9th Jan 2020, 8:14 PM
Take the pills

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Take the pills
You just finished fighting off a panic attack long enough to run from the cops.

You have no phone, no car, and your only place to sleep is a nightmare simulator trying to kill you over and over.

You have almost no money and you don't know when you'll be paid next, or if it'll even be worth it when it gets here.

The mayor is, at worst, an actual vampire.

Fuck it.

You take the pills from Kate's hand.

You shove them in your mouth.

You swallow them dry.

"Hohshit," exclaims Kate. "Plaire, you are hardcore. Bus--take us to the mayor's office, please."

"What are... uh... the side effects of these pills...?"

Kate looks at you with zero answers ready.

The bus speaks up. "Common side effects include dizziness, sweating, and an upset stomach. Taking the medication on a full stomach is strongly recommended."

You blink. "Any withdrawal symptoms...?"

"According to the internet..." the bus begins, "you shouldn't experience any noticeable withdrawal symptoms from a single dose."

"And..." Deep breath. "I took a single dose? Right?"

"Plaire," the bus replies, a little slower,


"It'll be okay."




It takes a little while to reach the mayor's office. The drive there is mostly quiet, with Kate checking her phone to see if the rest of Biggest Shrug made it out okay. By the time you arrive, you do feel... less frantic.


You still feel the gravity of the situation, but it isn't fighting for attention with every other single god damn problem in your life. You can just... focus

on confronting the undead (?) mayor who has all the dark secrets to your magic dream house.


You have been in this town for three whole fucking days.


As the bus pulls to a stop, Kate shoots a fingergun at the main screen. "Keep a bus nearby, please. I don't think this'll end in a chase, but... uh, fuck me if I know how this is really going down."

You and Kate step off the bus.

The bus drives on down the street, turning the corner at the stop sign.

The mayor's office is, indeed, fully lit--even this late at night. It appears to still be open.

Kate drops what's left of her level on the sidewalk, and stomps it out with her boot.

"You gonna be alright...?," you ask. You're still a little concerned about the whole ... heart exploding thing.

"Yeah," Kate replies, before adding a more confident "Hell yeah."

She inhales sharply. She starts to walk up to the front door, and you walk beside her.

She turns to you. "I mean... it's not like we're going in there to fight her, right? We just want whatever she grabbed from the library."

"Yeah," you reply.

Definitely.

Definitely not expecting this to turn into a fight somehow.

Maybe it's the fact that you're entering a bureaucratic structure at what must be approaching midnight. Maybe it's that you're running on pure adrenaline with some wild rocker babe you just met. Maybe it's the fact that your own stupid house where you have weird monster nightmares is the center of some seriously shady shit. Maybe it's an unforeseen side effect of your first time doing ... back alley anxiety meds.

But you are fucking spooked

and not the way you're used to.

This isn't panic. This isn't the usual rushing torrent of a billion things assaulting you at once.

This feels like reaching the top of the slope on the roller coaster and looking down at what's to come any second now.

This feels like accidentally sequence breaking and walking into the final boss with zero context or preparation.

The fact that you are completely focused helps you realize how visceral, how primal a fear this building gives you. You feel like if you walked in by yourself, you wouldn't be walking back out--that the looming architecture would simply swallow you whole and no one would ever know.

Never before have you experienced such a palpable case of the heebie jeebies.

Kate pushes through the door first, holding it open as you enter.





It is a long way to the front desk.

"Alright," Kate huffs. "Do you want me to lead, or--?"

"No," you shake your head. "It's my house, my claim to the... the documents or whatever. I got this."

Maybe.

Yes.

You can do this.

You--

"Hello there ♥," says the mayor's secretary. "Can I help you young ladies?" Her tone is so sickly sweet it almost sounds passive aggressive. ...She has to be a different secretary, right? ...Than the one that brawled with MondolGroup security?

You look at Kate.

Kate looks at you.

You both begin marching across the room to the secretary's desk. You suck in a lot of air... and you start talking.

"We're here to see the mayor."

"Oh! I see ♥ Well, I can certainly make you an appointment~" The secretary opens a small schedule book and begins to flip through it. "And what do you need to see Ms. Parsons about?"

"My house," you say simply. You glance down at the nameplate on the secretary's desk. Temperance Walsh. ...So it is her. Temperance looks... thin. Pretty, but in a very... deliberate way. Her stare is vacant, her smile flawless and perpetual. It's like someone animated a magazine cover, or gave life to a toothpaste commercial. You're leaning toward Mondol having shitty cops, though there's always a chance Temperance has mastered some kind of pumpkin spice latte flavored martial arts.

You narrow your gaze. "I just moved here and the mayor has my house's history checked out from the library. I was told she's had it for a while, and it didn't look like she'd be bringing it back any time soon. I just need to take a look at it."

You catch it.

The hesitant finger.

The momentary near lapse of the smile.

The slightly straighter shoulders.

"Oh~ if it's only for a quick lookie-loo, it wouldn't hurt for me to ask! One moment ♥"

You make eye contact with Kate as the secretary retrieves her phone.

She saw it, too.

Something's going on and Temperance knows about it.

"Yes, your Mayorness ♥ ... I know... well, there's two young ladies at my desk, and one of them just moved here! ... Yes! She'd like to inquire about her house. ... Yes, that one~ ... thank you, your Mayorship ♥"

The secretary hangs up her phone and sets it down on the desk.

The smile doesn't waver for even a second. Rock solid pokerface.

"It'll be a few minutes, buuut~ Mayor Parsons will see you. I'll inform you when she's ready ♥"

Kate throws a glance back to the rest of the room. "Do you guys have, uh... like, benches? Seats? Anything...?"

"Nope~!," replies Ms. Walsh. "We can't fit them in ♥ it would constitute a fire hazard~! Whoever designed the building didn't ♪ think ♪ about it ♫"

And thus, you and Kate are left to idly stand around and pace the room while you wait for... whatever the mayor's doing to be over.

Kate checks her texts again.

"Harv's fine," she says quietly. "He said it looked like the cops almost confiscated his drums but then gave up."

She scrolls through a couple screens.

"Oh, and Rip made it out."

"Is..." You almost stop yourself, but then you don't. "Is his name seriously Rip?"

"What?" Kate gives a wide shrug. She tries, hard, not to smirk. "It's a totally normal name. A lot of actors and shit have been named Rip? But also no." She shoves her phone back into her pocket. "It's his ~stage name~."

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9th Jan 2020, 8:19 PM
Morgenstern
edit: nevermind this has been taken care of, thank you
9th Jan 2020, 8:49 PM
>some kind of pumpkin spice latte flavored martial arts

Morgenstern you are a goddamn *wizard* of words.

Anyhoo, I guess let's chill with Kate. Do we feel absurdly bold enough to ask about Temperance's altercation with the cops? Because at this point, why *not* ask, right? We've already done a bunch of bold shit today.

...Also, is there a late-night grocery store open, or maybe a convenience store? On the way home, we DEFINITELY need to buy like, a bath bomb and some hot chocolate and possibly some mint schnapps to put *into* the hot chocolate. We're gonna need self-care like WHOA tomorrow.
9th Jan 2020, 8:54 PM
+1

Although we should probably do some non money related self care, gotta budget right now.
9th Jan 2020, 9:05 PM
Snervalton
I would hold off asking about Temperance's little altercation until we get a better feel for her and the mayor. It seems like something that would antagonize her because it would undermine the persona she's trying to project. We have no idea whether her and the mayor are friends or foes yet so I wouldn't want to put undue stress on our relationship with them just yet.
10th Jan 2020, 1:40 PM
You know what they say...
Sugar, spice,
and extreme prejudice.
9th Jan 2020, 8:56 PM
Attempt to get Ms. Walsh to crack. Do we know any really good jokes? Or any really *bad* jokes?
9th Jan 2020, 9:14 PM
9th Jan 2020, 10:58 PM
I am now thinking about my landlords favorite "politically correct" jokes. Namely, dead baby jokes, as it offends everyone equally.
10th Jan 2020, 1:54 PM
"So, do you know why T-Rexes can't clap ?"
9th Jan 2020, 11:14 PM
What kind of a powderkeg would warrant Chairs as a fire hazard of all things? Sounds like either Mondol's got its tentacles in the Insurance business, or they Really don't want the murder secretary to be able to have any sort of improvised weaponry near her.
9th Jan 2020, 11:59 PM
Develop your ~stage name~.
10th Jan 2020, 1:07 AM
Nope, I'm out. I vote we listen to the spooky voice in our head telling us to SCRAM.
However I don't think that's what we will decide to do, so I'll say this instead. Be VERY careful around the mayor, her secretary, and anyone else here. Do not antagonize them, and know when to cut your losses and back off.
Have Kate text her friends our whereabouts and what we're up to, we don't want to _mysteriously vanish_ into the spooky mansion.
10th Jan 2020, 7:10 AM
Snervalton
+1 to being cautious around these people and having Kate tell her friends what we're doing.
10th Jan 2020, 1:51 PM
+1 to leaving a trace we're visiting her Mayorship without any holy water or any other appropriate undeadslaying paraphernalia.
10th Jan 2020, 3:55 AM
Alright, first off, be respectful. Being crazy and brash has gotten us this far, but until we know what kind of person the mayor is, we don't want to go full-bore on her. Let her breech etiquette first. We do have a right to see those documents but we definitely should keep a good rapport until we don't have the option to anymore. This goes double for Kate, however few fricks she gives about authority figures.

Secondly, remain alert but not paranoid, just in case a quick exit is needed. Note any windows, how high up they are, any doors that lead outside, anything. Note them, and then focus on our task. Not saying things will go bad, but we may not have the choice of getting by the secretary, if she's as badass as that article made her out to be.

Finally, try to think of what to say before going in there. Make up possible conversations and questions in your head (avoiding any Transylvanian accents if possible :p), and come up with responses to them. That might help with giving and getting more concise answers, especially since (self-)important people often have the "time is literal money" mentality. Anything to minimize stammering.
10th Jan 2020, 7:25 AM
Snervalton
Yeah, we need to have a much better idea going in of what we're going to say to the mayor, something better than "I own the spooky house & I want to see its documents". I'm trying to think of a game plan but I'm drawing a blank as to specifics...
10th Jan 2020, 12:25 PM
+1 to 'be respectful', although I've got different reasons for it.

'Crazy and brash' should already be covered by Kate, and presumably she has enough background knowledge of the mayor and the secretary to keep it to an acceptable level.

Of course, this is all said while being unaware of the mayor's own personality and behaviours, and evidence points towards her being *quite* unorthodox.
10th Jan 2020, 11:45 AM
I would say a huge 'NO' to trying to antagonize the secretary. Sometimes a façade of nicety is more for the safety of others. I wouldn't doubt that she had some anger management class telling her to stay 'nice'.
10th Jan 2020, 1:48 PM
Look, everything will be fine until she (or the Mayor) asks for a hug.
Then we kickstart mission: GTFO.
10th Jan 2020, 6:15 PM
Ask for a business card now before our nerves get the best of us or the situation goes south. We might not have a phone yet, but still, having a phone number and office hours may be useful in the future.

Otherwise look around listlessly. Examine random things, just to try and look busy and reduce the air of awkwardness (that painting would be a good start).