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[Drowned Trilogy] Waterlogged
#1
 
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Before we start, this adventure may address materials and topics that might be difficult subjects for some people -- some of these topics are spoilers for later content. If that sounds like something you need, check out the spoiler below.
Show ContentSpoiler:
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Your name is Daisy, you're a Demon, and you're really not in the most pleasant situation right now.

You can feel the weight around you, crushing, pressing in on every part of your body. Several-thousand tons of sugar water loom overhead. You aren't exactly sure how you got down here but that doesn't really help you at this point.

If you had to guess you'd say you were somewhere in the sea trenches between Aspersion and Spindle. Judging by the pipes full of gunk and industrial waste, you're probably in the southern reaches.

This all feels strangely familiar.

You probably should find a way back to the surface, Verity is going to be worried sick about you, and staying down here very long will probably have dire consequences. Also, you're definitely not getting paid for this.

No, you're not getting paid for being thrown into the ocean, and you don't think your insurance covers ocean-related injuries. That said, you have more important things to worry about than your next pay check, like the beautiful creature floating peacefully over there.

You take a moment to regard the glow shrimp.
 
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Across the chasm, just out of your grasp, the glow shrimp floats peacefully. Many have questioned the quandary of the curious glow shrimp. One would expect that glowing would be an evolutionary dead end, surely something that glows in the deep ocean would only attract predators to it. But the glow shrimp seems to defy all logic, existing, and even thriving despite this trait. There have been many theories about the ability of the glow shrimp to survive, perhaps it has a predatory function, perhaps it shares a symbiotic existence with some other creature. An official study has never been conducted on the life of the glow shrimp, so for now, no one knows. Even more curious than the life and ecology of the glow shrimp is its biology. The glow shrimp lacks a brain, has almost no actual internal organ structure, and is more analogous to a floating mass of glowing gunk than anything else.

You sigh wistfully, ah, to be a glow shrimp, to not care about life, simply drifting along as the deep-sea currents ebb and flow.

This glow shrimp, in particular, seems to be a blue-banded glow shrimp, named such because it has blue bands. The blue-banded glow shrimp tends to live only in the deepest part of the oceans, where its light stands out like a small beacon in the inky blackness.

You almost envy the peaceful life the glow shrimp has.

...

You manage to pry your eyes away from the glorious glow shrimp.

With a reasonable amount of effort, you wind up a kick and give a lonely rock a good punt into the chasm.
 
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The rock jumps forwards as your foot makes contact with it, soaring through the water before majestically drifting into the chasm. The rock falls dreadfully slowly due to the syrupy nature of the deep sea trenches.

Some time after the chunk of earth has vanished from view you see something shift in the chasm. Some weird pitch blackness writhes and coils in the deep. The changes are barely perceptible with how little light there is down here. But whatever is in the chasm, it looks very big.

Then you hear a noise, like a bastardized whale song, an awful, cruel whine. Something about it presses at your eardrums and makes you feel an unease that grasps your heart and squeezes. The noise dries out your mouth and makes your nose itch. Suddenly, you're even sweating a bit, despite being underwater, you know you're sweating. You swear you could even feel the saliva on the tip of your tongue boiling; your paper-like skin crinkling in response to the broken sounds. The noise doesn't stop, warbling and warping, twisted and twisting, and somehow awfully tragic.

 
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In front of you is a large crevice, if you looked into it you could swear you saw something moving around down there. You can see a faint glow that disperses into the unnatural darkness of the ocean's depths.

On the other side of the chasm there are two pipes, one of which appears to be leaking a sickly red fluid. There's also a big rocky rock and a cute glow-shrimp.

You burble out a quick "Sorry", sugar water filling your mouth and getting all sticky against your teeth. Whatever it is in the chasm responds with another painful noise, you're not quite sure if its a scream or just its natural call. The sound is immediately followed by a rushing feeling, you can see the darkness shifting in the depths, approaching quickly. Unfortunately for you, it seems that whatever creature it is in the cavern does not want to be your friend.

With haste, you start swimming away from the trench. Fast locomotion proving difficult to the viscosity of the sugar-water. As each second ticks past you can feel the pressure building, the feeling of its presence growing.

An awful tingle rolls down your spine, like nails on a chalkboard, but the chalkboard is your spine, and the nails are textured like sandpaper. You realize that this probably isn't the best simile, but considering your situation you give yourself a pass. You can feel your head starting to ache, and your vision starting to shift, scan-lines sliding over your eyes as everything blurs and twists out of your control. Whatever's in that chasm won't be for much longer, and you can feel the horrid pressure getting stronger.

You look back.
 
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You immediately regret looking back.

Your eyes burn and ache where they find the empty void of a creature stalking you. A pit of darkness defined by its utter lack of definition, no light that falls on its wretched body ever resurfaces.

You see the horror slipping back beneath the edge of the chasm. Every time you blink the thing seems to change, every time your eyes refocus the geometry and curvature seems to shift, warping and twisting, like it was mocking the very nature of reality.

This seems bad.

You turn tail and run, this action proves to be slightly more effective than swimming. However, you quickly realize this isn't going to help you, your muscles are starting to lock up and you were moving far too slow anyway. You turn back around just in time to see the horror's tail leaving the chasm. The light around it bending and betraying the cruel nature of the creature.
 
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A horrible feeling fills your gut, you know that this thing doesn't have any good interests in mind for you, or any interests at all. All of the awful wrongness that you've felt up till now just gets worse, and you feel a bit of stomach acid rising in your throat. You even consider screaming at, it for a moment, but that would be even less effective than trying to run was.

You look up.
 
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You try your best to look alive, your only hope at this point is if the horror recognizes and tries to mimic you. As you continue to stare at the horror, a burning sensation builds in your eyes, the light tearing and distorting around the creature. You can feel the radiation pouring off of the horror, seeping into your body, poisoning you. Pain fills the horror's eyes, you see it see you, you just can't pull your eyes away.
 
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For a moment, you feel a rush of possibility, the pain in your head lessens and your vision clears, you can see the horror in all of its beauty. The empty dark 'skin' where light falls and never leaves, everything about it just feels so awfully sad.

In this calm moment, something strange about its body bothers you, the symbols crawling over its back, the Modician number system. But you shove that thought out of your mind, worrying about the small details won't save your life.

Then it all falls apart
 
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The Horror Screams (Loud Noise warning)

A blinding wave of pain slams into you, your vision going technicolor as the horror tears itself apart. The pressure from its scream hits you, the sound wave forcing you to your knees. Tears burn in your eyes as your stomach churns. You feel yourself start to shake as the second wave, the one composed of radiation washes over you, your paper-like skin crumbling from the exposure.

You scream in earnest, sugar water filling your lungs. You keep screaming, you can feel your body warping in responses to the horror's radiation, you can feel every change.

You bow your head, humming the familiar tune of a musical prayer, your hands clasped together. You pray to Verity, to XLR, you pray that you could get out of this. You aren't ready to die, not here, not yet. You still have so many things to do.

You look up to face the horror one last time, and see nothing. Just an empty expanse of ocean.

Your body relaxes, exhausted, as darkness overtakes you
 
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DAISY: "...fuck"

Your alarm clock sits on your night stand, glowing faintly in the dark; it's a few hours before morning. Another nightmare in the middle of the night, another dream about the sea-floor. The bed you are in feels vaguely itchy and unclean, like it just isn't right. You can feel your paper-skin, crinkled and soaked through with sweat. Your body aches like you just ran a marathon, you feel a knot in your throat, and everything just seems to be pressing in on you. An awful crushing weight, a source-less primal fear. But you're not on the bottom of the ocean anymore, you're not around the horrors, you're safe.

What do you do?

Daisy groans a bit, adjusting to the darkness and the sensation of about eight new voices in her head, all screaming courses of action. Great, just what she needed, more things wrong with her mind.

She takes in a slow breath, calming herself. Daisy knows she needs to take things one at a time, or she won't get anything done. One of them is telling her to go get water, but considering her dream she really isn't feeling interested in ingesting any liquids right now, or touching any liquids for that matter.

DAISY: "I really just don't like water, water is bad... I'll do it in a bit."
 
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One of the voices is asking about her clock, and the numerals on the horror's back from her dream. Apparent ally the new voices don't even know what numbers are, wonderful.

DAISY: "Okay, shush for a second."
DAISY: "I can't imagine why something out of my own mind doesn't know the numbers I use every day but... why not"
DAISY: "By Verity's name, am I going to have to explain this in a base ten system to you... hell"
DAISY: "So, most places on Morbit, you all do know what Morbit is, right? do I have to explain gods and that too?..."
DAISY: "Anyway, most places on Morbit use what they call base 10, if that is what you use we would be using "base 12"; you can thank XLR for that one."
DAISY: "We have three groupings of four characters -- they work as follows"
 
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DAISY: "I hope that clears it up..."
DAISY: "Frankly though, our system works much better, and I can't imagine why you'd want to use something so ugly as decimal..."

She pulls the cord on her bedside lamp, casting a small amount of light into her apartment building. Two bottles of important medication sit on the nightstand, there's about three days worth of doses left in each of them... she should probably go to the pharmacy soon. Going without medication was bad, very bad, worse than water bad.
 
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DAISY: "I suppose I should say... if ya'll wind up sticking around, and are ever in more direct control than you are now, I have to take these twice every day"
DAISY: "I don't plan on any of you taking the lead but it's worth mentioning."

Daisy lets out a slow breath, going through the numbers calmed her down a little bit, and talking about her medication even more so. Maybe now she would be up to getting water. She grabs a glass from her bedside table and heads to the bathroom -- the hairdryer is there, and so is water, it'll be easy.

Daisy fills the cup with cool water, hands trembling a bit. This didn't feel great to her, and she really didn't like the sound of the faucet running. She knew she could do this though. After a few seconds she shuts the faucet off, setting down the glass of water against the floor and slumping against the sink/drawer combo.

After a few moments, she grabs the hairdryer, using it to at least make herself less soggy. Drying out after a bad dream was really her least favorite thing to do, it made her paper much more prone to cracking and falling off. Alternatively, she could remain soggy and slush around all day which really wasn't any better.

Daisy closes her two main eyes, letting herself just hear the faint electrical hum of the hairdryer.
 
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DAISY: "Well... since you're here... and I'm not going anywhere... whats up?"

Daisy smiles a bit, it makes her feel quite a bit better to know that the voices in her head seem to actually care about her and her well being. Maybe she could get along with them, maybe this wouldn't be something bad. Having things that aren't bad happen would be a nice change of pace.


DAISY: Right... Medication.
DAISY: You're in my head right, shouldn't you know this already? Never is that simple I guess.
 
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DAISY: Enaxic is my anti-psychotic, it's supposed to help with my dissociation, it's also supposed to help with not having voices in my head but you and I can both tell that that's not working right now.
DAISY: Frankly, as long as you all are nice I really don't mine
DAISY: It's nice to have a little company sometimes.
DAISY: Though... are you gonna be around, talking to me, all the time?
DAISY: Is that what collectives have to deal with?
DAISY: Sorry, getting distracted.
DAISY: Trexial is my mood-stabilizer, it's what I take to deal with the symptoms from being a monster, if I don't take this some really bad things could happen. And... I'd probably get in a lot of trouble and then be really sad. But now I've got people to help me remember to take it, so I don't need to forget anymore!

Daisy smiles just slightly, it's not much, but it's there.

DAISY: Honestly... it took all I had in me to get clean and drink some water, I dunno if I could do anything more right now if I tried.
DAISY: Though explaining things and having some people to talk to is really nice.
 
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DAISY: As for the paper skin, it's cause that's one of Verity's motifs interacting with the uh... radiation poisoning I guess is the best way to put it.
DAISY: Being one of her Demons I sort inherit those motifs, her other one is 'imitation', whatever that means. Normally they don't manifest like this for people. But... I'm a monster, so...
DAISY: The other stuff is cause of being a monster, the third eye, being too big.
DAISY: You probably cant tell cause everything in my apartment was custom made for my size but... I'm not, normal sized.
DAISY: But most people don't have a third eye that never closes and skin made out of paper so being a bit big isn't that bad.

Daisy's ears perk up and twitch, catching noise, her head tilting to hear it better.

DAISY: I think I just heard someone outside the door, in the hall... why would anyone be there?
DAISY: You don't think it's something bad? should I check it out?

Daisy supposes she could smash through the door to her apartment. Though that would probably be a pretty bad idea, the door is pretty heavy, would cost a lot to replace, and would hurt someone if they were waiting outside. She approaches the door, looking up against the peephole to see if anyone is in the hall.
 
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A frown creeps onto her face, it's probably normal that nobody is outside her apartment at this time of night; she really felt like she heard someone though. Daisy sighs, rubbing at her forehead again. There have been too many nights like this lately. Too many times in the last few weeks has she been woken up at three A.M.

DAISY: About water?... what do you know about me and water, what does that have to do with you being around now?

She sounds apprehensive, and unsure, the voices in her head haven't been openly hostile yet, even if they have asked stupid questions and told her less than smart things. If her eyes could narrow, they would be now. Daisy shakes her head, putting her suspicions aside for now, listening for something outside....

A soft brushing noise, of a soft material against tile

Daisy tenses up hard, grabbing the handle to her door tightly.

DAISY: Should I...?
DAISY: ... you know, you're right, what am I actually afraid of?

She pushes open the door confidently, leans outside, and stares down the hallway.
 
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The hallway is utterly empty, devoid of people other than her. Something about all this feels wrong, there was something that was supposed to be here. Daisy HEARD someone outside of her apartment, her sense of hearing usually wasn't wrong. Had she forgotten to take her medication?

No, no of course not, she had four pills left in each of her bottles, she remembered this clearly -- two for today, two for tomorrow. There was a feeling of something being there too, something strange, like the light from the overhead fixture was rippling in front of her. She could taste the use of Scrap Magic in the air, someone was here and she was absolutely sure of it.

DAISY: I... don't like this.

She lets out a breath, but doesn't let her guard down.

DAISY: Anyway... Verity.
 
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DASIY: Verity is a greater god, her domains are Truth and Lies, her motifs are Paper and Immitation. She oversees the Independent State of Aspersion.
DAISY: Gods can be High gods, greater gods, or lesser gods. High gods control large regions of geological space and are... usually big and powerful, both literally and figuratively. Greater gods tend to be more on the average species size scale of things, and tend to subdivisions of regions often called Zones. We're in Aspersion right now.
DAISY: Lesser gods are much closer to an average person in terms of their scope, they sometimes wind up in logistical positions of power and to help with practical issues.
DAISY: Gods in general have control over their domains and motifs in some way, the higher a god is in the hierarchy the more powerful their control is. Domains are the concepts related to a god, and motifs are what their bodies are physically made up of.

DAISY: Anyway, back to Verity.
DAISY: She's pretty cool... from what I remember, she's a bit overbearing at times, and looks pretty intimidating, but she really cares about all of us.
DAISY: Everyone in Aspersion matters to her, and she works really hard to make sure we're all safe and well.
DAISY: ... I wish I could get back in contact with her.
DAISY: I can't blame her for not wanting to talk again though.
DAISY: She must feel awful about what happened
DAISY: Even if it wasn't her fault

Daisy sighs, looking down... and
 
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DAISY: That uh... package wasn't there before, right?

Daisy picks up the package and letter, setting them on her kitchen counter. She understood the urge to be careful but, things that require skin contact don't really bother her that much and Aspersion's public safety system is top notch. Sure it's a bit strange to get a package and letter in the middle of the night but, not the weirdest thing she's ever experienced.
 
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DAISY: Speak of a devil, it's from Verity

She hesitates for a moment, taking a few nervous breaths before breaking the wax seal and extracting the page from within.
 
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Dear Daisy

There has been too much time since we last talked, I thought it best to give you space due to my more personal involvement with the circumstances surrounding what happened to you. I assumed that it'd be best to let you get into contact with me.

I've realized that that was likely a mistake, a mistake by my desire to avoid having a potentially difficult conversation. You and I both know what happened, what Loom did to me, and to you. In spite of this, I still find myself followed by the shame and regret of what happened during the Breakage.

To this day, you've remained my Demon, and I do not plan on changing this fact. Unless of course you would want me to... but. You deserve to live in as much comfort as you can since what happened.

To the ends of you as my Demon, I hope that we can re-establish a friendship of sorts. You were my closest aide before the Breakage, and I would be grateful to have you at my side again. Even if it is ultimately your choice to not fill this role, I would hope that we can stay in contact.

If you want to contact me you can call me any time on my personal number. 0BB-442-033A.

I miss being able to talk to you
-Verity.

P.S. Please don't let that number get out, I don't want everyone to be able to call me whenever they want

DAISY: I... don't know.

Daisy sighs, setting the letter down on the kitchen table and rubbing her head with both hands. She didn't expect to get contact from Verity, and she certainly didn't expect what was essentially a job offer.

DAISY: The package... right.

Daisy opens up the package, a bit caught up in her thoughts on Verity to put much safety into it.

She pulls out the contents and lays them on the table
 
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Inside the box, a mailing tube, a sheet of grid paper, binoculars and scissors -- all covered in a faintly glowing thread.

DAISY: Why would... why would someone send me scissors...

Daisy sits down at the kitchen table hard, she seems pretty unsettled by everything that's happened this early morning.

DAISY: I don't like this, those threads... Loom's threads

Daisy moves quickly, throwing the package, and its contents into the trash, she doesn't seem too keen on anything reminding her of Loom either.

DAISY: There...

She lets out a breath, walking around to sit down at the kitchen table. The sound of rain rings out as water droplets smack against her kitchen window. She stares outside, watching the water fall from the grey sky. Seeing the figures walk past, seeing Descant hang in the air -- the floating island just a small speck in the distance

DAISY: What an unpleasant day.
[Image: image7.png]

For a while, Daisy just sits in contemplation, considering her options. There were quite a few things she had to get done today. She had to go get her prescriptions refilled, return a call from a friend of hers that she missed last night, and now get call Verity, and potentially even meet with her again.

Verity's schedule wasn't exactly easy to plan around, but Daisy had a hunch that she would set things aside if it meant being able to talk again. Daisy hums to herself, rapping her hand against the wooden table -- when her alarm clock breaks the haze.

DAISY: AH!

She jolts a bit, not expecting the sudden noise, but then starts laughing.

DAISY: Guess I'm still a bit tense...

DAISY: Is it really almost six? I need to get read for the day..

What should Daisy do first today, and, is there anything she needs to get done before leaving her apartment?

DAISY: Yeah, health facilities are open all day around here.
DAISY: One of the benefits of living in the capital I guess.

Daisy pulls a raincoat from the hangar and makes her way outside, carefully, she heads for the train station. Something felt slightly off to her, she still felt that feeling she did in the hallway. By now, the sensation was much weaker, but someone had definitely been using scraps around here. Using scraps wasn't necessarily a sign for concern but it wasn't very common, and that fact combined with the mysterious package certainly wasn't helping her. Was Verity doing something she didn't know about? She didn't like how that thought felt. Even though it had been so long she was still her Demon, and she hoped that Verity wouldn't lie, or hold anything back from her.

Daisy tried to push that thought out of her head, staring at the small puddles that had accumulated on the train-tracks as she waited for her transportation.
 
[Image: image19.png]

DAISY: come to think of it, the pharmacy isn't too far from the capital office... I could just go there.

She lets out a breath, the potential of talking to Verity again, face to face both excited and terrified her. She really wanted to re-establish their friendship; yet at the same time she worried that Verity would ask her to start working again, as part of the guard. Daisy wasn't sure if she was cut out for that anymore, parts of her didn't work right anymore; her body or her head. She couldn't just let herself have the responsibility of being on the guard if she wasn't able.

She took a few slow breaths, tensing up and then relaxing. Letting all this bother her wasn't important right now, she was going to get her medicine, and she could worry about everything else later.
 
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The pharmacy was empty, this time of day, just a single, familiar face stood in the window.

???: Hey, Daisy, same as usual, right?
DAISY: Yeah, same as usual.
???: Remembering to take them alright, every morning you know.
DAISY: Yeah... every morning.

The exchange took just a few moments, and soon Daisy had her refills in her hands. She stowed them away in her jacket, leaning against the counter for a moment.

???: So, how've things been?

>You may suggest a name (and pronouns if you feel down for that) for Daisy's pharmacist.

DAISY: Eh, a bit of good, a bit of bad.
DAVIS: Well at least there's some good in there.
DAISY: Yeah, really.

Daisy lets out a long yawn, stowing the bag containing her prescriptions into her jacket pocket.

DAISY: It's really raining hard outside.
DAVIS: Sure is, out of nowhere too.
DAVIS: The weather report is rain all week, there's even a flood warning in the downtown districts.
DAISY: Jeez... that sounds... bad.
DAVIS: Yeah, I'd stay away over the next few days if you can.
DAVIS: This time of year the storms blowing over from Spindle always get really bad.
DAVIS: It'd be nice to not have to deal with it.
DAISY: Yeah...
DAVIS: You seem pretty tired, sure you're doing alright?
DAISY: Yeah just... not much sleep
 
[Image: image41.png]

Daisy glances down at Davis, she didn't usually mind him, but right now she was tired and rather hungry -- and honestly he was getting on her nerves a bit. She feels her stomach growl, missing breakfast was definitely a mistake. She would have to get something around here. What a pain. She took a moment to figure out how to end the conversation without sounding like an ass. Eventually, Daisy settles on the upfront approach.

DAISY: Hey, I'm gonna go get something to eat, don't run out of energy talking to me before the mid-day rush.
DAVIS: Cmon Daisy, it's the weekend, nobody likes to do shopping then
DAISY: Don't say I didn't warn you.

Daisy turns quickly and heads off, before the conversation can go any further. She hopes that that wasn't too rude, but really she's too hungry to focus on that thought for long... and things just feel, tired and weird today -- she blames the nightmares for that.

DAISY: alright, I really need to get some food...
DAISY: and call Verity... and Arash
DAISY: augh, I hate choices, any ideas?

DAISY: demon tacos, what?
DAISY: tacos for demons? no... I dont usually get special stuff other than uh... fear? some people respect me more I guess.

Daisy shrugs off the weird thoughts, heading into the taco establishment. She orders a large plate of tacos, and grabs a soda-can from the refrigerator. She really is feeling hungry.

DAISY: Verity... right, I can do this, I can call her
DAISY: She's not going to say anything rude or, judge you, she asked you to call her
DAISY: You can do this Daisy...

Her stomach growls

DAISY: maybe after I eat.

By the time Daisy's food is ready, a growling stomach is the least of her worries. She knows that only a few minutes at most have passed since she placed her order. In spite of this she just keeps getting more hungry by the minute. She could even feel a bit of drool dripping down her cheeks slowly; dampening her paper-skin.
 
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Once the food was in-front of her, eating was easy. She swooped of the platter of tacos, wrapping and all, dropping them into her open maw, soon followed by the can of soda. For a moment she chewed, a loud hissing escaping her mouth as the aluminium container depressurized.

Daisy swallowed, it occurred to her some people were staring. She wasn't exactly acting normally she supposed, nor was she what most people looked like. She let out a low grumbling noise, so many things were troublesome like this. People didn't know what to do with her, and she quite literally didn't fit with a lot of things in Aspersion.

She lets out a long sigh, it wasn't that there weren't accommodations, there were enough different types of people around the capital that services were accessible to just about everyone. But she was unusual in ways that were more than just size; it made things difficult.

That didn't matter right now though, now she had to make a call.

She pulls the radio and keypad combination from her pants pocket. She focuses on Verity, and punches in the number. She presses the radio to her ear, and waits. For a moment nothing, and then a faint static buzz of an active line

DAISY: crap, what do I say, ah I didn't think this part through, I-

VERITY: Hello?

There she is.
 
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DAISY: Yes!, Verity, hi!
VERITY: With whom am I speaking?
DAISY: It's Daisy, I just got your letter this morning
VERITY: Daisy!, I'm so glad you decided to call me

Daisy can hear Verity's voice change, going from a more formal and dry cadence to something much more personal and emotive; it seemed that Verity still did regard her as a friend. She wasn't quite sure how she felt about that... it was what she wanted, but.

DAISY: Yeah it, it took a bit of effort, I'm actually out at the shopping center right now.
VERITY: Thankfully you were still living in Obloquy, otherwise getting that letter to you would have been much more difficult. Which center, by the way?
DAISY: Yeah, I wouldn't just leave here... and western downtown, the inland one, anyway... so...
VERITY: So?
DAISY: I was wondering if you had any time some-time soon where we could talk in person... I miss working alongside you. Of course if you're busy I'd understand, you have a lot of management things to do, and.
VERITY: We can meet tomorrow
DAISY: Oh okay... wait, tomorrow?
VERITY: Is there a problem with your schedule?, I figured the weekend would be easier for you, work wise.
DAISY: No, I just thought you'd be busy.
VERITY: Not for you.
DAISY: I ah... oh.
VERITY: You're still my demon, that hasn't changed. I haven't revoked that gift for a reason, you're still someone I trust, Daisy.
DAISY: ...
VERITY: You were the best aid I could have asked for.
DAISY: Verity...
VERITY: Sorry, I don't mean to be overbearing.
DAISY: It's not that, I just figured you didn't want to see me... since, the stuff with Loom.
VERITY: That was it's fault, not ours.

Verity's voice goes slightly icy at the mention of Loom, it sounds like she isn't too happy about it's actions either. Daisy swallows nervously, unsure what to say at this point.

VERITY: Look, I have to go to a meeting soon, but I am going arrange for someone to pick you up and bring you to my house tonight. You can have a nice weekend, we can get familiar with each other, go from there. Does that sound good for you?

DAISY: Alright!.

And then the line was dead.

She had done it, she made a phone-call to Verity and now she was going to meet her tomorrow. Daisy could feel her heart thumping in her chest. A sense of self-pride and confidence filling her. She knew it wasn't much, and that most people made phone-calls on a daily basis. But for this small success, she was proud of herself.

Her attention was yanked away from celebration when her stomach rumbled. Maybe it was time for more food, something about that bothered her. She had ate a lot of food, but now she was just as hungry, if not more so than before she ate in the first place.

She ordered another round, and called Arash while waiting for them to be made.

The line clicks open.

ARASH: Yes, Hello, Daisy!
ARASH: It has been quite a while since we talked, no?
DAISY: Heh... yeah, It has been.
DAISY: I wanted to know how things have been around your shop.
DAISY: Still getting customers?
ARASH: Daisy! Friend, you know how it is.
ARASH: Not one day without customers.
ARASH: Best Body-Mod-Shop in Aspersion, Is why so many patrons.
DAISY: Of course, the best shop in Aspersion.
ARASH: Number one, every year!
DAISY: Hey, I'm sorry, something came up and I have to go for a bit... I'll talk to you later, maybe we can do lunch some time, if you're not covered in grease.

Daisy wasn't so sure about the phone call anymore, she normally liked talking to him but. Other people in general just seemed to be bothering her right now, getting on her nerves. Usually she'd find his bombastic attitude cute. Currently it was just making her a bit angry.

Daisy hung up the line quickly, eyes turning to the food in front of her. She really was so much more hungry than usual. With no hesitation, she tilted her head back and devoured it all in one swift gulp.

 
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She felt the chips, the vegetables and the meat, especially the meat, glide over her tongue -- and chewed for just a second swallowing. Daisy knew it wasn't real but she could almost feel the food gripping her throat. The food felt so wrong right now, like it just wasn't supposed to be there.

Daisy gets up, and heads back to the train station. She needs to get to work, even though she's still so hungry. Maybe work will distract from this. You aren't quite sure if, she isn't quite sure if she should be worried. She tries to shake the unease from her head. But something about it sticks and hangs onto her like sap.

You find the once-familiar station platform, Daisy knows it well. She looks around, and swallows, a small knot welling in her throat. Everything felt so out of focus and broken. This wasn't correct, the world around her was, quite simply, broken.

DAISY: hey im... not doing so great.
DAISY: i might need...

You stumble a bit, and catch yourself on a pole. When you look up, you see the issue with the world.
 
[Image: image42.png]

DAISY: I don't think I can do this right now
DAISY: you weren't supposed to deal with this but
DAISY: please get us home

You look up, through her eyes, for the first time since that dream. And something small, something easily forgotten when faced with lots of new information tickles at the back of your head.

Did Daisy take her medication this morning?

Before you can even do something, you have to catch yourself from falling over, everything is so foreign. You could vaguely see it through Daisy's eyes before, but now, now you're experiencing it. You're experiencing what it's like to be in her body, and frankly it's not very fun right now.

You reach into your jacket pocket -- nothing, it takes you two more tries before you find the pocket with the medication in it. You're not really used to actually controlling this body in the first place, so everything is a bit clumsy. You almost drop the bottle, but manage to get one pill of the Trexial into your mouth, you hope that that's the right dose.

You take a moment to look over yourself, you can tell that you're drooling a bit. Which is probably an issue. You also note that you feel something strapped against your leg in your right boot. Something cylindrical, you're not really sure what it is.
 
[Image: image34.png]

You're not doing too great.

YOU: Daisy, what's going on?!
YOU: Daisy???

It seems she's not responding yet.

When you snap back to reality a train has arrived, people are rushing out, but they don't look like people, not exactly, they just seem so fake, so unreal. You don't like how this is making you feel at all.
 
[Image: image40.png]

And it just gets worse.
 
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You take a deep breath, and close your eyes, you can't stand to see anything else right now. Carefully retrieving the Enaxic, swallowing one pill of it as well, the whole process takes much longer than you'd like. The only thing you're really sure of right now is the stone that you feel under your paper-skin. You try again.

YOU: Daisy?

After what feels like an eternity, she responds

DAISY: I'm sorry

She sounds scared and on edge, her voice wavering even though you were only hearing it in your head.

DAISY: I should have explained more to you all I'm...
YOU: Daisy, what does it mean to be a Monster?
DAISY: right... I'm a monster, and a demon. A demon is a servant to a god, and a monster is someone who's been exposed to and changed by horror radiation

You can hear her take a heavy, trembling breath -- all in your head of course

DAISY: monsters typically grow in size quite a lot compared to their regular counterparts, we also tend to grow extra... things, like eyes, or teeth, or other parts... and we, well... it's...

She has to stop for a moment, and catch her breath, you swear you could hear crying.

DAISY: worse than that, monsters tend to get very hungry, I hate it when it happens, I could eat anything, anyone... and I know it wouldn't be enough.

DAISY: I... I mean, we, monsters also have issues regulating their emotions, I get very angry... and... other things, I don't know if it'd be the same for you... or different. I'm sorry if you're feeling any anger because of me...

For a long while there is nothing, then, just slightly audible, a small, and scared voice.

DAISY: Are we safe?

You stumble forward onto the train, you aren't entirely sure if this is the right thing to do -- but this was where Daisy was going in the first place so it must be close to correct.

You: We took one of each of your pills, was that right?
DAISY: the ones I just got?
DAISY: ... you should be fine just... do you remember where I live? Can you get us there?
DAISY: I don't think I can do that myself.

You manage to get yourself to hold onto one of the support-poles of the subway car. The people around you still look so blurred and fake, though it's getting a bit better. You take a deep breath, feeling the drool still clinging to your chin. Your paper skin slightly dampened from it.
 
[Image: image55.png]


DAISY: three stops... just so you know
YOU: maybe we can talk to distract us?
DAISY: that would be good... you sure you're okay?
YOU: well, the mood and the hunger thing doesn't seem -

Just as you're about to finish that sentence your stomach growls loudly, maybe it was a bit worse than you first noticed.

YOU: we've got it under control

NOTE:
SpoilerShow
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YOU: we're... hungry, but we can do this, lets talk, okay?
DAISY: okay... please be careful
YOU: we will

You feel a strange tingling sensation throughout your body, your hair would be standing on end if you had any. You can feel parts of your body crinkling just so slightly in sympathy. Something was happening here but you couldn't quite tell what.

DAISY: so
DAISY: is there anything you wanted to talk about?

You immediately have a bunch of questions come to mind, and you have to hold yourself back from asking them all to Daisy at once. Your grip tightens on the subway-pole. You take a moment and decide to start off on your list.

YOU: Firstly, who is Arash?
DAISY: Oh! he owns a local body modification and augmentation shop...
DAISY: He talks all the time about his work, he's really good at it, but super busy all the time
DAISY: ... he's kinda cute, too.
 
[Image: image59.png]

The train rattles, and you start to feel a bit uneasy, the world just starting to come back into clarity, and for the first time it truly strikes you how strange and varied everyone is.

YOU: ... also, like, what's time like here... we don't use this sorta... number system
DAISY: yeah, you mentioned, it's "Zero to Twelve" as you would say, twice, for each half of the day

You can practically hear the annoyance in her head-voice as she talks about the decimal system, she must really not like it.

YOU: Right, What did you do for Verity, what are you doing now?
YOU: Oh yeah and what's that weird thing on your leg???

You realize you might have gotten a bit ahead of yourself, but it was hard not to, the drugs must be doing something to the body. Or maybe you're just making it up.
 
[Image: image63.png]

You hear daisy laugh, hopefully it's not at you.

DAISY: you really like talking, don't you?
DAISY: The 'thing on my leg' is a tranquilizer dose, in case I start getting really bad I just jab myself with that... and probably promptly pass out; it's better than killing people
DAISY: Anyway, I don't have a specific job anymore, I can't really hold one as is, so I've just been doing jobs here and there that people want.
DAISY: Today I was going to help someone move construction materials... Ihope they don't miss me
DAISY: Being a Demon has its benefits... free housing and all .
DAISY: And before... well, I was a commanding officer for the Obloquy division ofthe zone wide Militia. We had a fancy name and everything, still do I think. G.E.A.S
DAISY: I had a pretty nice uniform back then
DAISY: ... It's at the bottom of the ocean now

Ouch, you're not really sure what to say to that, maybe you should go for a sympathetic route. You hope that Daisy doesn't , brain shock you or something, if she even could.

YOU: Was it... bad down there?
DAISY: Yeah, I don't like to think about it.

You wince to yourself a bit, the feeling of the body's paper skin crinkling makes you wince more, this was going to take a lot of getting used to.

YOU: Have you tried... like, practicing fasting, so it's easier to deal with the monster stuff?
DAISY: That's... not how it works
YOU: Or like... self control exercises?
DAISY: I'm never not hungry
DAISY: it's always there
DAISY: All the time, it's waiting, I have to eat a lot, I only stopped cause well... I don't know actually
YOU: Meditati -
DAISY: Don't finish that word
YOU: ... sorry, we're not exactly, familiar with this
DAISY: There is nothing I can do if I miss my medication
DAISY: Other than hope I remember to take it in time, or hope I can manage to get my tranquilizer dose into myself before I kill someone

Dang, she sounds mad

The rest of the train ride is spent in silence, until she speaks up at one stop.
DAISY: This is our stop, get off here

You wince, she really is upset about the whole "meditation" thing.
YOU: Hey I'm sorry... look... is there anything you like to talk about?
DAISY: Right now? No, later, maybe.

You make it out of the subway system, looking across the street.
 
[Image: image33.png]

YOU: Can you... tell me which apartment yours is?
DAISY: Second floor, right across the street, east wing, number 3, has a nice lookout right onto the street. That description good enough?
YOU: Yeah.

YOU: ... uh, Daisy...?
DAISY: Yes?
YOU: Not to alarm you... there's someone in your apartment
DAISY: What?
YOU: That window right there? there's someone inside.

For a little while, there isn't any reply, Daisy stays silent. You can feel a sort of tension in your head.

DAISY: We should do something about this.

You head across the street, entering the building, the stairs leading up to the second floor sit infront of you, looming over you. You take a breath for a moment, should you really be confronting this?

 
[Image: image54.png]

YOU: is this a good idea? Should we like... call the police?
DAISY: please, I'm a demon, and you can still do Motif Manipulation... even if you don't know how. Worst comes to worst I'll just do it.

Daisy still seems a bit frustrated, with you, her words are short and snippy.

The second floor hallway is unnervingly empty, making sure to be as quiet as possible, you approach the to Daisy's apartment. Small, colored particles hang in the air outside it, they bump into each other, coalescing into a rainbow of dancing lights.

Blue glowing thread hangs from your door handle.
 
[Image: image21.png]


YOU: what are those?
DAISY: Shreds... whoever it is must've been using a Scrap...
YOU: ... okay...

You aren't quite sure what a Scrap is, or even really what Shreds are; but this isn't the best time to ask. You could of course, but that would mean giving whoever is in Daisy's apartment time to do what they're doing.

YOU: Hey, are there any exits other than this door?
DAISY: Nope, and the stairs are the only way out of here, other than the emergency exit... which would trigger an alarm

You stand there for a moment, considering your options, you could wait for them to come outside -- giving them time to carry out their business. Or you could go and confront them -- but they'd likely know you were coming.

DAISY: Well, are we going to go inside?

YOU: what's motif manipulation?
DAISY: Motif manipulation means you can influence things that aligns with my God's motifs. In this case, Paper and Imitation
DAISY: If it comes down to it, I'll take control, I'm probably a better fighter anyway.

YOU: Are... could we just be seeing things?
DAISY: Possibly, but, you saw shreds... you wouldn't just hallucinate those

You enter the apartment and lock the door behind you, it's painfully quiet, and only the occasional noise of shifting floorboards as you walk can be heard.
 
[Image: image23.png]

YOU: whoever it is probably knows we're coming

You press your back to the wall, inching closer towards the kitchen, this is where you saw them. You take slow, and careful breaths, trying to be as quiet as possible. A strange tingling feeling growing in your body, something was happening.

DAISY: So they've got a scrap...

Something about this felt wrong, like you were getting yourself in over your head.

YOU: Daisy... what do we do?
DAISY: that's on you.

YOU: Daisy... this feels like a bad idea, we don't even know what a scrap is, we dont know who we'll be up against, shouldn't we get the guard or something?

DAISY: Oh, this is absolutely a bad idea, but if they have a scrap there's not anything you or the police could really do.
DAISY: If they DO have a scrap, we'd need help from Verity probably, and she'snot here right now. Or get a scrap of our own, but that's unlikely.
DAISY: But I'm not about to let someone root through my home and mess with my things
DAISY: My belongings are mine, and I do not want anyone that has anything to do with that spider getting their dirty hands on them

You can feel the malevolence slipping into Daisy's voice as she starts to talk about Loom, it's almost overwhelming in how strong it is.

YOU: This feels like a REALLY bad idea.
YOU: Anyway... we have. The paper from the bookshelf, the paper in the trashcan, your poster on the kitchen wall, receipts from the pharmacy and those bags.
YOU: We also have those tranquilizer drugs that you mentioned!

DAISY: Good, can you look into the kitchen?
 
[Image: image35.png]

You: It's empty

You edge towards the kitchen entrance and peek around the corner... only to find the room entirely empty.

DAISY: Pardon?

You duck back around the corner, thinking for a moment.

YOU: The room is entirely empty, nobody was in there, we're sure of it.
YOU: We still feel that.... tingling thing you said was a "scrap" but.... there's nothing there, Daisy.

What do you do?

YOU: Okay... we've got an idea
YOU: Just one thing, what are Loom's motifs? sorry to bother you with it but, it's important
DAISY: Its motifs are Clothing and Puppetry.
DAISY: You're fine.
DAISY: Just don't get us hurt.

You reach into the pockets of your sweatpants, grabbing the bag that previously held your medication. Between it and the several pages that warn about side effects and drug interactions you have quite the amount of paper at your disposal.

The motif manipulation comes easy to you, the paper shredding itself into a haze of fine particles as you will it. From there, it's only a matter of dispersing the particles throughout the apartment. First scanning the kitchen, then the bedroom.
 
[Image: image62.png]

The illusion falters as the myriad of tiny papers get brush against the body that is very much trying to sneak out of your apartment.

DAISY: Oh

YOU: Shit

The intruder has eight arms, three pairs sticking out from his back, joints bent at an assortment of angles, twitching occasionally as if they were pulling on string. His outfit is sleek and form-fitting, looking almost like some sort of uniform. You can see that in his right hand he has some sort of staff with a... thing attached to it. The details are hard to make out through the haze.

DAISY: That's a scrap...

???: Heeeyyyyy Daisy uh... Look I know this looks bad.

His voice is nervous, but slightly singsong; his back remains turned to you as he continues to creep towards the door.

DAISY: Get him

What do you do?

You don't give the intruder any time to respond, sending a storm of fine papers at his body. Keeping them rigid, like a storm of tiny blades flying through the air. You catch him in the side as he turns around, slightly distinct hissing noise escaping him.

The next few things happen very quickly, as soon as his face comes into viewyou feel pure panic coming from Daisy.

DAISY: SHIT, DON'T TOUCH HIM!

Half way through your first step you see a cloud of glowing blue thread lashing out from his body - which, you note, looks very cloth-like. You also register a pained noise coming from him. As if whatever he is doing is causing physical strain. As you finish your first step, the strings connect, rooting into your clothing, which becomes rigid like metal. You're taken down to your knees as the clothing restricts your movements.
 
[Image: image20.png]

???: Daisy... What happened to you...?

He sounds concerned, and somewhat in pain.

DAISY: ...

Daisy doesn't seem to be saying anything, she's definitely there, but she feels far away, like you can't contact her. Almost like there's something in-between you and her.

YOU: What are you doing in my home?

???: It's... sort of hard to explain.

YOU: We've got a while.

You can't really move much, but you've still got control over the storm cloud of papers surrounding him. You could easily drive them all inwards and do some good harm. His strings are connected to those papers as well, but you get the feeling he can either stop you or the papers, not both.

YOU: I wanna know.
 
[Image: image60.png]

His head is wrapped in a scarf, and you can make out at least two distinct pairs of eyes. They look like buttons, sewn to his cloth-like head.

???: Well... You received my package I'm assuming, only, when I left it there was a letter from... you-know-who already there.
???: I couldn't just stand by knowing that she was involved, but it was late and it was risky to stay knowing that any of her people could have been around.
???: So I decided to scope out your apartment for a few hours, make sure there wasn't anything around here that shouldn't be.
???: You threw away my package...
???: What's going on with you, Daisy? I know that... I know what happened then was bad but...
???: I knew that she tried to kill you.
???: I just never realized it was like this

How should you respond?
Reply
#2
YOU: Daisy, cmon, we need your help here...

You bite your lip, she still isn't responding... all you know is that she said that you shouldn't touch him. You suppose the best thing you can do at this point is stall for time. The bindings don't seem to be actually wrapped around you, your clothes themselves are what's restricting you.

YOU: What did you think it was like?

The figure pauses, he reaches up with his upper-most set of arms. Pulling the scarf wrapped around his head out of the way, so he can look at you with all eight of his eyes.

???: Daisy... this.
???: I knew what happened with... the ocean
???: But ever since then it's been nearly impossible to get any information about Aspersion into Spindle

YOU: And what information would that be?

???: We only found out months ago that you were still Alive.
???: I thought you were dead still, and when I heard you weren't.
???: I had to see for myself, I knew it couldn't be good, that sort of thing has to effect someone.
???: But this?
 
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He pulls the cloth covering parts of his face out of the way, looking at you with all eight button-eyes. Even though they're just objects, without any real expression, you still get a sense of sympathy from them, as if it hurts him to see Daisy like this.

???: Daisy, you're a monster, and it's awful to see you, anyone like this

DAISY: ...clothing and puppetry

You can hear dasiy muttering quietly, voice somber and low.

DAISY: That's one of Loom's Demons.... Damien

Her voice is quiet, and empty, just reciting facts

DAISY: If he gets his scarf around us we're dead
DAISY: He's Loom's... go ahead and kill him if you want
DAISY: I never wanted to see either of them again... Maybe you can figure something useful out
DAISY: Loom probably sent him to tie up loose ends since it knows we're alive now

YOU: So what, you're here to finish the job? put me out of my misery?

DAMIEN: What?! no! why would I ever want to do that?!

Something isn't lining up here, maybe you should continue pressing Damien, maybe you should take Daisy's suggested course of action.

YOU: "You tell me"

You would narrow your eyes if you could, you don't exactly trust Damien, but as long as he's standing there spewing out useful information you might as well keep him going.

DAMIEN: "I... what? why would I ever want to kill you?"
DAMIEN: "Spindle is, there's been more terror attacks lately..."
DAMIEN: "I... Loom isn't doing anything anymore.
DAMIEN: "It hasn't for far too long now."
DAMIEN: "It still takes the blame"
DAMIEN: "It needs help"

You're about to say something, when a feeling rises up in your throat; something almost like bile. You can feel this almost primal fury from inside your head. Daisy is screaming. You feel some sort of liquid dripping from your eyes and mouth, you're not really sure what's causing it but.
 
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YOU:"What do you mea-"

And suddenly you can't control your speech anymore, Daisy isn't just screaming in your head anymore, and you're increasingly unsure if you could keep her from trying to rip his head off.

DAISY: "It needs help?"
DAISY: "IT? is the one who needs help?"
DAISY: "I spent"
DAISY: "SIXTY FOUR"
DAISY: "FUCKING."
DAISY: "YEARS"
DAISY: "At the BOTTOM of the ocean!"
DAISY: "Can you possibly fucking conceive that?"

YOU:"Daisy... you need to..."

DAMIEN: "Dais..."

DAISY:"Don't tell me what I need to do!"

She definitely said that out loud.

DAMIEN: "..."

DAMIEN: "Daisy... what happened down there?"

DAISY: "I suffered."
DAISY: "But I lived."
DAISY: "And you, don't you dare tell me that Loom of all people needs help"

DAMIEN: "You're the only one who can help it."

Maybe you should step in here? -- Daisy seems to be calming down a bit, though letting her be might be playing it safe.

YOU: Daisy can I just -

You try to interject for a moment, but for the time being Daisy doesn't seem to be intent on losing her momentum. She digs her hands into the wooden flooring, glaring up at Damien.

DAISY: Well then, too bad
DAISY: I guess it'll be yet another tragedy, in a long line of tragedies.
DAISY: Loom doesn't deserve my help
DAISY: It's insulting that you'd even think to ask me.
DAISY: After all it's done.
DAISY: After so much suffering you'd have the nerve to ask me to help the one responsible for it all.
DAISY: About time that it gets what it deserves.

DAMIEN: It wasn't it's fault!

DAISY: It drugged us Damien, it used it's power to... to

DAMIEN: But how?!
DAMIEN: What method would it have to do that?
DAMIEN: Think Daisy, how did it drug us, how could it have done that?

DAISY: You know how, it...

DAMIEN: Verity was stronger at the time, so how?
DAMIEN: You've got to-

YOU: What the fuck do you think you're trying here?

You see the moment, Damien about to regain control over the flow of the conversation, Daisy distracted, too conflicted by the words in her head, the feelings swelling up in her throat. You're not about to let this happen

DAMIEN: Well, I wanted help wi-

YOU: You break into my home, you assault me, and then you ask me to help? what do you think you were going to accomplish with this method?
YOU: Are you stupid or just cruel?

DAMIEN: No, I.
DAMIEN: You attacked me first!
DAMIEN: I was defending myself!
DAMIEN: I specifically was trying not to hurt you

He stammers the words out, clearly put on edge

YOU: And you broke into my apartment.

He takes a step back, you feel the strings start to weaken, you hear Daisy's voice calm and stable in your head.

DAISY: Thank you... I've got this from here
DAISY: I'm done hearing you talk.

Daisy ruptures her skin briefly, small sheets of paper slicing the threads that rooted her to the ground, a pained growl escaping her lips. She pushes herself up, a confident smirk on her face. Damien takes one more step back, jaw set, worry on his face. He calls out the scrap he was using before, the air between you starting to blur and haze.

DAISY: Don't.
DAISY: Watch where you are.
 
[Image: image6.png]

A massive paper jaw hangs in the air, surrounding Damien, ready to bite down at a moments notice.

DAISY: Damien, why are you here... what could you possibly have gained by coming here?

DAMIEN: I really... I really just wanted your help.
DAMIEN: I... you hate Loom, and in your mind that's justified.
DAMIEN: But please, trust me, for old time's sake, trust me this time.
DAMIEN: Please.

DAISY: I say we send him home with a few souvenirs lodged in his chest

Well, at least Daisy seems less outright murderous, but the situation is incredibly tense. You could try and defuse things, Damien is offering you an out here and you could take it but... Daisy might not be happy with that. And given that she's fully in control now you can't just do something outright.

What do you suggest to do?

YOU: Look Daisy, killing him isn't going to get anything and.... if you injure him that's just a reason Loom has to be angry at you and send another person to actually kill you.

DAISY: So? what are you saying I do then, just let him go?

YOU: Or keep him trapped here until you can talk to Verity.

DAISY: That's not good enough

YOU: Well the other options aren't either.

DAISY: ... I can't keep him here, don't have the energy, probably couldn't take him in a fight either actually... He's got a scrap, even though I've got the size advantage... he's more durable.

YOU: Are you sure?

DAISY: Yeah, I've got not choice, either he leaves now, or later.

She sounds pretty downtrodden, defeated even, not happy about the situation at all. She sounds like she's given up on winning here. Whatever that might mean to her. The paper around Damien begins to crumple and float to the ground. Her voice just sounds more empty than before.

DAISY: Fuck.

DAISY: "Leave, and if you care about me, don't come back"

DAMIEN: "Daisy, I"

DAISY: "LEAVE!"

She shouts, her own jaw clenching tight.

DAISY: "Just, leave."

Damien hesitates for a moment, before turning and running our of the door - starting to vanish into thin air once he gets out into the hallway.
 
[Image: image13.png]

DAISY: Damnit.
DAISY: Fuck, fuck, fuck.
DAISY: Verity's escort should be here soon, I hope. I want to get this day fucking over with.

Daisy swallows nervously, taking a few moments to calm down, you can't really feel anything that her body is experiencing right now, but you can tell that she is very tense after all that.

YOU: Hey, uh, just breathe alright? we did it!

You're not exactly sure what else to say, but the fact that Daisy and you all are not dead or seriously injured is something worth celebrating.

YOU: I don't know if you're, like, okay yet... But, you said he was one of Loom's people... Loom's your enemy right, why would he think you would help?

DAISY: I... really can't say... Damien never seemed very smart... I can't believe he's just come here though. Loom must be desperate if it'd consider asking one of its enemies.

YOU: Hey, it's fine, we don't have to talk about it, maybe you could tell us some more about scraps?

Daisy bites her lip, making a humming noise.

DAISY: Scraps... are... difficult
DAISY: They're a part of a person's being, part of their self. A scrap usually is made when someone experiences really strong emotions... Or... severe enough trauma.
DAISY: Most people don't even know that scraps exist, it's somewhat uncommon to be able to sense them, but even rarer to be able to see or touch them, and rarer still to actually manipulate them. That's what Damien was doing, by the way.
DAISY: Scraps also, they're not just tools, they're a part of a person, they have memories and emotions associated with them... when you're manipulating scraps that can mess with you if you're not careful.
DAISY: Oh yeah, demons and gods can manipulate scraps no matter what, and if you're very well trained a scrap user could be compared to a greater god in strength... but it depends on a lot of things, how strong the god is for one.
DASIY: That's that.
 
[Image: image28.png]
Daisy sighs, walking into the kitchen and looking out the window, a lone car is parked outside

DAISY: And... well, I was going to get picked up by one of Verity's employees soon, I don't know how long it'll be until they get here.. I should pack...

YOU: Just don't forget your meds

DAISY: On it, I'll pack them up now

YOU: oh yeah... by the way, where in Aspersion are you, is verity far?

Daisy starts packing her things, starting with her medication and a spare change of clothes
 
[Image: image69.png]
DAISY: I live in Obloquy, it's a coastal city in the south... Verity isn't too far outside of the city, she's just a district away... she's got a district all to her-self, southernmost tip of the island.

It's a few hours by car.

She's about to continue, but you both are interrupted by a knock at the door.

DAISY: Is it really the nighttime already?

Daisy heads over to the door

DAISY: yeah... I guess I lost track of time at some point
DAISY: what an exhausting day, I'm ready to collapse

Daisy peers through the peephole
[Image: image67.png]

DAISY: That should be the ride, dressed pretty formally too... they must be pretty high ranking from their dressing. I wonder why Verity would send someone like that, weird.

YOU: Alright, lets finish packing

DAISY: gotcha

She grabs the rest of her stuff, zips up her suitcase, grabs her coat, and opens the door.

Time to go?

Daisy opens the door, greeted by a somewhat familiar sight.
 
[Image: image25.png]

The smell of chalk dust is so strong in the air that even you can smell it, even when Daisy is out there doing the work right now.

DAISY: Oh, uh, wow

YOU: what?

DAISY: It's an honor to have someone like you escort me, I guess Verity must think I'm pretty important

Daisy seems nervous all of a sudden, which, isn't really something you'd expect considering how she just handled the situation with Damien

DAISY: They're a high ranking officer in our zone's militia... you can tell by the markings on their mask

YOU: huh..

???: Grab whatever you have packed, Verity wants you in her district by tomorrow morning, so we should move quickly

DAISY: Right to work then!

She turns quickly, moving at a fast pace, but not running. Collecting a duffel bag, stuffed full with a change of clothes, her hair-dryer, and a recently filled prescription. Can't be forgetting that again so soon. Soon, the two are on their way down the hallway, Daisy's bag hanging from her shoulder, her raincoat trailing at her feet.
 
[Image: image26.png]



???: You can call me Sam, if you want.

DAISY: Ah, okay.

Sam shuts up pretty quickly, not saying much more. His voice seems rather gruff, either he's got a cold or a bad habit of smoking -- more likely the former since he appears to be such a high ranking official.

DAISY: uh...

SAM: The car is just outside, if you have any questions let me know.

DAISY: I have a few... -- do you have anything you wanna ask them?
 
[Image: image53.png]

DAISY: I'll take that as a no.

She walks in silence with Sam to the car, she puts her luggage in the trunk, and climbs in. The car is a bit cramped for someone of her size, but she can manage, it's not the worst thing in the world

DAISY: So, Sam, why did Verity send you?

SAM: What do you mean?

DAISY: You're part of her personal guard right? there has to be something more important

SAM: She disagrees, you are the something important.

DAISY: ...

SAM: It isn't my business to question her orders, and it isn't yours either, if she says that you're important, you're important.

DAISY: Well, uh, how have things with Spindle been, I've read the history books, the war and all that...

SAM: Yeah, they don't tell you too much, the treaty we signed only means so much, we didn't have the leverage against Spindle for anything better,
so now they get to throw around their power and we hope they don't cut us off from trade. Pathetic really.

DAISY: ...

SAM: Loom tries to kill you, everyone gets upset for a couple decades, but then it's back to business as usual, y'know? of course, people still hate Loom, as they should, she doesn't exactly deserve to forgiveness for forcing her to throw you into the ocean
SAM: But that hate doesn't stop them from doing business, guess getting their clothes and money is more important to them
SAM: Maybe they should try having actual morals for once
SAM: Fucking pretenders


DAISY: Can we... not talk about this for a bit?








Silence








SAM: Sure, sorry


Daisy looks out the car window, the buildings of downtown Obloquy rushing by, familiar places, she hadn't left this city since she got back, and now she was rushing out of her on a day's decision. Was this really a good idea? potentially turning up everything she had worked on in the last three years. She knew that Verity was going to ask her to join her guard, there was no way that wasn't going to happen.

Part of her really wanted to go back to how it was before...

But.

DAISY: Why now?

SAM: You're going to have to ask Verity that

Daisy sits in silence for a while longer, mulling it over, you can practically hear how hard she's thinking. After a while, you can feel her attention shift more heavily towards you

DAISY: do you think we're making a mistake?
 
[Image: image45.png]

Daisy looks out the window, leaning her head against the car seat, a few tears coming to her eyes as the familliar sight. Waves crashing silently on Aspersion's softly colored sand. She could feel a bit of a knot start to form in her throat as they dripped slightly from her gem-like eyes, staining the paper below them.

She didn't usually go by the sea, and there was a reason for it. Every time she got close, she had this feeling. Even so much as the smell of sugar on the wind could do it to her. She'd choke up, and just start crying.

She wasn't sad, she wasn't afraid, but she just couldn't stop herself. There wasn't anything wrong even, but it just felt very bad.

Her eyes rolled from side to side, over the blue waves, who's relative calm made no efforts to betray their depth, and what lived inside of them. Ever since the breakage the waters between Aspersion and Spindle had been filled with Horrors. Her eyes rolled up, to the moon in the sky and Descant beside it, two beacons of light casting rays onto the water below.

She could feel her vision starting to fade, today had been more than she wanted or had to deal with in a long time. She wasn't ready to see Damien again, and she certainly wasn't ready to get this close to where she had nearly died, again. But, it was the only way to Verity's district.


So, with that, she slept.
 
[Image: image10.png]

Continue?

OPTIONS:
A) Resume from current time.
B) Examine other character (Sam, Damien, XLR)
 
[Image: image38.png]

You're met with the image of a tall creature, with... what looks like a radio for a head, they bow their head a bit towards you, you seem to be in a recording studio of some sort. You can see this like you're there, but you're not, are you dreaming?


???: WELCOME, EVERYONE, ACROSS THE LAND, FROM HIGH ABOVE THE CLOUDS, THIS IS RADIO MODICIA.

???: TODAY WE HAVE A VERY SPECIAL GUEST

???: I'M YOUR HOST AS USUAL, XLR.

So that's who it is...

You're struck with an oddly uncomfortable sensation as their words worm their way into your consciousness.

XLR: That would be you all, play along dearies~

XLR: Someone, or someones, something or somethings, who knows just what they are? Your guess is as good as mine.

XLR: This interview is going to be a bit special of course, You know I love audience participation, but I've heard them to be the weary type, so I'm going to keep the phones offline for this one.

XLR: SO!, what do you think of my islands, pretty, no?

 
[Image: image16.png]

XLR: I am SO glad that you're enjoying your time here!
XLR: Such a flatterer too! Though I had a feeling you'd like this look, why I chose it for ya~

YOU: Uh.... yeah... Do you know any good places to eat?

XLR: Oh tons, you're heading south in Aspersion though, I've heard that Verity's home has very good food. Though that's what happens when you have the best cooks in the cluster!
XLR: She sure does have varied tastes, I'm sure you'd find something delicious there.

YOU: How about tourist spots?

XLR: You're just full of questions aren't you, this is supposed to be your interview~
XLR: But yes, I know lots of tourist spots
XLR: I'd give
XLR: Inversion is a very beautiful place, you should see the spires! Though it's quite a bit away from Aspersion, if you're in Aspersion, again, where you're headed is going to be pretty impressive. Verity has a district all to herself, and she's put a lot of work into making it pretty, gotta appear nice to her people.

YOU: Hope it's better than where we just were, this one's a bit beat up

XLR: You think? Maybe, maybe not, some like the rough around the edges feel.
XLR: Now, how've things with Daisy been? I know you're new to the whole "Existing" thing, but if you're gonna be meddling -- of course I mean that in the nicest interpretation you can think of -- I'm curious to hear your take on the people here?
XLR: And really, just your luck to wind up alongside her, you're in for one heck of a ride I hope you know!
XLR: But yeah, what do you think of the people here, you got a plan or just, winging it?

XLR talks.... a lot.

YOU: Ah, right! Uh, existing, what's even going on? how did we get here?

XLR: Hah! You're just as clueless as I am, wonderful!
XLR: I've no idea what could have brought you here, or even what you are.
XLR: As for what you are, a consciousness of some sort
XLR: Though considering by your "we" I imagine there's more than one of you in there?
XLR: How absolutely fascinating -- tell me more about yourself,
XLR: What did you first see when you showed up, where did you show up?

You: Well ah, I, er, we -- were in a dream that Daisy was having.

XLR: You were in it?

You: well, more like we saw it from her point of view...

XLR: How fascinating, perhaps I could ask Lain.

You: who?

XLR: Unimportant, continue please, I'm really dying to hear what you have to say, and what you have to ask.

You: Well, Aspersion is a bit of a mess, could use some work, but the people we've met are interesting at least?

XLR inhales sharply, at the mention of Aspersion, and their next words seem almost, strained.

XLR: Yes, yes, the people, do tell.

You: Well, Daisy is... nice, she seems like she's got a lot going on in that head of hers, we don't really think she has everything quite together, kinda on edge, like she's a moment away from snapping like... all the time. She'd probably be helped by a therapist or something, not that I am one! but... I'd like to help her.
You: And Damien, well, he seems stupid, and I really think he could work on how he approahces topics, to say the way he talked to Daisy was awful is an understatement. But maybe he means well, I'd like to find out.
You: By the way do you do any sort of like, peacekeeping stuff?

XLRs face twitches a bit at that -- their reaction more overt this time. However, they take a moment to compose themself, promptly ignores the question. Silently, they walk you over to a window, gesturing for you to look out.
 
[Image: image51.png]

XLR: What you saw on that screen before wasn't what it's like, I thought you would have noticed the change in time. This, though, this is what the sky is really like right now.
XLR: Beautiful, isn't it?
XLR: This is what I strive to protect, you see all those lights, all those lives out there? I want those people to live and see that moon every night and be happy that they are alive.
XLR: Anyway, Daisy... Daisy, she's a good person, I wish I'd have done more to make Loom and Verity get along, maybe she wouldn't have had all this happen.
XLR: Damien is... I wouldn't call him stupid, he's Loom's most trusted Demon -- if he came across as moronic, there's a reason for that.
XLR: You gonna wind up playing both sides, trying to sort out everything between Daisy and Damien, figure out how to help them? Maybe I'm reading too much into your words.
XLR: That'd be difficult, but I won't stop you from trying, it's commendable if that's what you're doing though.
XLR: Just a warning though, things are tense between Aspersion and Spindle. If you set off an inter-zone crisis I will drag you out of this plane of existence myself.

You could press that question you asked earlier, but that might be a bad idea, is there something more important you wanna know?

YOU: Right now we're just trying to help Daisy, we're not gonna really be able to help anyone if we don't know stuff... and if we're stuck in Daisy.

XLR: Very fair, putting all the chips in one corner so to speak~ Daisy could become quite the relevant actor in all this, and maybe you could get some fun! At this point, if there is anything she deserves it's autonomy -- kind of you to try and give that to her.

YOU: Yeah, sure -- anyway, are you trying to protect everyone here? or do you play preference?

XLR: As I said, those out there are what I want to protect, y'know, gotta do it for someone.
XLR: And entertain, can't forget that, entertainment is my whole deal you know. I want to give them some fun in their lives.
XLR: Gods know they need it, this region would be SO utterly droll without me
XLR: Just a bunch of busy running around, that wouldn't be very exciting.

You really don't like how he's ignoring the point of your questions, he's absolutely dodging the point of what you're trying to say...

YOU: Look, why don't you just cut the bullshit and answer my questions for real?

XLR turns to the window, hunching up their shoulders
 
[Image: image8.gif]

-- And lets out a heavy sigh, wire-bound hands slipping down the glass, the on-air sign blinks off.

XLR: You couldn't leave that alone could you?

YOU: Not really.

XLR: I meant it when I said these lights are what I want to protect. I pulled Descant up into the sky to offer an escape from the conflict below to anyone who wanted it. No surprise that it's full of bustling cities.
XLR: I took to the sky, and built a city upon myself for them, and every day I make sure that they have what they need.
XLR: As for everyone else? All the other zones in this damned region?
XLR: What I'm doing to help is staying out of their way, the less that I interfere the better for everyone involved.
XLR: My best role for them is the exciting, flamboyant radio host -- who provides a break from what's going on in their day to day lives.
XLR: I don't help specific people, because doing so would mean taking sides.
XLR: I don't know what you think about this region, but it's tense.
XLR: Aspersion and Spindle are the two highest population zones here, figure it out for yourself.
XLR: If I take a side, it doesn't take much imagination to figure out what would happen.
XLR: So yeah, there's your answer, anything else you feel like pressing me on?

You can't help but feel a bitter anger slipping into their words, but they are offering you a chance to ask more, even if it might really piss them off

YOU: I know you might not like us but it's been nice talking to you

XLR fixes their 'eyes' on you, focussing for a moment, before a wide smile spreads onto their face.

XLR: Oh deary, if you think a little thing like that is going to push me away we'll probably get along great!
XLR: People push me all the time, I'm sort of used to it. They think just cause you're in charge of everything and are a god of communication you must love communicating about everything!
XLR: Anyway, I think it's time that you be on your way, Daisy should be waking up soon.
XLR: Oh right, you should know, time still progresses when you're not with her, it's been a bit~
XLR: You and her are going to be needed at Verity's mansion some time soon.
XLR: Be sure to tell me all about what's happening to her, if you're useful I might even tell you what you want to know!~

XLR gives you a wider smile and a short wave, just before the scenery changes.
 
[Image: image31.png]

And suddenly, you're back with Daisy, she seems to be going through her morning routine. The shift in location is rather disorienting, and you're not quite sure how it happened. But it feels like something yanked you back down here.

DAISY: Are you back?! I felt you were missing when I woke up....
DAISY: I was concerned a bit, honestly you were kinda helpful yesterday.
YOU: ... uh yeah... hey again
DAISY: I'm gonna be meeting with Verity today... frankly I'm terrified, but so excited
DAISY: But you're here, which might help a bit
DAISY: I haven't seen her since before that day, its... been a long time

You feel a tinge of pain slip into her voice, but it's fleeting, pushed away rather quickly.

DAISY: anyway, where were you even?

DAISY: you talked with XLR?!

YOU: uh yeah... is that weird?

DAISY: hardly anyone talks to them now, all they do is put out radio broadcasts.. sure they do interviews but barely anyone has a one on one conversation with them
DAISY: ever since Descant closed up... or, at least that's what people say
DAISY: they mention anything?

YOU: oh uh... not... too much, there was this big city, and clouds, and the moon. A lot about how much they like that place, they were talking like we were on a radio show or something, they're one heck of a character. Anyway, uh, what do you think of them.

DAISY: that... sounds accurate, it's been years since I talked with them, they always were so fervent in whatever they did, they barely slept at all back then.
DAISY: but when I... uh... resurfaced, they weren't like that anymore, not as much, they seem to keep to themself up on that island, can't say why.

YOU: They seemed kinda upset about something

DAISY: who isn't?
DAISY: worrying about that old guy isn't gonna be helpful thought, Verity is gonna be here any moment and I need to pick out what to wear.

You can hear just the slightest bits of anxiety creeping into her voice, but you're here, and you think that you can back her up in all this, hopefully.
 
[Image: image4.png]

YOU: You've got this!, we'll be right behind you
YOU: that closet is pretty empty... did you bring enough?

DAISY: yeah... just...

YOU: Just what?

DAISY: this is the same room i had back then... they barely changed it, that's my staff in there, and if that thing is there... i had it with me that night.

DAISY: i should be happy about it, coming back to this place, getting my old stuff back but it just feels weird... anyway, i guess i should get dressed, Verity is gonna be here any moment.

DAISY: ugh how should i dress, formal? what is she gonna expect from me, does she want me to be in uniform, or would that be too off-putting, i haven't seen her in so long, i just started talking again yesterday, i...

Maybe you should cut in here, she seems to be getting way ahead of herself.

YOU: Don't worry about it too much, Daisy! Verity said that you were just going to be catching up.

DAISY: Yeah... yeah but she, she's going to have expectations of me. I want to give her what she wants. I want to show her that things can go back to how thy were, I want them to go back to how they were.

YOU: It doesn't really seem to us like you're ready for that.

DAISY: I'm not, but I still want it.

YOU: What was it that you even did back then?

DAISY: I was her personal guard. There were others in her private military force. Back then, the military was different, before the zone wide militia was set up. Things were peaceful for a little while, I guess. But everything spiraled out of control so fast. Pretty soon everything fell apart, both figuratively and literally I guess.

DAISY: After L... After that... after the conflict that that thing caused got so bad that XLR had to step in. Well, everything is still such a haze from then. But I was her guard, and I was always there, and she was there for me. Right up until...

You get the feeling that this isn't the best thing for Daisy to be thinking about right now, there's clearly a lot of painful memories there, might be best to cut this line of thinking off.

YOU: Hey, we should probably finish getting ready, we want to have at least some clothes on when Verity shows up, right?

DAISY: Yeah.

Daisy walks over to her suitcase, pulling out a loose fitting, worn out grey-ish blue long sleeved shirt. And some nearly black sweat pants. Both of these have clearly been worn for years, and often.

YOU: You like these?

DAISY: They're my favorite.

Just then -- you hear a knock at the door.

YOU: Looks like we're up...

Daisy turns towards the door, but pauses for a moment, running over to the closet quickly, paper utterly silent on the carpeting. She reaches down and yanks her old staff out from under the plastic covering. A layer of dust covering it. She brushes it off quickly, twirling the metallic thing in her hands. She smiles to herself, letting it come to rest at her side, end resting in her hand as if the motions were as natural as breathing.

She smiles

DAISY: I'm taking this with me

The pleasantries are cut short, however, by another quick knock at the door.
 
[Image: image56.png]

VERITY: "Good morning Daisy, I wish I could be here in person right now but I'm in the middle of a critical meeting. I hope that this thing's appearance isn't too offputting. You can wait in my room, or if for some reason you'd want to sit in on military talks well... You're as welcome as always. I'm glad to have you back."

The recording ends, and the thing sits there, staring at you with an expressionless eye, if you could call it that. The flying thing looks like it has a few parcels hanging from it, is it some sort of mail tool?

DAISY: It's one of her drone, uh, things, I guess she uses them for delivery now... I kinda expected her to come in person. Well, I guess we should head out. Do you have any interest in that meeting?

Where to next?

YOU: Well, you seem to be interested in it.

DAISY: Yeah... you're right.

YOU: If you're gonna do all this military junk you might as well.

DAISY: Yeah.

She smiles to herself, striding forward, staff at her side. Moving smoothly, like an extension of her body. She's clearly had years of experience with this sort of thing.

Daisy does however, stop, shortly after stepping outside, she takes a while just to look around.

The walls and floors done with brightly colored stones, shining in the early morning light. Different colors dancing across the hall, filtered by the many towering stained glass windows.

YOU: Everything is so big...

DAISY: It has to be that way, Verity lives here, there has to be space for her...

Daisy walks, slowly, looking at the different stained glass mirrors. They appear to depict different things, in bright colors you see many different scenes. A tumultuous ocean, lightning striking earth. Glowing eyes and a figure tangled with string. Various different scenes, ranging in tone from bright and triumphant to dismal and hopeless.

Pretty soon though, Daisy turns a corner, as Verity's distant vocie gets louder.
 
[Image: image36.png]


VERITY: ... What is it exactly that you're trying to tell me? are our resources just vanishing? Surely there is some trace of where our inbound shipments are going.

Verity's voice sounds almost angry, it's very clearly a point of tension

???: We don't, Ma'am, all we have is record of the ships leaving the neutral zone. They never reached our ports, they must be getting intercepted along the way. Terror activity has been up too, so.

VERITY: So our ships are getting attacked.

???: Yes, ma'am, horror and terror activity has seen a rise in the off-shore regions of Obloquy, as well as Your district, ma'am, as well as the allied areas of the neutral zone

VERITY: And nowhere else? should we be taking this as hostile action?

???: It's possible ma'am, but there's no way of knowing. Furthermore our ship crews have been reporting the early signs of Horror Mutation. We've started rotating our crews out every week, and making sure no-one returns for at least two. We've also provided medication to those who are showing early symptoms

VERITY: So Loom is likely pulling strings, and leaving us with no way to take action, lest we seem like we're starting hostilities ourselves. If it comes to it you can pull the majority of our troops, and we can send out shipments with small military crews.

Daisy's walking slowed, she's standing just at the doorway at this point, the room which Verity is in is large, and she takes up the entirety of one side of it, standing taller than anyone else. Two large balconies straddle her, one around at her waist, and one closer to her head. Both sparsely populated by people. All in various forms of official dress. A few of them give Daisy strange looks, and a few others go so far as to stop and salute her. But most don't pay her any mind.

At each end of the U shaped balcony, there is a spiral staircase heading down and up, one to the ground floor, and one to the balcony level near Verity's head.

???: Furthermore, about our outsourced offshore projects.

Verity pauses for a few moments, her mask betraying no feelings.

VERITY: Not now, we've got an important guest. And I wouldn't want to start her day off with talk that would bring up anything unpleasant.

???: Ma'am, I insist, this is rather urgent

VERITY: Leave the reports in my office. I am not going to say it again, I have more important matters right now.

A fairly frazzled staffer runs past, wearing the common face mask and long cloak. Their soft, furred figure brushing past you. They seemed almost familiar somehow? If their body posture was anything to go by they seemed rather angry about how their exchange with Verity went.


VERITY: Dear! come on up, sorry for all that. Diplomacy with Spindle is as tense as ever... I'd love to catch up, but I have a few more matters to handle. Loom and I are having a meeting across neutral Territory soon. And we're trying to work out exactly how that's going to go down. And if I'm going to show up in person at all. After that though, we'll head back to my office!

Verity's demeanor changed entirely as she addressed Daisy, going from serious and commanding to friendly and warm, how someone would regard an old friend.

Daisy walks slowly up the stairs, in an almost trance-like state, she even goes silent inside, except for a few brief words.

DAISY: Verity... I.

Verity leans in close, the size of her making Daisy seem almost child-like in comparison. She rests a hand on the railing just in front of you both, and stares at you, her face unchanging.

DAISY: Verity.

VERITY: Hush, Daisy. Whatever you're going to say, it's okay. We'll have a nice chat over tea, does that sound good?

DAISY: Can I uh... have a hug?
DAISY: Also yeah that sounds good.

Verity hesitates for a moment, but she obliges, the hug is awkward, and more is her resting Daisy's torso against her neck and head, her arm sort of like a soft papery tree branch. At this action, you can hear whispers raise across the room, which draw Verity's attention.

VERITY: What? am I not to care for a friend I've not seen in decades?

Her demeanor changes entirely, her voice like frigid needles. Judging and harsh. The whispers silence themselves instantly.

VERITY: Better.

Verity returns her gaze to Daisy, and seems to smile, though you can't tell as her face doesn't seem to change. Her face, actually, upon further inspection actually is a mask. Verity then turns away, back to the room, the lower levels of which were filled with people. But the top floor was entirely different, Daisy was the only one above Verity's level.
 
[Image: image14.png]

VERITY: I'm gonna wrap this up, Daisy. Then, tea.

Daisy just manages to nod.

YOU: Uh, daisy, I have... some questions.

DAISY: yeah?

Verity: It is imperative that we take careful action, an outright act of war would draw undue attention from XLR. Plus, it's not something they deserve to go thorugh again...

YOU: Is verity normally like this, so, overbearing?

DAISY: she used to pester me with questions every time I'd get hurt.

YOU: Did that happen a lot?

DAISY: in my line of work, yeah

VERITY: We cannot let these terror attacks go unanswered, if they truly are Loom's actions, we cannot sit idly by while our people die, no matter the ire it may bring upon us. We do not know when it's next action is, Loom has taken a much more subtle approach since our peace negotiations, but I don't trust her to stay peaceful.

YOU: actually, about that... uh... Damien sort of... if you remember yesterday. Damien talked about Loom and, they said it was basically lying around doing nothing, also is, Loom like, a dictator or something?

VERITY: Furthermore, we have reason to believe there are agents of Loom within our borders, if this is the case we must respond very carefully. Killing someone without thinking as reaction to a sleight may cause outrage and anger that we do not have the resources to deal with currently

DAISY: Damien is a spy, he's not to be trusted. he's lied to me before... he... lied to me back then, too.

YOU Ah...

VERITY: ... Though I cannot overstate the value of having one of Loom's key strategic pieces as a prisoner, after our meeting, securing any infiltrators into Aspersion is our top priority, there will be instructions and new protocol going forward to root out potential traitors.

DAISY: as for Loom... it's no more a dictator than any other god, its people believe its narrative about what happened. can't blame them for believing its lies. but it lies, and its lies keep its people happy and unaware

Verity: That being said, if any of you are affiliated with Loom, I advise you to speak to me, and come forward, as the results of being open will be far less harsh than the results of being found out. If these are direct actions from Loom we must treat them as seriously as any attacks instigated by it, going forward, we must be more vigilant than ever.

DAISY: Verity, as far as I know, if everything's the same, runs oversight. the zone is split up into districts that each have people who manage them... and... Verity watches over all that, makes sure everyone's okay.

VEIRY: So, we've decided to stage a meeting. This meeting is likely not going to solve anything, the hope is a show of political and military force. I do not plan to take any action, but if we can potentially secure a prisoner in the coming month, we may be able to display an advantage of information and negotiation power. Loom's people may have a combat and resource advantage due to their nature, but we outnumber them. We have discipline. And... should she be willing, we have an old friend who would doubtlessly make Loom hesitate before taking any action.

VERITY: That said, this meeting is not for some time to come, we have about a month to prepare for this, let us all be hopeful we see no more Terror attacks until then.

Daisy: she's talking about me, oh, what should i say??

VERITY: If anyone has any comments or thoughts on the proceedings, speak them now. Be quick about it, however, I don't want to waste my time.

Daisy hesitates for a second, considering opening her mouth, she seems a bit tense

YOU: you don't need to say anything, she's probably not trying to bring too much attention to you in front of people...

Daisy: Yeah... yeah!

Verity looks down over her audience, her mask impassable as always.

You: Hey, Daisy... back when uh, Damien attacked us. He talked about "terror attacks" Were those... terrorism? or?

Daisy shudders a bit, clearly not entirely over having her house broken into, she feels more angry about it than anything else.

DAISY: Terror, like the creatures... There's a trench at the bottom of the waterways between Spindle and Aspersion, and it spews out Horror energy... Terrors do show up time to time, but the way he made it seem was that they were abnormally common now

VERITY: Very well then, be on your way. I have matters to discuss in private.

The large hall is quickly overcome with the sound of shuffling feet, it seems like in just a few moments the hall is empty, the echoes taking a brief moment to fade.

VERITY: Daisy, please come down a few fleights, I want to see you face to face.

Daisy takes a moment, before hurrying down a set of stairs, and standing on the balcony before Verity, just staring, not even sure what to say.
 
[Image: image66.png]


VERITY: Daisy. I'm.

Verity pauses, seeming as if she's having trouble finding the proper words.

VERITY: I'm glad you're back.

Daisy: me too.

Her voice is barely a whisper, she takes a short breath, suddenly unsure what to do.

DAISY: help... I... don't know what to say!

VERITY: I see you brought your old scrap manipulation staff, I made sure it was well kept for you the whole time you were... absent.

DAISY: I saw, all my old stuff too.

VERITY: I didn't have the heart to throw it away... Quite literally, I might add.

Daisy coughs and laughs, almost choking on the breath she was taking, calming for a moment.

DAISY: is the everything going on really that bad?

VERITY: Well... I don't know how much you know about the past sixty years.

DAISY: There was a war, and it's over, that's about it. Reading history never really was fun, I don't have much time for it either, between therapy and everything.

VERITY: You're in therapy? I'm glad. Daisy, if you need help paying for anything, let me know.

DAISY: Thanks

YOU: uhm, I hate to kill the mood but, I'm really confused, if we're not currently at war then, why are we at the point of taking a political hostage? And, with what Damien said, can Verity confirm or deny any of that? She said Loom was behind the attacks, how could she be so sure?, There's so many questions, and...

DAISY: Slow down! you're giving me a headache.

DAISY: Loom... Loom is a puppeteer, literally, it can create puppets out of people...

That's all daisy seems to want to say on THAT matter.

DAISY: Verity, earlier, you were talking about Terror attacks... Has it really come to the point of taking a hostage? and the attacks... you're sure it's Loom, right?

VERITY: I'm sure.

YOU: Daisy this doesn't make any sense, Damien was talking about this all differently, if we... if we can capture him then we can find out if he's telling the truth! And there'd be no risk, we could even prevent an outright war depending on how we handle it!

Daisy takes a moment to take this all in, just standing there in silence. Contemplating what to say.

DAISY: Damien broke into my apartment.

VERITY: HE WHAT?!

Daisy: He tried to tell me that Loom is suffering, that it needs my help.

VERITY: You're kidding.

DAISY: I wish I was, he tried to convince me to go along with him. To trust him. I told him to leave before I killed him. But, I brought this up because I realized. You want a political hostage, right? Well, here's your chance. Damien is probably going to try and convince me again, he seemed that desperate.

VERITY: And you're saying we should capture him?

DAISY: Yeah... the more we know about Loom and Spindle the better, plus, if we don't actually hurt him we might be able to prevent an outright war.

Verity nods, thinking on this for a bit, she then smiles.

VERITY: Daisy, I'm so proud of you. You're just as competent and quick minded as the last time I saw you. Barely half a day here and you're already rushing to see what you can do to help me, and help Aspersion. I'm so glad you're here again, the guard has been sorely missing someone with your level of dedication in its ranks. If you're sure about this, if you want to help capture Damien, if you want to help make this plan. We can start the meetings in two days. I'll send out word tonight to see what information we have on Spindle, We've been having trouble tracking Damien, and if you could help with that, we'd be doing far better.

Daisy smiles a bit, you can feel how happy she is to be praised, how much pride there is in being recognized by Verity.

DAISY: I was worried I wouldn't be able to help.

VERITY: Of course you'd be able to help, even if you couldn't find I'd be able to find something for you to do, even if you can't fight, I will.

DAISY: I.. you don't need to say all of that.

VERITY: I only say it because it's true.

Daisy: Thank you... I'm glad to be back, I can finally... do something

VERITY: There's a lot to think about here, and I'm really happy you're so willing to help so soon. We can really use all we can get.

DAISY: Yeah, anyway, should we get going? We can figure out

VERITY: I don't know about you nowadays, but you always liked to discuss matters while walking. I could show you by the old training grounds. They actually got moved into the basement, and there's a lot of new rooms, new gear. Even new models of scrap staves, not that they get too much use... Does that sound nice? or is there somewhere else you'd rather be?

Verity doesn't waste much time, quickly leading You and Daisy down stairs. The trip is spent in silence, as you two and the god pass through various security checkpoints as you descend further into the earth.

YOU: Hey daisy, did you take your medication today? I know the last time we forgot was bad...

DAISY: Yeah, I took my meds, I'm a bit.... Overwhelmed by all this, but I"m ready for it. I want to do this. I want to be close to Verity again... I wanna have those happy moments again

You: and, like. you're doing okay? do you like, need to rest, hungry?

DAISY: I'm a monster, I'm literally never not hungry, but eating people is both wrong and illegal so.... I dunno about it

You're about to say something, but Verity speaks up, breaking Daisy and you out of the haze of internal conversation.

VERITY: Most of our training rooms are underground, those in my army who work with scraps train here, it's safer, and gets less attention.

DAISY: Yeah... that makes sense.

Soon enough, you find yourselves in a set of hallways, four chambers with mostly transparent thick glass walls, and individuals in three out of four of them. The fourth one appears to be empty, but with how intently the person in a lab coat is examining the interior, you're not so sure.
 
[Image: image64.png]

DAISY: So... what is everything in here?

VERITY: This is the forefront of scrap technology experimentation, there could very well be a war upcoming soon, so having both the experience and technological edge against Spindle is top priority

VERITY: Of course, not every experiment is for wartime uses, take the individual over there, they're testing a device we're developing to make it so non scrap sensitive individuals can at least have some perception of their existence.


Verity gestures to the scientist observing the "empty" room

VERITY: Unfortunately, we haven't been able to get them to work at all, not past a level that could be accounted for lucky guesses and a latent low level perception ability in individuals. Researching scrap sensitivity has been... Frustratingly difficult.

DAISY: What else do you have happening?

VERITY: We've got a number of projects going on right now, and the rooms are booked for most of the day. But I figured watching and absorbing information wouldn't be bad for you. You know how good you are with picking up things by watching

VERITY: There are a a few people sparring, one of our newer recruits is learning how to use a scrap manipulation staff, and we have some of our guard engaging in more typical combat. We're always sure to put our guards through regular simulated combat, whether that's with scrap manipulators or otherwise more mundane people


Verity's expression falls, just a slight bit

VERITY: I would love to let them have more freedom, more time home, but with the looming threat we have to keep them here almost constantly.

VERITY: Of course, they choose to. Everyone at this facility has given their time willingly and I couldn't be more grateful. You see why I have to protect them, don't you Daisy?


DAISY: Yeah... that makes sense to me

VERITY: Regardless, if any of the current tests or experiments that are going on in the meantime interest you I can tell you more, or ask the researchers on the projects to elaborate.
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#3
There is something wrong with the darkness, the inky void that clings and holds against your arms and legs and face. This wasn't where you were, this wasn't, isn't where you're supposed to be.

How long has it been? 

How did you even get here.

The weight of thousands of thousands of tonnes crush and press downwards. There is no light, no light except for two faint points.

[Image: image70.png]

???: Lets get you back on track.
???: Take as much time as you need to reacquaint yourself, you haven't missed anything.
???: I made sure of that.

And just after a moment, the familiar feeling of Daisy's nearby consciousness returns. Back in the labs and training grounds beneath Verity's castle, and home district. Not a moment later than before.

Where were we now?
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#4
Hey Daisy um. We blacked out for a bit there? Is everything okay?

Also, ask verity about getting lunch.
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#5
YOU: Hey, uh, Daisy? You okay? We blacked out or something… I don’t know what happened- or ?
DAISY: Yeah, wait, blacked out? It’s been just a few minutes! What do you mean?

VERITY: ...Scrap research has come a very long way since you were last here. We’ve made great progress with being able to temporarily make non-sensitives more aware of their effects. Perhaps with more work...

It seems that in the few moments you were out of it, Verity had started something of a history lesson. You’re not quite sure how important it is. The god pauses and then turns in place, shedding off masses of paper until she is just slightly taller than Daisy herself. She stares at her Demon with the expressionless mask-eyes. They’re piercing and seem to give off nothing.
 
[Image: Waterlogged-71.png]

Daisy smiles and tilts her head just so slightly.

DAISY: Verity, is something wrong?

VERITY: Not at all, dear, I’m still just...  taking in your return. I am very happy.

Daisy nods, the noises of two guards spar-fighting in one of the nearby rooms, overlaying with the overhead hum of fluorescent lights, providing a background haze to the conversation.

DAISY: Everything’s fine, see? Just catching back up.
YOU: Alright… Oh yeah, could you ask Verity about getting lunch together?
DAISY: What? Is my hunger rubbing off on you?

Daisy said this with a tone that was clearly meant to be joking.

DAISY: Sure thing.
DAISY: Verity? Do you think we could get lunch together, at some point?

Verity’s expression remains ever unchanging, but her tone bleeds delight.

VERITY: Oh Daisy, I would be happy to!
VERITY: I am busy for the next few weeks though, I’m sorry to say, all this business with Spindle has had me very busy lately.


Daisy looks down, a slight frown coming to her face.

Verity responds by reaching out and catching her head, hand gentle.

VERITY: I didn’t say I wouldn’t, dear. I want very much to spend more time with my first Demon. How about this? There is going to be a big meeting regarding the guard of my home. There is still a space for you there, should you so choose. We can discuss that position in a week and when we’re done with that we can make our lunch plans.

Daisy’s expression shifts back to a smile and she nods.

DAISY: Yeah, that sounds good.
DAISY: That work for you?

In the distance, there is what sounds like a faint scream.
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#6
Hold the phone, faint scream? Someone probably got punched or something but lets ask if verity heard that.
[Image: 7ypC3K8.gif]
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#7
YOU:Hey uh, did you hear that Daisy?
DAISY:Yeah…uh…
YOU:Could you ask if Verity heard that? So we know we’re not just hearing things?

Verity is still talking in the meantime...
VERITY: “Great! I hope you feel comfortable enough here to continue your former employment. You were always the best of my Demons.”

Daisy smiles faintly, laughing.
DAISY: Thanks Verity, just uh, did you hear a, uh, scream just now?
VERITY: Oh, I didn’t notice it myself but it’s probably just someone taking sparring a bit too far. It happens sometimes.
VERITY: You were always much better at not accidentally hurting people.

DAISY: I mean uh, the scream sounded kinda, scared? And thank you, I… uh...

You both get the sense that Verity is frowning, despite the unmoving expression of the mask-face.

VERITY: That’s no good. Would it make you feel better if I got someone to check that out? I can ask one of my guards to do a sweep through the building.

DAISY: That would help.
YOU: Yeah. We’d like that too!

Daisy’s expression is still one of discomfort and concern.

VERITY: Daisy, it's okay. You know you don’t have to worry here. I’m not going to let anything bad happen to you again.

She reaches out, resting a hand against Daisy’s cheek and shoulder.
 
[Image: Waterlogged-72.png]
Show ContentAlt Text:

Daisy’s shoulders droop slightly.

DAISY: I know, it’s just--

VERITY: You don’t have to talk about it if you don’t want to. I know the last time we were both together like this was… bad.

DAISY: Yeah.

VERITY: But I won’t let that happen again! It’s okay!

DAISY: Yeah.

Daisy sighs lightly and Verity pulls her hand away,a heavy silence between the two. Broken when pulls a clump of paper out of her body, creating one of the flying orbs that delivered a message to Daisy this morning, and letting it fly off down the hall.

YOU:Daisy?
DAISY:Yeah??
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#8
Something about verity feels off to me. Not gonna tell you not to work with her since you clearly want to, but I don't know, she feels almost too desperate for your return. Maybe keep an eye out.

Anyway what do you want to do next?
[Image: 7ypC3K8.gif]
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#9
YOU: Daisy, uh, do you think Verity seems desperate?
DAISY: Yeah? Of course she does though
YOU: It really seems like you want to work with her again so we’re not gonna stop you, but keep an eye out okay?
DAISY: I really don’t think that’s going to be all that necessary, she just, the last time she actually saw me was… well… it was very hard for both of us, and I don’t think she thought she’d ever get to see me again.
YOU: Fair enough…

The sound of a door opening causes Daisy to look up. She sees that Verity has turned and started to walk down the hall, she moves to catch up after a moment of re-checking her surroundings.

DAISY: Just a sec, sorry, I spaced out!
VERITY: Oh, of course
Verity’s tone frowns in Daisy’s direction.
VERITY: I’m sure this is all a lot to take in.

Daisy just nods in response, almost caught up to Verity. When another staffer, no, one of Verity’s enforcers walks past. Their cloak emblazoned with the four letter acronym GEAS, the smell of chalk and ozone in the air as they walk past. They feel irritated.
 
[Image: Waterlogged-73.png]

But they’re quickly down the hall.

Daisy looks back to where they came from, the wide open door and the yellow and black tape that was across it now hidden behind the door itself.

She looks to Verity again, and hurries herself to catch up.

DAISY: Verity, that person who walked past, I think they were in that taped off area?
VERITY: Oh of course, some further levels of this research facility are still under renovation and repair. My staff has been working down there a lot lately to fix things. Just, don't wander down there alright, there's sharp stuff everywhere and I don't want you getting lost or hurt.
DAISY: I mean, I'd probably be fine, I am pretty durable.
VERITY: It's more the getting lost thing I'm worried about, saying that the old construction was mazelike is an understatement.
DAISY: Oh, well, yeah that makes sense, I still think I'd handle it alright. You know...

She trails off for a moment before laughing, and glancing over to the just taller god.

DAISY: I’m just getting this weird sense of deja-vu.
VERITY: You haven’t been here in a while, I think it makes sense, familiar and different all together, new and old, it must be a lot to catch up with.
DAISY: Yeah.
VERITY: Well, that is the gist of the research that goes on down here, down the halls is just more of the same. You are welcome to explore, but I don’t imagine it would be particularly interesting.
DAISY: I’ll think about it.

YOU:Daisy, is there anything you wanna do?
DAISY: I don’t know. Honestly, a day to relax sounds… nice, I’m exhausted. Is there anything you want?

-Suggest tasks before ending the day?-
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#10
I wanna eat a big burrito and fight
[Image: 7ypC3K8.gif]
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#11
Sparring might be nice, something to ease you back into proper fighting. You've been through a lot and fighting isn't going to be the same with your condition.
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#12
 
YOU: I WANNA EAT AND FIGHT!

DAISY: I uh, what?
[Image: Waterlogged-74.png]
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YOU: I uh, I mean, I think sparring would be a good idea if you’re interested in trying to get back into practice.

DAISY: Oh, yeah!, hey maybe having another voice in my head will help me fight better or something.

Daisy walks up to Verity and grabs her attention.

DAISY: Is there anyone I could spar with around here, or a place for it? If there’s a possibility of me working again, I’ll need to be in practice.

Daisy sounds confident, sure of herself, like she knows exactly what she’s doing.

Verity’s reply smiles at Daisy, she sounds delighted.

VERITY: Of course! I will show you to our training ground Daisy, I’m glad to see you are feeling so confident.

Daisy smiles in return and nods, she follows Verity down the hallway and through all the twists and turns. The paths are samey and the glass walls to each study room being so similar make it hard to keep track of where anything is. Every now and then you see another taped off door with stairs leading down behind it.

After a while, Verity shows you both a collection of sparring rooms. The glass to these is thicker and blocks out more light, making the farther away rooms seem dimmer and dimmer. In the closest one there is a heavily armored person inside.… looking to be made from various types of rusted metal scraps, they’re holding a long stone staff.

Daisy glances back to Verity.

DAISY: So this is who I’m up against?

VERITY: If you choose so, though, I’m not sure if we have any armor that will necessarily work for you, we would need to get something custom fitted.

DAISY: I’m not too worried, it’s not like anyone is using Scraps, right?

Verity shakes her head rapidly.

VERITY: Goodness no! That would be quite dangerous in an uncontrolled environment like this.
VERITY: Jack, the Scrap Golem, is one of our newer recruits, don’t be too hard on them.


A few moments later and Daisy is squaring up against the other person, bouncing lightly from foot to foot.

DAISY: Good luck, Jack!

Jack just swallows and tightens his grip, taking a rather clumsy stance.
 
[Image: Waterlogged-75.png]
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DAISY: Alright, got any input? Anything you think I’m not seeing?
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#13
jack has sticks for feet. should be easy to sweep them over and kick their butt
[Image: 7ypC3K8.gif]
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#14
Best approach? let them make the first move. rely on your training, no fancy moves. efficiency of motion. get a read on them and then attack their weak points. don't get cocky.
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#15
YOU: Track their movements, wait for an opening, go after it, don’t get cocky

DAISY: You say that like I didn’t do this for a century before my uh… break

YOU: SWEEP THEIR STICK LEGS!

DAISY: Gotcha both.

A lot of things happen very quickly.
 
[Image: Waterlogged-76-1.png]

Show Content Alt Text + Combat Explanation:

Jack’s expression is flat, but his stance shows his nerves; or so it seemed. Quickly, his feet flatten out to a more stable position. He shifts his front foot forwards and dips the staff downward.
 
[Image: Waterlogged-76-2.png]

DAISY: There it is.

Whatever Daisy saw, whether it was an opening or otherwise, it was enough for her to launch an attack. Extremely quickly she pushes off the ground, lunging forwards rapidly, hand gripping up towards the blade of her staff.
 
[Image: Waterlogged-76-3.png]

Jack reacts fast, dropping his staff lower to prepare for the incoming attack. But Daisy is faster, and evidently more so than Jack expected.

As her front foot comes down, Daisy throws the staff forwards and drops her center of mass low. She lets the staff slide through her hand until it SMACKs loudly against Jack’s leg, at which point she retightens her grip and starts to rise again.
 
[Image: Waterlogged-76-4.png]

Jack, having regained his composure, lowers his staff further, trying to push Daisy’s weapon away. Daisy however, is still one step ahead of him.

As Daisy raises her body, she rolls the staff in her hand, and until it is higher on Jack’s leg, just a little bit below where his knee should be. Jack pulls his leg back, trying to get away from Daisy’s attack, but Daisy just moves closer, threatening to trip Jack’s back leg with the blade.
 
[Image: Waterlogged-76-5.png]



DAISY: Keep it up, any more good suggestions? Still wanna drop him on the floor?
Reply
#16
Actually, leverage the staff and throw him up like youre flipping an egg, then do a cool kick
[Image: 7ypC3K8.gif]
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#17
YOU: Flip and kick, Flip them, Like an egg!

DAISY: Uhh… okay?! I think I get it!”

 
[Image: Waterlogged-77-1.png]

Show ContentAlt text:

Jack raises his staff, trying to land a strike by swinging at Daisy’s torso as she closes in on him.

 
[Image: Waterlogged-77-2.png]


But Daisy is able to defend, she brings up the tail end of her own staff to block while simultaneously slamming the flat of the blade into the inside of Jack’s thigh. A loud metallic thunk rings out as Daisy continues her momentum towards Jack.

Her shoulder slams into Jack’s chest, and at the same time she lifts and shoves Jack off of the ground. Not very high, maybe only a foot or two at most, but it’s enough.
 
[Image: Waterlogged-77-3.png]

Daisy steps forward with her left leg, and then pivots around it, slamming her right leg into Jack’s chest in a roundhouse kick.

 
[Image: Waterlogged-77-4.png]

The impact is loud but heavily dampened by Jack’s leather armor. Jack is thrown backwards a good ten feet across the room before landing in an unceremonious pile of metal, leather, and cloth. After a moment Jack pushes himself back to standing and lets out a heavy breath.

JACK: Damn.

DAISY: I DID IT! WE DID IT! HELL TO THE YEAH!

You: that was pretty awesome.

The celebration is cut short by the noise of movement and Verity’s voice.

VERITY: I’m so proud of you Daisy! You’ve still got excellent reflexes and decision-making skills.

DAISY: Yeah, I mean, I am the same person after all, just larger, hungrier, and scarier.

Verity laughs, but she doesn’t sound amused.

VERITY: Well, Daisy, it is getting late, I am going to retire for the night. You should too, you’ll be there tomorrow for the meeting, right? We can talk about our lunch plans after that?

DAISY: Yeah, uh, yeah.

Verity turns and leaves down the corridor and, a moment later, Jack hurries away as well, leaving Daisy by herself.

>Now what?
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#18
go somewhere new. explore! somewhere you can relax and take stock of things.
[Image: 7ypC3K8.gif]
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#19
Go somewhere you can see the stars and reflect. Are things going ok? Are you getting what you want out of this? How much has changed in 60 years, and how will your relationships with the gods and demons you used to know change?
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#20
YOU: Go somewhere new
YOU: Somewhere you can relax!
YOU: ...Maybe somewhere you can see the stars?

DAISY: …Yeah, that sounds nice.

Daisy responds out loud now that nobody is around.

Slowly, she walks back the way that Verity led her earlier in the day.

DAISY: I saw a garden on the way here, I’ll go there and wait.

By the time Daisy arrives at the garden it is starting to get to be the afternoon or even early evening. The sun is just starting to pass over the horizon, and the sky is a pale orange.

DAISY: I don’t think I’ll see any stars for a bit, but I’m fine with waiting, do any of you have any ideas on how to pass the time?

YOU: Well. I could just ask you a bunch of questions

DAISY: Sure, shoot.

YOU: Do you think everything is going okay? Is this going how you wanted?

DAISY: Well, I don’t know how ‘okay’ everything is in Aspersion anyway, I think Verity is trying to keep calm honestly. She clearly misses me, and also really values the help I used to provide around here. Which is probably why she’s so eager.

YOU: But is it what you want?

DAISY: I think so, Aspersion… Aspersion is a great place, it was when I lived here last, and it has been for the last three years too. Things just are… more tense now, more tense than they’ve been in a long time between Aspersion and Spindle. And from how she’s talking it’s been like that for a while, since… since what happened with Loom and I even.

YOU: Is stuff that different? How about the people? Are they different?

DAISY: I don’t know. I mean, Verity seems more doting than in the past. And… and there was everything with Damien. We used to be friends, but he just… he took Loom’s side after everything and...

Daisy sighs heavily and goes quiet

YOU: I mean, what about any of the other gods, do you talk with them much?

DAISY: ...Not really, before more so, I’d talk to Rust, Crash, Burn… honestly I spoke with all of the other gods from time to time. I think they just haven’t wanted to bother me. I don’t know if they’re worried or want to pretend that everything around me isn’t happening.

YOU: That’d…. That’d be pretty shitty

DAISY: Yeah, kinda, but I’m pretty sure they’re just scared of seeming like they’re taking a side, typical political neutrality.

YOU: Ah…

For a while Daisy and you talk back and forth, about politics, about the new expansions to the castle. The underground labs are new, and Daisy is looking forward to seeing more of what is down there,  at some point Daisy lies down at the foot of a tree.
 
[Image: Waterlogged-78.png]
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The next thing you know, you are staring up at the stars, and the sky is starting to turn a dark blue.

>Where do you want to go?
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#21
climb the tree
[Image: 7ypC3K8.gif]
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#22
(01-08-2021, 04:22 PM)ಠ_ಠ Wrote: climb the tree

Climb the dome
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#23
You are overwhelmed by the urge to climb things.

You want to climb the tree, you want to climb the dome, the dome looks far less climbable than the tree due to the sheer wall that precedes it. You decide to compromise these desires by climbing the tree and then jumping to the dome.

You grab onto a lower branch, pull yourself up, and begin to climb. The process is surprisingly easy. Daisy’s paper skin is also surprisingly durable.

After a few good minutes of climbing, you are at the same height as the dome, from here you can see how it sits atop a square building, and the small walkway that encircles it.
 
[Image: Waterlogged-79-1.png]

You make a mental note of the landing zone.

You go for it.

You nail the landing, and feel pretty awesome in the process.

As you’re standing up something inside the building catches your eyes.
 
[Image: Waterlogged-79-2.png]

The figure moves down the hallway with purpose. But something about them feels strange, off even, as if you weren't looking at a normal person. The strange feeling isn't what stops you though. What gives you pause is another sense, far fainter than the person's general strangeness, but much more familiar. You remember this second sense from when Damien had broken into Daisy’s apartment, this is like the feeling of scrap magic but… different. And while you can't tell how, it's not different in a way you like, it makes your head hurt.

>...
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#24
are they doing anything suspicious? if yes, break into the dome in a shower of glass. if no, climb the dome.
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#25
>donut break in, just watch and learn
[Image: 7ypC3K8.gif]
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#26
For a few moments you consider dropping down and confronting the person in a shower of glass. You think it’d be pretty glorious. but also, that… might not also be the best idea, keeping track of all your thoughts is a bit difficult!

The figure just continues to walk down the hall, glancing over their shoulder as if to make sure they weren’t being followed.

That is enough to make you want to keep watching. You start to climb the dome, but feel the glass shift slightly under your weight and make a creaking noise as a crack appears in the pane. You pull back, the floor is a ways down from where you are, and you’re not sure if Daisy’s body is that durable.

Resolved to still jump down somewhere and follow the person you circle around the dome. Luckily, there’s an access hatch on the far side, almost invisible except for a faint outline of where the glass is separated.

Gently, you manage to separate the pieces and drop down on the balcony above the hallway. From there the floor is a much shorter drop away, one that you manage quite easily with a slight thud. Not as cool as falling down in a shower of glass… but on second thought maybe drawing attention wasn’t the best idea. 

You see the figure freeze, a long way down the hall at this point, near a branching path, they start to glance back over their shoulder again. Now with fewer obstacles between you and them, that uncomfortable scrap magic feeling is just worse, and they seem even more… off.
 
[Image: Waterlogged-80.png]
Show Contentalt text:

>You should probably try and hide.
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#27
You pull yourself back and stay close to the wall, thankfully, Daisy’s body being made of paper means there isn’t actually much noise from your sudden steps. From around the corner you hear some shuffling, indistinct noises of movement.

You stay quiet, taking a moment to collect yourself. The outdoors were a lot less stressful than here. You can see outside to another grassy area through large arched windows just across the hallway.

After a few moments of silence you hear more noises of movement and although they didn’t come closer, they also didn’t seem to be getting any farther. An audible clicking noise rang out through the hallway, like a briefcase being opened.

After another few painfully slow seconds you hear a hiss that sounds like air escaping something.

And then a wave of nausea and dizziness hits you.
 
[Image: Waterlogged-81.png]

You close your eyes for a moment to try and steady yourself. When you open them, you can see the scene in front of you warping and shattering into multicolored light, the same sort of visual static that surrounded the figure seemed to be spreading, and growing in intensity.

Your head pounds with pain. Where have you seen this before?
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#28
cover your face if possible, it sounds like there might be some kind of gas or breathable substance judging from the hiss...best to get out of here before it gets worse, but move carefully
[Image: TCP%20customs.png]
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#29
You quickly wrap Daisy’s cloak around your face, covering in some hope of protecting yourself from anything in the air. Unfortunately, the sudden shuffling makes a bit of noise.

???: Hm. 


You hear the click of a handheld transceiver of some kind. And then a voice from around the corner.

???: Slate Gamma Command this is Alpha-Seven, There’s someone nearby me, requesting clearance to investigate, Over. 

Their voice is harsh and scratchy.

???: Hey, I dunno who you are but it is way past curfew. So I’d suggest your sorry ass come out here with your best excuse before I find you.

The visual static and headache get worse and you start to feel a bit sick, it’s… so familiar.

 
[Image: Waterlogged-82.png]


???: And before all this gets to you. 

Now through the nausea and the headache you feel a growing anger and hunger. This isn’t good.

>What do you do? 
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#30
Jump through the window into the grassy area and keep running. If anyone asks you can say you were disoriented.
[Image: 7ypC3K8.gif]
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#31
Fuck it, staying right here is a bad idea. You’ll make a break for it. Right through the window. 

Alright, Three…. Two…

???: What? Are you scared?

One…

You lunge forwards, angling your shoulder into the thick pane of glass.

???: Holy fuck.

At first, you start to panic, the glass didn’t break, you just gave away your position-

But then you feel the cold night air on your skin. Seems that the whole pane of glass got knocked out of the frame.

You hear the crackle of their radio transceiver behind you, but you don’t hear what’s said to them. But you do hear their response.

???: Ugh, fuck, fine. Never allowed to do anything fun. 

As you run through the grass, back through another doorway, you thankfully don’t hear footsteps behind you.
 
[Image: Waterlogged-83.png]

But now you have to decide where to go, you recognize signs for the labs and for where Daisy’s bedroom is… But you could also keep wandering...
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#32
go for daisy's bedroom, shouldn't risk getting in more trouble and you don't want to be caught outside of your room when these kind of shady shenanigans are going on
[Image: TCP%20customs.png]
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#33
You decide to head back to Daisy’s room.

Thankfully the signs are easy enough to understand, and you remember her room being in a pretty unique spot in Verity’s castle. 

But still, you find it hard to calm down until you’ve actually made it there.

Once your feet hit the soft red carpet then you relax.
 
[Image: Waterlogged-84-1.png]

Everything feels bigger in here at night, and after that whole thing you mostly just want to lie down.

You flop onto Daisy’s bed, rolling onto your side, when something catches your eye that brings back a familiar memory.

 
[Image: Waterlogged-84-2.png]

Daisy’s pill bottles sit on the night-stand, the medication she takes for being a monster.

You remember a dream about a horror, and about a sick feeling and a horrible headache, and the effects of radiation.
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#34
don't linger too long on the dream unless you feel like you can process any significant information from it about daisy's life and/or situation, is my vote
[Image: TCP%20customs.png]
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#35
You roll onto your back, and stretch out. You feel… tired.

Yeah, tired sounds about right, you’re still not sure how to feel about everything that just happened. Or if you should say anything. Or.

DAISY: Ugh… hey uh… sorry about that
DAISY: Woah you seem stressed


You can sense her worried expression in your head.
 
[Image: Waterlogged-85-1.png]

You’re not sure how she could tell that, but it wasn’t wrong.

But also there’s something different about her, just for a second.

YOU: Yeah… I think so?

But then the difference is gone

DAISY: What does that mean?
 
[Image: Waterlogged-85-2.png]

YOU: I think I am a bit stressed.
DAISY: Are you okay? It’s really late, what happened while I was out?

Ahhh fuck, what do you want to say to this.
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#36
uhhHHHHHH tell her about the Adventure™ you had, be honest because this could end up having serious consequences for you both
[Image: TCP%20customs.png]
Reply
#37
Yes, be honest, and while we're on it, did we take both of the doses of medication we need?
Vic/Puck - Morbit Discord and Forum Mod - TCPdex Team Member -  Wiki Contributor
Ageless Fae Lord - They/He/It
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#38
You decide that you need to be honest with Daisy, hiding something that might have serious consequences for you both is bad. And lying is uncool anyway.

YOU: So uh… we might have fucked up a bit.
DAISY: What do you mean fucked up?

You take a big mental breath.

 
[Image: Waterlogged-86-1.png]

YOU: Well, so, we woke up after you fell asleep underneath a tree. We decided we wanted to climb the tree-
DAISY: Really?
YOU: Yeah. Uh, anyway.
YOU: So we climbed the tree, then got on the roof of one of the lower to the ground parts of the castle. And when we were up there we saw someone in this weird… large like… suit sort of thing?
DAISY: suit?
YOU: Yeah, it was big and large and it covered their entire body. And it looked durable
DAISY: What like a dangerous materials suit?
YOU: Maybe? Anyway, they, uh, seemed suspicious so we climbed down to follow them. But they almost saw us. And their behavior was making them seem even more suspicious.
DAISY: Suspicious how?
YOU: It was just their vibe, like. They felt off. They felt like.

You paused, not sure what to say.
 
[Image: Waterlogged-86-2.png]

DAISY: What did they feel like?

Daisy’s words were tense, not necessarily angry, but definitely tense.

YOU: When Damien was in your apartment, and he was using that Scrap, it felt sorta similar to that. At least at first.
DAISY: Okay I’ll… we can get back to that, but… what else happened?
YOU: Well, there was a weird sound. And then we got really sick and really dizzy and our vision started to go blurry

You could feel Daisy’s concern spike at that.

DAISY: Wait, blurry like all distorted with color and… and.
DAISY: That sounds like how I get with radiation exposure
DAISY: What the fuck was someone doign with something that could give off radiation in the castle
DAISY: Did they say anything?
 
[Image: Waterlogged-86-3.png]

You think back to what you heard.

YOU: Yeah, actually. They first uh. It sounded like the radioded a superior or something, then they threatened to attack us.
YOU: So we took our chance and ran, we kinda knocked a window out of its frame. But they weren’t following us, so we just came right back here.
YOU: Oh yeah, you said something about radiation, are we supposed to take any pills tonight?


You didn’t really realize how much had actually happened in that short time period until just now, now you’re feeling nervous too.


DAISY: Two from the biggest bottle and one from the smallest.
YOU: Okay.
DAISY: Can you try to let me see… or feel what happened? If you can't, that's fine. But I’d like to know.


You weren’t sure if that’d work, but you tried to anyway, whatever that meant.

DAISY: Okay well… I’m getting something. I…

Daisy’s voice trails off, and she stays silent for a while. She sounds nervous.
 
[Image: Waterlogged-86-4.png]

DAISY: What did that person say when they radioed someone else?
YOU: They said something about, “Slate Gamma Command” or whatever? They called in as “alpha seven”

Daisy’s nervousness spikes even more, her thoughts getting shaky.

DAISY: That’s not a unit of our military I’m familiar with. And what you’re describing is… There’s someone that’s carrying around something emitting horror radiation. And you feel scraps on them. This is really not good.
DAISY: ... Fuck, I don’t know what to do here.
Reply
#39
ask daisy if she thinks you should do any digging on this, or if it's best to lay low for a bit
[Image: TCP%20customs.png]
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#40
YOU: Well, do you think we should like, dig into this?
DAISY: That’s the thing, I just don’t know, if… if this IS someone breaking in here or… then it’d be really important to stop them. But I haven’t been involved in the military here for a long time.
DAISY: And if there is someone carrying around something that’s emitting horror radiation, I don’t know if...
DAISY: Maybe I would be the best to handle it of most of the people here
DAISY: But Still.
 
[Image: Waterlogged-87-1.png]

YOU: Well, like... what would happen either way.
DAISY: If it’s someone with Aspersion, Verity would probably get upset if I messed with them, though I’m sure she’d understand if I explained the situation.
DAISY: If it’s NOT someone with Aspersion, then… then they need to be stopped.
YOU: Then I’ll go look
DAISY: Where was the last place you saw them?
YOU: Uh… they were heading towards the labs I think.
DAISY: Then let's go there. Grab my stave on the way out

You get up, making sure to take the pills that Daisy had mentioned earlier before grabbing Daisy’s scrap staff. 
 
[Image: Waterlogged-87-2.gif]

YOU: Alright, let’s do this I guess

You head out the door and turn down the hallway as you retrace the steps you took not too long ago. 

DAISY: Hey… some questions while you’re heading over there
DAISY: One, are you sure you’re up to handling this? I could try to
DAISY: Two...
 
[Image: Waterlogged-87-3.png]


She seems hesitant

DAISY Earlier, when we were talking, I got this… image of some… person shaped thing in my head. Sorta following along with your words
DAISY: Do you know what that’s about?
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#41
frankly there's a lot of political shit going on right now that you know better than us in terms of raw history and context, so you might be better on negotiations...but at the same time, us having no context means we're less biased towards any one side and can make solid judgments that you might not go to immediately- though it's hard to say whether those are any better or worse than what would happen without us. basically, i think we should work together, and talk when we can to make decisions

no idea what's up with the person thing but Maybe It's Us? if it was following along with our words, idk
[Image: TCP%20customs.png]
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#42
We can handles this, as long as you've got our back. No clue about the person-shaped entity. could be us, I guess. That leads to all sorts of questions about what we are and I certainly don't want to be questioning the nature of my existence right now we got work to do.
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#43
You continue down the hallways, taking a few turns as you go, you aren’t exactly sure what it is you feel like you know which ways you need to be moving. There was something… there that made the correct path stand out to you.

You speak up to Daisy in your head.
 
[Image: Waterlogged-88-1.png]

YOU: We should work together, we don’t have any stakes in this whole thing which means we might be able to come at this whole situation more neutrally…
YOU: But we also don’t know stuff that might be helpful
DAISY: That makes sense, you seem to have a good idea of what you’re doing now at least.
YOU: As for that figure? I… we have no clue, it could be us, but honestly I’m not sure now is the best time for introspection
YOU: We have an intruder to find
DAISY: … Yeah, let's do this  

You follow the presence to a staircase, one that leads to the underground research area you’d been in earlier in the day with Verity. Making it all this way had been easy, but from here out you had the feeling you’d probably have to be on the careful side of things.
 
[Image: Waterlogged-88-2.png]

Listening carefully you could hear noises from down the stairs, shuffling, creaking, and clangs of metal. The sound of something sharp scraping against tile. 

DAISY: Is something wrong?
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#44
Honestly? The sounds of something sharp scaping against tile makes me feel like I'm in a horror movie. Just gotta steel myself and we can sneak out way down.
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#45
YOU: Honestly those sounds make me feel like im in a horror movie.
DAISY: Hah
DAISY: Well, don’t get too worried about that
DAISY You can always just eat them if things get bad.
YOU: … what?
DAISY: y’know, knock em out or whatever
DAISY: and then… well… crunch.

You aren’t sure if she’s joking or not. Well, enough delaying it. You walk down the stairs slowly, clutching the scrap staff tight in one hand. The scraping sound stops for a few moments, you stop too. After a few seconds the sound starts again. You step out into the corridors of glass test chambers. You don’t see anything unusual, that said, it’s very dark down here, the lights don’t seem to be on right now. You can see a blue glow in the distance, and gouges on the floor, fresh looking ones.
 
[Image: Waterlogged-89.png]

YOU: Let me know if you notice anything okay?
YOU: ... In case I miss something
DAISY: Of Course

Now that you’re down here, it’s really hard to actually place where the sound is coming from, probably the acoustics of all the glass and tile. So you’re essentially in a dark glass maze with weird horror sounds coming from somewhere you can’t place.

For a moment you wonder if you actually are in a horror movie.

DAISY: You got any ideas? I have a thought but you’ve been out and about more recently so I’ll defer to you first.
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#46
approach the glow but keep an eye on your surroundings, especially as you go deeper into the dark
[Image: TCP%20customs.png]
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#47
What are those orange scratches In the floor? Make sure to keep your bearings and take it slow.
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#48
we want to know daisy's thought first, but... note to selves: maybe it's worth mentioning all the weird deja vu we've been getting since we met up with Verity again. it can wait til we're not in a damn hoRROR MOVIE THOUGH
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