New Avalon Archive: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=New%20AvalonColors' Sheet: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1gq9ZEFrwnYjQpSeuMg1a_7UepedMrQUSEwbrHWntFCo/edit?usp=sharingPrevious Thread: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive/2552277/Jack's Unsanctioned Editorials: https://jacks-unsanctioned-editorials.tumblr.com/MFW interpreting related write-ins months laterColors' Duplex, New Avalon - October 5th, 2017 (Same Day)You are Colors Eriksdotter, the Warlock Knight. Your friend Vickie is opening her heart to you and you are currently internally screaming at the entire Elemental part of your brain to not fuck this up.You give yourself a minute to think about your response. You catch low voices from the living room (Fancy and the Rook); you can see the glow from Zoe's hair in the morning mist outside where she's talking to Erin."Maybe?" you answer, at last. "But that's not...only it. I...I dunno, it's always felt like if we were going to be a thing we'd need to be a thing. Like anything we did together would change our friendship. And that...wasn't...Erin, you know? She needed something and I needed something and...something happened."Forum lifts a finger off the table as if he's about to say something, and then sets it down. The Troll's face is unreadable. Vickie, for her part, nods softly, with her Mantle quiet or at least as quiet as it ever gets.
>>2754094"Yeah, that's about what I thought." Vickie flicks a knife from her sleeve and toys with it idly; she spins it around her fingers and hand, never quite cutting herself. "...I hadn't been thinking about that at all. And I guess I should have been. So, look...I'll be polite. But don't expect me to make nice to Erin, okay? Just...don't. She's important to you, okay, I can respect that and if I can't Forum will slap me a good one. But don't expect me to like her."You take a deep breath, then nod instead of saying anything."I need to make arrangements for my absence," Vickie continues. "So I'll see everyone around.""I've got a transportation idea," Forum says. "Mind if I stick with you and then we'll both handle that, Vick?"The Darkling lass favors him with a smile, then nods her head at the door. The two of them get up and leave together. You rub Fido's head in your lap, and he wags his tail.The Rook and Fancy come back into the kitchen to say their respective goodbyes; they have their own arrangements to make. "I will be calling you later," the Rook warns. "I would like your assistance with something while we are on our trip.""We could just meet," you propose, cautiously.The Rook thinks about it for a moment, and then nods. "The Arcade, at nine this evening. I will be in the food court. Bring quarters."Eventually Zoe drifts out as well, but Erin lingers. Shipmate Sally comes in from the living room, where she had been waiting out the meeting. Will she come to Philadelphia? Do you want her to?"When we took that Hedgespun I said I could tailor it for people," Erin begins, with a certain amount of hesitation. "That offer is still on the table. Are you keeping any?""There's some pants made of dawn light," you admit. "I'm at least keeping those."Erin nods. "The rest?"There'd been a variety of outfits. You think back to that black dragonhide jacket, the accessories, the...Lingerie.> Split the Hedgespun up between Erin and the Motley. Make gifts of it for everyone> Keep the rest of it after Erin takes her share. It's not like you can just give Fancy underwear any more.> Make a gift of it to Erin. That adventure was her idea, she deserves something nice out of itAND> Tell Erin that you and Fancy broke up> Don't mention it
>>2754127> Split the Hedgespun up between Erin and the Motley. Make gifts of it for everyone> Tell Erin that you and Fancy broke up
>>2754127Also what do you mean we can't give fancy underwear anymore! Friends can give each other underwear
>>2754127Sweet, Vox is back.> Split the Hedgespun up between Erin and the Motley. Make gifts of it for everyone> Tell Erin that you and Fancy broke up
>>2754127> Split the Hedgespun up between Erin and the Motley. Make gifts of it for everyone> Don't mention it
>>2754127> Split the Hedgespun up between Erin and the Motley. Make gifts of it for everyone> Tell Erin that you and Fancy broke upFUCK YES FINALLY
>>2754127> Split the Hedgespun up between Erin and the Motley. Make gifts of it for everyone>Don't mention it
>>2754127>> Split the Hedgespun up between Erin and the Motley. Make gifts of it for everyone> Don't mention itTelling her seems too much like inviting a relationship we're not sure we want right now.We're not sure we /don't/...but we're not sure we do either.
>>2754094>> Split the Hedgespun up between Erin and the Motley. Make gifts of it for everyonePlease keep the breakup announcement until after this, it might sour the mood.
>>2755083you should make sure to post with the option>Don't mention itin greentext then. vox doesn't count votes that aren't greentexted
And called, writing. Looks like a narrow victory for Don't Mention It.>>2755083As >>2755099 mentioned, please greentext ya votes in the future. I know it usually takes a hot minute to get back into the swing after a hiatus though.
>>2754127You shake your head to get that thought out of it (now is not the time) and make your decision."I think I'd like to make gifts of it to everyone. You, the Motley," you clarify. "I know the jacket definitely has Vickie's name on it, there's a few things that might be big enough for Forum...""The sexy undies?" Erin prompts in a smoky voice. She laughs when you sputter; her fingers go through your glass hair, making it tinkle and chime. "I'd like to keep some of that myself. Why don't I tailor the rest for you?"You make a noise that you hope sounds like 'okay'. Erin gives you another one of those musical laughs; the smile that plays on her lips is almost carefree."Thanks again, for everything," she tells you in a soft voice. "If you wanna grab those things, I'll get this covered and returned to you inside the week. I'll be waiting outside."Erin Peters drifts towards the front door, leaving a trail of flower petals.* * * *You take Fido with you on the trip to Rimshot Arcade, on the theory that even if it turns out dogs aren't allowed the Rook will let it slide this time and you'll know better for the future. The black lab is excited to be with you; he keeps stopping to sniff things and people, and in one case to let a six-year-old girl pet him ("Good puppy!"), but you still make it more or less on time, give or take a couple of minutes either way. You stop to give Fido a drink of water (he laps it from your hand when you pour water into it) and then head on inside.It's packed in here. Your hand strays to the sack of quarters you tied to your belt, but no one seems to be after it or you. Teens, young adults, even some kids with parents play the games, wait in line for prizes, and generally spend their money. A sign advertises some kind of amateur tournament upstairs; from the cries of joy and anguish coming from up there, loud enough to be heard over the games, it must already be in full swing.The Rook is waiting for you in the food court as promised, at a small table near the center of the crowd of people. Fido approaches him, and your Wizened friend cautiously pets your dog's head."Please refrain from bringing him in the future," the Rook tells you. "It's a health violation." He keeps going while you do your best to look guilty while sitting. "Thank you for coming, Colors. Shall I -" he pauses to cough into his sleeve. "Shall I lead with the good news?""There's good news?" You peer at the Rook's face but he doesn't seem sarcastic. "I'd love good news right now."The Rook nods. One of his employees shows up with a stupidly large bowl of nachos smothered in cheese and little rings of cut-up japaleno and sets it on the table; the Rook thanks her and gestures for you to enjoy it while he clears his throat into his sleeve and generally composes himself.
>>2755708"Your native city is known for its history," the Rook begins. "It is also, perhaps, known for being left behind by history. But there is a third thing the City of Brotherly Love is the unquestioned master of." He taps the pinned sleeve of his jacket, where his left arm is missing. "Philadelphia headquarters the nation's foremost prosthetic development corporations and labs. I have spent most of today on the phone, making arrangements and beginning the process, but the end result is that I will be purchasing an arm."The girlish squeal of joy and excitement you let out gets an enthusiastic reaction from the crowd and makes the Rook laugh softly."There are details to work out, and it is my intention to ask someone to help me at the negotiating table," he admits. "I will be hiring a lawyer as well, just to have my bases covered. But I am optimistic, and quite looking forward to this.""Why isn't everyone here?" you ask. "They'd be overjoyed!"The Rook nods. "And they will be when I tell them later. I also had a favor to ask of you. Something to consider, not a...formal request, as of yet." He pauses, doing little more than breathe slowly and gather his thoughts. "I will require a second for my duel with Baba Reeds. Someone with whom I can trust my life. I would like you to consider being that second, and if you are willing to hear it out, I would like to teach you as I have been teaching Vickie. I cannot ask Reeds to participate in killing her own mother. I can ask you."You frown in confusion. "What do videogames have to do with dueling Rachael?""Everything. It will be a Spring duel. They can be...unusual." The Rook turns away and hacks into his sleeve again; he wipes blood from his jacket when he is done with the coughing fit. "The details will be apparent later. For now all I want to know is if you would be willing to entertain the notion, and willing to learn with me when we are done with these chips."> Agree> Refuse> Write-in?
>>2755768> Write-in? >To what Oaths would I be bound by that Spring Duel and being your second ?
I need to get ready for work. Votes remain open, but it's good to be back at this.Questions, comments, discussion, feedback, and criticisms remain welcome and appreciated.Thank y'all for reading and participating!
And called, writing.
>>2755768You contemplate it for a bit; the two of you eat your nachos, and honestly you've made your decision well before you stop eating nachos to say it but you know what they say about Lost and free food: there will be no survivors."I am willing to consider it," you tell your friend. "...Why's it feel like you're not asking me to just agree?""Because I'm not," the Rook tells you. The two of you wipe your hands and faces with some of the wet wipes provided by the server. "That question comes later, when more events are in motion. For now, grab your quarters. Let's play."For the next hour or so (give or take time to acquire new quarters - you did not bring nearly enough) you play a variety of two-dimensional fighting games, ranging from ancient classics even you vaguely recognize (you feel vaguely guilty playing Mortal Kombat) to new games with odd names like Skullgirls and bright, almost cartoonish art styles."The licensing costs more than the cabinets," the Rook admits, partway through one of the games; you are attempting, poorly, to put into practice what he has been teaching you, and he speaks while keeping his eye on your play. "I have always had a fondness for this control scheme, for the cabinet itself, though. How are you finding it?"You don't answer for a moment; you finally landed your combo and you move through it, feeling yourself slip into a groove not unlike a good exercise session. Only after the AI opponent goes down do you answer: "Surprisingly physical. I like the way the stick like...it...with the..." you thunk-thunk the joystick from side to side, "that.""It's a good feeling," the Rook agrees. He goes over your last match with you, pointing out the tells you missed, the maneuvers you could have made. "The characters I am having you play are difficult to use and master, in some senses inherently limited in their potential." He gets out some napkins and coughs wetly into them. "In the vernacular, the are lower tier. To win with them you must be significantly better than your opponent.""Why these characters?" you ask, as the next round starts.The Rook doesn't answer. Instead, when you are left staring at the 'CONTINUE' screen, he looks up at your face. "Tell me your intentions for Philadelphia. What do you need to do there?""Talk to Dad," you say first. "Get the lay of the land. Probably meet with Winter and Spring. Um. Help you with the arm. Decide if I'm telling the truth about Susan...""Do you want my advice?" the Rook asks plainly.> Yes; you haven't steered me wrong yet> Why do I get the feeling you're asking me that because you're about to fuck me up with another truth bomb> No> Write-in?
>>2758667> Why do I get the feeling you're asking me that because you're about to fuck me up with another truth bomb
>>2758667>> Why do I get the feeling you're asking me that because you're about to fuck me up with another truth bomb
>>2758667> Why do I get the feeling you're asking me that because you're about to fuck me up with another truth bombWoot, CSQ finally lives
>>2754127> Tell Erin that you and Fancy broke upWe can always do this later, yes?
>>2758667> Would you advise me to ask your advice?
>>2758667>> Why do I get the feeling you're asking me that because you're about to fuck me up with another truth bombSooner or later...Boom!!
>>2758667> Write-in?> Is there a reason I wouldn't want it? Doesn't mean I'll take it, by the wayGet excited this is back, annnnnnnd . . . . . hurry up and wait :( Have you considered posting on twitter so people know when you're running?
>>2758667> Why do I get the feeling you're asking me that because you're about to fuck me up with another truth bombNow we HAVE to hear it.
>>2759861Okay I lied about the writing part, I need desperately to sleep. Catch y'all in the morning.
>>2759769He has a blog where he posts when he's going live again. http://qm-vox.tumblr.com
>>2760102That's a tumblr, and finding his actual posts is painful.
>>2760102Seriously a bunch of racist posts about japanese fashion by random people, lasts 5 minutes of scrolling by.Might as well be facebook.
>>2760111Nevertheless, that's his blog, and he posts on it when he's starting a new thread.
>>2760122But that's useless.
>>2760181And that discussion has been had at least three times in the past.He seems to not like twitter, and I doubt that'll change because more people complain.
>>2760111you can just search through the tags if you don't want to actually scroll
>>2760299This. I rather thoroughly dislike Twitter. My apologies for the inconvenience but this situation is not about to change.I need coffee, then I will write.
>>2758667Something about the way he says it makes you hesitate. Edges of that cold, calculating anger that is so often on the Rook's face are there, forming an undercurrent of threat."I feel like you're asking me because you're going to say something difficult again," you admit. "...Like when you invited Fancy to sit in on the Motley meeting.""Yes." The Rook gestures for you to follow him; he moves for one of the change machines, and you trail along after him. "You're certain that is the whole list of what you want to do in Philadelphia?""Yes?"He sighs, and feeds a bill into the machine. The rattle of coins joins the other sounds of the packed arcade. "You should give your mother a chance.""Like hell!" you snap. "Where do you get off?""What has this woman done to you to deserve your hate?" the Rook asks."She left Dad and me, I never even got to know her!""Which means she has done nothing to you." That television-screen eye shows the mask of hate that is your expression. "Your father has seen fit to give her another chance. Right now you have two choices. You can cut your mother out of your life, to the significant harm of your father, for crimes she by definition was not there to commit. Or you can give her a chance, and perhaps form a meaningful friendship. She may be too late to be the mother you always wanted but she is not too late to make your life better at a time when you have few other friends and a confusing and uncertain path ahead of you.""You - I - you think you're so wise, don't you?" you accuse, because it sounds good in your head and how fucking dare he. "You always know what's best, huh?""No. I just don't open my mouth to advise others unless I'm reasonably certain." The Rook scoops up the coins he has produced and offers them to you. "You should play people. They will teach you what AI cannot.""This conversation isn't over.""I've said my piece."You snatch the coins and storm off, muttering curses under your breath.When you leave the Arcade, you...> Go home (move onto the next part of the preparations)> Take Fido to Vickie's church> Call up Fancy> Drop by Erin's apartment> Write-in?
>>2760649> Take Fido to Vickie's church
>>2760649>> Take Fido to Vickie's church
>>2760649>> Drop by Erin's apartment
>>2760649>> Call up Fancy
>>2760649Meh. Pissing in the wind here, but:> Go to a Park with Fido and really take the time to think about everything that's happened recently while musing about the future trip
>>2760649 > Take Fido to Vickie's church
>>2760649You find yourself heading for Vickie's church at nearly midnight. You're tired. You're frustrated. You've learned a new word - 'tilt' - and that it does not in fact mean that you are leaning towards one side or another while standing, but it feels right on your tongue now. The Rook put you on tilt, and losing matches did too, and now you're just...mad.Mad that he said that. Mad about how he said it, with that, that sigh, like he expected - what, like he expected better?Mad that you're mad at him, even. There's this nagging voice in your head saying the Rook has never steered you wrong before and you're mad that the voice too.After the excitement of the Arcade and all of those new smells and people, Fido's boundless energy has finally found its boundaries. You carry him, and he rests his head on your shoulder and wags his tail slowly from side to side.Lights are on in Vickie's church, though the door is shut against the October chill. You knock on it; music is playing inside, something hard and fast and rock-and-roll. When one of the Wonderlanders opens it (a cute kid, maybe eleven, missing one of his front teeth), you wince at the light."It's Colors," the kid calls into the house. A few kids are up, working on homework at the tables that are in the front room now (you catch Mary's eye when she looks up from tutoring someone), and the door to the basement stairs has been propped open with a doorstop. There's activity down there, rapid footsteps and heavy impacts. You set Fido down near Mary - he immediately puts his face in her lap to receive his tribute of love - and head downstairs.Vickie's down there, in sweatpants and a tank top, with pads on her hands. She catches the punches of an Autumn youngblood you've seen around, another Elemental - Hemlock, her name is? The Woodblood that serves Zoe directly. The younger Lost's form is good, and you can see she's in the zone; you take a seat against one of the walls and watch the two of them go at it."Good," Vickie compliments at a particularly harsh hit. "Now you're getting it, drive it in - good!" The Darkling dances back, light on her feet, pads up. "C'mon, land one on me. Right on me.""Are you sure?" Hemlock asks, almost shyly. She catches a snap kick right to the ribs that makes her stagger aside with a cry of shock and pain."Don't ever make me tell you to hit me twice," Vickie warns. "Fuck me up."Hemlock charges with a wild yell; Vickie sidesteps her easily and kicks the girl in her ass, sending her sprawling onto the mat. Hemlock rolls away and rises to her feet; she comes again, swinging angrily, and you feel a pang of sympathy in your chest. She's mad, and it's making her fight stupid.Vickie stays away, controlling the distance between her and Hemlock with little sidesteps, pushing parries that put the Elemental's wide swings off-course, and opportune kicks.
>>2761684It's over, definitively over, when Hemlock catches a slap across the face from Vickie's pads and goes to the ground. She screams into the mat and slaps it in frustration, and then curls up into a small ball.Vickie strips the pads from her hands and slowly sinks into a sitting position, breathing hard. She looks at you and nods to acknowledge your presence before returning her attention to her student."What'd I do wrong?" Hemlock mutters, through tears."You got mad. Well, no. Mad got you," Vickie corrects. "You let me get in your head and got the kind of mad that makes you stupid. A lot of people think you can fight stupid and they're really fuckin' wrong about that. I wanted you to feel what that's like and see what that's like so you know not to do it. If I wanted you dead, you'd be dead right now."Hemlock sniffs, and then nods. She makes no move to get up."There'll be food and water upstairs when you're ready," Vickie tells her. "While I'm gone, Angel and his wife Ellie will be here, along with Crash and Dash outta Spring. They can help you some, with making mad work for you. Zoe might too, if you can still get facetime with her.""Okay," Hemlock whispers. Vickie stands, stretches, and motions for you; you follow her upstairs after she sanitizes her pads and puts them away. She drifts into the kitchen, where she first lays out the promised drinks (a pitcher of lemonade, set on a tray) and then sets about making sandwiches."What brings you 'round these parts at this time of night?" Vickie asks. She points a thumb at the clock, which proudly announces that it's just past 12:30 in the morning. "Or morning. Whatever."> Just...couldn't go home?> Me? Doesn't Hemlock sleep at night?> The Rook said something to me and I needed to talk about it> Wanted to know if there's anything special you're planning to do while we're in Philly anyway> Write-in?
>>2761695> Just...couldn't go home?
>>2761695>> Just...couldn't go home?...but only because we can't just come right out and /open/ with>> The Rook said something to me and I needed to talk about itWe gotta work around to it.
>>2761695>> The Rook said something to me and I needed to talk about it
>>2761695>>> Just...couldn't go home?
>>2761695> Just...couldn't go home?> The Rook said something to me and I needed to talk about itA decently natural progression here, I feel
>>2761695> Me? Doesn't Hemlock sleep at night?
>>2761842Funny, I would have thought the natural progression would be more> Wanted to know if there's anything special you're planning to do while we're in Philly anyway>The Rook said something to me and I needed to talk about itWhich is also my actual vote, just to be clear.
>>2764825Ack my bad, meant to respond to >>2762579
Had to choose between taking a shower and updating, so I took a shower. Will call and write when I get home from work.
Called, writing. The overall combination kinda leans towards the> Just...couldn't go home?> The Rook said something to me and I needed to talk about itProgression so HERE WE GO
>>2761695You go to reach for the bread, get the back of your hand smacked by the flat of Vickie's butterknife, and just accept that she's going to make you this sandwich instead of you making your own sandwich. Idly, you rub the back of your hand where she got you; it stings."I guess I just couldn't go home," you admit. "...It's been...it's...the last few days have been...""Yeah," Vickie agrees. You take the not one but three sandwiches she's put on your plate and take a bite out of one. There's pastrami and swiss in there, definitely pickles, and some kind of sharp mustard that's really hitting the spot. Does she make this herself? You saw a jar and not a bottle..."Are you spacing out or did I remind you of 'Nam?" Vickie asks; she inflects the name just like Forum does (it ends up sounding like "'Naahm'"), dragging the word out longer than it actually is, and it startles you out of your sandwich trance. "Spacing," you say with a hot blush high on your cheeks. "What about you, how've you been this last week or so?""Unbelievably thirsty," Vickie admits frankly. "Like the moment Forum was gone I needed to get laid. Now he's back and I'm fine.""That's -""Don't," the Darkling warns. Whatever that conversation was about to be is interrupted when Hemlock comes in. She's stopped crying, but her eyes are still red, and her leaves wilt slightly. The youngblood Elemental takes a glass of lemonade and a plate from Vickie with a murmured 'thanks' and starts eating while staring at her own feet.The silence lasts maybe half a minute before you have to break it. "Why'd you decide to learn how to fight?" you ask Hemlock, gently. She looks up in surprise, and you guess you're surprised a little too; normally people notice you."Zoe said it might help," Hemlock admits in a small voice. "With...that it might help..."Your Darkling friend sighs. She reaches a hand for Hemlock's shoulder, slowly enough to give the girl a chance to shake Vickie off, and when she isn't refused Vickie squeezes her student reassuringly. "You did fine. What I did was cruel and hurtful, and I did it because I felt like it had to be done. Maybe it didn't, I dunno, but...I'd rather you get hurt here, in my gym where I can help you and others can help you when they're here, instead of out on the street or in the Hedge where you just die.""I don't know about others..." Hemlock admits."Nobody can make fun of you if you get hurt with just you and Vickie," you agree gently. "But nobody can help you or back you up either. I'd suggest the actual classes.""Hey Hemlock!" Mary's voice, from the main room. "You said you know trig right? This textbook is kicking my ass.""Books don't have feet," Hemlock calls back."Not liter-you're fucking with me, aren't you?""Coming," Hemlock laughs; her leaves perk up, just a bit, like flowers in the sun. "I'll think about it," she tells the two of you, before she leaves the kitchen with drink and sandwich to hand.
>>2768490"You want a beer?" Vickie asks. You nod after a second and she gets a can out of the fridge, a vanilla stout that pours with such a rich black color that it seems thicker than it is. It's pleasantly sweet, in a pie kinda way. "To answer your actual question, mostly I've just been doing my job and...well, we had the talk about the whole 'Vickie realizes she's been a selfish horny friend' thing already. So bad, but the usual kind of bad."You set your glass down and watch in fascination as Vickie pours five shots of tequila from a bottle in a high cabinet into a glass of her own before putting the bottle back. She takes a long sip and gestures at you. You look at her hand in confusion for a second before remembering right, fuck, you're supposed to be participating in this conversation.You take a sip of your beer first. "The Rook said something to me, earlier, and...I...he said I need to give my mother a chance, and I lost it on him."Vickie sets down the surviving tequila in her glass, which is Not Much At All. "I bet you did," she admits after a long moment. "Look, if your mom is anything less than a saint to you I'll be the first in line to gut her and string the body up from a light-post, but...""Not you too," you groan."What the fuck is the difference between you supporting Erin's new Spring and your mom's?" Vickie says sharply. "Is it just that your mom hurt you fucking personally?"> Yes! Obviously!> That's - you can't - that is not the same!> Weren't you the one who said you're allowed to have complicated feelings about your mother?> Write-in?
>>2768503> That's - you can't - that is not the same!
>>2768503> Weren't you the one who said you're allowed to have complicated feelings about your mother?
>>2768503>> That's - you can't - that is not the same!
The Forum/Vickie relationship is very sweet. Please, more of it.
> Weren't you the one who said you're allowed to have complicated feelings about your mother?
>>2769457...I must ask.Sweet?
>>2768503>Grit your teeth and smile at your inlaws like a normal person.
>>2768503> That's - you can't - that is not the same!DAMMIT MOM GET OUT OF MY LIFEEEEE YOU'RE NOT ALLOWED TO BE A PERSONNNN
>>2768503>> Write-in?>I think the Philly mission and a certain...other thing I'm helping the Rook with is enough trouble for now. Maybe I'll talk to her later.
>>2768503>> That's - you can't - that is not the same!I feel like Colors is still on her back foot, having a lot of trouble thinking coherently about this issue at all yet.
Called, tallying, writing.In other news, NOW THERE ARE PDFshttps://wildwestscifi.net/cinderella-sanction-quest
>>2768503You ought to be used to Vickie going from butterknife to cutthroat razor like this but she still catches you off-guard with the question (accusation?)."That's -" you start, and then you stop because the rest of that sentence sounds stupid in your head. "You can't -" not better, back to the first idea, "That is not the same!""Oh, I know," Vickie says; her shoulders are tense, and when she folds her arms across her chest what's left of the Darkling's profile has a hard, saber's edge. "Your mother made one mistake and has come back to ask for the chance at her Spring. Erin Peters came back, had her Spring, threw it away to suck Gentry cock, and had the fucking gall to ask for a second Spring. That's not the same at all.""Just because you dislike Erin -""You want me to make you the comparison, Hound?" the Darkling snaps. You flinch back from that, you step back away from that, and Vickie's dark eyes soften. "Look, Colors. Just...look. We've all got blood on our hands. How many lives have the two of us ruined on our own? You and Arthur and Forum, fuck, even the Rook, you keep telling me to have the temerity to forgive myself. I know I'm a murdering fuck. What's your mom done to you lately?"You turn away and start eating your other two sandwiches. It's more difficult than it has any right to be, but slowly and steadily they get eaten. Experience has taught you that for the Lost, at least, hunger trumps depression just about every time. Few things motivate a Changeling as much as the prospect of food. Halfway through Sandwich Number Three, Vickie sets down a double shot of bourbon to replace your finished beer, right next to your paper plate."What do you need to get done before you can leave?" she asks, in a soft (sheathed) voice."Erin's gotta pay us," you answer. "...Tomorrow I need to go vote. On the Spring monarch. It'll be my first time.""Did you need to talk about it?" Vickie's offer hangs there; simple, without expectation. The door also has no expectations.> Yes> No, I need to go home> No, but...can I crash here?
Huh. Democratic voting for a royal monarchy?
>>2773157>> No, but...can I crash here?
>>2773356Yes, as its true to the spirit of Spring. Canidates can only win by currying favor or turning Changelings against their opponent.
Gotta hit work; I'll call and write when I get home.Questions, comments, discussion, feedback, and criticisms remain, as always, welcome and appreciated.Thank y'all for reading and participating!Various Attempted Art Projects Status: I have sorta-kinda-but-not-really-accidentally made Vickie into a knife-based eldritch demon and everyone who tries to draw her hates me.
>>2775318I lied, I need sleep like some kind of adult. I'll write when I get up.
>>2775622Pffff adults. You always have to wait for them until they are done sleeping.
>>2773157You down the bourbon. You shouldn't, it's bourbon, you're supposed to enjoy it, but them's the breaks right now. "Guess I could," you admit. "Even if I'm pretty sure where I sit on things.""Alright. Let me round the kids up, see who's staying and who's going, that kinda thing. Be back in like...ten. Get drunk if you're gonna get drunk," Vickie offers."What about the kids?" you ask, out of a vague awareness that being drunk around teenagers is Bad.Vickie makes a complicated series of motions that might possibly be indecisive shrugging. "I don't even know, Fearless Leader. We're all fucked in the head. I laid some heavy shit on you. Drink if you're gonna drink, you won't hurt the Wonderlanders, or don't, whatever. Bourbon's there, beer's there. Back in ten or so."When 'back' turns out to be 'poke her head in to tell you it's gonna be another forty minutes while she gets everything arranged with the Wonderlanders', the combination of the twisting feeling in your gut and sheer boredom ends in a second glass of beer and the illicit thrill of preparing your own food in Vickie's home. She comes back in to you with a bowl of ramen noodles, looks at the glass of stout near you, and sighs."Is it the soup with the beer?" you ask."I mean, yes, but who the fuck just eats ramen?"You gesture at the trash can. "I followed the directions on the package!""Nobody does that -," Vickie stops, takes a deep breath, and then exhales. "You're learning to cook in Philly. If I have to have Forum take your arms out their sockets so I can lash you to a chair, you're learning to cook."You stare. Vickie stares. You continue to stare. Vickie's hair steadily drips squirming shadows into the floor until, at last, the Darkling turns to start cleaning her kitchen. "Feel free to talk. The kids and I already washed down the gym. There's a sleeping bag out in the front room for you if you like.""Kids in the beds and couches?" you guess."Except mine, yeah. Mine'll be full of me, unless I guessed wrong and it wouldn't be weird for you to take it, or...y'know, option three." Vickie coughs and starts the sink going for dishes. "Anyway. Voting, monarchy, tell me how that goes down? Summer's just sorta happens.""I remember." You actually see Vickie blush a little - did she forget you were Summer once? Maybe just a bit? "So...okay. Summer's succession is part of its pacts; Noblood Sam created the Diadem that Arthur wears. Winter's like that too if I remember right, where they've got their Icelaw."Vickie gets one of those 'I just realized I don't actually know this thing I thought I knew' frowns on her face. "That sounds off. You should ask Forum or Misery or someone about that, I wanna know now."
>>2777648"Either way," you continue. "Mother Susan didn't enforce a succession for the Spring Court. In fact, the only universal law she ever gave us was the Ardent Rule, 'Your Desires Are Your Own'. Every Spring Court handles their succession differently, and here in New Avalon our local pacts make it an election. The reigning monarch is automatically in the running, and anyone who can find four or more sponsors can run against her.""No campaigns?""Ehhh..." you wobble your hand. "Ramona says anyone with a serious chance to win is involved enough in the Court that it's less about campaigns and more about making your case on the big day.""Y'all just want dramatic speeches don't you.""...They're fun..." You clear your throat when Vickie snorts a laugh out of her nose. "Anyway. We pick a day in the Autumn to handle our business, have the speeches, and do the actual voting. It gives the incoming monarch more time to prepare for her reign.""Got it," Vickie agrees. You pass her your empty bowl and cup (her doing the dishes made you eat and drink faster out of some nameless sense of guilt), and she tosses them in the sudsy sink. "So what's the complicated bit?"You shrug. "Maybe nothing. Ramona's been good to me, and she's got the respect of the other monarchs. I'm pretty sure I'm voting for her over Natalia."Silence. Vickie looks at you with an odd expression. You look back at her, wondering what she's expecting. Finally, she decides to talk first: "So...what's...Natalia want?""Oh! Um...fuck this is actually hard to talk about...um...basically she feels like Spring isn't Spring enough? Like. We're supposed to cooperate less and do our own thing more? Ramona gets us to do stuff all together a lot, and she takes in people like...y'know...me, or...""Erin," Vickie finishes. "So she wants, what, what does Ramona actually do?""I'm not sure," you admit, blushing black on your glass cheeks. "I know she trades a lot of favors though. People listen to her because she can make them listen to her, not like Arthur or Zoe but like...you know. And she keeps it that way so Spring can sit the table as a bloc."Vickie cleans in thoughtful silence for awhile. When she's done, your friend pulls a stool up next to yours; she rests her cheek in her hand, with her elbow on the counter. "So I guess the thing is, do you want to help Ramona out? Rumor's been that Natalia might take the Crown any year now, but things change, and surprise of all surprises, the Warlock Knight's got political pull now. I hear Summer's new big-shot diplomat wants to fuck her for one.""Who - oh.""Elementals." Vickie rolls her eyes at you. "The point being, even if your personal political influence is low, you've got friends Spring can't ignore. This an event where you can bring a plus one?" You shake your head. "Alright. So you gotta decide: do you want to help Ramona out, or do you just want to cast your vote and be done with it?"
>>2777655> Resolve to help; you should use the influence you have> Sit it out; you'll just make things worse with your whole...Elemental schtickThe next morning, you wake up...> In the front room, to the scent of coffee> Beneath the covers of Vickie's blankets, with time alone to look at her room> Tangled up with Vickie; how can one girl be both hot and cold no matter where you cuddle her?Do as thou wilt shall be the whole of the law.
>>2777657> Sit it out; you'll just make things worse with your whole...Elemental schtick> Tangled up with Vickie; how can one girl be both hot and cold no matter where you cuddle her?
>>2777657>> Resolve to help; you should use the influence you haveI'm sure with advice from Vickie we can manage something. And even if it isn't a overwhelming perfect success, Ramona might appreciate the effort.> Beneath the covers of Vickie's blankets, with time alone to look at her roomThis is the "platonic friends sleeping in one bed option", yes ?
>>2777657> Resolve to help; you should use the influence you have> In the front room, to the scent of coffee
>>2777668Sorta. Remember when you crashed at her place and she gave you her own bed? It's like that. Vickie just said she's afraid that she's made that weird between the two of you; taking her up on it says something about that.
>>2777657> Resolve to help; you should use the influence you have> Tangled up with Vickie; how can one girl be both hot and cold no matter where you cuddle her?
>>2777737>SortaGood enough for me. Being in Spring, it's good to be careful with these things.
>>2777657> Resolve to help; you should use the influence you have> Beneath the covers of Vickie's blankets, with time alone to look at her room
> Resolve to help; you should use the influence you have> Beneath the covers of Vickie's blankets, with time alone to look at her room
>>2777657>> Resolve to help; you should use the influence you haveWe're /trying/, OK?>> Beneath the covers of Vickie's blankets, with time alone to look at her roomIt may still be confusing, but it doesn't have to be weird.
I'ma call and write at 9 PM EST or so, or in a little more than 60 minutes.
Resolve to help; you should use the influence you have> Tangled up with Vickie; how can one girl be both hot and cold no matter where you cuddle her?
Called, tallying, writing.
>>2778782Don't we have tie though?
>>2778793Well that's what the tallying part is for.We do have a tie, so I'm gonna open this up for 45 more minutes since that'll give me time to do Life Stuff. At that time, if we are still tied, I'm going to roll a die.
>>2778810Jesus fuck.Okay. I need to do some additional Life Stuff which is the only reason a die has not been thrown. I'm gonna be gone for a few here. When I get back I'm throwing the die if the tie is not broken.
Well, I've already voted, is there any chance I can persuade someone to flip their vote?
>>2777657> Resolve to help; you should use the influence you haveThe next morning, you wake up...> Tangled up with Vickie; how can one girl be both hot and cold no matter where you cuddle her?
Back. Called. Writing. There may be a food intermission in the writing process.
hopefully this doesn't affect our relationship with forum
>>2779006Maybe he fucked Vickie knowing she was a slut.
>>2777657"I should help her." You sit up straighter and correct yourself. "I want to help my liege lady. She's been an excellent Queen to more than just me and I want to see her continue her work. I want to repay her trust in me.""You want her to kiss your brow and give you that smile," Vickie teases."I - you do too!""God, but do I ever," the Darkling agrees wistfully. "Okay, so here's what you do. Are you gonna remember this tomorrow?" she asks."I'm not drunk," you reassure her; you give your Darkling friend your full attention and feel the odd desire to go get some paper and write down notes, which you thoroughly suppress."Okay." Vickie takes in a breath. "Stay confident. Don't let yourself get riled or dragged into promising things you can't deliver. People already know you're our leader; you don't have to threaten to sic us on them, let that speak for itself.""I'm your what now," you ask."Leave it, the Rook can explain." Vickie taps her pointed chin thoughtfully. "Above anything else, your record here oughta do you good. You've proven Ramona right in a big way. Just...back her up. Be that earnest, heartfelt person you are when you're not all adorably confused."You blush black, and Vickie gives you a wistful smile. You look up at the kitchen clock, and then slide off of the stool you're on. "I should turn in," you admit. "I think I'd like your bed."It's Vickie's turn to blush. "Well, um. Lemme show you to it."Your Darkling friend lives upstairs, no great surprise, in what must have once been her father and mother's room, and then the other guy's (what's his name again? Fuck) after that. She opens the door and doesn't turn on the light, but in the dim slivers of illumination that slice into the room you can see a wide, soft bed, and a remarkable amount of shelving."I'll leave you to it," Vickie starts to say, and then you catch her by the hand."You don't have to go," you murmur.Vickie's pale face is almost entirely red now, and the stormclouds of her wrathful Mantle dwindle and shrink away from your Spring winds. "I'llkeepmyhandstomyself," she promises, tongue-tied and shy.You kiss her, full on the lips; Vickie tastes like blood, and like static electricity, all oddly dry and crackly in the aftertaste of her melting moan."I'd prefer it if you didn't," you tell her in a low voice. The Darkling swallows, once, and nods.You lock the bedroom door behind the two of you.* * * *You wake up in the small hours of the morning to Vickie crying. You pull her in closer to your warm body, and her soft crying becomes an open, jagged sob."I'm sorry," she whispers. "I'm so sorry. I've ruined it now, I did, I know I did.""Shh," you soothe. "It's okay. You didn't do anything wrong.""I don't think I'm ready," the Darkling tells you, her voice shaking; she sniffles when she breathes, between little sobs. "I'm not okay. I'm not, Colors I'm not okay, I don't...I don't think I'm ready for...for...to..."
>>2779231"For what we just did?" You feel her shake her head against your chest. "To actually date someone?""Th-that," Vickie agrees. "I'm -"You kiss the back of Vickie's neck, and she goes stiff for a moment before relaxing in your arms. "It's okay," you repeat. "...I know what it's like, to want to feel like you belong. And to get distracted because someone's sweet and pretty.""I'm not sweet," Vickie protests."Say that again and I'll have to taste test to disprove you."Silence. You close your eyes again, and -"I'm not sweet.""Well that just tears it, now doesn't it?" you tease.* * * *Vickie's Church, New Avalon - October 6th, 2017 (Next Day)Thank all the gods that the vote isn't until dinnertime, because you don't wake up again until like one, in a tangle of Darkling and blankets. Somehow, some fucking how, Vickie is both hot and cold at the same time; her body temperature is almost as warm as yours, but those thunderclouds in her Mantle are actually full of rain and every time one drifts into you it's freezing.She has little marks on her neck where you kissed her. You have some on yours."Turn the fucking sun off," Vickie demands blearily. She tries to roll over, realizes she's entwined with you, and settles for mashing a pillow over her own face. "Curse the world with darkness, fuckin'...fuck..."Vickie's room gleams in the light of day with coins. All of those state quarters she collects are on display, along with commemorative coins, old pennies and nickels, dollar coins, and more. Here and there are other keepsakes - a signed baseball in a glass case, a fountain pen displayed in its holder, a decorative comb with a white lily on it - but the coins are on every surface."I need my legs back," you tell the Darkling."Mrrrr. But morning sexxxx.""I gotta shower, Vickie.""Shower sex?"Y'know, that works, except that it doesn't; by the time you manage to escape the door (on legs that feel like jelly, with the breakfast the Darkling had insisted on making you) you end up having to endure a nerve-shredding bus ride with Fido to get home in time to change. You put on a formal outfit, including your new Hedgespun pants, polish Bifrost's scabbard and your boots, and set off with Fido in tow. Time with the kids and a good night's sleep (to say nothing of the almighty Breakfast) have done your lab a world of good, and he wag-wags his tail during the trek to the Juniper Building.> Proceed directly to the art gallery where the vote will be and get the lay of the land> Go talk to Erin first, see what she intends to do> Wait in the lobby and see if you can't catch Cherry before all of this goes down.
>>2779239>> Wait in the lobby and see if you can't catch Cherry before all of this goes down.AND>Cover the little marks if they are going to be used against you ny Cherry.
>>2779239>> Wait in the lobby and see if you can't catch Cherry before all of this goes down.
If Ogres are gullible, does that mean there are no Ogres in Spring, where they would be at a disadvantage ?
>>2779239> Proceed directly to the art gallery where the vote will be and get the lay of the landWell that was a satisfying update. Falling in with each other indeed.
>>2780178It does not, though they are indeed at a disadvantage. However, like...so are Elementals. People join Courts that don't necessarily directly mesh with their Seemings for various reasons. For some, like Colors, they crave what that Court has to offer. For others it's because they can see a niche in the Court that others aren't likely to fill (a lot of Darklings join Summer or Spring specifically to be That Guy who does all the lying, cheating, and stealing); for a few it's because that's where their friends are, and they want to be part of that bond. Spring in particular is pretty open about the roles you play in it. Ogres might want a solid friend at their side to serve as a bullshit detector, but an Ogre with the soul of an artist or a passionate athlete fits into Spring culture just fine.
>>2779239> Go talk to Erin first, see what she intends to doBe independent? No! We're Colors, and we need other people to tell us if we're being a weird Elemental again. And we are.
>>2780375>if we're being a weird ElementalIf the Court tolerates Rachel Reeds I think we're pretty ok.
>>2779239We aren't dating Vickie all of a sudden, are we?It was just sex, after all she's mixed up with Forum too.
>>2779239> Go talk to Erin first, see what she intends to do
>>2781711I don't understand their relationship exactly but Forum seems to be a mellow guy. Would he take offense ? Maybe not.
>>2782237i think a previously mentioned option 3 referenced casual fucking
>>2782237It's less about him taking offense and more about us not being a piece of shit that does this without really talking to him about it.I know everyone likes to play "poly/open everyone" but that shit is actually really fucking complicated IRL without really good communication skills.Which Colours ain't good at, and I'm guessing Vickie ain't great with either.And not everyone responds to this by getting mad and causing conflict. Sometimes they just feel inadequate or hurt, and withdraw. After all, we're rather Vickies Unicorn, and Forum was a consolation prize. Now that we just waltzed in and fucked Vickie, we're gonna go on a big dangerous sexy mission and I'm sure it won't stress the relationship between us and Forum or Forumand Vickie or us and Vickie.Erin will probably totes understand we're just retarded and horny enough to fuck anyone though. It's our Vice after all.I can't wait to gey Erin's opinion on our mom, though. Like sure she deserves to have her Spring, but it's not like that obligates us to a relationship with her. The Warlock Knight hasn't really been subtle after all, I can't remember if she even tried to reach out to us though.Even if she did, we still stopped owing her shit once she left. We can give up our grudge, but still don't have to interact with her. TL;DR We don't owe our mom shit.
>>2783490we don't owe her anything but not interacting at all is still kind of petty. at the very least we can be on speaking terms with her
>>2783524We can go see our dad and be civil to her. But honestly, unless we want a relationship with her, it's okay to not force creating one. We got a lot on our plate.
>>2783490>It's our Vice after all.Hey, yeah, shouldn't we get our Vice bonus for that choice?
Don't forget to vote y'all. I'ma be spending some time with my girl tonight since she's back from vacation; will attempt to update either after that tonight or before work tomorrow.>>2784153You didn't, no. As you might note looking at it, gaining that bonus is for abusing your power to fulfill your Vice or for taking risks in order to acquire it - basically, for being a fuck or an idiot.
>>2784592> basically, for being a fuck or an idiot.Pretty sure this qualifies.
>>2784592Didn't we just abuse Vickies feelings to fuck her right as she was finally moving on, with no intention to date or fuck her again or anything?
>>2784666Did you? Is that how you saw the conversation in the small hours of the morning?
>>2779239> Wait in the lobby and see if you can't catch Cherry before all of this goes down.
>>2779239>Wait in the lobby and see if you can't catch Cherry before all of this goes down.
>>2784688. . . . I feel like Yes is the right answer. Especially all the times we held back in the past for that very reason, and the fact that pretty much nothing about their relationship was discussed. Fuck, they pretty much talked about everyone BUT each other. Then out of nowhere, BAM! Gimme your bed. And your body. Very KSBD.But, hey, it's your show. Go nuts.
>>2784688To clarify, it was ALMOST like Colours was using sex as a comfort and distraction from the hard Tea that Vickie suddenly threw her way.
Called, writing new thread.