They wouldn’t even meet my eyes. Especially Logos, who’d escape whenever I’d enter the room, always with some lame excuses.I was starting to stumble a bit at times, my feet catching on nothing. I hovered more, tried to straighten my back, and puff out my chest, but even the more mundane employees of the Special Response Office would slink out of my way, the preparations for ‘Pale Horse’ a good motive to avoid dealing with my lingering presence.I felt numb most of all, to be honest. Sometimes, I would find myself looking at the sunrise above the shoreline, trying to parse my feelings. Well, even if the world was going to end, I could at least try to solve a few loose ends.[Cont.]
>>37372535I knocked, and poked my head in Director Johnson’s office. She waved me in, and put a finger on her lips, shushing me preemptively. She had her headset on, and was pacing back and forth in front of her desk, heels discarded."No," she said harshly. She waited a few moments before cutting off her interlocutor. "No, I’m saying I will have the hide of the chucklefucks who thought it was a good idea to reclassify Behemoth, Tzitzimitl and Kalki as sodding Horsemen of the Apocalypse!" she continued, growing stiller and stiller as her tone grew louder and louder. Only her toes were moving in the curls of the rug by the end, prodding this way and that."It’s a PR disaster is what it is. And you know we can’t afford it. Not now," she said, and glanced at me. Not even bothering to hide it.I just stood there, fluttering a bit, trying to articulate why I was here, in her office. Johnson had never been my friend, just my boss, which was in some ways more intimate than any other kind of relationship. Especially for someone like me, whose life was the job. I gave her a look-over. Yup, still the same daring mini-skirt, showing off her long legs, same shirt, same jacket, same bow tie. Same short bob of white hair. I had hoped I would look as good as her when I was her age. Not that I will even reach half that, I reminded myself. Dying at 23. A shame, dying at 27 wouldn’t have been too awful—very star-y. Fitting for the Sun Goddess. I shook my head, not that the one-sided conversation I was missing was very relevant to me anymore.Fuck, my mind is spiraling downwards.[Cont.]
>>37372537"Of course, it’s going to leak, you-you—" she started, then took a slow breath, exhaled, and went on. "Reclassify ‘Pale Horse’ as... Hm... ‘Jormungandr’. To fit the theme. And the others to their old codenames. And do it yourself, even if you have to check every memo and database we have. No leaks. None, or I sack your ass."She pressed a button on her phone, removed her headset, and finally looked at me in the eyes. I couldn’t quite make out the expression on her face. Pity? Compassion? That would be a first. I could look with envy at her legs, but I wouldn’t ever mistake her for a bleeding heart."Let me extend my sympathies once again, Sekhmet. Now, is there any reason for you to interrupt my day?" she said.>"Uhh, I guess I shouldn’t have come here for that, but I think I need to see the psychiatrist?">"Like, uh, do you have something for me to do? Humanitarian work? Interrogations? I’m restless.">"Help me speak with the others. Warlord, Manifold. Logos. They... They’re not speaking to me. At all.">"Just Tesni. I need a leave of absence. I want to see my family one last time. I know I swore to secrecy, but...">Other (Write in)
Obligatory quoteblock:Twitter: https://twitter.com/AlterationQMArchive@suptg: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive.html?tags=Dying+Cape+QuestArchive@moe: https://archive.moe/tg/search/subject/Dying%20Cape%20Quest/type/op/order/asc/
>>37372552>"Help me speak with the others. Warlord, Manifold. Logos. They... They’re not speaking to me. At all.">Other (Write in)Ask about Shaman and how he could cure us.
>>37372535>Well, even if the world was going to end, I could at least try to solve a few loose ends.Fuck that nonsense, we're going to get through this, we'll find a way, and then we'll save the world and bitchslap any who think otherwise.
>>37372552>"Boss, I'm dying. I need to prepare my goodbye, and I need to see my family."
>>37372552>>37372578 here, changing my vote to>"Just Tesni. I need a leave of absence. I want to see my family if this is to be the end and I don't make it through this.">Other (Write in)Ask about Shaman and how he could cure us.
>>37372666Our answer to someone proposing using Shaman was " no. Fuck no.", last thread. He's not an option unless mind-break doesn't bother us
>>37372710Asking is still an option, I don't mind. I can write more angst that way.
>>37372710it wasn't >" no. Fuck no."It was disgust initially, but it is also so far the only option to us actually living for more than the next week.We know barely anything about it, so no we haven't decided yet.
>>37372552>>37372721Well then. I'll change >>37372658to asking about Shaman.
>>37372710What >>37372723 said, also >>37372721>Asking is still an optionI want more information before giving into the grimderp, all we know is from what our very very opinionated friends have said, we know next to nothing other than a solution exists, and its probably not all that great, but it exists.
>>37372578So ronery ;_;>>37372639>>37372666Totally a good daughter, as will be revealed next update. Yup.>>37372578>>37372738Also, ask about Shaman.More tea, then writing.
>>37372778>So ronery ;_;I actually changed that vote to >>37372666 if you read it.
>>37372749>before giving into the grimderpIf your metric for grimderp is getting potentially mindfucked by a madman, I don't know how you're not calling it grimderp already. The other option is to have a bunch of awkward and/or sad discussions with coworkers/family, angst over the nature of life, and then die in time to let Pale Horse/Jormungandr/whateverit'snameis kill hundreds of millions, if not billions, of people.
>>37372794>If your metric for grimderp is getting potentially mindfucked by a madmanI was referring to giving up and accepting that we're dying from bullshit brain tumors and being all edgy and angsty.
>>37372787This is why you're supposed to delete old votes when you change them.
>>37372817We have rules now? That method has worked for years, it just seemed like OP didn't actually read my vote.
>>37372816I'm confused. How is trying to fix the brain cancer giving up and accepting the brain cancer?
>>37372825What?Anon, I was saying, I want more information to make a decision on whether or not to go with whatever the 'solution' is, before just blindly accepting death and giving in to it.I was saying we should get more information so we CAN try to fix our brain cancer.
>>37372824I never said it was a rule. It's just easier for the QM when you do it. I have seen QMs fuck up counting vote changes all the time when it's undeleted, but when the changer deletes their old vote it's much less common for it to be miscounted.
>>37372841Oh. I thought you were saying that we needed to know more about Manifold right now or you were going to vote against every option that had his name in it.
>>37372824I genuinely didn't see the change. Deleting makes it easier to see a change of mind when you have 4chan X (as anybody should). It's mostly convenience, not rules. Because QMs are dumb too.Also, writing.
>>37372841>>37372862>ManifoldShaman*I'm fucking retarded and should go to bed.
>>37372871It's getting pretty late/early here too and I need to be sleeping soon sadly, hopefully more players join in and don't fuck up and just give up and accept the angst, because damnit I want to save the goddamn world
>>37372862Not sure how you got that impression, but no, I want to know more about Shaman and the solution, and hopefully it won't be so utterly retarded and stupid that it makes being all angsty and edgy and grimderp and giving in to death a more favorable alternative.
Delays will happen. People talking to you while writing are pests.
"Yes," I started, then spent several seconds trying to stop wringing my hands while one eyebrow slowly went up and up on her face. "I need a leave of absence. I need to see my family. One last time.""You know we did what you yourself asked us to do. They won’t remember you.""I also read the additional documentation," I said, staring at her nose rather than her eyes."Hm, I guessed you would have," she said with a shrug. "Sure. You can see them. Not that anybody could really stop you, unless we wanted to suffer escalation on a horrific scale, which we really don’t need."Johnson was a humanist at heart. Us monsters didn’t sit well with her. And my two days of being AWOL probably didn’t help either."You know I wouldn’t do that. I try to abide by the rules.""Try being the operative word. Now, if you wouldn’t mind, I have work to do," she said, her word final.I let myself out, and went to my quarters. What did I want to take? Shoud I take enough for just an overnight trip, or more? Would I die there? Or here, in New York? Surrounded by teammates who wouldn’t talk to me. I spent an hour mucking about, only settling on a few sweatshirts and pants, nursing my migraine. I had started shaking pretty badly. General detoriation of my brain, invaded by itself.[Cont.]
>>37373242"Manifold?"He didn’t even say hello."No, no good solution. Medical options are a foretold conclusion. Shaman is Shaman. As he says, ‘the Soul of the Earth’, and he hates us. Humans. He will heal you, but he will make you into his puppet. His slave. Or worse. You’d be in our midst, just waiting until Pale Horse—""It’s Jormungandr now," I said, more to interrupt him than really correct the codename. He took it in stride."Jormungandr. Waiting for it to arrive, and then start killing us, letting two Class 1 threats loose. Or you’d let him touch ground, rekindling his link to his powers. You’re the one who put him there," he said and turned to meet my eyes."We’re not good at dealing with that, at seeing you like this. Warlord just thinks you’re useless, and I’m flawed in other ways. Powers screw us up. Logos, well..." he trailed."What about him?" I said, hands curled into fists."Pretty sure he loves you," he said, and the afterimages went still for a moment. He shrugged. "Not hard to see.">Confront Logos>Put that last tidbit out of mind, and go see the family one last time>Other (Write in)
>>37373242No asking about Shaman?
>>37373253>>Confront LogosBring him to see the family.
>>37373253>Put that last tidbit out of mind, and go see the family one last time
>>37373260I like this. Seconded.
>>37373253>Confront LogosMay as well, if anything we can appeal to him to help us get through this if we do try to get Shaman to cure us, he can be there to help us get through it, to be the reminder we need to focus on to remain who we are, to bring us back to our own mind if need be, and to grant us peace if we need it.Right now we need him, we need him as a friend to lean on, a friend to confide in, a friend to trust will take care of us if we need anything. Maybe deep down we do love him back and we've not realized it yet?>>37373260>Bring him to see the family.I don't see why not.
>>37373260Well, this'll be awkward as fuck.May as well do it.
>>37373260>>37373350>>37373373>>37373407FULL-ON ROMANCE (I'm kidding)>>37373308Yeah, whatever.Writing.
Sorry, the update keeps growing. Jeez.
I waited a few minutes before Logos opened his door. His eyes were red, with rings under. Manifold had cast a new light on why he couldn’t stand being in the same room as me. If he was right. But he usually was. I tried not to show anything on my face. Just a friendly visit."Hey Sekhmet," he said and used two fingers to wipe his eyes again."Hey. Rough day?" I asked."You... Well, complaining to you about it would make me seem heartless, wouldn’t it?"I shrugged. "The world isn’t going to end because I’m not there. We have muscle!" I said to cheer him up, and almost reached to jokingly pat his arm, but it might get misinterpreted. Did I want the gesture to get misinterpreted?"Let me inside?""Oh, sure. Tea, right? One sugar, milk, if I remember correctly?"I nodded and stepped inside, only to start hovering to his couch when my knees almost buckled under me. I was almost getting used to it. I let myself fall down, adjusted a bit my clothes and squinted to look around. For someone who believed himself a god, Logos was surprisingly spartan. Or maybe not. An ascete, after a fashion. He came back with my tea, and black coffee for him, and we tried to let ourselves enjoy our conversation, our jokes, our debates and conflicting opinions. Like before. I even laughed out loud a few times while he grinned, happy that I could let go, despite the constant reminders niggling at me.On my way out, I paused on the doorway."Hey, I’m going to visit my family soon. Maybe tomorrow. Want to come with?" I asked. I didn’t even know I was going to ask that before the words escaped my mouth. He went very still, his eyes bright, and after fighting it, he let a smile blossom on his face."I would be very honored."[Cont.]
>>37374116They didn’t recognize me at first. That was the design, mental blocks to keep my family from remembering me, even when they saw Sekhmet on television. A small hurt, their minds trying to find ways to cope with somebody, or something missing from their lives, to prevent bigger hurts. Revenge, kidnapping, being used as political pawns against me, or the UN. Mom and Pops had gotten older (much older!), but not all their wrinkles seemed to come from aging.And then they did remember me, and Pops lifted me bodily off the ground, my crutch nearly claterring on the doorsill. Logos had neatly saved it from the fall. Mom looked astonished."Tesni! I... I remember, and...", she started, then trailed, while Pops put me back on the ground, his arm still clutching me close to him. "And I still can’t say I agree with the whole superhero thing, especially when you could very well have visited us at least once!""Security issues," I said, not looking at her, but she had already changed tracks."Is this true? What they said on the news? About your cancer?" she asked.>"Naw, I’m just recuperating from the last fight.">"Let’s go inside, I’ll explain.">Other (Write in)
>>37374126>"Let’s go inside, I’ll explain."Explain as much as we can, explain as much about Shaman as is safe, and hold Logos' hand throughtout it.This anon is falling asleep and probably going to collapse before the next vote so thanks for the thread OP. Fellow anons, don't give in to death, don't give up, we can fight it, with Logos by our side, we can use the Shaman to cure us, stop him from mindfucking us or deal with it with our friends by our side, we'll save this gods forsaken unappreciative planet yet, and we'll live through this, so don't give up.
>>37374126>Let's go inside, I'll explain
"Let’s go inside, I’ll explain. Is Ceri here?""No, your sister is staying over summer at her campus to tutor and work part-time. Probably not too keen on her boyfriend meeting her parents, or listening to me badger her all day about grandkids," she said, keeping her tone light.Damn, college. My cute little sister? And with a boyfriend. Time flies. I was shocked enough that I didn’t notice my parents eyeing up Logos. Oh. ‘Boyfriend meeting parents’, was it?"Oh, Logos, meet Mom, hm-Anita, and Perry, my father. Mom, Pops, meet Logos.""The Logos?" asked Pops, the disbelief clear in his voice. I elbowed him, weakly."Himself, but Amandej will do.""And to my daughter, you are...?" This time it was Mom. I felt my cheeks flushing. Back to my childhood, almost."A colleague, I guess. A friend, I hope.""A very good friend," I said and took his hand. It was sweaty. I glanced at his face, and I wouldn’t have seen the nervousness if I hadn’t known him.We went inside, and I sat by Logo’s side, leaning into him. Maybe a bit more than just a very good friend. I didn’t know. That was something else that would keep making rounds into my mind.We discussed, and I explained everything. Once more, why I didn’t want them to know who their daughter was, despite the pride they might feel. What I did, what we did Logos and I, what it meant to us. What was happening to me. My mother had to go in the bathroom, and she came back with bloodshot eyes—we kept our silence all the while. Logos squeezed my hand, and my father scuttled his armchair over to take the other in his gruff paws. He looked a bit diminished. But the mental blocks would reestablish themselves after I was gone. The threat on their lives would still loom over them even after my death. It was cruel, coming to see them.[Cont.]
>>37375052We talked our way through dinner preparations, all of us in the kitchen, helping out, even me, shaking my way through beating eggs for the cake. Shaman, my only real hope of surviving, came up as we finished eating it."Don’t," said Pops."I know," I replied. "But it’s still an option. Maybe if Logos, I mean Amandej, came with me?" I said, looking at him. He let my hand go."I’m sorry to say this, but... I don’t think so," he said, a frown creasing his forehead. "What I do is a lot like Shaman, but everything goes back to the way it was whenever I sleep. Which makes me very useful in a lot of situations, but not in this one.""Sorry," he said and took my hand in both of his. "You don’t know how sorry it makes me."*I was in the kitchen, passing plates, glasses and cutlery to my mother so she could stack everything in the dishwasher. I supposed Pops was trying to probe Logos on where he stood or whatever. Doing the whole traditional fatherly thing. Maybe not. I didn’t know him that well, now. Things change."So," mused my mother, "do I prepare two rooms? Or only the one?">"Mom! I said we were friends, that’s it!">"I... I guess only the one?">Other (Write in)
>>37375065>OtherWe should prooobably ask Logos.
>>37375065>"I... I guess only the one?"Heh, heh, heh
>>37375065One room, whatever we he does to us will go back to the way it was when he goes to sleep after all.
>>37375117>>37375125>>37375207Wink wink nudge nudge.Writing.
>>37375314How can we not vote for smut?
>>37375422This did not need to be a GIF.
>>37375481N-no smut? R-REFUND!!
>>37375481I'm hoping for cute and romantic, and a bit awkward. But I feel bad about pushing Logos towards something doomed to end badly, unless there is some hidden good end.
>>37375533You'll have to wait for my next quest for that.
>>37375562Yeah, I agree.
>>37376074Dude, long update! I think there will be this one and one or two more, depending. Found a good place to stop.
>>37375467I visit /d/ on a regular basis.Why is this still the lewdest thing I've ever laid eyes on?
>>37376074Probably just big ass update.>>37376155See? The Alteration protects.
>>37376158Because dead horses are just so much fun to keep beating.
That line left me speechless."Uh, I like—I mean, uh, I don’t... I guess, I-I should ask him first?"Not much better than staying silent. My mother looked at me with a sly smile. "You should. And speak of the devil..."Logos, Amandej, came in, holding the green salad bowl. "I think we forgot to bring that back. And again, thanks for having me over.""Pleasure is all mine. I hope Perry isn’t giving you too hard a time?""Hah, found out. I can understand though. What with his daughter coming back with some unknown man in tow.""I’m about done," she said, relieving him from his charge. "I’ll go bring him a beer to mellow him out. I think my daughter has a question to ask you."Why, thanks Mom. She went out, and I stayed silent. Logos—Amandej!—leaned back against the kitchen counter, waiting for me to work up my courage. Silently scratching his beard, or crossing his arms, then uncrossing them, pulling his sleeves up, each movement making me more aware of him. And of my failure to speak."Hey, Lo—Amandej, want to um, bunk together tonight?"That sounded better in my head."I’m sorry?""Like, you know, share the same be—room."And that was me blushing furiously. A part of my mind was busy trying to list all the reasons why this was a very good idea. The rest was flailing.From my point of view—since I was very intently looking at his feet rather than his face—I saw him bend at the knees. He came close to me, removed one of my hand from my sweatshirt’s front pocket, and moved my hair away from my face. He simply brushed his lips against mine. I could smell the tang of the curry we had eaten. I leaned a bit on his hand, warm against my cheek."I didn’t say it, first because I was afraid you’d say no. Then because I didn’t want to add to your worries."I groaned, but he understood it wasn’t a dismissal. Just my heart leaping to my throat."Yeah, I want to."[Cont.]
>>37376348"Um, I’ll go shower then?" I said, my statement turning into a question for some reason. We were in my room, standing kind of in front of each other, though turned a bit sideways. As if time had stopped when Amandej and I turned towards to face the other."Want help?"I was shaking less, but I wasn’t really able to stand on my own two feet. Even hovering was starting to get uncontrollable. No crutch when you fly. I nodded.He undressed me slowly, taking great care to steady me, kissed my back, my neck, while I was trying not to leap out of my skin. He hugged me from behind, his chest pressing against my back, and disappeared us into the bathroom.*"I’m sorry I am like this," I said, in the dead of the night. "All shaky and ill, it must be creepy. I’m really sorry."He reassured me without his voice. I tried not to make too much noise.*I startled myself when I woke up. Didn’t know where I was, and why I felt so good when everything had been so terrible the morning before. I tried to get my bearings, but I couldn’t really resolve the equations. Warmth under my bare skin, something soft but somehow unyielding, a scent I liked, and that pleasant feeling in my thighs, my belly."Good morning."Oh, right, that explained things."I think I have an idea."
CLIFFHANGER FINISHThanks for playing along!I'm kind of happy with that last update, even though I'm sure I'll hate it tomorrow.Next thread Friday, around the same hour. But check my Twatter just in case: https://twitter.com/AlterationQM
>>37376386...Get back here!See ya Friday.
>>37376155I guess I lied.
>>37376348>>37376362So much pasta.
>>37376386Damn, I had to leave just as you posted the thread and didn't get back before last vote closed. Had hoped to get at least one vote in before the thread ended...
>>37376536Well, I think there are still two threads worth of story. Friday and Sunday (even though Sunday-/tg/ seems dead as fuark).
>>37376362>"I think I have an idea."Is he just going to not sleep? Because that's what I thought earlier when he said the thing.
Rolled 16 (1d70)>>37377553They fucked
>>37378199No, I meant as a way to fix her brain. He can do it, but it would revert when he next goes to sleep.