"You might be a smart girl, but you aren't a lucky one"You play as Delilah, an unfortunate young girl going through tough times. =Links and Information=Archives:http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=aCowboyNamedSueThanks to an anon, here is the pastebin of just the text. With threads purposely being misarchived, this should be available and accessible instead:Melancholic Quest Collection 1 (1-4): http://pastebin.com/hTK0fQmdMelancholic Quest Collection 2: http://pastebin.com/cX4HC6Q9 Melancholic Quest Collection 3: http://pastebin.com/sTuR8xJv Melancholic Quest Collection 4: http://pastebin.com/RPwa7nEt Melancholic Quest Collection 5: http://pastebin.com/DJ71TtFc Melancholic Quest Collection 6: http://pastebin.com/xxCdZfx6 Melancholic Quest Collection 7: http://pastebin.com/7skcyeX0 Quick Glance (SPOILERS) The quick Who is Who and what Delilah has. Mostly accurate.: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1wXNWJdAKuqw-btrHDbvSkN5Gj3QhdY28XNKRUXMLHu0/edit#heading=h.8xfgre7nxqtyTwitter; @Cowboy_SueDiscord; https://discord.gg/8CCdcQ3 <--updated to be workingChat room with me and other players. I answer questions, post sketches, and act cheeky.
Quick recap from last thread, we found the safe granny wanted us to find in dad's old room and an unmentioned hole down!
You stare down the passage, hair around your face catching from the freezing updraft. It's dark, it's nothing that your grandmother or anyone else had mentioned before, and you have no idea where it could possibly lead. Of course the first problem is something you can easily remedy, it's not like you can just leave something like a secret passage alone anyways. You place the boards back in place, trying to look for signs of anyone else using them before. Not that you really know what to look for, not with the usual scuffs and scratches left behind from being walked on.Leaving the room as inconspicuous as you can, despite the constant worry that someone will walk in and notice your discovery somehow, you search for a flashlight. With Palmer slumped back and asleep on the couch you're able to move quickly to the kitchen and back, now carrying a huge and heavy flashlight in hand. You sneak back into your father's old room, closing the door behind to keep anyone from seeing what you probably shouldn't be doing.After giving the light a few encouraging smacks to stay on you keep it gripped tightly, other hand coming to remove the boards once more. While you should be afraid you can't help but feel excited at what waits inside, though you keep close the thoughts of caution and attempts to keep your hope from getting too high. The flashlights a whole lot, but there really isn't much to see. The cement paving the way down is rougher than the walls in the other rooms, which helps with keeping your footing when you take the fist step down. Awkwardly handling the light in hand and keeping a hold on the floor you still manage to lower yourself down easy enough, the rush of cold air that you had been feeling becoming stronger. It sends your teeth chattering but you're far more interested in the short hole that you're now face to face with, once again paved with a messy work of concrete. Shining the light in you can see that there isn't much to the passage, it just leads forward to a wall shortly after. Figuring there's no harm in checking out such a little amount of space you crouch down and slowly pass through. The bulky flashlight proves excellent at removing stray cobwebs you don't really have to fear any spiders clinging to them still, not with the freezing air pushing through from the other side. It has to be coming from somewhere, you know that much, even if you start to doubt that this was anything but a waste of time when you come closer to another wall.
Just like the hole leading down in your father's room, after you get to the other end of the tunnel you find the space tall enough to stand in. You search the ground for anything, thinking that maybe it was used to hide another secret. There's nothing on the floor though, nothing but dirt. It would be discouraging if you didn't notice the crude indents made leading up the wall, just deep enough for you to put your foot into. Forced to leave your light on the ground and praying that it doesn't fall over you decide to see if there's anything up with the grooves, your hands holding on to the ones at eye level. It's a bit difficult, especially when you find yourself a few feet off the ground, and you come close to slipping. A handle against the wall provides a convenient handhold to keep you in place and now you're wondering why there would be such a thing there. The metal is absolutely chilling to the touch and as you hold yourself in place you start to notice that the drafts are coming from the very wall in front of you. With only dimmed lighting to help you are forced to hold on with one hand and feel around with the other, trying to figure out just what the heck this is.Your hand grazes over a keyhole, resting above the handle, and with just a few more moments of searching and drawing closer to the passing air you can feel a line of indent following in a square shape. Giving a couple of hard tugs you find that the door won't budge and if the keyhole really isn't just for show then you can understand why. With a sweep over the room once more you discover a dull metal key hanging next to the tunnel you just crawled through and you climb back up for one more try."Here goes nothing..." you mutter as the key is examined in your palm once more. It's old, that's for sure, the long and thin kind that you would expect to hear mentioned in a book involving locked away princesses. As if you would be so lucky to find something as exciting as that but you move forward, getting the key into its hole with a bit of muscle to force it in. The audible click as you turn it is promising- at least you hope it is. Once more you grab the handle and tug.The first couple of tries makes it obvious that this hasn't been moved in years. A loud creak echoes through when it finally begins to move and you begin to give it your all.
When the door suddenly gives you nearly fall, just barely catching yourself on the wall and scraping up your fingers in the process. While examining the reddened and scratched up skin you notice flakes of snow falling down. Being as careful as you can to climb back up you come back to the little door, finding yourself face to face with the outside. "An escape passage?" you whisper, trying to avoid getting your clothes wet. The door isn't really that big, you have no problem crawling in and out of it but you can't imagine someone like Lawrence fitting that great. In fact you can't imagine someone like Crockett having an easy time fitting through there either.You aren't sure why your grandmother didn't mention this at all and you're unsure what to feel about this. It leads to outside, but as far as you know the door needs to be unlocked from the inside. What you're really not sure about is whether or not you should keep this a secret or not. Your grandmother didn't want anyone else knowing about the safe, but this is a little different. But if they know this exists then they may come to discover the hidden safe too, and that's definitely something she doesn't want. Do you keep quiet about the secret passage leading outside or tell Crockett what you found?
>>2660511It's an obvious security hole, and if worst come to worst and we need to escape an attack on the compound... Well, it would save a lot of trouble if they know that we can escape this way.Can't forget that our lives are in actual danger.But let's tell granny first. Maybe she thinks the stash is more important to keep secret than this. There's a chance she knows another spot we can move the items to first, if necessary
Another secret for now, something to talk about with your grandmother later. The key finds safety in your pocket as you struggle to close the door, frustrated by the rather inconvenient design. Somehow you managed though, and if it really comes down to it you can manage it again...You make sure to brush off every and any signs of snow from your clothes, hands coming to rub your cheeks to warm them back up as you backtrack the way you came. Back where you had first came down from you come to find that the footholds are lacking here and, with some struggles and ignoring the slight burn in your fingers, you manage to climb up and out of the hole. The floor goes back in place and you push a box over it, just to be safe. Feeling just how cold you are right now you're ready to leave this room, to go stand in front of the heater and warm up again.Carrying the flashlight under one arm and the photo of your father and grandparents in the other you leave the room feeling rather satisfied with yourself, more importantly the big discoveries you've made today. From the good that comes from the contents of the safe and the old photo, to the weirdness of the hidden tunnel, to the heavy burden of the journal pages still in your pocket. It's a lot but with what little you've been left to do the past few days this change of pace certainly is nice, it actually starts to make you feel chipper. That feeling last all of a few seconds, as you leave the room in search of a heater and come across Crockett walking by at the end of the hallway."Oh, hey kiddo. Was about to come check up on you," he gives a smile that feels genuine but exhausted. "All done in there?"
Swallowing hard and nodding you start to move the flashlight behind your back, but the heavy metal now slick from the door makes it fall with a heavy thud to the ground. In a panic you let out a squeak of an apology and scamper for it, heart racing as Crockett kneels down to retrieve it for you. "I'm sorry!" you stammer, starting to reach out to grab the light from him but stopping when you try to remember to keep a low profile. "Don't worry about it, trust me when I say these things can take a bit of a beating." Crockett lets out a low chuckle and suddenly the flashlight in his hand feels all the more menacing. He smiles at you though as it gets passed back over, making it feel like maybe you'll get through this alright. "Did you happen to find this in one of the boxes back there?"You nod out of habit, reaching out to accept it back. The reddened tips of your fingers draw his attention next, a careless mistake on your part."Whoa hold on, what happened?" He holds your hand to examine it closer, releasing you at the first sign of struggle on your part. "It's f-fine! I just had trouble opening one of the boxes, that's all!""It looks like you fell or something. Did you break something in there? It's okay if you did, no one is going to get mad at you."With Crockett waiting for an answer and you standing there trying not to sweat and brainstorm at the same time you resort to something that you had been hoping to handle more graciously."Ah!" you exclaim, trying to laugh it off like you just so happened to remember something. With a shaky hand you pull the pages from your pocket, mouth dry and hesitating every step of the way as you hold them up. The pages don't look that out of the ordinary, Crockett just stares at them waiting to hear what you have to announce. Knowing that you're just going to have to spit it out anyways the words come tumbling forth in a mess. "These are yours! I mean, these are um, these are from that b-book I found in your car from the o-other day. I was looking for something to draw on and took a few pages from the back. I t-took some pages with writing on it by a-accident though, I'm sorry! I didn't draw on them or anything th-though."
Shoving the papers in front of you it's impossible to look the man in the eyes so instead you just stare at the floor. Silence follows the confession and shortly after you feel the journal pages leave your hand. Risking a peek up you can see that he's looking through them now, the expression on his face changing from tired but friendly to one of concern... and hints of anger."Did you read these?" his voice is stern with the question, it makes you look down again in guilt. Only a second passes and he lets out a sigh, kneeling down so that he can look you in the face. It's nerveracking and he doesn't try to outright force you to look at him, not that it helps. When he speaks again his voice is softer, "It's alright, you can tell me. Did you read through these pages?"With a deep breath you decide toTell Crockett the truth or lie and say you didn't read them
>>2661681He can probably tell, lying now could lead to him not trusting us later.
>>2661681Course we did. There was text on them
>>2661681TELL HIM THE TRUTHThis quest is always a pleasant surprise. I know it's my fault for not following the twitter or discord closely enough, but still.Also OP art is really cute.
>>2663312actually i never announce stuff ever so its my fault, dont you worry
"I did," you admit quietly, "I didn't know what was going to be on there. I'm sorry." The flashlight is wrung around in your hands, twisting and turning nervously as you wait for a scolding. A deep sigh follows his silence and Crockett carefully places the papers into his pocket. "Thank you for giving these back to me, I appreciate it."He says that but you aren't really sure if he means it. You nod anyways, inadvertently taking a step back as you do. "I um, wanted to give them back sooner but..." A hand comes to cover your mouth too late, this is one of those times where the less you say the better. "I'm not gonna yell at you," he says while faking a grin, "you didn't know any better."Crockett stands back up right and is once again looking down at you while he speaks. "I don't know what you read in there yet but whatever it is, you shouldn't worry about it. That's my job."Your fingers start to hurt from how hard you've began to grip the flashlight and all you do is nod. Even if he wasn't bad about hiding the doubt on his face you know he isn't so stupid as to think that you're not going to be thinking about it. The contents of the pages are still a mystery to him yet the reaction he had upon finding out they were in your possession... you have to wonder what the rest of the journal contains."Is that all you have?""Huh?" you look at him as your chest squeezes in a panic. Instinctively you reach for your pocket, ensuring that the key from earlier is still resting inside. "These are all the pages, right?" With a quiet sigh of relief you nod, reminding yourself that it would be impossible for him to know what you discovered. "It's all of them, I swear-""Don't worry, I believe you.""Sorry..." It's all you can think about saying right now as you look to the floor, searching your shoes for any stray snowflakes that could be clinging to them. "Do you think it's okay for me to talk to Grandma right now?""I don't know if she's awake or not but you can check, she won't mind. Just keep it down in case she's getting her rest, got it?"Slipping a quick 'thanks' you walk past Crockett and head straight to your grandmother's room, not thinking about if you're ready to talk to her or checking behind to see if he's watching. You did what you needed to right the wrong of taking the pages, you don't have to worry about it any longer.
Standing at her door, you decide to go ahead and see if she is awake. When you get the door open and step inside you start to approach the bed, calling out to her softly. "Grandma...?"Her breathing is the only response you get and you start to make a retreat, only to hear her breath rattle into words. "Delilah. Is that you...?""Ah, sorry. I was just leaving, I didn't mean to wake you up.""It's fine," she sighs in total exhaustion. Still, she tries to sit up to address you properly. It's not like earlier where you knew she could listen, she seems rather out of it at the moment. "I'm sorry... could you tell me again, why did you come in here?"Refraining from telling her that you hadn't told her anything yet you take both the key and the photo out, out of view from her. Your grandmother isn't completely there right now, even if you can't quite tell why. Holding both the key and photo in hand, you wonder if you should bother showing her either of them right now or if you should at least wait to ask her about the key later...
Photo is just of Del's dad when he was a young kid posed with granny and gramps from last thread, by the way
>>2663869Tell her that we found the stash and an escape tunnel.Ask how much she *really* trusts Crockett... it's like there is always another, scary person under the surface. Is he really the nice guy he acts like?
>>2663869Tell we did as she askedAsk if she needs anything, talk about better times, and shit.Be a good granddaughter
After closing the door you come to stand beside her with both key and photo in hand. Leaning down you whisper in her ear just loud enough for her to hear, "I did what you asked.""Ah..." she pauses and then asks, "I'm sorry, could you remind me what that was...?""I found the safe," you can't help but keep checking back at the door, "in dad's old room."Her eyes light up for a brief moment. "Oh, yes! Were you able to open it?" You nod in response and she relaxes back on the bed, "That's a relief. If the worst is to happen-""I understand." Cutting her off doesn't feel right but you also don't want to trouble her with any of the terrible details, not that it's anything that you want to think about either. Instead you take the key and place it in her hand, "Do you recognize this?"Your grandmother looks at the key resting in her hand and eventually shakes her head, "I don't.""While I was looking for the safe there was another spot on the floor like the safe had-" Hoping to jog her memory you stand and begin to repeat the motions you had done earlier, "and in it was a uh, it was a tunnel that went like, down and out towards the wall and then back up again. And there was this little um, I guess door up against the wall again but back up high- I kinda had to climb up there. And this key was there to unlock it and it opened to the outside." Acting out the entire thing you look back to her, hands still up in the air like you're keeping the door open.They come back down when her head shakes no and her eyes close. "Delilah, I don't know what you're talking about.""Oh, okay. It's um, don't worry about it." You retrieve the key from her hand and put it away, embarrassed about asking her in the first place. "How are you feeling? Should I leave you alone?""No sweetie, you can stay. Grandma is just a bit tired is all," she stops to take a few deep breaths, "but it always makes my day a little better when you stop by."
Her words tug at your heart, the words echoing the same thing she would always say when you came to visit as a younger kid. Even in the times when she and your mother were fighting, back when she could stand and you weren't afraid of her slipping away. "I didn't mean to wake you from your nap.""It's fine," she nods. "Did you leave everything where it was?""In the sa-...yeah, I left it all there for now.""Smart, good girl. That way it will always be there." Your grandmother doesn't mind that you remain quiet and takes the chance to breathe deeply. You start to take out the photo but hold back a moment longer. It would be best to end this visit on a lighter note and the question you have is definitely not that. "Grandma, can I ask you something a bit um, weird I guess?" Waiting for her to nod in approval you don't hesitate too long on the question, "I know he works for you but um, do you trust Mr. Crockett? Completely I mean?""Did he hurt you?" She tries to rise for the question but just lacks the strength to. "No no, nothing like that." Helping her lay back down comfortably you continue, "He's nice to me but sometimes it just seems like there's um, I don't know. It just feels like sometimes he can be a bit scary- I'm sorry that sounds really rude.""He's always been respectful to me," she answers with a concentrated look, "but it's not as if respectful people haven't crossed me before. Unfortunately, times of desperation don't afford much in choices. I hadn't known the man before he approached me. He knew Don though, your mother too of course. I hate to admit it but trusting him was a shot in the dark and it might still be. That's why I don't want you telling anyone about that safe.""Mom seemed pretty happy to see him," you say while scratching at your knuckles, "he just um, I don't know. Maybe I shouldn't have said anything...""You have every right to be cautious. If I didn't have to worry about this," your grandmother's hand comes to rest over her chest, "then I might not have accepted him. I would have traveled to the few people I do trust... I did what I could, looking for any information or records about him. When nothing came up and my health got worse I just had to. He'd been fired from his job with the police but other than that-""Wait, I thought he quit.""Oh?" she thinks it over, her thin brows burrowing down in thought. "Ah, maybe that is right. This was a bit ago...""Don't worry about it, it was a silly question. There's something I wanted to show you though..."
From your pocket comes the photo and your grandmother sits up in her best attempt so that you can show it to her. "I found this in dad's room, in a box of frames.""This is quite an old photo, isn't it?" Her thin fingers reach out to grasp it in her shaky grip. "Oh, look how young Don was. Such a sweet little boy..." While her cloudy eyes scan over the photo they begin to open wider and with her stare fixed on the image she begin to motion at you. "Do you still have that key handy?""Of course." You pass it back to her, watching at the metal twists and turns in her hand. The entire time she continues to stare at the picture till she lets out a short gasp. "This, I remember this. We took the photo right before we had to come here and this," she holds up the key, "this must be-... I went in them myself but your grandfather had mentioned that he wanted to build in places where Don and I could hide if things went bad. I think he mentioned a key but I didn't know what for exactly.""It unlocked the door against the wall-" Your words catch when the door to the room clicks shut. It's not a loud noise, your grandmother doesn't seem to have noticed it at all, but you swear that it just closed. It had been shut when you sat down, you made sure of that. It might not be the loudest thing but you're certain that you would have heard the door open, at least if someone had tried coming in normally. It had been opened carefully but the same couldn't be said about putting it back.Try to go see who was at the door?
>>2666877>Try to go see who was at the door?Fly out the room.fuck all this shadowrunning, we're supposed to be able to trust each other. I rather let them know we know than to guess who it was.Run out, then run to the bathroom. Just look long enough to confirm then shove past them. The cold upset our stomach and we got sudden diarrhea. Shit happens!
With body moving faster than words you've already started rushing to the door before throwing an excuse back to your grandmother. "I'm not feeling too well- I'll be right back!"The squeak that escapes when you slip in your haste is just as quickly covered by your mouth as you hope to have the advantage of catching whoever it was off guard. Somewhere from behind your grandmother calls out to you once but you can hardly hear it with the heartbeat racing in your ears. Pulling the door open shows no one but you don't just stand there. Stepping out in the hallway you look up and down, the door creaking open behind you. The click of shoes, though out of sight, provide you a clue to follow. The living room sits empty, save for Camilla walking to the kitchen while removing her coat."Oh, Ms. Delilah. I thought I heard a door closing, how are you?" she greets, a certain formality in her voice that doesn't sound too usual. "Where did you just-" Not wanting to point any fingers first you rephrase the question and try to keep the urgency out this time, "Hello. Did you um, just get home?""I did, walked in just a moment ago." she says while pointing in the direction she came from. While you can believe that Camilla hasn't been here too long you can't say for sure if she really just got here or if she's been here long enough to eavesdrop on a conversation. Not that you can really think of why she would, try as you might to fit any possible pieces together. "Did you need my assistance?""No." You answer more curtly than wanted, enough so that Camilla's face droops as soon as it comes."Ah-" Stepping away from first then turning her back on you she begins to head back towards the kitchen, "Well I'm sorry if I disturbed you. I'll be g-getting to work now..."You watch as Camilla disappears into the kitchen, remaining quiet as you examine the living room. The couch sits empty but indented and as far as you can tell there's no one else here. Unsure how to take any of that you resign back to your grandmother's room, double checking that the door is closed when you return back. "Sorry about that, I wasn't feeling too good for a second."
She doesn't answer, her breathing instead deep and methodic. Tiptoeing over now you work even harder to not wake her up and find the key and photo still in hand. The photo you slip out carefully first, holding onto it for now so it doesn't accidentally become bent in her sleep. They key, grasped in her hand, is a little hard. You nearly pull it free when her other hand comes to hold yours in place, her grayed eyes staring up at you. "Delilah," she speaks clearer than before, "I don't remember which ones but this- it also opens the doors out there. Only some of them though, I'm afraid I don't know which. I have no idea what some of them might have but if there are more escape routes... it may be smart for you to find out where they are.""Yeah..." you nod and try to not sound like you were just scared, "that sounds like a smart idea."The key is released back into your possession, this time tucked away inside your shirt for extra safe keeping. By this point your grandmother no longer has the strength to keep her head up and you know it's time to give her alone time."I'll let you sleep now Grandma.""Thank you..." she mumbles and nods. With the space between her words becoming more and more drawn out she manages to leave you one last warning, "Delilah... don't be afraid to...leave me here and go on your own... if the time comes."She's back sleep before you can answer and you take that as a blessing. Finding the door still firmly shut when you walk back out you stand out of her room and stare up and down the hallway again.The key presses against your skin, warm still from being held. There are several doors that have been locked to you during your stay here and if what she said is correct...You might have a lot of exploring to do.Feeling the shape of it you try to think of when it would be best to act. It's rather quiet right now and you're never really sure when that will be the case.Night time isn't usually too bad either, you have both the advantage and disadvantage of the dark. No one would really be expecting you to go poking around then, especially with the kind of key you have. But your grandmother has no idea what could be waiting for you to find. You aren't supposed to tell anyone but maybe asking Lawrence about this wouldn't be a bad idea...What's your plan of action with the key?
>>2669330Going around at night means we'll need to use a flashlight. We don't own one and it's too likely that someone will notice it goes missing. All these people seem the type to be magically aware of anything that happens after dark. We'll need to ask Law to buy one outside and sneak it to us.I suggest we do it when we know there are very few people around no matter the time of day. They don't really check up on us and the place is always empty and deserted even when we are trying to find them.---Did we tell Law what happened at the heart exchange? Camilla is fucking scary, threatening and shooting people like it's nothing. How fun she was having picking a gun like she was shopping for clothes and then the joy when we were a good shot. And now she's sneaking around on us. I think that we at least need to tell him and explain why we can't trust anyone other than grandmother. Foreign criminals, killers, an ex-cop and a corrupt officer.... Actually if she just arrived from outside and there was no one in the hall outside of grandma's room then the door closing could have been the wind. These guys are no rank amateurs, if they were eavesdropping they wouldn't close an open door and risk giving themselves away.It feels like we're in more danger here than with the hobos. Back then we were told what was happening and were able to make our own decisions and take action. We're stuck here with dangerous people we don't know anything about who won't talk tell us what they are doing. Even if we can reach outside we'd get nowhere in this weather. Nowhere to run and nowhere to hide and if we tried they'd bring us back and lock us up or assign a guard.I dunno if this is cabin fever, paranoia or perfectly justified doubt and anxiety but this place is not good.
>>2669330Keep it handy for when we're not being crowded, test a couple of doors from time to time.We should try to calm down in the meantime so we don't bite someone's head off again.>>2669360A healthy sense of distrust is good, but don't get the shadowruns. Grandpa wasn't really a much nicer guy than everyone else in the safehouse, we just never saw that side of him.
>>2669330Keep it with you, or near by at all times just in case.Be mindful of where it is at all times.Not much to do with it otherwise>>2669360Bro calm down my mans.They might be shady people, but they are OUR shady people. We just need to make an effort to be more informed and involved.
You'll take it slow, no need to rush into trouble. Retreating back to your room for the meantime you take any steps forward that you can. It takes you a bit to pace and figure out what the next step should be but it doesn't take long for you to start on a plan. First you make a map, drawing out the shape of the compound and the rooms inside as best as you can. It actually takes two tries, the first attempt looking like a confused mess and the second becoming a more organized pile of scribbles. You'll just bug Lawrence to redo it better for you later but the amateur lines serve their purpose.Brainstorming an inconspicuous way to mark what you have found so far the first spot you mark is your father's room, jotting down Dad's room around the tunnel you had found. "I'm just trying to make a map of the place," you say out loud in an effort to practice lying in the event that you end up caught. Not really a solid plan but it's a little better than marking a trap door with an overly obvious X.During your efforts the photo is set aside, your eyes catching the faces in it as you finish writing. Looking at your dad, even as a photo of him as a young child, makes you uncomfortable. The photo lays face down by the time you return to the map, trying to think if you've missed any rooms so far. Remembering what your grandmother had said about the key unlocking certain doors you figure it's fine to check your quickly.It comes as a disappointment when you discover that it doesn't work in your door at all, forgoing you the chance to examine the room it would have been easiest to. At least that's what you think at first but you hadn't thought about anything potentially running beneath the floors before. Too curious to not try you scrounge every part of the walls and floor in hopes that there will be something that stands out. Rough concrete is the only thing that greets you, interrupted only by the carpet that lays beneath your bed. You lift it up the best you can manage, fighting against the legs of the bed pinning it down to get a better peek beneath. Daring to feel under the carpet as far as you can reach yields no results either and you resign yourself to the fact that this room is still as painfully boring as it had been from the start. It's one you can mark off of the list though. You write My Room on the map, the words nestled neatly outside of the room to show there's nothing there. You can take the chance to check Lawrence's room when he's back and then you will be three doors down.
"Here without you..." As you stare at his name written down on the map a panic grips your chest. Lawrence is one of the few people you've been able to trust in all this and here you are, locked away in some house far out in the country and no idea how to get back. It's something you should try to figure out and that may require an actual map. On the back of your homemade one you write down a reminder to ask Lawrence for a flashlight, a map of the local area and any kind of idea where you're at. The page and key come with as you flop onto the bed, holding both close to your chest. As you curl up in bed you slip them into your pillowcase for safekeeping and hug that close to your chest. Being unsure of where everyone in the house is you don't dare to go exploring, not quite yet. The perfect moments will come up and you just need to have patience. Laying there in silence you try to imagine how all this room might have looked before you started staying here. It didn't seem to be welcoming, not like your father's had been. And while the little plugged in heater is doing most of the work you have no trouble admitting that the warmth of this room makes it more appealing. It's impossible to imagine your father trying to lay in a bed while freezing- it's still hard to believe that a place like this exists in the first place. This wasn't the grandfather you knew, not at all. The memories of him are far sweeter, as sparse as they may be.You can recall a time when you had been dropped off at their house, back when everyone was still alive and things were far better. For some reason all you think about the pink dress you wore there and the uneven attempts at trying to give yourself pigtails on the car ride over. It was your mother who had drove, something that was odd considering she hated going over to their house. It was a quick drop off, you can't recall the reason why but it seemed urgent.
While your grandfather was the only one home at the time he was happy to keep you for the night, not that you can recall why it needed to be. As soon as your overnight bag had been handed over your mother drove off and you were gifted with the treats they kept on hand for you.That's strange. he comments as you dug into the fruit snacks. It seems that you can recall sitting on the bottom step of the stairs, bag at your feet. What is?Well I give a cute piccolina a snack but she still looks sad. He knelt down to your level, taking one of the gummies that you offered him with a smile. Can you tell nonno what the problem is? Why do you look so sad?Back then you were already averse to answer those kind of questions right away. Your grandfather waited by well as you tried to occupy yourself in the snack, your fingers eventually scrapping against the empty bottom and your will to remain quiet just as gone. Daddy was mad earlier...Was he now?You nodded, the shiny black of your Mary Janes taping together. Was he mad at you? your grandfather asked/
>>2672003He was angry at mom, as always. Everything was her fault no matter what happened
>>2672003No. He was fuming before he was even through the door, something must've happened at work or on the way home.
>>2672003No probably not, Daddy would never be mad at us.It was probably Mom making him upset or something.It's gonna be real shitty when we find out our dad was a huge entitled shitbag that did everything wrong.
>>2672003Something went down at work
He came home mad you told him, Daddy came home all mad and then he started talking mean with Mommy.I see. Was he mad at her?Ummm… You thought about it a long time. It’s not like you hadn’t witnessed the two of them fighting but it wasn’t all that uncommon for a day of work to put your father in a stint. The way the two got into that day was different than normal, usually if he took out a bad day of work on her it wouldn’t usually escalate to shouting matches. I don’t know… I stayed in my room.That was smart of you. He then offered you his hand and, with your little hand in his, your grandfather walked to his study. You don’t have to worry about that now. Come, you want to help nonno pick out a record to put on? We can practice our dancing before grandma gets back.And when grandpa was alive you always left their house in a good mood, saddened only by the fact that you had to leave in the first place. It leaves a yearning in your chest and you curl up on the bed even more. Learning more about him scares you, like it could muddy all the good memories you have. Things weren’t perfect back then but thinking about them makes the warm feelings linger.
While the noise of the bedroom door opening didn’t rouse you the shift in your mattress did. Heart in your throat you jump up with pillow squeezed close. It doesn’t slow the pounding in your chest when you see Lawrence sitting on the far end of the bed, mouthing silent sorries.“Oh…” you sigh with a relax of your grip, “you walked in while I was sleeping, how surly of you.” While trying to appear distraught over his intrusion you can’t help but break into a snicker, causing a grin to come across Lawrence’s face when he sees that you’re not upset.“Have you been here long?” you ask while trying to fix up any bed head, turning red hot when you try to slyly wipe away any trace of drool from your cheeks. About ten minutes is what he communicates to you, indicating the time on his watch to show when he had arrived. Surprised by the fact that it’s only early evening you start to grow worried that this means he’s about to go off and leave you alone to do something else again. “Are you staying for dinner?” you ask while trying not to sound too desperate.Lawrence nods enthusiastically, easing away your suspicion more and more. If he can hang around for dinner than maybe you can get more time with him too and overjoyed with that thought you toss your arms around him. He catches you easily, letting you hug him for a while before his fingers come up to point out all your stray away hairs.“Don’t tease me, what about yours?” you point out while touching Lawrence’s cowlick, “Anyways, it’s your fault for walking into a lady’s room without notice first.”All you see is a crooked grin before he ruffles your hair further and while you try to sound mad you end up giggling too much between requests for him to stop. With both of your hands you hold his in place, Lawrence’s fingers buried against the blonde roots and his palm resting warm against your forehead. Lawrence slowly pulls away and takes one of your hands, bringing it up closer to his face. His other fingers come to touch the reddened tips of yours, the real reason he had stopped his teasing. After all, it's not often that you hurt yourself here- as small as an injury as this is.Tell Lawrence about exploring the tunnel?
>>2676089Not yet at least. We were exploring and took a tumble, don't gotta specify any escape tunnels.
>>2676089Of course.It's a shame it's so small that he won't be able to fit though... If something happens, he can't follow us that way.
“I was exploring one of the rooms today-” You take back the hand and look over your nails, a little frustrated to know that if a few more hours had passed then Lawrence wouldn’t have been able to notice. “Cause there’s some kinda neat stuff here, like I found this picture of my dad when he was a kid.”You know better than to completely avoid answering the question but that doesn’t prevent you from beating around the bush a little longer. “And I found some um, cool stuff that they built here. Like uh, did you know that some of the rooms here have wooden floors in them? I thought this whole place was made of concrete but I think those used to be like, actual bedrooms.”The fingertips come to rest against your bottom lip and a shudder runs down from what little remains of the cutting taste- nowhere near sweet as Lawrence’s. “But I just caught my foot on one of the boxes and tripped a bit, that’s all.” You give off a shy smile, holding out your hands to show how you would have caught yourself. “It really hurt at the moment but um, well you know me. There won’t be anything there in the morning.”For now you’ll hold on to the information, just maybe till after you have discovered a few more. If he freaks out about you just jumping down in holes like that then that could put the exploration to a stop - you hate that you can understand why he wouldn’t want you to do anything like that. “What about you?” Not letting the chance to turn the conversation around you look up at Lawrence as you ask, making sure to keep a straight face. “Is there anything you did today that I should know about?”Lawrence shakes his head like it’s nothing and you expect him to leave it at that. It’s really surprising when he starts to write out a message for you.Errand boy. Picked up tools, concrete. Stuff like that“And that’s it?” you ask, looking up as Lawrence rubs at his still healing shoulder. He nods and you don’t get that feeling of him hiding anything. He’s here in a rather good mood and it’s not really that late, it really does seem like he was just in town grabbing things.“I wish that’s all you had to do, I like when you’re home for dinner-”
“Hands off- I can walk on my own!!”The voice coming from out in the hallway draws both your attentions away. Only hearing the mix of breathing in the room you try to listen for anything else. When nothing else comes through you look at Lawrence and whisper, “That was Brandi, right?”While he doesn’t answer the crooked scowl on his face says that you’re correct. It doesn’t completely make you feel better but hearing nothing else you can’t imagine it was anything too terrible.“I know she doesn’t like them very much,” you say quietly, “I just hope none of them- um, none of them make it any worse…”Brandi might be capable of causing a huge ruckus all by herself you aren’t entirely sure if she’s the only one you should worry about escalating tensionsRather than let the whole mood get soured you remember the plan you had set before and, if anything, it can make things a little more lax. “By the way, I have a little favor to ask you.”A little bit later and you look over Lawrence’s shoulder, a blank page next to the map you made on the desk and a pencil in his hand. Prior to accepting your request he made you promise to not get your hopes up too much, meanwhile you told him that whatever he made would serve well as your ‘treasure hunting’ map. He starts out with far cleaner and straighter lines than you had managed, it makes your shabby attempt feel even worse. Still, it will help to have something decent in your excapade.As the pencil continues to travel the page and you let Lawrence work in peace you remember the talks with your grandmother earlier. One questions sticks out and, for better or worse, you repeat it to him.“Lawrence,” you watch as more lines appear on the paper, “do you...trust everyone here?”The pencil comes to a stop and you come face to face with him, silently questioning what you asked.“Nothing bad has happened, you preface while knowing that the sentiment is only really true for you. “I just sometimes um, I can’t help it. I’m left here with people I haven’t known long and I just um, I wanted your opinion.”He thinks on it for a bit, pencil balancing between the fingers that come to scratch at his chin. Eventually it gets to work again, this time scratching out;Will tell you what I thinkWant to hear from you firstIs there someone here you don’t trust?
>>2681768Crocket... Is giving bad vibes lately. I think he wants to help for his own reasons but I worry about what he will do when this is over.His cop friend, I forgot her name. Trusting a corrupt cop feels like a bad idea when your don't know her motivations or past.I can see camilla, with the person she becomes 'on the job', have no problem with hurting or killing our friends- Lawrence- if she's ordered to do it.
“There’s um, there’s sort of a couple…” you sit on the bed wringing your hands together nervously. The chair squeaks as Lawrence looks back at you, undoubtedly torn up inside as he waits for an explanation.“No one’s been really mean to me or anything like that I swear it’s just that, um, when I’m here alone I have a lot of time to think about these things.” It takes a bit for you to think about where to start, but the imagine of Crockett hovering over your mother’s hospital bed makes the choice for you. “Mr.Crockett has been really helpful and all but I’ve um, sometimes I get these bad feelings around him and I think it’s kinda because he has reasons for helping but I don’t really understand what they are and with everything going on right now that’s-” Looking down you notice that your hands have stopped moving and instead a pain rises through your hand from where your nails have begun to dug in instead. Deep red indents are left when you pull away with the pain beginning to numb, “...and that’s frightening.” Lawrence stares at the wall in front him, forehead burrowed down in thought as he listens. With a quick look over he nods for you to continue.“And then his friend Ms. Palmer. She’s a police officer but she’s had to have broken a few rules while doing this with us, right? That has to make her a-... a dirty cop. And maybe that’s fine if she’s doing it for just us but she had to have been doing it before too. Why else would she risk her job, she doesn’t know me or my family.”
The more you start to think about it the more clouded your ideas become. Even if these people are all here to help you that doesn’t make them good, that they aren’t doing the right thing to keep you safe. Just moments ago you had to listen to the hostage being kept here, it’s something you could only have imagined bad people doing before. Sure they took the money that could save your grandmother’s life but at the cost of a pregnant woman getting shot and dragged away from her people. “Ms. Camilla,” you start again on your own, “it’s different with her. I don’t think she would do anything to hurt me, not if she’s just follow grandma’s orders. But I saw how she can be when things get um, rough. I think she’s someone who would always follow orders and-” you swallow hard before being able to spit out this last bit, “-and can we be sure she wouldn’t ever be told to k-..to h-hurt you?”When the words finally stumble out the snap of the pencil tip against the desk stops you from saying anymore. The expression on Lawrence’s face is hard to read, you try to move to get a closer look but he turns back to the desk. Fumbling around you take a guess that he’s looking for a pencil sharpener and find it for him, fresh pencil shavings falling against the surface. Once he’s able to Lawrence begins to write and you sit back down to wait, expecting this to take a while. He has to stop every once in a while in order to grab at his shoulder, stopping occasionally to stretch the hand. “You don’t need to rush.”Lawrence nods but continues at the same pace, not that it was that quick to begin with. You lay flop backwards on the bed, staring up at the ceiling as you listen.Your heart jumps up just as you do when there’s a knock at the door though you manage to call out, “Come in.”Not setting foot into the room but remaining at the doorway Camilla stands, minus her coat this time, as she looks between you and Lawrence. “Ms. Del-, oh you’re both in here. That just means I only have to say it once, but dinner is ready if you’re hungry.”Looking towards Lawrence you’re about to ask if he wants to eat right now but he’s already nodding at you to go with her, motioning that he will only be a minute. “Okay, but I won’t wait long,” you warn as you go to join Camilla. When she turns away from the room Lawrence points at the paper he’s writing, letting you know what he’s staying behind to do. Giving a silent nod back you go to catch up.When you are walking side to side with Camilla it feels like she’s actively trying not to look down. You keep stealing looks up and manage to catch her eyes. In response she quickly looks back up and you can swear her stride become just a bit longer, just enough to make you lag behind the slightest.Say something to Camilla?
>>2684362Apologize for biting her head off, we're probably getting a bit stir crazy.
>>2684362What was she doing today? Any news for us? What are they doing to Brandi?
Quickening your step to keep up with her you reach out to tug Camilla’s sleeve. She pulls her arm away but looks to regret it as soon as she sees your face. Not going to make the same mistake twice your hands stand at your side and you speak up like nothing happened, “I was just wanting to say sorry, it was really mean to snap at you like that. Being in here all day makes me a little um, a little antsy I guess.”“Oh,” Camilla answers back in surprise. Perhaps she didn’t expect you to apologize in the first place and you feel even worse about it. “Earlier you mean?”You nod and Camilla keeps walking forward, this time at a slower pace. “Thank you for that,” she says with a hint of a grin. “My feelings weren’t hurt but I like the consideration.”While the walk into the kitchen is silent it doesn’t feel awkward and you almost forget all about it upon smelling the air. “What did you make?” you ask, following Camilla as she goes to a pot set on the stove. She ushers you to come look, showing off a warm, savory soup. “Prosciutto and beans,” she says while giving it all a stir, “I thought it would be nice on such a chilly day.”“I think I’ve had it before, back at grandma and grandpa’s house.”Camilla gives you a smile and offers you a small taste from the spoon, the broth warming you up. After receiving a nod of approval she takes her own taste, happy with the result and removing it from the heat. “This was always my favorite during winter. I’m afraid this is all I had time for today, I hope it’s enough.”You help with pulling out bowls and spoons, waiting for Lawrence to come through the door. It’s hard to not think about what he could be writing down and you work on distracting yourself instead. “So what did you do today Ms. Camilla?”“Me?” she pauses for a moment before filling the first bowl. “Oh, nothing too special today. Just brought in some more food, first aid supplies, things like that. We still need the basic necessities out here.”When someone like her says necessities you can’t say for sure what all that entails. You know prodding further in that direction will only give you vague answers regardless. Carefully traveling with the full bowl in hand you place it at the table, taking a moment to enjoy the smell.“Right,” you nod. “So um, is there anything...interesting happening?”“Interesting?”“Yeah or uh, you know anything I should know is happening. I like to try and keep up with everything.”“Ah, well…” Camilla’s words trail off as she pours the next bowl, her mouth scrunching up to the side as she thinks. “From when we last checked it seems that Law’s shoulder is healing up rather well, isn’t that good?”You nod, genuinely glad to hear that but wishing that she would actually tell you about what’s going on. It seems like that won’t work unless you’re being direct and you decide to test it.
“What’s going on with Brandi?”“What do you mean…?” she asks hesitantly, avoiding looking in your direction. “I know she’s being kept here still, I could hear her in the hallway a bit.” You wait a bit to see if she’s willing to answer yet. Her silence doesn’t stop you at all, “Why was she being moved earlier? What’s going on with her?”“Aside from treating her uh, injury we haven’t done anything to her, if that’s what you’re asking.” Camilla returns to her task at hand, “She had requested to shower today and we are giving her that to her. We really aren’t trying to make this terrible for her. It’ll be so much easier when we can finally hand her over but that boyfriend of hers is so stubborn…”The ladle dips from her hand and into the soup, stirring around in lazy circles. Camilla’s mouth opens and closes several times before she manages to speak again, her words all rushed. “We, we reached out to their old boss, Mariano. If the boy doesn’t want to cooperate then we’ll have an easier time dealing with him. We hope anyways…”You remember Brandi’s photo, one of the faces she had pointed out was Mariano’s. He was much younger in that black and white photo but it’s still a person you can attach to the name. He certainly looked the role from what little you’ve seen, leading to wonder if she actually does mean talking to him will be easier or if she’s only saying that to make you feel better.“I knowing being stuck here all the time is boring,” Camilla says softly, “and I’m so, so sorry that the one time you get to go out it ended the way it did. The fact that you had to see all that, it isn’t right. If there’s anything I can do to make it up to you…”You wonder just how far her guilt will take a request, even if taking advantage of this feels a bit cruel. It would be nice if she could promise you another visit out, one that wouldn't involve any law breaking. Seeing something other than the same concrete walls would be refreshing, though it might take a little work to make her agree to that.Or, since she told you about Moriano just now, you might have the leverage to test your luck further with asking questions. Something like asking about those bags Crockett had bought during the trip out last time or if she knows any secrets about the compound.You've already put a request in for Lawrence to bring you a flashlight and Palmer has promised to bring you some of her niece's movies, it might be nice to request something from Camilla too.What do you ask from her?
>>2686124Ask questions, or at the very least ask to be kept informed about the goings on.Everything going on is directly our business, we have a right to know to at least give us peace of mind.Even if it's bad or illegal, we aren't strangers to the dark underside of things.We are a big girl now, we can take it.
You think about it for a moment but in the end come to an answer fairly easy. “I know you guys don’t tell me stuff cause you don’t want me to feel scared or whatever but, to be honest not knowing is even scarier.” You walk back to the table to set the new bowl, stopping to look over the spots that have been set. “Isn’t it my business to know? Besides I’m not a kid, I know you guys are sometimes doing um, not so legal things but I can handle it. It’s not like I haven’t seen that kinda thing before.”Turning back you can see Camilla’s back facing you, a hand rising to cover her mouth. “I uh…” she starts to speak up but the words leave a shaky mess. Squaring up her shoulders and taking in a deep breath Camilla manages to turn around to look you in the eyes. Her hand lowers to clasp the other one in front of her as she speaks. “There are some things that I do think you should be informed about but I have orders I’m supposed to follow-”“From my grandma,” you interrupt, “but if-...if something was to happen to her then wouldn’t that kind of put me as um, head of the house or however it works? And then you’d have to tell me everything anyways, so wouldn’t it be easier if you started doing that now?”It hurts to think of her passing but right now you need to do whatever it takes. Camilla looks down as she considers this, knuckles white as her hands grip each other.“O-one of the things that I think you should know about...” she starts off. “We’ve been securing another donor for your grandmother’s operation. It’s been difficult locating someone that would match her but I think we’ve got this almost confirmed. It may be about a week before she goes into surgery, depending on how fast th-”“Camilla!” The door swings open accompanied by Crockett’s voice and the poor woman goes pale, both hands coming to silence herself. You brace for someone to get scolded but you can see now that it’s not anger but urgency. “Sorry, I didn’t realize you were here too Delilah, “ he says with a nod. You nod back, letting out a sigh of relief quietly.“Is there something wrong?” she asks after calming down herself.“I don’t know how big of a deal it is, but Arlene says she needs help with ah-” Crockett stops as he glances over in your direction and hesitates. It takes you a second, but you know he’s talking about Officer Palmer. “Please tell me what the problem is.” Camilla asks as nice yet firmly as she can.He holds off from answering a bit longer but accepts that he’s going to have to say it with you standing there. “She said that Brandi was complaining about some kind of pain and Arlene wants you to come take a look.”“And you think that she would let me?” she asks shocked. “She barely lets me look at her foot I don’t know if she would-”“The pain is somewhere in her stomach,” he quickly clarifies while motioning at his own. “Neither of them think it’s serious but we need someone who knows what they’re doing to take a look and Rizzo isn’t here yet.”
Camilla waits only a second though she goes with a pained look on her face. She barely manages to look back at you and ask, “Will you handle dinner for a second?”You nod and she goes, leaving just Crockett in the room. It’s awkwardly quiet as you go over to stir the pot. “Smells good,” he says while trying to remain nonchalant. You nod but a question begins to eat away at your gut.“That lady, she’s okay right?” From across the room you can feel him tense up and you don’t dare look back.“...I think so. It might only be some soreness but it sounded like they were wanting to play it safe.” Crockett might not want to talk about it but you can’t ignore it.“We’re not going to keep her long enough for her to have the baby here, are we?” you force yourself to look back at him now, trying to keep your voice calm. “It’d be a few months before that happened.”Lines form on your face as it scrunches up, he’s avoiding giving a solid answer. “But we’re going to end up letting her go soon, right?”“If her boyfriend gives back what he owes, but till then we need to keep her here. She’s safe though, has a bed to sleep on and we’re feeding her as often as she asks. It’s really not that bad.”“How often does she had to wear those handcuffs though?” you ask and the answer you recieve is silence. “Isn’t it cruel to keep her here? She’s pregnant and I can’t imagine her feeling safe.”“What’s cruel is them keeping that money. They were already asking for more than the average price, and when things go a little wrong that idiot Grant had to go and escalate things.” Crockett’s arms come to cross over his chest, back leaning against a wall. “But once he’s willing to cooperate then we can hand back his girl and it’ll be easy as that.”“Is that okay though? Maybe if it was someone else here but with her…”The room is quiet and you start to feel like you might regret opening your mouth in the first place. You steal looks at Crockett, who stands with his eyes close and in thought. When they open again he speaks up too, “Delilah, that money is what we’re relying on for your grandmother’s health. You understand that, right?”“Of course,” you nod."Alright so let's say it was your choice." He makes sure you're looking him right in the face before continuing. "If you had to choose between letting that girl go or getting back the money we need to help your grandmother, which would you choose?
>>2688495Grandma all the way, but that's not the point. I can understand keeping her here, but i just don't want her stay to be too bad.Just like it's not our fault we have to keep her, it's not her fault her man put her in this situation. So there is no reason to treat her poorly.