10th Jan 2020, 7:17 PM
Take it cautiously and respectfully

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Take it cautiously and respectfully
While waiting, you start to formulate a plan--mulling over how the conversation will likely go, and what you're going to say.

Kate seems to have enough restraint, so you don't expect her to come out swinging... but you don't anticipate she'll be respectful of the office of the mayor, either. She's brash, blunt, a little foul mouthed--which means if you stay nice and keep it professional, you'll have a solid good cop/bad cop routine going. You're the easy way, Kate's the hard way. One way or another, you're going to get answers.

You consider asking Temperance about her altercation with MondolGroup--but you want to avoid antagonizing her or the mayor as much as possible. Plans aside, there's still a very strong chance one or both of them could just straight up kick your ass, or have you magically disappear.

"Hey," Kate says under her breath, "I let the guys know where we're at. If anything happens, they'll know the mayor was involved."

You nod.

Alright.

You're pretty sure you can do this.

The secretary's phone buzzes. She lifts it, checks the screen... and smiles up at you and Kate.

The secretary is always smiling.

"Mayor Parsons will see you now~"


Temperance leads you down a long hallway, past numerous other doors


and takes you to one at the end.


You and Kate step into the office of Rill Parsons, mayor of Ninelives, Misuschaqua.







She's young, much younger than you expected. At least in the face, she looks like she might be your age if not a bit younger. Her attire, though, is beyond old lady clothes--you understand the vampire comment immediately. Between the scarlet tinted lenses indoors, her dusty attic outfit and what you hope is a glass of wine clutched gently in her hand--

hmm. You don't see the bottle anywhere.

Not a big fan of that.

"Plaire Stevens, correct?," the mayor begins as you and Kate cross yet another uncomfortably long room. "And... Kate? Halford, I believe?"

Kate's pace slows.

Uh oh.

"...You know me?," Kate asks. She mentioned on the bus that she's never met the mayor in person.

"Your mother invited me in for tea one evening," Parsons replies. "Pure chance. I was out and about looking into the power shortage."

Oh shit.

Shit shit shit

"Sweet woman," the mayor continues. "Quite proud of you. She had photographs all over the house--it'd be difficult to forget that particular shade of pink."

You look at Kate.

Her expression says everything; she is deflated, all of her fire snuffed out in a matter of seconds. You're not sure what her brain is doing right now. You're not sure Kate knows what Kate's brain is doing right now.

You turn back to the mayor.

It's hard to read her expression through her stupid glasses. Leaning back against her desk, she takes a small sip of her drink. She doesn't sit and neither do you.

Her accent is... also not what you were anticipating. It's not some ridiculous Dracula impression, but it's definitely not from this country--and it sounds much older than she looks.

"How has the house been treating you?," Parsons asks.

"Excuse me...?"

"Sorry," she begins with a smile, "your new house. How are you finding it? Has everything been satisfactory thus far?"

God, she talks like an old queen in a twenty-something-year-old's voice.

"Why?," you reply. "Should it not be...?"

Kate looks like a deer in the headlights and now you're on edge and the overwhelming sense of dread seems to be laser focused on this big oool fucking office

The mayor has a small laugh.

Almost a giggle.

"Oh, no, there's just been a great deal of difficulty keeping someone at that residence. Its property history reads like a game of Hot Potato--but the soil, air, and water have all been tested and their conditions were found quite standard. None of the surrounding neighborhood has had any problems worth noting. No one moving out of the house has complained, nor have any reports been filed."

She takes another drink.

"It is quite the mystery. My hope was that perhaps you'd solved it, or that maybe the issue had simply... well, solved itself. It could just be one of those homes, I really can't claim to know."

She knows. You know she knows. She knows she knows. She knows that you know she knows.

She has to know, right...?

You know what you're trying to learn from her. You're not yet entirely sure what Rill Parsons is trying to learn from you.

You try to keep it simple. "You still have that property history here... right?"

Keep it together.

Stay calm.

"I do," responds Mayor Parsons. "Why do you ask?"

"I just wanna see it. That's all."

"Why?"

"Who-..." Kate almost gets it out. It takes her a second try, but she puts a little more sizzle on it this time. "Who gives a shit why? It's Plaire's house. Let her see the thing."

The mayor smiles again.

She straightens her posture a little.

"I'd like to know why first. If something is amiss with the residence, as mayor of Ninelives I believe--"

She better not

Shebetternotfuckingsayit

"--I have a right to know."

ohGODDAMMIT

Your hands are cold.

Numb.

Heart's pounding.

Could be a coincidence.

A lot of self entitled FUCKERS seem to throw that line around an AWFUL lot

she might not be in on it

she might not be fucking with you but it's starting to feel like she's fucking with you





You take a deep breath.

Whatever semblance of a plan you had has been turned upside down. Kate's terrified and you're about to lose your shit and throw a chair out the window.

You try to focus.

Simple. Professional. Orderly--

"You can't--" Kate begins quietly

she clenches her fist.

She narrows her gaze.

She takes a deep breath of her own.

"You can't just NOT let her see it," Kate says to the mayor.

"I can," the mayor replies easily. "I can and I absolutely will. Convince me you didn't barge into this building in search of information that could be used to endanger others or yourselves."

"Endanger...?" Kate's tone softens, but she hasn't given up yet. "The fuck are you on about?"

Maybe Rill Parsons doesn't know what the house is doing.

"I could ask the same," the mayor retorts. "This isn't a matter of curiosity or principle and you won't convince me that it ever was. Why are you so determined to procure the property's history? What are you planning to do with it?"

The mayor leans forward.

You're not sure if the lighting in the room has actually dimmed but it sure as hell feel like it has.

"What are you hiding?," the mayor asks.

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10th Jan 2020, 7:39 PM
Hari_Seldon
There are five choices:
5. Twyll's idea the Legally Haunted House court case. TL:DR if I got this right: if the seller told the neighborhood the house was spooky or haunted and did not tell the buyer then estoppel ("no take-backsies") means they sold the house under false pretenses and must pay a penalty to the buyer. Plaire could say her not knowing the house's reputation is why she wants to do investigations. Probably would not deflect the mayor's question "what are you hiding" but might get us sympathy.

1. Say we're hiding anxiety, being a lesbian, having bad nightmares about people saying "I have a right to know" about those things.
2. Full confession that Plaire has magical nightmares she remembers in preternatural clarity and get powers from what video games you played.
3. Run away

Edit: new plan there is a fourth option
4. Say "It's my house and someone lied about the washer/dryer. I have a right to know about it / get evidence." ALSO say "We're hiding anxiety, being a lesbian, having bad nightmares about people saying "I have a right to know" about those things." because the mayor specifically wants to know about "what are you hiding" and "I have a right to know" is probably not a good enough deflection about that question, but mentioning the lie about the washer and drier might get us sympathy.

I vote for #4 (basically #1 but also mention we are gathering evidence for the previous owner lying about no washer and dryer). I would have voted for #2 except the mayor is too scary. If the mayor had been nice I would have voted for #2.

+1 to #5 too because it would be cool too no idea what would happen
10th Jan 2020, 7:45 PM
+1 to #1.

We can emphasize how utterly terrible the nightmares are. Just, real bad dreams. The worst. If she knows what's going on, that will tell her that we know she knows. If she doesn't know, then it's not gonna give much away to say we have utterly terrible nightmares, right after admitting to being a neurotic, traumatized, stigmatized lesbian.
10th Jan 2020, 7:45 PM
10th Jan 2020, 8:57 PM
Snervalton
+1 to Plaire mentioning she has nightmares and seeing how the mayor reacts.
12th Jan 2020, 2:44 PM
10th Jan 2020, 8:01 PM
Portal In Time
Let's hide the sexuality part, we have no clue how people here may feel about not-straightness. We've been fortunate enough that the majority of people we've met are probably cool with it, but who knows, especially with the person who basically owns our house, kind of

Redacted after Twyll's point.
10th Jan 2020, 8:04 PM
Honestly, I think hiding our sexuality would be a bad idea-- even if the mayor finds us *distasteful,* it will explain our anxious state. It will also distance us from Mondol by making us look sympathetic in the eyes of accepting people, and imperfect in the eyes of bigots. Mondol is neither of those things, so either way, it makes us look not-Mondol.
10th Jan 2020, 8:05 PM
I vote #- the mayor reminds me of someone scary but not really all that bad

Edit: I change my answer to #4
12th Jan 2020, 12:48 PM
We have learned better than to flip the phrase.
"You do *not* have a right to know. There is no absolute rule that you have a right to know. As the homeowner, however, I do have the law on my side in pursuing history of my property. If you *want* to know, and are willing to *trade* for it, I would trade my current information in exchange for the book *and* you not acting like you're a vampire around me. (Second part is important, if she's not a vampire, its calling out her act which deflates it. If she is a vampire, it's making a deal that you're not food.)
10th Jan 2020, 7:45 PM
Oh shit, does she think that we're mondol thugs? I think we might have to convince her that we aren't.
10th Jan 2020, 7:49 PM
Let's turn that goddamned phrase around on her. "It's my house. I have a right to know about it."

We should make it clear that the only thing we want to *do* with the house is to goddamn *live in it.* Learn to cook, do some laundry-- oh, but the real estate agent actually lied about the house having laundry facilities-- sleep, tidy, decorate. Maybe make some Youtube videos about video games and possibly how much Mondol sucks, which we don't think she'll disagree with, as the mayor of Ninelives.

We're not going to *use* it for anything except for *being a house.*

Edit: We should also call her out on the weird-ass power plays. Like, no benches? The vampire schtick? That *absolutely unacceptable* threat to Kate's family? Maybe that works on Mondol thugs, but *we're not Mondol thugs* and we don't appreciate that shit. If you know Kate so well, you should know she is NOT a threat to you, she wants the *opposite* of what Mondol does.
10th Jan 2020, 7:52 PM
10th Jan 2020, 7:54 PM
Hari_Seldon
Edit: +1 maybe it can be part of my option #4

That might win a debate, but would it get the mayor to get off our back or decide to help us? Would it be better to explain we have bad dreams about "I have a right to know"?

That's like a compromise between saying "It's my house. I have a right to know about it." or saying the house is cursed.

Edit: Ok after some discussion new plan:
1. "It's my house and someone lied about the washer/dryer. I have a right to know about it / get evidence."
2. ALSO say "We're hiding anxiety, being a lesbian, having bad nightmares about people saying "I have a right to know" about those things." because the mayor specifically wants to know about "what are you hiding" and #1 is probably not a good enough deflection about that question, but mentioning the lie about the washer and drier might get us sympathy.
10th Jan 2020, 8:01 PM
I did also +1 the comment about explaining that we have bad dreams involving that phrase. We should do that too! Ideally we will do both of these things. Turning the phrase about, though, will help with *our own* confidence, by shifting our locus of control internally. It's not about winning a debate, but about feeling like we have some control over our life, by taking control of something that people have been using against us.
11th Jan 2020, 7:15 AM
12th Jan 2020, 2:47 PM
10th Jan 2020, 7:56 PM
Cover up your reason by asking about the missing Dry and Washing Machine
10th Jan 2020, 8:00 PM
Hari_Seldon
+1 in the discord we are thinking about saying we want proof that the previous owner did not install a washer and dryer. Sounds like a good excuse. Not sure if we should also say we have nightmares.
10th Jan 2020, 7:57 PM
Portal In Time
"I wanted to know why the property value was so low. Not that I'm complaining, but some people have been kind of nervous when I mention the house. When I found out you had the records, I thought I should ask for a copy"
10th Jan 2020, 8:31 PM
pkrankow
This and the "legally haunted" mentioned on Discord.

The washer/dryer are just a humorous aside. Such as "the agent definately lied to me about the washer and dryer, but the reputation around here is the house is truly haunted so I wish to consult and see if there us record of when, why, and maybe what happened at the start of this reputation. Freaky dreams may or may not be a factor."
10th Jan 2020, 8:38 PM
So I'm making a new comment for this because HOLY SHIT. I just realized that Plaire is involved in my very favorite court case ever, the Legally Haunted House, Stambovsky v. Ackley. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stambovsky_v._Ackley

Essentially, in the case of the legally haunted house, the seller of the house did not reveal to the buyer that the house was considered haunted by the local community, and that she herself had declared it haunted in local publications and in Reader's Digest. Due to the doctrine of estoppel (the legal principle of "no take-backsies"), she wasn't allowed to argue in court that it wasn't actually haunted, and she had to allow the buyer to call off the sale and get his deposit back because of the undesirable reputation.

Now, estoppel may not figure into this case, but Plaire's house was sold to her with an undesirable reputation that was entirely undisclosed. She *might* actually have a cause of action to sue the person who sold her the house for misrepresenting the house, and in considering whether or not to sue, she would need to gather all the information about her house that was available to her.

Now of course, she shouldn't *actually* sue because 1) she has no money and 2) the court case is unlikely to succeed (the opposition could argue that she should have known something was wrong with the house because of the low price, or argue that she should have done more research; or Misuschasqua might just have fewer buyer protections than New York does). But she *does* at least have a very good reason to gather information about the house, in *deciding* whether or not to pursue the seller legally, because he really did screw her over-- not only did he neglect to mention the house's reputation, but he also lied about the washer and dryer hookups, and it's entirely possible that she'll discover other undisclosed problems with the house.
10th Jan 2020, 9:50 PM
Hari_Seldon
As I said in my first post, +1 to this
11th Jan 2020, 10:18 AM
Tep
13th Jan 2020, 10:05 AM
10th Jan 2020, 8:48 PM
Preeeeetty clear she wants to hide shit.

Liking the responses, but perhaps a combination of them is in store. Retaining our polite tone (after a breath to get our bearings) we should explain:

- The nightmares we've been having, how they started the night we moved in, how they're so weirdly specific to us, and how they make it impossible to get quality sleep. (probably leave out the anxious lesbian part).

- That the house was hardly in the state that it was advertised as, and that despite appreciating the cheap rent, you'd like to know who's done what to it. And where the supposed washer/dryer went.

- That we give zero fucks about those Mondo goons except they can piss off.

- And flip that fucking phrase right back in her face with the most politely sarcastic tone Plaire can manage.

(Possibly also point out that, if the information is so dangerous, why the mayor is racking up a bill hoarding it, instead of just saying she "lost" it and paying out for the damned thing.)
10th Jan 2020, 9:07 PM
I really think leaving out the anxious lesbian part is a bad plan. Like, depending on how much the mayor knows, we can use our anxiety to create uncertainty for *her,* by hiding the actual effects of the house if she doesn't know about them (since the nightmares might be related to the anxiety), while allowing her to still glean the effects of the house if she *does* know something about them. It's a way of not tipping our entire hand all at once.

Also, hiding things creates more anxiety-- so *selective* oversharing while remaining closeted is going to be very difficult and anxiety-enhancing. We're in a new town, with new friends, and we can start being open about ourself. As someone who is very much closeted and anxious myself, having to make that decision to hide your true nature *all the time* creates a little spike in anxiety every single time you do it, while revealing it creates a little moment of ease and happiness. We need to reduce our sources of anxiety as much as possible in this moment.
10th Jan 2020, 9:30 PM
pkrankow
+1 to leaving anxiety and orientation out of this discussion if possible. No point lying, just not openly sharing.

Dreams are why we are here. No need to be super specific, but there is a reputation... according to Kate
10th Jan 2020, 9:10 PM
Snervalton
+1 to flipping the phrase "I have a right to know" back on the mayor. Ask her what legal right she has as mayor to know what Plaire wants with the documents and suggest a willingness to pursue whatever legal channels are available to get a look at them.
10th Jan 2020, 9:21 PM
Snervalton
I get the feeling that Plaire would want to keep her sexuality private, at least for now. She seems to have been resentful of people prying into her personal affairs in the past and it certainly seems to be angering her at this meeting. She should vaguely mention nightmares to see how the mayor reacts and leave it at that.
10th Jan 2020, 9:02 PM
I think we can thwart her bad vibes via absurdity.
Do the Plaire thing and overshare!
Rill's counting on this situation being fully under her control, see? So we can ruin it by behaving under nobody's control, including our own!
Maybe even let it spill out "Are you even really a vampire or did you spend those few minutes before this meeting filling that goblet and then hiding the bottle"
"You can't have been busy with paperwork when there are no papers on your desk"
"Or wait, did you spend those minutes hiding the paperwork to enhance your foreboding atmosphere"
10th Jan 2020, 9:14 PM
Snervalton
+1, this would be a great way to put the mayor off balance
10th Jan 2020, 9:32 PM
pkrankow
This is funny and might work.
10th Jan 2020, 9:39 PM
Hari_Seldon
+1 but focus on the important things to say first
1. "It's my house and someone lied about the washer/dryer. I have a right to know about it / get evidence."
2. "I didn't know the reputation of the house before I bought it."
3. ALSO say "We're hiding anxiety, being a lesbian, having bad nightmares about people saying "I have a right to know" about those things."
4. THEN consider oversharing the dangerous and irrelevant things. But only if Plaire thinks it's a good idea.
11th Jan 2020, 1:58 AM
+1 to oversharing every damn little thing and telling her how awesome we think a vampire mayor and her tiny secretary going apeshit against Mondol is (we could learn a trick or two ourselves, if they don't mind sharing).
But we kinda fight for our life every night and it already took a hefty toll in less than a week, so would you kindly let us read about what the hell this house went through.
11th Jan 2020, 7:18 AM
Heroshima
+1, defuse the situation with humor and honesty!
11th Jan 2020, 2:25 PM
10th Jan 2020, 9:55 PM
Frission
Option #I'mnotevensure: LOSE YOUR SHIT AT THE CATTY BITCH
But I didn't say that. >_>;
10th Jan 2020, 9:57 PM
undeadDreamer
Tell her to cut the bullshit. She just implied there's something dangerous someone could do with knowledge about the house. It's also no secret everyone who lives in the house has nightmares. Everyone calls it the spooky house so we decided to investigate and now we have to deal with some bitch who feels entitled to a detailed explanation before YOU can find out about YOUR house. You shouldn't even HAVE TO explain but this is the only way you can find out. Walk towards her as you talk. She's using the space to make tension and damn it if you'll let her. Let your anger over power this stupid spooky atmosphere.
10th Jan 2020, 10:07 PM
...If you're going to invade her personal space, drink her wine while you're at it.
10th Jan 2020, 10:42 PM
Snervalton
+1 to advancing on her and sampling her wine, it could give us a clue as to whether she is a genuine vampire or just a gothy poseur.
11th Jan 2020, 1:06 AM
Portal In Time
THIS IS A VERY GOOD WAY TO DISAPPEAR VERY QUICKLY

we should really definitely not do this
10th Jan 2020, 10:53 PM
YetAnother
Oh, she wants to know what we're hiding? Well, since she asked so nicely... Dump on her fucking everything.
10th Jan 2020, 10:59 PM
Screw calm GeT ANgry. Escalating interrogation and accusation that she's a mutant Mondol plant put here to suck dry any red-blooded resistance and doesn't want Anyone to see the property history because it paints a bloody trail of all the bodies of trouble makeers she's drank over the years who are then trapped in that house as thralls to drive the next victim insane faster.
10th Jan 2020, 11:38 PM
I'm hiding the fact that I think you're a vampire.
11th Jan 2020, 12:59 AM
Hit her with a chair
11th Jan 2020, 2:00 AM
-1, there's no need right now.
11th Jan 2020, 2:11 AM
Portal In Time
+10,000 I 100% agree with Bad Idea we should definitely hit her with a chair and do a cool backflip while doing it
11th Jan 2020, 3:09 AM
Tell the mayor that we don't need a specific reason to take a look at the records, it's our house after all. If she keeps insisting tell the reason but let's be as vague as possible, like "there have been some weird things happening since I moved here, and I heard some strange rumors about the house".
11th Jan 2020, 8:23 PM
A bit of a twist on what's already been suggested: Plaire has been in town 3 days. Everyone she has met so far seems to know something about the house yet Plaire doesn't; and all of what she has heard has been bad.
So to put it simply: town gossip is why Plaire wants to know.

One of the reasons I wanted to do this early (meds or not) is that Plaire has a valid, vague reason for wanting to know about the house. 3 days of nightmares hardly constitutes a pattern; maybe if it were a week or more the mayor could press Plaire about the house.
But really, Plaire is in no position from a logical standpoint to say anything that's consistent about the home; she hasn't lived there for long enough. ;)

Moreover, EVERYONE ELSE keeps telling Plaire spooky, scary stories about the house. So the next question would be: Why didn't the mayor already suggest the reason why Plaire wants the records? She just admitted that she's gone out and met with other people (as part of that power shortage). Surely, SHE must already know about the rumors; so why hasn't she already thrown that idea out there as a possible reason? What is Plaire hiding?-What is the mayor fishing for?

Despite the tone I might be presenting, I should emphasize we should NOT challenge the mayor at mind games. Between her and her secretary, I'm pretty sure Plaire is beat both mentally and physically. Both Kate and Plaire are on drugs that are supposed to keep you chill and from the very start, the mayor has already gotten them down to zero chill.
Just get through this interrogation as quickly and as mannerly as possible before the mayor has got Plaire a sobbing, broken mess.
12th Jan 2020, 7:28 PM
12th Jan 2020, 10:17 AM
I'm too lazy to type why, but let's just tell her everything, what could possibly go wrong?
12th Jan 2020, 1:52 PM
12th Jan 2020, 12:37 PM
I'm not part of Mongol group, and actively dislike them if that's what you're concerned about.
12th Jan 2020, 12:48 PM
When I first saw her glasses I thought she had glowing red eyes like a freaking demon or something. Bun no, just glasses.

We could just tell her it is our house and WE have a right to know!
12th Jan 2020, 2:43 PM
Why does this house even _exist_!? If it's as dangerous as the mayor is implying, why haven't they condemned it instead of having it as the _cheapest house on the market in the entire states!?_ Does she like torturing people with nightmares of dying and trauma and suffering? Because that is so messed up! We've been here for three days and every night we fight for our lives and nobody seems to know why, except that our house has a 'history?', and you're the only person who knows anything about it. So congratulations, you've gotten us to come to you.
Does that count as enough of a _reason_ for her?
12th Jan 2020, 4:36 PM
Fishbulb
Politely suggest to the Mayor that she is making it difficult to trust her, especially when she attempts to intimidate your friend. Tell her that you learned about the house's reputation after you moved here, and maybe even let it drop that you encountered Mondol suits trying to muscle out one of the local businesses. Perhaps that will disarm the Mayor enough to get you back on neutral ground.
12th Jan 2020, 4:39 PM
Hari_Seldon
+1 about saying the mayor making it difficult to trust her. Honestly that's why I vote to not do a full confession (the magical aspects of the dreams) at this time.

But at least the mayor is against Mondol, that's a good sign.
12th Jan 2020, 9:02 PM
Yup, I agree with all of the above.
12th Jan 2020, 10:06 PM
From the sound of it the Mayor is concerned that we're trying to instigate something by using the house's history. We might be able to draw her off by revealing something simple (the missing laundry equipment) or the accusational (The fact that the mayor has it drew more attention)
13th Jan 2020, 10:56 AM
Let's admit that she's *really* freaking us out with both her reputation and how she's being kind of verbally aggressive, which is making us seriously uncomfortable and reluctant to answer.
Also ask her why it sounds like she thinks we want to harm the previous owners.
(Having Plaire word all this in her own nervous stream of words for a chance to inflict brief confusion upon the mayor - or at least make it clear we're pretty much the least threatening person in this town - optional.)
13th Jan 2020, 10:58 AM
Tl;dr: "You're a spooky lady rumoured to be a vampire and both your attitude and general surroundings are freaking me out too much to have proper dialogue. Please try again less aggressively."