2nd Jun 2020, 12:34 AM
Loot the junkyard

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Loot the junkyard
The first thing you notice are the soda cans sitting around the area near the entrance. Pizza boxes, too; they look like they've been here a while, but not that long. Maybe a couple days, at most.

"How often do people visit this junkyard...?," you ask, approaching a broken down car.

"Kids drive down here sometimes to make out or... whatever," Kate states.

"Eww," Cici replies, "in a junkyard?"

Kate smirks. "Gotta make out somewhere."

Peering into the car, it appears empty--save for some mysterious stains, dried blood, and more soda cans. ...And a couple of beer cans, and some haphazardly tossed cigarette butts. ...And a large number of punctures in the windshield. It looks like some teens may have been hiding from the birds in here; you're surprised the glass held up, though it looks like it could break at any second.


You decide the three of you should mostly stick together for now--or at least, you should stay within sight of each other.


"We need armor... tools," you list off, "anything that can pick locks, weapons... uh... furniture? If it looks like we can carry it back?"

"I don't know if I'd trust furniture you find out here," Cici remarks. "I haven't heard great things about bed bugs."

The junkyard, in general, is fairly daunting; trash is stacked so high that it's easy to lose track of where you are, and most of it's just miscellaneous junk. You don't need a bunch of dented hubcaps, or a box of mysterious cables, or a ripped tarp, or a metal drum full of fishing poles (stripped of their lines, no less), or...

"Hey!," announces Cici, after turning over a massive piece of debris-- "I found a toolbox!" Picking it up and opening it, Cici discovers that the toolbox is... empty.

But still, hey, a toolbox.

You find a motorcycle helmet, though it doesn't... quite fit right. Which might be an issue if you plan to actually ride a motorcycle, but a little awkwardness shouldn't affect you too much in the dungeon.

Hell--with the inconsistent nature of the dream, you might grow into the helmet, or it might fit you perfectly by virtue of being "equipped." You really don't know, at this point. There's some light scuffs on the surface, but otherwise it looks perfectly intact. ...Which makes you wonder, briefly, why someone would throw it away. Maybe they just bought a new one!

Most importantly a helmet will keep shit out of your FACE

"I found some tools," Kate says, gathering items into her arms, "but uhhh we're gonna wanna wash these off when we get back."

You find some rope in both blue and classic brown.

The initial surge of discovery quickly dies down; the three of you wander the junkyard for a while, opening half-buried file cabinets and turning over chunks of garbage--on several occasions immediately jumping at the sight of huge ants, humongous roaches, or one (1) enormous spider, respectively. None of you are particularly enthusiastic about bugs, you discover, though after having a smoke Kate does admire the spider from a safe distance.

"Yooo," announces Kate, prior to rushing over and pulling a steel folding chair out of the scrap. "I have always wanted to crack a dude with a chair. I'm keeping this for sitting but also just in case."

The birds soaring overhead leave you alone as you search, but they do make you a bit nervous. They are very large, and their silhouettes are a little gross looking. ...A couple of them are barely bird shaped.

After some more digging, Cici turns up a set of fightball pads and some old MMA gloves. The gloves are a little big, and the pads threaten to crush your boobs, but otherwise it mostly fits.

Finally, you collect about three old keys.

In total you found:
• A toolbox
• A screwdriver
• A wrench
• A knife
Brown rope and blue rope
Old keys x 3

• A motorcycle helmet
Fightball pads
MMA gloves

• A steel chair


It's about 4:00 pm by the time you all get tired of burrowing through garbage.

"We never found any weapons," you grumble.

"All the baseball bats and shit here are broke," Kate mentions. "I found a knife? Dude--you barely use weapons anyway. You need a god damn flamethrower. How many molotovs can you fit down your pants?"

"...Something with a lot of reach would be good," you point out. "I have to reach the... uh... skin flaps on the sides of that boss. I can get in and out fast enough, I think, but a polearm would give me a bigger margin for error."

"Well," Cici begins. "We could make something."

Kate smiles. "What, like arts and crafts this shit? I'm down."


The three of you end up thoroughly taping broom handles together, slightly reinforced with metal bars where the handles meet. You and Kate dig up a broken knife blade and a detached hatchet head, and attach those to the initial pole.

You have crafted a makeshift polearm.


The three of you begin to haul your loot back to the bus stop. "So what's next?," Cici asks.

Kate checks her phone, then hands you her metal chair. "My ass is going to work. Don't care what you dorks are doing, I'll call you when I get off."

"Oh, yeah," Cici comments. "Guess I should make sure Meatloaf hasn't eaten the library."

"You want me to go with you?," you ask.

Cici shakes her head. "Nah, I need to do some thinking. Thanks, though! I'll swing by later!"


The bus arrives.

The long trip to Kate's bus stop is fairly quiet.

Kate gets off, and begins the journey toward her mom's house.

The bus drops Cici off near the library,

and then takes you home.


You dump all your newly acquired stuff off in a big pile in your bedroom, and set the metal folding chair up in your living room.

Yup.

Definitely starting to look like a house now.





Looks like Kate forgot her backpack.

Yup. Yup yup.

Definitely feeling satisfaction over the accruement of furniture.

Definitely not getting a sudden wave of sadness and anxiety tied to an irrational fear that you're a burden, the least useful member of the group, and everyone secretly finds you obnoxious.

That's definitely not happening, and you're definitely not going to obsess over it the entire time your friends are gone because what the fuck is wrong with you.











Yup.

House sure is quiet.


Quiet house.

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2nd Jun 2020, 12:48 AM
Welp, let's do some research on anything special about the games that have had an effect!
Being maybe useful should feel nice.
2nd Jun 2020, 12:48 AM
Video games? Maybe make a video, need the moneys.
2nd Jun 2020, 6:20 AM
Snervalton
+1! Make a video to get some moneys then play some Crush Souls to get dodge-roll powers.
2nd Jun 2020, 12:48 AM
Anotherdamntimeclone
Now might be a good time to research space gardens and how to make one instead of being overwhelmed by existential dread.
2nd Jun 2020, 12:51 AM
Uhhhh..!
Turn on some music!!! (?)
Might help drown out the quiet and sad-thoughts. Gives good vibes sometimes for me, although its kinda a diceroll on whether or not it makes me feel dumb, but generally it helps.
2nd Jun 2020, 12:52 AM
We ate breakfast but I think we skipped lunch. Might be good to make an early dinner?
2nd Jun 2020, 1:06 AM
2nd Jun 2020, 10:41 AM
2nd Jun 2020, 12:54 AM
Lunar Waffles
try to get the meds?
2nd Jun 2020, 12:56 AM
Looks like the meds are wearing off. Take a literal Chill Pill before we do anything else. Then we can clean the stuff we found, because physical activity is good to help calm your mind down.

As the meds take effect, remember this: Kate and Cici are grown-ups. If they thought we were a burden, they wouldn't bother hanging out with us. We are not foisting ourselves upon them because it is *their* choice to hang with us, and we must respect *their* freedom to choose to enjoy our presence, even if we don't respect ourself.

Like legit, if Kate thought we were lame, she would TOTALLY tell us.

Once the meds kick in, we can see about getting some more of them.

If we are still having trouble calming down, we could practice stabbing things with the makeshift polearm! Stabbing at the air is calming too :D
2nd Jun 2020, 6:28 AM
Snervalton
+1 to cleaning up some of our haul and practicing with the polearm. Maybe find a video online with some techniques?
2nd Jun 2020, 9:18 AM
2nd Jun 2020, 10:43 AM
PsychoSoldier
+1 to practice, that thing might be hella unweildy and take some getting used to
2nd Jun 2020, 12:09 PM
Ryebread1983
+1 to your suggestions on actions, and to your advice on self-doubt and self-respect.

If we do not trust our own abilities or judgement, then we can trust in the judgement of our friends and what they can freely choose.
2nd Jun 2020, 5:42 PM
+1 to cleaning our loot.
2nd Jun 2020, 12:58 AM
nathan400
Might be a good time to take a breath, remind ourselves that not everyone has to deal with a nightmare house, and we're doing pretty well, as far as we can tell.

Let's not think about the fact that we've an easy way out from the madness, and we're not taking it because we have a vague GUESS (with a statistically improbable amount of evidence, sure, but still a guess) that the mayor is a vamp.
2nd Jun 2020, 1:00 AM
undeadDreamer
Plaire you have two Brainsate in your inventory. Take a Brainsate. Then give Afu's brother Lagi a call. Also: We should think about new video ideas. Preferably something about Crush Souls or whatever the jumpy one was called so you have two reasons to play it tonight.
2nd Jun 2020, 2:49 AM
Maybe make a video on the arcade cabinet (if you can)?
2nd Jun 2020, 3:53 PM
Probably better to do the arcade video once we've gotten a chance to talk to Franklin.
2nd Jun 2020, 1:04 AM
Okay first off Plaire, reminder that that voice in your head that says you're useless or obnoxious is wrong and bad. You are a good and wonderful person, and your friends wouldn't be your friends if they didn't like you. If you really feel like you need it, consider taking a dose of the anxiety medication Kate gave you.
Now take a shower. I'll wait.
...
Back?
Now then, I'd actually recommend looking into those companies that make the games you saw posts for- MASAMOON, Toward, etc.- pick out a game you like from one of them, and get it! You deserve a reward. If you can't afford one you want, then save up for it.
Maybe do a talky video about the arcade game you played, with its historical significance and whatnot. Throw in pictures of gameplay and stuff, if you can get them legally and free. Mention whatever game you might be interested in getting, and see if your subscribers might be interested in watching you play through it.
If you don't think you can manage all of this before another sleepover occurs, then just work on whatever catches your fancy.
Also... I shouldn't have to say this, but definitely don't snoop around in Kate's backpack. That would be an invasion of privacy, and super uncool. You are a cool person, and above such things.
2nd Jun 2020, 2:00 AM
+1? um also if all that fails maybe double-check to make sure there is no secret room we didn't find that does indeed have the missing washer and dryer.
2nd Jun 2020, 6:03 AM
+1 to checking the house over again, see if we can find where the washer and dryer can even GO. I have yet to see any other sockets in the house except for where we have our computer, the fridge, and the oven. Seriously, this house is stocked with a bedroom, a bathroom, a complete kitchen, but NOWHERE TO CLEAN LAUNDRY??? Suspicious.

Also, we know thanks to Kate that the house absorbs blood. It didn't do anything at the time, but what if we give it some of OUR blood? It might be part of a identification thing, and didn't recognize Kate since she's not the owner. Plaire, on the other hand, is the one getting the dreams. The house might respond differently to us.

BTW, we have a phone now, we can call Kate to let her know she left her bag.
2nd Jun 2020, 7:47 AM
pkrankow
Laundry was mentioned. It was in the listing. We should txt Kate about bag, suggest measuring to see if there are any hidden spaces in the house big enough for a laundry. Draw a floorplan of the house...

Not fond of self injury, but the blood hypothesis should be discussed... likely carried out.
2nd Jun 2020, 11:17 AM
Plus one to the shower and self care idea. Maybe a little bit of music might be nice as well. Basically we need some low stress chill time, but at the same time we recognize that we won't slash can't chill unless we're doing something.
2nd Jun 2020, 3:57 PM
I would say -1 to playing a different video game, if only because we played Franklin's game today, and it would be good to see what effects we get from his game. Another game might interfere with it.

We could, however, clean up our new stuff, practice with our new polearm (maybe look up some Youtube videos on how to use it), or do some research on things you can do with junkyard materials.

CrazyTim45, we don't have outlets in the house because in the BiM/MDA world, electricity for household items is transmitted wirelessly.
2nd Jun 2020, 3:26 AM
Kate, they declared you leader of the group while you didn't even want it. You don't declare the load the leader of your group.
Maybe take some of that brainsate if needed.
Also let's start thoroughly cleaning those things, because I don't think wearing stuff straight from the junkyard in bed is going to be any kind of sanitary.
If that's done and there's still some time... maybe get started on a video? No need to make it post-ready right away, but you can get the pre-edited video done if there's enough time.
2nd Jun 2020, 5:44 AM
Plaire, if they didn't like you, THEY WOULDN'T BE GOING INTO THE CONFIRMED WITCH HOUSE. Seriously, no one just walks into crazy like that unless they care. Or are crazy themselves, but Kate and Cici seem to be more on the sane side of things anyway.
2nd Jun 2020, 7:43 AM
pkrankow
Redirect time:

We are HANGRY
Fix food. Eat.

Scrub what needs scrubbed. Disinfect what we can.

Work, determine if video from the sleepover is good for making a new video, and edit it together. Consider a short montage of contrasting play styles. I expect most of the footage is less than useful.

If we find that food, cleaning our new finds, and getting to editing does not break this funk, then consider using Brainsate.

er play games and record. Crush soul and/or magic mustacio...or both. Work some old saves of boss fights that use power combos including movement, and spells.

We did play the arcade game earlier, but have no footage. We will need to fix that. See about a kit to go record gameplay of the arcade.
2nd Jun 2020, 8:39 AM
Hari_Seldon
+1 eat to stop the HANGRY.

Take 1 pill and see if that helps Plaire make videos faster. Make the videos so Plaire can afford more pills.

Save 1 pill for the Alcazar to see if it has dream powers if Plaire takes it then.

Look up SOMNIPLAN (from the brochure).
2nd Jun 2020, 11:05 AM
Snervalton
+1 to looking up SOMNIPLAN
2nd Jun 2020, 1:08 PM
+1 the HANGER must be placated
2nd Jun 2020, 3:59 PM
-1 to playing a different game, just because I want to see what abilities we get from Franklin's game in the dream tonight. Looking into how to record from the arcade cabinet is a good plan, though. We can do some planning for what kind of video to make about it once we have some footage and after we've had a chance to talk to Franklin.
2nd Jun 2020, 8:58 AM
BJBlack
I already know I'm not getting a lot of upvotes on this, but I'm putting it out there because it's in character.

And being in character is important to stories, in my opinion.

Player: Have a mental breakdown.

Because you're scrawny and weak, the three of you had to stick together in the junkyard. Kate been there before, and Cici's, well, Cici. They would have been perfectly safe wandering around alone.

But not you. No, you're Plaire Stevens, the squishy wizard of the group. Minus actually being able to do magic. Or anything useful in real life, really.

Also, remember how just this morning you announced to yourself and to your friends, "I need to start thinking about the long term, like getting in better shape... Physically and mentally."

That was before 10am, and now it's after 4pm. Now, if you want to continue earning money

which is nice for feeding you so you don't die

you need to make a video, which takes hours, and then there won't be any time for exercise or anything.

You said you'd think about the long term, and then actually pursued whatever sidequest happened to catch your attention. Like some half-brained twit flitting from one shiny object to another.

How did we get any closer to physical and mental health? Well, hauling things around a junkyard for two and a half hours is a little bit of exercise, which is better than nothing at all, but hardly the work of someone serious about changing for the better.

... And you got Lagi's phone number. From Kate's conversation with Afu, you don't think he's a doctor, or a psychiatrist.

Kate's probably hooked you up with a drug dealer.

That's an easy way out. But why shouldn't you take it? Stock up on Brainsate to suppress your anxiety. Maybe he can get steroids or something so you can build some muscle without a lot of time investment (something you've just established in your mental-breakdown-monologue you are bad with).

And you're lonely, too. You're still less than a week out of your decade-plus long relationship with Lora, and there's a real temptation to jump into a rebound relationship (even if it's not in a really healthy way) just so you don't have to feel like being with Plaire Stevens wasn't a good enough reason to leave Addersfield, among other ways having an intimate relationship would make you feel good.

But then you'd basically be taking advantage of your lover, getting your hooks into them to get your needs met, which sounds like a totally horrible thing to do, and it is, and if you admit to yourself you want to do it, it will probably manifest another horrible thing in your nightmare dungeon, and it will be the worst thing of all.

Because instead of something outside of you doing horrible things to you,

It's you doing horrible things.

How

could you possibly

face that?
2nd Jun 2020, 9:50 AM
Limrix
It might be in character for Plaire now, but I like to think there's a reason we're here in this story. You are not your past, and while those nagging voices telling her she's not good enough will probably be there for a long time, so will we, and there's no reason for us to tell her to listen to them. Screw those voices. She's survived more crazy shit in a week than most people deal with their entire lives.

We're not Plaire. We're the choir. And it's up to us what we say to her.

We don't need to do anything tonight, besides maybe eat dinner since I think we skipped lunch. Also I think having an indestructible dream house counts as at least a little magic.
2nd Jun 2020, 2:28 PM
BJBlack
First, we aren't "here in this story." In the story, we have exactly zero mentions. You go back and check if you want; I'll admit I'm wrong if you find one.

If in your head-canon, we do exist, because of something that was retconned out because our good author decided it was a bad idea, well, that's your head-canon.

[EDIT: I conditionally retract this point, but leave it stricken so the discussion is still coherent.]
Second, she needs to look at her problems. If her problems are emotionally painful, that means feeling emotional pain. Not allowing herself to feel the pain is an avoidance tactic. Avoiding problems is not the same as solving problems. In fact, avoiding a problem makes it harder to identify the problem, and if she can't identify the problem, she can't solve it.

Admittedly, a breakdown isn't really effective at solving that problem, and obviously counter-productive to her many other problems (which she'll then get anxious about). But that's where she is, right now.

If she wants a better option, she just needs to use that brain of hers and find/create one.
2nd Jun 2020, 4:06 PM
From a mental health perspective, if we want Plaire to actually make *progress,* this is terrible advice. A breakdown doesn't actually *break* the self-perpetuating cycles of negative thought that characterize anxiety and depression; it just *reinforces* those harmful cycles, carving them ever deeper into the network of neurons that makes up your conscious thoughts and memories. Medication, on the other hand, works to *break* those cycles. In the absence of effective therapy options, and in the presence of miracle drugs that take effect quickly and have no side effects, we NEED to use the medication.

We are well aware of what the problems actually are. Dwelling on them emotionally via a breakdown, rather than treating them with effective therapy techniques, is the OPPOSITE of solving them. It will only REINFORCE the problems.

What you're advocating is even worse than avoidance, which is something we aren't even doing anyways. Taking medication is not avoidance. Taking medication is actively taking steps toward treatment and making yourself ABLE to "use that brain" to find "better options."

Effective anxiety medication does NOT dull the emotions-- it allows you to feel a NORMAL range of emotion instead of a warped and twisted one. If Plaire is going to be able to actually face her negative emotions, she needs to start from a level playing field, not from one in which the emotions are given all the power and she has none.
2nd Jun 2020, 4:26 PM
(I guess I wasn't logged in for my last post)

Like... I just want to make SUPER clear that what you're advocating is actively harmful, and anyone reading these comments who suffers from anxiety and/or depression IRL should understand that it is NOT a good or healthy way of dealing with things.

The idea that medication somehow *prevents* you from working on your emotions is wrong and harmful. Effective medication should allow you to feel a full range of emotion, and should *enable* you to engage with your emotions in a healthy way. Many people suffer because they don't realize this, and end up on the wrong medication or avoid taking medications that could help them.

Telling someone who is suffering to "just come up with a better way" while also discouraging them from USING the better way that is right in front of them, and getting started on making actual progress using all the tools available to them... this can actually do real-life damage to real people.

Sometimes breakdowns *happen*, but they are not a tool or a method, they are a *symptom.* Having a breakdown is not using a technique, it is *suffering.* You wouldn't say "you should experience the pain and inflammation that your knee is suffering, because it will help you cure your torn meniscus," would you? That's completely illogical.
2nd Jun 2020, 5:09 PM
BJBlack
You make a good point. When I asserted that she needed to do it to look at her problems, I was thinking of it as a painful process with some positive results in the end.

If I was wrong, then I retract my advocacy of it as a positive step. Might still be in-character, though.

I still dislike the idea of using drugs; I view them as a short term solution to a long term problem, with a laundry list of side effects and a risk of addiction. But I'll concede I may be wrong on this point, too.

As for pain and inflammation, however, I'd like a body that did experience them to an identical body that didn't. They are vitally important (if unpleasant) processes, after all.
2nd Jun 2020, 11:01 PM
Taenidia
I thought this was well-written, fwiw. Definitely felt pretty in-character.

I'd be pro "Take Brainsate now, Take stock of her anxieties while waiting for it to kick in." Maybe attempting to make a low-effort food.

Maybe even journal it, if she can. Ranting lets off steam and can help with perspective, but it also may be worth doing in case something turns up as a monster later.

(Fwiw, my experience with SSRIs actually *was* intense emotional blunting. My current anxiolytics don't do that, though. Drug effects vary a lot, side-effects vary a lot, and how people use them varies a lot. But so far, Brainsate does look helpful.)
2nd Jun 2020, 9:35 AM
Limrix
We should still have the video game powers from dig-dug, and I'm fine with using those for tonight.

Inspect each rope for length, thickness, and condition.

There's no rush to make a video tonight. We should be fine to do that tomorrow, we don't have any other big plans so it works out. Maybe try cooking something nice for dinner. Mashed potatoes are a cheap and easy comfort food, and we can make a hummus salad to go with it.

Maybe listen to an episode of Infohazard while we cook.
2nd Jun 2020, 10:51 AM
PsychoSoldier
+1 to inspecting rope that somebody else decided was garbage
2nd Jun 2020, 11:18 AM
Snervalton
I really think that we should try tackling the wall boss tonight in order to advance in the dungeon. Crush Soul's dodge-roll powers would be the most useful to us for that because they'll help us to avoid the electricity burst.
2nd Jun 2020, 9:48 AM
2nd Jun 2020, 9:50 AM
Limrix
We love you, Plaire!