here. There's a lot of things I would personally ask, but a bit sketchy on what our musically inclined single parent MC would ask about.Do we have a tally for those personality choices?
>>4878502From what I've been keeping track of, Noah is somewhat impulsive, pragmatic, and practical, the kind of person who uses the best option they feel available to them in the immediate moment rather than constructing elaborate plans. He is also empathetic, not an idiot, and has good reflexes when he's not distracted. As a person, I would quantify him as someone who is, right now, more "defensive" than "aggressive" - he hasn't taken an immediate battle-lust to fighting Dragons and is mostly trying to survive while keeping other people as alive as possible. His focus on architectural/structural alchemy and knowledge of forbidden medical alchemy make him more knowledgeable as a guardian and healer than as a straight-up soldier. He's willing to extract deals with people he thinks of as his enemies if he thinks it will be advantageous to him in the long-term - not in any grand way, but more "If I show mercy to my enemies they will probably be more willing to help me."If anyone else has been getting any other reads of him though, I'm sure collecting our individual views of Noah would help figure out how he comes across as a character.
>>4878494>Thanks, but noIf we sought maximal destruction, we'd be already working for FOODS.As it is, all we did was basically self-defence.Also I'm worried that this apprenticeship will put a damper on our relationship with Rebecca.
>>4878494Yeah, I'm still not sure what to say. Been looking at this every so often and having words falter. I guess we reject? Because I agree with >>4878524 Richard's summary of the characterization, Noah strikes me as far more a "action survivor" type than someone who would want to go hunting monsters. He doesn't want to fight, he's just had to. Does anyone have any questions they want to ask before we politely decline the offer?
>>4879174No questions, but should probably make it clear why we're refusing.
>>4879193Okay, how does this look, then?>"I'm sorry, Father Benedict, but I think I'm going to have to decline your offer. What you and your order do is noble work, but I'm not a warrior. I've only even known about Dragons and alchemy for a few weeks. It's just too much, too fast. I can't tell you that I'm prepared to dedicate myself to fighting evil when I've just been trying to survive. Maybe something will happen to give me resolve, and I'll be kicking myself for not taking your offer now. But as I am now, I just don't think I'd be suited for your work. I'm sorry."
>>4879225Something along those lines, yeah. Might be a little too considered, though? Particularly the "Maybe something will happen to give me resolve" bit.
>>4879252Yeah, let's change that. Just to "maybe something will change".>"I'm sorry, Father Benedict, but I think I'm going to have to decline your offer. What you and your order do is noble work, but I'm not a warrior. I've only even known about Dragons and alchemy for a few weeks. It's just too much, too fast. I can't tell you that I'm prepared to dedicate myself to fighting evil when I've just been trying to survive. Maybe that's going to change later, and I'll be kicking myself for not taking your offer now. But as I am now, I just don't think I'd be suited for your work. I'm sorry."
>>4879636>>4879252>>4880262You take a deep breath and resist the immediate urge to try and put a hand on Father Benedict's shoulder - not that you'd reach, anyway. "I'm sorry, Father Benedict, but I think I'm going to have to decline your offer. What you and your order do is noble work, but I'm not a warrior. I've only even known about Dragons and alchemy for a few weeks. It's just too much, too fast. I can't tell you that I'm prepared to dedicate myself to fighting evil when I've just been trying to survive. Maybe that's going to change later, and I'll be kicking myself for not taking your offer now. But as I am now, I just don't think I'd be suited for your work. I'm sorry."He looks at you, and you see the skin around his eyelids wrinkle slightly, just enough to indicate quiet blinking. He rubs his chin with thought, and then adjusts his glasses with both of his fingers pressed to the sides, and you can no longer see even a hint of expression through them. You could only barely see through the dark material to begin with, and the new angle causes a glint that makes even that impossible. "That's all true enough. Very well, Mr. Lee." He says, and his voice is completely flat. Not that it was particularly emotive before that, but it's still a noticeable shift. "I believe we have no more discussion to be had today. We'll be in contact."He stares at you for a couple of moments, and turns around on his heel. He starts to walk away.>You have nothing more to say. Don't stop him.>>After he leaves, it's probably time to head back to school, yeah?>>Once he leaves, go check in with Hyde. Let him know what THAT was all about.>"Wait--" (Free Option)
>>4880520>Check in with the chief about that commission
>>4880520>Once he leaves, go check in with Hyde. Let him know what THAT was all about.Dude was so worried, we need to tell him we're okay.
>>4880524Yeah, I agree. Support
>>4880520>>Once he leaves, go check in with Hyde. Let him know what THAT was all about.Ooph, here's hoping we didn't make an enemy somehow.
>>4880520>>"Wait--" (Free Option)> "Good luck, Father, and God be with you."
>>4880524>>4880668>>4880792You mumble something about god being with you under your breath and resolve to check with Chief Grey about that mentioned commission later. Right now, you have to let Hyde know you're okay.You make it all the way back down the hall, watching people move about towards Lunch, just barely catching the tail end of Father Benedict's... cloak? Uniform? Fluttering out behind him while he leaves out the front door.Hyde welcomes you back like a soldier making it back from the Middle East. "Oh shit, you're alright!" He says, sounding surprised as you walk into his office. "How's it all?">Tired. You got a granola bar or anything I can leech off you?>Confused. Apparently he wanted to pick me to apprentice under him. Unsure why?>Angry. Got everyone scared and pulled you all that way just to give you a job offer? That's rude of him.>Free Option.
>>4882314>Confused. Apparently he wanted to pick me to apprentice under him. Unsure why?
>>4882314>>Tired. You got a granola bar or anything I can leech off you?
>>4882314>Confused. Apparently he wanted to pick me to apprentice under him. Unsure why?>Free Option.>"Seemed real upset that I didn't want to sign up to be a holy warrior, too."
>>4882344>>4882552>>4882406You rub your eyes, sighing quietly and pulling yourself onto the fresh sheet of parchment that Hyde set out, presumably for the next person he needed to check up on. He makes a tiny little noise as you do so, but ultimately does not protest in any meaningful way. "He wanted me to apprentice under him apparently. Seemed real upset when I said that I wasn't interested in becoming one of their holy warriors." You say, shrugging. "Can I leech a granola bar off you?"Hyde scratches his head, reaching underneath the countertop his computer is set on to grab a nutrition bar from beneath and toss it at you. You catch it, crack it open, and proceed to chew on its chalky, meal-replacement-y goodness. "That's... weird. Certainly never heard of that happening before.""You haven't?" You ask.Hyde looks up at you and shrugs, getting a bar for himself. "No, they usually recruit internally from the church. The religiousness is... important. I've never heard of them trying to scoop promising recruits like yourself out from under other organizations... it is weird.""Hmm..." You mumble under your own breath, thinking while you chew.>"Think I'm just that good?">"He mentioned something about a "great and terrible fire in me" or whatever. What the hell is that about?">"What if he was trying to get me somewhere secluded to cap me because I did some goofy sin shit by accident?">Remain Silent>Free option
>>4886059>"He mentioned something about a "great and terrible fire in me" or whatever. What the hell is that about?"
>>4886059>"He mentioned something about a "great and terrible fire in me" or whatever.
>>4886081>>4886108>>4887581"He mentioned something about a "great and terrible fire in me" or whatever. What the hell is that about?" You ask, rubbing your shoulder a little bit.Hyde raises an eyebrow and shakes his head quietly. "That sounds like a prophecy. And, I don't know about you, but I do not believe in prophecies."Now its your turn to raise an eyebrow back at him. "We both literally use magic and prophecies are out of the question?"Hyde's face immediately contorts into a comedic paroxysm of hyper-exaggerated rage. "It's not magic." He joke-yells, and then unclenches all his facial muscles, returning his appearance to that of his mid-thirties self and not an angry 50 year old version of him. "No, really though, it's not.""The Chief of the Dragon Slaying Police lights cigarettes with fire from his fingertips. That sounds like magic to me." You say, folding your arms smugly in front of your chest."It's a science that works for reasons we don't fully understand yet, like quantum physics or wife guys. And he's still doing that? I told him to stop that." Hyde grumbles, scratching the top of his head."Oops." You reply.Hyde waves his hand in front of his face like he's dismissing a fart. "It's just not good for the muscles in your fingers. Turning air molecules into fire requires a lot of energy, especially if you do it like he does and makes it like, a fucking butane torch. You can still get repetitive strain injuries doing alchemy, you know. Better using your hands for more impressive things than party tricks when you have a perfectly serviceable zippo.""How do you know he has a zippo?" You ask, feeling cheeky today. Hyde rolls his eyes."Are you kidding? Who doesn't know he has a zippo? Dude has a lighter collection, even. And he uses precisely none of them. What a maroon...">"Does he have some sort of pyromania thing going on? What's his deal?">"Oh, right, wanna go with me so I can pester him for some money for capturing a fucking homunculus?">"Don't suppose you'd have time to drive me back to the school I'm supposed to be at right now?">Free Option
>>4887763>"Oh, right, wanna go with me so I can pester him for some money for capturing a fucking homunculus?"
>>4887763>>"Oh, right, wanna go with me so I can pester him for some money for capturing a fucking homunculus?"
>>4887844>>4888017>>4888020>>4889429"Oh, right, speaking of--" You start, eliciting a quiet little hum of attention from Hyde. "Wanna go with me so I can pester him for some money for capturing a fucking homunculus?"Hyde blinks at you a couple of times, and then shrugs. "Yeah, sure, why not." You shuffle off of the parchment, ripping some of it loudly enough that Hyde both notices and makes an aggravated noise about it, but he doesn't say anything further.You peek your head out of the door, just in case, but thankfully find no strange priests wandering around, and the mood has calmed down a bit. You take that as some sort of subconscious signal that the members of l'Ordine are out and about elsewhere, and not here, which is good. You don't really feel like having another conversation with Father Benedict right now, as good as his intentions probably are.Right! Back to Chief Grey's office. You just kind of amble back down the hall, feeling particularly penguin-esque for no good reason, and give his door a good two knocks before Hyde steps around in front of you and slams on the door with the side of his fist."Oh, that was fast." Chief Grey says, opening up the door, seeming to care not in the slightest that Hyde just put a tiny dent in the wood somehow. "Lemme guess, you said "no"?">"How'd you guess?">"Yeah, I don't know, I'm just not a soldier of justice sort of type. Just here to stay alive.">"Actually, I'll be starting with him on Monday." [Joke]>"Eh, I don't even want to think about that too much. Can we talk commission, is now a good time?">Free Option.>Gawk at him silently.He blows some smoke to the side, trying his best to keep it away from your face. It ends up landing in Hyde's face instead, who waves it away somewhat angrily.
>>4889860>"Eh, I don't even want to think about that too much. Can we talk commission, is now a good time?"
>>4889860>>"Eh, I don't even want to think about that too much. Can we talk commission, is now a good time?"
>>4889860>"Yeah, I don't know, I'm just not a soldier of justice sort of type. Just here to stay alive."
>>4889867>>4889871"Eh, I don't even want to think about that too much. Can we talk commission, is now a good time?" You ask, trying not to look too... you're not sure. Your face is definitely doing something, but your skin feels a little numb, and not in the spider sense way. Your heart immediately starts thumping in anxiety that you're about to have another seizure, but the moment passes.Chief Grey fishes into his pocket and pulls out his wallet. "When's your birthday, kid?">Halloween>April Fool's>New Year's>February 29th>Free Option.He scratches a spot just above his right eyebrow and then pulls out a wad of bills. "Yeah, whatever--" He says, evidently not caring too much about whatever your birthday actually is. "Happy birthday. Legally, this is a gift."He then presses five hundred US dollars into your hands, and your eyes bulge. Hyde wolf whistles quietly. "Hoo, boy." He says under his breath. "Wish I got paid that much.""Wait 'til your Christmas bonus, Hyde." Chief Grey responds, reaching out and drumming his fingers across Hyde's forehead. He twitches a little bit in response. "Don't go spending it all in one place, alright, kid?""I'll, uh, keep it in mind." You say, awkwardly stuffing the nine bills into your pocket - four hundreds and five twenties. You don't even think you've seen a hundred dollar bill in your life before, much less five of them. "Why do you have that much money on you?""Strip clubs! Love 'em. Bad habit of mine. Strip clubs and casinos. But mostly strip clubs." Chief Grey says, almost shouting. Hyde immediately winces, looking around as if to check if anyone just saw the chief of the dragon police loudly semi-yelling that he loves strip clubs. "I'm kidding. I try not to leave the house without cash on me just in case I need it. Always useful to have liquid cash on hand.""You're not kidding, you just don't want to talk about strip clubs in front of a sixteen year old." Hyde challenges, folding his arms over his chest."Guilty as charged." Chief Grey replies, grinning smugly. "Whatever you do, kid, do not look up strip clubs when you get home. Also, do not visit them. You are not old enough.""I'll... keep it in mind." You mumble, your thumb still tracing the bills in your pocket."Great! We done here?" Chief Grey asks, leaning against the doorframe, into his shoulder. It looks awfully uncomfortable.>"...How much can I expect to make if I actually work here?">"Can you teach me how to do that fire thing with your fingers some day?" Ignore any of Hyde's protestations, that was cool as shit.>"Yeah, I think we're good. I'm gonna, uh, head back to school now?">Stay silent, gawk at him.>Free Option.-----Next update probably on Sunday and probably the last one, I have some stuff to attend to tomorrow. Unrelated note, but if you don't hear Chief Grey in your head as J. K. Simmons, I have failed as an author.
>>4891355>Halloween>"Yeah, I think we're good. I'm gonna, uh, head back to school now?"
>>4891355>February 29th>"Yeah, I think we're good. I'm gonna, uh, head back to school now?"
>>4891355>Halloween>"Yeah, I think we're good. I'm gonna, uh, head back to school now?"Well, I guess it's better than him seeing us as a menace. Yeah, that's definitely a J.K. Simmons voice.
>>4891997>>4891486"Yeah, I think we're good. I'm gonna, uh, head back to school now?" You ask, rubbing the back of your head. Chief Grey taps out some ash from his cigarette into the palm of his hand, takes a quiet little inhale, and blows it straight up across his nose."Right. You do that. Hyde, give the kid a ride back." Chief Grey orders. Hyde sputters for a moment, and then his shoulders sag."Yes, sir." He mumbles. You give him a little jab on the side, and the two of you depart while Chief Grey returns to the comfort of his office.---Life goes on...[Next thread will begin with a moderate length timeskip, during which we will be able to determine how Noah spends the intervening time and participate in some side events. You should begin thinking now as for what Noah will be doing with his intervening time!]
And thank you all for reading! As always, I appreciate your readership, it's always a joy to write for you all, and I hope you are enjoying the story. Most of the pieces are in place, so I'll be accelerating the pace a little bit so that we don't spend the entire thread within a single "event".Thread has been archived at: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive/4843024/Thanks for reading!
>>4892822Thanks for running!
>>4892822Thanks for running, Richard. See you next thread.
Aaand next thread!>>4894465