4th Jun 2020, 10:24 PM
Inform Cici about the back door

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Inform Cici about the back door
"Oh, yeah!" You almost forgot amidst all the commotion, "I discovered my back door is weird. Or... I realized it's weird."

Cici squints. "Back door...? This house has a back door?"

You step out of the way, motioning toward where the back door still totally is and has always been.

"Look," you tell her.

Cici steps forward, straining. Staring.

You see the confusion wash over her face.

"...What the heck?," Cici finally asks. "There is a door there! I think. Yeah! ...Yeah?"

"Right?" You're glad it's not just you. "It's like I know it's there but I don't know how I know it's there. I can't see it."

Cici steps up to it, and runs her hand across the wall.

Across the door.

Where the door should be. Is.

Cici immediately stumbles back from the door/wall.

"Oh no that's not right," she declares. "That doesn't feel right at all."

"Sh... should I open it?"

"No," Cici blurts out. "Nooo. Any idea where it leads?"

"I have a back yard," you point out. "It might lead outside. ...I haven't been in the backyard yet."

Cici nods. "Let's go look in the backyard!"

The two of you head to the front yard, and approach the fence.

"Can you give me a boost?," you ask Cici. She nods, and holds her hands out, palms upward; you step onto her hand, and she helps lift you up to peek past the top of the fence.

Your reaction to what you see is instant. "Oh my god," you mutter. "You're not going to believe this, Cici."

"What?" Her eyes widen, but she keeps you steady. "What is it?"


You can barely believe it yourself--

a magic perception filter afflicted on the back door, all to hide...


"I think the witches were growing level."

"What?!" Cici does a double take. "You're sure it's level, and not just... I dunno, witch herbs? I heard eye of newt's really just witch code for mustard seeds. Are you SURE it's not just mustard?"

To be fair, you don't know what a mustard plant looks like.

Lora briefly attempted to grow level by the creek behind her house, though. The plants looked a lot like the plants currently growing in your backyard.

...These are bigger, admittedly. Lora's crop never really took off.

"It looks a lot like level," you finally reply. "Oh, and there's a porch light..." You lean over the fence a little. "I... can see the other side of the back door. I think."

"Son of a bitch!," huffs Cici. "No porch light in the front, but there's one in the back? That's not just irresponsible, Plaire--that's anarchy. Who knows what kind of madness those witches were capable of?"

"The witches were stoners," you practically giggle, still fixated on the plants. Like... straight up. Just growing level in the backyard. The plant is illegal, so you understand needing to conceal it, and maybe it has some other strange arcane properties you can't guess from a glance, but STILL

using forbidden mystical arts to hide your stash. What the shit.

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4th Jun 2020, 10:34 PM
See if you can get over the fence, then open the back door from the outside.

What could go wrong?
4th Jun 2020, 11:08 PM
the door is locked and because Cici can't see the door she can't unlock it?
5th Jun 2020, 3:31 PM
Maybe we should take a look for a ladder, step stool, bucket, or other such object that would allow us to get back over the fence in case the door doesn’t open (or worse, because of forbidden magicks and such). It would be a problem if we get back there only to find we can’t open the door, can’t climb back over the fence and can’t break down the fence to get out.
4th Jun 2020, 10:34 PM
Now try getting back there using the door... then have some level when Kate's back.
4th Jun 2020, 10:34 PM
I mean, we found it, so I don't think the door is hiding the weed. More likely it connects to a pocket dimension or something. Opening the door from the outside might prove... interesting.

We can also use the notepad to sketch out a map of our house. Where do the doors and windows face in each room?, and about how large are the rooms compared to the size of the house?

Also, call Kate quickly and tell her we're Plaire Stevens to make sure the ring works.
4th Jun 2020, 10:37 PM
+1 to attempting this before the other side
5th Jun 2020, 7:13 AM
Kate already knows Plaire's full name http://mda.thecomicseries.com/comics/45

Maybe Plaire should tell Cici her full name.
5th Jun 2020, 8:40 AM
She has heard it, but we haven't given it to her, which is important with true names. Yeah we should do this with Cici too.
5th Jun 2020, 10:18 AM
4th Jun 2020, 10:34 PM
Huh. Remember to mention that to Kate. And check what happens when you open the door from the outside.
4th Jun 2020, 10:35 PM
Man, that's such a let-down. Mystical arcane arts, indeed, to hide the forbidden weeds. Couldn't there at least been a Cerberus hanging out in the doghouse?

And there's no tree to hit.
4th Jun 2020, 10:36 PM
This is absolutely amazing. xD We need to go back there and look around in person now, for sure.
4th Jun 2020, 10:37 PM
Absolutely fantastic. Except, couldn't anyone do what Plaire is doing now?

Presumably this would stop anyone who was already in the house from discovering it, but I'd have to imagine anyone who really cared would (legally or otherwise) try and see over the fence.

...Try entering the house from this door.
4th Jun 2020, 10:42 PM
Gonna have to point out, this ain't really the "Stash" so to speak, this is the "Growth Operation". Stashes are ready to use product, generally speaking so... Hmmm... Think that there's another hidden door but to the washer and dryer and that's where they put all the ready to use Level?
4th Jun 2020, 10:56 PM
Quite possibly! That's why we should try Limrix's suggestion from the last page to trace all the walls with pen to see if we discover any abnormalities.
4th Jun 2020, 11:40 PM
I think that's actually because the doors are at different elevations; you can see the back door is cutting into the grey strip at the bottom but the front is up above it.
4th Jun 2020, 10:46 PM
You know what else is anarchy?

There are two steps up from ground level to the front door.

But there is only one step up from ground level to the back door.

We are dealing with some hardcore violation of the laws of time and space.


Or the ground around our house is a little out of level.
4th Jun 2020, 10:49 PM
Yes, but not the ground next to it.
4th Jun 2020, 11:13 PM
That's pretty easy to check, we should be able to visually tell if there's a disconnect at the fence, or no slope where there should be one.
4th Jun 2020, 11:41 PM
I think that's actually because the doors are at different elevations; you can see the back door is cutting into the grey strip at the bottom but the front is up above it.
5th Jun 2020, 1:41 PM
I kind of meant this comment as a quick joke... but maybe it really will lead somewhere.

Since we're on the topic, that 'grey strip' is probably the foundation. A building's foundation is usually a little bit above the ground level; it's about water. Typically, the building is mostly wood, which can rot if it's frequently wet. So you slap waterproof siding on the house to keep rain away from the timbers, and you lift it up with the foundation to keep ground moisture from creeping up to it. Also, a building can be elevated further in flood zones, with openings to allow flood waters through the foundation.

I'm kinda getting off topic, huh? Anyway, that's why I noticed, but honestly, I really don't think it's got any special meaning. It could simply be an artistic snafu.
5th Jun 2020, 1:42 PM
FWIW I was just trying to make a cheap pun about the word level. lol
5th Jun 2020, 1:46 PM
Oh, jeez. That was just about the perfect pun, and I completely missed it. Good one!
4th Jun 2020, 10:54 PM
Oh my god, this is amazing. We have an effective anxiety treatment growing in our back yard XD We're still gonna want to get our hands on some BrainSate, but this will be *excellent* for taking the edge off during really bad anxiety days, and also treating any anxiety-related muscle tension.

Since we know what's back here now, we might as well try going through the door itself. Maybe the perception filter will stop once we get through the door, so we can tend to the plants? I guess we'd better look up how to grow Level so we can tend them properly-- and how to prepare it for consumption.

The easiest way to handle it might be to make fresh Level tea with the leaves-- after looking things up and making sure that it is, in fact, Level, of course. Then we can have some herbal tea! :D (after looking up whether Level has any adverse interactions with BrainSate-- we might have to wait until the BrainSate has worn off to enjoy our herb garden)

Do we own gardening tools? We may need to make another visit to the junkyard to see if we can get some gardening tools like clippers, a watering can, a spade, and so forth. In a pinch, we can just water them with a cup or bucket, and use a knife to trim them-- sharp knives are supposed to be less damaging to plants than clippers or scissors anyways.
4th Jun 2020, 11:16 PM
This garden's stuck around for the past three months without anyone tending it, this should be easy mode as far as gardening goes.
5th Jun 2020, 8:34 AM
"Oh my god, this is amazing. We have [drugs known to cause heart explosions] growing in our back yard XD We're still gonna want to get our hands on some [more drugs]."

[EDIT: I indulged in some rather caustic sarcasm here, but I shouldn't have. I removed it.]

This is a very minor positive development, not something to get excited about. Psychoactive drugs have a place, and it's emergencies only. If it is of vital necessity that Player perform at her optimum right now, and symptoms prevent it, yes, knock something back so she can do what needs doing. Otherwise, she's just getting short term relief at the cost of long term complications.
5th Jun 2020, 11:57 AM
+1 to checking if it's contraindicated while on Brainsate (seems important to know!)

-1 to using it right now, this is not a sane way to handle most of our anxiety problems.

We should totally sell a small quantity of it to help with our cash-flow problems when we talk with Lagi, though!
4th Jun 2020, 11:36 PM
Mystery solved! Only 999 more to go. I like that this was a simple explanation, we needed one of those among, uh, *gestures at invincible house, dream dungeon and surrounding area* all of this.
5th Jun 2020, 12:10 AM
Oh shit you're right, we actually *solved a mystery.* We checked something off the list of questions! :D So it may be a small thing, but really, it's a *monumental* thing.
4th Jun 2020, 11:41 PM
1) I wonder if it's a magically self-maintaining garden?

2) In any case, Plaire can trade level for brainsate with Lagi now.

3) Could Plaire use this backyard to hide other things she doesn't want the outside world knowing about?
5th Jun 2020, 11:37 AM
+1 to trading level with Lagi, this seems great.

We probably should hide just how much of it we have at first... maybe start off with trading just enough of it to get money for a week of Brainsate and a psychiatrist appointment.

Claim that we have it from when we moved; our ex-girlfriend's small grow operation could be a great cover-story.
4th Jun 2020, 11:44 PM
Well, if we can reach that patch we can offer Kate a 100% discount on her level budget as thanks for helping us explore the deadly lethal dream dungeon of doom.
5th Jun 2020, 7:24 AM
EDIT: -1 to give some level to Kate
5th Jun 2020, 11:39 AM
-1 to giving Level to Kate; she already has a problem relationship to it. The "Oh God, she's doing strenuous exercise on Level..." comments from earlier leave me pretty concerned.

And Kate's good at hopping fences, so if we reveal it now, I don't expect to be able to cut her off in the future without completely killing the plants.

We might want a temporary cover-story that we own some Level from Lana's grow operation; use this to explain it to both Lagi and Kate (if it comes up).

I vote we wait to find out more about Kate's relationship with Level for now. Start by asking Cici. Make Kate promise not to exercise too hard on it if we still decide to give her a lot.
5th Jun 2020, 2:04 PM
Very wise. Thanks for your input !
5th Jun 2020, 1:39 AM
internet search for Somniplan
5th Jun 2020, 7:06 AM
I'll jump on this for the moment...search in privacy mode.
5th Jun 2020, 7:24 AM
5th Jun 2020, 10:25 AM
Privacy mode does almost nothing. About the only thing it would accomplish is making is slightly harder for the websites to remember you, through eliminating cookies. Even then, if the website cared enough to, they could log all activity by IP address.

You're probably thinking of a proxy server. Those are services that actually obscure your activity; but, they typically cost money.
5th Jun 2020, 3:54 PM
A basic proxy service would be good, yes. We probably have a list of some we _could_ use, but they are probably public proxies which have some type of tracking, or some type of subscription fee anyways, and I doubt we have funds to use one anyways.

Yes, dumping cookies, no local history, sandboxed so any alterations to our machine get wiped unless explicitly saved at the very least. Call it goodnuff even though it isn't.
5th Jun 2020, 11:47 AM
Search proxy servers and VPN services: How expensive/hard(/illegal in dystopia?) would it be to set that up?
5th Jun 2020, 1:46 AM
Magic can get pretty stressful, so it seems sensible enough they would grow their own level.

Bit weird the door is off on only one side though, innit?

More people who would be trying to get in from the back than going out from inside, yeah?
5th Jun 2020, 1:59 AM
Maybe it's concealed on this end too but seeing both sides of it allows someone to perceive it normally?
5th Jun 2020, 2:31 AM

Time to test this newer, better level and see how it measures up. No, wait, Kate's the level connoisseur and/or test dummy, let's get her to do it. And then become drug queenpins. No, better idea again, get Lagi in on this shiz in exchange for a running supply of Brainsate. Not to mention that Lagi just sounds like fun and we should totally get him in on this regardless.
5th Jun 2020, 2:36 AM
Actually, you know what we should do? Prank Kate with this. Get her to come over, tell her that there's some level waiting for her in the back yard, sit back and watch as she becomes very confused. Make sure to have a camera with which to record the look on her face.
5th Jun 2020, 7:26 AM
+1 to pranking Kate with this
5th Jun 2020, 3:58 PM
+1 to pranking Kate with the back door
5th Jun 2020, 11:47 AM
I'm -1 on revealing, but +1 on pranking if we do decide to reveal.
5th Jun 2020, 4:05 AM
....Is this the return of the SUPER LEVEL???? The one made with magic by Mine and friends????
5th Jun 2020, 7:05 AM
Option 1 use the back door from the inside

Option 2 wait for Kate and then use the back door from the inside.

I just finished rereading, via audiobook this time, "House of many ways" by Diana Wynne Jones. The third book of Howel's moving castle. Doors can lead to more than one place... still just use the door.
5th Jun 2020, 9:23 AM
Time to solve our financial problems through drug dealing.

To the library! We must learn about horticulture!
5th Jun 2020, 12:08 PM
I think we should have a long talk with Cici about what Kate's relationship with Level is like. And use that to inform whether we think it's a good idea to tell Kate about this.

Kate is sneaky, and can jump fences. I don't want Kate knowing about this until we're sure we can trust her to abuse this power to only a... moderately dangerous-to-self extent.

At this point, I'm not sure how much "heart explosions" is one of the following: rare medical horror-stories (like rare but severe allergic reactions, or psychosis with LSD), common medical horror-stories (like with bath salts), government-sponsored propaganda (like with weed), or something else... but this suddenly seems really important to work out.

ETA: The point about Fuse having an incident suggests "common medical horror-stories" to me. In which case, concern seems probably justified.
5th Jun 2020, 12:54 PM
+1 to all action suggestions above. I'd further encourage Kate to quit, but she's an adult and has the right to reject such encouragement; in fact, the topic's probably come up with other people in her life before us.

I seem to recall (and I could be completely wrong, as I didn't follow Blood Is Mine as closely as I am Alcazar), that Fuse had a Level incident that just about killed him, and his life was only saved by [SPOILER OMITTED]. Even with that, he was out of action for several days or weeks or something.
5th Jun 2020, 8:14 PM
I believe that was with regular level. They just smoked and enjoyed the super level, I think(?). Rereading Blood is Mine currently, haven't gotten that far in again yet
5th Jun 2020, 3:06 PM
I'm hesitant about having anyone even *try* this level. It could have been altered by the witches and could have unknown magical properties and might not even be safe for regular humans.
20th Jun 2020, 9:36 PM
Aura of unremarkability:
Passing thought: 'There is no door worth mentioning here. Move along.'
Under scrutiny: 'Yeah there's a back door. So what?'