1st Mar 2022, 9:27 PM

Seal the wound, check the wall

Seal the wound, check the wall
While trying to figure out if something's actually wrong with your leg, you elaborate:

"It's weaker than the last one. ...Bigger, but weaker. I don't know why, or how, or... or what the fuck."

Marlow sniffs. "What'dya mean, weaker?"

"It doesn't disable the Choir," you reply, "for starters. I also got very close to this one before I even realized what it was--the one in the dream was shutting us down from like a hundred feet away. The anxiety is there, but it's not nearly as severe. ...But the wound is bigger, like, WAY bigger."

"...Huh. Maybe they're like scorpions," Marlow mutters.

"Oh, yeah!," Cici concurs. "Bigger scorpions have bigger claws, so they don't have to sting as much! Smaller scorpions GOTTA use venom to keep their prey still, so they're more likely to sting."

You shake your head. "I don't think I like what this is implying about miasmatic wounds. ...Maybe I've just built up a resistance after being exposed to the first one."

Marlow stands.

"Marlow...?"

"Only one way to find out," he says. "You got more of it than I did."


He approaches the restrooms.

Hesitates.

Pushes the door open.

. . .

Peeks his head in.

Walks in.


Walks out.

"She's right," Marlow confirms. "It IS weaker."

Cici raises a hand. "...Shouldn't we be testing it with someone who hasn't been exposed? At all?"

"Y'aaaall." Bebe stands, despite immediate attempts to dissuade her by pretty much everyone. "Nah, I wanna see what this thing is! Errbody all worried about it."

Bebe marches up to the restroom, opens the door, and--

"Did that thing eat a TOILET?!"

"We're gonna need that ladder," Marlow remarks.

"Aww!," replies Cici, "that means we have to run all the way back to the storage room..."

"Wait." a;dj;fuck all this "You found the ladder? Storage room? WHERE THE HELL DID YOU GUYS GO EARLIER"



After a bit of discussion, you gain a better understanding of the library's overall layout.





You add a rough map to your notepad.

It seems that not long after you and Kate entered the vents, the rest of the gang found themselves being chased by the giant frog woman.

"We tried to use the super soaker on it," Marlow says, "but... well..."

Bebe picks up where Marlow trails off. "I'm not namin' any names buuut we got one old guy and one sister with no depth perception, so ONCE AGAIN it came down to me, Bebe, to hold off the monster an' save the day and shit."

"We tried to fight it!," Cici points out,

"After shoving me in the storage room," Marlow adds,

"--But it was too... jolty," Cici concludes.

"Ohhh," Kate exclaims, "so you guys were like... wearing her down the whole time. Damn, I thought I did the heavy lifting with my big entrance and sexy one-liner."

Pffft "Violators will be toad? REALLY?!"

Kate gives a massive shrug. "Uh, frog puns are hard? And you put me on the spot by almost getting eaten." ...She pauses before adding, with a gradual grin, "PLUS there's no way I was gonna top get a fart out of my ass, so y'know at that point fuck it."

. . . "You heard that, huh?"

Kate offers you a high five.

You don't want to take it, on principle, but you also can't remember the last time you saw a high five out in the wild. You eventually sigh, and accept.

"So where the hell were YOU?," you ask.

"Weeeell..." Kate leans back, taking a long, deep puff of level. "After you straight up fucking disappeared--dick move, by the way--"

ASD;FJ;F "InMYversionofthevent it looked like YOU were the one that--"

"AhhhI don't wanna hear it," Kate chuckles. "No excuses. After you magically bailed on me, I kept crawling for like... three hours? ...And then I found the other end of the vent."

"...That's it?"

Kate shrugs. "I mean... some other shit might've happened on the way there. The library made a bunch of angry noises. I tried to beat my way out of the vent. ...I tried to stab my way out of the vent."

"Where's the vent go?," asks Marlow.

"It's, uh--" Kate... takes a moment. "Pretty sure it's Lex's old room. Far end, next to the stairs, but don't get excited. It got wiped, too."


One step at a time.


Your leg... hurts, but you don't think it's broken or anything.

The super soaker is running hella low. Given how much it apparently took to weaken Ghost!Lex's frog illusion thing down to a point that left her vulnerable (give or take outside factors, like... smoke...? And Bebe/Cici trying to fight it earlier?), you do not suspect this is sufficient soak for a skirmish with a second specter.

It might be enough to do some experiments with, though.

"Alright," you declare with a wobbly stand. "Here's the plan: this might be the weakest slash realest miasmatic wound we ever encounter, so if we're going to learn anything about them, now's the time. I say we hose it, throw shit in it... call it names, whatever, and when we're done poking it we seal that fucker."

"With what, though?," Marlow asks. "We don't have any of that yella tape here."

You shake your head. "As far as I know, the only thing special about DNR tape is that it doesn't reset. It's not especially tough--I've cut it, put a nail through it and who knows what else. If that can keep a wound sealed, well... I've got duct tape, and I've got aluminum foil. We could try to block it with something heavier, but doing it with the cheapest shit we can would double confirm that the sealing doesn't take much, just fully covering it with something."

"...Plus," Kate adds, "doing it with tinfoil and duct tape makes it an easier target, if somebody wants to rip that shit down and open the wound back up."

. . .

"And that's a good thing?," Cici asks.

"It's bait," Kate replies with a smirk. "If we come back next time and somebody's ripped our seal off, we know somebody out there's fucking around."

"...That's a good point," you mutter. "The library doesn't seem real fond of the wound, and the ghost just wants people to leave. The wound would only be unsealed if somebody else really wants to go for it... but we can't find that out if we make it impossible to unseal."

Marlow shrugs. "Foil and duct tape it is, then."

You take a deep breath. "...But first."


You recover your toolbox, coat, and hat from where Cici and Bebe dropped it in the stairwell (about halfway to tackling Frog Lex). Kate recovers her backpack.











"Seriously?," Kate protests from outside the restroom. "I can't even see it?"

"You've been smoking level," you point out, before adding "you're still smoking level."

"Kate! Girl, your little heart'll explode," Bebe adds. "How'm I gonna tell your mom your heart blew up? I'm sorry Ms. Halford, she was smokin' that good green but then we found this static butthole in the wall... You KNOW that's gonna be an awkward funeral, Kate, don't put that on me."

You throw a piece of candy into the wound. It either, uhhh... disappears into the static, or turns into static. It's... it's kind of hard to tell. "Why DID it eat a toilet?"

Cici makes a little paper airplane out of an old receipt in her pocket. "Maybe it didn't! Maybe somebody stole the toilet." She tosses the tiny airplane, which soars straight into the miasmatic wound... and promptly becomes static. Or is consumed by static. Something involving static.

"S'a damn shame, too," Marlow remarks. He chucks a small piece of debris from all the way in the back, straight into the wound. Nothing but net. And static. "The one in here's a Flotisinal--that's a hand-crafted toilet. Expensive as all get out, too."

wait why is that bolded

Bebe shoots a rubber band into the wound. "What? You an expert on toilets, too?"

no but seriously why did that have weight, is there a fucking toilet conspiracy you should be aware of

"Well, I don't think I'd put it on my business card, but--"

Wait. "You said those toilets are hand-crafted, right?"

"Yup," Marlow confirms with a nod. "Every single one. ...Or so the company says, anyhow."


You turn back to stare at the miasmatic wound.

"It eats words," you mutter. "It's eating the paint off the wall... and it might have eaten a handmade toilet. ...It eats demonshells faster than it's eating us."

"Whaddya think?," Marlow asks.

. . .

"I don't know," you finally conclude, "but I think I'm onto something. Our dream forms are just that--they're... projections, or self images, or some other magic psyche bullshit. I think it's eating ideas, or... art. Or something, it's struggling to get through our very real skulls to fuck with our minds but when it's pitted against raw dream body it blenders your brain whole. This wound would probably wreck our shit if we weren't, like..." you squint, realizing how weird this is going to sound "... if we weren't protected by these meat bodies."

. . .

From behind the door, Kate chimes in. "I can't tell if you're getting tired or ascending to another plane in there. Meat bodies? What the fuck, Plaire?"

Cici, also, has questions. "Did the wound really try to eat you? I thought it just gave you big time anxiety!"

For a moment, you and Marlow just kind of stare at each other.

"...Yes."

"I couldn't think about anything good," Marlow clarifies. "It wouldn't let me. It was like... I don't know. Like the air was pinning me down, and..."

"Like every mental defense I have was being ripped open," you elaborate. "It shot straight through every barrier I've ever put up, aaall the years of working myself through anxiety and dealing with panic attacks... it seeped right past the fucking Choir. It was just... IN there, holding my mind down and tearing shit apart from the inside. Grabbing shit at random--"

"Yeah!," Marlow agrees. "Things I hadn't thought about in a while. It was lookin', digging deep for... I don't know."

"The worst parts of myself," you mutter. "The vulnerabilities--like the entire atmosphere surrounding the wound wanted to expose the soft spots. It wasn't trying to literally eat my body but it felt like it was trying to eat me, like it was... like it was sucking the meat out of a crab leg."

"Jesus CHRIST," Kate yells from the other side of the door.

"I hate to say it," Marlow says with a grimace, "but yeah, that about sums it up. It's a, don't get me wrong, awful comparison, but... well, it's apt."

"WOW," adds Bebe. "Y'all are making me scared of this one, and it's not even doin' shit." She shoots another rubber band into the wound.

Kate repeats, still reeling, "Like sucking the meat out of a crab leg, though."

"IT WAS"

"You couldn't have said all that shit sooner?!," Kate asks. "Plaire, you need to warn us SPECIFICALLY about shit that'll suck the soft parts of our brains out."

"It wasn't real easy to think about," Marlow notes, "even right after it happened. It really felt like an ambush, like we were being attacked by... everything. Ourselves, even."

"Yeaaah," you add, "I think I had to put some distance between me and the fuck happened before I could really put the sensation into words, but... yeah. It's hard for a turtle to think about why it's being flipped"

"Somebody," Kate says through a morbid kind of laugh, "please take away her metaphor privileges."

Cici tosses her hands skyward. "This whole conversation's making me itchy! Can we seal this thing yet?"


Bebe stops and squints, halfway through scratching her elbow. "...I, too, am startin' to itch."

. . .

You shoot a few blasts of salt water into the wound.

No change.



"Fuck it. Let's go get that ladder."






Along the way, you explain in better detail (to the best of your ability, at least) what happened when you vibe explosion'd Lex's ghost. Specifically, the vision.

. . .

"Which cops was it?," Marlow asks flatly.

"Officer Johnson did most of the talking," you reply. "I didn't recognize the other two--one was huge, like, even for an engineered person he was stout--"

"Light brown, aaalmost reddish hair?," Kate asks.

You nod. "Y... yes...?"

"Big Bob!"

"Big Bob."

"That's GOTTA be Big Bob," Bebe confirms.

Kate hmms. "If that was when the library got shut down, though... that's like... fiiive years ago? Sooo... Big Bob V? Fuck, that might've been Big Bob IV: Big Bob Rises."

Marlow takes a moment, counting dates and reciting months to himself, before finally concluding... "Would've been Big Bob III. The Revenge of Big Bob."

Bebe chimes in, "AND YOU MIGHT BE THINKIN', wow, those police sure do go through a lot of Bobs... and THAT'S why I'm not out there tryin' to be a cop. They like the Bobs, they look like the Bobs, my ass wouldn't last a week! They'd be phonin' up the government all like you got any more of them Bebes"

"So-- wait--" because you need clarity, "There's... how many Bobs?"

Marlow inhales, preparing his lungs for the list to come. "The first Big Bob got shot during a training exercise. Allegedly. Big Bob II died of a stroke, Big Bob III got his head run over by a car--"

"A cop car," Kate adds.

Marlow continues: "Big Bob IV drowned, Big Bob V also had a stroke, and Big Bob VI is still alive. Allegedly."

Kate clarifies, "Big Bob VI: Big Bob's Big Vacation."

Cici clarifies further, "he's the first Bob to find out he gets vacation days."

"AND YOU MIGHT BE THINKIN'," Bebe adds, "wow, it sure sounds like all those Bobs died in ways you could prob'ly prevent with proper medical attention and shit--"

"--Or were straight up killed by other cops," says Kate.

"RIGHT?!"

"And they just..." you're still having a little trouble wrapping your brain around this "...replace the Bob? With another Bob?"

"An identical Bob," Marlow adds. "Same... stock, or however it works."

"STOCK?!," Bebe dramatically gasps... before waving him off with a smile. "Nah I don't know what it's called, either. Got 'em outta the same supply. Hope they got a damn group discount or somethin'...!"

"Big Bulk Bob," Cici pipes in.

"Get points on y'customer card for all these BOBS"

Kate shrugs, taking a drag of level. "We had Large Larry for a while, if that helps. He didn't like that there was four dead Bobs, so uhhh... he insisted on Larry."

Bebe confirms: "There's still people sayin' he counts as a Bob. Like, LARRY is really Bob V and Bob VI is really Bob VII?"

"Well," Kate replies, "those people are wrong. There's been six Bobs and one Larry. There are no half-Bobs, no technically Bobs. You're either Big Bob, or you're not Big Bob."

Marlow nods, chuckling to himself. "There's rules, dammit. We can't just call a Larry a Bob, we're not animals."

"So..." because, again, you just really need to be clear on this "everybody knows this is incredibly fucked up, right? They've just been replacing a dead cop with IDENTICAL COPS WITH THE SAME NAME, like he's a fucking GOLDFISH?"

"Yup!," Cici confirms.

"Oh, yeah," Kate says. "Hell yeah, shit's a nightmare."

Marlow lets out a small sigh. "Heck... up until a couple years ago, a lot o' businesses were doing lab-grown workers that way. It's startin' to come around now, but... police work a little different, and we live out in the sticks."

"They shouldn't work differently, though," you reply. "A police department's just another private company, right? Even if it's under contract to the state--"

Bebe interjects, "If EVER you're confused how cops get away with somethin', the answer is 'CUZ THEY BE COPS."

Kate nods emphatically.

Marlow shrugs, and also nods. "Police have unions... big, powerful unions that don't act like any other union in the country. They're like a mafia for cops, and those contracts--not just to the state, but any police contract, they're so convoluted and so wrapped up bureaucratic bullshit that punishing a cop just about takes an act of congress. Really punishing them, not just suspending them with pay, which is just a fancy way to describe a vacation."

...God damn, Marlow.

"DAMN Marlow," Kate laughs. "You had some run-ins with those unions, huh?"

He practically shudders. "There was a time--believe it or not--that I really believed in how things work. I never trusted the government, but I thought there were good men on the ground--good cops, maybe some good lawyers, the raaare decent politician. Then I got older. I learned."

"Good cops get weeded out," Bebe states. "THAT's how it works."

"Or they have training mishaps," Kate adds. "Good cops don't get to stay good cops, that'd fuck the whole system up. You turn into a bad cop or you turn into an ex-cop."

"...I guess I'm kinda where Marlow used to be," you mutter. "I know like the... the overarching system is a total hellscape, but--yeah. ...I figured it wasn't universally terrible at the local level. There was some corruption with the cops in Addersfield, but... that was Addersfield, god damn everything was corrupt."

"You wind a system tight enough," Marlow says, "and it'll march the same way at every stage. It's not just the unions and the contracts, it's the perception. Cops are COPS, y'know what I mean? They're the police, they're the law and order, they're THE authorities. People trust that. They trust the... they trust the idea of it. We don't wanna think there's a problem in cop culture itself, or that the cops are gettin' trained in some real awful ways from the day they show up. And we wanna think there's some careful process that makes sure only the best and brightest get badges, but..."

"It's actually the opposite!," Cici suddenly states. "One of--one of the ways they tried to keep Deedee out was a basic intelligence test...? They said she scored TOO HIGH. And there's been lawsuits about that kinda thing in other states!"

"They want the susceptible," Marlow concludes. "They want the law to be enforced by folks that'll take orders without thinking about 'em. They're not here to protect us--they're here to protect the kings and their property FROM us."

"Man," summarizes Kate, "fuck cops."


You reach the storage room.





Hnnngwanttoexplorenewroom

Focussss, one step, at a time, just

aghhhh youhaven'ttouched ANY of this stuff yet why is this library so fucking big


oh the ladder is also big



Bebe and Cici grab opposite ends of the ladder, and off you go back the way you came.



Along the way, Kate asks: "You said there was three cops, right? What'd the last one look like?"

"Thiiiin?," you shrug. "Pale...?"

Bebe hmms. "Did he look like he was 22 and 48 at the same time?"

"...Yes."

"Ugh, Lloyd," Bebe grumbles.

Marlow clarifies, "Officer Lloyd O'Donnell. He's... well..."

"He's a creeper!," Bebe says.

Kate concurs, "yeah, Lloyd's a gropey fucking weirdo. Don't get arrested but don't ever get arrested by Lloyd."

You have to squint a little bit. "Is there really NOBODY to report those fuckers to?"

"They've BEEN reported," Kate huffs.

Marlow nods, giving a sarcastic sort of smile. "Subsequent internal investigations found no evidence of wrongdoing, and so on, and so forth into the fine print..."

"Jesus Christ."

"Girl, that ain't even all the worst cops," Bebe chuckles. "Those motherfuckers've prob'ly left pissed off ghosts all over town!"

. . .

Nooo do not think about that

no no no

stop it

Also on the way, Marlow does a few quick sweeps with his phanton detector. ...And a lot of hmming.

"I really think something weird's goin' on downstairs," he says, "but it seems to come and go... and I don't know if I'm getting a good reading through the floor, anyway."



You eventually return to the stairwell,

which takes a bit to traverse because it turns out immense strength does not do much to alleviate the awkwardness of taking a long ladder up a weird, narrow flight of stairs but EVENTUALLY

you get the ladder up to the second floor, and then


to the restrooms.


(which also takes takes a bit because long ladder tiny door BUT EVENTUALLY)



A brief debate ensues over who's actually going to climb the ladder (which feels even taller now that you're contemplating climbing it). Kate's the most obvious choice as someone who frequently climbs up and jumps off of things, but she's still not allowed in the restrooms (even if the wound's not that bad, there's no need to risk it (in spite of Kate's continued protests)).

Bebe or Cici are certainly fit enough to do it, but nobody trusts the ladder that much.

Marlow insists he's climbed plenty of ladders ("bigger'n this one, even") but nobody trusts... uh... time, or its long-term effects on Marlow.

Thus, it is you who begins to ascend the ladder.

The tall, shaky ladder.

From atop which you will tape foil over the gaping, eroding/eating/whatever the fuck it's doing static maw from parts unknown, more or less by yourself.

You're not unreasonably afraid of heights, but you ARE quite reasonably nervous about falling a great distance. Especially this distance, because you can almost guarantee you wouldn't die but you would absolutely fuck something up in a grotesque and expensive way.



Ohhh yeah the anxiety is much worse when you're almost shoving your head into the damn thing

YOU ARE QUICKLY REMINDED OF LEG HURT

ALSO

WHY IS THIS ROOM SO TALL

The overall experience isn't actually that bad. Bebe and Cici hold the ladder steady and pass you items from your toolbox as needed. You end up having to reach a little farther than you're comfortable with, and improvise quite a bit (including the use of (what's left of) a very nasty broom found lying near the storage room), and the final result isn't exactly majestic but maybe that'll keep the wound from eating the seal itself, you don't know how this works you just want to be the fuck off this ladder

you do make a cursory attempt to channel some good/non-anxious/anti-wound vibes into the sealing materials, but this is a tall god damn ladder and you suspect you are all vibed out for now






"Done," you conclude, before including the addendum "get fucked, wound."

You take a Brainsate. You heave a big sigh of relief. You pick your toolbox and super soaker back up.

"So what's next?," Marlow asks. "Lex's room?"

"...No." You give a dramatic pause, definitely not just because you're stalling while the Brainsate kicks in. "There's something on the way there that's been bothering me, first."





"Let me in, fucker."

"Plaire!," Cici says, "I don't think that's gonna be how it works."

"I dunno," Kate chuckles, "yelling at shit's been working out pretty well for her so far."

"I don't think the library can understand what I'm saying," you express, "but I think it knows what I fucking want. I'm tired. I know when a big, blank-ass wall is suspicious and I know what a haunted house trying to mindfreak me looks like. A ghost slid through here. THERE'S SOMETHING HERE, quit pretending there's NOT something here. I fixed the wound let me iiiiin"

"Have ya tried lookin' for hidden switches?," Marlow suggests. "Buttons, or panels--"

"YES."

"It is a pretty shady wall," Cici agrees.

"Oh, no doubt," Bebe concurs. "Wall's up to some shiiit"

Kate asks, "have you tried taking off the tinfoil h--"

"YES."

Marlow checks it for phantons... and shrugs. "Well, it's got something going on."

"Maybe there's a password!," Cici suggests.

...Which of course leads to everyone making a series of random guesses. "Acedia." "Vainglory." "Nat." "The first lie." "Frog!" "Toad?" "Hanged Man." "Tradesman." "Password." "12345..." "Please?" "Quesarito!" "Why would it...?" "Everything costs." "Choir?" "Xanthous." "Piss zone." "Gun." "Revolver." "Penis." "Door: Activate." "We have the pizza you ordered." "Franklin...?"

"Maybe there's no password!," Cici suggests.

You feebly bang a fist against the wall a few times, just for good measure. "I did what you wanted, LIBRARY. PLEASE."



but alas.



LIBRARY.


Average Rating: 5 (7 votes)
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1st Mar 2022, 10:50 PM
Gigafreak
...Ask Marlow if he wants to "rescue" the surviving Flotisinal. We did find a wrench and screwdriver in the junkyard. If he and the animal control girls are up for it, we could detach it from the wall (I doubt the plumbing is still working in this building-- and if it is, at least we can top up our watergun even if it would dilute the salt), Bebe or Cici could carry it to the Puppy Patroller (it has seen shenanigans, and I don't think I want Cherry to ask uncomfortable questions about toilets on our ride home), and then we could put it into someone's house. Maybe it could slightly decrease Casa De La Salamandra's hauntedness score, or it could be a kind of trophy and/or payment to Marlow or Kate or Bebe and Cici.

Plus it'd be funny to go into a haunted library and end up doing a toilet heist.
1st Mar 2022, 10:58 PM
Macheman7
That gets a big +1 from me.
1st Mar 2022, 11:03 PM
Orphiex
Heh, that would be pretty funny. +1, but later. If we’re going to jack a toilet, we should do it at the end of the excursion, not while we still have stuff to do.

Though we should ask Marlow now.
1st Mar 2022, 11:07 PM
2nd Mar 2022, 8:20 AM
Momerath
+1 to Orphiex.
1st Mar 2022, 11:25 PM
+1.

Also take the ladder. It might be useful to bring into the dream (awkward as hell it'll be to cuddle with it in our sleep).
2nd Mar 2022, 5:27 AM
Portal In Time
This is incredibly stupid. Let's do it for the meme. +1
2nd Mar 2022, 7:40 AM
Guest
+1 We can figure out why the name's in bold, AND possibly make some money. Should get replacement toilets later though, taking from sentient buildings without giving in return just sounds like a bad idea
2nd Mar 2022, 9:58 AM
Gingerbread Conductor
+1 cool idea. It is likely too expensive to invoke the library theft rule. Perhaps if you installed it in the new library.
2nd Mar 2022, 10:29 AM
Cheshire777
+1 absolutely, that would be awesome. My only concern would be if we need to shut the water off somewhere if a) it's still running for some bizarre reason and b) can't be shut off locally in the bathroom. Thaaaat basement is giving me weird vibes still.
3rd Mar 2022, 1:21 AM
2nd Mar 2022, 12:54 PM
Pkrankow
Ask the library if it can be installed in the new library, and only if the library approves. Otherwise -1 as it could be seen as harming this library further.
3rd Mar 2022, 6:54 AM
Gutz Grilla
I should have read your comment before posting, Pkrankow!

Erm... I retract my comment and give plus one to Pkrankow's. Let's ask first (maybe even tell Lex's ghost why we're doing it), then, if there's no problem, we do it. Yeah.
3rd Mar 2022, 6:52 AM
Gutz Grilla
Yeah, if that doesn't upset Lex's ghost, then let's go for it! Plus one!

(It is relevant, it was bolded, so we'll do it. You know, for science!)
5th Mar 2022, 12:06 PM
BJBlack
+1.

Toilet heist. Hahaha.
1st Mar 2022, 10:52 PM
Hari_Seldon
Two ideas about getting through the wall:
1. Do what you did at Plaire's house. Notice what the Library is trying to make you forget.
2. Treat it like Harry Potter's Platform 9 3/4 pretend the barrier doesn't exist even though it seems to, then walk or run through it while believing you will pass through.

“All you have to do is walk straight at the barrier between platforms nine and ten. Don’t stop and don’t be scared you’ll crash into it, that’s very important. Best do it at a bit of a run if you’re nervous. Go on, go now…”
1st Mar 2022, 10:53 PM
Cass
Yeah this is p much what I was thinking.
2nd Mar 2022, 10:31 AM
Cheshire777
+1, and then a slight appendix because Plaire: try to wallclip through it.
7th Mar 2022, 9:53 AM
hopefully not too late for a +1
1st Mar 2022, 10:52 PM
Cass
Did you try just... walking in?
Like walking in with full intent of simply passing through.
Or reaching for a handle, pulling it, and walking in.
If none of that shit works then we prolly gotta go and look around some more. Maybe in the basement.
1st Mar 2022, 11:09 PM
Snervalton
+1 to walking into the blank wall.
1st Mar 2022, 11:11 PM
2nd Mar 2022, 5:33 AM
2nd Mar 2022, 8:22 AM
Momerath
2nd Mar 2022, 8:53 AM
Swagner
+1 but only if someone's recording a video as we try it.
2nd Mar 2022, 10:01 AM
Gingerbread Conductor
Worst that happens would be some bruises. It might provide resistance if you expect resistance, otherwise kids running the corridor could pass through it.

Try doing it as a game of blind mans bluff. Put a blindfold on someone (Plaire). Spin her around and have her walk forward. Repeat. Don't tell her when she is pointed at the wall.
3rd Mar 2022, 10:43 AM
lilWitchPepper
She's going to be so mad at us if she tries walking in and bashes her face. If you do listen to us, Plaire, sorry!
3rd Mar 2022, 1:50 PM
Gigafreak
I am neither for nor against the idea of just walking into the wall, but if she DOES try it... take off her glasses first so they don't break if she hits her face against it.
1st Mar 2022, 10:54 PM
Macheman7
...did you try 'open sesame' yet
In all seriousness, I don't know if you can beat the suspicious wall right now. Maybe come back when you're a ghost? ...because, based on prior experience, 'becoming a ghost' is a lot more doable and safe than you'd think.
1st Mar 2022, 10:56 PM
Macheman7
Well okay, one actually better idea: a TV show you might recognize had an episode where a daughter wandered into the fourth dimension, which temporarily crossed over her bedroom. There were a few entryways in the house, but the larest and most memorable was the little girl's bedroom wall.
You could ask Marlow if he knows anything about four dimensional physics.
Or sledgehammers.
1st Mar 2022, 10:56 PM
Hari_Seldon
They didn't try "Friend" (In Elvish: Mellon) as in "Speak friend and enter" from Lord of the Rings.
2nd Mar 2022, 5:23 PM
Howsabout "Abandon all hope, ye who enter here".
Depending on what - presumably not great - thing lies beyond, a sentence that refers to both Inferno and the catacombs might be pertinent.
1st Mar 2022, 11:00 PM
Orphiex
As much fun as it would be to keep guessing passwords, I think we’ve got enough evidence against talking to the library having an effect. Maybe look for another vent?

Honestly it could be that what’s behind the wall is a HVAC conduit that leads to the basement, in which case there being no access makes perfect sense. Maybe it’s time to check below the ground floor.

Also let’s check Lex’s room in case it triggers another flashback.
1st Mar 2022, 11:11 PM
Snervalton
+1 to checking Lex's room in hopes of triggering a flashback.
2nd Mar 2022, 12:23 AM
Hari_Seldon
+1 to checking Lex's room for a flashback
2nd Mar 2022, 12:57 PM
Spyder
It can't lead to the basement, the front door's in the way
2nd Mar 2022, 8:11 PM
lilWitchPepper
+1 Flashback Check
3rd Mar 2022, 6:57 AM
Gutz Grilla
Heck yeah, you're right! That may even be the reason Marlow is detecting intermittent signals. Plus one to that!

Also, plus one to checking Lex's room.
1st Mar 2022, 11:09 PM
TacticOwl
Got a couple more ideas for the wall, which should only take a minute or three, combined.

1. Other pop culture passwords, as others suggested. Open Sesame, Mellon, Swordfish, etc.
2. Plaire could try to see if her/our connection to Nat gives her any reflexive ideas when touching the wall.
3. Check the edges for seams. It's not *likely* that it just mechanically slides aside, but maybe.
4. If the surface appears smooth, but you suspect a memory-holed door, pull out a sheet of foil a little bigger than a hand. Be careful not to crease it any yourself. Then, run it firmly along the surface, and check it when you're done. If the foil is creased, you hit something and didn't notice, and the wall is magically making you ignore it.

If none of this works, we can always just assume we'll figure it out later. We could be missing a big clue in another room that'll clear this up (while Lex's room was "wiped", there may still be something we can extrapolate from the objects in there, even if there is no writing), so I suggest moving on and doubling back here later.

Like in some games how you can *totally tell* certain rooms will have a fight, or a secret, but you haven't flagged it to open the event yet. Or any Metroidvania power-up. Same idea.
1st Mar 2022, 11:13 PM
TacticOwl
OH. Right. If we get sufficiently annoyed, the sisters have proven more than capable of smashing holes in walls, should they want to.

If it's just plaster, or even thin wood paneling, we could break it. We have the technology. Like, it'll totally risk pissing off any ghosts or haunted semblance in the library itself, but, whatever. We did that anyway, surely, and there is a huge hole in the floor downstairs, so a little more property damage isn't out of the question.

Not an immediate priority, though. Just of we run out of other ideas.
1st Mar 2022, 11:19 PM
TacticOwl
Also, side-idea, check the tank on the back of the toilet, just to be sure. I don't *expect* to find anything, but...y'never know. No harm in it. It was in bold, might as well poke it a few times.

Could be a box of ammo or medkit hiding in there. Obsessive videogame brain, go!
2nd Mar 2022, 12:24 AM
Hari_Seldon
+1 check the toilet tank, though it seems unlikely to help
2nd Mar 2022, 12:42 AM
Snervalton
+1 to checkin' the toilet tank!
2nd Mar 2022, 10:34 AM
Cheshire777
+1 to checking the toilet tank, although if we're stealing the whole thing anyway we'd kinda need to.
2nd Mar 2022, 3:25 PM
Swagner
Public toilets don't usually have tanks, do they?
2nd Mar 2022, 8:18 PM
Cheshire777
In my experience, it can be either. There pretty clearly is a tank in the picture however.
2nd Mar 2022, 4:21 AM
PurpleKetchup
I'd propose an Eric Andre-style 'let meee iiiiiiin', but there's no fence to do it right.
1st Mar 2022, 11:32 PM
Indivisible
That Big Bob and Larry stuff was pretty horrifying.

Like sucking the meat out of a crab leg, though. That is one vivid simile.
1st Mar 2022, 11:43 PM
undeadDreamer
One suggestion is you could try opening a door there in case it is there you just can't perceive it. Otherwise we might have to move on.
2nd Mar 2022, 12:25 AM
Hari_Seldon
+1 try to open door just don't forget to also try just walking through it as if it wasn't there
2nd Mar 2022, 5:30 AM
Portal In Time
+1. Don't even think about it, just open the door.
2nd Mar 2022, 11:03 AM
Frission
+1 Brainblank, open door, woo~
1st Mar 2022, 11:46 PM
zophah
Considering previous experience with hidden rooms (other story) It may be possible there is no entrance here. You have to find your way around it. The ghost doesn't care about the lack of door, but there should be a way in somewhere else.
2nd Mar 2022, 7:31 AM
while everyone hatches plans and good ideas, I'm mostly just wondering something dumb lol

hey Plaire, when your friends were talking about Bob, were they saying "Big Bob V" as numbers, like "5", or did they say it in letters? Because we're perceiving your words as roman numerals (I don't know if you guys even had a Rome)
2nd Mar 2022, 11:36 AM
Cheshire777
How I've interpreted the lore, history played out in basically the same way up until maybe 2010 or so at the earliest, just with some random aliens and ghosts and cryptids retconned in basically.
2nd Mar 2022, 3:44 PM
Momerath
You're considering Zone 50 to be retconned? Marlow mentioned VHS tapes as evidence when he was talking about the Lasker incident, so I've pegged the split from our timeline as earlier than 2010 since the social dynamics/economy in Blood is Mine seemed like it had been different from our (more blatant of an oligarchy) for some time.
2nd Mar 2022, 8:27 PM
Cheshire777
Let me rephrase, I didn't say that well. How I have interpreted it, history happened the same way, but through a different lens if that makes sense. So for example, during WW2 Hitler & Co. were interested a variety of occult mechanisms, which yielded them basically nothing as we understand it. In the BiM/MDA universe however, some of that research may have actually panned out to something which actually works. In fact, I believe it was mentioned in BiM that various armies employed Nil as a form of expiremental training. So basically, everything major happened the same way, but with somewhat different technology and, as I mentioned before, miscellanious aliens and cryptids and such.
2nd Mar 2022, 10:48 AM
If the toilets are handmade and that's their gimmick, maybe they identify who made them somewhere?
That could be used to potentially pin down rough timelines in some circumstances.

Though I hope toilet math doesn't become our sole source for telling time.

Maybe the Library doesn't know the room is there.
6th Mar 2022, 5:24 PM
Spyder
+1 to considering that the secret room may be invistable to the library too.
2nd Mar 2022, 11:02 AM
Frission
Has anyone actually tried pulling books off the nearby shelves looking for the ol' classic bookshelf hidden lever? xD
2nd Mar 2022, 11:40 AM
Cheshire777
Since it's a library, books would be a weird trigger with people wandering through grabbing them off the shelves all the time. Try pulling on the shelves themselves, those work a lot better mechanically as a release lever anyway.
2nd Mar 2022, 12:56 PM
Snervalton
+1 to checking the books and the shelves for mechanisms.
2nd Mar 2022, 1:01 PM
Spyder
It's a library - that's been closed for five years, it's not implausible that Lex rigged up an easy in to her room - which is what I think is behind the wall.
3rd Mar 2022, 7:05 AM
Gutz Grilla
Plus one to that. Even if it would be rather obvious to make a book into a switch for opening a secret room, we never know, and the bookshelves themselves could very well have a secret.

Plaire did find a code for opening the very first cell door checking books on a shelf.
2nd Mar 2022, 11:38 AM
Cheshire777
Before a bunch of other stuff that people are suggesting, let's just knock gently along the wall in a grid pattern. It doesn't cost us anything, shouldn't take too long, and has a moderate chance of giving us more info.
2nd Mar 2022, 12:11 PM
Snervalton
+1. Also, ask Marlow if he has any ideas about how/where any kind of secret areas might be located here, he would have the construction/technical experience to know.
2nd Mar 2022, 1:01 PM
Spyder
5th Mar 2022, 9:08 AM
Momerath
+1 to systematic knocking and to checking with Marlow.
2nd Mar 2022, 12:08 PM
Ah, confirmation that the library cannot understand words, but can understand (or at least detect) feelings and intents. Looks like you were right, Snervalton! I don’t think that we’ll be able to really negotiate with the library, but if it decides it likes us it’ll give us something we want or at least something related to it.
Speaking of, we should probably check out Lex’s Room. There might be a hidden switch in there, especially if there’s witchy stuff hidden behind the suspicious wall. It makes sense for the door release or a hidden entrance to be someplace private, rather then out in the open. There might even be another vent or something that Kate missed.
2nd Mar 2022, 12:13 PM
Snervalton
+1 to looking for hidden switches and/or entrances in Lex's room.
2nd Mar 2022, 12:52 PM
Pkrankow
Betelgeuse gag of drawing the door and knocking?

Lots of other good ideas here.
2nd Mar 2022, 7:50 PM
I do like the idea of politely knocking and asking if we can be let in. (It'd be funny if we drew a door and then the actual secret door opened and we were way off, haha).
3rd Mar 2022, 12:48 AM
Frission
Classic movie is classic :3
3rd Mar 2022, 1:23 AM
Hari_Seldon
+1 politely ask to be let in
3rd Mar 2022, 4:24 PM
Spyder
+1 to knock and ask politely - it can't hurt, anyway.
4th Mar 2022, 12:43 AM
So I am assuming Big Bob II was called Big Bob: The Return of Big Bob, I also have Questions about the Larry the Police department and the number of Bob's they went thru with no one questioning if they should keep that particular company in busnisss
4th Mar 2022, 5:28 PM
Big Bob II: Bob Harder
Big Bob II: A Good Day to Bob
4th Mar 2022, 5:47 PM
Snervalton
But if he dies so darn frequently, is it ever a good day to Bob?
4th Mar 2022, 6:08 PM
Gutz Grilla
Big Bob: The Bobbening

Soon in theaters near you!

Also, you will find out that Big Bob is the one true star of... "Die Hard." Um... "Die Harder."

Um... seeing myself out.
4th Mar 2022, 6:22 PM
Snervalton
Whoa...what happens during a Bobbening? Does everything just...become more Bob-like?
5th Mar 2022, 6:42 AM
Gutz Grilla
Think "Matrix," only more... "Bobby."

I am Bob. You are Bob. Everybody is Bob.

Reject humanity. Return to Bobbe.
5th Mar 2022, 10:40 AM
Snervalton
Return...to Bobbe? So...Bob is where we all came from?
5th Mar 2022, 2:48 PM
Gutz Grilla
Um... er... 😅 We return to Mine, then.

Reject humanity. Become the Blood, THE BLOOD!*

(Didn't know the "Adventure Time" creator did a series on YouTube, cool!)

*Just don't become Thale. Never go full Thale!
5th Mar 2022, 4:32 PM
Snervalton
Ooooh, yeah! Going full Thale is the thing that you want to avoid at all cost!
7th Mar 2022, 11:09 PM
Cheshire777
THE BOB the bob THE BOB the bob
5th Mar 2022, 2:16 PM
PurpleKetchup
Our name is Bob Paulson.
5th Mar 2022, 12:01 PM
BJBlack
Okay, you're down three Brainsates. In a couple of hours.

Plus or minus an unmeasurable length of time/non-time/quasi-time in the vents, where your body may or may not have been processing the pharmaceutical load.

Setting aside the health concerns, you've only got a limited number of those, and hitting them in quick succession may result in diminishing returns.

I'm not saying you need to loot what you can find and bail, but be aware of this potential limit on your abilities.



That map you drew is hella suspicious, too. Nice north arrow, by the way. Placed out of the way, where there's nothing of interest, just like it should be. Yup, a navigation symbol placed in a completely unimportant region, very normal and appropriate.

...

...

For the love of God, Look at the center of the library! I think you're getting perceptively adjusted to just not notice there's a big-ass hole in the middle. You even traversed around it! Is there a courtyard full of Spooky Library Level in there, or what?
5th Mar 2022, 12:29 PM
Snervalton
+1 to checking out the center of the library. There's no telling where or what kind of action may trigger another flashback of Lex's memories in Plaire.

And since Marlow is getting phanton readings from down in the basement, we should investigate down there eventually too.
5th Mar 2022, 2:03 PM
Gutz Grilla
Damn, you're right about the Brainsate! Plaire's taking too many in a short time. I guess we should do some good research on that medicine some time... Personal med synthesizers were mentioned on pages 54 and 100 (in passing); maybe we could also look into it.

About looking at the center of the library... man, imagine being a character in an old 2D platformer! Anyway, yeah, plus one to that!

Suggestion: for the love of Mine, let's FIRST take a good look at above! Just to see if there's an old chandelier which might fall on our heads... or something.
5th Mar 2022, 6:38 PM
Gingerbread Conductor
Most likely it is a large open space, intended to signal awe and contemplation, encourage hanging out, and various other bits. Frequently, unsuccessfully. Librarians, especially the ones who want more space to hold books, tend to be unhappy about those.

I ran across one of those great online essays a while back going in detail about that. Sadly, as is typical of those, I can't find it now that it's relevant. I did find a few similar bits:
https://www.donnalanclos.com/atriums-we-need-to-talk/
https://www.ideals.illinois.edu/bitstream/handle/2142/31870/60.1.schlipf.pdf?sequence=2

I do like this quote: "Atriums are Performances by Architects signaling they have Designed a Library".

Though my childhood main library had a good sized open section in the middle with a giant globe and curved staircases up on either side. That was cool. These day's the place is a children's museum and the space is a multistory climbing structure.

6th Mar 2022, 3:03 PM
It just occurred to me, is this a map of the first floor, e.g. the ground floor? Or is this a map of the first floor as in the floor *above* the ground floor? Because if this is a map of the floor we’re on (above the ground floor), it looked kind of like a banister that goes along the inside edge of the building to me. So that big empty spot in the middle would just be a big hole that looks down on the ground floor. At least, that’s the impression I’ve gotten from whenever we get to see the second (floor-above-the-ground-floor) floor in the images, and if that was the case it’d make sense why the map looks like that.
5th Mar 2022, 8:02 PM
Snervalton
According to page 204, everybody was slammed in the face with a feeling of fear when they entered the library. Now that the miasmatic wound has been closed, check to see if that feeling of fear has subsided. Like, was it coming solely from the wound or is the haunted library exuding it?
6th Mar 2022, 7:03 AM
Gutz Grilla
Excellent idea, plus one!
6th Mar 2022, 5:27 PM
Spyder
+1 check this!
9th Mar 2022, 12:46 AM
6th Mar 2022, 7:57 PM
Frission
In other news, I made cookies today! :o *shares with all, wonders if the scent of fresh baked cookies can spread to Plaire from the choir*
7th Mar 2022, 6:11 AM
Gutz Grilla
Hmmm, which cookies are those?

Aw, now that would be just mean... sending Plaire the smell without sending her a cookie 🤣

(Then again, if we could do something like that, then we might as well just enter MDA's world... but so could its habitants do ours, and I don't think anyone could handle THAT level of meta.)
7th Mar 2022, 10:49 AM
Frission
Well choccy chip, of course. It's *mandatory* :3
7th Mar 2022, 2:20 PM
Gutz Grilla
Hmmm... considering the possibility that those cookies end up NOT with Plaire at all, mwaaahahahaha-

Erm, did I say that out loud?
7th Mar 2022, 4:09 PM
Spyder
I've officially reread the miasmic wound description of this one too many times.

It makes me think of Nil - it eats things that are the direct result of cognitive thinking - writing, art, as well as minds and the shells holding them in the noosphere.
7th Mar 2022, 4:15 PM
Snervalton
We need to ask the Tradesman just what exactly a miasmatic wound is, where they come from, how they work, all that kind of thing.
7th Mar 2022, 6:24 PM
Gutz Grilla
Big plus to that! It's about time we learned more about what we are fighting, if we are to keep fighting it.
7th Mar 2022, 6:38 PM
Snervalton
Yep, all those questions we should have asked before charging off to close one the first time around...
10th Mar 2022, 9:47 PM
Frission
"Wind! Fire! All that kind of thing!" x3 I couldn't help but hear that pop in my head there.
7th Mar 2022, 11:21 PM
Cheshire777
It does act in a similar way, but more... eh... accidental mistakish poor containment sort of vibes rather than Nil's focused goals and actual intelligence. Also the MWs are all staticky, while Nil was a complete void of dark blue iirc. Perhaps since the MWs are potentially closely related to the noosphere and collective unconcious, they represent people who were possessed by Nil or under similar bad effects, which cause nasty bits from still interfacing with the collective unconcious despite the fact that they are essentially brain-dead to a state irrepairably past even a coma? Just kinda spitballing random stuff there off the top of my head, weird theories built on other weird theories 😅
9th Mar 2022, 1:33 AM
Spyder
But static is still nearly antithesis to knowledge (loosing the signal in the noise) actively destroying or subverting - it's entropy. Mega enhanced super focused entropy? But that could still be Nil. What did happen to him in the final battle with the Blood?
9th Mar 2022, 6:32 AM
Gutz Grilla
Don't know how to say this without it coming off as a big spoiler... Check Blood Is Mine, The End (Part 1).
9th Mar 2022, 3:10 PM
Spyder
I read it, but a while ago, I didn't remember if it said or not.
10th Mar 2022, 10:54 PM
Spyder
Ok, re-reread it, and while it seems he may have been "scrambled" there's nothing further so no telling if it stuck or not(I would love to think he's been permanently destroyed, but that's probably not the case)
23rd Mar 2022, 9:14 PM
Cheshire777
Have there been any status updates on other platforms I missed? If Morg needs the time I'm perfectly fine with that, just checking in on what's happening.
24th Mar 2022, 12:04 AM
Morgenstern
not to worry, it's just the usual brain stuff

I'll be back, preferably soon
24th Mar 2022, 10:32 AM
Cheshire777
Gotcha, thanks for the reply. No worries.
25th Mar 2022, 5:25 PM
Snervalton
If you create an account on the MDA Discord there's a bot that will send you a notification whenever the story updates.
3rd Apr 2022, 2:41 PM
Morgenstern
Small update: brain stuff and now some really gross non-brain medical issues

I think the worst should be over with but the hiatus might go on a smidge longer
7th Apr 2022, 3:14 AM
PurpleKetchup
Thanks for the heads up and take good care of yourself.
7th Apr 2022, 7:16 AM
Gutz Grilla
Got it! Please take care!
7th Apr 2022, 8:31 AM
Cheshire777
Indeed, take care.
7th Apr 2022, 8:46 AM
Frission
*makes chicken soup for MM* :3
7th Apr 2022, 10:19 PM
Spyder
I'm agreeing with everyone else here! Feel better soon, ok? The story will still be here - I don't think Plaire will run off on her own the way Mine did!
12th Apr 2022, 5:04 AM
Ranadiel
Well i do mind waiting, but i do mind way more if there wouldn't EVER be an update in the future... Seen enough good and great stories stopped somewhere in the middle...

Go take care of yourself. Health is more important than anything else. We will wait :)
11th Apr 2022, 11:39 PM
Cheshire777
Random thing while we're on hiatus: Is there an official name for the BiM/MDA universe yet? If there is that would be a rather easier way to specify what we're talking about (whether here or talking about the comics elsewhere) instead of stating 'BiM/MDA/whatever potential other comics might be created' every time. I would just say 'Morgenstern comics' except that there are a few other unrelated ones like Mushroom Go... eh I'm probably overthinking it, but still an official title would be cool.
12th Apr 2022, 1:27 PM
PurpleKetchup
Redverse.

(the blood, the blood, the blood...)
13th Apr 2022, 12:54 AM
Yoshigalxy
the Blood is Everywhere canon
20th Apr 2022, 5:35 AM
Ranadiel
What about Crimsonverse?
21st Apr 2022, 8:27 AM
Frission
Hugverse? XD
24th Apr 2022, 2:57 PM
Golden Astronaut
The Choirverse
27th Apr 2022, 7:30 PM
Frission
I can dig Choirverse. :3
27th Apr 2022, 9:20 PM
Snervalton
Yeah, "Choirverse" seems to be the suggestion that best so far encapsulates something both stories have in common: they follow protagonists with a choir attached to them. But new and more appropriate names may come to mind as we learn more about choirs. Also, MDA is only just now starting to enter its rising action phase, additional commonalities between the two stories may become apparent as it progresses.
28th Apr 2022, 1:14 PM
Cheshire777
Yeah, the other suggestions were all neat but more Mine-oriented. Choirverse is great as a working title.