Your name is Monica! That's the name people call you, usually! As far as names go you think it's a pretty good one, considering you didn't really even have one before you went to college! Your housemate Miss Flandre thought it up for you, which was pretty sweet of her you have to admit. It might be one of the reasons you insist on calling her "Miss" Flandre even though she's not really that much older than you. Truth be told you've never actually asked her her age, but you're both still in college, so how big of an age gap could there really be?
Speaking of college, it's not exactly as fun as you expected it to be. You'd still rate the whole experience as pretty good, but it's a lot of work, too! You're just a simple country girl after all--never had a fancy house or went to any fancy parties--but you heard it said that these days you'd better go to college so you can learn how to survive in this fast and futuristic world! You're still not entirely sure if that's true or not, but at least all your housemates are really nice! Well, except for that frumpy black-and-red girl. You're not really sure why she's so angry all the time, but that doesn't mean you'll stop trying!
It's a balmy day in early April, but quite a bit too balmy for your tastes. Springtime is supposed to be light and pleasant, but right now the air is so thick you think you can almost see it! It's been like this for days, too; studying for your midterms has been a real bother, especially since head resident Remilia won't let you walk around without any clothes on. Fortunately they're pretty much over by this point, so after classes are done for the day you were planning on just hanging around outside and enjoying the breeze, if there is a breeze today that is.
But no, something is wrong! As you try to leave your room, you discover that the door won't open! The handle is definately turning, and you check to make sure it isn't locked, but the door simply won't swing out! This hasn't ever happened before! What if you can't make it to class?! You've always tried to be a good student who always shows up to every lecture, even if it's boring! And it's so close to the end of the year, too!
[ ] Shout for help; someone should be able to hear you. [ ] Call one of the other third-floor girls on your cell. [ ] Look through the keyhole; maybe you can find out what's wrong yourself. [ ] You're boxed in! Jump out the window!
You try not to get too worked up about this just yet; maybe someone locked the door from the outside by accident or something. It's still a little too early to just go shouting out for help, so you flip open your cell phone and call Tullia; she's usually up early. You're a big girl who knows how to use technology, after all! Francie might be older than you, but she thinks way too much for her own good and makes herself afraid of everything! And it's not like you don't do that a little too, but at least you like to think on the positive side of things!
Tullia answers your call and you explain the situation to her; could she please come over to your door and see what's wrong? Tullia, however, regrets to inform you that she's stuck in her own room too! She doesn't know what's going on either! She doesn't have class today, so she's not all that concerned, but it's a little different for you! You look contemplatively at your window, which is small and doesn't really open all the way like it should. They said you'd have to wait a year or two before you'd be allowed to move to a better room with a better window; seniority and all that. You think maybe you could fit through it if you tried--you are pretty small after all--but you'd probably ending up ruining either your clothes or the window frame in the process, and you're not sure if you really need to get out of your room that much yet.
Tullia continues the phone call and says her door is giving a little when she pushes on it. She doesn't think it's locked; something must just be blocking it from the other side. Your door feels the same way; is someone cleaning out the hallway closets and forgot to move the junk pile? You don't have enough weight behind you to push it open, though. With nothing much else to do, you both just chit-chat for a while. How's classes been? Pretty good? Yeah, you've just got one take-home left; it's due next week. It's for Trigonometry, though, so you're a little nervous about that. Just one of those fairy things. Have you ever met a fairy who was good at math? Yeah, she hasn't either. Oh, yeah, spring break was awesome! You went up and spent a week in the city, saw all the sights, went to a whole bunch of parties, found a free rock concert, it was great! Yeah, you always feel kinda bad for the people who go to those island resorts; they spend all their hard-earned money on silly things like drinking and sex, what's up with that anyways? They'll never drag you to one of those things, that's for sure!
As fun as it is to chat with a friend and housemate, you really do need to solve this pickle you're in. Class or no class, you sure don't want to be trapped in your room all day!
[ ] Might as well try the window; throw on some old clothes you don't mind getting messed up. [ ] Use your super-speed to bust down the door! That's an ability you totally still have, right? [ ] Stomp on the floor. Sakuya's room is right below yours; she'll help you out. [ ] Use your phone/IRC to find someone not trapped in their rooms that can free you both.
[x] Use your phone/IRC to find someone not trapped in their rooms that can free you both. Because they can't all be trapped right? Wrong. The TRUE MASTERMIND behind this will reveal herself soon enough. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
[X] Use your phone/IRC to find someone not trapped in their rooms that can free you both.
The sad thing is, this entire situation could have been avoided if the building designer hadn't made the cardinal sin of having the doors swing into the hallway. Because you totally want to block the main passageway for the house every time you leave/enter/ventilate your room, right?
Surely everyone in the house can't be trapped in their rooms like you two are. That's the kind of stuff that only happens in those kinds of scary movies you never watch. You guess that considering the rather "colorful" nature of the people that live in this city it wouldn't be impossible, but that's thinking like Fran would think! You're a resourceful girl, you've got your cell phone; it shouldn't be too hard to find someone in the house to open the door for you. Hey, worst case scenario, call 911. Not only will they get you out, but if there is some sort of psychopathic puzzle-killer on the loose you'll have the cops to protect you!
It takes a bit longer to get a hold of someone than you expected, what with trying to remember who has class right now and getting sent to a couple people's voicemails (they probably have it on vibrate and don't have it in thier pockets or a hard surface, the sillies), but you finally get a hold of Therese, who sounds like you probably just woke her up. You have to convince her that yes, your door is actually being blocked by something, no you are not just too weak to push it open, and Tullia's is blocked too. You keep her on the phone as she comes upstairs to see what this malarkey is all about, and when you hear the floorboards creaking outside in the hallway, you ask her if she can see the problem.
"Patchouli's futon, the futon that is supposed to be in Patchouli's room, is wedged in front of your doors."
Well... at least that explains why the door is stuck!
There's a lot of shuffling and grunting outside as Therese attempts to pull the futon loose, in between asking why the heck do the doors swing into the hallway in the first place? It's a horrible design flaw and any architect would have made the doors swing inwards. You think it has something to do with fire safety maybe, but right now you're more interested in why and how Patchouli's futon is here and not in Patchouli's room. In your opinion there's zero reason for that other than someone just trying to be mean, but that's just mean! Whoever it was should know you has class this morning; you put your schedule up on your corkboard and everything! And it's mean to Patchouli too!
Tear finally pulls the futon away enough to get the two of you out of your rooms. You notice she's decided to look like you today, for whatever reason. You also notice that if that's the case she got it wrong and she's about six inches taller than she should be. Apparently she realizes this blunder shortly after you do.
"...You are really short, Monica."
Sheesh, no need to rub it in. It's not your fault you're short; you were born this way! You don't mind being as small as you are, but you still don't like it when people bring it up like it's a bad thing! What's so great about big, anyways? Don't they both have their ups and downs? Sure, big people can reach the top shelf easier, but can't you just fly up there? At least the tall person helped you out of your room. That sure was nice of her!
[ ] Be a good girl and help put the futon back in Patch’s room. [ ] Be a big girl and challenge Therese’s blatant disrespect for your image! [ ] Investigate this futon business! It didn’t just get there by itself! [ ] Get some breakfast, shower, all that sort of stuff you do before class.
But you know what? No! No, you’re not just going to sit here and take this! You’re a nice girl, but Therese should be nice too! She thinks she can say whatever she wants just because she’s all at one with her body and is pretending like she’s crazy and sarcastic like Flandre? That sounds like it’s just a big ol’ excuse to be a jerk and get away with it to you! Flandre actually has problems, and she’s got audio of psychiatric sessions to prove it. But that’s not the issue here!
You stand up to this poser and politely give her what-for. You’re both friends, and you’re sort-of flattered that she’d decide to look like you, even if it’s just a joke, but you don’t really appreciate this joke! Everyone is different and people should understand that! In this town there’s all sorts of shapes and sizes that live here! You don’t make fun of Mokou just because she’s old, or make fun of Yuyuko just because she’s dead, so why should she make fun of you just because you’re small? You’re not completely naïve like Francesca; you stand up for yourself and you’re not afraid to commit! If she wants to make jokes, make jokes everyone can laugh at, not these insensitive racist jabs! That kind of stuff is for humans!
Therese rolls her eyes as you and say fine, geez, sorry, lighten up, before thoughtfully removing your visage from herself. She adds in a mumble that maybe you’re more naïve than you think you are if you’re going to be like this today, though. Your inquiries on the matter are waved off as she walks away. What was that all about? Did you miss something? Tullia isn’t really sure what Tear is talking about either. Must be some Flandre-style inside joke again. Well, in any case, you have protected your tiny ego from adversity! This calls for a celebratory breakfast! It’s always best to stay positive; you never know when fate will conspire to try and give you a rotten day, but it’s only as rotten as you make it!
Forty seconds later, fate conspires to try and give you a rotten day. By the looks of the kitchen countertop when you get there, every can, box, jar, or bag in the kitchen has had their label removed or blacked out and jumbled about into a big pile. While it seems that it’s not just your foodstuffs that have been targeted, that doesn’t change the fact that this is a major bummer of a situation! What’s going on here? Another “harmless” prank no doubt, but this is not funny at all!
[ ] The perpetrator must be found! Interview the usual suspects! [ ] Be positive; don’t let it get to you. Sticks and stones, you know? [ ] See if you can sort out which stuff is yours from the pile. [ ] No time to dwell on it; just shake containers until you find one that sounds like cereal. [ ] You guess you can go without breakfast for today…
This is starting to get on your nerves a little! But now is not the time to get all bent out of shape; it’d be better to just sort this out after class. For now you just rummage through the label-less boxes and keep shaking them, looking for what sounds like some kind of cereal. The problem is, pretty much anything kept in a box is dry and sounds like cereal! All you really have to go by is size, but you find a box that has a promising rattle of what sounds like smaller objects. Crossing your fingers, you open the box and pour some of the contents into a bowl.
Nope. Elbow macaroni. It looks like the mysterious culprit has enjoyed a small victory at your expense. But you know what? You’re going to eat it anyways! Pasta is nutritious, right? And there’s no reason to waste good food! Uggh, but it’s really crunchy and kind of hurts your teeth. You pour some milk into the bowl to try and soften it up, but it only helps a little. Truly, a breakfast of champions. They can probably hear you chewing from across the hall.
You’ve become a little wary of these strange “occurrences” around the house, so you think you’ll skip your shower for now and just head to class early to be on the safe side. You keep telling yourself that you should show up to class early more often, but you just get so distracted and end up coming into class only a minute or two before the professor does. It’s a strange atmosphere being in a big lecture hall before class; small pockets of students scattered about the seats, murmurs of unintelligible conversations, and the faint tapping of keys at a laptop. It’s too bad that it can’t stay this nice for the whole class; students of all kinds eventually filter in and pack the place to the brim.
The lecture is boring and impersonal as usual; you have a suspicion that the teacher doesn’t even know what his own power point slides say. You’ve learned more reading the textbook than you’ve learned from the lecture, and with his boring voice droning on and on like—
Fire alarm, fire alarm, ohmahgosh fire alarm! The isles and air above is thrown into a tizzy as the students quickly make for the exits despite the professor’s languid pleas to evacuate slowly and in an orderly manner. You sure hope it’s not a real fire; the last time that happened classes were screwed up all day, even though it was just a cigarette in a trash can! Amidst the hustle and bustle of students squeezing themselves through the door you here a few of them complaining about “some sort of April Fools’ Joke”. April Fools’? That can’t be today, it’s only the first day of the month! You thought it was next week or something! And anyways, isn’t April Fools’ Day just slang for, like, National Joke Day or whatever? You know, funny things! None of this has been very funny so far!
[ ] Maybe you should just hide in the campus library until your afternoon classes to be on the safe side. [ ] Visit one of your on-campus friends to “get the skinny” on April Fool’s. [ ] You’d better get home quick! They might be messing with your things! [ ] Head home and play it cool. They can’t get to you if you don’t let them!
If this is a joke then that means that there is no fire going on, and if there is no fire going on then the fire alarm sholdn't be alarming people. [x] Go find the fire, if there is no fire, make it happen so all this alarming wouldn't be for nothing.
You calm down rather quickly; it’s okay, nothing to get worked up about, your hair isn’t on fire, everything’s cool. It seems that April Fools’ Day might be quite a formidable foe, though! If large and tactless pranks like this are the norm for “fools”, you’re in for a rough day! It’d be like everyone is a Flandre or a Therese, and then what would Flandre or Therese be like?! But you’re not going to think about it; it’ll only make you worry yourself sick, and Francesca needs you to be the well-adjusted one in the friendship!
Perhaps for now it’s best if you just chill in the library for the time being. It’s calm and quiet and should hopefully be pretty fool-free; a good place to hide from foolishness you think. To be honest you’re a little ashamed that as a fairy you’re not out there causing some mischief yourself. After all they say that causing mischief is a fairy’s job! But then again, “they” also say that hunting humans is a youkai’s job, and that hasn’t really been true ever since the college got flooded with eligible young men a few years ago, or so you’ve heard. You’re pretty sure “they” don’t really know what “they” are talking about. If it were up to you you’d say that it’s everyone’s job to do what they want to do!
Libraries are such a quaint place to you; you’re not really sure how to describe it. You’re not much of a reader, but you get sort of a good feeling just drifting through the shelves, breathing in all the history and tradition the books exude. You pick up a book off the shelves here and there at random to see what’s in them, but a lot of them just contain reference material for the types of classes you’ll probably never be in. College libraries are a lot more boring than public is that Patchouli? At least the books in those libraries have pictures on the covers, not to mention oh it is Patchouli!
Your favorite violet-haired housemate is busy hovering through the aisles, surrounded by a cloud of books that shift in and out of the shelves like a concert pianist at a baby grand. She’s got “that” expression on her face, too, the one that says “I am surrounded by idiots and their idiocy, and I am going to show them how to do things the right way because they are too lazy to do it themselves, and because I can.” She tends to make that face a lot. You fly up to her and ask her what she’s up to. She says that a bunch of hooligans mixed up all the books early this morning, and even though she hasn’t worked in the library since sophomore year of her bachelor’s, she’s putting them back because “it’s just not right.”
No, the April Foolers have invaded the library too! Why’d they have to go and mess up the books, the books didn’t do anything wrong! Neither did Patchouli’s futon for that matter! Is there no safe haven from the shenanigans?
[ ] Ask the all-knowing Knowledge for survival tips! [ ] Get home and protect your worldly possessions from the Fools! [ ] A spine is totally a thing you have! Show it by… --( ) Being the bigger person and stalwartly ignoring the foolishness. --( ) Confronting the Fools outright! That is, once you find out who they are… --( ) Fooling the Fools yourself! No one would blame you on April Fools’ Day, right?
I suppose I should note that I'm doing "ignore this foolishness" since it made it to two votes first. Haven't been talking or updating much since I'm half lazy and half preoccupied with work. Sorry about depriving you all of my somewhat witty commentary on your somewhat witty comments about my somewhat witty story.
It’s times like this that make you want to just fly into a forest and curl up into a little ball behind a tree trunk, like back in the old days before all this school stuff. Life was simpler then, and you never had to worry about April Fools or what clothes are proper to wear when, or whether or not the top fell over at the end of that dream movie! But honestly, life was more boring then too. You’ve got loads of friends now and you’re learning new things, and computers aren’t nearly as scary as Francesca wants to make you think they are! You think she’s been listening to that Koa girl too much; she’s always grumpy and looking at things the wrong way. Would it hurt her to smile a little sometimes?
So you know what, you’re not just going to hide in the library all day; you’re a big girl, after all! You can handle something like an April Fools’ day, can’t you? You’ve heard that if you show weakness to a predator, they’ll only eat you faster! All you have to do is walk with your head held high, keep on living, and not worry about what happens next. So let them set off car alarms and reroute hyperlinks to old Rick Astley music videos, or whatever else fools do; you don’t care! Besides, Rick Astley is so last year.
You’ve still got a few hours before your afternoon classes, so you decide to head back home, drop off your books, and see about picking your food out from the generic pile of genericness. Someone left the front door half-open again; you can’t really blame them with how hot it’s been, but doesn’t it let all the drunks and the cat-callers in? You should probably fix that.
Sakuya calls from the kitchen and asks what that noise was. You tell her it’s just one of those days; don’t worry about it. She’s busy sorting the fooled foodstuffs because Remilia ordered her to as the head maid asked her to, and it’s her week to clean the kitchen anyways. She enjoys a small chuckle at your sopping wet expense and tries to make small talk to distract her from the troublesome task. When you ask her wouldn’t time-stopping make it easier, she explains something about gravity that you don’t understand, and you just sort of smile and nod. You think that Sakuya maybe doesn’t actually like talking about her time powers all that much; maybe it makes her feel insecure.
Wholly unannounced, as always, Wendy drifts into the room and wonders out loud who fell for the bucket. You are deeply hurt; she’s the one who set it up and now she’s coming to gloat?! The audacity! You know you’re easy prey but that’s just a low blow!
Actually, she says, she’d just seen the bucket sitting there at some point earlier this morning and was waiting for someone more ignorant than hurt to walk into it. You ask her why she didn’t do the nice thing and take the bucket down like a good housemate, but she replies that anyone stupid enough to get hit with that old trick deserves what’s coming to them. She then picks up an unlabeled can entirely at random and goes to get a can opener. Truly, the lunch of champions.
[ ] Spend some girl time with Sakuya; she could always use it. [ ] Try once again to get Wendy to stop being so cynical. Koa is hopeless, but Wendy might turn yet! [ ] Pop into Fran’s room; take solace with a fellow April Fools’ newbie. [ ] Tell Remi to get off her skinny ass for once and enforce some order in her own house! [ ] Venture into the basement, where the worst of Fools are known to dwell…
You think you’re getting used to April Fools’ Day, actually; it’s not so bad! No one’s died from it or anything, right? Still, that piece of wet carpet next to the front door is making you wonder just how much property damage fools are allowed to cause before it stops being “not so bad”. You don’t doubt criminal prosecution has been a result of many fools’ actions over the decades; alcohol was probably involved most of the time. Remilia would totally flip out if something like that happened, and she’s really, really scary when she gets like that! Like, totally seriously. Flandre’s downright horrible when she’s catches you alone in one of those moods, but Remi… Your respect for the awesome power of the fury of a young woman is surpassed only by the knowledge that it will turn you into a tiny shell of a girl who wholeheartedly believes the everything is bad forever and wishes she was able to die.
You didn’t mean to delete the director-person’s phone call! It was an accident!
Fueled by that horrible memory and your ever-present desire to be a good girl, you think it best to wake Remi up and make sure she knows that her house is being fooled! You flitter up to her room, and only then notice her whiteboard message she’s posted: DON’T YOU EVEN DARE. Hum, you must have missed it on your way down to class. But what could it mean?! Do not disturb? Don’t do whatever it is you were thinking about doing? It’s just so cryptic! Makes that’s the whole idea?! Ohh, you’re no good with questions like these! You decide to just knock on the door anyways; problem solved!
After a few more knocks and a declaration of your intent, you are harshly met by a “Go away”, several “Shut ups!”, and a pillow thrown at the door. You try to explain that the carpet in the entryway is getting wet and who knows what else is going on that you don’t know about yet! She says that she is, quote, “not putting up with your shit today, deal with it”. Apparently Remilia’s many years of experience with college-town April Fools’ has disenchanted her from the ritual as a whole. You can’t really blame her.
You catch Francesca coming down the stairs, prepped for her next class. You share a customary greeting with each other before she asks you, strange as it may sound, if you’ve got an hour free to sit in with her on lecture today. She knows you’re not in that class, but they’re showing a video today she thinks you’ll really find enjoyable!
It is as this point you notice the sharpied goatee and moustache on Fran’s face. Apparently, she has not noticed.
[ ] Go with her; tell her about her face [ ] Go with her; don’t tell her about her face [ ] Don’t go with her; tell her about her face [ ] Don’t go with her; don’t tell her about her face
Well, you’re not entirely sure if you’re allowed to sit in on the lecture (aren’t you supposed to pay for classes you go to?), but ehh, sure, why not? It’s a big room; if you both sit near the back no one’s going to notice. You’ve got no clue if you’ll even understand what the class is about, but that’s exciting too, in its own way! Besides, what would you really have done with that hour anyways, watched music videos and checked Facebook maybe? When it comes to wasting time, normal college kids cannot hope to compete with fairy college kids; you are so chillin’ they don’t even know.
You tell her you’ll just grab your stuff for your afternoon classes, but try to add as politely as possible that she might want to look in a mirror before she goes out. She instinctually touches her face and asks if anything’s on it; you tell her just check the mirror, trying not to crack too much of a smile. Speaking of that, you’d better take this bucket off your head before you forget; April Fools’ Day notwithstanding, you don’t want to look like a complete good around campus. Besides, you’re not important enough to have your own hat yet; those sorts of things have to be earned from years and years of being in the public eye.
A few minutes later you’re walking to class together, situation mostly taken care of? Fran caked as much makeup as she could over the permanent marker, but it didn’t really cover it all the way, so she’s wearing a scarf over it just in case. You resist the urge to start talking about ninjas; Fran probably wouldn’t have any idea what you were talking about, and you think those animes are stupid anyways. Besides, she seems pretty flustered with how she got pranked; it’s best not to draw attention to it.
The lecture hall for Fran’s English Literature class is thankfully only “big” and not “huge” like a lot of them tend to be. You both sit in the back of the room as the professor begins the class and makes an offhand comment about if anyone’s gotten Fooled yet today. She says that, for future reference, the best way to survive April Fools’ Day is to just “unplug” and not believe anything you hear today; the Internet just loves to target suckers like you. Fran just slumps down in her chair, looking awfully depressed. You tell her it’s not so bad; it’ll come off eventually, it’s not like they shaved your head or anything! She mumbles something about it not being about that before shrinking into her seat some more.
The professor says something about “Romeo and Juliet” before starting a movie up on the big screen. You’ve never heard of the name before and have zero idea what’s going on here; Fran said she thought you’d enjoy the movie, supposedly? There’s lots of skyscrapers and cars and people with guns talking all funny; you can’t make heads or tails of it. You lean over to Fran and ask her what’s going on, but see seems preoccupied with other thoughts; her face looks very conflicted and disappointed to you.
After looking face to face with you for a while she just falls apart and starts apologizing to you for some reason! If this wasn’t a public place and she didn’t have to be quiet you think she might actually start crying! She explains that she’d had this big plan to play a great prank on you during the movie, but after the Sharpie thing and the professor calling out all the Fools and everything it’s all fallen apart; she just can’t bring herself to be mean to you like that! She laments that she’s such a lousy friend; here the two of you are, little girls alone in a big college relying on each other to make it through unscathed, and she goes and thinks about backstabbing you like this! She feels like this is one of the worst days of her life, and it’s not even two o’ clock yet.
[ ] It’s a trap! She’s just waiting for the chance to play the REAL prank on you! [ ] This is… awkward. Maybe you should just leave. [ ] Tell her it’s okay; you’ve already gotten Fooled four times today! --( ) Hug and make up, offer to take her out for lunch, all that friend stuff. --( ) Suggest that the two of you team up together to re-Fool the Sharpie Ninja!
You just don’t understand what the heart of April Fools’ Day is supposed to be; you’re keeping positive about it all, but so far you’ve seen nothing but negative reactions, and now Francesca’s disappointment is making you feel all sad and disappointed too! You wouldn’t have even minded a little joke from her; you’re friends, after all! It’s sure turning out to be quite the strange day, but not for the reasons you might have expected.
You rub Fran on the shoulder affectionately and tell her that it’s not so bad in a whisper (there’s a movie going on up front, after all!) We all have our off days, and sometimes no matter what we do it’s just going to keep being off; all we can do is keep on smiling and look on the sunny side of things! Look at you, you’ve been getting Fooled way more than she has, but is that stopping you? You’re even going to a class that’s not yours; now that’s being positive! How about you take her out to lunch after your next class, your treat? Restaurants are professional; there won’t be any Fools over there!
She nods meekly and the two of you share a friendly hug. You sure hope no one’s looking back here and thinks the two of you are making out or something; that’d be really awkward. You try to go back to watching the movie, but you don’t have a prayer of finding out what’s happening now. People are getting shot and there’s a lot of shouting and talking; why is there so much talking? Humans don’t really talk like this in the big city, do they? You’re definitely glad this isn’t your class; it feels like one of those required Humanities classes you’re getting out of because you’re in the junior symphony instead. Granted you might not be in it next semester if enough talented freshmen audition you our of your chair, but that’s a worry for another month!
Fran’s class ends and soon after your class begins, the minutes dragging on and on as some foreign man talks about triangles and numbers or something; you’ll download the class notes later. A few frat-boy types near the back are taking advantage of today’s date to toy around with their green laser pointers behind the professor’s back. Green lasers are better than red lasers, you’ve heard; you wonder why that is? Red is a prettier color in your opinion. It must have something to do with that “SCIENCE” everyone keeps shouting about in all caps. But the dancing lights are still a pleasant distraction for you, and make the lecture almost bearable.
Once the bell rings you quickly (but gracefully) zip out the door and fly back home to pick up Fran for lunch. Neither of you have cars, but who cares, flying is more fun! Cars are silly anyways; you can’t really think of a normal situation where you’d actually need one. They’re just humans’ substitute for magic anyways. Speaking of cars, you wonder what happened to Remilia’s; it’s usually parked right under the awning. You hope she was smart and just parked it someplace else for today; you’d hate for it to have been forcibly picked up by someone like her sister and moved someplace strange like the roof.
Oh heck please don’t let it actually be on the roof, is it on the roof? Good, it’s not on the roof.
Fran made good use of the free hour to get that sharpie off properly, so she’s in a much better mood now! The two of you head over to a nice simple local eatery that has menus and also beer sometimes you guess? It’s way too early for beer, though. Besides, you don’t usually drink. But when you do, you prefer Shirley Temples. Those have alcohol, right?
While you wait for your food… [ ] Talk about school [ ] Talk about your housemates [ ] Talk about April Fools’ Day [ ] Talk about movies [ ] Talk about video games [ ] Talk about relationships [ ] You know, you could write in just about anything right now and I’d probably do it.
The waitress comes by before long and hands you your menus and water glasses; apparently you still don’t look old enough to be offered alcohol on sight. You wonder if you ever will be, for that matter; you’d probably still say no, but you think it’d be pretty cool just the same! In any case, looking at a menu is always so tricky for you; there’s so many good-looking choices! Unlike Fran you don’t really have a big aversion towards eating meat and stuff like that, because you don’t spend all your time thinking about what your food looked like before it was your food! She settles on a creamy meatless pasta dish, and you just decide to go for the big sampler platter; truly the cop-out dish of choice for the terminally indecisive.
And so begins the time-honored tradition of finding something to talk about while you wait for your food. Fran sure isn’t going to be the one to start things off, so it’s up to you to find something to fill the dead air. Any good movies lately? No, no, it’s the dead season; there’s no chance of good movies for at least another month. Why is that anyways, she asks you? Is there some sort of rule that you can only have good movies in the summertime and Christmastime? You shrug and say you don’t really know either; probably something about money, but it’s a stupid reason.
As an off-hand comment you ask if she knows if Remilia is dating anyone these days; you really haven’t been paying attention. She says she thinks she might have gone out with the varsity soccer captain or someone like that? But there’s no way that’s going to last; Remilia isn’t into jocks. She’s probably just bored again. Is she ever going to find someone that actually meets her standards? Fran doesn’t think so; she’s too used to being single and a heartbreaker now. Maybe it’s like feminism or something; she’s been learning about that in Modern Cultures.
And what’s up with Sakuya and Meiling; they’re an item, right? You think they’d make a great couple; their personalities really complement each other. Fran isn’t so sure; she doesn’t think China’s all that interested, and Sakuya would be too shy to try for something awkward like that. Dating someone in your own sorority would get pretty messy in her opinion. Besides, she doesn’t think Remi would let it happen; not under her roof. That must just be a rumor. The information makes you sad; you really think a strong relationship would do Sakuya’s self-confidence some good.
Your food comes eventually, but the both of you are on a roll now; the conversation continues in between portions, significantly lengthening the meal. Patches’ relationships are an utter non-issue, of course, and you don’t think any of your other underclassmen housemates are dating anyone… right? Unless, wait… Oh, Sunny? There’s a rumor she’s seeing someone now, is there? You wonder who it could be. It’s not like you know a whole lot of people to begin with… Orange? Maybe it’s Orange. You really have no good reason for guessing Orange other than they both look exactly the same. That’s as good of a reason for dating someone as any!
Flandre…? No. No, Fran. Don’t even go there, girlfriend. No one knows what’s going on between Flandre and Koishi. Flandre and Koishi don’t even know what’s going on between Flandre and Koishi. You think the two of them sitting in an empty room staring at each other and trying to kill each other with their minds actually counts as a date for them. Wait did you just call Francesca girlfriend? You didn’t mean it like that, obviously not! No, no, maybe she won’t notice, don’t draw attention to it. It was a perfectly normal and sarcastic thing to say in context; she couldn’t possibly take it the wrong way.
Wait a minute Fran doesn’t know what sarcasm means.
Well dang. Now you just feel all kinds of awkward.
[ ] You can dig yourself out of this hole! And instruct Fran in sarcastic lingo at the same time! [ ] Just play it cool. Everything is fine; nothing is ruined. [ ] Does she actually think of you as a girlfriend, though? It probably wouldn’t hurt to ask at this point now.
You refuse to accept defeat! There’s too many people in this world that back down in the face of peril; most likely squishy humans who are probably afraid of being not alive! You’re not squishy; you’re a fairy, and fairies do not have a very clear perspective on when to give up! Are you really going to get all flustered over a casual slip of the tongue, heck no! You can totally salvage this and not just dig yourself a deeper hole! Because you’re not Fran’s girlfriend! You’re not, honest!
You tell Fran that you were just being sarcastic and using the hip new lingo of the street; you’re not actually her girlfriend girlfriend, it’s just something people say. It’s really funny in a nonchalant sort of way, you assure her. It’s even funnier because you’re not really all streetwise like the people who would normally say such a thing; it’s layers of irony and complex stuff like that. You’ve been trying to read up on that stuff a bit to improve your casual debate skills with your more worldly-acclimated friends. You gotta stay behind the eight-ball, after all.
You’ve sort of lost Fran by this point. So wait, so you’re not her girlfriend, she asks you? You tell her no, no you’re not. Not that you don’t swing that way, of course, don’t get any wrong ideas! Except it’s not like you do swing that way; she shouldn’t get any wrong ideas there either! You’re sure she’s a very nice girl who is excellent date material; plenty of guys would be lucky to have her for a girlfriend! Plenty of girls, too; plucky young girls like you who need a more stable mind to cool them down. Except not like you like you, because you already said you’re not her girlfriend! But not because you don’t want to be, understand…?
Fran’s eyes are getting that glaze on them like when Flandre has been talking for too long. She tries to shake herself out of it, then puzzles over your explanation for a while before asking you if that means you do want to be her girlfriend. Wait, what? She’s asking you? No, no, you tell her that’s not what you were getting at, you were just explaining what girlfriend means! She asks you what does girlfriend mean, then? Aren’t the two of you already basically girlfriends? No, no, because it’s not official! Fran lowers her eyelids at you; she might bit a little behind on the times, but she’s pretty sure you don’t have to sign some sort of document to say you’re someone’s girlfriend. You tell her she’s missing the point; this has nothing to do with whether or not the two of you are girlfriends!
That still doesn’t answer the question, she responds. Is she your girlfriend? You shoot the question right back at her: is she yours? She has to think about that seriously for a minute. Well, you’re pretty much best friends to begin with, and go out together to movies and dinner and stuff, and have a lot of interest in common and sort of both take solace in the fact that neither one of you has the firmest grasp about what’s going on around you… She can think of a lot of relationships that have gone on for months or years on a whole lot less than that. Maybe you are girlfriends and just neither of you realized it yet? She knows it sounds crazy, but stranger things have happened. Who are either of you to really know how relationships work, anyways?
Your heart speeds up a little. So… you are Francesca’s girlfriend? She guesses so; she doesn’t really see any reason why you wouldn’t be. You’ve never been a girlfriend before; what are you supposed to do? Maybe… maybe you should pay for her lunch? That’s a thing girlfriends do, right? Fran reminds you that you’d already offered to pay for lunch before this conversation even started. Gosh; you must have already been her girlfriend back there even, and you didn’t even know it! This doesn’t seem so bad; you could get used to it!
You both walk back home instead of flying back, holding each other’s hand just because. You feel… not really all that different, actually. Nothing really changed after all; both of you are still going to keep doing what you’ve been doing with each other, which is just sort of hang out and be friends. Humans make a much bigger deal out of this than you think they should. Maybe in the end this is just a silly idea that won’t amount to much, but if you’re being honest with yourself, isn’t that what fairies are really all about? And hey, if it doesn’t work out, you could always just pretend it was an April Fools’ joke you played on yourself.
Does that even work? Ahh whatever. It doesn’t matter~
I hope that you’ll forgive my heinous update speed these past few months; my attentions have been getting pulled every which-way, and though I’ve still found time to write (These things here >>50987 and here >>/shorts/327 are pretty cool things) I’ve finally come to terms with the fact that I can no longer write with reliable consistency. Derp Wars has been a fun endeavor from day one, and I really wanted to try and get through every character, but realistically I think it’s for the best if I just shelved it. It’s not fair to you to have to wait a week or more for a few shallow—if cute—paragraphs, and I’d rather quit on a mid point than a low point.
So thanks for sticking with me, the few of you who are still here. You’ll still find me lurking about writing the occasional short story; no matter what life throws my way, I’m a writer, and will always feel compelled to write sooner or later.
Picture not related, and I can’t really think of an instance where it ever would be. Nice hat though.
>>51769 Aawww it ended! I was looking forward to the rest (regardless of the updating speed, mind you) but I suppose that 'quitting while ahead' is a perfectly good reason to stop, if you don't feel up to speed anymore. Still, it ended on a high note (Happy Fran!) and it was really good, right up to the end.
I'm sad to see it go, but if that's what you feel like you need to do.
Just so you know, AFT had probably my favorite endings of any of the stories I've read here. Though it left me craving more. I think I clung to Derp Wars because it was just nice seeing more of them, even if the setting and tone were pretty vastly different.
Now here can be seen a very fine specimen of young lady. Look at her, just standing around like that. She thinks she’s pretty awesome, doesn’t she? She’s on track to graduate in four years, she’s got a bundle of friends, she’s cute and attractive but not in a little-girl way because that’s not cool once you hit college, and she’s saving tons of money on car insurance by switching to Geico! She also takes out the trash, calls her parents weekly, and attends the college job fairs to find a worthwhile and profitable career once she receives her degree! Yup, she’s got her life pretty much sorted out.
Today is the day she throws all that over a cliff, because today is the day she turns twenty-one years old. Supposedly the best way to prevent hangovers is to never stop drinking; this seems like sound advice to her!
Your name is Sunhilda Sunday, which is a stupid name that you never wanted and makes you sound like some fat Viking lady. Why did she get to pick out your name anyways; she’s not even your real mother! Most of the time you just go by Sunny; it works. All that stuff that was just said about you is true, except for the bit about the hangovers, because fairies don’t actually get them. Duh. Not that, like, you would know from personal experience or anything; you’re still too young to drink! Totally! But today, you totally can!
It’d be cool if today were a Sunday, but it’s not; it’s Tuesday. Normally you’d have three classes today, but one’s a lecture they don’t take attendance at, and you have instructor approval to skip the other two because you’re going to an “on-site interview” today. Yyyyyyeah, that’s a true thing. You are totally going to be going “on-site” today and talking to old people you’ve never met before from behind a counter—desk, you mean desk—about the things you want out of life. You are a good little lady who would not lie about such things, and certainly would not be seen at Greek parties in various states of cleanliness.
Coach knows that’s BS, by the way. But she’s cool with it. She warned you not to mix beer and wine; supposedly that’s something that you just don’t do.
It’s something like 8 A.M. right about now, but you’re not the kind of person who likes to use the phrase “It’s five o’ clock somewhere.” Instead, you think you’ll use the phrase, “You can’t drink all day if you don’t start in the morning!”
[ ] Pace yourself; you’ve got the whole day. Just get some water or juice or something. [ ] Birthday cake! You are totally allowed to eat birthday cake for breakfast on your birthday! [ ] Presents! Run downstairs and see what’s waiting for you under the birthday tree! [ ] Potent Potables. [ ] Hang around here and hold out for breakfast in bed.
Don’t be so melodramatic; you were barely dead, Jim.
You can thank/blame this fine gent >>/gensokyo/11231 for drawing my attention back to Derp Wars. Started rereading the archives, and I'd honestly forgotten how funny I used to be; it was like all this stuff was written by someone else who wasn't me but knew exactly what kind of humor I like. And then I say to myself, "You know, self, I think I want to be funny again." So here I am. Going to take updates slow for now—every other day or maybe every third day—and see how it goes.
Those of you who've been following my lurking over the last six months also know that I have a Wordpress page now ( http://lowenly.wordpress.com/ ). If I'm not updating something here, I'll be updating something there. "Some thing" is a very accurate term to describe what I am writing on that page: lots of random ideas for settings and themes of stories I'll probably never write but are fun to think about.
In closing, playing Koishi in Hopeless Masquerade before I had any clue how she worked might actually have been the most enjoyable experience I have ever had in video gaming. She is hilarious, and love~
Quick update: Sorry to leave y'all without a word so soon after coming back. I had a convention to go to this weekend and I knew I wouldn't have time to write, but I really wanted to get started while I had the confidence to actually post, before I second-guessed myself.
In any case, I'll call it for Presents! now so I can work on it tomorrow, and respond to your comments later when I'm not suffering from con fatigue.
But you know what’s better than alcohol (which you know nothing about because you’ve never drank it before, obviously)? Presents! They’re fun and surprising and create nice memories and you can play with them and keep them forever! And alcohol can’t do that last one! Granted, your other sorority girls aren’t really your family family, so it’s not like you’re guaranteed to get presents from them if they don’t care, or if they forgot, but you don’t want presents from people who don’t care about you anyways! It’s the thought that counts, right?
You fling open the door to your room, and are greeted with a mostly-awake Therese leaning against the wall, waiting for you to open the door so she can hand you a can of something or other. It appears to be a can of “Beer 30 Light”, which she immediate advises you never to drink because it will make you hate alcohol forever. Supposedly this so-called “lager” is infamous for not even deserving to be called beer. You’re not really sure why she gave you this, but then again, it’s Therese. She still hasn’t quite gotten the hang of the whole “Flandre” thing yet and ends up just being random a lot. Like, she’s wearing plaid pants with a polka-dot shirt and quintuple-highlighted hair right now; what’s up with that?
Therese follows you downstairs as you scamper into the living room and look under the “birthday tree”, which is actually just the Christmas tree from three months ago no one ever wanted to take down, and now acts as part mailbox, part lost-and-found, part random junk depository for the house, that is when it’s not someone’s birthday. People like to mess with the ornaments a lot too; that’s a long story, though. It looks like… aww, just one? The other girls are probably still putting the finishing touches on theirs; they wouldn’t have forgotten the twenty-first of an awesome girl like you! Of course, you suppose they might just be waiting to buy you drinks tonight or something, too. And hey, you’ll take it!
It’s from Tullia, of course; she’s always planning ahead. She got you a nice sundress and sunhat! Honestly you’re surprised that you’ve never owned any; you’re a jeans and shorts girl, but normally you’d expect that you’d have picked up something like these along the way, right? If for any reason, your name alone dictates that you should own them! How thoughtful of big sis Tullie! No, Therese, you cannot wear it. It’s not your birthday.
[ ] The fact that you are not eating cake right now must be remedied. [ ] Potent Potables. [ ] Oh yeah, that’s right… You’ve been putting off doing the house dishes for a while… [ ] Hang with Therese for now; game, movie, show, chit-chat, something like that (suggestions welcome!)
Callin’ it for cake, then. Waited another day to see if more votes came in, but I guess I need to remember that right now I’m some old writerman who the kids today know nothing about and don’t care either way for. Please, by all means, come onto my lawn.
Do you know what is adorable? This gif is adorable. I am going to go out and buy a better operating system than XP just so that I can play with this adorable. Unless someone knows a way to get 13.5 running on XP that I haven’t tried yet; that would be awesome, and adorable.
>>58177 Yeah, I don’t know either. It just sort of happens by itself.
>>58178 The kind of madness only a writer who loves you could create~ Or maybe I just love the madness.
Here's the situation: I run Hopeless Masquerade, and it opens just fine. It sits at the first loading screen for about 10 seconds without any sound or animation (but I don't think that particular loading screen has any in the first place), and then I get a generic "Windows has encountered a problem with this program and needs to close" crash message (see the attached image). This crash happens at the exact same time in the exact same place every time I run the program, no matter what I have tried. I have never received any other types of crash messages besides this one, and I have never had a problem getting the program to actually open.
I'm already running it in Jap Locale, and I'm using DirectX 10, so I don't think the problem should be related to those. I've tried uninstalling it and reinstalling it multiple times; no dice. I've used the 1.01 patch, the 1.02 patch, and the new 1.03b patch, and have tried both patching it from the base version and patching it on top of the old patch; no dice. I've tried running it at different resolutions and with different graphical settings turned off; no dice. I have NOT tried running the game as the Administrator, but I lost my Admin password. I have also not tried running it in Safe Mode.
For comparison, I've never had a problem running any of the other Touhou games. As far as recent games go, I've not yet given Double-Dealing Character a try, but Ten Desires and Freeze the Bullet Fairy Wars play just fine. I've never attempted to install and run any of the old fighting games, so I can't say if it's specifically a problem with the fighters but not the shmups.
I don't claim to know much about computer troubleshooting, but this situation has got me quite baffled. I've been searching Google for tech help, but have not been able to find anyone that shares my problem, and for any problems that are similar the inevitable response has been "Try Jap Locale" or "Update your DirectX" or "This patch fixes those bugs". I know the Tasofro site says it's compatible with XP, but at this point I can only assume it's some ghostly system setting I don't have a prayer of finding, which is why I'm resigning myself to just buying Windows 7, hoping that fixes the problem, and calling it a day. It's only a matter of time before XP stops receiving program support anyways, and I have the money.
You spend a few minutes modeling the sundress and hat for Therese; she approves. It’s probably not going to be very practical for going out later today, but it’s quite comfortable for the house! The hat’ll take some getting used to, though. You’re not sure how all those popular girls manage to wear them without having them fall off every ten minutes; you suspect magic is involved.
So what’s next on the agenda today, Therese asks? Today, you think, is a good day to eat birthday cake all day. Someone somewhere in the house—probably China—would likely frown on this decision, but come on, you’re a college student; they can totally subsist on nothing but cake and ice cream. Heck, you’re a fairy college student; you could subsist on frosting straight out of the can! Not that you would; it starts tasting kind of weird after you eat more than three cans a week. That was a really fun week, though. The two of you reminisce about old times as you head to the kitchen.
Oh, hi Monica, Fran! Are you baking a cake for me?! They say umm, kinda? They’re working it, at least; don’t look, it’s not done yet! They wish you a happy birthday all the same; how sweet of them~ It’s so nice to have tryhards in the house; the future belongs to such as these, after all! Fortunately, you bought yourself a small cake yesterday, just on the off-off-off chance that nobody else was going to give you one, so you head over to the fridge and pull it out. No, Therese, you cannot have some. It’s not your birthday.
No, Therese, you cannot have some, it’s not your birthday!
STOP. STOP THAT. YOU STOP THAT ADORABLENESS RIGHT NOW. OKAY, FINE, ONE SLICE, JUST STOP IT!
The two of you enjoy a delightful three-layer chocolate chip cake fresh from the fridge, with the nice whippy frosting instead of that hard crystal sugar stuff they make the fake roses out of. Clearly it is the breakfast of real champions, not the fake champions that eat those pencil shavings and dog food. You try not to peek at what the kids are doing over there, but it looks like whatever they’re doing they’re using real fruit! That idea sounds delicious, and actually healthy; you should eat that cake all the time instead!
It is at this point where Therese suggests that against your better judgment, you should drink the Beer 30 after all. It’ll be an experience that you can remember forever, she says.
[ ] Do eet. [ ] Only if she drinks some first. [ ] New plan; shake it up and give it to the first person you see next. [ ] Potent Potables [ ] Heck no; it’s your first birthday present, you can’t just waste it like that!
>>58273 Sorry bro; didn't work. I was hopeful this time, too; heard rumors that TH14 has a similar issue, but nope, no dice. Here's an update all the same, though.
2-2 split on the votes, so I’ll just go ahead with the writing and… think of something~ Update later today, earlier rather than later “in theory”.
>>58268 Thanks; not like I really made a big deal of it, so I suspect most people still don’t realize that either.
>>58280 Derp de durr, you’re right; I was wrong. Now I just feel all kinds of embarrassed.
Anyways, I finally found out the problem. As with many problems, it’s so obvious it was impossible to see: the computer itself. I’m using a laptop from late 2007 that runs a 2.2GHz Core 2 Duo and a video card with 144MB of VRAM. Minimum specs on Hopeless Masquerade are 2.6GHz Core 2 Duo and 512MB of VRAM. I play PC games so infrequently that I just flat-out forgot my five-and-a-half year-old computer is pretty obsolete in this day and age. I suppose one of these days I should think about upgrading.
>>58281 Unless you’re sharing from the same can. That’s just… yeah.
This can right here? This Beer 30 Light that she said never to drink because it’s terrible? Yes, she says; that can. You’ll be drinking it ironically, which automatically makes it not terrible! You remind her that it can’t be ironic if you’ve never actually drank alcohol before, and you certainly have not, because you only turned twenty-one today, remember? Yes, she says. That is totally a true thing that you just said and you are not full of crap.
You ask her if she’s ever drank it herself. She laughs; of course not, she’s not that stupid! Dohoho, you’ve caught her now~! You propose an alternative: you both drink it, at the exact same time, for maximum irony. She seems less than enthused by this prospect, and pleadingly looks towards those little girls over there for help. Said little girls just shake their heads and ask not to get involved; they’re too young to drink! Begrudgingly she shuffles to the cabinet under the silverware drawer and finds a pair of Styrofoam cups to pour into; apparently Beer 30 is not even worthy of the fabled “Red Solo Cup”. You get a whiff of the stuff as she hands you your share, and it does not smell like that which alcohol is supposed to smell like. This bodes poorly.
So is it three-two-one, then drink, or are we drinking on one?
Wait, no, why would we count up to three, that’s just stupid.
And we gotta drink all of it; put the cup upside-down on the counter and everything, okay?
Yes, that is worst of ideas, Therese. Next year just buy me perfume or a fruit basket or something.
Cake where is the cake you must wash that god-forsaken taste out of your mouth right this instant that is not beer that is the worst beers oh for the love of all that is holy it's seeping into your soul you will never have nice things again.
You don’t care where your fork and plate ran away too. You grab a fistful of your chocolate-chip cake and stuff it in your mouth, and you don’t even care that Therese is doing the exact same thing right now; she’s is one hundred percent justified. Who even decided that thinking about inventing that, that… heresy was anywhere close to a good idea?! It tastes like… You don’t even know. You don’t even want to know. The less you know about whatever just happened, the better. You think this might actually be the real reason why Koishi Komeiji closed her third eye. And, again, she would be one hundred percent justified.
Francesca and Monica are giving you weird stares from over there. You say let them. They’ll understand when they’re older.
Some time later after you wash up and manage to salvage the rest of the now smushy cake into a Tupperware container, you’re feeling a good deal better about yourself. Monica and Fran sort of kicked you out of the kitchen so that you wouldn’t accidentally peek at their secret plan, and Therese had to leave you for class (typical), making you totally bored already.
[ ] I could say “I’m giving you the freedom to do whatever you want; have fun~”, but instead I will tell the truth and say I didn’t know how to end this segment. So, yeah. Write-in.
Site was down last night, or at least it was during the hour I was trying to post this, so yeah. Life goes on.
Uggh, so bored, and it's not even noon yet! You had all these grand visions of parties and presents just magically appearing in front of you all day, but clearly you failed to realize that the world doesn't revolve around you. Because it revolves around Remilia, obviously. Seriously, it's like, that's what she does.
You head back up to your room for the time being and put away Tullia's gifts, then flop onto your moon chair and contemplate the problem of being bored. Obviously you'll be bar-hopping today, and that'll be fun, but that's not 'till later tonight, which is practically not today at all! More than half the house is either in class or underage right now, which is lame and stupid and why did you request your classes off today again? You refuse to start doing normal everyday things like homework or cleaning like a responsible person, because you already waste plenty of vacations and holidays doing that already, and--
You know what, the heck with it. It's five o' clock somewhere, and you can't drink all day if you don't start in the morning.
You throw on some old jeans, tank top and jacket you don't mind getting dirty, even though you have no intention of getting sickdrunk and puking your questionably-existent guts out over yourself; that's only fun like twice, maybe three times before it just ain't worth it to party that hard anymore, and even if you don't do it some frat boy is just as liable to spill beer all over you "accidentally". This is all purely hypothetical, of course; you only know this from stories! Starting at the third floor and working your way down, you ask if anyone wants to come with.
Monica: Makin’ cake, too young anyways. Francesca: Same deal. Sapphire: Fencing class. Really is a miracle that they turned it from a club to a class. Tullia: Woah, seriously, she’ll go? Apparently she says she’s the designated driver. Even though you’ll be walking. Or, flying. Patchouli: Is she ever not in class? Koakuma: Yeah, umm, about that… You don’t, actually, like her, very much, so… Meiling: Not in class, but currently in parts unknown. Remilia: Doing that whole “sleeping during the day” thing. Sakuya: She can’t find an excuse to get out of the house fast enough! Therese: So how’s that whole “class” thing goin’ for ya? Wendy: Sorry, mopey girl, you’re too young to drink.
You inform, or rather remind, your resident friendly neighborhood basement dweller that Remilia currently has a restraining order filled against the younger Ms. Komeiji with a maximum effective range of 100 yards. Quite an impressive number for a tightly-packed college town; you’re not really sure how she managed to swing it, though that whole panty-stealing incident might have had something to do with it? Flandre tries to calm you down; no, no, see, like, it’s totes alright, this is alternate-universe Koishi who’s not a dick and has a goatee! Apparently there’s this new girl she met, who’s like really into Kabuki theatre or something, because she always carries around the stupid masks? And apparently the new girl is so incredibly deadpan emotionless that it gave Koishi this whole new perspective on life, because at least she’s not that bad! So now she’s a total optimist and won’t drive people insane probably!
Ooooooo, kaaaay? You have a feeling that none of that is true and Flandre forgot to take her pills again, and then remembered and took too many. Hi Koishi. I haven’t forgotten the panty-stealing incident. Those were custom.
In any case, you’re going pub-crawling at eleven in the morning, we got Sakuya and Tullia, wanna come? She looks at Koishi and says she followed her home; can she keep her? You say no; she doesn’t know where it’s been, it probably has diseases and or ticks. She pouts and begs you; she’ll be good, she promises, she’ll keep her on a leash and everything! Look at how cute she looks! Can’t you see the sincerity of that smile?
[ ] Bring Flandre, not Koishi; pub crawls are for friends only! [ ] Bring Koishi, not Flandre; if she’s nice now, she won’t need Flandre to control her, right? [ ] Bring both; the more people, the more potential for shenanigans, right? [ ] Bring neither; they’re weirdos and would just make it all about them, on YOUR birthday! [ ] Potent Potables
Do you know something that sucks away afternoons and evenings for several days in a row? A broken lawnmower you think you know how to fix, spend hours teaching yourself how to fix, and then realize you can’t fix it but at least you found out what’s broken on it. So yes, that is why I didn't do the things I did.
I don't think that lawnmower likes me very much; I am getting very good at taking it apart and putting it back together in the exact same non-working condition it was in. Update's about half-done so hopefully tomorrow. Sorry about this delay; I'm as annoyed as you might be right now.
Well, the panty incident was a long time ago, and Flan does tend to tell the truth about Koishi since they are actually “friends”. And given as how this early most bars are going to be sparsely populated at best, at least if they do anything weird there’s a lower chance they’ll piss someone off that’s liable to actually fight back or get you thrown out…
Oh fine, you can bring her along, but you girls gotta help pay, okay? By the way, is Koishi even twenty-one? Flandre says no, but it doesn’t matter, no one ever remembers to check her I.D. Also, forewarning, but you’re not allowed to let Flandre hold a thin-stemmed glass. Don’t ask why; if you’re smart you’ll know why. She says she’ll give you your gift when you’re drunk enough to appreciate the irony of it.
Making sure everyone has their I.D.’s (and sufficient funds so that you can freeload), the five of you head outside and take off towards main street. Sakuya for once is happy to take charge of the situation, saying she knows some good places. She seems extraordinarily chipper to be out on the town with her housemates, which makes sense, given how she’s working on a double-major with a part-time job on the side and various extracurriculars. It’s not like she doesn’t have the time to go out—she’s Sakuya, duh—but you guess you just always assume she’s busy and stressed out and never ask her. Maybe you should!
She leads to a bar called the “Second Floor”, aptly named for it being up an exterior flight of stairs and the patio overlooking the town. Flandre’s been here before; supposedly the secret of the first floor is only known to “regulars”. As expected, it’s pretty empty, so you all have no trouble sitting down together at the bar; it has swivel bar stools! In between taking advantage of said bar stools, Sakuya asks if you have any preference for your first drink ever, which is most certainly your first drink ever and you do not have any idea what you do or do not like!
[ ] Something simple, like a rum and coke. [ ] Just a beer; whatever’s on tap. [ ] Potent Potatobles [ ] Shots! [ ] Something fancy, like a Bloody Mary! [ ] I’ll have whatever she’s having (Specify who!)
Was out of town for a wedding this weekend, hence the lack of communication. Calling it for simple drinks, and updating tomorrow.
>>58355 You’ll never find out, because thanks to you, that vote didn’t win. She’ll probably be at the next bar, though, whoever she is. It’s Koishi. You already forgot she came along with you ;_;
>>58343 Short Answer: I think I could like Kokoro, but right now I don’t know enough about her to have a strong opinion. I have no plans to write anything with her at the moment.
Long Answer: Kokoro is a character I feel I’d need to really look into to see if there’s a lot of deep potential there or not. To me, she looks suspiciously like all those “robot” characters in stories with no emotions that tend to be one note, predictable, and not very fun, until they start to learn human emotions, but at that point even the thing that once made them special is lost. Of course, a close-minded person would say that about any serious character, and it’s the tiny nuances which make or break the emotionless archetype, which is why I’d need to go deeper and see what she’s all about. Her masks give her amazing potential for both hijinks and subtle commentary, but in my opinion they lose a lot of that potential when you’re limited to just text and must explicitly state which mask she’s using all the time. I feel like I could like Kokoro since she’s definitely a fringe-personality character (which I like), but at the moment I just don’t know her well enough to know if I like her, hate her, or don’t care about her. And, of course, until I learn who she really is, I wouldn’t contemplate writing something with her as a primary or secondary focus. Even if I knew her and liked her, writing would be debatable, since I’d kind of rather focus most of my writing efforts into doing original works rather than staying with Touhou for years on end, regardless of the prospects of publishing, mainly because original works give me more freedom with setting and character types.
If anything, playing Hopeless Masquerade has actually made me want to do something more with Koishi. The simple beauty of watching Koishi skip around and sneeze and do her flappy-arms victory dance has single-handedly made me completely reconsider my personal interpretation of her. Obviously in A Fairy’s Tale she was portrayed as something of an antagonist, which colored how I wrote her, and thus how I viewed her. I would even go far as to say I accidentally made myself hate her as a person, despite all the times I tried to say she was not so different from Flandre. But after reading her HM profile and some of her story dialog, I have to wonder if she really is as inconsiderate and unsettling as I made her out to be.
There was a scene in the recent Star Trek: Into Darkness film where Spock—well-known for being an emotionless character—explains how he “turns off” his emotions in order to disassociate himself from a compromising situation. He goes on to state that he actually knows about human emotions quite well, but it is precisely because he knows how powerful they are that he chooses not to feel them, rather than be burdened with the pain and regrets of his past, and the fears of his future. This, in my opinion, is the heart of what Koishi Komeiji should be; simply replace Spock’s straight-faced logic for Koishi’s playfulness. She is a character who stared into the abyss, the abyss stared back, and now she would rather go blind and live a lie of blissful ignorance than risk seeing the darkness again. This doesn’t even get into the idea HM brought up (which I never really considered) about how she’s lonely and perpetually forgotten, like a small rock on the side of the road. She really is a rather pathetic and broken character, now that I can look at her from outside the lens of A Fairy’s Tale, and I do wish I could have done her more justice in that story. Of course, if I spend all my time looking backwards, I’ll just keep tripping over the things right in front of me.
This is all a lot of blithe conjecture and fancy-talk, though. For now, it’s Derp Wars. Let’s stick with that for a while.
You really have no desire to let yourself completely go this soon; fairies might not get hung over, but they’re not exactly blessed with amazing tolerance either from what you’ve heard. You opt to start with something simple and maybe kind of boring; what’s an easy drink to drink? Sakuya suggests a rum and Coke. Sounds nice; what’s in it? Flandre gives you “that look” for about ten seconds, then proceeds to slam her face onto the bar in shame and asks the bartender to just leave the bottle, without specifying which bottle that is supposed to be. You don’t get it; are you missing something about the fabled drink, the Rummund Coak…?
…Ooooooooooohhh. You’re an idiot.
It’s not too bad; it takes like rum, and also Coke! Honestly it’s sort of weird, because the rum doesn’t taste like Coke and the Coke doesn’t taste like rum, and your brain doesn’t know what to make of it. But hey, you’re drinking! Tullia is fine with an orange soda, Sakuya’s got some magenta drink which you think is vodka with cranberry, and apparently either Flandre gives off “that vibe” or the bartender is no fun, because when she asked for a bottle he gave her a bottle of water. Koishi, umm… She looks like she’s just happy to be here. You’re not exactly sure you want to see what she’s like drunk, but then again you’re not exactly sure if it’d even make any difference.
You finish your drink in short order and ask to try a sip of Sakuya’s; it’s nice! It tastes like cranberries, and burning! You order one of your own for good measure. Tullia reminds you that vodka’s pretty strong, so you’d better take it slow. The most dangerous drinks are the ones that taste good, she says; before you know it you’ve already had four and are still convinced you’re completely sober. You find that completely unfair; they say that sugary snacks are the worst kind of food for you too, even though they taste the best!
So Tullia, how’s life? She says life is just fine. People think she does, but she doesn’t mind being the de-facto house mother, because someone needs to be, and she finds it rather rewarding in its own way. It’s nice seeing you kids run around and have fun; it’ll be sad what she finally has to leave. Sakuya asks her how many years she’s got left, anyways; “A few more” is all you girls manage to get out of her. You have half a mind to ask Koishi what the real answer is once Tullie’s out of earshot, before remembering Koishi doesn’t work like that. At least this “alternate-universe” Koishi isn’t making all those pithy remarks she usually makes; you bar—wait, was she always sitting next to Tullie? Ah well, doesn’t matter.
Well, can’t stay here all day; there’s experiences to be had! The bar tab is paid by not you, and you promptly ignore Flandre’s suggestion to find a divey hole in the wall. Those probably wouldn’t be open yet anyways.
[ ] Just keep crawling; you won’t discriminate. [ ] Swing by the local microbrewery for a superior alternative to the so-called “King of Beers”. [ ] There’s a winery near the edge of town, right? Class this business up. [ ] Find a good bar & grill; Valkyrie needs food badly. Cake, too! [ ] Potent Potables [ ] Where is a girl supposed to find a cup of sake in this town, anyways?
>>58357 Coming fresh from the Touhou Wiki, I am now as decently-versed in Kokoro as I can be for the moment, until ZUN decides to give us more vague comments about her. I think I still consider her the “robot attempting to gain humanity” character, like Data from The Next Generation, though the fly in the ointment there is that she obviously knows what human emotions are (since her masks display them), she just has a disconnect between “knowing” and “expressing”, not entirely unlike [my new interpretation of] Koishi. Though, the difference there is the fact that Koishi has emotional problems because she’s dysfunctional for her race; Kokoro’s emotional problems are inherent to her race. This begs the question, “Is it really proper for Kokoro to be attempting to gain human expression in the first place if an expressionless mask youkai is what she is?” This I think leads to two primary interpretations of Kokoro: Dynamic, where she attempts to become more human, and Static, where she does not and is fine with what she is. Obviously if the story is taking place in a post-HM universe she’d have to be dynamic since that’s canon for her, but if it’s pre-HM or AU I can see her never changing and still being a lot of fun, because she’s got a great gimmick.
So… Do I like her: “Yes but”. Yes, but as I mentioned previously, she’s the robot trying to become human. This archetype is beyond played out in fiction, meaning it is very easy for me to get bored with it. But done well, and done with love, it becomes magical, and I‘ll be enchanted by it. Now, yes, a person could say “Yes but” about any Touhou based on who’s writing them, but I do inherently like, dislike, or don’t care about most Touhous. I inherently like Flandre, Ran, and Sikieiki, to name a few. I inherently dislike Marisa, Kaguya, and Suwako, to name a few more. But Kokoro is literally a blank slate: her personality is that she has no personality. This is why her depiction will make or break my affections, because she balances on the knife’s edge.
I may be compelled to write something with her just so that I can fall in love with her, and no I am not trying to sound creepy by saying that. Confound you for throwing off my non-existent writing schedule!
Food for thought: [+] You are now imagining Kokoro talking like GLaDOS. At all times. [+] The Elcor from Mass Effect [+] HK47 from Knights of the Old Republic [+] The ever-present problem of conveying voice inflection over the internet. Solution? Emoticons. Hey wait, emoticons sort of look like little masks… [+] Piggybacking off the above idea, Comic Book Guy from The Simpsons: “There’s no emoticon for what I’m feeling!” She only has 66 masks, after all. [+] Kokoro cannot lie. Her masks will reveal her true feelings, even if she becomes adept at expressing normal emotion. [+] Can Satori read Kokoro’s heart? [+] ”Why so serious? Let’s put a smile on that face~”
>>58364 it's a bit dismissive to sum her up as a Robot, does that mean other expressionless moe girls come off as robots to you?
My impression is different as at first she's trying to deal with the issue (that Koishi unwittingly brought about). Hence her expressionless/mask moe stage.
Her story mode is after her personality has awakened where she's eager to learn and goes the flow very much though at the same time she's clever enough to actually go after the big 3 for exploiting things.
>>58365 True. While I agree it's kind of cheap shot for assuring character development, it isn't necessarily bad. >>58364 >Kokoro cannot lie. Her masks will reveal her true feelings, even if she becomes adept at expressing normal emotion. Exploitable! >Can Satori read Kokoro’s heart? TWIST: Kokoro is Satori! >”Why so serious? Let’s put a smile on that face~” Her even tone of voice and lack of expression could turn her into an adequate cold killer ala Marvel's Massacre. But wait, she can feel feelings just fine, but can't express them, right? That sounds like nightmare fuel if taken in the right way. Either for or against her.
[x] Where is a girl supposed to find a cup of sake in this town, anyways? Traditionalism wins the day!
Well fiddlesticks, a one-one tie, and I can’t exactly combine options here. Regardless of if you’ve voted already, I’m going to say the next vote for either of those will take it.
>>58365 I certainly do not think all deadpan moe and kuudere characters are robots, and in fact most of them are anything but once you peel back that first layer (hello Patchouli, Satori, Sakuya, Youmu). Why I call Kokoro a robot is because her expressionlessness is caused by magic out of her control, not by her personality. Like a robot that’s programmed to act a certain way and not deviate from it, Kokoro is expressionless by her nature as a menreiki; she didn’t choose to be this way, nor did some powerful event emotionally scar her at an early age. And yet, like these particular robot characters, I agree that if she works at it she has the ability to “deviate from her programming” and become more human. I just feel it’s important to stress that “emotionless” is her default state of being, unlike humans and most youkai, and should define a large part of her character, actions, and motivations.
On that note, I got bored, and curious, and ended up writing something, because darn it all you made me open Pandora’s Kokoro and now I can’t close it very easily! I doubt this is indicative of what will end up being my true interpretation of her, but I have to start somewhere, so I’m starting here. Please enjoy, and comment if you wish!
Owen: All right, here we go, Kokoro Test Run, Take 1. Let’s just ignore the question of how I got Kokoro in this room to begin with, and move on. Kokoro (Hannya): I am not going to ignore the question of how you got me here. Kokoro (Raiden): What’s going on. Owen: Well, to make a long story vague and unhelpful, Koishisneeze dot gif, and I suppose we have you to thank for that. Kokoro (Uba): You’re not making any sense, strange man. Kokoro (Hannya): Let me go. Owen: Okay, see, now I’m already fascinated by this. I love deadpan; I mean, like, if you heard me in real life, I’m the master of the deadpan. I mean, like, even when you’re deadpan, there’s so much you can do with deadpan in just the tiny little pauses and glances of the eye, but this… Just, wow. Kokoro (Monkey): Hey, pay attention to me; this is serious. I want to know how to get out of here. Owen: In a minute, in a minute, just… I wanted to talk to you Miss Hata, that’s all. I don’t want to take up all of your time, just enough of it to get to know you. Kokoro (Uba): I don’t want to talk to you. I’m sure you could research this on your computer; isn’t that what such devices are for. Owen: But no, see, that’s just it, you’re different. You’re all different, all you Touhous. I can read about character archetypes and fanon and canon all day on the Wiki, but that’s all worthless the moment I can finally stand in a room with one of you and talk face to face. Kokoro (Uba): Surely someone has told you by now that talking face to face with me is no better than reading a transcription of what I say. Kokoro (Hannya): So why don’t you just do that and leave me in peace, since you’re clearly not the type to help me with anything I want. Kokoro (Kitsune): Or shall I use force. Owen: It’s so weird… Questions that don’t even have question marks on them. Is that even grammatically correct? Kokoro (Kitsune): Boy, I tire of you. Kokoro (Monkey): Are you ill. Are you insane. Kokoro (Hannya): If you truly want to talk to me the least you can do is respond to what I say, and in short order for that matter. Owen: Hang on, hang on, I just had an idea… Kokoro (Raiden): What now. Boy, don’t you dare turn your head. Kokoro (Hannya): Look at me. Look at me when I’m talking to you. Owen: No, no, trust me on this one. Because now I can’t see the masks. I want to know what it’s like, not knowing. Kokoro (Hannya): You puppetmaster. Do you enjoy toying with the emotions of others like this. Owen: Well, if we’re going to be honest… None of you are actually real. So, really, there’s no emotions to toy with. But I don’t want to get into that; it’s confusing. Kokoro (Monkey): You’re what’s confusing. Kokoro (Uba): You say you want to talk with me, then you ignore me and stare at me like an animal in a zoo; like a rat in a maze, even. You are despicable. Kokoro (Monkey): What are you even trying to accomplish with me. Owen: I can’t believe this… No, no, I’m sorry, I’m really trying to stay focused, I really am! It’s just… I know you’re angry! It’s in your words, you’re insulting me, I can see the mask, but, but, I don’t know you’re angry! It’s there but it’s not there! Within reach, but beyond grasp! It’s right there, and I can’t see it! Kokoro (Uba): Then look at me. Look at the words that are coming out of my mouth. Kokoro (Kitsune): You insult me. You throw my desires in my face like I don’t know what they are. Kokoro (Uba): Do you not think I know what it’s like to reach for anger and grasp air. Joy. Hatred. Love. Such a simple concept for you. Kokoro (Hannya): What of me. Do you even think of me as being in the same room as you right now. Am I alive to you. Kokoro (Uba): Or am I an automaton, naïve and ignorant of your insults, so long as you avert your gaze. Owen: IRC… Kokoro (Monkey): What. Owen: It’s IRC. It’s text, nothing but text… I understand. Kokoro (Uba): You can’t possibly understand. Owen: No, I do. I do! I don’t expect you to understand, but you can’t possibly know how many times, how many God-forsaken times I’ve been misconstrued through text! I say one thing, they think it means another, all because they couldn’t hear me, hear the tiny subtleties of my voice! It’s like I said completely different words! And of course, you can’t take it back. Once they misconstrue it, the damage is already done… Kokoro (Hannya): You think my problem is one of misconstruction, you thoughtless bastard. Owen: What I mean is it’s the text! The text, Kokoro! Text is… Text is heartless, cold. It means nothing… A hollow shell of human communication. And we try, we try so hard to inject life into it! Italics, capitalization, ellipsis, exclamation points! Tildes! Emoticons! Everywhere you look, we’re trying to approximate intonation and emotion into text, and everywhere you look it still fails! We know what you’re going through, Kokoro! Kokoro (Kitsune): No, you do not know. Owen: Ahh, woah-oh… That, that’s, okay, that, that fan looks very sharp… Kokoro (Kitsune): Do you understand. Do you understand now. Kokoro (Hannya): Shut up. Shut your god-dammed mouth. Kokoro (Kitsune): Look at it. Your life. Right now, I could end it. You are weak. I am strong. I despise you. You write your little scribbles as if they mean something, and yet you never go outside and learn for yourself what those scribbles are based on. You are egotistical, and no matter how polite you may appear you never believe yourself to be wrong. Kokoro (Hannya): You self-important hypocrite. It sickens me. I want to expunge it, this wretch that is you. And yet even now, even now. Kokoro (Uba): Nothing. Kokoro (Hannya): I want to explode right now. I want you to feel my eyes drilling your face wide open. Kokoro (Uba): And I can’t. Kokoro (Kitsune): You say you know me. You don’t know me. Owen: I… Kokoro (Parsee): I envy you, Owen. I envy you all. You who can say volumes in a glance, in your mumbled utterance of “I”. It’s so easy for you to understand one another. It’s so easy you don’t even understand how hard it is for some people. Do you ever think of how jealous I am that you can just yell at the drop of a hat, or kiss someone. Do you have any idea how hard that is for me. Owen: I’m, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean… Kokoro (Kitsune): No. No, you’re not sorry. Kokoro (Uba): I’m sorry. I see it now. I just figured it out, just now. You take it all for granted. All of you. You laugh, and you don’t know what you’re laughing at. You clap and cheer for a celebrity you have no strong feelings for. You curse your god in anger at the slightest provocation before you’re even truly angry at anything. You say you love each other, and then hate each other the very next instant, and none of it means a single thing. Owen: Wait a minute… You’re saying— Kokoro (Kitsune): That you don’t comprehend the emotions you feel every day. But I do. You know what it is to feel fear and joy and sorrow, but you never bother to try and understand it. I do. I treasure every single one I can feel in ways you cannot possibly fathom. How can you know how to truly appreciate a smile when it takes no effort for you humans to make one? You’re complacent, all of you. And the truth of it all is that when all is said and done, I’m more emotional than you are. My emotion may be small, and seldom. But it’s justified. It is real. Kokoro: I pity you, Owen; I really do. To not know how truly little you know… Owen: Koko… Koko, your, your face… Kokoro (Fuku no kami): What about my face. Owen: You… Oh. Oh, I, I get it. I think… Kokoro (Fuku no kami): I’m sure you do. Kokoro (Hyottoko): Thank you. We should do this again sometime. Owen: I think we’re going to have to.
So, where to hit up next… You know, you’ve always wanted to try sake. You mean, like, you’ve always wanted to try all kinds of alcohol, because you’ve never drank before, obviously! But you always hear all the Japanese students talking about it like it’s the big thing, or at least a thing, and it’d be a way for you to feel like you fit in here more! Even though you’re vaguely British and the college is vaguely American; to be fair you have no idea where this town really is on a map. Though, on that note… Where are you even supposed to get sake in a college town? You’re pretty sure the average establishment isn’t going to carry any, and even if it did it’d probably taste like crap.
Sakuya informs you that, one, rice liquor is technically called nihonshu. Sake just means “alcohol”; it’s that whole anime/cartoon thing. Two, it’s called a sushi bar, and yes they do have one here. Pretty popular too since, y’know, there’s so many transfer students. Better get over there quick, though; it’s a long way on foot, and the lunch rush isn’t going to wait for you!
Zero seconds and one Batman-cutaway later you find yourself in the midst of a bustling establishment of East Asian rice-based cuisine, complete with bald men wearing bandanas and tables that don’t have legs on them. It’s already pretty full up with customers, a surprising number of which are indeed students, like Sakuya said; you think you recognize a few! You have to wait a while before a table becomes available, but fortunately not as long as you might have since you’ve only got four people with you; parties of five are always weird to seat, since you don’t need a six-person table but they won’t let you just drag a chair over and sit at the end either.
You gleefully tell your waitress that it’s your alcohol birthday today, which means you and everybody else at the table wants lots of alcohol, or “sake”, or whatever they call it in Japan! She’s happy to oblige, and apparently birthday girls also get a small complimentary bottle of “tokutei meishoshu”. Sakuya informs you that that’s the word for “the good stuff”, which is perfectly awesome to you! You'll save it for later, though.
Holy wow, this stuff is strong! It’s served warm and actually tastes like alcohol! That bartender must have watered down your cranberry vodka or something, because this is the real deal here! It’s actually a little hard to drink, but since you got here early, you’ve got plenty of time to learn how~
HEY DID SOMEBODY SAY BIRTHDAY PARTY?!
Oh snap, it’s…!
[ ] That little drunk girl! [ ] That big drunk girl! [ ] That freeloader witch girl! [ ] That airhead ghost girl! [ ] Potent potables! [ ] That one girl! (A write-in could win here solely by having hijinks potential, but you’ll have to sell it to me!)
>>58371 So, basically, we shouldn't take what she says at face value?
Anyway, interesting analysis. She seems a bit temperamental but that is usually a side-effect of kidnapping. Her emotions are pretty easy to read in text for people like us though, even without punctuation. But I guess subtleties could indeed go unnoticed.
[x] Mamizou! -[x] And a strange masked girl looking at the empty chair next to you (why are you sitting next to an empty chair in the first place?)
Aya has been trying to get sordid details about the secret goings-on in Sigma Delta Mu, and now she's spotted four members drinking. Will what happens in SDM stay in SDM, or will their alcohol loosened lips spill everything?
“Potent Potables” wins with the majority (also because I came up with a cute idea for it), though I’ll keep the write-ins in mind if I’m in want of more material down the road.
>>58369 Kokoro cannot be Satori, because Koakuma is too busy being Komachi!
Also on second thought the "inability to lie" idea might have to be tweaked, because since the masks are a part of her it's not as if they'd act independent of her will. They substitute her emotions, but if she learns her own emotions the masks would just stop being used.
Unless the gimmick is, she gains control of her emotions but then knowingly uses the wrong masks to throw people off!
>>58382 Thanks; I love it when I can get people to think about things! It’s nice to know I’m not completely off the mark with this type of Koko.
>>58389 Man, I have really been out of the game for a while; I forgot that joke even existed! Thanks, bro.
>>58391 >So, basically, we shouldn't take what she says at face value? Well, that’s the thing: we know we shouldn’t, but she appears to be so devoid of emotion that it’s difficult to remember she has them, and so it’s difficult to act on what we “know”. The average human subconsciously relies very heavily on sight and sound to interpret the people around them, but Kokoro gives their brain no feedback in that regard. It’s like the old saying: only 10% of what you say is the words you use, and the rest is how you say it. I’m imaging Kokoro talking in an absolute perfect deadpan, with no inflection, no facial expression, no body language, no pauses for emphasis, nothing (which I tried to convey by removing special punctuation). As such, she’s only allowed that superficial 10% of communication, plus whatever her masks can give her. And while her masks are certainly valuable for gauging her emotion, it’s like I very awkwardly mentioned in the skit: there’s an intangible-yet-important difference between seeing a label of “angry” and actually experiencing that anger.
I talk about all this like I know what her deal is, but the more I think about her the more I realize how hard of a character she is to “get”, and I really don’t “get” her yet; it’s all still conjecture for me. In that respect I’d like to apologize for acting all high-and-mighty about this. I’m already eating my words when I said she was emotionless a week ago, and I can only imagine what other comments I’ll have to eat later on. But I suppose the important thing is that I’m trying!
>She seems a bit temperamental but that is usually a side-effect of kidnapping. Yeah, I probably should have tried to observe her in her natural habitat or something.
It’s…? Hang on, who the heck is it? You don’t see anyone in your immediate vicinity calling out to you or waving their hand, nor does any sort of party girl run over and tacklehug you in the next ten seconds. It’s a pretty crowded place right now; you flutter up to the ceiling for a better look, but you can’t find any sign of someone looking for you. Flandre, did you say something? No? Did one of the other you’s say something? No? Well then—
Oh right, you’ve got Koishi with you. Hi Koishi. Sorry about that. She says it’s cool; it happens. She doesn’t know how to be offended, so it’s fine! Apparently she wasn’t the one who shouted, though. You were so sure you’d solved the mystery, too!
COME ON, WHERE’S THE CAKE? WHERE’S THE TITS? I WANNA SEE SOME FUN~!
Hang on, the shouting is coming from…? Oh, heck no; the bottle of tokutei meishoshu is talking to you. You’re not even nearly drunk enough yet to be hearing voices from inanimate objects; you’ve had like, what, two and a half drinks? Clearly this complimentary bottle of sake they gave you is not “the good stuff”.
YO! BIRTHDAY GIRL! YOU. ME. RIGHT HERE. RIGHT NOW. MAKE IT HAPPEN!
Umm, guys, are you… Are you hearing any of this? Tullia seems most distraught; what a bawdy objet d'art, she says! Flandre thinks that you should listen to the voices, because they’re totally real, but you probably shouldn’t do what they say, because most of the time they kind of suck. If you listen to the voices, you’ll end up like her! Koishi giggles knowingly and asks to see the bottle; it looks fun! You hand it over gladly; you don’t exactly think you’re quite ready to “make it happen” with a talking bottle of sake. Frankly you’re a bit creeped out by the connotations of that.
Your TOKUTEI MEISHOSHU has evolved into NUE HOUJUU!
Flandre slams her palm angrily against the table and hands twenty bucks to Koishi; she should have known it was something like that. Stupid bet. You’re just glad that you didn’t try to drink from the bottle. That could have been… yeah.
So, the infamous Nue Houjuu, expert freeloader, fly in the ointment, and party crasher; you meet for the first time. Probably. Given how Flandre seems to attract all the weird people ever, you wouldn’t be surprised if she’s been in your house a dozen times this semester already. But you’ve learned from dealing with Koishi that the best way to cope is to not worry about what you don’t know is happening behind your back; you leave that for people like Francesca, or Sakuya. But this is your party, not those weird girls’! You ask Nue if she’s on the level, and she tells you that for a birthday girl, she’ll be whatever you want her to be, baby~
[ ] Maybe just… go someplace else. You really have no idea who this girl is. [ ] Get this weird chick outta here! [ ] Fine, she can stay, but no shenanigans! [ ] Oh what the hell; you’re supposed to make bad decisions today anyways. [ ] Potent potables. [ ] Whatever you want, she says~…? (I am already regretting allowing write-ins for this one.)
Not dead, never forgotten; was house-sitting last week and weekend, and in between that, hanging with my sister that I never get to hang with, and that lawn-mower which is finally working but didn't do so without another fight, I never really bothered to gin up enough focus for Derp. No excuses, just explanations; I'm a lazy fool who gets distracted too easily and puts too many irons in the fire.
Judging by what you can smell off Nue’s breath as she leans into you, it seems like she was living in that bottle for more than just the time required to play her little prank. In this state, girl’s probably liable to do something embarrassing and awesome before the rest of you are drunk enough to think it’s funny, and that’s just not cool, brah! People like this outta be reined in and kept on a leash, before they waste all their humor on something stupid, like playing in traffic. Besides, you haven’t received nearly enough presents yet! Oh, you’ll rein her in all right~
You flutter your eyelashes at the Nue girl sweetly. Really, Ms. Nue~? Will you really be anything, just for little young me~? Well then get your hands off my shoulders! Stand up straight! Fix your hair! Put on something more suitable; that slinky black dress is disgraceful! And go get us some actual sushi while you’re at it! The good stuff, not just rice balls! Nue looks rather taken aback, before moping away while mumbling “Yes, Mistress…”
The rest of them just look at you. What? What?! Remilia gets to do that all the time, and it’s not even her birthday! Besides, she said whatever you want her to be, didn’t she? A slave counts as “whatever”, right? She needs to be taught she can’t just crash parties all day! The girls just roll their eyes and chuckle.
So now that she’s not here you can talk about her behind her back! What’s up with her; is she dangerous? Koishi shrugs; she’s an ancient evil that was slumbering for centuries until Rin and Okuu accidentally woke her up a few years ago with their silly “How much Diet Coke and Mentos can we stuff into these geysers?” experiment, and now she plagues humanity with indecipherable illusions and blackmail. Or something like that; Koishi was out of town at the time. Oh, you say; well that’s not so bad! Does she play Twister? Tullia thinks you’d have to ask the umbrella girl about that; those two are always hanging out together and scaring people. Sakuya points out that there’s like four umbrella girls on campus, one of which incidentally is Remilia herself; can’t she be more specific? Flandre thinks “Umbrella Girls” would be a good band name.
It is at this point your slave returns in attire suitable for a French maid slave, bearing gifts of vinegar rice, seaweed, and fish. You don’t let it show since she’s right next to you, but you’ve got to say Nue pulls off the ensemble a lot better than Sakuya does, especially since she’s not a maid and has no business wearing such an outfit which is a shame because she does try so very hard. Must be the black hair; goes better with the outfit. Nue’s got nicer legs, too~ She bows low and graciously refills everyone’s drinks, then kneels down by your side. You are pleased with her performance and give her a pat on the forehead; that’s more like it. No, slave, you will not feed Sunhilda-sama sushi directly into her mouth; I know how to use my own chopsticks! You’re new at this, aren’t you? Bad slave. No sake.
Other people in the bar are not giving your table weird looks; stranger things have happened, today. Clearly you haven’t been drinking enough.
[ ] Potent Potables. [ ] Sakuya, stop time so you can remember to get me a present! [ ] Keep this crawl a crawlin’ --( ) Microbrewry ho! --( ) Winery ho! --( ) Pub ho! --( ) Liquor store ho! [ ] You should get some use out of this slave now that you have her! Maybe she can… --( ) Wash your car! --( ) Do your homework! --( ) Get you a birthday gift! --( ) Fight to the death for your amusement! --( ) Write a better option! [ ] The maid thing is already boring; new look, please! (Write write write~)
[X] Sakuya, stop time so you can remember to get me a present! [x] The maid thing is already boring; new look, please! -[x] Look like me! That way it'll be her birthday too right? Besides if Flandre can do it, so can you!
[X] Sakuya, stop time so you can remember to get me a present! [x] The maid thing is already boring; new look, please! -[x] Look like me! That way it'll be her birthday too right? Besides if Flandre can do it, so can you!
You know what else you haven’t had enough of yet? Presents. Men might be macho enough to say they don’t need presents on their birthday, but you are going to milk being a girl for all it’s worth if it means free stuff! Yes, you are entirely aware that being in college means anyone has a plausible excuse for claiming to be broke, whether or not they actually are, but it’s the thought that counts! Heck, you’d take one of Flandre’s old socks if she wrapped it up in a nice box for you! And then you’d probably make a Flandre sock puppet out of it or something.
Seeing as how waiting is not a thing you’re going to accept when it’s your birthday, you decide to target some easy prey. Hey, Sakuya, guess what time it is? All of a sudden she starts freaking out and worrying about what she’s forgotten to do; should she be in class right now?! Was she baking something back home?! Was she supposed to pick a kid up after school?! Was she supposed to assassinate a key witness while maintaining a perfect alibi?! Does she have a kid she doesn’t know about and the custody hearing is right now?! It’s not her fault; the backlight on her iPhone wears down the battery too fast and it’s never charged when she needs it the most! Wait you can turn the backlight down?! Since WHEN?!
None of you even need to be that drunk to find this utterly hilarious. Oh Sakuya; don’t you ever change~
You inform Sakuya that it’s time for her to remember to give you her birthday present! She smiles broadly; oh, that! She didn’t forget that, no way! She’s had it here the whole time! Flandre bets the empty chair fiddy dolla that that’s a lie. Sakuya is offended; she’s forgetful, but she remembers the important things! Your slave bows respectfully; of course, Sakuya-sama, you didn’t forget. Not at all. And you didn’t forget because Sunhilda-sama is a good girl who never drank a drop of alcohol before it was legal for her to do so. Isn’t that right Sunhilda-sama?
You poke Nue in the boob and tell her to be something more fun; the maid thing is already old. She is only too happy to slip into something more comfortable. You have mixed feelings about this, but at least the two of you are wearing different clothes so you won’t get each other mixed up!
Sakuya hands you a small box wrapped with silver paper. Ooo, shiny~ It’s pretty heavy, too! It’s… knives? Seriously, Sakuya? The whole world at your fingertips and you choose the thing that you quite literally always carry around with you at your fingertips? Are you sure you didn’t forget? It’s okay if you forgot, you know; you won’t be mad. Y’know, just, so long as you still get a gift in the end. Flandre motions for the empty chair to pony up the dough.
No no no, you bunch of skeptics, she says! You can get the silly ‘ol knives she carries around anywhere fine cutlery is sold. These are patented incident-solving knives; in fact, some of the very same ones she used back when that rival sorority on Hakugyokurou Street ruined Spring Break for everyone! Throw them at your problems and watch as things magically solve themselves! With these knives you are no longer a child; you are a girl! Flandre raises an eyebrow; didn’t, like, Reimu actually solve the spring break one? No, Sakuya replies assuredly; she solved it entirely on her own and Reimu and Marisa went nowhere near it because it was too cold and they are wimps. Flandre swears she remembers them being involved somehow…
You turn the knives over in your hands, and they radiate with mystical plot-solving power. You’re honored to be in possession of such powerful weapons; you will treasure them always! Sakuya warns you not to throw them at homework assignments though; they don’t solve those kinds of problems. It gave her a perfect score on an exam once, but she really needed that A. Sunnue waves her hands; it’s her birthday too, she wants a gift too!
The Nue incident has been solved! Again! By Sakuya, no less, or at least by proxy since you used her knives, thus finally healing the years-old wound that she wasn’t asked to join the Ubiquitous Facilitators Organization. Sakuya humbly tells you she didn’t really want to run around saving the world anyways; that’s a young person’s game. Koishi who has totally been here the whole time remarks that Sakuya looks pretty good for her age, then. This predictably results in her getting her hat stolen.
You think you’ve sat around and boozed it up here long enough, though; it’s already after two! You think you might be getting a little tipsy, but you just need some fresh air and something to get your blood going again. You’re fine, honest! Sakuya’s probably further gone than you are anyways, if her rather uncharacteristic smiles and laugher are any indicator. Flandre… yeah, she’s, umm… And Koishi of course hasn’t changed a bit, but you’re sure you saw her empty a few cups of sake. Or… wait, did she? She’s had a cup by her all afternoon. Maybe she just wants you to think she’s been drinking?! Isn’t that how it works with her? Oh that little skank; you’ll show her to not have a good time at your birthday party!
Tullia thinks it’s about time you were all getting along to something else, otherwise you’ll be here all day and regret the fun things you never did! A capital suggestion! After stealing what little cash Nue had on her, the rest of you split the bill and file outside. See, look, you can totally walk without bumping into things; you’re fine! Where to next, birthday girl? As if Sakuya even needed to ask~
If there’s one thing you know about bowling alleys, it’s… Wait, two things, it’s that there’s beer there, and if you ask the front desk—No, hang on, three things: beer, partying, and… Wait, maybe it was just the two. Anyways, who cares; bowling! A stupid sport that isn’t really much of a sport, and isn’t so much stupid as you can look stupid playing it and nobody cares! The local alley only has a dozen lanes, so it’s hardly crowded even when it’s busy, and right now you’ve pretty much got the place to yourselves. The girl at the desk says birthday people get one game free, which is plenty cool: more money for alcohol! You agree to get the drinks while Sakuya time-runs home and picks up Flan and Tullia’s personal bowling balls.
There’s just something special about flashing your driver’s license at people and receiving drinks; makes you feel like a real adult at last~ You ask the barman to give your table a pitcher of whatever’s the best. He’s happy to oblige, after money has been exchanged for goods and services of course. It’s red! Cool, red beer!
Wait, hang on… Why did you need to get the drinks while Sakuya was running home to get the bowling balls?
Wait, hang on… Did they just make you pay for the beer?!
Oh, you are so going to drink this entire pitcher by yourself now. Making you pay for the beer on your own birthday…
The rest of the girls have finished lacing up their horrible awful smelly public bowling shoes, and you share a considerable laugh with Sakuya at Tullia’s big feet. Koishi’s just glad that nobody will even notice if she doesn’t wear bowling shoes; you point out that now that she’s told everyone tha—hey, no, that’s my beer, Flandre, I paid for it, go get your own!
Now then, to business. You don’t want to brag, but you’re pretty much the best athlete here bar none. Fairies aren’t exactly blessed with great strength, which means you’ve had to work twice as hard to excel, but it pays off in the end, such as right now! Time to bowl these old people under the table~
[ ] Let them win the first one; make ‘em think you’re not a threat. [ ] Hold back, but don’t let them push you around; play to win. [ ] No mercy! Play like this is Sparta! [ ] Now’s a perfect time to try some of your trick shots~ [ ] Potent Potables.
All right; first, we must establish the ground rules, girls:
1. If you get a gutterball, you take a drink 2. If you get two gutters in the same frame, you finish your drink 3. If you get a strike, everyone else takes a drink 4. If you get a split, you take a drink 5. If you pick up your split for the spare, everyone else finishes their drink
Are we cool on these rules, girls? No Flan, this is a public place; clothing cannot be substituted for drinks. Yes, Tullie, you can drink pop instead. Umm, wwwellll... Okay, Flan, fine; clothing can be subbed for drinks as long as it's not underwear. That makes sense, right? Nobody's here besides you girls anyways.
The game beginneth. You’re pretty sure you’re nowhere near being drunk yet, so you’re allowing yourself to show off a little. Just simple stuff at first: left-handed shots, hook shots, and that weird approach you see some of the pros do where they, like, shotput the ball across the ground without even using the finger grips. That costs you a fair share of drinks before you finally give up and go back to behind-the-back shots.
As expected, Koishi is dead-last, and it’s a wonder she’s even knocking over pins with her little six-pounder kiddy ball; you think she might even be more pathetic than Patchouli trying to bowl. Wait, no… Patch is still worse. Definitely still worse. Flandre’s basically trying to be a bigger showoff than you, and failing, because come on, she’s using a boring old black bowling ball. Soooo. lame. You’re actually finding it hard keeping ahead of Tullia; she’s not very good on the strikes, but she can really pick up spares. It’s really bumming you out; if you were playing regularly you’d show her a thing or two! But under-the-leg shots are more awesome, so you’re still winning by your book, which is law on your birthday.
Oh yeah and Sakuya is failing to time-manipulate her way to victory, even though she swears she’s not cheating. Her ball is curving weird, and it’s sure not because of the alcohol.
Game the first ends uneventfully; your sliding tackle secret maneuver in the final frame fails to net you victory, but at least you beat—oh, apparently you didn’t beat Flandre either. Well that’s stupid! Where’s the beer? Have you girls been drinking from it?! Somebody get more; Koishi, you lost, get more! Tullia, how come you don’t drink; s’not like we’re driving! Wait, no, no, you can’t let yourself be drunk yet; it’s too early to be drunk yet! Focus, Sunny. You’ve got to win at least one game. The beer doesn’t taste that good anyways.
[ ] Focussssssssssssss… [ ] Drunken Bowling Style! You look like you’re drunk, but you’re actually not, because you are, and that is how the hidden potential is unlocked! [ ] Potent Potables [ ] These jeans are really messing up your approach… [ ] Sit this game out; laugh at their pitiful efforts to be awesome!
College preparations; all the monkey wrenches into all the schedules.
Come on, Sunny, come on; don’t be like this! Remember what Meiling told you about partying hard: “Too much of a good thing is an awesome thing, but too much of an awesome thing is not really very good at all.” Do you really want to get hammered like a nail today? Look at you; where’d your jacket go? Your beautiful hair probably looks horrible! At this rate you’ll end up looking like Flandre; while you agree her bike shorts and sports bra are cute and could probably pick her up some hot guys, such attire is indicative of loose women who are not to be taken seriously! You should never have agreed to substituting clothing for drinks! You need to pull yourself together, girl! Focus!
Koishi returns with another pitcher, the liquid taunting you with its being-there-ness. No more fooling, though; you need to play to stay sober. Well… okay, you’ll admit it, you’re drunk. Play to stay more sober than Sakuya, then; she’s laughing at everything by now, even things that Tullia is saying, and come on, she’s Tullia. Wendy is funnier than Tullia for crying out loud. Seriously, like, how can Tulia possibly be a fairy when she’s so boring? You know she’s old, but come on, lighten up, girl! You offer her some beer for like the tenth time today, which she again declines, despite you even offering to pour it for—oh, crap, you spilled it again. Sorry; those aren’t your good shoes, right?
Oh right. Bowling. You’re supposed to be focusing on that. It’s really hard to do that when you’re drunk, you’ve found out. Maybe if you build up a tolerance it’ll be easier in—Focus, for the love of sunshine you stupid girl!
Game the second concludes with your amount of focus still a debatable subject. You end up in the middle of the pack again, though somehow Koishi ends up beating Sakuya this time. Stupid Flandre and her strikes; you’re really trying to lay off on the booze, too! You had to trade in your shoes and socks in place of a handful of drinks just to be safe, but you’re drawing the line at pants! For now. Man, being drunk is hard! At least the beer tastes fine; you don’t mind so much. You’re still having a great day!
It’d be greater if you won, though…
You force yourself to really focus in game three. Come on, Sunny, you bowl all the time, your arm should know what to do all by itself even if your brain is a little slow right now!
Wait… that’s it! Koishi! Best friend totally ever all the time cool girl Koishi! How’s it hanging? Thanks for not killing people with your mind! You having a good time? Yeah, I think maybe I have had a few too many drinks; thanks for asking! Look, look look look… Hey, Koishi? Hi. Could you, maybe, like… See, my brain is all kinda, “bleh,” right now, but I know I can still bowl; my brain totally knows how to do it! It’s just, it doesn’t know that it knows right now, like, yeah, right? You know how to fix brains, right? Could you, maybe, like… fix, mine, right now? So that I can be drunk but still bowl?
Koishi wonders what’s in it for her~
[ ] For the girl who hassteals is content with everything…
Eh, it's really late here right now so the only thing I can think of is the stupid joke: "What do you give to someone who has everything?" "I don't know." "Storage space!"
We could offer to "pull some strings" and try to get her a place on the Derp Wars logo, sneak her in on a corner or something. I mean, she practically lives in the house anyway. Just when you thought the fourth wallfifth ceiling?you-know-what-I-mean was repaired, BAM!
On snap, right, uhh… favors, and stuff. You forgot that people actually prefer just compensation for their efforts; recently people just sort of give you things. Hey wait, hang on, that’s right! Why’s she asking for payment on your birthday?! She should help you out for free, just out of the goodness in her—
Wait, that’s right. She doesn’t have one of those “heart” things. Dang, yo.
You are so not in the right state of mind for this. You ask Koishi what she wants; she throws it right back at you and asks you what you’ve got. Uhh, lesse… You pull out your wallet. You’ve got sixteen bucks, 500 yen, a ten-dollar gift card to the campus bookstore, and a ticket stub for Pacific Rim. Koishi thinks Pacific Rim sounds like a lame title for a movie. This comment would have gotten her slapped if you were more drunk than you are now; Pacific Rim is, like, the unlamest movie, brain-girl! You give her the ticket stub as a reminder for her to go see that business; it’s like EVA if EVA didn’t suck!
This comment gets you slapped. Apparently Koishi liked EVA. Well, you think she sucks too, but you can’t tell her that; you’re trying to get her to help you.
C’mon, Sunny, think, think. Umm, what ifff… you bought her a drink at the next place you go to? Nope; she says she’s already had enough for one day. What ifff… you offered to teach her how to actually bowl, with like a non-kid ball and stuff once you’re sober and everything? Nope; she says she already knows how to bowl, but you girls just haven’t been paying attention. What ifff… You clean her room or wash her car or something like that? She giggles at the thought; Silly Sunny, she’s already got people she’s blackmailed or brainwashed to do stuff like that~! Come to think of it, she should probably let them off the hook; that’s not a nice thing to do to people, right?
Most of the time, you really wonder what Flandre sees in this girl.
Most of the time you really wonder what you see in Flandre, too.
You’re already sick of fishing in the dark; Koishi is totally not being a bro right now! You fake-strangle her, as drunk people are wont to do, and ask her what the hell she wants that she actually wants.
To be remembered, she whispers into your ear.
Tomorrow, you're going to wake up, and you won't remember any of this, she says. Not just because of the drinking, but because it doesn't matter. You've got classes to study for, job interviews to fret about, boyfriend issues, girlfriend issues, a dozen other fanfics to read, car trouble; who's have time to dwell on one silly story about one silly girl on one silly night? And five years from now, you're barely going to remember any of these sorts of things at all; the site’ll probably be a ghost town by then. It'll have been fun while it lasted, but it's not going to last. She doesn't just want to fade away without having left a mark on the world. She wants something tangible to be remembered by, that long in the future maybe somebody will look at and say, "Hey, I know her! She was in that story too?" She wants to try and do it herself, but... well, she's sort of got one of those forgettable faces.
Sorry, it’s just… Like, she lost you way a long time ago. This must be what it’s like for Fransesca to listen to Flandre. What the hell was any of the about? Koishi smiles and shrugs, telling you it’s about the awful secret of the universe, but if she told you she’d have to—wait, she’s not supposed to kill people. Killing people is bad. She’d have to do… something, to you.
Okay, she lost you again. Koishi, look. Drink. See, see this drink, in your hand here? That drink’s also in your brain. Brain not worky goody. Use smaller words. Koishi says she “Wouldn’t mind a spot on the logo; all you’d have to do is say yes.” The what now? The heck is the logo?! You thought Koishi had reformed and was less manipulative now; what are these nefarious code words? She says it would actually make her really happy, Sunny; all she wants is for people to notice her more…
Is she… Is she crying? Those are, is that, but she can’t, how come, what but, could she… really? That’s… it’s, it’s so… so… It’s just too…
You ask Koishi if she’d like a hug. Yes, yes… She’d like a hug right now, she thinks.
She smells like sake; it smells really bad, actually. You smell really bad too. But it’s okay, Koishi. It doesn’t matter if you smell bad. You, you don’t have to be alone. Such a cute little girl like you with your cute little hat, and your beautiful wavy hair… You can have any logo you want, Koishi. It’s my birthday today, but all I want today is for people to be happy and positive. Don’t you worry your little heart, kid; the sun’ll come out tomorrow~