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You’re STANLEY PARBLE: a girl with a weird name and an even weirder tale: after a centuries-old lich woke up during your graveyard shift at the GOOD BOY DOGGIE BONE factory, your simple life of janitorial work became a bit more… Complicated.

Sure, you became pals with your now-sentient skeleton (you named him LY) AND gained some nifty SUPER POWERS from eating MAGICAL BONE MARROW, but that doesn’t change the fact that your hometown of CLEARWATER, CALIFORNIA is overrun by HOMICIDAL SKELETONS! Even worse, the guy in charge is dead-set on taking over the rest of the world while he’s at it! Not cool!

In an attempt to draw out your latest target: the fearsome, yet paranoid CAPTAIN RED-EYE MENDOZA, you followed a lead on a MAGICAL PEARL that could supposedly cure any ailment into the depths of THE WAILING CAVERNS--CLEARWATER’S one-stop shop for natural beauty and educational fun. One thing they failed to print on the brochure, however, was that said caves were home to a clan of sadistic mermaids and their vile matriarch known only as THE DEEP MOTHER.

Ravenous for blood, mommy dearest had you stand trial for all of your ‘crimes’ and sent you to jail where you ran into ANDRE THE BUTCHER-- one of Mendoza’s men sent to track down the pearl. Fed up with serving the capricious captain, you and Andre formed an uneasy truce resulting in a brutal, albeit extremely convenient prison riot!

Escaping in the confusion, you all hitched a ride back to the surface thanks to a chance encounter with a local legendary fur-bearin’ catfish. Taking a short break before assaulting Mendoza’s ship, Andre revealed that during your flight he deftly stole the MERMAID’S PEARL from under the mermaid’s collective noses. Handing off the pearl to you, you eventually opted to use the pearl on your stalwart bodyguard and ex-stalker TALBOT, returning the skeletal golem to his human form… though the jury’s still out on whether or not that was the best decision.

Taking him and your best pal SYBIL to assault the pirate ship, you ultimately tracked down the captain and bested him in a duel! You didn’t have much time to talk or gloat, however--somewhere in the middle of it all you accidentally summoned the ship’s stygian watchdog: a SEA DEMON summoned by one of your two remaining targets! Barely escaping with your friends intact, your victory was cut short when the boat was ripped apart by a violent explosion!

After a tense meeting with your on-and-off FAIRY GOD BOSS, NOW KNOWN AS SHANNON, you found yourself back ashore staring down the barrel of a figurative shotgun held by your lifelong rival and tormentor: BORIS PONDEROSA. THIS is where your story continues...
https://youtu.be/_wiwdlu-Zg0
>>
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>>5029984
Welcome to BONES QUEST--we were spooky BEFORE October made it popular! Make sure to check out the following resources:

Archive Link to catch up with the story!
>http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive.html?tags=Bones%20quest

Twitter account for updates!
>https://twitter.com/DemBonez3

Imgur Page for quest and FAN ART! You make it, we display it!
>https://imgur.com/a/dvF3SCN

A HANDY PASTEBIN for INVENTORY, SKILLS, and MORE:
>https://pastebin.com/u/DemBonez3/1/TvtRhtJK

Rolls are handled by a 1d100--I take the BEST OF THREE ROLLS! Certain boosts and maluses will be applied based on the situation and existing skills. Describing your actions, write-ins, FANART and GENERAL CREATIVITY are all APPRECIATED AND REWARDED--we like to keep things LIGHT and CHILL here, so come on in and have some fun!

>CONTD.
>>
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>>5029985
https://youtu.be/mHjH3DyKChU
“Sorry to wake ya’, bumblebee,” He continues in that SICKENING half-laugh voice, “but we need to chat.

You spit a few grains of sand from your mouth in response to the muffled beats coming from his stupid red headphones. Damn right, you do! Rising to your wobbly feet, you hear the now-familiar sound of weapons being aimed in your direction from behind a row of blinding white lights further up the beach. Headlights, you guess.

“Should we blast ‘em, B?” The hulking form of BEA HENNIG appears at Boris’ side carrying a machine gun more suited for a tank in her armored hands. Or a battleship.

“It certainly seems prudent.” Purrs a familiar voice. Backed by a group of robe-wearing weirdos, CURT BLACQUIERE approaches Boris’ other side, scowling at you through his lens-covered eyes. “Those pirates carried them ashore, after all.” The mage and his acolytes send a collective pointed stare in the direction of ANDRE and his surviving mates standing like statues off to the side.

“You’re making a mistake!” Glancing over to where your friends are being held at gunpoint, you can’t help but smile a bit at Syb’s outburst. The last time you saw her she was about to pass out!

“YEA!” Aaaand there goes your enthusiasm. Puffing out his chest, your now-human bodyguard Talbot confidently takes position in front of you and stares Boris down! “Try shooting us and see what happens! I DARE YA!” Great, now we’re gonna die.

“Don’t act like you weren’t gonna say da’ same thing, cupcake.” Ly replies in a quiet voice. Oh cool, he’s back!

“Never left.”

You’ll talk about it later… If later, you know, happens.

Raising his hand like he’s some kind of KING or something, Boris twists his TELESCOPING MOP around a few more times in CAPTAIN MENDOZA’S smashed skull. “Come on, gang… Stan’s might not be the brightest bulb in the box, but she ain’t EVIL!

YEA!

“Stan can barely mop a room, much less hatch a wicked plan!”

YE-wait, wha?

“So,” Boris continues, still grinning from ear to ear, “I think we oughta at least hear her out.” Raising a perfectly-trimmed eyebrow in your direction, your fellow janitor looks at you expectantly.

“So, Stan,” He asks, “What are you doin’ with all of these skeletons?”

How do you respond?
>HOLD UP, PRICK--WHY ARE YOU HERE ANYWAYS?
>WHAT JUST HAPPENED? DID I MISS SOMETHING?
>TELL HIM THE TRUTH--YOU AND ANDRE HAD A DEAL!
>LET SOMEONE ELSE DEFEND YOU! (WHICH PAL?)
>STAY SILENT--YOU’RE NOT TALKING TO THIS JERK!
>WRITE-IN!
>>
>>5029987
>>TELL HIM THE TRUTH--YOU AND ANDRE HAD A DEAL!
Of course he took our fucking credit.
>>
>>5029987
>TELL HIM THE TRUTH--YOU AND ANDRE HAD A DEAL!
This'll grab 'em for sure.
>>
>>5029987
>>TELL HIM THE TRUTH--YOU AND ANDRE HAD A DEAL!
>>
>>5030040
>>5030067
>>5030108
>TELL THE TRUTH!

Writing!
>>
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As fun as it would be to watch Boris and Talbot duke it out, you’d rather your friends didn’t all get pumped full of hot lead, so you opt to take a different approach. Trying and failing to ignore Boris’ smug grin, you clench your fists tight in a desperate attempt to distract them from socking the guy in the face. He wants to know so bad? You’ll tell him!

“Easy, kiddo,” Ly warns as you maintain shaky eye contact with the headphone-wearing antichrist, “We gotta be diplomatic here…”

You eat diplomacy for breakfast, dang it! Clearing your throat, you begin your explanation by calmly addressing his concerns:

Is he DUMB or what?!

“Great goin’, kid,” Ly groans in your head, “That oughta’ do it.”

Brushing your skeleton’s sarcasm off, you continue by poking your fellow janitor in his annoyingly-chiseled chest! You’re not working FOR the skeletons--you’re working WITH them! Get with the program! Grinning in satisfaction, you turn around and give Syb a thumb’s up--you got dis’!

Receiving a death glare from Art in response, it dawns on you that Boris and his pals are total morons and that you really oughta give them more details. Lowering your thumb, you turn your attention back to the man reeking of spearmint gum in front of you and continue. You tell Boris and his goons all of the gritty details of your journey into the caves--your encounter with the fog, the arrival at FLOTSAM, your ‘trial’, and, most importantly, your daring prison escape! By the time your tale reaches the present, Boris’ expression has changed somewhat.

“Hell of a tale, bumblebee,” He remarks, his pet name earning a growl from you, “and I guess this guy being human again gives it some credibility…” He adds, gesturing to the quietly-simmering Talbot next to you. You bet it does, you hiss! Is he gonna beat it now, or what!?

“Woah woah WOAH, Stannie--cool your jets a little!” Boris chuckles in response before glancing in Curt’s direction. “What’s your expert opinion, Curt?”

“Believable.” The mage replies, not taking his eyes off of you. “... To a degree.”

“A DEGREE?” Eddie shouts from where your friends are! “What proof do you guys even need?”

“It’s not proof I’m worried about.” Curt continues as he turns his attention to Andre and the pirates, “My concerns lie with your clear collaboration with these… Thralls…

“Yea!” Bea adds excitedly! “All of the boneheads we’ve run into shoot first and ask questions later!”

“It is pretty fishy, bumblebee.” Boris nods, not taking his hands off of his mop. “I mean, if WE showed up with a pack of skeletons, what would you think?”

Well naturally you’d tear him a new-oh CRAP, he’s got a point!

“Ya don’t gotta say it out loud, cupcake.”

>CONTD.
>>
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>>5030190
As the tension in the air grows, Andre takes a step forward with his bony hands raised in the air. “Eef eet would please ye, I would be ‘appy to explain myself-”

“Silence, husk,” Curt snaps, aiming a glowing finger in the skeleton’s direction, “you and your kin were reanimated by the lich’s own life energy--who’s to say this isn’t just another tactic?”

“If it were a tactic, why would they have assisted us in the first place?” Syb counters, venturing a step forward from the friend clump. “Andre and his lot had countless opportunities to eliminate us--why hold off until now?”

“Why indeed?” Curt responds, narrowing his eyes at the Goth’s interruption. As the two stare each other down, Bea’s masked face lights up with an idea prompting her to hop up and down with a raised hand shouting “OOH! OOH! PICK ME!

“Bea,” Boris chuckles, “You’re up, sweetheart.”

YES!” She giggles, pumping an armored fist! “So I was thinking: what if the skeletons don’t want to kill Stan?”

You blink. Has she been following the story so far? You’ve crossed paths with death so many times you might as well be dating now!

“Still….” Bea continues, “We’ve never really seen you fight them before, have we, Boris?”

The janitor shrugs in response. “Guess not… What’s your point, Bea?”

“Well,” the amazon continues, “What if, like… What if Stan had an… Like an agreement or something?”

The statement is so ridiculously stupid you almost fall over. The hell is that supposed to mean, anyways!?

“Huh.” Boris replies, raising an eyebrow in thought. “Boss did warn us about a TRAITOR at GOOD BOY....” A spearmint-scented bubble expands from his mouth, then pops. “But come on… Stan couldn’t do that-”

Yea, you snap, you COULDN’T! You were at GROUND-FRIGGIN’-ZERO-- why the hell would you work with that freak TIM?!

“... And yet you miraculously survived the encounter…” Curt adds, rubbing his chin with interest. “How very fortunate…”

“Wait, you were there where it started?” Talbot asks, shooting you a sideways glance. “That’s uh… That does sound a little sketchy…”

Who’s side is this asshole on!? Ignoring the growing pit in your stomach, you rack your mind for something that’ll acquit you--you’re not working with ANYONE, dang it! How do you prove it, though?

>TELL THEM ABOUT CLIFF AND THE OTHERS! CALL THEM IF YOU NEED TO!
>REMIND THEM HOW YOU’RE TAKING DOWN LIEUTENANTS!
>DEFLECT! HOW DO YOU KNOW THEY AREN’T THE TRAITORS?!
>CALL ON YOUR PALS TO WEIGH IN!
>WAIT--CAN WE TALK ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED WITH THE BOAT FIRST?
>WRITE-IN!
>>
>>5030193
>TELL THEM ABOUT CLIFF AND THE OTHERS! CALL THEM IF YOU NEED TO!
Some moron once told us to fly to brighter flowers, and we are making a beautiful garden out of tibius, femurs and marrow that will all come together once we eat Tim's magic. And anyone who doesn't join is just a bee in a pool.
>>
>>5030193
>>REMIND THEM HOW YOU’RE TAKING DOWN LIEUTENANTS!
>DEFLECT! HOW DO YOU KNOW THEY AREN’T THE TRAITORS?!

We should also play up on our "stupidity."

>>5030214

You might have Boris here, but Curt and Bea might misconstrue this for us wanting to build our own evil bone empire.
>>
>>5030234
They will misinterpret us anyway or we look like an idiot, if not both. Might as well just go all the way.
>>
Gonna keep this open a while longer because I'd rather not roll for a choice. Guess people are busy tonight!

While we're on the subject, I'll be playing some Tabletop stuff with my pals tomorrow, so I can't promise many updates--might have to wait until SUNDAY AFTER 8 OR MONDAY AROUND 6-7PM PST. I'll keep a tab open here tonight just in case, though.
>>
>>5030193
>TELL THEM ABOUT CLIFF AND THE OTHERS! CALL THEM IF YOU NEED TO!
>>
>>5030193
>TELL THEM ABOUT CLIFF AND THE OTHERS! CALL THEM IF YOU NEED TO!
>>
>>5030193
>REMIND THEM HOW YOU’RE TAKING DOWN LIEUTENANTS!
>AND TERRY THE TERRIBLE!
>WAIT--CAN WE TALK ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED WITH THE BOAT FIRST?
>>
>>5030214
>>5030588
>>5030629
>TELL THEM ABOUT THE OTHERS!

>>5030234
>REMIND THEM ABOUT HOW YOU'RE TAKING DOWN LIEUTENANTS!
>DEFLECT!

>>5030632
>LIEUTENANTS AND TERRY!
>TALK ABOUT THE BOAT FIRST!

Looks like we're gonna tell them about Cliff and the rest of the goofs. Writing!
>>
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“Well, bumblebee,” Boris interrupts in his typical smug, half-chuckle voice, “Hate to say it, but this really isn’t looking good for you!”

“Nor does being on the enemy ship.” Curt adds, crossing his arms. “What was it, Parble? A staff meeting?

“It was an infiltration, you morons!” Syb snaps, glaring daggers at Curt and his retinue! “Why on Earth would we risk an all-out attack?”

“And if it were a ‘staff meeting’, why would they leave us on land, then?” Art adds with a confident nod! Atta’ boy!

“To do what we were doing, no doubt:” Curt replies, “Watching the coast for activity. Which is exactly how we detected your van and your stalwart leader being carried ashore.”

“‘Ell’s bells, ye future types are EXHAUSTEENG…” Andre groans as he cracks his neck a bit. “Mademoiselle Parble was merely ‘elping wit’ a standard MUTINY! Eet was a long time coming, let me be tellin’ yo-”

The air fills with the acrid stench of ozone as a sizzling beam shoots from the tips of Curt’s fingers and just barely misses Andre’s head! Blowing the smoke off his fingertips like a cowboy’s revolver, Curt raises a thin eyebrow in the skeleton’s direction. “Speak out of turn again, thrall, and they’ll be your last words.

“He’s telling the truth though, you… MAGIC NERD!” Talbot growls, earning a few muffled ‘ooooh’s from the order members. As Curt grinds his teeth, Boris gracefully steps between the two.

“Even if he was, this is just one pile of bones, err… Talbot.

Your bodyguard blinks. “Y-you… You remember my name?!”

“Sure I do!” Boris laughs! “Can’t be forgetting the names of my buddies, can I?”

You groan as a goofy grin forms on Talbot’s face--he’s never acted that way when YOU remembered his name…

“Anywho,” Boris segues, twisting his mop in Mendoza’s caved-in skull some more, “One good player doesn’t make up for a bad team, right, Parble?” You frown--great, we’re back to the sports metaphors… Wait a minute, though!

“Stan.” Ly whispers, pulling the brakes on your train of thought. “Be very careful wit’ your next words…”

Calm down, man--you’re just gonna tell them about CLIFF and the others!

“... The others?” Boris asks, prompting Ly to borrow your hand for a facepalm. What?

>CONTD.
>>
>>5030839
“So let me get this straight, bumblebee:” Boris begins after you finish regaling his team with tales of defeating lieutenants and poaching their skeletons, “you’re saying that not only did you spare these guys here,” he continues, gesturing to Andre and his men, “but also his brother’s goons, a bunch of soldiers, and most of those skeleton greasers too?”

“Not for long!” Andre adds in a chipper tone! “Zee minute I see my brother again, well, let’s just say ee won’t be animated for lo-” The pirate cuts himself off as Curt’s fingers wander in his direction again, prompting you to continue. Yea, you nod, you can even call ‘em if you wanna! They’re nice guys, honest! Sometimes they even sell you stuff!

“No kiddin’.” Boris replies in a bemused tone as his eyes wander to the rest of his teammates. “Tell you what, then: give your pals a call, Stan--we won’t stop ya.”

“Unless you order them to attack or something!” Bea adds with a giggle! “You get the picture~”

Sure, you snort, and they’ll get the picture too… Of your GREATNESS. Whipping out your RADIO and tuning it to the frequency Cliff and the others gave you, you tap the call button a few times before shouting a few greetings into the receiver--DO THEY READ YOU?!

Your question is answered by a shuffle of papers and the sound of running water. “S-s-S-STAN?! Is… Is th-th-that you!?

Damn it, you mutter, wrong frequency!

“Is that the DOC?” Talbot asks with a frown. “I still owe her a noogie for turning me into a freak. Tell her I say ‘hi’, Stan.”

You’re not telling her JACK! swiftly changing frequencies, you try your greeting again: CLIFF, STRIPES, WYATT--ANYONE READ?

“Clear as crystal, kiddo!” Stripes reports over the sound of welding in the background! “Was dat’ your handiwork over on the coast? We heard that boom all the way up here!”

Errr, you begin, glancing between Boris, your pals, and the burning wreck sending even more plumes of smoke into the air, yea… That was ALL you.

“Jeez,” Stripes shivers as Boris lets out a short laugh, “Remind me ta’ never get on your bad side, kid. Not that I need a reminder…”

Sure, you nod, giving the headphone-wearing jerk an ‘I told you so’ sneer!

“So uh…” Stripes adds, juggling a few tools from the sound of it, “Didja’ just call ta’ check up on your favorite greaser, or didja’ need something?”

Well…

>I’M ACTUALLY HERE WITH SOME PALS WHO THINK YOU’RE STILL EVIL.
>IS IT COOL IF THE STAN GANG CAME TO VISIT?
>COULD HE PUT CLIFF ON? IT’S IMPORTANT.
>CAN HE QUICKLY REMIND YOU OF ALL THE GOOD DEEDS YOU’VE DONE? LOUDLY?
>WRITE-IN!
>>
>>5030842
>COULD HE PUT CLIFF ON? IT’S IMPORTANT.
>>
>>5030842
>COULD HE PUT CLIFF ON? IT’S IMPORTANT.
>>
>>5030866
>>5030868
>PUT CLIFF ON THE RADIO!

WRITING!
>>
>>5030842
>COULD HE PUT CLIFF ON? IT’S IMPORTANT.
>>
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Yea, you respond, trying and failing to ignore a thumb’s up from Boris, you do need something, actually: could he track down Cliff for you? The pause in shuffling on the other end of the radio betrays Stripes’ reluctance.

“I mean…” He trails off, “I can try. Guy’s pretty busy lately what with all the new blood ya’ sent over… You sure you need to talk now?”

Yes, you reply, squinting past the truck headlights at the countless gun barrels drawing a bead on your forehead, you do.

“You got it, Stan...” Stripes sighs. “Just uh… don’t be surprised if he sounds a little cranky.”

The line goes quiet long enough for you to give Boris a smug grin--see? Does he sound murderous to him? Your fellow evening sanitation coordinator shrugs.

“There’s a lotta good fakers out there, Stan… Can’t be too careful.”

Yea, you snort--you bet he’d know all about that! Before you can get another dig in, the radio crackles with a familiar, if not slightly more weary-sounding, voice.

“Stan.” Cliff states more as a fact than as a greeting. “Stripes said it was important?”

Yeesh, you reply--he really DOES sound out of it! Is he uh… Taking breaks, or anything? Your answer comes in the form of cigarette smoke being exhaled.

“... I’ve got my copin’ strategies. What’s the word?”

Oof… What IS the word?

“Didn’t he tell us to keep folks away from da’ DRIVE-IN?” Ly whispers. “We’d better tread lightly, cupcake…”

Kinda hard to tread at all given the circumstances, but fine--what do you say?

>I’M ACTUALLY HERE WITH SOME PALS WHO THINK YOU’RE STILL EVIL.
>IS IT COOL IF THE STAN GANG CAME TO VISIT?
>CAN HE QUICKLY REMIND YOU OF ALL THE GOOD DEEDS YOU’VE DONE? LOUDLY?
>ASK HIM HOW STUFF IS GOING!
>WRITE-IN!
>>
>>5030922
>>ASK HIM HOW STUFF IS GOING!
>>I’M ACTUALLY HERE WITH SOME PALS WHO THINK YOU’RE STILL EVIL.
>>
Going to play some D&D in a bit, so I'll check back in later tonight! Hope to see you all then!
>>
>>5030922
>>CAN HE QUICKLY REMIND YOU OF ALL THE GOOD DEEDS YOU’VE DONE? LOUDLY?
>>
>>5030922
>>CAN HE QUICKLY REMIND YOU OF ALL THE GOOD DEEDS YOU’VE DONE? LOUDLY?
Specifically how we've taken out tons of bigwig skeletons?
>>
>>5030922
>>CAN HE QUICKLY REMIND YOU OF ALL THE GOOD DEEDS YOU’VE DONE? LOUDLY?

I just caught up after reading the archives. Fun quest.
>>
>>5031223
Thanks for giving it a try! It ain't easy blasting through all those updates, but I'm glad you enjoyed them!

>>5030952
>HOW'S IT GOIN?
>I'VE GOT SOME PALS HERE...

>>5030989
>>5031160
>>5031223
>QUICKLY AND LOUDLY REMIND YOU OF ALL THE COOL STUFF YOU'VE DONE!

Writing!
>>
The word is, you answer in an excellent transition, that some people think you might be siding with that buttwipe TIM or something!

“... I think we both know that ain’t true.”

Well duh, you reply, giving your audience a theatrical shrug. Even so, would he mind reminding you of all the cool good deeds you’ve been doing? Loudly, if possible?

The line goes dead for a moment before your on-and-off gang member replies. “Where do I begin, kid?” Taking another drag from his non-visible cigarette, Cliff continues talking in a much clearer voice. “If I had to remind you I’d probably go wit’ out first meeting. You remember the one, right?”

You nod--how could you forget? Cliff, going by Gene at the time, was pulling guard duty with Wyatt and Stripes in front of Sybil’s apartment. And by ‘guard duty’ you mean ‘playing DICE’!

“That’s right… We probably coulda’ broke a window or something to get past her defenses, but we didn’t--we’re not exactly zombies, dig?”

“Right.” Sybil nods with a small giggle. “... The zombie thing, that is--they would have been vaporized if they tried to get past the defenses.”

“Point is we didn’t try, right Syb?” Cliff replies with a soft chuckle. “Anywho, the smart thing to do would be to take us out from a distance, but then you did somethin’ odd, Stan… somethin’ none of us expected…”

Yep, you grin, you beat them in dice!

“... No… You talked to us.” Cliff replies with a hint of frustration. “Took some moxie, but ya’ did it--I think that’s when I stopped wanting to kill ya’ too. Can’t speak for the other idiots, but I think they feel the same.”

Your smile widens as Cliff keeps going--DAMN, HE’S GOOD!

“But ya’ didn’t stop there, did ya?” He asks before taking another puff from a smoke. “You coulda tore that school apart, but instead ya saved it all for that homicidal rat, ROCKY.” You can almost hear a faint shake in his voice as he says the name, but you let it go. You weren’t doing anything special, you deflect--you were just trying to be sneaky!

“Don’t act humble, kid--you’re a better judge of character than ya’ know.” Cliff replies. “You gave us boneheads a second chance--that’s better than most of us got when we were alive.”

Well, you sheepishly answer, it’s not like they were ALL jerks…

“Listen, Stan--I can’t pretend the urge ta’ fight doesn’t come up every now an’ then,” Cliff continues in a more serious tone, “but the way you treated us? It makes it a helluva lot easier.” Another pause. “You’re one of the good ones, doll, an’ I’d be more than happy to tell anyone the same if they asked.”

>CONTD.
>>
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>>5031277
Boris’ goons exchange a few looks as Cliff’s words sink in.

“Yea, that’s right--” Cliff continues with a slight smirk in his voice, “If anyone WAS listening, they could definitely send a person or two to the ole’ RINKY-DINK ROLLER RINK on the east side of town. Unarmed, of course. My guys would be happy ta’ chat wit’ someone who has flesh for a change.”

Boris motions for one of the GOOD BOY GOONS to write down the details, prompting the rent-a-cop to dive into one of the trucks.

“I’m sure they’d love to see where we’re all holed up… Then again, those GOOD BOY squares know a thing or two about secret bases, don’t they? ROLLER RINK will be fine, Sta-err, would be fine. If people were listenin’, that is.”

Sounds good, you state, making sure that the rest of your listeners can hear. So just to summarize here: he doesn’t think you’re in cahoots with the big guy?

“Not in the least.” Cliff says, voice practically OOZING confidence. “The real question is, Stan, is if these uh… fictional naysayers were listening in right now, well…”

You turn the volume up a little bit before adding a ‘well?’ of your own.

“Well... do you trust them?

You blink a few times as a quiet murmur travels through Boris’ group. Do you trust them? HELL NO!

“In that case,” Cliff sighs, “I’d personally be a little less-concerned about what they think.” Another puff break. “That said, I’ll keep that in mind in case my guys run into anyone at the ROLLER RINK. Safety first, right?”

You bet, you reply, countering Boris’ smug grin with a raspberry. Thanks, Cliff--you needed that!

“Any time.” The greaser replies. “One more thing, kid--if ya’ see anyone on the road, tell ‘em to steer clear of the skeletons in the HOT RODS-- heard those guys don’t like squares with itchy trigger fingers.”

Raising an eyebrow Boris’ way, you nod--you’ll pass it along.

“Atta’ girl.” Cliff says with a sigh. “In that case, I’m gonna sign off for now--lots ta’ do and never enough time ta’ do it, dig?”

You dig. Talk soon, then?

“Sure, sis--you know how ta’ reach me.”

With that, the radio goes dead leaving you still held at gunpoint on the beach. Great.

>CONTD.
>>
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>>5031278
Stowing your RADIO back into your pocket, you look expectantly at your fellow Evening Sanitation Coordinator. WELL?

“Well?” He replies, still twisting his mop around.

You plant your hands on your hips as a renewed frown appears on your face. Doesn’t he have a meeting to get to? You’re tired, damn it, and they all heard what Cliff said!

“We heard what a thrall said,” Curt interjects, “and it proved nothing.”

“I dunno, Curt,” Bea says with a shrug, “he seemed pretty nice on the radio… And he said he was gonna send some people to meet us, right?”

“He did…” Curt nods as a scowl forms behind his lenses. “In a TRAP, you buffoon.”

“Ooohhh…” Bea exhales, eyes widening behind her mask in recognition. Before the two can continue, Boris steps in once again!

“Whether it’s a trap or not, we all stand to learn something, yea?” He asks, earning a few nods from his entourage. “We’ll play ball--the MVPs will stay far away, of course, but we can try to play nice, right?”

“You’re making a mistake, Ponderosa.” Curt growls as his scowl shifts in your direction. “We could be letting the lich’s agent walk free…”

“Then we’ll track her down again--we know where she hangs out!” Boris laughs, taking the opportunity to slap the mage on the back! “Besides, you really wanna talk about it here?

As the two look your way, the occultist relents with a sigh of defeat.

“... Very well. I don’t see the point in trying to change your mind.”

“That’s the spirit!” Boris chuckles, playfully shaking Curt by the shoulder! “In that case, we’ll table the discussion for now, bumblebee--I’m right there with ya’ in TIREDSVILLE.

He can move then, you snarl, you meant what you said earlier about not trusting him!

“You wound me!” Boris shouts in mock surprise! “Just kidding, Stannie--I know deep down you love hangin’ out with us!”

The familiar taste of stomach acid and bile burns the back of your throat as you struggle to avoid processing what he just said--crap, you’ve gotta think of something… ANYTHING else, and fast! How do you shift gears?

>WHY ARE HE AND HIS FAN CLUB HERE ANYWAYS?
>ASK ABOUT MENDOZA. HE WAS YOURS, DAMN IT!
>TELL HIM AND HIS CHEERLEADERS TO TAKE A HIKE--YOU’RE TIRED!
>WRITE-IN!
>>
>>5031282
That's all for tonight, folks--got a big day tomorrow and today was pretty busy! I'll check back in around MONDAY 6-7PM PST! Thanks again for playing and good luck on Monday!
>>
>>5031282
>ASK ABOUT MENDOZA. HE WAS YOURS, DAMN IT!
We absolutely dumpstered that skeleton, he can try and take credit for the fact he almost bungled our precision operation. We smashed him through three floors with a manatee after poisoning his goons, sunk his ship with his own demon. And beat him in one shot with his own cannonball.
>>
>>5031282
>>WHY ARE HE AND HIS FAN CLUB HERE ANYWAYS?
>>
>>5031282
>>WHY ARE HE AND HIS FAN CLUB HERE ANYWAYS?
>>
>>5031282
>ASK ABOUT MENDOZA. HE WAS YOURS, DAMN IT!
He and his fan club are here to make our life not worth living, as always, duh.
>>
>>5031282
>ASK ABOUT MENDOZA. HE WAS YOURS, DAMN IT!
>>
>>5031290
>>ASK ABOUT MENDOZA. HE WAS YOURS, DAMN IT!
Fuckin' this.
>>
>>5031282
>ASK ABOUT MENDOZA. HE WAS YOURS, DAMN IT!
>>
>>5031290
>>5031326
>>5031342
>>5031441
>>5031630
>CONFRONT THE KILLSNATCHER!

>>5031298
>>5031309
>WHY ARE THEY HERE?

Writing!
>>
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Scrambling to find anything that can distract you from the implication that you and Boris could EVER become friends, your eyes settle on something you had nearly forgotten about--namely the chipped, sand-flecked remains of EX-CAPTAIN MENDOZA’S skull. Well… that and the TELESCOPING MOP currently poking through the top. Following it back up to its master with your eyes, you feel a renewed blend of hate, disgust, and annoyance ignite in your chest--the emotional cocktail that only BORIS-FRIGGIN’-PONDEROSA can trigger!

“Something wrong, Stannie?” He asks as if he were discussing the weather. Gritting your teeth, you hiss a response through the cracks--what’s the deal with the SKULL, Boris?

The janitor looks down at the end of the mop as if he stepped in dog crap. “Oh, that?”

YES, you growl, THAT.

“Not bad, huh?” Boris replies as he runs a hand through his golden locks! “Yea, I guess we do owe ya’ an explanation of why we’re here…”

No, you interject, no he DOESN’T! You know he and his cheerleaders are here to make your life MISERABLE, but what you don’t know is why he’s trying to take the credit for YOUR kill!

“You lost me, kid.” Boris mutters, scanning the crowd around him with a sheepish grin. “It went like this, see? Bea and I had just returned from dropping off an extra-spicy pizza-pie at that ship over there...” Pausing to point out the smoking wreck slowly sinking into the pacific, the janitor continues. “Musta’ barely shook the sand outta’ our shoes before we noticed something rolling out of the water! Something that looked pretty similar to that PIRATE CAPTAIN we’ve been hunting!”

“So what, you just smashed him?” Sybil asks as she risks stepping closer to you and Talbot. “Did it ever occur to you that he might have valuable information?”

“It DID,” Curt interjects, “as did the fact that were he to find another suitable body or escape into the sea, our mission here would have been for naught!”

“Didn’t matter anywho,” Boris adds with an embarrassed shrug, “the minute I saw a skull rolling across the beach, I gave it the ole’ BORIS BASH! Didn’t even realize it was the captain until uh… Until he wasn’t...”

“At least that’s one more down, right?” Bea asks in a cheery voice! “GO TEAM!

If this bitch hugs you right now, you’re gonna flip.

>CONTD.
>>
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>>5032058
Taking a few preemptive steps away from the exosuited amazon, a thought blows through your head like a tumbleweed in a ghost town--hold the damn phone, you snap, why the heck is he going after LIEUTENANTS now? Wasn’t he too busy signing autographs or something?

“I mean… I WAS.” Boris laughs, fishing a weathered pen out from one of his breast pockets! “But I gotta say, Stan--hearing you talk about all of those bad guys you walloped? Well, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little inspired!”

Inspired to kill the guy you spent the last hour scrapping with!? The guy you could only reach through some stupid mermaid sidequest!? The guy whose ship you trashed with help from his own demon!? The guy whose hat you currently have in your back pocket?! The guy whose men you reduced to a bubbling slurry with tainted grog?

“Actually I did that o-”

Delivering a spin-kick to Talbot’s stomach, you continue your list: the guy who you took out with his own stupid cannon ball arm!? THAT GUY?!!?

“Haha, yep!” Boris confirms with a daring smile! “Shame Curt didn’t detect you guys on the boat--If what you say is true, we make one hell of a team, Bumblebee!”

No, you huff, trying and failing to stop your body from shaking with rage, you don’t. Boris is worse than a monster at this point… He’s a… dare you say it?

A KILL-STEALER!

All of the beachgoers recoil in shock as your words echo across the coast! Raising his eyebrow in confusion, Boris’ perpetual grin lowers by about half an inch.

“Okay, Stan, I can see that you’re a little upset-”

A LITTLE?! you shout incredulously! He’s been out to get you since day-friggin-one, and now that you’re cleaning this mess up he has to stick his nose in here too!?

“Stan, please--” Art whines as the tension increases exponentially.

“He totally almost blew us up, too.” Talbot growls, earning a resigned groan from the guard. “And called us BAD GUYS!

Stomping forward until you’re directly under his chin, you jab one of your fingers into his chest--this has been a long time coming, buster--you schooled him in karaoke, you toasted him in that dumb race of his, and now…

“Now?” Boris asks in a bemused tone.

Now YOU’RE gonna choose the game! How do you SETTLE THIS?!

>BEACH SUMO!
>ROCK PAPER SCISSORS SLAP!
>SWIMMING CONTEST!
>JUST SOCK THE SUNNOVABITCH!
>WRITE-IN!
>>
>>5032059
>JUST SOCK THE SUNNOVABITCH!
>>
>>5032059
>>JUST SOCK THE SUNNOVABITCH!
>>
>>5032059
>SWIMMING CONTEST!
Men. We have sea legs
>>
>>5032063
>>5032066
>SOCK'EM!

>>5032091
>SWIIIIIM!

It's been a long time coming, hasn't it? Looks like we're sluggin' the guy!

ROLL ME 1d100 TO TAG BORIS--I'LL TAKE THE BEST OF 3 ROLLS!

Don't forget to include anything you wanna SAY or DO, too--anywhere you wanna aim in particular?
>>
Rolled 98 (1d100)

>>5032099

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-HtNaVFpw4Q
Feral racoon screeching
>>
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>>5032103
Jesus christ. Do I even wait for more rolls?
>>
Rolled 95 (1d100)

>>5032099
Deck him in his stupid face, leave it crooked and pointing to the moon.
GET UP QB, BEFORE I PUNT YOU FIFTY FUCKING YARDS!
FIGHT BACK IF YOU ARE NOT A GODDAMN SISSY
>>
Rolled 13 (1d100)

>>5032099

rollin again since we basically won
>>
>>5032117
That you did... That you did...

>>5032103
>>5032111
>>5032117
>HIGHEST ROLL: 98!!!

Writing the last update of the night!
>>
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Do you even need to ask yourself at this point? Time slows to a crawl as your answer curls itself into a fist clenched tightly at your side. Drawing your fist back, an imaginary target appears on your target--his grinning face looming over you like some kind of marionette.

Someone says something, but the angry static buzzing in your ears drowns it out… This sonnovabitch has been hiding behind social graces for too long--time to finally give him his medicine!

If Boris registers what’s going on, he doesn’t show it. Sure as a train traveling between two stations, your fist leaves your side and reaches its final destination with the most satisfying ‘THWAK’ your ears have ever heard. You’d probably be crying right now if you weren’t worried about Art and Talbot’s reactions.

Shit, you’re crying. Tears of joy, mind, but tears nonetheless.

Boris grins all the way down to the sand--his expression unchanging save for a slight raise of his eyebrow. By the time he hits the ground, every weapon owned by his fan club is aimed your way--their wielder’s faces forming a mosaic of shock, anger, and confusion!

“Holy SHIT, Stan.”

You let Ly’s statement hang in the air as you loom above Boris’ prone form. The big man himself watches you from below with a smile that seems forced, even from him.

“Well…” He sighs, “Guess I deserved that.”

All you can do is blink in response. Something’s wrong, you think, something else was supposed to happen here! When he and his squad fail to retaliate, you can’t help but shiver a bit--does he need a reminder or something!? What the hell’s going on!? GET UP, QB! You shout, fishing for a reaction! BEFORE I PUNT YOU FIFTY YARDS!

“Nice hit, Bumblebee,” Boris mutters, swishing around his glowing red cheek like savoring a fine wine. “Shame you couldn’t use that on the ole’ captain, huh?”

Everything in your body tells you to shut him up--stomp on his face, kick sand in his eyes, do SOMETHING, but nothing responds save for your voice. FIGHT BACK, you roar! FIGHT BACK, YOU GODDAMN SISSY!

>CONTD.
>>
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>>5032198
As the first of the fans to regain her composure, Bea wordlessly helps the downed janitor back onto his feet. While she brushes the sand off of his back, Boris stretches his bruised jaw a few times before giving you a new, if not slightly tarnished, grin.

“Well, well, well…” He muses under his breath, “Didn’t think you had it in you, Bumblebee. Takes a lotta guts to sucker punch a guy.”

Raising your fists as a challenge, you feel your heart sink into your stomach as your coworker turns and heads for the trucks instead.

“Maybe next time, Stannie--we have a few more LIEUTENANTS to take down, after all.” Subconsciously dashing after him, you feel several hands clasp your shoulders! Art, Syb, Ed, Tucker, and even Talbot shake their heads at you as Boris’ crew cautiously retreats into the trucks.

“Don’t start slacking again, Stan--” Boris adds, stopping short of the van he raced you in, “I’m in the race now…”

Leaving you with one last wink, Boris disappears into the van just as your LASER EYE glows with energy! Before you can fry him, however, your teammates manage to wrestle you to the sand!

“STAN!” Art shouts, dodging handfuls of sand and frantic kicks, “It’s not worth it, damn it! Not right now!”

“Just breathe!” Eddie adds! Struggling against your captors, you manage to chuck a sandy cigarette butt at the motorcade before it disappears into the distance leaving you alone with your thoughts and teammates. Huffing like you just ran a marathon, you slowly stop fighting against your pals and return to something resembling normalcy. Loosening his grip, Art nods to the others once it’s clear that you aren’t gonna bite him or something. Bending down to help you up, you motion for your crew to stop as you continue to lie in the cold sand. They relent.

“So…” Eddie remarks as he looks around the group, “that uh… That could have been worse.”

“Aye.” Andre replies, neither he or his mates moving from their designated spot.

“We all agree that was an amazing punch though, right?” Mitzi asks, earning a round of affirmatives from the group.

“Hate to ruin the moment,” Art says, digging divots in the sand with his boot, “but should we be worried about those guys thinking we’re uh… SKELETON SLEEPER AGENTS, or something?”

“Our performance so far has been exemplary.” Sybil replies as she idly runs a hand through her hair. “If GOOD BOY can’t recognize that then we’ll make do without them.”

“And here I was thinkin’ that guy was cool…” Talbot remarks, earning a fistful of sand to the face! “HEY!”

THE ANTICHRIST isn’t cool, T, you mutter in a weary tone.

“You know what?” Talbot replies, looking in the direction the trucks went, “You’re probably right.”

You can’t help but smile a bit at that. Score.

>CONTD.
>>
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>>5032200
Fatigue’s invisible hands tug on your weary bones all the way back to the van. You almost consider asking Talbot to carry you like the ‘Good Ole’ Days’, but that thought dies quickly.

“Not a spot on her!” Eddie proclaims as he reintroduces everyone to the van! “... Probably.”

“Those jerks didn’t take anything, did they?” Art asks as he performs a quick vehicle inspection.

“Doesn’t seem like it.” Tucker replies, exchanging glances with Kiki. “If I had to guess I’d say they were just being theatrical.”

Yea, you snort, they’re a riot. As you lead the charge towards the van, you hear a quiet ‘ahem’ from behind you. Oh. Right.

“Eet eez not zee best time, of course,” Andre mutters as he drums his phalanges against his cutlass, “But zee mateys an’ I will be departin’ to gather up zee others.”

“Are you certain?” Syb asks, raising an eyebrow with concern. “Those goons might be looking for some kind of retribution…”

“Ahh, we can ‘andle ourselves!” Andre laughs, earning a similar response from what few skeleton pirates follow him. “But erm… Eef eet eez not too much to ask, well…”

You wanna know where the others are going, huh? The pirate nods meekly.

“Not so fast, Stan--we don’t want these guys leading the others to Cliff’s place.” Art warns, earning a frown from you. You know that, moron--but these guys still need a place to stay!

“Eet will still take some time to round up zee others…” Andre adds as he looks out to the sea, “but once we be gathered again eet weel be nice to ‘ave a ‘ome port, as eet were…”

“Just find some greasers then!” Talbot groans, trying to rub the drowsiness from his eyes in vain! “They can probably give you guys the tour!”

“Speaking of,” Art adds, “Where exactly are we going?”

“I’m a bit worried about heading back to THE LODGE, especially with those disappearances they’ve been having…” Tucker adds. “But it probably isn’t safe to wander the streets too late either…”

Fighting the aches and pains the day has bestowed upon you, you try to come up with not one, but TWO whole solutions simultaneously! DAMN, YOU’RE GOOD!

WHERE SHOULD ANDRE AND THE OTHER PIRATES HEAD AFTER REGROUPING?
>THE DRIVE-IN!
>THE NEAREST GREASERS THEY FIND!
>STAY ON THE COAST!
>WRITE-IN!

WHERE SHOULD YOU SPEND THE NIGHT?
>THE LODGE!
>JUST SLEEP IN THE VAN!
>FIND SOMETHING ALONG THE COAST!
>NO TIME TO REST--YOU GOTTA FOCUS ON THE NEXT LIEUTENANT!
>WRITE-IN!
>>
That's it for tonight, folks--should have some more ready to go TUESDAY AROUND 6-7PM PST! Thanks again for playing--always eager to see what sort of hijinks you can come up with.
>>
>>5032202
> Call up Cliff to arrange a meeting spot

>FIND SOMETHING ALONG THE COAST!
>>
>>5032205
>> Call up Cliff to arrange a meeting spot
>>FIND SOMETHING ALONG THE COAST!
>>
>>5032202
> Call up Cliff to arrange a meeting spot
>FIND SOMETHING ALONG THE COAST!
>>
>>5032202
>Call up Haul-man Paulo to arrange a meeting spot
I wanna spend some pongos, I wonder how well those rollerskates go with our Fencer Femur.
>NO TIME TO REST--YOU GOTTA FOCUS ON THE NEXT LIEUTENANT!
Boris is out there now and we are NOT letting him kill another lieutenant. Thats right, we are speedrunning this shit. Everyone sleeps on the van while we drive to Joplin to find the cowboy.
>>
>>5032202
>STAY ON THE COAST!

>NO TIME TO REST--YOU GOTTA FOCUS ON THE NEXT LIEUTENANT!
can we give those skellies a radio or something and send them on recon for the sea bitch, I mean witch?
>>
>>5032202
>>Call you Cliff to arrange a meeting spot.
>>Ask if anyone has any preferences as far as keep going or take a rest.
>>
>>5032570
You certainly can--it probably won't work in the water, but the coast oughta work!

FOR ANDRE AND THE GANG:
>>5032205
>>5032215
>>5032216
>>5032757
>CALL CLIFF TO ARRANGE ANOTHER MEETING

>>5032257
>CALL HAULIE-FRIGGIN'-PAULIE!

>>5032570
>STAY ON THE COAST!

WHERE TO CRASH FOR THE NIGHT?
>>5032205
>>5032215
>>5032216
>SOMETHING ON THE COAST!

>>5032257
>>5032570
>SLEEP IS FOR THE WEAK

>>5032757
>ACTUALLY ASK YOUR CRONIES FOR THEIR OPINION FOR ONCE, JEEZ

Looks like Calling Cliff and Finding a Beachside Bunkhouse wins it! Writing!
>>
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Fighting against the wicked forces of TIREDNESS, you scan the area for any sign of any more red-headphoned SHITBIRDS before retrieving whipping out your radio one more time!

“Stan,” Art whines, “where are we goiii-

He’s going ass-over-elbows off the cliff if he keeps that crap up, you snap! Now shut it--mommy’s gotta make a CALL! Throwing his hands up in resignation, Art joins Eddie and Talbot as they take turns kicking sand at each other while you probe the line for any sign of Cliff. CLIFF, you growl into the receiver, COME IN!

“You’ve got some explainin’ ta’ do, kid.” Replies a clearly irritated greaser on the other line! “What the hell did I just get my boys into back there?”

Well, you reply, trying and failing to ignore how miffed he sounds, it’s a long story, bu-

“Then tell me the short one.” He interrupts, knocking you off-balance! “Some of the guys are already headed to the meetin’ place and I want them to know what to expect.”

Short version. Gotcha. Taking a deep breath, you recount the night’s escapades in a still long, yet somewhat shorter, story than you planned on telling. When you finish with the events that took place on the beach, you can’t help but notice that the skeleton on the other end of the radio isn’t clapping. Like… At ALL.

“God damn…” Is all you hear, followed by the angriest cigarette puff you’ve ever heard. “Lemme get this straight, Stan--I told you to send those creeps AWAY from us. The creeps you said that you specifically don’t trust.”

Spotting Kiki lingering next to you holding out a juice box, you politely wave her away before answering in a wavering tone--well of course it sounds bad when he says it like THAT!

“Cripes, Stan…” Cliff groans, no doubt massaging his skinless temples. “I already took a chance with those pirates you sent over… Do you understand what happens if the big guy finds out what we’re doin’? I’m startin’ to think that you don’t.”

Then he can EXPLAIN IT, you fire back! He needed people, right? You’re finding them!

“Not if they’re gonna get us all killed again, Stan!” Cliff retorts, causing an uncomfortable silence to fall over both of you. “... Look, I appreciate what you’re doin’. Really. But-”

But?

“... But maybe I’m just getting paranoid.” Cliff sighs. “And maybe a meetin’ with these guys was inevitable. I dunno, kid...”

He’ll be fine, you say in an attempt to reassure him! He’s pretty smart--he can handle it!

“Maybe.” Cliff says with a faint laugh in his voice. “Can never say no to you, can I? I’ll tell the meeting guys to show up a little late, then--that’ll show those GOOD BOY creeps. No offense to Art, mind.”

Great, you giggle! Speaking of meetings…

>CONTD.
>>
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>>5033024
Andre’s whiskers rise a bit as you approach his group radio in hand.

“Well?” He asks, barely containing his anticipation. Well, you answer, shoving your radio into his bony hands, he just got a direct line to one of your best pals!

“And one who could also use a couple of crazy bastards like you.” The radio adds, prompting Andre to bring it to where his ear used to be. “Andre, right? Stan tells me your guys are looking for a place to hole up.”

“Err, aye,” Andre replies, fumbling with the strange device. “Once we finish combing zee beaches for our mateys, zat ees…”

“So I heard.” Cliff responds. “We’ve got a place, but we can’t bring you in yet… That said, I’ve already heard a lot about you from your brot-”

ZAT IMBECILE EES AS MUCH A PIRATE AS I AM A STURGEON!” Andre shrieks into the radio, earning the attention of everyone meandering next to the van. “Whatever ee tells you ees nothing more zan-”

“Bullshit.” Cliff interjects, smiling through his words. “I hate the guy, so I can already tell you and I are gonna be pals.”

The pirate struggles to come up with a response. “I… err… You do?”

“Tell you what: finish rounding up your boys and give me a call once you’re ready to move--with luck Stan’s coworkers won’t be sniffing around as much by the time you’re done. We’ll talk then, dig?”

“Aye,” Andre responds, taking the cue from your nodding and smiling, “I erm… I dig.”

“Great.” Cliff sighs. “Andre, Stan, all the rest--we’ll chat soon. Very soon if this deal goes bust.”

Giving Cliff a cheery ‘byyyyee~’, you push Andre’s hand away as he tries to give you the radio back. What’s he doing? That’s his now!

>CONTD.
>>
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>>5033026
“R-really?” The pirate asks, unsure of how to respond to the gesture. “Errr, eet be appreciated, mademoiselle.”

He can call you Stan, you reply, planting your hands on your hips. And it’s the least you can do after he pretty much delivered Mendoza to you on a silver platter.

“Aye, t’was quite a caper indeed, non?” He asks in a wistful tone. “Per’aps zere ees more to life zan looting an’ plunder…”

“So how do you plan to rally the other pirates under your banner?” Syb asks with a look of concern. “Are there any procedures for electing a new captain?”

“Aye,” Andre nods before drawing his cutlass, “I kill anyone who disagrees. It be workin’ well for ages now!”

“Right.” Syb replies, visibly deflating. “Well then, we shouldn’t keep you!”

“Don’t theenk of eet as a ‘goodbye’,” the pirate explains, “theek of eet as a ‘until next time!’” Sheathing his sword in its scabbard, the pirate extends his hand in your direction one last time. “Eet was a pleasure, Stan.”

You take his hand in yours and give it a good shake--yea, you reply, it kinda was! Minus the freaky fish girls, the horrifying demon, and the ship almost blowing up with you on it.

“Ta’ be honest it was actually kinda cruddy.” Ly adds, but you don’t bother relaying his words. Joining your pals in the van, you give the pirates one last wave before they shrink into specks along the coastal road. Until next time…

“Nice going, dummy,” Talbot chides from next to you, “you just gave him your radio.”

Yea, you snarl, and now he’s gonna grab you ANOTHER ONE! Snapping your fingers at him impatiently, you grin a bit as your bodyguard begrudgingly starts rooting through the van’s supplies for a replacement radio. Good boy!

“Don’t call me that.”

>CONTD.
>>
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>>5033028
Armed with a replacement radio, your next challenge comes in the form of Art whining again.

“Seriously, Stan,” the guard moans from the driver’s seat, “If I have to drive any longer I’m plunging us all into the goddamn ocean.”

NO!” Eddie shrieks! “Think of what the water’ll do to RIP!

You and the rest of the Back of the Van Bunch follow Ed’s shaking finger over to the somehow still-pristine RIP KORD CARDBOARD CUTOUT. You’re really gonna have to find a place to set that thing up, huh?

“Speaking of setting up,” Mitzi adds, putting her sand-caked boots up on a stack of boxes, “I’m with Art on this one--escaping from mermaids and running into Boris and the others is more than enough excitement for one day…”

“There’s bound to be some shelter along this road,” Tucker shrugs. “Not to mention the sun should be rising in a few hours.”

“Well someone keep their eyes out.” Art growls as he rubs his eyes. “I can barely keep my eyes on the road…”

“Why the hell did you decide to drive, then?” Eddie asks, angrily crossing his arms. “I’ve still got some left in me!”

“Because I called dibs.”Art replies matter-of-factly. “Now help me find a place to park this deathtrap.”

Clambering through the ex-viewport dividing the front and back of the van, you, Sybil, Eddie, and Ly all scan the road for anything promising.

After several arguments and missed turns, you finally agree to spend the night at:

>THE SEASHELL MOTEL! SMALL, BUT CHARMING!
>A RITZY-LOOKING BEACH HOUSE!
>A BEACH-SIDE CAMPGROUND HIDDEN BEHIND SEVERAL SMALL ROADS!
>WRITE-IN!
>>
That's all for tonight, folks--got home late and I'm pretty wiped. Apologies if the quality's been slipping lately--hopefully it's only a temporary thing!

I should be back around WEDNESDAY 6-7PM PST! Hope to see you next time!
>>
>>5033029
>>A BEACH-SIDE CAMPGROUND HIDDEN BEHIND SEVERAL SMALL ROADS!
>>
>>5033029
>>A BEACH-SIDE CAMPGROUND HIDDEN BEHIND SEVERAL SMALL ROADS!
>>
>>5033029
>A BEACH-SIDE CAMPGROUND HIDDEN BEHIND SEVERAL SMALL ROADS!
>>
>>5033029
>THE SEASHELL MOTEL! SMALL, BUT CHARMING!
>>
>>5033036
>>5033043
>>5033111
>CAMPSIIIIIITE

>>5033429
>AN ACTUAL MOTEEEELLLL

Writing!
>>
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A few minutes later you find yourselves rocking back and forth along a pitch-black dirt road that serpentines into the cliffs above the coast.

“Are you SURE this is the right way?” Art asks for the fifth time in a row! Yes, DORK, you reply as you pause to kick the back of his seat, there was like… three signs back there with tents on them! It’s gotta be!

“Hate to be a wet blanket, but do we HAVE tents?” Tucker asks, causing a hush to fall over the van. “... Yea, I probably should have spoken up earlier, huh?”

“Well I’m not turning around NOW…” Art remarks as the van skids around another hairpin turn! “Especially when-”

Your driver cuts himself off as he SLAMS on the breaks, sending you and the others tumbling around the back of the van like tennis balls! Shoving Talbot and Mitzi off of you, you crawl over to Art’s side and flick the side of his head--what’s his deal!? The guard shoots you a sideways look before pointing at the rusty chain blocking the path further in.

“That.”

Peering closer, your irritation is swiftly downgraded to ‘MILD IRRITATION’ when you spot a weathered old sign hanging from the barrier--’Angel’s View Campground: Cabins Available!’

“Huh.” Mitz remarks, poking her head out from behind you. “Cabins could work.”

“Yes they COULD.” Art agrees before turning your way. “You uh… You mind getting the chain, Stan?”

Your answer comes in the form of an incredulous ‘AWWWWW!’ Is he SERIOUS, you shout, raising your hands in disbelief! What if there’s a MOUNTAIN LION out there or something?

“I think you can handle a MOUNTAIN LION, Stan.” Art groans, clearly sensing another argument in the near future. Before you can press the issue, the chain falls to the dirt with a faint rattle! Eyes wide with horror, you and the others press your faces against the windshield as a tall figure emerges from the shadowy road!

“Hey, Stan.”

“Okay, how the hell did HE get here?” Talbot asks as a familiar pizza delivery man waves you through.

That’s just his THING!

>CONTD.
>>
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>>5033847
“So the cabins are good?” Art asks as he takes the van further down the road.

“Yep.” Gus replies, hanging off the side of the driver’s door. “Nothing fancy, but they’ve got electricity and stuff. Hot water, too.”

“Hell. Yes.” Eddie hisses as he pumps his fist in the air. “This sea water’s killin’ me!”

“It’s just water, dude.” Mitzi laughs, running a hand through her still slightly-damp hair. “Aside from all the poop, it’s actually pretty good for ya’.”

“And no SLASHERS, right?” Tucker asks, earning a round of annoyed looks. “... I jinxed it, didn’t I?’

“The only one gettin’ slashed is THEM!” Talbot boasts, puffing out his chest! “If… y’know, there actually IS a slasher.”

“We’re here.”

Following Gus’ laconic gaze inland, you spy a handful of quaint little cabins along the cliffside that remind you of that playhouse your dad made you when you were a kid. You spent more time burrowing under it, of course, but looking back it looked really cute!

“And there doesn’t seem to be any tenants around, either…” Sybil remarks as she strokes her pale chin. “Perks of visiting during off-season, it would seem.”

“Those are the deluxe ones.” Gus reports, still hanging onto the side of the van like a champ. “Kitchenettes, two bunk beds in their own room, one pull-out couch, and a bedroom in the back.”

“Sheesh, man, you ever think of becoming a realtor?” Eddie chuckles, earning a blank stare from the delivery man. “Erm… So where’s everyone sleepin’?”

“If my math is right,” Tucker muses to himself, “We could probably get eight people into one cabin if people were willing to share the bigger beds.” FAT CHANCE!

“Don’t be rude, Stan.” Ly barks, earning a sneer from you.

“We could always do the classic ‘BOYS IN ONE CABIN, GIRLS IN THE OTHER.’” Mitzi suggests. “If something happens we can just holler, right?”

“Sure,” Talbot nods, “but what about that LAST cabin? Feels wrong just wasting it…”

You frown. If he wants to lurk in his own cabin like a gargoyle, then he can do it! Your bodyguard replies with a smug grin. “Don’t be pissed because YOU didn’t think of it first! Dibs, by the way!”

DAMN, HE’S GOOD!

“Alright,” Art mutters as he leans against the steering wheel, “let’s just choose something quickly, okay? I could probably pass out right here.”

Leaving the van next to Gus’ DELIVERY BIKE, you eventually come to a shaky agreement:

>DIVIDE EVERYONE UP INTO CABINS: STAN, ART, SYBIL, MITZI, TUCKER, EDDIE, KIKI, GUS, TALBOT

>CABIN 1 (2 BEDS, 4 BUNKS, 8 SPOTS TOTAL)

>CABIN 2 (2 BEDS, 4 BUNKS, 8 SPOTS TOTAL)

>CABIN 3 (2 BEDS, 4 BUNKS, 8 SPOTS TOTAL)
-TALBOT CALLED DIBS, BUT HE MIGHT MOVE
>>
>>5033849
>CABIN 1, STAN AND MITZI
>CABIN 2, EVERYONE ELSE BUT TALBOT
>CABIN LAM3, GUESS WHO
>>
Getting late on my end and I'm not on my usual rig, so I'll check back in on THURSDAY around 6-7PM PST! Divide and conquer, folks.... Divide and CONQUER
>>
>>5033849
>CABIN 1: Stan, Mitzi, Kiki
>CABIN 2: Tucker, Eddie, Gus, Talbot
>CABIN 3: Art, Sybil.
>>
>>5033994
I'll accept this if we move Gus to 3, make sure they actually sleep.
>>
>>5034007
That's defeating the purpose
>>
>>5033994
>>5033849

Support
>>
>>5033887
>GALS, GUYS, AND TALBOT

>>5033994
>>5034655
>GALS, GUYS, AND THE HAPPY COUPLE

Looks like we're throwing Syb and Art a bone! Writing!
>>
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Relaying your decisions to the others earns you the usual surprised responses.

“See? Even Stan thought my idea was neat.” Mitzi gloats before giving Art and Syb a sly glance. “Enjoy that cabin, lovebirds…”

“B-b-but… Are you s-sure?!” Syb stammers while Art stands like a statue at her side. “Really, Stan--there’s more than enough room in two cabi-”

“Come on, Syb, don’t you get it!?” Talbot growls, causing a fresh wave of anger to well up in your chest! “It’s obvious why she put you two together!”

“W-w-whatever do you mean, Talbot?” Art replies, face dripping with even more sweat than usual! Sensing disaster looming in the not-so-distant future, you move to wring your bodyguard’s stupid neck before he can spill the beans!

“You were pretty much passed out earlier on the boat, right?” Talbot asks the Goth, causing you to freeze in mid-air. “So naturally Stan thought you could use the quieter cabin!”

“O-oh yes…” Syb whispers with a confused nod. “That uh… That’s true, Stan.”

“And there’s no way anyone’s creeping up on ya’ with Artie around!” Talbot continues, giving the security goon a playful jab to the shoulder! “Besides, the guys and I might stay up and drink a bit, so you’re both better off with a quieter area to get your magical uh… vigor… back, right?”

“Oooooh,” Art replies as the realization hits him like a ton of bricks. “Yea, that’s right! Man, Stan, you uh… You’re a TRUE PAL for thinking of all that!”

You sheepishly scratch the back of your head as you glance between the couple and Talbot. Y-yea, you stammer, Talbot totally saw through you… Heh heh!

“Hold on,” Eddie interjects as Talbot and Gus each heft a beer crate onto their shoulders, “Didn’t you say you wanted that cabin, T? I thought you’d be madder.”

“Yea, well…” T replies, idly thumbing his bowtie, “T-that’s okay… Besides, you guys are gonna need me in case something scary shows up!”

“Our hero...” Tucker laughs before nudging Ed in the direction of the DUDE CABIN. “What time are we waking up, Stan?”

The question puts a frown on your face--you could say sunrise, but that would be a damned lie… Instead you opt for ‘whenever everyone’s up!’ earning a round of tired, albeit grinning faces! Or, you add, whenever something terrible happens!

The smiles quickly dissipate.

>CONTD.
>>
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>>5034776
“Don’t party too hard, okay?” Mitzi asks, giving Gus a playful nudge on the elbow on the way to the GIRL’S CABIN. “Otherwise we’ll have to come join.”

“Oh no.” Gus replies with his trademark ‘centimeter of a smile’. Helping Kiki lift a few CLEARWATER DAM BLANKETS AND PILLOWS from the back of the van, you feel a familiar rattling inside of your head. What NOW, Ly?

“Ain’tcha forgettin’ somethin’?” He asks, pointing your head towards Talbot’s increasingly-distant form. You give your bones a halfhearted groan before scampering over to your bodyguard.

“Huh?” He asks, sensing your approach before you can reach his side. “Alright, fine, you can drink a beer or two-”

Ignoring his sad attempt at humor, you give the tracksuit-wearing hellion a quick, but clear ‘thanks’ before scurrying to the safety of your cabin.

“Just in time,” Mitzi smirks, removing her helmet and shaking out her hair as you scramble in through the door, “a moment later and I woulda’ locked you out there.”

Watching Kiki stifle a laugh, you roll your eyes at the two of them. Yea, yea, you scoff, as if a door would stop you. Landing with a thud on the nearby couch, you let yourself sink into the plush cushions as you take in all the sights!

Not too far from the couch sits a rectangular wooden dining table: the kind that looks like it was just chopped off of a tree, minus the splinters and ticks! Surrounded by a handful of rustic wood chairs, the table sits not too far from a quaint kitchenette stocked with all the essentials: a sink, a microwave, and a squat refrigerator next to an equal-sized pantry.

Past the table sits two doors--both of which lie slightly ajar. Peeking through the leftmost portal are two bunk beds: all four beds clad in the bare minimum plaid sheets and a plastic case around each mattress. Guess that’s one place to spend the night…

Off to the right sits what you assume to be the one bathroom in the place along with the only shower. Small and plain, sure, but quite the luxury given that you’re in a campground!

“Main bedroom’s through there.” Mitzi reports, pointing a gloved hand down the short hall behind you. “You wanna borrow the shower first, Stan? You saw a lot more action that Keek and I did today.”

The Keek in question interrupts Mitzi by turning and whispering something in her ear. Nodding in response, the guard directs her attention back your way. “Kiki thinks we oughta figure out the sleeping sitch first.” A sly grin creeps across Mitzi’s face. “Dibs on the main bed. Ask nicely, Stan, and I might just share it with ya.” Ignoring her wink and Kiki’s muffled stifled laugh, you ponder your next move...

>CONTD.
>>
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>>5034779
What say you?!

>TAKE THE ROLLOUT COUCH--YOU PRACTICALLY LIVED ON SYB’S!
>DOUBLE-DOWN! TELL HER THAT’S A DANDY IDEA!
>LET KIKI CHOOSE FIRST--SHE’S BEEN WORKING HARD TOO!
>FIGHT FOR THE MAIN BED!
>JUST TAKE A BUNK!
>ACTUALLY, YOU WERE PLANNING ON HITTING UP THE BOY’S CABIN FOR A BIT!
>WRITE-IN!
>>
>>5034780
>>DOUBLE-DOWN! TELL HER THAT’S A DANDY IDEA!
>>
>>5034780
>JUST TAKE A BUNK!
We're not some BED-DEPENDENT WEAKILNG, are we?
>>
>>5034779

>Just take a bunk!

BED FORT BED FORT BED FORT
>>
>>5034780
>LET KIKI CHOOSE FIRST--SHE’S BEEN WORKING HARD TOO!
>>
>>5034780
>Move all the blankets and pillows to one room and have a slumber party.

Stan probably didn't get a lot of those as a kid.
>>
>>5034782
>PARRY!

>>5034836
>>5034878
>BAG A BUNK!

>>5034880
>OH YEA I GUESS KIKI SHOULD GET A SAY IN IT HUH

>>5035385
>WHOLESOME AS FUCK OPTION

Looks like we're gonna be grabbin' a bunk, but who knows... A bed fort might be in the works! Writing!
>>
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You swiftly decline Mitz’ offer with a wave of your hand. Fun as it sounds, you’re not exactly a ‘share-the-bed’ kind of gal--last time you tried that at Syb’s place you nearly took her arm off in your sleep when she tried to retrieve some of the covers… It’s just safer for everyone if you quarantine, really!

“Sweet,” the guard replies grinning ear to ear, “guess you and Keek are fighting for the couch, then!”

Ignoring the frighteningly-convincing combat stance Kiki drops into, you jab a finger in the direction of the bunk beds. Besides, you explain, the real prizes are sitting over there, chumps! Shifting her gaze between you and the jungle of beds waiting in the room beyond, Mitzi concludes by giving you a sympathetic look.

“I mean… you definitely have the pick of the litter…”

And you thought she was one of the COOL ones! Shaking your head at her in disappointment, you ask Mitzi a simple, but pointed question: has she ever heard of a BED FORT before? Recognition pools in the security goon’s eyes, followed by excitement.

“Oh yes.” She mutters under her breath, “HELL yes. I knew I liked you for a reason.”

Proudly planting yourself in the doorframe, you give the other girls a smug grin--this, you explain, is why you’re running this circus!

“Any chance we uh… We can join?” Mitzi adds as she and Kiki watch in jealousy!

MAYBE.

Now that THAT’S settled, you add as you survey the land that will soon become the Queendom of STANIA, you’ve gotta figure out what your plans are for the rest of the night…or at least for right now!

“I figure we can do ONE OR TWO THINGS before passin’ out!” Ly suggests. In that case…

>TAKE A SHOWER! WASH OFF THAT CRAPPY SEA WATER!
>CHECK ON THE BOY’S CABIN! MAYBE GRAB A BEER!
>CHAT UP MITZ AND/OR KIKI!
>BUILD YOUR KINGDOM!
>EXPLORE THE CAMPGROUND A LIL’ BIT!
>JUST PASS THE HELL OUT!
>WRITE-IN!
>>
>>5035471

>BUILD YOUR KINGDOM!
>EXPLORE THE CAMPGROUND A LIL’ BIT!
>>
>>5035471
>>TAKE A SHOWER! WASH OFF THAT CRAPPY SEA WATER!
>CHAT UP MITZ AND/OR KIKI!
>>
>>5035471
>BUILD YOUR KINGDOM!
>CHAT UP MITZ AND/OR KIKI!
>>
>>5035491
>>5035539
>>5035571
>BUILD YOUR KINGDOM: 2
>EXPLORE CAMPGROUND: 1
>TAKE A SHOWER: 1
>CHAT UP MITZ/KIKI: 2

Looks like we're chatting whilst building! Writing!
>>
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In that case, you reply as you plant your hands on your hips in determination, you’d better get this show started! Snapping your fingers a few times, Kiki and Mitzi eventually get the hint and peer over your stout shoulders.

“We makin’ this happen, then?” Mitzi asks with interest. You bet you are, you answer as you face them both with a grin! First thing’s first: can’t make a proper BED FORT without the right stuff!

Your words barely leave your mouth before Kiki returns with a stack of CLEARWATER DAM SHEETS, BLANKETS, PILLOWS, AND TOWELS teetering in her hands. Looking at you expectantly, the film student eagerly dumps them all in the center of the room when you give her a thumb’s up. Divvying up the materials into stacks, Kiki presents them all with an exaggerated ‘ta-da’ gesture before hopping onto one of the bottom bunks.

“Haven’t made one of these in ages!” Mitzi gushes, her usual aloofness deserting her. “Just like camp, huh Stan?” Before you can answer, the security goon cuts herself off with a startled look! “I mean… you’ve been to camp, right? It feels like that, right Keek?”

Seeing the panic on the guard’s face, Kiki responds with a hasty series of nods. What the hell’s their deal?

“No big deal, Stan--just gettin’ nostalgic…” Mitzi replies in a measured tone. Before you can dig deeper, she’s already crouched beside the beginnings of your kingdom! “So where do we start? I’m partial to the ‘DAM COMFY’ sheets, myself, but…”

The first step, you interrupt, is moving those bad boys closer together! Following your finger, Kiki and Mitzi watch as you draw a line between the two bunk beds and exchange a smile.

“Riiiight: forgot we won’t have to tidy up or check out in the morning.” Mitzi remarks, grabbing the side of the nearest bed. “Sometimes this whole SKELETON THING isn’t so bad, huh?”

You shrug--it has its moments! With Kiki taking position at the other bed, the two of them push the beds together just as you hear the sound of laughter next door--guess the guys are staying up for a little longer…

You quietly shake your fist in the direction of their cabin. If those jerks drink all the beer...
>CONTD.
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>>5035615
“I'm more worried about Art and Syb, to be honest.” Mitzi replies as she finishes pushing the bunk bed. “If we can hear the guys from here, well…” She pauses, biting her lip in thought, “...let’s just hope those two keep it down, yea?”

Your heart skips a few beats as the guard's implication slowly dawns on you. You just wanted to be nice and give them some time to chat, dang it! She… She doesn’t think that-

“That what? Those goofballs are gonna stay up all night talking and keep the poor guys awake?” Mitzi answers with a wry grin. “Why? What did you think I was talking about, Stan?”

Sinking further into the doorway to hide the growing heat in your cheeks, you respond with a curt shrug--you uh… never mind.

“Can do.” Mitzi replies, sharing a knowing glance with Kiki as they each pick up a few pieces of bedding each. “Cute kids, though. You shoulda’ heard how Art was fussing over Syb when you guys went to the ship--dude probably would have swam after ya’ if Ed and Tucker hadn’t started talking about Japanese flicks...”

That earns a chuckle from you. Art and the others might be shameless dorks, but they have their moments!

“That they do…” Mitzi agrees. “Anyways, we putting this thing together tonight or what? I'm still gunning for that shower, Parble.”

With a weary ‘yeah, yeah…’ you begin showing these punks how a BED FORT is done! You had a lot of practice on your own as a kid, so in between placing sheets under strategically-laid pillows and layering blankets, you opt to use the opportunity to interrogate your laborers.

What’s the topic, foreman? CHOOSE 1-2 TOPICS!
>ASK KIKI TO SHARE MORE ABOUT HERSELF! THE RHYMING THING MAKES IT TOUGH, BUT…
>YOU NEVER ASKED MITZ ABOUT HER FAMILY!
>WHAT WAS THAT ABOUT CAMP EARLIER?
>WHAT DO THEY THINK ABOUT THE REST OF THE GANG?
>HOW ARE THINGS GOING?
>WRITE-IN!
>>
>>5035616
>>ASK KIKI TO SHARE MORE ABOUT HERSELF! THE RHYMING THING MAKES IT TOUGH, BUT…
>>
Gonna leave it here for tonight, all--should check back in around 11-12PM PST SATURDAY!

... You know what? Since I'll be more well-rested around then, go ahead and choose 3 topics if you want--quality pillow forts take time, after all!

Hope to see you then!
>>
>>5035616
>WHAT WAS THAT ABOUT CAMP EARLIER?
>>
>>5035616
>>WHAT WAS THAT ABOUT CAMP EARLIER?
>>
>>5035617
>ASK MORE ABOUT KIKI!

>>5035647
>>5035669
>WHAT WAS THAT ABOUT CAMP?

Starting a little early today, but it looks like we have our two topics! Writing!
>>
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A satisfied grin forms on your face as you drape some more sheets across the gap between bunks. Yes, you mutter to no one in particular, that will do nicely…

With construction clearly going smoothly, you turn your attention to the shaggy-haired student next to you as she places a few strategic pillow palisades. Come to think of it, how much do you really know about Kiki anyways? You know she has that thing where she has to rhyme every sentence, but...

“Well for starters, her folks own a Japanese restaurant on the West side of town.” Mitzi answers, earning an enthusiastic nod from Kiki. “Pretty sure it was called UMAI or something, right, Keek?”

The student nods as you send an impressed stare Mitzi’s way. How the heck did she know that? Is she really a mind-reader?

“Yep!” She replies before staring daggers through you. “... Nah, not really--I just like giving Ed a hard time. I just asked her back when we went shopping at THE LODGE!” The two share a knowing laugh while a frown forms on your face--no one ever tells you anything, do they?!

“Eh, don’t be upset.” Mitz sighs, “Keek here just doesn’t like talking much, y’know? She’s a woman of ACTION!

Said woman of ACTION flexes her non-existent biceps to drive the point home. Speaking of, you add in a quizzical tone, how the heck can she whip around that machine gun anyways? She’s smaller than you, but she carries it like a twig!

I’ll put that answer on the dockets once you explain how you stuff those pockets!” Kiki counters, jabbing an accusatory finger at your pants! Touché…

Scrambling to change the subject, you opt to ask about her family--does she uh… Does she know where they are? Though her eyes are covered in bangs, you can already tell that wasn’t the best question to ask… Kiki looks at you with pursed lips and slowly shrugs her shoulders.

“Yep…” Mitzi sighs, patting the girl on the shoulder, “lots of that going around lately, huh?”

It matters not and come what may, we’ll do our best to save the day!” The student rhymes, giving you a shaky, but genuine, thumbs up! Guess there’s gonna be a lot of people to track down once all of this crap is over…

“Errr, here’s a question I’ve had, Keek:” Mitzi adds, clumsily changing the subject, “Why uh… What made you want to do film school anyways?”

Recovering almost immediately, the camera girl pantomimes a series of horror movie staples--a vampire skulking behind a cape, a zombie staggering on a limp leg, and finally a werewolf howling at the moon!

“... You’re another horror movie geek, aren’cha.” Mitzi adds flatly, earning an emphatic nod from the pantomimer. “Great.

>CONTD.
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>>5036141
Rolling her eyes at the presence of yet ANOTHER dork, Mitzi’s face lights up as another question comes to mind!

“Say, Keek…” She purrs, nudging the student in the ribs, “Is that why you and Tuck are so friendly?” Sensing her meaning, Kiki responds with a sheepish grin and a few shakes of her head, followed by a specific series of pantomimes: a finger pointed to each of you, an X, another finger pointed towards the BOY’S CABIN, then finally two thumb’s up. Yea, moron, you growl, you know that Tucker’s hanging out with the guys!

“I uh… I don’t think that was what she meant, Stan.” Mitz replies, stifling a knowing chuckle. Whatever!

“Speaking of boys,” Mitzi segues, “How’s it feel getting to know the real Talbot?” She asks, putting a smug grin on Kiki’s face as well. “Everything you’ve ever dreamed of?”

Feeling beads of sweat form on your forehead, you do what any mature adult would do in this situation--DEFLECT! Chucking a few more sheets into the fort, you point an accusing finger in the direction of the security goon--she mentioned camp earlier, right? What the heck was that about!?

“URK!” Mitzi’s face contorts as if you had just punched her. Again. “That uh… What about it? I said making this fort was like being back at camp or something!” Nuh uh, you growl, you don’t buy it! Crossing your arms and tapping a foot on the wood floor, you stare at the security guard until she breaks with a theatrical groan!

“DAMN IT, FINE!” She shouts, stomping her foot on the floor in defeat! “I didn’t… I didn’t want to bring it up, but you were truthful with me after that whole lab fiasco…” Staring at the floor for a while, Mitzi takes a deep breath before looking you in the eyes with a serious expression. “Stan… You uh… You went to camp around here, right? Once upon a time?”

You bite your lip as you contemplate her question--sure you did! It was right around when Sue broke up with whatever slut he was dating at the time… You must have been in Middle School or something! What was the name again…

WAMPANOAG, right?”

No, you mutter, it was something else.

“No it wasn’t.” Ly corrects. Is he still here!? This is GAL TIME, prick!

“Not like I've got much of a choice…” He grumbles.

Go possess a rat or something, then! Sheesh!

"I don't wanna."

>CONTD.
>>
>>5036148
The name hits you like a truck. Yes, you whisper with a snap of your fingers, that was it! There was a lake, archery, and there were cabins kinda like this only they were made to fit a billion kids and smelled like mold!

“And you could always tell it was morning by the smell of burning trash in the incinerator and food cooking in the canteen.” Mitzi adds with a wistful smile on her face. “That and Counselor Conklin tuning his guitar every damn morning…”

You nod--how the hell was it always so loud? Aren’t walls supposed to block-

Wait a minute… Confusion wells up in your head like a burst sewer pipe as you review the facts--how the heck did Mitzi know about that? Are there seriously multiple Counselor Conklins?! You KNEW he was mass-produced! That-

“Relax, detective,” Mitzi interrupts in a soft voice, “there’s only one Conklin and only one camp. We just happened to uh…” She pauses, brushing a few bangs from her face, “we went to the same one.”

Memories come flickering back like candles in the dark--off-tune campfire songs, the sound of paddles dipping into lake water, the sting of dry, brisk mornings on your face peeking out of your bunk bed’s covers…

And a girl... One with cinnamon-colored hair and a tomboyish laugh. One that you promised a tour of the boardwalk to on a bittersweet morning in front of the bus taking you home.

SHIT.

“Yep.” Mitzi sighs, averting her misty eyes. “Shit.”

>CONTD.
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>>5036150
You struggle to come up with the right words for the situation--should you apologize? Ask her how she’s doing? Crap, how do you even tackle this? It’s like finding out you have a long-lost sister or something!

“It’s fine, Stan,” Mitzi interrupts as she hops onto one of the bottom bunks, “It made a lot more sense once we learned about your uh… Memory issues.”

You frown at that. It doesn’t change the fact that you cut her off, damn it! Imagine what your life would be like if you had THREE friends! Mitzi coulda’ taken you on pool dates, or something! You could have ABS!

“Well,” the guard replies with a mixture of amusement and discomfort on her face, “there’s more.”

You and Kiki hop into the bunk with her. Part of you doesn’t want to know, but you’ve already ripped one bandage off… Taking a deep breath, you motion for her to continue. What else did you forget?

“A lot, unfortunately.” Mitzi answers in an apologetic tone. “Truth is, I met you again a few times at work, too--cross-department events, trainings, the Christmas Party-”

That last example stabs into your chest with an icy blade. What did she say?

“Oh, er…” The guard mumbles, “The CHRISTMAS PARTY. You know, the one where-”

You KNOW what happened, you snap in a tone that makes her recoil a bit! What does she remember?!

“I… I mean, I definitely had a drink or two that night, bu-”

You feel a fire rise behind your eyes as you clasp your hands on her shoulders--what does she REMEMBER?! Confusion mixes with worry on the guard’s face as she struggles to put words together.

“Y-you were… You were wearing that REINDEER ONESIE…” She stammers as you feel your heart thump in your chest like a timpani! “A-and I was wearing that SANTA DRESS and chewing PEACH GUM... I had a few drinks and thought I’d try to uh… introduce myself agai-”

You dig your hands in deeper--you don’t care about that, damn it! What about the accident that happened?! What about the GIRL you hurt?!

“I… I don’t know, Stan.” She replies in an uncharacteristically-quiet tone. “We talked for a while and you seemed… You seemed off to me.” Sensing something in your expression change, Mitzi quickly changes tack. “B-but not like OFF off! You just looked like you had a few drinks, which… Which you did...”

You find yourself unconsciously grinding your teeth together… you wish it was just a few drinks…

“Stan…” Mitzi mutters, bringing you back to the present, “You’re uh… You’re starting to hurt my shoulders, sweetheart…”

Removing your hands from the girl’s shoulders, you scoot as far away on the mattress as the bunk will allow as a cold breeze chills you to the bone.

So it wasn’t a bad dream, was it?

>CONTD.
>>
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>>5036157
“‘fraid not.” Mitzi answers as she and Kiki watch you with concern. “But Stan… It’s not… It’s not as clear-cut as you think.”

You let out a long breath before looking her way again. What the hell is that supposed to mean? You saw video footage of what you did--how much more clear-cut can it get than that?!

“Look, I wasn’t there when it happened.” Mitzi retorts with confidence returning to her voice, “ And I dunno, maybe the footage was edited, or something! I know what I saw: we talked for a while by the punch bowl, then moved over to one of the Christmas Trees.” The guard pauses to take a deep breath. “You had more than a few drinks before you left for the bathroom. I… might have coaxed you into getting a few more than you needed.”

You blink. So what, she’s saying you were just drunk? That doesn’t exc-

“I’m only telling you what I know, Stan!” Mitzi interrupts with her hands clenched at her side. “You left to go to the bathroom and I never saw you again that night--I assumed you had just had too much and Irish Goodbye-d me again, but once we found Blumenkrantz, well…”

The guard looks at you with sympathetic eyes. “I… I’m sorry, Stan. I shouldn’t have let you run off like that.” Her gaze shifts downward. “I really screwed up, huh?”

Words fail you for a moment. How the heck is it her fault? You’re the one who… She… It’s not her fault, okay?!

“Come on, Stan…” She mutters, “I must have reintroduced myself at least seven times by that point--I should have known not to let you run away again… Anyways… A few days later we all got a memo instructing us not to talk about it.” Mitzi continues, still looking downward. “So I figured that was for the best--part of me wanted to track you down and talk, but the next time I did see you, well…” Her voice trails off a bit. “You didn’t even recognize me.”

Venturing another look your way, the guard sees something in your face and frantically runs damage control! “B-but now I KNOW! I know you didn’t mean it, Stan--I know now that you weren’t trying to play with my emotions or… I mean, that… You weren’t… You...UGH!” Mitzi abandons her attempt at explaining and buries her face in her hands. “You know I’m not good at speaking, Stan, but… but I know you didn’t hurt anyone… you aren’t a bad person… I know it…”

Wrapping her arm around Mitzi’s shoulder, Kiki glances between the two of you unsure of what to say or do.

You can relate… how did a friggin’ pillow fort devolve into this? Moreover, how do you respond?

>HUG MITZI--IF YOU HAD KNOWN…
>WHAT WAS SHE SAYING ABOUT VIDEO EDITING?
>DISTRACT HER! ASK HER MORE ABOUT CAMP!
>WHAT WERE THE TWO OF YOU TALKING ABOUT AT THE PARTY?
>WRITE-IN!
>>
>>5036162
>WHAT WAS SHE SAYING ABOUT VIDEO EDITING?
>>
>>5036162
>HUG MITZI--IF YOU HAD KNOWN…
>>
>>5036162
>>HUG MITZI--IF YOU HAD KNOWN…
>>
>>5036162
>HUG MITZI--IF YOU HAD KNOWN…
>>
>5036162
>HUG MITZI--IF YOU HAD KNOWN…
>>
>>5036186
>EDITING, YOU SAY?

>>5036191
>>5036312
>>5036326
>>5036339
>HUG!

I might just pop both of the options in just to be fair--writing!
>>
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>>5036375
You respond in the only way that seems natural, really--scooting closer on the mattress, you bring both of the girls in for a group hug. Screw it, right?

“I… I’m sorry, guys…” Mitzi sobs, sniffing in vain against a fresh supply of tears running down her cheeks. “I… I totally ruined the BED FORT…

You and Kiki frown (though it’s hard to tell with the latter given the bangs). That’s not true and she knows it! Smiling as you chastise her, Mitzi frees an arm to wipe away the tears. “I would have… I would have told you earlier, Stan, but…” More sobs. “But I’ve been selfish...”

Is she kidding? She abandoned her cushy desk job to almost die on a daily basis--if that ain’t selfless you don’t know WHAT is!

“Yea… That was… that was a pretty dumb idea…” She replies, punctuating the sentence with an embarrassed giggle. “But I mean it, Stan--I didn’t want to tell you because I was having so much fun getting to know you again…” Kiki reaches into her pocket and offers the guard a napkin which she gratefully takes. “I didn’t want to ruin it…”

You pull away a bit from the hug so you can look the girl in the eyes. You might not be sure of a few things: aliens, an afterlife, whether or not France actually exists, but if there’s one thing you’re certain of, it’s that you’re NOT gonna forget anything again! Especially if it’s about a FRIEND!

“France…” She sniffles, mouth curling into a smile, “France IS real, Stan…”

You’ll believe it when you see it! Leaning deeping into the hug, you relish the warm feeling for a moment--despite it all, if there’s any, ANY chance at all that you didn’t harm that girl at the Christmas Party, well… you’ll take it.

“No way in hell, Stan.” Mitzi replies with confidence. “You might be able to kick a skeleton’s ass, but there’s no way you would harm a person like that. No way.”

The name BORIS pops into your head, but you opt not to say it out loud. You gotta say, though, this hugging stuff is ni-

Your moment is cut short by the sound of a door crashing open followed by the boom of a familiar and very-tipsy voice!

GIIIIIRLS!” Roars Talbot, carrying a pack of brews in each arm, “COME OVER AND PAR-

Seeing you three locked in a warm, albeit very close embrace, your fellow janitor’s eyes bug out in embarrassment.

“Oh.”

Quietly placing three beers on the dining table, Talbot backpedals out the way he came and gingerly pulls the door shut with his foot. With a muffled ‘’scuse me’, you hear him scamper back across the way to his designated cabin.

“Well…” Mitzi remarks as the three of you listen to him go, “Don’t know about you guys, but I could use a drink.”

Amen to that!

>CONTD.
>>
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>>5036438
So, you begin as the three of you crack your respective beers in your newly-constructed and certifiably dope-as-hell BED FORT, is everyone good?

I’m okay, but you’re sweet to check--I’ll feel even better in just a sec!” Raising her drink to the two of you, Kiki promptly shotguns her beer and crushes the empty can against her head before letting it tumble to the floor. That’s how you get ANTS, damn it! Motivated by your death glare, Kiki swiftly picks the beverage container back up and deposits it in a wastebasket next to the fridge.

“It uh… it feels good to get that stuff off my chest.” Mitzi adds, taking some hearty swigs from her can. “Though to be honest, I’m surprised it came up now...”

Giving a nod of approval to Kiki, you raise an eyebrow as you take a sip of your own drink. Why’s that, exactly?

“I erm… I might have snuck an old PEACH GUM wrapper into your belongings back when I ‘interrogated’ you back at THE LODGE…” Mitzi explains. Wait a minute… that was HERS?!

“I dunno!” She fires back before taking another sip! “I thought it would jog your memory and get you to trust me or something! It was stupid!” Letting out a content sigh, the guard leans back in her chair and wipes the few remaining tears clinging to her eyelashes onto her armored sleeve.

“If there’s one thing we’re good at, it’s doing stupid stuff…”

She can speak for herself! Finishing your drink, your mind wanders back into the conversation you were having before--she mentioned that video footage could be edited, right? Mitzi looks at you like you just sprouted butterfly wings. “Well… yea. Security folks do it all the time--it’s all recorded, right? That means you could always doctor it a bit and boom: no more video evidence.”

You feel your heart lift a few inches in your chest--so there IS a chance you didn’t do it!

“Exactly.” Mitzi replies before chugging the rest of her beer. “And even if you did do it, which you DIDN’T, you’re already trying to make amends, right?”

You shrug--maybe? You can’t exactly give that Christy girl a ‘Sorry I Maybe Crushed Your Throat’ card, can you?

“Never saw that one at the stores, nope.” Mitzi shrugs. “You’ll get there, though, Stan… we wouldn’t be tagging along if we thought otherwise.”

Kiki’s nod is interrupted by a drawn-out yawn… right, it’s LATE, isn’t it?

“Probably almost dawn..” Mitzi muses as she tosses her can into the wastebasket. DAMN, SHE’S GOOD! “In that case, I’m gonna grab a quick shower before passin’ out--last chance to grab it first, ladies.”

Kiki shakes her head as she scuttles up one of the ladders into the top bunk. Guess not!

>CONTD.
>>
>>5036440
You really shouldn’t be the last person to wake up, but that beer and your chat did give you a little more energy…

What, if anything, do you do before PASSING OUT?

>TAKE A SHOWER.
>GET SOME AIR FOR A FEW MINUTES! MAYBE SOMEONE ELSE IS AWAKE!
>CHAT SOME MORE WITH MITZI NOW THAT KIKI’S GOING TO BED…
>WRITE-IN!
>>
>>5036441
>>TAKE A SHOWER.
>>
>>5036441
>TAKE A SHOWER.
>Ask Ly if he thinks there's a chance we didn't do it.

I'm interested what our own bones has to say about the matter.
>>
>>5036460
>>5036471
>SHOWER + A LYTTLE CONVERSATION!

WRITING!
>>
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Actually, you interject, you wouldn’t mind a quick shower before hitting the sack! Examining you from top to bottom, Mitzi ultimately relents with an exasperated sigh.

“Fine… guess I deserved that.” She groans with a wink at the end. “Probably for the best, too--you smell like-” The rent-a-cop leans in to take a whiff, then returns with a perplexed look on her face. “Cinnamon. And sugar. Cinnamon sugar.” Mulling over the new info in her head for a moment, she finally concludes with a thumb’s up. “Not sure how or why, but I dig it. Might wanna grab a shower anyways.”

Pleasant aroma aside, you could still do with a scrub after escaping fish jail and defeating a pirate captain. Taking your apparently old friend up on her offer, you carefully hop off of the bottom bunk and quietly creep to the bathroom to avoid disturbing Kiki.

“Don’t take too long, yea?” Mitz asks as you move to shut the door. With a hasty ‘yea, yea’ you shut the door and lock it behind you hoping that it’ll muffle the sound somewhat. Before you can even ask, Ly pops out of your body in his ASTRAL FORM and phases through the wall!

“Just lemme know when you’re done, cupcake.”

Actually, you begin as you fumble with the shower knobs, you did have a bone to pick with him… Poking his spectral head through the wall, Ly raises a non-existent eyebrow your way. “Really?”

Yes, you nod, really.

“Nah, I meant ‘did you REALLY just make that joke?’”

You cock your head to the side. What joke? As Ly groans in frustration, you opt to continue explaining yourself--can he just, like… chill outside until you close the shower curtain? You wanna talk.

“Sure thing, kiddo.” He replies, phasing back through the wall of the bathroom as you unbutton your jeans. “Just uh… Try ta’ whisper, yea? These walls must be made outta’ balsa wood or somethin’.”

You let your clothes fall to the floor in a nearly-dry heap… Barring visiting a laundromat or heading back to that sweet VIP BUNKER of yours, it seems like you’ll have to wear these for a little while longer. As the water in the shower gradually begins steaming, you clutch your sides and hop from toe to toe in a vain attempt to keep warm. No wonder people don’t camp around this time of year!

Unable to brave the brisk air even inside of the cabin any longer, you deftly hop into the tub basin and let out a sigh of relief as a cascade of hot water heats up your body. Thankfully the camp owners saw fit to leave some basic toiletries in the bathroom, so as you pull the shower curtain closed and start lathering body wash, you whisper for Ly to head back in!

“Here I come…” Ly mutters as he slowly dips through the wall. “Dis’ better not be some kinda’ prank, Stan.”

Darn it! That would have been kinda funny!

>CONTD.
>>
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>>5036631
“So what’s up, kid?” Ly asks as he takes a seat on the toilet. What isn’t up?

“Ain’t dat’ da truth…” your skeleton replies, idly looking around what little space there is inside the bathroom. “I know I’m preachin’ to da’ choir here, but dat’ Boris guy is outta’ line!”

Hearing his name sends a deathly chill coursing through your body. Could he not say that name when you’re naked, please? Or ever?

“Right, sorry.” Ly hastily apologizes. “Still, I’m worried dat’ his pal Curt could hear me… Do you think he can hear me, Stan?”

You blink as you squeeze some more body wash into your hand… Crap, you totally forgot about that! If Syb can hear Ly then Curt can totally do it too, right?!

“It’s fine,” Ly whispers, “I figure he an’ his goons probably knew a long time ago. Da’ less time we spend around them da’ better, right?”

He can say that again, you mutter. Rubbing some shampoo into your gummy hair, the question you were going to ask pops into your head--given all Ly’s seen, does he think there’s a chance that, well, you did that thing at the CHRISTMAS PARTY?

Your skeleton shifts a bit in his seat. “You want my honest opinion? I wouldn’t rule it out.” Sensing how you seize up at his words, your skeleton immediately shifts into damage control! “Dat is to say I don’t think it’s IMPOSSIBLE. Anyone can hurt someone if they put their mind to it, right?”

That’s the problem, you groan. You DIDN’T put your mind to it. Hell, even with what Mitz said about editing videos and Syb’s perspective you still can’t fully remember that night!

“Not sure if it makes ya’ feel better or not, kid, but neither do I.” Ly sighs. “I talked ta’ BRAIN about it, but he’s got nothin’... It’s like someone took da’ film reel and cut da’ parts out, ya’ know?”

The question is, you continue, what if it happens again? What’s stopping you from waking up an hour from now in nothing but a bath towel, an empty head, and hands covered in blood? Is there a reason you haven’t had another fluke state yet?

“It’s not much comfort, cupcake, but we’ve done checks all around da’ clock--aside from da’ usual weight problems, mental quirks, and sexual frustration, all da’ charts are in da’ green!”

Well that’s a relief, you huff, letting foamy water drop from your head like a waterfall. So for all you know you’re basically a ticking time bomb!

“We’ve been fine so far, Stan.” Ly retorts in a measured tone. “An’ we’ve got da’ enemy on da’ run. One fight at a time, yea?”

>CONTD.
>>
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>>5036634
You swish some shower water around in your mouth before spitting it into the drain. Yea, you guess.

“In dat’ case,” Ly replies as he rises to his bony feet, “let’s rest up for da’ next one. Don’t wanna keep Mitz waiting, right?”

As if on cue, you hear a few faint knocks on the bathroom door.

“Hey uh, Stan? You fall asleep in there or what?”

Mitzi. How do you respond?
>JUST ABOUT DONE! (GO TO BED.)
>A FEW MORE MINUTES! (ASK LY ONE MORE THING: WRITE-IN)
>LET HER IN! WHAT A PRANK!
>WRITE-IN!
>>
>>5036638
>>JUST ABOUT DONE! (GO TO BED.)
>>
>>5036638
>LET HER IN! WHAT A PRANK!
>>
Getting pretty tired on my end, so I'll check back in around 11-12PM PST ON SUNDAY! Should be back on the road in the next update--hope to see you then!
>>
>>5036638
>JUST ABOUT DONE! (GO TO BED.)
>>
>>5036638
>JUST ABOUT DONE! (GO TO BED.)
>>
>>5036641
>>5036773
>>5036776
>BEDDER GO TO SLEEP!

>>5036721
>YOU ALWAYS WERE A KIDDER, STAN!

Looks like we're dragging our sorry carcass to bed. Writing!
>>
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Yea, no--the only shenanigans you’re in the mood for right now involve BEDS and SLEEPING IN THEM. Peeking through the curtain to tell Mitzi that no, you’re unfortunately still awake and yes, you’ll be done in a jiffy, you brace yourself for the coming winter as you twist the shower knobs into the off position!

Poking out of the shower to grab one of the towels hanging on the nearby rack, you retreat to the still somewhat warm interior of the shower to dry off. It’s a good thing you’re rockin’ the short-haired look--without a hair dryer you’re forced to dry off the old-fashioned way. Once you feel sufficiently dry, you gather up your clothes save for your shirt, underwear, and socks which you don immediately. Satisfied for now, you carry your remaining garments to the door and open it only to find Mitzi waiting in a black tank top, dogtag, and a pair of purple undergarments that show off some particularly shapely thighs. Yow!

“Yo~” she murmurs as she gives you a tired smile. “Took ya’ long enough.” Moving to the side of the doorway, you gesture for her to enter--it’s all hers! Before she goes in, however, the rent-a-cop swoops in and pulls you into a warm embrace!

“I know you’re tired, Stan, but…” Mitzi pauses to look you in the eyes, “Er… thanks. For everything.”

Pulling her in closer to you, you give your pal a few pats on the back. Yea, yea… if she keeps this up you’re both gonna freeze to death…

“I’d keep you warm.” She replies with a wink. “Just kidding. Seeya in the morning, boss.”

Pushing past you into the bathroom, the guard raises an eyebrow your way as she makes to close the door. “Huh. You still smell like cinnamon.”

Quietly shutting the door in your face, the sound of the water running again tells you that it’s time to hit the proverbial ‘hay’. Aided by all the hours you’ve spent playing FRIGID BLADES, you stealthily creep across the cabin’s wooden floor into the bunk bed room and quietly slither into one of the open bottom bunks. You scarcely have time to whisper a polite ‘good-’ to Ly before the sandman knocks you out with a haymaker and sends you on a one-way trip to SNOOZEVILLE.

Goodbye reality…
Hello DREAM WO-


NO! NO, damn it, you’re too tired for dreams and insightful memories! YOU SLEEP. THAT’S IT!

>CONTD.
>>
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>>5036987
The good news is that your sleep is, for the most part, refreshing and uninterrupted.

The bad news is that by the time the light of the midday sun is peeking in through the blinds, every inch of your body is telling you that no, you didn’t get nearly enough sleep! Covering your face with your drool-stained pillow, you let out a defeated groan when it doesn’t help--you’re still awake!

“Cripes, Stan, you tryin’ ta’ smother yourself?” Ly asks as you try and fail to do just that. If it lets you sleep a little longer, then yes! Yes you are!

You spend a few more minutes tossing and turning in bed, but no dice--even with the blinds closed, the rest of the world is already up and about outside: the sun is shining, the waves are crashing, and you can even smell the telltale scents of breakfast being made outside by your noisy friends! Snarling at their blatant disregard for your comfort, you scuttle out of bed and peek through the blinds to see what’s going o-AAAAUGH, TOO BRIGHT!

“Looks like everybody’s up.” Ly remarks as you blindly stumble back into bed. “Even Mitz.”

How? HOW?! She went to bed after you--it doesn’t make sense! Flopping back onto your bed, you lie face-down like a corpse for a few minutes counting muffled sheep into the mattress.

“You uh… You getting up, cupcake?” Ly asks, clearly already knowing the answer.

In case you were wondering, the answer is NO.

“Better start thinkin’ of it,” Ly adds like a parent trying to get their kid out of bed. “If they get bored enough, one of ‘em might just come wake ya’ up.”

Sounds great, you mutter as you dig deeper into what little bedding you have. You still don’t have pants on, so if they do come in you’ll totally sue their ass. And kick it.

“Suit yourself.” Ly sighs before phasing through the window in ASTRAL FORM. “I’m gonna try ta’ mingle.”

And YOU’RE gonna try to sleep, damn it! You said ‘when everyone wakes up’, right? Why doesn’t anyone ever listen to you? Flipping the bird at the window and, by extension, your friends, breakfast, and the world in general, you ultimately decide to:

>TRY TO SLEEP A LITTLE LONGER! SOMEONE BETTER NOT COME IN, DAMN IT!
>WAKE UP! IT’LL TAKE SOME DOING, BUT…
>HAVE LY TELL SOMEONE TO GIVE YOU BREAKFAST IN BED! (WHO?)
>WRITE-IN!
>>
>>5036990
>>WAKE UP! IT’LL TAKE SOME DOING, BUT…
>>
>>5036990
>HAVE LY TELL SOMEONE TO GIVE YOU BREAKFAST IN BED! (WHO?)
tactical Sybil strike time
>>
>>5036990
>WAKE UP! IT’LL TAKE SOME DOING, BUT…
>>
>>5037013
>>5037056
>WAKE UP! GRAB A BRUSH AND PUT A LITTLE MAKEUP!

>>5037047
>TACTICAL SYB

Looks like we're trying to WAKE UP! Those are some comfy covers, though, so do me a favor and ROLL 1d100-15 TO GET OUTTA BED! I'LL TAKE THE BEST OF 3 ROLLS!
>>
Rolled 25 - 15 (1d100 - 15)

>>5037097
>>
Rolled 45 - 15 (1d100 - 15)

>>5037097
>>
Rolled 30 - 15 (1d100 - 15)

>>5037098
>>
>>5037098
>>5037119
>>5037120
>HIGHEST ROLL: 35!

It's tough, isn't it? Writing!
>>
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Wake up, of course! If you act like you’re getting up to go to work it’ll be a cinch--you’re not even hungover this time!

Taking a deep breath, you work through your tried-and-true steps to getting out of bed for work starting with STEP 1:

Wailing like a banshee, you mash your fists and feet against the mattress in protest--no… NO! You don’t WANT to go to work, damn it!

Satisfied with your performance, you proceed to STEP 2:

… and stuff your head underneath your pillow again. Just FIVE MORE MINUTES, you swe-

A door slamming open rouses you from the fresh layer of drool your face is currently occupying. Blinking the sleep from your eyes with a heavy yawn, you feel your heart jump-start in your chest when a heavy boot kicks the door to the room open! Your vision still blurry, you retreat under the covers as you shout ‘PERVERT!

GoOOoOOoooOoOd Morning, Stan~!” chirps a cheerful Sybil! “You aren’t planning on sleeping all day, are you?!”

Scared and confused, you refuse to budge from your blanketed refuge. No, you mumble, you were aiming for all year.

“On a BEE-YUTIFUL day like this!?” The Goth asks as she trots over to the window! “Come on, Stan, surely you wouldn’t dream of depriving the day of your presence! Up and attem’, girl!”

Sensing her intentions, you pounce from your covers in a vain attempt to interrupt Syb, but you’re too late--tugging on a string by the window, your pal giggles to herself as a burning light pierces the room and your blankets! Oh no, you screech, Talbot’s finally lost it! He’s blasting you all!

Clutching your eyes in pain, you lose your balance and tumble off the edge of the bed onto the cold wood floor! Writhing like a vampire, you swat at the sound of boots approaching you--leave me!

“I could never!” Sybil replies as she flicks the light on as well! “Did you shower last night, Stan? You smell like cinnamon!”

Yea, you grumble, you’ve been getting that a lot. Snatching up your pants from the floor, you begrudgingly pull them back on while Syb hums a happy tune to herself in the doorway. She’s having a good day, isn’t she?

“Wha? Oh… Yes!” She stammers in an absentminded tone. “It was a lovely night!”

You respond with a noncommittal grunt as you put your bra back on underneath your shirt. Sounds like she got a lot more sleep than you did!

“Sleep? Y-yes, of course!” She replies, brushing a few messy locks of hair out of her face with a grin. “I certainly got some!”

Lacing up your shoes and placing your hat back on your head, you look at your pal expectantly--so, you sigh, did she come in to give you breakfast in bed, or something?

“Hm?” Syb asks. “No.”

Then why the hell is she HERE?!

>CONTD.
>>
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>>5037235
“Well well,” Syb laughs to herself, “Someone’s crabby today!”

Spoiler alert, you growl, it’s you!

“I gathered.” Syb retorts. “And I’m here because, well… Do I need a reason to check in on my BEST friend?”

No, you sigh, but you had hoped she would bring along some coffee, at least. The Goth gives you an apologetic grin. “Sorry… Mitzi made a pot about an hour ago--not sure if there’s much left…”

As she delivers the sad news, Sybil’s eyes bug out as she remembers something else! “RIGHT, that’s what I was going to tell you! Gus saved some eggs for you, but they might be a bit cold at this point…”

Reeling from all of the good news, you defy your protesting body and rise to your feet--no sense in going back to bed now! Did Ly check in with her at all this morning?

“Who?”

LY!

“Oh right! He told me he would be doing some reconnaissance of the immediate area until you woke up. I’m sure he’ll come find you in a bit.”

Man, you groan, even your skeleton woke up before you… scratching the back of your head, you ponder your next move--one that doesn’t involve heading back to bed.

>ASK SYB WHAT THE OTHERS ARE DOING!
>ASK SYB ABOUT HER NIGHT!
>HEAD OUTSIDE!
>CHECK IN WITH LY!
>WRITE-IN!
>>
>>5037237
>HEAD OUTSIDE!
Lets be real honest, we have a good enough idea of what Syb did last night. And the others are probably just getting food or doing something wildly irresponsible and/or fun
>>
>>5037237
>>ASK SYB ABOUT HER NIGHT!
>>HEAD OUTSIDE!

Bust Syb’s chops for pulling us out of out sweet dreams
>>
>>5037237
>>ASK SYB ABOUT HER NIGHT!
>>
>>5037240
>>5037247
>>5037256
>HEAD OUTSIDE!

Writing!
>>
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Having had your fill of Syb’s chipper attitude, you opt to head outside and see what the others are doing--if you stick around her any longer she’s gonna give you diabetes or something! Giving your pal a diplomatic pat on the shoulder, you don your COOL SHADES as you make your way outside into the crisp seaside sun!

OW! Close, but no cigar, losers! Ha ha ha!”

As your eyes adjust to the sunlight, you get an eyeful of what your pals have been up to while you slept: Gus, Kiki, and Tucker sit chatting around an extinguished fire pit, each still enjoying a steaming cup of coffee from the coffee maker sitting in the open back of the van. Noticing your approach, Tucker gives you a friendly wave as he takes another sip of joe!

DAMN IT!

And then there’s the others. Ed, Art, and Mitzi all stand like soldiers in a firing line tossing rocks at Talbot--the janitor in question lazily swinging from a dead tree on the edge of the sea cliff from a metallic tentacle extending from his hand. Scoring a hit on your bodyguard’s chest, Mitzi turns around to find more rocks and notices your arrival!

“Mornin’, Stan!” She shouts, earning a similar greeting from the rest of the idiots. “Check it out! We’re doing something wildly irresponsible and/or fun!”

“I’m going with ‘irresponsible!’ Art shouts, his face turning a shade redder upon seeing Syb follow you out of the cabin.

“And I’m going with ‘FUN!’” Eddie laughs, chucking a rock between Talbot’s eyes! Though his face shimmers with metallic goo upon impact, the hit still earns an annoyed snarl from the tracksuit-wearing troublemaker as the tree quakes under his weight!

DAMN IT, I said no face sh-oh, Stan! Hey.

Ignoring the look Talbot gives you, you feel a hand grip yours as Syb gives you another warm smile!

“Shall we go grab your food, Stan? There’s more than enough time for breakfast!”

You send an uncertain glance over to the pals on the cliff--isn’t she worried about them?

“Yes,” she giggles, “but I don’t care~”

As you contemplate your next action, you feel a familiar presence take root inside of your body. Puberty?

“Close, but no cigar, cupcake.” Ly chuckles as he settles back in. “Surprised you haven’t asked Syb about her night yet.”

Come on, man--you’re not bright, but you’re not stupid! One look at her and Art and it’s clear as day!

“... Meaning?”

What a maroon--hasn’t Ly ever seen two people get a lot of sleep before?

“No,” your skeleton replies, stifling something in his voice, “I suppose I haven’t…”

In any case, what’s the first step here?
>GET YOUR COLD BREAKFAST AND COFFEE!
>JOIN THE MORONS!
>ASSEMBLE THE TEAM! TIME TO PLAN THE NEXT MOVE!
>WRITE-IN!
>>
>>5037407
>>JOIN THE MORONS!
I'm all for stoning Talbot.
>>
>>5037407
>JOIN THE MORONS!
>>
>>5037407
>JOIN THE MORONS!
We go where we know we must.
>>
>>5037419
>>5037422
>>5037468
>JOIN YOUR PEO-ERR, THE MORONS!

Writing!
>>
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Gently removing your hand from Syb’s fiendish clutches, you automatically head towards the spectacle along the cliff with renewed energy in your steps!

“Stan!” Syb calls from behind you, “What about breakfast?”

You can have that any time, you shout, as your walk turns into a jog! This, on the other hand… this opportunity only comes once in a lifetime! Leaving your purple-haired pal in the lurch, you scamper over to the rest of the misfits like a puppy meeting a new playmate!

“There she is!” Eddie chuckles as he picks up a handful of pebbles!

“Knew you couldn’t resist.” Talbot adds, moving his stupid red eyebrows up and down at you.

“You playing, Stan?” Mitzi asks, holding out a rock for you to grab. “Pretty sure you can guess how to play.”

First thing’s first, you say as you watch Talbot swing back and forth like TARGAN THE GORILLA MAN, since when could he swing around like that?

“Since last night.” Talbot answers, grinning like a moron.

“Crazy bastard bet that he could swing from…” Eddie begins, words trailing off at the end, “actually, the less we talk about last night the better, right?”

RIGHT.” Talbot nods as he resumes his swinging.

“Anyways,” Art interjects, face returning to its usual pale and sweaty pallor, “We found a much sturdier tree, so T’s offering to buy a drink to anyone who can nail him.”

That earns a raised eyebrow from you. There was a less-sturdy tree?

“Yep,” Ed answers, pointing a finger down the cliffside. “Deathtrap snapped like a twig and fell down the cliff the minute T hopped on it. This one’s much stronger, though!”

You shrug--you believe him!

“So,” Mitzi reiterates, “fancy having Mr. Swing King over there buy you a drink? Or five?

“I’m good for it!” Talbot adds as he picks up speed! “... I WILL be after all this is over!”

What say you?
>GIMME A ROCK, SISTER!
>I’LL JUST WATCH FOR NOW!
>HOW ABOUT WE SWEETEN THE DEAL A LITTLE BIT?
>CUT THIS CRAP OUT--WE GOTTA TALK STRATEGY WITH THE OTHERS!
>WRITE-IN!
>>
>>5037507
>>HOW ABOUT WE SWEETEN THE DEAL A LITTLE BIT?
We accept payment in PONGOS, ITEMS, BONE-USES and favors.
>>
>>5037507
>>HOW ABOUT WE SWEETEN THE DEAL A LITTLE BIT?
>>
>>5037514
>>5037526
>THE ART OF THE DEAL!

Writing!
>>
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As you reach for the rock in Mitzi’s hand, a thought pops into your head and freezes your arm in place! Drinks are good, yes, but here’s the thing: once all of this blows over and you’re crowned QUEEN OF HEROES, you’ll never have to pay for a drink again! EVER!

“Countin’ those chickens before they hatch, ey cupc-”

EVER! Recoiling from Mitzi’s offering, a devious smile forms on your face as you jab a finger at your fellow Evening Sanitation Coordinator! How about we sweeten-

Okay, can he stop swinging for a second? It’s hard to talk to him when he’s doing that.

“What’s wrong?” Talbot laughs, still swinging from side to side, “Too FAST for ya?”

“Do you think a drop from this height could kill him?” Ed asks, earning a noncommittal shrug from Art.

You can worry about that later, damn it! You were gonna sweeten the deal a little bit!

“Oh yea?” Talbot asks, interest clearly piqued. “How?”

Turning to your pals, you ask them how hard it’s been to hit Talbot.

“Not especially...” Art shrugs. “He’s been changing up his speed a bit, but it’s doable.”

In that case, you chuckle to yourself, what if you said that you could nail him… THREE TIMES IN A ROW?

“PSSH,” Talbot scoffs, “You’re good, but not THREE HITS good!”

Your eyes narrow. That scared, huh?

SCARED?!?” Talbot growls, nearly losing his grip on the tree, “No way! You’re on, Parble--you wanna try to hit me three times in a row? I’ll be happy to win that bet for you!”

Slowing down a bit, your bodyguard looks at you expectantly. “So what are you wagering, anyways?”

You’ll acceptplenty of stuff, you reply, puffing out your chest! PONGOS, BONE-USES, ITEMS, FAVORS-

“I asked what you’re going to WAGER.” Talbot repeats! “You know… the stuff I win?”

PONGOS, BONE-USES-

“Stuff you can actually give me, please.” Groans your bodyguard as he resumes swinging. “And none of that I.O.U crap!”

In that case, you huff, IF HE WINS...

>YOU’LL GIVE HIM ALL OF YOUR PONGOS!
>YOU’LL WAGER AN ITEM (WHICH ONE/S)?
>YOU’LL BE NICE TO HIM FOR A WHOLE DAY!
>WRITE-IN!

And if YOU win…

>HE’LL FIND YOU SOME PONGOS! LOTS!
>HE’LL FIND YOU AN ITEM (WHAT?)
>HE HAS TO BE NICE TO YOU FOR A WHOLE DAY!
>WRITE-IN!
>>
Gonna call it here tonight--should be back again MONDAY AROUND 6-7PM PST! Thanks again for playing and hope the start of your week isn't terrible!
>>
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>>5037548
>>WRITE-IN!

Pic related.
>>
>>5037561
>>5037548

Just kidding.
Here’s my real vote:
>Our wager: Our prized beaver plush from the general fight (we have that still, right?)
>Talbot’s wager: Pongo slavery
>>
>>5037548
>YOU’LL WAGER AN ITEM (WHICH ONE/S)?Mermaid Smut! It's what I would ask for.
>HE’LL FIND YOU SOME PONGOS! LOTS!
>>
>>5037564
You certainly DO still have the BEAVER PLUSH along with ALLIE THE ALLIGATOR and that STAN DOLL you got from SANDY THE VENT URCHIN you met in the bunker!

I'm assuming PONGO SLAVERY means the poor guy has to scrounge up Pongos for your nefarious deeds?
>>
Sorry for the double-post, but now that I look at it you also have a MERMAID PLUSH as well! Eerie!
>>
>>5037548
I want to say we wager the Stan doll, since I think it would be cute if Talbot had it. I'll leave Talbot's wager up to him because I'm interested in seeing what he comes up with.

>You'll wager the Stan Doll!
>>
>>5037548
>>YOU’LL WAGER AN ITEM (WHICH ONE/S)?
Mermaid Smut!
>HE’LL FIND YOU SOME PONGOS! LOTS!
>>
>>5037561
L-lewd...

>>5037564
>>5037566
>>5038051
>>5038067
>STAN WAGER: MERMAID SMUT!
>TALBOT WAGER: FINDING YOU A FUCKTON OF PONGOS

Writing!
>>
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“... something TODAY?” Talbot groans as he and your fellow stone-throwers glare at you impatiently. “If you’re too scared to bet, then just-”

You’re only scared of two things, you fire back as you fish around in your pants pockets--JACK, and SHIT!

“... What did this Jack guy do to you?” Eddie asks, earning a few nods from the others. No, damn it, you huff, you meant that you’re scared of Jack Shi- you know what? Forget it! Your genius is wasted on you people!

“It’s a shame, alright.” Art mutters. HEY!

Just as you’re about to totally put Art and Talbot in their respective places, A.K.A THE TRASH, your hand brushes against something you almost forgot you had… or maybe wanted to forget. Pupils reduced to pinpricks, your pulse quickens as you run your hand along the smooth, leathery side and know immediately what you’ve found: an eldritch tome of unspeakably horrific lewdness forged from the depraved minds of a people accustomed only to inflicting and receiving pain! An icy finger runs down your spine at the mere thought of what you gazed upon before--to look upon it again would no doubt deal your fragile psyche a blow from which it would never recover!

Whipping it out like a debit card, you shake the tome in Talbot’s direction. Would he be interested in some MERMAID SMUT?

“Yea, sure.”

Excellent, you cackle, cautiously returning the book to your inventory as if handling a live bomb. Not that he’s gonna win it, that is!

“The only thing that’s gonna be won here,” Talbot boasts, still swinging despite the poor tree’s protests, “is the uh… the thing that you don’t… you… your thing. By me.”Satisfied with that travesty of a sentence, the Evening Sanitation Coordinator gives you an impatient look. “So there’s no way it’s gonna happen, but what do you want if you win?”

The janitor swings back and forth a few times as he contemplates something appropriate.

“... Girls like monster trucks, right?”

You do, but that’s not the point! Hiding your excitement, you propose an alternative option: PONGOS. Lots of ‘em!

“How many is ‘lots’?” Talbot asks, raising an eyebrow in mild concern.

LOTS.

Contemplating your terms for a little over a second, the janitor shrugs. “Fine. You aren’t gonna win anyways.”

That remains to be seen, you chuckle! Shaking hands in agreement, you take your position next to Mitzi as Talbot starts swinging again--when do you start?

“Whenever.” Art grunts, “Just say something like ‘here goes’ first or T’ll get all pissy about it.”

“Less flirting, more THROWING!” Your target shouts! Taking your rocks in hand, you prepare to let loose! Go team!

ROLL 3d100 TO SCORE 3 HITS! I’LL TAKE THE BEST OF 3 ROLLS!
>>
Rolled 34, 57, 88 = 179 (3d100)

>>5038282
>>
Rolled 96, 71, 14 = 181 (3d100)

>>5038282
Feel trepidation, from lapidation.
>>
Rolled 100, 29, 93 = 222 (3d100)

>>5038282
>>
>>5038304
>Talbot falls off a cliff a second time
Amazing
>>
>>5038284
>>5038286
>>5038304
>ROLL 1: 100!!!!!!!!!!
>ROLL 2: 71
>ROLL 3: 93

You guys are mean, you know that?

Writing!
>>
>>5038321
Don't blame the player, blame the game. It's a doggie-eat-doggie-bone world out there.
>>
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>>5038304
>>5038321

You wanted the crits, I brought the crits.

Guess Talbot's gonna go back to being a big fat skeleton again.
>>
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You start things off with a slow, deep breath… no need to rush, after all--who knows when you’ll get a chance like this again?

“Whenever you’re ready, princes-OOF

Your first rock launches from your hand like a fighter jet and smacks the dangling dork square in the stomach! Recoiling more from surprise than pain, Talbot grinds his teeth and concentrates more on his swinging as your spectators let out a cheer!

“Alright, alright, guess beginner’s luck is alive and we-GNRK!

The next one clocks him on his hip, sending the janitor into a frenzied spin! Rather than steady himself, Talbot lets out a hearty laugh as Mitzi hands you your final rock!

“Not bad!” Talbot remarks, spinning on his tentacle arm like a whirling dervish! “But you’ve dug your own grave, Stan! NO ONE can lay a finger on me now!” Before you can chuck your last stone, Talbot transforms into a blur as he spins and swings around the tree like some kind of cat toy gone haywire!

“He’s right!” Art shouts! “At that speed it’s practically impossible!”

“C-careful, Stan!” Eddie mutters with a flabbergasted look on his face! “H-he’s FAST!

“YOU’D BETTER BELIEVE IT!” Talbot roars! “YOU’RE GOOD AT FIGHTING DUSTY OLE’ BONES, BUT I’M A GODDAMNED LEGE-THOK

A hush falls over the cliffside as your final rock meets its mark--which also happens to be Talbot’s smug face. Behind the metallic goo protecting him from harm lies a look of confusion and pain, one that only intensifies as he lazily swings backwards above the sea cliff.

“Holy SHIT!” Mitzi hisses, eyes wide as she processes what she just saw.

“Indeed…” Syb mutters as she and the other fire-goers approach to watch. As your winning rock rolls to your feet coated in a thin layer of GOODBOYNIUM, the moment is cut short by the sound of something large wrenching free of the ground!

“Um… Guys?”

Following Tucker’s finger, you watch as the tree finally has enough of Talbot’s antics and uproots itself from its cliffside perch! Before anyone can do anything, he and the tree both tumble into the sea!

https://youtu.be/MUL5w91dzbo

Watching your bodyguard land with a splash, you bashfully snatch the rock up off the ground and stuff it into your inventory--at least you have this GOOEY ROCK to always remember him by!

“He died doing what he loved:” Art sighs, shaking his head, “doing stupid things.”

One thing’s for sure, you sigh as you watch the waves crash against the cliff, you TOTALLY won that bet. Shame he was too much of a coward to uphold his end of-

I’M NOT DEAD, ASSHOLES!

As if on cue, a red-haired man bursts from the foamy waves spewing seawater and kelp! Well darn!

AND I FOUND SOMETHING!

A sigh escapes from your mouth as you cross your arms--guess coffee’s gonna have to wait.

>CONTD.
>>
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>>5038382
A TREASURE CHEST.

“Yep!” Talbot replies as he half-stumbles, half-leads the charge down the cliff towards his landing zone. “Never woulda’ noticed if I hadn’t strategically fallen on it!”

“Is that what we’re calling that?” Mitzi asks as she, you, Eddie, and Gus all follow close behind!

“Nevermind that--what do you think’s inside?” Eddie asks as your entourage reaches the base of the cliff. “Treasure?”

“Maybe...” Gus replies mid-jog. “Cursed treasure.”

You scowl at the delivery man as you hurdle over a pile of kelp. Can he not? If they keep dangling this stuff in front of fate like treats, eventually it’s gonna snap one up!

“He might have a point though, Stan…” Eddie remarks, “if I was gonna bury treasure, I’d probably curse it just to be sa-”

ZIP IT!

“Hurry up!” Talbot shouts as he wades into the surf up ahead! Grasping something underwater, the janitor motions for everyone to join him as you spot the corner of what appears to be some kind of metallic box bigger than you! Taking your places around the treasure, you and the others heave with all your might until it comes loose from the silt below!

As you carry it over to drier land, you get a good look at your plunder--on the outside it looks like an ordinary treasure chest-well, about as ordinary as a treasure chest can be: barnacle-covered wooden planks, a rusty metal frame, and a shape large enough to carry, well, anything!

If that’s the case, though, then why does it feel so off to you?

“I’ll tell ya why:” Ly answers, popping out of your body to get a closer look, “Dis’ thing might look shoddy, but it’s protected.”

That earns a frown from you. Protected from what?

“Are you gonna help pull or are you just gonna RIDE it?!” Talbot growls! If he shouts at you like that again, you growl back, you’re gonna dunk him in the water PERMANENTLY!

“Magic.” Ly continues. “I can’t see what’s inside!”

Before you can contemplate his words, you and the chest drop to the damp sand as the others let go! Hastily cleaning yourself off, you regain your footing and give the box one more once-over… yes, you mutter to yourself, this could be good!

“Then what are we waiting for?” Talbot asks eagerly! “Let’s crack this guy open!”

“Shouldn’t we wait for Syb or someth-”

Too late, Eddie. Goaded by Talbot’s infectious enthusiasm, you and him both take a spot at the locking mechanism and break it open revealing…

>SOME KIND OF CLOAK! IT’S WATERY FABRIC CALMS YOU AS YOU RUN YOUR FINGERS ACROSS IT!
>A SEASHELL BARRETTE! IF YOU LISTEN CLOSE YOU SWEAR YOU CAN HEAR A BEAUTIFUL VOICE FROM INSIDE!
>A MECHANICAL DOOHICKY IN THE SHAPE OF A HANDGUN THAT ARCS WITH ELECTRICITY!
>A SMALL VIAL OF MILKY GREEN FLUID THAT MAKES YOUR BONES TINGLE JUST LOOKING AT IT!
>>
>>5038384
That's all for tonight, folks--didn't kill Talbot just yet! Sorry for the short updates--got pretty tired all of a sudden!

I should be back TUESDAY AROUND 6-7PM PST!

The IMGUR and PASTEBIN have both been updated, so feel free to check those out too! I swear I'll get those character bios done eventually!
>>
Rolled 1 (1d2)

>>5038384

>1 = SOME KIND OF CLOAK! IT’S WATERY FABRIC CALMS YOU AS YOU RUN YOUR FINGERS ACROSS IT!
>2 = A SMALL VIAL OF MILKY GREEN FLUID THAT MAKES YOUR BONES TINGLE JUST LOOKING AT IT!
>>
>>5038384
>SOME KIND OF CLOAK! IT’S WATERY FABRIC CALMS YOU AS YOU RUN YOUR FINGERS ACROSS IT!
>>
Rolled 1 (1d2)

>>5038384
>SOME KIND OF CLOAK! IT’S WATERY FABRIC CALMS YOU AS YOU RUN YOUR FINGERS ACROSS IT!
>A SEASHELL BARRETTE! IF YOU LISTEN CLOSE YOU SWEAR YOU CAN HEAR A BEAUTIFUL VOICE FROM INSIDE!
>>
>>5038384
>A SMALL VIAL OF MILKY GREEN FLUID THAT MAKES YOUR BONES TINGLE JUST LOOKING AT IT!
>>
>>5038384
>A MECHANICAL DOOHICKY IN THE SHAPE OF A HANDGUN THAT ARCS WITH ELECTRICITY!
>>
>>5038384
>SOME KIND OF CLOAK! IT’S WATERY FABRIC CALMS YOU AS YOU RUN YOUR FINGERS ACROSS IT!
>>
>>5038384
>SOME KIND OF CLOAK! IT’S WATERY FABRIC CALMS YOU AS YOU RUN YOUR FINGERS ACROSS IT!
>>
>>5038390
>>5038391
>>5038443
>>5038547
>>5038572
>THE CLOOOOAAAKKK

>>5038455
>BONE MILK, PROBABLY

>>5038490
>THE DOOHICKY

Looks like we're stoked on the cloak! Writing!
>>
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… some kind of… table cloth? Sharing a confused glance with your fellow treasure hunters, you cautiously snatch the linens from Davy Jones’ locker and hold them up to the apocalyptic morning sun!

“What the hell is that supposed to be?” Talbot asks, wringing the seawater from his tracksuit. “Curtains?”

“It sure is pretty...” Eddie remarks as the blood-red sun reflects off of the object’s gossamer material! Running your hand along its silky length, you can’t help but agree--billowing in the sea breeze with hints of cyan and aquamarine, the sheet almost resembles the waves currently lapping at your feet!

“Can’t believe I almost died for a friggin’ tablecloth...” Talbot scoffs as he gives the chest a solid kick. “I guess we could turn it into a cool flag or something…”

“Pretty sure it’s a cloak.” Before you can debate him, Gus approaches your side and pulls back one of the folds in the fabric revealing a head-sized hole and hood near the edge! Oh snap, he’s right!

“Could be useful if you get back into that nerd crap you played in the park, huh?” Mitzi remarks, sending Talbot into ALERT MODE!

“... She played what?”

“What was it again, Stan?” Mitzi asks as she rubs her chin in thought. “Something with blades, ri-”

Clasping your hand over her mouth, you lean in close to the surprised cop and whisper a few hasty words into her ear: ix-nay on the ARP-lay!

“This is America, you know.” Talbot grunts. “You guys can speak ENGLISH.

And he can shut up, you growl, but that’s never stopped him before! Letting the garment unfurl in your hands, excitement builds in your chest as a crazy idea worms its way into your head--one that compels you to put the cloak on!

“Wait, Stan, it’s probably mag-”

Ly’s been with you since, well, forever, so really it’s his fault for not knowing to warn you sooner. Slipping your head into the hood, you pull the cloak tighter and let it blow dramatically in the wind with a cocky smile on your face.

Hell yea.

ROLL 1d100+10 FOR ABSOLUTELY NO REASON, HONEST! I’LL TAKE THE BEST OF 3 ROLLS!
>>
Rolled 65 + 10 (1d100 + 10)

>>5039090
>>
Rolled 26 + 10 (1d100 + 10)

>>5039090
>>
Rolled 21 + 10 (1d100 + 10)

>>5039090
>>
>>5039093
>>5039097
>>5039106
>HIGHEST ROLL: 75!

Writing!
>>
>>5039090
https://d-d-5e-road-test.obsidianportal.com/wikis/oceans-caress
Kinda seems like a shitty item
>>
>>5039112
Fret not, chum, this is BONES QUEST! EVERY item is shitty!
>>
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“-ic.” Ly finishes, breathing a sigh of relief. He’s gonna age quicker if he keeps stressing out all the time!

“Gotta admit, Stan,” Mitzi remarks as she looks you up and down, “it doesn’t look half bad.”

She’s right, you smirk, it looks all good! Striking a pose for your adoring fans and Talbot, your smugness gives way to panic as you feel your foot get caught on the cape! Struggling to regain your balance, you end up stumbling a few steps deeper into the surf and tumble like a drunkard into the waves! Bracing for impact, your cloak-clad carcass drops straight through the water as if it wasn’t there at all, sending you rolling like a barrel down a steep, sandy incline!

“What in da’ hell!?” Ly shouts, mimicking your thoughts exactly! As the hill culminates in a shadowy crevice, you hastily claw and paddle the water around you in a vain attempt to slow your literal ‘roll, but no dice! You’re still falling!

As the yawning fissure draws closer, you abandon your attempts at swimming and instead stick a BONE CLAW into the sand next to you! Though the tactic slows you down a bit, you still feel yourself falling. Shoving your other hand into the sand, you finally skid to a halt about a foot away from the steep drop-off below! Sighing in relief, you hug the side of the dune as if it were your mom or dad--that was TOO close!

“You can say dat again!” Ly remarks as he relaxes a bit. “What da’ hell just happened, anyways?”

Inspecting your surroundings, you struggle to come up with an appropriate answer! You were posing, of course, but then you tripped and… your thought trails off as a school of colorful fish rush past your face and further out to sea. Watching them disappear into the murky horizon, the unmistakable sound of waves crashing above you prompts you to glance upwards where the tide crashes against the shore!

Holy crap, you think aloud, you’re underwater!

“... and breathin’, from da’ sound of it.”

Wait, what?

>CONTD.
>>
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>>5039156
As Ly’s words register, you find yourself gasping instinctively as the realization kicks in! When you don’t choke on sea water, you take a few more practice gasps just to be sure. Nope, you mutter as a bat ray glides by, not dead!

“Well dat’s a relief…” Ly remarks as you climb over to a small plateau on the incline. Cautiously taking a seat, you take a moment to process the situation you find yourself in: first of all, you begin, you can breathe.

“Looks like we ain’t wet, either.” Ly adds, borrowing a finger to poke at your t-shirt-clad stomach. Sure enough, your garments and inventory are bone dry! Nifty!

“What else?”

Well, you reply, you don’t feel like you’re underwater. In fact, you continue, taking a few swipes through the water with your claws, it feels like you’re on land!

“Yea,” Ly mutters, staring at the crevice below, “gravity included.”

What else? Oh, your ears don’t hurt either! That’s a relief, huh?

“Yea…” Ly answers, voice trailing off in thought, “ain’t dat a kick in da’ head?”

Pleased with these new revelations, you contemplate your next course of action. This kind of thing doesn’t happen every day, you know!

>HEAD BACK TO SHORE!
>TRY TAKING THE CLOAK OFF!
>HEAD DEEPER INTO THE CREVICE!
>WRITE-IN!
>>
>>5039158
>>HEAD DEEPER INTO THE CREVICE!
Off to Atlantis!
>>
>>5039158
>HEAD DEEPER INTO THE CREVICE!
Well, we found one piece of magic stuff down there. Might be something guarding it though, so lets be on guard.
>>
>>5039158
>>HEAD DEEPER INTO THE CREVICE!

Sidequest number #421 begin!
>>
>>5039162
>>5039164
>>5039188
>DEEPER!

Writing!
>>
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https://youtu.be/-5rAjOjTGtc
“So,” Ly begins, interrupting the soothing, rhythmic sound of the waves crashing above you, “we gonna head back up or what? Figure da’ others are gettin’ worried by now…”

He figures too much, you scoff, waving his concerns away! Besides, you add, you already found one cool treasure--imagine what else you might stumble upon down here!

“Okay, I’m imaginin’.” Ly retorts. “... aaaand most of it is bad. We don’t even know how dis’ thing works, Stan!”

Then you’ll search quickly, sheesh! Lowering yourself over the edge of the plateau, you carefully climb down into the yawning abyss below. How many near-death situations do you need to escape from for him to take it easy, anyways?

“I’ll tell ya’ when we get there.” Ly replies. Figures! As you silently continue your descent, the water around you grows dim and the cliffside swaps out sand for stone. It’s only after about a minute or so that you notice something’s off.

“Huh.” Ly grunts as he pokes a glowing head out for a peek, “guess dat’ explains why we haven’t drowned yet.”

An eerie blue glow surrounds your entire body like a ghostly bubble--its edge just out of arm’s reach. Probably, you respond, poking at the light with one of your claws.

DON’T TOUCH IT!” Ly snarls, causing you to yank your arm back! “You really wanna mess wit’ da’ thing keepin’ us alive?”

You shrug. Well when he puts it that way… Using your new glow as a lantern, you continue deeper into the trench past pale coral formations and startled fish.

“Jeez,” your skeleton huffs, “dis’ sure goes down far, don’t it?”

Before you can respond, you sense something drawing close from behind! Lashing out with a claw, your attack sinks into your opponent with a muffled ‘CRUNCH!’, revealing it to be the rotting wood of a ship’s mast!

Straining your eyes against the darkness, you can just barely make out the faint outline of a shipwreck through the murky water--one clearly not from around CLEARWATER!

“Look at dat!” Ly exclaims as he points your head at the tattered remains of a sail. “Dis’ thing must be older than sliced bread!

Yea, you mutter, and hopefully worth a lot more! As the TREASURE FEVER kicks in, the sound of movement in the water around you gives you pause--figures you wouldn’t be alone down here!

“We’re sittin’ ducks wit’ dis’ night light of ours!” Ly groans as you feel something dart through the water above! “Should we head inside?”

What say you?
>YOU BET--LET’S SEE IF THERE’S A CAPTAIN’S QUARTERS!
>LET’S TRY TO GO BELOW DECK!
>LET’S GET OUTTA HERE--SEEMS LIKE THIS COULD BE TROUBLE!
>WRITE-IN!
>>
>>5039233
That's all for tonight, folks--should be ready for more WEDNESDAY AROUND 6-7PM PST! Thanks again for playing and seeya then!
>>
>>5039233
>>LET’S TRY TO GO BELOW DECK!

Meanwhile all of our grand LARP secrets are being mercilessly spilled...
>>
>>5039233
>YOU BET--LET’S SEE IF THERE’S A CAPTAIN’S QUARTERS!
>>
>>5039233
>LET’S TRY TO GO BELOW DECK!
We really don't know how this will interact if we get attacked, so let's try and move quietly and quickly.
>>
>>5039233
>YOU BET--LET’S SEE IF THERE’S A CAPTAIN’S QUARTERS!
>>
>>5039233
>YOU BET--LET’S SEE IF THERE’S A CAPTAIN’S QUARTERS!
>Also check if our sea-legs bonus is active.
>>
>>5039233
>YOU BET--LET’S SEE IF THERE’S A CAPTAIN’S QUARTERS!
>>
>>5039233
>YOU BET--LET’S SEE IF THERE’S A CAPTAIN’S QUARTERS!

Lmao I'll bet they're losing their minds on the shoreline looking for us.
>>
>>5039237
>>5039250
>BELOW DECK!

>>5039239
>>5039284
>>5039371
>>5039379
>>5039791
>CAPTAIN'S QUARTERS!

>>5039237
Mitzi's a good girl, but you'd better hope Art doesn't come bring it up...

>>5039250
RIGGED FOR SILENT RUNNING!

>>5039371
You're currently moving around as if you were on land, gravity and speed included. You're still technically in water, though, so I'll be adding that BONE-US to your skill checks down here.

>>5039791
At this point I'm pretty sure Syb's contemplating getting you chipped. Gus saw a Vet's office on the way to the camp!

Looks like we're making a break for the CAPTAIN'S QUARTERS if we can track them down! ROLL ME 1d100+10 TO TRACK IT DOWN WHILE LIT UP LIKE A CHRISTMAS TREE! I'LL TAKE THE BEST OF 3 ROLLS!
>>
Rolled 86 + 10 (1d100 + 10)

>>5039845
>>
Rolled 61 - 10 (1d100 - 10)

>>5039845
>>
Rolled 27 + 10 (1d100 + 10)

>>5039845
>>
>>5039847
>>5039853
>>5039858
>HIGHEST ROLL: 96!

Yep, that'll do 'er. Writing!
>>
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Yes, you nod, scanning the depths for any unwelcome guests, let’s do it! Deftly leaping to the mast like a cat, the wooden pole immediately creaks back as you land on it! Gritting your teeth in frustration, you freeze like a gargoyle as you hear something swimming your way!

“Aw cripes,” Ly mutters as you cling to the pole for dear life, “whaddaya’ think dat’ is?”

You sure as hell ain’t gonna stick around to find out! Loosening your grip, you slide down the mast like a fire pole just in time to avoid something BIG! As the shadowy stalker disappears into the darkness for another attack, you hit the deck of the ship with a muffled ‘thunk’ and immediately race for the barnacle-covered door leading to the cabin below a rotting ship’s wheel!

Ducking another attack from whatever is gunning for you, you clear the door with a swift body check, knocking the portal off of what little hinges it had left! As the remnants of the door crashes inwards, you stop yourself just in front of a waterlogged desk and its occupant: an algae-caked skeleton wearing a rust-covered flat-brimmed helmet with a wide crest and a matching set of old, but sturdy armor! Jumping backwards in surprise, you extend your BONE CLAWS and prepare for combat!

… But the skeleton refuses to move.

“Looks like onna’ them old-timey explorers…” Ly remarks as you venture a step closer. That’d probably explain all the lacy duds, huh?

As you examine the cabin’s owner a little closer, you spot a slip of WEATHERED PARCHMENT hidden beneath a pair of the bougiest sleeves you’ve ever seen! Before you can take a closer look, however, you notice a few other points of interest--namely the frighteningly-pointy sword sitting at the skeleton’s side and, more importantly, the weathered chest sitting in front of what probably used to be a lavish bed!

Holding your ground, you ask Ly to do a quick scan for magic, but all you get is a shrug from your own shoulders!

“Dat’s more of a Syb thing, kiddo. If you want my advice, though, I think we oughta tread lightly... “

For once you’re inclined to agree--you’re not itchin’ to get this magical bubble of yours popped…

That said, WHAT DO?
>SMASH THE SKELETON TO BE SAFE!
>CAREFULLY SNATCH THE PARCHMENT!
>INVESTIGATE THE CHEST!
>PEEK OUTSIDE FOR ANY AMBUSHERS!
>WRITE-IN!
>>
>>5039886
>>CAREFULLY SNATCH THE PARCHMENT!
>>
>>5039886
>CAREFULLY SNATCH THE PARCHMENT!
>>
>>5039886
>>INVESTIGATE THE CHEST!
>>
>>5039899
>>5039901
>PILFER THE PARCHMENT!

>>5039908
INVESTIGATE THE CHEST!

No one can resist a note in a creepy place! In that case, please ROLL 1d100 TO GRAB IT! CAREFULLY! I'LL TAKE THE BEST OF 3 ROLLS AS PER USUAL!
>>
Rolled 12 (1d100)

>>5039951
>>
Rolled 83 (1d100)

>>5039951
>>
Hate to leave this on a vote, folks, but I'm gonna be playing some games with a few pals in a little bit and might not be able to write an update for the rest of the night--unfortunately tomorrow's gonna be pretty busy too, so I can't promise an update until FRIDAY AROUND 6-7PM PST.. I'll try to whip something up when I get a break, but I don't want to make promises I can't keep. Thanks for playing and apologies for the few updates--should be back in the swing of things by the weekend!
>>
Rolled 17 (1d100)

>>5039951
>>
>>5039953
>>5039956
>>5040063
>HIGHEST ROLL: 83!

We're back and we're writing!
>>
Presented with several promising options, you find yourself creeping towards the waterlogged sailor enjoying his eternal rest on his rotting desk.

“Errr, you sure about ‘dis?” Ly asks, clearly not as sure as you are. What’s wrong, you smirk, worried that he’s gonna jump up and scare us?

“I was thinkin’ more along da’ lines of ‘jumpin’ up an’ KILLING us, but you’re right--being scared is da’ more pressin’ concern here…”

If he’s so scared, you hiss as each step you take creaks throughout the ship, why is he talking to you while you’re SNEAKING? When no response comes, you give yourself a victorious nod--gottem!

If the skeleton’s alive, he’s doing a damn fine job of hiding it--as you enter parchment-grabbing range you can swear you saw his algae-covered jaw twitch a bit, but you quickly dismiss the notion--algae likes to twitch, after all, especially underwater.

Biting your lip as your fingers close around the edge of the parchment, your eyes remain plastered on the bony buccaneer as you take one more deep breath… and then PULL!

“Wow,” Ly remarks as your hand returns with a brand new PARCHMENT, “dat’ went a lot better d-”

Preoccupied by your new item, it takes you a moment before you notice its previous owner lunging at you with his bony arms outstretched!

ROLL 1d100+5 TO-

An uncharacteristically-girly scream dies halfway out of your throat as your attacker slumps onto his desk sending a cloud of dust and grime all over the room! Waiting for your pounding heart to simmer down, you swallow the remaining surprise with a loud gulp and examine the parchment’s smeared contents!

“Was it worth it, cupcake?” Ly asks, borrowing your neck and skull to lean in closer. Has he learned NOTHING? In horror games random notes always have important clues, you answer as you derisively roll your eyes! EVERYONE knows that!

“In dat’ case,” your skeleton growls, “what priceless intel did we just pick up?”

See for yourself, you smile, tapping a pointer finger against the weathered page. Yellowed to the point of near-illegibility and smeared by years underwater, you’re still able to make out the unmistakable shape of some kind of map--its destination marked by a thick X after a winding trail through several landmarks--the clearest one being TWO POINTED ROCKS JUTTING OUT OF THE SEA. Foreboding!

“Where have we seen those before?” Ly mutters as you poke at the map a few more times. Somewhere, clearly!

>CONTD.
>>
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>>5041466
Examining the clue further, you direct your companion’s attention to the writing along the bottom of the map--look, Ly, you exclaim, ANCIENT RUNES! It could be magic!

“... Pretty sure dat’s Spanish, kiddo.”

Tilting the map on its side, you give your skeleton an unsure glance--if that’s the case, you counter, then how does he explain the weird alphabet?

“... Ya’ just turned it on its side, Stan,” Ly huffs, “Spanish uses da’ same alphabet.”

Okay, you relent, you were just testing to see if he was actually paying attention!

“I am.” He grunts as you stuff the OLD MAP into your pocket. “And now I’m wonderin’ what our next move is.”

Well…

>SMASH THE SKELE!
>INVESTIGATE THE CHEST!
>HEAD TO THE CARGO HOLD!
>LEAVE! THIS PLACE IS CREEPY!
>WRITE-IN!

BONE-US POLL: IT’S ALMOST THE HALLOWEEN SEASON! ANY IDEAS AS TO WHAT COSTUMES STAN AND THE GANG WOULD WEAR?
>>
>>5041467
>>INVESTIGATE THE CHEST!
Stan's a wereracoon already, no costume needed.
>>
>>5041467
>INVESTIGATE THE CHEST!
Everybody knows cheats mean loot. All the vidyagames say so.
>>
>>5041494
>cheats
Meant to say chest.

>>5041491
Pretty much this.
>>
>>5041467
>>INVESTIGATE THE CHEST!

>Stan: refer to >>5041491
>Art: Naruto
>Talbot: no fuggin clue maybe a zombie
>Mitzi: Rambo
>Boris: William Tell's son
>>
>>5041491
>Wereraccoon
Shit, better hope a full moon isn't coming up!

>>5041494
You haven't entered any cheat codes yet, anon!

>>5041536
I would kill to see Art and Mitzi at a party dressed like that. You just know Artie would be doing all of the hand gestures!

>>5041491
>>5041494
>>5041536
>AMAZING CHEST AHEAD!

Writing!
>>
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Well you’re already here and you’ve already messed with the owner, so it’d be rude not to loot his stuff too, right? Sparing one last glance at the skeleton slumped over the desk, you creep over to the base of the bed and examine the chest!

“It looks kinda similar to da’ one Talbot found,” Ly remarks as you peer into the box’s rusty lock, “but I dunno… Dis’ one looks older.”

Great, you reply, extending a BONE CLAW, that means the crap inside must be more valuable! Wedging your blade between the lock and the chest, you easily pry the weathered mechanism off its mount and onto the mottled floor. Checking behind you one more time, you turn around just in time to face the room’s owner!

… still slumped on his workspace. Gotcha!

“No you didn’t.” Ly groans as you turn your attention back towards the chest. “Now quit actin’ dumb and open it up.”

Would it kill him to show a little more enthusiasm, you ask, lifting the box’s lid with both hands. You’re underwater! And you’re BREATHING! How cool is th-

Your question is cut off by a spidery shadow leaping at you from inside the chest! Batting it away with the back of your hand, you send the attacker crashing into the corner in a shower of detritus and bubbles! Before you can chase it down with your BONE CLAWS, the offender steps into your cloak’s aura and reveals its true form:

A MALNOURISHED FIDDLER CRAB!

Clicking its disproportionate claw at you angrily, the confused crustacean skitters into the safety of a nearby crack before you can mince words with it. Yea, you mutter under your breath, run!

“Looks like another victory for TEAM STAN, ey?” Ly remarks, stifling a chuckle. “Wanna check out dat’ chest now?”

Flipping the bird in the direction the crab escaped, you nod--yea… you do.

>CONTD.
>>
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>>5041591
With its old tenant displaced, the chest quickly reveals itself to be free of any other irritable sea critters. Satisfied for now, you promptly begin your time-honored tradition of rooting through other people’s belongings starting with the azure article of clothing sitting on the top.

A closer examination reveals it to be some kind of OFFICER’S JACKET, though time, water, and pissy fauna have reduced the once-regal outfit to a mess of tattered fabric and threads. Letting it fall to the chest’s side, you’re met with a handful of items that are far more sturdier!

You start with the star of the show: a regal FLINTLOCK PISTOL with a rusted barrel and a stock engraved with a shower of leaves from a tree you can’t place. As you pick the weapon up, a foul, viscous sludge drips from its interior and onto the floor--definitely a fixer-upper. Stowing the antique in your inventory, you move on to the object that was sitting next to it.

The item in question is a small, octagonal box sitting in the corner--its shape barely filling out the palm of your hand. Flipping open a small latch on the side, the box’s lid pops upwards revealing a matrix of arrows and letters hiding underneath a glass cover! You don’t have to be a sailor to know what THIS baby is!

“Hey, a COMPASS!” Ly remarks! “Dat’ oughta’ come in handy!”

… yea, compass was your second guess. Marveling at how the display under the glass spins as you turn in place, you clasp the cover shut after you’ve had your fun and stuff it into your pocket.

Next to a long-faded framed sketch sits a BRASS SPYGLASS-- its lens caked with years of grime. A few careful rubs from your fingers clear away some of the dirt, however, and after a second or two of fiddling with the eyepiece, you can almost see a magnified image of the room around you!

“Might be more effective where it’s brighter, huh?” Ly suggests, once again ruining your fun. Since the room’s owner doesn’t seem to mind, you pilfer that item too--at the very least it could serve as some binoculars… or a club.

"Always da' creative one, aren'cha, Stan?"

>CONTD.
>>
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>>5041592
Reaching for the JEWELED CRUCIFIX in the adjacent corner of the box, a sharp sting courses through your hand as your fingers close around it! OW!

“You good?!” Ly asks, earning a pained and somewhat confused nod from you! Yea, you mutter as you store the offender, it only hurt for a minute, but…

Your sentence trails off as you find the last item that held its own against the sea--a grimy, but still salvageable GOLD NECKLACE! If you had to guess, it’s probably meant for a male!

“How do ya’ figure?” Ly asks, leaning in closer. Because it belonged to that guy, you shrug, pointing at the still-inert skeleton behind you. Still, you muse out loud, this would probably look good on anyone…

An eager grin forms on your face as you quickly pull the jewelry over your head and try it on! Trying it out at various lengths and positions, you eventually come to realize that it’s not gonna kill you or turn you into a newt.

“Sometimes a necklace is just a necklace, huh?” Ly sighs. Guess so. Still, you continue as you rise to your feet, it could always make a good accessory!

“Or a good gift.” Ly suggests, earning an eyeroll from you. Sure, you mutter as you jealously twirl your fingers between the gold links, a gift...

Wearing the necklace out, you turn around to find that the skeleton still hasn’t moved. Huh.

“Tell me about it.” Ly responds as you both stare at the ancient corpse sitting behind the desk. “Nowadays it feels weird when da’ skeletons don’t attack us, huh?”

Not for nothing, you huff, but you kinda miss the good ole’ days… in any case, what happens next?

INVENTORY PASTEBIN UPDATED!

>SMASH THE SKELE!
>HEAD TO THE CARGO HOLD!
>FIDDLE WITH ONE OF THE ITEMS MORE!
>LEAVE! THIS PLACE IS CREEPY!
>WRITE-IN!
>>
>>5041594
>>HEAD TO THE CARGO HOLD!

hnnnngggg I wanna get a move on the next skeleboss, but the need to sidequest is irresistible
>>
>>5041594
>HEAD TO THE CARGO HOLD!

Alright, one more check and we'll get the hell out of here. Somehow I know it won't be that easy, though.
>>
>>5041597
>>5041598
>HEAD TO THE HOLD!

Writing!
>>
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Giving the room one last look-over, you give your pockets a satisfied pat--not a bad haul in the least!

“In dat’ case,” Ly adds as you turn your attention to the murky water outside of the room, “does dat’ mean we’re headin’ back ta’ shore? Da’ others must be worried sick…”

Well they can take a CHILL PILL, you fire back! If this was the stuff they were keeping in the CAPTAIN’S QUARTERS, imagine what they have down below! Before Ly can argue, you make your way for the exit with your mind ablaze at the possibilities!

“Pretty sure da’ captain would have all da’ top stuff.” Ly argues. “An’ it’s not like we’re lookin’ for anything in particular, right?”

Not really, you shrug, but you never know where you might find a cl-

Your conversation skids to a halt as a cartilaginous torpedo CRASHES into the doorframe and fills your exit with a wall of serrated teeth! Stumbling out of their reach, you back up more as the mouth’s owner frantically gnashes its jaws in an attempt to break through! Moving in for the attack, you rush in just when the entrance buckles, paving the way for your attacker: a massive great white shark with more scar tissue than flesh! Sticking out of its hide are countless blades of different make and size: diving knives, fish hooks, even a few harpoons! As you marvel at the creature’s battle scars, the shark squeezes through the door with its handball-sized black eyes locked on to you!

ROLL 1d100+5 TO DODGE THE ATTACKS! I’LL TAKE THE BEST OF 3 ROLLS!
>>
Rolled 45 + 5 (1d100 + 5)

>>5041625
OH SHIT
>>
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Rolled 63 + 5 (1d100 + 5)

>>5041625
Can we find any convenient air canisters to toss into its mouth?
>>
Waiting on one more roll, but I'm getting a little tired on my end--I'll check back in SATURDAY AROUND 11-12PM PST, though, so hope to see you then!
>>
Rolled 29 + 5 (1d100 + 5)

>>5041629
>>
>>5041536
How about we have Sybil go against type and dress up like a fifties housewife, simply because everyone expects the witch costume. that or a life-size version of Sybdoll
>>
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>>5041491
>>5041536
>>5041705
Couldn't sleep so I whipped something up of questionable quality. Huge disclaimer: I have never once claimed to be artistically-talented.

>>5041629
>>5041634
>>5041666
>HIGHEST ROLL: 68!

Writing!
>>
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https://youtu.be/FDwV_1fLtOY?list=PLGqr3MYapfy_QKVo2vxCVkmjts2vMZqk5

Skidding to a halt before nearly depositing yourself into the crazed carnivore’s toothy maw, you manage to push off of its nose and stumble backwards just in time! Just when you regain a bit of distance, however, you sense something else in the cabin amidst the rain of algae and rotten wood chips. Keeping away from the shark currently caving in the entrance, something compels you to duck to the left, and duck you do!

Your prediction proves to be on point as a thin, but dangerously sharp length of metal stabs the spot you were just standing! Following it back to its source, you sigh in frustration as your suspicions prove to be true: the until-recently immobile algae-covered skeleton now twirls an officer’s saber in your direction with a menacing grimace on his grimy face!

¡Es mío, PUTA! ¡Ayuda! ¡AYUDA!

You’re not sure what he just said, but you doubt it was a compliment! Keeping you at bay with his blade, the skeleton turns to the marine menace trying to break in and motions to you with the point of his sword.

¡Lucia, MATAD!

As if it understood, the shark doubles-down on trying to kill you. Crap, you mutter as you hear the sound of footsteps on the deck outside, does that fish understand German?!

“We can suss it out when we ain’t about ta’ die!” Ly exclaims as several bony hands crash through the cabin floor! “Keep ‘em away from da’ cloak or we’re fish food!”

What’s the plan here, coach?
>LASER BLAST! LASER BLAST EVERYONE!
>TEAR THE CAPTAIN APART!
>FIGHT OFF THE SHARK!
>HAVE LY TRY TO POSSESS SOMEONE!
>DISTRACT THE FISH WITH SOME MYSTERY MEAT!
>WRITE-IN!
>>
>>5042080
>>DISTRACT THE FISH WITH SOME MYSTERY MEAT!

>>5042019
Wholesome!
>>
>>5042080
>HAVE LY TRY TO POSSESS SOMEONE!
Lucia!
>>
>>5042080
>HAVE LY TRY TO POSSESS SOMEONE!
Take control of jaws.
>>
>>5042097
>MEAT HALFWAY!

>>5042118
>>5042127
>POSSESS THE PREDATOR!

ROLL ME 1D100 TO TAKE CONTROL! I'LL TAKE THE BEST OF 3 ROLLS!
>>
Rolled 72 (1d100)

>>5042323
>>
Rolled 85 (1d100)

>>5042323
>>
Rolled 31 (1d100)

>>5042323
>>
>>5042330
>>5042331
>>5042356
>HIGHEST ROLL: 85
WRITING!
>>
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Sounds reasonable to you! Dodging a series of stabs from the skeleton’s saber, you advance a few steps to inflict some punishment of your own! Going on the offensive, cutting the blade down to size with your claws proves harder than expected--every time you try to parry, the captain swishes the tip around your counterattacks! When you try to attack him, the jerk just steps out of the way! No fair!

The appearance of several crew members digging through the floor doesn’t make it any easier. On top of your current tango with the captain, you also find yourself playing hopscotch through a series of blades being jabbed through the floorboards! When one of them tears a small hole in the leg of your pants, enough is enough--but by the time you snap to get Ly’s attention, the car-sized shark is already making a mess of the skeletons crowding to get in through the front door!

“Figured you could use some help!” Ly quips as he crushes a sailor’s helmet and skull with his new pearly whites! Winking at you with a now-glowing eye, the shark turns tail from the captain’s quarters and proceeds to wreak havoc on the rest of the vessel’s crew! As you turn your attention back to your current opponent, a muffled voice rings out amidst the sound of inarticulate screaming and swishing steel--one that sounds strongest inside your pocket!

As the captain bats your claw away and advances, you dodge around him using the rotting bed and take the opportunity to open up the pocket in question.

STAN!” Shrieks a familiar angry voice, “WHY AREN’T YOU DEAD?!

“Who is it?” Ly asks as he smashes a sailor against the ship outside.

Syb, you groan...

“Tell her I say hi!”

You’ll uh… you’ll work on it.
>CONTD.
>>
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>>5042424
Well, you mutter as your opponent dodges your clumsy kick aimed at his head, you want to say it’s skill, but-

RHETORICAL QUESTION, STAN!” The voice continues, its owner revealing itself to be a purple-haired and very cross-looking doll poking out from your pants! “IF YOU’RE RUNNING OFF ON YOUR OWN AGAIN-

First of all, you retort, you didn’t run off! You fell thanks to a magic item!

“And when, pray tell, were you planning on retrieving us?” Syb-doll asks as your claw deflects off of the captain’s breastplate. “Or did you think we’d just wait around while you went on an undersea adventure?!”

Feeling a few hands grab you by the ankles, you swiftly grab a handful of grime from the floor and chuck it in the captain’s face! Keeping you at bay with his blade, the captain uses his other hand to clear the muck from his eye sockets while you take the opportunity to dice some hands! By the way, you remark as you wade back into the duel, she doesn’t seem very happy any more.

I WONDER WHY!?” Syb shrieks, causing a fresh layer of silt to fall into the room! “Listen: for every MINUTE you aren’t back up here, I’m going to tell everyone an EMBARRASSING STORY about you!

You barely manage to deflect the next blow as realization kicks in. She… she wouldn’t dare!

“Try me!” Syb snarls as you hasten your attacks! “Blades of Zamarka, High School, you name it! I’ll even tell everyone about that one Valentine’s Day where you showed up drunk as a skunk an-”

NO! You scream as you tackle your duel opponent! You’ll be there in a jiff, damn it, just don’t tell Talbot ANYTHING!

“Get back here and I won’t!” Syb fires back! “And don’t you dare die either, or I’m sharing it all at the WAKE!

Before you can finish him off, the captain misses your cheek by a few inches with his blade before kicking you off of him! As the two of you regain your footing and Ly continues to provide support, you contemplate your next move--better be a good one!

>LASER BLAST!
>PINCER ATTACK WITH LY!
>BAIT AN ATTACK, THEN COUNTER!
>JUST RUSH THE BASTARD--YOU HAVE ARMOR!
>WRITE-IN!
>>
>>5042425
>PINCER ATTACK WITH LY!
this is CRABsolutely the best choice. Gettit, pincers... crabs... God I'm a comedy genius.
>>
>>5042425
>PINCER ATTACK WITH LY!
>>
>>5042425
>>PINCER ATTACK WITH LY!
>>
>>5042425
>PINCER ATTACK WITH LY!
Do this and then we ride the back of the shark to the shoreline
>>
>>5042426
You CLAWberred it, anon.
>>5042428
>>5042439
>>5042444
>PINCER? I 'ARDLY KNOW 'ER!

You've got the advantage on this one, chums--ROLL ME 1d100+10 TO CLEAR THE WAY! I'LL TAKE THE BEST OF 3 ROLLS!
>>
Rolled 15 + 10 (1d100 + 10)

>>5042455
>>
Rolled 76 + 10 (1d100 + 10)

>>5042455
>>
Rolled 34 + 10 (1d100 + 10)

>>5042455
>>
>>5042459
>>5042462
>>5042507
>HIGHEST ROLL: 86!
Writing!
>>
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You don’t have time to waste here--when Syb threatens to do something, you can be damn sure she’s gonna do it, especially when she’s ticked off! As you dodge another storm of stabs, you snap your fingers a few times to get Ly’s attention--does he mind giving you a fin here?

“Not at all, cupcake!”

Your skeleton-turned-shark sweeps the deck once more, clearing it of a few more irate sailors. Seeing your chance, you position the captain between you and the door leading outside, then press the attack with both of your claws! You see a glint in the fencer’s eye sockets as he deftly parries your attacks, but thankfully your BONE SPEED and new lack of water resistance allow you to maneuver past his counter attacks!

A cocky laugh escapes the captain’s algae-caked mouth as he performs a practiced moulinet and spits some no doubt derisive words under his breath! You don’t have to speak German to know that he can keep this up all day, and while he’s still locked in a perfect fencing stance, your lack of sleep and/or coffee is slowly catching up with you!

Taking the bait, you forgo your claws in favor of a classic dropkick which, thanks to your fancy cloak, takes you past the skeleton’s defenses and delivers two boots straight to the center of his breastplate! The shocked look on his face tells you that he certainly wasn’t expecting that, and the grey blur snatching him off his feet as he stumbles backwards onto the deck tells you that he definitely wasn’t expecting Ly either!

The ship grows quiet as your opponent's screams fade into the deep, culminating with a sickening crunch. Man, noise sure likes to travel far underwater, doesn’t it? Catching your breath, you lean against the wall for a moment before shouting out to Ly--is he good?

Your answer comes in the form of a silver torpedo darting past you! Popping in and out of the darkness, your skeleton puts his temporary body through the works--a spin here, a loop there, and finally a few corkscrews just to make you jealous. It works.

“Guess da’ others ran off when their pet wasn’t playin’ nice!” Ly laughs, shooting you an exceptionally-toothy grin as he passes you by. “I might be able ta’ keep hold of dis’ guy for a little longer if you wanna scout around a bit more!”

Your gut says HELL YES, but your head still echoes from Syb’s menacing threat--do you dare give Art or Talbot more ammo?

What’s the plan?
>BACK TO THE SURFACE! NO TIME TO LOSE!
>CHECK THE DAMN CARGO HOLD FIRST!
>SCREW ‘EM--THERE’S BOUND TO BE MORE COOL STUFF AROUND HERE!
>WRITE-IN!
>>
>>5042575

>Cargo hold

Let's make it snappy
>>
>>5042575
>BACK TO THE SURFACE! NO TIME TO LOSE!
Fug it, we already got what mattered.
>>
>>5042575
>BACK TO THE SURFACE! NO TIME TO LOSE!
We got some treasures out of all this, so it wasn't a waste, but we cannot let Art, or Mitzi, or especially Talbot find out about that one Valentine's Day!
>>
>>5042575
>>BACK TO THE SURFACE! NO TIME TO LOSE!
We can go back down after
>>
>>5042584
>GLORY TO CARGONIA

>>5042587
>>5042589
>>5042615
>IF SYB SAYS A WORD I'M GONNA FLIP

Writing!

>>5042615
This is very true! The sea will still be there for later adventures!
>>
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No, you huff as you fondly look at the sunken ship, you don’t dare! Flagging Ly down, you check that all of your belongings are in order before leaping onto the shark and taking hold of a harpoon conveniently-embedded in the creature’s back. Any way he can drag you back to the shore?

“Good call, kid--I wouldn’t want Syb ta’ blab about Valentine’s Day either! Hang tight!”

And just like that you and Ly rocket towards the surface like a runaway subway car! Zipping past confused schools of fish and a rainbow of coral formations, you can’t help but squint a bit as the sun’s rays pierce the surface and caress your face!

Unlike the trip down, your return to the shore takes little more than a minute or two, and as you and Ly breach the waves, you see the whole gang waiting impatiently on what little dry rocks they can find! Leaping from the apex of Ly’s jump, you hit the shore tucking and rolling as your cronies hurry to meet you.

“Stan!” Eddie exclaims, prompting the others to approach, “you didn’t die!”

Yea, you hastily reply, not for lack of trying, though! Spotting Syb’s lithe form sheltered under a lacy black parasol, you shoot over to her before she can react and tackle the girl to the sand! She’d better not have said anything!

The Goth raises an eyebrow your way. “... about what?

She knows exactly what, you snarl as you prepare to feed her some sand! She was threatening you through her creepy doll about-

“You should be more thankful, Stan.” Art lectures as he gently helps the girl to her feet. “When you disappeared, Syb used up a lot of energy jumping into that doll again!”

“Yea!” Talbot nods, “Pretty creepy too--she just kinda passed out right here on the beach. Saw her lips moving a bit, but-”

“But we couldn’t hear what she was saying.” Tucker concludes, taking a sip from a still-steaming mug of coffee. “Glad she brought you back, though.”

“Mitz musta dove after ya four times.” Gus adds, pointing to your pal standing down the coast wrapped in a DAM SAND! towel and waving at you amicably.

“Yea, you missed it!” Eddie gushes! “It was crazy--she stripped down to her underwear in seconds and jumped in! Probably woulda’ gone down again if you hadn’t come back!”

Spotting her armor neatly folded next to her on the beach, you make a mental note to thank her later. In any case, you segue, does that mean that Syb uh… didn’t say anything?

“Why would I?” Syb retorts as a mischievous smile forms on her face. “Friends take care of each other, right, Stan?”

Yea, you huff, you guess they do…

Psycho…

>CONTD.
>>
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>>5042700
“So,” begins The Goth, “Care to explain what just happened?”

Removing the SEA CLOAK from around your neck, you sit down around the smouldering campfire back at the cabins and regale your pals with the tale of your undersea adventure--your climb downwards, the MAP you found on the boat, and the subsequent battle with its inhabitants. When you fail to receive any applause at the end, you finish your explanation with a half-hearted curtsy.

“Interesting…” Syb mutters to herself, “it would appear that the lich’s magic is more unstable than I had predicted…”

“Seems so.” Tucker nods as he hands you a fresh cup of coffee with an ample amount of sugar. “Guess no skeleton is safe, huh?”

“What I wanna know is,” Talbot interjects, throwing a rock at where his swinging tree used to be, “where does that map go anyways? Y’think it leads to more treasure or something? Or ATLANTIS?

“Doubt it.” Art replies as he cleans his helmet’s lenses. “If that ship’s as old as Stan says, that map must be for something else--New World treasure or something.”

“Maybe not.” Mitzi grunts, sunning herself on a nearby lawn chair still in her skivvies. “Those rocks she mentioned sound pretty familiar.”

Before anyone can ask for clarification, the rent-a-cop jabs a thumb behind her towards two tips of stone peeking out of the ocean far off on the horizon. Glancing between those and your map, you can’t help but see a similarity!

PITCHFORK ROCK.” Mitzi begins as she adjusts her position a bit. “It’s kinda taboo among divers, but you always hear about it.”

“Why?” Gus asks, looking up from polishing his bike.

“Well,” the sunbather continues, “it’s supposed to be a dead zone. Ships, aircraft, even diving gear--all of it supposedly breaks down if you get near. Sounds like Diving Heaven what with all the sunken ships and all, but every local diver knows the truth: you head out to those rocks, you ain’t comin’ back.”

Anyone else get chills just now? You got chills.

>CONTD.
>>
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>>5042703
As her words settle in, Art glances uncomfortably around the circle. “Let me guess--we’re gonna check it out.”

“We don’t need to rush in blindly.” Sybil counters, still hiding under her parasol. “After all, prior intel mentioned that some of the SEA WITCHES’ goons were seen visiting the NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM-- perhaps we can learn more there.”

“There’s also the Marine Bio and Occult departments back at the UNIVERSITY.” Art adds, earning a trio of uncomfortable looks from the film students. “.. though uh… I get it if we don’t all wanna head back that way!”

Nice, Art. Seeing how they’re doing that ‘present options’ thing you love so much, you remind your lackeys that there’s also that COWBOY too--you know, the one that you need to beat BORIS to!?

“Knowin’ dat’ chump, he’s probably already there!” Ly adds as he jumps back into your body. Wait a minute--what did he do with that shark?

“Took care of it.” Ly answers quickly. “Let it loose far away--figured we could probably use ‘er later.”

“Now that I think about it, Stan,” Syb interjects, “should we report the death of CAPTAIN MENDOZA to that GOOD BOY contact of yours? Perhaps Boris forgot to call it in.”

SHIIIIT, she’s right! Saddled with a hefty list of options, you carefully weigh them when plotting your next move:

>CHECK OUT THE SHIP!
>HIKE ALONE TOWARDS PITCHFORK ROCK!
>HIT THE MUSEUM FOR CLUES!
>VISIT THE UNIVERSITY AGAIN!
>SCREW THE WITCH, HEAD TO JOPLIN FOR THE COWBOY!
>REPORT TO GOOD BOY!
>WRITE-IN!
>>
Gonna play some games with pals, so I'll probably be signing off for the rest of the night. Should be alive again on SUNDAY AROUND 11-12PM, though, so I hope to see you around that time! Thanks as always for playing and Happy ALMOST Halloween!
>>
>>5042705
>REPORT TO GOOD BOY!
Might as well get this out of the way
>>
>>5042705
>REPORT TO GOOD BOY!
Boris aint getting the credit for our kill.
>>
>>5042705
>REPORT TO GOOD BOY!
I'm really tempted to put the witch on backburner right now, because Fuck Boris.
>>
>>5042705
>>SCREW THE WITCH, HEAD TO JOPLIN FOR THE COWBOY!
>>REPORT TO GOOD BOY!

Boris can suck a turd.
>>
>>5042705
>REPORT TO GOOD BOY!
>>
>>5042705
>REPORT TO GOOD BOY!
>SCREW THE WITCH, HEAD TO JOPLIN FOR THE COWBOY!

Can't let Boris get the better of us
>>
>>5042942
>>5042863
These. We know there's no way in hell Boris and his lackeys are getting to the witch with the equipment available to them. Even if they could, it'd be a hell of a lot harder for them to do than for us. The cowboy would be the next best target then.

>>5042019
Is this to scale? I didn't realize Talbot was still enormous.
>>
>>5042990
This is why I wanted to pull an all-nighter but nooo, you guys wanted your sleepover, now Boris has the lead.
Talbot's not as big as he was but he was always tall, pretty sure it was established when we saw his backstory.
>>
>>5042990
>>5043003
>Is this to scale
Yes and no? I realized halfway through drawing it that people were all different sizes, so take everyone's scale with a grain of salt! That said, everyone's heights are basically accurate:

Talbot, Art, Syb, Mitzi, and finally Stan. Still haven't drawn the film students or anything, but I can safely say that Gus is the tallest out of all of them--Boris is about level with Talbot and Bea is just a goddamn monster.

>All-nighter
You certainly could have pulled one, though you'd be dealing with some tired cronies. Remember: while Stan can pull through with MAGICAL BONE MARROW and sheer force of will, the others might not be so lucky!

>>5042710
>>5042748
>>5042858
>>5042936
>REPORT TO GOOD BOY!

>>5042863
>>5042942
>AAAAND ALSO HEAD TO JOPLIN!

I noticed that some folks were voting to hit the Cowboy next, but I also didn't want to force anyone who only voted for one option to go there, so here's a follow up vote just to be clear: AFTER/DURING THE REPORT, WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO DO?

>GO TO JOPLIN
>CHECK OUT THE SHIP!
>HIKE ALONE TOWARDS PITCHFORK ROCK!
>HIT THE MUSEUM FOR CLUES!
>VISIT THE UNIVERSITY AGAIN!

Sorry for the slow pace--just wanted to make sure everyone's voice is heard!
>>
>>5043220
>>GO TO JOPLIN
>>
>>5043220
>GO TO JOPLIN
Time to give a bounty hunter a taste of his own medicine.
>>
>>5043220
>GO TO JOPLIN
>>
>>5043255
>>5043302
>>5043307
Works for me! Grab some sunscreen and a camera, folks, we're headed for JOPLIN and REPORTING on the way! WRITING!
>>
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THE WITCH can wait, you decide, casting a resigned glance towards the sea. If she’s holed up underwater, then she’ll probably be holed up there for a while longer--best to deal with the more immediate threat!

Art crosses his arms as he gives you a hard stare. “... You just want to beat Boris to the punch, don’t you?”

You respond by throwing your hands in the air! Doesn’t EVERYONE?! That son of a bitch drew a line in the sand earlier, and you’ll be damned if you ain’t gonna cross it and maybe step on it a few times!

“In that case,” Tucker adds, “we’d better mosey--they’ve got a pretty big head start on us and JOPLIN’S a bit of a drive…”

“No sweat!” Eddie laughs as he jabs a thumb towards the van! “With me driving, we’ll get there in no time!”

Ed’s bold declaration earns another raised eyebrow from Art. “Oh, you’re driving this time?”

“Well… yea.” Ed mutters under his breath. “I haven’t gotten a chance in a while and I called dibs, so-”

“Relax, the wheel’s yours.” Art says with a faint laugh in his voice. “Besides, if we get ambushed by cowboys it’ll be your fault if we all die. I can live with that!”

“From what you just said, no you can’t.” Syb chides, playfully elbowing the rent-a-cop in the arm. “Shall we, then?”

We shall, you shout, dramatically pointing your finger towards the horizon! Watch out, cowpokes, here we come!

Mitzi rises from her deck chair with a sullen look on her face. “Guess that means I should get dressed, huh?”

“I mean… you don’t have t-

“Right, gimme a sec.” Mitzi sighs, shooting down the rest of Talbot’s sentence. Giving the tracksuited twit a flick to the back of the head, you scamper off to the van before he can retaliate!

Flopping into your usual spot in the back of the van, you whip out your RADIO and switch it to CHANNEL 2: A.K.A the one your evil corporate overlords gave you for reporting your progress. Been a while since you last called in! As the rest of your lackeys slowly file in, you preemptively give them all an impatient ‘I’M ON THE PHONE’ gesture, making sure to linger longer on Talbot. You get an eyeroll in response, but you’re pretty sure he gets the picture. As Eddie starts the van with Tucker in the passenger’s seat, you press the CALL button on the radio and speak into the receiver! Ahoy-hoy!

A familiar, almost robotic voice responds a second later. “Hello, Stanley. Password, please.

D’OH! you totally forgot this part! What was that stupid phrase again? Something like ‘The Tower Is…

>FADING!
>BURNING!
>FALLING!
>STANDING
>MUMBLE AN ANSWER!
>WRITE-IN!
>>
>>5043331
>FALLING!

It was falling, wasn't it? If it wasn't I'm sure somebody will correct me.
>>
>>5043331
>FALLING!
pretty sure it was falling
>>
>>5043331
>>FALLING!
>>
>>5043333
>>5043335
>>5043345
>FALLING!

You are CORRECT! Your prize is an update--no refunds! Writing!
>>
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The answer comes to you like an old candy wrapper fluttering through a foggy night. Falling, right? The Tower is Falling!

The other line goes silent long enough to make you a bit uncomfortable.

“... Incorrect.”

You slam your fist on the seat in response, nearly punching Syb in the leg! Are they serious?! You were almost totally sure that that might have been the correct ans-

“That was a joke.” The voice adds, adding in a pause at the end for you to laugh. You don’t. “Falling Glass Can Cut.

InCoOrRrRRect!, you snarl! See? That’s what they sound like!

“It’s been some time since you’ve last made a report, Stanley.” The voice remarks. “Your last update was provided by CHIEF OF SECURITY BLUMENKRANTZ.

Yea, you shudder, tensing up at the mention of his name, life just caught up with you, you guess!

“If this is regarding the status of CAPTAIN MENDOZA, I regret to inform you that someone else has already informed us of his neutraliza-”

That son of a BITCH!

The back of the van goes quiet as you leap to your feet in anger! Let me guess, you snarl, it wa-AAAAUGH!

Your dramatic question is cut short by Eddie slamming on the breaks, sending you airborne! Sailing towards the RIP KORD CUTOUT, you’re snatched out of the air just in time by a metallic tentacle wrapped around your leg! Harmlessly landing on the floor, you shoot RIP an apologetic glance before skittering back into your seat.

“You’re welcome.” Talbot grunts, folding his arms in the seat across from you.

“You really should wear a seatbelt, Stan.” Syb lectures at your side. “If not for you, then do it for RIP-

What part of ‘I’M ON THE PHONE’ do they not get!? Fumbling the radio back up to your ear, you hastily ask the operator where you left off!

>CONTD.
>>
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>>5043384
“... You were about to express your displeasure at Boris Ponderosa’s repo-”

THAT’S right, you exclaim, and here’s why-

“Mr. Ponderosa claimed that you ‘helped’.” The operator explains. “But I sense that you wish to provide more details.”

You bet your sweet ass you do! Details fall from your lips like a burst pipe ranging from your encounter with the mermaids to your daring escape from the SEA DEMON! By the time you finish relaying everything, your mouth has all but dried out!

“... Interesting.” The operator replies over the quiet sound of a keyboard clacking away. “My suspicions were correct, then: it was you who fought the target.”

That’s what you’ve been saying, you wheeze, politely refusing a bottle of water from Kiki by raising your hand! That son of a bitch has been out to get you since Day 1!

“The end result is the same: Mr. Ponderosa eliminated the target. By our count that leaves only two left. Excellent work across the board.” The voice drones, causing a vein to pop out of your neck! “That said, your information provides intriguing data…” More fingers on a keyboard. And what, pray tell, does that data say?

“... That despite your erratic behavior, Ms. Parble, you have proven yourself to be trustworthy.” The operator explains. “... and perhaps more altruistic than other employees say.”

You wait for the conversation to continue, but nothing happens.

“Will there be anything else?”

Will there? Eddie’s driving is making you carsick!
>WHAT HAVE OTHERS BEEN SAYING?
>ANY NEWS FROM THE LODGE?
>WHO ARE YOU, ANYWAY?
>ART’S ALIVE, BY THE WAY. AND TALBOT’S A HUMAN!
>NOPE, CATCH YOU LATER!
>WRITE-IN!
>>
>>5043387
>WHAT HAVE OTHERS BEEN SAYING?
>ANY NEWS FROM THE LODGE?
>WHO ARE YOU, ANYWAY?
>>
>>5043393
>>5043387

+1
>>
>>5043393
+1ing this
>>
>>5043393
This
>>
>>5043393
>>5043398
>>5043399
>>5043409
>WHAT THEY BEEN SAYIN'?
>NEWS FROM THE LODGE?
>WHO THE HELL ARE YOU?

Writing!
>>
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Since she brought it up, you answer, what exactly have those other employees been saying? You haven’t exactly been kept up to date with workplace gossip!

You’re answered by the sound of office chair wheels squeaking as Art and Mitzi lean in closer. Guess they haven’t been in the loop either.

“I’m afraid I can’t tell you much apart from what I hear…” explains the operator. “But Mr. Ponderosa’s report, along with those of the men accompanying him, suggest that many question your… allegiances... with certain factions in the REANIMATED.”

Well they can deal with it, you snap! If it wasn’t for Cliff and Andre this whole operation would be kaput! They’ve certainly been cooler than Boris and his ‘In-Crowd!

“All the same,” the operator replies with a hint of sympathy in her mechanical tone, “word gets around. As a courtesy I should warn you that both CHIEF BLUMENKRANTZ and erm… our CEO have renewed their suspicions of you.”

Wait a minute, you sputter in confusion, does this mean you lose the bunker? You’d better not be losing the bunker!

“... No, the bunker is still yours.” The voice confirms, causing the back of the van to erupt in cheers! “... though I recommend exercising caution while on GOOD BOY property.”

Whatever, you shrug! Your coworkers hated you even before all this happened--what do you care if they dislike you now?

“If it makes you feel better,” the voice interjects, “there are many who still have faith in you… and some who question Mr. Ponderosa’s credibility.”

You can’t help but blink at that. Like… Like who?

“... was there anything else you wanted to discuss?”

Damn it!

>CONTD.
>>
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>>5043501
Now that they mention it, you segue, leaning back against the wall of the van, what’s been going on in their neck of the woods anyways? Feels like ages since you’ve been back!

“Let’s see…” mutters the operator over the sound of fluttering paper, “regardless of who is credited with what, many refugees and workers are well-aware that the REANIMATED incursion is weakening--many of them, including surviving members of local law enforcement and the National Guard, have taken up arms as temporary contractors in GOOD BOY CORPORATE SECURITY.

“They must sense that a conclusion is drawing near…” Sybil muses to herself. “A storm is approaching.”

“The rise in manpower obfuscates a growing concern:” the operator continues as if reading the Sunday pages. “Patrols are disappearing with greater frequency around THE LODGE’S primary entry point. Surviving witnesses report their fellow operatives just ‘wandering off’, but whether they are leaving willingly or not is inconsequential--what matters is that most disappearances are occurring far too close to GOOD BOY’S base of operations.”

“Didn’t those security guys mention dat’ to us last time we were there?” Ly asks, helpfully jogging your memory! Yea, you mutter to yourself--they wanted you to keep an eye out, right?

“We know you have greater concerns, but any assistance would be greatly appreciated.” explains the operator. “We don’t foresee a shortage of supplies in the near future, but this is a problem better solved sooner than later.”

You frown--aren’t they all? Shifting in your seat a bit, you ask your conversation partner if they have any good news for a change!

“You’ll be happy to know that DOCTOR DEVON has made progress with the SAMPLE you provided. He specifically asked Operations to pass that information along to you--that and he hopes you’re taking care of yourself.”

D’aww, you grin, you miss that creepy son of a gun! Which reminds you: you really need to keep an eye out for berries and other baking materials for him!

“Since we’re on the topic, members of the ORDER OF THE WANDERING EYE have asked us to extend an invitation to you for some kind of gala in the near future. They mentioned you already had a key.”

Curt’s people? PASS!

“In any case, those are the current events.” The operator concludes. “Will that be all, Ms. Parble?”

>CONTD.
>>
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>>5043502
One last thing, you ask as you bring the radio closer to your ear: who the heck are you talking to, anyways? Haven’t you earned a name or something by now? They aren’t an AI, right?

The operator responds in their usual monotone drone. “You finally figured it out. I suppose it was only a matter of time, human minds being inquisitive as they are…”

The rest of the van probably notices your face going pale and shuts up. Wait, you stammer… R-really?

“... no. Not really.” The operator replies. Sneaky bastard! “I can assure you that I’m quite organic. You’re correct, however--your recent actions have piqued my interest. Perhaps a future meeting is in order.”

Yes, you groan, perchance it IS! Does everyone you work for have to be so damn neurotic?

“Need I remind you of the existence of a possible traitor in our midst?” the operator asks, sending a chill down your spine. “Some of us don’t have the freedom to roam about, hence the secrecy.” You hear the faintest of sighs. “That being said, we have met before. More than once, to be precise.” An office chair shifts on their end once more. “And we will meet again the next time you return. Until then I kindly ask you to exercise caution--there are ears everywhere.”

Glancing around the van at everyone clearly eavesdropping on your conversation, it finally dawns on you that you shouldn’t be making covert calls in a small, enclosed space. A meeting, you repeat, that sounds neat!

“Good.” Replies the voice. “We will have a short window when the invitation comes, so make haste when you receive it. Is there anything else?”

Is there? You kinda want to enjoy the drive before reaching the ghost town…
>NOPE, THAT’S ALL!
>ART’S ALIVE, BY THE WAY. AND TALBOT’S A HUMAN!
>HAS BORIS SAID ANYTHING ELSE RECENTLY?
>WHAT DO THEY KNOW ABOUT THE BOSS, ANYWAYS?
>BLUMENKRANTZ… WHAT DO THEY THINK ABOUT HIM?
>WRITE-IN!
>>
>>5043503
>HAS BORIS SAID ANYTHING ELSE RECENTLY?
He speaks too much, lets see what his tongue betrayed.
>>
>>5043503
>>NOPE, THAT’S ALL!
There's something else I wanna do
>>
>>5043503
>>NOPE, THAT’S ALL!

If we accidentally kill Boris+cronies, can we make it look like the skeletons did it?

Can we blame siccko mode?
>>
>>5043508
>ABOUT BORIS...

>>5043514
>>5043523
>THAT'S ALL, FOLKS!

Writing the last update of the night! Gonna be playin' some spooky stuff with pals in a little bit, but I should be back MONDAY on and off... Working from home that day!

>>5043523
You can certainly try, but it's not like Stan's been hiding her intense hatred of the guy...
>>
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The sentence ‘there are ears everywhere’ paints an unpleasant picture in your head that discourages you from asking anything else. You’ve got a meeting, after all, and that’s something!

Giving the operator a polite ‘nah,’ you hear whoever’s on the other end clicking a few final keys on a keyboard.

“Very well then. In that case we look forward to more good news, Stanley--please tread carefully.”

The radio goes dead leaving you to your friends and a painfully quiet van.

“So,” Mitzi begins, “sounds like we’re back on Blumenkrantz’ shit list, huh?”

You groan. Were you ever off his shit list?

“Nothing’s changed, though.” Sybil interjects as she places a hand on your shoulder. “GOOD BOY has been a means to an end thus far--if anything this makes it easier for us to maintain some distance.”

“Fine by me!” Talbot grunts, kicking the side of the van to drive his point home. “Those assholes better have some lawyers in that fancy-shmancy bunker of theirs, because if they think I ain’t suing their asses for turning me into a freak of nature then they’ve got another thing comin’!”

Yea… hey Ly?

“Yep?”

Make a mental note to never volunteer for any GOOD BOY experiments--even if they pay bank!

“Don’t gotta ask me twice.” Ly mutters as you lean back in your seat. “If we gotta’ head back down to dat’ mermaid burg ever again it’ll be too soon!

Amen to that. In any case, a quick survey of your surroundings confirms what you already suspected: you haven’t reached JOPLIN yet. When the hell are you gonna get there, anyways!?

“Given the traffic?” Eddie asks, pointing a finger at the burned-out car wrecks strewn about the coastal road, “an hour tops. Someone’s been through here recently, though, so we might shave that down to at least thirty minutes.”

You feel your fist shake at your side. BORIS!

Taking a few steadying breaths, you contemplate your next move. Art, Talbot, Syb, Mitzi, and Kiki all share the back with you while Tucker and Ed man the helm. Outside you can hear the familiar putter of Gus’ bike--glad he came back in such a hurry!

In any case, what’s the plan?
>CHAT SOMEONE UP! (WHO?)
>TAKE A NAP!
>EXAMINE AN ITEM CLOSER! (WHICH ONE?)
>HOLD ON, YOU ACTUALLY WANNA GO SOMEWHERE ELSE!
>WRITE-IN!
>>
>>5043581
That's all for tonight, folks--don't know the exact time I'll be able to update tomorrow because I've got meetings like crazy, but it'll definitely be more than usual! In the meantime, Happy Halloween!
>>
>>5043581
>>EXAMINE AN ITEM CLOSER! (Carving Book)
Gimme the bone-us. We really should check our items more often.
>>
>>5043581
>>5043593
Lets investigate our various lootz
>>
>>5043581
>EXAMINE AN ITEM CLOSER! (Carving Book)
we've had this thing for like 6 threads, why not see what its about.
>>
>>5043581
>EXAMINE AN ITEM CLOSER! (Carving Book)
>>
>>5043593
>>5043597
>>5043608
>>5043874
>THE CARVING BOOOOOOOK!

Writing and posting!
>>
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As the van trundles down the bumpy, debris-caked road, a faint memory buzzes in the back of your mind like a mosquito--one that urges you to rummage around in your pockets for a distraction. Squeezing through a maze of trinkets, notes, and heavy ordnance, your fingers dutifully find their goal and bring it back from the depths!

That goal, of course, being the book you retrieved from that killer’s abattoir hidden underneath Art’s favorite arcade--one whose hardcover is flecked with crusty black stains and weathered from use and age: A Butcher’s Guide to Carving.

“Oh man, I almost forgot about dat!” Ly remarks as you open the book with an unnerving crackling noise. Nestled in the corner of the yellowed title page lies a faint note written in curly-cue blue ink: To Jed: may you carve your way to greatness! -Frannie <3 Ooh-la-la!

“Old fling, maybe?” Ly suggests. “Probably before he started turnin’ folks inta’ abstract art…” Hey, everyone has baggage, Ly!

“Whatcha readin’?” Talbot asks, leaning over to get a peek at the title. “Huh. Forget how to cut things?”

“Now, now,” Syb lectures, giving the janitor a stern, but gentle stare, “reading for the sake of reading is an excellent passtime--one that Stan could greatly benefit from.”
“Sure,” Art scoffs from over the Goth’s shoulder, “if she needs tips on how to chop people up…”

Maybe they should find a guide to shutting up! You’re trying to read here, damn it, and if they keep interrupting you’re gonna get carsick! Yanking the book away from prying eyes, your gaze lingers on the first page as you prepare to read!

The question is: how do you go about doing it?
>TAKE YOUR TIME! IT MIGHT TAKE THE WHOLE RIDE, BUT IT’LL BE EASIER TO COMPREHEND!
>NICE AND STEADY! YOU MIGHT NOT GET IT ALL, BUT IT SHOULD TAKE UP A CHUNK OF THE RIDE!
>READ FAST! THERE’S A CHANCE YOU CAN ABSORB IT ALL QUICKLY, PROVIDED YOU DON’T GET CARSICK!
>READ WITH SOMEONE ELSE! (WHO?)
>WRITE-IN!
>>
>>5044147
>TAKE YOUR TIME! IT MIGHT TAKE THE WHOLE RIDE, BUT IT’LL BE EASIER TO COMPREHEND!
>>
>>5044147
>TAKE YOUR TIME! IT MIGHT TAKE THE WHOLE RIDE, BUT IT’LL BE EASIER TO COMPREHEND!
I can't think of anything else we could be doing.
>>
>>5044147
>TAKE YOUR TIME! IT MIGHT TAKE THE WHOLE RIDE, BUT IT’LL BE EASIER TO COMPREHEND!
>>
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>>5044198
>>5044237
>>5044283
>TAKE YOUR TIME!

Looks like we're really gonna get into those pages, huh? Should be easier to understand when you're really digesting it! In that case...

ROLL ME 1d100 TO SEE HOW IT GOES! I'LL TAKE THE BEST OF 3 ROLLS!

BONE-US VOTE! When reading do you:
>READ QUIETLY!
>READ OUT LOUD!
>PEPPER THE READING WITH A LOT OF 'UH-HUH'S AND 'I SEE'S
>WRITE-IN
>>
Rolled 53 (1d100)

>>5044304
>PEPPER THE READING WITH A LOT OF 'UH-HUH'S AND 'I SEE'S
>>
Rolled 48 (1d100)

>>5044304
>PEPPER THE READING WITH A LOT OF 'UH-HUH'S AND 'I SEE'S
>>
Rolled 14 (1d100)

>>5044304
>PEPPER THE READING WITH A LOT OF 'UH-HUH'S AND 'I SEE'S
Yes. We are smart. Absolutely.
>>
>>5044328
>>5044329
>>5044348
>HIGHEST ROLL: 53!

>>5044348
>We are smart
Was there ever any doubt? Writing!
>>
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Resting your feet on a nearby crate of convenience store loot, you wet the tip of your pointer finger and turn the page like a pro, but not before politely asking the rest of the van to keep it down… you’re READING!

“Oh god damn it.” Art mutters, earning a disapproving look from Syb. “What?! You just know she’s gonna turn this into some obnoxious test of will!”

“She’s reading a book, Arthur.” Sybil replies in her stern teacher voice, “What harm could she do?”

You interrupt their conversation with a curt ‘AHEM’ as you peer over the top of your reading material. Do they MIND? You’re rea-

“I warned you.” Art hisses, pointing his finger around the van like the old man giving a warning in a horror movie. “I WARNED yoooouuuu!”

It’s pretty easy to get absorbed in the book once Art stops making an ass of himself! Whoever wrote this thing is A-OK in your book--get it? Despite its archaic looks, the tome is, for the most part, written in a conversational style and even includes some neat pictures and diagrams! It’s so conversational, in fact, that you can’t help but reply to the sentences as you read them--after all, how else are you gonna show everyone that you’re learning? As such, you find yourself ending every other interesting sentence with a polite ‘uh-huh’ or ‘I see!

Despite a few interruptions from your rude friends and a minor scuffle with Art and Talbot, you reach the final few glossary pages before you know it! Triumphantly slamming the book shut, a satisfied grin forms on your face as you return to reality--you think you get it now!

“Dear lord I hope so…” Art groans as he wearily rubs the bridge of his nose.

>CONTD.
>>
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>>5044538
>>5044538
“I think I get it now too…” Syb mutters with a dead look in her eyes.

“When I close my eyes I can still hear the ‘uh-huhs…” Talbot whines, earning a sympathetic nod from Kiki. When the film student looks Mitzi’s way for support, she finds the guard peacefully sleeping in her seat.

“On the bright side folks, we’re nearly there!” Eddie chirps, honking the horn excitedly! Creeping towards the driver’s seat, you look out the window and find yourself speeding down a deserted road snaking through a flat expanse of sun-baked rocks, a cornucopia of cacti and desert plants, and more dust than you can shake a stick at! Rocky hills rise in the distance like oblong giants: their heads obscured by stormy clouds and bits of blood-red sky.

“Gotta ask:” Art begins as he looks past you towards the driver’s seat, “How the hell are you guys staying so chipper through all this?”

“Wasn’t easy.” Tucker replies, earning a nod from the driver.

“Yep!” Ed laughs, “I got pretty close to driving us into the nearest ravine a few times--took a lotta’ willpower!”

“In any case,” Syb sighs, “How much longer until-”

HEEEEEELPPP!!!

The cry rings out across the expanse as clear as a whistle. Following its source, you, Tucker, and Ed all zero in on the source almost instantaneously--off the side of the road ahead sits the smoking wreckage of a van with its front crunched inward like an accordion against a rock!

Squinting through the smoke you notice a hooded driver slumped against the steering column--the torn remains of his airbag poking out of a spidered windshield. Sensing your approach, he repeats his request in a weaker voice--one that tells you you’ll have to work quickly!

“Stan?” Ed asks, looking to you for guidance. How do you answer?
>STOP THE VAN--TIME TO BE HEROES!
>KEEP DRIVING--THE GUY’S A GONER!
>LY? SYB? CAN YOU SEE ANYTHING?
>STOP THE VAN, BUT LET’S NOT RUSH IN!
>WRITE-IN!
>>
>>5044542
Forgot to mention:

YOUR KNOWLEDGE OF CUTTING CRAP INCREASED! YOU'LL RECEIVE A BONE-US FOR BLADE ATTACKS!
>>
>>5044542
>>STOP THE VAN--TIME TO BE HEROES!
>>
>>5044542
>STOP THE VAN--TIME TO BE HEROES!
Might be a trap, but what does it matter. We'll probably stop for it either way.

So did we actually learn anything from that book or did we just succeed in annoying our companions?
>>
>>5044543
My bad, I was writing my reply before this post came up.
>>
>>5044559
Nope, my bad--I was the moron who forgot to mention it in the post!
>>
>>5044561
You're forgiven.

This time.
>>
>>5044542
>>STOP THE VAN--TIME TO BE HEROES!
>>
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>>5044594
>pic related!

>>5044545
>>5044551
>>5044595
>BE BIG DAMN HEROES!

Writing!
>>
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You respond to Eddie the only way you know how: with unnecessary harshness! Does he need you to find him a book on how to be a good person, or something? Stop the damn van… pretty please!

On your order, your suped-up van skids to a halt along the side of the road showering the wreck in a hail of dust and gravel! By the time you kick the back door open, Gus is already dismounted from his bike and at your side!

“Plan?” He asks as you and the others approach the wreck. You’re workin’ on it! Rushing to the crash victim’s aid, you and your pals valiantly stand outside the window as smoke continues to billow through the van’s interior!

“We’re here, Stan!” Eddie says in a tone that betrays his nervousness. “What now?”

You raise a finger in prep for an answer, but nothing comes out of your mouth--you uh… You didn’t really think this far ahead…

“We should probably get him out of there.” Tucker suggests. Ooh, good call!

“Wait!” Talbot shouts, freezing you and the others in mid-extraction mode, “You gotta ask them if they want help first! It’s super important!”

You respond by glancing between the janitor and the victim. Was he always this dumb, or did the pearl make him dumberer? This jerk totally screamed ‘heeeeelp’ a few times!

“Fine, do whatever!” Talbot huffs, haughtily crossing his arms! “Don’t blame me when he sues you, though!”

“Wait…” Mitzi mutters in confusion, “Wha?”

The gang looks to your ex-bodyguard as the van continues to spew smoke.

>CONTD.
>>
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>>5044720
“They get people all the time!” Talbot explains in an increasingly passionate voice! “You see it on the news--people go to do CBD on choking victims and BAM--next thing they know they’re bein’ charged with assault!”

“Bullshit.” Art scoffs. “Don’t they have ‘Good Samaritan’ laws for that or something?”

“It’s true, bro.” Gus grunts. “My sister saw a guy choke on a hot dog at a food court once--one second a guy’s doing that ‘Himick Maneuver’, the next he’s bein’ yelled at by the guy he saved. True story.”

“Man,” Mitzi sighs, “So I coulda’ been sued for lifeguarding?”

“I’m afraid so.” Talbot replies with a grim nod. “So yea--we need to, like, get this guy’s signature first. Just in case.”

Your head is spinning. Did Talbot just do you a solid? Weighing the legal ramifications of your actions in your head, your ethical dilemma is cut short by the man behind the wheel groaning in between coughs! Lifting his head up reveals a bloodied, but still remarkably healthy, old man’s face caked in soot.

“Aw damn it, it doesn’t matter--I’m sorry, guys, but I’m not really dying…”

“See?” Talbot asks with a smug grin on his face! “Dude was totally gonna sue us.”

“No,” the victim wheezes, “but those guys are probably gonna kill ya… Th-they made me do it, honest!”

Before you can ask, your answer comes in the form of several hooves clopping over. Scanning your surroundings, you find yourself being marked by a pack of RUTHLESS SKELETON OUTLAWS ON HORSEBACK! Even worse, some of them stand way beyond the reach of your claws--their scoped rifles glimmering in the sun!

“Well,” Mitzi mutters, “At least they aren’t suing us…”

"We don't know that yet!" Talbot snaps! Remember when he didn't talk?

>CONTD.
>>
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>>5044722
https://youtu.be/Q2K_12lY918?list=PLRnwItmM9-WEPYjcSgdWS2JEQx2XxdQ4l
The riders circle around you like a noose as you and the rest of the gang stand frozen in place.

“I count about ten!” Ly reports as you systematically stare down each of your potential assailants. Ten’s doable!

… wait, they’ve got scoped rifles. Maybe not.

“Well, well, well…” remarks a rider wearing a snakeskin hat, “I reckon you owe me a couple of dollars, there, Paco…”

On your flank a skeleton wearing a tattered sombrero and matching poncho swears under his breath. Holding his hand out expectantly, snakeskin hat deftly catches a wad of bills without taking his glowing eyes off of you. “Obliged.”

Cabrón...”

Stuffing the cash into his duster pocket, the winner’s bony hand comes to rest on a weathered revolver sitting in a holster at his side. With a contented smile, he leans a little closer over his skeletal steed’s head.

“So,” he begins, “reckon you’re that ‘Parble’ gal we heard talk about.” You hiss a response through gritted teeth. Yea? What if you are?

“Well aside from that bet you just witnessed,” the cowboy drawls, “we seem ta’ be at some kind of impasse here, wouldn’t you say?”

You wouldn’t, but he doesn’t have to know that.

“Talk about luck, huh Angus?” Snakeskin remarks, earning a round of laughs from the rest of the posse.

“I told ya, Vic!” howls another rider with a bushy red beard! “Let that other caravan go by, I says! There’s bound ta’ be more fish bitin’!”

“Figure you’d be right.” Vic replies in a sinister tone. “Shame y’all didn’t come around sooner--musta’ been a whole army passin’ through here less than an’ hour ago…”

You can almost hear a few faint notes of a familiar club beat riding the prairie winds… BORIS! Seeing you raise your fist, Vic and his posse train their irons on you in the blink of an eye!

“Friends, ey?” the gunslinger remarks. “No need ta’ fuss--they’ll be gettin’ theirs soon enough…”

“Is there a point to all this?” Talbot growls. “If you’re gonna shoot us, just shoot u-”

“What my friend means to say,” Syb sputters, clasping her pale hand over the janitor’s big mouth, “is that you all clearly stand to get something out of this, right?”

“Well now!” Vic hoots, “she’s a smart little thing, ain’t she, boys?” Receiving a round of hollers in response, the gunslinger tips his hat in the Goth’s direction. “You guessed right, missy--truth is, we’ve got a lil’ offer for y’all… If you’d be so inclined as to listen…”

“Somethin’ tells me we ain’t gonna like dis’.” Ly remarks, once again stating the painfully obvious.

>CONTD.
>>
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>>5044724
“Well,” Tucker sighs, “let’s hear it then.”

“Gladly.” Vic laughs, turning his attention back your way. “Let’s see if yer’ leader’s as smart as her pardners, shall we?”

You shall, you groan, but they’d better make it fast--all you had is coffee today and your mouth’s all dry from saying ‘I see’ so many times!

“Down ta’ business, then. We’ve heard all about you, Parble--we know yer’ trickier ‘n a possum in the prairie grass an’ twice as ornery.”

ExCUSE me?!

“Ornery means ill-tempered, Stan.” Tucker whispers. Oh. That makes sense then.

“But we also know how much you value yer’ pals.” Vic continues, tipping his hat to your entourage. “Speakin’ of value, Clayton figures yer’ worth more alive than dead, so here’s where the deal comes in:”

Naturally you agree on you being valuable, so you motion for the bandit to continue.

“I reckon this could go a few ways: we can all shoot each other, but that’ll just mean dead an’ wounded on both sides. Don’t need ta’ be a learned man to see the problem there.”

You nod--no you don’t. Y-you ARE learned, though! Just so they know!

“Course ya are.” Vic purrs, showing off a mouth full of gold teeth. “Which is why I know you’ll be takin’ the offer!”

“Which is?” Mitzi asks with a hint of excitement.

“Firstly, you an’ yer gang drop yer’ weapons.” Vic explains. “Next, some of my boys take one of yers away. Can’t tell ya where, I’m afraid.”

Sensing that this is probably going to be another one of those ‘you don’t get anything good’ deals, you silently nod. Next?

“Next, you come with us.” continues the gunslinger. “We take ya’ to a safe place, Clayton talks to the boss, an’ that’ll be the end of it.”

“How the hell is that a good deal?” Talbot growls, earning another round of guns pointed at his face! He’s got a point, though!

“Well that’s the best part!” Vic laughs! “The rest of yer gang gets to run off! Hell, we’ll even give ‘em a head start.”

“And if we refuse to choose?” Syb asks, prompting Vic to mull it over in his head.

“Oh I think you’ll choose.” Before you can react, the skeleton snatches another revolver from a second holster and aims it at your van’s tires!

“I reckon I can give ya’ to the count of THREE.” The skeleton growls. “Three shots oughta’ pop that wheel of yours, right?” With a twitch of his finger, the gunslinger puts a bullet into your van’s front right tire! “ONE.

No time to think things through--what’s the plan!?
>TAKE THE DEAL!
>ATTACK! YOU CAN TAKE COVER BY THE VANS!
>STALL! TRY TO NEGOTIATE!
>HAVE LY POSSESS SOMEONE! (WHO?)
>HAVE SYB CAST A SPELL (WHICH?)
>USE AN ITEM! (WHICH?)
>WRITE-IN!
>>
>>5044726
That's all for tonight, folks--gotta prepare for work tomorrow! Should be back TUESDAY AROUND 6-7PM PST, but I have a few meetings after that so expect delays. Thanks again for playing and see you next time!
>>
>>5044726
>HAVE LY POSSESS SOMEONE! (WHO?)
Time for some mindgames. Ly, possess that captain and make him make decisions like Stan would.
>>
>>5044726
>STALL! TRY TO NEGOTIATE!
They let the rest of our folks go and we'll come along peacefully. We hide or otherwise convince them to let us keep Syb's doll on us, and using that she can track us down and the others can regroup and possibly get that tire replaced by calling for help from the greasers. We should be able to handle ourselves for a bit. We've done it before.
>>
>>5044742
I like this a lot. If we can get Ly to possess their leader, we can have him act like he'll agree to better terms or disrupt their group. There's plenty of possibilities there.
>>
>>5044742
>>5044749
Since I'm still awake for a little bit I'll just let you guys know that Ly's still a little tired from possessing that shark earlier--he can still try to possess folks, of course, but there might be a small penalty to the roll. Keep on discussing!
>>
>>5044742
+1ing this. If shit hits the fan though, we should be fast enough to pull a smoke grenade on them and have Syb cause some chaos with her spells.
>>
>>5044742
>>5044726

+1
>>
>>5044726
Supporting >>5044742
>>
>>5044742
>>5044749
>>5044774
>>5044795
>>5045238
>THE LYPO MAN!

>>5044745
>THE ART OF THE DEAL!

Still not home yet, but I think we can do a roll or two, yea?

ROLL ME 1D100-10 TO POSSESS VIC! PENALTIES DUE TO LY RECENTLY POSSESSING THE SHARK AND VIC'S A BIT MORE COMPLICATED THAN A RAT AND NOT AS WILLING!

I'LL TAKE THE BEST OF 3 ROLLS!! GOOD LUCK!
>>
Rolled 45 - 10 (1d100 - 10)

>>5045363
I'm trying to do that thing where you blow on the dice for good luck, but my computer screen is just getting spit on it.
>>
>>5045363

ROLLAN
>>
Rolled 21 - 10 (1d100 - 10)

>>5045369
>>5045363

REEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE
>>
Rolled 24 - 10 (1d100 - 10)

>>5045363
>>
>>5045365
>>5045370
>>5045373
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=8WkYLB81X3c
>>
>>5045373
>>5045370
>>5045365
So much for that.
>>
>>5045365
>>5045370
>>5045373
>HIGHEST ROLL: 35!

>>5045401
I know, right? Friggin' Ly.

>>5045421
It's still salvageable, anon! All you have to do is BELIEVE! And clap very hard!

Anyways, writing!
>>
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Panic sets in as you and the others stare in horror at the van's smoking tire--Cliff and the guys might have added some protection to the wheel, but you don't have to be a gearhead to know that a few more direct hits will pop it like a zit!

"Feelin' agreeable yet?" Asks the gunman as he cocks the revolver's hammer back for another shot! Feeling the weight of everyone's gaze falling upon you, you quietly mutter Ly's name under your breath...

"I'm on it, cupcake!"

"Whazzat?" Vic growls, tilting his head to the side with an amused grin on his face. "Care ta' repeat that, darlin'?"

Oh uh, you stammer, you said 'bee'! You're pretty sure you saw a bee buzzing around! Watch out!

Picking you apart with his glowing eyes, the rider aims his revolver at the van once more. "TW-"

Before he can finish, the cowboy's revolvers suddenly start twitching in his boney hands! Good, you think as the other bandits exchange confused glances, this oughta even things out a bit! A battle rages in the gunslinger's glowing eyes as Ly tries to wrest control from him, causing the bandito to sway in his saddle like a mechanical bull rider! Confusion gives way to suspicion among his fellow gunmen as Vic straightens up with renewed posture! Shaking the daze off, his hard expression becomes laced with confusion and discomfort!

"What in the goddamn..." he mutters, peering down at his body to check if it's still there. Well? You ask in an appropriately smug tone, feelin' agreeable yet?

The skeleton glares at you as if you had just shaved his mother's head. "TWO." Your answer comes in the form of another bullet to the van's wheel causing it to tremble and shake from the impact! As the smell of gunpowder mixes with burning rubber, the ringleader looks your way expectantly. "Last chance, kid--do we have a deal or don't we?" The cowboy spits a gob on the sand as he gestures with his head towards the burning expanse along the road. "Be a damn shame if y'all were stranded here..."

"Yea!" Paco chuckles! "These roads ain't safe for humans no more!"

Still processing what happened, the tension only increases as you hear your friends whispering behind you!

"Stan," Syb begins, "whatever we're going to do, decide now."

"Come on, we can take 'em..." Talbot hisses!

"I'm... I'm sorry, Stan..." Ly pants as a weary and embarrassed spectral form returns to your body. "He wasn't... he wasn't lettin' me in.."

You can play the blame game when you're dead--right now you need to give this guy an answer. The million dollar question is: what do you say?

>FINE, YOU CAN TAKE ME AND SOMEONE ELSE!
>PRETEND TO SIGNAL SOME REINFORCEMENTS! NOW, BOYS!
>JUMP VIC NOW--ELEMENT OF SURPRISE, BITCHES!
>STALL! TRY TO NEGOTIATE BETTER TERMS!
>WRITE-IN!
>>
>>5045651
>JUMP VIC NOW--ELEMENT OF SURPRISE, BITCHES!
LASER EYE SWEEP! COORDINATE WITH TALBOT!
>>
>>5045651
>>JUMP VIC NOW--ELEMENT OF SURPRISE, BITCHES!
>>
>>5045651
>JUMP VIC NOW--ELEMENT OF SURPRISE, BITCHES!
>>
>>5045651
>>>JUMP VIC NOW--ELEMENT OF SURPRISE, BITCHES!
>>
>>5045656
>>5045658
>>5045670
>>5045673
>SURPRISE ATTACK!

Looks like we've got a deal of our own in mind... ROLL ME 1d100-5 DUE TO BANDITOS BEING WARY! I'LL TAKE THE BEST OF 3 ROLLS!

Naturally feel free to give details on how you're gonna surprise these idiots too. Probably gonna go with what this brave anon suggested >>5045656
if I don't hear nothin' else.
>>
Rolled 87 - 5 (1d100 - 5)

>>5045702
Pretend to panic, look at the floor hands up, then zap, lazer beam
>>
Rolled 36 - 5 (1d100 - 5)

>>5045702
>>
Rolled 65 - 5 (1d100 - 5)

>>5045702

Get those lasers nice and warm for when we kill Boris
>>
>>5045706
>>5045709
>>5045725
>HIGHEST ROLL: 83!

Writing!
>>
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Please excuse the roll math fuckup I was just RPing as Stan I’m smart I swear
Your brain goes into freefall as you struggle to come up with a response… Part of you thinks you can take ‘em, it’s true, but you’ve already almost lost someone once--do you really wanna risk that again?

Then again, does giving yourself up guarantee anything? How do you know these creeps won’t just turn everyone into Swiss Cheese once you’re taken away?! Your heart rate rises as the questions continue to come down like raindrops--when the hell did everything become so complicated, anyways?!

Midway to the count of three, Vic pauses to give you another hard look. “You ain’t gonna faint or nothin’, are ya? Cripes…”

You babble out something incoherent in response as tremors course through your body--what you need is an out, that’s all! Something that can tie things up neatly and put a bow on ‘em! Feeling your hands start to shake, you placate them by covering your face--why can’t anything be easy?!

“HEY!” Vic shouts, causing the other riders to come to attention! “I want an answer, Parble--easy as that!”

… and that’s when it hits you: the philosophy that’s carried you through every decision in your short, but all-in-all halfway decent life… one that leads you to the best solution yet again!

“You uh… you alright, cupcake?” Ly asks, voice still quiet from his earlier failure. You feel a cheshire grin form on your covered face as it all clicks into place--why didn’t you think of it before!?

“Stan?”

You feel a familiar warmth in your hands as your LASER EYE prepares to fire--the process goaded on by those four words:

GO WITH THE FLOW.

You reveal your face to the gunslinger just in time to reduce most of his chest to a smoking mess! Stupefied by your Peekaboo Game gone wrong, Paco and two other poncho-clad gunslingers have just enough time to draw their revolvers before another laser cuts through their horses! Tumbling to the sand, the banditos scurry for cover as Talbot rubs his own laser eye!

“Knew you wouldn’t wuss out, Stan!”

Sending an eyeroll-inducing wink your way, your bodyguard grabs you and Eddie before yanking you both behind a large rock. As the rest of the gang sets up shop around the van and a few other boulders, the remaining six or seven bandits follow suit and retreat to safety before filling the air with lead!

“Deal’s off, boys!” Vic roars as he struggles to keep balanced on his skeletal horse! “Fill ‘em fulla’ holes!”

“I’ll uh… I’ll just wait here!” sputters the old man still inside the crashed van! He’d better!

>CONTD.
>>
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>>5045784
https://youtu.be/XYbBHcA4Lus?list=PL2Z_bmafvVorQI6PYx5NMbk8x0sDdhp3l

Keeping your head below the lead downpour, you swiftly order Ly to do some recon while your pals draw their weapons and add some crummy weather of their own! Taking a few potshots with your CHINCHILL PUMP-ACTION, it doesn’t take long for your skeleton to return with that lovable worried look on his face! Well?

“Ya’ probably guessed already, but we’re surrounded.” Ly reports. Great, you mutter as a cactus sitting about a foot away from you is reduced to a fine slime, glad he established that for you!

“Dat’ sombrero guy and about two others are movin’ ta’ flank us.” Ly continues, pointing to the banditos snaking from cover to cover towards your boulder! “Those guys on da’ RIGHT seem content on blowin’ our heads off from another area code.”

Sure enough, a quick glance to the right of your position rewards your eyes with three distant glints--rifle scopes from the looks of ‘em. Someone’s gonna have to take care of those guys soon--snipers are the friggin’ worst!

“Then we got two guys behind us.” Ly adds, jabbing a spectral thumb through the boulder. “Don’t think they’re plannin’ on climbin’ over, either--I saw DYNAMITE on their belts!”

That’s all you need… any more good news?

Ly’s temporarily interrupted by a hail of bullets from the only gunman still riding his horse. Sensing your gaze, Vic swiftly unloads both revolvers in your direction drawing a Stan-shaped outline on the rock! “Shoulda’ negotiated when ya’ had the chance, Parble! Not even the buzzards are gonna want ya when we’re through here!”

“I guess what I’m tryin’ ta’ say, cupcake, is we’ve got options.” Ly concludes.

The question is, you think aloud, what should you focus on personally?

YOU SHOULD:
>TAKE OUT VIC!
>FOIL THE FLANKERS!
>STOP THE SNIPERS!
>BUST THE BOMBERS!

WHILE YOU DO THAT...[
>HAVE SYB CAST A SPELL! (WHICH ONE?)
>HAVE EVERYONE UNLOAD ON ONE GROUP (WHICH GROUP?)
>GET TALBOT TO RUSH A GROUP (WHICH ONE?)
>GIVE ONE OF THE PALS AN ITEM (WHICH ITEM?)
>>
>>5045785
That's all for tonight, folks--today was kinda rough and as rules-light BONES QUEST is, I still don't feel up to writing a combat sequence right now. Should have some more energy WEDNESDAY AROUND 6-7, though! Thank you all for the support and patience--I know weekday updates have been slipping lately. It'll get better!
>>
>>5045785
>>STOP THE SNIPERS!
Test our Sniping skills!
>>HAVE SYB CAST A SPELL! (HASTE TALBOT)
>>
>>5045797
>>5045785

+1
>>
>>5045797
+1, but we should have her prematurely detonate the bomber bros afterwards
>>
>>5045785
>TAKE OUT VIC!
We're in cover from everyone else for the moment

>HAVE SYB CAST A SPELL!
BLINK Talbot to the snipers' rear
>>
>>5045797
This. Talbot can handle some punishment. Combine that with some speed and he'll reach the snipers before they can do any real damage.

While they're doing that, we should have Kiki use that light MG to lay down some suppression on those dudes with the dynamite so we can dash in and tear em to pieces.
>>
>>5045797
>>5045798
>>5045811
>>5045938
>SNIPE THE SNIPERS AND HASTEN TALBOT WHILE KIKI SLOWS THE BOMBERS DOWN!

>>5045845
>ELIMINATE VIC AND BLINK TALBOT!

Looks like we've got a plan! Gonna need some rolls, though!

ROLL ME 2d100--1 TO SNIPE THE SNIPERS, 1 FOR HOW EFFECTIVE SYB AND TALBOT ARE! I'LL TAKE THE BEST OF 3 ROLLS!
>>
Rolled 74, 63 = 137 (2d100)

>>5046619
>>
Rolled 87, 99 - 1 = 185 (2d100 - 1)

>>5046619
>>
Rolled 79, 73 - 1 = 151 (2d100 - 1)

>>5046619
>>
>>5046625
>>5046634
>>5046654
>HIGHEST ROLLS:
>STAN: 87!
>SYB AND TALBOT: 99!

Jesus Christ, guys. Writing!
>>
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You’re sure about one thing--those snipers are gonna be bad news if they continue to take potshots at you! As a few of their shots graze the edge of your cover, a plan slowly forms inside your head--one that urges you to bring Syb, Talbot, and Kiki close while the others keep the closer bandits at bay!

“Who we hittin’ first?” Talbot asks as he crouches next to you. “Personally I wanna crush that bigmouth on the horse, but-”

“But you’ve got a plan, right, Stan?” Syb interjects, earning a confident nod from you--she read your mind! Relaying the details amidst the hail of bullets, you finish your explanation with a curt ‘got it?’ and receive a round of confused expressions.

“Sorry, but it’s a bit loud…” Syb replies in a sheepish tone. “Would you mind quickly repeating that?”

Damn it! Retrieving your REGGINGTON BOLT-ACTION from your pocket, you stabilize the rifle on your rock before giving the trio the quick version: You’ll distract the snipers while Syb gives T a speed boost!

“One dose of HASTE coming up!” The Goth replies as her eyes start to glow! Glancing between you and the caster, Talbot settles for a confused frown.

“And what exactly am I supposed to do?”

You jab a finger towards the sniper trio. Why, do what you do best, of course! Tracing the line between your finger and the targets, Talbot’s confusion melts into grim excitement. “You’d better start aiming now, then--I’m not gonna leave any standing!”

Feeling a tiny finger tapping your shoulder, you turn around to find Kiki looking at you expectantly with her LIGHT MACHINE GUN fully-loaded and ready for carnage! As bullets fly past Syb’s increasingly-glowing form, you direct Kiki to the South--she’s gonna be keeping those bombers at bay! Craning an ear in the direction of the rock, the film student snaps to attention when she hears the sound of approaching spurs! Scrambling through the bullets onto the rock, she immediately unloads 50 caliber death in the ambusher’s direction!

Spotting an easy target, one of the snipers aims his weapon towards Kiki and sends a shot whizzing in her direction! Though it goes wide, it’s all the indication you need to get down to business! Pushing past Talbot and Syb, you swiftly peer through your rifle’s scope and send a bullet of your own towards the sniper nest! Watching your gift knock Kiki’s attacker’s hat into the air, you don’t give his fellows a chance to retaliate! Working the bolt, you and Kiki spare no ammo in dealing with the horsebacked-hooligans!

>CONTD.
>>
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>>5046747
The snipers aren’t fools, though--unlike you and the others, they’re in no hurry to get out of here! Even worse, you feel a high-caliber bullet sail past your brainbox just when you’re about to unleash another volley! Ducking behind the rock, you peek out just long enough to watch two sets of boney arms creeping across the sand like snakes--their owners safe behind their rocky refuge! Sensing your gaze, the arms fire a few more rounds from the guns they carry!

The bullets hit the rock sending a cloud of dust in your face! Coughing up the debris, you turn your attention to Syb and Talbot--are they DONE yet?!

“Just about…” Syb mutters, her eyes flickering with familiar blue flames! With one final grunt, the witch sends a shower of glittering particles over Talbot--bathing the janitor in an otherworldly green light! Waving his hand a few times, a devious grin forms on your ex-bodyguard’s face as his limb becomes a blur in the air!

IdunnoaboutyouStanbutI’mreadytocracksomeskullswhataboutyouareyareadyareyareadyareyaread-

YES, you groan as you return fire, you’re READY! Leaping over cover with a diabolical cackle, Talbot closes the gap between you and the snipers in less than a second! Eye sockets wide in disbelief, the snipers barely have time to shout before the tracksuited terror descends upon them like a blurry typhoon! Watching the carnage from afar, you can’t help but smile a bit--it’s moments like these that remind you of the old Talbo-

“GET DOWN!”

Eddie yanks you back to cover just in time to avoid another hail of bullets--back in reality, you give the student a quick nod as you turn your attention to the source of the attack!

“Got yer’ attention yet, kid?”

Still off-balance thanks to your ‘adjustments,’ Vic rides past on his skeletal steed, ducking and weaving past the bullet rain provided by your pals! “Isaiah! Jonah! Blow ‘em back ta’ hell!”

The unnerving sound of fuses being lit fills the air behind you. Drawing a bead on the bombers, Kiki abandons her attack and retreats to cover when the bandidos and a sapper concentrate their fire on her!

Time slows to a crawl as a sparking bundle of red comes sailing over the rock, but as you prepare to intercept it you spot Paco and his pals drawing a bead on your position!

As if that’s not enough, out of the corner of your eye you see Vic approaching for another attack--one revolver aimed at the dynamite, the other at the van’s wounded tire!

No time to delegate here--all you can do is hope that the others will know what to do! The question is, what’s YOUR plan?

>BLOW UP THE DYNAMITE BEFORE IT GETS CLOSE! (LASER? GUN?)
>TAKE DOWN PACO AND THE BANDIDOS!
>FINISH OFF VIC!
>WRITE-IN!
>>
Sorry for the short update, but I'm gonna be playing some games with some pals for the rest of the evening and probably won't be able to update again! Should be back THURSDAY AROUND 6-7PM PST, THOUGH! Nice work on those snipers and see you again next time!
>>
>>5046751
>CATCH DYNAMITE, THROW IT BACK
We could tank bullets with Dental Defender. Or maybe Syb can catch that with Telekinesis and we could kill Vic before he shoots.
>>
>>5046751
>>5046775

support
>>
>>5046775
>>5046775
Yeah, we should be able to handle a few black-powder era rounds with our enamel armor, as long as the others can snipe those dynamites out of the air, or Syb can telekinesis them back to their senders.
>>
>>5046775
>>5046776
>>5046886
>CATCH AND RELEASE.... IN THEIR DIRECTION!

Return to sender! ROLL 1D100 TO SEE HOW IT ALL GOES! I'LL TAKE THE BEST OF 3 ROLLS!

Don't forget to include your target!
>>
Rolled 88 (1d100)

>>5047580
Target Vic, let's see how he likes this
>>
Rolled 42 (1d100)

>>5047580
Targeting Vic is fine with me. We blow up their boss, maybe the others'll cut and run.
>>
Rolled 80 (1d100)

>>5047580
Vic
>>
Rolled 95 (1d100)

>>5047580
>>
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>>5047596

AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH FUARK I DIDN' SEE THE THIRD ROLL
>>
>>5047597
So close, anon!

>>5047584
>>5047586
>>5047591
>HIGHEST ROLL: 88!

Writing!
>>
Your BONE ARMOR wraps you in a protective shell as you leap to intercept the explosive surprise! Shrugging off the drum solo of bullets hitting your exoskeleton, you stretch your arm as far as you can in an attempt to grab the dynamite! Another salvo of bullets hit your outstretched hand, but it’s too late--not only do you shield the bundle from going off too early, you also snatch it out of the air like a football!

Using the momentum from your mighty leap and the bullets peppering your armor, you pirouette mid-air and chuck the payload in the direction of a very confused and very worried Vic! While you gracefully head back to Terra Firma amidst a rain of covering fire from your pals, you have just enough time to give the gunslinger a smug wink before he and his horse disappear in an earth-shaking BOOM!

The gunfight is put on hold for a moment as the other bandits come to terms with what just happened. Staring wide-eyed at the smoking remains of the only other guy with a name in their group besides that Angus guy, Paco and the remaining gunslingers whistle for their skeletal horses!

“You got lucky this time, senorita!” Paco taunts as he and the rest of the boys leap onto their steeds! “You better sleep wit’ one eye open, though--Paco don’t forgive OR forget!” Leaving you with a final menacing point of his finger, the bandito leads the charge AWAY from you and towards the vast desert!

“Well,” Sybil remarks as the others fire at the fleeing skeletons, “that went better than it could have gone…”

“That’s putting it mildly. Nice save, Stan.” Tucker remarks with an impressed grin.

Looks like you’re clear for now--what’s next?
>TRY TO PICK OFF SOME OF THE FLEEING BANDITS!
>CHECK THE VAN! IS IT OKAY?
>THEY MIGHT BE COMING BACK--JUST GET IN THE VAN AND GO!
>INVESTIGATE THE AREA! MAYBE THEY LEFT SOMETHING!
>WRITE-IN!
>>
>>5047730
Sorry all, but this is gonna be the only update tonight--started feeling crappy about three sentences into that last update. Should have more time on the weekend, though--I'll be back FRIDAY around 6-7PM PST with more stuff. Thanks for your patience and Happy Friday!
>>
>>5047730
>TALBOT CAN PICK OFF THE BANDITS IF HE'S STILL HASTY
>CHECK ON THE HUMAN BAIT, LETS HAVE A WORD OR TWO
>>
>>5047732
Take it easy, brother. Or sister.

>>5047734
This'n.
>>
>>5047730
>TRY TO PICK OFF SOME OF THE FLEEING BANDITS!
>>
>>5047749
Thanks! Feeling better today, but I didn't want to force an update feeling like crap, so here we are...

>>5047734
>>5047749
>>5047791
>PICK OFF SOME BANDITS!

We can chat with Crash Man after we roll! ROLL 21D100-5 BECAUSE OF THE DISTANCE! ONE ROLL FOR STAN, ONE FOR HYPER TALBOT! I'LL TAKE THE BEST OF 3 ROLLS!

Let me know if you have any specific targets in mind! To review we have:
>PACO
>BANDITO 1
>BANDITO 2
>ANGUS (DYNAMITE CHUCKER)
>FEARGUS (DYNAMITE CHUCKER 2 WHO HAS A NAME NOW)
>WRITE-IN TARGET (BORIS IS NOT AN OPTION, SORRY)
>>
Rolled 87, 54 - 5 = 136 (2d100 - 5)

>>5048145
>>PACO
>>
Rolled 4, 53 = 57 (2d100)

>>5048145
Paco. You don't make threat on us and get away with it.
>>
Rolled 99, 45 - 5 = 139 (2d100 - 5)

>>5048145
>21d100-5
>>
>>5048145
Paco, definitely. Talk shit, get hit.
>>
>>5048145
the temptation I have to actually roll 21 d100s is very high now.
>>
>>5048201
D'oh!
>>5048230
You know what you must do, anon...

Can't write an update now, folks, but expect some classic BONES QUEST CHICANERY around 6-7pm PST!
>>
>>5048166
>>5048194
>>5048201
>HIGHEST ROLLS:
>STAN: 94!
>TALBOT: 49!

WRITING!
>>
Hold on a sec, you mutter under your breath. Gently pushing past your pals, you rest your REGGINGTON BOLT-ACTION on a squat boulder in the direction of the rapidly fleeing skeletons. Lowering into a firing position, you motion for the still-twitching Talbot towards the calcium-rich cowards. He knows what must be done!

Fiiiinallythoughtyou’dneveraskholdonasecandwatchthisHEYASSHOLES!

In the time it takes Syb to adjust her bangs, the blurry bodyguard rips a rock from the sand with a tentacle and chucks it through the air at your targets! Tumbling through the air like it was shot from a catapult, the payload lands with a satisfying thud among the bandits!

A solitary derisive ‘HAH!’ echoes across the plains as Paco and the others emerge from the cloud of dust and continue riding off into the horizon! “YOU GOTTA TRY BETTER THAN THAT, PENDEJ-

The bandito’s taunt is cut short by you blowing the top of his skull off with a well-aimed shot! Ducking at the sound of your rifle, the other banditos fail to dodge Paco's sombrero as it flutters into their faces! Taken by surprise, both of them wrestle to break free from the sizable hat, but it’s too late--Paco’s amigos tumble from their horses and hit the sand rolling.

Another shot rings out from your rifle and tears through one of the bandito’s foreheads, dropping him to the ground like a bag of tomatoes! Watching his friend burn away in a familiar blue flame, the other bandit, you’ll call him Ernie, gives your scope one last look of horror and confusion before sprinting after his horse and fellow ne’er-do-wells!

Satisfied, you blow the smoke off the rifle’s barrel before turning your attention back to your immediate surroundings.

“Well,” Art remarks as Gus, Tucker, and Kiki rush to check on the van, “that’s all the character development he’s gonna get…”

You shrug--you’ve left enough loose ends lying around! Stuffing your firearm back into your pants pocket, your walk to the man trapped in the van is interrupted by a slightly less-jittery Talbot!

“Not bad, Stan!” He grins, mimicking the bandit’s skull exploding into bone fragments (sound effects included). “Some teamwork, huh?”

The tracksuited terror holds out a hand for a high-five, but you remember Denise’s treachery--how do you respond?

>BE NICE! YEA, IT WAS SOME TEAMWORK!
>GRILL HIM! IT WAS A PRETTY GOOD WARNING ROCK--TOO BAD IT DIDN’T HIT ANYONE!
>BLOW HIM OFF! YEA, YOU’RE PRETTY INCREDIBLE…
>WRITE-IN!

MORE IMPORTANTLY:
>HIGH-FIVE!
>LEAVE HIM HANGIN’!
>WRITE-IN!
>>
>>5048577
Gonna pick this up tomorrow, all--been wrestling with a headache since I got home. I'll probably pick things up SATURDAY AROUND 1-2PM PST, but we'll see how it goes.
>>
>>5048577
>>BE NICE! YEA, IT WAS SOME TEAMWORK!
>HIGH-FIVE!
>>
>>5048577
>>BE NICE! YEA, IT WAS SOME TEAMWORK!

>>5048579
Feel better, man!
>>
>>5048577
>BE NICE! YEA, IT WAS SOME TEAMWORK!
>HIGHFIVE

I guess we can let the tsundere attitude slide for a minute.
>>
>>5048577
>BE NICE! YEA, IT WAS SOME TEAMWORK!
>HIGH-FIVE!
>>
>>5048577
>BE NICE! YEA, IT WAS SOME TEAMWORK!
>HIGH-FIVE! but ignore any "downlows" if he tries it
>>
>>5048577
>BE NICE! YEA, IT WAS SOME TEAMWORK!
>>
>>5048583
>>5048586
>>5048589
>>5048599
>>5048687
>>5048719
>STAN CAN BE NICE! SOMETIMES!
>HIGH-FIVE ME BRO

Ya love to see it, folks. Today's updates will be a tad erratic--got some errands to run. That said, we can write now!

>>5048687
>ignore downlows
If this guy tries anything you'll give his face a high-five, don't worry
>>
You pause just in case Talbot’s setting you up for something, but when no follow-up comes, a crack forms in your spiky, irritable outer layer--yea, you grin, that was a pretty good one-two punch now that you think about it!

“Chump didn’t know what hit him!” replies your fellow Evening Sanitation Coordinator. “Man, I’ve gotta try that HASTE stuff more oft-”

Eager to interrogate the man in the van, you swiftly deliver a high-five to Talbot’s still-outstretched hand before it can slip away! Impacting with a satisfying ‘SMACK’, you and the janitor exchange confused looks as you both come to the same conclusion:

“D-did you just...”
D-did you just…

A pause.

Not be a jerk?”
Not be a jerk?

The reality of the situation hits you both like a funky smell! Clearing your throats simultaneously, you and Talbot shuffle away awkwardly--him in the direction of your van, you in the direction of the man still stuck in the crashed vehicle!

“Are they gone!? Please tell me they’re gone!” Following the sound of the old man’s voice, you join Art, Syb, Eddie, and Mitzi next to the other van’s crushed driver’s side--the drive still wedged inside! Seeing you approach, the man turns his ash-flecked beard in your direction with a worried look on his face.

“O-oh… Hello there…”

Hello himself, you growl! Does he care to explain who the hell he is running cons like that?!

“C-course!” He stammers! “Name’s Pete--Pete McKellery--shuttle services!” Pete shifts in his seat for a moment before fishing out a soot-caked business card from inside the van. Handing the card off to Art, the driver waits patiently as you all look it over.

“Seems legit to me.” Mitzi remarks. “They’ve even got a fax number.”

“I’ve got no reason ta’ lie! You kids just saved my bacon back there!” Pete exclaims as he waves the increasingly-thick plumes of smoke from his face. “I er… I am stuck in here, though, so if you wouldn’t mind helping me ou-”

All in good time, you hiss between gritted teeth! He’s not going anywhere until you take care of a few loose ends first! Starting with…

>ACTUALLY NEVERMIND LET’S GET YOU OUT OF THERE FIRST!
>HOW DID HE CRASH, ANYWAYS?
>HE DOES TRANSPORT, RIGHT? EVER GO TO JOPLIN?
>CAN HE CHECK YOUR VAN FOR DAMAGE?
>DOES HE HAVE ANYTHING COOL INSIDE HIS VEHICLE?
>HOW’S THE SKELETON POPULATION OUT HERE?
>WRITE-IN!
>>
>>5048887
>HOW DID HE CRASH, ANYWAYS?
>HOW’S THE SKELETON POPULATION OUT HERE?
>CAN HE CHECK YOUR VAN FOR DAMAGE?
>DOES HE HAVE ANYTHING COOL INSIDE HIS VEHICLE?
>>
>>5048887
>HOW DID HE CRASH, ANYWAYS?
>HE DOES TRANSPORT, RIGHT? EVER GO TO JOPLIN?
>DOES HE HAVE ANYTHING COOL INSIDE HIS VEHICLE?
>>
>>5048887
>>HOW DID HE CRASH, ANYWAYS?
>>HOW’S THE SKELETON POPULATION OUT HERE?
>>CAN HE CHECK YOUR VAN FOR DAMAGE?
>>DOES HE HAVE ANYTHING COOL INSIDE HIS VEHICLE?
>>
>>5048887
>HOW DID HE CRASH, ANYWAYS?
>DOES HE HAVE ANYTHING COOL INSIDE HIS VEHICLE?

Tell us your secrets, old man.
>>
>>5048913
>>5048932
>>5049004
>>5049031
>HOW DID HE CRASH: 4
>HOW'S THE SKELETON POP: 2
>CHECK VAN: 2
>HAVE ANYTHING COOL: 4
>EVER BEEN TO JOPLIN: 1

Looks like we're asking what happened and if he has any goodies! Writing!
>>
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This ‘accident’ of his, of course! Planting your hands on your hips, you lean in a bit closer before grilling the driver. How’d he become bait anyways?

“Ain’t it obvious?” Pete replies in an annoyed tone as he gestures to his trashed ride. “You seem like good folk, so I spose’ it can’t hurt to tell ya: I’ve been driving survivors to JOPLIN since this whole thing began! At least until those boneheads shot up my van...”

“Is that so?” Art asks, kicking a pebble along the ground.

“Seems like a poor choice for a safe haven...” Syb adds with a frown.

“Not much choice out here…” Pete shrugs as he tries and fails to get comfortable. “Lotsa people were out this way when everything went ta’ Hell…”

So he decided to work for the boneheads, huh? Taking a step back, you motion for Mitzi to step forward. Break his thumbs or something!

“Err… do I have to?” the guard responds in an unsure voice.

“YOU DON’T!” Pete exclaims before erupting into a coughing fit! What a wuss--can’t even handle a little smoke! “Th-the skeletons in town… they ain’t violent! They don’t turn the bad ones away, but they’ve been hidin’ survivors under the old stables--I’ve been dropping them all off there!”

“Hiding in plain sight.” Art remarks, sending a thoughtful look your way. “Not exactly a bad idea…”

“Risky.” Syb sighs as she rubs her chin in thought. “If the word gets out--”

“It doesn’t matter, really,” Pete adds with a mischievous grin, “there’s an abandoned mine under the stables--lots of hiding places!”

And they’ll all be blown up if someone so much as chucks an m80 down there, you growl!

“So wait a minute:” Mitzi interjects, “they’ve just been blasting anyone on the road, right? How’d you avoid getting shot until now?”

“Had a pal ridin’ shotgun before,” Pete explains as he gestures to the empty passenger seat. “Think he used ta’ be a LAWMAN or something back in the day--doesn’t matter now, though.”

“A lawman, huh?” Ly remarks, piquing your interest as well. Where is he anyways?

“Last I saw he was drinkin’ himself under the table back at the SALOON.” Pete sighs. “Guess the stress has been gettin’ to him.”

“Sounds like a lead to me!” Eddie suggests! “We can look him up when we head to town!”

You shrug--you’ll keep it in mind, but no promises!

>CONTD.
>>
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>>5049396
“So uh…” Pete groans through watery eyes, “does that mean you’ll help me out?”

Not so fast, you growl! Before you save his hide you had a question about his van!

“Errr, sure!” Pete nods, wincing from the strain. “I’m an open book, kiddo…”

He’s been ferrying survivors, right? That means he’s GOTTA have some cool stuff in there! The old man looks at you with uncertain eyes.

“You… are you about to ROB me?”

“Of course not!” Sybil interjects as she squeezes your shoulder a bit harder than comfortable! “Stan’s just naturally curious!”

“That said,” Art hops in, “we’ve been fighting these skeleton guys since the beginning--would be pretty handy if you could give us a helping hand!”

“Fair enough…” Pete coughs as he cranes his neck backwards. “Nothin’ fancy, mind, but if you’re in the market for SOUVENIRS, well…” He jerks a thumb to the back of the van. “Got a few back there that probably haven’t been damaged…”

You tap your foot on the floor impatiently. Such as?!

“HATS, JACKETS, FAKE SHERIFF BADGES… Might have a CANTEEN or two back there as well…”

A rattling erupts from the back of the van as you and the others spot Mitzi fiddling with the trunk door! Swinging it open, the Rent-A-Cop emerges with two items: a BOX OF CORN BARS and a GLOWING GREEN CRYSTAL! Ooh, dibs on the bars!

“Hold on, Stan--” Eddie interrupts, gently placing a hand on your shoulder, “What do you think that CRYSTAL is?”

“Whatever it is,” Syb mutters, “it’s definitely MAGIC…”

“Magic, huh?” Pete asks, rubbing his beard with interest. “Whatever it is it doesn’t agree with skeletons--some of the folks in JOPLIN have been blasting those bandits with it--melts ‘em like warm chocolate!”

Ooh, you gush, leaning in to get a closer look at the glowing salt, sounds nifty!

“It is,” Pete nods, “but we need it--we’ve only found a little bit of it and it’s goin’ to the survivors along with that food, so drop it, please.”

“We could use it too, ya know.” Mitzi fires back, tossing the crystal up and down. “You sure you can’t cut us a deal?”

“You handled yourselves pretty well without that stuff--those survivors need it in case someone catches wind of where they are!” Pete argues, standing his ground in his still-smoking van! “... not that I don’t appreciate your help, though--tell ya’ what: you can ask the others once we head into town, okay?”

A frown forms on your face--looks like you’re not getting that salt easily…

WHAT’S NEXT?
>ACTUALLY NEVERMIND LET’S GET YOU OUT OF THERE FIRST!
>HE DOES TRANSPORT, RIGHT? EVER GO TO JOPLIN?
>CAN HE CHECK YOUR VAN FOR DAMAGE?
>TRY TO CONVINCE HIM TO GIVE YOU THAT SALT!
>HOW’S THE SKELETON POPULATION OUT HERE?
>WRITE-IN!
>>
>>5049399
>ACTUALLY NEVERMIND LET’S GET YOU OUT OF THERE FIRST!

Well, his van is trashed and he's not going anywhere. We might as well get him out of it, toss his supplies into ours (not necessarily for the sake of keeping), and head or to Joplin. I have a horrible, sinking feeling that Boris and Co. are gonna slaughter a bunch of friendly, separatist skeletons hanging out in the desert. We need to catch up and save time.
>>
>>5049396
>>ACTUALLY NEVERMIND LET’S GET YOU OUT OF THERE FIRST!
>CAN HE CHECK YOUR VAN FOR DAMAGE?
>>
>>5049399
>>ACTUALLY NEVERMIND LET’S GET YOU OUT OF THERE FIRST!
>>
>>5049409
He'll be coming with us, naturally. He really isn't too much of a threat hanging out in the back of the van with all of us. We can grill him on the way to our next destination.
>>
>>5049399
>>TRY TO CONVINCE HIM TO GIVE YOU THAT SALT!
I noticed FAKE SHERIFF BADGES! Those will definitely come in useful.
>>
Got home a little late today so I'll probably pick this up SUNDAY AROUND 11-12PM PST! It looks like we're reaching a consensus, but I'll leave the vote open until then! Thanks for playing and for being patient--should have much less crap to do tomorrow!
>>
>>5049409
>>5049411
>>5049413
>ACTUALLY NEVERMIND LET'S GET YOU OUT!

>>5049411
>CAN YOU CHECK THE VAN FOR DAMAGE?

>>5049436
>GIT THAT SALT!

Sorry, all--got distracted by Warioware. Writing!
>>
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Not HERE, at least. Motioning towards the driver’s side door, you instruct your pals to get the old man outta there.

“A please would be nice…” Art grumbles as he yanks the door open with a screech of metal! So would a strawberry shake--let’s see who gets what they want first!

The door swings off its hinges and onto the dirt revealing a mess of wires, plastic, and other obstructions pinning Pete to his seat. “Geez, mister,” Eddie whistles as he moves to assist, “you got lucky, huh?”

“You could say that…” Pete remarks as the others get to work on his seatbelt. “Not my first collision, so I managed to slow ‘er down before it hit. Didn’t get much of a chance to move before those bandits pointed a gun at my head and told me ta’ shout for help…”

Lending a hand with your BONE CLAWS, you slowly carve the bearded man free from the softer bits of the van. Guess he’s the one who made out like a bandit, huh?

“Heh heh, guess so!” Pete chuckles, doubling over from the strain! “Erk… that’s still sore…” Gently helping him out of the wreckage, Art and Eddie lead him over to the van while Mitzi and Sybil turn their attention to the back of the van.

“We’re uh… We’re takin’ this stuff, right Stan?” Mitzi asks as she fastens a PLASTIC DEPUTY BADGE on her armor. Is that even a question?! Take the SALT AND CRAP too!

“Leave it to us!” Sybil responds as she TELEKINETICALLY puts a COWBOY HAT on her head and grins.

“Might be a good idea ta’ check if our van still works too.” Ly suggests. You were getting to that! Following up with your skeleton’s idea, you approach Gus, Tucker, Talbot and Kiki as they solemnly stare at your van’s tire as if they were at a funeral. Making your presence known with a drawn-out annoyed sigh, you ask the mourners what’s wrong THIS TIME?

“You want the BAD NEWS or the WORSE NEWS?” Tucker replies, earning an angry nudge from Kiki. Is there a difference anymore?! Just say what’s wrong and you’ll figure it out!

“That skeleton shot up the wheel pretty bad.” Gus reports in what you gather is his ‘sad voice’. “Not gonna last much longer.”

You tap your foot impatiently. How much longer?

“It’s not about time, but distance.” Tucker interjects. “Gus says it’s not gonna make it back to CLEARWATER PROPER.

“Might get us near the CAMPSITE…” Gus explains, wiping some grease on a rag in his pocket, “but we’ll be ridin’ the axle by then… Plus we’re runnin’ low on gas.”

“Guess we’re ‘deserted’, huh cupcake?”

That does it--you don’t care how much cheese you’ll have to say no to in the future--no more calcium for this jerk!

>CONTD.
>>
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>>5050261
“There’s more:” Tucker adds as you feel a headache growing in your temples. “Unless JOPLIN has SWAT VAN TIRES lying around, we might have to try some alternative ways to replace it…”

“There’s a small GARAGE near the VISITOR’S CENTER in town!” Pete explains as he’s helped into the back of the van. “Not sure if it has what you need, but it should have the tools…”

FanTAStic, you groan--you have all the stuff you need for the tire you DON’T have! Did Art’s goofball squadmates think to pack a spare or anything?

“Checked already--musta’ fallen off.” Gus interrupts, pointing a thumb towards the undercarriage. Snapping your fingers a few times, it takes a moment for Ly to get the picture.

“Ya’ know,” he mutters as his spectral form dips underneath the van, “It’d be faster if you ducked down and took a look… No tire, by the way.”

And get dirt all over your shirt and pants? You don’t think so, asshole! Letting your skeleton return from his astral jaunt, you shift your gaze to the rest of your peons--any ideas?

“Why don’t we just call that PAULIE guy?” Eddie suggests. “He could probably get us a new tire… might even have someone install it too, right?”

“It’s possible,” Art nods, “but it might not be a good idea with Boris and the others running around…”

Point taken, you sigh. Anything else?

“You’re not gonna like it,” Tucker answers in a cautious tone, “but Boris’ APC convoy might have a sp-”

NOPE.

Syb wanders over adjusting her COWBOY HAT.“... I understand how you feel Stan, but Tucker has a po-”

No he doesn’t, you snap as you cross your arms! You’d rather let everyone DIE than ask that jerk and his fanclub for help!

“... Why ask, then?” Talbot ventures, kicking a pebble between his feet. Earning your attention, you and the others look towards the janitor. Come again?

“Ooooh….” Mitzi begins, wiping some dust from her new plastic badge, “you’re saying we should BORROW one, yea?”

Talbot’s meaning hits you like a truck, leaving a vengeful grin on your face! This right here, folks--this right here is why you keep these people around!

>CONTD.
>>
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>>5050262
“Hate ta’ hurry you kids along,'' Pete wheezes, hurrying you kids along, “but we oughta’ hit the road. The skeletons are easily startled, but they’ll be back… and in greater numbers!”

Gramps has a point, you huff--is everyone ready to go? Syb and Mitzi give you a quick salute.

“Everything’s loaded, Stan!” Mitzi reports with a wink! “Food, merch, and a bunch of freaky salt!”

You give the two sharp-dressed ladies a grin--what are we waiting for, then? Piling into your ride, you can’t help but notice a slight dip in the front of the van--guess that wheel’s already losing air…

JOPLIN’S just down the road.” Pete explains as Eddie starts the vehicle. “If you stop by the VISITOR’S CENTER I can get ya into the GARAGE. Should be safer than leavin’ it in the open.”

Is this guy serious?! You’re trying to keep your van working, for crying out lou-

“He said GARAGE, Stan, not GARBAGE.” Art mutters.

Oh. He should really learn to enunciate a bit better, especially when the van’s moving! The engine sounds like a bear orgy or something!

The van continues down the dusty trail as you and the others pass the time with some friendly conversation!

“That’s bullshit and you know it!” Talbot roars in disbelief! “Do you know how much work they put into that performance?!”

“As a matter of fact, I DO!” Tucker counters, poking an irritated face through the hole between the front and back of the van! “And I know for a fact that you’re wrong! Tell him, Art!”

“I mean,” Art sighs as Syb buries her head in her hands, “T, you can’t possibly believe th-”

“I can and I DO!” the janitor fires back, prompting Kiki to join Mitzi in reading WATER POLO MONTHLY, “They TAUGHT Howard the Dog how to TALK for that movie! You can’t just give animals peanut butter and expect them to sync up with the audio that well--that’s not how it works, bro!”

Pete looks at you with weary eyes. “Is… is it too late for me to ride with the pizza boy?”

Yes, you growl, figuratively kicking yourself for not thinking of that sooner! Contemplating which person you’d most like to chuck out the van, the argument continues long after the van passes a blackened wooden sign marked JOPLIN...

>CONTD.
>>
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>>5050263
“Alright, fine--maybe it could have been peanut butter!” Talbot relents as he dodges another one of your kicks. “But that doesn’t explain how they did it for the next four mov-”

OH LOOK WE’RE HERE!” Sybil interjects, slamming her pale fist against the side of the van a few times for emphasis! Making your way over to the front of the van, you and the others spot the skeleton of what used to be a town just down the hill--its dusty streets populated by gaunt figures that can only be the town’s late inhabitants.

Studying the ghost town from afar, you lose your balance and flop on top of Mitzi and Kiki when Eddie swerves the van into a nearby gated parking lot next to a building much more modern than the ones below! Peeling yourself off of the stunned and flustered Rent-A-Cop, you give Eddie’s shoulder a good shove--the hell is he doing, anyways?!

“Parking!” He replies in a chipper voice! “The garage is here, right, sir?”

“Yep,” Pete replies. “Bring ‘er around the back--there’s a gate back there.”

Following his instructions, Eddie brings the van around the corner and parks the van in front of a garage that could easily fit five other vans! “We’re here! Let’s open it up, yea?”

“Yea, yea… hold your horses…” The old man mutters as he rummages through his hoodie pockets. When the search takes longer than a few seconds, a panicked look forms on the driver’s bearded face. “Aw shoot, did I leave ‘em back in the van?”

Not bothering to wait any longer, you kick the van’s back door open with a loud sigh and hastily chop the garage door’s lock off with your claws. Inside the garage’s repair bays sit a collection of park vehicles: off-road trucks, from the looks of it, and none of them in working order. A few JERRY CANS sit next to a massive tool bench along with a rack of tools that could possibly fix a car. Feeling your head start to spin just looking at them, you meet up with the others as Eddie pulls the van into a vacant bay.

“Make yourselves at home!” Pete exclaims, chuckling at his own joke. “It ain’t much, but those bandits haven’t ransacked it yet.”

“Wow…” Gus whispers as he parks his bike in an adjacent bay. “This is… just wow...”

Seeing Gus this emotional makes you uncomfortable, so you decide to change tack--are people ready to hit the town or what?

Gods it’s dry...” Syb groans as she emerges from the van with her parasol. “Err, ready when you are, Stan.”

Would it kill these guys to listen once in a while? You just asked if people were ready--that means you wanna go!

“Don’t be rude.”

Don’t even start, Ly! Not after that stupid argument in the van!

>CONTD.
>>
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>>5050264
“Woah there, kids--” Pete interjects as he takes a seat in one of the garage’s grease-stained fold-out chairs, “ya might not wanna go down then en masse--the townsfolk are nice enough, but they still let the bandits drop in now and again, ya know? Neutrality at its finest.”

You frown. You’re not going down there alone, that’s for damn sure! What if you need someone to carry something for you?

“Shouldn’t we check this place out first?” Art asks, gesturing to the garage and a metal door presumably connecting to the VISITOR’S CENTER. “Could be useful, right?”

“Not much to find in there, but it’s been a good place to sleep the past few nights.” Pete explains. “There’s some historical info there too if you want to brush up a bit!”

“Here’s some ‘historical knowledge’ for ya:” Talbot interjects, “Boris and his guys already passed through here, right? Why are we wastin’ time?”

Your options, it seems, appear to be open. What’s the next move?
>EXAMINE THE GARAGE!
>CHECK THE VISITOR’S CENTER!
>HEAD INTO TOWN!
>WRITE-IN!
>>
>>5050266
>>CHECK THE VISITOR’S CENTER!
>>
>>5050266
>>EXAMINE THE GARAGE!
>>
>>5050266
>EXAMINE THE GARAGE!
>>
>>5050266
>>EXAMINE THE GARAGE!
>>
>>5050266
>CHECK THE VISITOR'S CENTER!
>>
>>5050267
>>5050286
>VISIT THE VISITOR'S CENTER!

>>5050272
>>5050273
>>5050282
>EXAMINE THE GARAGE!

Looks like we're checkin' out what we've got here! Writing!
>>
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It doesn’t happen often, you sigh, but Art’s right--this GARAGE might be hiding a useful thing or two!

“... I was talking about the VISITOR’S CE-

Just take the praise, Art. Taking a moment to peruse the various workstations and tools found in a tourist trap’s van garage, it slowly dawns upon you that you have absolutely NO FRIGGIN’ CLUE what you’re looking at! How do people even make cars anyways? Why didn’t they teach you this in school?!

“They did, Stan--Rocky and his goons even used the machine shop back when they took over the school.” Sybil reminds you as she steps out of the midday sun and deeper into the garage’s shade. “It was offered as an elective, if I recall correctly.”

Wait, what? Why the heck didn’t you sign up for it, then? The Goth gives you a sympathetic look.

“You erm… you were dead-set on that MASCOT position…”

Ah yes, you nod, THE CLEARWATER COD-- the easiest A you ever received and the source of countless emotional scars… and one or two physical ones too. Damn, could you have sued them? Ly, could we have su-

“I can help out.” Gus interrupts, already going to town on his bike with a wrench and some sort of metal apparatus. “Not my specialty, but if the van’s not going anywhere…”

“Well we’ve got FUEL...” Pete grunts, pointing a finger over to the JERRY CANS in the back corner. “And SCRAP PARTS-- most of the fleet doesn’t even run anymore, so feel free to tinker if you want.”

For a brief second a smile appears on Gus’ face and stays there. Dude’s practically jumping for joy! Looking your way with a twinkle in his dead fish eyes, the delivery man rises from beside his bike and crosses over to you.

“It’ll probably take me all day, but I could probably whip up…”

CHOOSE ONE OF THE FOLLOWING. GUS AND THE VAN WON’T BE AVAILABLE UNTIL THE END OF THE DAY.

CURRENT VAN UPGRADES:

>WHEEL AND CHASSIS ARMOR
>EMERGENCY FORCE FIELD (LY THOUGHT THE BUTTON WAS FOR THE EMERGENCY LIGHTS)
>TURBO BOOST
>EASY ACCESS BETWEEN CABIN AND BACK
>COMFY SEATS
>RIP KORD CUTOUT IN THE BACK
>FUZZY DICE
>AMPLE BACK STORAGE


>CUT HIM OFF! YOU MIGHT NEED HIM LATER--NO UPGRADES NOW!
>A HARPOON GUN ON TOP OF THE VAN TO SKEWER AND REEL IN ENEMIES AND VEHICLES!
>GUNPORTS ON THE SIDES OF THE VAN--MAKES IT EASY TO BLAST ENEMIES, BUT THEY MIGHT SHOOT THROUGH TOO!
>BIG-ASS COW-CATCHER: MORE RAMMING POWER!
>ANTI-BOARDING DEFENSES--BARBED WIRE, METAL SPIKES, ALL OF IT CAN KEEP ENEMIES FROM CLIMBING ON THE VAN!
>SMOKE-SCREEN GENERATOR: THIS BABY CAN BLIND PURSUERS AND LEAVE THEM SPINNING IN THE DUST!
>IMPROVED BOOST--REMEMBER THAT BOOST YOU FOUND DURING THE RACE? YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO USE IT MORE WITHOUT KILLING THE ENGINE! WOOHOO!
>WRITE-IN (OH GOD)
>>
Gonna call it here for tonight, folks--feels like this might be a big decision and it's getting late on my end. Should be back around MONDAY 6-7PM PST-- until then you can check out the IMGUR AND THE PASTEBIN-- the latter's been updated with CURRENT VAN UPGRADES since I was too much of a dumbass to write those down before! You can find 'em in the VAN INVENTORY section of the Pastebin!

Hope you all have a good week--thanks as always for playing!
>>
>>5050413
>>IMPROVED BOOST--REMEMBER THAT BOOST YOU FOUND DURING THE RACE? YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO USE IT MORE WITHOUT KILLING THE ENGINE! WOOHOO!
>>
>>5050413
>IMPROVED BOOST--REMEMBER THAT BOOST YOU FOUND DURING THE RACE? YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO USE IT MORE WITHOUT KILLING THE ENGINE! WOOHOO!
>>
>>5050413
>>IMPROVED BOOST--REMEMBER THAT BOOST YOU FOUND DURING THE RACE? YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO USE IT MORE WITHOUT KILLING THE ENGINE! WOOHOO!
>>
>>5050413
>FUZZY DICE
>>
>>5050413
>BIG-ASS COW-CATCHER: MORE RAMMING POWER!
>>
>>5050413
>IMPROVED BOOST--REMEMBER THAT BOOST YOU FOUND DURING THE RACE? YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO USE IT MORE WITHOUT KILLING THE ENGINE! WOOHOO!
>>
>>5050413
>IMPROVED BOOST--REMEMBER THAT BOOST YOU FOUND DURING THE RACE? YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO USE IT MORE WITHOUT KILLING THE ENGINE! WOOHOO!
>>
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>>5050418
>>5050460
>>5050491
>>5050603
>>5050867
https://youtu.be/Cx00LHagvxM

>>5050536
Don't worry, anon--we already HAVE slick FUZZY DICE! Art installed 'em way back when at the ZOOMMART. See the attached pic for reference!

>>5050552
>CATCH COWS

Looks like we're boosting the boost. Writing!
>>
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>>5051124
“... something to improve the van’s BOOST SYSTEM.” Gus concludes as he holds up a pair of parts you can’t quite recognize. Why’d he take so long to finish that sentence, anyways?

“How about it?” the delivery man asks, deftly dodging your question. DAMN, HE’S GOOD!

“Given how often we get attacked while driving around it definitely couldn’t hurt.” Art shrugs as he sticks a thumb into one of the many pockmarks in the van’s side.

“Yea!” Eddie adds with a thumb’s up! “Man, if we had something like that when we were escaping the lab…”

“We did, you just forgot about it.” Tucker interjects with a good-natured frown.

“Might as well, right? It’s not like we’re driving far with that crappy tire.” Talbot growls, giving the tire in question a good kick. Watch the merchandise, dick!

Turning your attention back to Gus, you respond to his question with a thumb’s up--if he thinks he can do it, then sure! Nodding at your response, the delivery man immediately sheds his jacket and tosses it on a nearby chair revealing a pair of very hairy, but very muscular arms! Popping the bonnet open, he immediately gets to work tinkering with the engine’s guts!

“Errr, you need help with that?” Pete asks, peering over Gus’ shoulder. He shrugs.

How long is it gonna take, anyways? He shrugs again. Super.

“Guess we oughta let him do his thing, huh?” Eddie remarks as the gang gives the pizza delivery man some space. “Something tells me this is gonna take a while…”

An uneasy feeling in your gut agrees--looks like you’re gonna have to keep busy until Gus is done. The question is, how do you pass the time?

>HEAD INTO TOWN WITH A FEW PEOPLE!
>CHECK OUT THE VISITOR’S CENTER!
>ASK PETE A FEW MORE QUESTIONS!
>WRITE-IN!
>>
>>5051140
>HEAD INTO TOWN WITH A FEW PEOPLE!
Put on a hat and a poncho, we gotta blend in
>>
>>5051140
>>HEAD INTO TOWN WITH A FEW PEOPLE!
>>
>>5051140
>HEAD INTO TOWN WITH A FEW PEOPLE!
>>
>>5051152
>>5051168
>>5051171
>ROLL INTO TOWN, PILGRIM!

Writing!
>>
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Though part of you aches for a quick nap in the VISITOR’S CENTER, something else urges you to press on. Leaving the relative shade and comforting fuel-scented GARAGE INTERIOR via the way you came, you end up trotting across the scrub-covered front of the VISITOR’S CENTER to survey the town of JOPLIN down below.

Feeling the warm caress of a Santa Ana wind on your face, the pleasantness is swiftly replaced by a sense of unease as you stare across the prairie--one that quietly departs as your gang appears at your back.

“So that’s JOPLIN, huh?” Eddie remarks as he swats at a fly buzzing around his face. “Looks like the real thing.”

“It is.” Syb adds as she adjusts her parasol’s angle. “And I suspect the people down there are real as well… along with the refugees they’re supposedly hiding.”

“So what are we waiting for?” Talbot asks as he cracks his neck with an audible SNAP! “Boris and the other idiots probably already blew through there by now!”

The thought of Boris taking down a lieutenant fills you with a profound nauseated feeling--not happening, bucko! Twirling to face your adoring fans, yo-OOF

“Careful!” Ly hisses as you hastily pick yourself up from the ground! This ground must be slanted or something!

“Err, so what’s the plan?” Art asks as he and Kiki politely help you to your feet. “Pete said a smaller group would be better, right?”

“If there’s BANDITS walking those streets, definitely.” Mitzi remarks. “And knowing our luck there totally are.”

You wish you could argue with that, but you just can’t…

>CONTD.
>>
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>>5051223
“If that’s the case, I could always cast some GLAMOUR on Stan and someone else!” Sybil cheerfully suggests! “I might need to rest afterwards, but being in the shape of A SKELETON might help quite a bit!”

“Then again,” Tucker shrugs, “a human form might be more trustworthy if they’re hiding refugees, right?”

“Depends on the human.” Talbot replies as he puffs out his chest! “They probably won’t just talk to anyone--they need someone that looks charming and trustworthy!”

So he’s out, then!

“Better me than some RACCOON MONST-

“If you two want to exchange barbs, do it in town!” Sybil growls! “Who knows what those BANDITS are planning?”

Yea, you frown, or BORIS!

“Whoever doesn’t get picked can just standby via the RADIO!” Eddie adds! “Just in case we need to swap out, or something!”

In that case, you think aloud, who the heck should you take? Your loyal peons crowd around you eagerly as if you were picking dodgeball players! Here we go again!

FIRST, PICK 2 PALS:
>ART (GRENADE LAUNCHER, RIFLE)
>SYB (MAGIC)
>MITZI (SCIENCE GUN, STEALTHY)
>TUCKER (RIFLE, FIRST AID TRAINING, MARTIAL ARTS)
>EDDIE (SHOTGUN, RUNNER)
>KIKI (HEAVY WEAPONS EXPERT, LMG, SMALL)
>TALBOT (GOO POWERS, HANDGUN, INSTIGATOR)

SECOND, CHOOSE A STRAT:
>JUST CAREFULLY WALK INTO TOWN!
>DON DISGUISES!
>HAVE SYB GLAM YOU UP (WARNING: WILL MAKE SYB TIRED.)
>WRITE-IN
>>
>>5051224
>>TUCKER (RIFLE, FIRST AID TRAINING, MARTIAL ARTS)
>>EDDIE (SHOTGUN, RUNNER)
>DON DISGUISES!
>>
>>5051224
>>TALBOT (GOO POWERS, HANDGUN, INSTIGATOR)
>KIKI (HEAVY WEAPONS EXPERT, LMG, SMALL)

>DON DISGUISES!
>>
Gonna leave this open until tomorrow, folks, but I'll check back in TUESDAY AROUND 6-7PM PST! Thanks for playing!
>>
>>5051224
>MITZI (SCIENCE GUN, STEALTHY)
>TUCKER (RIFLE, FIRST AID TRAINING, MARTIAL ARTS)

>DON DISGUISES!
>>
>>5051224
>MITZI (SCIENCE GUN, STEALTHY)
>TUCKER (RIFLE, FIRST AID TRAINING, MARTIAL ARTS)
>>
>>5051224
>TALBOT (GOO POWERS, HANDGUN, INSTIGATOR)
>MITZI (SCIENCE GUN, STEALTHY)
>DON DISGUISES!
Gotta have our bodyguard. Not because we like him or anything.
>>
>>5052021
>>5051224

Changing to TALBOT and MITZI

We still don disguises of course.
>>
>>5051420
changing vote to
>TALBOT (GOO POWERS, HANDGUN, INSTIGATOR)
>MITZI (SCIENCE GUN, STEALTHY)
>>
Sorry folks, but tonight became really busy for me--should have an update WEDNESDAY AROUNG 6-7PM, honest! Apologies again for missing the time window!
>>
>>5052031
>>5052066
>>5052021
>TALBOT & MITZ, DON DISGUISES!

>>5051336
>MITZI & TUCKER, DON DISGUISES!

>>5051235
>TALBOT & KIKI, DON DISGUISES

Looks like Mitz and Talbot win it! Writing!
>>
>>5052916
You got that last one wrong.
There's too much Talbot support, hate to see it.
>>
>>5052919
Whoops, sorry--wrote the update halfway through makin' dinner!

>TUCKER AND EDDIE! THAT'S THE ONE!
>>
>>5052919
My logical reasoning was that Mitzi is generally pretty cool-headed, and not apt to lose her spaghetti like some of the other guys in our party. She also doesn't stand out like Sybil—and Kiki, although I like her, isn't exactly apt at social interaction given her condition. Plus, we do an awful lot of sneaki-breeki stuff. Talbot made sense because he's by and far the most resilient member of our group. We can handle the social stuff, and if Stan and Mitz run into something they can't handle, or get surprised, Talbot should be able to buy them the time to figure something out or get the hell out of there.
>>
>>5052960

This.

Talbot and Mitzi supremacy!
>>
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If you’re going into the lion’s den it’s gonna pay to have someone who’s COOL AS A CUCUMBER… but since you don’t have anyone who fits that description, you opt to pick Mitzi instead. Jabbing a finger her way just as she shoves a handful of chips into her mouth, you motion for her to saddle up--she’s goin’ on a field trip!

“Mphmrh?” She asks, her tone situated somewhere between ‘confused’ and ‘flattered’. Yes, you nod impatiently, you KNOW you’re fantastic!

Shoving the chip bag into Art’s hands, the Rent-A-Cop practically skips over to your side and shoots you a wink! “Just couldn’t resist, could’ja?”

You respond with a toothy grin--no, no you couldn’t. Say what you will about her aloofness, you can always count on Mitz to pull you out of the fire!

And as you pick your second squad member you can’t help but feel like there’s gonna be a lot of fire to be pulled out from…

“Well, well… Stan’s got an eye for quality!

Strutting over with his chest confidently puffed out, Talbot takes his place opposite Mitzi and eagerly cracks his knuckles.

“You’re uh… you’re taking him again, huh?” Eddie remarks in a slightly disappointed tone. What’s that supposed to mean?

“Nothing, honest!” the student sheepishly replies! “Just uh, you’ve picked… You know what? It’s cool, forget I said anything!”

“Don’t worry about it, man--I barely get picked either.” Tucker remarks with a shrug. Is THAT what this is about?!

“You don’t need to explain yourself, Stan…” Art shrugs. “It’s pretty obvious why you’d pick Talbot, isn’t it?”

The weeb’s words hit you like a van--OBVIOUS?! Wh-what the hell is that supposed to mean?!

“Well if I was putting a team together, Mitz and Talbot would definitely be my picks.” Art replies, swiftly putting out the growing fire in your brain. “Mitzi can handle herself pretty well--T, well… T’s T.

“Amen to THAT!” Talbot chuckles! “I mean, I uh… I don’t care either way, but if she needs her bodyguard-”

“So are you guys just gonna walk down there, or?” Eddie interrupts, glancing between you and your picks.

“I can disguise you a bit if I’m staying here!” Syb volunteers, waving her fingers in the air for emphasis! You give the pale girl a friendly pat on the shoulder as a hearty laugh escapes your throat--nice of her, really, but you think you’ve got that avenue covered…

>CONTD.
>>
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>>5052984
Waving Pete over, you ask the sweaty old man if the VISITOR’S CENTER has more of that tacky merch he was peddling out of his van!

“Tacky? Er… Yea! Yea, they’ve got costumes!” He replies, brushing off your comment. “Feel free to take a look around--not like they’re gonna make a profit off of memorabilia right now…” Gently pushing open the door connecting the GARAGE to the rest of the building, he motions your group in like a doorman at a fancy club!

“Just uh… try to return the merch in one piece, okay?”

No promises, you grunt as you head on in!

WHAT KIND OF DISGUISE DO YOU END UP FINDING?
>TRADITIONAL! COWBOY BOOTS, DUSTER, AND HAT!
>SOUTH OF THE BORDER! BOOTS, PONCHO, SOMBRERO!
>FUR-TRADER! MOCCASINS, FUR CLOAK, COONSKIN HAT!
>WRITE-IN!

BONE-US: WHAT DO MITZI AND TALBOT FIND?
>>
Sorry, all, but I'm gonna keep this open til' THURSDAY AROUND 11-12PM PST--started this update a little too late! Got the day off tomorrow, though, so there should be a bit more activity then. Thanks again for all of your patience and have a good evening!
>>
>>5052986
>FUR-TRADER! MOCCASINS, FUR CLOAK, COONSKIN HAT!
If you think Stan is getting out of there without a coon-skin cap, you're dead wrong.

Talbot needs a leather duster at least. A ten-gallon hat could also work with that.
Mitzi could probably do with a cowhide vest, boots with spurs and some jeans. We should all probably have some bandana masks to cover our faces with. I'm open to other ideas, though.
>>
>>5052986
>>FUR-TRADER! MOCCASINS, FUR CLOAK, COONSKIN HAT!

Support for this guy's disguise ideas >>5052995
>>
>>5052986
>FUR-TRADER! MOCCASINS, FUR CLOAK, COONSKIN HAT!
>>
>>5052986
>>SOUTH OF THE BORDER! BOOTS, PONCHO, SOMBRERO
For Talbot
>FUR-TRADER! MOCCASINS, FUR CLOAK, COONSKIN HAT!
For us
>>
>>5052995
>>5052998
>>5053031
>>5053126
>FUR-TRADER STAN!

>>5052995
>>5052998
>TALBOT: LEATHER DUSTER AND TEN-GALLON HAT!
>MITZI: COWHIDE VEST, JEANS, AND SPURS THAT JINGLE JANGLE JINGLE

>>5053126
>TALBOT: SOUTH OF THE BORDER!

>MASKS FOR EVERYONE!

Starting a little earlier than expected--hope you don't mind! Looks like we've got some DISGUISES--writing!
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After a close call with the building’s alarm system (which Pete forgot to turn off, the cad), you and your fellow day-trippers wander into the VISITOR’S CENTER GIFT SHOP.

“Huh.” Mitzi grunts, “I mean… it’s alright, but I think I liked the one at the dam more.”

“Tell me about it.” Talbot nods, thumbing his tracksuit’s collar. “I was too busy FIGHTING AN ARMY at the time to check it out, but this outfit is dam comfy! You sure we have to get disguises, Stan?”

Yes, you groan, you’re sure! While a part of you would love to just waltz into town and enact some FRONTIER JUSTICE, experience has shown you that sneaking around is way cooler--like that time you snuck out of work!

“Big deal.” Talbot snorts as Mitzi looks through a stand of magnets with names on them. “I snuck out of work tons of times, and that was in a TOP SECRET LAB! Had that sweet setup in the vents, too!”

Yea, well… okay, the vent base was pretty cool, but he didn’t sneak out when all of this was happening, now did he? Retorting with a noncommittal ‘eh’, Talbot lets the argument drop. “You used the vents though, right? To escape?”

You respond with a roguish grin--is there any better way?

“Fuckin’ A.” The janitor replies, matching your smile with one of his own! Huh. You didn’t know he was that jazzed about vents t-

“Hey duct dweebs--found the motherlode.”

Following Mitzi’s voice leads you to a tiny alcove sequestered behind a few racks of t-shirts and Joplin coffee mugs--its entrance marked with a stylized sign with the words ‘FRONTIER FASHION’ emblazoned on the front! Peeking inside, you’re treated to a veritable buffet of era-appropriate clothing: bandanas, coats, and more hats than you can shake a stick at! Frozen in awe at the entrance, your face catches a hairy blur thrown by Mitzi who already has a stack of clothes in her arms. Freed from the spell, you dutifully pick the object off the floor and give it a once-over revealing it to be a frontiersman-style COONSKIN HAT!

“Suits her.” Talbot remarks, earning a nod from the Rent-A-Cop.

“Right?”

What the hell is THAT supposed to mean? Your question falls on deaf ears as Mitzi ducks into a nearby changing room with her haul and Talbot sifts through some of the men’s clothing. Piling a few promising pieces on his shoulder, the janitor gives you an expectant look.

“Waiting for me to pick something out for you, or what?”

The very thought makes your stomach churn--n-no way! Knowing him he’d probably pick out something tacky or dumb! Making a beeline for the nearest display, you swiftly pick up a few articles before retreating to one of the other dressing rooms--’pick something out.’ Get real!

“Atta girl, Stan.”

At least MITZI supports you!

>CONTD.
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>>5053296
Aside from a harrowing encounter with a zipper getting caught, your metamorphosis into a rough-n’-tough frontierscreature goes off without a hitch! Donning a FUR CLOAK OF DUBIOUS ORIGIN, COONSKIN HAT, AND A PAIR OF COMFY MOCCASINS, you kick the changing room door open and stumble into a pair of old-timey troublemakers!

“Yo.” Mitzi grunts as she sends a lazy wave your way. “Lookin’ rustic, dude.” She doesn’t look too bad herself, you reply with an impressed thumb’s up! Swapping her armor and helmet for a comfy tan COWHIDE VEST and a pair of FORM-FITTING JEANS, the shiny spurs on Mitzi’s new boots match the plastic deputy badge pinned on her chest! Placing a TAN GAUCHO HAT on her head to seal the deal, the Rent-A-Cop raises an eyebrow your way. “Penny for your thoughts?”

She looks like the real thing, you grin!

“Damn right I do.”

As Mitzi basks in the compliment, your other teammate points a finger towards his face. “Heh heh… Hey Stan, what about me? Pretty cool, right?”

A quick once-over tells you that no, Talbot is not cool. Not even pretty cool, to be honest. Sure, his tall and toned form fills out that BLACK LEATHER DUSTER pretty well, and his MATCHING TEN-GALLON HAT makes him look like one of those old movie stars, but the whole thing falls flat when you see the rest…

“What? Black’s a good color!”

It’s not that, you groan, but THAT! Following your finger downwards, the janitor gives you an annoyed stare. “What’s wrong with it?”

He just put a coat and a hat OVER HIS TRACKSUIT, that’s what! How the heck are you supposed to blend in when he looks like a flasher?! Your bodyguard fires back with an indignant sigh! “It’s HOT out there, duh! Plus what if we need to run? These sneakers are way comfier--you want me to get BLISTERS or something? I don’t think so, asshole!”

“Stan’s right… you look like a homeless guy, T.” Mitzi adds in a measured tone. “You should at least grab a vest or something.”

“Are you KIDDING me?!” Talbot groans as he jabs a finger at your legs! “She gets a free pass to wear the same pants, but I have to change?”

Yea, you growl, or you’ll change him yourself--into MINCEMEAT! Popping your BONE CLAWS for emphasis, you let out a triumphant ‘ha!’ as the janitor snatches a pair of RIDING CHAPS, SILVER SPURS, and a RED VEST off of the shelves and storms back into a changing room. Great, you groan, now he’s gonna be pissy the whole day!

“I CAN HEAR YOU!”

That’s the POINT!

>CONTD.
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>>5053298
“Well, well!” Tucker remarks as the three of you emerge from the depths of the VISITOR’S CENTER, “you guys just might fit in!”

“I dunno…” Art adds with a frown, “something’s… off.”

You jab a thumb towards Talbot--ding ding ding, what do you win?

“A noogie if you keep that crap up!” Talbot fires back as he finishes buttoning the RED VEST over his tracksuit top. He’s welcome to try!

“Well besides that,” Art continues, “you guys seem to be missing a piece--can’t place what it is.”

Your face scrunches up in thought--you look perfect, though! Maybe you need an accent?

“Couldn’t hurt.” Eddie adds, earning an enthusiastic nod from Kiki.

Clearing your throat, you try a classic on for size: ’Ello! I-a-eetza the pizza! Whassamatta you!?

“Good effort,” Tucker replies, “but I dunno about the Italian accent.”

You blink--what the hell is he talking about? You were doing Spanish!

“Yea,” Talbot nods, “I thought it was pretty spot-on.”

Swooping in like a superhero, Mitzi retrieves a handful of BANDANAS from her vest pocket and holds them out to you and T! “Why don’t we try these on? Might be easier than an accent.”

Holding the red fabric, you give the Rent-A-Cop an annoyed glare. You already have a hat on, damn it, how’s-oh wait, she’s covering her mouth with it. Gotcha. Following suit, you and Talbot cover your faces with the bandanas and earn a nod of approval from Art.

“It’ll work.”

Damn straight it will! Besides, you continue in a heated tone, these skeletons are hiding humans, right? You don’t want to be too convincing!

“In that case, you guys look perfect.” Art replies.

“Thanks, Artie.” Mitzi chirps before turning your way. “So are we heading down now, or what?”

“Before ya’ do,” Pete interjects, “Ya’ might wanna know the lay of the land a bit: there’s the SALOON in the middle of town, STABLES near the front, and there’s a GENERAL STORE and BLACKSMITH on the West side of town.”

Making a mental note of whatever he just said, you ask if there’s anything else you need to know.

“Well…” The old man continues, “Some of those BANDITS like to roam the streets lookin’ for trouble, so I wouldn’t sightsee much, especially during the day.” Shooing a fly from his beard, Pete’s sunglasses-covered eyes light up as he remembers something else. “There’s uh… there’s also an INVENTOR on the South side of town--bit of an oddball, though, so I’d steer clear if you’re lookin’ for information.”

>CONTD.
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>>5053300
“And remember, Stan:” Eddie adds as he pulls a RADIO out from his hoodie pocket, “If you guys wanna swap or need help, just give us a call!”

You nod--you won’t need help, of course, but it’s good to know! The question is, WHERE DO YOU HEAD FIRST? Better choose quick--you’re starting to sweat in this stupid fur coat!

"You chose it."

Oh good, Ly's back.

>THE STABLES! THE HUMANS WERE HIDDEN THERE, RIGHT?
>THE SALOON! YOUR ONE-STOP SHOP FOR INFO!
>THE GENERAL STORE AND SMITH!
>THE INVENTOR! SOUNDS FUN!
>WRITE-IN
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>>5053301
>THE SALOON! YOUR ONE-STOP SHOP FOR INFO!
>>
>>5053301
>THE SALOON! YOUR ONE-STOP SHOP FOR INFO!
>>
>>5053301
>>THE SALOON! YOUR ONE-STOP SHOP FOR INFO!
>>
>>5053308
>>5053325
>>5053333
>WET YER' WHISTLE!

Looks like we're heading to the saloon--ROLL ME 1d100+10 JUST IN CASE YOU RUN INTO TROUBLE ON THE WAY THERE! I'LL TAKE THE BEST OF 3 ROLLS!
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Rolled 37 + 10 (1d100 + 10)

>>5053345
>>
Rolled 73 + 10 (1d100 + 10)

>>5053345
>>
Rolled 8 + 10 (1d100 + 10)

>>5053345
yeehaw
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>>5053346
>>5053349
>>5053370
>HIGHEST ROLL: 83!
Writing!
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Isn’t it obvious? THE SALOON’S the place to be! Secrets, cards, a stiff drink--if you’re gonna track any of those down, you’re gonna have to start there! That’s what they do in the movies, anyways!

That’s what you said, at least. Still about two-thirds of the way to town, you’re sweating like a pig an