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File 126895749694.jpg - (22.01KB, 800x600, phoobe.jpg) [iqdb]
Another day is done. Another sort of cold day; but nothing too bad. You wonder how cold this feels to the others? Wriggle has been wearing bigger clothes lately; Mystia, too. You tried it once, and although it was warmer, it wasn't really worth it. Too hard to move in. Although it was fun to try for a while.

You can see the moon starting to glow, behind some trees. The sky is taking on that purple color that it does when it's getting around that time. Time to play~

...you start running. The snow is... interesting to run through. Underneath it, the ground is all hard and sort of cold. But, the snow itself is fluffy, and fights you as you move. Like running through water, but not as strong. And it makes big poofs when you jump.

Soon enough, you see it. That glowing light in the middle of the forest. It's easier to find now that there are no leaves. You've gotten really good at getting there, too. Now you're not a little off, but right on most of the time.

This area is kept kind of clean from snow. Business is slow in the winter (or so you've been told). Too cold. Too hard to get here. There's a lot of reasons. But, still, Mystia keeps the area right in front of the stand cleared. You wonder what it would be like to sit in a snow chair and eat~

As you get closer, Mystia gives you a smile (and then gets back to cooking). Wriggle gives you a nod. None of the other youkai that sometimes show up are here, or the humans. Pretty normal.

Wriggle turns to you after you take your seat. Your seat, because it's got your name on the bottom. Wriggle taught you how to write it one day, although you're not as good as she is.



And then you sit there. But... that's right. You had something you wanted to ask.

[ ] You found something interesting in the forest. Maybe they know what it is?
[ ] You found this paper thing blowing around the village today. Maybe they can help you read it?


This choice will determine which of the two continuations I write. It's taking too long for me to decide, so I figure I'll let you guys do it. The first option is more adventure-y, while the second is more slice of life-y. I'd just do both, but that would result in... bad things.

Title after we get the ball rolling. I'll try to stick with at least daily updates this time around as well, and most votes when I start writing for the day wins.

Let's get this crazy thing started.
[c] You found something interesting in the forest. Maybe they know what it is?

Can this be Phobe time now?
[Q] You found something interesting in the forest. Maybe they know what it is?

To... adventure.
[X] You found this paper thing blowing around the village today. Maybe they can help you read it?

Had a big adventure with the incident. Now it's time to relax!
[X] You found this paper thing blowing around the village today. Maybe they can help you read it?

The return of Phobe? Hooray!
] You found something interesting in the forest. Maybe they know what it is?
[x] You found something interesting in the forest. Maybe they know what it is?
[X] You found something interesting in the forest. Maybe they know what it is?

So what's the word on the timeskips we voted on? Not that I'm not happy with this, but I do want to see lovestruck Phobe and/or youkai sage Phobe somewhere down the road.
>You wonder what it would be like to sit in a snow chair and eat~
Tears of joy
[x] You found something interesting in the forest. Maybe they know what it is?
This is really hard but i would like to continue the adventuring. Meet new places, people and learn and have fun in between. Something like Yotsuba with danmaku.

There was no real obvious winner, so I was actually forced to brainstorm and come up with what I could write. This is the 6 month one, so nothing major has happened since the first story. Phobe's a bit more well known, and knows a few more people/more things, but mostly she's just been having fun.

The megatimeskip one is in serious planning, since I always have the option of running that in parallel with this; but, it will likely wait. I don't plan on this adventure, whatever it ends up being, lasting a year like the last one did.

As for the lovestruck/middle life Phobe... I might make it into a short at some point. But I don't think it will make it into a full thing. My apologies.
[x] You found this paper thing blowing around the village today. Maybe they can help you read it?
[X] You found this paper thing blowing around the village today. Maybe they can help you read it?
[x] You found something interesting in the forest. Maybe they know what it is?

Adventure time!
[X] You found this paper thing blowing around the village today. Maybe they can help you read it?
[X] You found this paper thing blowing around the village today. Maybe they can help you read it?
[X] You found something interesting in the forest. Maybe they know what it is?

Always time for adventure
{X} You found something interesting in the forest. Maybe they know what it is?
[x] You found something interesting in the forest. Maybe they know what it is?
[ ] You found this paper square blowing around the village today. Maybe they can help you read it?

Or tell. A little of both.

“I found something really strange today, in the forest,” You say, “Do trees sometimes melt the snow?”

“...what?” Wriggle asks, after a little bit. “That sounds really weird.”

“How was it doing that?” Mystia asks, not turning to face you. She's busy cooking at the moment; whatever it is, it smells tasty.

“Well, it had a metal thing sticking out of it...”

You know that trees don't normally work like that. Maybe. But, strange things happen sometimes.

“Again.” Wriggle says, scratching her head. “What? Was it just... sitting there?”

You nod. “It was sticking out of the tree.”

“Was it warm?”

You're not very good with temperature. You can drink tea without waiting for it to cool, and eat Mystia's food right away (although that's a different kind of hot). And when winter came around, Wriggle and Mystia got bigger clothes... because it's cold, they said. You only notice it sometimes. Like today. There was a lot of wind, and it was kind of... cold, you guess.


This thing that you saw definitely wasn't cold. But it might not have been warm.

“You should have brought it here,” Wriggle laughs, “That'd be easier.”

You shake your head. “It was stuck. I heard the tree cracking when I tried to pull on it.”

Mystia's getting close to finished. You can tell because she's getting some paper ready.“You find some really strange stuff, Phobe.”

You smile. You're starting to get a collection, too. Your root den... well, it's hard to make it bigger now, but before the ground got all icy you dug out the walls. It's not as big as Wriggle's place, but you've got room for more than just sleeping now.

“Let's check it out after this,” Wriggle says, “I'm more hungry than I am curious.”

You nod. “I'm hungry.”

“Me too~”

And there's Rumia.

Eating is good and tasty, but nothing else interesting really happens. A little talking. Wriggle talking about how cold it was when she got up. Mystia talking about how cold it was and how some people stopped by today for lunch anyway. Rumia munching.

It takes a little while (they eat too slow), but you all set off into the forest. You lead. And, aside from the little snowball fight on the way there, there's no trouble finding the place.

“... I guess it really is weird,” Wriggle admits, after seeing it. “I've never seen anything like it.”

The tree is normal, aside from this thing. It's sticking out of the tree, about as high up as your knees are. You can't tell how it got there; it's just kind of... sticking out. It's metal, you think, but it's kind of brown in places. Not that you can see that now. The moon's full, but it's still kind of dark. You wouldn't know if you didn't see earlier.

A metal tube, small enough that you can wrap your hand around. It's about as long as your arm. There's patterns over it, too; lots of criss crosses.

“It's really warm, too~”

Mystia's up close, taking a better look. There's no snow around it, and you can see the grround; that's how you saw it in the first place.

Wriggle moves closer. “Hey, it is.”

“It's not very pretty~” Rumia says, looking at it. You nod. It's not. It's kind of ugly.

“Hmm. Maybe it's from the outside?” Mystia asks, “It's strange, so maybe that's where it comes from. Maybe we could take it to Kourindou?”

Wriggle laughs. “Maybe we could even get paid for it. Something that gives off heat could be pretty useful.”


You speak up.

“It's stuck.”

“This tree's dead, anyway,” Wriggle says, “It'll be a feast when it warms up.”

“A... feast?”

“Well, maybe not for you guys...” She coughs. “Ahem. So it's probably OK if we break the tree. The wind'll blow it over soon enough.”

That's... good. You didn't want to break the tree; they're nice, and you like it when they're all green. But if it's dead anyway...

[ ] Push it through the other side. Brace yourself against the ground.
[ ] Pull on it. Brace yourself against the tree.
{X} Push it through the other side. Brace yourself against the ground.
[x] Push it through the other side. Brace yourself against the ground.
[X] Push it through the other side. Brace yourself against the ground.

Hmm, I'm trying to think of what it could be, but I'm drawing a blank.
[x] Push it through the other side. Brace yourself against the ground.

I had sexual thoughts while reading this update. And while voting.
>“Let's check it out after this,” Wriggle says, >“I'm more hungry than I am curious.”
>You nod. “I'm hungry.”
>“Me too~”
Oh god, how did i miss Phobe and friends. They just make such a good team.
>And, aside from the little snowball fight on the way there, there's no trouble finding the place.
Thought you could sneak in a little D'awww and not have anyone notice, eh? I'm onto you, Klaymen.

[X] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3dLAv0NklTg
>Sexual thoughts

You monster, that is unless it was about Wriggle or Mystia, then it's not so bad.

What are you talking about? Sexual thoughts about pure, innocent Phobe are horrible.

I would never suggest removing Phobe's clothes and licking her tiny body all over, nibbling her neck and kissing her adorable little nipples. Only a heartless monster would think about her cute girlish mouth and tongue wrapped around a thick cock slick with her saliva, pumping in and out of her mouth until it erupts, the cum more than her little throat can swallow.

The idea of thick viscous semen overflowing, dribbling down her chin over her flat chest, her tiny hands scooping it all up and watching her suck it off her fingertips is just horrible. You're all a bunch of sick perverts, thinking of spreading her smooth slender thighs, cock poised at the entrance to her pure, tight, virginal pussy, and thrusting in deep as a whimper escapes her lips which are slippery with cum, while her small body shudders from having her cherry taken in one quick stroke.

I am disgusted at how you'd get even more excited as you lean over her, listening to her quickening breath, her girlish moans and gasps while you hasten your strokes, her sweet pants warm and moist on your face and her flat chest, shiny with a sheen of fresh sweat, rising and falling rapidly to meet yours.

It is truly nasty how you'd run your hands all over her tiny body while you violate her, feeling her nipples hardening against your tongue as you lick her chest, her neck and her armpits, savoring the scent of her skin and sweat while she trembles from the stimulation and as she reaches her climax, hearing her cry out softly as she has her first orgasm while that cock is buried impossibly deep inside her, pulsing violently as an intense amount of hot cum spurts forth and floods through her freshly-deflowered pussy for the first time, filling her womb only to spill out of her with a sickening squelch. And as you lie atop her flushed body, she murmurs breathlessly, "You came so much inside of me," then her fingers dig into your back as she feels your cock hardening inside her again.

You're all freaks. Phobe's too pure for anyone to imagine her in such a terrible situation, and anyone who does is evil, evil, evil.
[x] Pull on it. Brace yourself against the tree.

Maybe it's a control rod segment or something?

Does Phobe have shoes yet?
The Aoi version is so much better.
>The Aoi version is so much better.

Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man.
[x] Pull on it. Brace yourself against the tree.
File 126911207397.jpg - (214.43KB, 781x1000, cp80j-485.jpg) [iqdb]
[x] Push it through the other side. Brace yourself against the ground.

“Really?” You ask, moving closer. “Let's get it out.”

“Get it out~” Rumia muses, moving off to the side. The others do the same.

“Think you can get it?” Wriggle asks, “It does look pretty stuck.”

You grip it by wrapping your hands around it. The edges make it so your hands don't slide; its a very easy thing to hold on to. You plant your feet on the ground, after wriggling them through the snow and the sort of ice below that. Down to the firm ground. You dig in, and... push.

There's a lot of creaking and groaning. It sounds like the tree should, but... there's something else, too. Something not wood. Something kind of thud-y, but you don't know what. And a bit of squeaking, although you've heard ice make that noise before. Well, sort of like it.

You let out a little groan. This is... very stuck.

“Hey, do you need some help?” Mystia asks you, moving into your field of vision.

You nod, your voice coming out a little strained. “It's really stuck.”

“It's a little small for us all to grab on,” Wriggle observes, “Let's get behind and push. How's the grip?”

“Good,” You say, “It's just stuck.”


You can hear them moving around behind you, and Mystia shifts out of sight. “Let's push~”

You're still grabbing hold, trying to walk forward... when, suddenly, you feel a bunch of weight behind you. There they go.

The groaning gets louder, along with the other sounds. Louder, more tense. Something's going to give.

“Man,” Wriggle says, “This IS stuck!”

“Let's try pushing all at once,” Mystia adds, “Maybe that'll work?”

“It's worth a try,” Wriggle agrees, “Ok. On three. One, two...”

On three, everyone pushes at once. There's a horrible crack made up of all the sounds that you heard before, and something gives. Everything gives. The tree, the forest, the ground, the sky... well, not the thing. Or everyone behind you . So, almost everything.

For a moment, you recognize things. You've been here before. That... place that's not anywhere. 'Inside the border', whatever that means. That place that's not so unlike you. You wouldn't mind if your root den was in here.

And another moment later, you recognize almost nothing. The thing you were pushing is one of them, but now it's sticking out of some gray thing. Bent up like a root, too. There's ground, but it's dirt and not snow. Not cold. Very bright. The sky's black, but... is it really night?

More surprised sounds, too, from the side. Not from behind. You give them a very quick look. Humans? What?

You turn to look at them. They look at you. Definitely not humans you know. The clothes are so strange.


Oh, the tree is here too. Well, most of it. The bottom seems to be missing, so it's just kind of sitting on top of the gray block. But, you don't think it will be for long.

“What...?” “Huh?” “Waah~” “Whoa, cool!” “We can look later!”

Lots of noise. Confusing. But, the tree is a problem. You move---

--- no, you don't. Up isn't valid. You can't go up. What? That's weird. Why not? You can always go up. It's not like you're tired or anything. The tree tips a bit more.

The humans give you one last look, and run. Run back through this strange tree-less forest that you're in.

You should probably run, too. Trees are heavy. Getting squished wouldn't be fun.

[ ] Left
[ ] Right
[ ] Back
[ ] Forward
Aaand, maybe now you know where this is going. Picture mostly related because I can't find a better one.

This story should probably be in /others/, but I think I'll keep it here.

I laughed because it fits.
[X] Right

(Modified) ⑨ Squad in the outside world? Fund it.
[X] Right.

Moving toward it would be bad. Moving backward won't work if it is big enough. Therefore, dive to the side.

Also, right is right.
[X] Right

So whatever the thing is, it sent them to the outside world.
Oh what fun Phobe will find here, I wonder.
[x] Right
{X} Right

No flying? Aww.
[x] Right
Lost in the real world without any powers
[x] Left.

Without flight, you mean. It's still yet to be seen if they possess their own individual powers, or any of the extra abilities generally associated with youkai nature (super strength, high endurance or resistance to things, enhanced senses, regeneration, the inability to be easily killed, characteristics endemic to each one's particular flavor of youkai, etc. Not all members of this intrepid band possess all of those, or at least, perhaps not to the same degree as one of the others, of course, but still).

Or yeah, it could be a hint that they don't have jack for power-ness going on, which would suck.

And it just now hit me; the handle was a piece of rebar. I missed the line about it being brown, and the bit about criscrossing lines made of think more of finely etched textured grip-friendly surfaces on small things made of steel.
[x] Backwards
[x] Forward
[x] Upward
[x] Spinning
[x] Lefty
Some sort of strange human-like thing outside the border? Worst case scenario, she gets captured, put through a bunch of brutal tests, humans find out about Gensokyo, and break through the Great Barrier, starting what the Gensokyin's call the Border War, but what we would call World War 3. Which would probably last a few hours at most, with Gensokyo dead. Maybe.
[x] Right

And heavy things hurt when they fall on you. Right? Right. Go right.

You run. There's lots of cool things in this direction, but you don't have too much time to worry about them yet.

You don't have to run far, in either case. It's not long before you hear a lout bang followed by a crunching sound, followed by a cracking sound followed by another bang. Then, silence. You turn around.

Mystia, Wriggle, and Rumia are all there. They must have followed you, but they didn't run nearly as far. And, past them... there's broken things. At least, you think they're broken. What was maybe a doorway for a really, really wide person but made of grey stuff before is now a bunch of rocks. The tree's in the middle of them. The tree goes even further, too; past the gray stuff, past the dirt, and through a brown fence. You can't really see what's behind the fence from here, though.

You look at the others. They look at you. And then, you realize something.

You're lost.

“Jeez,” Wriggle moans, walking closer to you. The others follow behind her after realizing what she's doing. “What'd you do, Phobe?”

You shake your head. “I don't know?”

“This place...”

Mystia's looking around, thinking.

“What is it? I don't think this is the forest.”

“Yeah,” Wriggle nods, “It's not. Way too warm. Maybe we're... oh.”

Mystia turns around. “Oh?”



Outside. Lots of cool things come from here, right? Like your hat. And all that stuff at Kourin's shop. And even people, sometimes. You didn't know you could actually get here. This is exciting.

“Really?” You ask, grinning Looking around... yes, that makes sense. That's why you don't know what most of this stuff is. It's all really interesting. “We're in that outside place?”

Wriggle... doesn't seem so excited. “That's not a good thing.”

“It's not?” You ask, not really getting why. “Why not?”

“I'm... not really sure,” Wriggle acknowledges, “But it's not. We shouldn't be here.”

“You've got that right. I think. Isn't that right, Mary?”

A different voice, one you're not used to hearing. Two girls, peeking out from behind one of the grey columns that fills this strange forest.

Wriggle spins around, obviously on edge. Mystia, too. You would but you're already facing that way.

“I'm pretty ticked off right now,” Wriggle growls, “Don't test your luck, human.”

Aah... Wriggle can be pretty scary when she's mad. You move up, closer to everyone. Closer to her, because if it's a fight numbers are always better. This is a strange place. Who knows how strange the humans are here? You're content to let Wriggle do the talking, though. And the look Mystia gives you says she's thinking the same thing.

“You're all from Gensokyo, right?”

Another voice. And... another girl, now that you look. She's walking out from behind the pillar. Wriggle clearly doesn't like it, but... well, she's in scary mode. You wonder if she really doesn't like it, or if she's just pretending.

“From, huh? I'll take it that means we're not there anymore.”

The girl (who does she remind you of again? She seems familiar) frowns a little. “Nope. Renko's right, you shouldn't be here.”

“Construction sites are scary enough at night,” The one with the nice hat adds, walking forward from her spot behind the pillar, “Peeking into those creepy, uh... dimensional rifts---”

“Gaps,” The familiar one corrects.

The first one looks a little... irritated, but you think she's just playing. “Peeking into those creepy gaps can be scary, too. But, having a big slab of cement just sort of explode, and then having a bunch of youkai and a tree appear?” She laughs. “I think that takes the cake.”

“So, so, what kind of youkai are you?” The familiar one asks Wriggle, showing no fear. Which is strange. Even the other one is showing a little, no matter how tough she's trying to act. “You can call me Mary, by the way. That's Renko. How'd you get here? What was it---”

“Hold on,” Wriggle interrupts, holding up her hand. She's still acting tough, but you can see that this probably isn't going to turn into a fight. “Slow down.”

Renko laughs. “Yeah, Mary. They're probably just as confused as I am. Besides, uh...” She looks towards where the top of the tree lies. “We really, really should be getting out of here. I don't want to explain this to whoever shows up to investigate.”

“We?” Wriggle asks, maintaining her attitude. “Whatever it is, 'we' can probably take care of ourselves.”

You're still listening, but... you're looking around, now. The conversation is a little tense yet, but the people aren't changing expressions as much. The area around you is more interesting. There's huuuuge gray things around, now that you look. And everything is kind of orange, from these little spots of light scattered around.

“I'm sure you can, but, uh... I don't think that's a good idea. Something tells me youkai wouldn't handle jail well. Or cops. Besides, we can probably help you get back.”

Jail? Cops? What're those? Maybe you'll ask later. Or maybe you'll see. Maybe you'll ask about that big orange thing in the distance, too.

“That's right,” Mary adds, “Most people don't know a thing about Gensokyo, or the great border, or any of that. So we might be able to help. And... we've got that spare room, right? You could all stay with us.”

“Wait,” Renko says, “They're going to be staying at our apartment?”

“We can't just make them sleep in the alley,” Mary laughs, “Right?”

“... I guess.”

The background noise is really interesting, too. There's lots of beeps (from cars?), lots of general noise. Wooshing. And... wailing? Waaa-oh, waa-oh. You're just now noticing it, but it's getting louder. It's not a nice noise.

“Ah, geez,” Renko says, sounding rather tense. “Look, we really need to get going. We don't have much time.”

Wriggle turns around, to face you and Mystia. You barely catch it out of the corner of your eye, and turn to face her. “I guess... it can't hurt, right?”

Mystia's frowning, but she nods. “It's better than nothing, right?”

“That's what I was thinking,” Wriggle says, nodding. “This sucks, but it's better than... hey, where's Rumia?”

That's a good question. You look over towards where she was, by that gray thing, but... she's not there. And a quick glance around the ground doesn't show her, either. The wailing's getting louder, like some sort of warning signal.

“Wasn't she just over there?” Mystia asks, pointing... a little to the right of the gray thing. “By that pile of brown stuff?”

Waaa-oh waaa-oh

“We can't force you,” Renko states, looking anxious, “But, uh, we really can't wait any longer. Are you coming or not?”

Wriggle groans.

[ ] Write-in.
Oh good, someone got it. It's kind of a challenge to describe things without using their names.
[X] Ask Mary and Renko to help you find Rumia. If they won't, try to watch see which way they go when they leave.
[X] Ask Wriggle if there are any bugs around to help look for Rumia.
[X] Watch out for whatever is making those noises. You should probably hide from whatever's making them.
File 126921591561.png - (391.10KB, 600x600, That\'s just how she says hello.png) [iqdb]
[x] "We'll go with you, but... Rumia looks human, right? She should be ok for now." Go with them.

Rumia's got enough moe to keep her safe. Assuming the police find her, we can just pick her up from the day care later. So long as she doesn't try to eat anyone, she'll fit right in, and even if she does, if youkai strength and abilities are fizzled along with the flying, it'll just come off as cute rather than dangerous.
File 126921695279.jpg - (196.16KB, 637x937, cartoonphobe.jpg) [iqdb]
{X} "We'll go with you, but... Rumia looks human, right? She should be ok for now." Go with them.
[x] "We'll go with you, but... Rumia looks human, right? She should be ok for now." Go with them.

Hopefully we can try to have a way to find her, perhaps asking those two to post missing posters.
[x] Ask Mary and Renko to help you find Rumia. If they won't, try to watch see which way they go when they leave.
[x] Call out for Rumia.
[x] Ask Wriggle if there are any bugs around to help look for Rumia.
[x] Watch out for whatever is making those noises. You should probably hide from whatever's making them.

Finding a Rumia at night is not going to be so easy if you're only looking with your eyes.
[X] "We'll go with you, but... Rumia looks human, right? She should be ok for now." Go with them.

Didn't Phobe have a hat too?
I seem to recall getting one in the first story but my memory may be screwy, so I'm not sure.
>“This sucks, but it's better than... hey, where's Rumia?”
The buffet is open.

[x] Ask Mary and Renko to help you find Rumia. If they won't, try to watch see which way they go when they leave.
[x] Call out for Rumia.
[x] Ask Wriggle if there are any bugs around to help look for Rumia.
[x] Watch out for whatever is making those noises. You should probably hide from whatever's making them.

No one gets left behind. Seriously, we need to find her before we go.
Yep, she even mentioned it in this thread.

>Outside. Lots of cool things come from here, right? Like your hat.
that's assuming their powers/strength haven't decreased due to being outside. Remember they can't really fly in the outside. And rumia sans her strength would come off more as adorable than threat. Just saying that Wriggle might not even be able to command bugs here.
[x] "We'll go with you, but... Rumia looks human, right? She should be ok for now." Go with them.
[x] "We'll go with you, but... Rumia looks human, right? She should be ok for now." Go with them.

Rumia is Rumia. She's always all right in the end. So, why does everyone seem to be so worried?

“She'll be ok for now, right?” You ask, before turning your gaze back to the humans. “We'll go with you.”

“You guys can go,” Wriggle says, “I'll look for her.”

Again, you don't get it. “But she's always doing that, so it's ok...”

“Look, I'll catch up to you later,” Wriggle says, sighing. “If I don't find you by tomorrow night, meet me back here.”

Mystia gives her a nod. “Don't get into any trouble, ok?”

Wriggle laughs. “I can handle myself.”

That wailing keeps getting louder, while Renko just looks more nervous. Mary doesn't seem to be too bothered, but even she's showing a little.

Renko moves towards your group, causing Wriggle to tense up a bit.

Wriggle... takes it, looking rather confused and still mildly irritated.

“Ask someone to help you get to that address,” She adds. Address? “My cell's on it, too, so I guess you could call that.”

Ah... there's some blue and red flashing going on, now. Between two of those huge grey towers, off in the distance. It's in the same direction as that noise.

“Shit,” Renko mutters under her breath, “No more talking. We need to leave. Follow me!”

You wonder what's got her so scared? You're not even doing anything.

Mary, who's been creeping closer this whole time, nods. She doesn't seem as tense as Renko, for whatever reason. Since you're leaving, you won't get to see whatever it is, so that's kind of disappointed. You'll have to ask later.

Renko... runs. She's not too slow, for a human. You could run faster, but then you wouldn't know where you're going. Mary follows, a bit more slow and clumsy. It's almost funny to watch. Mystia's right beside you, looking worried. Why is everyone so worried? This is exciting. Running from some unknown beast, with blinky lights and a horrible wail. At least, that's what you think you're running from. It certainly sounds like something that you should run from.

You're kind of sad that you'll all be split up for now, so you wave goodbye to Wriggle as you leave. She gives you a wave back. And then you have to turn around because it's hard to see where you're going otherwise. You're running through some sort of crazy gray maze, after all, with things lying around. It'd be easy to run into something.

“I wasn't expecting this,” Mystia moans, taking off her bigger clothes as she runs. It must be warm enough here that she doesn't need it. “Really wasn't expecting this.”

“Me either~”

This is a very strange place to run. Lots of rocks and things to jump over. It'd be even better if you weren't following slow people. They're climbing things that you could jump on, and going around things you could climb.

...and, they're getting really tired. You can hear them breathing, so hard.

“Just a little... ha, further,” Renko says, without bothering to turn around. “There's an... alley over here.”

Quite suddenly, the gray forest stops. The dirt turns to some sort of rock that seems to be covering everything. There's a wall, and passing that leads you into... light. Orange light, with... whoa!

“What's that?” You can't help but ask as you see a box... a car? Moving? “No, it's a car, right? That's cool! Kourin would love this place!”

Mystia lets out a little laugh, breaking her frown for the moment. “Haha, he would. I can even see his face.”

You almost can, too. It would look almost the same, but... there'd be a tiny bit of a smile in one corner. You try to make the face, and a voice to go with it, “Ah... how wonderful.”

You're not sure if the humans are trying to laugh or not, but they might be. It's hard to tell. It doesn't sound like they'll be able to get much further.

This path doesn't keep you next to the flat space for long. You all follow the brown wall until it stops, right before running into one of those huge pillars. And then you go into that space. It's a lot darker here; nicer, you think. You don't really like that orange. But there's a few bits of orange as you run. And run. And then, by a big green box... Mary stops.

“Haa... h-hold on... I can't...”

Not quite stops completely, but stops running. She moves over to the wall, close to the green box, and leans on it.

You've already stopped, but it takes Renko a little bit to cease moving.

“Oh... ha... sorry,” She pants, walking slowly back. She doesn't look much better. “Want me to... ha... carry you?”

Mary makes a very, very bad attempt at a laugh. “Can... rest a bit...?”

Renko gives a very sloppy nod. She's really tired, too. Easy prey if you were playing the youkai game. “Y...yeah. I won't... feel good until we're home, but... ha... this is probably safe enough.”

Lots of panting, no talking. Both humans take a seat on the hard rock. You turn to Mystia, who's still frowning a little (but then smiles a little when she notices you, although it's not a good one), and then back.

“Hey... Phobe,” Mystia finally asks, causing you to turn around again. Spinny. “You can't... fly, right?”

You shake your head. “Nope~”

“Oh, so it's not just me...”

“Fly?” Renko asks between pants. You think there's a little laugh in there, too. This seems to startle Mystia a bit. “That'd be handy, wouldn't it?”

Mystia gives a rather quick nod. “I don't like being stuck on the ground.”

Hearing your name... reminds you of something.

“Oh, that's right. I'm Phobe,” You say, introducing yourself to the humans.

Mystia, too, seems to have forgotten. “A-ah. I'm Mystia.”

Renko gives a nod. Mary seems too busy resting to pay much attention.

“I'd say those are... crazy names, but I don't want to get eaten or something.”

You laugh. No, she really doesn't. It's pretty obvious. She's a normal human who fears youkai, so maybe you should tell her.

“I'm not being a youkai right now,” You say, “So don't worry~”

Mystia shakes her head. “Ah, and there's no grill, either,” She says, “So how would we cook you?”

“A shame,” Renko says, “Say, Mary. Was this really a good idea?”

Mary opens her eyes, looking up at you both from her sitting position down at the base of the wall. “I don't think... you can fly out here,” She says, answering a question from a long time ago. Or maybe she's just trying to ignore Renko. “I think that's something... to do with Gensokyo.”

Mystia sighs, “I feel like I almost can, but... it's like I'm not doing it right.”

Renko lets out a harsh laugh. “Try flapping your wings. We'll have to do something about those, by the way--- whoa. Hey, I wasn't serious!”

You hear a little swishing noise, and turn to Mystia. But she's not there. She's on top of the green box... no, over it. By some square cut out of the gray pillar.

“Haha!” She laughs, “I'm so stupid sometimes~”

You watch as she flutters back down to the ground. “I mostly do that for show. I didn't even think to use them.”

Mary claps as she lands, seemingly having regained some energy.. “Ah, that's so cool! Don't you wish you had wings, Renko?”

Renko shakes her head. “No way. I'd never be able to find clothes that fit. And besides, what would people say?”

Mary stands up, a little weakly. “If we're not running, I think I'll be fine now. Thanks for waiting.”

Renko nods, and gets back up. It's like how you get up, really; shoving yourself off the ground really hard, and then moving your legs into a better position. “Any time, Mary,” She says, “Come on, let's get home. I'd rather rest there than in a stinky alley.”

Mary laughs a little, and nods. “Me, too. And it's a better place to do an interview!”

Renko looks towards you and Mystia. “I hope you guys don't sleep much.”

You don't get it. “Why?”

“She's going to be asking you questions until your ears fall of,” Renko continues, laughing. “And then she'll teach you sign language.”

Mary's face goes a little red. “But... it's not every day that this kind of thing happens,” She says, “It'd be a huge waste if I didn't.”

“At least you're honest,” Renko laughs, motioning for you all to follow. “You didn't even try to deny it.”

“Don't try to act like you're not interested, Renko,” Mary prods, “Think of the science. This shouldn't be possible, right?”

“Tch,” Renko says, “Am I really that transparent?”

Mystia speaks up, “Ah... you are still going to help us get back, right?”

Renko laughs. “Yeah. You have my word.”

“So,” Mary says, fiddling with some sort of silver thing that she's pulled out of a pocket. “Can we start now? How'd you get here? What happened?”

Renko gives both you and Mystia a sort of sly grin before turning back around. Mary's slowing down, getting closer to you both.

[ ] Maybe you can answer her ears off.
[ ] Can you trade questions, instead?
[ ] Answering questions is kind of boring. You want to ask them.

There will be more Wriggle later. You may even get to be more Wriggle later. Also feel free to write in specific questions here, if you want. I may or may not use them.

I like her both ways~
[Q] Can you trade questions, instead?
[x] Can you trade questions, instead?
[x] Can you trade questions, instead?
>Renko moves towards your group, causing Wriggle to tense up a bit.
>Wriggle... takes it, looking rather confused and still mildly irritated.
I know the missing sentence here is Renko scribbling on a piece of paper, but I must admit that when I first read an unmotivated "Wriggle takes it", my mind went... elsewhere.

[X] Can you trade questions, instead?
-- "Are... are my ears really going to fall off?"
[x] Can you trade questions, instead?
-[x] To Renko: "Where did you get such a nice hat? ...Wanna trade? Just for now."

Couldn't think of anything useful, so instead:
Phobe with a fedora moe~

Also, Renko in our rainbow beret
[x] Can you trade questions, instead?
[x] Can you trade questions, instead?
How embarrassing.

...no, the missing sentence was Renko fishing a business card out of her pocket. And then Mary making a comment about when did she get cards. And then a little more back and forth. Bizarre. I remember writing it, but I must have deleted it and then never put it back. I was pretty sleep deprived yesterday.
[x] Can you trade questions, instead?
[x] Can you trade questions, instead?

“Can we trade?”

“Hmm? Trade what?”

“Questions. I've have lots, too~”

Mary laughs. “Of course! Just stop me if I start talking too much.”

“And then do it a few more time to get her to really stop,” Renko adds from her position in the lead.

You nod. “But humans can't really do something like talk until ears fall off... right?”

More laughing. Even Mystia gets in on this round. You thought it might have been a joke, but humans are pretty strange. You laugh too.

“I don't think so,” Mary eventually answers, “But I'm not sure.”


That look flares up in her eyes again, “But you didn't answer my question. So, how'd you get here?”

“We pushed on that thing,” You say, “And then we were here. Then we ran from something.”

You hear Renko stifle another laugh, but Mary frowns a little at your answer. “What thing?”

“Ah, it was brown, and it has criss crosses on it... and metal.”

“It was warm, too,” Mystia says, “What happened to winter? Don't you get winter out here?”

“Yeah, you have a bunch of snow right now, right?” Mary asks, “But I guess it must seem pretty warm right now, even though we're in winter.” She pauses. “So, you just pushed on... a brown metal thing...?”

You already answered that question. Does it count as a second one? Well, it's still ok if you get more than her. “We have to go back tomorrow, so I can show you then. What were we running from?”

“Ah... probably the police,” Mary says, “But that makes us sound like criminals.”

“What?” Renko laughs, mocking something. “No, officer. I swear that a tree just sort of appeared there and... huh. Maybe I'll watch the news tomorrow.”

You're starting to lose them. Time for a little question danmaku. “Police? Officer? News?”

“Hmm... the first two are pretty close,” She says, “The police are made up of officers. And they're the ones that catch you if you're doing bad things. The news is... ah, you don't have TVs, so... how about newspapers?”

“I've got lots of those,” Mystia says, “But they're not much good.”

“It's like that, but there's someone reading it to you,” She says, “And they show you the things that're happening.”

...what? “How do they do that?”

Mary grins. “You could ask Renko. It's pretty confusing, even for me.”

Renko laughs. “Maybe when we get home. Something tells me you won't get it, though.”

Ah... that's annoying. “I want to try, though~”

“Sure,” Renko shrugs, “Hum... hey, would you mind putting on that coat again, uh...” She stops and turns around. Not to face you, but Mystia. “...sorry. I'm not good with names that aren't Japanese.”

Mystia nods, “Aah, but it's so warm... and it's Mystia.”

You can see Renko sound out the name a few times before continuing. “Those wings are really out of place; no offense,” She says, “But we don't want to attract attention.”

Mystia looks at the coat for a bit. It's clear that she doesn't want to. “Can't I just fold them down, like this?” She asks, doing just that.

Renko sighs. “Not really.”

“It'll be ok for a few blocks,” Mary cuts in, “Right? There's not many people out.”

“... I guess,” Renko admits, sliding her hat down a little on her face. “This is just all making me really nervous.”

Mystia gives a nervous laugh. “Who's attention am I not attracting?”

“People,” Renko says, “Like I said, I'm probably just being paranoid.”

“Not really,” You say. It's true. “Only a little bit.”


“You're only a little paranoid,” You say, more clearly. “Not a lot.”

She gives you an odd look, and turns around. “A-anyway, we'll be heading back out to the street in a minute. Try not to gawk too much.”

Mystia nods, not folding her wings back out. It looks... kind of weird, somehow. You've only seen her do that once or twice before, and never for very long.

“How can you tell?” Mary asks, after you round another corner in this space between pillars. “I mean, she sounds pretty paranoid to me.”

Renko shoots her a glance, but that's all. One of those glances.

“But, you don't tell by sound...”

“How do you tell?”

“You look,” You say, but then you remember something. She's not you. “Oh... that's right. You can't see it.”

“See what?” She asks. ...no, this is a pretty fair question match. It's just that you're trading them in bigger groups than one. And it looks like she's found something really interesting to ask about.

“That she's not blue.”

“I can see that, but...” Mary answers, “Why would she ever be a color? That's kind of a weird thing to say.”

“Not that kind of blue,” you say, “the other kind.”

More questions. “There's more than one kind?”

You nod. Two kinds. Although they both color things.

[ ] You could even show her... later. Just a little, though.
[ ] Maybe you can point it out if you see it. She might get it then.
It didn't make it into this one, but I'm sure I'll use it soon.
[x] Maybe you can point it out if you see it. She might get it then.

Not sure how well her power would work here, and it's better to talk about an example.
[x] Can you trade questions, instead?
- How did you know we would be there? I decided to tug on the tree this only a few minutes ago.
- Where are we?
- How do you know about Gensokyo?
- Wanna see what I can do? ...Or maybe I shouldn't. Maybe Mystia can try doing her thing?
[x] You could even show her... later. Just a little, though.
[X] You could even show her... later. Just a little, though.
[X] Maybe you can point it out if you see it. She might get it then.

Why not?
[x] Maybe you can point it out if you see it. She might get it then.
Let's see if we still have the power
[x] Maybe you can point it out if you see it. She might get it then.
[x] Maybe you can point it out if you see it. She might get it then.

“If I see some, I'll let you know. Ok?”

Mary... gives a reluctant nod. “Is it common? Blue, I mean.”

You shrug. “Sometimes?”

“Ah... maybe we'll move on to something else.”

She looks a little disappointed, but something else... should mean your turn!

“So, this is the outside, right?”

“Outside?” Mary asks, “Oh, you mean outside Gensokyo, right?”

You nod. Wriggle seemed pretty sure, but maybe she'll say something interesting. Then you can ask about that, too.

“It has to be,” Mystia says, “This place is so different...”

Mary nods. “Yep. It's really different. They're two totally different places.”

“How?” You ask, “We didn't move very far. How are they so different?”

Mary laughs. “I already asked that question.”

...she did, now that you think about it.

Ah, it looks like you're going to be heading out into another open space. You can see lights rushing by up ahead, and the wooshing kind of noise is getting louder.

“...oh, shoot,” Mary states, her hand moving around in her coat, “I guess I left it at home.”

Renko laughs. “What?”

“My questions,” She says, checking more holes in the coat, “I wrote up a bunch of questions in case this ever happened.”

She has a list? A whole list of questions? You're going to have a hard time beating her, then.

“What's that?” You ask, as you emerge out into another flat portion. “Why is it so flat?”

“It's a road. It's flat so that we can drive cars over it. Oh, cars are those things you see---” woosh “---moving by every once in a while.”

You nod. “I knew that. I traded one for my hat~”

“W-what?” Mary asks, “You've seen a car before?”

You nod. “There was one in the forest, and Kourin got me and Mystia and Wriggle and Rumia to help carry it. I got a hat for it~”

“Ah, and I got a 'coke',” Mystia says. You remember that. It was after the next full moon, and that's because he mentioned it randomly when she was with you one day. “It was really good.”

Mary looks... somehow disappointed. “I wonder who was driving it? If something that big could slip through...”

“It's pretty dangerous there for a human, though, right?”

Renko's turn for questions, now. You have to think about it. Is it? You're not a human so you don't know.

Mystia laughs. “Some places. And it depends how hungry things are~”

“Yeesh. You're sure you're not going to eat us?”

You nod. “I'm not.”

Mystia nods, too. “Not unless you do bad things.”

“Grandpa's probably cursing me right now,” Renko laughs, “I mean, seriously. I'm going to blame you if I get eaten, Mary.”

A bit more walking. The sides of those pillars seem to have entrances on the sides that face the road. You pass two, three, four pillars... and then, Renko turns. Opens a door that doesn't slide, but swings out. It's clear, too, except for the handle on it.

“It's this one.”

Inside you go.


They're BUILDINGS. At least, this part is. But you have a feeling that the rest of the pillar is... a building. A really, really, really big building.

“Oh, that makes sense...” Mystia says, “All those squares on the outside were glass, right?”

“Yeah, but let's keep it down for now.” Renko answers back, “Even tourists know what windows are.”

Question time is over, then.

She leads you all into a box. A small room, with weird music and buttons on one wall. And after she pushes one, the room MOVES. Up. Up and up and up and up, and then, it finally stops. And then when the front of the room opens again, you're someplace else.

“Huh. And an... elevator,” Mystia says, “Oh. Sorry.”

Mary gives her a look. “How did you know that?”

“Ah... I got a book from the outside a long time ago,” Mystia says, “Or someone did.”

“What was it about?”

“Words,” She says, “Like 'here are some words that start with e'. There were a lot of nice pictures~”

One, two, three... eight doors down from the 'elevator', Renko stops. She opens a door off to the side, and goes in. “And, here we are.”

You go in, too.

It's... a house. A house inside a building? That's crazy.

“Are all those other doors houses, too?”

“Apartments,” Renko says, slipping off her shoes at the door. Mystia and Mary do the same, but... you don't have shoes, so you don't have to. “But yeah. It's an apartment building.”

“And they're all yours?”

Mary and Renko both laugh. You guess not, but then Mary answers you anyway.

“No, no... there's different people in each one.”

You nod. It's really weird, but you get it.

“Wow,” Mary says, looking at a big circle on the wall. It's got numbers and stuff inside of it. Oh! Yeah, it's a clock. Kourin gets those sometimes. “It's only nine?”

“Geh,” Renko says, moving towards the clock. She gives it a look. “That clock's off. Again. Maybe it's time to get a new one?”

“Hmm. Maybe.”

And then, there's silence. And so many questions, as you look around.

“What's that?” You ask, walking into the room. It's a box, but you're not sure what it does. “Or that? Or that?”

“Wanna give them the tour, Mary?” Renko asks, “I'm gonna take a shower. All that running made me stink.”


Mary laughs. “Ok, ok. I guess it's only fair. But we'll have to trade more questions after that.”

Mystia looks a little eager to look around, too. “It's all really strange,” She says, after noticing you looking at her. “I wonder if Wriggle will find us?”

Renko sighs. “Yeah, I want to apologize for that.”

You turn around.

“We really didn't have any time. She seemed to be pretty confident in herself, though.”

Mystia nods. “It's ok.”

“Besides, we're going to meet up with her tomorrow if she doesn't come here,” Mary says, “So it'll be ok.”

Renko scratches the side of her head. “So, yeah. Shower. I'll be out in a bit.”

“Tour,” Mary says, nodding. “Right. So this is the living room...”

The parts are the same, but the things filling the parts are way different. There's three bedrooms instead of one, a big kitchen instead of a small one, a “bathroom” (which you can't go in because Renko's in there), and the spare room. That's where you'll be sleeping... at least, that's what she says. It doesn't look very comfortable.

“...that's Renko's computer. I've got a laptop over here...”

You look... and stop. What?

“Ah, there's a moving box... inside the box?”

Mystia's looking at it, too. “What is it?”

“Oh, right,” Mary laughs, “Computers are probably pretty strange, huh? Here, I'll show you mine.”

In another room, on a desk, there's a big, flat, and white stone. A very, very shiny one... but it's also a computer. It splits in half, revealing a black part and a part with letters on it. And then, the black part lights up. It's too strange. So you'll just watch for now.

“Right, we use computers to do all kinds of things... you can put words into it, for instance. See? And you can look up information, or play games, or...”

It's a pretty long time to watch, but you can't look away. This thing is crazy. Too many questions. If you asked them all here, you'd be out forever. You get the feeling that Mystia's in a similar situation.

[ ] Maybe it would make more sense if you could touch it.
[ ] Just watch. It's fascinating.
>You nod. “I knew that. I traded one for my hat~”
I just love Phobe's innocence. This makes the whole story just so great.
[x] Maybe it would make more sense if you could touch it.
Breaking Things.
[x] Just watch. It's fascinating.

It'd be better to be a nice guest and not break anything.
>three bedrooms
So there's a third roommate? Or maybe a fourth, and Mary and Renko sleep together?

[X] Maybe it would make more sense if you could touch it.
[x] Maybe it would make more sense if you could touch it.

Can't deny such a curious mind.
[x] Maybe it would make more sense if you could touch it.

We can dream.
[x] Maybe it would make more sense if you could touch it.
[x] Maybe it would make more sense if you could touch it.

You move a little closer.

“Can I... touch it?”

Mystia's the one that answers, though. “Ah, maybe that's not a good idea? You might break it...”

You shake your head. “I won't break it.” It looks pretty sturdy, you think. As long as you're not trying to break it, you don't think you will.

“Hmm... she's right, though,” Mary says, frowning a bit “I break it on accident all the time.”

“Really?” You ask, looking at it. It really doesn't look like it's been broken. Unless the part where you split it in half counts as breaking? “Why do you still have it?”

She laughs. “Oh, Renko's pretty good with this sort of thing. She can usually fix it, even if she complains a little.”

“But if she can fix it,” You ask, “Then it's ok if I accidentally break it, right?”

Mary thinks about this one for a minute, then nods. “I guess it's ok. Let's take it out to the living room, though.”

Saying this, she starts playing with things behind the desk. And under it. You take a step back.

“Don't you want to play with it?” You ask Mystia, smiling. “It looks like fun~”

Mystia gives you a small smile. “...a little. I don't want to break it, though.”

“You can try it, too,” Mary says, “I've got a few games on here that might be fun.”

After a few moments, she's got a long string hanging out of one hand, and the box in the other. The string came from below and behind the desk. It's... kind of fat, for a string, though. And it's white like the computer. The dangling end looks kind of strange as well.

“Ah, no, that's ok...” Mystia answers, but you can tell that she wants to. Maybe you'll get her to try after you do.

Mary leads the way out into the living room. You've already been here, and aside from the TV (another really crazy thing. There's people inside of it, but you guess they're really not... or something), this room is kind of boring. There's a table, and you can see into the kitchen.

After pushing the end of the string into a hole in the wall (“And don't stick your finger in this!”), the computer makes a noise. Mary sets it down on the table.

“Hmm, let me just... here we go. Here's the games I've got.”

There's a square inside the top, with a bunch of little pictures inside of it. Under those pictures are words.

“This one's solitare, it's a card game,” She says, pointing to one of the pictures, “And this one's snake. You try to grab apples, while---”

“Hey, Mary!” You hear Renko call out from down the hall. “You, uh, mind grabbing me a towel?”

“Sure, just a sec,” She says, taking a step back from the screen. “I'll be back in a minute.”

She heads down the hall, out of sight, although you can see that she's not really in a hurry. You take a seat. There's quite a few here that she didn't talk about yet. You wonder which game you want to try. You just have to do stuff down at the bottom half to get them to appear, so...

[ ] Solitare.
[ ] Snake.
[ ] One of the others.
[ ] ...maybe you'd better wait until she gets back.
[ ] Stick your finger in the hole in the wall.
[X] ...maybe you'd better wait until she gets back.
- [X] See if Mystia can read any of the other words on the top half while you wait.
[x] Snake.
oh yes
[x] ...maybe you'd better wait until she gets back.
- [x] See if Mystia can read any of the other words on the top half while you wait.
[X] Snake
[X] See if you can make the poor doomed snake be crazy happy at least once in it's life before it dies by collision.
File 126962659994.jpg - (136.14KB, 283x428, olderphobequestionmark.jpg) [iqdb]
{X} Snake
[X] Snake
[x] Snake.

Snake. You like snakes... but what's an apple?

Mystia takes a seat next to you. “I want to watch.”

You nod. You'd be watching if you weren't playing. Now...

… you look down. Lots and lots and lots of buttons. Which one of these do you push? You didn't actually see which one's Mary was pushing when she was playing with it earlier. They've got shapes on them, and then little tiny bits of writing below that.

“...what do they say?” You ask, turning to Mystia. “I don't know which one to push.”

“They're letters,” She says after a moment, “But I don't know what the shapes above them mean.”

“Hmm,” You say, turning back. Letters. You don't want letters, you want Snake.

Before, when Mary was playing around, there was a lot of stuff moving around on the top piece. But the main thing was the arrow. You can see it; it's near the bottom. You need to point that at Snake. But, how do you do that?

...you press one of the buttons.

“Oh, you did something!” Mystia says, pointing at the screen. “Look, this one's darker now.”

She's right. One of the little pictures (and the word or whatever below it) changed colors. Now it's kind of blue instead of kind of white. And the letters turned kind of white instead of kind of black. There's a line around it, too.

You look down at the one you pushed.

“Is this that?” You ask, pointing to the button while looking at the screen. “The writing.”

She takes a look. “...I think so. Maybe you push Snake and it shows up?”

You nod. That's what you were thinking. “How do I push it~?”

Mystia laughs. “Start with this one,” She says, pointing to one of the buttons. She stops short of pushing it, though, so you do.


Again, a color change. Now the area around Snake and the words are a different color, while the other one went back to normal.

“That's so weird~” Mystia adds, “Ok, now... this one.”

You push the next button, but... another thing changes color instead, and Snake goes back to normal.

“Oh... did I do it wrong?” You ask, turning to Mystia. She shakes her head. “No, that's the next letter... hmm. Try this one.”

You get through 'Snake', but nothing happens. At the end you just get another thing to change color.

“Aahh... I thought that would work,” Mystia says, sighing.

“Me too,” You say, looking over the buttons again. You're not sure what you're doing, exactly, but it's really cool. “Hmm.”

“Oh, did you find a good one?”

Mary returns. You look back to her, and then back to the screen.

“I'm trying to make it work~”

Mary laughs. “Oh, it's pretty simple. Here, let me show you. What game did you want to play?”

[ ] You don't want her to show you, though.
[ ] *point to Snake*
{X} *point to Snake*
>[ ] *point to Snake*
In before Phobe puts her finger through the monitor.

[X] "The snake one."
[x] *point to Snake*
Tempted to go with the other option, but enter/return isn't exactly intuitive as the button for starting games, at least not for someone who's never used a computer.
[x] *point to Snake*
[x] *point to Snake*
[Q] *point to Snake*
[x] *point to Snake*

Oh, that's good. If it's this fun to play with it without knowing what you're doing, it'll be even more fun to play an actual game with the box. You point to the picture of Snake. “That one.”

“Snake, huh?” She asks, leaning over your shoulder. Then, she touches the unlettered square at the bottom; and, when she moves her finger, the little arrow moves around the top box. You watch in awe. The arrow moves up, and over, and up until it's over the picture of the snake. Then, she taps twice. Once make it colored, and the second one causes the whole top to change.

Mystia shakes her head. “We would have never figured that out.”

You're... not sure about that. But you keep watching. There's lines moving around the top now, and little red dots appearing, and.... it's very confusing.

Mary laughs. “Anyway, you press this button when you want to start,” She says, pointing to one at the top. Then she puts her fingers down onto some other buttons near the bottom. Arrows. “These change which way you're moving. You want to move over the apples to get bigger, and try not to run into yourself.”

As you listen, you watch the lines move and the dots and all of that, but it doesn't make much sense. But maybe it will once you actually start. You put your right hand down on the arrows, and hit the top button with the left.

There's noise, suddenly. You let go.

“W-what is that?” Mystia asks, “Where's that song coming from?”

Mary laughs. “Speakers. It's coming from the computer.”

Well, she didn't say that you broke it, so you put your fingers back down. There's only one line now, and a red dot. The line's moving towards the bottom.


You push the button that goes up, but it doesn't do anything. Then, you try the right one.


The line is now a corner. But after a little bit it's just a line again, moving right. You push up. Again, a corner for a little bit.

Mary laughs. “Try to move over the apple. That red thing.”

You're not sure what any of this has to do with snakes, but it's really cool. You make two more corners, and go over the red thing. Something up at the top changes, and your corner line stops moving at the back for a little bit but the front keeps going. Then it's a line again.

“That's it,” Mary says, “Keep running over the apples and don't do... that.”

You try to make a box. But, when you do, the line... does something weird. And disappears. And then there's words on your screen. You look up at Mary.

“That's how you lose,” She says, “If you touch the snake with another part of the snake, you lose.”

“What about the line?” You ask, still not getting where snakes come into this.

“Oh, yeah,” She says, “That's the snake.”

You shake your head. “It's a line, though. Snakes are a lot bigger.”

Mary laughs. “I guess it doesn't look much like a snake, does it? But that's what it's supposed to be. It's just pretend, so it can be as big as it wants to be.”

Oh, this is pretend snake eating apples? That makes a little more sense.

“What's an apple?” You ask, “Is that pretend, too?”

“It's a fruit,” Mary answers, “Red, and... about this big?”

She makes a fist.

“They're really good,” Mystia says, smiling. “I had one once. But I guess they don't grow in Gensokyo.”

You're still confused.

“Hmm... I think we've got some, actually,” Mary states before heading off to the kitchen. “I like them a lot, too.”

While she's doing that, you try again. This time, you get a lot more apples. Or red dots. But it starts becoming really hard, because the line is really long. And there's more lines that you can't touch (you think), but you can't move those with your arrows.

Still, you keep going. You're not going to run into anything yet, even though you need to draw spirals with your line to keep from touching it. This is... it's a different kind of fun than playing in the forest. A little closer to danmaku, but it's weird because you're not even moving. Maybe like card games, then?

“Did you want one? How about you, Mystia?” Mary eventually asks, returning. Want one what? You turn to look. And then, you hear that noise. And, when you look to the top part again, the words have returned. Your snake is gone.

You lost.

“Aaahh,” You say, “I lost.”

You hear a groan from further behind you. “Me, too. What's going on in here?”

Renko's back. What did she lose, you wonder?

“They wanted to play around on my computer,” Mary says, “And it looks like... Phobe, right?”

You nod.

“It looks like Phobe's pretty good at Snake,” Mary says, laughing. “Better than I am, but I guess that's not saying much.”

“Yeah,” Renko adds, getting closer, “You're more of a sudoku kind of person. Anyway, I'm going to fix up some leftovers. Anyone hungry?”

You nod, pushing the button again to start. You're better than her? You wonder who else you're better than at this.

“I'm not very hungry,” Mystia says, focusing on you. “And if I eat that apple...”

Mary nods, and hands one in her direction. “That's what I was thinking. I'm not hungry, but I could eat an apple.”

“Is leftovers as good as an apple?” You ask, unsure of which one you want.

“Oh... that's a tough call,” Mary conceeds, “You're going to heat up that stuff from yesterday, right?”

Renko answers, but her voice is further away now. Kitchen? You don't want to look just yet. “Yeah. Why?”

“Because that was really good,” Mary answers back.

“Can I have both?” You ask. If it's good, you want to eat it. And it sounds like either one might go away if you don't.

Mystia laughs. “You're just like Rumia when it comes to food,” She says, “Well, almost.”

You nod. That sounds about right. Once, you two were playing, and there was a very big deer of some kind. You were kind of hungry, and so was she... but it was in the middle of the day. No cooking. So you both just ate it right there. It was good.

“So, is she having any or not?” Renko asks, after a new sound begins from the kitchen. It's kind of a humming noise, but you still can't look. “Because I'll totally eat that whole thing otherwise.”

You nod. “I want some.”

Ah... it's getting hard again. You're starting to make spirals, and there's more lines. Gotta focus.

“She says she does,” Mary answers, before taking a seat on another side of the table. There's a sort of clunk as she sets some things down. “Who's Rumia? Was she one of the others what was with you?”

Mystia sighs. “Yeah... she's the one that Wriggle's looking for. Normally it'd be OK if she got lost, but...”

“But not now. I understand.”

“They'll be ok,” Mystia says, “It's still kind of scary, though. I hope we can all get back together.”

There's a series of loud, juicy crunches after that. Apples? They even sound really good. But, you have to watch this...

“We'll get you all back to Gensokyo,” Mary says, a hint of conviction in her voice. “It's a promise.”

Mystia nods. “That's good. You seem like you're not lying.”

“I don't think she could if she wanted to,” Renko adds, in a different position from the last time you heard her. “She's that kind of person.”

“You say it like it's a bad thing,” Mary answers.

“No no, it's a complement,” Renko adds, laughing. “Really.”

Beep beep beep. There's noise coming from the kitchen. Then there's more noise coming from the kitchen. Clanging and stuff.

“Right,” You hear Renko say, after all the noise calms down. “It's a good thing we haven't gotten a call about the spare room yet, hey? This would suck a lot more otherwise.”

Mary laughs. “Actually, I did get one today. They said they tried your number, but you didn't pick up.”

“Oh, I must have been in class,” Renko adds, “I wonder why they didn't leave a voice mail?”

“It sounded like they were pretty interested,” Mary answers, “But they weren't able to come and look at it until next tuesday.”

“Hopefully you guys will be out of here by then,” Renko laughs, “I'd hate to try and explain that one.”

This is getting really hard now. Really, really hard. You've got to be very careful and think of how you spiral before you do it.

“She's getting pretty into it, isn't she?” Renko asks, “Hey, Phobe. The curry's done.”

You nod, but don't answer. Don't want to break your concentration. You can smell it, though, and it smells really good.

There's people on either side of you now. The new one must be Renko.

“Whoa. She is pretty good. You sure you haven't been practicing up in order to scare us?”

You nod. Busy.

...and then, you lose. Too many spirals, and no way out. The words return.

[ ] … just one more time.
[ ] Food. Maybe questions.
[x] Food. Maybe questions.

Man, if she's getting that hooked on Snake then we better get out of here before she discovers Tetris.
>Oh, this is pretend snake eating apples? That makes a little more sense.
Just too adorable.
[x] Food. Maybe questions.
[Q] Food. Maybe questions.

She cannot become addicted to videogames. She must remain pure.
[X] Food. Maybe questions.

Phobe is one of those girls who can eat a metric tonne of food without gaining a single pound, but the trade-off is that she needs a metric tonne of food to get by.

It is important to keep your Phobe well-fed.
[x] Food. Maybe questions.

Look at how much Yuyuko eats; if anything it goes to her chest.

But I think it's general perk of being a Youkai: Not getting fat.

I'm familiar with not being hungry enough to go get food, but hungry enough to accept given food.

Sorry to be pedantic, but isn't "tonne" just another word for metric ton, making the phrase "metric tonne" redundant?

Probably so, but it's not incorrect to use it phrase it that way either.


>The tonne (unit symbol t) or metric ton (U.S.),[1] also referred to as a metric tonne, is a unit of mass equal to 1,000 kg (2,204.62262 lb) or approximately the mass of one cubic metre of water at four degrees Celsius.
[x] Food. Maybe questions.

I approve.
[x] Food. Maybe questions.
Oh man, I'd totally forgotten how amusing phobe was.
[x] Food. Maybe questions.

Mystia gives you a bit of applause. “Oh, that was cool~”

“Dang,” Renko comments, “That might even be better than I can do.”

You turn to her and smile. “Really?”

She nods. “Yeah. I can't say that I play much Snake, though. That's a pretty old game.”

You think about that for a moment. Even if it's old out here, it's really new to you. You wonder how old it really is? But you can ask that later.

The computer is kind of in your way, at least for eating, so you slide it down the table. In front of it, there's a plate with some rice and brown stuff, and a red thing. Apple? The brown stuff must be curry. You notice the chopsticks there, and wish you had one of those forks... didn't they come from out here? Well, it's ok. You don't need one.

“Oh, could you pass that over here?” Mary asks, pointing to the computer, “I need to use it for a bit.”

You're a little reluctant to give it up, but you guess that's OK for now. And it is hers. So you slide it again, closer to her.

“Thanks,” She says, “I wanna type up some things.”

“Type?” Mystia asks, shifting positions so that she can still see the open part of it. It's a square table, and Mary's sitting across from you, so she shifts from the corner closer to you to the corner closer to Mary.

“It's like writing,” Mary says, “But you do it with the keys.”

Like writing... well, you were going to take your food over there. But you wouldn't be able to read it anyway. So you'll just stay here for now.

“Meeting notes?” Renko asks from her side, eating a bit of that brown stuff in between statements. You're going to watch her for a bit before you try.

Mary nods. “Meeting notes. You don't mind, do you? It's still pretty early, and I want to get this down before I forget.”

“That's fine,” Renko says, shrugging. “Probably a good idea, actually.”

“Meeting for what?” You ask, watching Renko take another bite of the curry.

“The Sealing Club,” Renko states, “We investigate the paranormal. Spirits, alternate dimensions, things like that. Although I guess that's not really paranormal to either of you.”

You're not sure what Mary's doing, but it's making a bit of noise. Clack clack clack. Then, she pauses. As if on cue, Renko answers.


Mary nods, and begins clacking again. “Meeting #116”

You decide to try the curry stuff, after a little preparation. Right. You want to eat the big pieces, and use the rice to soak up the juice. You try a bite...


“This is really good~”

“Renko even makes the sauce herself,” Mary says, causing Renko to shift a bit. “So it's better than what you'd normally get.”

“I don't know about that,” Renko says, sounding a little embarrassed. “It's a bit cheaper, though.”

“Hmm... was there anything odd that happened right before the tree appeared, Renko?” Mary asks, the clacking ceasing once more.

“Not much,” Renko answers, “There was just that cement cracking, before it suddenly exploded and a tree appeared.”

“That's all?” Mary asks, sounding a little disappointed.

Renko gives her a nod back. “That's all. You saw something different?”

“Well, I heard... it was like something cracking, but it wasn't the cement. It was more... squeaky?”

“Huh,” Renko says, “Better write that down.”

Squeaky? “Oh, like ice?” You ask, trying to see if she heard the same thing. That would be kind of cool.

“Like ice... hmm. You mean like when you break icecubes with your teeth?”

You've never eaten ice, so you don't know. “Maybe. It's what ice that's this thick sounds like when it breaks and it's kind of warm still.”

You hold up your hand, and leave a little gap between your thumb and the finger next to it. About that thick. When everything was first freezing, you had a lot of fun breaking stuff like that.

Mary nods. “I think I know what you mean. Yeah, it was kind of like that.”

“Should we give them their own observer section?” Renko asks, talking about you. “It seems kind of wrong to just lump them in 'others'.”

Mary laughs. “I already did that. Hmm. And I've already got what they told me earlier...”

More clacking as you eat. This curry is wonderful, and you've got it gone in no time at all. The apple... well, you'll start on that in a minute.

Mystia seems mesmerized by the computer for the moment, while Renko leans back on her hands now that her meal's finished. “I'm just wondering what we're going to put for the 'theories' section,” Renko says, “My head's still spinning.”

Mary smiles, “I'm not there yet, so hold on, ok? There's a lot to type up this time.”

Clacking and sitting. You kind of want to add some questions into this.

“I know what spirits are,” You state, thinking back to what they said earlier, “But what's an alternate dimension?”

Renko turns to you. “That's a hard one. It's why we're studying it. I guess I can try to explain, though,” She says, sitting back upright. It looks like she needs her hands to talk about it. “Let's say that this is Gensokyo,” She says, taking one hand and holding it upright. “Pretend everything in Gensokyo exists in this hand.”

That's... hard. Gensokyo's pretty big. But you can try. Ok. That's Gensokyo.

“Got it? Now this is the 'outside', as you call it,” She says, putting up her other hand. Ok. That's the outside, although that's even harder to imagine because you still don't really know what the outside is.

“Now,” She says, “This part's mostly theory. But, let's say that these two are different,” She says, bringing them closer together. “You can't exist in the outside and Gensokyo at the same time normally. It's sort of like how I can't be in the kitchen and here at the same time normally, only you can't walk from the outside to Gensokyo.”

You nod, but this is getting harder. “But we just did that. Didn't we?”

Renko sighs. “Yeah. But you can't normally do that, right? It's not like you walk out into the outside every day.”

That part you get. “So, an alternate dimension is someplace you can't normally walk?” You ask, thinking about it. There's a lot of places you can't normally walk.

“Or drive. Or fly. It's usually really, really hard to get to an alternate dimension. You can't just 'go' there.”

You... nod. It's complicated, but you think you get it. “So the outside is an alternate dimension?”

Renko nods. “To you, since you're from Gensokyo. But if you're from the outside, Gensokyo is an alternate dimension. Make sense?”

It does, so you nod. Renko continues. “Gensokyo's the main one we deal with, but we come across other ones sometimes.”

“Ok,” Mary says, “So, what do we need to do for theories.”

Renko laughs. “Way too much. But it seems like the border has holes in it, instead of windows.”

Mary frowns. “But I've always said that.”

“We have proof now,” Renko says, “So we can confirm it. The question is, why? Why was there a hole today? We've never seen anything come through before...”

Mary nods. “Maybe it's just random?”

[ ] Well, you did push.
[ ] Maybe the brown thing had something to do with it?
[ ] You've heard that weird things can happen when the moon's all full.
{X} Maybe the brown thing had something to do with it?
[x] Maybe the brown thing had something to do with it?

While the full moon slightly weakens the border, it's not enough for a Youkai to get out alone, so it's the brown thing.
[x] Maybe the brown thing had something to do with it?
I guess I'll roll with this.
[x] Maybe the brown thing had something to do with it?
2 updates in one day. Awesome
[Q] Maybe the brown thing had something to do with it?
[X] Well, you did push.
[X] Maybe the brown thing had something to do with it?
[x] Well, you did push the brown thing. Maybe that had something to do with it?

Nothing today. I will resume tomorrow.
[x] Maybe the brown thing had something to do with it?

“Maybe it was the brown thing?” You ask, before picking up the apple to give it a good look over. Mary is still working on hers, so you'll watch her for a bit. “Because that was pretty weird.”

“Ehh, I still wish I knew what that was,” Renko says, sounding a little annoyed. “We'll definitely have to go back tomorrow.” And then, pausing, she frowns. “Ugh. Except there will probably be all kinds of people there tomorrow.”

“Oh... that's probably true,” Mary says, “It's already rumored to be haunted, right?”

Renko nods. “Yeah. And now that there's suddenly trees popping out of nowhere...” She lets out another sigh. “Maybe it wasn't a good idea to have your friend meet us there.”

“Why not?” You ask, not getting where this is going.

“Because we're not technically supposed to be there in the first place,” Renko answers, “It's private property. It's not good if we run into someone.”

You nod, still not really getting it. It's not good, sure. But why? Won't they just ask you to leave? You don't see why it's bad. But, maybe you'll see tomorrow.

“Anyway,” Renko says, “We can worry about that tomorrow.”

“Hmm,” Mary continues, “Is there anything special about today? I can't think of anything.”

Renko thinks for a moment. “I... can't really think of anything, either.”

More clacking. “And we didn't really see anything odd... ”

Renko laughs. “Anything before everything was odd, you mean.”

Mary giggles, taking another bite out of the apple. You decide to try, yourself. There's a blue spot on it, like a target. You decide to start there.

It's also delicious. This place has great food, even if it is really crazy.

“Hmm... even though all this stuff happened, it's really not much bigger,” Mary says, “We've only got an extra page.”

“We've still got a lot of investigating to do,” Renko points out, “And you haven't even gotten to your questions yet.”

“Oh... I guess I could put those in here, couldn't I?” Mary asks, doing something a little different with her hand. Not clacking. “That works. I was just going to put them in their own document.”

“That's what the 'extra' section is for,” Renko points out, “So it's ok.”

“Hmm... my questions should be on here somewhere, too...”


[ ] … you'd rather go out and play.
[ ] … only for a little bit. They're getting kind of boring.
[ ] … well, you don't mind trading all night.
{X} … well, you don't mind trading all night.

So curious.
[x] … well, you don't mind trading all night.
[Q] … well, you don't mind trading all night.

Bad thoughts, bad thoughts.
>There's a blue spot on it, like a target. You decide to start there.
Did Phobe just eat the sticker on the apple?

[X] …well, you don't mind trading all night.
That's nothing, she'll probably eat the apple core too.
[x] … only for a little bit. They're getting kind of boring.
[x] … well, you don't mind trading all night.
[X] … only for a little bit. They're getting kind of boring.
[x] … well, you don't mind trading all night.

...well, you don't mind trading all night. You can go out and do other things tomorrow.

“I think I've got most of mine taken care of,” Renko shrugs, before turning to Mary. “Well, except for the ones I know you'll ask.”

Mary seems a little surprised by this. “Really?”

“Yeah,” Renko says, shifting her gaze away. “Maybe I'll think of something, though.”

“I've got a lot, so it's OK,” You say, turning to her. “Do you have a lot, Mystia?”

Mystia, who's been busy watching the computer up until now, finally breaks away. “Huh? Oh, I guess so. I really wanna know how this thing works...”

Renko laughs. “It's really, really complicated. I've got a good idea, but... that's something you go to school for, and get a career in. I can't just explain it over dinner.”

“You can get a job at knowing stuff here?” You ask, curious. A career in knowing how a single thing works? “Really?”

Renko... pauses, but eventually gives a slow nod. “Kinda. You usually have to be able to make new things, or apply it in some way, but... well, I guess you could be a teacher.”

“Oh, we've got one of those,” You say, thinking back to the human village for a moment. Keine does that, too, if you remember right. “But she does a lot of other things, too...”

“But even teachers have to be good at teaching,” Mary adds, “They can't just know stuff.”

Renko shrugs. “I guess. There are some pretty bad teachers out there, though.”

“That's true... oh! I found it,” Mary smiles, “I wonder why I put it in this folder, though...”

“You really should just throw it all in one folder,” Renko says, “It's a lot easier to find that way.”

Mary laughs. “But it all shouldn't go in one folder. That's why we can have more than one, right? Oh, here's the first one. 'Do you need to eat every day'?”

Renko cracks a smile at that one. “Really? That's the first question?”

Mary sighs. “I think I wrote this in the class I have before lunch...”

“I don't know,” You say, shrugging. “I just eat when I'm hungry. And when there is something tasty.”

Mystia nods. “Me, too...”

A bit of clacking. “'Where do you normally sleep at night? What's your home like?' Oh, that's if you have one,” Mary continues, “I didn't know.”

“Um... it's nice,” You say, not really sure how to describe it. “It's kinda like a cave but it's made of dirt, and it's not very big. But the ground is really nice when it's not so hard~”

Mystia sighs. “I've got a really comfortable nest. I hope I'm not away for too long... I don't like sleeping on the ground much.”

You nod. “It's really comfortable.”

“I think I'm gonna get some homework done,” Renko says, standing up, “I'll be back in a minute.”

Mary nods to Renko, clacks a bit more, and continues. “Oh, I already asked this one. And this one... hmm. 'How old are you'? Oh, don't answer if you don't want to. I don't want to be rude.”

“How long ago was summer?” You ask, thinking back. “Right before the leaves started to go all funny and fall off.”

“Um... about 5 months ago,” Mary answers “Why?”

“That's how old I am~”

Mary gives you a really, really curious look. Sort of excited, too. “... really?”

You nod. Mystia nods, too. “That's when you first started showing up, wasn't it? I'm... ahaha, not really sure about me. I don't pay much attention~”

Renko returns, holding some other type of square under her arm. And a few things in her hand.

“Oh, I'm wasn't expecting those kind of answers. I need to add another question.” A bit more clacking. “Do you remember when you were born?”

You nod. “Yep.”

“Whoa,” Renko adds, taking a seat where she was before. The squares go down with her, and you can see that there's actually more than one. Naturally, they all break in half and have stuff inside. “You must have a pretty good memory, huh? Or maybe I missed something.”

“She's not even a year old,” Mary says, “So I figured I'd ask.”

Renko raises an eyebrow in your direction. “Whoa. I wouldn't have guessed that.”

“So,” Mary continues, “Did you have a, um, mother? Or a father?”

You shake your head. “Maybe? I just woke up.”

“'Woke up...'”

More clacking. This is kind of one sided, though... you decide to ask a few.

“Why is it so bright outside? It's night, but I can see things.”

Mystia nods with your question. “It's really weird.”

Mary looks up. “That's a good question... I think it's because we're afraid of the dark.”

You laugh. “Really?”

Mary nods. “I don't know for sure, but I think that's it. Dark is usually bad. Or maybe it'd because we don't like the unknown?”

“Or maybe it's because we can't see in the dark,” Renko laughs, “I don't know about you guys, but I can't.”

You shake your head. “Me, either. But it's night, so it's supposed to be dark.”

Mary gives you a nod. “But, we don't like it. We're humans, so we decided to change it instead.”

That's... kind of a scary thought. Humans didn't like night, so they made it go away. You're not really sure what to say about that.

“...huh. Is that why there's no grass, either?”

Mary shakes her head. “There's grass. And trees, and things like that... but, if you're in the city, you have to go to a park to see them. They're not as important as buildings and roads to most people.”

That... you can kind of get. That's what the human village is like. “So, if I go straight, I can find a forest?”

Mary sighs. “You'll have to go pretty far.”

So, it's just a really really big human village. With lots of weird stuff. You can understand that.

“My turn?” Mary asks, glancing back down at her computer. You nod. “Ok, right. 'What do you do in your free time?'”

That one's easy. “Play~”

...the questions go on for a very long time. Everyone learns things. You learn things. But, eventually, you start to get a little tired. And it looks like Mary and Renko are in a similar situation. There's a lot of yawning. And no Wriggle or Rumia. You'll have to find them tomorrow.

“... well, that's enough for me,” Renko finally says, folding up her squares. Calculus, she called it. There were pictures but you had no idea what they were, and when she explained it you didn't really understand. “You should probably be heading to sleep too, Mary.”

“Aah... you're probably right,” Mary answers, letting out another yawn. “It's getting a little late.”

“Yeah. Let's get these two set up.”

Futons... you've seen them before, but you've never slept in one. Mary gets two of them set up in the one unused room for both you and Mystia.

“You don't have to use them,” Mary says, noticing Mystia's face, “But you can if you want.”

Renko passes by, as well, giving all three of you a nod as she passes by the door.

“So... any questions about the room or anything?”

You shake your head. You've got it all. There's a switch, on the wall, that makes the lights go off. There is a room next to this one if you get thirsty, with cups in it. If you want more blankets there are some over there. If you need anything else, you can wake her up (but Renko might be grumpy if you wake her up).

Nope. Nothing.

“Well... goodnight. Try to get at least a little sleep, ok, Mystia?”

Mystia nods. Birds don't sleep on the ground (except when they do), so you kind of understand. But, you do, so this shouldn't be bad.

Mary leaves the room, shutting the door behind her. You can open it by turning the circle and pulling.

Mystia sighs. “I don't know if I can do it. It's so freaky.”

You smile. “But sleeping on the ground isn't that bad.”

“I just need to flip this thing to turn off the light, right?” Mystia asks, standing near the light switch. It's got a really neat name; nice and easy.

You nod, and a moment later the room goes dark. Good for sleeping.

You let out a bit yawn, and lie down. You know you're supposed to go inside the futon, but... after trying that for a bit, it's a little too weird. There's weird noises when you turn, and it seems really easy to get wrapped up too. So, you decide to sleep on the outside. It's not bad.

Not... bad...


[ ] Bird adventures.
[ ] Bug adventures.
[ ] Next day.
Choose your new protagonist-for-a-while. There is nothing hugely tricky about this vote. I'm not sure if both will end up being written or not, so pick the one that interests you most.
{X} Bug adventures.
[Q] Bug adventures.
[x] Bug adventures.

Let's see what Wriggle is up to.
[X] Bug adventures.

See what shes been up to.
[x] Bug adventures.
File 127010104777.jpg - (260.82KB, 1000x1111, wriggle261.jpg) [iqdb]
[X] Bug adventures.

[x] Next day.
Pissing against the tide.
[x] Bug adventures.
Find Rumia.
[x] Bug adventures.

… Phobe turns around and gives you one last wave. It makes you smile, just a little bit. This is probably pretty awesome for her.

Soon, they're out of sight. Awesome for her, maybe, but you? You sigh. Well, whatever it was, it was certainly interesting. She wasn't wrong about that. So interesting, in fact, that you'll be 'enjoying' it for quite a while.

“Sometimes, Phobe...”

You begin your search, after stuffing that piece of paper that human gave you away into a pocket. You'll try to make sense of it later. For now, you need to find Rumia before something crazy happens. You'd like to do it before that wailing reaches you, but... that's probably not going to happen. She's pretty good at hiding when you want to find her.

This'll be easier if you can find a... oh. Here you go. Just a little ways ahead of you, tucked into the corner of one of these gray stones, you find someone who might be able to help. With all those eyes, he probably saw something.

“Hey, did you see where that girl went?” You ask, leaning in close enough so that it can hear you. And not exactly in those words.

Oh, it talks.

You laugh. “Sure. I'm sort of in a hurry, though. Did you see her?”

It lifts a leg, pointing off further into the mess of stones and things. I think she went that way.

You nod. Further into the stones you go, then. “Thanks.”

Maybe you can come back later, and we can talk more...

Another nod. “See you later. Maybe.”


The air, the ground, the wailing... it's really sort of annoying. You head forward. She couldn't have gotten far, right? She's... probably not flying. Maybe she's hiding in one of these big stone arches? You decide to take a peek in the next one.

“Hey, Rumia? You in---”


Something explodes out from the pipe, and you can't help but jump back. A cat...

“Yeah, same to you,” You mutter, wishing it had stuck around so you could give it a playful kick. ..bleh. You're better than this. This sucks, but you still need to keep your wits about you.

And then, finally, the wailing stops. You take a look around, and notice that there's red and blue mixed in with all the orange light now. Thunking, too, and humans... although you're not sure what they're talking about at this distance. It sounds like they're back near where you just were.

[ ] Investigate. Supposedly, they're trouble.
[ ] Ignore them for now. You can worry about them if they get closer.
It will take me a few days to get into the proper Wriggle mindset. I hope this won't bug anyone too much.
[Q] Investigate. Supposedly, they're trouble.

Oooh, cool.
[x] Ignore them for now. You can worry about them if they get closer.

We should find Rumia first.
>I hope this won't bug anyone too much.


[X] Ignore them for now. You can worry about them if they get closer.
[X] Investigate. Supposedly, they're trouble.

Worst-case scenario: the cops find Rumia before we do and shuttle her off to an orphanage/sanatorium/moe research facility without us realizing it. If we keep an eye on them and ensure that doesn't happen, we'll have plenty of time after they leave to search.
>I hope this won't bug anyone too much.
hehe, no.
[x] Investigate. Supposedly, they're trouble.
If other youkai have a hard time finding her at night, then chances are mere outsider human can't hope to find her. That and getting too close might risk that happening to Wriggle.
[x] Investigate. Supposedly, they're trouble.
[x] Investigate. Supposedly, they're trouble.

Whatever's going on, you're pretty sure this is why the humans had to leave. All kinds of trouble. You'd at least like to see why... better to know than not. The humans you can get, but what with all the lights? And that noise earlier?

Before you leave, you ask a couple of moths to keep an eye out for Rumia. They don't sound too trustworthy, but it's a little better than nothing.

...you move, quietly and quickly. You think about maybe getting up a little higher, on the gray stones, but... with this much light, you'd probably stand out. It's best to stick to the ground for now. There's enough cover down here anyway.

“This is just really crazy. I mean, why is there a tree here? There's no trees anywhere around this area.”

“Maybe it's some kind of prank?”

“Yeah, but the call we got just said it... appeared. And it even looks like it. Hey. You! Hold up for a second.”

… that last part makes you a little anxious, but it wasn't about you.

From your hiding spot, you can see what's making all the light; cars, you think, but they're working. And there's two humans, both wearing the same clothes.

“Huh? Whoa, where'd that come from?”

“That's what I wanted to ask you. Did you see anything?”

Well, three now. Although this one's at least wearing something different.

“Huh? No. I was just walking home from 87th...”

The man in the uniform nods. “I see. Thanks anyway.”

And now there's two again.

“They never taught me how to deal with something like this,” One of the men sighs, “Well, I'll get on the radio and at least confirm it.”

“I'll take a look around.”

“Ehh... be careful, alright? At least stay away from the part that's all smashed up. It looks like it might fall over.”

“Yeah,” The man says, laughing, “I don't plan to get squished.”

One goes to the car and the other starts heading your way, as expected. He's got a stick that seems to shoot light or something, like a torch but super bright, so... you decide it's best to back up a few pillars for now. It's not so easy to hide in the shadows when everything seems to be making light.


You find Rumia. At least, that bouncing black blob that's a bit blacker than it really should be is probably her. You're not exactly sure what that crunch was, but... maybe she stepped on something. Was she trying to sneak up on the guy?

“What the hell?!”

You have to stop yourself from laughing. This would be great, if it weren't so serious. Humans can be a bit more deadly than they look, if you're not careful. The ones out here are supposed to be pretty weak, but they make up for it with crazy inventions. At least that's what you've heard.


Definitely Rumia. The blob starts to move closer to the guy.

“Hey, you alright?” You hear the second human call out from the car, “What's all the noise about?”

“G-g-get back!” The near one demands, reaching for something near his belt while taking some steps back. You're not sure what it is, but somehow, you get a bad feeling. Like one of those cheeky humans back home drawing a sword on you. Maybe it's a weapon? But, you find it hard to believe that that's a weapon...

“I'm coming down,” The man near the car says, starting his move. Damn. If she was a bit closer you could just grab her hand and drag her along, but... not at this distance...

...you'll need to do something else.

[ ] Mantis.
[ ] Queen Bee.
[ ] Beetle.
[X] Queen Bee.

Beeeeees etc. etc.
[X] Queen Bee.

[Q] Queen Bee.
[x] Queen Bee.
>Definitely Rumia. The blob starts to move closer to the guy.
Better save her before she becomes some kind of experiment.
File 127026893219.png - (239.92KB, 500x400, 02f1e512681919edc2f3657dfa7a86b9.png) [iqdb]
[c] Queen Bee.

Has this LA been given a proper title yet?
[x] Queen Bee.
[x] Queen Bee.


Not the bees!
[x] Queen Bee.

Well, a distraction would be best. And what better way to distract a bunch of humans, but by scaring them (almost) to death? You can't help but grin. It's certainly been a while... but you think this is a pretty appropriate time.

You let out a screech. A battle cry. A call to arms. Whatever you want to call it. It's short, and to the point. Both men seem to flinch a little at it, but neither look in your direction. One's too busy going to the other, while the other is too busy backing away from Rumia.


The response only takes about ten seconds. And the response itself?


Looks like you've still got it.

“Oh god! What the hell is going on?”

You laugh. They haven't even looked up yet; the first one's just commenting on Rumia.

“I-I-I don't know, it's---”

The man holding the weapon takes a swat at something on the back of his neck. And then, he notices the buzzing... and looks up.

“What the fuck?!”

A swarm. Most of them can't even do much to a human except annoy them, but... that thought doesn't really do much for a human, you guess. The second man looks up, his eyes going huge as well. Ahh... maybe this won't be so bad after all?

You ask them to head down. Enough dramatic effect for now; just scare the pants off of them so that they leave. Your friends comply.



The two men in uniform do just that; they run. Back up to their car, which they get inside as quickly as they can. That's probably good enough, but you ask your friends to sort of hang out there for a few minutes to keep them inside. It's out of sight, so you're able to head over to Rumia.

“Hey, there you are!” You say, running up to that blob of darkness, “I've been looking for you.”

“Is that so~?”

The blob fades away... yep. Definitely Rumia. There's no mistaking that face.

“Yeah,” You say, motioning for her to follow. “I need you to follow me for a while.”


“Because you might really get lost out here,” You grumble.

“Hmm. Ok, let's explore together,” Rumia nods, heading over in your direction. “Where to first?”

You actually have to think about that one. It might be good to get away from 'here', but... as far as you can tell, it's really bright outside of the walls around this place. And there's a lot of noise; probably human noise, from the sounds of it. It's not really natural.

[ ] Hiding out here might be best.
[ ] There can't be light everywhere, can there?
[x] There can't be light everywhere, can there?
Scroll through the city.
{X} There can't be light everywhere, can there?
[x] There can't be light everywhere, can there?
[x] There can't be light everywhere, can there?
[Q] There can't be light everywhere, can there?
[x] There can't be light everywhere, can there?

There can!
[x] There can't be light everywhere, can there?

Really, though, there can't be light everywhere. And hiding where someone will look is pretty stupid.

“Let's just get away from here for now,” You say, heading in the opposite direction as that car thing. You don't know what they'll do when the swarm leaves, but, again, you probably don't want to be around.

“Where's Phobe?” Rumia finally asks, as you get a bit further across the stone field you're currently in. “This place is really fun to play at~”

“She's hanging out with some humans,” You explain, “We're going to try and meet up with them eventually.”

“Oh? Why can't we do it now?”

You chuckle. “Because this place is huge. I wouldn't even know where to start looking.”

Neither have any of the little guys you've asked, either. You guess that 'three people' isn't specific enough for them in a place like this.

It doesn't take very long to make it over to another fence. You're not exactly hurrying, but you're moving pretty fast. For being on the ground, at least. That's probably a better place to be than in the air right now.

“Go over?” Rumia asks, when you finally do reach the fence. You nod. It's only a short leap to get over. There's a lot of... stuff, out here. Moving cars and lights and some sort of road, and a few people walking along. One of them notices you, but quickly turns away when you give him a look.

“Waah, too high.”

Rumia's still behind you, but only the fence is there. She's stuck?

“What do you mean it's too high?” You ask, “Just fly over it if you can't jump.”

“Can't fly.”

You frown. “Seriously?”

“Uh huh.”

You can't say that you've tried it yourself. Actual flight, that is. But that jump was almost flying...

“Can you climb over?”

There's no answer for a few second, but you can hear something going on. After a few moments, you see her head poke out over the top of the fence.


“Come on,” You say, waving to her, “I've found where we want to go next.”

There's... spaces between all these tower things scattered around. It's not so bright between them. That might be a good place to hide out for a bit and wait for information. Or maybe figure out what this card is all about.

There's a soft thump as Rumia lands beside you, her arms still stretched out in that pose that she always does. You can't shake the image of her trying to climb like that, using just her feet...



“Let's go,” You say, heading across the road thing to get to where you want to go. “We're going to check that pla---”


You spin around. What kind of horrible noise...?

There's an angry human sitting in a car to your left, shaking his fist at you. Right... cars can make a whole lot of noise if you push on the middle part of that wheel thing. What's his deal? Well, whatever. You keep moving.

“Scary~” Rumia comments, skipping along behind you. “But what's over there?”

You shrug, after making it to the raised part along the edge of the road. “Dunno. That's why we're going to check it out.”

You turn, walk a bit, and then turn again. It's kind of smelly and kind of dirty, but... well, your friends seem to like it here. There's quite a few of them. Inside ones, mostly, but there's a few guys that normally live outside too.


… and then, something rough grabs your leg. A pretty dirty human that's lying down, you can see, after you take a look at him. Your friends seem to like him though.

“Therrrs a toll to go through here, you gotta pay up.”


[ ] Shake him off, and keep moving.
[ ] Well, you do have a bit of money on you. Toss some his way.
Nope. I will have something by the second thread.
[Q] Well, you do have a bit of money on you. Toss some his way.

Youkai that are habitually nice to bums. Sounds good.
[X] Well, you do have a bit of money on you. Toss some his way.

What sort of money do we have, I wonder?
[x] Well, you do have a bit of money on you. Toss some his way.
[x] Well, you do have a bit of money on you. Toss some his way.

A louse-master is soliciting you for donations.
[X] Well, you do have a bit of money on you. Toss some his way.

Small favors have a way of paying off, remember UFO, anyone?
[X] Well, you do have a bit of money on you. Toss some his way.

Small favors have a way of paying off, remember UHF, anyone?
[x] Well, you do have a bit of money on you. Toss some his way.
[x] Tell him to buzz off.

I wonder if Wriggle enjoys buggery as much as humans enjoy humanity.
[x] Well, you do have a bit of money on you. Toss some his way.
[x] Well, you do have a bit of money on you. Toss some his way.


You can give the bum some change. At least that way, you know he won't run out of your new hiding place screaming or something else revealing like that. You fish around in your pockets, coming up with two bills. You take a peek. 6 yen? Well... you suppose that's fine. It would have been better if you had grabbed the other 1 yen note, though. You could get a really good meal for 6 yen.

“Here,” You say, putting the crumpled money into his outstretched hand.

He pauses, looking them over. Then he pauses some more, a look of confusion spreading across his face. “This isn't real. Trying to play a joke on me, kid?”

… oh. Again, you realize something a little too late. They probably don't use the same money out here. You've heard stories of people from outside showing up and trying to spend “money”, but it's really not.

In either case, you shrug. “If you don't want it, I'll take it back. It's money. I'll go spend it somewhere.”

The man thinks for a little bit, seemingly unsure of what he should do. Eventually, he lets go of your ankle... with pretty good timing. You were just about to shake him off.

“Bah. Get out of here.”


He doesn't seem too happy. Well, that makes two of you. You continue on, with Rumia skipping along behind you.

“Are we there yet?” Rumia asks after a little while, “I don't wanna keep walking past cool things~”

You take a look around. No paths out to that road without taking at least a corner, and some sort of big metal box... filled with some nasty stuff. Not really your kind of thing, but your friends love it. You could stop here, you guess. But you could also keep going.

[ ] Go.
[ ] Yield.
[ ] Stop.
Kind of short, but I'm feeling kind of crappy. Sorry.
[x] Go.
We can't stop here!
[c] Go.

[x] Pass Go.
Karma owes us 200 yen.
[x] Go.
Bat country?
[x] Stop.
One man's trash is another bug's treasure!
[X] Go.

Worse, human country.
[x] Go.

“Not yet,” You say, “I'll tell you when we're there.”


There's gotta be someplace better than this, although the idea of running from a bunch of humans because a bunch of other humans did still makes you laugh. It's kind of pathetic. But, it's usually better to err on the side of caution in a---


Out of nowhere, a smell... no, much more than a smell. The worst thing you've ever had enter your nose, to be more accurate. Literally. Even the air looks sick; maybe your vision is just going bad, but it almost looks green.

Turning around, you can see three things. One: Rumia looks about the same as you do, although she's actually gagging. Weird. You didn't know she actually reacted to things like that. Two: the air really is green. And, three: that metal box has a guy in it. Although 'guy' isn't really accurate; it's more like a ball of gray... slime, in the shape of a guy.

“Heh. Hahaha... huh?”

He rubs his “eyes” when he sees you. Again, it all looks like it's made of slime. Although the eyes are a more greenish slime.

“Hey, that was enough to gag a maggot! What gives?”

[ ] 'What gives?' You could ask the same.
[ ] You could ask the same. Or you could beat it up.
Should have just stuck this in the last update. Oh well. Tomorrow, I will be taking a day off as well... so you'll get something a bit more meaty on thursday.
[X] 'What gives?' You could ask the same.

Outside youkai? A slime mold?
[x] 'What gives?' You could ask the same.
slime touhou?
[X] You could ask the same. Or you could beat it up.

Wriggle has to wear the mantle of incident solver, so shoot first.
[X] You could ask the same. Or you could beat it up.
[x] 'What gives?' You could ask the same.

'Ey man, what's the rub?
[x] 'What gives?' You could ask the same.
[x] You could ask the same. Or you could beat it up.
Bug'em up. Bugger them. Oh that sounds so wrong it's almost
[x] 'What gives?' You could ask the same.
[x] 'What gives?' You could ask the same.

Rumia scampers forward towards you, clutching her nose. It really is a terrible smell. Despite that, and that line... you don't really feel like fighting. Not right now, at least. He'll need to get a little further on your nerves first.

“Right back at you, slime man,” You say, trying to fan the smell away from your nose. It doesn't work too well. “What the hell?”

“'Slime man'? I'll have you know that...” The thing pauses, then lets out a rather bubbly chuckle. Almost like it's from underwater or something. “...nevermind. That's pretty close, actually. You're killing me.”

...and then, Rumia continues past you. And it looks like she's going to keep going.

“Hey Rumia,” You call out, “Where are you going?”

“Away from the nasty.”

She does stop where she is, though. But you get the feeling she might keep going if you take your eyes off of her. And you really don't want to have to find her again. Although turning your back to that thing isn't that great of an option, either.

You hear a watery sigh. “Whatever.”

The green seems to fade, bit by bit, as does the stench. You try to get Rumia to come forward by motioning for her.

“Nu uh. He'll just stink again.”

“Trap's sprung,” The thing replies, “And I can only spring it once a day. Honest.”

You motion again. This time, Rumia heads towards you... although it's clear she doesn't want to.

“So you guys must not be human,” The blob starts, “Seriously. That was supposed to knock you out cold.”

You shrug, turning back around now that Rumia's a bit closer. “It's not even enough to gag a maggot, to be honest.”

“...oh! You're right,” The slime man says, casting his gaze down into the metal box. “Well, that was disappointing. Looks like it's snack food tonight.”

As you watch, small, wormy bits of slime stretch out from it's body. There's eight of them. You watch as they snake around and underneath the metal box, eventually returning with one large ball of fur and 6 little ones.

“Cat,” It says, noticing your gaze. “Tasty, but not very nutritious. So,” It continues, as the tentacles worm their way back into the larger mass of slime, cats and all, “What are a bunch of not human girls doing in my alley tonight? Besides not getting eaten.”

[ ] Out for a midnight stroll.
[ ] On the run.
[ ] Being lost.
[ ] Leaving.
[x] Being lost.
[x] Being lost.

Well... good thing Mary and Ren didn't go this way.
[x] Being lost.

Poor kitty.
[x] Being lost.
[B] On the run.
[x] Being lost.
[x] Being lost.

You shrug. “Being lost, I guess.”

“Is that so?” The slime guy asks, letting out another gurgling laugh. “New in town?”

“You... could say that,” You say, shrugging. “Ever hear of Gensokyo?”

“Once or twice, maybe,” The slime responds, a tentacle growing to itch it's chin. “Can't say I know what it is, though.”

“Someplace that isn't here,” You respond, taking a quick look around. And then... you remember something. That card. “Hey, maybe you could help us get un-lost?”

Another chuckle/gurgle. “Definitely not. You woke me up, faked me out, and now you want help? No way. I'd need something.”

That's... a bit irritating.

“Ooh, a fight?” Rumia asks, turning to you. “A fight? I'll help.”

“Fight? Whoa, whoa,” The slime ball answers, “That'll get you nowhere. Trust me.”

It's tempting. It really is. And, it's still an option. If this were Gensokyo, you'd already have picked it. But you figure you'll get them all before you pick one; at least, out here. “What could a slimeball need?”

A chuckle. “Trash. Find me a few bags, and we'll talk.”

[ ] Gather trash? No thanks.
[ ] Shouldn't be too difficult, right?
[ ] Gensokyo option.
[ ] Write-in.
[x] Gensokyo option.
Reimu Option.
[c] Gensokyo option.

What is this slime ball we just discovered, I wonder~
[X] Shouldn't be too difficult, right?
[x] Shouldn't be too difficult, right?

Didn't we just pass a dumpster?
[X] Shouldn't be too difficult, right?

The slime was hanging out in it.
[X] Shouldn't be too difficult, right?

I don't think we want the slime in Gensokyo; I get the feeling he wouldn't play by the rules.
[x] Shouldn't be too difficult, right?
As attractive as the gensoukyou option is, I suppose it wouldn't endear us to anybody.
[x] Gather trash? No thanks.

Screw this fetch quest shit.
[x] Shouldn't be too difficult, right?

… trash. That's easy enough, you guess, as long as you don't think too much about the fact that you're gathering trash. You might have to leave this part out when you meet up with the others.

“Yeah, sure,” You say, thinking back to the last one of these green bins you saw. That's what's in them; trash. Filth. You assume the bag part will make sense later, and you'd rather not demean yourself any further by asking. “Trash. Right.”

“And none of that industrial stuff,” It continues, “It doesn't rot so well.”

You shrug. So, if there's nothing eating it, you don't want it. Also easy enough.

“No fight?” Rumia asks, sounding a little disappointed.

“Nah,” You say, motioning for her to come along. “Come on. Let's go.”

The slime man laughs as you head past. “You two are great. Make sure you come back soon, ok?”

You don't bother to answer, although Rumia gives him a wave as you head past. As soon as you make it around the next corner, you sigh.

“Playing fetch is fun, too,” Rumia says, moving a little closer. “Right?”

You shrug. “If you say so. Look out for some of those green bins, would you?”


The other one you had passed on the way here was empty, so there goes that idea. You check down a few more of the paths, and then a few more... and, after a lengthy search, you do find one that isn't. Behind a restaurant, you think, because it's filled with all kinds of food. You get the idea of putting the trash in the bins, but... why would so many of them be empty?

In either case, you understand the bag thing now. Seems that humans out here put their garbage in bags before throwing it into the bins. You give two to Rumia, take two yourself, and head back.

...although, when you get back, you don't get any sort of greeting. Nothing at all, in fact. That bastard didn't leave while you were out, did he? Well, you can always look.

“Hey, we're back,” You say, opening up the lid to this green bin.

The whole bottom is filled with... slime, unlike the other bins you've looked in. Definitely feels like that slime thing you got the trash for. You can see bits of green floating around in it... the eyes? You wonder why it's all puddled up like this.

You listen. There's a rythmic bubbling, almost like breathing. No, almost like... snoring.

[ ] Enough of this.
[ ] Maintain your cool.
{X} Enough of this.
[X] Enough of this.

Phobe, I could see putting up with getting jerked around like this. Wriggle, not so much.
[X] Enough of this.
[x] Enough of this.
[x] Enough of this.
[X] Enough of this.

Let's just leave the trash and go; it's a dick move to ask someone to do something and then go to sleep!
[x] Enough of this.
[x] Enough of this.

Screw this guy.

You give the bin a good kick, denting it a bit. The sound it pretty satisfying at least. Then, slamming the lid down, you take a few steps back. There's a bit of sloshing from inside the bin, but not much else.

“Let's keep going,” You say to Rumia, “I don't think he's going to be much help.”

She takes another look at the bin before answering. “Beat him up?”

You pause. That would make you feel a lot better, but you can't really beat up a puddle. Although... heh. Yeah, that would work, wouldn't it?

“Want to give me a hand?” You ask, heading over to one side of the green bin, “Let's give it a parting gift.”

There's a bit more sloshing in response. Or maybe it's still sloshing from before. You can't really tell.


Both of you get near the end, and lift. Although you seem to be doing most of the work.


With a final shove, the bin lands on it's other side with a loud crash. The goop spills out like someone tipping over a bucket; and man, it stinks. Not as bad as that gas, but it's still pretty bad. It spreads out to fill the area, causing you to back up to keep it from getting on your feet.

And then, you notice something. The bags of trash that you both brought... seem to be shrinking. Melting, maybe. And then the whole mass, half shrunken bags and all, suddenly gathers up and shoot back into the bin, causing it to tip back over to how it was before.

You turn to Rumia. She seems to be watching this whole thing, wide eyed. You sort of have to agree with that expression. This isn't exactly what you were expecting.

The contents of the bin almost sound like they're boiling, now. Maybe you made it angry.

[ ] Good.
[ ] … time to leave, then.
[Q] … time to leave, then.
[X] …time to leave, then.
[X] …time to leave, then.

It's a good as time as any to do get out of dodge.
{X} …time to leave, then.
[x] …time to leave, then.
[x] … time to leave, then.
[x] …time to leave, then.

[x] Good.

He got his trash, time to hold up his end of the deal.
Nothing today. Monday, coupled with a generally bad day all around has left me drained. I'll try to have one for tomorrow.
[x] … time to leave, then.

“Hey, uh, Rumia...”

No response. You reach over a bit hesitantly, and put your hand on her shoulder. She doesn't respond to that either.

“...let's get out of here.”

She responds to that, at least, with a reluctant nod.

Back around the corner you both head, the bin boiling away. Not sprinting, but... you're eager to get away from that. You half expect an attack, but there's nothing.

“Aww,” Rumia finally says, “I wanted to watch~”

You sigh. “That's probably not a good idea.”


“I think we made it angry.”

Rumia laughs. “That's why I wanted to watch~”

You're not exactly sure what to do now. These alleys are pretty nice, but unless you're looking for a place to hide they don't offer much. The street might be good, since you'd maybe be able to find a human... but, maybe not. Aside from that guy in the car and those two guys in blue (and the third one by them), you haven't seen anyone else.

“Yawn... are we there yet? Why'd we stop?”

You turn back to Rumia. She looks... tired. Sorta closed eyes, her arms drooping a bit... hmm. You guess it's around that time, after all. That time when everyone else heads off to sleep and you do your own thing.

You shake your head. “Not yet.”

She nods. “Ok...”

You... hadn't even though about that. It'd be easy for you to find someone to ask by morning, you think. Someone a bit further away from here, preferably. You think it's probably a bad idea to be close to that place that you appeared at.

But Rumia'll be wanting to sleep soon, and it'll probably be hard to keep her with you as she gets more tired. And you really don't want to have to find her twice.

[ ] You'll just have to keep a closer eye on her than normal, then. Drag her along.
[ ] Find a place to set up camp. You'll just have to wait for her... while doing a bit of information finding.
[ ] Find a place to set up camp. You can probably leave Rumia there and head out on your own for a bit.
I am sorry for the delay. It's also become apparent that I need to do some planning before I start the second day. I may need time off for this, a week or so, but I may not. Just a bit of heads up. I'll let you all know when the time rolls around to actually make the decision.
[X] Find a place to set up camp. You can probably leave Rumia there and head out on your own for a bit.
What does Wriggle do while everyone else sleeps, I wonder?
[x] Find a place to set up camp. You'll just have to wait for her... while doing a bit of information finding.
I wonder how much control Wriggle has over bugs in the real world. She managed to ask one for information, and managed to get a bee swarm going.
[x] Find a place to set up camp. You can probably leave Rumia there and head out on your own for a bit.
Find some clean trash can or something. Put her into it and come back once you find the way to the apartment.
It was a swarm of random insects, not a bunch of BEES OH GOD.
[x] Find a place to set up camp. You can probably leave Rumia there and head out on your own for a bit.
[x] Find a place to set up camp. You can probably leave Rumia there and head out on your own for a bit.

“Getting tired?”

She gives you a sleepy nod. “Tired.”

“Let's find a place to rest, then. Let me know if you see someplace good.”

Another nod. You'll get her set up for the night before heading out on your own. She won't be moving around much while sleeping... you hope. Maybe you'll stick around for a bit and see. After that, though, you can head out on your own. Maybe you'll be able to find someone, or figure this thing out.

It doesn't take too long to find a good spot. A few more twists and turns in the alley later, Rumia veers off from beside you. There's a cluster of two of those bins here, with a bit of space between one and the wall. They're in a sort of “v” shape, so there's good bit of room behind them. Rumia's way ahead of you with squeezing back there, though.

“How's it look?” You ask, taking a peek over the top of the things. Rumia's already lying down.

“Hard,” She says, sounding a little disappointed. “But ok.”

“Yeah,” You mumble, “There's really not much soft around here, is there?”

Rumia shakes her head.

In not five minutes, it's pretty clear that she's asleep. You give it an extra ten. She seems... pretty at home there, actually. It makes you feel better. She'll probably stay put.

You've got to decide what to do with yourself, though.

[ ] Wander the streets.
[ ] Wander the alleys.
I need a break. I was not thinking about concurrency matters when I split this story up... it's harder to write events that happen in parallel than I realized when I decided to do it. It'll be fine if I have some time to sort things out without worrying about writing, so I will be taking a break for a few days. Expect the next update by Monday; that should give me enough time.

Sorry about this, in either case. I hope you understand.
[Q] Wander the alleys.
[c] Wander the alleys.

Take your time, Klay. We'll always be here for you.
[x] Wander the alleys.
Get your thoughts together, know what you want to write and how, and then come back.
It's no problem.
{X} Wander the alleys.
[x] Wander the alleys.
Take it easy, klay.

...I'll be taking another few days, then. I overestimated my creativity and my focus. I will be trying for Wednesday now. Sorry.
It might help if I wasn't thinking yesterday was tuesday all day. I'll have something for today.
Happens to most of us sometimes.
[x] Wander the alleys.

Sticking to the shadows... yeah, that's probably best. It seems a lot less likely that you'll get swatted back here. Maybe there's someone worth finding.

...hmm. Another day, right? Another day~. Roll over ,and...


You open your eyes. This isn't your house. This is...

...oh, right. The outside. That's right! This is that weird apartment thing, that you and Mystia came to yesterday night with those humans.

Sitting upright, you take a look around the room. It's pretty dark for morning, but that's because there's no hole leading into the room from outside. Not even one with that glass stuff in it. There's some light, but it's from under that door that swings instead of slides. Not much, though.

No Mystia, no Wriggle, and no Rumia. Maybe. They might just be out of sight, but you don't think so. Hmm. You're curious what's going on outside the door...

… you try to push it open, but then you remember the knob. Right. Turn and open. You walk out into the hall, and then take a left. Towards the front place and not where they sleep. You hear little bits of conversation as you walk. Something about sun?

Oh, right. The TV. It's like the computer, only it's something you just watch. Lots of cool things.

“Oh, hey. I didn't wake you up, did I?”

Renko's watching it, sitting on the long chair... sofa. Looks like she's got a plate of some kind of food that she's working on, too. And, maybe more of that home work stuff? The table's pretty full of paper right now.

Either way, you shake your head in response to the question. “It's morning, so I got up.”

Renko chuckles a little. “Like a normal person. Tell that to Mary. She'd sleep all day if you let her.”

You nod. “That's ok, too. I get up when it's morning, though.”

Mary's sleeping, then. You wonder where Mystia is?

“Hey, check that out,” Renko nods, taking a look back towards the TV. “Look familiar?”

You look into the box, and see... yep. It's the tree, and that place. There's a lot of humans standing around, and yellow strings or something running all around. You listen.

“We're not sure where it came from. It's really bizarre. We believe it may be a prank of some kind. If anyone watching has any information, please contact us.”

Something about back to you, and then the picture changes to two humans at a desk.

“That's all?” Renko asks the box, sounding disappointed. “I was hoping for a little bit more. Oh well.”

[ ] See what else the box is talking about. Take a seat.
[ ] It's light... that means you can see stuff. See what's outside.
One minor retcon, so that I feel better. It's a two bedroom apartment. Mary and Renko split a room. Sorry for ending Wriggle Time sort of abruptly, too. I needed to do it to get this back to where it's supposed to be.

Also, there will be no update tomorrow. A bunch of my co-workers and I will be getting together after work for a night of tomfoolery, so that really leaves no time for writing. The good news is that things should finally be back to normal starting Saturday. Sorry for the long delay, and thanks for sticking with me.
[x] It's light... that means you can see stuff. See what's outside.

>Tell that to Mary. She'd sleep all day if you let her.

[X] It's light... that means you can see stuff. See what's outside.

Let's see how Phobe will react to the city.
[x] It's light... that means you can see stuff. See what's outside.

I miss being able to tomfool.
[X] See what else the box is talking about. Take a seat.
[c] It's light... that means you can see stuff. See what's outside.

I want to see Phobe snuggling in Mary's arms.
[x] See what else the box is talking about. Take a seat.
Data harvesting moe.
[x] It's light... that means you can see stuff. See what's outside.

The day is young, the world is yours, time to claim it.
>I want to see Phobe snuggling in Mary's arms.
I support this.
[x] It's light... that means you can see stuff. See what's outside.
[x] It's light... that means you can see stuff. See what's outside.

Renko goes back to watching, munching on her food as she does so. You... don't really want to watch the box. You want to go outside, so you start to head towards the door.

“Whoa, uh... where are you going?”

Rekno calls out to you as you get closer to the door. You turn around. “I wanna go outside~”

She shakes her head in response. “Something tells me that's not a good idea. What for?”

“Exploring,” You say, not used to this kind of thing. Most humans want you to leave after a while, but she wants you to stay? Weird.

“Can you wait for a few hours?” She asks, “It'd be better if Mary or I went with you.”

She's right. It would be better. Exploring with more people is always better. “But why a few hours?”

“I want to get this stuff done,” She says, motioning to the table. “It's not due until the end of the day, but I'd rather get it done early.”

“Early? So you could do it later?”

She sighs. “I see where this is going.”

“So you can?”

“...I guess if it's just a quick walk around the block,” She says, “Can I at least finish my breakfast?”

You nod. That's ok, since it won't take too long.

… and it doesn't. Only a few minutes. Once the plate's empty, she clicks some button on the “remote” near her, and the box turns off. You follow her into the kitchen, where she drops off the dishes. Then, turning around, she gives you a look over. It's kind of weird.


“You should at least wear a coat,” Renko says, “You'd definitely look out of place walking around like that. It's kind of cold out today.”

You look down at your dress. A coat...? Last time you wore a coat, it was annoying because it was too big. It made it harder to feel things, too.

[ ] No. You don't like them.
[ ] Well... you guess you could try another one.
[x] Well... you guess you could try another one.

[X] Well... you guess you could try another one.
- [X] ...if you get to wear Renko's hat, too.

Making up for not voting for >>20609.
[x] Well... you guess you could try another one.
- [x] ...if you get to wear Renko's hat, too.

Sure, change of clothes sounds like fun.
[X] Well... you guess you could try another one.
- [X] ...if you get to wear Renko's hat, too.
[x] Well... you guess you could try another one.
- [x] ...if you get to wear Renko's hat, too.
[Q] Well... you guess you could try another one.
- [Q] ...if you get to wear Renko's hat, too.

Hoping for a picture.
[Q] Well... you guess you could try another one.
- [Q] ...if you get to wear Renko's hat, too.
- [Q] ...and shoes. Aren't we barefooted?
[x] Well... you guess you could try another one.
- [x] ...if you get to wear Renko's hat, too.
- [x] ...and shoes. Aren't we barefooted?

I was wondering about the shoes.
[x] Well... you guess you could try another one.

You have to think about it for a second. That one coat was annoying, but maybe they've got better ones out here. Everyone seems to wear them, so...

“Oh! So, I'm trying to pretend to be a human?” You ask her, finally getting the coat thing. “Can I pretend to be you?”

And thinking about it, Renko's coat didn't look bad. Maybe you could pretend to be her? You've never pretended to be someone else before. Something else, but not someone. This could be really fun.

Renko's smile goes flat. “Uh...”

“So, can I wear your hat?” You ask, thinking back to what she looked like yesterday when was walking around. “I need it.”

“Whoa, slow down,” She says, laughing a little. “My hat? I need it, too. Why don't you pretend to be Mary, instead?”

You shake your head. “But Mary's coat didn't look comfortable at all.”

“That's true,” Renko says, looking thoughtful. “Hmm. How about my old hat? You'd be wearing my old jacket, anyway.” Then, looking down, she adds. “I wonder if my old shoes'll fit you.”

“I hate shoes,” You say, frowning. Really. They're terrible. “Do I have to?”

“I've got an old pair that's pretty worn in,” She says, shrugging, “At least try them, ok? Like I said, I don't know if they'll even fit.”

You can try them, so you nod.

She leads you to the front of the place, opening a little room that only keeps coats and hats in it. Well, and a few other boxes at the top. She grabs those, and starts handing them to you.

“It's in one of these...” She says, handing you another and another. “Set them over there.”

Soon, the top part of the closet's unpacked, and Renko begins the search through the boxes. “Huh. I don't remember half this stuff... oh, here we go.”

It's shoes, all right. A strange pair, like the ones she was wearing yesterday. White. Up until then, you'd never seen white shoes.

“I'd go get a pair of socks, but something tells me that would be too much,” Renko sighs, playing around with the strings that are a part of the shoes. “Why don't you like shoes?”

“Can't feel anything through them.”

“That's kind of the point,” Renko laughs, handing you the pair. “Here. Just slip your feet in.”

It's not hard to get your feet inside. They feel like shoes, definitely. But the bottom is kind of squishy, and they're not very hard. You guess it's ok to wear these.

“How do they fit?” Renko asks from over your shoulder.


She moves over, in front of you, and presses down on the front of them. You can feel it on the front of your toes. “... eh, not very good. I wonder if Mary's got an old pair stashed away in these boxes somewhere...”

More box searching. You take off the shoes in the meantime. “Oh hey, I guess so. These are a little smaller. Mary's got such tiny feet~”

Again, she does something with the strings and hands the shoes to you. “Try these.”

You hand the ones you've got back to her, and slip these ones on. It's a bit harder to do; she's right. They are a little smaller, but not as comfortable. Once they're on, she presses down on the front.

“...that's a little better, I guess,” She says, “Try walking around a bit.”

You nod. Yep. Definitely shoes. You take a few steps forward, and then back.

“They feel ok?” Renko asks, taking a look down at them.

“They feel like shoes.”

Renko grins. “Yeah, but it's a little softer than pavement, right?”

Oh, that hard ground outside. You hadn't thought of it like that. You guess it's a little nicer than that... so you guess you can wear these. You nod.

“Ok,” She says, “I don't suppose you know how to tie them?”

“Tie what?”

“Yeah, that's what I thought. I'll do it.”

She bends down and begins playing with the strings. You can feel the shoe get a little tighter as she does. Then, after a few seconds, she pulls away. They're in a knot now, with two loops coming out of it.

“And then the coat,” She says, reaching into the closet. She pulls out a... well, you guess it's a coat. It's gray, and not very interesting. But you could see her wearing it, definitely. “Know how to put this on?”

You nod, taking it from her. Put it over your shoulders with your arms in the arm holes, and then... huh?

“Where's the buttons?”

“It zips up,” She says, laughing a little. “Here.”

These clothes are all really weird. She takes some sort of thing on the bottom,and, with a crazy noise, brings the two parts of the crazy together.

“What was that?” You ask, looking down at the line where the two parts joined. And the tab. Can you just pull this...?




Renko laughs. “Secret human technology.”


“Here's the hat,” Renko says, pulling one last thing from the closet. “You'll have to take that one off first, though.”

Right... your hat. Can't wear both. But... you haven't taken it off since you got it. This will be weird. You reach up, and give it a tug... and you can feel a bit of hair go with it.

You take a look at it, and then a look around for a place to put it. There's a small table by the door, so you set it there. And then you give it a little nod, to let it know that you'll be back.

There's pressure on the top of your head, and before you realize it, you've got a new hat. It feels kind of weird. Heavy, compared to your old one. And brown instead of black (like Renko's) or rainbow. And it kind of sticks out...

“Cool,” Renko says, “Glad I saved that thing. And now that all that's done... ready to go?”

You nod.

“If anyone asks, you're my second cousin,” Renko says, “Let me do the talking beyond that, ok?”

You nod. And then you lower your voice, trying to sound a little bit more like Renko. “Got it.”

She stifles a laugh. “Was that me?”

You nod. “Was it good?”

“I'd say yes, but I don't want to admit it,” She says, looking back towards the boxes. “I guess we can leave these here for now. Got anything in particular you want to look at?”

You think.

[ ] Where you were yesterday.
[ ] People.
[ ] Places.
[x] People.
Oh god that was just too cute. Dressing and learning about humans from our big sister.
Oh god so moe.

[X] Places.
[X] Where you were yesterday.

Exploring first, then we can go back by the construction site on the way home.
[X] Places.
[X] Where you were yesterday.
[x] People.

sooo cute...
[Q] People.
[ ] People.

[x] People.
Nothing today. Standard monday, so I feel like garbage and not like updating. Will resume tomorrow.
[x] Peoplaces.

I don;t know what you're all talking about; that was veHNNNNNNGGGGGHH
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