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141609 No. 141609
You’re not entirely sure what just happened, but it’s probably for the best. Not much could happen that wouldn’t improve your situation from what it had been, really.

Unfortunately, this is not as much of an improvement as you would like. Sure, the swarms of PURGE goons are gone, and yes, it doesn’t smell like autohack oil and poor hygiene anymore… but those smells have been replaced by smells almost wholly unfamiliar to you, and you don’t even know where you are aside from somewhere probably well above your security clearance. The world is some dizzying array of shadowed greens and grays and browns with a far-off blue ceiling, nothing like the well-lit red corridors back in sector NSL. You can hear huge volumes of water crashing down, like that one time when the High Programmer’s soda-spewing vanity fountain got a chunk blown out of it by traitors and sent a wave of fresh Bouncy Bubble Beverage flooding down the hall right outside your barracks. You were mopping for days.

On the bright side, you don’t seem to have been accompanied through… whatever means it was to… wherever it is you are by any of those treacherous backbiting commie mutant traitors you got stuck on a Troubleshooter team with. That, and the aforementioned lack of a horde of heavily-armed anarchists pointing lasers at you.

You even got yourself mysteriously flung out of the whole mess before you could get blasted straight to clone number two!

You pause a moment to take stock of what you have to work with. As per regulations, you are wearing RED-clearance reflec coveralls and a newish set of boots. The barrel attached to your laser pistol still has five stripes; that means five safe shots before you have to start risking explosions when you fire - or switch to the experimental R&D barrel with the stripe that sort of twists around on itself, which will probably raise the risk of catastrophic malfunction to somewhere around one hundred percent, if the episode with Hugh-R’s “portable invincible armor” is any indication. Thanks to the equipment guy being easy to convince, you have three (probably) working grenades on your belt. Your PDC is mostly operational and can still run a lot of those games you acquired through Perfectly Legal Means, but keeps getting “Server Not Available” error messages when you try to call your overseer. Finally, you have your beloved multipurpose canteen – currently with delicious B3 in the main cylinder, two VitaYum bars in the rectangular side case, several tabs of ever-useful Xanitrick in the drug caddy, and a small “grey goo” nanodestructor package hidden in a secret compartment in the cap. You really have to get rid of that last thing before it gets you killed and/or convicted of treason.

A sound like some sort of unintelligible conversation reaches your ears, and you peek between some oddly placed brown-and-green things to catch – well, first you catch a piece of paper on your forehead somehow, but that just up and vanishes, so it’s probably just a side effect from that horrible Gelgernine/Qualine cocktail that the Happiness Officer foisted on you. ANYways, you catch sight of some bizarre tiny little flying women in long red clothes that seem to have been made by someone who decided that cold-workers’ coats were just <i>too complicated</i> and wouldn’t they be better with no pockets or collar? Their speech seems to be partially comprehensible now; apparently, they’re arguing about “weird gaps” or something.

Maybe you can turn this into knowledge about your current situation. Then again, maybe they have some sort of hidden weapons on them that’ll vaporize your meaty bits like those undercover IntSec operatives did to Ben-O last week.

==========
<B>Decision Time!</b>
[]Talk the midgets into telling you where you are.
---[]Butter them up and play to their egos.
---[]Try to trick them into taking that grey goo packet as “payment”, while you’re at it. Chumps.
---[]Just loom as much as possible, wave your Troubleshooter badge, and watch them cower.
[]Sneak past the midgets.
---[]Use some of those loose bits of green-and-brown whatever for camouflage.
---[]Just be as quiet as possible.
---[]Try and time your footsteps so their conversation covers the sound up.
[]Forget sweet-talking, force the information you need out of them.
---[]Keep your laser handy!
---[]Bean them with hard objects from a distance.
---[]A real troubleshooter needs only his fists. And elbows, and knees, and steel-toed boots, and…
[]Forget sneaking, force your way past them.
---[]Same sub-options as inquiry through force.

>> No. 141610
[x]Talk the midgets into telling you where you are.
---[x]Butter them up and play to their egos.

There are no midgets in the future, So we can safely assume we are in the past.
>> No. 141611
... What will we do without Friend Computer?

[x]Talk the midgets into telling you where you are.
---[x]Butter them up and play to their egos

>>141610
Except for the tunnel and vent maintenance personnel, you mean. Those guys are always made short.
>> No. 141612
[X]Talk the midgets into telling you you are and what's going on around here.
---[X]Butter them up and play to their egos.

Our first step towards helping Friend Computer is to find out just what we need to do to do so.
But we should keep our laser gun handy. They could turn out to be traitorous mutant communists, after all.
>> No. 141614
[x]Talk the midgets into telling you where you are.
-[x]Butter them up and play to their egos

What terrible fa/tg/uy setting is this taking place in?
>> No. 141616
>What terrible fa/tg/uy setting is this taking place in?

Paranoia
>> No. 141620
I'd just like to say you are incredibly awesome for doing this.
>> No. 141622
[X]Sneak past the midgets.
---[X]Just be as quiet as possible.
They're filthy mutants, don't talk to them, fools!

And don't use that green stuff, you're only RED clearance!
>> No. 141623
[X]Talk the midgets into telling you you are and what's going on around here.
---[X]Butter them up and play to their egos.
>> No. 141624
[X]Talk the midgets into telling you you are and what's going on around here.
---[X]Butter them up and play to their egos
>> No. 141627
[X]Forget sweet-talking, force the information you need out of them.
---[X]A real troubleshooter needs only his fists. And elbows, and knees, and steel-toed boots, and…

Good old-fashioned violence. What problems don't you solve? None, that's what.

Also, writefag, you keep writing this. If you abandon this, I will hate you forever. I am excite.
>> No. 141705
[x]Talk the midgets into telling you where you are.
---[x]Butter them up and play to their egos.
---[x]Try to trick them into taking that grey goo packet as “payment”, while you’re at it. Chumps.


What is this. Paranoia story? Well-written? Beautiful. Let's get some updates soon, okay?
>> No. 141787
[X]Talk the midgets into telling you you are and what's going on around here.
---[X]Butter them up and play to their egos
>> No. 141790
This is a highly unexpected positive response - I was expecting more of a "LOL crossover market is oversaturated GTFO". Here's a few quick bits of info (I was planning on posting them up earlier, but...)

*I have problematic internet access, and by "problematic" I mean "something possessed me to start posting while I was on a port call at the start of a U.S. Navy deployment instead of waiting until I was well and truly back on land". I can't actually connect my own computer except when we make port, which also means I can't post images (ergo can't start more threads, knock on wood) unless we're in port because ship's internet has such narrow bandwidth.

*This being a story about a Troubleshooter, bad ends are (1) more likely than normal and (2) not the end until number six, maybe longer. You probably guessed already, though.

*Yes, you're going to see a lot of rambling descriptions of normal objects until Troubleshooter figures out, for instance, what a tree is.

*Votes are closed, called in favor of using Bootlicking (with a minor side of Con Games, because someone mentioned it and the idea amuses me) and I am counting and beginning the writing process. Failure to wait warmly until it is ready is treason.
>> No. 141794
>LOL crossover market is oversaturated GTFO
If it had been a full "Gensokyo is Alpha Complex" it might have been a bit better in /others/ but a "WUiG but with a Paranoia Troubleshooter" is /th/ enough for people, it seems.

Having said that, I'm just really looking forward to when our RED fellow here meets the legendary RED-ULTRAVIOLET, the individual who handles High Programmer incidents on a RED's payscale, the wonderful invincible Troubleshooter of Paradise that sometimes even gets to eat real food like apples.

There's also the ordinary INFRARED-ULTRAVIOLET, who acts like an ULTRAVIOLET but has an INFRARED's happy-drug supply in her body at all times, but she's terrible.
>> No. 142025
As a quick heads-up: depending on whether or not I can convince anyone to let me try and get working wi-fi during tomorrow's shore liberty, next update will be either tomorrow or whenever I manage to retype the whole update from my laptop onto a ship's network computer.
>> No. 142085
>>142025
Wow. That's dedication to a story. Godspeed, sailor.
>> No. 142106
Things are complicated for you. You haven’t a clue where you are, you doubt your On-Duty Troubleshooter badge will be of that much use against citizens already so clearly in violation of security protocol, and that drug-mixer side effect that’s making some of the midgets’ conversation into understandable words is turning the rest into random gibberish sounds.

Hopefully, you can still get the gist of it, and figure out where the nearest transtube station is. If worst comes to worst, though, you can probably just shoot them.

Hrm. Shot conservation.

After a few moments of consideration, you decide your best option is to…

[]Talk the midgets into telling you where you are and what’s going on here.
---[]Butter them up and play to their egos.
---[]See if you can get them to take that grey goo packet off your hands as “payment”, while you’re at it. Chumps.

Even if you can’t tell what the details of their sentences are, you can still get the gist of things, which won’t be much different from trying to hold a coherent conversation with one of those BLUE eggheads in the Central Processing Unit office next to your old workplace. Plus, even if things head south, you’re a genuine certified Troubleshooter, trained over a grueling two weeks to simultaneously punch Commies in the face and mug for a camera. They also taught you how to use a laser, but that was just a simple point-and-click interface.

Taking a deep breath, you step out from behind the brown-and-green things. “Excuse me, citizens, but I’ve run into some unfortunate complications, and I seem to be quite a ways from where I should be. Could you-“

The tiny floating women begin another rapid-fire gibberish session, during which you catch bits like “this guy”, “gap”, “go get”, “BLUE”, “wait here”…

That whole thing sounds a little worrisome. Very worrisome, seeing as how one of the little winged minicitizens has just flown off at great speeds. She’s probably gone off to get that BLUE citizen they mentioned – possibly to assist in your plight, but more likely to turn you in for roaming outside RED-clearance areas and try to cash in on the rewards. You hope waving your On-Duty Troubleshooter badge can buy you out of the more execution-y class of punishments.

“In any case, I would appreciate it greatly if you could direct me to the nearest transtube station, citizen.”

“*@^(&*!^#&*@! bus stop? *)(@^#(*^ no buses in )*^@*(#^(*&@$. #*$^( said so, *&@$*& trust #*$^(&(*%*&%*#*$^( strongest.”

You’re not sure where she got “bus stop” from “transtube station” – after all, there are no more buses in Alpha Complex, the last of them having been retired in favor of transtubes shortly before you moved out of Junior Citizens’ Club to work with the fine folks (read: traitorous backbiting scum but at least you learned to cook) in BLUE Room Catering.

“No, citizen, I’m not looking for a bus. I need anything that can help me get back to sector RFE block D so I can rejoin my team.”

“Why not (*^@(*#&^(* everyone else?”

“Protocol, ma’am. I would definitely be most willing to compensate you for your assistance on this matter – no citizen should ever go unrewarded for good work.” You fiddle briefly with the cap of your multi-canteen, keeping it just behind your hip to keep the RED midget from seeing it. “This is an experimental safe version of those grey goo cleaning packets that got taken off the market last month. Just stick it onto something you want gone and peel off the paper tab.”

The minigirl’s eyes open up wide. “Really? Just )(&*)($#U&)(*#$&)(*@ anything? Thanks, )*(@)^*$(&#$@)( good luck!”

She speeds off through the sky, giving you time to think before you go sneaking off again-

Somewhere, you hear something exploding.

Panic settles into your brain with the speed of a hacked military transport bot, but before you can flee, you see someone touching down on the ground in front of you, clad in blue and-

White?

A freakin’ ULTRAVIOLET?

By your estimation, you are now screwed out of at least two clones, possibly three. It’ll reach all six if you try to point out that those weird hairclips (and, for that matter, that ponytail-and-one-really-long-bang hairstyle) are definitely out of regulations.

“)(*^&$@(*^$(*@ what I’m saying?”

“Now hold on, I can explain this if you give me a minute to stop panickiOW!” Your frantic motormouthing is interrupted by the mystery citizen slapping a piece of paper forcefully into your forehead, which promptly vanishes just like the last mixed-drug hallucination like it.

"I really wish she wouldn't cheap out on translation talismans like that. Can you understand me now?"

"Yes, yes, everything is all clear."

The green-haired woman smiles. "Great! You must be confused, so I'll take you somewhere safe for now. I can explain on the way. Let's go!"

"I appreciate it, but I really need to AAAAAAAAAAA-" In another display of her odd sense of timing, miss greenhair seems to have somehow enveloped you in a small windstorm, lifting you into the air.

As she flies off, with you helpless in tow, she begins explaining your current location to you. The basics of it are that you are in "Gensokyo" (you've never heard of any sector GSK), a freaky fictional dream world (like in those Old Reckoning holodramas you sold to that guy once) populated almost completely by unregistered mutants (calling them "youkai" doesn't change much in your brain). You were just on Youkai Mountain (sort of like the high-clearance residential districts in the upper tier of any given sector, but built on solid rock instead of less classy districts beneath it), and are now headed to Moriya Shrine (basically the local ULTRAVIOLET command post) to speak with the mystery girl's superiors (basically the local ULTRAVIOLETs, though they don't wear much white.)

She claims her name is Kochiya Sanae. This is patently false, because that name contains no clearance or sector code.

"So," she asks, "who are you, and what do you do?"

"I'm a registered Troubleshooter, ma'am."

Sanae stops in mid-air and blinks, then claps her hands to her mouth. "OhmyselfIamsosorry-"

She quickly touches down, kneeling over you as you lie on your back where you fell when she lost her concentration and the wind stopped. "Are you all right?"

"I am made of pain," you reply as your eyelids weigh down hard, "and my wakeys just wore off."

**********

"Looks like he's still not awake."

You hear Sanae's voice, but you don't feel the need to open your eyes right now.

"He's probably going to be out for a while," another voice replies. "Come eat dinner, we can talk to him when he wakes up."

You hear the sound of footsteps - someone about Sanae's size, by the noise, so probably her - then something sliding, and finally a sound a lot like a door closing.

You slowly open your eyes, taking in the sight of a room built of paper and what looks like a cut-and-shaped form of those "trees" that were all over the place before. Most of your gear is in a neatly-arranged line against the wall; you have access to what you need.

You're not sure if you want to talk to Sanae's bosses, but you're also not sure where you would go if you didn't. You'll need to...

==========
[]Get some rest for now. Xanitrick crashes suck.
[]Get up and try to talk to them on your own. You don't really have other options, and there's no sense waiting.
[]Promptly get up and sneak your way out of wherever this is. You REALLY don't want to talk to them.
[]Wait a bit until you have your bearings, then try to sneak out when they go to sleep. As much as you want not to talk to them, it's important to use your head about this.
[]Head out and apply judicious violence. If they're as direly out of regulations as you think, you can probably explain the whole mess away at the debrief.

This post brought to you by me attempting to retype something better from memory, and failing horribly at it.
>> No. 142107
[x] Sleep.
[x] Try not to think any dirty thoughts of that girl an- god dammit you did it anyways.
>> No. 142118
[X]Get some rest for now. Xanitrick crashes suck.

>populated almost completely by unregistered mutants
Just like Alpha Complex. Speaking of which, is the MC an unregistered mutant?

>>142107
>Try not to think any dirty thoughts of that girl an- god dammit you did it anyways.
Yes, quite dirty. That messy, lopsided hair, the spots all over the lower portion of her strange overalls, the missing portions of her sleeves... why, if she wasn't so far above you in clearance, you'd have to report this dangerous breach of hygene to Friend Computer!
Seriously, the hormone suppresants won't wear off for at least another day.
>> No. 142122
[x]Get up and try to talk to them on your own. You don't really have other options, and there's no sense waiting.
>> No. 142141
[X]Get some rest for now. Xanitrick crashes suck.
>> No. 142177
>>142118

Anything about the Troubleshooter that I haven't already placed in writing is in an unknown quantum state. So far, the confirmed variables are that he is (1) a he, (2) RED clearance, (3) not suicidally trigger-happy, and (4) a former Food Services chef, trained in the use of high-clearance ingredients.

And who says that Anonymous can't cause there to have been a hormone suppressant shortage in TS's home sector?
>> No. 142186
[X]Get some rest for now. Xanitrick crashes suck.

If they wanted to report him for being in an area above his clearance, they could have done so while he was out cold.
In fact, they might already have done so and Friend Computer might be sending someone over right now to take him to the Termination Booth, in which case running would just make things worse.
Failure to report to the Termination Booth is Treason. Punishable by Termination.


>>142177
In other words: If anyone asks he will deny that he is secretly a communist, traitor and/or an unregistered mutant and accuse the one asking of having a slightly too intimate knowledge of said subjects?
>> No. 142224
>>142177
>And who says that Anonymous can't cause there to have been a hormone suppressant shortage in TS's home sector?
The anon who says it's funnier to watch him squirm like [spoiler]a young boy only now discovering a burgeoning libido in a land of effectively only females.

[x]Get up and try to talk to them on your own. You don't really have other options, and there's no sense waiting.

No real ultraviolet would wear a lower colour unless it was a special grade. Perhaps Friend Computer has a particular method of assigning colours in this sector?
>> No. 142343
Oh, this is gold. I love Paranoia.

[x]Get up and try to talk to them on your own. You don't really have other options, and there's no sense waiting.
>> No. 142374
Quick heads-up: due to a wonky work schedule, I'm taking it easy for a couple of days, after which I'll be drafting the next update, after which I'll be going through the retyping rigamarole again. One of the side benefits of being so low on readers in comparison to better authors is that I can get away with only taking a few minutes to count votes, and take my sweet time typing without having to worry about last-minute recounts.

For today's Random Trivia Nobody Cares About, this was actually a second-string idea. I had initially wanted to do a CYOA starring an honest politician, but there was too much overlap between how I envisioned it and how Business Before Bullets was working out.
>> No. 142736
[x] Get up and try to talk to them on your own. You don't really have other options, and there's no sense waiting.

I thought this would make it a tie to screw with you, but it's only 5-4 now, instead of 5-3. ...Unless you aren't merging the first Sleep vote with "Get some rest," in which case yeah, it's tied now.
>> No. 142739
[x]Promptly get up and sneak your way out of wherever this is. You REALLY don't want to talk to them.
>> No. 142743
>>142374

>An honest politician.

And he ends up in Gensokyo, the land of disbelief? This makes far too much sense.
>> No. 142745
[X]Get some rest for now. Xanitrick crashes suck.
[X] Not that they make you any less happy, of course.
>> No. 142823
Okay, calling it for []Get some rest.

Update is being written and will be ready in [[THIS INFORMATION IS NONT AVAILABLE AT YOUR CLEARANCE]].
>> No. 142828
>>142823
Hooray!

Wait, are we even authorized to post on a GREEN boar
>> No. 142905
>>142828

Of course not! That's why all the GREEN boars are safely secured in their GREEN pens in the GREEN enclosure in Alpha Complex.

To say that they are otherwise in a lower colour is treason. Treason is punishable by death. Have a Nice Day!
>> No. 142957
Quick heads-up: writing is complete, but posting may be delayed by either (A) a short time as I try to use a workaround to the retyping problem, or (B) a really long time as I retype.

>>142828
Candle Jack jokes are treason. Please report to the nearest termination booth. Thank you for your cooperation. Have a nice daycycle!
>> No. 143050
>>142957
Sir! It must have been a communist traitor mutant, Sir! That Candlejack must be one, how else could he
>> No. 143119
Your eyelids are still heavy, so you might as well get some sleep. Between the impossible distance to the ceiling the last time you were awake, the blatant and total ignorance of regulations, the weird wall construction, and the acceptance of completely unacceptable delays, it’s becoming obvious that you’re not in the Complex any more.

Hopefully the drug crash is strong enough that you won’t get another volley of those weird dreams.

You feel something poking at your shoulder. "Go 'way," you mutter. "I godda really big gun an' I'm oozin' contagious airborne… death… stuff. Jus' so y'know."

"That’s a really obvious lie," replies a voice like a Junior Citizen, "but whatever. I can wait."

********

Somewhere else…

"Do you remember that oddity I pointed out?"

"Yes."

"Do you remember how you sent the usual response package and told me to go look at something else?"

"Yes."

"Do you remember how I was doing more calculations, but you told me not to bother because there were such low odds that it meant anything?"

"Yes."

"Can you guess why I’m bringing this up?"

"Yes, unfortunately. On a similar note, can you guess what the result of your insubordinate actions will be?"

"…Yes."

********

The room is better lit when your eyes open again. You can smell food. Smells like… that "eggs and bacon" dish you cooked for Scrue-U’s Program Club breakfast the one time. You got to wear a special ULTRAVIOLET work-clearance collar just so you could look at the eggs frying without reporting to the nearest termination booth afterwards.

You actually miss your old usually-BLUE-collar line chef job. It always smelled good in the kitchens, and nobody complained if you tried a sample of the food before you sent it out. Quality assurance, you always said. Poor work output is treason, after all.

But you need breakfast, and even if they don’t want to share the delicious scorched red-and-brown delicacy that is bacon, any kitchen is sure to have some RED edibles somewhere. Not even the persistent mental fog left after sleeping off the crash from forty hours on wakeys can erase this idea.

Goal in mind, you stand yourself up, slide the panel door open, walk a few feet, and then open another panel door.

"WHAT THE HELL?"

"That’s not the fridge," you realize out loud, "that’s the bathroom."

Before you can slide the panel shut again, a star-shaped burst of blueness flies through the opening and catches you square in the chest. You are quickly introduced to the exact sensation of impact on those tree pieces in the walls.

"OW."

"This was going to be SUCH a nice morning!" Sanae advances on you with murder in her eyes. At least, that’s probably what it is, since it’s the look Leah-R had on her before she took a protein cleaver to that dirty commie Roy-G. "I got to sleep in for the first time in a month, and Kanako was making a real Western breakfast – which she never does without serious arm twisting, by the way – and you had to ruin it peeping on me, you damn dirty perv!"

"I admit I do need to take care of hygiene, but that was accidental. Also, if you’re that panicked about this, you might want to put some clothes on, citizen."

"I – you – aaaaargh!" Losing patience, Sanae swings her foot into your side and storms off.

"Ow. Again." You lay on the floorboards for a moment to catch your breath. It occurs to you that you have learned two more facts about this "Gensokyo" place. One, people here are exceedingly – nay, excessively – private, and two, those oddball hair colors are probably not dye.

These are really not worth the pain to have learned the hard way, you think.

********

"Oh, good morning! Still got those contagious airborne death spores?"

"You called me a liar yourself, kid."

The owner of the finger-poking voice – a blonde-haired Junior Citizen in a purple shirt with white sleeves and a strangely horrifying hat [strike]why are the eyes following you[/strike] – pouts for a moment, then nods. "I guess I did. Eggs and bacon?"

"Can’t eat eggs," you say as you make your way over to the low table. "My clearance doesn’t cover that. I could chew through a lot of bacon, though. How do you sit at this table, exactly?"

The third person at the table – very tall, blue hair, red shirt, surrounded by floating pieces of tree – makes a gesture with her free hand that looks like folding one’s knees to sit on one’s lower legs.

You mimic the gesture with your legs, and immediately regret it. This is a really uncomfortable way to sit.

"So," [strike]Terrorhat[/strike] the Junior Citizen says, "I’m told you’re in the Incident resolution business."

"He’s also a huge creep," Sanae adds.

"Incident resolution?" Like those guys who go in after a Vulture Squad wraps up business and give all the survivors psychotherapy? You’re confused; surely nothing you said would suggest that. "No, I’m a Troubleshooter."

"You basically just said, 'no, but yes'," the Creephat Kid observes.

"Also you’re still a dirty old man."

"I am not that old yet, Sanae. But like I was saying…" You pull your favorite pen and a sheet of note paper from one of your pockets. "I’m not a psychotherapist. I am a Troubleshooter," you say as you write Troubleshooter on the paper. "I find trouble –" you sketch a line under the Trouble "– and I shoot it," you say as you draw another line under shoot.

"I fig whad dif if," Pillar Lady says through a mouthful of eggs, "if dat dif if one of dose culjural egwibalent dealf." She swallows, then continues more clearly. "You know, like that woman with the sun tattoo on her forehead who had one of your translation talismans, and it kept misquoting her as claiming to be the Yatagarasu?"

"Yatawhatnow?"

All three of the women at the table simultaneously roll their eyes at your question. "Outsiders."

"In any case, though," Sanae says, "the point we’re trying to get to is that you make a living by running around until you find something to shoot. Am I right?"

"Well, I only go troubleshooting when there’s trouble afoot," you reply. "The rest of the time, I’m a cook."

The short one and the tall one both gain sudden glimmers in their eyes[strike], which for the kid includes both her own eyes and the hat’s[/strike]. Sanae just nods her head and continues. "In any case, it’s been a few months since anything worth standard Incident procedure happened, meaning we’re due for another one before too long. When the Incident rolls around, I want you to resolve it." The look on her face clearly adds and hopefully die in the process, you voyeuristic bastard.

Having dealt with this kind of situation previously, you decide to do the one thing that works best – pretend you’re too dumb to notice the signs of your impending doom while you search for a way out. "So basically, you want me to wander around at random until I find whoever’s behind the trouble, and then shoot them. Like a Troubleshooter does."

At least some things work the same here.

********

"So why are we standing out here in a circle? And why did you put the other barrel on my laser?"

"The answer to your first question," Sanae replies, "is shaddup."

The [strike]Hat of Madness[/strike] blonde girl chimes in with "And we had that shopkeeper figure out what all of your stuff does! Trust me, this will be much better than wasting those giant lasers on the barrel you had attached before." You had found out during breakfast – delicious, bacony breakfast – that her name is "Moriya Suwako", another of those cheerfully unauthentic names that everyone around here seems to go by.

This still isn’t answering your question, though. With two of the three ladies around having proven surprisingly useless – seriously, Suwako trusted an R&D guy – you turn to the third. "Kanako, would you like to shed any light on this for me?"

"Of course. There’s a set of rules governing combat in Gensokyo, and the best way to learn is by observing them firsthand. One of us will be giving you a demonstration."

You take a quick glance around at their facial expressions. They’re all smiling, but differently – Kanako holding her head high with unflinching confidence, Suwako looking like she’s anticipating something, and Sanae bearing one of those atrocious eyes-wide-shut fake smiles you see on people just before they browbeat someone else into doing something really unpleasant.

"One other thing," you ask, pointing to an incongruously placed keyboard-and-speaker setup. "What’s that synthesizer doing there?"

==========

Pick one option from the first three, and one from the second pair. Or just go with write-ins, I don’t care.

[]Faith is for the Transient People
[]Suwa Foughten Field
[]Native Faith

[]Use the experimental barrel. It *might* work. Maybe.
[]Switch back to the barrel that you know won’t explode in your face.

==========

Today’s Random Trivia Nobody Cares About: The idea behind this CYOA actually emerged a long time ago, when I was playing Imperishable Night for the first time and wound up wandering aimlessly in search of the source of the Incident, shooting up a bunch of unrelated characters, and dying six times. I didn’t remember it until rejecting the "honest politician" idea.
>> No. 143124
File 130921871177.jpg - (182.68KB , 550x843 , satoricirnorecursion.jpg ) [iqdb]
143124
[x]Suwa Foughten Field
[x]Switch back to the barrel that you know won’t explode in your face.

Five shots left, and we don't seem to have any extra barrels to loot.

Well, we only have six clones, so that means we'd better use the five shots before having to start using clones.

Besides, recursion is terrible.
>> No. 143174
[x]Faith is for the Transient People
[x]Use the experimental barrel. It *might* work. Maybe.
>> No. 143178
[X]Faith is for the Transient People
I'm not entirely sure what these vote options are, but

[X]Use the experimental barrel. It *might* work. Maybe.
While he may get better at Treason later, he's still a Good Citizen (I mean, he refuses to eat eggs, because it's above his clearance level) so he'll do thing the right way, even when it's wrong.

Also, IIRC the tag is just "s", not "strike".
>> No. 143218
>>143178
They're the theme songs of those three characters. Presumably we're choosing which one we'll fight for our introduction to spell-card duelling.
>Faith is for the Transient People
Sanae
>Suwa Foughten Field
Kanako, huh. I'd have thought that would've been Suwako.
>Native Faith
Suwako

Also, deleting my previous vote and changing it to

[x]Native Faith
[x]Use the experimental barrel. It *might* work. Maybe.
>> No. 143242
>>They're the theme songs of those three characters. Presumably we're choosing which one we'll fight for our introduction to spell-card duelling.

I'd like to congratulate Citizen Anonym-O-USS on promotion to ORANGE clearance. Well done, citizen!

>>Also, IIRC the tag is just "s", not "strike".

FFFFFFFFFFFF-
>> No. 143285
I wonder what it's like at ORANGE clearance?
>> No. 143331
My typing fingers are itching, so I'll be calling this one the next time I'm on at a point greater than 48 hours from now. If a tie exists at that time, I will resort to Arbitrary Justice when announcing the result.
>> No. 143346
[x]Faith is for the Transient People
[x]Use the experimental barrel. It *might* work. Maybe.
>> No. 143351
[x]Native Faith
[x]Use the experimental barrel. It *might* work. Maybe.
>> No. 143371
You chose... poorly. Except not really.

Typing will commence shortly.
>> No. 143378
The synthesizer looms mockingly, its out-of-place-ness far more fearsome than even that smirk on Sanae’s face. What is that thing for, anyways?

“The answer to your first question,” Sanae repeats with that hi, I have you now and you are screwed smile on her face, “is shaddup.”

Kanako sighs. “It’s because our dear little miko is making us play that theme song she commissioned from that outsider with the nice beret and the drinking problem. A theme song. Really. What happened to the dignity of the gods?”

Sanae turns, still with that horrible unsmile. “Kanako-sama. Shut. Up. Please.”

Kanako opens her mouth, then shrugs in exasperation and sits cross-legged on empty air at the synthesizer set’s keyboard. (More unregistered mutant powers. You wonder if there’s any governing authority to punish that stuff at all.) You hear her muttering something about “always gets like this these days” and “never should have let her channel me”, though you’re entirely clueless about just what she means with the second snippet.

Bizarre ego pandering. Conversations you don’t understand at all. The threat of impending doom. This place seems more like your home sector every minute.

“Oh, SAAA-naaaa-eeeee! Remember to take it easy on the new kid!”

“Suwako-sama. Shu-”

Don’t backtalk me, you arrogant little tadpole.” The kid-goddess’s eyes are briefly half-open and agleam with disdain. “We want this guy alive so he can go shoot at things for us, remember? Don’t go disappointing me, now, ‘kay?”

“Fine, fine, I’ll back off and use the spellcards for slow days. But don’t blame me if mister red jumpsuit perv is too busy ogling to dodge.”

“No problem! We can just destroy the evidence! Oh, and could you stop being so surly, dear? It’s not like you. You’re making your extra-great-grandma sad.” Suwako accompanies the last few words with obviously faked tears and quivering lips.

You almost want to reach out and pat her head, but that damn hat is in the way, and it’s eyeballing you. With its creepy disembodied eyeballs.

Sanae’s features soften a little, growing more genuine. “Yeah, you’re right. I’m getting way too wound up about that whole thing. It’s more than a stock scene deserves.”

You raise your hand. “Excuse me, but is anyone going to at least tell me what I’m supposed to accomplish here?”

“Oh, right, sorry, I let the old divine wrath get me all carried away. What’s going to happen here is, I’m going to shoot loads and loads of shots at you-”

“What.”

“-And you have to try and dodge through the little tiny gaps between shots-”

“What.”

“-And also you need to shoot back at me until I lose concentration, which will take a good ten to eighteen seconds of sustained constant rapid fire on your end. Since I’m taking it easy on you.”

Your jaw drops in disbelief. There is no way you can shoot that heavily without your barrel exploding. You try to croak out a “Why are you trying to kill me?”, but all you get is an “ergwstfl”.

As she flies into the sky, your thoughts on exploding barrels roll to the fact that you never did swap back to your good laser barrel. That horrible R&D prototype with the weird self-crossing stripe is still on there.

“This one shouldn’t be tough at all. Wonder-”

Two orbs of blue light form at Sanae’s sides and start spewing slow-moving lasers in a sort of spinning pattern. You can dimly perceive the sound of a percussion track starting.

“Daytime Guest Stars.”

As the lasers cage you into a tiny patch of ground, you realize Sanae is also aiming smaller purple shots at you. There is no way in the Complex that your RED reflec will protect you from this.

“So the trick with spellcards like this, you see-”

Your brain tunes the rest out. You would listen, but you’re too busy trying to force yourself to pull the trigger.

********

You are extremely glad that the weirdness of Gensokyo does not prevent you from taking a nice, normal shower.

“So.” You can hear Sanae trying to carry on a conversation with you through the closed sliding door of the bathroom. “I noticed a few things that might help you.”

“Yeah, great, sure, where’s the soap?”

“Dish near the water knob. Anyways, you really need to stop panicking so hard. A little danmaku won’t kill you.”

“I call botshit on that. Why is it pouring water out of that little faucet at shin level?”

“Pull up the metal bit on top of that faucet, it’ll send the water to the shower head. Seriously, though, lasers are not fatal.”

“Once again, botshit. And I don’t see any soap bottles here, just this funky waxy white block.”

“Don’t you know how to use bar soap? And listen to me when I tell you that lasers don’t do as much damage as you’re used to them doing.”

“I still think you’re full of it, even if your R&D buddy was right about the new barrel not exploding. What do you mean, bar soap?”

“The little white block, you nineball. And wasn’t the new barrel or whatever neat? Constant streaming rapid fire is fun!”

“That it is, but what’s the deal with the little white block?”

“Oh, for the love of myself-” You hear the panel open as Sanae storms in and pulls the shower curtain aside. “Were you raised by the noveau-riche or something? You put the soap between your hands, and you rub it, and bubbles form!”

Which they do. “Hey, thanks. So anyways, about the whole local fight rules thing.”

Sanae offers no reply.

“I was wondering, do I have to use those weird bullet-spamming attack patterns myself?”

Sanae offers no reply.

“Because, I mean, it seems like it’d be difficult to simulate that wave of collapsing star shapes with a laser pistol.”

Sanae offers no reply.

“Sanae?”

Sanae offers no reply. You look at her in time to see her turn a brighter red than your reflec, quickly turn around, and walk back out of the bathroom.

You wonder what she was so flustered about.

==========
[]Finish washing up. Poor hygiene is treason.
[]Go try to get Sanae to explain what kind of weird Gensokyo etiquette is behind her behavior. This is getting embarassing.
[]See if you can find a bottle of decent soap. This “bar soap” is still weird.
>> No. 143380
[x]Finish washing up. Poor hygiene is treason.
>> No. 143381
[x]Finish washing up. Poor hygiene is treason.
It really is.
Wonder why she was so upset about seeing someone showering, it's not like she wasn't from an infrared clonetube family with communal bathing anyway... wasn't she?
>> No. 143382
[X]Finish washing up. Poor hygiene is treason.

This story made me finally check out Paranoia and now I'm torn between my compulsive need to know how it works and my desire to actually play it rather than GM.
>> No. 143383
[X]Finish washing up. Poor hygiene is treason.
>> No. 143384
What clearance level is necessary to flaunt the Troubleshooters package at Sanae some more?
>> No. 143385
[X] Finish washing up. Poor hygiene is treason.
[X] Don't use the "bar soap." Not only is it still weird, it's at ULTRAVIOLET Clearance, which you are most definably not at. Useing it would mean you are committing treason.
[X] Be happy.

Insufficient happiness is treason. Treason is punishable by death. Have a Nice Day!
>> No. 143389
[X] Finish washing up. Poor hygiene is treason.
[X] Don't use the "bar soap." Not only is it still weird, it's at ULTRAVIOLET Clearance, which you are most definably not at. Useing it would mean you are committing treason.
[X] Be happy.
>> No. 143391
[X] Finish washing up. Poor hygiene is treason.
[X] Don't use the "bar soap." Not only is it still weird, it's at ULTRAVIOLET Clearance, which you are most definably not at. Useing it would mean you are committing treason.
[X] Be happy.

[x]Secretly harbour perverse communistic disestablisment thoughts about not self-medicating yourself quite as much because you've got to ration your happy fun pills.
>> No. 143392
[X] Finish washing up. Poor hygiene is treason.
[X] Don't use the "bar soap." Not only is it still weird, it's at ULTRAVIOLET Clearance, which you are most definably not at. Useing it would mean you are committing treason.
[X] Be happy.
>> No. 143396
>>143392
>>143391
>>143389
>>143385

>Useing

[x]Finish washing up. Poor hygiene is treason.
>> No. 143427
[X] Finish washing up. Poor hygiene is treason.
[X] Don't use the "bar soap". Not only is it still weird, it's at Ultraviolet clearance. Using it would mean you are committing treason.
>> No. 143430
[x]Finish washing up. Poor hygiene is treason.

How the hell would he know what clearance level it is?
>> No. 143434
>>143430
It's an off-ultraviolet colour. Everything is colour coded for your convenience, of course.

Unless it's a fancy beige colour or yellow colour or something, that could be... IT COULD BE MUTANT SOAP
>> No. 143465
And everyone has chosen the option that causes the least amount of chaos.
>> No. 143474
>>143465

Chaos is treason. Treason is punishable by death. Have a Happy Day!
>> No. 143519
Oh, well. Time to get to the important part.

Water goes on the skin. Lather goes on the skin. Water takes lather and attached nastiness off the skin. This is one of the three major points in how good hygiene works. Shame you don’t have a shaver or a toothbrush to take care of the other two.

You still feel pretty leery about the fact that you’re using absurdly high-clearance soap, but you suspect that they don’t actually use color-coded clearances in Gensokyo. You’ll need to try and get a list of what’s usable to who, if you can.

Step out, pick up officially loaned red towel, dry off, put jumpsuit on-

Why is your jumpsuit not in the basket where you left it?

Why are there completely different clothes in the basket where you dropped your jumpsuit?

What the crap is this thing?

********

“I think you’ve made a major error here.”

Suwako smirks up at you, her neck craned back away from the table. “No mistake at all. Your clothes were nasty, we threw them in the wash, we gave you something we had lying around to wear in the meantime. It’s common courtesy.”

“I understand courtesy,” you reply as you grasp your hand around one of the abnormal bits of cloth in the basket, “but seriously. Look at this thing. Do you seriously expect me to wear this? What is this?”

“That would be what we call a ‘skirt’. Sanae used to wear that all the time.”

“But it’s… not pants or a jumpsuit! And it’s not colored my clearance! And even if it were, it would look ridiculous!”

With your last sentence, Kanako leans out from behind the frame of another door. “Told you he wouldn’t fall for it.”

Suwako grumbles and tosses a small clump of folded papers in Kanako’s direction. “Your fashion sense just cost me two thousand yen, guy. Hope you’re happy.”

“Of course I’m happy. Happiness is mandatory, citizen.”

“Tch.”

The miniature goddess spins to her feet and damn well leaps out of the room, but not before yanking the towel off of your waist.

Kanako just blinks. “Thousands of years and she’s still trying to get me acting like a schoolgirl. Like I haven’t seen one of those before.”

Oh, thank the Computer. She’s actually sane.

“Here’s the thing, though,” the mirror-chest continues. “You, sir, seem to have come from an entire culture of people raised by schizophrenic wolves. All that babbling about clearances, all the not knowing how basic household items work… I mean, you didn’t even know what a tree is. But somehow, you already know the Incident resolution procedure. What’s your deal?”

==========
[]Give Kanako a full, exhaustive explanation of Alpha Complex. Do you *doubt* Friend Computer’s histories, citizen?
[]Give Kanako a bare-bones explanation. Ignorance and fear, fear and ignorance.
[]Give Kanako the runaround. That information is not available at your security clearance.

[]Go find your jumpsuit. Failure to wear assigned clothing is treason.
[]Go find Sanae and get an explanation of exactly how you’re supposed to act. Being unaware of regulations you are cleared to know is treason.
[]Go find food. Hunger causes poor performance. Poor performance is treason.
==========

One from the first list, one from the second list.

Today’s Random Trivia Nobody Cares About: Safe decisions may be smarter, but they lead to shorter, more boring posts. Entertain or… well, entertain or don’t, really.

>> No. 143520
[x]Give Kanako a bare-bones explanation. Ignorance and fear, fear and ignorance.
[x]Go find your jumpsuit. Failure to wear assigned clothing is treaso
>> No. 143522
[X]Give Kanako a bare-bones explanation. Ignorance and fear, fear and ignorance.
[X]Go find Sanae and get an explanation of exactly how you’re supposed to act. Being unaware of regulations you are cleared to know is treason.
>> No. 143523
[X] Give Kanako a full, exhaustive explanation of Alpha Complex. Do you *doubt* Friend Computer’s histories, citizen?

Any of the other three is good. Though I do think that they should know what Alpha Complex is. Not knowing about Alpha Complex is is treason.
>> No. 143524
[X] Give Kanako a full, exhaustive explanation of Alpha Complex. Do you *doubt* Friend Computer’s histories, citizen?
[X]Go find your jumpsuit. Failure to wear assigned clothing is treason.
>> No. 143525
[X] Give Kanako a full, exhaustive explanation of Alpha Complex. Do you *doubt* Friend Computer’s histories, citizen?
[X]Go find your jumpsuit. Failure to wear assigned clothing is treason.
>> No. 143526
File 131002436944.jpg - (287.59KB , 568x800 , Violet-Ultraviolet High Programmer with the full b.jpg ) [iqdb]
143526
[x]Give Kanako the runaround.
Above your clearance indeed.
[x]Go find your jumpsuit. Failure to wear assigned clothing is treason.
And don't wear a treasonous thing until you find it.

I mean, seriously? They expect you to fall for the 258th oldest trick in the book?
>> No. 143528
[X] Give Kanako a full, exhaustive explanation of Alpha Complex. Do you *doubt* Friend Computer’s histories, citizen?
[X]Go find your jumpsuit. Failure to wear assigned clothing is treason.

I want to hear this.
>> No. 143530
[X] Give Kanako a full, exhaustive explanation of Alpha Complex.
[x]Go find your jumpsuit. Failure to wear assigned clothing is Treason.
And wearing unassigned clothes is also Treason. So until we can get it back, or at least find something else within our clearance level, it's safest not to wear anything at all.
>> No. 143533
[X] Give Kanako a full, exhaustive explanation of Alpha Complex.
[x]Go find your jumpsuit. Failure to wear assigned clothing is Treason.
>> No. 143537
[]Give Kanako a full, exhaustive explanation of Alpha Complex. Do you *doubt* Friend Computer’s histories, citizen?

[]Go find your jumpsuit. Failure to wear assigned clothing is treason.
>> No. 143538
[X] Give Kanako a full, exhaustive explanation of Alpha Complex. Do you *doubt* Friend Computer’s histories, citizen?
[X]Go find your jumpsuit. Failure to wear assigned clothing is treason.
>> No. 143548
[X] Give Kanako a full, exhaustive explanation of Alpha Complex. Do you *doubt* Friend Computer’s histories, citizen?
[X]Go find your jumpsuit. Failure to wear assigned clothing is treason.

For one who has never played Alpha Complex I would like to undertand this adventure more.
>> No. 143551
[X]Give Kanako a full, exhaustive explanation of Alpha Complex.
[X]Go find Sanae and get an explanation of exactly how you’re supposed to act. Being unaware of regulations you are cleared to know is treason.

No time for clothes! This is important.
>> No. 143557
>>143458

Paranoia is Fun. Other tabletop RPGs are Not Fun. Play Paranoia.
>> No. 143579
[x]Give Kanako a bare-bones explanation. Ignorance and fear, fear and ignorance.
[x]Go find your jumpsuit. Failure to wear assigned clothing is treason.

>>143557
I think you linked the wrong post.
>> No. 143620
>>I think you linked the wrong post.

Curses, foiled by a digit flip!
>> No. 143628
[x]Give Kanako a full, exhaustive explanation of Alpha Complex. [spoiler]Do you *doubt* Friend Computer’s histories, citizen?[spoiler]

[x]Go find Sanae and get an explanation of exactly how you’re supposed to act. Being unaware of regulations you are cleared to know is treason.
>> No. 143632
By giant tide of more-popular-ness, it goes to:

[X] Give Kanako a full, exhaustive explanation of Alpha Complex.
[x]Go find your jumpsuit. Failure to wear assigned clothing is Treason.

For today's Random Trivia Nobody Cares About,I would like to remind you that no sane Alpha Complex citizen really thinks R&D devices work doubting the efficacy of R&D equipment is Treason.
>> No. 143673
“I guess I have to start from the beginning for this one,” you reply. “It would help if I had some clothes, though.”

Kanako shakes her head. “It’ll be a bit of a wait for that. Your jumpsuit is in the wash.”

“Well, then we’ll just have to wait at the machine.”

********

Surprisingly enough, their washing machine looks quite a lot like the ones you got to start using once you made RED clearance, though without the card reader. You briefly wonder how they pay the maintenance guys if they don’t charge for use.

You lean up against the wall. “I guess I’ll have to start at the beginning for this one.”

Kanako says nothing, but her legs swing upwards to put her in that weird cross-legged floating position of hers. The body language clearly means take your time.

“The Complex was built some two hundred and forty years ago…”

And, after stripping out the built-in obsequious flattery from what you quote, the gist is: Something happened to wreck most of the world outside Alpha Complex. Friend Computer pored over its databanks to identify the cause, which was, of course, Communists.

So Friend Computer established a new society within the Complex, instituting such useful things as the security clearance system (color-coded for easy identification of what you can and can’t legally use), transtubes, reproduction by cloning (much neater and less disgusting than the old version), Internal Security, Memo-Max backups (for use when a citizen needs a new clone body because the old one is dead), widely-available medication, and C-Bay.

The mention of the last one causes Kanako to mutter something about “copyright infringement”.

“In any case,” you continue, “there were, of course, a few malcontents out to destabilize the order of things and remove the right to own viewing copies of several dozen seasons of What’s Your Treason? and the Teela-O-MLY show. So the Troubleshooters were established. As I’ve mentioned, we find trouble – Commies, PURGE goons, unregistered mutants, people with really poor hygiene, and the like – and we shoot it.”

“Okay, I think I’m seeing where this comes from, maybe.” Kanako frowns. “But I still don’t see where this leads to you not having any reactions to seeing people naked in the shower.”

“Well, it’s acceptable, is the thing. We’re specifically allowed to remove assigned clothing for hygienic purposes. Like showering.”

She glances down at your groin briefly. “Ooooo… kay then. I think I’ll just drop this subject, since you really are clueless what I was getting at.”

You swear you can hear someone snickering.

Finally, the dryer dings and disgorges your clothes. As you pull your jumpsuit back over your skin, Kanako’s legs swing back into contact with the floor. “We’re going to take you to see the doctor,” she says.

You automatically freeze up. The last time you saw a DocBot, it had “fixed” a minor wound on Hugh-R’s leg by amputating the injured limb entirely.

“She’s making rounds down in the Kappa town at the bottom of the mountain,” Kanako continues.
“I think she can provide insight for us into your… condition.”

“What condition are you talking about here?”

“Like I said before, you’re quite clueless on the issue. The doctor should be able to shed some light on it for you. Some things are just not meant to be explained by the gods.”

You exhale and return to normal motion. At least it sounds like you’re going to be seeing a human doctor. For what little that’s worth.

“All right, then. So how are we traveling all the way to the bottom of this ‘mountain’ thing we’re near the top of?”

********

“This is really not what I had in mind.”

“It won’t be a problem at all!” Suwako’s beaming smile does nothing to reassure you as you gaze down the rushing waterfall. “Flying lessons like this are great! It’s a sink or swim thing, see, and everyone always winds up swimming! Well, except that one guy who kept ranting about the Great Old Ones, but he was crazy and doomed anyways, so who cares?”

“But what do you do if it doesn’t work?”

Suwako just keeps beaming at you. “Destroy the evidence, of course! Alley-oop!”

And with that, a jet of water slams into your back, knocking you off the stone, over the waterfall’s edge.

“AAAAAAAAAAA-”
==========
[]ohcrapohcrapgottafly
[]ohcrapohcrapgrabthesky
[]ohcrapohcrapgonnadie
==========
“-AAAAAAAAA-” *gasp* “-AAAAAAAAA-”
>> No. 143677
[]ohcrapohcrapgrabthesky

Let's grab the sky!
>> No. 143678
[x]ohcrapohcrapgrabthesky
>> No. 143683
[]ohcrapohcrapgrabthesky
I got the feeling we'll just grab some random passerby, thus not learning how to fly.
>> No. 143686
[x]ohcrapohcrapgottafly
Pull it out of the sky!
>> No. 143688
[]ohcrapohcrapgrabthesky
>> No. 143692
[x] ohcrapohcrapgrabthesky
>> No. 143696
[X]ohcrapohcrapgonnadie

Time for clone Number 2!
Mostly just to see how Friend Computer will be delivering them.
>> No. 143697
[X]ohcrapohcrapgonnadie
>> No. 143698
[x]ohcrapohcrapgrabthesky
I was wondering why all the votes were the same before actually reading them.
>> No. 143702
[X]ohcrapohcrapgonnadie
>> No. 143752
“-AAAAAAAAA-” *gasp* “-AAAAAAAAA-”
You twist about in freefall, limbs flailing for some sort of purchase. There must be something you can seize hold of. There has to be. Clones or no clones, you’re too young to go splat, dammit!
“-AAAAAAAA-”
Comeoncomeontherehastobesomething-
Your brain processes something red rushing up to meet you, swerving in what looks like an attempt at two opposite directions at once. Reflex wraps your fingers around someone’s wrist.
“WHAAAAAA?”
“-AAAAAAAA-”
You can feel a jolt of upward force run through your arm, but it’s not enough, not enough, and the river at the foot of the waterfall rushes up to say hello…
“Let go of me already!”
“-AAAAAAA”splash
********
Between you and her, things really don’t sound good for anyone’s health.
“What the” hack “hell was that about?”
“Sorry, but that damn little kid” wheeze “threw me off the” gasp “waterfall. Though I was gonna” cough “die. Don’t want to start.”
The woman who served as your unwitting parachute gives you a look halfway between sympathy and derision. “You talking a brat about yay high?” She raises an arm, coughs up a last few drops of water, and holds her hand horizontal. “Blond hair, frog-print shirt, really creepy hat?”
You shudder involuntarily.
“Yeesh.” The red-white lady slumps back against a tree. “That damn sukima was freaking out over nothing as usual. You’re no threat at all, letting that loli goddess throw you over a waterfall.”
“That went…” spit up one last mouthful of river, come on, you can take it… “right over my head. No idea what you’re saying.”
“Figures. You outsiders are always like that the first couple of days.”
Why is she talking like she knows about you? You had the impression that the intelligence gathering in Gensokyo was pretty bad.
“Anyways,” she continues, “I’m thinking we should get to the kappa town. I hear the doctor is making rounds.”
There’s that doctor being mentioned again. You have to wonder how everyone knows his schedule.
You don’t really have any reason to gainsay, though, since those three at the Moriya Shrine sponsored the same idea and you’re a little worried about your physical condition after the whole giant fall and the half drowning.
“So,” she says as you both rise to your feet and start off along the riverbank, “any annoying questions I can get out of the way while we’re going?”
==========
[](Write in up to three questions.)
>> No. 143753
[x] The fall damped your mood or are you always this happy?
[x] Who is this doctor and where did he get his license?
[x] What is a Loli Goddess? A clearance?
>> No. 143780
[x] Are you a fellow troubleshooter, and are you red or ultraviolet?
[x] Who is this doctor and where did he get his license?
[x] I haven't seen any trace of Friend Computer for ages! What kind of jamming field is this?!
>> No. 143794
[x] The fall damped your mood or are you always this happy?
[x] Who is this doctor and where did he get his license?
[x] What is a Loli Goddess? A clearance?
>> No. 143839
[x] Are you a fellow troubleshooter, and are you red or ultraviolet?
[x] Who is this doctor and where did he get his license?
[x] I haven't seen any trace of Friend Computer for ages! What kind of jamming field is this?!

I'd throw in some of my own, but I've learned more about Paranoia in this thread than I knew before reading it, so I can't contribute very thematically just yet.
>> No. 143844
A few things:

-My updating pace may or may not drop off, as I no longer have easy access to the computer I was previously using to work around my ship's-network problems. I do, however, have access to comps that may or may not also do the trick.

-Each question will be tallied separately, so if more than one question set has questions you like, mix and match (or take some that already exist and make up your own.)

-Watch yo' mouth. Saying stupid shit could very well get you killed, immediately or later. That's what the clones are for - backup to prevent having to hit a reload option if Troubleshooter blunders into death.

-Today's Random Trivia Nobody Cares About is not available at your clearance, citizen.
>> No. 144054
Calling it in favor of []Whatever amuses the writefag. My fingers are itchy again.
>> No. 144198
Next update is being bogged down by a combination of factors, including but not limited to:
-Testing the viablility of a workaround to my lack-of-image-posting woes.
-The FF5 Four Job Fiesta, which has numerous donors offering to send money to Child's Play for every successful completion.
-Bickering with myself over whether or not to lay off on tormenting the Troubleshooter with slapstick for a post or two.
-Bickering with myself about how to have the red-white respond without breaking my image of her characterization.
-Competing ideas for other CYOAs which wouldn't involve having to write a MC whose emotions have mostly been nuked by hormone suppressants (it's less fun than I thought it would be.)
-Competing ideas for one-shot smut I wouldn't be able to post anyways, because Uncle Sam Is Watching.

So expect little to no activity until I can force myself to focus on actually producing words for a bit. It could take a while.
>> No. 144199
>>144198
If only all the writers were as considerate as you.
>> No. 144200
>>144198
Speaking of. How long do you expect the hormone suppressants to be useful for? Is it the result of a permanent modification to the Troubleshooter? Or is it just the result of being heavily medicated all the time?

Considering the revulsion most Alpha Complexers have to human sexuality, combining that with the constant cocktail of drugs being cut off, may lead to hilarity.

But this is your story, gentleman. I merely had an idea.
>> No. 144204
The hormone suppressants would be good for the first twenty-four hours of each clone's lifetime (give or take a few), except in the first clone's case where they'll last twice that long due to organic buildup. That's just long enough for Eirin to misdiagnose the side effects of Alpha Complex's horrible future medicine by assuming that it wasn't made by an insane computer.Assuming Anon actually encounters Eirin herself instead of just the new and useful Yagokoro-Mart Automated Pharmacologist. Kappa tech - you get more than you pay for with Nitori.
>> No. 144207
>That's just long enough for Eirin to misdiagnose the side effects of Alpha Complex's horrible future medicine by assuming that it wasn't made by an insane computer

I like the sound of this
>> No. 144700
“Well, for starters,” you ask the red-white ribbonhead, “what did all that mean just a minute ago? What’s a – ” force of confusion brings your fingers up into the curl-and-straighten motion of air quotes – “ ‘loli goddess’ or whatever? Is that a security clearance or something?”

She gives you an unamused glare. “Security clearance? Is this another one of those outsider things? Like that overpowered whackjob with the sun tattoo, and how she kept going on and on about not drawing the attention of some wild hunters or something?”

You blink, stunned at what you’re hearing. It finally dawns on you that –

”You don’t have security clearances here?”

“No.”

“So anyone is allowed to just learn anything?”

“Well, yes, basically.”

You stop in place and cover your face with one hand. Everything you know is wrong here. Well, technically a lot of stuff does work like back home, but still.

Minutes pass.

“…So,” your temporary companion says, “Are we going to keep moving, or what? We need to try and catch the doc.”

“Oh, yes, yes. Sorry about that. Won’t happen again.”

As your legs commence swinging once more, you briefly compare the lack of clearances here against the assumptions you were making. At least you don’t have to ask what’s-her-face if she’s RED or ULTRAVIOLET anymore.

Speaking of what’s-her-face… the colors may be different, but her clothes do sort of look like Sanae’s, if only in the basics of shape…

“Say,” you inquire, “What do you do for a living? Do you work in…” don’tsaytroubleshootingthat’snotthewordhere “… incident resolution?”

The red-white gives up a rueful smile. “Those three really do forget about everyone but themselves, eh? Most people would tell you about me first thing. Usually with a side of false recriminations, but that’s the job for you.”

That sounds familiar. “People trying to blame you for property damage and all that?”

“Don’t even get me started. Every single thing I do is somehow proof of me being a cold-hearted psychotic bitch, and a huge speciesist, and a thief, and yet also too forgiving and ineffectual to fix anything. There’s just no pleasing people.”

You snort. “Beats the hell out of having everything you do counted as treason. I knew a Troubleshooter once who ate a fine the size of three months’ salary for letting some idiot lead her to his buddies so she could take ‘em down.”

The red-white raises an eyebrow. “The old one-upsmanship game? I once lifted a sunlight-blocking fog from Gensokyo that would have stopped us from growing crops, and it got spun as putting a little girl under house arrest.”

A knowing smirk crawls its way across you lips. “Sounds like when I stopped this idiot general from setting off a huge-ass bomb that would’ve killed us all, and it turned into a count of disobeying lawful orders. I’m amazed I didn’t get executed for that one.”

She laughs, a bright, musical sound that you never would have expected from her weary voice. “Oh, and let me guess, you wind up not earning enough to even eat good meals regularly, too?”

“Nothing but basic staples day in and day out – no, not quite. Not quite. Sometimes I can get something nice, when I’m not seeing too many extra expenses.”

“Tell me about it. The best days are the ones when I can afford something better than the same old same old. Real food, like apples.”

Wistful looks simultaneously creep down both your faces as you walk. “Red Delicious,” you say.

“Mmmmm.”



**********



The buildings are exceptionally strange. Despite being made of the same tree-bits as the Moriya shrine, they’re in an entirely different style, a blocky, functional, ugly sort of building that would never pass HPD&MC aesthetic standards.

“So this is that… kappa town, you said?”

Your ribbonheaded new friend just nods. “So let’s look for Doctor Yagokoro, and-”

“No need to look,” says a voice somewhere below your sight line. “Just fill out these forms and the doctor will get around to you.”

A clipboard is pressed into your hands, and before you can respond, the little oddball responsible is running off, some kind of fluffy white ball dangling from the back of her pink dress.

The first block is – of course – Name of Patient.


==========
[]Write down your real name.
[]Write down an alias.

---[] _______ - R - _ _ _
=========
For those of you are not familiar with the conventions of Paranoia, every citizen of Alpha Complex is known by a personal name, followed by a one-letter clearance code (in this case, R for RED-clearance citizens), followed by a three-letter sector code. These tend to form bad puns, such as Mac-R-THY, Soup-R-Man, or Hugh-R-DED.
>> No. 144708
[X]Write down your real name.

Providing incorrect information on a form is treason.

-[X] Tyler-R-MLY

No, it's not a pun, but it comes with some interesting situations. Say your average Alpha Complex citizen meets someone from sector MLY, what do you think they'll ask? "Could you get me Teela-O's autograph?" At which point, the MLY citizen facepalms and has to explain, once again, that she is a fictional character. Repeat the request several times until it finally gets through the average citizen's head, or the MLY citizen snaps.
>> No. 144711
[x]Write down your real name.
[x] Ter-R-MLY
>> No. 144715
I'm liking this Reimu.

[x] Real Name.

Rogal-R-DRN
>> No. 144726
[x]Write down your real name.
[x] Ter-R-MLY

I like it.
>> No. 144728
Okay, I have to ask: is Ter-R-MLY a repeating typo of the Tyler-R-MLY suggestion, or am I just missing a joke horribly somewhere?

In either case, definitely don't expect a turnover time like between those two updates on consecutive days. I am currently dog sick.
>> No. 144730
[x]Write down real name.

I can't think of any witty Paranoia pun-names, though.
Ter/Tyler-R-MLY is as good as anything I could come up with at the moment, so let's go for that.
>> No. 144744
[x] Write down your real name.
[x] Ter-M-NAL

what
>> No. 144746
>>144744
Doesn't work that way, dude. Middle number is Clearance Level, which is Red for us.

[x] Write down your real name.
[x] Te-R-MNL
>> No. 144806
By writefag fiat, I hereby declare that the Troubleshooter's name shall be the Sector MLY joke. Remember, citizens, doubting Friend Computer's favorite TV show is treason.

Also, Imperial Fists can go be generic Spess Mehreens elsewhere.
>> No. 144971
I had an update ready to go, but I can't find the CD-RW that I was using to move stuff from my laptop to these dirty Navy computers that have all the Internet on this ship. Depending on circumstances, this could result in a delay of somwhere from "a few hours and I stumble upon the disc again" to "when I decide to retype the update on a Navy machine since it's quite short" to "screw it, this was a bad idea for a CYOA anyways and I feel bad about trying to shove Reimu down Anon's throat".

That strikethrough is because I will NEVER feel bad about promoting Reimu. Poor girl just doesn't get locked on to by Anon anymore. Though I doubt her dialogue from UFO and TD is doing her any favors...
>> No. 144972
This is a familiar sight. Paperwork, special requests, medical releases, chits... forms. Alpha Comlex is powered by forms (aside from technically being powered by, y'know, poorly shielded nuclear reactors), and you've been working with them for nearly your entire life.

Yes, there are some sort of strange collections of lines next to the labels for each box. No, you don't know what they are, though you'd guess at them being related to that whole deal with people here... how did Sanae explain it earlier?... speaking different "languages". Seems likely they might also write in different "languages", too.

So. Name: Tyler-R-MLY. Sex: M. Age: 22. Occupation: Troubleshooter. Home Address: RED Quarters 6617-K Sector MLY Block M.

"What's this block supposed to be?"

The red-white glances at your clipboard, seeing where your pen rests. "What, you don't all have personal powers where you come from?"

Right, then. Ability: N/A.

You both wait quietly. There doesn't seem to be too much to say at the time.

A quick glance at your companion's sheet reveals that all of her blanks are full of that angled-line script that's also present next to the block labels. You can't make heads or tails of it.

After a few minutes, she finally breaks the silence. "It just occurred to me that I never actually introduced myself. Sorry about that, it's just that, well..."

"Let me guess, you were expecting to have to shoot me instead of talking to me and it threw you off?"

There's that laughter again. It's actually a fairly pleasant sound.

"Yeah, that's exactly it. You really do have a job just like mine, don't you?" She reaches her right hand toward you, across her chest. "I'm Reimu. Hakurei Reimu."

"Tyler-R-MLY."

==========
[]Grasp her hand one-handed and shake firmly.
[]Clasp her hand two-handed and shake warmly.
[]High five!
[]There's this thing you keep seeing women react happily to in the meeting scenes in Old Reckoning holoshows...
[]You'd rather keep your hands to yourself. Who knows what other bizzaro-world reactions people will have here?
=========
I'm thinking I'll switch over to shorter updates typed more often, and typed directly on the same computer I use for Intarwebs. It's easier to not get distracted by other stuff this way.

Also, this update - like the second - experienced some changes in the retyping process. Unlike the second, I actually feel like it's somewhat better.

>> No. 144973
[X]Grasp her hand one-handed and shake firmly.

She's the one initiating it, hopefully she isn't expecting some sort of secret society signal. Err, not that we'd know any...

>the CD-RW that I was using to move stuff from my laptop to these dirty Navy computers
CD-RW? Does the Navy forbid USB thumbdrives?
>> No. 144974
[X]Grasp her hand one-handed and shake firmly.

Target sighted. And bonding over lack of proper food is hilariously appropriate.
>> No. 144975
[x] High five!

>>144974
Yeah! We haven't eaten in days!
>> No. 144976
>"What's this block supposed to be?"

>The red-white glances at your clipboard, seeing where your pen rests. "What, you don't all have personal powers where you come from?"

>Right, then. Ability: N/A.
LOL. So, what secret mutant powers do we *actually* have? :P
>> No. 144994
[X]There's this thing you keep seeing women react happily to in the meeting scenes in Old Reckoning holoshows...

It's either an old-fashioned kiss on the hand or something involving dicks, and I'm fine with it either way.
>> No. 144997
[X]Grasp her hand one-handed and shake firmly.
>> No. 145001
>>144973

Yes. Yes, they do ban USB devices. I know a guy who used to work in my office that got locked out of his ship's LAN account for a week for hooking in his ipod to play music on a ship's computer.

Ah, how I yearn to be back on shore with an unrestricted internet connection again...

>>144976

Tyler's mutant power is currently quantum uncertain. In other words, I'm not giving away the answer yet.

>>144994

Hint: I only have access to the intarwebs through a Navy computer, so I'm not exactly keen on the idea of anyone whipping it out on... shit, I have no idea how to say "on camera" such that it makes sense for written words.
>> No. 145014
There is, of course, one standard response in this situation. Everyone knows it, everyone uses it. Things have been this way for an unknowable length of time - probably since the Old Reckoning, even. You don't see a need to do any different.

So.

Reach your own right hand over. Place your palm against Reimu's palm, and wrap your fingers around the back of her hand - grip firmly, but not too tightly, that's important. Pump your arm up once, then back down.

This is a handshake.

"It's a pleasure to meet you," you add.

This is your primary means for seeming trustworthy, and for sussing out who you can't trust yourself. Skilled con men all know that a firm handshake is the mark of a skilled con man, and they don't hide it well. The look of suspicion gives them away more easily than any amount of attention to how they shake hands themselves.

Admittedly, you're hoping that you can stop using your trust-me grip that way. The sample may be small, but out of the four people you've met here, three seem... not like the Complex, without the familiar layers of doublespeak and treachery in their words. As for Suwako, she at least seems to have a more cheerful, less malicious type of insincerity that what you're accustomed to, and an improvement is an improvement.

That done with, though, another one of those... "rabbits" or whatever those girls are called is on her way over. "Doctor's ready for you, red-white."

Reimu sighs. "Still no respect for anyone, huh, Tewi?"

The rabbit jerks a thumb over her shoulder, causing the little carrot-shaped charm necklace she has to bounce on its cord. "We don't have all day here. Get going."

Reimu shoots Tewi a death glare, but she walks all the same.

"Yeesh," the little rabbit says, "I can't believe what a pain this is. No wonder the others always gripe about this so much."

You swear you've heard her voice before, somewhere...

Oh.

"How's business?"

She glances up at you. "Nobody pays retail anymore."

"Hello, Bugs."

"Durden."

This little midget is the contact who had been keeping you supplied with Old Reckoning vidshows and comics to sell to the Romantics at a massive enough markup to cover what your overseer took off the top. That bunch of Old Reckoning addicts may have been a hell of a sad bunch, but they did pay well. You had always wondered about that business name she used, though.

All of this begs the question of just how the hell she was getting that stuff to you in the Complex when she apparently lives here... but if there's one thing you respect, it's trade secrets. After all, you wouldn't want anyone asking how you acquired the massive quantity of batteries and medical supplies she took in trade.

"So," you ask. "This is your day job?"

"Pretty much."

"Huh."

This is about as far as the conversation goes, since you don't really have business to do. After all, you can't access your buyers.

Before long, Reimu comes walking back, now looking just as exhausted as she always seems to sound. "You're up."

********

"Hmm."

The woman in the schizophrenic blue-red dress ponders for a moment, staring at the little vacuum tube with your blood sample in it. "The basic physical came up clean," she muses, "no injuries, all good. There's something just not right with this, though. Taken any medication in the last twenty-four hours, have you?"

You shake your head no.

"Well, you have some... really strange chemicals in here, and also some notable deficiencies. I'll be filling a quick prescription for you here."

Oh, dear.

"Now, you'll want to add that packet of blue powder to your next meal. The green diamond-shaped pills are best taken with alcohol..."

********

"So, Eirin gave you... what?"

You shake your head. "She didn't explain what any of them are for, and the bottles just have drug names on them. No descriptions."

Reimu just shrugs. "She gets like that sometimes, and..."

A loud gurgling pierces your ears.

"Ahh, forget it. Let's go home for now; it's almost dinner time, and I can give you some space to sleep for now."

"Yeah, about that," you reply....

==========
[]"How long of a walk is that?"
[]"Is there a faster way there than on foot?"
[]"Is there any way I can get a thank-you up to the Moriya Shrine folks first?"
[]"Do you have a decently equipped kitchen? I'm pretty good with food."
[]"Want a snack for the road? You sound pretty hungry there."
==========

This update brought to you by about two hours without the customized distractions of my own laptop. Using a ship's computer to write is working nicely.

Also, let's hope this formatting-correcting session doesn't wind up as some sort of horrible internet-lag-induced triplepost.

>> No. 145022
[X] "Want a snack for the road? You sound pretty hungry there."

>"How's business?"
>She glances up at you. "Nobody pays retail anymore."
Pardon me while I pick my jaw up off the floor.
>> No. 145026
[X]"Want a snack for the road? You sound pretty hungry there."
>> No. 145032
[x]"Is there a faster way there than on foot?"
Fast = good.
>> No. 145036
[x]"Want a snack for the road? You sound pretty hungry there."
I'm wantin' to get all ingratiated to our fellow troubleshooter by using some kind of awesomely overspecialised skill.

Awesomely overspecialised skills are cool.

>You shake your head. "She didn't explain what any of them are for, and the bottles just have drug names on them. No descriptions."
As if there are any (accurate) descriptions on the drugs in alpha complex anyway!
>> No. 145045
I like paranoia, but I wasn't too sure about this sort of crossover being any good. However, these last few updates have been really good (especially Reimu and "Bugs"), so keep it up.

[X]"Want a snack for the road? You sound pretty hungry there."
>> No. 145048
People still like this? Man, I was sure I would've worn out my welcome by now. I guess dialing back on the slapstick and references was a good idea after all.

I have business to attend to today (Continuous Training Examinations are fun, and not like Dwarf Fortress), so I'm gonna go ahead and leave this open for a while in case the tide starts going another direction. Which won't happen because Anon is surprisingly steerable, but oh well.
>> No. 145079
>>145048
>because Anon is surprisingly steerable

Cmon, you can't fault us for liking a Reimu this cute.
>> No. 145088
>>145079

Faulting you? I'm merely commenting on how writing characters in the right way makes Anon automatically lock their targeting computers onto the girls. Friend Writefag wants you to be happy. Do you doubt Friend Writefag? Doubting Friend Writefag is treason.

I swear, me being this much of a Reimufag just came out of fucking nowhere one day. I don't even know what could have inspired it.

ANYways. Update.
===========


"Want a snack for the road? You sound kind of hungry there."

"Yes please!" Reimu's enthusiasm is a bit frightening to you. "Snacks! Definitely! Yes! But... um... wait, how are we going to get food? You can't have the right currency; you're definitely not Japanese..."

You respond by popping open the large rectangular side case on your canteen. "I have a few meal bars on me. The taste isn't much compared to real food, but they're cheap and filling." Your fingers ascend towards the heavens, grasping onto a shiny red foil wrapper with Vita-Yum written down the length in glossy black. "Want half?"

"Is that even food? It looks like that... you know, that stuff that all those outside gadgets are made of."

You snicker to yourself. "What, you've never seen a plastic wrapper?" The crinkly stuff gives way with a shrf, and you peel it down to reveal the chewy red stuff within.

The red-white just sighs. "So, another outsider thing. I wonder why you don't just use paper."

"Paberz spenziv," you mutter through a chunk of foodbar. "Wan me do brayge yoo ovv a beese?"

"Oh, yes, sorry. I'm just... wait, isn't that full of river water?"

You swallow down the mouthful of full. "Nah, that side case has a pretty good gasket on the seam. Besides, water doesn't get through the wrapper." You tear off another chunk. "Trying it?"

"Sure."

She chews pensively for a minute before you see the telltale down-up just beneath the skin of her neck. "You weren't kidding about the taste," Reimu says. "This really is pretty bland. Weird taste. What's in it?"

You glance over the ingredients list, mentally stripping out the assorted chemicals and algae-based fillers. "Mostly red lentils. Also some soybeans, and I think this flavor has a little bit of tomato."

"That's funny," she replies. "I thought it tasted a little like seaweed."

Urk.

You hastily peel off another strip of meal bar and toss it between your jaws.

Swing one leg forward. Bring the foot down in front of you. Swing the other leg forward. Bring the foot down in front of you. Repeat ad nauseam, just not before you make sure your traveling companion is following. This is walking, the most basic of all forms of transportation, and the most reliable. Though you'd never say that last bit out loud. Doubting the efficacy of transtubes, autohacks, or any other transit system still in use is... well, not actually treason, but still Frowned Upon.

Reimu promptly walks into place beside you, humming some odd little tune. You swear you've heard it before somewhere.

"Say, Tyler," she asks. "Could I have a little more of that, please?"

"Of course."

Even as she works the high-density... let's call it food... into a more swallowable form, you can still hear her humming. How strangely nostalgic.

********

As the one piece of lighting in this entire weird wonderland continues its arc across that dizzyingly distant baby-blue ceiling, you notice a cluster of wooden buildings on the horizon. Your eyes strain to get a clearer sight.

"That would be the Human Village," Reimu tells you. You briefly wonder how she knew where you were looking, before realizing that duh, she saw me squinting. "We could stop by there, if you'd like. I know a pretty good noodle cart, and the owner still owes me a few bowls."

==========
[]"That sounds good right now."
[]"Weren't we going back to your place, though?..."
---[]"...I was wondering what kind of meals you whip up."
---[]"...I was hoping to see what kind of ingredients you have on hand."
---[]"...I'm a little worried about getting there before the light goes down."
>> No. 145090
[x]"That sounds good right now."
>> No. 145102
[x]"Weren't we going back to your place, though?..."
---[x]"...I was wondering what kind of meals you whip up."
>> No. 145111
[X]"That sounds good right now."
>> No. 145117
Came for the nerd-references and slapstick, stayed for the nerd-references and slaps -- ooh, Reimu!
>> No. 145131
[X]"Weren't we going back to your place, though?..."
---[X]"...I was hoping to see what kind of ingredients you have on hand."

We are a chef, after all, and who knows what the traitorous secret society member running the stand puts in the noodles.
>> No. 145136
[X]"Weren't we going back to your place, though?..."
---[X]"...I was hoping to see what kind of ingredients you have on hand."
>> No. 145150
[X]"Weren't we going back to your place, though?..."
---[X]"...I was hoping to see what kind of ingredients you have on hand."

Never had a group to play paranoia with, but always wanted to. I like this story, keep it up.
>> No. 145151
Looks like I finally have an option with three votes behind it, so I don't have to wait all dang week like I did with the name select. Congratulations, last three Anons, a winners are you.

Starting on writan gaems now. Ship's Internet has resrictions as to which hours it lets me access sites other than .mil/.edu/.org types, though, so expect me to take a bit to actually post. Especially because the next open access block is going to mostly get eaten by my next watch.

CAUTION: Memory errors may cause this post to repeat. Or not, I don't know.
>> No. 145169
I find that a bit unfair, but waiting warmly anyways
>> No. 145182
"Weren't we going back to your place, though?"

Reimu blinks at you, her upper eyelids staying lowered throughout. When she speaks, her voice is dull and skeptical. "You seriously want to pass up a free meal? It's a really good noodle cart."

"Actually, I was hoing I could see what kind of ingredients you have lying around. I'm a chef when I'm not on the shoot-people job, you see."

You suddenly feel the space next to you become less occupied. It's a difficult sensation to describe - the slightest change in the breeze, the tiniest absence of another person's radiant heat - but it's definitely there.

Somewhere behind you, you can practically hear your companion losing control of a single drop of spit, letting it roll down her cheek. "A... chef... you said?"

In a mere instant, she's next to you again, leaning towards you, eyes gleaming in anticipation.

"Sir." You can feel her clamping down on your shoulder like an IntSec goon in need of bribes. "I would like to invite you to stay at my shrine for however long you need." Her grip tightens. "Free." Her fingers are starting to dig into the meat of your shoulder through your jumpsuit. "No charge." Her hand is like a vise. "As long as you cook." This hurts like fire. "Please?"

You just nod.

And sweat.

And maybe tear up a little.

Her hand had felt so soft when you shook it. How did it turn to steel?

"Great!" The hellish claw is suddenly gone, bringing a rush of pins and needles to your arm as circulation restarts through blood vessels no longer crushed shut. "Let's continue on back, then. I'm sure you can whip up something nice, even if I am running a little short on vegetables."

"Yes. Right. Whatever you say. Please don't do that thing again."

"Huh?..." Reimu is blinking again, but with her eyes opening fully at the opposite end of the cycle. "Oh. Heh heh..."

Her arm is craned back, scratching at the back of her neck. "I'm sorry", she continues. "It's just that I get a little... ehehehe..."

There's that weird urge to reach out and pat a girl on the head again. You wonder where it comes from.

********

"I hope I never have to climb that stairway again," you mutter.

The tiny kitchen seems to almost huddle, the pantry dangerously close to the stove pressed up to the sink pressed up to a refrigerator with an unnaturally large power cable running towards a back room you didn't bother entering. Your queries to Reimu on the subject were met with a shrug and a statment that "that maid is like magic". In other words, more concepts that you've never come across in your twenty-two years in the Complex.

A quick viewing of her supplies reveals that she really is as short on ingredients as claimed. A few bags of rice, an assortment of green and white vegetable matter, cooking oil, a thin salty-smelling black sauce, a bottle of stuff that smells sort of like cooking wine except not, some dry noodles...

This could be tricky.

=========
[]Use the noodles and vegetables to make a soup, with the cooking not-wine and a little bit of the black sauce in the stock.
[]Cook the noodles in water, then fry them up with the vegetables and a bit of the black sauce.
[]Cook some of the rice, then fry it up with the vegetables. Sauce can be added to taste.
[]Poke your head back out and ask Reimu what she's in the mood for.

==========

Well, I sure did disappoint me with this update. I tend to do this thing where I write a front section that pleases me, but a back section that doesn't.

However, if I didn't post right away I would wind up editing and editing and editing until I basically produced the same update with slightly different wording about a week later.

>> No. 145185
[x]Cook some of the rice, then fry it up with the vegetables. Sauce can be added to taste.

I *know* these ingredients.
>> No. 145188
>[X]Cook some of the rice, then fry it up with the vegetables. Sauce can be added to taste.

Fuck yeah, I just cooked stir-fry tonight. It usually works better if the rice is cooked in advance, though.

Also
>"Sir." You can feel her clamping down on your shoulder like an IntSec goon in need of bribes. "I would like to invite you to stay at my shrine for however long you need." Her grip tightens. "Free." Her fingers are starting to dig into the meat of your shoulder through your jumpsuit. "No charge." Her hand is like a vise. "As long as you cook."

Happy end?
>> No. 145190
[x]Cook some of the rice, then fry it up with the vegetables. Sauce can be added to taste.

Simple and delicious.

This shrine maiden is nicer than the other one.
>> No. 145191
>Happy end?

It's exactly what it looks like - an offer of a place to crash if you handle the cooking. Things can get more to Anon's liking, or go really far south if you botch it horribly enough, or just stay as they are who am I kidding? There's no way you'll let this thing just sit. You're the readers of a site that's, ultimately, about bedding magical girls.

>This shrine maiden is nicer than the other one.

The other one was one I had Plans for, but that would have required actually talking with her enough to figure out why she's so goshdarn inconsistent. Hint: it's not just because I suck at characterization.
>> No. 145193
>>145191
We don't always care about bedding magical girls. Often, there's no expectation of bedding at all, just platonic relationshi... Wellll. Sometimes writers make relationships a non-issue. That's always fun.

>Sanae
Sanae seemed pretty consistent to me. Nice normally, angry when peeped at, embarassed when peeping. Nothing strange there.
>> No. 145212
[X]Poke your head back out and ask Reimu what she's in the mood for.

I guess she might say that she's up for anything, so in such case,

[X]Cook the noodles in water, then fry them up with the vegetables and a bit of the black sauce.
>> No. 145221
[x]Cook some of the rice, then fry it up with the vegetables. Sauce can be added to taste.
>> No. 145224
>Sometimes writers make relationships a non-issue. That's always fun.

Unfortunately, I'm no Klaymen. Sorry.

ANYways, looks like it's stir-fry for the red-white.
>> No. 145238
[x] Cook some of the rice, then fry it up with the vegetables. Sauce can be added to taste.

The arm-clamp scene had me cackling like an idiot. I loved it and it was written perfectly.

>an unnaturally large power cable running towards a back room you didn't bother entering. Your queries to Reimu on the subject were met with a shrug and a statment that "that maid is like magic".
...If this means there is Ruukoto in this story, I will love you forever, Weasel.
>> No. 145242
>>145238
.............
I don't think we want to look in Reimu's basement. And I don't want to even think about where the microfusion reactor with the half-dismantled casing that's powering Reimu's fridge came from.
>> No. 145259
The first step of the cooking process is irksome and boring - rice takes its sweet time to boil down to an edible softness, after all. You find yourself spending only the first few minutes on the tearing of leaf vegetables and the chopping of the rest; once that task is complete, it's just wait, wait, and wait some more. You almost wish something strange and chaotic would happen just to breach the wretched monotony.

Almost.

Instead, you get to stand in the kitchen and wait while Reimu "tidies up", as she had put it. You don't even have someone to talk to.

Boredom.

Boredom.

It scratches at your forebrain, demanding some sort of relief, relief you're having a hard time providing. You've already processed down much of the day's strangeness, enough to the point where "magic" doesn't equate to "unregistered mutations" anymore - if only because those red-white spheres of Reimu's quite plainly had a bit of "magic" of their own. The whole turning-into-a-petbot-lookalike-and-perching-on-your-shoulder thing had actually been pretty neat. (What had she called it? A "cat"?)

Fingers twitching, you impatiently glance back at the rice again and-

-Oh, thank the Computer, it's ready for the next step now. The realization is the mental analogue of one of those little plastic hands on a little plastic stick that lets you reach the itch just inward of your shoulder blades.

Right.

Oil goes in the in pan, not too much, the onions will help. Add chopped plants and rice. Commence a carefully timed regimen of waiting, jostling the pan to make the contents flip over, waiting again, tossing again. Listen to the sound. The pops, the sizzles, the faint hiss of moisture departing from green leafy things. Breathe in the scent, sharp with onions in assorted shapes and sizes, succulent with bell peppers and one carefully sliced cucumber, just a little bit smoky as the rice turns ever so slightly brown, soaking up oils and juices and more flavors than you feel the need to count.

You swiftly snag one of the thin little green-stalked onions you left uncut, biting into the tiny white bulb at the bottom.

Perfect.

Some citizens hate their jobs, but claim to like them to avoid being insubordinate. Most are indifferent. A minority genuinely like them. A lucky few love them. You... you live for this.

Turn the heat off, move the pan to a cool burner. There are plates in the cupboard, and a large serving spoon in a drawer mounted under that tiny countertop.

In moments, you're walking out into the central room, one plate on each hand's palm, each with a gentle hill of rice and vegetables positioned perfectly in the center.

"Dinner's ready," you announce to your audience of two.

Hold on.

Two?

You blink at the unexpected, unannounced presence of a Junior Citizen - no, no, little girl, stop thinking like this is the Complex, stop that because it isn't - with what appear to be natural autobike handles sticking out of her hair. Ridiculously long hair, a slightly orange-ish blonde flowing freely and hugely past a white shirt with sleeves shredded away, highlighted by a great red ribbon at the top of the head and a smaller blue one around that cranial handlebar. The red ribbon actually reminds you of Reimu's, barring its smaller size and lack of the white outer edge.

The girl pouts at you. "Only two plates? Are you trying to tell me something?"

Reimu responds with that ehehehe-accompanied scratch at the back of her neck again. "I'm sorry I didn't tell him, Suika. I though you were going to dinner with that Celestial you spend so much time with."

Suika. Another of those completely unknown names. You miss being able to write them off as "obviously fake".

"Ah, not a problem." The girl you're automatically thinking of as Handlebars cracks her knuckles. "I can fix this just fine."

In a flash, she has seized one of the plates from your hands and begun tugging on it from opposite sides with her own.

"Oni in, fortune... in!"

You hear a shattering sound, but instead of the platter being a broken, useless thing, instead of the contents being scattered all over the bare wood floor, there are now two of that exact plate, one in each of Handlebars's Suika's tiny hands.

==========
[]Nod your approval. "Well, that's one way to solve it."
[]Scratch your chin in thought. "How did you do that?"
[]Stare blankly. "what is this i don't even"

==========

>>145242

Grimdark out! Fortune in!
>> No. 145264
[x]Scratch your chin in thought. "How did you do that?"
That was awesome.

>Sorry.
Why would you be sorry? This is the sort of lighthearted story I read to cheer myself up. It works. Thanks.
>> No. 145266
[]Scratch your chin in thought. "How did you do that?"
>> No. 145283
[x]Scratch your chin in thought. "How did you do that?"
>> No. 145284
[x]Nod your approval. "Well, that's one way to solve it."

Well alright then.
>> No. 145286
[X]Stare blankly. "what is this i don't even"

Because funny
>> No. 145294
[x]Nod your approval. "Well, that's one way to solve it."

He should just make sure to eat the plate he's still holding.
Alpha Complex survival instincts (a.k.a. "well hidden mild paranoia"), you know.

Of course, I'm not saying he should actually be paranoid, but he just hasn't been out of Alpha Complex long enough to get rid of the habits of never trusting anything resembling R&D shenanigans without someone else trying it first. (And then once they have, you tell them "since you're so good at handling that new R&D tech, you are now assigned the very prestigious positing of Chief R&D Testing and Application Manager and will now handle ALL new R&D testing for our group, suckersir.")
>> No. 145315
[X]Nod your approval. "Well, that's one way to solve it."
>> No. 145318
[X]Nod your approval. "Well, that's one way to solve it."

The problem is solved, therefore further information is not needed.
>> No. 145319
[X]Nod your approval. "Well, that's one way to solve it."
>> No. 145332
[X]Nod your approval. "Well, that's one way to solve it."
>> No. 145356
That was impressive.

You have no idea how breaking a plate in half creates two whole plates instead of two half plates, but it was definitely impressive. You can already feel your neck bending as you nod in respect. "Well, that's one way to solve it."

Handlebars Suika grins at you, letting off a proud little heh-heh. "Great move, ain't it? Figured it out a couple weeks ago when ol' peach-hat was complaining about how she couldn't drink my booze unless I was around."

"Yeah, it's one hell of a trick." But you're not just standing there as you say that - you're also swiping one of the plates out of Her Tininess's hands and depositing it in front of Reimu on that goofy little table with the blanket falling from under the edges and the Universal Oversized Power Cord running from beneath. Nobody upstages your delivery, dammit. Even if serving is normally someone else's job.

Suika turns her head towards the red-white. "So. Raaaaay-mooooo. Why didn't you tell me you had a boyfriend?"

Reimu sighs and shakes her head. "You underestimate me. This is my new live-in chef."

"And you need one of those, girl!" In an eyeblink, Suika is off the ground, wrapped around the back of Reimu's torso, rubbing her knuckles on the miko's head. "No more trying to eat rice with half the grains still hard for you now, huh?"

"Ow! OW! Oni strength! Oni strength! Quit it!"

You can't help but let out a chuckle.

********

Honestly, you're a little disappointed in yourself. Sure, it wasn't a bad meal, but leaving the large-bulb onions out for a minute or two at the start of the fry might have preserved that crisp texture better.

Twenty-twenty hindsight and all that. You're used to onions taking a little longer to lose their crunch than that. Maybe they're just different here or something.

"-And then," Suika rambles, "Tenshi says - wait for it - 'Sounds more like you're just drunk to me'! Like I'm ever not!"

You really don't have anything to say to that. Just sit, wait, and watch the little oni pull another swig off of that gourd of alcohol.

Alcohol. Huh. You've heard that before.

ANYways.

"SOOOOOooooooo." Suika drawls hard - "drunkenly", as it were. "Big guy. New guy. Y'know we've had a hot spring in back since winter before last?"

You can see Reimu's posture stiffening in shock at the mere mention of this... "hot spring". You wonder...

"Okay, so a hot spring is what?"

Both girls immediately turn their heads to stare at you.

"What kind of place are you from?" That was Reimu, her increasingly familiar voice full of disbelief.

Suika bursts out laughing. "A hot spring, a hot spring! You know, natural hot water? Good for soaking in after you wash?" She leans towards you, whispering like there's a conspiracy in her head. "Better for ogling cute shrine maidens with nothing on?"

The red-white's voice immediately fitts with irritation. "What're you planting in his brain, little oni?"

"Nothing at all, Raaaaay-mooooo."

"Good. Because if you con him into trying anything funny, it's the soybeans for you."

"You're mean," the mini-oni pouts. "You should be nicer to your friends. But anyways. Mister chef. Don't you think you should wash up before you turn in?"

==========
[]"Of course. Poor hygiene is treason and all that."
[]"I guess?"
[]"This is some kind of prank, isn't it."
[]You feel like there's something you're forgetting here... (Write-in.)
>> No. 145358
[x] Wash up? She means the dishes, right?
>> No. 145365
[X]"Of course. Poor hygiene is treason and all that."

I sense no ulterior motives in her proposal.
>> No. 145370
[x] Wash up? She means the dishes, right?
>> No. 145373
[x]"Of course. Poor hygiene is treason and all that."

What could go wrong? It's obviously not a trap.
>> No. 145381
>>145358

...there's believable ignorance, and then there's that vote. I honestly have no damn idea how to make our hero that dim.
>> No. 145388
[x]"Of course. Poor hygiene is treason and all that
>> No. 145397
[x]"Of course. Poor hygiene is treason and all that."

Dealing with kitchen hygiene should take less than 5 seconds with Suika around.
>> No. 145399
[x]"Of course. Poor hygiene is treason and all that."
>> No. 145405
File 131456096290.jpg - (3.16KB , 125x126 , shirou.jpg ) [iqdb]
145405
>>145358
Forgot your image, there.

Especially appropriate since they both like to cook.
>> No. 145476
"Well? Hmm? Hmm?" Handlebars leans in a little closer with every word, rapidly reaching the point where her eyes are locking down your own, an impossible distance seeming to loom in the brown-ringed black, threatening to send you tumbling into nothing for eternity.

Also, she smells like the worst part of the smell of that gourd of hers. She smells of it quite badly, in fact.

That stench is eroding your breathing passages. It's shredding your sinuses like rubbing alcohol. You immediately resolve to get yourself the hell away from the little midget before the skin corrodes off of your nostrils and starts opening blood vessels up.

"Of course." The words move out from between your lips with the practiced ease of a shady businessman who operates in plain sight. "Poor hygiene is treason and all that."

Now please, you add in your head, back up and stop breathing pure alcohol at me.

"Right! So let me give you some tips..." Suika slides the rest of herself over next to you, winks twice, and jabs her elbow twice into your side.

You respond to her gesture of camraderie, of course, by doubling over in pain. Ow. OW. Oni strength.

********

You're probably missing something here. For one, there's no roof on this area. For two, there's no showerhead in sight. For three, Reimu is staring really intensely at the process of Suika placing a large wooden divider into that pool of slightly steamy water.

"So, um..."

"Not used to Japanese baths, are you? Wash yourself off on that flat area first, and then you can go dip into the spring."

You try to explain to yourself why washing separately is necessary, but the only explanation your brain can come up with is that the pool lacks sterilizing agents and doesn't drain after use.

This is a strange and horrifying concept.

The makeshift partition lets off a clunk as it slides into place, and then the two girls are walking back into the properly roofed part of the shrine. "There's a back scrubber in the bucket," Reimu tells you - but her gaze is directed at Suika, as if she's issuing some sort of challenge.

The sliding panel - it seems like every door here is one of those panels, never a revolving type or a hinged type - swishes shut, leaving you under bright moonlight, within the wooden fence that walls off the "hot spring" and its immediate surroundings from everything else that's not the shrine.

Right, then.

Clothes off. Apply water to soap. Rub soap to produce lather. Apply lather to self. Fill bucket with water. Dump bucket over self.

This is... really a pretty terrible means of bathing, you realize as the hot water flows down off of your skin, providing a harsh exaggeration to the mild cold of the nighttime breeze.

But, of course, there's a refuge available from this self-inflicted chilling.

Walk over to the pool. Step in. Sink down.

This is wonderful.

The sliding sound of panel doors returns. You can hear Reimu's voice declaring something. Though the haze of warmth fogging your brain makes most of it meaningless to you, the gist seems to be something about not looking.

You hear cloth dropping to a solid surface, melodic humming, splashing sounds on the flat stone, and then the surface of the pool being broken somewhere on the other side of that dividing wall.

"Nice, isn't it?"

You can't help but respond with a "Yes, very."

A gentle rippling sound moves towards the partition, and you feel your legs propel you towards that wooden wall at the same time.

-let volume containing humans be reduced-

Your back comes to a rest against the divider.

"Hey, Tyler?"

"What is it?"

"How do you feel about this whole thing? About Gensokyo, and magic, and, y'know..."

-let male human - wait, let Tyler be less dense about a girl's heart-

"Oh, it's actually a surprisingly refreshing change of pace. Everything is new, I haven't been accused of breaking any rules for almost two whole days, and you're easily the nicest person I've met in a long time."

"Really?"

-i SAID, let Tyler be less dense about a girl's heart-

"Yeah, you're great. You're fun to talk to, you have a really nice smile... I wouldn't mind spending more time with you."

"Mmm..."

-and for the finishing touch-

You swear you can feel the world get just the tiniest bit warmer and softer, somehow.

-equal zero!

Life is good.

"Heeeeey, new guy. Raaaaay-mooooo."

You hear the surface of the water break violently, with exactly the little inflections of tone associated with an irked miko snapping her arm up to grab a moment-wrecking oni by the horn. You can almost feel the sharp burst of motion against your back.

"And what do you think you're doing, miss deva-of-the-mountain?"

"You're mean," Suika whines. "Why can't I enjoy a nice hot soak with my favorite human and her beau?"

"I told you how it works already, Suika. Don't push it, or it will be the soybeans for you."

"Oh, he's just your cook?" From the tone of her voice, you're certain that Handlebars is smirking. "After all that trouble I went to setting up a nice, romantic back-to-back soak for you."

Her tone is really grating on you.

"Can it, short stuff." Guided by the sound of Suika's voice, you whip your arm up and grab onto her horn-

Wait. Waitwaitwait. Wait a goddamn second here.

If you have one of Suika's horns in your grip, and Reimu has one of Suika's horns in her grip...

You turn your head to face the little oni, confirming what you had already come to realize. Somehow, the divider is gone.

The oni grins fearlessly, as if you were playing a board game and she's just now revealing that she already had her win conditions met two turns ago. "Ibuki matchmaking services! Gets 'em every time!"

You swivel your eyes in their sockets to meet Reimu's face. Her furiously blushing face.

===========

[]Make proper eye contact with Reimu. "Are you okay?"
[]Glance back at the oni. "What are you trying to pull, anyways?"
[]Look forward again. "This is going to be my fault somehow, isn't it?"
[]Hot springs sports for outdoor typesSilly Anon, your hormone suppressants haven't worn off yet.

===========
Fun fact - I now think I write best on three hours of sleep, after standing the midnight watch. Midnight watch because time zones.

Also, tripcoding myself because why the hell not.

And as a last "also", let's once again hope that the Memory Error isn't causing a million delayed replications of this post.

>> No. 145478
[x]Glance back at the oni. "What are you trying to pull, anyways?"

This is the best manipulation of density ever.
>> No. 145487
[]Glance back at the oni. "What are you trying to pull, anyways?"
>> No. 145489
[X]Glance back at the oni. "What are you trying to pull, anyways?"

Also great job on using Suika's ability like that. That's got to be one more inventive uses of it that I've seen. Though given Tyler's complete and utter ignorance when it comes to sexual activities (and his possible reactions), she's going to have her work cut out for her.
>> No. 145497
[X] Look forward again. "This is going to be my fault somehow, isn't it?"

Based on previous occasions, all signs point to yes.
>> No. 145498
[X]Glance back at the oni. "What are you trying to pull, anyways?"
>> No. 145505
[x]Glance back at the oni. "What are you trying to pull, anyways?"
>> No. 145511
[x]Glance back at the oni. "What are you trying to pull, anyways?"

Foolish Oni. Your density manipulating powers are no match for hormonal suppressants!
>> No. 145517
[x]Glance back at the oni. "What are you trying to pull, anyways?"

Suppressants were here. Density manipulation is a loser.
Until she manipulated the density of suppressants in his bloodstream.
>> No. 145523
[x] Glance back at the oni. "What are you trying to pull, anyways?"
>> No. 145534
[X]Glance back at the oni. "What are you trying to pull, anyways?"

Foolish Oni! Not even your matchmaking skills can rival friend Computer's cock-blocking!
>> No. 145539
Your eyes swivel back towards the little oni's. It's her turn to gaze into the abyss now. Oh, yes.

"What are you trying to pull, anyways? Huh?"

"Ohh, y'know..."

"I'm listening." Glare harder. Glare harder, dammitall. The only way to shut down a pranking kid is to make the little brat fear you.

"I was just thinking my best buddy Reimu would be happier with a little bit of this an' that."

Your eyes narrow, unimpressed. "This... and that."

Suika gives an animated smile. "Y'know, this an' that. Don't you want to have some real fun with a cute little thing like her?"

"And your definition of 'real fun' would be..."


The little oni sighs and somehow vanishes from your grasp, reappearing seated directly in your lap. "Hot springs sports for incident resolving types. Rekindle your ember of love. Graze right between her attacks. Make it the day her sea splits. Master her midnight chorus. Shoot a wiggly white laser through her hitbox and make her go pichuun." She lightly pokes a finger into your chest. "Or maybe I'm more your type, hmm?"

"I'm not following here."

The sound of her palm impacting her face is louder than an autohack engine. "Oh, for the gods' sakes..."

She produces a green board from somewhere - you have no idea where she was hiding it, what with the being buck naked thing - holds it up, then frowns and turns it around.

The white text consists of four words, with the letters of two partially replaced by round circles, describing a course of action that has to be at least seven kinds of unhygienic. Didn't pre-cloning reproduction work like that?

"And this is supposed to be desirable, somehow?"

"You're kidding, right? It's only what all you guy types live for!" You swear you can hear a hint of anger in the oni's voice.

You don't see why anyone would even do that, much less make a habit of it.

"You lost me."

"Wha- bu- thi- you don- this do- AAAAAAAAAAAARGH!" Handlebars promptly stands bolt upright, one horn knocking your head to the side. "How the hell much less DENSE do I have to make you?!?"

"What are you talking abou-"

"All I want is for someone to finally give my best friend in the damn world the affection and care she deserves!"

Now it's your turn to stand, anger raising the voulme of your own blood rushing through your head. "And that's your idea of how to treat someone right? That has to be the most-"

An arm wraps around your shoulder. A finger falls across your lips.

"Please," Reimu says. "Don't fight back here, you two."

That shuts you up pretty quickly.

"But Reimu, this guy's skull is thicker than his-"

"I said don't fight here, Suika." Reimu's voice hardens. "Or should I get the beans?"

The oni turns completely white. Completely. The loss of color extends all the way down to where the water starts obscuring her torso, at least. "pleasenotthebeans."

"Good girl."

********

The mat isn't actually uncomfortable at all.

You pull the sheet up over yourself. It may have been a bit strange to think about, but using these easily stored mats to sleep on is actually a good space saver, isn't it?

You can already hear Suika's thunderous snoring as you let your eyes drift shut.

==========

[]Morning already?
[]Oh, it's morning.
[]Good moooooooooorniiiiiing~!

==========
Yeah, I rushed a bit on the end to beat the end of the open internet window.
>> No. 145540
[x]Oh, it's morning.

Sure is.
>> No. 145541
[x]Good moooooooooorniiiiiing~!

Just because I want to annoy everyone by being bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.
>> No. 145542
[X]Oh, it's morning.

Just wait until he talk about how cloning is how reproduction is done now.
>> No. 145544
[x]Good moooooooooorniiiiiing~!

i still dont comprehend how they can limit access to the net AND have rotating watches...
>> No. 145545
[x]Oh, it's morning.

Reimu took that oddly well.
>> No. 145546
>"You lost me."

Ah, nostalga~

[X]Good moooooooooorniiiiiing~!
>> No. 145555
[X]Oh, it's morning.
>> No. 145556
[X]Oh, it's morning.
>> No. 145558
[x]Good moooooooooorniiiiiing~!

Please let the hormone suppressants have worn off~
>> No. 145560
[X]Oh, it's morning.

>>145558

It's more amusing if they don't. At least for another day or two for Tyler. Besides more seriously he still has to find somebody who to give him 'the Talk' given that Kanako seems to refused to touch that with a ten-foot pole. And then probably is going to need at least a short time in order to work past the mental blocks that he more then likely have culturally to the act.

His body might be ready for being sexually active but mentally he isn't. At least for now. Though of course it really depends on how seriously or humorously that BackupWeasel feels like playing things up...
>> No. 145578
[x]Oh, it's morning.
[x]Prepare breakfast. Gently wake Reimu to a prepared table.

([x]Recieve blowjob.NO NO BAD THOUGHTS MIKO IS NOT THAT HUNGRY)
>> No. 145582
[x]Good moooooooooorniiiiiing~!
>> No. 145584
[X]Oh, it's morning.

No more, no less.
>> No. 145587
[X]Good moooooooooorniiiiiing~
It's morning and people have only tried to kill you once and NO-ONE AT ALL HAS ACCUSED YOU OF TREASON.

This can't last, but it is so enjoyable while it does.
>> No. 145595
And congratulations to >>145578 for an almost-but-not-quite completely redundant write-in extension.

In other news, hooray for open internet hours in port!
>> No. 145642
Light slowly creeps through your sealed eyelids, filtering through a cracked-open sliding panel door.

Huh. It's morning. Feels a little colder than you expected, but it's morning. And your second night's rest in a row without any of those weird nightmares. (Maybe more, but you doubt the Xanitrick crash could've had you out that long.)

Eyes still half shut, you roll left, off of the tatami and on to a smooth, thin object of some sort.

Suika seems to have rolled most of the way from her mat to yours while sleeping. You have to wonder how she even managed to roll in her sleep at all. It seems like those horns would get in the way, or something.

"Y'crazy kids," she mutters. "Y' lives 're short. Quit... roun' the..."

As your eyes finish opening and the blurs of sleep clear away, you get a better picture of how Suika got where she is. The tatami mats seem to have relocated themselves closer to each other while you all slept. The blankets didn't quite follow, though; they remain in their earlier positions, your one a notable way to your right, and the girls' two far left, on the far side of your unconscious roommates.

Speaking of, it's actually downright comical the way Suika is sprawled out, one leg out at an angle, draped over Reimu's belly like a crossbar. You still wish the little carrothead would put something on, though.

The current state of Handlebars' undress, however, is not your primary concern. Breakfast is.

Good old-fashioned hunger pilots your body directly to the kitchen. A quick search of the fridge reveals that you somehow seem to have missed the presence of several eggs in that myseteriously powered fridge.

There isn't much else available, so eggs and rice it is. The rice needs to start cooking first, of course. That stuff takes a while.

You briefly consider simply boiling the eggs in-shell, but decide you'd rather prepare them in a slightly more involved fashion. Out comes the pan, and crack go the shells.

Even as flavorful as eggs may be, you muse, they're just not that fun to cook. The only way to get that wonderful sizzle out of them is by means of frying them, and somehow you can't seem to remember ever successfully doing so without turning the whites rubbery. What a vile texture.

Which is, of course, why there's a thin layer of water in the pan. That old coot Scrue-U-GUY sure did-like his poached eggs. You almost miss that month working in his kitchen. "Almost" because, even with the short supply of ingredients and the bizarre culture, you really have enjoyed these last... probably two days.

It's good to go two whole days without even seeing a petty insubordination charge levied at you.

Before long, the eggs are ready to go. The rice will take a few more minutes, but you might as well go ahead and wake up the girls...

==========

[]...A nice tap on the shoulder should do it.
[]...Maybe a quick word in the ear will do it?
[]...Let's try bringing a plate back and wafting the scent of breakfast at them.
[]...You'll just wait. Sleep is important, and Gensokyo doesn't seem to run on a very strict schedule.

==========
Short? Yes. Excessive wait compared to what you get? Yes. Excuse? Yes - I was occupying my time with going on dry land for the first time in a month and a half.
>> No. 145643
[x]...Let's try bringing a plate back and wafting the scent of breakfast at them.
>> No. 145645
[X]...Let's try bringing a plate back and wafting the scent of breakfast at them.
>> No. 145648
[x]...Let's try bringing a plate back and wafting the scent of breakfast at them.
>> No. 145649
[x]...Maybe a quick word in the ear will do it?
His hot breath on their ears~

Your pace is faster than most writers. Don't worry about it.
>> No. 145650
[x]...Maybe a quick word in the ear will do it?

You write much quicker than I do. Don't worry about it, just keep going. I love this stoy.
>> No. 145651
>>145650
You! Please take off your trip when posting in other threads so I don't feel sad that you aren't updating your stories.
>> No. 145652
[x]...Let's try bringing a plate back and wafting the scent of breakfast at them.
I want to see a hungry Reimu.
>> No. 145654
>>145650

We need more Dreaming of Obsession. Do it, faggot.

As for the comments I made on the post, those were caused by the fact that I usually write sightly more, of higher quality, in a notably tighter timeframe (or the other way around, with the same timeframe producing more). The first hot spring update, for instance, was completed in about the same amount of downtime as this update, but was at least twice as long. And that was without the prewritten jokes that wound up being delayed to the second hot spring post, like the danmaku innuendo (for which I apologize to Do the Right Thing's writefag, who did it earlier and much better) and the shoutout to that one F/SN doujin.
>> No. 145655
[X]...Let's try bringing a plate back and wafting the scent of breakfast at them.

Don't fret it, I think. As long as the overall quality remains good, a couple of faster updates with less in them are fine.
>> No. 145658
[X]...Let's try bringing a plate back and wafting the scent of breakfast at them.
[X] When Reimu looks up, tilt head, lift eyebrows and go 'Hungry?'.

İ am the almost redundant guy. Go me for notoriously in-writing.
>> No. 145663
[x]...Maybe a quick word in the ear will do it?

Breathing in someone's ear is the best way to wake them up.
>> No. 145664
[X]...Let's try bringing a plate back and wafting the scent of breakfast at them.

They can be territorial creatures when they're first awoken. Best to keep a respectful distance when applying external stimuli.
>> No. 145716
[X]...Let's try bringing a plate back and wafting the scent of breakfast at them.

Great work, Weasel!
>> No. 145729
...Well, back when you wound up on breakfast shift, you used to just check the timetable for whoever you were serving and have things ready to go a few minutes before they were scheduled to roll in for breakfast. But then, there doesn't seem to be much of a schedule here.

One of many other things you remember is the week of that bad Xanitrick shortage. The sleep-haze in your brain every morning, and the way it lifted as soon as you reached the mess hall, pushed out by the scent of bacon and fried red Soylent.

You hear that the higher-clearance colors of Soylent had some... worrisome additives, but that's neither here nor there at the moment. No, "here" is the issue of getting those two layabouts awake before breakfast goes cold.

The perfect tool for this is - of course - breakfast.

You place two eggs on each plate, wide oblongs of white crowned with yellow half-orbs ready to spill out delicious rich yolk at the poke of a fork (or one of those mysterious "chopsticks" the locals somehow manipulate into being usable eating implements). Two go onto that goofy blanket-table - a "kotatsu", you think it was? - and the third goes into your hand.

They're still asleep and sprawled out when you get back to the little room where the tatami mats are laid out. That won't be the case for long, if you have anything to say about it.

So. Crouch down. Lower the plate. Fan a little bit of that cooked-egg aroma over with your hand.

Reimu's head turns towards you, but her eyes remain shut. "Keep 'm comin'," she murmurs, "never been food I can'eat more a'..."

This is not working as planned. Fan a little harder.

"Yeah, that's..." Her eyes creep open. "Oh, Tyler? What's that in your hand?"

You used SMELL OF BREAKFAST! It's super effective!

"Well, I figured morning was a good time for some eggs and rice. We're still kinda short on vegetables, and they're not really a breakfast thing, so..."

"That was sweet of yoOWWWW! Suika! Horn!"

"What's - oh, oops. Sorry, Reimu." Handlebars Suika pops up to sit cross-legged, somehow managing to not open up a hole in Reimu's side in the process. "So hey, cook guy. Tyler. Where's your shirt at?"

"Uh..." Oni has a point. You completely forgot to get dressed in your hunger-driven quest to produce some breakfast, and have been wandering around in your boxers all morning. "...Damn?"

Reimu shrugs. "Nothing we didn't all see last night. Let's go eat. I'm hungry."

********

"You're boring, guy."

"What do you mean?"

Suika sighs loudly. "We must have been at this table for at least twenty minutes and I didn't catch you staring once. I mean, come on. Seriously."

"...Okay then." You scoop up the last bit of rice from your plate. Time to finish this breakfast, once and for all.

"Healthy young guy like you has no excuse! I mean, here you have two charming young ladies-"

Reimu chuckles. "I count one young lady and an ancient drunkard."

"-Stop being a killjoy, Reimu. Like I was saying, two charming young ladies, one wearing very little and one wearing nothing at all-" Handlebars points at her bared nipples - "and you only ever look at us above our necks! Aren't you even remotely interested in seeing the rest?"

Suika slides - nay, sleazes her way next to the shrine maiden. "Especially dearest Reimu," she says. "Just look at her." The little oni's voice suddenly becomes low and breathy as she traces her fingers over the white cloth strip wrapped around Reimu's chest. "That sarashi just holding the world's most beautiful sight back from you eyes,nothing but a thin layer of fabric between you anOUCH!"

The cause of Suika's outburst seems to be Reimu flicking small, round objects at the midget's head in rapid succession. "Oni out. Tact in."

"OWWWW! The beans! Not the beans! They're in my eyes!"

"You little drama queen-" In seconds, Reimu has her fist pressed on top of Suika's head, twisting rapidly.

Ooookaaaaay. Time to make an exit, you think.

As the two scuffle behind you, you make your way back to the room where you were sleeping, ready to pull on your jumpsuit-

Oh, crap no. Not this again.

You pick up the little scrap of paper.

[b]Mister Outsider-

Needed to analyze resonance. Didn't want to take you away from my favorite human. Took your clothes instead. Your other stuff should still be there.

Will have it back to you when done.[b]

Instead of a proper signature, the note ends in a doodle of eight purple clouds.

You hear a sigh from behind you. Judging by the height the noise comes from, your favorite local is standing behind you, reading over your shoulder. "Godsdammmit, Yukari."

"Who's this 'Yukari'," you ask, "and where does she get off stealing my clothes?"

Reimu sighs loudly again. "Yakumo Yukari. The biggest name in our little hideaway. She's absurdly powerful, sleeps most of the time, spends most of her awake-time messing with people for laughs, and..."

"And?"

"And when she's actually serious about things, that's an extremely bad sign," she finishes. "I just hope she's just messing with us."

"Huh."

But this information does nothing to get clothes on you.

==========

[]Ask if Reimu has anything not-skirtlike lying around.
[]Ask if Reimu knows anywhere you can buy something decent.
[]Try and improvise a covering with whatever's lying around.
>> No. 145730
[x]Try and improvise a covering with whatever's lying around.

Why do hormone-suppressed people wear clothes?
>> No. 145731
[X]Ask if Reimu has anything not-skirtlike lying around.
>> No. 145732
[x]Try and improvise a covering with whatever's lying around.

We shall refer to it as a survival kilt.
>> No. 145733
>Why do hormone-suppressed people wear clothes?
Because it's treason not to, citizen!

[x]Try and improvise a covering with whatever's lying around.
>> No. 145734
[x]Try and improvise a covering with whatever's lying around.

A kilt sounds good. A would have preferred a pelt, to strike fear into our enemies, but it's too unhygienic.
>> No. 145736
[X]Ask if Reimu has anything not-skirtlike lying around.
>> No. 145741
[X] Ask if Reimu has anything not-skirtlike lying around.

Worth a shot.
>> No. 145743
[X] Ask if Reimu has anything not-skirtlike lying around.
>> No. 145745
[X]Ask if Reimu has anything not-skirtlike lying around

If I remember correctly, the first game had the spirit of a priest try to prevent you from leaving the shrine. Sure there old, but better than a skirt.
>> No. 145758
You're planning on wearing the spirit of a priest? Aren't those kind of.. intangible? I don't think they have removable clothes, either.

Or are you talking about Shingokyu?
>> No. 145764
In favor of scrounging the last kannushi's outfit. This is so that I can use my next major chunk of open time to write without getting bushwhacked by a vote swing - said time block is during non-Internet hours.
>> No. 145767
[X] Ask if Reimu has anything not-skirtlike lying around.
[X] Only wear it if it is red and/or black. Wearing clothes above your clearance level is treason.
>> No. 145781
"Say, Reimu." Irritation slips its way out into your words, but in small quantities; it's not from a lack of self-control, but from the sheer gall of this "Yukari" filching your jumpsuit. That one was new, dammit! You had just gotten it issued two weeks ago-

Oh, right, you need to keep talking. "You wouldn't happen to have any spare clothes lying around? Not a skirt, though, what's-her-hat already tried that joke on me once."

Reimu chuckles at that. You hear movement behind you, and then she escalates to full-on laughter. What used to be a pleasant sound is somehow suddenly the most horrible thing to ever grace your ears... even if it is, admittedly, still a beautiful thing to hear outside the context of probably being directed at you.

"What's so funny, now?" Turning around as you ask is an action you regret almost immediately. Somewhere in the last moment or two, Suika managed to show up with the bottom of Reimu's outfit and hold it in the air between Reimu's sight and your waist. "Oh, come on," you grouse, "I didn't even fall for that."

"I'm sorry," Reimu chokes out between laughs, "but it's just so ridiculous, I can't- AHAHAHAHAHA!"

You quietly move a soybean that you had palmed into the space between your fingers. Time to pay, Handlebars. Time to pay.

********

"Right, here's all the old outfits..." Reimu slides a panel open on a room full of red-white outfits of assorted bizarre persuasions. It's a hell of a sight. "Let me see here."

Nearest, and newest, is some sort of long skirt with a simple white shirt. Not this one, definitely no.

"Here's Mom's," Reimu mutters. "Grandma. Her predecessor. Her predecessor..."

The miko's pointing finger jumps across a ridiculous outfit full of cut-out holes.

"I remember your great-great gramma," Suika drawls. "Reika was fun. She was a sluuuuuuut. Me an' her an' Aya used to go trollin' for guys when we were bored, great times, great times. The crow never lived it down, though." The oni's face twists up. "An' I only ever landed creeps and dudes that took a whole lotta coaxing."

"Yeah, yeah, you have some memories or whatever, that's great." You wave a hand in irritation. "Can we please skip through to something wearable here?"

Reimu's finger continues to skip along, in combination with a string of mutterings of "her predecessor", until it finally comes to a rest upon an oversized but perfectly reasonable pair of red pants and a jacket-like white shirt with sleeves long enough to reach halfway past the elbows. "Oh, right," Reimu says. "There weren't any girls that generation, so they had to have the second son - Reiji, I think? - wear the colors and do the job himself. Poor guy was girly-looking from the start, the way they tell it."

You shrug. "They're still reasonable clothes," your verbalized resoning goes, "and I'm getting a little tired of running around in nothing but my boxers."

Reimu nods. "I'll let you get changed, then."

"Lookit meeeee!" Suika's perpetually drunken voice pierces your ears. "I got Reika's clothes on me! I'm like... mini-Reika! I'mma go grab Aya and we can go on one last bar romp like old times!"

You and Reimu just look at each other and shake your heads.

********

It's not that bad, really. Not that you wouldn't have preferred for the shirt part to have a large, visible red icon of some sort. Old habits are easy things to modify, but tricky things to just break.

The hat is kind of odd, though. It's like a miniature tower of black, an architecturally unstable one that somehow manages to not topple despite leaning precipitously forward. The appearance of the thing is ludicrously unprofessional. Plus it's heavy.

All of this is pushed aside by the simple joy of sitting on the shrine's front... "porch" is supposedly the wrong word, but that's how you file it... and not doing anything at all.

The sky - the genuine sky, the open air above the surface of the world, not some distant protective dome, Suika made that clear shortly before sprinting off - is an amazing sight. Shades of pale blue, white clouds slowly moving along, the sun - the genuine sun, distant fusing hydrogen, a light for Outside, a thing you thought you would never need to worry about seeing - traversing its prescribed arc in time.

Just sitting and watching it. How calming. How new. How subtly wondrous.

And all you had to do to get to this point was sweep off a few square meters of stone.

Reimu yawns softly, sitting on the opposite side of that giant wooden offertory box from you. Lazy days like this are rare, she had said.

"...So."

Her words startle you, not from nervousness on your part or worrisome content, but merely because of the calm, breezy near-silence you had enjoyed for some time.

"What now?"

==========

[]"Maybe we could pick up some more ingredients? You're running a little low."
[]"Is there any way I can maybe get my hands on some clothes of my own instead of borrowing these all the time?"
[]"Do you know any way to contact that 'Yukari' person, maybe see about getting my jumpsuit back?"
[]"We could go to that noodle cart you were mentioning yesterday...."
[]"I'm kind of worried about letting that little drunk run rampant."
[]"I need to ask that doctor about those prescriptions. They seem kind of off."
[]"I do still owe some debts to the Moriya shrine..."
-[]"...Like a thank-you to Sanae."
-[]"...Like a smack on the head to Her Hatness."

==========
Out Of Memory Error strikes again. Let's hope this isn't a horrible multipost.
>> No. 145783
[X]"I need to ask that doctor about those prescriptions. They seem kind of off."

Because more medical schenanigans are needed.
>> No. 145785
>>145783

Agreed. Besides we still need to get somebody to explain just why Sanae and Reimu got so red when they saw us in the nude. If there's some weird sickness going around we need to know.

[X]"I need to ask that doctor about those prescriptions. They seem kind of off."
>> No. 145786
[X] "Maybe we could pick up some more ingredients? You're running a little low."

If she wants him to stay around and cook for her, she better have food for him to cook.
>> No. 145789
[X]"I need to ask that doctor about those prescriptions. They seem kind of off."

Maybe they're for reactivating his hormones?
>> No. 145790
>>145785

Yeah, could be a pandemic. Or maybe it's just a shrine maiden thing.
>> No. 145791
[X] "Maybe we could pick up some more ingredients? You're running a little low."

It's our duty as cook of the Hakurei shrine to maintain an

Not keeping the fridge full is treason.
>> No. 145793
[X] "Maybe we could pick up some more ingredients? You're running a little low."
>> No. 145796
[x]"I do still owe some debts to the Moriya shrine..."
-[x]"...Like a thank-you to Sanae."
-[x]"...Like a smack on the head to Her Hatness."

I wanna see Moriya again. Just for a bit.
>> No. 145818
[]"Maybe we could pick up some more ingredients? You're running a little low."

Let's go to the village! Matching outfits shouldn't be wasted~
>> No. 145819
[X]"Maybe we could pick up some more ingredients? You're running a little low."

Need food to cook food.
>> No. 145821
[X] "Maybe we could pick up some more ingredients? You're running a little low."

Cooks need things to cook. I'm quite sad Tyler isn't getting along with HandlebarsSuika.
>> No. 145825
[X] "Maybe we could pick up some more ingredients? You're running a little low."

Actually I'd like to see more R&D shenanigans but food first!
>> No. 145850
Expect an update... early tomorrow morning from the standpoint of it being about 1 PM where my ship is right now.

>>145825
R&D shenanigans are limited due to the only experimantal equipment Tyler has being the (working! How?) infinity-shots laser barrel. Until plot appears.
>> No. 145867
You gaze up at the sky (the real thing, the real thing) for a few more moments. It's not a sight to waste.

"I was thinking," the words tumble slowly out of your mouth, "that we might want to pick up a few more ingredients. Maybe, I don't know, some more of those long-neck onions or something. The fridge is kind of emptying out, y'know?"

You don't hear an response.

"Reimu?"

She sure looks glum...

“Oh, and let me guess, you wind up not earning enough to even eat good meals regularly, too?”

“Nothing but basic staples day in and day out – no, not quite. Not quite. Sometimes I can get something nice, when I’m not seeing too many extra expenses.”

“Tell me about it. The best days are the ones when I can afford something better than the same old same old. Real food, like apples.”


"Oh."

So that's what it is.

"Sorry to bring it up, then." You had almost forgotten the problem - the exact problem that made your life before the kitchen so much less worthwhile in hindsight. When it wasn't shortage time or taste-testing time, it was algae-and-Soylent time; those mood-elevating Happiness Compensation Programs only provided you with low prices on goodies like bacon and apples when there was some source of unHappiness to Compensate for. Like that Xanitrick shortage. That was awful.

Then again, if you could get your hands on some red-grade Soylent and the right type of algae, you could whip up a fierce fried sandwich. Somehow, though, you get the feeling that the cheap staple food of Gensokyo is rice.

You hope you either get back to the Complex very soon, or not at all. Eating mostly white food for months isn't gonna be easy to explain.

Eventually, the red-white lets off a small sigh. "Sorry, I get kind of gloomy when that sort of thing gets brought up. It's about to be lean times again; I'm saving up. Got a bad feeling."

"Huh."

The way the clouds seem to move at different speeds from one another... it's entrancing.

"Well, then." You're surprised you can still talk, vice just staring up and continuing to soak in the newness around you. "Maybe we could try and find that doctor again? I have some questions for her about all those pills and powders and things."

All this earns from Reimu is a returned "Maybe."

Huh. Speaking of medical malpractice, that cloud kind of looks like a docbot.

Somewhere along the line, Reimu got up and went into the shrine. You know this because she's sitting down next to you, offering you a cup of some hot beverage with an intriguing scent.

Scent. There's a word that edged its way into your vocabulary. You had used plenty of other words like it before, but they were less pleasant ones. Smell, stench, reek... reek was a common one, every time you went back to your quarters, due mainly to the fact you bunked above a guy who worked sewage processing. No matter how much the poor idiot showered - a task he committed at least an hour to per day - he could never get rid of that horrible reek.

But it's easy to avoid letting the memory of that reek fill your nose, when the scent that's there already is definitely not just memory.

"Tea?"

"Thank you."

You sip at the... tea, right?... cautiously. It's got quite a nice flavor to it.

You must have kept drinking it, because the cup is empty.

Huh. Speaking of drinking, that one kind of looks like Suika. Except... not really.

Your eyes are feeling a little heavy. Odd, since you got plenty of sleep.

==========

[]You can feel your head tilting forward...
[]You can feel your torso slumping sideways...
[]You can feel pressure on your shoulder...
[]Forget that, it's time to pop a wakey. You haven't in, what, two days? And besides...
-[]...You do want to see about those pills and such.
-[]...A day off like this is too nice to waste sleeping.

==========
Nostalgia is a powerful force, and motivates even the strongest writefag to the occasional post or two of self-indulgence. At least, that's how I like justifying it.
>> No. 145870
[x]You can feel pressure on your shoulder...

I'd love to be pressured by Raymoo.
>> No. 145871
[x] You can feel pressure on your shoulder...

Daaaw (I hope).
>> No. 145874
[x] You can feel pressure on your shoulder...

bandwagoning the possible d'awwwww, but after that we gotta get in gear, let's find trouble, shoot it and get some food for raymoo!
>> No. 145894
[x]You can feel your torso slumping sideways...
>> No. 145896
[x] You can feel pressure on your shoulder...
>> No. 145898
[X]You can feel pressure on your shoulder...

Time to get a job!

On another note, this can't end happily. While this was always the case, it's especially made prominent with extreme outside contamination and lack of drugs.
>> No. 146046
It seems this thread has almost reached the autosage mark while I wasn't paying attention to postcount (245 Posts Omitted = this becomes the last post to actually bump.)

As I have mentioned previously, this horrible Navy internet connection doesn't play well with image posting - I started this thread during a bout of shore leave in England, and my next shore leave probably won't be for a good while.

Could someone kindly get a thread #2 rolling for me? Preferably with image 175138 off of Safebooru, due to being relevant.

Depending on response time and how long it takes me to get the back end of this story post finished, expect a proper update either quite soon or in about thirteen hours (the next time I have open time during an open internet block).