29th Nov 2019, 2:16 PM
Visit Maria's

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Visit Maria's
"So... weird question," you begin. "The phrase I have a right to know. It... kind of popped into my head? And it sounds familiar but I can't place it. You wouldn't happen to have... like... I don't know, heard it on any commercials or anything, would you?"

The bus takes the briefest of pauses. "I'm afraid I haven't," she concludes. "There's nothing reoccurring or consistent involving that phrase in my database. Maybe you heard it in a past conversation?"

"Maybe." You huff a little. "I've definitely heard it before, I just don't know where."

You look out the window.

You give it some thought.

Probably can't just keep riding this bus forever.

"I... think I'm gonna try Maria's," you state.

"There's a bus stop fairly close to there. I'll swing you by."

Very shortly, you arrive at another Chariot MT bus stop (which you now know have sensors in them). The bus gives you directions to Maria's, but you can actually see the store from here.

"Thank you," you say. Third time's the charm, and it actually sounds natural this time. As you start to step off the bus, though, you have one more question. "Uh... pronouns?"

"She/Her or They/Them are both acceptable," says the bus.

You, uh, weren't expecting a reply that concise or immediate. The surprise forces a slight smile across your face. "Oh, uh. O-Okay. I'm s-she/her. Just... in case. You need to know that. Okaythanksagainbye--"

You're pretty sure the bus said something else at the end there, but you are too busy fleeing the scene of your awkwardness crimes. You walk quickly (but not too quickly (and you're very self conscious about your pace)), toward the store branded Maria's.

A glass double door automatically slides open as you approach. You're greeted by... a smell, something distinctive and a little strange. It definitely does not smell like any store you've ever been in. There's a hint of something mechanical buried in an otherwise alien scent, maybe oil or antifreeze or something (you barely know what you mean by mechanical smell, let alone which one it would be). It's not bad, though--just... different.

It takes you at least one real, entire second to realize you've walked in on an argument.

"Respectfully," says one of two men in suits, "I think you should reconsider."

"Respectfully," replies a woman in her early to mid 30s looking very sweaty, "I think you boys can kiss my ass."

"It's a very generous offer we're making here," points out the other suited man.

"Yeah," agrees the woman, "for my soul. You fucking goblins are going to rot all the food. Get out of here before I call pest control, or an exorcist."

One of the men sighs, the other shakes his head. They turn and begin to leave, stopping in the midst of the sliding door to get in a final word. "You know how to reach us if you change your mind."

"So weak," the woman fires back. "You need more passion. Give me a RUE THE DAY!, or a YOU'LL LIVE TO REGRET THIS!. You know how to reach us? That's your parting shot? I give it three of these outta ten," at which point she extends her arm. And her middle finger. "Don't come back."

Once the men exit, she begins to curse loudly in a language you do not understand, but definitely recognize the best curse words from. With the men no longer standing in front of you, though, she quickly realizes you're standing there.

"...Oh," she mutters. You see a rollercoaster of subtle expression changes while she finds most of her retail voice. "Hi, welcome to Maria's. ...I'm Maria."

A portly man behind the register waves at you, smiling and speaking up in a thick accent. "I'm her father."

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average rating: 5

29th Nov 2019, 2:20 PM
Might as well ask about that, then go shopping for some food!
29th Nov 2019, 2:24 PM
29th Nov 2019, 3:14 PM
Portal In Time
Remember, we have money, but not a lot. We can probably afford to get some food, but let's limit how much we spend. That being said, Plaire, get some microwavable vegetables, or something from the deli if they have one. You need something besides ramen for the day :P
2nd Dec 2019, 12:11 PM
If anything, we can find vegetables to put in our ramen!
29th Nov 2019, 3:49 PM
1st Dec 2019, 3:35 AM
29th Nov 2019, 2:26 PM
29th Nov 2019, 2:26 PM
29th Nov 2019, 3:15 PM
29th Nov 2019, 3:49 PM
29th Nov 2019, 3:52 PM
30th Nov 2019, 3:29 AM
What's not to like, really.
29th Nov 2019, 2:26 PM
Introduce yourself, and mention you're new in town. See if she knows of any fun spots in town to check out.
29th Nov 2019, 5:24 PM
29th Nov 2019, 2:30 PM
I like her already. 10/10 best grocer. Let’s awkwardly stammer a greeting (because i’m pretty sure Plaire’s default setting is “awkward stammer”) and ask about what she has that is good for someone who needs some healthy food but maybe isn’t so good at the cooking thing. Please, Maria, Best of Grocers, rescue us from microwave dinners!
29th Nov 2019, 3:42 PM
My sentiments exactly. +1
29th Nov 2019, 6:47 PM
+1, and maybe also ask for things that require minimal prep to start. We have some good ideas already, but maybe she has more. She is good, and we should befriend her. Maybe mention Mondol in our introduction in an attempt to seem suave.
30th Nov 2019, 1:00 AM
+1, and +1 to Limrix's addition
29th Nov 2019, 2:36 PM
"A pleasure to meet you. The suits giving you trouble?"
29th Nov 2019, 3:25 PM
Ask Maria if you can help her in her crusade to destroy the suits.
29th Nov 2019, 3:53 PM
Lunar Waffles
lets not. i can only seeing fighting suits ending badly; although the humans inside might be a massive handicap, i still don't want to risk it.
30th Nov 2019, 11:52 PM
Perhaps express some non-committal sympathies for now and leave more concrete vows for when one has a better lay of the land.
29th Nov 2019, 4:16 PM
Ask for a recommendation. Preferably cheap, healthy, and tasty in that order (if not all three). At least with something cheap and healthy, we can wash down the taste with cheap soda.
29th Nov 2019, 4:24 PM
I love these people already and we are now immediately Besties.

Plaire: "But--"
30th Nov 2019, 10:39 AM
В упор не вижу.

@Guest "Cranberries", or, rather "klucva" is an idiom. "Klucva" means "western stereotypes (usually untrue) of Russians". I, however, fail to see any klucva.
29th Nov 2019, 10:07 PM
О, клюква подъехала)))
30th Nov 2019, 12:02 AM
I don't get what cranberries have to do with anything.
30th Nov 2019, 12:14 AM
Just a guess, those suits represent Mondol?
30th Nov 2019, 3:34 AM
Probably trying to buy Maria's business to expand MondolFoods. When you start to cover groceries and entertainment, it just never stops.
Maybe have Plaire quickly ponder on the world's current socio-economical trends (to exposit some).
12th Dec 2019, 3:23 PM
My significant other is very bothered that Maria didn't say "two outta these ten" and then give the double bird.

I'm loving this new story! Seeing that you're incorporating your spritework, drawn work, and excellent horror creations alongside clickable links to extra puzzle bits is very engaging and extremely exciting.