File 123989030285.jpg - (103.70KB, 500x375 , the scene unfolds.jpg) [iqdb]
Muninn! You choose Muninn, memory. Have to remember. "Good choice." The voice says. "Maybe you're not a completely hopeless case after all." That fucking voice. You know it, you're so sure of it, but the insanity of the dream warps it too much, makes it sound like the voice of a demon whispering madness in your ears. You remember that voice, you remember it so well, so clearly.
"Well then, memory."
Your vision starts to clear, or rather it starts to make sense of the nothingness all around you. Shapes begin to take form, unblurring themselves into trees and ground, smashed cars, bodies and shredded concrete, the sky above a huge blanket of tormented rolling storm clouds. Sound slowly returns, like waves of thunder and static crashing over your ears. The smell of mud, petrol, fire and blood fills your nose, making you gag. You try to move, to feel, but you can't.
"Memory is an imperfect thing." The voice says, somehow sad, somehow amused.
For a moment you see the scene in perfect focus, paused, as if you were right there on the ground but also looking at it from the air. A stretch of forest road, lined by trees, just before a tunnel. Tiny figures stopped in the act of running, flames suspended like orange ramparts of light, arcing bullets mid-flight, a single falling grenade hanging in the air like an overripe pineapple.
"We never remember ourselves as we truly were."
In the centre of it all, unmoving and strange in the silence of paused time, is you.
"Memory distorts our self-image."
You look closer, fascinated by yourself. It is you, but different. Two antler-like horns sprout from your head, gleaming in the firelight like twin spears of bone. You're dressed in bloodstained and tattered clothes, your hands cut and bruised. You look more serious, more determined, mouth open wide in a scream of rage and defiance. Somehow fake, like a layer of bravado and false courage plastered over fear and cowardice.
"Not as you truly were." The voice says. "But actions speak louder than words."
Time resumes in a rush of noise and motion. Screams, orders being shouted, smoke and fire and death and you at the apex of it all. You're not in control, memory taking over your muscles, making you catch the falling grenade before it hits the ground. You hurl it back at the soldiers who threw it, putting so much power in your arm that the grenade embeds itself in the road before exploding, showering you with bits of tarmac. "Fall back!" A shout from the men all around you, somebody in charge pulling them back before you throw another car at them. You rip a door off the nearest car and send it spinning into the back of a retreating soldier for good measure, roaring your anger. A last smattering of bullets pings off the ground at your feet. They're afraid to aim properly, after what you did with the last man who actually managed to hit you. A few soldiers huddle in the entrance to the tunnel, spreading out when you notice them, all too aware that you could simply bowl them over with a tree if they bunch up like that. You grin, starting towards the tunnel. She's on the other side, they're using her as bait.
You spin around at the voice, to the sight of two men standing on the overturned tank. One of them, draws a bead on you with a spotting device, red point on your chest. The other holds the long tube of a missile launcher. The whoosh and concussive thump comes a split-second later.
"Memory is never exact." The mysterious voice says. "Muninn is more fickle than you might think."
You remember ...
[ ] Catching the missile. [ ] Running. [ ] Throwing something to intercept it.
>Two antler-like horns sprout from your head, gleaming in the firelight like twin spears of bone. And I thought Suika's horns would often get in the way of doing normal thing, like going through doorways.
I'm also wondering who the girl might be. Considering this is our past, it is more than likely one of our fellow oni, or at the very least, some oni, though I imagine if it was Suika or Yuugi, anything capable of capturing them would certainly be putting up more of a fight than this unless trickery was involved which oni are certainly victims to all the time when challenged to contests.
>>84453 While it's presumably impossible to die here, the line
>"Memory is never exact." The mysterious voice says. "Muninn is more fickle than you might think."
makes me cautious. Maybe I'm reading too much into it, but I think if we make too many mistakes that our memory can't correct for, it will prematurely end the flashback. And we lose an opportunity to learn something about our past.
Alternately, we can't die, but we fall unconscious (saved in the real past by our oni fortitude and a third party). Again, the flashback ends early and we lose our chance to gather info.
Optimally, we're beside the best person for dealing with this shit should something go wrong. Satori can look into our mind and our heart to determine just what the hell is going on to help make things better.
Kinetic damage you can deal with, but concussive? It might knock you out long enough for them to get a net around you. Your fingers sink into the metal of the car next you like it was made of butter, sending it spinning through the air with a heave of your arm. It seems to travel slowly, a ton of metal bodywork, plastic and glass arcing across the road. "Shit, duck!" Somebody yells, but you weren't aiming at them. The missile hits the car only a few meters from you, exploding in a shower of metal fragments. A wheel goes flying past your head, the smoke clouding your vision and clogging your lungs. Their traps aren't getting any better, more desperate, badly planned, uncoordinated. They're falling apart. You ignore the man with the missile launcher. His spotter has been decapitated by a huge piece of shrapnel anyway.
"Memory is unclear." The voice says. "We fill in the gaps ourselves."
Your vision blurs again, warping and twisting. You're outside, pulling limbs off men like they were flies, inside the tunnel, ripping chunks of concrete from the floor, outside again, tearing the tracks from a tank and pulling back the armour plating like it was cheap tin. The violence registers only on an abstract level, in the madness and dark of a dream.
"Nothing?" The voice asks.
You want to ask what all this is, to ask why this happened, when. But the insane rush of images slows once more, memory replacing thought, leaving you no room to contemplate. The other side of the tunnel is unprepared. They didn't expect you to get through. She's here, you can smell her, a heavy animal smell you'd recognise anywhere. They must have her chained, gagged, caged. Something. Gods alone know how they caught her. You fling men away from you like a dog shaking off fleas, breaking bones and pulping flesh with every swipe of your hands. They scream, run, stumble and stare back as if you walk as death itself.
"Hahaha." The voice actually laughs at you. "Memory is always imprecise."
They did cage her. Wrapped from head to toe in protective seals, chained to each point of the compass with links as thick as your arm. She's conscious, at least. She looks at you, and you can read the look in her eyes like an open book. This is still a trap.
Gaps appear in your vision, whited-out spaces, failures in memory as you turn around. The trap is obvious. Get you in one place, distract you with enough ablative meat and bullets, get you right where the Gap Demon wants you. That must be how they've holding those chains in place, this site is consecrated, designed to unravel a being like you. The memory is falling apart, like a picture that's been crumpled up, static and interference and blank space ruining your recollection.
"Not a failure of memory." The voice says. "Failure of perception. She wiped your mind."
A figure appears from the tunnel mouth, blurred and ruined by static, but you know it's her, terrible and everlasting, breaking the very fabric of reality around her as she tries to catch you. Yukari. Maybe you can run, open the cage and just go. Maybe you could distract her, even as the world falls apart around you.
Maybe she bleeds like everything else.
You remember ...
[ ] Running. [ ] Trying to get the cage open. [ ] Trying to distract Yukari. [ ] Fighting.
You remember, the rush of memory broken and fragmented even as you turn on your heel and sprint for the cage. You can't fight Yukari, she's not a demon, she's closer to a god, or a simple fact of the cosmos. A tidal wave of impossible power. The ground is like putty beneath your feet, holes in perception leaving you with nowhere to tread. You reach the cage and grasp the bars, ignoring feeling in your head as parts of yourself begin to fall away. Have to get this open, have to get her out. Maybe two of you can take Yukari, if only for a moment. Give the bitch a fight to remember. You pull, iron bars bending and snapping as you strain. It's treated metal, designed to hold creatures like you. Contact with the metal burns your skin, blistering the surface of your hands, making you wince with pain. "Mmmm! Mmmmm!" She's still gagged, probably trying to tell you to leave her and run. She thrashes at the chains, but they barely move, wards and seals sapping her strength. You can feel the pressure of Yukari behind you, a rising wave of horrible laugher resounding all around you.
"Your memory is what you are. Every part of you is made of experiences." The mysterious voice says.
Inside the cage isn't any better, it feels like you're in an oven, suffocating with the heat of the forces arrayed against you. Rip the chains from their mountings, tear up the links, crack open the manacles. Keep going, don't look back at the thing behind you, don't let Yukari know she's got you panicking. "MMM!" Finally free of the chains and manacles, she rises from the floor, still weak, still plastered with those dammed wards. You catch her in your arms for a second as she stumbles. Yukari is only a few feet away, at the mouth of the cage. You need to do something now. Reaching behind her head, she rips the gag away, spitting it out and almost retching. You start to pull away one of the charms, a large one wrapping her right arm, sealing up her strength.
"No." She says. "But we can-" She shakes her head. "Too late." The static is almost unbearable, Yukari looming so close now, making it so hard to hold on to yourself, keep your thoughts together.
She leans forward, rising up on her toes to meet your face. "Remember me on the other side." She says. "Suika." You mutter.
"Memory!" The voice nearly shouts, elated and triumphant.
The darkness closes around you, perception and reality breaking up entirely. The last thing you feel is Suika, as you cling to each other against the onrushing nothingness.
"Uh!" You jerk awake, breathing fast, covered in cold sweat. You blink a few times and then reach down and pinch yourself. Yes, that hurts. You're really awake this time. The room is still dark, a little grey early morning light filtering in from a small window near the top of the wall. The smell of Satori still fills your senses, her back pressed up against your front, warm and welcoming. She's breathing softly, asleep.
Holy shit. What-
[ ] Go back to sleep. Satori is warm. [ ] Get up for a bit. You need to think.
This is going to turn out to be one of those things where our old friend has been brainwashed into working for the enemy, forcing the two of us to fight each other to the death and ending with her finally regaining her memories of us just moments before she dies, isn't it?
This cold sweat is disgusting, your mind is buzzing like a hive of angry bees and you feel vaguely sick. You need some space, just for a moment. You need to think. Gently easing the covers off you doesn't disturb Satori, good. You don't want to wake her up, not sure if you're up to facing anyone right now. You replace the covers after slipping out of the bed, feeling a little guilty at leaving Satori alone like that. "I'll be back soon." You whisper to yourself, stepping over to the door and slipping out into the corridor. You close the door silently behind you, then lean back against the wall and take a deep, shuddering breath, closing your eyes and wiping your face. "Oh, gods." You mutter under your breath. That dream ... that wasn't a dream. You need water, a bathroom. On the right was Youmu's room, end was more mattresses. You can't think where a toilet would be, but luckily somebody has left the door ajar, the room on your left. You stumble inside, clicking on the light and shutting the door behind you. The bathroom is small and dank, bare concrete, yellowed, but clean, porcelain, a single shower cubicle. You turn the sink taps and splash your face with water, cupping your hands and drinking.
Your face in the mirror is tired, confused, but the same as it always has been. Antlers? You touch your head curiously. You had antlers in that dream, great spars of bone sticking out of your head. Of course there's nothing there. No lumps, no- "Ah." You jab your finger on something sharp. A little piece of bone sticking out of the skin. Your eyes widen in horror and surprise. It's only a tiny sliver of bone, so small you wouldn't have noticed it if you weren't pressing down on your head, but there it is. You gulp and take your hand away.
What does that mean? Removed? Growing back? Stunted? Horns ... horns.
"Suika." You mutter. "Suika." Again. "Suika!" You remember. Her name, you've said it thousands upon thousands of times. Her face, her smell, you'd know her smell anywhere. The way her eyes move when she's saying something. Her smile and her laugh, her frown and her rage. Her skin, her hair, flowing in an orange wave when she turns. Her fists, scarred and tough and with a grip like a vice. You close your eyes, picturing her in your mind. You know her, you know her better than you've ever known anyone.
But you can't remember why. Or how. All you remember is her. Visceral, physical. The sound of her voice, the feeling of her fingers and the smell of her sweat. Not how you met her, not who she is to you, not even her second name. "Shit." You say, taking a deep breath. This is fucked up. How on earth do you deal with this? You remember her so clearly, you need to speak to her, soon. Now. She's another Oni. She's Suika, she's .... she's- "Argh." You groan, holding your head. You can't remember what she is, your memory is ruined and tattered.
Memory, Muninn. That fucking voice. What was that? Someone in your head? Memory itself speaking? Suika wanted you to remember, maybe that's what happened, maybe she did something to your head to make sure you remembered her. You feel a dull wave of nausea. Yukari. That static in your head, the way she felt like a great, otherworldly pressure at your back. You never want to run into her again.
You stare at yourself in the mirror again, trying to calm down. Too much to think about.
Muninn. Memory. Hmm.
[ ] Go back to bed. You need to sleep. [ ] You need to talk to someone, but everyone's asleep, right? [ ] Stay here. Think. -[ ] Yukari -[ ] The voice in your head. -[ ] Suika.
[X] You need to talk to someone, but everyone's asleep, right? [X] Go see if Sigma is up for a man to man talk. It'd be over quickly if he is at least. If not... [X] Think. -[X] Suika -[X] Yukari -[X] That voice in your head
You need to talk to somebody about this, you need to get it out, all this stuff buzzing around your head. Everybody's fast asleep though, and even if they were awake you're not sure you want to risk telling people about this, dream or not. You need somebody who understands, clinically, perhaps somebody who can help you with recovering what all this means.
You could talk to Sigma again. Maybe you just broke down some internal barriers yourself. Maybe he could take it further.
One last glance in the bathroom mirror, you're tired, stressed, confused and now you're pining for contact with a girl you remember more clearly than anyone else in your life. There's a voice in your head and you're dreaming about your past. Yeah, you need a machine for this, not a person. It's too fucked up. You leave the bathroom, padding quietly down the corridor. All the lights are off but you can see well enough in the dark if you stop and focus for a second. The floor is cold under your feet, making you walk faster. In the main room, most of Tewi's computers are still humming away, casting a dull blue glow over the walls and floor. You cross the room quickly, a little spooked out by the sight in the silence of the night. The temperature drops as you descend the stairs to the underground room where Sigma is kept. The internal doors aren't locked, and when you finally reach Sigma and shut the door, you just stare at him for a moment.
The eye is closed now, not reacting when you flick on the lights. Rika's computer is off and the room is completely silent. Sigma just lies there, inert and motionless. A huge dark mass like the centre of a black hole. You step forward, taking a deep breath and holding your hand out. "Sigma." You say. "It's me. Can you hear me?" No response, telepathic or otherwise. You reach out and touch the smooth black surface of Sigma's outer armour.
A second passes, two seconds. Then the feeling of having your brain bathed in liquid honey and sugar washes over you and your senses simply end.
And now for the bad news! I'm getting dragged on obligatory family holiday for the next week, annoyingly enough just after I had started to get my writing groove back as well. I'm going somewhere backwater enough to not have any internet, so I make no promises. Consider this a week-long hiatus that will hopefully be punctuated with updates if I find any delicious wireless bandwidth or bizarre fish-people internet cafes. If no updates, then hopefully I will return with certain pending scene requests written, some of which will be posted around the site.
Might get a couple more updates out tomorrow morning before departing.
>>84629 You're certainly not the only one, and it should be noted that some anon had the decency to just pick one. However, the circumstances of the situation certainly lends itself to a line of questioning, so the fact that anon is at least prioritizing some choices over others is encouraging. Finally, if the writer is going to disappear for a week, a wall of awesome Sigma dialogue as compense is the least we can ask for.
So, memories are beginning to seep through whatever block was placed on them, but any further tampering could alert Yukari. Would that just mean Sigma can't do more about it, or that we need to be more cautious about how much we remember at a time?
>>84636 Honestly, it's not just that it's dumb to choose every pick. In this situation, where the entire conversation takes places in a few seconds, it'd be dumb to NOT pick all of them. The only reason not to would be if the voting anon assumed that the answer wouldn't be helpful ("That voice you heard? It's just your own subconcious. Nothing important."); but even then it's not harmful so you might as well ask. Really, this choice just seems like it's here so solt can stop writing because he has to leave. There's nothing wrong with having to stop, but why have a choice?
And, of course, there's tons of other situations where it isn't so easy to explain voting for everything and yet people still do it.
Voting for more than one choice lessens the yield of each. This is what is most important.
Even if this is/was Satori route now, Suika was close to us. She might have been family, rather than a lover-- and if not, we can still treat her as such. ...And I, for one, think you'd have to be high to turn down a chance to have Suika as a little sister. If she were to call us "onii chan" or something to that effect, it'd give Flandre a fucking run for her money.
It's not like we have a limited pool of magical conversation points and Sigma will kick us out if we run out. We have have all the time we need here. Plus if he's going to be gone a week, might as well get a wall when the story resumes. And really, the more Sigma, the better.
>>Voting for more than one choice lessens the yield of each.
I fail to see how that could be. It's not as if there's a time limit or anything, and even if there were we already know that huge amounts of information can be gained from Sigma in mere seconds of actual game time.
Besides, if Sigma's going to be playing psychoanalyst for us now, I would think we could only benefit from giving him as much to work with as possible.
>>84708 Actually, that sounds like a useful sneaky mechanic, controlling access to events/encounters (or different points in an event!) based on how long you spend during an exposition or introspection scene, then what happens or what you do afterwards. This might also lead to a controlled form of "self-learning" where the players can chain topics sequentially to come to conclusions they can act upon in the story that they might have not learned until too late otherwise, with appropriate red herring conclusions.
Obviously, you need a game that well planned out. You couldn't lump this trick down just anywhere and expect it to work.
And you'd be insane to try and plot the decision tree for it.
>>84708 I understand what anon is saying from a different perspective. When a writer has so much on their plate, they might forget a detail or two in the update that may have been important to us. Then there's the slim chance they don't catch that mistake and inform us later.
On the same perspective, thinking about one subject would increase the update to revolve around that one subject, leading to the possible outcome of getting extras the writer may not have ever thought of putting into the story.
If we think of those three things, for instance, we might find out the Suika and Hibiki had a little chemistry. If we focus only on Suika, we might find out we were lovers. Keep pushing that button, we get more and more until the writer is forced to write vivid h-scenes from our memory.
Whether or not that could actually work, is unbeknownst to me. I'm not sure what we would get out of thinking about the voice or Yukari, except maybe a throbbing headache.
Having a real discussion is nice. The problem is it tends to turn into what we just went through with Orin. Endless posts of nothing but MY OPINION IS THE BEST AND ANYONE THAT DOESN'T SHARE IT IS AN IDIOT.
//you are less crazy than most //hypothesis: outside neurological interference
//just someone in your head
//ha ha ha
The voice was talking about Huginn, Muninn and some 'severed head'. What could that mean?
//hypothesis: enjoy your odin
//ignore previous statement //interaction with 'severed head' not recommended
Why do you think that?
//cultural records indicate high probability of resulting neurological and psychological abnormality
I'll go mad?
//do not say I did not warn you
Okay, point taken. Thanks, I'll try to remember that.
//[171YUKARI] present in dream.1 [287HIBIKI]
Yeah. I wanted to talk about that too.
//[171YUKARI] used ambush //bait //trapping
Oh? Has she not done that before?
//species 171 has never been observed using advanced military tactics against non-keter species or species with less than class 3 reality manipulation
I'm guessing a pair of Oni aren't badass enough to qualify?
//you are not that good
So why did she need to bait us?
//unknown //data insufficient
Huh. What about Yukari herself? She felt like ... something horrible, something I can't even put words to.
//species 171 observed creating neurological and psychological disruption in 99% of non-keter species
They fuck with your head?
//they really fuck with your head
Is that why you were able to fight them for so long? Being a machine?
//class 3 and above machine entities immune to effects of physical proximity to species 171
And what do you classify as?
//off the chart
Did you make up this scale?
I should have guessed
//ha ha ha
So, those memories of Yukari are accurate? That really happened?
//correct //[171YUKARI] removed your memories
Hmm. Okay. At least I know it's all true now.
//dream.1 [287HIBIKI] contains neurological signatures indicative of memory
Yeah, you already said that.
//indicative of memory
//not all memory
Some things have been changed? Added? The voice in my head kept going on about how memory is unreliable.
//your memory is unreliable //meat
Yeah, yeah. Gloat all you like, you're missing huge chunks of yours.
Sorry. That was uncalled for.
//you are lucky I like you
//recommended courses of action: //pursue covert communication with [287SUIKA] //observe self for signs of indicative of schizophrenia //observe self for signs of neurological intrusion //avoid [171YUKARI]
Damn straight. Thanks Sigma. I feel a bit better now. Do you seriously think I should try to contact Suika?
//I am not going to try to stop you
//oni plus oni
Well, thanks again.
//loading allowed user functions
[ ] //end [ ] //communication logs neurological connection [ERROR RUMIA] and [335RUMIA] [ ] Ask Sigma a question.
[X] //communication logs neurological connection [ERROR RUMIA] and [335RUMIA] [X] Ask Sigma a question. - [X] What is a keter? Where are they from? Were they involved in Sigma's (& siblings') creation?
[x] //communication logs neurological connection [ERROR RUMIA] and [335RUMIA] [x] Ask Sigma a question. - [x] What is a keter? Where are they from? Were they involved in Sigma's (& siblings') creation?
>>Whether that is strictly his intent, or is just trying to get us away from Rika, I'm not quite sure.
Well, he did say it himself: >>//sexual intercourse with her own kind would be beneficial
He probably isn't opposed to us getting involved with her, if we so chose. He just doesn't want her to get hurt if we do. Hence his friendly warning: >>//inflict hurt on her and I will use what remains of my gravity manipulators to crush your sexual organs into a fine paste
Of course, considering we'd be talking about intercourse between a human and a being that's apparently capable of tearing through reinforced steel with his bare hands, maybe Sigma would prefer if we stuck with someone far more naturally durable after all. Neither breaking Rika's heart nor her bones would sit well with our friendly neighborhood weapon of mass destruction, I'm sure.
We can deal with Rika when she's bent over/lying down in front of us with a cake on her ass, and us with a knife and fork.
Personally I think we should partner that event up with our promise to Tewi, and going beyond the second wave. Reach the peak of being lucky, kick some serious ass, and then end it all with a tasty treat off someone's ass.
http://touhou.wikia.com/wiki/Rika >"Extra Stage - Purple (brown?) eyes, long purple (brown?) hair in two braids, has white horns, wears a strange red hat. Wears a purple shirt with a red ribbon in front" You never know, EX-Rika might be an oni as well.
>>84854 >Of course, considering we'd be talking about intercourse between a human and a being that's apparently capable of tearing through reinforced steel with his bare hands I think Rika'll be fine if we ever end up sticking it to and in her.
>Of course, considering we'd be talking about intercourse between a human and a being that's apparently capable of tearing through reinforced steel with his bare hands, maybe Sigma would prefer if we stuck with someone far more naturally durable after all.
Inb4 another shitstorm about maiming the girl during sex.
I'd assume it is purely up to us to decide. She said we could eat cake off her ass, and she never specified how much. We could bring in a multi-layered wedding cake if we wanted to spite her that badly.
>>84887 Eating even a full normal sized cake is probably too much. Even if an oni wouldn't get physically sick from it, I'm sure you'd get mentally sick of eating that much cake, regardless of what it's sitting on. Putting a whole wedding cake on her ass would look funny, but I don't think it'd be that much more humiliating to eat it since you'd start so far away.
Let's keep things simple and just put like 2-3 slices of cake off her ass. And using a goddamn fork would just defeat the purpose
I'm all for a Suika route providing it doesn't end in a SAD END and/or despair, especially if we find out that there was something special between us... which actually might explain our pent up sexual frustration.
>>84945 >The problem is this. Electroencephalograms taken of men and women during sexual intercourse show that orgasm resembles "a kind of pleasurable epileptic attack." One loses control over one's muscles.
>Superman has been known to leave his fingerprints in steel and in hardened concrete, accidentally. What would he to to the woman in his arms during what amounts to an epileptic fit?
So I guess that leaves out holding most of the girls during sex
>>84962 To be fair, what do you think we've been trying to do all evening, but have failed due to either cockblocking via Orin or being too physically fatigued? Had things gone more smoothly, and we not worn ourselves out with fighting for our life, fighting for our life some more, running for our life, only to wind up fighting for our life yet again, I'm sure we could have at least hit it so hard with Tewi that our luck would have shot through the goddamn roof, making us so lucky we'd basically be a walking cheat code.
It's too late now, anyway. Best to focus on what's ahead, like giving Mima and Nitori hell for voting in favor us getting snuffed out, planting the seeds for our reintroduction to Suika, gaming with Kaguya, hanging out with Brokou, tea time with Sanae, maybe getting to know Wriggle some more, and working our Oni mojo on the rest of the female population.