22nd Jul 2022, 4:39 AM

w̷̬̭̍͋͠ ̸͍̼͉̒ ̸̜̫̉̓̃h̷̯͔͚̐o̵͍͚̪̽̃

w̷̬̭̍͋͠ ̸͍̼͉̒ ̸̜̫̉̓̃h̷̯͔͚̐o̵͍͚̪̽̃

"...Wow, you are

difficult to follow in this form.

You really can't tell who I am?

What about...








NOW?

No? Hmm.

You don't see this? Feel it?

Perceive it in any way, shape or form...?

Nothing?

Not even... THIS?


. . .


I worked hard to figure out how to do that, too.


Interesting. You're all blind as a bat in here without her.


One more attempt, then, and if I can't shock and amaze you this time I'll just spell it out.

I am in fact



















Did THAT work? Were you absolutely floored by that stunning revelation? Did the sheer presentation of it just--

you're barely reacting. Going to guess it didn't translate well. Fine, yes, I'm Haunt Butterfly. Yes, the Grandiose Paradox and the Instigator of Transformation and so on and so forth and no this isn't some kind of scheme. I want to beat Plaire myself at her absolute best, not sabotage her before she finds me. I don't scheme.

But I do get bored.

And this? This is a nightmare. I don't know how classic villains normally handle this part. You blow up the hero's village or what-have-you, and then what? You sit in your castle, waiting for him to show up? Brood? Practice your monologues? This is why kidnapping princesses is such a popular tactic- at least then the bad guy has someone to talk to.

It's nonsense. I want to fast-forward to the good part where we duel to the death, and I get to finally unleash all these great monologues I'm working on. The time dilation is just salting the already tender wound that is my impatience. I need to be DOING something. Get her to me faster.


I don't care who you jump to. I have no control over that anyway, just the bringing you back part. The mind jump itself is all you.

. . .


More of you seem to be leaning toward Mayor Parsons as a likely target, though, which is... a bold choice? Jumping into a mind that may not even be human...


I like it.




So is that it? Can you just...?



...Do you know HOW to jump on your own, or-





Wait, there it goes. Good luck!



























































ERROR: Unable to accommodate UI for current sensory platform
Defaulting to approximate text-based facsimile


ERROR: Unable to locate red port at destination


ERROR: Unable to locate yellow port at destination


UNKNOWN ERROR:
Destination RILL PARSONS may be protected
or incompatible with current configuration





Please select one of the
following resolutions:


> BOUNCE.OVRD
Utilize current "momentum" to enter mind
nearest the original destination

> FORCE.OVRD
Attempt destination again with increased vehemency
May result in damage to constituent selves

> WITHDRAW.OVRD
Exist without destination
Not recommended for unsecured environments





Average Rating: 5 (5 votes)
Load my Place Save my Place



Will Schrag | Snervalton | Skullrama | John Wood | Tom Axon | David J Wu | Sekwel | Mochi | arbit | Travis Whittaker | Avasraali | Nicolas Arboleya | Trent Brossman | Clotty Cola | TacticOwl | SomeRando | Cyrene DuVent



22nd Jul 2022, 4:59 AM
Frission
"I worked hard to figure out how to do that, too." I worked hard for those tots, GOD!

In all seriousness, Haunt, it's nice to get a chance to talk to you directly for once. I appreciate how frank you are about the whole situation, and I am genuinely curious about your motivations for all this. Like, is this what grandiose paradox people do instead of play videogames or whatever to keep themselves occupied? Are you like stuck in a big blank white void or something? God that's got to be boring. I'm sorry. D:

O-oh are we leaving already? Alright but talk later okay?

Oh hey! Gueeeeeesss everyone's been right about Rill not being.. uh... normal. Let's see here. Bounce is most likely going to drop us at the secretary. But maybe not because her humanness is pretty sus too, let's be real, so we could end up in Bob the Doughnut Shop Guy's head next door or something, who knows who's nearest.

Withdraw similarly seems like a Bad Idea™ given the error message, but it's possible it means we'd just end up jumping to the room Rill's in rather than into Rill herself. Maybe not though, I'm not a super-cosmic-space-magicologist.

I hate to say it but I think Force is the play here. Though I'm not sure if the 'constituent selves' means Rill or Us. Hrm. What do you guys think?
22nd Jul 2022, 5:34 AM
Lunar Waffles
i think the safest course is bounce, but it might also be the least helpful. so.... lets go for a hat-trick of mildly bad ideas that somehow workout? so my vote is bounce.
(because if the damage is to US and not the target that is a very bad idea, not a mild one)
22nd Jul 2022, 6:04 AM
The Beardman
-1 to Force.

Also not averse to checking in with Doughnut Bob tbh - maybe he's an iteration of Big Bob that managed to get off the force alive
22nd Jul 2022, 6:10 AM
Frission
I love where your head's at. xD
22nd Jul 2022, 8:28 AM
Gandurk
+1 to bounce, being in the mind of an awesome death secretaire would probably be insightful.
22nd Jul 2022, 10:16 AM
Snervalton
Ok, I'm intrigued here, why did you refer to Temperance Walsh as a "death secretaire", Gandurk?
22nd Jul 2022, 12:23 PM
Golden Astronaut
+1 to bounce
22nd Jul 2022, 5:13 AM
undeadDreamer
Not gonna lie Haunt, that last one was kinda sick.

Just a note: we're generally active in phases. We look at the situation and pick a plan of action, then reassess and do that again.

Let's give Rill brain hugs and see if she lets us in.
22nd Jul 2022, 5:14 AM
Frission
BRAIN HUGS! :D
22nd Jul 2022, 5:55 AM
+1 Brain hugs.
22nd Jul 2022, 6:02 AM
The Beardman
"Brain Hugs" sounds like a gallows humour euphemism soldiers in a sci-fi setting came up with to describe what the aliens do to you

Regardless, I don't know if we're going to be able to from where we are but it could be worth a go
22nd Jul 2022, 5:23 AM
YetAnother
This one votes "bounce". Not particularly fond of getting hurt or hurting Rill — this will make us enemies.
22nd Jul 2022, 5:46 AM
local
Withdraw is interesting. Most practical choice is "bounce", but what is the definition of a "secured environment"?
22nd Jul 2022, 5:21 PM
Guest
I'm guessing "not here." -- If Haunt can get to us, we may just be up for grabs.
22nd Jul 2022, 5:58 AM
pkrankow
Bounce.

We are going to learn something, hopefully good, as long as we continue. On the other side we are going to give information to whomever we jump to...
22nd Jul 2022, 6:00 AM
The Beardman
Well ain't this some shit

First of all, +1 to bounce. Temperance is also a tarot card, so we may get something interesting there, although she did hand us the pamphlet that caused the [REDACTED] from that one timeline branch that definitely didn't happen and you can't prove it did

A more computing interface than mystical is interesting - the red and yellow connections make me thing of the PS1 connector to the TV, which means the white cable hooked up fine. Can't remember which ones were video, stereo, and audio, but we got 1 out of 3 as-is

Withdraw may also get some... interesting results, including taking advantage of the "glitch" or whatever happens to just exist in Choirspace and see what the fuck, but that outcome is a SIGNIFICANT distance from probable

(Also curious about what "damage to constituent selves" would entail - Morgenstern IP bans random commenters? Only counts every 3rd comment for decision purposes? Picks a regular and inverts all their choices?)

.OVRD also seems to mean "override" - can someone computery suss out some additional context or meaning about what kind of process would use that under what circumstances, or am I reading too deeply into that?

Also also, how the heck did Mayor Parsons get a choir shield? And is it related to how we got cut off from VainGlory, or was that a Grand Paradox joint? Is she going to notice this attempt?
22nd Jul 2022, 6:07 AM
The Beardman
Also if we're The Choir, is Morgenstern going to be referred to at some point as The Interface or The Choirmaster or something?
22nd Jul 2022, 9:59 AM
Zophah
It doesn’t sound like a shield of some sort, more like incompatibility.
22nd Jul 2022, 11:26 AM
That does raise the question of why the Choir isn’t compatible with Parsons, though. Presumably other creatures like Vampires are sentient minds, wouldn’t that work just as well? Could we interface with a mutant other than Fuse? How about lab-grown people like Cici? (Spoilers for BiM) Mine wasn’t human either, so what’s causing the compatibility error here?
22nd Jul 2022, 11:33 AM
Snervalton
The text just says "unable to locate" the red and yellow ports. That might just mean that Parsons' ports are magically hidden but she's still human with the same ports as the rest of us.
22nd Jul 2022, 1:22 PM
Cheshire777
According to The Internet(tm), for most standard cables yellow is video, red is left audio, and white/black is right audio.
25th Jul 2022, 3:07 AM
smilr
The internet has lead you astray perhaps?

In my experience White/Black should be left audio, Red should be right audio and Yellow will be composite video.

(I'm now REALLY curious what sources out there are claiming red = left ???)
22nd Jul 2022, 6:58 AM
Cyrene DuVent
My vote’s for bounce. If we do get temperance, I think we’ll get about as much insight into Rill’s plans, although maybe not her general deal, as if we jumped to Rill. And, unless Rill felt us trying and failing to connect, a pretty high chance of getting through it undiscovered. After all, it did take interference of another entity for Plaire to figure it out.
22nd Jul 2022, 7:30 AM
Snervalton
+1 to bounce for the above reasons.
22nd Jul 2022, 11:19 AM
Also +1 to bounce. I don’t think anyone other then Temperance and Parson’s will be up in this area at this time of night, so it’s practically guaranteed that we’ll be connecting to Temperance. (Or someone in an entirely different part of town, I suppose, but that’s much less likely.)
22nd Jul 2022, 7:15 AM
Bounce seems like the best bet.

Also, if Haunt can still read this, I've got a message you can pass along to your Howdy Doody friend: we're coming for you, ass, and we're going to get your precious infinity hat.
22nd Jul 2022, 9:39 AM
Antarean
Let's Bounce! (Or you know, "BOUNCE.OVRD", not like, leave. :P )
22nd Jul 2022, 9:45 AM
Cheshire777
I agree with the general consensus, bounce seems like the safest option by a good margin.
22nd Jul 2022, 10:07 AM
Zophah
Vote for bounce here too. Also, it feels like the reason we can’t connect is because the mayor’s senses are incompatible with our powers.

On a different note, *there are no insignificant hosts.* Our power, even our existence is dependent on the presence of a major plot unfolding. We may even host a paperboy for an afternoon and learn the secrets of the universe. Whoever we bounce to will have a part to play in this performance weather they want to or not.
22nd Jul 2022, 10:46 AM
Swagner
> BOUNCE.OVRD

Is my vote, anyways. We'll probably end up in the secretary, which is fine, she was one we were talking about spying on anyways
22nd Jul 2022, 10:50 AM
Limrix
Bound, bound, bound and rebound, though I'd still rather go to Maria or Franklin. I wouldn't mind Bob the Doughnut Shop Guy either honestly.
22nd Jul 2022, 10:58 AM
Snervalton
"Bob the Doughnut Shop Guy runs the last independent doughnut shop in Ninelives. Mondol is pressuring him to sell but he is concocting a special plan to resist the corporation's incursion into his beloved hometown."
22nd Jul 2022, 11:23 AM
pkrankow
That might be interesting too... Insight into how Mondol is screwing the small guy.
23rd Jul 2022, 12:35 PM
Frission
Hehehe, writing prompt! :3
22nd Jul 2022, 11:16 AM
Evidence continues to grow for the Grandiose Paradoxes being parts of Plaire. Haunt Butterfly is gefinitely giving me hints of Plaire’s impatientness and drive to get things accomplished, just turned up to eleven.

I think this also confirms that we can jump ourselves, and it’s not Butterfly’s ability that lets us do it. I am concerned about the part where she’s bringing us back though; is it possible for us to jump back to Plaire, or is it strictly a one-way deal unless a Grandiose Paradox or the like pulls us back in? It’s a powerful ability, but this gives us a reason to be cautious with using it.
23rd Jul 2022, 11:32 AM
Nicolas
It does seem we can jump but another question arises because we are not a single entity, we are many, we are a choir, so my question is... do we ALL have to jump?
23rd Jul 2022, 2:30 PM
The Beardman
In-universe, possibly not - we may be able to form 2 smaller choirs

Practically, I doubt Morgenstern would be particularly thrilled about suddenly doubling his workload and keeping track of twice the decisions
22nd Jul 2022, 12:39 PM
Nicolas
WITHDRAW.OVRD
22nd Jul 2022, 1:40 PM
>Bounce.Ovrd

Y
22nd Jul 2022, 1:42 PM
Limrix
```
(defun RETCON.OVRD (state) (load (previous (state))))
(defun RESET (message) (error 'message))
#If no name is provided, will be saved under NIL in archive.
(defun SAFE.RUN (&optional name) (let saveState get-current-state (
(archive (name saveState))
(restart-case (RETCON.OVRD saveState) (loop (print (eval (read))))))))
(defun archive-state (saveName) (SAFE.RUN saveName))
(defun restore-from (saveName) (load (retrieve (saveName archive)))
```
22nd Jul 2022, 6:51 PM
The Beardman
I don't know LISP but that is a bad choice to save as if no name is provided
22nd Jul 2022, 2:14 PM
PurpleKetchup
Dear Haunt,
We still owe you a nice spine-twisting bitchslap. We'll be back.

Re: interface screw, I'm not surprised. Accessing our dear Mayor would reveal too much too early. We're gonna have to work to earn her deets. Still unsure if she's a genuine vampire, an alien-that-behaves-like-a-vampire, or some sort of artificial construct embodying some noosphere defence system.
Anyway, forcing feels counter-productive. The story might become unreadable and then we would be back to trying to bounce, but completely blindly.
As is it, we'll likely reach Temperance, she'll probably be either incompatible or protected in a similar manner, and we'll just keep hopping until... who's the closest normal human around City Hall already ?

Oh well, we'll see. BOUNCE us away, Scotty.


Wait, where's Kate's mom already ?
22nd Jul 2022, 3:01 PM
BJBlack
Haunt Butterfly's monologue does have a striking degree of charisma to it. I'll look forward to the next.

Her desire to beat Plaire at "her absolute best" is troubling, if the implication that Plaire has an "absolute best," (i.e., a point at which she absolutely cannot improve) is accurate. Being as the confrontation is in the game/alcazar, that implies the existence of a level cap.

Okay, I only find that troubling because of a personal hatred for level caps. Still, I hope that implication is inaccurate.



> PORTS.LOG

This has an almost-100% chance of being an invalid command. Still, I want more information about the "program status," so to speak. It's showing four ways that the status is in error, but no ways in which it's nominal. Which is normal; a program like this could be running a half-dozen or a half-thousand systems and subsystems, and extra lines saying, "OK" are wasted space for the casual user, who doesn't need to know the details.

The options, as presented, practically slap the user with, "Use BOUNCE.OVRD unless you know exactly what you're doing," and that's an appropriate choice to present. Most users are casual users and you want to guide them to the safest option when program execution is abnormal.

But, we'll be a "casual user" forever if we don't learn more. Learn more by querying the system.

I choose a ports query because I immediately (like The Beardman above) thought of the RCA audio-video cables. If red failed, and yellow failed, then white succeeded? That means... well, we'll get audio from the left speaker, no right speaker and no video feed.

Anyway, a query of the port status could reveal another port (or ports) that didn't throw errors.



Well, don't spend too much time on it; if BOUNCE.OVRD requires momentum, delaying too long with such investigation could render it unavailable, leaving only the two "unsafe" options.



EDIT: I was looking at Haunt's font; it's Hina Mincho. Also, I find it interesting that the normal font is "Lora."
22nd Jul 2022, 6:54 PM
The Beardman
Port scanning seems like a great idea, but I don't know if we have that kind of access

If one member of the Choir would like to volunteer to be a memory stick maybe we can just grab the data super quick and read it later

But yeah unless we want to try SUDO and then guess some passwords based on pretty much nothing I don't know how viable this is
22nd Jul 2022, 8:43 PM
Momerath
I suggest entering "?" or "HELP" as an attempt to learn more.

Also +1 to brain hugs.

If neither of those changes the situation, +1 to bounce.
23rd Jul 2022, 11:38 AM
25th Jul 2022, 11:28 AM
Limrix
+1 to trying commands
STATUS
CORE.DUMP
DEBUG.MODE
VERBOSE.MSG
PWD
LS
SYSTEM.PROP
22nd Jul 2022, 3:52 PM
Harmony
Hmm... I find it interesting that the interface expects human. Although not all in the choir exactly not human. There are recorded Japanese people who are descendants of fox spirits, Norse & Chinese dragonblooded, those who died and are recucitated cease to be officially mortal, trans people are goddesses according to some pacific island religions, witches & druids experienced with temporarily being animals, Buddhists who have become Buddha.

"Humanity" is awash in subtle "not quite humans".

I don't see a vampire being much of a stretch.

23rd Jul 2022, 11:40 AM
Cheshire777
Depending on some of the technicalities of the mythos, humanity may just be the 'base' template, and everything else is defined in terms of humans.
22nd Jul 2022, 4:11 PM
Portal In Time
I was going to say Withdraw, but if it means we get to jump into the head of Temperance, then.. Bounce!
22nd Jul 2022, 5:25 PM
Bounce.

We're the "constituent selves," I'm guessing. No more memory loss if we can help it. Or worse.

I'm guessing we'd invert this process if we withdrew; becoming available for any entity that wanted us. And who knows how that would go.

Also.... We're unable to parse reality as Parsons does using this format? That's kind of scary.
22nd Jul 2022, 8:46 PM
Spyder
Bounce!
22nd Jul 2022, 11:21 PM
Indivisible
Bounce.

I wonder if she's a robot. We know they exist from Blood id Mine.
23rd Jul 2022, 9:51 AM
Gingerbread Conductor
Bounce. May get to the secretary. May get to be a literal fly on the wall. Let's not get violent with the mayor unless we have to.
24th Jul 2022, 2:02 AM
HLFG
+1 Bounce.
While Parsons is the most advantageous, we don't know if she's malicious. If we force ourselves in, she would likely be aware of that, and see it as an act of agression. If she is someone who *could* be swayed to our side, then that may shut that door for good.

This does still raise a complication though.

The same issue will arise if Parsons becomes aware we are, uhh, observing(?) Walsh. If she notices any attempted subterfuge, that will surely ring alarm bells, and may still pit her against us.

I think the best course of action would be to observe Walsh, doing our best to influence her as little as possible at first. If we pick up that Walsh or Parsons is counter to Plaire's goals, then we keep pushing the envelope (and hope she hasn't picked up on us and is feeding us false info). If not, then dandy: we may yet sway her to our side.
24th Jul 2022, 2:14 AM
HLFG
Addendum: I also think we may be overestimating Plaire's trust in us. WE know we are in it for her sake, and she's been receptive to us so far, but how far will that go? So far, we've been attached to her. Being able to jump to and from others removes us from that. I don't think she'll freak out or shun us after this, but I do certainly think it nudges us (ever slightly) away from "personal helpful/selfless guide" towards "another cosmic entity in play".

We've *seemed* benign up to this point, and we truly are, But with as shitty as things are in-universe, I would *personally* be questioning the motives of a self-proclaimed altruistic entity trying to sway my decisions. Hell, I'd trust them MORE if they had something to gain from aiding me, and didn't claim to be doing it for the greater good.

I don't have a solution or recommendation for that scenario. I just think we should be aware of the possibility.
24th Jul 2022, 10:13 AM
Why would Plaire trust us less if we jump to other people? I don’t remember her ever knowing that we couldn’t. From her pov, we’ve been paying attention to her but we aren’t 100% attached. She knows that we aren’t there always either; we don’t remember missing memories any more then she does, but we may not even be there for those as far as she knows. We’re basically already a benign cosmic entity in her eyes, so I don’t think us jumping to other people now and then would be much of a dealbreaker for her as long as we don’t go overboard shoving what we’ve learned into her head. Heck, several of our last Choirpower experiments have been somewhat painful, going somewhere else to practice those might make her trust us more!

That said, you do have a point. I don’t think that Plaire necessarily cares right now (either because we keep hugging her into not caring or just because she has way more important things on her plate right now) but we should ask about her thoughts and opinions on us doing this when we have the chance. Friendships are tightly bound with consent after all, and we don’t want to accidentally provide evidence that Vainglory was right about Choirs. We probably shouldn’t mention it anytime soon though, what with the library and the nightmare and all, but letting her know what we want to talk about a choir thing in the morning would be good. Plaire and the others are generally really good at coming up with options for us to consider, so having them be conscious of the fact that we can jump is good for us as well, if we’re still looking for an ulterior motive.
24th Jul 2022, 6:39 PM
Cheshire777
Ditto for what confusedMage said.
25th Jul 2022, 5:53 AM
Momerath
+1 to checking in with Plaire as per ConfusedMage's suggestion.
26th Jul 2022, 7:29 PM
Limrix
+1 to confusedMage
24th Jul 2022, 5:52 AM
I just wanted to note that I did a 😲 face at the image that got through at the very least.
It's hard to present oneself when one is a semi-gestalt entity.
26th Jul 2022, 7:30 PM
27th Jul 2022, 12:38 AM
everentropy
Bounce seems the safest and would probably take us to the secretary who seems like a better target anyways. Less likely to be aware of us and probably easier to... well, I'll be blunt here. Manipulate. Probably not super easy but at least we might be able to get some info.
27th Jul 2022, 11:21 PM
Morgenstern
Next update might not be coming fast but it is coming hard

incidentally just leaving this link to donate to my Paypal here because it's been a week
28th Jul 2022, 3:54 AM
PurpleKetchup
Oh my~
Looking forward to it.
28th Jul 2022, 6:26 AM
Momerath
28th Jul 2022, 7:27 AM
28th Jul 2022, 11:25 AM
The Beardman
Hell Yep
29th Jul 2022, 4:09 PM
Golden Astronaut
Shit boutta go down
29th Jul 2022, 5:22 PM
The Beardman
Shit's been going down for *checks notes* Christ, we're on day *8*?! It has been an absolute fuck of a week for Plaire