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34875 No. 34875
I really shouldn't have bothered waking up.

It might have saved me some trouble, in the short run.






I hop out of bed as soon as the alarm rings, switching it off. It's not that I'm a morning person, or enjoy them in the slightest, because I don't. A routine's a routine, though, and I've got a job to get to.

Stepping onto the thin carpet of my apartment, I streeeetch good and long, back arched, wings fully extended and fluttering slightly. I'm not worried about anyone seeing me nude; this room is too high up for anyone to notice.

After a quick shower— very quick; the hot water is out again, today —I emerge from the tiny shower stall, shivering and cursing. Drying off myself quickly, I leave the bathroom and go over to my drawer.

...Ugh.

I always hesitate, just for a second, before I can touch the drawers. Even 10 years and a whole different world later, it still feels weird. It's like it's not really mine.

Then I sigh, and the moment is over. I open up the drawer, don a pair of underwear, and snap on my bra. Learning how to work that was a challenge, but this particular bra took clothing hell to another level: it's designed for bewingéd people such as myself.

Convenience has never been so much of an unholy pain.

After finishing my battle with the convoluted garment, I pull on my top, and slip into a good skirt. Next, I brush my hair, which, after a year or two of trying different styles and lengths, I decided to leave the way I'd worn it for as long as I could remember— short, about shoulder length, and still kind of unkempt-looking (but fashionably so, right? ...Right?). Picking a few lingering blue and white strands out of the brush, I set it down, and look myself over.

Yep. Looking good as I ever will. I grab my bag, and head for the kitchen.

Breakfast is a peanut-butter-slathered pop-tart. It's part of a new, revolutionary diet written, I'm beginning to suspect, by a damned mental patient. I forgo the yak's milk, because there's no such thing as yaks in Haven, except for the ones at the zoo.

No time to read today's paper; I'll have to grab someone's copy at work.

And then I'm out the door, shoes clacking as I hurry down the steps to catch the 110 into the heart of the city we call Haven, where once Gensokyo stood.




(And what is it that this plucky young lady does to earn a living?)

[ ] Intrepid reporter for Kakashi Spirit News, working under Assistant Editor Hieda. Don't call it a tabloid, dammit!
[ ] Down at City Hall, you're Chairman Asakura's favorite troubleshooter. You still get grief from some of your fellow youkai for working for The Man.
[ ] A teacher at the university. You'd really appreciate it if Dr. Usami didn't keep dumping most of her work on you...
[ ] write-in? (I reserve the right to alter (or reject) any write-in to better fit the story)

________________________________________________________________________________

I apologize to fans of Resentment for stopping that to write this.

But if you liked Retrospective and Astronomical Narration, then I pray/wish/fervently hope you'll enjoy this, as that's the kind of story I'm trying to make here. It'll never be as good as that, but I'll try.

If it seems oddly plain and boring, then everything's right.

>> No. 34877
[x] Intrepid reporter for Kakashi Spirit News, working under Assistant Editor Hieda. Don't call it a tabloid, dammit!

I hope nobody writes in a terrible choice.
>If it seems oddly plain and boring, then everything's right.
Oh good, I was worried that it was plain and boring unintentionally. This makes it all better.

I'm a little disappointed that this isn't a NiG update. Just a little. A RaAN copycat is fine too.
>> No. 34878
[x] Mobster working for the Saigyouji family
>> No. 34879
[x] Mobster working for the Saigyouji family

I know i shouldn't but i like that. Yuyuko as a Don or head of a Yakuza.
>> No. 34880
[X] Job at the bookstore--you're not busy all through the day, so you're able to digest some good novels every now and then.
>> No. 34881
[x] Intrepid reporter for Kakashi Spirit News, working under Assistant Editor Hieda. Don't call it a tabloid, dammit!

>>34877
>I hope nobody writes in a terrible choice
>[x] Mobster working for the Saigyouji family

It only took five minutes.
>> No. 34882
[x] Intrepid reporter for Kakashi Spirit News, working under Assistant Editor Hieda. Don't call it a tabloid, dammit!
>> No. 34884
[x] Intrepid reporter for Kakashi Spirit News, working under Assistant Editor Hieda. Don't call it a tabloid, dammit!

Starring J.K. Simmons as Assistant Editor Hieda.

>bewingéd

When you poetically voice a usually unvoiced syllable (i.e., be-wing-ED), you use the grave accent, not an acute accent. So, 'bewingèd'. [/pedantic]

>Picking a few lingering blue and white strands out of the brush, I set it down, and look myself over.

Tokiko?

>But if you liked Retrospective and Astronomical Narration, then I pray/wish/fervently hope you'll enjoy this, as that's the kind of story I'm trying to make here.

I cannot possibly express my exuberance at this project.

But if I could, it would be in verse:

Lovin' is what I got~
>> No. 34886
[x] A teacher at the university. You'd really appreciate it if Dr. Usami didn't keep dumping most of her work on you...
>> No. 34888
[x] Intrepid reporter for Kakashi Spirit News, working under Assistant Editor Hieda. Don't call it a tabloid, dammit!

Tokiko please.
>> No. 34892
[X] Intrepid reporter for Kakashi Spirit News, working under Assistant Editor Hieda. Don't call it a tabloid, dammit!

> the city we call Haven, where once Gensokyo stood.

Humanity found out about Gensokyo, didn't we?
>> No. 34893
File 130841754253.jpg - (64.17KB , 480x360 , rod_yomiko014.jpg ) [iqdb]
34893
[x] A teacher at the university. You'd really appreciate it if Dr. Usami didn't keep dumping most of her work on you...
>> No. 34894
>>34893

>Retrospective and Astronomical Narration

...which touhou-project.com has forgotten for some reason.
>> No. 34895
>But if you liked Retrospective and Astronomical Narration, then I pray/wish/fervently hope you'll enjoy this, as that's the kind of story I'm trying to make here.
This would have some sort of impact if I could even read what had been done. The Story List just returns 404s for all the story's links.

[x] Intrepid reporter for Kakashi Spirit News, working under Assistant Editor Hieda. Don't call it a tabloid, dammit!
>> No. 34896
[+] A teacher at the university. You'd really appreciate it if Dr. Usami didn't keep dumping most of her work on you...

There are too many stories about a protagonist who goes out and about doing things, like reporting. We need different things. Different things are nice too!

>>34894
>...which touhou-project.com has forgotten for some reason.
Because a really good story that will never be finished is still nothing more than a really good story that will never be finished.

Also it's not in the archives, so other than word of mouth, newcomers to the site won't know its there to remember in the first place.
>> No. 34897
[x] Intrepid reporter for Kakashi Spirit News, working under Assistant Editor Hieda. Don't call it a tabloid, dammit!
>> No. 34901
[x] A teacher at the university. You'd really appreciate it if Dr. Usami didn't keep dumping most of her work on you...
>> No. 34905
[X] a member of the Saigyouji crime famil- er, a perfectly normal aide at Hakugyokuro Nursing Homes who does absolutely nothing interesting, no sir?

I agree that Resentment's update speed was quite slow, and I'm glad you will be (hopefully) writing this at a faster pace.

[ø] A teacher at the university. You'd really appreciate it if Dr. Usami didn't keep dumping most of her work on you...

I'd also be okay with the job at the City Hall.
>> No. 34911
Let's try that again.

[X] A teacher at the university. You'd really appreciate it if Dr. Usami didn't keep dumping most of her work on you...

So did Gensokyo merge with the outside world or something to that effect?
Also, this story, even though it just started, seems interesting so far.
>> No. 34912
http://www.mediafire.com/?1zfn33651w9rlbj
For those who missed out, and those who want to reread it.
>> No. 34913
[X] A teacher at the university. You'd really appreciate it if Dr. Usami didn't keep dumping most of her work on you...
>> No. 34914
>>34896
the reason why I included the .com is because it's not in the archives.

I hope the mods restore it soon

(and I think this isn't the first story/threads to have been deleted)
>> No. 34916
>>34912
You, sir, are credit to team.
>> No. 34917
[x] Mobster working for the Saigyouji family
>> No. 34920
[x] A teacher at the university. You'd really appreciate it if Dr. Usami didn't keep dumping most of her work on you...

So long as it's not too similar to RAN, and can stand on its own, I'm in.

>>34878
>>34879
>>34917

Though this might be an uphill battle.
>> No. 34921
[X] A teacher at the university. You'd really appreciate it if Dr. Usami didn't keep dumping most of her work on you...

Alright, this seems like a good choice.
>> No. 34922
[x] A teacher at the university. You'd really appreciate it if Dr. Usami didn't keep dumping most of her work on you...
>> No. 34923
[ ] Down at City Hall, you're Chairman Asakura's favorite troubleshooter. You still get grief from some of your fellow youkai for working for The Man.
>> No. 34935
I squealed with glee at the intrepid reporter option, then noticed it was Kakashi Spirit, not Bunbunmaru. Now I'm torn between it and university teacher.
>> No. 34938
>>34935
If you're torn between two options, just flip a coin.
>> No. 34946
[ ] Down at City Hall, you're Chairman Asakura's favorite troubleshooter. You still get grief from some of your fellow youkai for working for The Man.
>> No. 34948
The tide's turned in favor of the teacher option, which is just fine. However, it's sort of close (10-9, between teacher and reporter) at the moment, so I'd like to let the people voting for "Mobster working for the Saigyouji crime family" know that this is not a viable choice (partially because it's taken straight from RaAN, and partially because of certain other reasons which will be discovered in the fullness of time).

If you voted for that, you may want to revote.

>>34884
>bewingèd
Oh. I did not know that; thank you.

>Lovin' is what I got~
I both love and hate reader attentiveness. But right now it's all good.
>> No. 34953
[X] A teacher at the university. You'd really appreciate it if Dr. Usami didn't keep dumping her work on you...

>Dr. Usami
You have my interest.
>> No. 34954
[ ] Intrepid reporter for Kakashi Spirit News, working under Assistant Editor Hieda. Don't call it a tabloid, dammit!

Sad, the most interessing option has no chance of winning. So instead of wastaing my vote, I'm gonna support the second most interessing option.
>> No. 34956
>>34954
>interessing

That little red squiggle is there to tell you that that is wrong. It's "interesting." Also, wastaing, though I'm sure that is a regular typo.
>> No. 34964
Teacher it is.

Writing; update maybe tomorrow or so?
>> No. 34967
>>34964
Let's hope so.
>> No. 34971
>>34964

Hooray!
>> No. 34981
Wonderful; I decide on reporter and voting's closed. Why does that keep happening?
>> No. 34990
>>34981

If you are in doubt, you should vote for anything first, and when you finally make up your mind you just delete the vote and choose something else.
>> No. 35002
>>34990
I guess you're right...
>> No. 35014
File 13087224909.jpg - (53.82KB , 336x448 , these hallowed halls of learning.jpg ) [iqdb]
35014
[学] Teacher at the university. You'd really appreciate it if Dr. Usami didn't keep dumping most of her work on you...

The clatter of my footsteps ends as I hit the concrete at the bottom of the stairwell and push open the one-way door, letting the early morning light into the darkened room. The hum of the fluorescent lights placed at every landing gives way to the sounds of the city, well on its way to waking up.

I take three steps, and nearly trip over one of the manager's cats, a fat grey thing lying directly across the path of anyone leaving the stairwell, its eyes closed as it basks in the sun, blithely unconcerned about anyone heading towards it. With a squawk of surprise, I manage to avoid it, keep my footing, and hustle down the steps to the street below. One of these days, those bastard fuzzy roadblocks are going to get me a broken neck. At least the steps here don't get good exposure to the sunlight, or there'd really be a problem.

I make it to my bus stop in time, thankfully. It's only about half a block further down the street; close enough for convenience, far enough away that the driver can't see me as I tear out of the building, waving frantically for him to wait.

For about the kabillionth time, the thought occurs to me that maybe I should get up just a tad earlier so I could avoid this kind of crap. And like every day (well, weekday) for the past few years, I'll have forgotten about it in a few hours.

The 110 bus pulls up about 10 seconds after I get there, and I quickly board, dropping in the required fare. The majority of the other riders are regulars, and a few even nod a polite greeting. They've long since gotten used to the sight of a youkai doing normal-people things like riding the bus.

A mother with her child, not part of the usual morning group, sits about two seats away from me. Judging by the wide-eyed look of panic and amazement in her eyes, she doesn't see youkai very often, except maybe the ones that make for good news coverage. I try to give her a friendly smile— something I'm good at, something I have to be good at, as a teacher —but it doesn't seem to help much.

Her child, a young boy, is staring with fascination at my wings, which still show a little, despite my having folded them before sitting down. I give them a little rustle, and he gasps before being hurriedly hushed.

For some people, ten years just isn't enough.

Too bad for them.

------------------------------------------------

The bus lumbers down the long, steep hill from where my apartment overlooks a good portion of the city. I don't remember what was originally there, before; probably just another one of the hills and little mountains that Gensokyo was full of. It'd be almost impossible to tell where anything was in Gensokyo if not for the Big Two.

I can't see Moriya Shrine from here, but I've been there in the morning. The sunlight catches the glass onbashira just so, and it's a truly beautiful sight. The shrine maiden, Kochiya, is one of the leading proponents of human-youkai relations, having taken up the cause after Margatroid was assassinated. She's a beautiful woman, full of grace and maturity as well as the fire needed to lead the masses.

The other notable surviving landmark you can see from almost anywhere in Haven. It's hard to miss an absurdly colossal cherry blossom that's dead smack in the middle of the city after all, even if it wasn't up on that hill. It never goes out of bloom, no matter the season, which looks very pretty, but I imagine must be a pain for the Parks Department. All those petals must pile up after a while. On the other hand, I suppose it makes for good compost. Given who used to own it, I think they'd appreciate the symbolism.

After a twenty minute ride through the city's commercial district, the buildings get shorter and shorter, and the spaces between them are filled with small shops rather than other office buildings. It's here, on the far end of the Lanzhou commercial district, that Haven's premier— and, at the moment, only —place of higher learning lies.

A sprawling complex of unused factory buildings (pulled in from somewhere in Spain, as best as we can tell), were renovated after the Big Flip by the city's Renewal Committee into what I can only describe as a big damn school. It helped that half the facilities required were already in place, in one form or another. As a result, the decor of the place is pretty heavy on concrete and brick. But it works, dammit, and it's something we can all be proud of.

I get off the bus at the southeast end of the complex, and walk a little ways north, and then in towards the center of campus. Some early-morning students are already arriving. I recognize a few of my own, and they give me a nod and a wave. I find that the university crowd tends to be a little less idiotic about the whole youkai issue, something for which I'm very grateful.

Up ahead lies the Physics building, all red brick and imposing. It's a bit less so when you realize that description covers about half the buildings here. Rather than feeling huge and forbidding, the large, clunky architecture of the university makes me feel a little safer, somehow. Rin gave me a weird look when I told her that. I don't blame her; it's a strangely human thing to think.

Maybe it comes with the shape we're in.

I hurry up the steps and go in, feeling a little bit of anticipatory tension, now. Don't misunderstand; I enjoy being a teacher, completely and absolutely. Being able to educate and inform, to guide, to help someone learn; these are some of the greatest things that one being can do for another. But...

"Oh, Professor Morichika!" The department secretary, a plump, cheerful, Chinese lady calls out to me as I pass the front office. I stop, and make a detour over to her desk. She gives me a smile, which I return.

"'Morning, Bao Yu. I'll bet... let's see. I'll bet you want to share today's winning lottery numbers with me."

She gives an unladylike snort as she laughs. "Ha! The city can't afford that kind of thing, dear. Give it another decade or two."

"Well, darn," I say, snapping my fingers in in mock disappointment. "One of these days, I'll be able to guess what it is you call me over for on the first try. Whatever could be the reason this time, I wonder?"

The secretary just rolls her eyes. "Dr. Usami wants to see you at your earliest convenience."

My eyes go wide, and I place a hand on my chest. "What a surprise! Goodness, how rare." I drop the affected air of surprise, and nod. "No shock there. Thanks again."

Bao Yu makes a little wave of acknowledgment, already getting back to work. I continue on my way, and head back out to the hall.

...But then there's this part of my day, too.

[ ] To the teacher's lounge! She eats like any other human being, supposedly.
[ ] Head to the lecture hall. Perhaps she's setting up in there?
[ ] What about her office? Aside from how hideously organized it is.

________________________________________________________________________________

Oh my god, writing this feels so ridiculously refreshing. If that's not a good sign, I don't know what is.
>> No. 35015
[x] To the teacher's lounge! She eats like any other human being, supposedly.
>> No. 35017
[x] To the teacher's lounge! She eats like any other human being, supposedly.

Seems the main character is likely Tokiko after being adopted or married to Rinnosuke. But the bits of the world revealed have some startling details, such as Alice being assasinated.
>> No. 35018
[x] What about her office? Aside from how hideously organized it is.

Oh god, reading this feels so ridiculously alien.
>> No. 35019
>absurdly colossal cherry blossom
>never goes out of bloom
Is this good or bad? I can't tell.


Also, >Professor Morichika
So I take it we ARE Tokiko.

[X] Head to the lecture hall. Perhaps she's setting up in there?
>> No. 35020
[ ] What about her office? Aside from how hideously organized it is.

> Is this good or bad? I can't tell.
Should be bad, but it doesn't seem to be eating people so..

Man I hope whoever assassinated Alice got torn apart.
>> No. 35021
[x] What about her office? Aside from how hideously organized it is.

The world's leading expert on Super Unified Theory.
>> No. 35022
[x] Head to the lecture hall. Perhaps she's setting up in there?
>> No. 35025
>I find that the university crowd tends to be a little less idiotic about the whole youkai issue, something for which I'm very grateful.
Even in gensokyo, liberals.

[x] What about her office? Aside from how hideously organized it is.
>> No. 35030
[x] What about her office? Aside from how hideously organized it is.
Interesting, at least. Let's see where this goes.
>> No. 35037
>>35017
>But the bits of the world revealed have some startling details, such as Alice being assassinated.

And there's also the fact that the Saigyou Ayakashi is no longer "owned" by Yuyuko.

Even if it's not revealed in the story I hope we can learn what, exactly, happened to a lot of the people that called Gensokyo home. The main ones for me are 'who assassinated Alive & why?' and 'what's Reimu up to now?'.
>> No. 35039
the setting seems similar, but not identical to the one of RaAN universe.
Last time I remember seeing Alice in RaAN was when Cirno went to Hakurei Shrine (?) and Alice appeared out of nowhere, and IIRC, she was shedding tears for someone... ugh it's been so long since I've read RaAN, that I can't remember the details clearly. I should go re-read it. Another notable difference is how, iirc, Hakugyokurou was not in the city and was separated by a border of some sort; Saigyou Ayakashi being located in the city says otherwise though.
If the story does take place in the same universe, then hooray, if it does not, I will still enjoy this nonetheless.

[ø] To the teacher's lounge! She eats like any other human being, supposedly.
>> No. 35040
[x] What about her office? Aside from how hideously organized it is.

After a couple minutes thought, I am no closer to divining the answer to what this "Big Flip" could possibly be. I suspect it plays heavily behind Gensokyo's current state, if it is not the colloquial term for the event that caused such a drastic change in and of itself.

>Kochiya

What a bastard, not providing a given name.
>> No. 35041
>>35039
>Last time I remember seeing Alice in RaAN was when Cirno went to Hakurei Shrine (?) and Alice appeared out of nowhere, and IIRC, she was shedding tears for someone...

She was mourning for Marisa because the MC had backed over her with a panel truck. It was also a major creepy moment, because she was carrying a Cirno voodoo doll.

>>35040
>After a couple minutes thought, I am no closer to divining the answer to what this "Big Flip" could possibly be. I suspect it plays heavily behind Gensokyo's current state, if it is not the colloquial term for the event that caused such a drastic change in and of itself.

My guess is a lot of Gensokyo's people, and its geography, were transposed with the Outside 10 years ago. Just not everything and everyone, which would explain how Tokiko got separated from 'Mr.' Morichika.
>> No. 35087
File 130887983780.jpg - (182.48KB , 358x304 , squared away٫ yessir٫ squared away.jpg ) [iqdb]
35087
[ʄ] What about her office? Aside from how hideously organized it is.

Renko's office is up on the third floor. These heels are awkward enough to walk in, despite having learned how to do so. But I absolutely hate climbing up stairs in them. I always cling to the railing, even though I don't usually slip in them anymore. It's a leftover habit, I guess.

The open pavilion in the middle of the building— part of what used to be the factory floor —is where students lounge at tables and eat, or study, or meet, or talk, or whatever. Students call it The Cup because standing in it makes you feel like you're at the very bottom of one when you look up at the skylights above and the four walls all around. It's about half a minute's walk from the front office, and more if it's lunchtime.

I step into it to find it deserted, a rare occurrence. Looking around, and then pausing to listen, I can't detect anyone in the area.

Perfect.

Clutching my bag tight, I extend my wings, flap them a couple times, and take flight, a smile on my face. It's only a short distance, but it's still fun, anyway. The university doesn't prohibit the public use of powers or other youkai abilities, per se, but they tend to discourage open displays unless it's an emergency.

I am a diligent teacher, but there is a part of me that is also a bird. Or, put another way: All walk and no fly makes Tokiko a dull girl.

With a "hup," I land neatly on the 3rd floor after hopping over the railing. Looking back down, I briefly double-check to make sure I wasn't spotted, but it seems I'm still good. Humming a little to myself, I take a left, then walk a short ways over to the her office.

I pause, outside the door. Somebody had thoughtfully put the "Dean's Office" nameplate back in its holder on the wall outside, above her name. She must not be in yet, because she'd have taken it out and thrown it down the hall again if she saw that.

...And yet, I hear muttering from inside, and the tapping of keys on a keyboard.

With the lights off?

Something drops to the floor with a clunk and there's a muffled curse.

[ ] Guns blazing
[ ] Calm as you please

________________________________________________________________________________

This update took a different direction than I'd expected, but that's okay, too.
>> No. 35088
[x] Calm as you please
"Good day to you, dear thief. This is an splendid morning, isn't it?"
>> No. 35090
[x] Calm as you please

>Older Tokiko in heels
That is one appealing mental image.
>> No. 35091
[X] Calm as you please

"Didn't anyone tell you it's bad for your eyes to use a computer in the dark, Dr. Usa- oh, you're not her." Throw in flicking on the lights to disorient whoever it is. Probably some punk trying to steal the answers for an upcoming exam.
>> No. 35092
[X] Calm as you please.
>> No. 35093
[X] Calm as you please.
Surprise attack.
>> No. 35098
[x] Guns blazing

You guys have forgotten that Tokiko specializes in surprise attacks. Not even Reimu can stand up to them!
>> No. 35100
[x] Guns blazing

>Older Tokiko in heels

No, thank you. Also, I'm slightly disheartened that you unveiled it's Tokiko. I mean, sure, most of us already suspected, but if you hadn't said anything there would still be a cheap sense of mystery behind it. Oh well.
>> No. 35106
[X] Calm as you please.

>>35100
You just sound like you want it to be a RaAN clone
>> No. 35107
>>35100
Fell already did the whole "never naming his protagonist" thing with Kogasa. It got kinda old there.
>> No. 35116
[X] Calm as you please
>> No. 35124
File 130897165676.png - (152.34KB , 800x800 , tokiko_don't_trip.png ) [iqdb]
35124
>I pause, outside the door. Somebody had thoughtfully put the "Dean's Office" nameplate back in its holder on the wall outside, above her name. She must not be in yet, because she'd have taken it out and thrown it down the hall again if she saw that.

Somebody's not happy about their administrative duties.

[x] Guns blazing

Misappropriation of data? Academic sabotage? Interdepartmental vandalism? Whatever! Here's our chance to make tenure!
>> No. 35149
File 130906149696.jpg - (533.94KB , 600x600 , An enthusiastic drunk.jpg ) [iqdb]
35149
No update today because I went to my nephew's graduation party and got happily drunk.

Also, happy birthday to you, Fallout Writefag and [Other Person Whose Birthday Is Today]
>> No. 35150
File 130906307839.jpg - (7.75KB , 300x226 , mah_nigger.jpg ) [iqdb]
35150
>>35149
>Also, happy birthday to you, Fallout Writefag
>> No. 35159
>Somebody's not happy about their administrative duties.
Truth in fiction. I sat in on a faculty meeting meant to decide who was going to be the department head for the next 2-year term once; that shit is like the Vault 11 election.

>After a couple minutes thought, I am no closer to divining the answer to what this "Big Flip" could possibly be.
My guess is global thermonuclear war and subsequent decimation of civilized society on the Outside. The 'flip' would be a bunch of otherwise unremarkable buildings passing into 'legend' because nobody left alive has any idea what the rest of the world looks like with global communications knocked out.

[X] Calm as you please
>> No. 35163
File 13091180781.jpg - (14.70KB , 400x300 , things that go bump in the morning.jpg ) [iqdb]
35163
[〜] Calm as you please

I notice that it's a man's voice, too.

That settles it, then.

Opening the door, I walk in as if I own the place. I flip on the lights and sing a cheerful "Good morning~!" to whoever's inside, louder and more obnoxiously upbeat than required. Shrugging out of my blue and black coat, I hang it up on the coat stand just inside the room, while a strangled cry of surprise comes from behind me, followed by a fumbling of papers and another heavy clunk.

He hasn't made a break for it yet, or tried to rush me, so I'm probably okay like this. I'm not stupid, though: I make very sure to keep myself in front of the door at all times.

Hmm. Nothing on the upper hat hooks, either, so she hasn't even stopped in here, yet.

"And may I ask what you're doing in here, Mr. Burg— oh." My smooth, casual confrontation is brought up short as I lay eyes on the intruder, a man in his early twenties and of Indian descent, wearing jeans and a blue t-shirt. He shoots me an incomprehensible look for a second, which then becomes one of surprise. That's to be expected.

A thick sheaf of papers is in one hand, and his eyes are darting around. He starts to bend down to pick up something, presumably the heavy thing from before. "Ah-ah. Just stay there a moment, Mr. Mahal," I tell him, wagging a finger. "How about you tell me what's going on?"

"I was... I had just— Dr. Usami sent me to pick up some printouts from her office for today's lectures. She accidentally left them behind." The kid, Parminder Mahal, is one of the four or five teacher's assistants working directly for Renko. His English is kind of accented, but you could say that of the vast majority of Haven's population. It's a valid excuse, but...

"Those the ones she asked for?" I say, nodding to papers he's holding. He looks strangely at me, then down at the papers, and blinks, seeming bewildered. He looks back, and gives me a nod. "Then why were you on her computer? And in the dark, no less."

Very bewildered, now. "What? I was not doing anyth—"

I just point. He follows the direction of my finger, and turns around to look at the computer quietly whirring away behind him. He blanches, and then stumbles back, whipping around to look at me, looking ...worried? His words come out very agitated-sounding. "Professor Morichika, I swear to you, I do not know how that—"

Again, I cut him off. "No. Just go take the papers to her. We'll be talking later, Mr. Mahal." Something strikes me as off about this whole thing, and unless he's a good actor, I think his confusion is genuine.

Rinnosuke always said I had an eye for this sort of thing.

He starts, stops, gives me a hurried, grateful nod, and hurries out of the room, papers clutched tightly in his hands. As the sound of his footsteps racing down the hall die away, I turn my gaze upon the room.

[ ] CSI
[ ] POLICE LINE DO NOT CROSS

________________________________________________________________________________

Vote quickly; I'd like to get out another update before the day's over, since this one was kind of short.

In other news, I really should have used the last update's picture for this one, instead. Like I'd said, it went in a different direction than expected, and you can see how I forgot to change the picture to reflect that. Oh well.

>>35150
I think this is a good thing.
>> No. 35164
[!] CSI
>> No. 35165
[I] CSI
>> No. 35166
[x] CSI
We'll find out the truth or... not.
>> No. 35168
[x] CSI

Finally an excuse to rifle through Usami's files and check her internet browser history.
>> No. 35169
[X] POLICE LINE DO NOT CROSS

You know the moment we sit down at Renko's computer, she's going to walk in and commence hilarious misunderstandings.
>> No. 35171
[x] POLICE LINE DO NOT CROSS
How i missed you Fell.
>> No. 35172
[x] POLICE LINE DO NOT CROSS
Preserve the evidence.
>> No. 35173
[x] POLICE LINE DO NOT CROSS
>> No. 35175
[X] POLICE LINE DO NOT CROSS
>> No. 35176
[x] POLICE LINE DO NOT CROSS

We're apparently dealing with a mind-hacker, not a normal hacker. It should be safe to leave the evidence alone now that we've dealt with their proxy.
>> No. 35177
[X] POLICE LINE DO NOT CROSS

Obviously we are dealing with some sort of master criminal here.
>> No. 35190
>>35176
>mind-hacker

Why hello there, Koishi.
>> No. 35192
File 130915026812.jpg - (100.52KB , 500x375 , gonna ride you all night long.jpg ) [iqdb]
35192
[ㅢ] POLICE LINE DO NOT CROSS

...Right.

I don't know what was going on, but it all seems a bit fishy. Definitely going to bring that up with Renko when I finally find her. For now, I'm just going to close up shop in here.

As I shut off her computer— he'd gotten no further than the login screen, apparently; we got off lucky, there —my foot bumps into something heavy. I lean down and pick up a thick, leather-bound book, double-locked: Renko's private journal. Just what the hell did he want with this beast of a tome?

I look back and forth between book and computer for a moment, then shrug and put it back on the shelf it usually occupies. I don't have time to sit around here and play, uh...

What the hell was her name again? It was some detective girl, and the same person supposedly kept writing them for 60 or 70 years, except I found out there never was any such person. Eh, it'll come to me. Anyway, no time for that.

Once I'm done, I locking the door behind me, and stride on out to the hall. Peering over the railing, I notice that a few students have come straggling in, getting homework done or studying. Can't repeat my earlier trick in reverse, then. Pity.

Settling for walking down the normal way, I ponder what happened back there. He was looking for something, or at least trying to; that much is clear. He doesn't seem to have succeeded, which mostly bad. It's good that he didn't have any luck, but until Renko or myself has a talk with him— or more likely, both of us together —then we probably won't know what he was after. And that's if he tells the truth.

...Or, I ponder, if he can tell the truth. Detectives in Outside books and things had it easy, because magic could always be ruled out. In Haven, however, that's a legitimate possibility, if a youkai is involved.

Hustling up to catch the elevator, I thank an Asian-looking girl who held the door open when she saw me coming, and file in. The button's already pressed for the first floor, so I lean against the railing for a bit as the doors close.

The next question is, "what the hell was he doing in there?" The printout-retrieval excuse, at least, is valid. Usami is a highly stressed woman, and I myself have been the one sent off to get something she'd forgotten a few times, as well.

With a gentle jolt, the downward movement stops, and the two of us file out of the elevator. She heads off to one of the tables in The Cup, presumably to study. I, on the other hand, look up and stare at the sky for a moment through the glass up above.

What was he after? I'm one of Renko's closest friends in Haven, if you count co-workers (One of her only friends, a more jaded part of me says), and she doesn't really have any big, terrible secrets.

...Actually...

It'd be more accurate to say that she doesn't have any big terrible secrets that would make for good blackmail or extortion material, and I don't think she's in possession of any valuable caches of money or riches. Her place is only a few rungs above mine, which is a typical bachelor pad.

...

That phrase applies to women too, right?

Somehow, I don't think so.

Anyway, I don't think there's much about her that'd be worth looking up. Parminder seems to have thought otherwise, however, and therein lies the problem.

One of them, at any rate.

I give a little sigh, and shake my head... Then promptly hide my blush as I walk with purpose out of The Cup. When I looked back down again, I caught a few students turning away and suddenly looking very engrossed in whatever was in front of them. Standing around in public looking up at the sky seems very deep and introspective and whatnot in the movies, but in real life, it makes you look kind of weird.

The wings on my back and the red crest on my head already get me my share of odd looks. A youkai who seems to be developing problems doesn't tend to put people at ease. At all.

It's still a far cry from anything serious, but I've heard that in some of the really rich neighborhoods, something like that would be reason enough (in their minds) to call up the troubleshooters.

Suppressing a a little shiver, I force myself to think about something else, like where to find our beloved Dean.

[ ] Loungin'
[ ] Lecturin'

________________________________________________________________________________

The more I write this story, the better I feel. I know I've been saying things like this a lot, but god damn, it feels great to be able to look forward to writing every (other) day. I'm actually giving thought to pumping up the update pace to daily, when time permits. It might happen, or it might not, I don't know.
>> No. 35194
[X] Lecturin'

If her TA really was getting printouts for her, it's probably because she couldn't spare any time from what she was doing.
>> No. 35195
[x] Lecturin'

I actually think Parminder is entirely honest. Anybody who says "I swear to you" is mega trustworthy. He's innocent guys.
>> No. 35196
[x] Loungin'
>> No. 35197
[X] Lecturin'
I'm gonna have to go with this one.
>> No. 35198
[x] Loungin'

Let's go catch that donut thief.
>> No. 35199
[x] Lecturin'

If Parminder were spying, he would presumably choose a time when Renko was definitely occupied, like when she's teaching a class. She could be doing private study or preparing material for a class, but there's no reason for her to be outside her office then.

I'm really hoping to catch the tail-end of Renko's physics lecture. She seems to have a lot of TAs, so if she sounds bored, we'll know her real passion is research, with teaching and administrating both being unwanted obligations. But it could also be that she has a lot of TAs because she simply wants to teach as many classes as possible.

>I'm actually giving thought to pumping up the update pace to daily, when time permits. It might happen, or it might not, I don't know.

FUND IT
>> No. 35208
Damnit atai you can't call them troubleshooters without any other paranoia references
>> No. 35210
[ ] Lecturin'
sounds good!
>> No. 35211
[X] Loungin'

Did it cross anyone's mind that she might be getting coffee? It's morning, so there's probably a zombie horde around the machine.

>>35208
You do know the term was in use in the early 20th century, right? Back before they even had computers.
>> No. 35221
>>35199
She strikes me as someone who'd rather not get stuck with such tedious things.
>> No. 35224
[x] Loungin'
[x] Lecturin'
[x] Instructin' all cool
[x] Writin' up lesson plans inside the school
>> No. 35225
[゚ ゚] Lecturin'
>> No. 35228
[x] Loungin'
>> No. 35237
Not sure I'm going to update today. Feeling kinda punchy.

If I don't update today, I'll make tomorrow another double-update day. It's the least I could do.
>> No. 35238
>>35237

Has the taboo on tripcodes really gotten so bad that an author cannot even use his own name in his own thread to inform the readers of the story's status?

You know what, I'm going to ignore everything you just said, because you are clearly a pretentious Anon posing as the writer and not Fell at all. How could I possibly trust a tripless wandering poser like yourself to know the first thing about a story from the great Fell? Remove yourself, scum of the site! It is you that is the cancer killing the internet! How dare ye!
>> No. 35239
>>35238
Chill, dog. He probably just forgot to paste the tripcode back in after posting somewhere else.
>> No. 35240
Goddamn, new story! Am I too late to the party, guys?

[x] Lecturin'
>> No. 35241
>>35238
>>35239

Fell has been doing that since way back in during his first story.
Chill, guys.
>> No. 35246
>>35238
why so new, anon?
>> No. 35247
File 130939638191.png - (204.47KB , 350x258 , they never work right.png ) [iqdb]
35247
[£] Lecturin'

I figure that she's probably already eaten by now. Besides, Renko doesn't really spend a lot of time talking over food. She's too busy mowing through pretty much anything that gets put in front of her to talk. Not messy, but rapid.

The lecture halls are all on the first floor, since they're tall enough to poke into the second floor's space. Also, due to most of the buildings being converted factories, it was easier to divide up the production floor into large lecture halls than to try and build one from scratch on the upper floors.

Room 106 is the hall she has her first few classes of the day in, so it's the natural place for her to be preparing in, technically. When I go in, I find her standing on her tiptoes, glaring at a ceiling-mounted projector as she fiddles with it. On hearing the door open, she looks over, and gives me what could probably be called a smile.

" 'Morning, Tomo," she says, using her nickname for me. It's the first syllables of my given name and family name placed in Western order, despite the fact that the two of us speak Japanese to one another. Something to do with making fun of English, but I never really understood that. "Think you could grade my section's stuff while I try and fix this?"

I stopped sighing in resignation at these sorts of requests a long, long time ago. Instead I just give her a nod, and walk over to the teacher's desk she'd nodded her head at. After setting down my bag, I take her trademark hat from the desk and put it on top of the computer, out of my way. With space cleared, I begin to get to work.

Doing her work plus my own was nothing new to me at all. Even with me helping, Renko was still one overworked woman. Multiple classes, plus administrative duties, plus her own personal research, plus her duties as a teacher, plus that special kind of impatience really intelligent people often seem to develop meant that our dear Dr. Usami was frequently on edge.

And that wasn't even including the issues surrounding the abrupt changes in her life that came about, thanks to the Flip. Almost everyone alive had some, to one degree or another.

Renko's circumstances, however, were pretty damn big. Mine were almost as bad, although I guess I'm not the most impartial judge.

"Why are you messing with that, anyway?" I asked her without looking up. "Shouldn't that be a job for Maintenance or the techs?" Aaaand paper number six, done.

A disgusted noise came from her direction. "That idiot Bearnes screwed with the settings yesterday, and then never bothered resetting it. I've never had to do more with these than poking the switch on or off, so it's been a bit of a challenge."

Professor Walton Bearnes was going to get an earful later. Anyone that displeased Renko usually did, sooner or later, and Bearnes had been getting his share of bad marks in her head over the last month or two, from what I'd gathered. I never quite understood why so many women let things pile up like that before unloading on you, but that was certainly Renko's method as well.

Like I said, she was frequently on edge.

As I started on the second-to-last paper, I noted the name, and paused.

Parminder Mahal

...I'd almost forgotten. I was about to speak up, when the projector clicked, whirred to life, and after a few seconds, the image fed to it from the computer springs to life. It shows the cover slide ("WAVE-PARTICLE DUALITY") just fine, if you consider the display coming through in yellow, and the picture being sideways as "just fine."

Judging by the oath she loosed, I gathered that Renko did not. Sighing, she clicked it off again, and then began punching buttons once more. I pulled over my own section's papers, and began to grade them, as well, while I spoke.

"Renko?"

"Yeah?"

"Someone was rummaging around in your office this morning."

"What."

...But was he really? No, there's no question he was. But still, there's something about it that doesn't seem right. Something doesn't fit.

[ ] Guilty
[ ] Not Guilty
[ ] Innocent

________________________________________________________________________________

Had this update about 90% done, and then a big storm of unnecessary crap came a-rollin' in, and that's why there's no double update today. I want to fucking strangle someone.

And also, it turns out I actually meant to say "Department Chair" instead of "Dean" in >>35087 and >>35192. I mixed the two up in my head.
>> No. 35248
[x] Innocent

There's no question he's innocent.
>> No. 35249
[X] Innocent Until Proven Guilty

Just the facts, ma'am. [X] Not Guilty is fine if write-ins are dispreferred.
>> No. 35250
[ø] Innocent Until Proven Guilty

I like the little bump in the updating speed.
>> No. 35251
[X] Innocent Until Proven Guilty
>> No. 35252
>>35249
That's what I'll be treating this write-in as, yes.
>> No. 35253
[x] Not Guilty

I want to believe.
>> No. 35254
[x] Not Guilty
>> No. 35255
[x] Not Guilty
>> No. 35257
[ ] Not Guilty
>> No. 35260
File 13094652042.jpg - (74.94KB , 480x360 , cast in the name of god.jpg ) [iqdb]
35260
[x]Not Guilty
>> No. 35277
File 130956816514.jpg - (8.59KB , 250x274 , She has been tempted to do it this way before.jpg ) [iqdb]
35277
[✓] Not Guilty

"Yes," I tell her, thinking about how to phrase this right. "Bao Yu said you needed to talk with me, so I swung by the office. Parminder was in there—"

She laughs for a moment. "Oh, is that all? I sent him back to grab some printouts I left behind. They're right there behind the computer, even." She shakes her head and starts back up with the projector.

"Right..." I look, and sure enough, there they are. Well, that much was the truth, it seems. Still... "That's what he told me, yes. But the lights were off, and he was trying to log onto your computer."

Silence.

"And I think he was trying to open your journal."

"...Perhaps we need to have a chat." Her voice grows cold. She's a bit protective of that journal; thus the double locks. And that's just the start of it.

Now comes the awkward part: going back and kind of contradicting myself. "That said... I think there's something not exactly right going on here," I say, finally looking up from my students' papers at her.

Her hands are still, and she's giving the projector a steady glare. "You don't say."

Okay, this was not one of my better ideas... but I can't just ignore the way he acted. "No, I mean the weird kind of 'not right.'" She turns to look at me, curiosity, or possibly confusion, creeping in alongside the anger. "...How did he act when he dropped off the copies?" I ask, pointing my pen at the stack of paper half-hidden from my view by the computer screen.

"Nothing very special, I guess," she says, giving it some thought. I don't know if she's frowning because she's angry, or just trying to recall the specifics. Probably both. "Seemed embarrassed, but told me it was because he'd taken longer than he meant to, which he had. Started to tell me why, but I just told him it was no problem, and sent him on his way."

That weird feeling isn't going away. I nod slowly. "That's... Well, it doesn't strike me as the actions of a guilty person, unless he's totally shameless. You and I both know that's not the case; remember the faculty party?" She cracks a small grin despite herself. Lemon flavoring on snow cones didn't strike him as being especially significant until someone clued him in, at which point he turned beet red and ran out to go buy a different syrup flavor.

She sighs, and turns back to the projector as her smile disappears, giving it a long look before delivering a healthy whack to the side of it. It creaks as it rocks about on its support, then settles. Pushing the power button, she turns to look at the display surface at the front of the room while it whirs to life.

"Renko, you know that probably only messed it up even further."

She just keeps watching the display surface as the projector...

thwummmmMMMM

...gives us a crystal clear, correctly aligned, properly colored image.

"All in the wrist," she declares proudly.

It's mildly infuriating when she gets to be right like this.

Hopping down off the table she was standing on, her dark skirt billows briefly until she lands with a clomp on the long step beside the table. Tossing her head to the side in a short, jerking motion, she reflexively brings the lock of hair tied with a white ribbon to rest back in its customary spot, just short of being draped over her left shoulder. The rest of her long, dark hair is gently pulled back into a long ponytail, which needs no re-straightening.

"So, what are you thinking then?" she asks, looking back at the desk she was standing on, and wiping off a dust-smudge her boots left on the Formica surface. "You're all over the place."

"Pull him aside after our last class and have that chat with him," I suggest, after a moment, "but until then, keep an eye on him now and then. See if he's spooked at all, or if he looks nervous."

Satisfied that she's removed the smudge, she then wipes her hand on the thin commercial carpeting. "You think he'll show up to class? I still don't know what you're trying to tell me."

"...I think he was trying to get into your stuff, but... He isn't acting like a guilty person should. Like I said, there's something weird about it all."

The woman in black and white comes down the steps over to the lecturer's workstation where I sit, and leans against the thin wooden walls, tapping one booted foot idly. "You sayin' it might be something from your end of the street?"

In other words, whether or not a youkai might be involved.

I shrug. "It could be. Conventional hypnotism is mostly crap."

"Mmm."

[ ] Motives
[ ] Methods

________________________________________________________________________________

>>35241
This.

>>35249
I don't have anything against write-ins, but as usual, I reserve the right to veto anything that doesn't work, is ridiculously out of character, or is just simply awful.
>> No. 35279
[x] Motives

What's in there that's so important?

I forgot she was on a table until you mentioned her jumping off.
>> No. 35280
[x] Motives

Renko is one bitter and angry woman. Perhaps Merry didn't make it through this "flip" with her?
>> No. 35281
[x] Motives
>> No. 35288
>I reserve the right to veto anything that doesn't work, is ridiculously out of character, or is just simply awful.
Ouch.

[X] Methods
>> No. 35289
Feeling the itch to write, so I'll be calling it in a few hours. Get 'em in while you can!
>> No. 35290
[x] Motives
>> No. 35291
[x] Motives
The how isn't really important and could be anything. The 'why' is what will lead us to somewhere.
>> No. 35292
File 130965416553.jpg - (30.54KB , 300x234 , john madden was here.jpg ) [iqdb]
35292
[⇢] Motives

A silence settles between us while I finish up the last of my students' papers. When I set the last one aside, she's still there, looking at the back of the monitor with furrowed brows.

"...Well... have you made anyone angry, as far as you know?"

She shrugs a little. "Some of the Divisionists, and those Humanity First jackholes, but that's about it."

I join in on the frown party. "None of whom would really associate with a youkai... I don't suppose you met either of the Komeiji sisters, or any of their kind before they vanished, did you?"

"Um... They were satori, right? I remember them from dossier Himekaidou passed out to our group, but... No, I don't think I met them in person."

"Didn't you say you met a half-amanojaku before?"

Renko avoids my eyes for a moment, but then shakes her head. "I can guarantee it wasn't her."

I slump down a little, and begin tapping my pen. "Is there anything really terrible in that diary—"

"Journal."

"—journal that somebody would want to know? I mean... we've talked a lot, but I know everybody's got a few secrets. No skeletons buried in the closet somebody might be wanting to dig up...?"

"Bad poetry's about the worst of it... Well. Aside from the other-world thing."

"Would anybody care about that? It's not like there's anybody else that's..."

I cut it off before I can finish the sentence, but the unspoken words, a sore point for Renko, are sitting right there in the air: from the same Outside that you came from.

Apologies start to be said, get fumbled, and then take another shot at being spoken, but she waves it off with a weary look. "No, you're right. I'm the only one from my happy-go-lucky Earth; hard to get people to discriminate against 'my kind.' Especially when I'm not exactly making that public knowledge."

She's playing it off like it doesn't bother her anymore, but I can see it's upset her. I offer up a silent prayer of apology to the students attending lecture today; they're going to feel it.

"Anyway, we can talk about this later, right?" I tell her, pointing my pen in the direction of the doors to the hall, where the noise of students has been slowly building. She looks and then turns back to me.

"Yeah. And don't forget to watch him during lecture."

"Wait, I came up with that idea," I protest.

She shrugs, smugly. It's possible to pull it off, if you've worked at it. "This is the cutthroat world of academia, Tomo. Gotta make sure you put your name on it before someone else does."

I thwap her with her hat.

...She's right, though.

[ ] Security camera
[ ] Night watchman
[ ] Front-desk security guard

________________________________________________________________________________

[ This space for rent ]
>> No. 35295
[+] Night watchman

Can't go wrong with a good old-fashioned patrol. Front-desk guards fall asleep too much anyways.

>from the same Outside that you came from.
Ohohoho. Perhaps there's more than two sides to the Flipping of this coin.
>> No. 35298
>"Didn't you say you met a half-amanojaku before?"

Anyone know what is this a reference to? A doujin?

>I cut it off before I can finish the sentence, but the unspoken words, a sore point for Renko, are sitting right there in the air: from the same Outside that you came from.

The question is, what Outside did everyone else come from? Aside from the more advanced Outside of Mary & Renko, we've got our world, Uwabami Breakers, and the Seihou world.

[x] Security camera

If there's another agent at work here, we can't afford to tip our hand and let on that we know something is up, so low profile observation would be best.
>> No. 35301
>She shrugs, smugly. It's possible to pull it off, if you've worked at it.
┐('~`;)┌ やれやれ

>>35298
>Aside from the more advanced Outside of Mary & Renko, we've got our world, Uwabami Breakers, and the Seihou world.
Crisis on Infinite Earths, here we come.

[X] Security camera
>> No. 35310
I think the choice is more position than method. Way up in the back of the lecture hall, in the middle, or down at the front.

[X] Front-desk security guard

You can't watch someone's face from behind them.

>>35298
>"Didn't you say you met a half-amanojaku before?"
>Anyone know what is this a reference to? A doujin?
Border Crossing by EX Nine.
>> No. 35311
[x] Night watchman

I hope this goes somewhere quickly.
>> No. 35328
File 130973443785.png - (362.41KB , 670x1300 , bakin’ potatoes٫ bakin’ in the sun!.png ) [iqdb]
35328
Going to the Rainiers July 3rd game tonight, and probably not going to be too available on the 4th, so vote if you haven't already; there's still time.
>> No. 35331
[x] Security camera
Security cameras are unobtrusive, and hidden from the eye. That is usually the best method of spying on someone.

>>35328
>Rainers
Baseball, right? Down in Cheney Stadium? Didn't know you lived on this side of the continent.
>> No. 35339
>>35331
Impossible. Everyone knows THPers only live in Michigan or Europe.
>> No. 35374
[X] Night watchman
>> No. 35375
If some tie-breaking could occur, I'd appreciate it.
>> No. 35376
[X] Security camera
>> No. 35384
All that fuss, and no update to show for it yet. Not good at all.

On the other hand, I've been transcribing a bunch of notes I wrote in the most bizarre fashion (written badly in pen, half asleep, in 1.25-1.5 inch wide columns, starting from the bottom and going up, and adding new columns going from right to left) at 2 am about a week ago, and it's been a bitch deciphering them.

Update(s?) tomorrow.
>> No. 35385
>>35384
>Update(s?) tomorrow.

Hooray!
>> No. 35403
File 131008752218.jpg - (32.22KB , 500x389 , sexy math.jpg ) [iqdb]
35403
[ヸ] Security camera

Over the next ten minutes, Room 106 steadily fills up with students filing in and taking their seats. Once the bell rings, Renko turns a page on her notes, and then begins the lecture.

Renko's biggest problem— as a teacher, anyway —is that she's smart. Extremely smart. I know with absolute certainty that she knows more about physics than any other person in Haven. But like many brilliant types who get too caught up in their field of expertise, she doesn't handle people who can't keep up very well. She gets impatient and easily frustrated with people who don't immediately understand what she's saying, or a concept she's trying to convey. That's a bad quality to have in a teacher, but the University wishes dearly to keep her on staff.

That's where I come in.

I'm rather intelligent for a youkai, and that's no idle boast. Some of my earliest memories are of reading books, and I don't ever recall needing to be taught how to do it. The written word has always come easily to me. Not quite as much as the spoken, but I'm not bad at that, either. So when the University started hiring youkai, I immediately applied. While I didn't have any official credentials, I passed the personal interviews and review panels where my ability to interact with students and my comprehension of academic material was examined with flying colors. After about a month of intense vetting, I was judged fit to teach.

My first position was as a substitute teacher. Almost every department has had me teach at one point or another. I managed to smoothly fill in for any number of instructors without just showing a video and taking a quick snooze, as I understand some of my fellow substitutes were prone to do. On occasion, I would over hear students after class complaining that when they'd heard they had a substitute, they figured that meant they could take it easy that day. It might be wrong to take pride in crushing such hopes, but I don't take education lightly. It is something one should not only pursue, but enjoy.

And then I was assigned as Dr. Usami's teaching assistant.

...There's an important distinction I feel should be pointed out: "teaching assistant," not "teacher's assistant."

The role I found myself in was, quite literally, in helping Renko to be able to teach her class. It was easy to see that she knew the subject by heart, and was capable of teaching it, but not to the level of every student in her class. She would often leave a majority of the class behind when she got really into it, although a handful of brighter students were able able to keep up. Test scores were suffering, and each quarter, Registration would receive numerous class-transfer requests when students found out they had her as a professor that quarter. The department was getting very antsy about the whole thing, and knew that something had to be done.

One week, Renko came down with tonsillitis, and I was selected to fill in for her that week. I don't recall doing anything different during that time; I just taught as I normally did. Apparently that was enough; I got a very restrained-but-eager phone call on Friday asking if I was open to the idea of a more permanent position with the Physics department. It seems multiple positive remarks and comments had been made about "the youkai substitute," with many of the students who weren't exactly 4.0 material saying that they were actually able to follow along.

I suspected, at first, that it was just a matter of not hurtling along at the same breakneck pace as Renko had been going. But that didn't quite explain what happened next.

Dr. Usami had been watching some of the taped lectures from her bed, at the urging of many of her co-workers. I think they were secretly hoping she would take some pointers from what I was doing, but that completely failed to occur. Instead, she had another idea.

That weekend, when she was finally "feeling more than just not-as-horrible-as-yesterday," I got a call from her, as well, inviting me over to her office. Renko proposed to me the idea of working as a pair, with her laying the groundwork and explaining the concepts, and me doing, quote, "the dirty work." She quickly clarified, as I got rather upset at that point, that she meant the business of explaining and conveying what it was she was saying, in a way that more of her class would understand. This was where she was weakest, she freely admitted, but after seeing me in action she knew I was the solution to her problem.

The only reason I didn't ask if she'd ever tried working on her own problems instead of latching onto me was because the position I was being offered paid much, much more than I was getting as a substitute. Although at the time I believed I should have said something to that effect, I didn't. I was living in a tiny, godawful apartment in Chinatown— which is much, much larger than the kind of relatively small ethnic district such a name was given to in cities, I'm told; in Haven, fully one-seventh of the population is Chinese —with an alcoholic temple-dog youkai living next door to me, and a woman from Nanjing a floor down from me who had night terrors.

Instead, I just said I'd see how it went.

Somehow, for some reason, it worked. It actually worked. Renko and I made a perfect team, and we were soon able to maintain the same pace she taught at with a drastically lower rate of student dissatisfaction. We were able to double the class size with minimal effort, and after a another year like this, Renko was elected Department Chair.

She was fond of saying afterward that apparently they weren't done punishing her yet.

We both realized and understood the need for it, though. The University is a critical element in ensuring Haven's future, since for now, it's the only game in town when it comes to higher education. It is up to all of us who make up the faculty to ensure that we are producing the best and the brightest students possible. In our strange little world called Haven, we need— and will continue to need —such people dearly.

---------------------------------------------------------------

I watch Parminder like a hawk, throughout the lecture. I caught him catching a glimpse of me, occasionally, but he didn't look away immediately or start blushing. I have to take my gaze off him when it's my turn to address the class, but other than that, I keep an eye on him throughout.

All through it, there's no real change at all. No nervousness, no panic, nothing.

I'd hoped this would go better, but it isn't happening.

As class finishes, I sidle up to Renko. We've got a few hours of down time before we each go to teach our respective individual classes— I have only a couple; Renko's got five, though at least they're spread out over the week. That should give us more than enough time to have a little talk with Parminder.

"How was he?" she asks.

I look back at him for a moment. He's packing his stuff up, but doesn't seem to be in a frantic hurry. "...Well, about as unnerved as he looks right now," I reply, tilting my head in his direction. "Maybe it's nerves of steel, or maybe it's like I said, and he really doesn't know. You still want to go through with this?"

She scoffs. "Damn right I do. Whether it's his fault or not, it doesn't change the fact that somebody was trying to paw through my stuff. And at the moment?" Renko meets my eyes for a second. "I don't see any other opportunities for finding out who it is popping up. My office, in ten."

Gathering her notes in one hand, she takes her hat off of where it rests on the computer monitor, spins on one booted heel, and walks out of the room, black skirt lightly billowing behind her.

I look back at the focus of our investigation, who's all packed up and ready to go. He's stopped to talk with a few of the other TAs.

[ ] Good cop
[ ] Bad cop

________________________________________________________________________________

Had a good 4th (he says, three damn days later). Went out and bought fireworks, which we haven't done in a long time.

As for the vote, that was for intensity/frequency of watchfulness, in descending order. However, its relevance and importance suddenly changed, so you get mostly backstory instead. I hope you're not too disappointed.

I'm also hoping to update as soon as I can tomorrow, so don't hold back with the voting.
>> No. 35404
[x] Bad cop

I want to see Tokiko trying to act mean. And possibly Renko trying to act nice. That'd be a great role reversal.
>> No. 35405
[x] Bad cop

It does, indeed, sound interesting.

Also, I'd like to say that I truly appreciate your work, Fell.
>> No. 35406
[x] Good cop
>> No. 35407
[X] Good cop

Tell us what you were doing there, or face the Wrath of Renko.
>> No. 35408
[X] Good cop

Renko seems pretty hell bent on being the bad cop.
>> No. 35410
[X] Good cop
>> No. 35414
[X] Bad cop

Not only do I agree with >>35404 and >>35405, but I think this is more likely to be effective, in the event that Parminder actually knows anything. The key to getting information out of good cop/bad cop is getting the target to build a trust relationship with the good cop, and Dr. Usami may be scary, but I'm guessing Parminder still knows and trusts her better than the youkai that just filed a complaint with his boss not more than a few hours after meeting him.
>> No. 35415
[x]Bad cop

No great reason, I'm just choosing this out of amusement.
>> No. 35416
[x] Worst cop

Draw the blinds, shine the lamp in his face, threaten to throw the book at him.

Grill him so cartoonishly hard that even Renko will feel bad for him and won't come to resent him for the rest of his career.
>> No. 35417
[+] Bad cop

No time to be nice here. This is college; this is the real world. You break the rules, you deserve what's coming to you.

What you gonna do when she comes for you?
>> No. 35418
[x]Bad cop
>> No. 35419
>>35408
This. A 'Bad cop' and 'Worst cop' scenario would not work at all.

[X] Good cop
>> No. 35420
>>35404
But it'd fail to get any results, possibly setting up something worse down the line.
>> No. 35421
>>35420
So? Even if that's the case, the worse things get, the more interesting the story will be.
>> No. 35423
[ ] Good cop
>> No. 35424
File 131015959020.jpg - (298.65KB , 1000x1412 , Super Misaka Wars T.jpg ) [iqdb]
35424
Technically, this is a tie, but I'm going to take the general intent of >>35416 to be in the direction of "Bad cop."

Called and writing.
>> No. 35433
>>35424
>Called and writing.

Hooray!
>> No. 35434
File 131018640575.gif - (1.31KB , 351x88 , yes yes you’re very clever.gif ) [iqdb]
35434
[〠] Bad cop

All right, then. Time to get this underway.

I walk over to Parminder, politely interrupting the chatter by settling my hand on his shoulder. "Excuse me, Parminder?" I ask in a friendly tone. "Could you come with me for a little bit? I need some help."

The other TAs look up along with Mahal, and little details gleaned from interactions and conversations pop into my mind as my eyes flick over them: an older blond guy (Robby Carlin, British, used to be a civil engineer in Hull, allergic to peanuts and plays a mean harmonica), a quiet young woman in a hijab (Yafiyah Moussad, either Saudi or Iraqi, never got the clear story there; one of the handful of students who was able to keep up with Renko's lectures before I arrived, writes her notes upside down, claiming that "it's faster this way"), and a permanently coy-looking redhead (Kristi Olson, American, was just entering middle school in a suburb of Tulsa at the time of the Flip, getting her prereqs here before going on to study anesthesiology at Yagokoro).

Something odd I've noticed: People find it more amazing if you remember tiny things about them, rather than what's most important. I don't know why; those are pretty easy. All the same, it helps a lot when talking with them. Remembering family details is also very important— although sometimes a little more painful, given that the randomized selection of the Flip meant that the chance of even just two people from the same household being pulled into Haven was incredibly tiny —as are remembering birthdays and anniversaries. Too often I've been thanked effusively for remembering such a thing, especially as people grow older and drift apart from friends and family.

I hesitate to call it "record-keeping," but details both trivial and personal can mean the world to people.

...With Parminder, however, there is only a small handful of very recent details I happen to be concerned with, at the moment.

His fellow TAs make their farewells as he breaks off from them, returning them in kind. I've already started walking towards the rear entrance of Room 106 behind the large retractable display panel and teacher's desk. It opens onto the first basement floor, and I can hear him hurrying to catch up behind me.

"Yes, Professor Morichika? What is it?" Still unconcerned, or unaware. It almost makes me regret what I'm going to do. Renko's sharp enough though. She'll catch on. I press the button for the elevator which, as luck would have it, is already parked here. The doors clunk and slide open.

"Need you to help check up on something," I say offhandedly as I get in. He frowns a little, but still follows me in. I press the button marked "2"— the factory buildings are from Spain, after all; there the ground floor is usually labeled "PB" for "planta baja," but instead of calling the floors above it the second, third, fourth, etc. floors, they start their numbering at 1. The reasoning is apparently because it's "the first floor above the ground level."

I can see where they're technically right, but it seems kind of silly, all the same.

Parminder is silent until we get to the second third floor. As we step out, he asks me, hesitantly, "...Is this possibly about this morning?"

Theeeeere we go.

[ ] Casual Terror
[ ] Subtle Monster

________________________________________________________________________________

You'll see the results of the previous choice soon enough, like tomorrow-soon. I apologize for the slow pacing and short updates.

Yet another symbol (like the heart-shaped exclamation mark and the hot springs symbol) that we clearly just couldn't live without. But a water droplet? No, that's out of the question and completely ridiculous. Nobody would ever need that.

>>35424
I also should have said something about "pic related," but I'm sure most of you were able to make the connection.
Anyway, the Sisters with their self-narration are so much better.
>> No. 35435
>>35421
>Things getting worse
>interesting

That's how snow ends happen: Anon thinking shotting themselves in the foot is a good idea.

[x] Subtle Monster

Might as well see how bad the trainwreck's going to be.
>> No. 35437
[x] Casual Terror

It's better that he understands Toki isn't the one who is going to be his friend from the outset.

>>35434
>I'm sure most of you were able to make the connection.

Implies the writefag as the writefag is implying.

>>35435
>That's how snow ends happen: Anon thinking shotting themselves in the foot is a good idea.

Yes. That had nothing to do with the writer at all.
>> No. 35439
File 131019314447.jpg - (36.50KB , 730x600 , 730px-Kyubey.jpg ) [iqdb]
35439
>>35434
[Χ] Ѕսbtle Μoոster
>> No. 35441
[x] Subtle Monster

Being upfront isn't as fun as watching them squirm once they figure out what you're talking about.
>> No. 35442
[x] Ѕսbtle Μoոster
>>35439
>>35441
Oh damn you, how could you do that.
>> No. 35444
File 131021102132.jpg - (25.06KB , 256x256 , tokiko_eyes.jpg ) [iqdb]
35444
>>35439

"Make a contract with me and become an adjunct professor, Parminder!"
>> No. 35445
[x] Subtle Monster
Yeah, hands down.
>> No. 35451
File 131026695345.png - (1.38MB , 900x1200 , Exquistion.png ) [iqdb]
35451
[ǂ] Subtle Monster

"Hmm?" I reply. "Did you say something?" I lengthen my stride just a bit, and after a few moments, he has to catch up with me.

"I... I asked you if thi—"

"Here we are," I say, smoothly cutting him off. Opening the door to Renko's office, I step back, and usher him in. He enters automatically, apparently without thinking about it.

After taking a couple steps in, he comes up short at the sight of Renko, looking surprisingly grim. The overhead lights are off, the shades are drawn tightly closed, and the only illumination comes from a single desk lamp; some kind of Tiffany replica. Her hat is off, probably on the coat stand. She is leaning forward slightly, looking straight ahead at the door— and by default, anyone who came through it —with a cold, piercing gaze.

Parminder looks more than a bit worried, now, and turns to look back at me.

Time to switch roles. I hope she'll catch on.

I give him a simple, friendly smile, "Go on, have a seat," I tell him. Without giving any indication that I'm aware of doing it, I let my wings streeeeetch out behind me. They're no spooky sight to behold, technically; it's not like I had creepy bat wings like Scarlet or the weird blonde one who made it over.

But all the same, there's a little voice in his head saying: ...Oh, right. Youkai.

In front of (but unseen by) him, I notice Renko's gaze flit over to me briefly, then back to Parminder.

He nods, slowly, and turns back round, looking for a chair. I've already quietly pulled one over, and present it to him. He quickly takes it, and seats himself in front of her desk, where I'd pulled it to.

The instant he does, I close the door behind me, and lock it with a very audible click. He actually jumps a little, and then watches, white-faced, as I drag over another chair and wedge it under the knob. I then plop myself down in the chair, leaning forward relative to the angle of the chair in order to stay upright.

"What is going on? Professor Morichika, why a—" he begins, watching me, but Renko cuts in.

"Mr. Mahal?" Her voice is calm, and unruffled. There's no hint of menace, and in fact, she's relaxed her stance somewhat. She looks almost thoughtful.

One of the best ways to get people to do something you want is by keeping them off-balance, and maintaining control of the situation or conversation. You can't shake them too hard, or else they'll be no good to you. You need to give them just enough room to let them give the answers you're after, but not enough to let them think very long about what they're doing. In this way, you steer them completely according to your will. It's a favored tactic of salesmen and con artists.

...And when applied in a slightly different way, of interrogators, as well.

"Y-yes, Dr. Usami?"

"This morning, before class, I sent you up here here abooouut... 8:30 or so? Somewhere around then. I asked you to get a stack of printouts I'd left in here."

He just nods.

She continues to speak amiably while I reach into my bag. "And you came back to the lecture hall at around 8:50, apologizing for being late."

Nod.

She scoots her own chair a little closer, and leans further forward, her ribboned lock of hair swaying in the air slightly. "...Now, Professor Morichika here tells me that she saw you trying to do something in here, and she is not exactly known for concocting wild stories." She meets his eyes, and doesn't blink. "Something aside from collecting printouts. I'm just a bit curious about this. Care to tell me about this?"

It's silent for a few moments. I can't see his expression from behind him, but I can see his fingers fidgeting with the edge of the arm of the chair. At last, he says, in a perturbed tone of voice, "I ... I do not know."

Renko adopts a Well-that's-awful-odd sort of look, and leans back, crossing her arms. "You don't know what you were doing."

"Yes."

"Huh."

shhhiccckt
         shhhiiiiick

      shhhiccckt
               shhhiiiiick


Parminder's head whips around so fast at the sound of the raspy, grating, scraping noise that it's all I can do to keep from laughing. When he catches sight of me, sitting in the chair that's blocking the door, he sees me casually filing my nails, looking almost bored with the act.

Only instead of nails, they're my claws, extended and hardened. And instead of a pocket nail file, I'm using a 30.5cm steel file I bought from a hardware store expressly for the purpose of sharpening them.

"T-t-tha—" he starts to stutter out.

I examine them, and blow off the fine layer of bone dust, seemingly completely ignoring him.

"What Professor Morichika does on her own time is not really the topic, Mr. Mahal," Renko says, as if gently chiding a child. "...Now, you say you don't know what you were doing." She waits until he turns back to her, at which point her tone turns curious. "I had expected you to say that you weren't doing anything at all. Is that maybe what you meant?"

"...No, Dr. Usami," he says, quietly.

Oh?

We just might be getting somewhere.

I stop sharpening, put down the file, and speak up for the first time in a few minutes. "Is this what you were spending class thinking about, Parminder?" I ask, sounding disappointed. "A good excuse? As one of your teachers, I'm a little ashamed that this is the best you could do."

His head ducks down for a moment, and I hear him breathing slowly before swallowing. He turns to look back at me, and on his face is something new: fear. Not the sort of panic I've been instilling in him throughout this little interrogation, but a deeper, more troubling fear.

"I am not lying, Professor. I have..." He looks down again before continuing, unconsciously taking more care to enunciate his words, Indian accent giving way to a more strained, cautious quality. "...There are these, these little spaces of missing minutes in my day. Maybe once or twice a day. Some days, none. I will suddenly realize I am not doing the thing I last remembered doing."

Renko shoots me a look. I give the smallest of shrugs.

"Uh-huh," I tell him, the disbelieving tone clear in my voice. "It's called blacking out. Been partying a little hard?"

He grits his teeth. "Blackouts do not work that way and even if they did, I do not drink, Professor. I am completely serious."

"Mr. Mahal," Renko begins, "when did this start happening?"

"Tuesday, two weeks ago."

She takes that in for a moment, and I can see her mulling it over for a second before proceeding. "How long are these 'spaces'?"

"I... they seem to be short. Never more than ten minutes. Usually between two and four, I think."

"Did you get up to anything weird?" I ask, smirking.

He doesn't rise to the bait, though, and instead replies with confusion. "...No. Almost never anything too unusual has happened, from what I can tell. In fact... I do not believe I do anything at all out of the ordinary. It is as if I am doing normal things, and then... forget little slices of them."

"And snooping around in Dr. Usami's office is something normal for you?"

He flushes at my comment, and shakes his head. "No! I would not dream of doing such things." He looks up Renko, and then at me. "...I am very aware that it is a strange story, and not one you will likely believe. But I swear to you, it is the truth."

Renko gives me another look, but I nod, this time. My hunch, if it could be called that, appears to have borne rather disturbing fruit.

"All right, then," I say, and close my eyes before flipping on the lights. Without opening them, I get up, tucking my wings back in close again and retract my claws, returning my fingers to their normal appearance. Leaning down, I put away the file, then remove the chair blocking the door and push it aside. At last, I open my eyes slowly, letting them acclimate to the now-brighter room.

Parminder is still blinking, as is Renko. I walk over to the worried young man, and pat his shoulder. He starts to jerk it away before I laugh a bit. "Hey, hey, don't worry. I'm sorry about the whole scary-youkai act, but we really needed to get to the bottom of this."

The dark-skinned student just blinks. "What?"

"Just a little show, that's all—"

"No, no, I mean..." He looks from me to Renko again, then back to me. "You do not think what I am saying is a lie?"

...He says, to an ibis youkai and one of the city's more notable youkai rights supporters.

"You can thank Professor Morichika for that, as a matter of fact," Renko tells him as she stands up from her chair. "She had an inkling that something weird might be going on, and we decided to look into it further."

Parminder looks almost pathetically grateful to hear this, but Renko continues on. "I'd recommend seeing a doctor soon for a full medical checkup. There's probably a few things that could cause something like this, and if it's messing with your memory, they're probably not something you want to let sit."

I decide to take it a step further. I owe it to the poor kid after spooking him like that. "...And consider heading down to the Troubleshooters' Bureau for an interference screening. I don't want to scare you ...well, worse than I already did," I admit sheepishly, "but that possibility can't be ruled out."

His eyes widen. "...Magic?"

"Or some sort of youkai abilities. If something's going on, they'll catch it, same as the doctor's office."

He nods slowly, but gets up from his chair, and gives us a solemn look. "Thank you, both of you. This is... it is the first time I have told anyone about it. I was just hoping it was maybe forgetfulness, or exhaustion, or something else that would pass..."

Renko shakes her head. "Never put off weird medical issues. Men have a terrible habit of that." She rubs the base of her left ring finger, though without seeming to notice the motion. "...Here, I'll give you someone to call."

She takes a pad of Post-its from its (precisely placed) location on her desk, grabs a pen, and scribbles what I assume is a phone number on it before taking the sticky-note off and handing it to him. "Ask for Satsuki, and tell her Renko sent you. She'll take good care of you."

He takes it, and shakes Renko's hand firmly, thanking her profusely. Then the same for me, although the handshake is much more careful. Still a bit shook up about the claws, apparently.

We see him out the door (after I unlock it, apologizing yet again), and then stand there quietly for a bit.

"...Well, shit," Renko finally says.

I can only nod in agreement.


[ ] The Journey (Later that day)
[ ] The Destination (Later that night)
[ ] The Return (The next morning)

________________________________________________________________________________

>>35439
...Did I make some kind of reference without knowing it?
>> No. 35452
[+] The Journey

Since when has the destination ever been important?
>> No. 35453
[x] The Journey (Later that day)
>> No. 35454
[x] The Journey (Later that day)

Well from what I can tell when whatever happened, not everyone made it into here, both outsider and Gensokyo resident alike. I wonder if we'll find out the root of all these unusual things as it's clear this is akin to Gensokyo... yet not.
>> No. 35455
>Ask for Satsuki,
Yessssssss. The best sort of barely canon character got a slight reference!

[x] The Destination (Later that night)
I wanna see Tokiko's home. Assuming that's what this vote means.
>> No. 35456
[x] The Journey (Later that day)
>> No. 35457
>>35455
All scenes are cumulative. Or reverse-cumulative.

It's just about how far to skip ahead.
>> No. 35458
>>35457
Didn't you learn your lesson about these sorts of votes back in The Game?

[X] The Journey (Later that day)

Max stat gains per level.
>> No. 35459
File 131031012166.png - (1.17MB , 1024x1830 , rin_smile.png ) [iqdb]
35459
[x] The Journey (Later that day)

You made an effort in order to make it impossible to conflate the meaning of these choices, and in spite of that I got "Don't Stop Believin'" stuck in my head. In any case I don't see any advantage to waiting or any similar intent on Tokiko's part to do so.

>And instead of a pocket nail file, I'm using a 30.5cm steel file I bought from a hardware store expressly for the purpose of sharpening them.

This was pretty good.

>He grits his teeth. "Blackouts do not work that way and even if they did, I do not drink, Professor. I am completely serious."

It's a shame Parminder's a teetotaler, because you'd owe him a drink after subjecting him to that. Instead he gets a pat on the back and a suggestion to visit the hospital for a battery of brain tests that will drive his student debt even deeper. Being TA is suffering.

>Renko shakes her head. "Never put off weird medical issues. Men have a terrible habit of that." She rubs the base of her left ring finger, though without seeming to notice the motion.

The shipperfag in me cannot possibly express enough WHY.jpg.

>"Ask for Satsuki, and tell her Renko sent you. She'll take good care of you."

But then I felt immediately better.

>...Did I make some kind of reference without knowing it?

I know the THP user base has become pretty insulated from /a/ over the years, but I didn't think it was this bad.
>> No. 35460
[x] The Destination (Later that night)
>> No. 35462
[x] The Journey
>> No. 35503
<nitpick>Talons are made of keratin.</nitpick>
>> No. 35547
File 131060596285.jpg - (356.28KB , 471x666 , Our intrepid hero(ine).jpg ) [iqdb]
35547
Before the update, a Public Service Announcement for those of you who have not looked at /th/ lately for some terrible reason:

...Fallout in Gensokyo (mini-)updated.

Go forth, read, and rejoice.

_________________________

[Ĵ] The Journey

Quiet chatter and conversation fills the air of the lab currently occupied by my Basic Chemistry II class. The students are split up in groups of two and occasionally three, each clustered around a work table, watching a kernel of corn sitting in a beaker on top of a Bunsen burner intently. Occasionally there's a ponk!, followed an instant later by a yelp of surprise, the beep of a stopwatch, and a brief flurry of activity remove the popped kernel and carefully place it on a scale.

It doesn't look like science to a lot of people, let alone chemistry, but it's got everything to do with both of them.

My paper-grading having been done during the long lunch break between the end of Renko's Advanced Physics lecture— and the informal interrogation session, though obviously that's not part of the daily routine —and the start of the class before this one (Basic Chemistry I), I've taken the opportunity to read a recent acquisition from the bookstore. It's about a setting oddly similar to Gensokyo in concept, only with dinosaurs instead of youkai, and set in South America.

The clerk at the bookstore told me the same author wrote some detective novels, so I'm looking forward to those, too.

When the bell rings, about half an hour later, just about everyone has written down their group's findings and turned it into the tray at the front of the room. "That'll do it for today," I announce. "I'm not going anywhere quite yet, so those of you who need a bit more time to finish, don't be in a rush. The rest of you, I'll see tomorrow! Have a good one~"

I think it says something positive about what I'm doing when I don't hear any complaining while everyone packs up and files out (minus the two rather relieved-looking groups who aren't finished yet). After all, this is a class largely filled with those fresh out of high school, and those who do not— much like my Physics section —always have the most amazing academic track records, classically.

...And yet, they look happy to be here. They're pleased to see me, they're eager to learn, and doing well. They're not just learning how to compute formulae which they then blindly apply to the problems thrown at them, they're really, truly comprehending it. From the questions they ask in class, I can tell the material's sticking.

Having a class that shares the same enthusiasm for learning as the instructor does for teaching is one of the greatest joys an educator like myself can experience.

'...Aside from receiving tenure,' was Renko's reply to that, when I shared that sentiment with her one afternoon at the Café du Chaise, over a beer and one of their signature pizzas.

I feel so sorry for her, sometimes. She doesn't feel that teaching is an honor, like I do. She sees it as more of a duty, albeit one she clearly takes pride in having performed. Now, to me, it would seem that when you put those two things together, it's hard not to think of what you do as an honorable task, but she tells me that it isn't always the case.

Maybe Rinnosuke could have explained it to me.

Sometimes I think that there's some things I'll never be able to truly understand as a youkai. But, as if to spite that fact, I try and make the best of the differences between us, and turn it into something good and beneficial. For example, my appointment by the Physics department to teach first-year Chemistry classes.

Due to the fledgling nature of the University, it was inevitable that some departments would share and overlap if they were related closely enough. As a result, Physics and Chemistry were merged for the time being, with classes of both held in the Physics building (Chem majors, unsurprisingly, aren't happy about that name).

A short while after being hired on as Renko's teaching assistant, I went before the Department Chair with a request. I asked him if I could teach first-year classes in addition to my post as Usami's assistant.

The Chair at that time, a late-middle-aged Peruvian man named Gutiérrez, gave me a very strange look. He told me it was unusual, in his experience, to find a teacher who demanded more work, and with the first-year bloc, at that. I was already helping to teach Advanced Physics; wouldn't I perhaps prefer something from the 300- or 400-level courses, rather than spending— he almost said "wasting"; the first syllable came out before he coughed, and then started over with "spending" —my time as an instructor on 100-levels?

I almost burst out laughing, but restrained myself from letting loose even an amused snort. I don't think he would have taken that well. I smiled, though, because I had to let amusement take the place of the anger I felt. That would have gone even worse.

Patiently and tactfully, I explained to him that, first, while I could probably teach higher-level classes, and very likely do a good job of it, introductory-level classes were required general education courses, and would affect more than just the students in this department's majors. If I could apply my teaching ability to helping build a smarter breed of student, then that was better for everyone: the students, the University, and Haven itself. Second, I could teach these lower-level classes for years and years without feeling like it was a waste. After all, I pointed out, I was a youkai— I had plenty of time to spare.

The old coot mulled that one over for a while before telling me he'd consider it. A week later, I met with the departmental hiring panel, who informed me that the Department was proposing I teach first-year classes, citing my youkai nature as a key issue, as well as the overall benefit to the student body and the future prospects of the city. The Chair himself had come up with the idea, they added, as if sharing a secret. They thought it sounded like a pretty good idea, and were hopeful that I would accept.

I happily accepted, and carefully did not grit my teeth.

...Renko may hate her administrative duties, but I'm of the mind that we're better off with her at the helm.

_______________________________________________


Once the last two groups are done and have turned in their paperwork, I see them off. Then I collect everything and pack my things up, getting ready to head home.

The halls are quiet at this hour. The only sounds that stand out are the clack of my heels on the linoleum tile, and the distant whirring of a vacuum as the janitor makes his rounds, somewhere else in the building.

It's six, so Renko's already gone by this point. I slip a few papers she'd asked for yesterday under her door, having forgotten to pass them along earlier that morning. Heading downstairs again, I wave goodbye to Bao Yu, who gives her farewell in Mandarin.

Outside, it's already darkening. Despite being technically located in Japan, as best we can tell from the handful of still-accessible satellites and astronomical surveys —and Renko herself, if you catch her at night— Haven has warmer autumns than its geography should technically allow for. The leaves are only just starting to turn red, despite it being mid-October.

The time on my phone reads 18:07. Time to get home and get dinner going. I'm able to eat somewhat decently on the paycheck I receive, and find a simple joy in cooking new things. ...Although, I could swing by the "lunch strip" just outside the campus. The various restaurants represent a dizzying variety of ethnic cuisine, catering to students and curious passerby alike. I haven't done that yet this week.

[ ] Homemade
[ ] Takeout

________________________________________________________________________________

>Multiple positive/excited responses regarding Rin
...Well. This has been taken into consideration.

>>35331
I sure am. I guess Safeco Field is closer, but Rainiers games are a hell of a lot cheaper to attend, and about as much fun. Though I'd like to have the damned roof back.

>>35459
>I know the THP user base has become pretty insulated from /a/ over the years, but I didn't think it was this bad.
Yeah, I know what Madoka is; seen the whole thing. Urobuchi wrote it, so there's no way I'd miss out on that. I was just wondering if I'd made some kind of unintended reference with the "subtle monster" line, or if Kyubey was just the first thing that popped into someone's mind when they read it.

>>35503
You know, not only was I wandering about that as I wrote it, I think somebody pointed it out in The Game, too, so I've really got no excuse anymore.
>> No. 35548
>When the bell rings
In a university? Or is this an Academy City-style multi-school with all levels of education represented?

[X] Takeout

Exploration!
>> No. 35549
[+] Homemade

Kicking against the goads of about every other story on this site when there's an option to stay indoors versus wandering outside for a totally unexpected random encounter with a childhood friend/Touhou that is relevant to the voter's interests/a wild RATTATA! It's like my Basic Chem students are in the TOP PERCENTAGE of Chem students!

Also homemade's cheaper and you feel better about yourself.
>> No. 35550
[x] Homemade
Fuck yeah cooking.

>This has been taken into consideration.
I wouldn't say I was excited before, but I am now!
>> No. 35554
[x] Takeout

I'm curious about this world and going out to eat would no doubt uncover details about that. World building appears to be a lost art these days on THP. Instead we have mostly plot,plot, filler, plot.

While The Game/Resentment's Gensokyo is interesting, this begs all sorts of questions I'd love to see answered among the way.
>> No. 35560
[x] Takeout
>> No. 35568
[x] Takeout
>> No. 35571
[x] Homemade
>> No. 35573
[x] Takeout

I wonder what kind of eateries have opened. Or if Mokou and Mystia still take care of most of the fast food operations these days.
>> No. 35574
>The various restaurants represent a dizzying variety of ethnic cuisine, catering to students and curious passerby alike.

This sounds pretty neat.

[X] Takeout
>> No. 35575
>>35573
High chance of Orange. Or China. Or both.
>> No. 35576
>>35549
I'm going with this line of thought because he brings up a rather good point. I think Fell won't disappoint if we go home.

[x] Homemade
>> No. 35585
File 131072780141.png - (58.46KB , 244x189 , choices٫ choices.png ) [iqdb]
35585
...How angry would you all be if I wrote [x] Homemade instead? There's a better, or at least more appealing case being made for it at the moment.

I don't plan on making a habit of this, whatever the outcome of your opinions on this matter are, but the more I look at it, the more I'd like to write it.

If this seems like a very dumb hting to have asked you all, I'm sorry; it's 4am.
>> No. 35586
If you Fell like whipping up a home-cooked meal, I won't be too sour. But you batter spice it up with an eggcellent entree.
>> No. 35587
>>35585
Your story, your call.

I don't dispute the Homemade side has a more compelling justification, but I probably won't forget that a 'good' reason for a vote trumps a popular vote any time soon. Then again, maybe that's how it should work.
>> No. 35588
File 131073745779.jpg - (298.97KB , 900x900 , 1307979042483.jpg ) [iqdb]
35588
[x] Homemade

>>35547
> I was just wondering if I'd made some kind of unintended reference with the "subtle monster" line, or if Kyubey was just the first thing that popped into someone's mind when they read it.

No, no; neither of those. Basically I flipped through my image folder and grabbed the first thing I thought was appropriate and/or funny.
>> No. 35589
[x]Homemade

There we go, votes are now officially tied. Along with others urging, you can now use the flimsy excuse that you made an executive call now that they are equal.
>> No. 35590
[x] Homemade
Meeting new people is nice, but I'd like to get to know Tokiko's home more first.
>> No. 35593
>There's a better, or at least more appealing case being made for it at the moment.
Is there? What is it?

Not that I really mind either way, mind you (so long as you do agree not to make it a habit), but that strikes me as a very strange thing to say.
>> No. 35597
File 131076584078.jpg - (149.71KB , 723x554 , the spinning teacup ride.jpg ) [iqdb]
35597
Well, there haven't been any hate-filled diatribes or readers expressing their disgust with my disruption of the democratic process here, so either only a handful have read this since 4am, or you're all right with it.

Whatever the case, I'm sorry to have brought up this whole ugly business. I will do my best to make it up to the voters of [x] Takeout, and to convince >>35588, >>35589, and >>35590 that their votes weren't being used just to get my way.

Thank you, and I'm sorry.

>>35587
>I probably won't forget that a 'good' reason for a vote trumps a popular vote any time soon.
As I said, I'm not going to be making a habit of doing that with regular choices. At all. I'm of the mind that an override like I discussed that's based on personal judgement is something you keep in reserve for write-ins, when having some kind of quality-filtering step is a necessity.
That's why I brought it up with you all instead of just going right ahead and doing it.

tl;dr, thank you, but don't worry about this sort of thing happening in the future.

>>35593
>Is there? What is it?
Mainly that, like >>35549 pointed out, we (as voters) pick the "go out and see stuff" option so often, that when the choice is given, it's almost like it wasn't a choice at all.

I enjoy giving the finger to various tropes and cliches-- obviously not all of them; you'd never be able to write very much if you tried to avoid or subvert everything. Mostly just the ones that annoy me. So when I read that, it kind of spoke to me.

I guess "better" is subjective here (especially to those of you that voted for [x] Takeout). That's why "or at least, more appealing" immediately followed it.
>> No. 35598
Maybe such "Go out and see stuff" votes might be anon's desire to see the world more as opposed to plotplotplotfillerplotplot,etc. Hopefully being at home proves to be as interesting as going out as usually home is more of an inward focusing place than outward.

>>35585
To be honest the notion has a bit of a bad taste, but you were nice enough to ask about it as opposed to "Fuck you anon, I'm doing what I want". Then again I think with normal choices, the author should go with the flow. But like that one guy said, you're the boss.

As far as what you said in >>35597 goes, avoiding cliches along the way in writing is nice, but writing as to intentionally spite them rarely ends well. I voted for Takeout not because of some cliche, but be cause I wanted to learn more about this world.
>> No. 35599
>>35598
>avoiding cliches along the way in writing is nice, but writing as to intentionally spite them rarely ends well.
I think you are probably working off a different definition of 'spite' than Fell is. It's not a matter of "herf derf hay guys look what i'm not doing", it's just avoiding a certain trope in an active manner rather than a passive one. To give an example, based on Fell's remarks in The Minigame, I'd imagine he'd say that The Game's ending was 'giving the finger' to the 'all villains can and should be redeemed' trope, despite the fact that said trope wasn't really "subverted" in the TVTropes sense of the word.
>> No. 35600
>>35598
I can understand wanting to vote to go do things and explore in most cases, but in this case, every option means exploration of one form or another. That's how little we know about this world.

And with introspection as high quality as this story has, voting not to interact with characters isn't a problem.
>> No. 35631
File 131093369834.jpg - (11.45KB , 256x172 , just around the corner.jpg ) [iqdb]
35631
[Ƃ] Homemade

I exit the grocery store with two bags in hand (my own currently slung over one shoulder like a mailman's bag) as one of the clerks bids me farewell. The store was near the university, but the entire trip, shopping and all, had gone fairly quickly. It was almost a quarter till seven, and I was eager to get home and begin cooking.

Walking south a block, I found a bus stop that was on the 110's route. It was further along on said route than the University stop— one of them, anyway; the campus was rather large — where I got off, and would usually pass by it as it finished the route and started to loop back. Sitting down on the bench provided, I had a chat with a man who turned out to be a commercial painter. He was waiting for another bus, however, so I said my polite goodbyes as I hopped on.

The downtown area was a "ride free" zone, so I didn't need to put the required coinage into the slot just yet. On the return loop of a route, fare procedure changed to "pay as you leave," so I simply found a seat and relaxed, simply watching the city go by. At this hour, the bus was a little more empty than I was used to, since I generally got off at six and caught the tail end of the commuter rush. But it was nice, like this. I set my groceries on the seat beside me, and leaned back.

Making its way through the downtown, the bus passes familiar sights and streets that I have seen every weekday for a few years, now. They're a little darker than normal, and a bit less busy. Lanzhou especially seems more sedate, but only around the office buildings— the ritzy portion was just starting to hit its stride.

After a while, we pass under the elevated six-lane road that marked the end of Lanzhou. Officially, its name was the Kirisame Memorial Highway, but everyone else had gotten used to calling it the Starway, due to the shape of the emblem for it on the signage.

She would have liked that, I think.

Passing under the Starway, the bus begins its long climb up the hill where I live. I take that as my cue to start fishing out change for the fare, and gather up my things. I press the stop-request button once we start nearing my apartment, and make my way to the front. The driver isn't one I'm familiar with, but I give him my thanks and a smile as I drop the coins through the slot as the doors hiss open, and wave off the offer of a transfer pass.

I cross the street, and head up the half-block to my apartment building, extending my wings momentarily to fly upwards, bypassing the bloody stairs, and landing with a ka-click on the upper terrace. The people here were long since used to me, and didn't bat an eye when I came flying up the steps.

Taking the elevator up to the top floor, I shift one bag to the other hand, and pull out the key for Apartment #212. Unlocking the deadbolt and then the door itself, I open it up, and step inside.

[ ] Newsradio
[ ] Talk Soup

________________________________________________________________________________

This became longer than I thought, and then shorter than I thought. In the next update, cooking scenes will be deployed.
>> No. 35633
[x] Newsradio
>> No. 35634
[x] Talk Soup

Even in death, she's doing what she loved: vomiting stars everywhere.
>> No. 35635
[x] Talk Soup

Even in death, she's doing what she loved: vomiting stars everywhere.
>> No. 35637
>She would have liked that, I think.
;_;

[X] Newsradio
>> No. 35638
[x] Talk Soup

Dam this story has a melancholy feel to it, yet has a 'life goes on' feel aswell that counteract it.
And this is just the start
Don't stop Fell, you're amazing.
>> No. 35640
[x] Talk Soup
That was really kinda short.
>> No. 35649
[x] Newsradio

More interested in headlines than gossip.
>> No. 35651
[x] Talk Soup
>> No. 35659
File 13110044246.jpg - (114.56KB , 765x409 , GnBitSE.jpg ) [iqdb]
35659
>>35599
That's good and all but I'd prefer if the resolutions were made exclusively to make sense in context, rather than to make a point.

The last bad end in 'The Game' was made just to lampshade a trope, and wasn't really the more 'logical' choice plot-wise. Likewise, the 'Sakuya twist' in SSR was made because the reader was influenced by another, unrelated, story at the last minute (Higurashi) and wasn't the best choice plot-wise either
However, the 'Remilia twist' in, the same story, made a lot of sense in context and was preceded by several clues and foreshadowing; that's the way I prefer things to be. In fact, it was only considered 'surprising' due to Anon's innate hate for OCs.

[x] Talk Soup
>> No. 35660
[X] Newsradio

>The downtown area was a "ride free" zone, so I didn't need to put the required coinage into the slot just yet. On the return loop of a route, fare procedure changed to "pay as you leave,"
This sounds so... familiar. Taking a page from King County Metro, are we? inb4 Haven is Seattle.
>> No. 35670
File 131102643898.png - (93.21KB , 345x345 , Hard rock is her favorite.png ) [iqdb]
35670
Calling it for talk show listenan gaems (at first).

Already writing, but it might be another day or two.
>> No. 35676
>>35670

Hooray!
>> No. 35694
File 131111712756.jpg - (11.63KB , 275x300 , slowpoke.jpg ) [iqdb]
35694
>>35670
[x] Newsradio

i tied the votes am i kewl yet guise
>> No. 35695
[x] Talk Soup
>> No. 35715
File 131120346025.jpg - (276.07KB , 645x1000 , Walking Tall.jpg ) [iqdb]
35715
[⍩] Talk Soup

My apartment is not especially fancy or amazing, but it's comfortable enough and in a good neighborhood. This is to be expected, since I'm paying for it on a teacher's salary. Renko snorted the first time I described it that way. Apparently we're better-paid, by comparison, than teachers typically were. Haven's City Council places a lot of hope in the University, and funds it accordingly.

It's a one-bedroom affair, with a decently-sized living room, and a halfway-reasonable kitchen. There's a short balcony and a second bathroom, a couple of closets, another bathroom off the bedroom, and that's about it. The design suggests that it's no place for a family, but a place for someone living alone in the city who has friends over a lot.

One out of two ain't bad. ...Well, maybe it is.

Setting my bag in a small alcove by the door apparently designed for exactly that purpose, I shut the door behind me, relocking the deadbolt, and step out of my heels. The boots I generally prefer to wear have a bit of heel to them, so I'm used to the concept, albeit not to the same degree. Wearing these isn't too painful, having learned the trick, but it does get a bit tiring. I slip my stockinged feet into a pair of indoor slippers— oh, muuuch better —and proceed to my bedroom after setting down the grocery bags on the living room table.

In my room, I strip down without bothering to close my curtains; you'd need a helicopter or a good telescope to get a nice, level view into the room. The suit and skirt get hung up and the blouse goes into the hamper. I pull on a pair of comfortable black shorts and a loose green t-shirt (The words "Sonoma County Soccer League" enclose a picture of a soccer ball with a manic grin), then pad back into the kitchen to get started with the cooking, flicking the living room stereo on as I pass through it to scoop up my groceries.

"—course it's ridiculous to claim that, and I'm not saying anything like that. But am I some kind of mad, raving lunatic for thinking the city's doing something good by putting this into effect? I'd really like to hear the case being made --and I'm sure plenty of us will, come tomorrow-- against societal integration for these neighborhoods. 'Oh, it's an invasion of privacy!' No, not really. You're not going to have jackbooted thugs busting down your door; that's the sort of thing loony Yanks always got going whenever there was a hint of government oversight."

Swiftly unpacking my groceries, I get to work. The butter and garlic I'd already had measured and chopped and sitting in my fridge from last night... two nights ago, actually, now that I think about it. I put that in a pot on the stove, and let it heat up for a bit, then go outside onto the little balcony off my living room, and fire up the little grill I keep parked out there to get it good and ready.

It was actually left over from the previous tenant, and came with the place. One drunken evening, I suddenly had the most intense craving for some of Mystia's lamprey, and ended up staring at my inherited grill unhappily for an hour or two because I had no idea how to work it. Then I wrote a note to myself ("F IND OUT HO W GRI L L WORX!"), taped it to the front door, then went around looking for an all-night Japanese restaurant that could at least alleviate these insatiable desires of mine.

The short version was that I did not find any, and I was very lucky the officer escorted me home instead of taking me in. I've never touched Australian wine since.

"Haven's been operating under Kirisame's 'Golden Law' almost since the beginning, and it's only helped us. More oversight in these neighborhoods— mostly the Muslim ones, but you're going to see it happening in the poorer places too, mark my words —is an extension of that same policy. They're going to claim it's religious or racial persecution, but that's a load. You want to not eat pork? Fine. You want to wear a blanket outside? Fine. You want to hit your wife for giving her opinion, or start beating on your kids, that's not so fine."

Once the butter's melted, I let the tiny shrimp poach in it for a little bit while I set out the trout on the grill, and begin the prep work, gazing upon it while I do with hungry eyes, wings fluttering lightly. Oh yes, yes, you are going to be delicious.

The trout and the fish were both farm-bred, seeing as how the boundaries of Haven and the area surrounding it were, like Gensokyo before it, landlocked. The only ways to get fishy things was from one of the several fish farms scattered here and there beyond the urban center of Haven itself, or from the so-called Miracle Mines in the southwest. These were from the former, and were therefore cheaper. Despite being Japanese, I had no fondness for ocean seafood: You can't miss a place you've never been.

Once the trout-grilling is properly underway, I dash back inside and begin cutting up the stuff for the rest of the salad. It's a very simple affair with a few personal touches thrown in— lettuce, chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, shredded cheese, and dried cranberries. I don't even get to mixing them up before I scurry over to the pot, and pull out the shrimp, dumping them into a bowl I'd set aside for them. That part was done, at least!

"It's not about persecution, and it never has been. 'Traditionally-minded groups,' let's call them, who were so used to never needing to change whatever kinds of crazy, archaic behaviors they were carrying on in quiet are being reminded, one group at a time, that all the little things like honor killings, racial violence, hushed-up child abuse, and alllll the other things that everyone knew about but nobody could act on... People aren't going to stand for it anymore, because letting them persist is to let the society we've formed go to hell. 'As citizens of Haven, we are each of us responsible for ensuring the safety and the lives of our fellow citizens. When we better ourselves, we better our community. When we better our community, we better our city. And when we better our city, we better our future.' If Mayor Kirisame hadn't taken action like she did, this city wouldn't be even half of what it is today."

[ ] Channel surf
[ ] Don't touch that dial

________________________________________________________________________________

This came to me a lot easier once I had a grasp on it, but it was getting that grasp that ate up a lot of the time between this update and the last.

>>35599
Pretty much.

>>35659
>SSR
What story was this?

>>35660
[spoiler']That part of it's based on KCM, yeah. "Write what you know," right?[/spoiler']

[spoiler']>in b4 Haven is Seattle[/spoiler']
I'm not that lazy, though.
>> No. 35716
[x] Channel surf
sure
>> No. 35717
[x] Don't touch that dial

>Kirisame Memorial Highway
>Kirisame's 'Golden Law'
[x] Raise a glass to Marisa. Shine on, wherever you are.
>> No. 35718
[x] Don't touch that dial
>> No. 35719
[x] Don't touch that dial
>> No. 35721
[x] Channel surf
>> No. 35722
[x] Channel surf

This seems too perfect. Suspicious. It's way too suspicious. Maybe we can find a channel that isn't a government mouthpiece.
>> No. 35725
FFFFFFF screwed up the spoiler tags.

Anyway, keep voting; update tomorrow (soon to be "today") if all goes well
>> No. 35727
[x] Don't touch that dial

The current program on the radio intrigues me.
>> No. 35729
[x] Don't touch that dial
>> No. 35731
[X] Channel surf

Seconding >>35722. I want the other side of this story.
>> No. 35732
>>35715
>What story was this?
I can only assume he meant SSM, as in Scarlet-Stained Memoir.
>> No. 35733
[x] Channel surf
>> No. 35735
[x] Don't touch that dial
-[x] Raise a glass to Marisa. Shine on, wherever you are.

I like this side-write in.
>> No. 35738
Called, and pushing back the update date unless I stop feeling so damned lethargic. The pizza buffet seemed like such a good idea at the time...
>> No. 35741
>>35722
>This seems too perfect. Suspicious. It's way too suspicious. Maybe we can find a channel that isn't a government mouthpiece.

You ever been to Seattle? They actually obey their "Don't Walk" signs. That town could use a race riot.

Betting the 'action' Marisa took part in suspended civil rights indefinitely and left in place a massive political machine.
>> No. 35742
>>35741
The most important thing in politics is power!
>> No. 35743
>>35722
>>35741
Wow! Could you two project your cynicism any harder than this? It's rather stupid to assume things about a world we know so little about.
>> No. 35744
>>35743
Fuck that, I'd rather judge quickly and get proven wrong the next update than not judge at all. It's more fun.
>> No. 35745
>>35744
Only bigots and other ignorant people judge things so quickly. Even a moment spent following an incorrect assumption can have disastrous results.
>> No. 35746
>>35745
Tokiko is preparing dinner while listening to the radio. We are deciding whether to change the channel or not. Disastrous results. Tokiko might become bored!

Take it easy.
>> No. 35747
>>35746
I was referring to the bigger picture, something easily seen if you looked further ahead than 3 inches. The implications speak for themselves
>> No. 35748
>>35746
You've obviously never read one of Fell's stories before. Here, Let me give you a tip:

Everything is important. Everyone. Little. Detail.
>> No. 35750
>>35743
>Wow! Could you two project your cynicism any harder than this?

When there's enough discontent that major political figures get assassinated, suspicion toward the status quo is justified.

>It's rather stupid to assume things about a world we know so little about.

Which is why we're changing the channel, so we can get a broader view of current affairs than this one clearly biased source.
>> No. 35751
>>35750
>Which is why we're changing the channel
Correction: that's why we should be changing the channel. Recount them votes.
>> No. 35752
>>35751
>Correction: that's why we should be changing the channel. Recount them votes.

Well, hell. At least we'll find out who this wingnut is.
>> No. 35755
>>35750
Yet we don't know what they were assasinated for or what happened to Marisa in the first place. And channel flipping mainly gives out useless bits of information than any decisive.
>> No. 35756
>>35755
>Calling it for talk show listenan gaems (at first).
We'd probably end up listening to the news. Fell isn't going to deny us important information no matter what we choose here, anyway.
>> No. 35787
File 131147028784.jpg - (129.85KB , 1600x1200 , the city٫ she loooves me.jpg ) [iqdb]
35787
[⋖] Don't touch that dial

The trout I very gently, lightly season before shutting the grill again. All that's left on this end is cooking time. Now that I've got a bit of breathing room, so to speak, I head back into the kitchen and start mixing up the ingredients for the salad. Halfway through, I realize that I didn't take care of the cheese, and so pause my mixing to chop up some pepperjack cheese into small cubes.

"Well, I've been talking uninterrupted long enough, and I'm sure I've riled up a few people, so I'm going to start taking some calls from all of you out there. First is... Kelly, 31; calling from the New Munich township on the east side. Good evening, Kelly."
"Hi, Nils; first-time caller, long time listener. So, uh, I was listening—"
"You're a Yank, yes?"
"Huh? Oh, uh... yeah. Why, 's it the accent?"
"No, they're the only ones who open calls like that. Anyway, continue?"
"...Well, it's not by choice, but the guys got it on at work during my shift, so I end up listening to it anyway. Now, I usually disagree with a lotta your views, but yeah,
I'm totally in favor of the city steppin' in for cases like this, so I was surprised to hear you were, too."
"It's true, I'm generally not in favor of a lot of the council's decisions on principle, but those are generally for smaller-scale laws and so on. However, I feel that this is a surprisingly bold maneuver, and one that is in line with our first Mayor's Golden Law. Behaviors that actively work to erode at society in a noticeable, sociologically proven way are not ones we can continue to tolerate the existence of."
"Right, right."
"Look at it this way: Haven, sealed off from the rest of the world, is like a life raft in the middle of the ocean after a ship has sunk. Each person takes their turn rowing, tending to the sick and the wounded, and helping to catch food. The continued existence of the group depends on each person pitching in and doing their fair share. But if someone decides to start pissing in the fresh water jug, or throw an oar overboard because he was angry with someone, then we're bloody well going to put a stop to that. ...It's my personal feeling, though, that if he looks like he's going to keep doing it after you tell him to stop the first time, then we ought to throw him overboard and be done with it."
"Seems a little harsh, there."
"Sure it is. The city obviously won't start holding executions; they'd be proving the loony bunch right. But they'll still need to make an example of them in some way to make sure it doesn't happen again."


Once the cheese is thus taken care of, I throw it into the salad bowl and mix it in along with everything else. I don't bother with dressing, and never have. Nutrition aspects aside, it's always seemed to me that if your salad needs goop dribbled on it, that just means you didn't make a decent enough salad to have it be able to stand on its own merits.

...Of course, one might point out that the same could be said of seasoning and marinade on meats, and they might even be right. After all, you're altering the base flavor of the original product, aren't you? Technically, yes. However, the salad I make has a flavor of its own, thanks to the ingredients I use. Adding something more would only take away from it.

"Next is... Emil. You're 23, calling fro—"
"DRA ÅT HELVETTE, DUMSKALLE!"
click.
"...Well, that was lovely. Someone from the homeland, it seems... which narrows the pool of suspects considerably. But, let's not let the idiots hold this up any further."

Putting a plate on top of the salad bowl, I mosey on back to the balcony, and check on the trout again. Coming along; cooking nicely, but not quiiiite done yet. The lid is put back with a faint 'clonk' and I lean over the little railing of the balcony, and just take in the view of the city at night.

No matter what time of day, being able to look out over the city has always been one of my favorite sights of the past decade. When I saw this apartment, I knew instantly that I had to have it. Even back in the Gensokyo days, I lived in a little hut high up in the hills, overlooking a large swath of the land.

A book I read once, in a fit of self-discovery— just the emotional kind —said that an ibis prefers to nest somewhere that overlooks their territory. I suppose that would explain my instinct and preference for this. I never really felt that anywhere in Gensokyo was my territory, though, save for that hut. But here in Haven, I have a sense of that; just a bit. This city I'm watching over is being helped and improved by those I teach— tomorrow, if not today.

Memories of my own days of being patiently taught in that cluttered, junk-filled store float through my mind. It's what happens almost every time I look over Haven like this, although usually I've had a couple of beers by then, and am more inclined to reminisce. Even so, they still bring a smile to my face, and I wonder, not for the first time, if it's those memories that make the view special, instead.

"Someone else, now... All right, here's Sanjay, also 23. You're not from Sweden, are you Sanjay?"
"Madras, actually."
"Good to hear. I've had enough of my countrymen for tonight."
"Yes, I heard. ...Ah, anyhow, Nils: I am calling to ask how you can assume that the council and Mayor Ivanov are acting with the city's best interests in mind? I understand that in the West, this sort of thing would never have been passed successfully, and the only place it would have succeeded was some country where the government was actively persecuting some ethnic group. Living in Asia, stories like that were not uncommon, especially further southeast—"
"Hold on, let me cut you off for a second. I was talking about this earlier, and said that this isn't about racial persecution. It's about putting a stop to traditions that are covered up or not really spoken of outside of certain neighborhoods which hurt the development of a healthy city and society. Sure, most of those people are obviously going to be all from the same religion, or country, or whatever; that's what lots of groups have done. No big shock there. When we all got dropped in here by the Flip, racial and ethnic clustering were a reflexive safety measure— you seek the group you know. Nothing wrong with that."
"But what does that have to do with making sure that Ivanov and the council won't overstep their bounds? Honor killings and child abuse and so on are despicable, yes. But what assurance do we have that putting a stop to these is not an excuse for something more?"
"Because they're not idiots at City Hall. ...Actually, let me amend that: when it comes to really big stuff like this, they're not idiots. Taxes and tickets and minor regulations are one thing, and I hate most of them. But— hate to sound like I'm beating the dead horse here, but Kirisame's words have become the underlying principle for everything the city has done from the moment she took office. Ivanov's proven himself to be no different, despite being kind of a twat. So, why can I be sure they won't go crazily invasive like China was? Because that's not the direction this city is moving, and if it started going that way, nobody, but
nobody, would stand for it.
"...Whoops, my engineer's giving me a glare. Overdue for a commercial break; we'll be back in five."


At last, the trout has finished cooking. I remove it from the grill, and lay it out on the plate I'd set aside for it, then bring it and the salad bowl to my little dining table. As an ad for Whiterock Creamery & Eatery and begins playing, I reach out for the radio again.

[ ] I never did read the paper today...
[ ] Music is fine!
[ ] Blessed silence~

________________________________________________________________________________

1) This came out a little later than I wanted because I had to assemble the caller profiles.

2) There is a surprisingly large amount of clear, helpful, thoughtfully written material out there on the nuances and variety of Swedish profanity.

3) ...I'd forgotten what it was like to have discussions and squabbling. As much as I don't want to encourage shitstorms, I have to admit it feels really good to see people concerned about the story. ...Although I wonder how much is actual concern over events in the story, and how much is attempting to prove a point to the other guy, who is clearly wrong. http://xkcd.com/386/ comes to mind.
>> No. 35788
[x] Music is fine!

>Discussion about discussion
Chasing an argument off the topic seems really rude to me.

As far as the story's direction goes... it's way too early to say where the plot is headed, but the setting is already awesome.
>> No. 35789
>Memories of my own days of being patiently taught in that cluttered, junk-filled store float through my mind.

Pretty obvious now she's Rinnosuke's adopted family and not a wife.

[x] Think about what Parminder's blackouts might be the cause of.

A teacher's always gotta know what shits going down with her students. Also, iirc, this was just supposed to be you kicking back from your usual stories without so much actiony involved, right? Does this mean things like that dudes blackouts will just be solved very easily and it'll go back to slice-of-life, or will this have an actual plot?

If theres anything wrong with I just said, Fuck off as who the hell stays asleep for more then 3 hours? Not me.
>> No. 35790
[x] I never did read the paper today...

Well that was something interesting to find out, that whatever this "flip" was it deposited all sorts of people into this area. Though I must wonder if this is different than Gensokyo or the flip changed Gensokyo forever.
>> No. 35794
>At last, the trout has finished cooking. I remove it from the grill, and lay it out on the plate I'd set aside for it, then bring it and the salad bowl to my little dining table. As an ad for Whiterock Creamery & Eatery and begins playing, I reach out for the radio again.

Letty's Ice Cream? Sounds good.
>> No. 35801
[x] I never did read the paper today...
>> No. 35803
[x] I never did read the paper today...

Newspaper headlines generally have to appeal to a wider audience than talk radio pundits.
>> No. 35829
[X] I never did read the paper today...

It might not be the Kakashi Spirit News, but a person needs to keep up to date on current events somehow.
>> No. 35838
File 131163253452.jpg - (235.46KB , 768x1024 , they’re having a sleep-deprivation contest.jpg ) [iqdb]
35838
Called for ZA PAYPAH. Update hopefully tomorrow. Probably in a new thread; this one's about done.
>> No. 35860
New thread at: >>35859