12th Mar 2020, 6:56 PM

Brief your friends on the dream

Brief your friends on the dream

It's getting late.

"...So," you remark offhandedly, filling the stern silence. "The dream."

"I still need to go get those sleeping bags," Cici points out.

"W..." Hmmmmm. "We should probably go with you."

Kate smirks. "I don't think anyone's gonna kidnap Cici. She's... like, she's Cici."

Vampires. Witch ghosts. Federal agents with federal ... secrets.

"Yeah," you reply, "but I have to explain a lot and I don't want to give the spiel twice."

"And you need to do something about that hand," says Cici to Kate. "We have a first aid kit back at the apartment. ...I was gonna call Deedee for a ride, though. I don't know if she's got room for all three of us."

"Cool kids," Kate says before pausing to take a dramatic drag, "take the bus."

While waiting at the bus stop, you begin to explain the dream.

"So, for me it always starts the same way: I wake up in a flooding jail cell. There's a locked door, and I have to input the numbers 91-60-14-44-79 to open it."

Kate begins to take out her phone and save the numbers, when she suddenly stops. "...Do cell phones--? Shit you wouldn't know if cell phones work in the dungeon."

"I know I can take things with me," you reply. "Anything in my pocket comes with me into the dream, even if I don't sleep in those pants. It's like it... it remembers what clothes I was wearing that day."

"So I might not have to sleep in my jacket," Kate remarks. "That helps."

"I... yeah." Hm. She's definitely right about cell phones, though. "I have no idea if cell phones will work in there, or if they work the same." You shake your head a little. "And some items have... like um, additional functions. My house key unlocked a door in the dungeon, but it only works once per dream. The key just... disappears after that."

"This is sounding a lot like a video game," Cici points out.

You nod. "Yeah, single-use keys are a staple of game design. I don't know if that's the natural state of the dream, or if it's designing its rules around me and the fact that I play a shit ton of video games. ...I don't know if the dream even has a natural state. All of this might be completely moot if the whole dungeon changes to fit all three of us."

Cici gives a small shrug. "Tell us what you know anyway. Even if all of it doesn't carry over, I'll bet some of it works the same."

The bus pulls up.

"Hello," says the bus as the doors open. "Another long night?"

Kate grins, and stomps what remains of her level out on the sidewalk. "We got a mystery to solve. Can you take us to Cici's place?"

Cici doesn't have a pass, but Kate covers her for a one-off trip. You hadn't noticed that the... er... machine, at the front of the bus, has a slot for a credit card.

Along the way, you continue your explanation.

"The dream feels... real, but it's inconsistent. I don't get tired as fast in the dungeon as I do in real life, but I do get tired. If I play video games before bed, I can... sort of defy physics in specific ways."

"That's why we were playing that volleyball game," Cici tells Kate.

You nod. "It's one of the games I haven't tested yet. Magic Mustachio gives me bullshit jumping powers, and Crush Souls gives me... uh... dodge rolls. Maybe other abilities, too, but that was on the first night and I didn't really know what I was doing yet."

You've only done this twice, and you still don't really know what you're doing.

You continue. "There's... monsters. And they will kill and you will feel it. The only ways I've found out of the dream are getting brutally murdered or just... fading away. The second night I think I... ran out of juice? I don't know if there's a hidden timer or if breaking physics costs MP, or... or how the fuck it works."

"But you were fine when you woke up," Cici remarks, "right?"

"Yeah." You nod. "Fading away was actually more uncomfortable than dying. Dying I just woke up like it was no big deal, the fade out left me feeling... I don't know. Gross. Drained. It was like I woke up deflated."

"Go out guns blazing, then," Kate says with a smile. "Got it."

"I want to emphasize," you state, "that dying itself does suck hard and the way I died the first night was fucking terrible. Like... these are fucked up nightmare monsters fabricated and acting on my very specific fears and issues. ...And if the dream adapts, you guys will probably be faced with the same thing. It will be whatever you least want it to be, and it will try to do whatever you least want done to you.

I... don't like things. Going in my face. Or the idea of things messing with my brain. ...So they reached into my brain through my face."

"...Fuck," Kate finally says after a lengthy pause.

"Yeah it's a lot scarier when you lay it out like that," Cici adds.

"It's not even, like, a blatant phobia or anything," you clarify. "They didn't hit me with a big crowd, or... heights, or bees, or anything else I'd tell you I was afraid of if you asked me. I had a bunch of medical incidents when I was a kid and I just... hate, fucking hate tubes or whatever going in my fucking face. The point is, the dream goes deep. It doesn't go for the obvious, surface layer stuff. It digs. It figures out what's going to viscerally freak out your caveman brain. It hits you with things that you don't even realize bother you until they're getting chanted at you by... multi-eyed, meat-spine horror fuckers."

"Now you're just trying to talk us out of it," Cici laughs a bit dryly.

"I want you to know." You look from Cici to Kate and back. "I don't have a choice. You both do. It's fucked up and it's probably fucking me up and I've barely started, I can't even speculate what the rest of the dungeon's like or... or how far it goes. I'd feel like absolute garbage if I shoved you into all that and didn't make sure you know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that this... this is, it's--"

"It's gonna be a total mindfuck," Kate concludes. "Yeah. I'm still in."

"Me too!" declares Cici. "If it's that bad then you shouldn't have to do it by yourself."

"...Thank you," you finally reply.

You arrive at MondolHomes.

You, Kate, and Cici are all silent as you approach the building and head through the lobby. You take the still unnervingly silent elevator up to the third floor. You're pretty sure it's illegal for an elevator to make zero noise for disability reasons, but--

The elevator reaches its destination.

The three of you walk down the hall to Cici's apartment.

There's a palpable pressure to say absolutely nothing of what you've discovered about the house tonight in the range of Mondol's... well, Mondol's anything.

"Hey Bebe!," greets Cici as she walks through the door.

"Heeey Cici," replies Bebe with a wide smile. "Plaire. ...Kate."

Kate just smirks, and gives a small upward nod.

"I forgot my sleeping bag," Cici says as she hurriedly moves toward her room.

"I told you!," Bebe laughs as Cici passes her. "Girl, you get all worked up about pizza and you forget something. Every. Dang. Time."

Cici disappears through an open door.

"They still haven't fixed the wall?," Kate asks, pointing to the damage from yesterday.

"Heeell no," replies Bebe. "Lazy asses. Marlow would've already fixed it."

"He was fired, right?," asks Kate.

Bebe shakes her head. "They pretty much forced him to quit! One week they were working him half to death, the next week he'd be scheduled for like two hours. They kept puttin' him in more and more dangerous situations, and THEN they started screwing with his wife's hours. Just to get at HIM! She's on the cleaning staff, like, what? For real, I hate MondolGroup but we get these apartments cheap, since we're baaasically cops. That and nobody else wants to rent a place to a couple o' bigger girls. Kate, what the hell did you do to your hand?"

Kate lifts her hand, revealing the wound from earlier. She shrugs before replying wryly, "I'm getting pretty good at knife throwing but I still suck at knife catching."

Bebe sighs. "Kate, ya big dumbass. Come on, we got stuff in the bathroom."

Bebe ostensibly drags Kate to the bathroom to treat her hand, leaving you alone with the TV.

"Wudju mow a lawn for twenty bucks?

Wudju paint a house for fifty?

Wudju get all your minor tasks--from grocery shopping to work around the home--done from the comfort of your phone?

Get Wudju, the app that connects you with the help you need!"

...And then the TV returns to a news program, where two pundits are discussing international antifascist and pro-mutant figure, Fuse Hendricks.

Pundit A describes him as a revolutionary, a liberator working with several organizations to shake up corrupt governments and modernize the way mutants (and the lower class in general) are being treated worldwide.

Pundit B describes him as a terrorist and a hacker who has facilitated numerous large scale prison breaks, untold property damage, and has "racked up a body count of hard working PMCs and at least three key political figures that we know of." He's also bombed eight different places across the globe, though nobody mentions what those places were, exactly.

Both pundits seem hesitant to speculate on why Fuse has recently been spotted back in the States, or what that could imply. Even Pundit A, who's mostly supportive of Fuse's goals sounds... mildly afraid of having him in THIS country.

... You used to own a t-shirt with Fuse's face on it, but you're pretty sure your mom threw it out. It was more of an edgy post-irony thing, anyway; most of what you know about Fuse is that he

a.) pisses off and terrifies old people and
b.) has a genetic mutation that lets him light a motherfucker on fire

which are big goals and a big mood, respectively.

You sort of wonder if the mayor has an opinion on Fuse. Her... accent... is probably from around one of those countries, maybe. ...Like, from centuries ago, but still

Bebe, Kate, and Cici all return about the same time.

Kate's hand is bandaged up.

Cici's in a different shirt and hauling two sleeping bags.

"Anything else we need before we do this?," Cici asks.

Average Rating: 5 (3 votes)
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Will Schrag | Snervalton | Skullrama | John Wood | Tom Axon | David J Wu | Sekwel | Mochi | Wisp Pandemonium | arbit | Travis Whittaker | thatbloodypaladin | Avasraali | Nicolas Arboleya | Trent Brossman | Clotty Cola

12th Mar 2020, 7:32 PM
Play a videogame that isn't questionable volleyball? :V

...Joking aside, trying some other older games might be good to see which ones work in the dream and how.
13th Mar 2020, 8:10 AM
Yeah, I don't think improved mammary bounciness is going to help much over yonder. Cici's spikes would turn into lethal moves but they probably already are anyway.
That one commenter said the old games were the best, probably because of the silly physics and versatile abilities they feature.
12th Mar 2020, 7:37 PM
YAAAY FUSE!!!! I was wondering how he was doing! Good to see that he's alright.
12th Mar 2020, 8:57 PM
I agree. : )
12th Mar 2020, 7:41 PM
We should ask CiCi if, given the information we've given her, she needs to grab anything else. And Kate too, but Kate seems to have come well-equipped already if the crowbar is any indication XD

We should also make sure we have markers for like, writing notes on ourselves. Even if the phones don't work, we can take physical notes on pieces of paper or just write them on our hands.
12th Mar 2020, 9:22 PM
+1 for mementos
12th Mar 2020, 9:53 PM
12th Mar 2020, 11:13 PM
13th Mar 2020, 7:36 AM
Odd Donny
12th Mar 2020, 7:44 PM
Maybe ask Cici to grab anything she thinks might come handy in the dream?
12th Mar 2020, 8:22 PM
One thing to keep in mind is that the whole ‘reviving’ part of the dream might only be because Plaire plays video games; on the first night’s death there was the specter from Crush Souls, and for the second night there’s the possibility that Magic Mustashio’s multiple-lives system (assuming that it’s the same as it’s source material) was what saved us. If Cici or Kate don’t also have video-game-themed abilities, they might have a lot more trouble waking up.
(My apologies if I’ve posted this theory before, I don’t remember if I’ve said it already or not.)
12th Mar 2020, 9:23 PM
The town is called Ninelives, past owners died more than once before leaving... The physical symptoms of death likely get worse until they actually kill you as you use up your lives. We should let especially Kate know this.
12th Mar 2020, 9:52 PM
The name of the town might have nothing to do with the spooky house or its spookiness, the founder of the town could merely have been a cat lover. According to Marlow, the house always had a certain spooky vibe to it but things didn't really start happening until much more recently: http://mda.thecomicseries.com/comics/67/
12th Mar 2020, 8:51 PM
Maybe actually look at that brochure in our inventory being all creepy with it's alt text, for reals though.
12th Mar 2020, 9:34 PM
+1 also ask if they have a UV Light or Blacklight to scan over the brochure after looking at it
12th Mar 2020, 9:56 PM
It was suggested that we look over the brochure with the folks at the Back Room because of their very specialized knowledge. I'll +1 using a UV Light or Blacklight on it, though.
13th Mar 2020, 3:52 AM
13th Mar 2020, 7:38 AM
Odd Donny
13th Mar 2020, 9:48 PM
+1, see if you can still read it, or if being in the house has any effect.
12th Mar 2020, 9:57 PM
Hm... this has gotten me thinking. The dream is probably keyed to us, but on the off-chance that the dream changes in response to the childhoods/fears of the additional people trying to enter it...

...what if Kate gets abilities from the Power of Rock instead, or something? Is it possible to have her play guitar before bed?

(It's probably still keyed to videogames, but we should at least check.)
12th Mar 2020, 11:27 PM
That's interesting! Kate's stage presence was described as being pretty damned powerful. Would she get different dream powers if she played some slow metal or hardcore or oi punk?
13th Mar 2020, 7:25 AM
Hrm. What is Cici's power source, though?
13th Mar 2020, 8:12 AM
...Kitten magazines ?
13th Mar 2020, 5:05 PM
Yeah! Maybe she'll get different powers depending on what kind of cat pictures she looks at like hunting or hiding or...napping? Maybe not... Maybe she could try to channel some of the personality fragments or skills that were implanted in her at birth to bring them out and amplify them in the dream?
12th Mar 2020, 11:10 PM
Hmm if it Isn't just keyed to videogames, but the last thing seen on TV before bed lighting 'people' on fire Would be handy.
13th Mar 2020, 6:20 PM
Plaire is sitting down like a normal person on the bus and not all balled up! She's making so much progress!

They should probably bring anything with general usefulness that'd fit in a pocket: carving knife, keys, little flashlight, screwdriver, wrench/spanner, a rock, etc.. Be as prepared as they can be for whatever the nightmare throws at them.
13th Mar 2020, 9:48 PM
There's probably not time, but if we do this again Kate should get her guitar and go Tenacious D/Black Heaven/Macross 7 on the monsters.