"Alex."Man, this pina colada freeze is good. Such a buzz that you can almost forget the fact that it runs nearly fifteen bucks. "Alex!"You hate tourist traps, but you have to admit, you're not carrying around an alcoholic slushee maker on vacation, and this is pretty fantastic for a mass-produced drink. "Alex Woodsman."Maybe that's the alcohol talking, though: It's such a buzz that your girlfriend-of-nine-months-turned-fiancée has to poke you in the cheek three or four times before she gets your attention.Meryl narrows her eyes at you and demands your attention more closely. "Were you listening?" No. She was on one of her ramblings. You love her, but when she explains certain things, she goes on an elaborate lecture that makes your eyes glaze over. Like that time she told you she's a mermaid or something and her family lives under the ocean and she has to mate with you in order to produce children that make her... subspecies... more human. She's not lying, surprisingly enough. Meryl is genuinely some kind of Dagonian, a humanoid with amphibious features. It's kind of like the Innsmouth nature, but instead of twisted mutations, it seems closer to her having some kind of limited glamour over her supernatural but otherwise 'clean' features. Her dad is also apparently a wizard who killed monster hunters after her family. There's more to it than that, obviously, but how does she expect you to remember the details when she barely stops to breathe? You're smart, but you have to stop and take notes for stuff you've never heard before.Plus, you know, the booze, which rocks, is making your mind a warm fuzzy. Complimented by the ice of the freeze. Ah. That's the stuff.Meryl places her face in front of you, to make sure you're looking at her. "Do you want me to repeat myself?" Absolutely not. "Well then, pay attention next time!" And then she repeats herself, of course. "Alex, I know I have a degree, and I'm willing to work, but I really, really want to serve as the primary home-maker. I... I don't trust anyone else but you with any children we might have."That's all? Why did she need to repeat that several times? "Becaaaause you weren't listening," she pokes you again, this time in the side.You're still at the waterpark, though you're sitting at the bar for now, to help recover from Meryl's panic at the heights of the rides. You ate pizza before on your way here, but Meryl is also eyeing the corndog stand. Man, this excursion is going to kill your wallet. Thank God Meryl's dad is paying for the hotel.>"You mind if we wait for a better time to discuss heavy topics?">The tide pool ought to help her relax- it's like home to her, right?>"You really know how to put food back, how do you stay fit?">Silence, reality. You still have half a glass of pina colada.>[Write-In]
From the previous thread, just so I don't forget:>>5378226>You know, with our references to primal nature, and our home being in the forest, are we descended from the Black Goat or one of her cults?Answer: No, the Woodsman family is not a front for a Lovecraftian cult. In Lovecraftian lore, it's kind of implied Momma Shub is connected to all natural life, but that's not where Alex gets his strength from.
>>5379135>>The tide pool ought to help her relax- it's like home to her, right?
>>5379135>The tide pool ought to help her relax- it's like home to her, right?
>>5379135>It’s fine, I understand. And (size her up) you’ll make a lovely housewife.>It may be tricky, if we rely on my job as sole source of income, but people have made do in harsher times with less. We’ll find a way, okay?>(squeeze her hand reassuringly)
>>5379181>>5379182>>5379193You listen to her concerns, and re-assure her that she'll be a fine mother. You'll think of something. Families have made ends meet since the beginning of time."Money isn't the concern, Alex," she says quietly, looking at you with sad sincerity. "I don't need much of anything, be it jewelry or clothing or shoes or what. What I need is... No one else can raise our children, at least not while they're still outside of school. I don't trust anyone else to protect them." Not even your father? "Especially not him or Mom."Meryl's getting ahead of herself. You can talk about babies after you've gotten legally hitched. You don't want to minimize her concerns, but this is neither the time nor the place to approach this. You can't help but think she's getting urgent about it because she's in honeymoon mode, or maybe because she's tipsy. You certainly are, and it's making your empathy for her maternal instincts take a backseat to enjoying the moment- no matter how much she feels, worrying simply won't help.Slowly weaning down your freeze, you eye the tide pool. It's a cool, quiet scene that changes the amplitude and period at regular intervals to imitate a real tide- or what swimmers think a real tide should act like. It's clear chlorine water, not true sea water, so she may not like it as well, but the motion is what's important. Like lying in a hammock, or the rustling of trees in the dark. A white noise that ought to meet her physiological need for comfort in a different way than touch might.When you breach the idea, she looks at you with a judgemental stare, but ultimately agrees. "Oh, sure... Typecast me, Alex. It's not like I'll get offended or something."Oh, yeah, that does seem pretty... Racist? Is Dagonian a race? Seems more like a template, if you're being honest. Like being a vampire. +2 to Dexterity.. She's staring again, so you hurry along. Because this is a tourist trap, they take payment up front, so you can leave, and you do, to test your theory.Meryl doesn't even have to tread water, and you're tall enough to stand at the current depth, though not at the end of the pool. Well? Was I right?"No!" she burbles, but then sighs. "...Yeah." You're such a good husband. She raises her hand above the water as the tide makes the two of you bob. "My turn to test something. Go underwater." Uh oh. But refusing isn't an option. When you drop into a semi-seated position, Meryl is suddenly on top of you, staring you in the face. You don't feel anything, other than the instinct to rise to the surface. It's not like the ocean, and her appearance is still completely human.>Okay, experiment over. Time to go up for air.>Stay under, and see if you can force the change from before.>Meryl has been a bit more clingy than usual lately...>Hey, this is just regular relaxing.>[Write-In]
>>5380237>>Stay under, and see if you can force the change from before.
>>5380237>stay under while we can, but if she gets too frisky remind her we’re at a public pool so it’s not too good an idea to get too carried away with neither intimacy nor supernatural shenanigans
>>5380237>Hey, this is just regular relaxing.Eh, not sure if I want to test this here, it might make a life guard panic and draw attention. This is also chlorinated water, not seawater, so I would expect the result to be different. But if we are going to test this, I think the "relaxing" option is better to do so.
>>5380240>>5380288>>5380454Looking at her, your head swims (metaphorically). You want to indulge her, but you also want to tell her to give you some space- you're in public. Neither of the thoughts can be communicated with words underwater, and your expressions are conflicted, so you don't know what she's reading from you. You try to spark the semi-fear instinct that caused you to rush with power, but you can't. Soon, you realize why.Meryl is right in front of you, but it's not dangerous. She's not trying to hurt you, and no one is going to take her away from you. The water is cool, the waves are soothing. Your muscles unwind, a mixture of the moment and the your BAC. You can't help bur smile at her, making her turn away and let you get back on your feet. Did you get the answer you wanted? "I did," she nods happily, and rides the waves with a relaxed, serene expression. After a moment of rest, she begins swimming underwater with great skill- moving quickly enough that you bet she could compete in the Olympics if she was willing to risk it. Her kicks are lightning-fast and she turns on a dime, moving her legs like a tail. You've seen seals move with that kind of agility on television, but never a human being. In person, it's amazing. For your part, you can't keep up, but she waits for you, turning around to let you follow her swift swimming and come up to breathe every so often.How she can go from heavy topics to childlike glee with such speed is beyond you, but you don't mind too much. You can both be a little immature, part of being young adults. Hell, you've met some pretty immature regular adults too. What's important is that she's got a good head on her shoulders, even if she is a bit persnickety or hot-blooded at times. When she gets too energetic in private, you sometimes pick her up so she stops pacing, which universally gets you put in the doghouse.That high energy of hers is also responsible for her calorie demand, which is relatively high for you both. Thankfully, you've both gotten your drinks, so hunger isn't an issue as of yet. The park is beginning to get on in the day, though, so between the ride, the tide pool, and drinks, you've gotten your money's worth out of things. Neither of you is exhausted, but Meryl's no longer in a rush.>Back to the hotel. You could do to change before going anywhere else, and maybe talk. Or get... enthusiastic.>Stop by the beach first. Walking along the beach is romantic, and it'll save you an extra trip to the showers.>They've got a Ferris Wheel at the beach, and some other rides. That doesn't need a change of clothes.>You want to talk to Meryl about something in the car...>[Write-In]
>>5381287>They've got a Ferris Wheel at the beach, and some other rides. That doesn't need a change of clothes.We already went by the beach, so this seems the best use of our vacation time here.
>>5381287>They've got a Ferris Wheel at the beach, and some other rides. That doesn't need a change of clothes.Nice quest OP. Meryl is cute.
>>5381287>Ask if she has a preference, suggest Ferris wheel
>>5381287>>They've got a Ferris Wheel at the beach, and some other rides. That doesn't need a change of clothes.
>>5381287>>Stop by the beach first. Walking along the beach is romantic, and it'll save you an extra trip to the showers.Good to have this thread back, even if I'm late.
>>5381298>>5381301>>5381304>>5381306>>5382144You and me both.The wheel, and the small park in general, is a good view for the sunset, which will be fast-approaching by the time you arrive. Timing that will be a bit of a pain too, so you might simply have to settle for riding it as the sun is on the verge of setting, not during the cross over the horizon. Then you remember that she doesn't like heights, so you pass the idea by her just to be sure. "Sunsets are pretty great, and so is having the best seat in the house to view one." Oh, so she's not worried about the height? "It's like the difference between flying in a plane and skydiving, or between a train and a roller coaster."Stopping at the beach's public parking lot, you manage to snag a decent spot as Meryl gets you tickets and a spot in line. When you show up, the line is pretty long, and runs for about 20 minutes before you get to the point where you can step aboard. Before you get the chance to ride, the sun sinks in the sky a bit further, and you and Meryl talk for a bit. One of the things you notice her gaze returning to two teenagers, a boy and a girl. The boy seems nervous, and the girl even more so, but they're standing to go on the ride together, and your fiancée considers it sweet enough that she blinks out of your conversation intermittently to admire the parallel pair.Finally, as the sunset gets going, you get your seats. The sky is dark, and clouded over, but the sun is still visible, and as the wheel turns, Meryl looks out of the carriage to view the ruby-red light. As she does, you look at her face, and then she turns back to you again. Still in her swimsuit, still smiling. "I really am happy I met you, Alex. I don't know what I would do if we hadn't met." Her red hair blows freely in the wind before she rests her head on your shoulder. You see the sunset go down with her, and the dark becomes true as you're halfway down from the top. She holds your hand, and you feel like you should say something.You don't believe in soulmates or 'true love': Love is something you choose to do for someone else. If it's destined, there's really no choice at all, is there? Despite that, you can't really think of a woman in your life that could fit in your heart the way Meryl does. Your thinking brain tells you that you could find someone else if you needed to, but it wouldn't be the same. But would it be better? Have you two made a mistake? If you had refused her, what would have happened? The dark is bringing terrible thoughts to the fore, and you suppress them in her presence.>"Well, we don't have to wonder." There's no need to fear what could have been.>Kiss her in the dark, before you have to get off the ride.>"You would find a way." She's insecure, but she's a good person and you're lucky to have her.>"Don't think about that." You just want her to stay with you.>[Write-In]
>>5383193>"Well, we don't have to wonder." There's no need to fear what could have been.>Kiss her in the dark, before you have to get off the ride.
>>5383193>We don’t have to wonder…>But I too am thankful for this moment we can share.>It’s up to us to make many more like it!
>>5383193>>"Well, we don't have to wonder." There's no need to fear what could have been.>>Kiss her in the dark, before you have to get off the ride.
>>5383196>>5383230>>5383251>>5383668Well, we don't have to wonder. Spoken with confidence. You haven't made it a habit of regretting things. What could have been is gone, for better or worse. For richer or poorer. For sickness or health. Somehow, you've brought this mysterious, moody and wonderful woman into lovesickness. You're feeling a little sick yourself, and suppress a swelling pain in your chest which bursts into a soft, soothing heat. Not quite nostalgia, but the feeling that you're at home, that you're safe. Hidden in the dark, you quickly blink away the sensation of approaching tears before she can notice. Their approach is unfamiliar, and like most men, you don't indulge them. Right now, you need to be a port of haven for her, and that requires a foundation that's strong as stone. Rather than being safe, you have to be the one providing safety.The lights of the boardwalk cast your figures out in shadows, the cage laying out a second set of darker lines, but before you need to get off of the carriage, you move Meryl's head and kiss her on the lips. Lightly, but with sincerity. Only for a moment. In the changing light, the two of you share your feelings once more. It's clear when you pull away and she tries to follow that she wanted to continue, but the crowd's presence and the increasing brightness of the fairgrounds would deny you the proper privacy this deserves. Any thoughts to the contrary drown in the sound of the other fairgoers, who are unconcerned about the moment you've had.The next two minutes is a hasty departure from the Ferris Wheel and walking through the crowd side by side. Among the countless other people, the two of you take your leave. It's her turn to decide, so she guides you, deftly moving through the horde of tourists and clearing a way for your larger form. Finally, she leads you to a bar, a 'raw bar' which sells fresh seafood. The wooden beams reek with the smell of liquor, but the element of darkness is an escape from the rush of the crowd and artificial illumination. A table for two in the back goes unoccupied given the recent sunset.I guess you would be hungry. You are too, frankly. As nice as the piña colada was, it wasn't food, and you've gone from noon or so until sunset without another meal.Meryl's brows furrow in confusion. "Hungry?" she asks, and then realizes what's happened. "Oh, I guess now that you mention it..." She snatches up a menu from the bar. You and your big mouth. That big mouth needs to eat as well, so you can't treat her too harshly.>It's a raw bar, you should focus on the local offers. Maybe the two of you can share a fishbowl of booze, too.>No reason to overdo it- you have a lot to deal with in the near future. Something familiar like a burger and a beer is best.>Fuck it, you're here to celebrate. Eat, drink, and be merry, and save the regret for later.>[Write-In]
>>5384133>No reason to overdo it- you have a lot to deal with in the near future. Something familiar like a burger and a beer is best.
>>5384133>It's a raw bar, you should focus on the local offers. Maybe the two of you can share a fishbowl of booze, too.
>>5384147>>5384343>>5384440You decide to play it safe for now. After all, this has been a busy week for the little time you've been here- making it more intense might be more than you can bear. Waking up in another state with another woman would be no way to start this next step in your relationship. Not that that has ever happened. Not when you were dating Meryl, anyway. You try to suppress the memory to no avail as the beer comes to your table. That was a BAD morning: Thank God you still had your pants on, so you know there's not a mini-you to destroy this marriage before it begins. The resulting November 1st bitchfight between your former girlfriend and her former best friend was legendary to the degree that one of your professors changed his syllabus over it. Incredible, given how you had known the woman in question for only two months and she held that grudge for over a year.You chow down on the burger as Meryl wolfs down on whitefish, and think about how she handled meeting the ex. Oh, Jessica. Howling little wolverine of a woman tried to scream you into oblivion whenever she saw you, and the most you could do was back up or hold her at arm's length. After all, as much as you would have loved to avenge the scratches she made that drew blood, there was no good way to explain striking a woman a foot shorter than you and half your weight. Meryl, on the other hand, chose not to call for campus police. Not limited by chivalrous restrictions, she kicked Jessica so hard in the cooch that YOU felt it. Never saw the ex again. Your wife orders another full meal, and you decide you'd rather have a spendthrift over a wildcat. Will your kids eat that much?At the bottom of her drink, Meryl gets moody all over again, looking at you longingly and agonizing over something you can't pick out from her body language. Her feet are tapping, but she doesn't act touchy-feely like she does when she wants you to be romantic. You wonder if you should ask her to stop drinking, but you quickly remember she has a plastic cup on her side of the table- soda. So it has nothing to do with her consumption?"I talk a lot," she says, straightening up, "So I'll make this quick. I'm really happy that you're the kind of person you are." Because power makes her horny? Seems not. Meryl covers her face with her hands, and sounds desperate. "When I'm backed into a corner..." Before you can panic, she gets over whatever she's going through rand puts her hands on the table. "I want to be more like you, if that makes sense. You're a reliable person.">"There's a place and time for everything." You balance each other.>"You're a reliable person, too." You've always been able to count on her word and support.>"You'll get there." It's good she's thinking of future responsibilities.>"What I am is boring. You're fun." You've done everything by the book, and it's killing you.>[Write-In]
>>5386175>I already consider you such. I trust you with my life. And I’m happy beyond measure that’s how you think of me.>I don’t want you to violate yourself for me, I want you to be at peace with your choice. And I’ll be with you all the way through.
>>5386175>"There's a place and time for everything." You balance each other.>"You're a reliable person, too." You've always been able to count on her word and support.She doesn't have to change at all.>>5386191I'd support this if not for the "violate yourself" wording. It sounds weird.
>>5386216She has some sort of inner struggle ongoing. My idea is to try to get her to reconcile her inner turmoil with acceptance rather than forcing herself into something. Although depending on how OP idea goes this could go well or horribly, idk maybe we should be pushing her to overcome her nature or something. But I'd rather see her embracing both herself and us.It's not unprecedented to live every day a struggle - and even succeed - but I'd rather spare the girl such purgatory, if possible.
>>5386264I don't disagree with the sentiment, and this is exactly what I'm trying to tell her with this combination of the prompts. I just disagree with the wording choice.
>>5386271all fair, let's hope for the best
>>5386191>>5386216>>5386775Meryl doesn't need to be so hard on herself. Geez, you thought you had handled this, but whatever it is she's carrying, it's heavy. What on Earth could get her so wound up so quickly? All of the things she's been concerned about have been in relation to her role relative to you and this new family. She doesn't think she's adequate, which is kind of shocking to you given who she is on paper. Not reliable? She studied DNA explicitly for the purpose of becoming a better mother to a human child: That's not something someone just does. Yeah, you've been accepting of her, but...Well, you just went over what happened with your ex in your head. Most girls would have stood by, or maybe tried to emasculate you for not laying the bitch out. Meryl saw what was going on and acted on it definitively. With a punt that would have made your high school coach proud, but still. Sometimes violence is, in fact, the solution. Solving for ex, hehehehe.Meryl's puzzled expression causes you to explain what you mean. She really does compliment you. Before, when you were moping over your newfound discovery of yourself, she knew when to take you out of your overthinking slump. She helped you with schoolwork as much as you helped her, and she taught you to be a little less paranoid in a way that didn't involve getting drunk on anything other than love. Your wife puts down the beer-battered fish in her hand. "Alex, don't give me more credit than I'm due."You're not. As much as she probably feels grateful that you took her at her word, she's held up her promises. She does her best to try and keep things even. Whenever she's been late for dates or missed the time due to other obligations (or that one time she slept in), she's made it up to you twofold. She got more and more consistent about meeting you at a specific time or place, when you asked, or giving you a location and time to go off of. When she says something, she means it, and you've never known her to lie to you. That claim makes her flinch, probably because of the whole... Fishwoman thing. But she gets over it, too. "Forget about it- You're right, there's no point worrying about what could have been. I've tried to be as upfront with you as I can, and we don't need to worry about my family interfering with anything any more." Kind of a sudden swerve in subject, but the important thing is she's happy.Dinner goes smoothly, and so does a good night's sleep. The morning is free of hangovers, too. Breakfast is in a small café. But woe is on the horizon: Meryl's eyes bulge when she looks at her phone and sees eight missed calls. She breathes out heavily and waves off the concern.>Her dad lives ten hours from here. Nothing to worry about.>Prepare yourself. Maybe he can teleport, or he's on a flight.>Call him, and explain that you were "just having so much fun that you forgot".>Warn your parents for the possible storm.>[Write-In]
>>5387300Well make the call and resolve the missed calls, duh. Presumably somewhere private.Also hold hands with waifu, she clearly can use all the support she can get.
>>5387303>>5387304>>5387453You take your time getting back to the hotel- the sea breeze doesn't make Meryl feel any better, which tells you that her dad's clinginess is something she's dealt with before. Your future father-in-law picks up on the first ring. "Why isn't Meryl on the phone?" Really? You're gonna go with that? You're both adults, so this guy has some real nerve to continue intruding."If I was going to come down there, I wouldn't have bothered calling again!" he says with urgency. Yeah, like you're going to believe that. "You don't understand, the wife is loose!" Meryl hears that and blanches. Her mom must be a real piece of work if she can get the two of them to go into panic mode. "She's not responding to my signal- as far as I know, she's already at your hotel." In-law jokes don't sound so funny right now. Never a quiet moment around here. Maybe you can minimize the damage. What does she look like? You need to know at least that much, in case she sees you before she sees Meryl. "She's... Well, she looks like an albino. She's really tall. Heavy glasses. Short hair. Funny looking head. Nice long legs." Come on, man, this is no time to be fetishizing your fish wife, Meryl is the one that's supposed to get top billing. Speaking of Meryl, the redhead's concern is soothed when you take her hand in your own and caress her palm with your fingers. It feels kind of dirty, but there's nothing but genuine and wholesome affection in it. Which makes the knock on the glass even more jarring. Seriously, what the fuck? Can't you get a little privacy? This is just supposed to be the two of you! Standing up, you crack your knuckles and pull back the privacy curtains.JESUS CHRISTSomeone's looking through the glass as if she could break it by staring and you can see her lips are slightly blue for no explicable reason. Her eyes, of course, are red, but you don't see any glasses on her. She's wearing human clothing, but soaked as she is, the effect of her clothing wetly clinging to her makes her thin, gangly limbs more pronounced. Like a sea hag that's looking for children to eat. Your blood revvs into overdrive, and you act almost on instinct. But before you can do something stupid like reach through the glass to pull her through it, she stands up and puts on a pair of lenses so heavy you could mistake them for shot glasses from a distance. It doesn't completely cool you down, but it's enough to suppress your instinct to defend yourself."So you're the mate?" she asks offhandedly through the glass, as if she weren't just creeping on the two of you.>"Are you tracking by scent or something?" How? How did she find you? >"...Yes." Not the best first impression, but neither of you are dead. Don't think, just accept.>Just close the curtains. You're not having this, she can come in through the front door like a human being.>[Write-In]
>>5388135>>"...Yes." Not the best first impression, but neither of you are dead. Don't think, just accept.>>Just close the curtains. You're not having this, she can come in through the front door like a human being.
>>5388135>"...Yes." Not the best first impression, but neither of you are dead. Don't think, just accept.Closing the curtains sounds like a very poor idea of a thing to do to someone potentially unstable and definitely capable of fucking our shit up.
>>5388135>ah… yes, madam. Pleasure to make your acquaintance.She may be intruding but in fairness she is mother of our waifu surely that has to count for something. Let’s cut her some slack.
Rolled 2 (1d2)>>5388136>>5388140>>5388167>>5388168>1) Force the water-wolf to go around>2) Allow your mother-in-law to enter
>>5389226Against your better judgement, you crack the door open, and a woman almost your height lumbers in. Well, that solves one mystery, but good Lord is she skinny. Your wife is nice and... You'll not say plump, but she's got curves. She crosses her arms under her chest, to hide her exhaustion at the situation. "Mom." Her mother, or who appears to be her mother, resembles her in a few subtle ways, such as her posture and movement, but has a much more inhuman demeanor to her. Once the door and the curtain close behind her, you see her properly.Mrs. Ciar is not the adorable mermaid you're going to marry: Meryl's mother is closer to the kind of thing that might have scared someone like Lovecraft. Her 'hair', which was cut short in the mirage visible to normal humans, is actually something like a series of fins, or very rough scales, which explains why it's a pale white, close to the rest of her body. Her skin looks clammy, and much paler than Meryl's. Her eyes are spaced out more widely. Her teeth are shark-like, and are set in multiple rows. You realize why she had blue on her lips- she ate a crab raw on the way here, or some similar sea creature. Those sharp teeth could crush a crab shell easily.Still, there's enough human there that you could see how a (very drunk) sailor could find her attractive. Her body has high muscle definition, though she's not nearly as fully filled out as her daughter, either in muscle or fat. Glasses off, she has a natural curious expression- Remarkably like Meryl's, at least when her mouth is closed. Yeah, the eyes are the same too. Orbs, suitable to underwater vision. You never noticed it before, but both women have pronounced nails, borderline if not actually claws. Actually, Meryl's are larger and sharper, which surprises you, because you'd expect less pronounced features in a hybrid. You take Meryl's hand and look at the claws more closely, just to understand what's going on."He can see what we are," the senior clucks to herself, as your wife can't seem to decide whether or not she likes being inspected. "Hm. Tim was right." Speaking about Meryl's dad... Tim? A wizard named Tim? "No, his name is actually Feardorcha. He just told me he was called Tim when we first met." Meryl visibly dies a little inside, and you can hardly blame her.>"See? She's safe. Can you please leave us be?" Direct her to your parents' house.>"As long as you're here..." You want to grill her on what you need to know about Meryl's situation.>Focus on soothing Meryl- and yourself. No wonder she's so self-conscious. There, there.>So you are some kind of special person- they have a guess. "Mind spilling the beans on your pet theory?">"Feardorcha? Is that his first or middle name?" Fucking wizards...>[Write-In]
>>5389249Assuming we can do so without attracting attention>Please have a seat, madam.She can sit down and chat with us. If not, let’s all head out somewhere where we can talk freely. Stay close to Meryl, let her feel nothing we see or hear will make us think less of her(Although, realistically, it is popular wisdom to watch mother to see the direction her daughter is headed… this is a special case though)Regardless, we can’t blame the mom for being what she is.
(I'll find some way to make up for the delay.)>>5389254>>5389269>>5389494You ask your mother-in-law to sit down, and she does so, tilting her head curiously. As you recall, animals instinctively do this to triangulate the source of sounds- humans will do this too, for instance, though it's most famous in dogs. It seems kind of curious that an undersea being would have this trait as well, but she's a demi-human too."What was it you wanted to talk about?" she asks."Mom, you can't just barge in like this." Meryl beats you to the punch, and begins to vent a bit. She furrows her brow at her mother, and the effect is that their roles as interrogator and subject switch. "I don't know what Dad told you, but even he was concerned you were going too far. I mean, you ate a crab raw on your way here. How long have you been swimming?""He thought I was going too far?" Mrs. Cier bashfully puts her index fingers together, the claw-points touching tips. "I guess so. But you're my only daughter. And I didn't go far- I was in the area. When you were on the dock before the storm, I was about four hundred meters out."That only enrages Meryl further, and her hands move, inches from lashing out before stopping and clenching into fists instead. "You were listening? That was supposed to be private!" You have to admit, that does seem pretty suspicious. Not to mention kind of rude.Unfortunately for your wife's justified outrage, her mother doesn't seem to be having it, straightening up and baring her teeth in a toothy frown. "You know why I had to be there," she whispers, on the verge of a hiss. What? Why would she need to- Hey! Your bark of offense echoes through the room, getting the attention of both Dagonians. Once they're no longer at each other's throats, you confront the elder. It's one thing to think that a man would play grab-ass with his fiancée, but that implication goes too far.Your offense is puzzled over in her head, and Mrs. Cier's eyes bulge as if that wasn't what she meant at all. "Oh. Oh, no. You had the opportunity far too many times for that." She swells with pride, which further confuses you. "He is adorably naïve, dear. Yes, you've done a good job finding such a simple but clever fellow." But this twisted encouragement falls on deaf ears. Meryl stares at her mother with unfiltered disgust. It's clear she's really tired of having to deal with this mad mentality."We're done here," she says quietly. "There's no point in talking with someone like this.">"Meryl, she's your mother." Ask Meryl to reconsider, if only so she can accept herself as well.>"I have to agree. Please get out." Mrs. Cier's continuous privacy violation is too much.>"We still need her help." Keep it to essentials and then make her leave.>"I'm not as naïve as you think I am." [Write-In "why she had to be there"]>[Write-In]
>>5391178Well I reckon she wanted to dispose of us if we freaked out or turned our waifu down. Which is not very comforting. And I wonder how it would go, possibly not entirely to her wishes. But it’s immaterial now. We have a lovely waifu and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-UQFBtHEFJ8 to pit against whatever sinister agenda the eldritch world might have in store.No need to tell the mother in law that. Just smile and nod and tell her her concerns are misplaced, her only daughter’s happiness is our priority.im repeating myself but, gently squeeze Meryl’s hand for emphasis
>>5391178>"We still need her help." Keep it to essentials and then make her leave.It's true, we do need to know some things. And after she leaves>"I'm not as naïve as you think I am." [Write-In "why she had to be there"]Her mother isn't worried about us and Meryl still hasn't told us exactly why what happened there freaked her out so much and caused her to abandon her plans to move to sea. She's still hiding something, but we should wait for the mom-in-love to leave before interrogating the waifu. Gently. While squeezing her hand reassuring her that it's all gonna be alright, we got her back.
>>5391279>>5391490>>5391279>>5391490Your eyes glaze over as Mrs. Cier speaks. This woman doesn't understand you at all. That's fine, she doesn't need to- but Meryl does. You silently suspect, based on what you felt before in the ocean that any fight she could have started wouldn't have gone her way. That reaction of yours is something she picks up on, and she stares you over. You try to disarm the hostility, informing her that Meryl's happiness is your top priority. Her gaze is questioning. She doesn't believe you? At least she's not suspect of you- if she didn't come when Meryl called her kin the morning after your first night, that means she believes you're harmless.Your wife is more offended by her mother on your behalf than you are yourself. Taking Meryl's hand in yours, you give her a physical re-assurance with a tight grasp. She squirms a bit, happy but somewhat embarrassed, especially given her mother is giving her a toothy grin. But as much as this pains you, you need some info from Mrs. Cier- some of the essentials of living with Meryl."Ah, yes. A cookbook will be in the wedding gifts." A cookbook? "Yes, I learned early on that healthy and tasty cooking is essential to homemaking. Boxed foods and pizza delivery are not sufficient for children." Boy, she really wants grandkids. "Or husbands, but I repeat myself." Oh, lay off it! At least that explains where Meryl got her cooking skill from.More importantly, Does she need any special treatment? Does she have to return to the ocean every so often? "No and not any more, though I wouldn't bring her to a doctor- not even for giving birth. We're hardy, you don't need to worry about blood loss. I would keep an eye out about her pain, before it becomes your pain."Meryl squeezes your hand, saying, "We don't go to hospitals because they take DNA samples, and that raises questions that get people killed."About questions- Why did she need to have to go back to the Dagonian home in the first place? To strengthen her connection to her bloodline, wasn't it?"Yes," Mrs. Cier declares, causing Meryl to panic in silence. She tightens up and stands up to full height, waiting for the other shoe to drop. It does. "In order to integrate our people into humanity, we need a clear path of lineage from Dagon to a 'pure' human. Once that happens, we can be recognized as humans, not human hybrids. But the same way, a hybrid that's recognized as a Dagonian first can't pass as human. It's like the story by Andersen- A mermaid that acts as a human has a human soul. I'm one of those, though you might not believe me. In her current state, she would be recognized as a Dagonian first- immortal, but inhuman. At best, she would be unable to return here. At worst, her body and soul would tear from each other.">You've heard enough. Ask her to leave, so you can address Meryl's fear head-on.>"There's one more thing I wanted to ask you about...">[Write-In]
>>5392191>You've heard enough. Ask her to leave, so you can address Meryl's fear head-on.
>>5392191>Thank her for the talk and politely request privacy. You'll be looking forward to seeing her at the wedding.>Address Meryl's fears head on once she's gone.
>>5392212>>5392274>>5392346"Hm," the matriarch stands, obviously realizing she's outstayed her welcome. She does have a bit of an oddity about social conventions, but maybe that's just due to who she married. "Boston and New York aren't too far apart. It might be possible to get a cake delivered." Sounds expensive. You're sure your own mother will be overeager to make a crowd-pleaser, anyway. She exits out the door she came through, and you quickly shut the glass sliding door. Her face scrunches up, and then you close the curtain so you don't see it. Better.As soon as her mother leaves, Meryl lets go of your hand and takes hold of your face, making you look at her. She's crying, quite slowly, but the tears still roll down her face. She hasn't put on any makeup today, but when she drops any restraint and begins sobbing, that goes to the back of your mind. "I don't care about any of that," she groans, her thumbs running over your cheeks as her eyes become too clouded to see. "I don't want to think about any of that. I just want to be with you."What's gotten into her? Letting go of you, she buries her face in her palms. "It was supposed to be me. I was supposed to drown you if you refused, and blame it on an accident." Sobbing and doubling over, she confesses the true reason for her fear. "And I thought about it, Alex. I didn't know if I could let you go, especially if you thought I was crazy. You would have told other people, and I would have been alone. I kept having nightmares about turning into a monster and killing you." Seeing her hands as webbed the morning after your first time must have been awful for her. No wonder she didn't want you to touch her- she probably expected herself to tear you apart.Meryl sits herself on bed, unsteady. "I... I thought of just asking for you to give me a child. That's all they want anyway. I would be happy, at least for a little while, and you would get my body." She gathers her strength and looks at you. "We can still do that, if you want. My mother would often disappear for years at a time, when I was younger." Her resolution re-appears as she brushes the tears from her face. "But I'm not going to cheat you out of a wife and family just because I'm scared. I don't know what you are, exactly, but I'm not giving up. I really do love you, despite the mess I've dumped in your lap. Dad... is Dad, but he does what he thinks is the best for Mom. Even if I'm messed up, I want the best for you.">"I feel the same way: Allow me to prove it." Remind her of your connection with physical intimacy.>"We should really call my parents at this rate." She needs your family's support right now.>"Actually, the thought about cake gave me an idea." Sweets are soothing and plentiful here, plus both of you love to eat.>You just wanted her mother to leave, so you two could escape. "Quick, before she comes back.">[Write-In]
>>5392683>"I feel the same way: Allow me to prove it." Remind her of your connection with physical intimacy.
>>5392683Oh Meryl. Monsters are never scared of becoming one. They shed humanity in pursuit of whatever drives them. I can’t imagine that happening to you any more than it could happen to any of us. What you are is not as important as who you are.And your feelings and values show you as not just human, but what we’d like to see ourselves as human, too.>hug her and tell her you’re not letting go.(I do hope though she can retain her hot human form for most part though, “my married life with a murloc” just doesn’t have the same feel to it as a quest)
>>5392683>hug her and tell her you’re not letting go.So that's what she was worried about. Well, we're not worried about her hurting us. She needs to understand that we're not leaving her, no matter what. Also, wipe her tears.
>>5392714>>5392740>>5392793>>5392813This is the best image I could find that hits Meryl's appearance without being a dead ringer of an existing char.You comfort Meryl as best you can with an embrace, reminding her that you're not going to leave her. She closes her eyes, and thanks you again quietly, burying her face in your shoulder. "I... I know. But..." But nothing. I'm not going to let you go."Yes," she says. "You... You are human. I know that doesn't sound like it means much, but I just know. Whatever else you are, you're human." It's subtle, but when you hold her, those claws of hers go away. More than that, you notice her gill-like ridges on the sides of her neck vanish as well. Her eyes are human. She really wants to be that kind of person for you.You're not a monster. Not someone like you. Her hands were on your face, to force you to see her. But now yours are on hers, to wipe her tears, and she feels her own neck with a sense of relief. You don't want her to be afraid to be herself, but if she wants to become a human entirely, would it be right to refuse her, just to have the novelty of a supernatural wife? Ultimately, you decide the point is moot. Meryl is Meryl... Though you would prefer she keeps her mostly human form. Redheads always did suit you.You lie on top of her for a bit, keeping her close, but then her expression changes from overjoyed to somewhat distracted, then irritated. "Shifyurweigfir," she grumbles, looking aside. What? "I said, you're heavy! Get off of me!" Aw, you're not that fat. She pouts and grabs your trousers hard enough that since you're not expecting it, you roll onto your side, and her formerly crying face seems serene in the dark. "Hmph. I'll have to think of something."You can begin with a little proximity, though right now rest comes before play time. Rather than you being on top of her, she places herself on top of you, her breasts on your chest and one of her legs between yours. It's an optimal spot to shift into heavy petting, but you don't think you're going to get further than making her purr like a cat from some back rubbing. Later, things escalated, but you're husband and wife, so that just comes with the situation.It was a little more intimate than the first time, slower paced, and more deliberate. You still have to take a shower after, but not to play more, just to get clean. By the time you're finished between that and a nap together, it's mid-afternoon. Thankfully, her mother hasn't intruded any more as of yet.>They've got an aquarium around here- suits the sea, and it'll be dark and cool.>Lazy days are the best. Just find some place to relax on the beach, and take a late dinner.>This beach-side area has a lot of nightlife, you ought to take advantage of it.>Now you're on better terms to talk to family. [Make a Call]>[Write-In]
>>5394047>>Now you're on better terms to talk to family. [Make a Call]let's not neglect our own parents either.
>>5394048>Now you're on better terms to talk to family. [Make a Call]Meryl's a bombshell, but yeah, let's talk to our parents for a bit.
>>5394048>Now you're on better terms to talk to family. [Make a Call]
>>5394049>>5394052>>5394146>Now you're on better terms to talk to family. [Make a Call]Your mother is the one to pick up the phone. "Alex!" she says with a bright tone. The woman who raised you, the matron of your family. And an excellent baker. Coming from the somewhat rural upbringing of her own father, she chased the lights of the big cities, but found that them unsatisfying. So when your father hired her as a book balancer and found that her personality dwarfed her economic skills, she became part of the Woodsman clan. Not the best at cooking or cleaning, but Dad was an organized bachelor, and the two of them managed to stumble their way into happiness. Somewhat heavy-set, with an attitude about it.She was the one who tried to push for you to advance your relationship with Meryl faster, despite you having known her for only a little while at that time. To that end, she attempted to bribe Meryl with lemon cookies and carrot cake during Christmastime, something that you had to blunt due to Mom's over-eagerness. She really believes in 'through the stomach', though she's only particularly good with baked goods, not with traditional meals.As you expect, she is ecstatic at the news. "Ah, that's amazing news! I'm so happy for you." she happily sighs. "Do you need any help?" She's going to make the cake, isn't she? "Of course I will!" Yeah, you figured you weren't going to be able to negotiate on that. But you want it to be a smaller wedding. If possible, just you and your wife. "What?" she seems hurt, somehow. "Don't you want us to be with you for that?"Your throat dries. For all Mom and Dad know, Meryl is nothing more than an ideal woman. An extremely human ideal woman. Your mother and father live in an idyllic family home which was renovated several times but is technically older than the state of Louisiana. They have three children: You, your younger brother, and your younger sister. Your father owns a community-contributing family business. They have a platonic American Dream life. Of course they want to see you get married, in the best wedding they can provide. Daryl's going to be jealous, but of course he will, and like the elder brother of the Prodigal Son story, he has everything your father has instead.What happens when Meryl's father shows up? Heaven forbid her mother decides to do something funny, or... Oh God, the idea of those two thugs coming back with backup and long guns runs your soul cold."Alex?" your mother asks warily, and you hesitate to respond. Meryl is lying down, still recovering from the prior tension.>"Dragging the whole family out to Boston isn't a good idea." The blasé option. It might not be enough.>"It was one of her conditions, okay?" That's not strictly true, but it's mostly accurate. Mom won't like it, but she'll let it go.>Pass off the call to Meryl. She's experienced with this kind of thing.>"Mom, there's something you need to know about Meryl..." You have to tell her.>[Write-In]
>>5396026I feel at very least our parents deserve to be allowed at the wedding. Whether or not that includes revealing Meryl’s ancestry to them I have no strong preference about as secret is weakened with every additional knower. But denying the parents their child’s wedding seems excessively cruel.
>>5396026Yeah, the parents should be allowed at the wedding, but also telling them that their new daughter in law is a mermaid and not a disney-style one at that should happen face to face instead of over the phone. But they should definitely be at the wedding, and they should meet the in-laws. Even if they're weird and possibly embarrassing (for Meryl).
Random question to the QM: did you ever run a previous quest about a supervillain wife? I vaguely remember reading something with a similar style in the past.
>>5396067>>5396296+1I feel like there's a good case for them coming, and also probably for knowing. Definitely something we should talk with Meryl about.
>>5397098Agreed.Do we know how his parents would react to news like that? Are they open minded people? Does his father believe in bigfoot or something?
Sorry, folks, have been delayed longer than expected. Will post at the earliest possible convenience.>>5396717>did you ever run a previous quest about a supervillain wife?I have not. I have run previous quests, including at least one dumpster fire which I have disowned and one run-to-completion semi-fanfiction quest. My writing style has improved significantly and you probably wouldn't recognize me. I am technically also running a second quest concurrently.>>5397871The Woodsman family is more open-minded in a 'uh huh, I see' fashion than in a legitimately interested in others fashion. As long as they aren't bothered, they won't notice anything. None of them besides Alex have had recognized exposure to the supernatural/unnatural.
>>5398394I suppose you wouldn't want to tell us what your other quests are? I'd be especially interested in the one that was completed or the other one currently running.
>>5396067>>5396296>>5397098>>5397871You can't tell your parents to go away. They've supported you at every step- to deny them now would be an unwarranted betrayal of the highest order. They care about her too: Mom in particular was interested in having her as a daughter in-law. They have to accept her for who she is, don't they? You imagine telling Mom, and her going wide-eyed before crushing any judgement and forcing herself to treat Meryl as a fellow woman first. It would take some time, and she might be antsy at first, but she definitely wouldn't see a woman who's agreed to marry you as a monster. Meryl's mother, on the other hand... Mom would probably demand you marry sooner, to protect Meryl from her parents. Honestly, that might be a legitimate concern instead of an overreaction.Dad has never been a particularly vocal man, but he's reliable when it comes to conflict and has never thought lesser of you, even when he disagreed with you. In fact, his main tactic for disagreement has been carrying forward as if the issue didn't exist whenever it's not directly relevant. Even-keeled, to a fault, though who can blame him when his very existence is the definition of comfy? You doubt you could even convince him that Meryl is a Dagonian- he would just stonewall the conversation with reasons why that's impossible before letting you 'believe what you want' and treating Meryl the same way.A bit of tedious thinking later, you assuage Mom's nervousness by telling her that you'll have to confirm with Meryl how many guests each of you gets to bring, but you're sure she'll be interested in having at least her and Dad in attendance. Your wife hears. One of her eyes peeks open, and she pins you with a questioning stare. Not good. You try and talk faster, but fumble over words as Meryl slowly stretches out her hand towards you. You think she's taking the phone, but then she pokes you in the cheek with a smile. Aw. You smile back at her, and share another moment of peace.[blue]"Yes, I think that'll be fine. There's going to be a lot of room, because my family is fairly small. My dad doesn't talk to his family much, and most of my Mom's family is dead."[/blue] She's still poking your cheek, and holding the phone in her other hand. You can't even get mad in the midst of this lovey-dovey atmosphere. Even grim discussions become lighthearted with her coiling up into your lap like a snake.This is so nice you almost don't process the discussion over the feeling of warmth and security. Once you re-asserted your trust in each other, Meryl's self-consciousness didn't go away entirely, but it's nowhere to be found right now. At some point, the talk turns to where this is all taking place, and eventually the winning location is...>Maine. Mom's home, now your own. There's no better place.>Virginia. It was your home, you want to show it to Meryl.>Boston, or wherever Meryl's father lives. Let her go home herself.>Here. It's only appropriate.>[Write-In]
>>5398510>The one that was completedTry American Arcana (the one starting in 2017). That ran for 11 months, and was Baby's First Persona Ripoff.The other one I'm running right now? Can't tell you, it's a secret to everyone (unironically spoilers). But people who are paying good attention to my posting schedule can probably figure it out.
>>5399313>Maine. Mom's home, now your own. There's no better place.Virginia and Boston are both kinda iffy since it's the home of only one of us, and Here is a big no-go since we attracted heat. As long as it's private and quiet, Maine should be fine, and has an upside of familiarizing the folks with where we plan on staying.
>>5399313>Maine. Mom's home, now your own. There's no better place.Yep, there's no better place. Home of our future, not our past.>>5399325I'll check it out. And now I'm even more curious about what your other quest might be.
>>5399329>>5399461>>5399685You have memories, but the important part is not to be buried in them. This is your future you're talking about."Maine?" Mom asks nervously. "W-Well, there's at least one group that might hire bachelor students in biology there. Your father and I hosted a Senator whose wife was working on some kind of biotechnology for a research and development project." Hiring the children of someone who hosted you? Isn't that considered bribery? "It's called networking, Alexander Hyllus Woodsman. Besides, you two have good credentials putting aside pedigree.""Research and development seems like it would involve government work," Meryl hazards. "You might be on good terms with Senators, but my dad... Is not." Yeah, he's probably on a watchlist. Or all of them."They might do contracts for the government," she says. "But they don't really entirely fall under one country's hat. They've got some Europeans, Canadians, even some Russian expatriates." Hm. You wonder who exactly was doing the bribery during this so-called networking. "I was going to introduce you to Dr. Ar- Sorry, I mean Dr. Sheridan. Both of them were very insistent to keep original family names, which seems cold to me, but the Senator considers it a sign of respect to his wife. Odd couple, those two."Rambling... Oh God, you just realized the parallels between Mom and Meryl. Don't think about that: Time to drag this conversation back on track. Maine. Wedding. You can get hired later, you're planning on getting hitched soon. "Right. There's a church attached to the private school I went to." Prep school? "It was cheaper and less high-end back then, but still good.""Ah, well, it's still close enough." Meryl nuzzles up to you again and blushes. "Is there a kindergarten nearby?""As I recall." Mom's sigh betrays delight and secondhand embarrassment from getting between the two of you. "...Cake. I can make it there, if you want. Fresh! We can have dinner at one of the local places, and leave you be to enjoy your new home.""My mom will want to cook." Meryl says. "She might even try to cater the meal herself." Well, that's a form of icebreaker, isn't it? Getting the two mothers in the kitchen? Come to think of it, that'll probably get the dads dragged in too, especially because your father can cook. He probably won't tolerate Meryl's old man making excuses."I could make my chowder, too." Mom adds. This is either going to be fantastic or a disaster, but if it's the latter, you have an excuse to bail out to a hotel for a second honeymoon.>There are other things you want to see here. The future will happen when it happens.>"Mom, is Dad at home?" You suspect he's got a fresh perspective on this, and you also just want to talk to him.>You want your mom to pass along information to your childhood best friend- your new best man.>"Send me that contact info for later." You can schedule everything and hit the ground running.>[Write-In]
>"Mom, is Dad at home?" You suspect he's got a fresh perspective on this, and you also just want to talk to him.Im guessing we can contact our friend separately. If we can trust him of course and hadn’t drifted too far from him.
>>5401353>"Mom, is Dad at home?" You suspect he's got a fresh perspective on this, and you also just want to talk to him.>>5401472I’d rather we not tell anyone other than our parents. The less that know, the better
>>5401353>"Mom, is Dad at home?" You suspect he's got a fresh perspective on this, and you also just want to talk to him.>>5401682I'd like to know more about this best friend before deciding that. If we don't even have his contact info, how good friends can we be?
>>5401472>>5401682>>5401728College just took you and your best friend in different directions. Chase changed phones, and you never got his new number. The chats and gaming sessions just dried up after a while- you had two different schedules and sets of priorities. You miss him, but not that much. Still, there's no better candidate for Best Man besides your brother, and his jealousy would leak into any and all required speeches. But that will have to wait.You ask Mom if Dad is within arm's reach. It's a hard chance, but this time at least, luck is in your favor."Hey, champ, what's going on?" The very embodiment of stability, your father, takes the phone. Patriarch of the Woodsman clan. You've never seen him cry, though when his father passed in peace he didn't talk for hours. The closest he's gotten to angry is cross, or that quiet fury that makes it clear he could throw you across the room if he wanted to. His quiet bearing and calm kindness was idealistic enough that as a child you asked if Daddy was actually an axe murderer like Patrick Bateman. The cable channels didn't turn back on until you were in college, but nonetheless, Mom assured you he was perfectly normal. So normal you would expect there's something wrong with him, but there just... Isn't. He's a ram in ram's wool.You're taller and stronger than him, but he's a real piece of work himself. Fashionable, if old-fashioned. Coming from old money has its perks. He, however, was of the perspective that the only thing he was going to spoil you with is opportunity. You never wanted for a good meal, or fitting clothes, but he was eager to snuff out complacency or haughtiness, especially from your sister, who had princess syndrome for some time. He put an end to that.You speak to him about the situation, and he initially goes quiet, his default reaction during fits of emotion. "That's great news!" he says with genuine affect, though he's a little shocked as well. You inherited some careful mannerisms from him- he was probably expecting a proposal to take longer, and employ more preparation. "Maine? I suppose that house is a good fit. I'll introduce you to Dr. Sheridan later, then. Let's focus on you two. You've probably got cooking supplies to spare, but what about things like furniture? Have you checked the existing furnishings?" You admit Grandad's expectation of what a 'soft' bed is differs dramatically from your own, and some things need repairs or replacing.But it's just like Dad to think of practical instead of romantic things. It's your way too, admittedly, but you're getting more flexible.>"You don't need to worry about that. We just want to have a small ceremony with family and friends." If they need to know, they can know later.>"We need to talk to you and Mom in person. In private." They live close by- the sooner they know, the better.>"Any tips?" He's been married for almost twenty-five years.>"What, no car?" Try to squeeze a laugh out of the stone.>[Write-In]
>>5403800>"We need to talk to you and Mom in person. In private." They live close by- the sooner they know, the better.
>>5403800>"Any tips?" He's been married for almost twenty-five years.>"We need to talk to you and Mom in person. In private." They live close by- the sooner they know, the better.
>>5403841>>5403888>>540468Dad sighs, and your heart sinks, unsure of what you said wrong. "Alex, if she's pregnant, you can just tell me." You almost choke on the shock, and that serves as confirmation for him, even though it's not true. "Alex, listen to me. I am a little disappointed, but it's good you're taking responsibility. This won't go beyond our family."Meryl panics and claws the phone from you. Ow, that hurts. Maybe you should just make it a speaker call, given how much she wants to talk. "It's not like that! I have... a genetic condition. My mom is albino, I think I told you that, but there's more." Good catch, Meryl, but you want to talk. Taking your phone back (again), you explain that there's something that needs to be spoken about in case something unexpected happens. Someone needs to know. And, to be honest, you don't trust this hotel."A genetic condition? I suppose that makes sense." Yeah, Meryl's concerned her health may flare up, or something might be passed on to one of your children. Her Dagonian heritage, but you don't want to say that on the phone. After all, she is from a lineage that might be considered... Inbred? Meryl narrows her eyes judgmentally, but doesn't disagree, just pouting instead. The Innsmouth Look is kind of self-selecting, isn't it? That would explain why Meryl's stronger than her mother- her father comes from 'fresh blood' that's close enough to not cause other issues."I don't recall any albinos in our family. Still, it is recessive: Other issues might be hidden, too. Come home: I want to make sure you're set up for success." Thanks, Dad. Oh. And the other parents wanted to come too, though they may not show. "That's a bit much, isn't it?" There's a guest bedroom, isn't there? "Yes, but I wanted to let you two have it." Mom says something on the other side of the phone, and Dad declares, "Correction. Meryl will using your old room: You will be sleeping on the couch." God damn it, Mom! "That frees up the guest bedroom after all, it seems." There's not really much else to talk about for now, so you ask for marriage advice. "You will always overestimate how much time you spend with her, and underestimate how much money you spend on yourself. Life gets in the way, so make sure to keep a schedule. It sounds cold to schedule affection, but grand romantic gestures can't hold a candle to regular communication." Harsh, but true. Just going home and shagging before going to sleep doesn't really make a relationship. The call devolves into niceties and then ends. Meryl is infuriated. "Yes, it's a perfectly logical reaction from your mother... But I'm still mad.">"No need to be." You're here for the week- time to hit the boardwalk and find something new.>"Want to cool off?" The ocean shouldn't be too cold right now.>"Yeah, but my hometown has lots of places to get lost in." And have non-erotic fun at.>"Think we can convince your dad to back off?" Her mom bursting in could be leverage.>[Write-In]
>>5404778>"Yeah, but my hometown has lots of places to get lost in." And have non-erotic fun at.Pfft, that is a problem? Let the future mother of our children imagine the breeding after this brief period of enforced chastity.Also there will be much depraved hand holding regardless.
>>5404778>"Want to cool off?" The ocean shouldn't be too cold right now.Dammit mom.
>>5404778>"Yeah, but my hometown has lots of places to get lost in." And have non-erotic fun at.>"Want to cool off?" The ocean shouldn't be too cold right now.Why is our mom having us sleep in separate bedrooms? I thought she was pushing for us to get closer.
>>5405020>Why is our mom having us sleep in separate bedrooms? I thought she was pushing for us to get closer.Engaged does not mean married, she's trying to keep up appearances. Plus, the pregnancy Dad suspected may not have been real, but it drummed up a lot of fear from dear old Mum of what it would look like if Meryl got pregnant ahead of time. You can do whatever you want, as enthusiastically as you want, once married, just not under her roof, young man!
>>5405478I see, thank you
>>5404778>"Yeah, but my hometown has lots of places to get lost in." And have non-erotic fun at.
>>5404836>>5405020>>5406021>>5404840You live about half an hour from a place called South Boston, which you may or may not pass through when you get from here to home. Perched on the border near North Carolina, your hometown lies in the shadow of Danville, and is vaguely close to a number of other, more important cities. But it's home, and while your small family's work only showed full bloom after several generations in obscurity, your father is notable enough to win some contracts for major taskings every now and again. Long gone are the days when the family would make equipment by hand and hammer. Despite serving as a traffic stop on the way over the state border, the place you know as Scoville isn't strictly a city: Apparently, it's not incorporated or something, and nobody outside it seems to know where the hell it is anyway. Your 'association of housing and businesses' is pretty small, so you know everyone at least in passing, from the Scoville Scouts (a High-A minor league baseball team drafted from whoever they can get) to the owners of the local arcade to the perpetually exhausted octogenarian 'park ranger' who insists on maintaining the public park. Such a small community has ironically pushed the residents to make their own, so you have a little bit of everything, though not at scale. A tailor family, a shoemaker, a bootmaker, equipment production, used car salesmen, car repairs, restaurants and more make up just under a thousand people. There's even a four-lane bowling alley inside the arcade, where your brother threw a 300."Beats my upbringing," Meryl grumbles. "Living in dad's sorcery hovel sucked. Sure, it wasn't that bad in terms of actual livability, but there was just no-one nearby, especially when Mom was gone." More the reason to fix that with some bonding and introductions. But while home is far, you suggest maybe the water would be nice. The last time you took a proper ocean dip wasn't optimal, but maybe this time will be better? "Okay," she winks. "But only because I want to see you in your swimsuit again."---Kids dig in the sand on the beach as you stand chest-deep in seawater, trying to keep track of the blur of motion around you. Meryl is collecting sea-shells and handing them off to you, for putting in a jar later. Why seashells? Don't they sell those by the ton? "It's worthless if I don't get them myself, and it's not like the sea is running out. If you want to balance the books, maybe we should dump some souvenir containers back where they belong." If she insists? You palm over the seashells in your hand and keep them away from the waves, which threaten to wash them away.>Try to listen to the ocean, see if you can make a of connection to it. Long shot...>Go underwater with Meryl again. You need to know more, and half-measures won't do.>Keep an eye out for Mrs. Ciar. That woman scares you.>If you're literally collecting memories, perhaps you can win her a cheesy carnival prize later?>[Write-In]
>>5406320>>Try to listen to the ocean, see if you can make a of connection to it. Long shot...
>>5406320>>Try to listen to the ocean, see if you can make a of connection to it. Long shot...also obligatory>hold Meryl's hands while you do, or outright hold her embracedafter all if we're happy to take Meryl as she is, the least sea could do is extend the same courtesy.
>>5406320>If you're literally collecting memories, perhaps you can win her a cheesy carnival prize later?
Sorry, weekend was crazy.>>5406325>>5406335>>5406350>>5406642You attempt to create a connection to the ocean. You've got some sort of link to nature, and if it was strong enough that your body was re-enforced with mystic energy, then maybe the tide will see that you're here for her. The two of you are connected. Your feet are on the ground, and you reach out to hold Meryl's hands, letting the two of you hold the shells in your hands. She's a little surprised, but lets it happen, looking at you curiously.You hold her hands, and the tide crawls over you, wave by wave, cleaning the shells of sand and letting you be together. She stops treading water and leans back, resting in the water. Your grip keeps her slightly buoyant, and you can feel her pulse. Her red hair splays around her in the water and moves with the rising and falling seawater. The breeze is thin, and there's just the two of you. Physical touch is very important to the two of you, almost more so than words. Meryl initiates it more, but when you need to hold her, you need to. When you graduated, the two of you went out to eat with your family, and then when they went home, you got to spend the night in and out of bars, all of which were packed. When she got a little too tired after one cider too many, you carried her like a princess until she demanded you let her down. Her attempt to carry you the same way was only partially successful, and while she blamed you for being 'too fat', the smile she had in that moment you said goodnight reminds you of the proposal. Was that the moment when she decided to ask you?As the moment stretches out, there's some kind of relay, like a sound wave hitting you in the chest. You've been to concerts that loud, and the effect is similar, but this is almost enough to stop your heart. It doesn't, and instead it passes on to your fiancée. You can see her in a strange way- like there's a pattern overlaid on her. Less of a color or shape than a frequency or texture. She reacts to it, but doesn't seem hurt. She's trying to communicate something to you, but you don't understand it... Not all at once, anyway. But when the message comes across, it takes your mind from where you're standing and into the black depths of the deep ocean.At the bottom of the sea, there's a mighty beast. A monster the likes that would strike fear into any human unfortunate enough to meet it face to face. Lord Leviathan is just a title to the master of the depths. Over a hundred meters top to bottom, large enough to catch a whale in its arms. Humanoid, vaguely, or more likely looking like a therapod, if it were stood up on land. Demonic, almost, with oversized dermal denticles that almost look like dragon scales. Covered in slime that it hasn't bothered to clean due to living in the depths. Just one of its eyes is over a meter wide. An entity this large shouldn't be alive- it's simply too big to sustain itself.
Which is probably why it's dying. Lying helplessly, half-buried in the sand, staring up into a darkness that it can see through better than you can see in the day. The entire blue ocean is passing it by while its huge heart barely keeps it alive. Thick, almost alien blood pulses through it slowly but surely, bringing feeling into long-since-wilted limbs, thin of muscle from lack of use. This titan is... Meryl's ancestor? It's not a demon or a god, it's simply a very powerful physical creature. Or it would be. It simply doesn't fit in the world any more.It's jarring, honestly, to think of Dagon of all beings as an expiring old man who's watching this world fill with technology which would have been magic to him as a child. But there's no better way to see it. He's not regretful, or vengeful, or even hungry. He's just tired. When your paternal grandfather was in his last days, he had a kind of wistful expression, like he knew he didn't need to be here any more. Your father was the one to find him passed away in his sleep. Dagon has no such expression, should you be able to read it, but it's the same feeling. 'Let me go'. An odd feeling for an immortal to have.This affinity between animals of different origins is not shared by a second entity you become aware of- a mighty wave, formless and ill-shaped. Like a cold riptide, this greater power's gaze considers you for a moment- a moment too long. You learn nothing more of the mighty shadow that hovers over Dagon, other than that it does not seek him ill and it has no care or sympathy for you. This is not the indifference of an apex predator, though- it is the chill dismissal of a hurricane passing by.And then you're back in the ocean with Meryl, who stands hazy-eyed and awed by your expression, as if she were still entranced. You can probably pass it off as pure affection to anyone watching, but as her vision doesn't break naturally, you're a little concerned- you have to shake her out of the daze with a slight nudge."Bwah- uh, I didn't see anything," she blinks several times. "I mean... Sorry, it seems I got in contact with someone." She blushes furiously. As a result, and to try and hide her embarrassment at being shocked awake, she traces her fingers over your chest while checking to make sure the lifeguard isn't getting wise to the situation. Hey, that feels pretty good, you want more of that instead of some seashells. But the topic needs to be addressed, even if it means she quits.>"Prize. We should go to the carnival. I can win you a prize." Anything to get your minds off of it. It's better if you take this slowly and not assume.>"Someone different, or the same?" You're curious- this seems to be a two-way thing.>"Forget about it." You wanted to learn more about her, not become aware of cosmic voyeurs.>"So are you a princess or something?" You won't let it get to her head- you're equals, now. But you do want to know about any inheritances.>[Write-In]
>>5409513>I did, too, though by how flustered you are it was not the same. Let’s trade stories?
>>5409513>"Someone different, or the same?" You're curious- this seems to be a two-way thing.
>>5409542>>5409741>>5409746"Well, I can't really be too specific, but he seemed really old, I guess. Old for a human, anyway." Meryl seems unsettled speaking about it. "Before you ask, I didn't find him attractive." You weren't going to ask, but that sounds suspicious. "Hey, I know how jealous guys can get, and I know I looked like a gaping moron when you woke me up. Anyway, he was more of a crotchety old man, classic wizard sort. Covered in flowing robes, nothing showing but a beard coming from the hood. Even his hands were covered by the robes. He had this sort of dangerous aura about him, as if he were going to feed me to beasts if I said something wrong. He asked me a bunch of questions- I don't remember all of them, but one of them was 'where do you come from'." The redhead looks aside, but presses her palms to your chest for support. "I said 'Boston', and he didn't like that very much. As far as I could tell, anyway. He got really close and began asking more questions. It was like staring into a vacuum, like my mind was being pulled in. I could also tell that he could see all of my Dagonian aspects... which was pretty nice." Why? "Well, because it wasn't too much. I was wondering if he would have revealed more than you did, but he didn't. The way you saw me is the way I am." She smiles, obviously re-assured that her physiology is close enough to a human's to be attractive to you.But then she gets nervous again. "I asked him who he was, in between the barrage, and he just said 'humanity', before continuing to pester. I don't know what he was looking for. He kept bothering me until you woke me up." So now you know what it feels like to have someone talk your ear off. "Hey!" she balks. "You're a good listener, and I appreciate that." By talking. "Yes." At least she's honest.You pass along what you've seen, and she is both impressed and astonished. "Woah. I've never... I've never seen Dagon." Her smile becomes somewhat wobbly. "You really are a special guy, huh?" Yeah. You would have to be, to have Meryl looking at you the way she is. As for the shadowed man- you have no idea who that is. You have a couple of ideas, but none of them are anything more than speculation. But it just... It doesn't seem to matter when you look at her. Whatever kind of special connection the two of you have to other people or places, those words she said before come back to the front of your mind, fresh as they are.'I just want to be with you.'She was telling the truth then, and it still shows somewhat in her nervous smile. Meryl's hesitant gaze is silently asking you to look at her.>"Any particular kind of stuffed animal you like the best?">Give her the seashells back so you can carry her to shore.>You can stay here for a little while longer. No need to talk.>Time to head back to solid ground. That aviation museum will let you spend time together without mystic interference.>[Write-In]
>>5412085That was pretty cool.> Any particular kind of stuffed animal you like the best?"We’ll vouch for her with our kinds anthropomorphic personification for sure. If that’s what it was.
>>5412085>Give her the seashells back so you can carry her to shore.>"Any particular kind of stuffed animal you like the best?">>5412112I'm pretty sure that it was. We met hers, she met ours. And ours sounded like kind of a jerk.
>>5412114+1I think they were visions of the “Dagonian god” and “Human god”, Meryl seems to put credence in Dagon being a real being.
>>5412085>"Any particular kind of stuffed animal you like the best?"
>>5412112>>5412114>>5412118>>5412541"Stuffed bear," she says without hesitation, narrowing those aqua eyes of hers again "If you thought I was gonna say 'shark', I'm gonna get really offended." If you had thought that, you wouldn't have asked. Meryl is unamused. But it's starting to get late enough in the day that you ought to take a look at those prize-winning stall games before they get overloaded with would-be players.Pool seems to be the name of the game- something that looks like English Billiards, with a pair of cue balls and an object ball. You've never played it, but you had the game explained by a doctor who happened to be at school once. The brain surgeon liked proving how steady he was with a pool cue despite pushing 70. You don't remember the details, but this variant seems much simpler: You need to sink three shots, with the red ball being your target and the yellow ball being off-limits. Five dollars a try. Shouldn't be so hard.---Thirty-five dollars and twenty minutes later, the teddy is in Meryl's hands. She sighs, pleased but concerned as to how enthusiastic you were to win it for her. "I love you, and this is adorable, but please don't get baited in like that again." It would have been that expensive to buy. Probably. You don't know the going rate on oversized teddy bears. The thing's large enough and heavy enough that you probably need to put the seatbelt on for whatever seat it's in. "Fair enough. It's great, so fluffy!" she nuzzles into it and says, "Yeah, this thing's coming with us to Maine."Back on the boardwalk, with the huge prize in tow, you navigate your wife through the crowd. It's not heavy so much as it is bulky, and even with Meryl being as strong as she is, she finds it a little difficult to maneuver in the hustle and bustle. Not a surprise, then, that she bumps into someone. He's a hoodie-wearing guy who looks like he hasn't shaved in a week and has deep bags under his eyes. Wow, Chase really let himself go. What happened? "Uh." He panics, and at first you're sure you've mistaken a stranger for him, but sure enough, he recognizes you in turn. "Alex, it's... Funny to see you here? We haven't talked in a while." You tuck the stuffed bear under your arm so Meryl doesn't have to hold it while you talk with Chase, and introduce your wife to your old best friend from high school."So you used to play football together?" she asks, curiously. She's not impressed by his shabby demeanor, which surprises you too. He's always been kind of moody, but not this bad. What could- Your toes clench in your sandals as Jessica Marke, Psycho-Ex-Girlfriend-Supreme, approaches your best friend with a smile on her face and beer in each hand. >Quick, she hasn't seen you yet! Book it!>Wrench your brother-in-arms from the grip of the succubus and flee.>...They're getting along, right? No need to ruin the mood.>The other two can handle themselves. Protect your recently-won teddy-bear from The Bitch.>[Write-In]
>>5415016>...They're getting along, right? No need to ruin the mood.Who cares about the psycho ex? We're with the love of our life now.
>>5415016>>...They're getting along, right? No need to ruin the mood.maybe leave Chase with some encouragement before we go.
>>5415023>>5415049>>5415023>>5415049You calm down and look at the situation rationally, which is harder than it sounds given that everything in your body is screaming that this woman is going to embarrass you all in front of hundreds. However, when Jessica hands Chase his beer, she only looks at you with disdain, and then with an even deeper frustration at Meryl. Meryl stares her down in turn, but the glaring match takes second billing to your discussion with Chase. "Yeah," the former wide receiver says. "I went to Vegas for the experience. That was a mixed bag. I learned a lot about myself. Some of it wasn't good." Sounds like he's in a similar boat to you, then... but worse, because honestly you're with the love of your life and trying not to lose her, instead of having an existential crisis like he seems to be. At least Jessica is helping him through it, right? "You know her?" He's shocked."We used to date," Jessica clarifies with gritted teeth. "It was nothing serious, clearly." She drives the point in, making it clear that she's going to continue to be passive-aggressive but go no further in his presence. Meryl almost engages, but instead takes the teddy from you and nuzzles it, causing Marke to get visibly jealous."Huh. We met relatively recently," Chase says, struggling to explain how. "Anyway, I hope you're doing well. It's been a long time." It really has, hasn't it? Silently, you were concerned he would end up alone and depressed- he didn't have anyone other than the football team, but went off to college anyway. Now he's just depressed, and it doesn't have anything to do with being alone. He's got his Electrical Engineering degree, and will be headed in a different direction from you. Kind of a shame, but that's just how life is. You do want to keep in contact with him, so you trade numbers, and that puts a small smile on his face. As that's going on, the silent back-and-forth between Jessica and Meryl intensifies, culminating in Jessica sticking her tongue out at Meryl and Meryl baring what are close to fangs while holding her teddy. Very mature. Suddenly, you remember Chase's terrifying gaze as it sweeps over the two women and they both stop what they're doing to track his behavior. None of you are in danger, and you're immune to it, but his look had a habit of reminding people he was dangerous if he needed to be. "I think we should leave," he says, taking Jessica's hand softly and causing her to blush. "See you later," he smiles and nods to you, convincing his date to come along by kissing her on the cheek and tugging her in tow."Well, that went better than expected," Meryl says. "Not so awful a guy, it seems." And not in danger, either. But back to you and the missus.>You can go out on the town when Mr. Teddy is secured in the hotel room.>Ask Meryl if she had a close friend. Anyone. She's got to have someone.>Actually, a beer sounds pretty good right now.>Take a photo with Mr. Teddy on the boardwalk.>[Write-In]
>>5415971>You can go out on the town when Mr. Teddy is secured in the hotel room.I guess we can make a picture or few with Mr. Teddy before we do though, it's a nice idea for mementos.
>>5415987>>5416275>>5416379>>5416814Okay, as adorable as it is, you're kind of getting tired of carrying around Mr. Teddy, but Meryl gives you that look. So what ends up happening is this: You entrust a fellow tourist that looks too slow to run away with your phone with taking your photo with your wife in your lap and the bear in hers. Luckily, there's a grandma-looking woman who finds the two of you compelling and eagerly agrees. "You make such a lovely couple," are her specific words. Nearby, there's a portion of the boardwalk whose decking leads out onto the beach, and that seems like the best place- on solid wood but with the ocean and sand in the background, away from the crowds.After you find the right spot, you sit down and try to lean forward to keep you upright. That becomes especially relevant when she sits down and tries to make herself comfortable, too. You wrap your arms around your wife and shift her so her weight seats better in your lap. Nuzzling up into Meryl's red hair and then past so you're going cheek to cheek, you can almost feel her blush. "Hey, I need to keep the bear's face out of the way, so scooch." But soon after she shifts her weight, Meryl wraps her arms around your neck and seats herself a little closer, so it's not all one-sided. You close your eyes for a moment, feeling the sea breeze and her back against your chest. You open them to have the photo taken, and find you're naturally smiling. Like graduation and your championship team photo, you don't have to force it like you normally might.The photo is quickly taken afterwards, and it's even better than you imagined. With the backdrop of a clear night sky in the background and the roar of the sea in your ears, you decide to make that photo your screen lock image. It's a fun moment, and you thank the woman as you take the camera back. "No problem, dearies." As you say your goodbyes to her, you see Mrs. Cier watching from a distance. When she sees you, she turns and walk away into an alleyway. Meryl doesn't notice her mother vanish as she tugs on your hand. "Let's head back to the hotel, before this guy gets any sandier. Kind of cheap for an heirloom, but it's cute and soft." She wasn't going to regift it to one of your children, was she? "So what if I do! It's a good gift! And they'll get more use out of it than I will. Kids love this stuff." Does that mean you need to win her another teddy? "No," she sighs. "It's our teddy. You can cuddle it, if you want." You say you'd rather cuddle with her, and she sighs, defeated but still smiling. "We can do whatever you want when we get to Maine- or maybe sooner."It's good being with her, and you head out on the town without a care in the world- after putting away the prize, of course.(1/2)
>>5419356(2/2)The night sky is dulled somewhat by the lights of the streets, the neon and the halide flooding the pitch darkness and setting it aglow. Human lights can be seen from orbit. You wonder who else sees these lights, and the people who make them. You see the woman in front of you, her smile a light for your life. Well, that might be misplaced. The dark isn't so bad. In the night, you learned to depend on what you can feel, instead of what you can see. Humans fear the dark, the depth, because what can't be seen can't be easily controlled, if at all. You wonder whether the lights that let you see her so well are part of what keeps her trapped. She doesn't hate being Dagonian so much as she hates the idea of being rejected, and in the dark, those tells of hers become just part of the shadow, as real as they would be in the depths of the ocean. Does stepping into the light mean she's giving up a part of herself?You decide it doesn't matter. Everyone gives up parts of themselves as they grow and change. You stopped being so innocent when younger in order to become a grown man. Being innocent to a child-like degree isn't wrong, it just isn't useful and doesn't fit who you want to be. If she chooses to become a human completely, you have to trust her choice. With that philosophizing put aside, you follow her down the street and join her in studying the flow of bar crawlers, beach-goers, and revelry-partakers that make up this small fragment of the world.You end up in an Irish pub by the end of the night. When she laughs during a discussion with you over darts and beers, the world just makes more sense. Thoughts of burdens and obligations slough off of you. You're no good at throwing, especially when tipsy, but you do your best to impress her. She's not too terribly concerned either. You savor the moment, the memories, as they last. Day to day life with her won't be like this, but it will certainly have a charm of its own, and you'll always be able to look back on this then anyway.All is well, with the two of you together.---That'll likely be the end of the thread: As apologies for being somewhat erratic in posting due to adapting to a life change, I'd like to ask if you'd like a small POV change for any of the following scenarios:>A Vision of Humanity [Meryl's perspective]>Feeding and Care Guide for a Dagonian Wife [Mr. Cier's perspective]>Alex, hometown hero. [Chase's perspective]>What happened to the old man that could hear the Dagonian call? [???'s perspective]>[Write-In]
>>5419362>[Write-In] All of the abovehowever if I had to pick, I think I'm by slightest margin most curious about the mystery box [???]
>>5419362>A Vision of Humanity [Meryl's perspective]
>>5419362>Feeding and Care Guide for a Dagonian Wife [Mr. Cier's perspective]
>>5419362I would definitely be curious about all of these, but for now:>What happened to the old man that could hear the Dagonian call? [???'s perspective]
>>5419371>>5419522>>5419600>>5419626>Mystery Box>What happened to the old man that could hear the Dagonian call? [???'s perspective]My bike rolls down the road, and I smirk despite myself. I guess it's just the kind of stereotype I'm falling into in this body- the hotshot old man who's seen too much shit to forget and smirks at everything because he's dead inside and has nothing else to wield against the world. But it just feels natural, I guess, and this bike let me weave away from the black ops cops, so I'll let it slide for now.It's been almost two hours on the road, and I'm pretty sure this bike should be getting low on fuel. Sure enough, the light comes on, and I'm looking for a gas station. Some of these areas can go for miles and miles without a gas station in sight, and for a hunted man, I'm not too happy about that. Worse yet, I'm not risking turning my head into paint trying to change shapes in between stopping. I have to hide before I can change forms- thankfully, this guy's about average, so I can move an inch or two up or down without having to change clothes. The closest match is an African when I was in the Old World, but I've also got a Tiger Transit employee stashed in here. Tcho-Tcho didn't see it coming, thought he was getting a free meal. Man, there are a lot of bastards that eat humans, aren't there? I guess it's only fair, given all the shit humans eat. We're just checking and balancing- though not fast enough, I guess. I wonder if I could get hired to advise on making Onions Green when they finally get around to it?But enough about long pork, there's a gas station and diner. I don't need to eat people to get by, it's just a neat trick. Walking inside, I hope to hell the guy behind the desk isn't keeping track of the news, because any police probably got a good mugshot of me. Thankfully, he's too tired to care, and hands me a menu. A sufficiently dolled up waitress eagerly takes my order, and I stare at the menu. Pancakes and bacon, the standard fare. I ask to keep the menu in case there's something else I want. Pie is generally something they sell at places like this, and it's good more often than not when they do sell it. Kind of overly sweet, but it's pie.Gotta think about something other than food, before I start ordering the whole menu. This guy whose head I'm in... He's gotten his brain scraped before. It's why his body was on the move in the first place. Apparently he slipped his organization and then bought the big one off of American soil, so he got interrogated via necromancy. To his credit, his brain's a bag of locked boxes. I don't think the people who played with his corpse got anything but his life story and all the drama that comes with it. It would take too long to explain everything wrong with him, but I'll just leave it that he was the father of one of his coworkers and didn't know until it was pointed out to him.
>>5420208He was a killer, and even fought things like me or Dagonians, which means I get more skills with putting people and critters in the ground. There was a tradeoff, of course: This body was so fucked up it was a surprise he wasn't in a wheelchair before he died. I had to knit together way more than usual.There's a nearby sound that makes me lower my menu. When I look up, a gigantic bastard slips into the booth seat across from mine. Okay, what the fuck gives? He's extremely muscular, almost bursting out of his leather jacket, and he's got this feral look in his eyes like he just took five needles worth of speed. When he looks at me, it feels like someone stabbed me in the back with an icicle. Every instinct in my body tells me this man is going to kill me. That doesn't make sense, because I'm a ghoul, but even behind this cloak's screaming nerves, my under-skin is crawling."You're going to step outside, and then I'm going to kill you," he says as if it were the most ordinary thing in the world. I try to play dumb, but then he grabs me by the throat by reaching across the table. He doesn't even need to lean forward- he's just that big. "You're not going to be able to find any weaknesses in my body, so don't even bother." Oh, right, that's one of the tricks this body has. Fuck, it's hard to think with pressure on your throat. He releases me, and I realize the waitress didn't see that. She gives the big guy a curious look, but is scared away by his fearsome visage, only stopping to put down the meal. He turns back to me, taking the coffee cup that she brought for me and filling up with the kettle. Asshole. "You stepped onto someone's shit list by taking that body. But you're in luck, because the boss wants to know as much information as he can about someone you saw at Virginia Beach. Maybe, just maybe, that might get you imprisoned instead of killed."Wait, that big guy who slammed the door in my face? I could hear him when I was leaving out the back way, he wasn't willing to rat me out. What the hell do they want with him, anyway? I can't ask any more questions without pissing him off. But failing to answer makes him just as mad, because he throws the coffee in my face. Mordiggian fuck that hurts! He throws me on the ground and doesn't seem to care as the waitress screams. I try to shift to save myself, but he kicks me so hard it shoves a rib fragment into my heart. Damn, that... I don't know if I can walk that off. Gotta shift.As my skin turns leathery and I shift into my full charnel-eating form, I feel stronger. No matter how tough this human is, he can't stand up to a ghoul without firearms. But he picks me up as if I weighed two pounds instead of two hundred and throws me through a window.
>>5420209Contrary to what people think, it does not in fact feel like being thrown through candy glass. This shit hurts. I'm almost double-blinded and my skin is covered in shallow bleeding cuts. I can't see what follows me outside clearly- it looks like a bigger ghoul, at first, but it has hair. It's also almost nine feet tall, which is a me and a half. Is he a fucking werewolf? I thought those were just stories humans told about us."Last chance," comes the rumbling request, "Anything. Where he's headed. We know where he lives, we just need to catch him away from home." Got about fifteen seconds, based on his tone. Not enough time to heal. I'd need to take a bite out of him to restore my body, and he'd murder me before I got any closer.After thinking about how that kid bought me about 30 seconds and seems like a nice guy, I decide to give him a head start too. "Yeah, you would know where he lives-" I croak with my wheezy ghoul voice, "'Cause I'll bet he's fucking your mom!" Great last words, hotshot, this werewolf is going to kill you. And sure enough, I can feel fangs sinking into my throat. Can't see. I fight with everything I have, but he's tossing me like a ragdoll and my head is too light to think any more. Just gotta buy a few seconds...
>>5420210Man, talk about dog eats dog world out there.
>>5420210"One night." a man who would normally be considered muscular stands over the covered corpse, incredulously considering the situation. "How in the fuck were you able to track him down that fast? We only just got back the records of where he bought gas before you nabbed him.""I'm the best," grumbles the murderer, who's all prettied up and no longer covered in blood and glass shards. "I can move through nature better than you can. Much faster. I caught his scent when he was on a straightaway and followed him. I had to wipe the waitress and the owner." Fresh coffee sits in his hand, so hot it's practically still boiling. "So just to be clear, the story is that he was drunk biking and rammed the storefront, right?" "Well, you lost us our lead- and I think Mr. Radar burned one of the calls we could have tapped." The 72-year-old grumbles. "I can't get anyone to look at the wireless anyway, because of those damn privacy laws. They'll ask too many questions, too. It cost me too many favors to put this bastard down... Again. He's getting cremated and then buried at... Not at sea, those fishfuckers will send him back. We'll just have to have him turned into diamond or something.""I got you your corpse," the bigger man grumbles in frustration. "I know you hate me, but you could at least pretend to sound grateful.""I am, it's just..." he spits on the ground and grinds his boot into it, rubbing his military-clean mustache reflexively. "This shit has been going on for too long. It's been over a century, for fuck's sake. I've been alive for over half of it. And I'm going to put this case in the ground even if it puts me there too.""Whatever," the coffee-drinker sips his pour as if it didn't matter to him at all. "I'm not going to stop you from killing yourself on your slapdash crusade. Hell, you're doing me a favor. I saw my name on your bounty list. The number was very high."The glasses-wearing leader of the investigation doesn't like that phrasing, and tries to be intimidating. "You know killing you is entirely within my power, right? Like I could have you buried without an inquiry within the week?"It's to no avail, the bigger fellow shrugging it off literally. "Your men killing me is entirely within their power. You, on the other hand, would be a ragdoll in one and a half seconds." The big man points a sausage-sized finger at his employer. "Don't get our situation twisted. You know damn well I'm the only thing you have on call short of a firebombing that can get rid of this 'issue' for you. You're fighting the world here, you need a monster like me on your side."The two mutually furious individuals stare down at the long-since-cooled-off corpse with different expressions and different motives."Didn't he work for you?" the werewolf asks curiously. "The man, not the ghoul.""Yeah, he did," the Director replies, angrily. "Fucking moron. Even when he's dead, he's a pain in my ass.">>5420212Ain't it so.