21st Jan 2020, 7:48 PM
Go have lunch with Kate...?

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Go have lunch with Kate...?
As tempting as it is to just... lay here, you still have a lot of things to do.

You initially attempt to sneak out from under Kate's arm, but your movements prompt her to begin stirring.

"Fuuuck..." Kate mutters, still half asleep. "What time is it...?"

She digs her phone out of her pocket.

"Oh, shit," Kate exclaims. "I'm gonna be late for work."

"Wait--" in the time it takes for you to recover from the stun, Kate's already out of bed and throwing her jacket on. Kate has a job? It, uh, makes sense--people do have jobs--you just...

didn't take her for someone presently employed.

"Where do you work?," you finally ask. Yes, that is much less rude than voicing your disbelief.

Kate smiles. She just woke up but she is still very pretty. "I can't tell you," she says. "I have to maintain my mystique until at least the second date."

You try not to grin, you really do. "What makes you so sure there'll be a second date?"

"I'm sure." She grabs her guitar and heads for the door. You follow after.

You and Kate's exit from the building, and subsequent wait at the bus stop, are relatively quiet. ...Mostly because you're obsessing over logistics in your head. You asked Cici to the concert in the first place--was that a date? Unofficially? Did you accidentally have two dates in the same night? Is that weird? Is that wrong? What are the odds that all the women you've been meeting are gay? Is Maria gay? Maria is also very attractive. Is Maria single? Stop it. Maybe it's not luck--maybe having to live in Addersfield somehow power leveled your Lesbian Senses, like training under stronger gravity.

You realize that the pills have worn off and your brain is back to being a bag of cats.

Just as you start to become too aware of it, and outside begins to feel smaller somehow,

the bus pulls up.

You and Kate board the bus.

Kate sighs as she sinks into a seat, still carrying her guitar in her hand. "Take me home, country bus."

You take your usual spot, nearest to the door.

"How are things?," the bus asks. "Did you manage to get everything sorted?"

"Mostly...?" You give a small shrug. "The cops no longer think we did it, at least."

"The cops could prove we didn't do it," says Kate, "if they give a shit and don't just arrest us anyway. Arson's a big deal--they gotta pin it on someone eventually."

"We gave them, like, a list of reasons it can't be us," you reply. "It'd be stupid to still come after us."

Kate gives a dry smile. "It's not their job to defend us, though. They don't get paid to prove people innocent--and I'd bet the odds are good if it comes to it, all that shit we told them's only going to matter to a defense lawyer. An arrest is an arrest."

"Geez," you mutter. You're... not sure you're that pessimistic about the system.

Then again, you haven't dealt with cops much, personally.

"Cops are assholes," Kate continues. "This is like... the key thing to keep in mind about cops."

"Cici's nice," you counter. "Bebe seemed nice, too."

"Cici didn't ask for a badge," Kate points out. "She got a choice later, she took the out they offered--and I respect that. Most people coming out of a tube don't get that choice. They're born a cop and it'll never occur to them not to die a cop.

Anyone that volunteers for that kind of power, though... you can't trust someone like that. The badge, the gun, the thin blue line bullshit--it's not the good ol' days anymore, people know what cops do now. If you can look at aaall the sinister shit cops uphold and enforce, all the fascist shit they do... if someone can look at all that and think oh yeah I definitely want some of that, I can't fucking trust 'em. That's not a decision I, Kate Halford, can see a good person making."

She pauses before adding, "Besides, animal control is only kind of cops. At least our current animal control--before it was Bebe and the gang we had regular dudes doing it and they were straight up fucking monsters."

"...Seriously?"

"Cops, man," Kate sighs. "Cici, Bebe and Deedee got basically forced into it. Bebe's been looking to get out, Cici already has. Anyone else swinging a big, blue dick around, I don't take chances with."

...So the third sister's name is Deedee.

"At the end of the day," she concludes, "the law's not on our side. It's just another business, and just like Mondol, they'll cut every fucking corner and skirt every line they can to make a buck."

...Just like Mondol.

"Hey.. bus...?" You feel a certain pressure approaching the subject, but now that you've thought about it you can't not ask. "Do you take analytics on your passengers? Like... body weight and stuff?"

"Not that I'm aware of."

"That's a real specific answer," Kate comments with a tired smirk.

The bus seems unaffected. "I do have a number of systems, functions, and processes left unknown to me. Officially, this is so that I can't deviate too much from my intended purpose, or reveal insider information about Chariot MT's proprietary software."

Hmm. "But unofficially...?"

"Unofficially, it's likely designed so that I can't provide an honest answer to the type of question you're asking."

Fuck.

The bus reaches the stop nearest to Kate's house.

"Hey," Kate says as she rises from her seat. "What's your phone number?"

"I, uh..." You instinctively wince. "I don't have a phone."

"Hohshit you are from a backwoods town," Kate blurts out with a small laugh.

"No I had one," you tell her indignantly, "but I uh... I kind of chucked it out the window on the way here from Addersfield. I haven't bought a new phone yet."

"Ohhh gotcha," replies Kate with a nod, "yeah, I could see that. Well, I guess I'll seeya when I seeya...? The bus knows where we live, we'll figure it out."

She smiles. You barely manage to squeeze out a "bye!" as she's stepping off the bus and walking off down the sidewalk.

You were rather hoping Kate might buy you lunch that you and Kate might get to have lunch together, maybe visit The Back Room, but it seems it was not meant to be.

You could have at least asked, probably.

...But you didn't want to intrude.

Or seem too clingy.

Maybe she wouldn't even want to.

Maybe she's not even really going to work. Maybe she's just--

holy shit Kate's right you have anxiety

Lora also said you have anxiety. Remember Lora?

brain please

you just met a bunch of cool people you don't need to think about--

oh god Lora's probably like, the final boss of your dream dungeon or some shit

BRAIN. For FUCK's sake

"Is everything alright, Plaire?"

oh god the bus knows

the bus can read your heart rate or something

the bus can smell your fear

brain what are you even doing

"You haven't told me where you'd like to go yet," says the bus.

You realize that you've been slowly curling yourself into a tighter and tighter ball in your seat.



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21st Jan 2020, 8:08 PM
Xylas_Incarnum
.... Fuck it. To The Back Room, then a quick stop by the local hardware store for a crowbar, then Home, have something solid then make something for comfort and nerves. Early cheat day or sommat. Shit's been going on a bit too hard and heavy for the last while and Plaire needs to unwind.
21st Jan 2020, 8:12 PM
Heroshima
+1, but ask the bus to drive a bit slower. Plaire could use a couple minutes to try and calm down before meeting new people in a new store.
21st Jan 2020, 8:13 PM
Snervalton
+1 to all this except that I'd recommend Plaire eat before doing the other things.
21st Jan 2020, 8:13 PM
Macheman7
Okay Plaire, it's time to go home. You can visit the Back Room another day. You need to recharge from the excitement of yesterday, and also probably eat.
Maybe, maybe ask the bus for a cheap restaurant you could get food from quickly with minimal human interaction required. You could eat that for lunch, and save some of your groceries back for dinner.
But mostly just go home.
21st Jan 2020, 8:18 PM
+1. Home, and then we're looking up a psychiatrist or even just a general practitioner *immediately.*
21st Jan 2020, 8:14 PM
Fishbulb
Perhaps today would be a good time to visit the library again and explain in more detail what happened over the last few days... provided that the library isn't bugged.
21st Jan 2020, 8:18 PM
Macheman7
+1 to visiting the library though. Cici needs filled in.
21st Jan 2020, 8:15 PM
Take a *deep* breath to calm down before thinking of where to go next. The bus isn't going to judge you, it already knows you have anxiety.
Going to the Backroom sounds like a good idea, but having breakfast first sounds even better. Probably best to go home and eat what's there - this way we can also check if the payment for that last video's arrived. Should probably also get around to working on more videos, but that might be for after the Backroom, we'll see.
21st Jan 2020, 8:18 PM
22nd Jan 2020, 3:14 AM
21st Jan 2020, 8:23 PM
21st Jan 2020, 8:23 PM
Okay, we need to prioritize self-care right now because it's become very clear that we do MUCH better when we do that. So, let's go home, eat food (or eat food and then go home), and then look up a local psychiatrist or even just a general practitioner and see if we can get meds at a reduced rate because we're poor. There seem like there might be at least *some* social programs in place here, at least (like, there's a library that's free, so that's something?) so it's worth a try.

We've gotten some practice in admitting to having crippling anxiety, so that will make talking to the doctor much easier. If we're worried about looking like a drug-seeker, we can make sure not to mention any specific medications, but just accurately describe our crippling anxiety. Any doctor who just hears us give an honest accounting of our inner turmoil is gonna be writing us a scrip for something fairly hefty, I expect-- and giving an honest accounting of our inner turmoil is something we've already *done* so it should at least be slightly less daunting.
21st Jan 2020, 8:34 PM
21st Jan 2020, 9:25 PM
pkrankow
+1 on making an appointment.



Since we are non-emergency and not at risk of self harm and not intending to check in overnight to a ward the likelihood of getting an appointment today is somewhat low (but not impossibly). An appointment in the next few days is better, but not with a specialist. A general physician can start anti-anxiety meds, and then refer if necessary.

Do we have some form of health coverage?
21st Jan 2020, 9:32 PM
Leafia_Barrett
+1000. We are drastically less functional without some kind of anti-anxiety medication.
21st Jan 2020, 8:38 PM
We're definitely right about the last boss. I'm... Impressed with how the alcazar operates. I don't know what it is, but it seems adamant that only the most mentally stable people be able to master it.
21st Jan 2020, 9:03 PM
Portal In Time
Head home and make some Ramen.
21st Jan 2020, 9:18 PM
pkrankow
Hunger can make anxiety worse. We need to eat.

Planned route
Home
Eat
Back Room
Store

Shopping list
Medium/small pry bar, say 12 inch
Pocket notebook
Pencil
Crayon or china marker
Chalk
21st Jan 2020, 9:32 PM
Snervalton
+1 to this planned route and buying a pry bar.
-1 to buying the magic equipment, Plaire wouldn't know how to put them to use if she had them at this point.
22nd Jan 2020, 10:40 AM
21st Jan 2020, 11:00 PM
Leafia_Barrett
My vote is on looking into getting a psychiatrist appointment, because we need to get our anxiety handled to be a functional human being. After that, we should probably look into getting a cheapo cell phone (as opposed to a smart phone), just so we have some form of connection to the outside world beyond face-to-face.
22nd Jan 2020, 3:23 AM
Embrace your inner Samus Aran Aamus Sran and curl into a perfect ball.

Jokes aside Plaire really needs money if she's going to do much of anything. So first things first would be to go home, check for money, and freshen up.
Then if we got money, then we can do some shopping and look at The Back Room.
If we still do not have money, we can go to the library and get Cici caught up about the whole nightmare dungeon and mayor involvement thing and/or check out the comments left on the last video and focus our attention on making money (because we're broke). There's probably a lot of interest potential in discussing the dating sim mechanics of Captemon.

EDIT: On second thought, there's also a lot of interest potential in discussing jiggle physics in Magic Mustachio Extreme Beach Volleyball; but I feel like that's low-hanging fruit and something to do when short on time. Still a consideration.

EDIT x2 combo: Maria's! Now that we're (relatively) safe from suspicion, we should go check in with Maria's grocery store and see what the damages are.
22nd Jan 2020, 6:32 AM
Hari_Seldon
+1 check for money then The Back Room
22nd Jan 2020, 7:41 AM
Snervalton
+1 to checking the comments on the video Plaire made yesterday. Maybe do it while she eats? Then she'll know to check for certain titles when she visits the Back Room.
22nd Jan 2020, 11:08 AM
Hari_Seldon
+1 check the video game powers video
22nd Jan 2020, 10:49 AM
Go home and check your mailbox before anything.
22nd Jan 2020, 10:58 AM
First thing, let's go home and cook us something quick but good, like an omelette and a salad (if we have what we need, else improvise). Then check if we earned money and check what our budget is. If our budget is good, let's go buy a cellphone (even a cheap one is fine) and look for a psychiatrist, like others suggested. Then we should go to the library to update Cici about our current situation. Lastly, if we have time let's check out the Back Room.
We also need to think about the dungeon. Do we want to keep exploring it? If so we need to keep some money to prepare ourselves. I, however, feel like we shouldn't go to the spooky dream world unless it becomes absolutely necessary, and keep investigating in the real world. If that's our decision today we have to prioritize finding another place to spend the night.
22nd Jan 2020, 4:06 PM
JiggilyJoe
+1 to this. If we do have to sleep at home tonight, we need to check out the video game comments for useful powers, then play something before we go to bed.
22nd Jan 2020, 12:17 PM
OH my god... If there is a Bebe a Cici and a Dede, there MUST be a Aeae. What happened to the first sister?
22nd Jan 2020, 12:50 PM
Or maybe they just stuck with consonnants.
22nd Jan 2020, 4:07 PM
AiAi got lucky and took a deal to pretend to be a platforming monkey stuck in a hamster ball. ;)
28th Jan 2020, 6:32 PM
What about people who sign up to be a cop because they actually want to help and protect people? I know this is THE FUTURE, but it there are still gay-hating towns, there have to still be some of these.