The staircase up to the third floor is quiet. At more or less any other time of day, people would be hurrying up or down, be it for work, school or lunch. You've always avoided it after once being squished against the bannister for a full ten minutes as what seemed to you an entirely unnecessary number of men in suits dashed past. You can still feel the pressure of the bars against your back. When you took a bath the evening after that, your back had impressed into it three long, vertical purple bruises. This time, you're careful. You don't run up them, you hug the wall. You're going to get your bunnies back. The thought of them being scared and alone, possibly hungry and in a small place is horrible. But you're not undaunted, because you're a big girl. Big girls aren't scared. They don't give up just because their minds trick them into thinking that the task is scary. No. You inch your way up, stair by stair. If you fall down these stairs, you doubt you'd be able to get up again- the edge of each stair is tipped in steel. Whatever architect made this place must've hated clumsy people, you decide, and this was his revenge from beyond the grave. As you reach the second floor door, you realise you've never been there. It's tempting to explore. Maybe later. Just to see, or rather hear, what's in store for you, you press your ear against the door. From the other side comes the oddest humming. It's not quite like the humming of the generators or boilers down where you live, it's more...electronic, you decide.
Dammit, I forgot to format. My bad. The staircase up to the third floor is quiet. At more or less any other time of day, people would be hurrying up or down, be it for work, school or lunch. You've always avoided it after once being squished against the bannister for a full ten minutes as what seemed to you an entirely unnecessary number of men in suits dashed past. You can still feel the pressure of the bars against your back. When you took a bath the evening after that, your back had impressed into it three long, vertical purple bruises. This time, you're careful. You don't run up them, you hug the wall.The thought of them being scared and alone, possibly hungry and in a small place is horrible. But you're not undaunted, because you're a big girl. Big girls aren't scared. They don't give up just because their minds trick them into thinking that the task is scary. No. You inch your way up, stair by stair. If you fall down these stairs, you doubt you'd be able to get up again- the edge of each stair is tipped in steel. Whatever architect made this place must've hated clumsy people, you decide, and this was his revenge from beyond the grave. As you reach the second floor door, you realise you've never been there. It's tempting to explore. Maybe later. Just to see, or rather hear, what's in store for you, you press your ear against the door. From the other side comes the oddest humming. It's not quite like the humming of the generators or boilers down where you live, it's more...electronic, you decide.
Standing by. Welcome back.
You're not going to waste time messing around. You've got two jobs, remember? First, you need to get some chicken soup from any of the restaurants here, and you need to bring it to room...what was it now? Apartment 15C. You also need footage of a pot boiling over, and some flies eating some spoiled meat. You're not sure why. You see, you've been receiving these calls from two strange people. One calls herself Henderson and seems nice enough, she's asked you for the soup. The other is called Juliet, and something about him makes you not want to trust him. You can't quite put your finger on it. In any case, you've now reached the third floor landing. And it appears someone's left you a greeting. Written on the door, nice and varnished wood, locked into a cement and metal stairwell, are three words: Hop, Rabbit, Hop. You're not quite sure what substance they're written in, ketchup, red paint, blood- you couldn't tell. It's messily scrawled. Splatters are everywhere. The scent of iron invades your nose. Perhaps someone's hurt. Maybe you could go look for a body. But first, you've got a job to do.You push open the door, and darkness envelops you. The power to the third floor has been wonky for the last couple days. You certainly aren't an electrician, and fiddling with fuse boxes downstairs is a very quick way to get you killed. If you had a friend right now, maybe they could help. Now, to find your restaurants. >Suzette [Get footage of the pot boiling over if the gas still works, and grab some soup]>Benson [Get footage of meat]>Explore [Look around the other restaurants first, they might have some surprises]>Other [Write-in]>>36316566Thanks! It's a pleasure to have you.
>>36316705The Benston (typo, my bad) wasn't ever a particularly classy establisment. The staff were uniformly shouty and the owner smelled of ashes and coughs, but they made some of the best steaks in town, and customers flooded in. Unfortunately, due to some legal thing you don't understand at all, something about stealing money and putting it somewhere and doing naughty things with the money, it was forced to close. It's on the other side of the floor. You rummage in your rucksack and take out your torch. It has batteries, but the light is dim, you can barely see a dozen paces in front of you. The carpet is soft and fluffy, and well-cleaned. The third floor is divided into a grid, with twenty-seven restaurants spotted around it. There are three 'streets' and three 'avenues'. Around you are restaurants of every flavour and character. The Clocktower /is/ the home to some thousand or so people, and still is the meeting place of choice for men in suits. Hmph. Most of the lights are out, and many of the businesses have their steel shutters pulled down, and attached to the floor with padlocks. Your wire-cutters are probably not going to be able to do the job here. You pass an Italian restaurant, a trashy Chinese takeaway and one McDonald's knockoff, serving burgers and chips and shakes way past bedtime. They're about to close and their light is on, but nobody is inside. Maybe they can help you. It looks invitingly warm inside. A beacon in the otherwise dark and tight hallway. The door is open ajar. >Do you go inside?
>>36316956No. Keep looking for The Benston.
>>36317046You decide that going there will be a waste of time since you've got pressing matters to attend to. You don't turn off your torch, and continue onwards. You recall that the Benston is in the top-right corner of the floor, and you're currently around the bottom. You've mostly eaten meals at home, so you don't remember the exact layout. You're alone with your thoughts for about two minutes. You imagine your bunnies, all fifteen of them, thumping and diving and digging and having a whale of a time in a nice grassy field, surrounded by trees and carrots and piles of dry bunny food, each taller than you. You imagine hopping around with them, that it's a nice warm day, with shoulder-high grass and a slightly cloudly sky. No parents to call you to dinner. No one to scold you. Nobody to tell you that you're being rude or you're untidy or selfish. Nobody there to try to "correct" you. Just you, your bunnies, and the boundless sky. You hug yourself. When you find Mommy and Daddy, you're going to give them a talking-to! They'll be sorry for disappearing on you like that. You were so worried! They could've been...you don't want to think about that. You're yanked out of your reverie as you hear some voices from around the corner.>...pot...boil...>What are...no...use.>I'll go get....>Fridge key...in...One of the voice shouts an obscenity>Really? Over..>Yes. Go.Footsteps approach you. You turn off your flashlight. The way the voice shouted doesn't seem like the owner of it is going to be very nice to you. There's nowhere to hide along the hallway. Just steel-locked store fronts. There are several possibilities>Freeze [don't move, don't speak, try not to breathe]>Flee>Play lost [Pretend to be a lost and scared little girl. Which you're totally not!!]>Other [write in]
Rolled 6 (1d20)>>36317400You suck in a deep breath, let your rucksack slide off your back to your feet, and not move at all. From around the corner comes a tall and strong man. He's wearing dark clothes and sturdy boots and gloves, but no smile. In his hand is what looks like a bigger, chunkier electric drill. He's holding it like a pistol. In the silence, each step sounds like an earthquake. You start to shake a little. He hasn't yet noticed you, and you try as much as you can to blend in with the metal wall. You're a ghost. You're entirely see-through. He cannot see you. He will not see you. As he stomps past you, you get as best a look you can get. It's dark, so you can't quite see his facial features clearly, but he's white, quite old, but younger than Daddy, and about twice your height. Roll d20 for stealth, please, against my d20 perception check.
Rolled 16 (1d20)>>36317553
Rolled 14 (1d20)>>36317602He doesn't even notice your pink rucksack. He shuffles past, and the runs the rest of the way of the corridor. Still pressed against the wall, you make your way to the corner. To the left are a pile of bags, some toolboxes, a stepladder and a man facing away from you having a smoke. He was probably the one who had an argument with the one who just passed you. And there, on your right, in the far-off corner is the Benston, its old-fashioned neon sign still flashing in red, on painted green board. The name is written again above the door in gold paint, on the same shade of green. There is no shutter, but the door isn't open. Keeping your eye on the smoking man, you pad past empty, dark lots. At seven-thirty AM, the lights burst on and everything's illuminated. You will see that the floor used to be one giant ballroom, or perhaps was planned to be one. Swirling leaves,made of plaster, line the pale and unvaulted ceiling. You push the thought out of your mind. As you get closer to the Benston, you see the glass all over the floor. All the windows to the restaurants have been caved inwards, some shattered entirely, others left mercifully untouched.You're very thankful that you're wearing shoes as you step around and over the glass. You're like the Cheerful Princess, how in one of her adventures, she had to traverse a hall, whose tiles were trapped, so that when you stepped on one, spears would jump out from the floor. She elegantly hopped and twirled and pirouetted and crossed the room otherwise pracising her ballet skills. You have never done ballet in your life, dancing has never really been something that interested you. It was always bunnies.
>>36317898Sorry about that, forgot to turn off the rolling. After a couple agile and quiet jumps, a few stifled eeps as you crush glass undershoe, you're in front of the Benston. The wooden door is closed, and, as you find, by turning the handle, locked. There are two windows, red-and-green glassed, on either side of the door, giving a view inside that made a busy dining room look like a raucous party in hell. You're about to smash in the window when you remember the two men. They'll hear, come running and...you'd rather not think. You watch, silently, as the other returns, holding a key above his head like a prize.One congratulates the other dryly. A growl. >The boss said that it's gotta be quiet.>We're alone. We can afford to make some noise. >Not on my watch. That is the fridge key, right?>Yes. Remember, boss said that it's hidden inside one of the carcasses.>Jesus. Well, let's get to work. They both head into one of the restaurants, and close the door behind them. They don't lock, nor do they take any of their stuff with them. If you're going to take some of their stuff, since they're clearly bad people, bad bad meanie thieves, you should do so now. Or you could try to break the window to the restaurant and somehow get inside without cutting yourself on the glass, as they won't hear the smashing sound. You decide to,,,,>Smash>Grab
>>36318139You make your way around the glass for a second time, not slipping up. You're a good girl! Well done, you tell yourself. You don't have much time, now, so you've got to make the decision quickly. In one of the bags is an unlabeled keycard, a couple batteries and a number of scratchcards. The toolboxes have usual toolboxy things, like screwdrivers, hammers, awls, and the like. They've taken the stepladder with them. There's also a set of small metal pieces, tubelike things, that look like dentist equipment, but for machines. You reckon you can take two things. >Batteries>Keycard>Scratcards >Tool>Tubes
>>36318362What sort of tool? It can be more or less anything you'll find in a sizeable toolbox.
>>36318409Great. You grab the keycard and a screwdriver, and shove them both into your pockets, before setting back to the front of the Benston. You're getting quite great at avoiding glass. You don't feel bad for stealing. They were meanies. They were probably stealing something themselves, so they totally and absolutely deserved it. All at once you feel very cold and very alone. You want Mummy. You want Daddy. You want the Buns more than anything else. You feel yourself on the verge of tearing up again and console yourself with the knowledge that you'll get to see two bunnies very very quickly. Now, you think, about getting inside. The facade is very flat. There's the door, the two windows, and not much else that's in your reach. Now that the two men are definitely out of earshot, smashing the window is a possibility. So is trying to open the door using your screwdriver. Your Daddy once opened a wine-bottle with a shoe and a wall, so you think it's perfectly possible to do the same with a shoe and a screwdriver and a lock. There are other half-formed ideas in your mind, and you can't quite pin any of them down. You could call Henderson and ask for help or advice. Juliet seems to know more things in general, but...Juliet is Juliet. Just as a final check, you look around the corner, and there are no security cameras. Mummy pointed out what the ones used in the Clocktower look like. So now you've been noticing them like crazy. There was one in the mailroom, one in the stairwell of the second floor, about four in the atrium...What do you do?>Smash open the window>Try to open the door>Ask for help (specify who)
>>36318618>Try to open the door with the screwdriver.
>>36318678Please roll a d20.
Rolled 4 (1d20)>>36318712
>>36318720>>36318748You hold the screwdriver into the lock, take off your shoe, and start hammering it like mad. After the tenth blow, there's some give, and after the twentieth, there's more. You're excited. you try the handle , and...as you turn, the screwdriver snaps in two. You just about manage to dodge the sharp piece of metal, but now there's no chance of getting in through that way. The door remains locked, and presumably chained too. What do you do?>Help>Window>Other [Write in]
>>36318835You throw your shoe at it, and it breaks. Using the screwdriver, you punch in the remaining glass, and push the rest off the ledge with your shoe. You pull yourself up onto the ledge, and you're inside! It's very dark. You can hear the dripping of a tap. There has been a fight in here. Tables and chairs lie in pieces, the paintings on the wall hang at odd angles. The carpet in here is green, and scrubbish and low. As enter the room, as though on cue, soft jazz starts to play in the background. You don't recognise it. It's just a guitar, playing a lonely, relaxed melody, backed by a couple of violins. You're reminded somehow of being tucked into bed, and kissed on the head by Mummy. In the back of the room, a yellow light flickers faintly. The banquettes are slashed, their red-leather skin arching and jagged, with some of the stuffing ripped out and clumping. The chequerboard-designed tables have bits whacked out of them. If the light's on in back, maybe there'll be something in the kitchen. Juliet did say that it's been closed only a short time.The room is about thirty paces in length, and could've held about forty people, fifty at a push. Now, the tables are haphazardly flipped and smashed. Behind the reception 'bar', which stands right at the front, there's a staff toilet. You're reminded of how much you need to pee. There's nobody here with you, so you turn on your flashlight. The toilet is a single, dingy room, with white linoleum tiles, and a sink. You glance at yourself in the mirror, and see a faintly dishevelled girl with a look that says "I'm brave! Yes! That's what I am! Totally!" surrounded by darkness. For a moment, you think you see five small and pale dots, close together, about two feet behind and above you. One dot is further away and below the other four, which are mostly together.You do what you have to quickly, wash your hands (with soap!), and dry them on the back of your jeans.
Sorry about the long update, the page randomly refreshed and I lost about 2k characters' worth of work.
>>36319420That sucks. No worries though. I'm not going anywhere.
>>36319433Thanks for your patience.
>>36319449Sure. No problem.
Sitting in the middle of the room is a present, covered gaily in red sparkly wrapping paper and tied with a snowy bow. It glints, beckoning, in the flashing light. All the tables and chairs that used to be where the present now is have been neatly and carefully moved to the corners on the room. A small area around the present has even been cleared of all the dust, pilsners and whatever grunge was there. You really really want to open the present. But it's not yours, Miko. Nor is it your birthday, young lady! Don't you touch that thing. It doesn't even have your name on it. Someone's been in here with you. They were in here when you went to the toilet. They put it there. They're watching you now. You feel the hair on the back of your neck stand up. You want your Mummy. Your hands start shaking uncontrollably and you sink to the floor. You turn off your torch. Even the paintings have been restored from their previously jaunty angle. It could just be your imagination, but you feel some finger running down your spine. You don't move. And then you're crawling, lurching as fast as you can towards the far wall. The present is illuminated in the light as you pass it. You could be seeing things, but it might just have inched a little towards you. You're crawling, determined, blind, set on your goal, so much so that you collide with the wall. Rubbing your head, you look up. Above you is the light. You want it turned off, it's unnerving you. To your left, at about shoulderheight, is a small table with books stacked on it. Even though the titles use English letters, you can't read them. Maybe they're using words you don't know. Maybe they're not in English. You open the top one, whose cover is a bunny, and it's just page after page of one word: “run”.
>>36319741As you open the kitchen door, the stench of it slugs you one in the gut. It's so strong you fall to your knees and have to hold down a retch. It's worse than wet dog, worse than stinky cheese, worse than sewage. You choke, and cover your nose and mouth with the sleeve of your jacket. You shiver. The light flashing outside is dyed red by the kitchen window, splattering the room with blood. Mould spans the floor, stretching, thick, and graphic, curling and wrapping itself around everything in the kitchen. It's a soft, furry, spongy type. It bunches at the feet of the fridge, whose door is almost entirely sealed by it. It's so dark in here. The air tastes thick and sour. And that dripping. There's a pot, sitting proudly on the hob, which isn't turned on. You time your breathing between the flashes of light. Juliet said something else about the Benston, but he was cut off. Pots and pans are strewn about here, too. A knife is sticking out of the fridge, and it looks like the fridge is bleeding mould. The pot slowly begins to shudder. The flickering light does so quicker. Your phone rings."H-hello?" you say"Good morning, dearest. It's good to see you're getting along with business.""Y-yes.""Now remember, it needs to be boiling over. Oh, and by the way," he adds, "It was good of you not to open that present. It wouldn't have ended well, I think. If I were you, I wouldn't touch it. But then again," he says, chuckling, "If I were you, I wouldn't be here, now would I? I'm sorry, will you excuse my manners. Do you have something to ask me?">Do you?
>>36320046>"Why is this happening to me?"
>>36320152Note to Anon: I'll be out for maybe an hour at most after this post, so please stick around, if you have the time."Why is this happening to me?" you ask, letting your fear into your voice."You want your creatures back, don't you?""I-I do.""Aren't I doing you a great service by returning you some of your delightful creatures?""Yes.""You're here because you choose to be. Now, little rabbit: are you going to run or are you going to be eaten by a fox?""I-I'm in the Benston. You said something about here.""Yes indeed. I want you to get someone to open the fridge. The stove should be working, so you can film the pot boiling over here as well... though I'd prefer the Suzette.""I-I can do both!""Well you just love to please, don't you, you adorable little thing?""I-""Of course you do. Now, allow the film to run, set stage, and let the actors take their places. Good luck, my dear~"The line goes dead.
>>36320265Sorry OP but I'm about to pass out. Didn't realize I was getting so tired. Do you have a QM twitter?
Geez, I'm late as all get out.Sorry for not being here earlier QM. I didn't think you'd be running so late/early so I was sleeping.
>>36320303No, but I'll make one if you want...>>36320508I'll run soon. Just seeing a friend. Hang in there, please.
On second thought, I think I'd best call it a night and run at some point v on the weekend. I'll try to run for 11pm EST. Please post comments, thoughts and feels so I can be better !
This quest is 2spooky
>>36320819Did you enjoy it? How can I improve it? Id consider a person your own age, if there was demand.
>>36320658>>36320658You're actually doing well as far as writing goes. (Though that could just be sleep depravation talking). I'm realy liking the details in the setting discriptions and the main characters internal dialogue does a good job in conveying the character's feelings and motivation. I got a little confused about what going on during your scene transitions. But I mostly think that's because your transitions between one event and another are a little abrupt. The phone call from Juliet for example. The discription of the room and the phone conversation itself are only sepperated by "Your phone rings." Usually a transition into a separate scene (ie. Settig into Diolog) needs some type of sepperation. Making a new paragraph after having the phone ring and adding in one or two sentences basically narrating responding to the action (ie. "The honey sweet voice that flows out from the speaker makes you regret picking up.") should more or less fit that though.You're doing great QM, don't give up the ghost.
>>36321086Thank you, mister! Yeah, next time I'll focus more on transitions. I'm very glad you're having fun!