Why are you such an ass.
"Alethea: Say what is necessary."
You reeeeaaaally don't want to say this, but you can't think of anything else that would snap her out of this mood, so... Here goes.
IE: With like
IE: Fire and stuff
XT: Wait .
XT: What ! ?
IE: I saw it on prospit
IE: This is what was so urgent
XT: But . . . that cannot possibly be true , can it ?
XT: Were we not destined for something else ?
XT: And . . . and you told me your concerns had nothing to do with the predict10n5 of the Oracle Clouds !
IE: Yeah thats cause uh
IE: The fuggin grand scholars of prospit pieced the written prophecies all together
IE: Using their vast wells of knowledge and beard twiddling techniques n shit
XT: What beards ?
XT: Oh , screw the beards ! What kind of legend is that ! ? Why would we all be tied into this mystical plane of existence only to be killed by our own destinies ? ? ?
XT: . . . were my recent breakthroughs just
XT: all for nothing
IE: That depends, you still feeling all giddy and overflowing with joy
XT: i really dont know how i feel right now
XT: i mean
XT: i could still pass this information on
XT: but who would listen and take me seriously
XT: and even then
XT: im not sure if im ready
XT: to leave all of this behind for the world of tomorrow
XT: without being there to see it myself
XT: i know striving for that is the professional thing to do but
IE: Seems like that was enough then
IE: ...Maybe more than enough
IE: Okay definitely more than enough
IE: Yeeeaaah were not actually gonna die or anything
IE: You see the real case is that your room was overflowing with energy
IE: I mean, literally
IE: And i mean your prospit room, not the one youre probably in right now
IE: It was tearing the place up and we were kinda fearing it would destroy the whole moon which woulda been really bad
IE: Really really bad
IE: Because people live there and so do four of our dreamselves
IE: So i just really had to figure out what was going on and figure out how to stop that, save prospit and all
IE: Im sure you understand
IE: I really hope i didnt go too far
XT: yes i understand
XT: you didnt go too far alethea
XT: im sorry for whatever i may have unknowingly caused
IE: Well ah
IE: If you say so
IE: Now that thats settled, anything else up lately
-- xylemTheologian [XT] has ceased being prattled by intuitivelyEntranced [IE] --
-- xylemTheologian [XT] is now offline! --
XT: . . . Or begin to set up the foundat10n5 for the present scenario , at least .
XT: Is this impatience I am detecting ?
IE: Well i mean
IE: Its just been uh
IE: One second lemme scroll up
XT: Okay ?
-- intuitivelyEntranced [IE] is now an idle pal! --
XT: . . .
IE: Alright im back
IE: I hope youre impressed that i didnt die of starvation while i was going all the way back up to get that timestamp
IE: But yeah its been like ten minutes and dude come on all i wanted to know is what youre doing not all this historical bullshit
IE: Retrohistorical codex
IE: More like retrohistorical get to the fuckin point already
IE: I didnt need a history lesson girl
XT: Well , then .
XT: My apologies for taking a few moments to ensure that everything was clarified to avoid potential confusion .
XT: I should have known you would rather be confused due to a lack of context . Really , my bad .
XT: But I will try to condense the rest of the information , regardless of whether or not your tone is deserving of compliance .
IE: Whats that supposed to mean
XT: Fret not over it . Anyway ,
XT: I have spent a good amount of the past year or two researching the Retrohistorical Codex on my lonesome - not in what it actually contains , as it was still merely a rumor , but rather trying to pinpoint its exact location .
XT: And , would you not believe it , I have finally found it !
XT: Or at least what is very , very likely to be its resting place .
IE: But you dont actually have it yet do you
XT: No , I have yet to schedule a trip over there ; it is a bit of a distance away from my residence .
XT: And I mean , I only just figured out this probable location a couple of minutes ago , haha .
XT: Which was already enough to make me overflow with the hope of finally shedding light on this shrouded piece of history !
IE: So lemme get this straight
IE: Basically youre just feeling overly excited over this and nothing more is going on
XT: Correct . I feel this is the most excited I have ever been, honestly !
IE: Hm, I see
IE: In that case maybe i should tell you something
XT: Oh ? What would that be ?
IE: Yeeeaaah well
ALETHEA PLEASE HURRY!!
You begin to hurry back to thWHAT THE FUCK IS THAT
You suppose a tactical retreat isn't a bad idea here!
Haha she sure is taking a while.
And the situation certainly isn't getting any better either, haha.
What are you going to do?
XT: Even among us dedicated histor10n\
XT: ( Whoops that one would not work haha )
XT: Even among us dedicated historians , only a very small number of us are aware of this fact .
XT: How bizarre is that ?
XT: ( It was a rhetorical question you need not answer ; I have no doubt you are still faithfully listening to my explanation regardless of input ! )
XT: But yes , pretty much everything about this formerly primary species has been wiped from the face of the planet , as sad as it is .
XT: Even the most knowledgeable of experts are not quite sure what happened to them , but the theory I personally follow the most is that the Greenhouse Spires are what wiped them out , considering they are one of their last major accomplishments before their myster10u5 downfall .
XT: Did you know that , Alethea ? That , despite their prominent role in our planet's functionality , Greenhouse Spires were not an adletan invention ? The Spires were actually here long before us , and still have many traces of Banshian language inside . Fascinating stuff .
XT: But even the theory of Greenhouse Spires wiping them out does not explain everything ; one of the most glaring contradict10n5 one would easily find is that they would have already known what the Spires would do upon activation , considering they were the ones who built them after all ( at least , according to this theory ) . So why would any race knowingly wipe itself out ?
XT: . . .
XT: I realized I am going into irrelevant territory despite the time sensitive scenario . My apologies .
XT: Back on track : The Retrohistorical Codex is a rumored artifact speculated to contain comprehensive knowledge of the Banshees' entire history , so if we were to find it , we could finally peer into the records of Nobriel before adlets !
XT: And goodness , the things that are rumored to be contained within that tome !
XT: First off ,
Your patience is wearing thinner than the ever-shrinking scroll bar to this conversation.
"Alethea: Prattle XT."
IE: Yo, you playing around with some sort of magical energy or something
XT: That would depend on your definition of magical !
IE: What does that even mean
IE: Look i know this really probably wont make any sense but
IE: Can you maybe put it down and leave it alone for a bit or something
XT: Well I cannot exactly " put " something " down " when it is not within my possession , heehee .
IE: What so you dont actually have anything
XT: Are you not already attuned to this sort of oddly specific , minor knowledge due to your dream vis10n5 ? Why ask me when you should already know ?
IE: Okay no thats not how it works
IE: Its just random bits of knowledge which sometimes happen to be relevant, i cant just choose what i see
XT: Yes , yes , I recall that they are random of course . But your bizarrely specific conversat10n 5tarters are more often founded upon such important foresight than not , at least from what I can infer . So surely you can forgive the mix up .
XT: Is this just out of genuine, sudden cur105ity , then ?
IE: I mean not exactly
IE: Like yeah it actually does relate to prospit but its not about the oracle clouds this time
XT: Hm . . .
XT: Did you perhaps embark on your long anticipated journey to Skaia ?
IE: Oh god
XT: Yes , the Gods ! Were they there ?
IE: No i meant oh god, as in
IE: Oh god not this again
IE: For the millionth time thats not how skaia works
IE: I look at the thing through my telescope practically every day
IE: Trust me I would know if it was some breeding ground for legendary deities or whatever
XT: But you have still never traveled to it , so how would you know for sure ?
IE: Look were not having this conversation again alright
IE: As much as i would (not) love to try getting this basic concept through to you yet again and disprove that idea youre so weirdly insistant upon, there are much more pressing matters at hand
XT: My apologies , I will let it go . But do keep in mind that I would like to know for sure one of these days , if even to put my musings to rest .
XT: Go on , however . What is this oh so pressing matter ?
IE: Okay so basically just what is it youre doing exactly
IE: Obviously youre still wide awake here on nobriel so this probably isnt your way of awakening to your psychic dream powers
IE: And youre apparently not actively interacting with anything magical
IE: Actually hold up
IE: You said it depends on my definition of the word magical
IE: So whats the deal with that
XT: Hm , where do I even begin ?
XT: Then , for starters : How much would you happen to know about the Retrohistorical Codex ?
IE: Jack shit honestly
IE: Is that some sort of videogame or
XT: Oh Goodness my dear friend , do we have a lot to cover !
XT: Most adlets do not have much of a concern for their species' history , instead only holding concern for their own personal lives , " in the now . "
XT: But of course , there is still a sizeable amount of us who do have a fascinat10n 5tudying the past , compiling dedicated public access records .
XT: ( Er , I have only personally made minimal contribut10n5 to these records , I was more so meaning in general . )
IE: Yeah pretty much everyone knows that much
IE: Can you get to the point
XT: I was just getting there , anyway . It will be quick , I promise !
XT: And considering the levity of this situation on Prospit you have made so very apparent , you do want me to answer your inquiry to the fullest extent of detail , correct ?
XT: So I shall !
XT: Back to my tale : One would think that we have pretty much all of our history recorded by now thanks to these individuals who are so dedicated to historical preservat10n, 5haring their knowledge , et cetera , yes ?
XT: But oh , is that ever wrong !
XT: This , my friend , is where the Retrohistorical Codex comes in !
Buuut you guess you have to. For Prospit and all that.
"Alethea: Go get your phone."
Ah yeah, that's right. Gotta try talking to XT.
You don't really want to get out of bed.
AUGH FUCK WHAT
You're gonna go ahead and take the passing out shortcut, if that's alright.
But what about the other world, the Protector asks. Surely you can converse with her if she happens to be awake there?
<small><small>God dammit you were hoping she wouldn't bring that up.</small></small>
She asks if you can repeat yourself, she didn't quite catch that.
You speak up, yeah sure fine. It's worth a shot, you <i>guess</i>. Not sure how much longer you'll be able to keep conscious here anyway.
"SP: Evaluate the situation."
Hm, yeah, she says this is looking pretty bad. Then she asks if you've tried talking to her.
You say no, because you're sure she'd have come out of the tower by now if she was awake. Even if she were awake in there, there's no way you'd be able to get to her through that powerful energy field.
Oh, it seems the SWORN PROTECTOR is here. When did she get here?
She says just now.
Wait, did you say that aloud?
She says yes, you did. But that isn't important right now, nor are formal greetings. She wants to know what the hell's going on in that tower.
You tell her you have no idea. You tried stopping it just now, but as she can probably tell just by looking at you, that didn't turn out very well. You ask if she has any other ideas.
"Alethea: Look inside the tower."
It's too bright to see a thing in there, even from up close.
ESPECIALLY from up close.
WHY DIDN'T YOU THINK THIS THROUGH?
Is this good? Is it good for it to get so bright? Fuck who are you kidding, this is very bad!
Here we go...
But this is no time to question it. Usually you just get two, but on a good day - or an especially bad one, you suppose - you can summon three of these orbs. And you're just going to have to hope they interact with this energy in a good way.
"Alethea: Put a stop to this."
Yeah yeah, you know. You prepare to use your own psychic ability, the uh... fling thing. Or sometimes the wring thing, or at other times the... Hm.
You realize you still have no idea what to call it or how it works, exactly.
"Alethea: Head closer."
Oh boy, this is worse than you thought. Sure her sleeping self is kind of known for causing occasional flickers of light by now, but that's all they've ever been - flickers. This is far beyond anything you've seen. If this is her way of finally tapping into her psychic ability, it's one hell of a way to do it.
You guess you should probably find a way to stop this before the entire moon is torn apart. And no, you don't care to find out if that's an exaggeration.
"Alethea: Investigate light."
Yep, no surprise it's HER tower.
It should probably go without saying that something has caught your attention.
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"Alethea: Examine guitar."
You regard the DREAM GUITAR. Not as in the guitar you want the most, because "my regular guitar but yellow" would be boring and unimaginative as hell, but more as in the literal representation of your real guitar. Yeah.
You do have DREAM SKILL in both senses of the term, though.
Meh, you'll just ask the Queen about it later. It's probably nothing.
Sure, why not. You check up on the weird floating chess board thing and... hang on why is it different.
"Alethea: Look at more clouds."
You scan the airspace a bit more and come across one showing your friend Zariyah. Whatever she's up to there, she seems really dedicated.
"Alethea: Zoom into some clouds."
Oh hey, you saw this set quite a while back! Which means you're looking into the past rather than the future, which happens now and then. You saw poor Kristan here looking very unaware of a meteor falling towards him, and you saw yourself at the computer. You knew it was time to message him the second you realized you were sitting with your tail curled to the left side, as usually you keep it on the right. Yeah, with time you've become quite experienced at picking up on and remembering such minute details like that.
...Sometimes you wonder why you haven't just bought a big clock yet. That would make this whole process so much easier.
Following a familiar chain of events, you head over to your TELESCOPE to get a more in-depth view of SKAIA. You often occupy yourself here by gazing into the various predictions of the ORACLE CLOUDS, trying to figure out the true path of the future and how you can help your friends get through it in the best possible way.
You're still never quite sure if it's thanks to you that things turn out the way they do or if the predictions already account for your influence, but it makes you feel important so you don't worry about it.
"Alethea: Look up at the teal sun."
Teal sun? That's a very plain way of putting it. This is SKAIA, a very important planet and the center of the INCIPISPHERE. You think the Incipisphere's like the dreamland version of a solar system, or something. You definitely understand its importance though, at least for the most part.
The view of the distant planet makes you want to get a closer look.
"Alethea: Search for friends."
Oh, you've long since explored this place and discovered that four of your friends have alternate selves here. Well, three of them now...
Er, maybe it's best if you think about something else. The remaining three are always asleep, anyway.
"Alethea: Look out window."
You look out at the golden city below, populated by your carapacian friends. None of them notice you up here, but their presence makes you happy nonetheless.
"Alethea: Check timeline tracker."
You look at the TIMELINE TRACKER. Curiously it doesn't seem to work here. And by "doesn't seem to work," you mean it doesn't display that one unchanging line. The fact this place doesn't find it necessary to reflect that detail in favor of aesthetics only further proves its uselessness.
"Alethea: Touch everything."
You spend a few moments briefly touching everything in the room. Yup, it's all definitely tangible.
"Alethea: Examine room."
Usual bedtime musings aside, you have entered another PROPHETIC DREAM. What will you do?
"Alethea: Get up."
You think it is.
...But you and your nine friends are guaranteed to survive, which is all that really matters in the end, right?
"Alethea: Drift to sleep."
Speaking of things that were nice while they lasted, you're really going to miss this planet. Wherever it is you're all going looks neat from the few VISIONS you've had of it, but you have a feeling it won't be the same...
You had borrowed a tow truck from a friend specifically to help in retrieving it, but it was still a pretty big hassle after you realized the damn thing didn't even have anything to attach a hook to. That spot of trouble is nothing compared to the fun you had with the three friends who accompanied you on your trip, though.
This is all sort of bittersweet to look back on, since two of the aforementioned friends have ended up hating each other later on. The time was nice while it lasted, at least.
Like this NEWSPAPER CLIPPING. Why leave you this? Why about some random meteor? It's always fascinated you even as a kid, back before you began to question it. Probably due to your interest in SPACE. Or, maybe this very paper is what sparked that interest to begin with? It's certainly a possibility.
Funny thing is, craters always remind you of the TIMELINE TRACKER. Unlike your other possessions, that one was not directly left for you - probably due to its SIZE. You had to follow some complex map and hints from your mother to even find it, and you'll never forget the sight of the crater-like ditch it was found in.
"Alethea: Reminisce on mother."
What is there to reminisce about? You never knew her. No adlets know their parents.
Your species in general is mostly concerned with individuality, tending to not have any sense of community beyond immediate friend groups. The only sense of family most adlets have, aside from the rare exception of siblings raised together, is purely a formality. The main reason adlets even become "parents" is due to the monetary incentive for registering a child at one of many semi-automated RAISING CENTERS, with said incentive being in place to ensure the continuation of the species.
The most interaction most adlets have had with their parents, if it can even be described as such, is when belongings are handed down to them, registered with the adlings at the centers. These belongings are usually just general things like COOL TOYS or CLOTHING, but your mother had to be strange and leave behind PERSONAL NOTES and MYSTERIOUS TRINKETS instead. While you do appreciate it, it leaves the everlasting question of WHY. They're all mysteries and there aren't many definite answers, making you wish she either explained things a bit more clearly or just didn't leave you anything at all.
It's not like you could track her down to ask about these either, as adling registration isn't public record. Even if it were, you don't think it'd be worth the trouble. These trinkets aren't worth fretting over, they're just kind of weird.
"Alethea: Turn on radio."
You turn on the RADIO to help yourself relax.
"Alethea: Lay down."
You flop down onto your bed and prepare to sleep.
"Alethea: Examine dreamcatcher."
You look up at the DREAMCATCHER. Your friend ET had given this to you as a gift a few years back, and your PROPHETIC DREAMS had begun that very night. You worry about him a lot nowadays, but no use in getting yourself hung up over that now.
You have never taken the dreamcatcher down since you gained your abilities, partly out of fear you'd lose them, but mostly because it's the least you can do for it in return. It's only a plus that it looks really cool.
As much as you've enjoyed reflecting upon things in your room, looking at the dreamcatcher reminds you to catch some Z's of your own.
The TIMELINE TRACKER? This was a gift from your MOTHER. You have no idea where she got it or how it works, and it's not like you could ask her. You doubt it's anything important, though. Probably just a well-crafted prop from some obscure sci-fi film. Even Zariyah agrees that this thing probably isn't the real deal, which should say a lot. You mean, what even IS a timeline tracker? There's always just been one single line on it. Which you guess makes sense, considering time is kind of supposed to be a flat line. Maybe that's part of the joke you're not getting, but why would your mother have sent you on such a big search just for some glorified joke? She never seemed like the type to joke around like that, from what you know.
Actually, though it always has had that single line, earlier tonight it had turned the color of green it is now; in all the years you've had it before this it's always been yellow, with no exceptions. Must finally be getting low on battery.
You lift up your guitar and prepare to strum out a MAD SOLO, and... actually, on second thought, you don't wanna hear this. Trust yourself.
Maybe you'll become decent eventually, but you aren't counting on it.
...Or at least close enough to it, that is. The modus automatically corrects you if you're slightly off, otherwise it'd be almost completely unusable.
"Alethea: Retrieve guitar."
You open up your CONSTELLATION MODUS, in which all stored items are represented as symbolic STAR PATTERNS. You can captchalogue up to twelve items at once, but the major drawback is the visual density of the stars themselves. Hell, it's already pretty cluttered with just three items. The stars do become smaller when you have enough items stored as a precaution against it becoming a useless simulation of TV static, but by no means does that make it easy.
But yeah, the guitar. To retrieve an item, all you need to do is identify its specifically assigned constellation.
Haahh... No. You know how the Gunns are with their overactive imaginations, and you really aren't looking forward to trying to explain the whole situation without being accused of direct involvement with this... whatever's going on. You have set your Prattlepal mood to INVISIBLE immediately after talking to him to avoid just that.
You'll discuss it with him later.
"Alethea: Study the constellations."
...Yeah, no, this is pretty much a fruitless endeavor. The cosmos' influence on Nobriel and Girin-2 is all extremely subtle, to the point that only professional astronomers would have the means to even begin to sort it all out. Problem is, no professional astronomers seem to believe in astrology to begin with, so that'll probably never happen. Maybe you'll grow up to be the first, who knows.
Still fun to just stare at the various constellations, though. In fact, this one right here is one of the 27 ORIGINAL CONSTELLATIONS. Way back when written language was the hip new thing, adlets used to look to the stars for inspiration on textual symbols. You're pretty sure this one in particular was the symbol that eventually became the letter "C". You'd look for some others, but it was already a big enough stroke of luck that you happened upon this one.
"Alethea: Look through telescope."
You head over to your TELESCOPE to get a more in-depth view of the night sky. Sometimes you occupy yourself with your strong belief in the concept of ASTROLOGY, trying to discover the true workings of the stars rather than the muddled, thrown-together "guides" made by the marketing industry. Not that you're exactly having much luck studying the CONSTELLATIONS on your own, but... you'll get there? Eventually?
"Alethea: Look out your window."
That's an easy one; you have windows all around you. You pick one at random and gaze out it at the OCEAN. Should you look out a window on the other side of your room, you would be greeted with the sight of the rest of the CLIFFSIDE your house is situated on. Not a whole lot to see, though: Just a boring rocky landscape and a road nobody drives on. Ever. There isn't much out here aside from your own home, which makes sense as you're pretty sure it's a repurposed lighthouse. The peace and quiet is definitely a plus to living out here.
The view of the distant night sky makes you want to get a closer look.
Your name is ALETHEA. Your interests revolve around calming activities, for the most part. One of your favorite pastimes is SLEEPING, in which you experience PROPHETIC DREAMS OF THE FUTURE due to being in-tune with your spiritual resonance. Or something like that. You honestly dunno what it is specifically, but whatever it is, it works and that's all that matters. Thanks to these PROPHETIC DREAMS, you are known among your friends for your INEXPLICABLY ACCURATE KNOWLEDGE OF MOSTLY MINOR EVENTS.
At least, they've been mostly minor until today, in which STRANGE MACHINES will be appearing in your and your friends' houses which will help you all escape SUDDEN DEATH BY METEORS. Which has already kind of started happening, you think. You're still not quite sure where the machines will be coming from, though. Probably aliens or some shit. Ah who cares, you'll find out soon enough.
But of course, your life doesn't revolve around these prophetic dreams or anything; what kind of life would that be? You are no oracle. You enjoy listening to MUSIC - particularly JAZZ, CLASSIC ROCK, and some forms of METAL, as much as to try picking up playing the GUITAR. To little success, unfortunately, but you're sure you'll get there eventually. You also have a fascination with ASTRONOMY, using your telescope to gaze up at the stars, sometimes finding yourself lost in the night sky for hours at a time.
Tonight you have stayed up a bit later than you wanted to so you can give your friend Kristan some very important advice regarding the previously mentioned machines, and now that that's been done, you can get some probably-important rest. Buuuut maybe you'll poke around and do some other things first, just for the hell of it.
What will you do?
"Be someone new."
Seeing as how all the other characters are presently occupied, we'll see what this adlet is up to.
Riveting. Let's be someone else.
No. The VENGEFUL SPIRIT acts on its own accord.
"Be the Vengeful Spirit."
You are now the VENGEFUL SPIRIT, you guess.
...Huh, well. Your friend has always had an almost disturbing lack of concern for these types of situations, but for once you're actually kind of glad he's like this. Regardless, the exchange has still left you stressed out, so you're going to wait a bit before trying to arrange for any of the others to play. You feel absolutely exhausted even imagining how hard it might be to convince someone with sense.
But forget about all that: It's time to take a well-deserved rest, so now would be as good a time to switch perspectives as any.
IX: I'm sorry...
IX: Wait wh
XI: hah, sure ill give this sverb thing a shot i guess, ill see what i can do to get my hands on the sucker as soon as i can. might take a bit depending on the circumstance, but itll be tonight or tomorrow for sure. in the meantime just show that place whos boss, im sure youll do great. see you then, dude
-- xustosImpulsivity [XI] has ceased being prattled by iridescentXerarch [IX] --
"Kristan: Break it to him."
XI: its been a few, usually youve typed up some sort of response by now, you there?
XI: dude? hello? i hate getting real like this over what very well may be nothing, but youre starting to worry me a bit since its been like ten minutes and you never really disappear so suddenly, unless youve just been playing the game which im realizing is probably it as i type this, but really if thats the case you seriously gotta work on your timing dude, right after seeming all emotional like that
IX: Back, I'm sorry. I had to gather my thoughts for a second.
IX: To tell the truth, no. Things are not alright.
IX: I am lost in a completely unknown and seemingly hostile environment, located in the middle of a giant storm.
IX: Mind you, this storm does not present immediate danger, but it has kept me more or less confined to my home. Along with that, these things called imps have been invading my home and trying to kill me.
IX: Unsuccessfully, as you can likely tell. But still.
IX: While I have remote assistance from Zariyah and the protection of a friend both familiar and newly met, I will soon be on my own in this land for a bit as I presumably explore beyond the storm.
IX: I am scared and confused, but the only viable option for me is to press on.
XI: holy shit what, this is all kinds of fucked up. why didnt you just tell me all this? is someone holding you to keeping it all secret? oh fuck, you arent putting yourself in danger by telling me all this are you?
IX: What? No, there is nobody holding me captive.
XI: then why didnt you tell me? and why the hell is getting me to play some dumb game your top priority in the midst of all this serious shit? tell me how to actually help you and ill get right on it
IX: ...This may sound like a stretch to you, but the game is what has caused all of this.
XI: oh god you havent been screwed with in the head there have you?
IX: No, my mind is fine! I hope.
IX: I can't tell you how, and I didn't want to tell you in fear it would turn you against playing it, but Sverb is causing the literal, actual destruction of Nobriel.
IX: However, its altering of reality is our only guaranteed way to survival. From my understanding, we have to make use of it to escape into another world where we will be safe from Nobriel's apocalypse.
"Kristan: Seek convincing help."
IX: Hey uh sis?
TE: yeah dude? what's up?
IX: I'm sorry to bother you again but I was hoping for some help, I'll keep it quick.
TE: lay it on me.
IX: Can you maybe help me convince XI to play the game...?
TE: dunno why the acronym, but i'm kinda surprised to hear he apparently doesn't want to.
TE: i'd have thought a world-destroying, reality-bending game like this would be right up his alley. more than it is mine, even.
IX: It probably is, but I sort of haven't told him about that part.
TE: ...so you haven't even told him anything about it.
IX: Well I did! But I kept it vague, saying it involves the apocalypse in a unique way, and seems to have really deep lore and stuff...
TE: and because of this he thinks it's just a regular game.
IX: Yeah, which is why I'm hoping you'll help me convince him to play it.
TE: then no shit he isn't rushing out to buy it!
TE: i wouldn't be too thrilled myself if someone was relentlessly trying to get me to go out and immediately buy some game. especially if i wasn't planning on even playing it in the first place. no offense. :u
IX: Aaghh you're right, I must be coming off as so obnoxious and weird.
TE: just tell him the truth. it's like the only way to make this work.
TE: you two are really good friends anyway, right?
IX: I really want to! But what if telling him causes him to panic or something?
TE: and do you really think keeping the truth from him will be any better? if anything it'd only make things worse when he learns the truth about it.
IX: Yeah, I'm... not quite sure what I was thinking.
TE: hey it's fine, this is a stressful situation after all. we all have our own ways of dealing with stress. just turns out yours is being a dumb paranoid nerd. :p
IX: Heh, thanks for talking me through this. I appreciate it.
TE: no problem. need anything else, or...?
IX: I guess now's a good time to bring up a similar topic...
IX: When do you plan to enter the game yourself?
TE: uh really damn soon actually. at least that's what i would want.
TE: there are a few things holding me back for now, though. first i want to build your house up to the first gate so you're not just left hanging there while i gotta focus on my end.
IX: Makes sense. Have you installed the client disc yet? Maybe you could get someone to set things up for when you're ready.
TE: that one's in the kitchen with the spirit, remember?
IX: Oh right. How did that happen, anyway?
TE: i needed a distraction.
IX: I'm assuming modus problems played into this in some way?
TE: dude come on, who even has time for all these ridiculous pipe maze things.
TE: ah whatever, as soon as i have your house built up i'm going to work on getting that back and entering the medium. i should probably take care of the spirit first though, it'd probably screw with the bomb or whatever weird object the machines give me and fuck everything up.
TE: even though as we both know it never stays away for long when exorcised at night, but it should give more than enough time to take care of what i need.
IX: Didn't you run out of the things, though?
IX: Yeah, the little exorcism things.
TE: you mean talismans. :u
TE: and no i don't have any, which is why i'm gonna have to go restock on those first. in fact i'll probably take all of them i can this time, since nobriel won't be around much longer...
IX: This all sounds dangerous and a bit pressed for time, but I understand. Not like there's much else we can do right now.
IX: Just please don't take too long, I'm really worried about the whole meteor thing.
TE: yeah i'll be as quick as possible, don't worry about me.
TE: anyway i know you're terrible at juggling conversations, so i'll let you get back to mr. "XI" there. :p
IX: Oh fuck you're right, whoops.
TE: haha, talk to you later.
-- transcendentEmbezzler [TE] has ceased being prattled by iridescentXerarch [IX] --
You don't know any tactics that would work in this situation! All that you can think of would either make you seem petty or dickish!
Oh god what do you do, you didn't want to tell him in case that made him too freaked out to play, but it really looks like you have no choice...
IX: Hey, sorry for the sudden specific question, but you remember Sverb right?
XI: yeah that weird game you and zariyah were going to play, what about it
IX: Did you happen to change your mind about not playing it, by any chance...?
XI: dude come on, its a game about houses, why do you think i would ever play a boring game like that
IX: Well I was just curious, because...
IX: I really think you should play it.
XI: is there anything deeper about it that we didnt know before then, because i really doubt there can be many redeeming qualities in a game about houses, its just not my sort of thing man
IX: ...I'll just say it's different than we all thought, yes.
XI: how so
IX: Er... it's more than just house building, for one.
XI: can you stop beating around the bush please, that much was already kind of obvious from our conversation so far but go on im listening
IX: Er... it has in-depth combat and relates to the apocalypse? It also seems to have this weird, crazy lore behind it. Not that we've gotten too deep into it ourselves.
XI: wait really, why did they only advertise it as a fuckin house building game then, i wouldnt be surprised if it ends up being some sort of obscure forgotten gem because of their terrible marketing, i guess ill look into it and give it a shot sometime though
IX: How soon of a "sometime" are we talking?
XI: just sometime, come on kristan you know i dont like to repeat myself
IX: Argh sorry. I really don't mean to sound pushy, but I really think you should play it with us as soon as possible.
IX: Because... I'd really like you to? ^^;
XI: thats nice dude and it does mean a lot you appreciate my company but just because it turned out being a zombie combat shooter doesnt mean im going to instantly jump out and buy the thing, the apocalypse genre is already so overdone its hard to find actually decent games that use it, not that im necessarily doubting your choice in games, but even if it was really damn good i wouldnt just drop everything im doing on a dime to play it like that
IX: Wait, when did I ever say it was a zombie shooter?
XI: is it not? i figured it probably was when you said "apocalypse" knowing the way the game industry is
IX: Yeah, it's actually quite different from those sorts of games. It has a vibrant world, too! Instead of the usual bleak setting of grays and dull colors.
XI: i admit it is sounding more interesting with the more you say about it, but im still not completely sold, do you have any more facts to say and convince me otherwise or
IX: Well... no, we're admittedly still uh, really early on in it.
XI: then just let me play it on my own time, its kind of annoying being badgered into changing my plans for the night at the last second like this you know
IX: Sigh. Please?
XI: you dont have to ask me i already did that
IX: Smartass. :T
IX: But really, please..?
IX: You're pretty much my best friend aside from my sister, I could never forgive myself if I left you behind...
XI: oh lord why are you being so dramatic its just a game, youre usually not like this are you drunk
IX: No! You know I don't drink!
XI: sorry, youre just being kind of strange tonight
XI: if it helps you feel better at all we can play anti-shock together tonight if you want, or something else i already have
IX: This isn't... agh, this isn't like that dude.
XI: you usually dont get this worked up over games kristan, is everything alright?
"Kristan: Prattle IE."
She would be the first person you'd prattle, if not for the fact she has already logged off for the night. You would like to get answers from her soon, though; she definitely knows more than she lets on.
"Kristan: Close window."
It was getting kind of cold in here with that open.
Mirgonsprite has gone to do their own thing, leaving you alone.
MIRGONSPRITE: and it really is good for your development as a person to learn to fend for yourself!
MIRGONSPRITE: so i just wanted to make sure you're as prepared as can be!
KRISTAN: Well, uh. If you really think it's best I go on my own, I'll trust your judgment. I guess.
KRISTAN: Thanks for offering to help me be prepared, at least.
MIRGONSPRITE: of course! anyway i'm going to let you rest and go tidy a few things up in the meantime, see you in a bit!
KRISTAN: Wait, what?
MIRGONSPRITE: no problem!
MIRGONSPRITE: but after resting i was hoping we could do something, if that's alright!
KRISTAN: Do something? Like what?
MIRGONSPRITE: well during our time here so far, i noticed you sort of uh... broke your mirror... a lot...
MIRGONSPRITE: which, considering it's your allocated weapon, is kind of really bad for a combat situation!
KRISTAN: Can't you just keep reverting it?
MIRGONSPRITE: as i said, i can only revert one thing at a time! not to sound rude, but don't you think it's a bit silly to waste this on keeping your mirror unbroken, something you can learn to avoid happening in the first place?
KRISTAN: Well... I guess, yeah, now that I think about it.
"Mirgonsprite: Check in."
KRISTAN: I'm just going to take a quick rest. Zariyah's going to be working on building the house, and I sort of need to take a breather after taking care of all those imps.
MIRGONSPRITE: that's a good idea, wouldn't want to get too exhausted so early on!
KRISTAN: Yeah, heh. I was also hoping to get this place a bit more cleaned up soon.
MIRGONSPRITE: oh, let me handle that!
IX: Not a bad idea, actually. I do have a few things in mind I wanted to discuss with people.
TE: then get to it! also good luck with the underlings when they show up. :p
IX: Haha, thanks. Good luck with your building, too.
IX: Talk to you in a bit!
-- iridescentXerarch [IX] has ceased prattling transcendentEmbezzler [TE] --
TE: i copy-pasted your house lmao.
TE: i'm glad that's a thing i can say with it being true now.
IX: Haha, wow. So that should be enough to reach the First Gate, right?
TE: and by "almost" i mean not at all.
TE: kristan did you even look at the thing? it is up there.
TE: we'll need like seven more houses to reach it.
IX: Wait really? I had no idea it was so high up; it looked a lot closer to me.
IX: That's not too big of a problem, right?
TE: it wouldn't be if the game wasn't stupid.
TE: copy-pasting the house took 53 grist, leaving us with 20.
IX: Holy crap, are you serious?
TE: i can probably find a way to build using less grist, though.
TE: and i'm sure more underlings will show up after a bit, too. so our grist hopefully won't always be so low.
TE: but until then i'll just go screw around with finding out less costly structures i guess.
IX: Sounds good, but don't forget to give me a way to actually get up there myself, alright? I don't want to have to fumble up my ridiculously large living tower like some kind of socially awkward Spider Adlet. :u
TE: i was definitely going to remember to do that yeah.
TE: as adorable as that scenario would be, it's also dangerous and i'd like to avoid it.
TE: anyway this is going to take a bit of concentration probably, so you should find something to do in the meantime.
TE: maybe play a game or something.
IX: The game console's at your house, though.
TE: ah right, right.
"Zariyah: Rotate and place."
"Zariyah: Copy it."
TE: that shit's tight.
IX: Yeah, it's cool.
IX: How far out are you zoomed?
IX: Think you can figure out where I am?
TE: nah, this storm fuckin sucks. it's like at just the right position to line up perfectly with the camera's boundaries. :/
IX: Ah. This "game" sure isn't going to make things easy for us, is it?
TE: probably not.
"Zariyah: Select the entire house."
TE: hold on, lemme try it first.
TE: (it's a good thing i can zoom out this far.)
IX: What could you possibly be doing at such a large scale?
IX: Please don't be too reckless. You are literally manipulating the structure of my house, you know.
TE: relax. :J
"Zariyah: Try building vertically."
TE: and i'm at least 86% certain that expanding your house infinitely to the side won't help with that.
TE: so i gotta find some way to build up.
IX: Any ideas?
TE: well i have one shortcut in mind, hopefully it'll work.
"Zariyah: Expand Kristan's room."
IX: They recommend focusing our early efforts on reaching the First Gate.
TE: oh whoops.
TE: sorry dude.
TE: i just really had to fix a couple little things, like the huge hole in your room.
TE: shit like that's dangerous. :T
IX: Says the one who made it in the first place. :p
IX: But really, it's fine. I'd rather we fix things like this before we forget, so thanks!
TE: so hm, first gate huh.
TE: i have a general idea for how i can use this to build stuff, since i already deleted and remade a part of the floor and patched up some walls.
TE: but actually creating new ground seems like a different story entirely...
TE: maybe i just need to try extending the ground when nothing is there?
IX: I dunno; go for it.
The rest of the holes in the wall downstairs should probably be fixed, too. Just gonna move the cam-
Wouldn't want any accidents to happen with this thing, either.
You imagine this hole near the front door was causing a bit of a draft.
"Zariyah: Patch up the house."
You get to work on fixing a few glaring issues with the current physical state of Kristan's house.
"Kristan: See for yourself."
Wow, that's incredible. You can't even tell it was damaged in the first place!
TE: just testing it on something small.
TE: one of the holes in the living room is as good as new btw.
IX: Wow, really?
TE: go see for yourself, you dork. :p
TE: and how do we do that?
IX: Remember what they said earlier about building my house up to reach the First Gate?
TE: oh, that. gotcha.
TE: ...how do i do this though.
IX: Beats me. How did you make that hole in the floor earlier?
TE: with the revise option. i figured right clicking and dragging would sorta "delete" the selection, and it seems i was right.
TE: just kinda made sense, yknow?
TE: which must mean that regular left clicking is to "create."
TE: actually lemme try it out real quick.
"Kristan: Go back inside."
IX: Haha, I guess it was sort of cool.
TE: so hey, how are you holding up with the whole alternate universe thing?
IX: Honestly, not as bad as I thought I would. Those imps were terrifying at first, but I'm getting a little better at dealing with them. Especially with the help I have.
IX: Though even with as scary as they are, I'm still going to take a somewhat fair approach to dealing with them.
TE: what do you mean?
IX: Like, maybe I should keep my current strategy of waiting until they show hostility rather than attacking them on sight.
TE: i really don't think that's a good idea. all of them so far have seemed malicious by nature.
TE: buuut if it helps you feel better, i won't stop you.
KRISTAN: Well, that's good to know.
"Kristan: Toss can into the sky."
MIRGONSPRITE: oh, no, of course not!
KRISTAN: I'm afraid I don't quite follow. Are you okay?
MIRGONSPRITE: yes, all of us will be okay!
MIRGONSPRITE: anyway back to where underlings come from, they invade every player's house upon entry to the Medium!
MIRGONSPRITE: well i can't exactly say how that will turn out...
MIRGONSPRITE: you ten are the ones i'm more worried about, honestly...
KRISTAN: But aren't we already confirmed to be safe? At least from destruction by meteors.
KRISTAN: Are there even worse threats here in the Medium?
MIRGONSPRITE: well sort of, but those aren't what i'm worried about...
KRISTAN: What is it, then...?
KRISTAN: Even if it means involving ourselves with a bunch of strangers, the idea of letting people just perish sounds, uh. Not good.
MIRGONSPRITE: that is a very nice thing for you to want to do, but unfortunately your session is already predetermined to have ten players, and there is no way to go against this...
MIRGONSPRITE: oh, they just sorta do that for everyone!
MIRGONSPRITE: by everyone i mean every player in the game, so you and the nine others in your friend group!
KRISTAN: Oh. But wait, where did you get all nine from? I had no plans to play with anyone but Zariyah. And I guess Rennard too now, because of the accidental connection.
KRISTAN: But now that I think about this, the world <i>is</i> ending and this seems to be the only way to escape that. Or at least the most reliable. So yeah, I would want to include everyone I possibly could.
"Kristan: Take can out."
You weave your way around the numerous objects strewn about the room. You're definitely going to have to tidy this place up later. The world may be ending, but you'd still like to keep your house in at least semi-decent condition.
It's a good idea to keep this on you in case of emergency.
MIRGONSPRITE: got it!
KRISTAN: You are brilliant.
MIRGONSPRITE: why thank you!
KRISTAN: Wait, but if you reverted this, doesn't that mean--
MIRGONSPRITE: yes Kristan?
KRISTAN: Can you uh... use your weird time powers to get rid of all these soup stains or something?
MIRGONSPRITE: they're not exactly time powers! i mean they sort of are technically, but probably not in the way you're thinking!
MIRGONSPRITE: i can only revert one object at a time, and these reversions are temporary, so reverting the couch is by no means a long-term solution...
KRISTAN: And I'm guessing Sverb doesn't have a cleaning option...
MIRGONSPRITE: nope! but actually i had a better idea!
"Kristan: Unpin scarf."
You captchalogue the SCARF, deciding not to put it back on just yet. It's surprisingly kind of warm in your house despite the climate of its new surroundings.
You fail to do so. See this cruxite dowel? This was thrown so hard it could crack skulls. And what was it specifically thrown at? Your skull.
While you did feel terrible for the first one you killed, after seeing the way these things will actively try to end your life, you no longer feel much empathy towards them. Even if they are cute on the outside.
"Kristan: Collect grist."
KRISTAN: Thanks, but I doubt I would have been able to do it without your help.
MIRGONSPRITE: i'm sure you'll get the hang of strife soon!
MIRGONSPRITE: heck, even this time was a definite improvement over the last!
KRISTAN: That's probably just because you were helping me.
MIRGONSPRITE: you took care of the majority of our enemies, though!
KRISTAN: Yeah, but if you weren't here all my mirrors would be broken and that would be the end of the story.
KRISTAN: And if you didn't distract the one with the cruxite I wouldn't have even been able to stand a chance.
MIRGONSPRITE: oh stop that, you should have more faith in yourself!
KRISTAN: Haha, alright alright.
KRISTAN: Thank you.
MIRGONSPRITE: any time!
"Kristan: Level up!"
Well, that takes care of the imps. For now.
...You thought this place was a mess BEFORE they showed up.
Since Rennard probably isn't going to be up to much, it's probably best to switch viewpoints to one of the siblings. Regardless of which is selected, the same events will likely be experienced. So to avoid an unnecessary proxy, you are now Kristan.
This feels oddly familiar, but oh well.
You have been arrested.
After being convinced that you are a complete loon, and muttering something to himself about the Foe being even worse at socializing than he thought, the EXASPERATED SCRIBE decides now's a great time to mention that you are breaking many laws just by being here.
You say oh.
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The EXASPERATED SCRIBE eyes you skeptically and nitpicks that you're not supposed to be here. He sounds mildly upset, but not in the distressed way one would expect finding an intruder; rather, more like one of those dweebs whose sole contribution to online discussions is correcting other peoples' grammar.
This is going to be an uncomfortable ride.
You uh. You do that. Yep.
You are startled by someone suddenly boarding the elevator. You must have been so deep in thought you didn't notice it stopping.
Hell yeah. You're going to explore the fuck out of this place, and nothing's going to stop you!
After all, it is seeming increasingly likely that this is some sort of alternate dimension. Which is a revelation you never would have thought to be comforting in any way, but considering the lucidity of your experience, it's good to know that there is at least SOME fundamental rationality to this place.
You have to admit it's starting to become a bit interesting, too.
And now that you actually have things to occupy yourself with here, you'll probably end up being able to take better care of yourself in the real world and have a healthy sleep schedule for once. That sounds nice.
Like the fact that maybe you won't actually need to see a therapist like Kristan suggested, if you can just get to the bottom of this mystery.
Inadequacies? Hm, now that you think about it, the FOE DOCUMENT did say your weight was 105 pounds. And while you're not entirely certain, you feel that's... a bit lower than average, to say the least. You haven't weighed yourself in a long time, though, so could that information really be accurate...? You'll have to check next time you're awake.
You feel there are more pressing matters for your current situation, though.
You step inside the elevator and, after immediately dismissing the idea of pressing every button just to see what happens, decide to simply head to FLOOR 1.
Though it is an inanimate object, you still keep an eye on the UNSIGHTLY PLANT. You do not trust it.
...Oh, it's just an UNSIGHTLY PLANT. Haha, of course. What else would it have been? It didn't scare you at all.
You're as cool and collected as ev-AACK!!
"Rennard: Consider for a moment that being scared by everything might mean that you're just a big baby. Get a grip of yourself!"
You, scared? Pssh, as IF.
"Rennard: Take the elevator."
You decide to take the elevator rather than float back out the window; you don't think you're ready to go back outside quite yet.
But in the meantime, you decide to get going; you have a growing feeling you're not supposed to be in here.
"Rennard: Read one more."
You flip to the last page. You've never seen this person before, but the color of her hair dye... could it possibly be...? But if that's the case, how in the world would you possibly know what she looks like?
You make a mental note to ask her about it next time you're awake on Nobriel. This is the one thing that could possibly prove whether or not this is more than a dream.
Oh hey, it's you. ...Couldn't they get a better picture?
Either way, seems like more startlingly accurate documentation. You don't remember the last time you weighed yourself or checked your height, but you THINK the presented information is right. Maybe.
You know one thing, though - whoever wrote this is rude as hell. Wow.
"Rennard: Turn the page."
You turn the page to see another cameo appearance from one of your friends, this time being Zariyah.
This is weirdly in-depth and seemingly accurate, for a dream.
This one definitely has better documentation. Based on the color scheme and wording of the cover page, you can safely assume the town you're in is called DERSE.
Well, that's disappointing - there is only one sheet of paper in here. You wonder who the HEROES OF PROSPIT are, or what PROSPIT even is to begin with. Another town, you guess?
You grow some extra arms to grab better reading material.
Looks like some sort of religious figure has come to town or something? Quite honestly, the topic does not interest you very much.
What is interesting, though, is the fact this "Seer" looks a lot like your friend Kristan. But you guess that sort of thing is to be expected from a dream.
"Rennard: Grab a newspaper."
You grab a NEWSPAPER off the table, then promptly get down from the spinny chair before you hurt yourself.
You excitedly hop onto one of the chairs before remembering you are still in no mood for such antics and settle back down. This thing is very hard to balance on.
There are several DOCUMENTS scattered on the meeting table.
It seems to be a CONFERENCE ROOM, more specifically.
"Rennard: Look down that hall."
You put the soil-filled vase back down and peek inside the nearby HALL. Upon closer examination, it actually seems to be a ROOM.
However, you have nothing to clean it with. Which works just as well, since it's already in a rather clean state anyway. And you can't shake the odd feeling that trying to clean it further would only cause some sort of vengeful spirit to come and hiss at you.
"Rennard: Clean vase."
You aggressively prepare to clean the vase.
"Rennard: Examine surroundings."
Looks like you're in some sort of... office lobby? You're honestly not sure if seeing this level of civilization gives you comfort, or if it further disturbs you.
Aside from you, though, it seems empty.
Gladly. You walk further into the building.
"Rennard: Go inside."
You'd rather not continue awkwardly floating between two disturbing unknowns, so you swooce right in to a nearby window.
That's another thing you'd like to satisfy your curiosity about, but your imagination's still kinda scaring you. You'll pass for now.
"Rennard: Fly elsewhere."
You fly above the city looking for something to do. You notice a few other TOWERS identical your own, but you'd still really prefer not ascending them.
"Rennard: Fly back to your room."
Now knowing you can fly, your immediate thought is to return to your ROOM; this place terrifies you and you feel even less comfortable outside than you did up there.
However, the problem with that idea is your tower is REALLY FUCKING TALL, and you can't bring yourself to consciously fly towards the NIGHTMARE CREATURES in the sky. Maybe you can just find a different room or something.
"Rennard: Catch hat."
Wouldn't want to lose this.
...Yeah, you totally knew you could float.
Oh, that's right. YOU DON'T HAVE ONE.
...Something is off about your dream closet.
"Rennard: Enter closet."
You step inside the closet.
Then immediately remove it because it doesn't match the rest of your outfit. <i>Why is it yellow.</i>
You captchalogue it anyway, just in case.
"Rennard: Wear the scarf."
You reluctantly put on the scarf.
"Rennard: Change your clothes."
You take a minute to switch to your FORMAL PAJAMAS; may as well while you still have several hours to spare here. The PAJAMA PAJAMAS only make you feel like the world is taunting you for being unable to go back to sleep. You captchalogue them for the sake of convenience.
"Rennard: Captchalogue ball."
There isn't much in here to spontaneously throw it at, but you prepare yourself for the occasion nonetheless.
"Rennard: Make some coffee."
Why in the everloving fuck would you do something to prolong your stay in this hellhole? Your COFFEE MACHINE was captchalogued by your waking self anyway, so if you wanted coffee you'd have to lap up the projection of what you spilled earlier. <i>No, thank you.</i>
...You really hope the stains are only green due to the color alteration and that they haven't become this way in your actual room.
You take off your SLEEPING CAP because you feel a little silly wearing it.
...And then put it right back on. It's COMFORTABLE, alright?
You know, if not for the fact that this COMPUTER is essentially nonfunctional. It's just some weird abstract rendering of your SUBCONSCIOUS or something freaky like that. You prefer keeping it turned off.
"Rennard: Go on the computer. Maybe you can browse the net or prattle a pal to pass the time."
Oh, yes. Access the INTERNET through a DREAM because <i>why not.</i> That absolutely sounds like a thing that will work.
"Rennard: Examine room."
It's just like your normal room, but green. There isn't much to do in here, which only makes your time spent in this realm that much more AGONIZING. If only the rest of your house was included in this weird mental replica. And if only your waking self didn't leave your JOURNALS in the LIVING ROOM.
Hell no. The BED is dangerously close to the WINDOW, and you just went over why you'd rather not fall out. Instead, you simply step off of it.
You're not even in the mood for such antics.
errrrrrr uh bro?
nobody cares about the bed.i'ts not yours.
At least not technically. Probably.
"Rennard: Stop being a weenie and just jump out your window. It's the easiest way to wake up from a dream, after all."
You really do wish it were that simple. Not that you've ever tried it to confirm, but it's kind of hard to just "jump out your window" when everything feels so undeniably real and lucid. What if this is the type of dream where you would also die in real life? You'd rather not risk it.
The most obvious reason is that you seem to be at the top of an incredibly tall TOWER with no apparent way down. But that is surprisingly not the main reason. It's mostly because of those... THINGS above you. You can't exactly SEE anything up there, but you can just FEEL their presence, which inexplicably fills you with a STRONG SENSE OF DREAD.
But that still isn't even the worst of it. Whatever they are, they WHISPER to you. Their whispers are so quiet that you used to wonder if you were imagining them, but even that much UNNERVES you to no end.
You would never dare to even wonder what it would be like to perceive them clearly.
You can't help but feel a bit CURIOUS about it, though. There always seem to be PEOPLE walking around down there, but they could be HORRIFIC, TWISTED NIGHTMARES for all you know. It's impossible to tell what they really are from this height.
"Rennard: Look out of the window."
You look out your window at the familiarly distant DREAMSCAPE. You have never explored this place beyond your ROOM, nor do you really want to.
"Rennard: Just go back to sleep."
If only you could. Once you wake up here, you find it near impossible to just "go back to sleep." The WHISPERS make it kind of hard to lay down in near-silence long enough to fall asleep.
You are now RENNARD. Waking up from a comparatively pleasant nap, you find yourself once again faced with the horrors of the world. One panicked question reverberates throughout your mind - "What do you do?"
IX: Pff, what's this?
TE: unfortunately i'm not there with you, so for now this long-distance hug substitute will have to do. :p
IX: Haha, thanks.
TE: so, you ready to handle those imps? mirgonsprite and i got you backed up!
IX: I think I'm ready.
Hold on, you've got an idea.
Aw, how sweet.
"Kristan: Rethink decision."
KRISTAN: You know, because broken glass and all...
MIRGONSPRITE: dont worry, i am very careful about that! :p
KRISTAN: Well alright, if you say so.
"Kristan: Hug Mirgonsprite."
MIRGONSPRITE: its nice to meet you too, Kristan!
MIRGONSPRITE: yes, i am the dragon you grew up with! just able to talk now, haha!
MIRGONSPRITE: i thought we already went over this? :p
KRISTAN: Well, yeah, I just wanted to make sure.
KRISTAN: I mean, after all this time I finally get to actually meet you with your newly formed sentience, but our discussions have been all serious so far. We didn't really get much of a chance to just talk.
MIRGONSPRITE: oh dont worry, sverb isnt complete busywork! we will have plenty of leisure time for talking!
KRISTAN: Still, this is our first time actually talking to each other and all that. I'd like it to remember it more fondly than "the first time I had to kill something in an alternate universe," heh...
KRISTAN: Would uh... would hugging make me a part of you, or...?
MIRGONSPRITE: nope, us sprites only go through two prototypings! beyond the first two we remain as-is and cannot be prototyped with anything else, so youre safe to hug me!
KRISTAN: Okay good.
MIRGONSPRITE: sort of but not exactly!
MIRGONSPRITE: i just restored it to a previous state of being, before it became shattered... it will only stay like this as long as i actively keep it in this state though, and i can only revert one object at a time!
KRISTAN: That's actually really cool. Thanks.
MIRGONSPRITE: no problem!
KRISTAN: Also uh, before we fight those imps, I had a quick question...
"Kristan: Inform Mirgonsprite."
KRISTAN: Hey, so apparently there are more imps in my living room which I'm guessing I have to take care of.
KRISTAN: Aaaaaand I don't have any weapons with me.
KRISTAN: I mean I guess I have that old taser, but that probably wouldn't do much when facing multiple enemies at once. And I'm not even really sure I could use it in a fighting context to begin with, because it's not exactly a mirror.
MIRGONSPRITE: so what do you think we should do?
KRISTAN: Well... could you maybe help fight against the imps?
KRISTAN: At least until I can grab the mirror in the living room to defend myself with.
MIRGONSPRITE: oh theres no need to get that! i mean you probably should but its not immediately important!
KRISTAN: What do you mean...?
MIRGONSPRITE: ill show you!
The closest thing you can think of to a MIRROR in your immediate vicinity is a NONDESCRIPT METAL TRAY. Maybe it's shiny enough to count?
...Apparently not. You'd try using your AIR FRESHENER to polish it and (possibly?) make it shinier, but something tells you that simple modification wouldn't cut it for your STRIFE SPECIBUS.
IX: Oh, great.
IX: Are there any more elsewhere?
TE: hm no, it doesn't look like it. not yet at least.
TE: you might want to check into getting another mirror first, though. i think you shattered the two you had.
TE: you gotta be more careful with your weapons, dude.
IX: ...Ah shoot, you're right. I'll see what I can do; thanks for looking out for me.
TE: hey, no problem.
"Zariyah: Clean up living room."
You guess a good way to pass the time would be to clean up the mess you made while helping open the CRUXTRUDER.
...Oh boy, when did they get here.
"Kristan: Collect grist."
You look down at the aftermath of the confrontation. All that remains is what you assume to be GRIST, along with your SHATTERED MIRROR. There is no trace of the IMP. It's dead. It's dead, and you killed it. Until now, it never occurred to you just how screwed up abstract game constructs can be when they happen for real.
Despite knowing there was no other solution to the confrontation, you still feel... regret.
"Zariyah: Comfort your brother."
You know how he gets with things like this, and you feel leaving him alone for now is the best course of action; he'd probably rather not talk about it immediately. You're sure he'll feel better after he gets over the initial shock.
"Mirgonsprite: Congratulate him."
KRISTAN: Oh, uh... thanks.
MIRGONSPRITE: are you alright?
KRISTAN: I'll be fine. Just a bit shaken up, I guess.
KRISTAN: It was... easier than I expected.
MIRGONSPRITE: not sure what you were expecting, imps are the weakest form of underling after all!
Now deemed unacceptable by your STRIFE SPECIBUS, your (PURPLE) SHATTERED MIRROR and the resulting GLASS SHARDS are ejected, finishing off the imp.
"Kristan: Give killing it a try."
Suddenly faced with the concept of your own mortality, you panic and whack the imp a bit harder than necessary, shattering your mirror in the process.
KRISTAN: Could you maybe tell me what it is you want from me?
KRISTAN: I'd rather not fight, and I'm sure you would prefer a less violent situation, too!
MIRGONSPRITE: look, i know you dont want to kill it, but its an important aspect to the game!
MIRGONSPRITE: its how youre supposed to acquire the grist needed for alchemy and house renovations, and its the primary method of scaling your echeladder! which are both very important things you should do!
KRISTAN: But... are you sure there isn't another way?
MIRGONSPRITE: Kristan, talking to them will never work, trust me!
MIRGONSPRITE: if you dont kill the imp, it will possibly kill you instead! im sure youd rather stay alive, right?
"Kristan: Dodge attack."
Eep! That was a close one. Looks like it has sharp claws, too... did you say something to offend it?
"Kristan: Approach imp peacefully."
KRISTAN: So you are from one of the two kingdoms, right? It's uh... nice to meet you!
KRISTAN: Just a heads up, though, it's a bit rude to enter someone's house without their permission, so maybe--
"Kristan: Ponder moral quandary."
KRISTAN: I'm... honestly not really sure I can do it.
MIRGONSPRITE: why not?
KRISTAN: Well, isn't it sentient...? I mean, it has clothes, and apparently it's part of a kingdom. I don't know if it would be right to just kill it!
MIRGONSPRITE: its only sentient to a very small degree... if you would like to try reasoning with it peacefully i wont stop you, but underlings cannot exactly be reasoned with on an individual level!
KRISTAN: I can't say I doubt you, considering you're my only source of information thus far, but yeah, I'd still like to at least try. Thank you.
Well... this is a worrying situation... But you trust your mutual childhood friend. Though they obviously never talked as a plush, you can just tell it's really them. Worries aside, you're ecstatic that they have been brought to life and you feel you can trust them.
MIRGONSPRITE: the journies through the lands will include many more similar dangers, and the game's interface cannot accompany Kristan outside of his house! it is only beneficial for him to learn how to fend for himself!
MIRGONSPRITE: besides, if anything gets out of hand...
MIRGONSPRITE: yeah! combat is an essential part of any game, isnt it?
KRISTAN: WHAT THE HELL IS THAT?
MIRGONSPRITE: its one of many beings aligned with the forces of darkness which your presence here has summoned! the lowest form of underling i was actually just talking about, haha!
KRISTAN: I-I-I summoned that..!?
MIRGONSPRITE: no not specifically... it was more the fact that a player entered The Medium to begin with! its all a part of the game!
MIRGONSPRITE: but anyway, these things are quite evil!
MIRGONSPRITE: why dont you give killing it a try?
KRISTAN: When you were still Shattersprite, I remember you splitting apart before turning into the more... ghostly, personified form. But there were two parts of the sprite that flew off in their own separate ways.
KRISTAN: Are they still a part of your awareness? And if not, do you at least know what happened to them? Are there two other Mirgonsprites or Shattersprites running around out there?
MIRGONSPRITE: you must mean the two Kernels!
MIRGONSPRITE: as soon as you arrived to The Incipisphere, the Sprite uh... hatched i guess is a good way to put it! one of its Kernels ascended to the kingdom of light, and the other went down to the kingdom of darkness!
KRISTAN: This planet has kingdoms?
MIRGONSPRITE: not exactly - the kingdoms are two of the thirteen planets, themselves! they are not a part of The Incipisphere, but instead orbit closely to the core and far off at the edge of The Medium, respectively!
KRISTAN: I see. And what purpose do the parts have with these kingdoms?
MIRGONSPRITE: many purposes! most importantly, each set of Kernels slightly evolves the physical form of Skaia, the very important planet at the center of The Medium! Skaia only reaches its final form when all ten sets of Kernels have arrived! (and no, the Kernels did not transform as i have - they are nothing more than coding representing aspects of the shattered mirror!)
MIRGONSPRITE: but aside from that, they also influence the culture of the two kingdoms, and augment the physical appearances and abilities of various underlings, such as...
"Kristan: Look above your house."
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KRISTAN: ...Are you going to have to carry me?
MIRGONSPRITE: haha, no!
MIRGONSPRITE: you build!
KRISTAN: Oh, no. I've seen buildings under construction and have a good idea of how long they take to finish and how much work it is for a team, let alone one person. I mean, sure the gate is relatively close, but there's no way I can build that high! It'll take forever! And what of the gates beyond it?
MIRGONSPRITE: oh wait, you guys didnt use Sverb's Revise option yet, did you?
KRISTAN: Revise? Is that a feature Zariyah has access to?
MIRGONSPRITE: yes! the server player is responsible for building the house up, while you, the client, are responsible for the adventuring!
KRISTAN: ...Is it maybe possible for us to switch roles? I feel she is more suited for the whole adventuring thing...
MIRGONSPRITE: nope, but if it helps at all, players are not by any means restricted to a single role! you are already a server player, too, remember? and Zariyah is destined to later become a client as well!
KRISTAN: Oh, shoot. I almost completely forgot about connecting to Rennard... Should I maybe focus on getting him into the game as my first priority? Since I'm assuming the meteor was a part of the game, I wouldn't want to leave him in danger...
MIRGONSPRITE: its true that there are almost always meteors accompanying the entry process, but i wouldnt worry about Rennard just yet - his entry will be a bit of a special case!
MIRGONSPRITE: for now i would like you to take the time to become acquainted with this world!
KRISTAN: I'll take your word for it, I guess.
"Mirgonsprite: Explain the goal."
KRISTAN: I did, yes.
MIRGONSPRITE: well technically thats all up to you!
MIRGONSPRITE: but the first goal in the game is to reach The First Gate, so that would be a good place to start!
KRISTAN: First Gate...?
KRISTAN: We're going to need to wait for this storm to subside first before I head out exploring, you know...
MIRGONSPRITE: the storm will not subside on its own, but you can still reach the gate with it here! in fact you kind of have to, haha!
MIRGONSPRITE: but dont worry, it is not anywhere inside the storm's chaos... it is right above your house!
KRISTAN: ...Above my house?
MIRGONSPRITE: how? the game brought you here!
KRISTAN: This is just a virtual reality, then?
MIRGONSPRITE: nope! it is all very real!
MIRGONSPRITE: in fact, though the game has ensured this realm's existence and brought you here, The Medium has existed forever!
KRISTAN: Huh. Well, at least now I know this place is related to the game in some way... and I guess probably the main point of it too, somehow?
KRISTAN: ...I really should have known better.
KRISTAN: Somehow the possibility of this game being some sort of paranormal reality-warping... thing... has completely slipped my mind.
KRISTAN: I should have known not to play it.
MIRGONSPRITE: you shouldnt dwell on what could have been... besides, you have been fated to play the game since the day you were paradoxically clo-- er, since the day you were born!
KRISTAN: Really? How?
MIRGONSPRITE: well, its hard to explain, but i can narrow it down to time shenanigans!
MIRGONSPRITE: i mean, it may all soon be undone by a sentient force beyond our control that shouldnt even be here, driven by the will to nullify the existence of The Medium as a whole and make it so the game never happened and that none of us ever lived to begin with... buuuuuut lets not worry about that for now!
KRISTAN: Wait... what? I didn't really catch that last part, you were talking a bit fast.
MIRGONSPRITE: time shenanigans! silly, harmless time shenanigans!
KRISTAN: Uh... okay.
"Mirgonsprite: Describe The Medium."
KRISTAN: A solar system? Just one?
MIRGONSPRITE: yes, The Medium is actually very small, relatively speaking!
MIRGONSPRITE: but keep in mind it is not actually a true solar system, it is only similar to one!
MIRGONSPRITE: it contains thirteen planets!
KRISTAN: And a sun, I'm assuming?
MIRGONSPRITE: one of the planets is at the center!
KRISTAN: What? How does that even work?
MIRGONSPRITE: the other twelve planets orbit around it - one is very close, one is very far, and the other ten share an orbit inbetween them, a ring of planets known as The Incipisphere!
KRISTAN: So... not only is there a planet taking the place of a sun...
KRISTAN: ...But ten planets share an orbit?
KRISTAN: Goodness. Next you're going to tell me that here we can breathe in space...
MIRGONSPRITE: well about that...
KRISTAN: Augh. Never mind.
KRISTAN: Which of the planets are we on now?
MIRGONSPRITE: i cannot tell you the specific name of it because thats something you must figure out for yourself, but we are on one of the ten planets i mentioned in The Incipisphere!
KRISTAN: I see. And what lies beyond these thirteen impossible planets? Is it also a part of The Medium?
MIRGONSPRITE: oh, we dont worry about that!
"Kristan: Ask where you are."
KRISTAN: Where exactly am I?
MIRGONSPRITE: i already said you are in The Medium!
KRISTAN: So "The Medium" is a location.
KRISTAN: But what exactly is it?
KRISTAN: Would I be correct in my assumption that this is an alternate universe?
MIRGONSPRITE: well im not entirely sure if "universe" is the right word for it...
MIRGONSPRITE: but in the sense that it is a realm separate from the universe you are familiar with, yes!
KRISTAN: So an alternate universe which is not really a universe?
KRISTAN: ...I feel like asking for clarification would only make things more confusing, so I'll just accept it.
MIRGONSPRITE: good idea!
KRISTAN: How much do you know of what this "universe" contains? Or "non-universe," whatever.
KRISTAN: The Medium.
MIRGONSPRITE: well i know everything about its general contents but i cant tell you many specifics!
KRISTAN: I wasn't expecting anything too in-depth; just an overview would be fine.
"Kristan: Converse with sprite."
MIRGONSPRITE: hi Kristan!!
KRISTAN: Wow, um. Hey.
KRISTAN: Glad to see you can talk now.
MIRGONSPRITE: haha, me too!
KRISTAN: But how did you know my name?
MIRGONSPRITE: why wouldnt i?
MIRGONSPRITE: i wouldnt just forget!
KRISTAN: You knew it before?
MIRGONSPRITE: of course!
KRISTAN: But where did you learn it originally?
MIRGONSPRITE: a very long time ago, when i was still a plush, of course!
KRISTAN: Oh, so hold on.
KRISTAN: You aren't some otherworldly entity adapting to whatever is added to it, but rather a personification of said additions?
MIRGONSPRITE: im not sure what that means but i am several things!
MIRGONSPRITE: of course i am mainly a dragon... but i also remember being a mirror and also being a sprite! and i still am all three of those, they all just came together!
MIRGONSPRITE: yes, the light thing that came out of the cruxtruder! its what gives life to anything prototyped into it, like my dragon and mirror parts!
KRISTAN: This is all very surprising.
KRISTAN: Would you by any chance be able to tell me what the purpose of a sprite is?
MIRGONSPRITE: i am your guide to The Medium!
KRISTAN: The medium what?
MIRGONSPRITE: The Medium!
KRISTAN: This is a lot of information to take in.
KRISTAN: Let's just step back for a moment.
KRISTAN: How much can you explain, regarding where I am and what I am supposed to do next?
MIRGONSPRITE: quite a bit!
MIRGONSPRITE: lets see, where to start...
Your SPRITE is now fully prototyped.
IX: God, no.
"Kristan: Pick something out."
TE: oh hey the dragon plush! :D
TE: but are you suuuure?
IX: Did you have another suggestion?
TE: well, i don't want to be too specific, buuuut...
TE: there's a certain poster just begging to be chosen.
IX: Which one?
TE: the one downstairs - flimsy's twisted wangus.
TE: you know you want to.
"Kristan: Go to your room."
IX: I know its appearance results from absorbing my shattered mirror, so maybe that's where its basis of speech comes from?
IX: It's hard to explain, but its gibberish sounds pretty spot on to what I'd expect a mirror to sound like, if it gained the ability to vocalize.
TE: yeah, that makes sense. it was just a ball of light before absorbing your mirror.
IX: So what if I were to exchange the mirror with something else? If I put something that could theoretically speak my language, if given the ability?
TE: ayy, now we're onto something.
TE: but what are you going to use?
"Kristan: Seek shelter."
TE: i don't have a clue.
TE: but it does seem to be genuinely trying to tell you something.
TE: judging from my experience with similar entities, at least.
IX: What do you suppose it could be trying to say?
TE: hell, i dunno.
TE: but there gotta be some way to figure it out.
TE: i mean, the mirror on it is shattered. maybe there's some way to fix it?
IX: I doubt it, but that gives me another idea.
"Kristan: Talk to it."
KRISTAN: Can you understand me?
SHATTERSPRITE: ǝ¿ɯ ɟɯɐʇsǝɹpun onʎ uɐƆ
KRISTAN: If it's not too unreasonable of a request, could you perhaps speak in a way more familiar to me?
SHATTERSPRITE: ¿ǝɯ ʇɐ ʎʇuᴉɹɐᴉlᴉɯɐɟ ƃuᴉʌɐɥ sǝop ɥɔᴉɥʍ ʎɐʍ ɐ ǝɥʇ uᴉ ǝʞɐǝds dsɐɥɹǝd ɹnoʎ plnoɔ 'ʇᴉsǝnbǝɹ ɐ ɟo ǝlqɐʇuosɐǝɹpun ooʇ ʇo ,usᴉ ʇᴉ ɟI
KRISTAN: Well, then.
KRISTAN: I guess I won't be figuring out what your deal is anytime soon.
SHATTERSPRITE: ˙˙˙uooʍs ǝɯᴉʇʎuɐ sᴉ ǝlǝp ɹnoʎ ʇuɐʍ ʇno ǝuᴉɹǝnƃᴉɟ ǝq ʇ,,uʍ I pǝssǝnƃ I
KRISTAN: I thought as much.
KRISTAN: Thanks, anyway.
SHATTERSPRITE: ˙ʎɐʍʎɐʍɐ 'sʞuɐuɥ┴
TE: careful who you call ugly in middle school, right?
IX: Zariyah, are you implying you are attracted to the anthropomorphized mirror ghost?
TE: what no
IX: Joking aside, this is a fascinating development. Maybe it's more sentient than I originally thought?
TE: try talking to it.
IX: It just turned into three abstract symbols, and two of them left.
TE: yeah i saw. :u
IX: I'm just documenting here. You know, for scientific purposes.
IX: I wish the white and black symbols went somewhere I could follow.
TE: you should probably catch the red one now, so it doesn't run away.
TE: you still have the coffee generator, don't you? put it in that!
IX: I don't think it would fit!
TE: well we should think of something before the spider ball-looking bastard gets away.
IX: Hold on, it looks like it's still doing something...
TE: yeah, that storm doesn't look very inviting.
IX: Yeah, but it seems to be locked in place. Which is extremely peculiar, but I'm not complaining.
IX: Well I mean, I can complain that it's surrounding my house and restricts me from exploring this place. But still, at least I'm probably not in immediate danger...
TE: we really have to find a way to get you out of there.
TE: for starters, you should at least get inside.
IX: Er, just a second; it seems the flashy mirror is doing something.
IX: You're asking me.
IX: ...For a second there, I was horrified that I may have just caused this huge disaster.
IX: It all happened so quickly: The machine summoned a bomb-like device, I frantically rushed to determine its purpose before the meteor hit, then there was a flash of white.
IX: No sound of an explosion or meteor crash - just silence.
IX: I was sure I was about to die any second, but then the light faded away and I found myself and my house completely unharmed. However, I was now in the eye of an enormous snowstorm.
IX: I thought the bomb must have caused this, some drastic method of defending me from the meteor at the cost of my neighborhood. I was horrified at what may have happened to you and Rennard because of this...
TE: wow dude, this is fuckin weird.
TE: either way, i'm really glad you're alright.
IX: I'm glad you are okay, too.
TE: but yeah, now that we know we aren't responsible for each others' deaths or anything, we need to find out what really happened.
TE: you say there was silence, right? no meteor exploding sounds?
IX: Correct. I did not hear the meteor land.
TE: which is strange, since i heard a loud bang right as your connection went out.
TE: it must have been either the meteor or the bomb-looking thing, but if it were the bomb, you would have heard it.
TE: so that pins it down as the meteor.
TE: but how could the meteor land where you were and still not destroy you or your house?
TE: (no i am answering it.)
TE: i think you were brought to an alternate dimension.
IX: I just never in my life thought I'd say this and mean it, but: Yes, being transported to an alternate dimension does sound like the most logical explanation.
IX: Are you okay??
TE: are you okay??
IX: What? I'm fine, but what about you!
TE: oh thank god.
TE: i mean, i totally knew that you were safe this whole time.
TE: i wasn't just freaking out about that or anything, haha...
TE: but wait, why are you asking about me?
TE: you're the one who just had a fuckin meteor heading for your house!
TE: ...unless that was fake? like a game thing?
IX: No, the meteor was real. In fact, I'm fairly certain it would have, um... killed me, had I not figured out how to use the machines in time.
IX: But let's not dwell on that. Isn't it obvious why I'm asking about you?
TE: no, kristan, it's not. i'm not the one who was almost crushed by a meteor.
IX: So you don't consider the snowstorm to be "serious danger"?
TE: hold up
IX: Have you not noticed? Look outside your window.
TE: yeah, i just double checked. it's still a perfectly normal view of my back yard, ignoring the red tint from a meteor crash.
TE: not a cloud in the sky... unless the smoke from the crater counts.
IX: So wait, you don't see the storm?
IX: It's huge; there's no way you can't be experiencing it right now...
TE: i really have no idea what you mean.
TE: hold on, i'll just take a look through sverb now that you're connected again.
He has to be.
Oh god, you may have just been responsible for your brother's--
...No, no, you're sure he's fine.
You're falling now.
"Cheral: Return to Girin-2."
Maybe you should head back; it's getting a bit hard to breathe out here.
"Cheral: Find the light source."
Alright, enough of that.
Since the gravity is considerably lower at this height, though, you are now able to inhale without worrying about falling.
"Cheral: Fly closer."
Of course, this means you need to use your flame breath again.
You still can't see any sign of it, but you're sure getting closer will help.
Okay you're good.
You need to take a breather.
"Cheral: Get up."
YOU SAID HOLD ON.
"Cheral: Get up."
Hold on just a second.
That took a lot more time and effort than you expected it to.
"[S] Cheral: Continue climb."
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You have successfully jumped to the ledge.
...And use your fire breath to give yourself an extra boost.
"Cheral: Try again."
You jump once more...
But hey, you ALMOST had it. That's still something.
Oh shit maybe not.
"Cheral: Jump to the ledge."
But here on Girin-2, it is easily within jumping distance.
To a Nobrielbound adlet, a ledge like this is considered ridiculously high; jumping to it would be inconceivable.
"Cheral: Try the door."
Unfortunately, as indicated by its RED LIGHT, the door is LOCKED.
There are other ways to climb buildings, though.
After a short walk, you arrive in front of the nearest BUILDING SPIRE. You feel it should be possible to climb to the top and get a better view of where you saw the light; maybe you could see whatever it is that caused it from up close.
So much GODDAMN GRASS.
You are curious about that LIGHT, though. You begin wading through all this GODDAMN GRASS.
And just like that, it's gone.
...Was that meteor always there?
Who cares it's headed for Nobriel anyway.
Suddenly, something appears. It's a... wait, what in the moon even is that thing?
As usual, NOBRIEL is a very prominent landmark in the sky. Sometimes you can't help but wonder what it would be like to live there for yourself. But like most moon adlets, you don't really care enough to actually travel there; Girin-2 is okay enough. Plus, isn't Nobriel's gravity a lot higher than it is down here? Strong gravity sounds like a pain in the ass.
"Cheral: Look up."
Sure, why not.
"Be the moon adlet."
Your name is CHERAL CASSYZ. You are what some would refer to as a MOON ADLET due to the obvious reason that you live on NOBRIEL'S MOON: a place otherwise known as GIRIN-2. You always found this name to be a little odd, considering it is Nobriel's only moon. Apparently there was also a GIRIN-1 at some point, but nobody knows where it went.
As previously mentioned, you are currently on your NIGHTLY STROLL. I'd ask you what you will do, but there aren't many options when it comes to walking, now are there?
The naming prompt seems confused as to why it was summoned. There are no SVERB PLAYERS on this natural satellite, after all.
A young adlet is out for his nightly stroll.
...This is only half an hour ago, is what I'm getting at.
So few that there are none of them.
In fact, not many at all. Very few, even.
Years in the past, but not many...
"End of Act 1."
"[S] Kristan: Look up."
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Well, that was weird...
And mildly unsettling...
Guess there's nothing to do but see what's up.
"Kristan: Get prattled."
IE: Sup kristan
IE: Actually wait if you took that as me asking whats up please dont answer
IE: There isnt much time ahah
IX: ...What do you mean?
IX: Hi, by the way.
IE: Dude no there is no time for hi's
IE: So like
IE: I know youve been busy with your new game or whatever
IE: But you gotta put that on hold and do me a favor alright
IE: Look up into the sky
IE: The sky in front of your house to be specific
IE: But also promise not to panic
IE: And not to run away, since that isnt the best course of action and would probably mess everything up
IE: Not that i think you would
IX: What in the sky could make me want to run away?
IE: No time to explain, let me finish explaining
IE: You may have noticed strange machines placed around your house
IE: Im not sure what they all do or where they came from but they are the key to moving forward
IE: So just remember that and youll be fine
IX: Moving forward..? Can you please just tell me what's happening?
IE: Believe me i would love to but theres not much time and ive already distracted you enough
IE: I know youll be fine though, just remember what i told you
IE: And look up
IE: Night dude!
-- intuitivelyEntranced [IE] has ceased prattling iridescentXerarch [IX] --
"Kristan: Go outside."
So this is the FINAL MACHINE. You already knew the machines were physical objects, but seeing them still here even without internet just adds another layer to your disbelief.
...This is the least interactive-looking one of the bunch, what the hell.
"Sverb: Lose connection."
TE: sverb's acting up.
TE: my connection was just dropped. is everything alright over there?
IX: Yeah, I'm fine. The damn power went out, that's all. It couldn't have chosen a better time.
IX: Maybe one of the fuses finally burnt out? I'll have to check, I guess.
IX: It's a good thing Prattlepal works over cell service.
TE: for sure.
TE: i'd have gotten pretty worried if you had disappeared entirely, to be honest.
TE: what with this mystery game and those things in your house.
TE: well i mean, i still am. just less so.
TE: i feel more confident knowing i'd still be able to do something if anything went wrong...
IX: Everything's okay! The worst of this is that our game will have to wait a minute as I fix the power box.
IX: ...And that my house will feel a bit eerie in the meantime. But still, it's no vengeful spirit. :p
TE: yeah, i guess.
TE: still, maybe you should fix the seal on your door.
TE: you know, just in case.
IX: Thanks for the advice. I'll keep it in mind, if things get out of hand.
IX: Right now though I think I should focus on restoring power.
IX: But first I'm going to take a peek at the machine in the back yard.
TE: i've already seen that one, and honestly it seems kind of useless.
TE: but hey, let me know if it gives you any sudden realizations. otherwise i think our next order of business should be finding a way to open that thing in the living room.
IX: Yeah, that's probably our best bet. I'm still going to take a quick look at the last one, since I'm right here.
TE: i'll just wait for you to restore your house's power i guess. let me know if anything happens, alright?
IX: Will do.
POWER OUTAGE, FUCK
"Kristan: Go make some toast."
Oh, why not? You have time to kill, and you don't exactly feel the most cooperative after being mocked for your choice in terminology.
You begin to prepare the TOASTER.
You captchalogue the BREWER so your sister will shut up about it.
Due to the matching first letter in its name, the ROYGBIV modus allows you to store it in a B(LUE) card.
TE: hey kristan
TE: what do you call this
IX: ...I'm assuming you mean the brewer? Since it's the only thing inexplicably hovering in the room.
IX: I don't get what's so amusing about that.
TE: because you call it a brewer!
TE: that's so weird. :p
IX: Says the person who calls it a "coffee generator." :u
TE: but you see, that's its actual name.
TE: so it isn't as funny.
IX: But nobody calls it a coffee generator!
TE: oh yeah it's usually a coffee MACHINE, isn't it...
TE: ...still, at least i'm close to that!
IX: But generator makes no logical sense. The coffee is not generated in the device.
IX: That would imply it was entirely produced inside of it.
IX: The ingredients originated from elsewhere; the machine simply brews them.
IX: Therefore, it is a brewer.
TE: dude you gotta warn me when you're about to go calling it a brewer
TE: i might be taking a drink or something!
You captchalogue the AIR FRESHENER, which you guess could also work as a WINDOW CLEANER. One which may or may not be ABSOLUTELY TERRIBLE. You wouldn't know which it is, as you've never tested it. Nor do you exactly plan on doing so.
"Kristan: Examine mess."
IX: Mind explaining what happened here?
TE: oh, haha sorry about that.
TE: i tried to get just the one can, but all those other ones fell out with it!
IX: Can't you move things through walls, though?
TE: yeah, but the physics behind that are all finicky and weird.
TE: i guess cans can't go through other cans
TE: only walls.
TE: we can worry about this later though. :p
IX: Augh. Fine.
"Rennard: Be one of the siblings."
Since Rennard probably isn't going to be up to much, it's probably best to switch viewpoints to one of the siblings. Regardless of which is selected, the same events will likely be experienced. So to avoid an unnecessary proxy, you are now Kristan.
You have decided to go investigate the final deployed machine, hoping it will give you a bit of insight on what the heck you're supposed to do. You just need to make your way through the KITCHEN and into the BACK YARD.
II: okay youre still online please tell me thatmeans yourestillawake too
IE: Oh yes definitely
IE: Whats up?
II: why definitely
II: doyou have things you have to do tonight?
IE: Well actually maybe
IE: Im honestly not 100% certain if i do or not so im staying up just in case
IE: But i sort of think i do
IE: Oooorrrrr maybe not
IE: Who knows~ ;p
IE: To summarize: IDK
IE: I mean i wish i did know since id rather be asleep right now
IE: Buuuut i dont so i cant
II: is that really a big deal for you though
II: you never gettired anyway
IE: Thats true. I just get bored staying up for so long
II: oh that sounds like a living hell for you
IE: So anyway
IE: I believe i asked you something earlier
IE: Whats up?
II: oh rightyes
II: i really gotta start paiyng better attention to that question
II: god i dont eveknow whats upeverything feels like such a blur rightnow
IE: Seems to me youre giving off exhausted vibes again
II: probablybecause i am exhausted
IE: Get some sleep
II: ok but no
II: dont you remember how like
II: fucking hell i dontwant to talk about my fucking dreams again
II: i have had two strenouos discussiosns about it already today
II: plus EE telling me t get some rest in my brief conversation with herjust now
II: so all that trlls me is talkingto people to get my mind off it only makes it wors?e?
IE: Well if youd stop complaining about it so much
IE: Maybe your conversations would not drift into the subject so frequently
II: my initial response is wow rude
II: but hey maybe it is something to try so good idea
II: (stillrude tho)
IE: There we go
II: so yeah
II: im "perfectlyfine"
II: what are you up to?
IE: Well not much
IE: Just sort of trying to find ways to keep myself occupied
IE: Other than sleeping, that is
IE: I guess in that sense we are on a similar boat
II: eh vagueily but actually no not at all
IE: It can be hard to keep myself occupied for so long in the waking world though
IE: Perhaps i should join you and several of the others by taking up video games
IE: I hear those can occupy people for long times and be quite fun
IE: Or i could always marathon one of my favorite tv shows again
IE: But it isnt as fun when i already know everything that happens
II: whynot watch a different thing?
IE: I dont even know what is out there that would interest me
IE: Of course i could always just go for a walk
IE: But everywhere around my house is so calming i would be tempted to take a nap, hahah
II: ive been thinking of getting into tabletop gaming myself
II: so if you want to we could try that
II: or like discuss the possibility for now
II: since its sorta
II: notpossible to get into very quickly
IE: Sure that sounds like fun
IE: Where would we begin?
II: uhh lets see
II: fuck i catn even think straight
II: id go get the ruleboox but i doubt id beable to keep my eyes open long enough to readhaahaha
II: dang sorry for complaining
II: maybe we canfind another subject?
IE: I really hate to add to the existing discussions on this subject
IE: But its time for you to get some rest and take care of yourself
II: goddamnnitynt stop
IE: I know you find your dreams unsettling
IE: But youre going to have to face them as they are
IE: Just dreams
IE: Im sure you know you are always going to wake up perfectly fine the next morning, if you think about your experience
IE: Your fears are not worth putting your body and mind through this
II: why iseveryone fucking telling me to do this
IE: Well i cant speak for the others
IE: But i know you envy me when it comes to my dreaming experience
IE: It may be a stretch, but i almost feel you look up to me somewhat
IE: As a dream mentor or something silly like that ;p
IE: So of course im going to give you important advice
IE: Or at least try to
IE: But the main reason is because i care
II: well... when you put it that way maybe sleeping doesnt sound SO bad..
II: but it stilldoesnt exactly make me willing to do it
II: i guess i can think about what yousaid though
II: i appreciate the helop
II: the hlpe
II: the help
IE: Hey, its no problem
II: yeah plus it doesnt seem liketheres much else to do tonight anyway
II: like im sure youll just keep insisting i sleep
II: and EE doesnt like talking to me when im so tired
II: and TE and IX are off playing thegame probably
II: and XT is... well XT
II: and ET is asleep at the moment
II: ah geez ET
II: i feel so terrible for how these sleeping problems mean we cant talk as much
II: i hope he doesnt hold it against me at all
IE: Im sure he doesnt
IE: See, though, theres another reason you should stop letting these issues rule your life
II: yeah i see what you mean...
IE: Also, you mentioned zariyah and kristan playing "the game"
II: yeah sverb
II: i mean i cant figure out how to play it in my currentstate but im sure if its working for them they dlike to fucok on it
IE: Excuse me what
II: *focus on it
II: im tyoping to fast
IE: Maybe you should slow down a bit
IE: But yeah, i sort of forgot they were playing the game
IE: Forgot like a god dang fool
IE: And thanks to you reminding me, i have also just remembered what i was staying up to do
IE: So BRB as i go take care of something
II: well actually
II: i think im going to get some sleep
II: willingly, for once
IE: You would not believe how happy i am to hear that
IE: Take care dude!
-- insomniouslyIambic [II] has ceased prattling intuitivelyEntranced [IE] --
You slap yourself for being SUCH AN IDIOT.
You'd ask yourself what you were thinking, but you already know the answer is "no."
II: haha sure looks likemy phone got that trash monay am i right
II: am i riighght?ayyy
EE: Rennard I really do not have time for this.
II: do youget it though
EE: Contact me again after you have rested. You know, when you go back to having coherent thoughts.
-- evaluatedEntablature [EE] has ceased being prattled by insomniouslyIambic [II] --
"Rennard: Retrieve phone."
You reach on into the can dumpster.
This incident has inspired you to IMPULSIVELY MESSAGE ONE OF YOUR PALS WITHOUT THINKING.
Aw fuck, you missed a beat.
"Rennard: Deposit cans in trash."
You begin to dispose of the cans properly.
You really do wish there was a way to access them all at once.
Of course, this is being portrayed in a symbolic manner to speed things up. In actuality, the process was much more tedious than it looks here.
You decide to round up the rest of the cans while you're still in the groove.
"Rennard: Clean up a bit."
You captchalogue the CANS in your immediate area. If there's one single thing you can appreciate about the CLOCK in your room (which there is), it's how the constant ticking RHYTHM helps you operate your modus.
You sure are making a fucking mess of the place, aren't you?
STRIKE! HELL YEAH.
But you'll be damned if you aren't going to put your all into it.
"Rennard: Retrieve ball."
You have no idea what your barely-conscious mind intends to do with this thing, and it worries you.
You captchalogue the COFFEE MACHINE.
You prepare your TICK MODUS. In concept, it allows you to freely access any card at any moment. But as always, there's a catch: you have to time it right. The ACTIVE CARD is constantly shifting through your deck, each CYCLE lasting the duration of ONE SECOND. Additional cards do not alter this, instead making it harder to time your selections. You prefer your current FIVE CARD DECK, a decent balance between space and convenience.
"Kristan: Use lathe on soup can."
Aaaand soup, fucking everywhere.
Why did you decide to go through with it anyway this was such a bad idea why.
TE: no, not at all.
TE: but it's worth a shot, right?
IX: I'll be honest here...
IX: Probably not.
TE: yeah you're right this is a pretty ridiculous idea.
TE: you don't have to do it.
IX: Oh, I'm still going to.
"Rennard: Heat it up and try again."
Hell no. Nauseating temperature aside, you can tell you're not getting much of an effect from the caffeine. Too much of it in one day gives you what can only be described as a TEMPORARY RESISTANCE. In fact, it almost feels like that sip has made you EVEN MORE TIRED. Awesome.
Yes. Starting with a single test sip. Just to be safe.
Here we go.
"Rennard: Drink some coffee."
You feel you've already hit your daily COFFEE LIMIT earlier, but who knows. Maybe it's been long enough by now.
"Rennard: Examine cans."
Which ones? The damn things are everywhere.
Meanwhile, Rennard continues to be Rennard.
Yeah, you figure it would be best to find a good stopping point in your own situation before involving yourself in Rennard's. You're still not even sure what you'd have to do as his Server player, yet.
Personally, though, you couldn't understand why anyone would tuck their tail away. Maybe they forget it's there and knock things over with it? You don't know.
You like having yours out because wagging it helps keep you awake.
But you guess there are those pants with hidden tail pockets, for those who prefer to tuck their tails away. So you can see how, say, an alien species might initially view adlets as a tail-less species if they were to first meet someone wearing such pants.
But that's not a thing that happens because that would be stupid.
What is there to explain? Why wouldn't you have a tail. All adlets have tails.
"Rennard: Examine clothes rack."
This is where you keep some of your more important clothes, for easy access when you want to change. You mostly wear your CURRENT OUTFIT, but will usually put on the HOODIE and JEANS when you go to hang out. Second most important would be the REPLACEMENT SHIRT, almost identical to your current one but without your personal logo. You switch to this one when you do something you feel risks staining your clothes.
And that... actually kind of brings you to the end of the important clothes tour. You don't wear the PAJAMAS anymore, and you only wore the SCARF once; you just hang it here because you have no idea where else to put it. You guess bunched up on the FLOOR works alright, too, when it falls off of the rack.
You prefer not thinking about that, really. At some point in the past, you had become absolutely fed up with THE CONCEPT OF TIME ITSELF, to the point where you tried to break the clock just to silence it. But of course, the thing you threw at it only shattered the glass, doing no damage to its internal workings whatsoever. You then realized how rash of a decision that was and gave up.
But at least some good came out of that incident, in a way. There have been a couple of instances where UNSEEN SHARDS OF GLASS have awoken you from your nightmares.
...Yeah, you know something's very wrong when you view rolling over on glass shards in your sleep as a good thing. Kristan really does have a point about you getting help.
"Rennard: Examine clock."
Clock? What clock? Oh, you must mean the INANIMATE TORMENTOR. It constantly emits a pesky ticking sound as an obnoxiously grim reminder that you are always moving closer to the next NIGHTMARE. And every time you glance at it, its hands have moved at least twice as much as they should have. It's as if it speeds up whenever you're not looking. Not to mention the fact that the 7 and 5 are in the wrong positions, a small detail which has become the frustrating main attraction ever since you first noticed it.
You fucking hate this thing.
Oh, well what do you know. It was perpetually searching for a HOST USER by the time you left, but now it seems to have finally found one.
After sitting around staring at this screen for several minutes, it begins to dawn on you that nothing is happening. There doesn't seem to be an input prompt either, so what gives? You try hitting several keys before deciding to just do something else.
You remember briefly laying down in frustration because Sverb WASN'T DOING ANYTHING, so you highly doubt it would have DONE SOMETHING in the couple of minutes you spent almost dozing off. You check regardless.
Your name is RENNARD. Your interests are... kind of a jumble, to be honest. Ever since you began having those RECURRING NIGHTMARES, your days have partially become a STRUGGLE TO STAY AWAKE AS LONG AS POSSIBLE. Which, with time, has led to a manic juggling of potential hobbies. Like that time you tried to pick up CODING, which seemed really COOL and INTERESTING to you at the time, but ended up being WAY TOO TEDIOUS for you to handle. You shortly dropped it after the third time in a row it caused you to FALL ASLEEP. You've since moved on to exploring TABLETOP GAMES. Sure it seems tedious to learn all the RULES, but you still believe it will be fun after you get the hang of it.
Of course, aside from the aforementioned juggling, you do have consistent interests (no, JUGGLING is not one of them). Like some of your FRIENDS, you enjoy VIDEO GAMES. In fact, you just got done trying out the newly released SVERB, but became frustrated because the CLIENT COPY did absolutely nothing? You plan to try the SERVER later. If it turns out to be a nonfunctional ripoff, well... at least you'll be able to keep yourself busy tomorrow by writing a STRONGLY WORDED EMAIL.
Speaking of which, WRITING is another of your interests - especially the WORLDBUILDING aspect. It's mostly private to you, but maybe playing tabletop games with your friends will help you become more OPEN TO SHARING.
Currently, you feel your consciousness fading and worry you will soon fall asleep. You know it's inevitable, but that doesn't stop you from trying to avoid it anyway. What will you do?
Looks like there's no need for a "wake up" command, after all; the little naming confirmation glance thing took care of it. How does that even work, anyway? Can they sense being named? Who cares it's not important.
"Kristan: Be the someone else."
The someone else is... currently falling asleep. Well, this perspective swap could have had better timing.
Maybe we can still wake him up with a command, though. But first we'll need a name to direct it to.
"Kristan: Check on Sverb."
TE: what's it showing?
IX: Definitely not a guide.
IX: It seems my server copy has connected to someone else while I was away...
TE: oh really?
TE: the spikes didn't scare you off, did they?
IX: No, I was just going to check on my laptop.
IX: It seems like it has a Sverb notification, so I wanted to make sure we're not missing anything.
TE: oh really?
TE: maybe messing with the lathe unlocked something for you.
IX: Yeah, hopefully some sort of manual to figure out these dumb machines.
"Kristan: Activate lathe."
OH, this looks hazardous.
"Kristan: Insert card."
IX: Oh shit something happened, indeed.
IX: We're definitely getting somewhere, just...
IX: I still have no idea where.
TE: that's still great, though!
TE: i mean, that's about as good as we can get, judging from my experience with the unknown.
TE: so let's roll with what we got.
TE: i mean, look at all the dealies and contraptions this thing has on it.
TE: it's gotta have some place for you to put that card.
IX: Oh hey, I think I found it.
Oh, this doesn't lead anywhere. It's just a panel concealing the electrical wiring to your house or whatever. There's no reason for you to go back there, so you leave it be.
"Kristan: Turn the wheel."
You attempt to turn the valve. It feels like something is pushing up against the lid, but the lid itself is tightly shut. You were kind of hoping the valve was what opens the lid, but you guess not.
TE: i just checked the "alchemeter" for you, it looks like it has no card slots either.
TE: that's the one in the back yard btw.
TE: so all that's left is the "totem lathe" upstairs.
TE: but first, try turning that real wheel quick!
TE: it looks like it might do something so i'm curious.
IX: Fine, I may as well give it a shot.
"Kristan: Take pre-punched card."
Oh, it's a... captchalogue card. Why would someone ever punch holes in one of these? Can the item stored in it even be retrieved anymore? What the heck is this item, anyway? What are you supposed to do with it?
...You guess you're going to have to just try all kinds of weird stuff until you get something out of it.
TE: "may" you?
IX: *Can* I have it?
IX: I was right the first time!
TE: heheheh, gotcha. >:p
TE: but yeah there's the card.
TE: i set it on the thing but i'm sure you saw that already.
IX: You're not funny but thanks.
IX: (Actually that was a lie, you are funny.)
"Kristan: Go back downstairs."
TE: that's the "cruxtruder."
IX: Are there instructions provided for it, by any chance?
TE: nope, that's p much all it says.
TE: just names and names and names.
TE: i've explored all the menus already, too.
TE: but there are two objects i haven't deployed yet.
IX: What are they?
TE: "pre-punched card" and "punch designix."
IX: Those must work together in some way, I'd imagine.
IX: Might they both fit in the living room?
TE: yeah, for sure.
TE: but while the card is free, the designix costs 4 "jet," and we don't have any of that yet.
IX: Well, this is a frustrating situation.
IX: I should probably start by figuring out how to use the other machines, anyway.
IX: May I have the pre-punched card?
"Zariyah: Check the atheneum."
TE: nope, doesn't look like it did anything after all.
IX: I told you that was a ridiculous idea.
TE: kristan, come on.
TE: this is how you figure things out.
TE: just try all kinds of weird stuff until you get something out of it.
TE: heck, maybe this is still the right track.
TE: we might just be missing something.
TE: like maybe you have to register the can with one of the machines.
TE: or something like that.
IX: For some reason, I really doubt it.
IX: But speaking of machines, can you please move this one out of my room?
IX: I'd rather not have it where I sleep.
TE: sure thing, just gotta switch to the trusty select tool.
TE: gotta select select.
TE: er... looks like it's gonna cost 20 "build grist" to move.
TE: which would be all we have.
TE: should i still do it, or...?
IX: Probably not.
IX: It might be important for something specific, who knows.
IX: So I guess we should hold off on that for now.
TE: good idea.
"Kristan: Collect the can."
You begrudgingly comply.
TE: your mission is...
TE: to collect this can.
IX: Are you serious?
TE: do iiiiiit.
TE: you left it in the bathroom, lmao.
TE: i guess that's like a weird genetic trait, huh? disguising phones as bars of soap and forgetting about them.
IX: What does that even mean?
TE: ahh i'll explain later. :p
TE: because for now...
TE: we have important business to attend to.
"Zariyah: Webbed bouce."
Kristan is mildly impressed by your antics.
IX: And, for that matter...
IX: How did you manage to get my beanbag chair on top of the bed?
TE: oh yeah, i found out the select cursor can move things.
TE: aha dude, check it out.
TE: go stand in like the corner or something and watch what i'm about to do.
"Kristan: Go back to your room."
You decide to go back to where your LAPTOP currently resides. It wouldn't hurt to check and see if there are any INSTRUCTIONS for this game whatsoever and oh god she's putting one in your room.
Seems she just placed another one somewhere in your house. It's probably in the KITCHEN, judging by the sound of things. Or perhaps the BACK YARD.
"Kristan: Examine the machine."
You guess this is the thing your sister mentioned placing, which would also make it the cause of the tremor. Somehow, you still weren't expecting it to be this big.
You have no idea what it's supposed to do. And you aren't exactly in the mood to try figuring it out, either.
"Kristan: Examine living room."
Your LIVING ROOM isn't the most decorative, but that's fine; it has a simple charm. Which means less effort to keep clean.
You've been living in this house for around TWO YEARS now, and it's more or less remained the same throughout. Its FAMILIAR LAYOUT is always comforting to see - the standard COUCH ACROSS FROM TV SETUP, the (GREEN) MIRROR on the wall, the WEIRD MACHINE, the BOOKSHELF with a CHAIR next to it for convenience...
Wait no that machine isn't supposed to be there what the fuck.
"Kristan: Go downstairs."
Okay. So far so good.
"Kristan: Exit room."
You exit your room, MIRROR at the ready.
Oh boy do you feel unsettled.
IX: Some sort of tremor happened just now.
IX: And it almost felt like whatever caused it was from...
IX: Inside my house.
IX: Something big.
TE: whoops, sorry. didn't realize that machine would be so heavy.
IX: What machine??
TE: oh, the uh...
TE: "phernalia registry" menu has several weird futuristic machines to choose from.
TE: apparently i use the "deploy" option to put them in your house, i just had no idea they'd be so big lmao.
IX: ...You're telling the truth, right?
IX: Because to be completely honest.
IX: I'm a bit freaked out right now.
IX: So now's not the time to be joking around, if that is what you're doing.
TE: i'm being honest. even i know when tricks go too far, you know.
IX: Fine, but even then, this is fucking weird.
IX: I think... there's something seriously wrong about this game.
TE: ah come on, it's fine.
TE: the industries wouldn't let it be so widely distributed if it was actually a threat, would they?
IX: I... guess not?
TE: and the machines don't look dangerous at all.
TE: if they did, i would have never let them close to you.
IX: I'll go check it out, I suppose.
TE: that's the spirit! :D
"Kristan: Wear the scarf."
You don the scarf, which accomplishes... nothing whatsoever.
Except f-OH GOD WHY IS YOUR HOUSE SHAKING
"Kristan: Find the camera."
No, you don't think one exists. And you'd like to say this means she really can't see you, but it's not like it's easy to guess you hung the RUNIC SEAL on the wrong side of the door.
...Or is it? Gosh, you sure hope not. That would be a bit embarrassing.
Anyway, you're sure there's a REASONABLE, NON-PARANORMAL EXPLANATION behind this whole camera thing. Even if it's just what you're telling yourself so you don't FREAK OUT.
TE: oh hey, there's that runic seal i gave you.
TE: beautifully displayed on the wrong side of the door. :p
TE: it's supposed to go on the inside, silly.
IX: ...How did you know it was on the outside?
TE: i already told you - the webcam. it's showing me in your house.
TE: well shit, guess i can't call it a webcam anymore.
TE: since it can like
TE: go through walls and stuff.
TE: but yeah.
IX: ...Fine, I guess I'll have to believe you on this.
IX: But how is this possible?
TE: idk. i'm gonna mess around with the controls a bit more though, so here's an official brb.
"Zariyah: Open grist cache."
TE: lots of things, even.
TE: i guess an inventory?
TE: i'm not sure what it all means or what any of the pictures are supposed to be. but at least it has things.
TE: eleven neat little colored shapes, each with a meter counting up to 20.
TE: they're all empty except for "build grist." we seem to have all of those already.
TE: have you been picking up stray blue hexagons lately, by any chance?
IX: I can't say I have.
TE: then fuck if i know why we have 20 of them.
IX: Out of curiosity, what are the others called?
TE: uhh, let's see, it has things like
TE: "jet" (not the type you fly tho)
TE: idk i don't think the names are going to help much.
IX: Can you do anything with them?
TE: nope, clicking doesn't do anything. guess this screen is only for checking how many you have?
IX: How many buttons are left?
TE: just one, not counting the three cursor-looking ones.
TE: but i just noticed what i think are camera controls, so i'm gonna play around with those for a second first.
IX: That's fine, I guess. Just don't take too long, alright?
"Zariyah: Open atheneum."
TE: hold on.
TE: what a crazy word.
TE: see, bro? i went the extra mile to nail the spelling this time, just for your reading pleasure.
IX: I appreciate it, but I don't even know what that is.
TE: ah it's fine i missed a letter anyway.
TE: but yeah this one has a similar deal to the alchemy thing i won't bother with trying to spell.
IX: More useless rectangles?
TE: nah, this time around it's useless squares.
TE: each one has a tiny picture in the corner, like some sort of can i think.
TE: collectibles, maybe?
TE: i dunno, kristan go get a can of soup from the kitchen or something. we gotta figure this out.
IX: How would me retrieving a normal, unrelated can of soup, in real life, affect an online video game?
TE: it's important, trust me.
IX: Why would the soup be associated with the game, Zariyah.
IX: That makes no sense.
"Zariyah: Open alchemy excursus."
IX: I'm... not sure what you mean.
IX: I guess?
TE: yeah so i'm gonna start with the one on the very right. the alchemy whatever.
IX: The "alchemy whatever."
TE: ...hold on what am i looking at
IX: How would I know?
IX: Describe it to me, please.
TE: it's just a window with three empty rectangles. can't do anything with em, either.
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IX: Pff, what are you talking about?
TE: no need to be so modest about it.
IX: Not that. I mean my webcam isn't even hooked up.
TE: are you sure? i can see you right here on my screen.
TE: kinda weird how you put your webcam in the top corner of your room, but hey, whatever floats your boat.
IX: This prank is starting to get a bit abstract, even for your standards.
IX: Really though, is anything game-related happening on your end? The client brought up some command prompt-looking thing. It says it connected to someone, but nothing's coming up.
TE: the server's working just fine.
TE: i have this weird interface menu thing. seems like mousing over it tells me what the buttons do. well... it WOULD tell me what they do, if it was written in something i could understand.
IX: Maybe there's a language setting somewhere?
TE: no i meant it has things like "grist cache" and "alchemy exursus"...i have no clue what they're supposed to mean but the second one seems cool.
TE: some are more understandable, though.
TE: like "select," obvs.
TE: but i have no idea why i would need to "select" things, so it's not like a huge improvement.
IX: What is the game world like? Any NPCs who could explain things to you?
TE: do you count as an npc brother
TE: kristan, trust me, there is no "game world." all i see is you and your room.
TE: your messy, messy room.
TE: maybe this is some sort of virtual reality game? shit, i hope we aren't missing some expensive holographic projector needed to play this. maybe that's why your client disc isn't working.
IX: Okay, will you stop messing with me?
IX: Just try playing around with the controls. Maybe there's something you need to do to activate my end of the game.
"Kristan: Install client."
IX: Let's see what this is all about.
"Kristan: Exit the server."
It won't close. Even task manager can't kill the process. You decide not to bother with it; it's not using enough processing power to worry about, anyway.
In fact, it isn't using any at all.
IX: Er, is yours finished too, or..?
IX: Alright. I'm on the title screen and can't seem to proceed, so I guess I just need to wait for you to connect.
TE: actually yeah it may have finished already.
TE: the title is just so empty i thought it was a loading screen or something.
IX: It is weirdly bare-bones, isn't it? After such a flashy installation, no less.
IX: But if we're at the same step, I'm not sure what the problem could be.
IX: Hold on, which disc did you use?
TE: let's see, uhh...
TE: this is the server.
TE: the sverb server.
TE: the sverbver.
IX: Zariyah stop.
IX: But yeah, I think the issue is we can't be using the same disc. Maybe the two versions are supposed to connect to one another.
TE: let's do this.
"Zariyah: Get back to Kristan."
IX: You told me you wouldn't go do it!
IX: Augh but who even cares about that
IX: What's important is
IX: Are you alright?
-- transcendentEmbezzler [TE] is now an idle pal! --
IX: Don't do that, please, this isn't funny
-- transcendentEmbezzler [TE] is now an idle pal! --
IX: ...Sis? :C
TE: back, oh my gosh i'm really sorry for this.
TE: i kind of suck, huh?
IX: Don't say that, I'm just glad you're alright!
IX: I'm not even upset or anything, just really shaken up.
IX: But it's fine! Nothing bad!
TE: kristan you were worried as hell and it was pretty much all my fault, you can't say it's nothing bad. :T
IX: No really, it's fine! We're both okay and safe now, aren't we? I'll try to stop worrying about it, and you should do the same because I can tell we're dangerously close to spending the whole night being all emotional again and forgetting about what we were planning to do.
TE: ...yeah, good point. :p
IX: So speaking of which: you do have Sverb one way or another, right?
TE: well... one of them.
TE: i ended up leaving one of the discs in the kitchen.
TE: but it's cool. we only need one each anyway, don't we?
IX: I believe so.
TE: now as for the disc i don't have...
IX: Oh no
TE: ...i'll wait until sunrise tomorrow to get that one, once the daylight drives the spirit away. it can wait.
IX: Wait, really?
TE: i promise. like for real this time.
IX: Then I guess I have no choice but to take your word for it. Like for real this time, heh. :p
IX: Well, shall we start?
You are now back within the safety of your room.
You sneak past the spirit before it's too late and make a run for it. Wow, that spirit is really fascinated with that disc, isn't it? Haha, weird. Usually only paranormal things hold its attention like that.
--Sverb discs. Niiiiice.
Oh well, at least the spirit seems fascinated enough to stop attacking you. Plus, you still have the other disc on you.
"Zariyah: Throw something at it!"
Pressed for time, you aimlessly select an item from your sylladex. You don't really mind losing any of these items, except for the--
This is definitely a bit more troublesome than you thought it would be. The spirit seems abnormally furious today and you're not sure how much longer you'll be able to last against it. You need to come up with a plan, fast!
"[S] Zariyah: Turn around."
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...Well, shit. You've been found out.
IX: You told me you wouldn't go do it!
Oh god, she went to get the game anyway.
"Kristan: Message II."
II: what do youwant
IX: Is... this a bad time or something?
II: no not exactly per sey
II: im just kind of tryingtoplay sverb here
II: and everyone keeps prattling me left and frickin right for some reason??
IX: I'm sorry, but how was I supposed to know that!
IX: I'll just talk to someone else I guess. Sorry for bothering.
-- iridescentXerarch [IX] has ceased prattling insomniouslyIambic [II] --
-- insomniouslyIambic [II] has begun prattling iridescentXerarch [IX] --
II: no kristain wait its fine
II: we can talk for a little bit sverb has to install anyway apparently
II: so whats up
IX: You sure?
II: yes sorry for snapping ivejust been sorta tired
IX: Oh. No, it's fine! I couldn't even imagine what those dreams must be like.
IX: I still really think you should see a therapist.
II: weve beenover this hantevt we?
II: *havent, wow what the fuck happened there
II: im sure like the first thing theyd do is tell me to sleep more
II: "oh wow you seem sleepdeprevid as hell, i prescribe you lots and lots of sleep""
II: and fuck that man because i dont wanna sleep thats the last thing i want to do
IX: Perhaps... but you don't know that for sure!
IX: And even then, therapists usually tend to know what they're doing.
IX: Even if you don't like what they have to say, it might be a necessary step to having your issue resolved once and for all.
II: i do appreciate what you have to say
II: ill think about it iguess
II: also i feel i should say
II: actually listening and cairing and wanting to help me out
II: unlike that sister of yours
IX: Oh... hah, sorry about that.
II: yougotta stop apologizing so much its not your fault
II: and really its not like i dislike her or anything
II: shes usually prettycool until i bring up my fuckin dreams
II: whats up
IX: You... already asked that. ^^;
II: and you didnt answer
IX: But I already said earlier! I'm just waiting around.
II: oh whoops
IX: What about you? How's the learning how to code thing coming along?
II: uuughhhh fuck that
IX: What do you mean? You seemed so enthusiastic about it just last week.
II: not anymore im not
II: its just a lot of fucking tedious bullshit that nevereven works
II: and theres way too much shit to remember
II: so ivebeen looking into tabletop games instead now
IX: Oh, you mean board games? Sweet, I love those.
II: nono i mean like roleplaying
II: with dices and stuff
II: andridiculously complex ruleboox
II: ...rule books
II: we should try it out next time we hang out
II: you and me and zariyah im sure youd both be into it
II: oh hey maybe wecould try right now just online i think theres a way to do that
IX: While that sounds fun (I think...), aren't you forgetting something?
II: like what
IX: We're both about to play Sverb...?
II: oh right hahaaahh i forgot
II: looks like mine finished installing actually
IX: Can you tell me what it's like? I've been looking forward to finding that out all day.
II: right now itsjust sitting at some weird command prompt thing? imgonna have to figure out how to start it up
II: id tell you but im sure your sisters almost back from getting the game so youll see for yourself soon enough, yeah?
II: talk to you later
IX: Wait... what?
-- insomniouslyIambic [II] has ceased prattling iridescentXerarch [IX] --
Oh come on, that would be rude.
But while you're here, you figure you may as well message one of your other pals.
The book was never to be seen again.
A (BLUE) BOOK on a (BLUE) BLANKET. There's no way this is a bad idea. You are so proud of yourself.
You skim through the book and find what you think is the correct page before setting it face-down on your bed.
You captchalogue the (PURPLE) MIRROR and add it to your strife specibus, alongside the (RED) MIRROR. It's never a bad idea to have a spare on you, considering how fragile the things are.
"Kristan: Captchalogue taser."
You captchalogue the TASER. Even though you can't think of a single non-combat use for it. And even though it has no batteries.
...Why did you do this, again?
You would consider this idea, but the TASER seems to be missing its BATTERIES. Since you don't remember PUTTING IT IN HERE, or even HAVING IT IN THE FIRST PLACE, you have no clue where you could find them.
You already have a strife specibus, anyway.
"Kristan: Open box."
You open the STORAGE BOX. It seems to contain ASSORTED PLUSHIES, as well as... a TASER? You forgot you even had one of those.
...Oh, what are you saying? This is a perfect opportunity to pass the time.
"Kristan: Examine the taped-up box."
This is one of several STORAGE BOXES that Zariyah made to help her move out. She followed an ONLINE TUTORIAL to construct them, but she could never get the sides to line up correctly when folded. This resulted in SLIGHTLY MISSHAPEN BOXES and GREAT DEALS OF FRUSTRATION. They still work well enough, though.
This one's a bit difficult to reach, so you decide to leave it be.
You captchalogue the (BLUE) BOOK with your ROYGBIV MODUS; it now occupies one of your two BLUE cards.
Already contained in your modus is a (RED) SCARF and (GREEN) CHEWING GUM.
...Ah shit, did captchaloguing the BOOK just close it? Looks like you lost your place in this one. Awesome.
"Kristan: Examine poster."
Ah, Jak and Daxter, possibly your favorite fantasy series out there. It's about a short-eared adlet named Jak and his friend Daxter, who has been transformed into... some sort of smaller, brightly colored adlet? You never really understood what he was, to be honest.
The series has taken an unexpected turn with its SEQUELS, but you still love them just as much. You really wish it was still around.
...Why not? You're a notorious multitasker when it comes to reading, and you have no idea where your BOOKMARKS even went (assuming you ever had any to begin with). You view locating them as an UNNECESSARY EFFORT, as flipping the books over works just fine.
Your name is KRISTAN. Like your sister, you have a fair interest in PARANORMAL LEGENDS. But unlike her, your interest is much more CASUAL; you would never actively seek out such forces for yourself, but instead stick to LITERATURE and VIDEO GAMES. In general, you prefer to take things in a more careful approach than most, often a bit OVERLY CAUTIOUS according to your friends. So of course you wouldn't go around messing with things you know nothing about.
Speaking of Zariyah, you are currently waiting for her to finish CLEANING HER ROOM so you can play Sverb together. You have no idea what the game consists of, but there's no need to be cautious. It is just a video game, after all. The worst that could happen is it sucks, but even then the two of you could still have a laugh over it.
Anyway, she seems to be taking a while. By now you're convinced that WAITING SUCKS, so you've decided to find a way to occupy yourself in the time being. What will you do?
"Zariyah: Don't turn around."
"Oh, hello. Nice, uh... nice lamp you have, there?"
WOAH HOLD UP - who's this bored looking individual?
Nah, you actually don't really want anything cold. Especially since you were just outside and want to warm up more than anything. Wait, what are you even doing here? You keep snacks under your bed.
You captchalogued this thing weeks ago, only to become frustrated trying to retrieve it from your sylladex, and then sort of forgetting about it not too long after. While you're pretty sure captchalogued items are time locked in some form or another, the idea of eating a technically old sandwich is extremely unappealing to you.
"Zariyah: Enter kitchen."
You walk into the KITCHEN, which is really just part of the LIVING ROOM. You guess having a different floor means it's a different room? You never really understood the logic behind that.
It's also pretty empty in here, but the key difference is it was empty even before your SPIRIT PROBLEM. IX still thinks you should get a dining table and a set of chairs, but honestly, who needs that when you could just as easily eat while watching TV or playing video games? Not this adlet.
"Zariyah: Offer to clean the lamp; maybe it belonged to whomever the spirit was when they were alive."
That... might actually make sense? There has to be a reason it won't harm the LAMP, after all. The idea is definitely worth a shot, just not for now. You need to get back to your BEDROOM first. Well, after you get something to eat; you're feeling a bit hungry.
"Zariyah: Examine lamp."
You'd rather not, but fine. Back when the SPIRIT was new to destroying things in your house, it has damaged many THINGS YOU ACTUALLY LIKED. You were always annoyed over the fact the LAMP was one of the few things that was perfectly fine, since you didn't even care for it that much. It is now one of the only things you leave unguarded out here, in hope that one day you will come out to find its broken shards decorating the floor.
"Zariyah: Examine living room."
This is the LIVING ROOM, which you have just entered via the FRONT DOOR. While we're stating the blatantly obvious: your name is ZARIYAH GUNN, you are an ADLET, you have just retrieved SVERB, and this gag has ALREADY OVERSTAYED ITS WELCOME.
There's not a whole lot left in here because the SPIRIT loves destroying things, which is plainly evident by the SCRATCHES in the walls and TEARS in the furniture. Everything that once occupied this room has either been THROWN AWAY due to being damaged beyond repair, or MOVED to a safer location. With the exception of basic furniture, of course.
...And that STUPID LAMP.
You step inside through the front door. So far so good.
"Zariyah: Don't go for it."
...Yeah, you're gonna go for it. You really hate the cold, okay?
You don't see the SPIRIT anywhere; the coast is clear. For now, at least. Should you go for it?
You decide to walk the middle path between safety and convenience. You look through the WINDOW.
"Zariyah: Go back inside."
You start the long walk all the way back around the house, but you first take a moment to consider your options. The FRONT DOOR is right there, after all. Either you risk an aggressive encounter with the undead, or you put up with a few minutes of annoyingly chilly temperatures. Decisions, decisions...
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It's been so long since you were actually outside at night time, you almost forgot how much you appreciated the calmly chaotic void of stars and space. Dotting the sky are countless celestial objects, each exponentially more massive than your own planet, visually compressed via incomprehensible measurements into tiny pinpoints of light. For the time being, your pupils are the conclusion of the starlight's billion year journey through the cosmos.
It's fascinating to recognize there is still so much to discover spanning throughout infinity, and it's equally fun to imagine potential answers. There are bound to be truths that contradict everything society has ever known, scattered throughout the eternal minefield that is the universe.
"There is a fifth dimension, beyond that which is known to adletkind. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition." -James Joyce
You have a feeling it's going to be a long night.
"Zariyah: Check mail."
As expected, you find the SVERB ALPHA. You promptly captchalogue the two discs.
"Zariyah: Arrive at the mailbox."
You've already done that.
TE: hey dude, what's up?
II: im just kind of
II: sitting around browsing the net.
II: whatabout you?
TE: i'm heading out to get sverb from the mail.
TE: the new game which i'm gonna play with my bro tonight.
II: oh shit thats right i have sverb
II: maybe i should givethat a shot
TE: you can join us if you'd like!
II: is tomorrow still okay?
II: i usually liketo play games on my own first
II: yknow so i can get a feel for the controls and mechanicsand everything
II: so i dont make a complete ass of myself when people i know see meplay.
II: *me play
II: fuckinspacebar piece of shit.
TE: you know, maaaaaybe you wouldn't have that problem if you didn't type so fast.
II: did you just prattle me just to critique my typingskills
II: because if so
II: you can shut up.
TE: no, not particularly. just wanted to talk to someone, get my mind off this cold weather while i walk to my mailbox.
II: and i was just about to fall asleep whenyou messaged me
TE: whoops, really? sorry about the bad timing.
II: what no why are you apologizing
II: i meant that.
II: you know how much i loathe sleeping.
TE: still having those freaky dreams?
TE: hell yeah. it means you still got a chance to explore those suckers.
TE: (which is what i would definitely do in your situation tbh.)
II: this isnt a fucking game zariyah
TE: i know this, which is exactly why it's so fascinating!
TE: who knows what sort of mystical realm you're crossing into.
TE: and what otherworldly knowledge could be found there. :D
II: see this is why i avoid discussing thisshit with you
II: because you always go on aboutyour paranormal bullshit
II: these are dreams
II: fucked up recurring goddamn nightmares
II: which i really shouldprobably get actual fuckin professional help for one of these days
TE: well... either way, you know you can't force yourself to stay awake forever, right? time will eventually catch up to you.
II: yeah well fuck time.
II: fuckit straight to hell.
TE: why not at least try taking a look around next time?
TE: i mean, last time you told me about this, you said you never left the room you start in.
TE: and since you're such a wimp about it, i'm guessing you still haven't done that.
TE: look at it this way: maybe the room is the scariest part.
TE: maybe there's really cool, non-scary stuff elsewhere?
II: no, fuck that
II: end of story just fuck that
II: that could be the entire story.
II: the onlytwo words printed in this tiny little storybook
II: "fuck that."
II: why does this book evenexist, who would buy such a thing
II: turns out the author was a passive aggressivelittle asshole who wasted thousandsof dollars printing so many copies just to get some littlepoint across to his equally assholish friend about exploring hisstupid dreams
II: like, seriously,
TE: dude alright i get it, you don't want to.
TE: still, i wish i had my own weird subconscious dreamscape to explore.
II: yeah i wish you did too
II: then maybe youd finally quit being so fuckinjudgy about the way i deal with mine
TE: i didn't actually upset you, did i?
II: i dont know but its whatever
II: at least im less likely to fall asleep when im upset i guess.
II: but if you dont mind
II: id like to go dick around with sverb
II: figure out what thehell it even is for starters.
TE: that's fine, i'm approaching the mailbox right now too.
II: cool, it all works out
II: talk to you later
TE: see ya!
-- transcendentEmbezzler [TE] has ceased prattling insomniouslyIambic [II] --
You are now OUTSIDE. Cool.
...Yes, "cool" is definitely the right word for this. It is COLD AS SHIT out here.
You decide to message one of your PALS on the way. Hopefully this will keep your mind off the cold temperature.
You scurry through the LIVING ROOM and into the KITCHEN, where the BACK DOOR is located.
Yeah, yeah, you know. It's not like you're reckless 100% of the time or anything. You only listen to reason when you feel like it, and you're actually willing to listen this time.
"Zariyah: Exit bathroom."
Well, at least your impulsive room exploration wasn't pointless. You now have your CELL PHONE, as well as a POINT OF ADVICE which you GUESS you should probably follow.
"Zariyah: Respond to pal."
TE: you always seem to catch me at the weirdest moments.
TE: like just now, you messaged me right as i found my phone.
IE: Im not sure what you mean by "finding" your phone
TE: it involves falling on my ass in the bathtub. wanna hear?
IE: Nahh its cool, im sure theres some ridiculous turn of events leading up to it you can tell me about later, but i was mostly just checking in for now
IE: Figured id see whats up, in case you need my advice again ;p
TE: it's a nice offer (sorta odd though), but no thanks.
TE: i'm just going out to get the game i ordered from the mail.
TE: sverb, to be exact.
IE: Ahh, i think i know of that one
IE: The weird-ass mystery game of the year, right?
TE: spot-on. you should pick it up and play it with me and IX sometime, it'd be fun!
IE: Ehh not really
IE: You know im not much of a gamer
IE: So about the act of retrieval itself
IE: Im gonna go out on a limb here and guess:
IE: You forgot to check the mail before night time and now you gotta risk running into the spirit
TE: the hell
TE: how did you know exactly what was going on?
IE: Cmon girl, i know you well enough by now to figure that like 75% of the time, if i were to guess you forgot to do something, it would turn out being true
TE: okay, somehow i doubt i'm THAT forgetful. i'm inclined to think you have some sweet psychic power you're just not telling me about.
TE: since you know i'd pester you about it all the time. >:p
TE: ...buuuuut, that's probably just me being stubborn and refusing to admit my laziness to myself.
IE: Hahah its cool
IE: Believe it or not, im sure id be totally forgetful like you, if not for the fact i usually end up doing the things that need to be done anyway
TE: that did not make a single lick of sense. but okay.
IE: I dont blame you, it's complicated and most people probably wouldnt really get it
IE: But yeah its a good thing i messaged you right now
IE: This is the part where i tell you youre gonna go around the house from the back entrance instead of the front
TE: that actually wasn't what i was planning.
TE: so sorry to say it, but your "intuition" is wrong for once.
TE: (in your face!! hahaha)
IE: I meant to say that is what you SHOULD do
IE: Not that youre going to as a fact
IE: Sorry about that, im tired
TE: weaseling your way out of a mistake, eh? ah well, i'll bite. do you have enough consciousness to explain the reason for your "suggestion," though?
IE: Because it is the safer path
IE: The spirit does not leave your house, right?
TE: well, yeah, but it's cooooold outside...
IE: Im not sure how aware the spirit is, but im sure it knows that as well
IE: It can probably guess you would prefer to take the indoors path
IE: Charging straight through the living room without any regard for consequence like your usual fearless self
IE: I wouldnt be surprised if the thing was waiting around for that exact thing to happen
IE: Of course, this is just a theory
IE: But you should totally take my advice
TE: ...i kind of hate you right now for making so much sense and having me almost entirely convinced to go outside. in the cold.
IE: You have a huge fuggin coat on right now whatre you talking about
TE: there you go again!
TE: how did you know i was wearing it!?
IE: Because you never take the damn thing off hahah
IE: Its cool though
TE: fine, i'll consider your advice.
TE: ...thanks for looking out for me.
TE: even though it's sort of really weird how you seem to know everything.
IE: Heheh, its nothing
IE: Good luck with that game of yours
-- intuitivelyEntranced [IE] has ceased prattling transcendentEmbezzler [TE] --
"Zariyah: Check Prattlepal."
You sign into Prattlepal to make sure IX hasn't messaged you again. While he hasn't, you seem to have received a message from someone else just a few minutes ago.
"Zariyah: Retrieve cell phone."
You flawlessly captchalogue the CELL PHONE.
"Zariyah: Examine soap."
Oh, this isn't soap. This is actually your CELL PHONE. Yesterday you set it here laughing about how much it looks like a bar of soap, and you must have left it behind. The disguise was too successful for its own good.
"Zariyah: Examine mirror."
This is incredibly pointless.
While you're up here, you PROBABLY LICK the glass.
"Zariyah: Enter bathroom."
You head into the BATHROOM, for whatever reason. You're pretty sure you won't find the GAME in here, but okay.
"Zariyah: Exit storage room."
You are now back in the HALLWAY.
"Zariyah: Examine logs of wood."
What, these? These are POSTERS. You moved them all here because you don't like them getting ripped up. They're pretty cool, so you're glad they're safe.
You'd love to take inventory of and hypothetically list off every single item in here, but you don't want to keep your brother waiting too long. Maybe later.
First off, why would you need to find a key for it? It's yours; you would know where the key is. Second, it's not a real treasure chest and the lock is fake. It's just a neat NORMAL CHEST to hold things in.
"Zariyah: Open curtains."
...Nah, not really. It's just an ordinary WINDOW.
Oh, this? This is the SECRET ENTRANCE to your underground PARANORMAL RESEARCH HEADQUARTERS.
You captchalogue the GRAVESTONE and add it to your STRIFE SPECIBUS.
It's the only thing you can fight the SPIRIT with, after all.
You don't think you've already thought of that? You've tried talking to it calmly, you've tried leaving the gravestone out and letting the spirit take it if it wanted, you've tried bringing the gravestone back to where you found it, you've tried apologizing, you've tried making deals with the spirit... Nothing seems to work. The spirit is relentless.
Of course, you do feel terrible that you even have the gravestone to begin with. You would have permanently returned it to its original location long ago, if not for one minor detail...
This is your GRAVESTONE. Well, not exactly your gravestone; it's not addressed to you. While you can't read the ANCIENT WRITING engraved on it, you figure it probably belongs to the VENGEFUL SPIRIT. This also happens to be the SOMETHING you need to get.
You enter the uh... room that doesn't really have a name. You guess it could be called a STORAGE ROOM? Yeah, you enter the STORAGE ROOM. This is where you keep things you want to protect, but don't want to clutter your BEDROOM with.
"Zariyah: Leave room."
You exit into the HALLWAY.
The most notable feature here would have to be the SCRATCH MARKS left by the VENGEFUL SPIRIT on the door across from your room. The door to your BEDROOM has a fair share of external scratch marks itself, but not nearly as many - there's SOMETHING in the OTHER ROOM it really wants. You should probably go get that particular SOMETHING before heading any further.
Even if you wanted to, retrieving the unintended item from your sylladex triggers a short WAITING PERIOD before you can try again. How could it possibly tell when you didn't mean to retrieve something? You honestly have no idea. It just knows.
Besides, it's fine as it is for now. Knowing your brother, he'd probably just find it funny, anyway.
You stuff the MR. TODAMA PLUSH into the open slot. Close enough, right?
"Zariyah: Screw it."
...Okay, maybe you shouldn't ALWAYS say screw it.
"Zariyah: Retrieve book."
If only it were that simple. With your PIPE MAZE MODUS, you have one PATH per card, and you have to send the POINTER down one of them; you will retrieve whichever card it lands on. Pretty straightforward, right? Well, it would be, if it weren't for the TURNS scattered between the PATHS. Upon contact with a TURN, the POINTER will automatically move over to the other CONNECTED PATH, ultimately meaning the INITIAL PATH will probably not be the FINAL PATH.
The TURNS are only randomized whenever an item is withdrawn or stored, so with a bit of time, someone can work out which PATH to send the POINTER down to access a specific item. But you know what you say to that?
"Zariyah: Straighten up your room."
...Yeah, that was a lie. You forgot the game and you're going to go get it. But it's fine; the VENGEFUL NUISANCE actually isn't all that powerful. You have no idea if the previous statement is accurate or not, but for what it's worth, it has yet to seriously injure you.
You figure you may as well straighten SOMETHING up before you go; you don't like lying to your brother, after all. Only conveniently omitting the truth at times.
"Zariyah: Open Prattlepal."
TE: bro, don't do that.
IX: Do what?
TE: the whole "cool" act.
TE: i mean, yeah "ayy" is usually a cool thing to say, but it really conflicts with the way you usually talk.
TE: it makes you look extra lame. >:p
IX: Geez, sorry for trying something new. Please remind me to never do that again.
TE: you say that as if you aren't afraid of doing anything new anyway. heheh.
IX: God, I do one little thing out of character and suddenly you become the most insufferable person.
IX: Please remind me why I decided to message you, again.
TE: i have no clue how the heck i'm supposed to know that, but if i had to guess, maybe it's because you like spending time with your sister?
IX: ...Yes, I do.
TE: knew it, you're so cheesy.
IX: You're the one who started with the cheesiness!
IX: Augh, never mind. Anyway, how are things regarding the game?
TE: the game?
TE: oh right, sverb. sorry, i sorta forgot about it since i've been reading all day.
IX: Now I'm curious. By "all day," do you actually mean all day? Or do you mean the past few hours?
IX: Since you like to wake up at dusk or whatever because you're weird.
TE: i do not wake up at dusk!
TE: well, usually not. and this "usually" includes today's "today."
IX: Let's just pretend I was able to make sense of that mangled sentence of yours.
IX: When did you wake up, then?
TE: the afternoon.
IX: Zariyah, that... really isn't much of an improvement. :u
TE: blah, blah, blah, anyway - the game.
IX: Yes. The game.
IX: Did you get it?
TE: yeah it arrived today i'm p sure.
IX: No, I mean... did you GET the game.
IX: As in, the "physically retrieve from mailbox" type of get.
TE: er... right.
IX: Oh come on, you didn't forget to do that before nightfall, did you?
IX: Remember we were planning to play it together on its release date?
IX: For fuck's sake, it's so stupid this is even an issue.
IX: You really need to get that demon exorcised already so you can leave your room at night like an actual adult.
TE: hey, i'm new to this being an adult thing.
TE: i thought you'd at least be a tiny bit understanding, sharing the same birthday and all that jazz.
TE: also, it's a spirit, dummy. not a demon.
TE: which means it has to be banished instead of exorcised.
IX: Okay, fine. You clearly know more about how to get rid of the thing than I do.
IX: Now mind explaining why you still haven't done so, Ms. Know-It-All?
TE: because it's fuckin cool, duh.
IX: I'll never understand your fascination with this stuff, so I'll leave it at that.
IX: Since we can't play Sverb tonight, maybe we can watch more dumb videos or something?
TE: nah, we'll still play it.
IX: Wait, you don't mean you're going to go get it anyway...?
IX: Don't you dare do that.
IX: I mean, please don't do that.
IX: Please don't you dare.
IX: I really don't want you to risk getting hurt just to play some stupid game. Promise me you won't.
TE: hey, relax.
TE: i never even said i forgot to get it.
TE: it's right here on my desk. :p
IX: What, really?
IX: Well now I feel like an idiot for getting so worried. :u
TE: so? you being a worrisome dumbass is what makes you so great. :p
IX: I'm not sure if I should take that as a compliment or an insult, so thanks.
IX: (It's up to you whether or not you interpret that as sarcasm.)
TE: no prob.
TE: anyway, doesn't this game incorporate webcams somehow?
IX: I'm not sure. One of the very few bits of information released about the game is the vague statement, "see other players." But I'm... not exactly sure what that means, to be honest?
IX: It's kind of unnervingly vague.
TE: sounds like a ridiculous way of saying "webcam support" to me.
TE: sooooo i'm gonna go clean my room a bit.
IX: You know I don't care about your messes now that I no longer have to deal with them, right?
TE: yeah you've told me before, i still just want to make things presentable.
TE: prove that i'm responsible, you know?
TE: anyway yeah, brb!
"Zariyah: Examine incoming message."
You sit down at your COMPUTER. While it may seem rather BARE-BONES from the DESKTOP and TASKBAR, there are many other FILES and GAMES stashed away in various FOLDERS and DIRECTORIES. You just like keeping your desktop clean.
The PRATTLEPAL window taskbar button thing, also known as the WHATEVER IT'S CALLED, is YELLOW. It turns YELLOW when you receive MESSAGES. Therefore, you have MESSAGES.
"Zariyah: Ponder becoming a shaman."
You mean those people who channel spirits and all that? Yeah you think that would be REALLY FREAKIN COOL plus then maybe you would be able to do something about that ANNOYING SPIRIT but honestly you have no idea how to go about becoming one and even then you figure it takes a whole lot of patience and training which you really don't think you can OH HEY SOMEONE MESSAGED YOU.
"Zariyah: Look out the window."
Yup, definitely NIGHT TIME. Glad you could go the extra mile to confirm something you already knew. You could have known from a quick glance it is most definitely DARK out and that the VENGEFUL SPIRIT is ACTIVE, but you made a big deal out of standing on your BED and looking out the WINDOW. With the LIGHTS on, no less.
You appreciate the fact you live on your own now, if not just so you don't run the risk of being seen doing weird things like this.
"Zariyah: Turn on the lights."
That's better. You're not sure what you were thinking, reading in the dark like that to begin with.
Oh, this isn't a poster. It's a RUNIC SEAL you bought to keep the VENGEFUL SPIRIT from entering your room. You didn't have high hopes for it, but it was a pleasant surprise to see it was ONE OF THE FEW THINGS THAT ACTUALLY WORKS.
But even this doesn't make the VENGEFUL SPIRIT any less ANNOYING. It's always trying to KILL or HARM you every time you leave your ROOM. Quite frankly, you think it needs to get a life. Or an afterlife, at least.
"Zariyah: Leave room."
Eh, you would, but you can't think of any real reason to go through the hassle of leaving your room tonight.
"Zariyah: Examine non-bookshelf."
This is your collection of your favorite USELESS TRINKETS. Each one of these came into your possession as VARIOUS SOURCES claimed them to be CURSED ARTIFACTS. While you know many of these claims are so BLATANTLY FALSE to the point of being LAUGHABLE, you figured you may as well buy some of the lower-priced ones just because they LOOK PRETTY COOL. Also it's kinda sorta worth a shot but that isn't the main reason you buy them or anything haha where did you get that idea.
"Zariyah: Take book."
You captchalogue SOME SHITTY BOOK. Even though you're no longer scolded for leaving your STUFF around anymore, you figure it would be best to not leave it to take up space on your BED.
Well, you were actually looking for something to DO, not something to DON'T, but okay.
You usually take care of your BOOKS whenever you can. This one in particular sorta sucks though so you don't really care.
Your name is ZARIYAH. You are fascinated by PARANORMAL LEGENDS, whether they're about SPIRITS, ALIENS, MONSTERS, or WHATEVER, you just can't get enough of them. Of course you don't aimlessly believe everything you hear; you much prefer to EVALUATE the myths for yourself to decide what you think sounds BELIEVABLE or not. But you can't just base your beliefs on THOUGHT and LOGIC alone (especially considering the defining attribute of the paranormal is working against known understandings of science), so you often head out to SEE THINGS FOR YOURSELF. While most leads turn out to be DUDS, you have had a fair share of UNDENIABLE EXPERIENCES, one of which STILL AFFECTS YOU TO THIS DAY. These experiences serve as the MAIN BASIS for your beliefs. Even in the many TALES and ARTIFACTS which prove to be COMPLETELY MUNDANE, you can still find a fair amount of APPRECIATION in them, be it their INSPIRATION from true events, their sheer CREATIVITY, or both.
Of course, the occult is not your sole interest. You also greatly enjoy stories based on FANTASY and intended as PURE FICTION through any medium, be it BOOKS, TV SHOWS, or especially VIDEO GAMES. You consider yourself a bit of a GAMER and often play ONLINE GAMES with your friends, but you also enjoy PLAYING ALONE from time to time. Both in the game worlds and in real life, you're a bit IMPULSIVE, usually lacking the PATIENCE to figure out how anything works before JUMPING INTO IT. While this is generally seen as an unwise way of handling things, you USUALLY manage to come out with varying degrees of SUCCESS. This is considered both IMPRESSIVE and CONFUSING by your friends, though some still consider your behavior WORRYING despite it.
What will you do?
"Try once more."
Before you can even begin typing Dümby Rikardo, the interface picks up on your lack of perfect omniscience and fills in the correct name for you. Someone out there will inevitably criticize this act of blatant hand-holding.
"Try yet again."
You finally gain an ounce of creativity and... huh? Still won't accept it. You swear she totally looks like she could be an Ace Valencia. Maybe she already has a name and it expects you to somehow guess it? No way, that would just be absurd. ...Right?
Are you fucking kidding me?
Either way, it seems it won't let you name her after any existing characters. That, or a surname is required.
Going into referential humor right off the bat? There's no way this could possibly be a bad idea.
<a href="http://mspfanventures.com/?s=12701&p=32">[image]</a> <a href="http://mspfanventures.com/?s=12701&p=63">[image]</a> <a href="http://mspfanventures.com/?s=12701&p=89">[image]</a> <a href="http://mspfanventures.com/?s=12701&p=123">[image]</a> <a href="http://mspfanventures.com/?s=12701&p=171">[image]</a>
Ideas, Writing Assistance:
Behind the scenes feedback, moon adlets, Cheral - Someone very cool and anonymous <3
Proofreading, behind the scenes feedback - <a href="http://zader.tumblr.com/">Zader</a>
Alethea's modus concept - <a href="http://mspfanventures.com/?s=16470">Radical Dude 42</a>
Concept of Sverb, Sylladexes, Fetch Modi, etc. - <a href="http://mspaintadventures.com/">Andrew Hussie</a>
Hosting this fantastic site - nixshadow
<a href="http://mspfanventures.com/?s=12701&p=49">Page 49</a> - <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FcjD-y0wE-c">"A Night In Space"</a>
<a href="http://mspfanventures.com/?s=12701&p=82">Page 82</a> - <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1xkCF4idZBo">"Crystal Cavern" (I-Ninja)</a>
<a href="http://mspfanventures.com/?s=12701&p=171">Page 171</a> - <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=afwK743PL2Y">Waterflame - "Hexagon Force"</a>
<a href="http://mspfanventures.com/?s=12701&p=195">Page 195</a> - <a href="https://homestuck.bandcamp.com/track/ohgodwhat-remix-2">Homestuck - "Ohgodwhat Remix"</a>
<a href="http://mspfanventures.com/?s=12701&p=324">Page 324</a> - <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dvQTwkyRkh8">Fairly Odd Parents: Breakin' Da Rules - "A Dog's Life (Air Vent)</a>
<a href="http://mspfanventures.com/?s=12701&p=426">Page 426</a> - <a href="https://soundcloud.com/user-457097036/synodic-reboot-aspirations-original">Master of Toast - Aspirations (Synodic Reboot)</a>
"Sprite mode" inspiration/base - <a href="http://mspaintadventures.com/">Andrew Hussie</a>
Some custom furniture sprites - <a href="http://omegaupdate.freeforums.net/thread/154/homestuck-room-items-etc">intrepidPioneer</a>
Some clothing sprites - <a href="http://blahjerry.deviantart.com/art/Homestuck-Clothes-plus-Bases-Sprite-Sheet-315489322">blahjerry</a>
"Act 1: Pandemonian Jumpstart"
A young adlet sits in her room, reading a book. Today is - you guessed it - the 15th of Triskaber. What, were you expecting something important? Like a birthday or something? Nope, last time she checked, nothing's really going on today. ...Okay, that was a lie; she didn't really check. But she figures it's safe to assume that today is unremarkable.
Or at least, that is what she would figure if she wasn't so focused on reading at the moment. Either way, it would be a good idea to figure out her name before she finds something else to do, or else we're going to have an awkwardly vague narrative.
> <a href="http://mspfanventures.com/?s=12701&p=3">Credits</a>
> <a href="https://discord.gg/hUnBkHU">Discord</a>