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File 12813324235.png - (583.24KB, 1899x842, 5f7591c2df3c3ce031ae8f0a582d545f.png) [iqdb]
5444 No. 5444
Silence.

Clank!

...Relative silence.

Clank!

A lovely little iron metronome, pushing forward however slowly with every tick and every tock.

Clank!

After a while, it doesn't even register as noise. At this depth echos are swallowed by an impenetrable darkness before the next strike, making for an unorthodox sanctuary from the outside world. The burning in my muscles is just a price to pay for such serenity. When I first started, it was a different story; The silence was deafening, and spending days on end with black on every side let my imagination fill it with all kinds of horrors. All of them were real, yeah, but there's danger in some form or another no matter where or how you work. There's no profit without risk, no risk with enough skill, and no skill without hard work. The only people who never fuck up are the ones who never do anything, right?

Thunk.

The moment I've been waiting for. Ultrasonics brought back a huge air pocket down here, and when you're looking for what I'm looking for that's a red flag. Either way, I need to be careful – the slightest slip-up can spell disaster.

For example, letting some fucking kid throw a rock down my hole to see how far down it goes.
For example, getting hit with said rock.
For example, not properly securing myself before letting an inch-wide hole open up into a mile-wide cavern.

On the bright side, my mile-long drop is padded nicely by a mile-high building. Even in the few seconds I have before impacting with the roof, it's pretty clear that if I play my cards right the term "gold mine" would be an understatement. The distant twinkle of torches and lamps becomes a brilliant sparkle against the walls of the palace, though it's too dark to tell exactly what it's gilded with. One look at the bell tower and its incredible stained glass mural, though, and scraping walls becomes the least of my concern. Of course, that isn't too high on the list either, considering the likelihood that I've simultaneously broken something and pissed off someone important by crashing through the roof.

At least there was an attic.

[ ] Bolt. This place is enormous, and there's clearly something on the ground – plenty of space to lose any would-be pursuers.
[ ] Hide. There's plenty of boxes and things in here, and it's plenty dark; it shouldn't be too hard.
[ ] Negotiate. That degree in psychology's come in handy more than a few times.
--[ ] Play it smooth. There's no such thing as my superior.
--[ ] No one can fault a victim of circumstance. I fell down a hole, that's all.
[ ] Fuck it, my supplies came with me. I can still fight.
Expand all images
>> No. 5446
[ ] Fuck it, my supplies came with me. I can still fight.
>> No. 5447
[x] Negotiate. That degree in psychology's come in handy more than a few times.
--[x] No one can fault a victim of circumstance. I fell down a hole, that's all.
>> No. 5455
[x] Negotiate. That degree in psychology's come in handy more than a few times.
--[x] Play it smooth. There's no such thing as my superior.

I'm sure that whoever comes to investigate will be swayed by our confident attitude, wit, and roguish charms.
>> No. 5456
[x] Fuck it, my supplies came with me. I can still fight.

Iiiiiinteresting.
>> No. 5469
[X] Negotiate. That degree in psychology's come in handy more than a few times.
--[X] No one can fault a victim of circumstance. I fell down a hole, that's all.
>> No. 5470
[Q] Hide. There's plenty of boxes and things in here, and it's plenty dark; it shouldn't be too hard.

We can get a hold on things this way.
>> No. 5473
[x] Negotiate. That degree in psychology's come in handy more than a few times.
--[x] No one can fault a victim of circumstance. I fell down a hole, that's all.

I think it's kind of odd that it took this long for a CYOA to have someone tunneling into the underground.
>> No. 5478
>>5473
Is it really?

Writing now. If all goes well, I should be able to update tonight and again in the morning.
>> No. 5480
[x] Negotiate. That degree in psychology's come in handy more than a few times.
--[x] Play it smooth. There's no such thing as my superior.
MC's most important strength and weakness.
>> No. 5481
File 128139350975.jpg - (768.46KB, 1600x1200, 3534359.jpg) [iqdb]
5481
The sound of rattling from below fades smoothly into a rhythmic stomping, heavy enough to hear through the floor yet restrained, like you might hear from one of those goddamn businessmen back above. I've never met one that wasn't a manipulative, two-faced, thieving, hedonistic hypocrite.

At least I'm honest about it.

A slam and a change in the tone of the steps draws me back to the present. Laying against the cool stone floor, there's not much to do but try to size up my injuries and think of a plan with an ear to the floor. No response from my left hand...probably dislocated something. Should be easy enough to fix. A deep pressure running through my lungs with every breath and keeping them shallow, but no particularly sharp pain. Probably just a bad bruise. An annoying though not crippling dizziness, and arms just a bit too sore to chalk up to a long day at work. Nothing I can't shrug off. For the sake of the act, though, there are few roles a broken man can take but a humble one. Just as well, really. Everyone feels like a friend to men they "save", and the easiest defense to pass through is one that welcomes you.

As I wait, my eyes adjust to the vague lighting of the palace. There is no source to speak of; rather, a faint glow seems to emanate from everywhere at once, like a night sky in a village just big enough to count as a town. With my vision becoming more and more clear, so does the complete and utter emptiness of the room. Nothing adorns the walls or ceiling, and aside from the collection of smooth iron boxes (Are they even boxes, really? From this angle, all I can make out are featureless walls that stop a short way up.) the floor is equally empty. Not even a lone insect or speck of dust seems present, leaving me nothing to distract myself with but pain. Nothing wrong with that, of course. It's always good to be told that you're still alive.

"Holy shit! What happened here?" Speaking of which. "Are you okay?"
Struggling to wheeze out an answer produces a low "No," which is enough for her to drop to her knees, inspecting my body more closely than is comfortable. Poking and prodding for groans isn't the best form of medicine I could ask for, but hey, maybe it is down here. You can never tell with these underground civilizations. After inflicting what is apparently a satisfactory amount of pain, she speaks again.
"Fuck. You're alive." Not the tone I was hoping for. Her voice falls somewhere between whiney and gravelly; high and cute but with a hint of interference like a smoker or someone with a sore throat. "You know how hard it is to find fresh corpses down here? It's like nobody dies! By the time I can get anything decent back down, they're already rotting." Midway through, she grabs me by the head and turns me. Presumably, she wants to talk face to uncomfortably close face. Not difficult, considering it's all I can see now. Her features are sharp and frightfully pale, seeming to have a glow all their own aside from the building. Loose strands of fiery hair fall in front of her thin ruby eyes, which themselves glare daggers. If I wasn't on death's door, I'd probably be hitting on her.
Interrupting that thought swiftly and fiercely, she continues, "And you just had to come crashing down here and getting my hopes up. If I wasn't so frustrated with you, I'd be sad enough to cry! Then what, mister not-dead? What would you have to say for yourself then?"
"Help?" Probably the same thing I'd have to say now. It doesn't seem to be the right answer, though, as she tosses my head back to the floor with a roll of the eyes and a sneer.
"Typical. Fine, fine. I'll get you to the in-house doctor...if you can promise me something." Dropping her voice to a whisper, she practically pounces on me. Her hands land on the floor with a slap, and our eyes lock, just as close as they were a moment ago. "I want you to promise me that you'll be worth helping. I don't know who you are or what brought you here, and I don't know what you're going to do with that promise, but you have to promise me. Make it worth my time, all right?"

[ ] This can only end well.
[ ] I've read enough stories about deals with devils. No thanks.

---

I should note that we're playing fast and loose with canon. Even if you know the characters, don't assume that you know them.
>> No. 5483
[X] I've read enough stories about deals with devils. No thanks.

Fuck you, I have principles.
>> No. 5484
[Q] This can only end well.

Hopeless optimism, here we go!
>> No. 5486
[X] This can only end well.

Getting help would be nice. Random dizziness isn't a good thing to just ignore.

It's an empty promise anyway since we just have to help here at some point. No specifications
>> No. 5487
[X] This can only end well.

Someday, and that day may never come, I'll call upon you to do a service for me-nya~
>> No. 5488
>>5486
I'm going to go ahead and remind you that he did just crash through a ceiling solely from gravity. That dizziness isn't exactly random.
>> No. 5489
>>5488

Yeah, that's the point. Shrugging off dizziness after a fall isn't a good idea.
>> No. 5490
[P] This can only end well.

We are off to a fine start, yes indeed. Have discovered underground civilization, and that it has hot chicks. These are important things that warrant close investigation.

I foresee wondrous things.
>> No. 5495
>>5489
>Shrugging off dizziness after a fall isn't a good idea.
Why? It sounds like something natural to me. Being dizzy all the time would be annoying.

[x] This can only end well.
>> No. 5496
[x] This can only end well.
>> No. 5497
>>5473
>I think it's kind of odd that it took this long for a CYOA to have someone tunneling into the underground.

>>/others/13294 (ongoing)
>>/underground/113 (dead)

How did you miss these awesome stories?
>> No. 5498
>>5497
I think he meant must have meant specifically tunneling underground, as opposed to just exploring caves like in ULA and Deeper Underground.
>> No. 5500
[x] I've read enough stories about deals with devils. No thanks.
We aren't even injured enough to warrant an IRON HEART SURGE. This amount of pain is nothing.
>> No. 5501
File 128142158235.png - (76.76KB, 239x234, 1270107895697.png) [iqdb]
5501
>(dead)
>> No. 5502
>>5490
Oh, my. Now I have standards to meet!

Such trusting people. Writing, though I'm unsure of whether I'll be able to finish before work.
>> No. 5503
File 128145098723.png - (1.87MB, 1075x1267, 1277897116217.png) [iqdb]
5503
"Sure." Getting easier to speak, but I'd still rather avoid it. Besides, once you pick an act you have to stick with it to the end. I've only made that mistake once, and I still consider myself the luckiest man alive for having survived it. With a devious grin that barely spreads her lips but still seems to cover her entire face, she backs off as calmly as one can when springing into the air and landing a meter away.
"Good, good! Great! Wonderful! Fantastic! I just need you to say the words yourself. 'I promise' is enough. It can wait till I get back, though, I'd rather keep you off your feet." Well, at least I'll have time to compo-"Sorry for the wait!" ...Or not.

The girl's hands snake their way under me, and she lifts me in the air gently with a strength unbecoming of her size. As I make a mental note never to get on her bad side (or at least to plan on it first) she rocks me back and forth like a child, cooing softly. "Now, we're going to make it all better. No more pain, just a nice little Orinrin ride downstairs. All I need is that promise." Quite the insistent one.
"I promise." Before the words even finish making their way from my mouth, she flashes a toothy grin with a few too many canines.
"I'm holding you to that." Wind rushes by my ears, and another impact draws forth a cringe and a curse. The smell of death shoots my eyes open, revealing a rickety wheelbarrow so deeply stained that it's hard to tell whether it was ever really clean. It doesn't take long to make the connection to the corpses she was talking about. Thankfully, my line of thought is interrupted when my face gets whipped by her long braids. Something tells me eye contact is important for her. "Don't worry about holding on. Just relax."

This girl actually reminds me of someone I met a while back. There was this young woman at an amusement park who fell asleep on the roller coaster right next to me. We hit it off, and for the rest of the day she tried to teach me the trick to it. She wasn't a very good teacher. Kept falling asleep. At the time I didn't really think it would be such a great skill to have, but at this moment not catching on is my deepest regret. Scenery passes at a blinding speed, some of it lit and some of it dark. The girl doesn't neglect to bang her cart against even a single step on the way down, taking an opportunity to do tricks on the way down just to drive home the pain. It feels like every floor is slanted, and when more than one barrel roll is punctuated by a giggle and a "Whoops!", it's easy to believe they really are.

A library, a laboratory, a church, a petting zoo, a playground, a kitchen, a gym, a group bedroom. If I didn't know better, I'd say a hurricane came through the city and built a palace by accident. The cart finally comes to a screeching halt in a bright white room (placed conveniently next to what I can only assume to be a combination torture chamber sex room, judging from the whips, chains, and assortment of fuzzy handcuffs) which quickly loses its shine to a load of half-digested ravioli. Maybe I really am getting too old for Chef Boyardee.

"And we're here! Wasn't that fun? I wouldn't blame you if you wanted to go on a ride with me every day! Just say the word!" Never again. I don't even want to look at that damn cart right now.
"My, my! Look what the cat dragged in!" Luckily, I don't have to. Another woman calls out from across the room, having spotted us through the windows of a double-door. Her outfit certainly doesn't make her look like a doctor; loose dirty blonde hair hangs over a revealing brown tube top and a matching short skirt. Underneath those are fishnets, both on her torso and legs, ending in intimidatingly spiky black boots. Around her neck is an elaborate spiderweb necklace that seems to stay together only by virtue of either luck or magic, which doubles as a choker. I wonder how long it takes to put on in the morning.
My "savior" retorts with a proud, indignant tone as the new woman steps over the puddle on the floor to inspect me closer. "I didn't drag him! I pushed him. There's a difference."
"Either way. What's he here for?" Cold as ice, and just as bored. You'd think people crash through the roof every day.
"...You know, I never thought to ask." Clicking her tongue, she rolls her eyes and starts poking and prodding again. Is this where the girl gets it from?
"Then what are you here for? This wouldn't be the first time you've been punished for slacking off, Orin."
"What, I can't stick around and help the poor lost boy get better?"
"Better? If I know you, you'll be poisoning his food the second I turn my back. Get lost."
"That hurts, Yamame. You know I only do honest work." Despite her protests, I can hear the doors behind me open and shut without another word. At least I have her name now; I'll know who to avoid. In short order, the inspection ends and Yamame helps me to my feet. She stands at about eye level to where I should be, but with everything that's been happening it's hard not to slouch.

"Quite the entrance you've made. I take it you got a ride from the attic?" Must have made quite the bang when I came in.
"Yeah. I fell into a hole, and it just kind of didn't end. When I came to, I was here." Her features are soft, but it's not hard to see the underlying annoyance in each of her motions. I can't really blame her.
"Hell of a story. It's a wonder you aren't dead."
"So I've been told."
"That's not a good thing. Get in a bed." You expect me to put myself in a more vulnerable position just after telling me that I should have died? I may do some really stupid things, but I'm not that much of an idiot. Sensing my distrust, she puts her hand on my shoulder and lets out an exasperated sigh. "Look. I'm not going to kill you. You're going to wish that I had killed you later on, but I'm not going to kill you. If you can't believe me, then go ahead and try to escape without getting lost, running into someone who doesn't have a local to vouch for you, or – if you somehow, miraculously make it out – wandering the city aimlessly until you starve to death. It's your choice, I won't stop you."
"And if I get in the bed?"
"Then you save everyone time and effort."

Options, options.

[ ] She has a point. Get in the bed.
[ ] How odd! I'm feeling better already! Ask for a guided tour, or at least to get dropped off somewhere.
[ ] Well, you have her blessing. Get the hell out of here.
>> No. 5504
[Q] She has a point. Get in the bed.

I can't see a point in resisting right now. Plus, angry Orin, bad news.
>> No. 5505
[X] She has a point. Get in the bed.

>Plus, angry Orin, bad news.
She was angry since finding out the MC was still alive.
>> No. 5506
>>5505

I mean, more angry if we tried to skip out on our promise.
>> No. 5507
[x] She has a point. Get in the bed.

I think we might have gotten in over our heads.

>>5481
>I should note that we're playing fast and loose with canon.

Is some respect being paid to it?
>> No. 5508
[x] She has a point. Get in the bed.
>> No. 5510
>Bondage queen/medicine woman Yamame
I'm okay with this.

[X] She has a point. Get in the bed.
>> No. 5511
[x] She has a point. Get in the bed.
>>5510
Agreed.~
>> No. 5512
>>5506
No one said running away and fulfilling your promise were mutually exclusive.

>>5507
Not enough for you to make any assumptions. I mean, there's a few assumptions that would be safe to make (as they would be correct) but do you really want to take your chances? I certainly wouldn't.

I highly doubt that I'll be able to update before tomorrow night, but seeing as y'all jumped on this story like hot to asphalt I'm going to try my damnedest.

For those who like to plan ahead, Thursday is my day off and I have very, very little else to do with my time. We're talking three updates if you can vote fast enough.
>> No. 5514
[x] She has a point. Get in the bed.
>> No. 5521
Well. No point delaying the (supposedly) inevitable. Which, of course, is why my legs are set to "mosey". Ambling might be nice, but I'm certainly not up for dragging or (god forbid) schlepping. After turning a three-pace walk into a thirty-second one, the surprisingly comfortable bed greets me with a characteristic crinkle-creak-hiss. "So what are you gonna do to me, exactly?"
"Oh, nothing in particular. I might have a little fun with you while you're down, but I'd be more concerned about what the boss has planned."
"Sounds kinky. I'm down." Damn, no reaction? I thought that one would be right up your alley.
"Sorry, kid. I don't take my goods pre-worn." She does however coax me to lay down instead of sit, pushing against me with one slender hand. Supporting herself against my chest, she brings her face a breath away from mine. "Word to the wise, though? Don't joke like that. Someone might take you seriously." And pulls it back, standing by the bed as uninterested as ever.
"Who ever said it was a joke?"
"You're right. The only joke around here is you." Ouch. She has a point, though – something's holding my arms and legs down, and I didn't even see her put it in place. "Anyways. She should be coming by in short order. Probably already knows you're here."
"Another woman, huh? Tell me more. Maybe I can seduce her instead." Somehow, her laugh is more unsettling than her...everything else. Somewhere between a giggle and a sharp chuckle, it echos where there was no echo before.
When it finally ends, my spine feels like it's whispering to me. "No, no. She's the sort you have to meet yourself." As though on cue, the lights flicker and distort. In one moment, they shift colors to red to green to purple to blue to yellow to silver that fades like a timeworn jewel, finally settling on all of them at once. The walls look like the bottom of a pool on a sunny day, lines of light shifting around with the flow of water, and all the while Yamame doesn't seem to notice at all.

"Uh...I'm not doin' so good." Fuck. Even my own voice doesn't feel like my own voice. To make matters worse, ice queen over there is starting to look the part. Her fishnets are shifting around like pieces in those annoying slider puzzles where you think you've got it but there's one last part that's on the other side of the board so now you have to go and ruin everything just to bring it back. Her features float around like living things, crashing and spinning into one another and splitting apart. That necklace is expanding, draping over her body and onto the floor like a wedding shawl. She speaks, apparently, but any words she might have said are caught in the air. The vibrations take a second to settle down, but they never quite reach me.

A sinking feeling grabs me at the pit of my stomach as I realize how slanted the floors are. I don't know how this bed isn't sliding down into...whatever the fuck you'd call that. At the center of the slope, there's not just a hole, there's some kind of vortex of heat. Unbearable heat. Why is it so hot? I need to get my clothes off, but I can't move my arms. I can't move my fucking arms. A shock shoots through my head like lightning, and I know the source is the monster standing before me. It's formless and colorless but so vivid that it can't not be there because nothing is nothing, you can see it when you look for what's not there. My brain ties into a knot, and another and another until it's just not and the mold and ice cover it until it shatters. My spine stops whispering. My spine starts shouting.

---

I wake up to the sound of a scream, fading from my memory with the dream it inhabited. Thankfully, my alarm is set to go off in five minutes anyways. May as well get an early start on the day.

Breakfast comes and goes in the morning haze, and by the time I'm fully cognitive my boots are pounding pavement. Just as well, really. There's nothing really interesting for me at home, and I get along with the people at work better anyways. Every time I try to strike up a conversation or even give someone a friendly wave on the streets, I get a dirty look like I'm some kind of criminal. You'd think they're all Yanks or something. Maybe they just have a thing against government workers?

Oh, well. At least I have something nice to look at on the way in; the miasma is sparkling beautifully against the palace's stained glass mural, adopting its colors subtly and lending its depth to the patterns. (Who ever said city architecture was all drab?) The doors to the palace are open by the time I get to them, now that they've learned my name around here. First time I came through, there was quite the misunderstanding and a bit of bloodshed to boot.
"Morning, Parsee."
"Go fuck yourself." She'll get over it.

...Unfortunately, my sense of direction isn't what it always was. I'll get it in another couple days, I'm sure, but I still have to hail down the first person I see for directions.

"Excuse me..."

[ ] "...Which way to the site, again?"
[ ] "...Which way to the doctor's office, again?"
[ ] "...Which way to R&D, again?"

---

Last minute update in every sense of the word. No picture, no time to look for one.
>> No. 5525
[X] "...Which way to the doctor's office, again?"

More Yamame, if you please.
>> No. 5529
[x] "...Which way to the site, again?"
Racists. Racists everywhere.
Just how much time did we skip? I mean, everyone knows our name and all.
>> No. 5531
[Q] "...Which way to the site, again?"

I'm wondering if this is some kind of hallucination, or if we actually did timeskip.
>> No. 5534
[x] "... Which way to the site, again?"

What happened? I am so lost.
>> No. 5535
[X] "...Which way to R&D, again?"
Okuu choice?

Wait, was Yamame just the nurse and Koishi was the doctor? Goddamn it Koishi!
>> No. 5538
[x] "...Which way to the site, again?"
>> No. 5540
[X] "...Which way to the doctor's office, again?"

Doctor, Doctor, tell me the news...
>> No. 5543
>>5534
Mission accomplished, I suppose. Rest assured, things did happen - this wasn't just a nonsensical, random breakdown. Kind of a shame being a doctor didn't win, or it'd be easier to shoehorn in some clarification.

I am fortunate to have finished that update this morning. A number of unfortunate coincidences have taken place, and writing will be difficult this evening. I'll try, of course, but I may have to update in the morning.
>> No. 5544
[x] "...Which way to the doctor's office, again?"
>> No. 5546
>>5543
What did win then? And we didn't know it'd determine what job we'd have.
>> No. 5552
[X] "...Which way to the doctor's office, again?"
>> No. 5553
>>5546
I suppose now would be a bad time to mention that unless I explicitly say "writing now", voting is still open. If I haven't started yet it's a lot easier to change my plans, and I always feel terrible when someone's just a bit too slow and misses the vote in other stories but throws it in ineffectually anyways.(Especially when it's something big.)

In other news, up way too early and vaguely nauseous. Let's see if it shows. Writing now.
>> No. 5554
File 128161060434.jpg - (128.34KB, 333x500, 3242966904_ed6a340dcd.jpg) [iqdb]
5554
"...Which way to the doctor's office, again?"
"What, you still haven't got it down? I guess working with Yamame, you'd want to forget your day as quick as possible, but really now." I'm getting scolded by interns now? What am I, Rodney Dangerfield?
"You should be careful talking like that, you know. You can never be sure who'll hear you."
"Oh, come on. Have they already got the fear in you? Relax, it's not like they can do worse than fire you."
"Yes we can." Dropping from the high ceiling of the lobby, Yamame gives the boy a solid (if upside-down) stare which quickly softens as she cups a hand gently around his cheek. "And we can make you enjoy it, too." As quickly as she appeared, she zips silently back into darkness with the boy in tow.

You know, a lot of people don't care for the good doctor. It's her sense of humor, I think. She's sort of a lovable asshole, I've found; she'll do that sort of thing until you either start laughing with her or start avoiding her. There may also be the whole attitude about the world being her test subject, but what good doctor hasn't compromised their morals at some point or another? Progress can't be made without taking a few risks.

...Whoa. Déjà vu.
.
Another quick swing down, and I'm in her sturdy grip. I don't know how she can keep such a tight hold on you without it hurting, but she pulls it off. Getting dragged up through her personal shortcut is always a bit unsettling, though a good portion of that comes from being dragged through the air at all. It's also an early tip-off to a bad, bad mood. Normally, she likes to take it slow. Within a minute or so, the familiar sterility of the office and the subtle buzz of its lights nudges me toward the work mindset.

"Right then. We have a long day ahead of us. Subjects two and five need new doses, which means you're getting some hands-on training." Not my favorite activity, but at least I don't have to deal with three. That guy's a real prick. "Also, it's your turn to feed three." Mother fucker.
"Can I just observe for five, then? Three always takes a lot out of me." Without breaking stride, she turns and scowls at me, 'You done fucked up' written all over her.
"Why am I training you, again?" Shit. Not this again.
"To give you a chance at a day off, to allow you to run larger-scale experiments, and to eventually replace you." And what am I getting out of it?
"And what are you getting out of it?" For all the times we've had this conversation and for how easily I can spit out answers, you'd think I would remember not to piss her off after a while.
"A valuable skill set, which will in turn make me more useful to the company and allow me to gain the respect of my peers." Arriving in front of two's cell, she stops with her hands on her hips and glares at me.
"And?"
"And a place to live in relative comfort without having to pay rent." It may be boring, but you get what you pay for I guess.
"And?" Her expression doesn't budge an inch as she shifts to one leg and crosses her arms.
"And, should anything happen while you can't be reached, the ability to save lives."
"And?" ...Maybe I don't know it quite so well. Her tapping foot counts down the seconds I have to reply.
"...And..." Speaking slowly to gain even a second while I rack my brain, I can see her growing more and more irate. Her patience finally snaps, and she decides to cut me off by grabbing my face by the chin. It's a weird place to grab someone, but I think making them pucker their lips and all that is a good technique. Makes it harder for them to back talk, and easier for you to think of them as some idiot. Often times, they are.
"And you're getting the opportunity to spend a great deal of time with the lovely Miss Kurodani, head doctor of the Palace of Earth Spirits. Some people pay for this sort of treatment, you know. Don't you feel lucky?" Letting go of my face with a small slap, she doesn't wait for a reply before walking past me to open a heavy iron door. A gust of wind seems to take her aggressions with it, and she calls out with a smile and a sing-song tone. "He~y! Anyone home?"

See? Asshole.

In the corner, a young man in a plain white robe huddles up with his head buried in his knees. He only looks up when Yamame's hand grazes his shoulders, at which point he scrambles back. His hands slide desperately against the floor, unable to propel him to his feet, and when he reaches another corner I'm given the signal. Looks like I've got the easy job today. Moving toward him carefully, I can see the terror in his baggy, bloodshot eyes. His focus shifts from me to Yamame to the floor, looking for some kind of escape from the nothings assaulting him. Finally, he springs from the floor with an earth-shattering shout and a raised fist, but in the moment he chose to attack he gave me my opening. It's amazing what momentum can do for a person. All I had to do was grab his hand and spin, and before he realized it was behind his back his torso was already locked down. Good times.

Well, not for him, but you get the idea. With that same gentle face as before, Yamame steps up to him slowly and tries to calm him down. "Just relax, dear. Mom's gonna fix it all, soon." Her words have no effect on the boy, instead sending him into an even more desperate struggle. His head thrashes left and right, very nearly knocking into my nose. I know there's a better way to restrain people, but I don't know it and she won't teach me; Again, asshole. With both her step and her expression unwavering, she keeps cooing to him gently until her hand rests on his chest and her face sits close to his. Only now does the thrashing stop. "Mom's gonna put it all back the way it ought to be."

No matter how many times I see it happen, it never fails to creep me out. I can see her skin bulge under her clothes and move toward her hand, like some kind of insect is burrowing under it. When it reaches her fingertips, they turn a dark black for just a second before fading back to their usual, natural color. The boy's breathing steadies as his eyes shut, and his body goes limp in my arms. "One down. Let him rest; he didn't sleep last night. We'll continue observations when he wakes up." And so the day continues.

---

"It's getting late. You can save the rest of this for tomorrow, if you want. I'm about to pack up, myself."
"Shit, really? I could swear it's only been an hour or two. I must have been really absorbed in this." If nothing else, she gives interesting homework assignments. Though, is it really homework if you do it at work? Can work even give homework, or is that a school thing? And what if school is work? Semantics always drive me nuts.
"Sucking up isn't going to get you special treatment, you know."
"Don't lie to yourself. I saw you smiling."
"I could say the same to you." After putting her finishing touches on a paper, she starts filing things away into various folders and cases while carefully avoiding eye contact with me.
"Either way, I think I'll take you up on that. There was something I wanted to do today."
"Oh? Nothing too scandalous, I hope." Nothing more scandalous than what you'd get me into.

[ ] It's been a long time, I'm drinking myself stupid.
[ ] I can't keep asking people for directions around this damn place. I'm going to explore a bit.
[ ] Surprise myself. I'm gonna play tonight by ear. (Write-in general idea of where to start.)
[ ] "You." Bow-chicka-wow-wow.
>> No. 5555
[x] "You." Bow-chicka-wow-wow.
Bad end ahoy.
>> No. 5556
[Q] I can't keep asking people for directions around this damn place. I'm going to explore a bit.

Something about the way you do the perspective makes it hard to tell who's who and doing what sometimes. Or maybe I'm just tired.
>> No. 5557
[X] I can't keep asking people for directions around this damn place. I'm going to explore a bit.

It would help if you identified who spoke first in a dialog. It breaks the flow when I have to stop and figure it out through context.
>> No. 5558
>It's been a long time, I'm drinking myself stupid.
Yuugi encounter is tempting, but...

[X] I can't keep asking people for directions around this damn place. I'm going to explore a bit.
>> No. 5559
[x] I can't keep asking people for directions around this damn place. I'm going to explore a bit.

It's weird to be on the doctor end of the crazy psyche ward filled with monsters.
>> No. 5560
[x] I can't keep asking people for directions around this damn place. I'm going to explore a bit.

I'd think it'd take a bit more time before we can try making a pass at our boss. I think increasing our dependability would be a nice step.
>> No. 5561
[X] "You." Bow-chicka-wow-wow.

This doctor.
>> No. 5562
Looks like the winner is pretty clear, here. I didn't expect "You" to win, and I'm kind of glad it didn't because I mostly threw it in as a joke option. It still would have been fun seeing what I could come up with, though.

Writing now.
>> No. 5563
File 128164700545.jpg - (72.10KB, 504x389, sorta like this but way prettier.jpg) [iqdb]
5563
"Nah. I'm just getting tired of being lost; I was thinking a little exploration was in order." At this, she shoots me a smirk about as vicious as one can make a smirk.
"So your plan to stop getting lost is to go get lost? Brilliant."
"Hey, don't knock it till you try it. When you're lost, you spend a lot of time wandering around and landmarks get cemented into your head. Even if you forget where they are that time, the next time things will click. It's the best way to learn." Seriously. I've done it like a hundred times.
"Except when you don't find your way. People do leave this building, you know. Stay too late and you might end up locked in." Bah. What does she know? Common sense never got me anywhere. Turning a deaf ear to her 'advice', I lock up my drawer and head for the exit opposite her...personal room. That place always freaked me out. One last "G'night." accompanies the gentle swish of well-oiled double doors, and I find myself in one of the palace's few actual hallways. Space tends to be maximized, so every room has a purpose and they usually feed one directly into the next.

Even if those purposes are completely unrelated, like the printing press that sits between the glass blower and the weavers. I get the feeling this place was designed by a madman, and it's not hard to believe when the outside is as crooked as it is. It's some kind of magic holding it up, apparently, though the details are lost on me. Never really had a talent for that sort of thing. Magic or no, the passageways are winding and crooked, the room layouts are filled with doors that aren't really hidden but still manage to get tucked away behind other things, and half the staircases lead to dead ends. If nothing else, it certainly doesn't take long to lose myself.

...Maybe I should have listened to Yamame.

---

"Captain's log. Date unknown. We've been adrift for what feels like an eternity. I say we, of course, only in the sense that there were more of us when it began. The crew's morale has dropped steadily, and with it our numbers. I don't know how people manage to leave or where they're all going, but I fear that the deep black of empty space will be my only company in a short while. Despite the hopelessness of our situation, I can't help but feel like help is just around the corner. As much of a waste of resources as it may be, we can't stop moving. Any direction we may go will still be forward, damn it!" My fist pounds on a nearby wooden table, the stress seemingly enough to snap it in two with another few hits. I can't tell any more how much stems from legitimate frustration and how much is just playing the part, but either way I'd probably catch some shit if it actually broke. Scoot along, me. You'll find your way soon enough.

...is what I'd like to think, but it really has been ages. You wouldn't think an underground palace would get darker at night, but damn if it isn't nearly pitch black in here. At the very least, the place has this ambient light about it that never quite seems to go out. If you look really close, it's kind of like seeing light through water. You've seen this before. Yeah, every time I go through a dark room. No surprise there. Wait. I'm hearing things. Isn't that bad? Like, super-bad? Maybe it's time to find somewhere to lie down for a while...

The next room, for example! As I open another door I'm immediately greeted by a massive library, the far wall of which is occupied by the palace's iconic stained glass mural complete with convenient viewing benches. How long has that thing been here, anyways? It just seems too primal to be anything but ancient. No matter how many times I see it, it's positively entrancing. Getting this close and being able to make out every detail like this is an experience I'm glad to have stumbled upon.
"Why hello. So good to see you again." A person! Finally, I can get out of here! Just gotta find them through all these bookcases, and--
"Cut the shit. You know what I'm here for." People! Finally, I can hang back and not bother the clearly irate women with business to conduct. Look at that mural. So pretty!
"That I do! It doesn't change the fact that you're not getting it, of course." Yup. Not hearing anything, here. Nothing at all.
"Why are you so insistent on keeping her from me?!" Dooooesn't concern me.
"Why are you so insistent on fighting for her when you can just work for me like everyone else?" ...Or maybe it does.
"Maybe because your so-called revolution is a load of horse shit. Someone's going to catch on eventually, and then you'll have thrown away everything you were ever given. Do you really want that?" That's an odd place to put emphasis. Judging from the loud slapping sound, there's some very personal significance to it.
"Don't you fucking talk to me like that. Can you even begin to fathom what I've done for this city? What I continue to do every single day? I had to claw my way from under a pile of corpses just for a breath of fresh air, and nobody is going to tell me to do it again. I don't want to have to be the bad guy here. Just work with me, and we'll both get what we want."
"I'd rather cut off my arms."
"That can be arranged."

I can't ignore this any longer. Whatever's going down is way too serious for me to just pretend it never happened.

[ ] ...but I'm just not that strong. Time to swallow my pride and step away.
[ ] Step in. This argument can't go on like this.
[ ] Spy on them. As long as I know who's involved, I can deal with it from the shadows.
[ ] ...No. I have a better idea. (Write-in.)

---

>>5556
>>5557
Hm. Thank you for pointing that out. I'll try to avoid it in the future.
>> No. 5564
[X] Step in. This argument can't go on like this.
>> No. 5566
[x] Spy on them. As long as I know who's involved, I can deal with it from the shadows.
>> No. 5567
[Q] Spy on them. As long as I know who's involved, I can deal with it from the shadows.

Danger? Check.
Potential gain? Check.
>> No. 5568
[x] Spy on them. As long as I know who's involved, I can deal with it from the shadows.
Stepping into the fray would be a very bad idea. Both parties are clearly hostile, and probably wouldn't give two shits about killing a wayward human who sees their confrontation.
>> No. 5569
[x] Spy on them. As long as I know who's involved, I can deal with it from the shadows.
We;re an asshole, but a smart one.
>> No. 5571
[x] Spy on them. As long as I know who's involved, I can deal with it from the shadows.
>> No. 5572
It's weird how when I have more time, I'm less inclined to use it. Gonna try to get an update out before work; writing now.
>> No. 5573
File 128171523138.jpg - (224.01KB, 565x800, 1233957545593.jpg) [iqdb]
5573
Then again, it's not really my place to intervene. I like having all of my limbs in place. They come in handy. Still, this sounds like it could concern me. Much as I hate to sneak around like some kind of thief, my curiosity gets the best of me. Thankfully, the library's carpeting is soft enough to make sneaking around and looking for them effortless. As long as I keep my head out of sight, this shouldn't be too too dangerous...hopefully. Maybe.

And while I'm busy with internal conflict, the conversation keeps going. Can't keep letting myself slip like this. "I hope you realize I'm not alone."
"Oh, I'm sure you have a few friends. A group of delinquents as ragtag as your outfit, going up against a superpower with nothing but your vague friendship and personal grudges motivating you." The woman's voice drops, and I have to hold my breath just to make out her words. "Try it. I dare you." My eye rounds the corner just in time to see the impact. A cloud of dust and rubble shoots from where there was (presumably) a wall before, and the only thing I can make out in the hurried glances I steal is a grandiose white cape fluttering gently to the ground behind a head of unkempt black hair.

Note to self: Do not fuck with white-cape.

"Get up." Rather than continuing her attack, white-cape waits for the dust to settle. "I said, get up." Now, see, this is what cements her as "terrifying" for me. It's not about whether someone can kill you; any thug on the street can kill you if they want. Hell, someone being strong enough to make it painless is actually less scary. You're getting where you're going, and you don't even need to be there for the ride! No, what's really frightening is purpose. When someone has the clarity to deliver one well-placed strike and back off, it means they have a reason not to kill you. It means that this person is going to hound you to the ends of the earth, not until you die but until you submit. Until you become theirs. I would know. Depending on what they're in the game for, that can be much, much worse than death.

A ghastly laugh rises from the dust, echoing to the rhythm of the click-clack of footsteps on gravel. "Just five more minutes? I was having such a nice dream." And into view comes nothing.
Another flash of grey shoots from under the cape, sending its target into a bookshelf and burying it under countless books. "Get up." Or maybe she really just wants to beat the shit out of someone.
"I do hope you don't intend to keep doing this until I talk. I paid good money for this room!" Finally giving up on waiting, white-cape turns and walks toward nothing with determination burning in all three of her eyes.

Well, she wasn't kidding about the ragtag outfit. Her pale skin is offset by deep brown – no, red. Dull red eyes, like the color of rust. She wears a simple white sweater, but an enormous jewel that looks like a cat's eye rests between her breasts. I want to say it's some kind of accessory, but the way it moves with her body and pulses like a heart makes it just as likely that it's a part of her. Her left sleeve is intact and hugs her arm snugly, but the right one seems to have been either torn or burned off. In its place is a long orange and black striped glove that reaches nearly all the way to her shoulder. To make things just a little less believable, she has a pair of black cargo shorts, her left leg is covered in circlets, and her right has a visibly very heavy piece of armor. What did they call those things...Sabatons?

And as quickly as it fired up, that determination fades as she stops in place. Slowly, nothing creeps up on her, sagging from her back until she's brought to her knees. "You're clearly not in the mood to negotiate tonight, and I have a business to run." There's still things to run around here? "We're done here. Now, you scurry on home. You can come back when you're ready to talk to me like an adult." Even though you've been laughing and joking the whole time. Sure. The only reply she gets (and with good reason, if you ask me) is a hard glare.
"No."
"Oh, I wasn't talking to you, lovely. I know better by now."

---

Another uneventful morning. The headache isn't really helping anything, but at least it's Friday. Yamame seems to pick up what I'm dropping, and has laid off her usual teasing. Unfortunately, it seems like that was the only real interaction we had. What would normally be relaxing, quiet moments are suddenly uncomfortable silences.

I can't ignore this any longer.

[ ] "So hey, two's doing a lot better today."
[ ] "I'm not feeling too hot. Mind if I take a half day?"
[ ] "What's got you down? Somebody leave you waiting last night?"
[ ] ;;':'/<<)%*##$/{`^^>
>> No. 5574
[X] ;;':'/<<)%*##$/{`^^>

SAN check failed.
>> No. 5575
[X] "What's got you down? Somebody leave you waiting last night?"

We can be crazy next choice. Koishi will wait.
>> No. 5576
[Q] "So hey, two's doing a lot better today."
>> No. 5577
[x] "What's got you down? Somebody leave you waiting last night?"
>> No. 5578
[x] "What's got you down? Somebody leave you waiting last night?"
I can't resist. This Yamame is delicious.
>> No. 5579
[X] "What's got you down? Somebody leave you waiting last night?"

>>5578
I agree. Let's see what happens.
>> No. 5580
My apologies, but delicious Yamame is going to have to wait. I'm exhausted for some reason, and Comiket isn't going to comb through itself.

Expect an update either tonight or tomorrow.
>> No. 5582
>>5580
Why not just say the middle of next week? Since with how much stuff Comiket has, you might be at it for longer than you planned.
>> No. 5583
[x] "So hey, two's doing a lot better

There's a time and place for the other. This isn't it, in my opinion.
>> No. 5586
>>5582
As much as I'd love to be a useless piece of shit and play these video games all day every day for the next week and a half, I've been around long enough to know that more than a one-day break will almost invariably turn into a hiatus.

No Fairy Wars or SML2 until I've updated. Writing now.
>> No. 5587
File 12818802084.jpg - (13.50KB, 400x301, Like this only not.jpg) [iqdb]
5587
This is a sensitive situation. If I don't handle things with a little finesse, it could get pretty awkward...

"What's got you down? Somebody leave you waiting last night?" They say the key to finesse is following your instincts. Blurting out the first thing that came to mind has never failed me before!
Her gaze shifts lazily over to me, and with an unchanging face she replies, "Yes, actually." ...Fuck. Maybe she really wasn't just being considerate.
The best I can muster is stumbling over my words for a second before settling on "Uh...sorry."
"Ah, don't worry about it. It wasn't the first time, it won't be the last." Somehow both relieving and depressing. At least she's mellow about it; I was afraid she'd blow up in my face or something.
"Sounding awfully jaded there."
"Wouldn't you be? I've already lost track of how old I am, and I'm not getting any younger." Your outfit says otherwise. Not that I'm stupid enough to...Actually, fuck it. She's already betrayed my expectations once today.
"Your outfit says otherwise." Today, it's a classic punk ensemble of black denim with neon pink highlights and torn stockings. That spiderweb choker is still around her neck, and her hair is tied back in two places. Every now and then it occurs to me just how strange it is that a doctor would dress like this, and I have to wonder when I stopped noticing. I guess it's easy to filter out the obvious sometimes.
Her tired eyes look down over herself, eventually landing on a ring she wears on her outstretched hand. It's an open type that has a little bit of stretch for it, ending one side with a golden sun and the other with a silver moon. I'm not much one for jewelry, but it looks good on her. "Yeah. Yeah, I guess it does." Oh, don't get all serious on me now.
"And it's right!" I don't usually make it a habit to bombard people with compliments, but for how supposedly trivial her missed date was, she looks awfully down over it. "Well, I mean. You're not getting younger, no, but you're certainly not getting old. You say you lost track of how old you are, but what does that matter? Look at yourself! You're gorgeous, you're intelligent, you've got a solid position here and you're damn good at it." Before I have time to reach some hypothetical end to my train of thought, she jumps to her feet.
"You can stop sucking up, kid. Around here, favoritism doesn't make up for skill."
"I'm not suc--" Interrupted again, this time by a surprisingly powerful blow to my already-aching head that sends it throbbing. Not a strike, really, but her hand lands on top of me with more weight than I'm really comfortable with. Waiting for some kind of reprimanding, the seconds pass like minutes until her fingers softly flow through my hair for a moment. By the time my eyes turn to meet her, her feet are in the door.
Her voice comes out barely above a whisper, but her words are unmistakable. "Thanks, though."

Wait. Did I just...Yeah, I did. This could get weird.

---

It doesn't.

The hours fly by, leaving me standing in the lobby wondering where my day went. Feels like we didn't get anything done at all, though it didn't seem to bother Yamame. Now and then I even caught her smiling to herself.

"Have a good one."
"Die in a fire." Such a character, that Mizuhashi.

For some reason or another, the air outside feels really fresh. Every breath I take makes me more energetic, until I feel like I could just sprint the entire way home. Or no, fuck that, I feel like I can lift a goddamn house! Or...jump over a stalagmite! Or get Parsee to smile!

[ ] Just chill, man. Ride the feeling; today's gonna be a good day.
[ ] CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.
--[ ] I'm the fucking Flash!
--[ ] SUPLEX A TRAIN!
--[ ] Fly, like a butterfly!
--[ ] I've cheered up one girl today. Let's shoot for two.
[ ] Wait, am I forgetting something?
[ ] Y*('re #^r@ett`|g so¨eth¦¶g.

---

Short update. I thought I'd have more to do with this one, but I guess I was mistaken! Such is the way of things.
>> No. 5588
[X] Wait, am I forgetting something?
[X] Y*('re #^r@ett`|g so¨eth¦¶g.

Okay, now we can go crazy.
>> No. 5589
[X] CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.
--[X] I've cheered up one girl today. Let's shoot for two.
What's a ploot hook anyway?
>> No. 5590
[X] Wait, am I forgetting something?
[X] Y*('re #^r@ett`|g so¨eth¦¶g.

>--[ ] SUPLEX A TRAIN!
How? Yukari's not allowed down here.
>> No. 5592
[X] CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.
--[X] I've cheered up one girl today. Let's shoot for two.

Parsee lovin'.
>> No. 5593
[Q] CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.
--[Q] I've cheered up one girl today. Let's shoot for two.

You know what? This is a lot cooler than I had expected it to be.

Which is to say it's very cool.
>> No. 5595
[x] Wait, am I forgetting something?

very suspicious.
>> No. 5596
[x] Wait, am I forgetting something?
>> No. 5597
[x] CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.
-[x] I've cheered up one girl today. Let's shoot for two.
We already made Yamame smile, so as far as I'm concerned, the day is already complete. But why stop at one?
>> No. 5603
[x] Wait, am I forgetting something?
[x] Y*('re #^r@ett`|g so¨eth¦¶g.

I want to say I really fucking love this story, and I especially like your unusual taste in themes and art styles for the pictures you use. It's nice to see something other than regular-style pictures. Also the story is interesting and this Yamame is (semi-)trashy hotness. I also love Koishi mindfuck. Always. Alwaysalwaysalways.

Would it be a strange thing if I said sometimes it feels like this story is directed by Guy Ritchie?

Because it does.
>> No. 5605
>>5593
>>5603
You guuuuuys. Quit it, you're making me blush!

Unfortunately, work has set my schedule to "most inconvenient timing possible" and I'm not going to have more than a half hour or so of uninterrupted time to write each day. I'll be making use of it, but I might have to skip a day or two.

That said, that time is not now and the numbers are pretty close so I'm not calling it yet. Given the number of votes, though, I'm kind of doubting that there are even more readers.
>> No. 5607
Back into the fray. Writing now.
>> No. 5608
File 128200517662.jpg - (196.69KB, 800x600, pic unrelated.jpg) [iqdb]
5608
Or nearly trip over myself as the unmistakable sensation that I've forgotten something halts my feet instantly. That sort of feeling that's vague enough that you can't quite put your finger on it, but too strong to put off till the morning. I can't remember for the life of me what it could be, but it's put me right back out of my good mood. Times like these I wish I was a hypnotist. I bet they go through intense training to control their own thoughts so they don't accidentally end up hypnotizing themselves.

"Back so soon?" Does she ever stop glaring? That's gotta get tiring after a while.
"Yeah, I just got this feeling like I forgot something." With a scoff, she holds the door open for me in only the most reluctant and frustrated fashion that one can do so.
"You won't find your dick no matter how long you look, you know." …Normally, I don't have time to indulge her, but I've always been curious.
"Why are you always so...angry?" Her response comes without hesitation.
"Same reason you're always such a dipshit."
"See, like that! Every time I see you, you pull that shit. You're never gonna make friends if you keep up that kind of an attitude." Only now does her grip on the door let loose. Her arms fold in front of her, and she waits for the inevitable slam before continuing.
"If I wanted shit from you, I'd squeeze your head." Fine. Two can play at this game.
"But your jokes are already so crappy!" Somehow, she manages to both glare and scowl at the same time. She's turning vitriol into an art form.
"That wasn't a come back, what I left on your mom's ass is."
Before the thought is complete in my mind, my hands gesture toward what is quickly becoming the subject of conversation. "Hey! Keep my mom out of this, and I'll keep this out of your mom." Whoa. Where did that one come from?
She shifts her weight from one leg to the other, raising an eyebrow. "Sorry, kid. My mom isn't into beastiality."
"I never said she'd be into it." After a ten-second pause or so, the ends of her lips curve gently upward. That is to say, one end of her lips stops curving down quite as much. It's progress!
As though we had never gotten into this, she turns to the door and opens it again. "You're learning."

I don't think I've ever been quite so comforted by the soft thud of a closing door.

I may have time to waste, but I'd still rather not get lost in here again. Especially not at night. It's not so bad when everywhere you go is another group of people going off to wherever they happen to be going, but I've gotten unlucky a few times and been stuck walking alone. You never realize just how much a room echos until you're in it by yourself, listening to your own footsteps, wondering if there's someone else in there. Watching you. Sometimes I give myself the creeps.

Setting the pace at a brisk jog, familiar though never quite comfortable rooms pass by in a blur as I ponder what it could have been. Did I leave something at the office? Was there something I needed to do? Was it someone's birthday? Nothing's ringing a bell, but I can't stop here. Even if I wasn't being pushed forward by this bizarre feeling, I'd grab something at random. Parsee would give me hell if it turned out to be nothing after that exchange. Oh, what we do to save face.

A voice calls out from a corner too far to write off and too close to ignore. "Hey there, lover-boy." I know that voice, and no good has ever come from it.
"Good evening, Rin." As though only just being summoned by hearing her name, she appears in front of me. I was really hoping not to get dragged into some kind of shenanigans tonight.
She walks up to me in what you might call a demure fashion if you happened to be having a seizure, running her hand along my cheek softly. The scent of death wafts from her dress, though whether it's because of a busy day or because she never washes the damn thing remains a mystery. "Aww, you don't have to be so formal with little old me! Why, I still remember when I could carry you in my arms."
"Well, you know I like to keep business and pleasure separate." That damn giggle sounds like a broken record, too.
"Oh? That's not what I'd heard. In fact, I just so happened to overhear a little exchange between you and the good doctor." Clasping her hands together, she pouts pathetically and puts on a whiny, mocking tone. "Oh, Yamame! You're so beautiful and smart and did I mention beautiful? It's such a crime that someone would choose not to go through torture indulging in your kinks, puh-leeeease tie me up and whip me!" And she snaps back to her normal devious grin. Something about her eyes always makes it look like she's hiding something, which is a surprisingly effective defense. If she was, you'd be just as likely to assume she's just being normal. "You're pretty pathetic, you know that?"
"Are you done?"
"Oh, come on! You'll play along with anyone but me." You're damn right I will.
"I've got somewhere to be this time."

[ ] ...But I'm on a roll. Nothing wrong with a bit of magnanimity.
[ ] And that's how it's going to stay. I had somewhere to be.
[ ] Hear her out, at least. If things go south, nothing says I can't ditch her.
[ ] H@¦d oи▒▒▒Do》t lΞ+ Ю ▓▓.

---

I lose sleep for you people.
>> No. 5609
[x] ...But I'm on a roll. Nothing wrong with a bit of magnanimity.
Today is a good day, and nothing will change that. Not even an annoying catgirl.
>> No. 5610
[x] H@¦d oи▒▒▒Do》t lΞ+ Ю ▓▓.

Mystery choice
>> No. 5611
[x] H@¦d oи▒▒▒Do》t lΞ+ Ю ▓▓.
>> No. 5612
[x] H@¦d oи▒▒▒Do》t lΞ+ Ю ▓▓.
Annoying catgirl.
>> No. 5614
[X] ...But I'm on a roll. Nothing wrong with a bit of magnanimity.
>> No. 5615
[x] H@¦d oи▒▒▒Do》t lΞ+ Ю ▓▓.
>> No. 5616
[x] ...But I'm on a roll. Nothing wrong with a bit of magnanimity.
>> No. 5617
[X] ...But I'm on a roll. Nothing wrong with a bit of magnanimity.
[X] H@¦d oи▒▒▒Do》t lΞ+ Ю ▓▓.

Vote combinan gaems, since it seemed to work last time.
>> No. 5629
[x] H@¦d oи▒▒▒Do》t lΞ+ Ю ▓▓.
>> No. 5639
[X] ...But I'm on a roll. Nothing wrong with a bit of magnanimity.
>> No. 5643
One thing on top of another and another and another until the load is too heavy for even a pen. I am dropping any pretenses of this being a daily story until my plate isn't quite so full. I will attempt to update when I have both the time and the will, but they will come slowly and sporadically until something around here clears up. As it stands, I'm going to bed at 8:30 every day just because I'm so goddamn worn out - both physically and mentally.

My sincerest apologies to anyone who has been following and enjoying this.
158posts omitted. First 100 shown.
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