What are dreams? Manifestations of the psyche? Fragments of future possibilities, of unborn worlds and past events alike? Pieces of information, carefully extracted from a piece of biomass that is colloquially referred to as a "brain" that keeps us alive? Or perhaps something more, something much greater? For a brief moment, it feels like the answer is closer than ever before - like it's right at the tip of your tongue. Ah...
You come to, in your single room apartment. It's 3 AM and all lights, save for a pleasant glow of your computer's 20-inch display are out right now. Your neighbors are quiet - a much-welcomed change from what came to be the standard these last few days. The only sound in the room is the noise of a CPU fan. A window in your room shows a beautiful sight of a white crescent moon, surrounded by gray clouds. Relishing the atmosphere, you begin to reminisce.
A simple life, yet a comfortable one. Went to school, just like everyone. Never really liked other people. Got shunned - loners attract attention, not the good kind. At times there was trouble, at times it was peaceful. When there was a need to work, you did and when there wasn't, you slacked off. There's really no regrets about the way you've lived so far. ...Damn it, this sounds too much like a eulogy - or at least an introduction to some kind of terrible midnight flick that you would usually see at an empty cinema somewhere. MAN FEELS PERPETUAL DISGUST AND HATRED WHILE LOOKING AT OTHER HUMAN BEINGS just sounds more correct and to the point.
With that particular internal monologue finished, you open up @chan after grumbling a bit - your prime source of entertainment. It's one of the few places where people are, for some reason, more tolerable than in real life. Immediately, headlines pop into view - "MADMAN SLIPS ON A CAN AND EXECUTES A PIROUETTE OFF A GARAGE ROOF THREE STORY HIGH, ONLY INJURY IS BROKEN TOE", "NEXT %VIDEO GAME% IS ALSO QUITE SHIT", "POLITICIAN EATS OWN SHOE TO ENLIST SUPPORT IN PASSING BILL". Home, sweet home.
After brewing a cup of coffee - the cheap and strangely pleasant stuff that usually gets picked up near the cashier at the convenience store - and a very intense half-hour session consisting of arguing about superiority of tactical backflips over pirouettes, you begin to consider your next course of action. It may be worth it to try to message somebody you know and not hate - though the list is very small and it's very likely that there are only a handful of people online right now. There's also videogames. Finally, you could just lurk more - after all, it was just one thread in this giant hive of madness. Who knows what kind of stuff they came up with while you were away. Or maybe there is something else? What do you do?
[ ] Open up Vapor and use the power of friendship excessively. [ ] You want to play a game. [ ] Gain ranks in funposting. By force, if necessary. [ ] Write-in.
[x] Gain ranks in funposting. By force, if necessary.
You put the empty mug of The Good Stuff in your hand on the other end of the desk, away from delicate and specialized equipment. It will be a good while before you can expect something from your fr- ACQUAINTANCES, and you hate Vapor with seething fury – the only reason why it is still installed on your computer is because it just happens to have a convenient feature called the friends list. You don’t feel like playing anything right now either, with or without those assholes – must be too tired still. This leaves only one option – The Lurking Predator. The Aussie Menace. And sometimes, The One-And-Done. Others say git gud, but today, you must git better.
…Two hours later. “A FUCKING PLANT! A FUCKING PLANT WHAT ARE THEY GOING TO DO, WATER IT? WALUIGI’S FOR GAYS, ENTER A CULT OF FLOWER POWER XDXDXDXXDXDXXXXDDDDXDDDDDDDDDDDDDD” is the new best masterpiece that you have ever conceived. It almost feels like it beats with primal power, with a current reply count totaling up to eight – and it’s STILL going. Your job here is done – though you keep a tab open to harvest more precious (You)’s later on. The night is still young and there is a lot to do – namely, harvesting great amounts of information from a (probably) unsuspecting website. …Come to think of it, what is primal power, anyway?
Leaving the question in the air and delaying the inevitable cringe that comes with it, you begin the long and arduous journey through the wastes of @chan’s finest and not-so-finest. Lurking is the essence of browsing – and, coincidentally, what keeps anyone that stumbled upon this website by chance from seriously posting things like “LMAO” or calling people virgins unironically by introducing a deterrent called “kys faggot”. This multi-purpose weapon, augmented by a concept of anonymity has generated a LOT of amusement in these past few years, and you probably weren’t around to seeing the most of it. What a shame. Regardless, you start to carefully browse the catalog of each board one by one in search of decent threads, information and everything else. It takes a good while – some threads like “SIGHTINGS OF SKINWALKERS IN THE WILDS” and “TALL BOYS – MYTH OR LEGEND” on /x/ are solid gold with the amount of people screeching at each other – one even turned into an atheism versus pagan debate – while others like “ANARCHO CAPITALISM IS THE ANSWER TO THE IDEOLOGY QUESTION” are on the lower side of decent – that is, until some lunatic decides to post something fun, in this case, quoting straight from the thread – “ANCAPS ARE JUST JEALOUS OF COMMUNISM BECAUSE MAO HAS MORE SLAVES THAN THEY EVER WILL”. Mentally saluting the bastard, you acknowledge one thing – there is a long way to go.
All done with that, it’s time to think about what to do next. Neighbors are starting to make some noise – no doubt to go on their next “adventure” at their workplace. Clock at the lower right corner of the screen dutifully says that it’s 7:20 AM and that Blissful Silence is likely to be gone for the next couple of hours. You could go for some groceries – right now, the freezer only has some snacks, though there are always instant noodles and the like for situations like these. Messaging ACQUAINTANCES is probably out – ones that stay up during night time are probably sleeping by now and the rest are probably busy. Could watch a show or play some videogames, maybe. There’s also housekeeping, but NO, DAMN IT, YOU DON’T WANT TO.
[ ] Go outside and face the horrors of the world beyond the front door once again. -[ ] Raid for supplies. With money. -[ ] Take a stroll in this wonderful weather. [ ] Watch a show. -[ ] Something so bad it’s good. -[ ] Something good. -[ ] Something you don’t know. [ ] You WANT to play a game. [ ] The chores option. [ ] Write-in.
>>199422 Timer-kun is on vacation because you have to use a trip to mark a post as an update to use him. You have a day to vote.
[x] Go outside and face the horrors of the world beyond the front door once again. -[x] Raid for supplies. With money. Let's vote like responsible adults so we can inevitably see everything is futile when we get whisked to Gensokyo anyway.
[x] Go outside and face the horrors of the world beyond the front door once again. -[x] Raid for supplies. With money.
You get off the chair, breaking away from the screen and groaning audibly. The sun is slowly rising from behind the window – it’s probably right around this time when stores open. It dawns (hhhehe, dawns) on you that you still haven’t eaten anything since waking up today. That just won’t do. It’s time for a supply run.
Going outside isn’t really troublesome, as much as shows like N.H.K. would have you believe – switch off your PC, don a coat, lock up and go. A brief look in the mirror, however, reveals just how wrong that statement is. Your face looks absolutely terrible. Bags under your eyes, unkempt hair and an unshaven mug. It takes a good while to get presentable – a silent, monotonous and automated morning ritual. Double-checking everything, you set off, a completely metaphorical ship leaving the harbor.
Working city at so early a time is a strange thing to see – from one perspective, it’s almost beautiful – loads of people waiting at the bus stop busily chatting about something, morning stores opening up for business, cafes and pubs starting to slowly fill up with their usual suspects, and the bright glow of the sun trying to shine ALL the way down through those gray clouds that never really left. From another, it’s completely terrible – a gigantic congregation of cars with their drivers looking like they might launch into a tirade about how much they hate life right now at any passing second, stores pretending to give a damn about their customers because their profit margins depend on it, people passing you by putting neither weight nor feeling into words that they trade with others if they even do that. Everything about this just screams “gigantic and uncontrollable pile of trash” – but for all this, most of them give good and honest work for their time. If they didn’t, they’d be out of a job, and they know that.
Either way, the verdict’s still out on that one, you decide, as you arrive at the corner store. After picking up a bunch of usual things – milk, bread, grains, rice, eggs – and checking them with the cashier (you noting that, as usual, there’s almost no lines during this time of day), you head back to your abode. After working your ass off for three months straight and earning enough green to sustain yourself for two months – three would be a stretch, but still possible – you’ve worked out an arrangement with your boss. It entailed an extended and an unpaid vacation away in a safety and comfort of your home for give or take two months. The deal seemed a little too good to be true. Come to think of it, everything’s been so good lately, it almost seems like it’s time for the other shoe to drop. A truck flinging you into some shitty isekai universe, rendering all achievements in this mortal world null and void. God himself sniping you with a meteor for thinking too much. FBI showing up at the front door and very politely shoving you into a black van for committing a terrorist attack with five bell peppers and a mixture of Mentos and Diet Coke. No, well, that’s not impossible, but it sounds like way too much trouble.
However, absolutely nothing happens and you make your way back safely. The apartment is safe and sound. Nobody burglarized it while you were away, and it didn’t burn down because of a house fire your neighbors started. Everything is exactly as it was. Locking the door and unpacking the goods, you almost go back into lurker mode immediately. No, you are NOT Umaru. Dignity’s a treasure to KEEP.
After eating some rice and making sure your eyes didn’t do that narrow thing afterwards, you suddenly realize that you REALLY want to sleep because of the waking up in the middle of the night thing. This is the last chance to do something before blacking out. Well, what is it?
[ ] Lurk. [ ] Download one of those newfangled annie-may shows. [ ] Videogames. -[ ] Just a little. -[ ] Just a lot. [ ] Clean up. God, this room is filthy. [ ] Monologue a bit while admiring nature outside the window. [ ] Write-in.
Contemplating on what to do exactly in situations like these is a really fast way to become so indecisive that you don’t do anything at all. With that in mind, you settle on a worst option from the list – well, third-worst option, right after necking yourself and breaking No Fap July on a second day of the month – taking care of this damn room, an ever-hanging Damocles Sword upon your being and soul. The- oh fuck it. You catch yourself here. If you keep clowning around like this, nothing will ever get done.
With that, you start a long and tedious process. First, getting everything to look orderly – your small, but far from insignificant videogame/anime collection goes back to the shelf instead of laying around on the floor (you still wonder about how exactly you’ve managed to get that IN disc from a flea market), your bedding goes from being a mess to something from a hotel advertisement, two bookcases around the room are getting all of their contents back inside – classical literature like Homer goes on one shelf, technical stuff goes to another and so on. Curtains are untied and cover the windows, shielding you from rays of sunlight that are slowly starting to threaten murder. Lastly, everything on the desk that you don’t need right now is getting moved down into the drawers below – notes and a bunch of other trash-like things, mostly.
Afterwards, it’s time for laundry, washing dishes, and cleaning the floor. The process is dull, simple, and time-consuming, but it’s done before long.
With this, your room is in pristine condition once again. You look around, mop in your hand and bucket on the floor. Nobody’s watching, right?
“First I whip it out! Then I thrust it! With great force!”
Wielding a mop as if it were a polearm, you mime a few thrusting motions. Your footwork is sloppy, and the mop is still wet, specks of water scattering around every which way.
“Every angle! It penetrates!”
Whirling the mop about and now facing a different direction, you quickly lunge at an imaginary opponent. He gets water on his face.
“Until! With great strength! I… ram it in!”
After a few quick stabs forward, it’s time for a big one. Winding up for a full second, you thrust a wet mop straight into what happens to be closest to you at that moment. It turns out to be a wall.
“In the end… We are all satisfied… And you are set free!”
Striking a pose, with a mop handle in your hands and the action end pointing behind you, you admire your handiwork. This precious room that you have spent so much time cleaning is now almost entirely covered with water drops. W-well, water is more or less clean, so it shouldn’t be a big deal, right?
At last, cleaning is DONE. This is your achievement for today. Cleaning supplies go back inside the closet, water drops go off the bed, you go inside, and, without any sort of ceremony, everything blacks out as if somebody hit you at the back of the head at just the right angle.
A confident figure was walking the dimly lit halls of a mansion. Her features were grand in majesty and instantly noticeable to the naked eye. A pair of bat wings floats behind the small figure. Remilia Scarlet – a proud symbol of vampiric nobility – was bored tonight as well. There were no guests to entertain her and scaring fairy maids was fun until one of them drenched her with water with predictable results. After finishing a “discussion” with Sakuya about the matter, she felt that perhaps it was time to see the library.
A massive collection of books. Multiple rows of them stacked and neatly arranged. Bookcases that formed an elaborate labyrinth and housed various magical tomes, grimoires, and outsider knowledge. Only a select few were aware of the intricate layout of such a confusing style and how to navigate it, but those who did greatly appreciated that strangely optimal style of arrangement. At the center of it, the violet magician known as Patchouli Knowledge sat upright in a chair, fully immersed in a book.
“Patches, I came to play.”
“The manga aisle is straight to the north, take a second right.”
“But all the fun is right here.”
“Science fiction is northwest, take a right and a left.”
“We don’t store indecent things here and you know it.”
“When are you finally going outside?”
For the second time in a day, the magnificent, majestic, and charismatic owner of the mansion: Remilia Scarlet, eats a mouthful of water. Magically enchanted not to damage any books, a wave carries her into a nearby bookshelf. Caught by surprise, Remilia was pushed squarely into the wide gap between "Particularities of Casting Conjuration Magic" and "Basic Principles of Tai Chi -- Breathing Techniques Vol. 3". Without any words, she understood one thing clearly – tonight was going to be a night to remember.
Elegantly extracting herself from the bookshelf, Remilia Scarlet smiles quietly at a magician before her. Looking pensive and floating above the ground, no doubt pondering her next course of action, Patchouli Knowledge was returning her silent gaze, an opened book laying on a desk. It was time for war, and both of them knew it.
A brief moment passes. Two figures take off towards each other at the same time. The first to strike was the lady of the house, launching into a savage flurry of blows.
“USELESS, USELESS, USELESS! Your magic is useless against me!”
Not missing a beat, purple-clad magician quickly recites a spell while shielding herself from the attack. With a mighty howl, a stream of flames bursts forth from her palm, forcing her opponent to make some distance.
“This hand of mine… Glows. With an awesome power.”
Letting out a guttural growl, a scarlet vampire keeps up her assault. The night is still young, after all.
…One hour and twenty minutes later. The library is in a sad shape – bookshelves charred with magic, puddles of water on the ground and books strewn around everywhere. Entire stacks of collapsed bookcases can be seen from the center of the library, where both sources of the disturbance lay still on the ground, looking upwards at a magically-illuminated ceiling. Neither of them had energy nor desire to continue to fight.
“Your magic. When you are focused, it is magnificent.”
“Like I said, Remi-”
After a hacking cough that lasts three good seconds, master of the near-demolished library smugly replies:
“Indecent things have no place here.”
[ ] Dark Witch Kirisame has invaded! [ ] Obedient and Perfect Servant. [ ] Little Sister is curious. [ ] Write-in.