25th Jul 2020, 7:38 PM
Ask a security guard

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Ask a security guard
You don't immediately spy any sort of information kiosk. Just an ATM, various security devices, and Mondol's... uh... media stuff. Screens and tubes that are also screens.

The mall is obnoxiously loud and eerily quiet, simultaneously. The PA messages echo throughout the building, and the various commercials and programs that are constantly running are cranked up high enough that speaking over them would take some effort--but at the same time, the acoustics of the place just make everything feel... empty. All the audio sort of resonates into a bland slurry. It's like drowning in white noise. People are talking and the screens are talking and there's music and it just

all fades and blends into itself. It just becomes sound, nothing distinct or familiar. The only other place you can remember sounding even slightly similar was like... the skating rink, when you were a kid. It's the sound of loudness.

It does that to all of your senses. The smell is just... there. Indistinct but present. All the crisp whites and luminescent blues just kind of burn straight through your retinas--it's hard to focus on the distance, and the mall is very large. It's oppressively generic, overpoweringly hollow--like the mall was designed to evoke both everything and nothing. MondolHomes had the same aesthetic, there just... wasn't so MUCH of it.

You approach a member of MondolMall security.

"H... Hey, uh--" You swallow dryly, "does this place have like... a map, or a directory or something...?"

"Have you tried the MondolApp?," he asks. "It can automatically download a map of any MondolMall you visit, as well as provide discounts and customer points so you can save while you shop."

His delivery is so clean and so consistently paced, there's no way he didn't rehearse that. You also notice he didn't answer your question, he just sidestepped straight into selling the app. "Oh, uh--" you wince. You don't want to be rude but "No thanks."

"Well, we hope you find what you're looking for here at MondolMall."

You head off on your own, keeping an eye out for any sort of guides--but alas, they really want you to download the app. Instead, you're forced to navigate the mall and search for the laundromat yourself, like some kind of neanderthal. MondolMall really does appear to have everything--music, games, like four different restaurants, kitchenware, a church...? The church isn't currently having service, but you struggle to imagine what a MondolPastor would preach about. ...The importance of tithe, probably.

Thankfully, MondolLaundry is on the first floor, because the mall also has multiple floors. You catch some of Mondol's preferred programming while you wait on your clothes.



Most of what MondolMall beams into your eyeballs is just ads--ads for Mondol stores (MondolToys! MondolAutomotive! MondolHardware!), ads for companies MondolGroup is friendly with (like Wudju and Chariot MT), and ads for some conservative politicians trying to get re-elected. There are snippets of news, but they're very...

carefully curated.

Talking heads, mostly, with very little real footage of events. The bigger cities are seeing more unrest in the lower tiers as violence breaks out between cops and the underprivileged; this is treated as a "barbaric deterioration of core values," and the news sides firmly with the police.

Groups are still fighting various companies about the mistreatment of the engineered. The demand for decent pay and less ridiculous contracts is treated as "socialism running amok." No mention of whether anyone's looking into the whole engineered people can't live more than a decade issue.

Another CEO got busted for "sexually charged crimes," which is just vague enough to mean anything. The general trend of rich people getting tossed off their thrones is not commented upon. Likewise, "the number of people searching for employment has continued to decrease." Yeah, because people are just giving the fuck up and making Crush Souls videos, not because everyone's finding meaningful employment you deceptive fuckasses. Try discussing how many people are having to work two or three jobs or how many people are still living with their parents or forced to share apartments because housing is too expensive--

Basically, this monument to capitalism is really keen on pushing capitalist propaganda. Zero surprise, but it still pisses you off. You would probably rocket off into space if the Brainsate wasn't keeping you planted firmly on the ground.

No local news, at least, so you don't have to hear some asshole "journalist" smearing Kate or Harv or whoever.


Eventually, your laundry is finished. You shove your clean clothes back into your empty moving box. The laundromat costs more than you'd like, but not enough to put a real dent in your meager funds; you still technically have a little money. ...Just a little less money than you had.

You do have some things you could probably shop around for while you're in the mall. It would mean spending more time in MondolGroup's clinical capitalist big brother wonderland, but it would save you from having to travel to other places. ...Which you suppose is the basis of their entire business model.

Touche, fuckers. It is convenient.

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25th Jul 2020, 7:46 PM
Morgenstern
saturday bonus comic gooo
25th Jul 2020, 7:52 PM
25th Jul 2020, 7:56 PM
Limrix
Chat with the man in blue hair while we wait? If the rest of Ninelives is anything to go by, he probably shares our sentiments on Mondol sucking.

Wudju is in tight with Mondol, huh? Put that on the list of things to install never.

Edit: If we're not doing anything else, we could head to the non-mondol hardware store to get our key copied.
25th Jul 2020, 7:58 PM
Portal In Time
Oof, yeah. Glad we didn't end up doing that.
25th Jul 2020, 8:14 PM
Snervalton
Yes, +1 to never installing Wudju ever.
25th Jul 2020, 9:15 PM
Laundry just finished, though, so we're not stuck here anymore unless we want to voluntarily buy things from Mondol. Let's just... leave. Remember that we can ask the bus for other places to buy the things we need (even if she's contractually obligated to mention Mondol first, she doesn't mind listing alternatives).
28th Jul 2020, 1:57 AM
+1 To getting the f out of Dodge. Also, never come back. (Did you know you can buy a cheap hand washer online? Will pay for itself in only a few loads.
26th Jul 2020, 7:49 AM
lilWitchPepper
+1 Add Wudju to our block list
25th Jul 2020, 7:58 PM
Portal In Time
Flee! Flee, while you still can!
25th Jul 2020, 8:16 PM
+1. Also, if we ever get IRL superpowers, preemptively voting we smash this place to dust first thing.
25th Jul 2020, 11:12 PM
nathan400
As I said yesterday, Luandry and ONLY luandry. We must flee!
27th Jul 2020, 1:19 AM
Ryebread1983
+1 to leaving asap. Every additional moment spent here runs the risk of Mondol recognising us one way or another. Or worse yet... being lured into purchasing unnecessary items.

Do not doubt the power of marketers.
25th Jul 2020, 7:58 PM
Well, unless we can think of something we need right now, I feel we don't want to stay here till the BrainSate wears off. Where to next?
25th Jul 2020, 8:18 PM
Snervalton
Our shopping list from a few updates ago:

1) Flask or bottle

2) Candies, M&M's, mints

3) Laundry sack for fightball equipment

4) Better armor, better weapons, shield or buckler

Edit: Plaire could also see if she could get her house key copied here.
25th Jul 2020, 8:32 PM
+1 to Snervalton's suggestions! I suggest a Flask, as it fits better in pockets, and better armor. Our makeshift halberd served well, but taking damage is bad, and we need to take less.
25th Jul 2020, 9:28 PM
26th Jul 2020, 1:41 AM
I'm not convinced we need a flask, depending on how much Brainsate we can secure to take into the dream (and possibly dupe). I'm still of the mind that the vending machine can be ripped off -- if not with play money, then maybe it has a coin slot we can pull the old quarter-on-a-string trick with.

Would MondolMall actually have anything that remotely qualifies as weapons/armor? A place that's all YAY CAPITALISM would probably not sell anything that helps protesters tank hits from cops. We'd probably be better off going to the Back Room and seeing if they have any Halloween costume weapons/armor gathering dust or something, the kind of stuff the dream would more readily recognize as 'real' gear. Or else -- I do remember some other comments mentioning Cici could possibly get her hands on animal control gear. We could have her get those big padded things they wear to take down big vicious dogs?

I guess I'm arguing against staying in the mall for the most part, but to be honest the idea of finding a locksmith to copy our key is actually really good. So I say +1 to stay in the mall (striking my earlier vote to flee), solely for the purpose of getting duplicate keys.
27th Jul 2020, 8:54 AM
Limrix
-1, I don't like giving Mondol the blueprints to our housekey.

I also think a flask is way overkill, just a tiny squirt bottle will store more mana than we could conceivably use. Or a ziplock with a paper towel inside. Or a half filled tube of toothpaste. Duct tape and a backpack will replace a laundry sack, and I'd rather only buy what we will get good usage out of. We can also make an improvised backpack out of one of our long sleeved shirts, I'll attach more detailed instructions later. Weapons and armor are _expensive_. It's amazing that we found such good equipment for free. Even at a yard sale, that would have put a dent in our budget.

You can make really good shields from PVC and Lexan, though we might need Maria's help if we want to do it well.
26th Jul 2020, 7:50 AM
lilWitchPepper
-1 Shopping here. We don't want to give the capitalist pigs more of our money
26th Jul 2020, 12:20 AM
I'd rather not give Mondol any more information than we have to, I'm sure shopping can be done elsewhere.
26th Jul 2020, 5:25 AM
Snervalton
+1 to Cici getting her hands on some animal control gear.
27th Jul 2020, 1:28 AM
Ryebread1983
-1 to shopping at Mondol, for various reasons others and myself have already pointed out (compromised identity and etc.)

+1 to using the shopping list elsewhere. Even if we can't find all the items in other stores, interacting with said stores and their owners/employees may help to build useful ties, especially when we're one of the few customers not absorbed by the monolithic Mondol.
25th Jul 2020, 8:25 PM
Wait for Kate to get un-hungover and get her and Cici over and explain what we know and figure out what next
25th Jul 2020, 8:25 PM
BJBlack
What happened to Kate? She said she would find some pants, and call you back later.

How disorganized her trailer must be.

Actually, I bet she rolled over and fell asleep again. She probably had a long night tracking down those costumed freaks.
25th Jul 2020, 9:06 PM
Lunar Waffles
i say we shop elsewhere, when we have more money, most the stuff we want to buy can wait till later, even more so if we sleep over at someone else's place
25th Jul 2020, 11:15 PM
Snervalton
Okay, yeah, +1 to spending our money somewhere else.

-1 to waiting until later to buy the things on the above list, though. We have food and if we persevere with finishing our videos today then we'll have enough to get by on for a little while longer. It's not like Plaire has anything else to spend her money on right now.
25th Jul 2020, 11:05 PM
Let's not stay here any longer than necessary. In fact, I think we should consider looking into alternate places to get our laundry done, possibly at a friend's house or something (and offer to pay for it of course).
26th Jul 2020, 7:52 AM
lilWitchPepper
+1 Friendhelp. Less anxiety sources that way.
27th Jul 2020, 8:46 AM
26th Jul 2020, 1:17 AM
I'm agreeing with the above that Mondol does not deserve our purchases. Also remember we need to meet our resident drug dealer outside.
26th Jul 2020, 10:41 AM
Snervalton
Wait, is it this Mall that we're meeting Lagi? I mean, it could fittingly be nicknamed "The Shittyplex" but is there not also an abandoned movie theatre around town? And I'm sure it's nowhere near 7pm yet, right?
26th Jul 2020, 7:55 AM
lilWitchPepper
Let's go to the Funk Shop. Ask the local mystic-geeks if they got any info on 'demonshells'.

Also, should we see about old games where one of the base powers is shapeshifting? Being able to turn into things a bit tankier or faster would be cool.
26th Jul 2020, 5:46 PM
Hari_Seldon
-1 the Back Room is for that and Mondol has spy cameras everywhere. Remember when we went to Cici's Mondol apartment and had to not say the cops were after us because Mondol could hear? I believe the phrase was Mondol knows what your farts smell like before they come out (because of all the "anonymous" spying).
27th Jul 2020, 1:23 PM
I meant the Back Room, my memory is just bad
26th Jul 2020, 11:37 AM
Let's not stick around here for much longer. Both not to support Mondol, but also because the place appears to be all kinds of uncomfortable.
28th Jul 2020, 7:21 AM
YetAnother
+1 Even from a pure financial standpoint, spending too long in a place that gets on our nerves so hard is going to cost much more in psy damage than any amount of convenience and discounts it can actually offer.
26th Jul 2020, 7:49 PM
'Scent of fresh linens.' Get!
Apart from the likely higher than affordable price the only place Maybe worth checking out would be the kitchenware for some Large chef knives or a cast iron frying pan. Otherwise hoof it, hehe and pull an asterix task 9 on the way out and tell ye olde shill guide that the app isn't working properly and kept redirecting you to a closed church.
26th Jul 2020, 9:06 PM
Snervalton
Yes! +1 to saying exactly that to ye olde shill guide!
27th Jul 2020, 5:09 AM
27th Jul 2020, 1:24 PM
27th Jul 2020, 9:22 AM
alright... get out and find Franklin. He's probably the hanged man, so get him in the dream dungeon.
27th Jul 2020, 11:04 AM
Hari_Seldon
Do you think we could buy a flask or small water bottle at Maria's? Or that Kate might have a flask? If not I think we should buy one at Mondol because not having to rely on taking Brainsate in the dream for Mana might be important.

EDIT: never mind don't buy anything Limrix said on the Discord Plaire could just use an empty toothpaste tube. I still want to ask Kate if she has a spare flask. Also after we empty the toothpaste tube we might have to blow into it to reinflate it so it has space for mana wine in the dream.
27th Jul 2020, 11:53 AM
Snervalton
I think we can rely on the bus to provide us with alternative destinations for all our shopping needs.
27th Jul 2020, 2:36 PM
Frission
I feel that our current level of Happy is dangerously bottoming out. I suggest we stop somewhere and buy a cookie.

I'm serious. Do not dismiss the happy-inducing power of a good cookie. :3
27th Jul 2020, 2:50 PM
Let's focus on getting more money coming in. Get some candy or something to improve our mood, head home, maybe meditate, then make a video on something. Let's spend a little time looking up what those keywords could mean, and also consider processing that level in our backyard, being mindful of the time. Call Kate back and see what he meant by Shittyplex before all that though.
28th Jul 2020, 8:46 PM
Frission
Coooooooooookieeeeeeeeeeee <3
28th Jul 2020, 1:02 AM
Morgenstern
update's mostly done but it'll be tomorrow, schedule in general will probably be pretty goofy this week
28th Jul 2020, 5:35 AM
nathan400
Tuesdays have not been kind to you lately. I hope it's not too bad for you.
28th Jul 2020, 5:09 PM
A goofy schedule is fine too...