<script>A.track('light').loop(true).fadeIn(10);</script>It should've rained today. At least then there would've been an easy explanation for the lack of clients pouring in through the doors. Although maybe it's a good thing that there's less of a need for a Private Investigator. Folks out there solving their own problems rather than needing their expertise.
"Hey, Chell, can you look and see if anyone's gonna come through the door in the next few hours?" Monolith asked their receptionist in the room over, her ability to divine had come in handy for a number of cases. Helps to know where to look sometimes.
"Hmmm," She trailed off, "sorry boss, I got nothin'. Looks like we got a long boring day ahead of us."
"Well fuck," they sighed, "How do you feel about the rest of the day off?"
"If I wasn't salaried I might've decline," She laughed, "but sure boss, I'll see you tomorrow."
Monolith kicked their feet up onto their desk. It'd been a while since they had a weekday off. They had no idea what people even did around this time. They could call their significant other and see if she's busy, but they knew the second she realized that they were free that she'd drop everything. Probably better to send a text. If she's busy she might not even see it.
(font:"Courier")[>me: how's working treating you?]
Before Monolith could even set their compact back down, they got a response.
>Moore: My clients from Moggy stood me up again
>Moore: Apparently, there was some miner's dispute that they needed to attend to... //agaaaain//
>Moore: I swear I have no idea why their cooperation is even required
>Moore: Their company is obviously gonna go under if they can't treat their workers right
>Moore: Like we could just wait another month and absorb them when they eventually go bankrupt
>Moore: Wait a second... Why the sudden interest?]
Monolith laughed, they knew they couldn't fool her for long, it was worth a shot though.
(font:"Courier")[>Me: Just got an opening in my schedule, wanted to see if you were busy.
>Moore: Why didn't you just say that?
>Moore: Hold on I'll be over in 5 min]
Well, better start locking up the office if she's gonna be here that soon.
[[Think about Moore to pass the time->Moore Thoughts]] (set: $thoughts to 0) |twoshot>[
|option1>[//how beautiful she is//]
|option2>[//how compassionate she is//]
|option3>[//how much fun she is to be around//]
|option4>[//how cool she is in a fight//]
(click: ?option1)[(replace: ?option1)[She's got this really bright lavender hair that she keeps in a pixie cut, but she grows out her sideburns. It's such a middle finger to those other tigers who are so focused on what other people say fashion is about. She chooses to make her own path rather than follow in someone else's footsteps.](display: "twoshothelper")]
(click: ?option2)[(replace: ?option2)[Monolith wouldn't even be where they are today if it wasn't for the help she gave them on the way. Many times they felt like they didn't deserve it, or that she was just pitying them, but they know better now.](display: "twoshothelper")]
(click: ?option3)[(replace: ?option3)[Her laugh is insanely contagious. It's practically impossible to be in a bad mood when you're around her. Monolith would say she has a //bubbly// personality, but she'd probably hit them for a pun that bad.](display: "twoshothelper")]
(click: ?option4)[(replace: ?option4)[She's someone you really don't want to be matched up against. If she'd left unchecked, she'll cover the whole arena in mines before you've even realized it. If it wasn't for assassin types, like Monolith, she'd probably be undefeated.](display: "twoshothelper")]
]After quickly organizing their open case files, Monolith rushed to the doo-
(text-style: "bold")[(text-style: "expand")["HEY!!!"]]
Moore exclaimed, busting the door wide open with her ass, causing a number of items around the room to begin to shudder.
"I gave you a call, I thought something might be wrong when you didn't pick up." Moore says with a smug smirk, swaying as she inches closer to Monolith.
"I was close to picking up," Monolith retorts, cracking a grin of their own, "I thought I would just step outside in a couple seconds anyways, why bother to answer when I'm 5 feet away?"
"Whaaaa-" Moore fakes a gasp, clasping her paws to her cheeks in mimed surprise, "And leave me worried sick for those... Agonizing... Several seconds? I never knew you could be so heartless Lilith." She rests her paws back on either side of her hips and leans forward, pressing herself closer and closer to Monolith.
Monolith laughs and pulls Moore into a close embrace, "Why would you choose be with someone so //horrible//, Amore? Someone who knowingly //toys// with your emotions?" Monolith wraps their arm around Moore, and taps her on the nose, eliciting a small giggle from the kitten, "You should come be with someone who loves and cares about you."
"Oh?" Moore teases, "And just who would this lover be?"
Monolith places their hand upon their breast and puffs out their chest, "Why, me, of course! Who else?"
The two fall into ripples of laughter, only staying on their feet by leaning on each other.
|option5>[A moment passes.]
(click: ?option5)[(show: ?option5selected)]
|option5selected)["Hey speaking of," Moore starts, punching Monolith on their arm, "Why didn't you just say you were free to begin with?
Monolith lets out a deep sigh, and stares at the ceiling. They then motion to head outside, Moore follows.
Keys jangle as Monolith locks up the office for the day. Moore leans against the wall of the building, pulling out her compact to type out a few messages.
"I knew if I told you that I was free first that you would've dropped everything you were doing at the moment anyways." Monolith states in their patented calm, distant demeanor. "I didn't want to take the joy of your presence from someone else if you already had plans with them."
Moore lets out a gross laugh, "God of course you would phrase it like that." She kicks herself off the wall and walks over to Monolith, pinning them with one arm. "Look, idiot, you can't just hide things because of your anxiety around taking someone else's agency." She punches them on the arm, "And that's for twisting your words to make it look like you were thinking about others. Don't pull that shit with me, Lilith. Just for that little stunt, I'm gonna make you take me out on a nice date. Because frankly, my good bitch, it has been too damn fucking long."
Monolith rubs the scarred nub where their left arm would be, and laughs, "God it really has been, hasn't it? Sure, sure, my treat obviously. What did you have in mind?"
"What did //I// have in mind?" Moore mocks, "Excuse me, but I picked the last TWO dates. Start pulling your weight around in the decision department, sweetheart. Indecision is a bad look for you."
|option6>["Oh, cut me some slack. You know you know Dewclaw better than I do. I never have free time."]
(click: ?option6)[(set: $ideas to "no")(go-to: "Declaration of WAR")]
|option7>["But, your ideas are just so much more fun than mine!"]
(click: ?option7)[(set: $ideas to "yes")(go-to: "Declaration of WAR")]
](if: $tigers < 4)[(display: "Intro")](if: $tigers > 3)[(display: "Eclaire & Moore")]<script>A.track('tense').stop()</script>Monolith swore they knew the two from somewhere, but just couldn't place it. They decided to walk over and figure it out. The two seemed to be laughing about something. Monolith didn't catch what, and just stayed just out of range of them avoiding eye-contact. Monolith got a better look at the two of them.
The white one with blue markings was probably a pure Turf Tiger, and seems to hold themself in a relaxed position. Probably not as accustom to WAR as some of the others here. Monolith noticed that the tiger seemed to pay very close attention to the Rabbat's words, they seemed very considerate and careful in their responses. That reminded Monolith of themself, and it made them smile a little. The robes and armor they wore was probably some attempt at a medieval fashion statement. Monolith could probably guess and say their fighting style favored defensive strategies and flexibility, unlikely to launch an aggressive offensive just out of the blue. The purpose as to mop they were carrying alluded Monolith completely. They'd never heard of a battle mop. WAR Janitor would be a nice title though.
The other one, with the blue and red markings, was obviously a Singing Tiger. Their Rabbat heritage was extremely apparent due to those six ears. Monolith noted that despite the lack of any music, the critter was still dancing... Wait, they were keeping perfect rhythm too. That's impressive... Oh? Monolith also noticed that their own heart seemed to follow the beat of the critter's dancing exactly. How terrifying. Monolith quickly perished the thought of what would happen if they **stopped** dancing. They're probably a support fighter, their demeanor favors wanting to help others rather than wanting to win. However, the critter also has substantial upper arm musculature. They certainly wouldn't avoid fights.
"Hey pal," the Rabbat addressed Monolith in a booming voice, "What's with that look on your face? This is an open chorus, you won't be interrupting our duet!"
//Ah,// Monolith thought, //guess I've been found out.//"Pardon me, my name's Monolith. I'm one of the captains of this WAR. Excuse me for not remembering your names, you both seem familiar. Have we met somewhere before?"
The tiger replied, "Have you been to the theater? Tempo had a part in one of the plays we put on recently, and they're on the fliers I put up around town."
"That must've been it. I'm afraid I haven't been to any plays however. Is that where you work..." Monolith paused to consider the more appropriate way of addressing the mop, but couldn't find any, "as a uhhh... Janitor?"
"Oh, I haven't introduced myself either. My name is Jaximogen, however you may, if you please, refer to me as simply Jaxi. I am indeed the Janitor for the local theater. Someone needs to Clean the Stage afterall."
"That they do I suppose." Monolith transitioned, "So what brought the two of you to this WAR?"
Tempo pipes up, "My ears are always open to a good fight! I caught the word in the rhythm of the city. Called up my pal and fellow trainer, Charthur, and I was planning on bringing my own plus one, but he had duties to his kids. He would be real nasty in a WAR, I hope I can see that Other Side to him someday."(if: $dorks is "yes")[
"Oh yeah I just talked to her!" Monolith added, "I think she brought a little more than just a plus one."]
"I was just in the neighborhood." Jaxi states, glancing away and fumbling with their paws, "I don't really do WARs very often, but the idea of a WAR about romance caught my eye. That was a very sweet idea of yours."
Monolith blushes and runs their fingers through their hair, "Ah... Yeah... I guess so, huh? Hey Tempo, what are you dancing to?"
Tempo's ears peak up, but their moves don't miss a beat, "Oh this is a little piece I wrote in Andante. Here, I've got it on my compact."
They start playing the tune, and sure enough, its catchy as hell. The three of you start to Jam Out.
"Hey this rocks dude!" Monolith exclaims, "What did you name it?"
"Tiger Control." Tempo answers.
The three of them continue to just dance for who knows how long. By the end of it, they're perfectly in sync. Monolith bids them goodbye after a while and [[returns->Meet the Tigers]] to the others. (click: "Clean the Stage")[(open-url: "https://axiakita.itch.io/steam-cleanup")](click: "Other Side")[(open-url: "https://opaopa13.itch.io/quills-run")](click: "Jam Out")[(open-url: "https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AQx_KMoCgJU")]Monolith would recognize these two anywhere. Moore and them would go on double dates with the two all the time. Hell, Monolith would beat the snot out of Foxglove any day of the week if she let them (and she does. Often.).
Foxglove was the taller of the two, still shorter than Monolith however. She's purple with green fur tuft markings, and never leaves the house without her schoolyard-delinquent cap (they're pretty sure she even sleeps in it). If you were just meeting her for the first time you might not even realize she was a Turf Tiger. Her Saytr and Scrapgoat heritage stands out much more so, though Monolith has never seen any presence of the telltale horns unique to either. Both her, and her sister, forgo the standard techo/mechanical aspect of their scrapgoat lineage(if: $dorks is "yes")[ that Neon proudly displayed]. Instead opting to incorporate various flora aspects into their physical makeups. She holds herself like she's ready to brawl at any moment (and from experience, she is), but she'll crumble like a puppy if you pull just the right strings. She'll never let anyone know that though. Her standard WAR fashion is a sports bra, sprinter's shoes, baggy pants, and a jersey wrapped around her waist. She's a sports goth through and through, making use of her strong mobility and upper arm strength to parkour her way around the battlefield. However, her biggest asset is her arsenal of potions she keeps at her disposal. Explosives, party buffs, she's a fantastic mid-range kiter and supporter.
Her sister, Gnaphalia, on the other hand... For her size she seems almost juvenile, but she's the same age as Foxglove to the dot. She's green with beige fur tuft markings, and her carpine heritage is much more apparent from the two pairs of horns parting her long floppy ears and flower hair. The bloom in her tail matches her namesake, a garden of Gnaphalia. She wears a pair of black boots that come up to her knees, and above that a skirt of various species of flowers held together by a series of vines. She's not as much of a talker as Foxglove is, but don't let that make you assume she's shy. She's just waiting for the right opportunity to make the perfect comment. That's reflected in her combat style too. She doesn't enjoy direct confrontation, instead preferring to kite along next to her sister, supporting her with her plantomancy abilities and disrupting her opponents by completely controlling the battlefield.
"What's up you fat nasty bitches!" Monolith jeers with a grin at the twins.
"Hey! Yeah, what's up you... you... wait hold up, Naffie gimme something..." Foxglove stammers.
Gnaphalia turns to Monolith and then back to her sister, sweating for being put on the spot, "uhhhh... b-bitch???"
"Yeah, what's up you bitch!" Foxglove exclaims with vigor and pride.
Monolith is not impressed. "It doesn't work if I said it first you dumbass!"
"Too bad then!" Foxglove plants her paws on her hips and smirks, "I'm sticking by Naffie 200%. Moore told us what's up, you don't gotta explain a thing to us we're already up to date. Though I do wonder which would be a bigger blow to you... Whooping your ass on the battlefield, or fighting with you for a goal you so obviously don't agree with."
Monolith laughs, "Whaaaaaa- Who says I don't agree with it? My ideas are always trash! Name one that was good I dare you. But regardless, it's a good thing then that you //don't// get to pick a side. You do remember your deal with me when I beat your ass that las-"
Gnaphalia pipes up, "Yeah she knows, Foxy just wanted to tease you a bit. No need to suck the fun out it Lithy."
Foxglove elbows her sister, "They're not the only thing that sucks the fun, eh Naffie?"
"Gwueahhhh???" Gnaphalia blushes a flush red and stumbles over her words, which only prompts Foxglove to tease her even more.
"You'd better be glad we're still in public Naffie," Foxglove muses, "I'd hate to think of all the things I'd have to do to you for such a degenerate comment about our friend, Monolith, here."
"G-g-gosh," Gnaphalia stammers, "Ummmm... Well we don't have to be in public..."
Foxglove gasps and slaps Gnaphalia on her rump, "Oh-hoho! You're really getting it now!"
Monolith decided to just [[scamper->Meet the Tigers]] off before they saw something they'd regret, as the sisters quickly dashed into an alleyway and made a wall of foliage behind them for privacy. Neither of the two rang a bell for Monolith, but they were just so cute Monolith couldn't help but check them out further. They made sure to keep their distance at first, investigating as much as they could before engaging.
The bigger of the two has brown fur and is covered head-to-toe in black spots. Looks to have a little Bastian in her judging by her size. Her posture and demeanor suggests someone adverse to the aggression of WAR. She's probably the type who only joins to even out the ranks and sticks to defense and support tactics. Definitely a support fighter judging on how she's cradling the other tiger like one of her own young, each movement specific and careful. She is absolutely rippling with musculature, probably worked somewhere with a lot of heavy lifting. Though someone of lesser perception than Monolith might've struggled to uncover that detail due to her girth and drapings. Her fashion seems to be some sort of Coffee Shop Beatnik, or a Library Gothic... Honestly she could just be wearing her work clothing... But that would be too boring for a tiger... right?
The smaller one is white with red markings, and his Bastian traits are much harder to spot initially. He's not as large as most Bastians are, probably because he's a Pygmy Tiger rather than a true Turf Tiger. He seems absolutely chipper to be in the larger one's arms. There's a massive bright smile plastered across his bucktooth face.(if: $sex is "yes")[ Though something that catches Monolith's attention is how he seems to wiggle closer, and slowly inch his body closer to the lady's chest. The larger one doesn't seem to mind, that is if she even notices.] Probably has the personality of some rascal scamp. He's draped in some oversized brown trenchcoat and a rainbow patchwork scarf. Some sort of Grunge Rapscallion? Unsure. There's nothing to suggest his fighting style either... Monolith almost gets the vibe that he... isn't a threat? But he's certainly here to fight? The conflicting reads confuse Monolith too much, plus it seems he's already noticed them watching.
"Heya! whatcha doin over there stranger? Checkin me out?" The pipsqueak chirped up, giggling to himself.
"Oh! Hello there friend. I hadn't noticed you sneaking up on us. I'm Ms. Riley, my first name is a little embarrassing, but I'd let you know if you must." Riley introduces herself, "This here in my arms is Chemp. He grows on you if you let him, I promise."
"It's a pleasure to meet the two of you, I'm Monolith, one of the captains of this WAR." Monolith introduces themself, "I don't mean to make assumptions, but... Is Chemp your son?"
"What kind of bullshit is that?" Chemp exclaims, "We don't look anything alike!"
"I can see why you'd have that thought," Riley responds pleasantly, "but no, we're just friends."
Monolith was absolutely certain that 'just friends' was a heavy understatement of the their relationship... Or Riley just has a much more intimate definition of what friendship implies than what Monolith does.
"...Right... And what brought you here? I've never seen either of you in any of the WARs I've fought in before."
"You callin me a rookie, rookie?" Chemp jeers.
"Oh! Well, that's not too far off the mark for me." Riley chimes in, "I've spent most of my life just sailing around and working on transport ships. I've only recently settled down, and my physical therapy office is right over there actually! Chemp and I just happened to be in the middle of a session, and he thought it would be a nice experience for me to try! He's really thoughtful like that!"
"Huh! Well I can't wait to see the two of you on the battlefield." Monolith says, "Good luck out there!" and [[excuses->Meet the Tigers]] themself.
Monolith didn't recognize either of them, and dreaded even going to interact with either of them. At first glance both of them seemed to be the type of people they just weren't interested in. Are these two really who Monolith wants to talk to?
|YN>[[[No.->Meet the Tigers]]
|proceed>[Yes.]](click: ?proceed)[(set: $meatheads to "yes")(set: $tigers to $tigers + 1)(replace: ?YN)[Yeah, let's give them a chance. Making assumptions about others based just on a cursory glance is unbecoming of Monolith.
The smaller of the two is a light blue with darker blue markings, definitely part Vanguard judging by the shark-fin-tail. Despite being yelled at by the other one, he still manages to hold a cocky smile. Leans forward most of the time, allowing his tail to counter-balance his posture. He's dressed in a myriad of layers of some sort of purple, black and gold-laced uniform with cossack or hussar influences. Probably focuses his combat potential exclusively into that sword on his hip.
The taller one is cream colored with yellow markings. Their hair initially makes Monolith guess that they have some Scrapgoat lineage since it looks like red fiber optic cables, but it turns out that's just part of their outfit it seems. Despite how combative and aggressive they're acting, there's a look in their eyes that only registers as exhaustion. Judging by the rest of them, Monolith would venture to guess that this tiger has a lot of sleepless nights. Probably tossing and turning about something or another that upset them. Their outfit consists of a ragged toga cloth held in place by a cloth belt around their waist. Their physique gives off the impression they probably rely on their magic to do the heavy hitting for them. Judging by the massive hammer they're leaning on, that would seem to be a lot of heavy hitting.
The entire time Monolith sat there watching them, neither of the two so much as even glanced away from the other. They would probably continue at long after even WAR breaks out. Thankfully Monolith is here to politely advise the both of them to shut the fuck up.
"-nd it's insulting how you can just stand there, and not even react in the slightest!" Chirped the taller tiger frantically.
"I don't know what you're even expecting of me to react to. All I claimed was that I was the best tiger at the sword," the shorter one chimes in, "which was a joke becau-"
"Oh so now it's just a joke?" Yells the taller one, "Which is it? Are you or aren't you?"
"If you would please allow me to finish i could explai-" the shorter one tries to interject.
"Oh, so you can just completely dominate the conversation and overwrite my entire arguement? I think not, Maxie!" The taller one interupts.
"I'm not trying to overwrite you, Ellias. I'm just trying to explain how there was a misunderstanding is all." Says Maxie.
"You know," Monolith begins, "there's a WAR going on around you two that you'll be missing out on if you keep this shit up."
"Oh thank goodness, finally another person here who can see reason." Maxie says, letting out a sigh of relief, "I just made a joke that I was the best //swordsman// of the tigers here, which was supposed to be funny because no one els-"
"What a perfect idea Captain Monolith! We should settle this matter like tigers instead of just arguing over it!" Ellias interrupts, again.
"That isn't what I said at al-" Monolith starts.
"Maxie! If I score more confirmed K.O.s for Monolith than you can, you'll have to accept me as the REAL best swordsman of all the tigers!" Ellias boasts.
"But you're neither a sword user or a man." Maxie says, confused, "But wait, if that's your terms then that means I'd have to fight for Monolith too! Shouldn't we be facing off against each other instead?"
"I don't write the rules Maxie!" Ellias shrugs before turning around and walking away, "If you don't show up I'll count that as your forfeit!"
Maxie facepalms, and lets out a groan, "Well, at least that's over. Sorry for getting you involved in that Monolith. I'd better catch up with him, otherwise I'm never going to hear the end of it."
Monolith watches as the two of them scurry off.
"What the fuck did I just watch?" they question to no one in particular before making their way [[back->Meet the Tigers]] to the others.]]
Oh hey, that's Vivian over there. Monolith remembers going to one of their concerts before, though they dont recognize the surfer. What a fantastic opportunity for Monolith to introduce themself.
Vivian is a very tall, eggplant shaped, Rock Candies and Turf Tiger hybrid who's pale cream in color with black markings. Everything about Vivian is loud... Except right now apparently. Must have a different demeanor between personal life and rock star life. Gives off this proud and //"ready to tussle"// attitude(if: $sisters is "yes")[, not unlike Foxglove in that regard]. Monolith has never seen Vivian wear anything but a single, thin black thong and a tattered tank top. Someone might initially confuse the spikes around their neck and on their knuckles to be another addition to their costume, but in reality they're a part of Vivian's body (a common Rock Candies trait). Those spikes, along with their long sharp claws, helps them dig their way underground and launch surprise attacks upon their opponents, not unlike Monolith in that regard.
The other one stands at equal height to Vivian, and is cream in color with aqua blue markings. Judging by the fin-shaped fur tufts, and the facial markings, Monolith guesses that there's some Vanguard in this one. Probably friends with Vivian, based on how close the two are, which makes sense given that the two have very similar postures and personalities. However, unlike Vivian, the Vanguard doesn't seem to have an off-switch to that loud and proud demeanor. Dressed in a blue skirt and a T-shirt folded into a knot as a top, the Vanguard's fashion is really adorable, especially considering the starfish accessories that give a nice splash of pink the the color palette. The Vanguard holds a massive pink surfboard, which Monolith thinks is a little odd considering that Dewclaw is a ways away from the coastline. Must have some sort of water or wave creation powers.
Since the two both seem to have a chill, upbeat personality to them, Monolith decided that just directly approaching them would be the best course of action.
"Hey pal," Vivian addressed Monolith, "cool WAR you've got going on. Really diggin the whole shebang."
"Thanks," Monolith responded, "I didn't expect so many celebrities to show up. How'd the word get out so fast anyways?"
"Water's not the only wave I surf." The Vanguard piped up, "Some brah rocked up some mad turbulence on the Dewclaw forums 'bout some gnarlatious WAR goin' on round these parts. Thought I'd have to be a land-lover not to dip my toes."(if: $dorks is "yes")[
"Oh, that must've been Neon." Monolith adds, "She said something about posting about the WAR online."]
"Yeah, what Adrian said." Vivian adds, "Plus I've been meaning to spend more time around the buckaroo, hardly get to see your friends when you're a hardcore rocker like myself."
"Yeah I saw you at one of your concerts once," Monolith says, "I was really there to catch the band that opened for you, G.L.O.S.S. I think, but you were a treat too.(if: $sex is "yes")[ Totally wasn't expecting the full frontal nudity. It was a nice touch."
"Haha," Vivian laughs, "oh you caught That One then, huh. Yeah that was a pretty fuckin awesome set.(click: "That One")[(open-url: "https://forbiddenflora.com/gallery/miscellaneous-comics/304-guest-fanservice-p1/")]]"
"So I hear you're one of them backdoor aggros like Vivian, huh? A real bomb-breaker? Good thing this WAR is A-frame, I'd've hated geting clucked against you and Vivian's crest. That humpback ain't nothin' I wanna ding Valentina on." Adrian rambles, motioning the surfboard.
"I'm sorry, I don't think I quite understood you there." Monolith says, completely befuddled by what Adrian was trying to say.
"I said, you and Vivian have the same attack pattern." Adrian restates.
"Right." Monolith replies, "Well, I'll catch y'all later. I still got a few other things to check up on."
The three shared their farewells for the time being, and Monolith made their way [[back->Meet the Tigers]] to the rest of the group.
Monolith couldn't recall the names of either of the two, but was certain they'd seen the blue one a couple times before. She'd been around the block more times than Monolith when it came to WARs. Not a heavy hitting target that they'd be sent after, but an aggressive threat to be wary of. The goat next to her seemed less of a threat on her own, however the robot hovering around her is a hard variable to read. Getting to know the two better would most certainly play to Monolith's favor.
The blue one is for sure a pure Turf Tiger, and is covered in box-y white markings. Stands a little on the short side, but for what she lacks in height she makes up for in pure stance. She looks ready to pounce at any moment, WAR to her is a lifestyle more than just a hobby. She's got a serious look to her, not dissimilar to Monolith, as if she's scanning her surroundings at all times. Her fashion is loose: a pair of shorts, a diamond tie, and a checkerboard cap. This choice maximizes her flexibility, and allows her natural stripe patterns to speak for themselves. A bold move, but she works it well. Monolith recalls her powers being ice related, something about cold shoulders and "icy you"s. A weakness to Monolith's focused tunnel vision when it comes to WARs is that they usually forget to size up the tigers who //aren't// their targets, which is what makes being a captain this time around a fantastic experience. They wonder how its treating Moore...
Not getting sidetracked, the techno-goat standing next to the icy-blue tiger is a dead ringer for a Scrapgoat hybrid. She seems to play more into the technological aspect of her scrapgoat heritage(if: $sisters is "yes")[ than either Gnaphalia or Foxglove seems to]. Not that that's either a good or bad thing, just something Monolith decided to take note of. With two antenna horns, a pair of cybernetic eye-goggles, and electro-repulser knuckles on each paw being just what Monolith could see on the surface, it would seem that this tiger is more decked out than any of the others present. Adding that note to the way she currently wears an anxious look, Monolith would venture to guess that she spends a lot of time thinking before acting; wanting to ensure that every action is perfectly calculated for her success. Monolith used to fall into that trap as well, but the difference being they got better at doing all those calculations on the fly. She looks really sweet though, like someone Monolith wouldn't mind hanging out with when Moore was too busy. Her fashion screams "techno goth" from the top of its lungs. From the bright LEDs and her neon pink/blue mohawk, to her bulky utility belt and black crop-top vest. She's got "I'm prepared to kick ass" written all over her.(if: $sex is "yes")[.. No pants though... Guess she's going for more of a "pussy out" look.] As to her combat potential, Monolith would venture to guess that she prefers to run as a strategic support role given how a lot of her visible arsenal lends itself to either defense or tactics. She'd probably really struggle against opponents like Monolith who tend to catch their targets by surprise.
Monolith decided that it would be better to approach the dark blue tiger first, the goat was probably busy with something.
"Hey there!" Monolith greeted her, "I've seen you around before, but I don't think we've ever been properly introduced."
"We've shared many WARs that much is true," the tiger says enthusiastically "my friends call me Charthur how about you?"
"I'm Monolith, one of the captains." Monolith introduces themself, "It's a pleasure to finally be introduced(if: ($fashion is "yes") and ($support is "yes"))[, Tempo and Jasmaby mentioned you when I spoke to them. Only good things, I assure you](else-if: $fashion is "yes")[, your boyfriend, Jasmaby, mentioned you when I spoke to him](else-if: $support is "yes")[, Tempo mentioned you when I spoke to them]. Is your friend ok?"
"If you mean Neon then worry not," Charther answers, "she just enjoys thinking a lot."
At the sound of her name, the goat perks up and walks over to where Monolith and Charthur are chatting.
"You get done what you needed to?" Monolith asks, "I'm Monolith, one of the captains. I was just asking Charthur about you."
"When it comes to ridding the cybernet of impudent fools, my work is never done. But Chip here has suggested that interacting with the other combatants will increase the accuracy of its strategy predictions." Neon pauses, "Plus it's always nice to meet new friends. You said your name was Monolith?"
"That's right, and you're Neon?" Monolith asks.
Neon ignores the question, instead rattling "Your profile on the Dewclaw Tiger wiki is... Lacking, to say the least. There's this massive blank spot in your mobility stats, like as if no one has ever seen you move. Working alongside you should prove a quick fix to that. Your team ratings are also higher than Chip predicted. Seems like people are more likely to root for the obvious underdog of this WAR. Chip, run the possibility of success should I join Monolith's side."
(font:"Courier")["BZZT! Probability success rises from 14% to 17%."] the microcat buzzing about Neon's head responds.
"Wait, wait, wait, hold up!" Monolith interrupts, "I have so many questions! People are posting about me on the cyberweb? I have a profile?? My probability of success is only 14%???"
"Yes, I made a post about the WAR in the Dewclaw forums the second Charthur invited me. Every tiger has a profile, its what determines the ratios for the underground betting ring. And the percentage is 17% now." Neon answers, a little frustrated, "Hmm, Chip run the probabilities again, but this time include myself and Charthur."
(font:"Courier")["BZZT! Probability increases to 35%"] Chip states.
"What!!!" Neon bursts out, "I only raise the chance by 3%, but she raises it by a whole 18%???"
"Of my skill there is no match," Charthur smugly adds, "but for my help there is a catch."
(if: $sex is "yes")[(font:"Courier")["BZZT! Mutual availability detected! Adding 'intimate relations with Charthur' to schedule."] Chip smugly chimes in.](else:)[(font:"Courier")["BZZT! Mutual availability detected! Adding 'dinner with Charthur' to schedule."] Chip smugly chimes in.]
"WHAT!!!" Neon freaks out, (if: $sex is "yes")[blushing hard ]and starts to sweat, "Chip you can't just alter my schedule without consulting me first!"
Charthur laughs, "I think perhaps Chip knows us well, but if you have a correction please do tell."
Neon looks down at the ground and fumbles with her fingers, "... N-no, it's fine..."
(if: $sex is "yes")[(font:"Courier")["BZZT! Addendum: Neon subs."] Chip adds joyfully.](else:)[(font:"Courier")["BZZT! Addendum: Neon pays."] Chip adds joyfully.]
At that, Neon is reduced to a stammering mush while Charthur laughs. Monolith takes this as their cue to [[head back.->Meet the Tigers]]
<script>A.track('upbeat').fadeOut(10)</script>Enough time has passed talking to everyone, and Monolith thinks it's about time they head over to Moore and officially start this WAR.
|Moore>[Over with the tigers you didn't get to meet, Moore is talking with a lamb with some sick shades and a headband.]
(click: ?Moore)[<script>A.track('tense').fadeIn(10)</script>(show: ?MooreAndEclaire)]
|MooreAndEclaire)[Monolith recognizes that the lamb is Eclaire, the go to referee for WARs in Dewclaw. She's never fought in any WARs herself as she's a pacifist, but she understands the importance of a good judge.
"Oh good, you're finally here Monolith." Moore addresses them, "Have you met my team? (unless: $support is "yes")[Tempo, Jaxi, ](unless: $dorks is "yes")[Charthur, Kid Neon, ](unless: $goofs is "yes")[Riley, Chemp, ](unless: $meatheads is "yes")[Maxie, Ellias, ](unless: $rockers is "yes")[Adrian, Vivian, ](unless: $sisters is "yes")[Foxglove, Gnaphalia, ]and myself of course."
"Naw I was too busy talking to the cooler tigers to chat any of them up." Monolith snidely replies, "Anyways, those sound like even teams, right Eclaire?"
"Seems boss to me." Eclaire responds, "Since everyone’s groovy, let’s get to hashing out the stakes. This venue's built for 'King of the Hill', but I wouldn't want to give Moore an unfair advantage since she has a tendency to bogart the point. So to keep it tight, I say we open up the pad to include the secondary market district and shoot for 'Capture the Flag', we solid?"
Monolith and Moore both nod in agreement.
"Alright, let me see ya give each other some skin, and then I'll escort Moore's team to their base." Eclaire states.
The two shake hands and Moore's team follows after Eclaire. Meanwhile, Monolith turns to [[talk to their team->Battle Plans]].]
Yeah there's no mistaking it. Monolith would recognize that pompous gab anywhere. That's fashion diva, Jasmaby. Dude is filthy stinking rich. His smug face is plastered on every fucking clothing store in Dewclaw. You would have to an idiot to not recognize him. Although having actually met him in person before, he's really quite the bastard. No idea who that other chump is though. Monolith went to go get a closer look.
The tall brown tiger with the orange markings and the long neck was Jasmaby. Clear Flowercat hertiage, apparent from the flower atop his head. The only comical part about Jasmaby was how he had this nack of always making the absolute worst faces. Monolith wondered how many photoshoots he'd ruined just with his natural grace. One small detail who's true depth escaped Monolith was the way he would fumble his words about. Something about him gave off this feeling of a poor sense of self expression, like as if he struggled to get his full intentions into the right words. Which is a hilarious flaw for someone literally famous for self expression through clothing. Speaking of fashion, Monolith could swear they've never seen Jasmaby in the same outfit twice. The only thing that seemed to stay the same throughout all of his designs is his pearls and the warm orange color palette. Today however, he was sporting some loose, flowery summer dress. You could see through the whole thing. Kinda defeated the purpose of clothing in Monolith's mind, but oh well, what do they know. He's an absolute beast on the battlefield, though Monolith would join the opposite team from him on principle. He was an expert at reading through opponets' strategies, and countering their onslaughts with a barage of fireballs. A prime target for Monolith's talents, and one they always looked forward to taking down.
The other one was a collage of various colors, blacks, pinks, baby blues, purples, pale whites, and greys, but her ancestry was unmistakably Necropossum judging by her exposed bone tissue in her neck, and shin areas. She held an almost reaper-like posture, staring out over the masses like a vulture with her expressionless, dead eyes. Though her outfit doesn't reflect this in the slightest. Long baggy sleaves, with lots of stitching and bright popping colors, feels like it would belong on the cover of some K.Pop album **(editor's note: K.Pop stands for Kitten Pop)**. Not much to really go off of for a strategic profile, however it's obvious enough that she probably relies on puppets to do her attacking for her, as is custom for most necropossums. Oh, and she seems to be carrying a much smaller and fluffier necropossum under her arm. That one looks to be reading something off in their own little world.
Monolith decided the best approach would be to just walk up and let Jasmaby embarass himself first.
"Before you even start," Jasmaby bawked, "no I am not interestrigued in your little WAR romance. I wouldn't be caught dead joining either of your sides."
"No of course you wouldn't. Bad for your public image to be seen with the less fashionable, right?" Monolith snidely retorted.
"Oh wonderful sweetie, you got it!" Jasmaby spat.
"I'm not here to fight either," The possum piped up, "but that's just because I'm picking up Jupet from Neon last minute. It was SUPPOSED to be my free day, but nooooooo, Neon just HAS to fight with Charthur. At least I'm getting some new parts out of this later."
"And you are...?" Monolith asked.
"Shizu," said Shizu, "but don't get me wrong either, you and that other chick are a travest-"
"Oh, hush!" Jasmaby silenced Shizu wave of his hand, "No, I was spending time with Charthur before this, and I'm sticking around to advertise my new brand to the camera crew. I'd love to thrash your rump in a fight, but unfortunately I have a board meeting later to attend to."
"Yeah no worries Jasby, Moore's the same way." Monolith replied, placing their hand behind their head, "You're both responsible for like, what, five to nine businesses each or something?"
"It's quite as hassituation," Jasmaby muses, "It's a rarity that Charthur and I ever get to have time together. I've had much the same conversation with her as the pretense of this WAR." His eyes dash to the side, "Oh, and there's Toyle, right on time. Goodbye, Dearling!"
Monolith watches as the fancypants saunters his way over to the New network that just pulled up.
"Yeah I should be on my way out too." Shizu sighs, "Jupet gets extra annoying when they don't have their lunch."
With that, Monolith made their way [[back->Meet the Tigers]] to the rest of the group. (if: $fashion is "yes")[The camera crew Jasmaby had been harassing earlier. Probably shouldn't have just written that off as some selfish action, as since he left they seem to be going from tiger to tiger attempting interviews. Shit, they'll probably come try to interview Monolith too at some point. Better get to making a profile on them fast.](else:)[What a hassle. They seem to be going from tiger to tiger attempting interviews, regardless of how interested they seem in being on camera. Shit, they'll probably come try to interview Monolith too at some point. Better get to making a profile on them fast.]
The smaller one looks to be like some sort of Imp-Tiger? He's like nothing Monolith has seen before. Purple-grey coloring with black stripes, and sports a horned blue mask on half of his fac- WAIT! DID ITS FEATURES JUST MOVE??? Must be some sort of enchantment, or... No perish the thought, there's no way that's part of his face. There's an unmistakable charismatic sway in the way he holds himself. Something that say s //"all the world is a prop"//... Or was that //"stage"//? Looks to be sporting some jokcy fashion, tight pants, cloth-wrapped limbs, light jacket. Nothing fancy, probably just his work uniform. Yeah, that's all there is to read from a surface level. What a clever guy being able to hide so much of himself from the public eye. Probably the type who could lie to your face without you even knowing it.
The bigger one is orange with white and black markings. His species is hard to nail down, but not impossible like the last guy. The flower on his forehead screams Flowercat, and his tail obviously has some Manticore heritage in there as well, Turf Tiger is a given. But he just looks so regal, there must be some Bastian in there too... Perhaps not. His posture holds such passionate tenacity, almost a careful, empathetic anxiety to it. Probably a big softie with a heart of gold. His fashion is actually beautifuly minimalistic: only a single tassle around his neck, and a skirt with blocky black designs. Oh! And there was a blue gelkitten behind him in a white dress and a pair of shorts, how cute.
Aw shit, they're headed over to Monolith now. Might as well get this over with...
"Can I help you?" Monolith sneared.
"Pleasure to meet you! I'm Toyle with WNN, since our last broadcasts on Tiger Turf WARs was a massive publicity hit, they sent me out here to capture all the events Live for our gracious audience! You must be Monolith? The captain of the other team? We already interviewed your girlfriend over there, so there's no need to brush us up on the details of the story. We're just here to give our audience both sides of the conflict so they can make their best judgements at home, but let me say, you're fighting a losing battle buddy! We here at WNN believe in equality, or whatever increases our equity with the public eye." Toyle blabbered on for who knows how long, "So the people want to know Monolith, can I call you Lithy? What gave you the idea to stage a WAR fighting for the side that says your opinions are worthless? Is this really just a massive pretense for a date outing? Should Charthur learn to follow your example? What will the outcomes of this WAR say for couples everywhere?"
Monolith pauses for a second, expecting him to pipe back up any moment now, "Uhhh... Can I talk no-"
"Oops! I'm afraid that's all the time we have available for questioning it seems!" Toyle interupts as the gelkitten hands him a few flashcards, "Looks like now it's time for the current events section! Look Lithy, the people are dying to know, what's your take on the worker's strike over in Moggy? We heard the scoop that Moore is buddy-buddy with the company ignoring their demands, what say you about the common-man's plight? Have any love for the hardworkers out there listening in? Or are you team corporate all the way? The smarter choice is probably corporate, sorry blue collar pals but it's sadly true! Side with the big guy and line your pockets with as much mewbles as they can carry, and then no matter which ship sinks, you walk out of it all on top of the rest!"
"Yeah I don't thin-" Monolith starts up.
An alarm rings from Toyle's watch. "Would you look at that! All wrapped up just in time for our lunch break." he says with a sigh, "Claude, Mellie, take 30 and meet me back here, or come get me if the WAR starts before then, ciao!" And just like that, Monolith was free of his antics.
"Is he... Always like that?" Monolith asks the other two.
"Unfortunately, I'm Claude by the way." says the tiger with the camera, "Sorry about hounding you like that. Toyle has been much more aggressive since he got that bonus from the station after our last broadcast about WAR."
"So I see," Monolith muses, "The two of you are Turf Tigers though aren't you? I don't think I've seen either of you in a WAR that I was a part of."
"Oh ha um..." Claude stammers for a momment, twiddling his fingers. The gelkitten, who by process of elimination must be Mellie, places a paw on his thigh and flashes a comforting smile. "Toyle and I aren't very interested in um... Getting hurt."
Monolith realizes instantly that he's probably embarrassed because of Monolith's own injuries they sustained in WAR, and comforts him "It's not for everyone! The most important thing is knowing your own limits. Doesn't matter what someone else's is. You are the only person who can decide what's best for you."
Mellie tugs on Claude's skirt, "Hey, let's grab something to eat before Toyle gets back."
"Oh, right." Claude says relaxing his shoulders, "It was nice talking with you Monolith, we'll see you again on the battlefield. Don't worry, I'll get your best angles!"
Interesting, Monolith noticed that Moore didn't inform them as to how their abilities work, or if she did, not it's full extent. Otherwise Claude would know that there is no getting their best angles while they’re fighting. Regardless, Monolith still has a few other people to talk to before its time to start, better [[get to it.->Meet the Tigers]]
(if: $dorks is "yes")[(display: "Neon Speaks")](else-if: $support is "yes")[(display: "Jaxi Speaks")](else-if: $rockers is "yes")[(display: "Vivian Speaks")](else:)[(display: "Foxglove Speaks")]
It's a blessing that no one else really understands how Monolith is able to just vanish from sight. It was a trick they picked up over the course of their life, but didn't really master until after the accident that cost them their arm. They had a lot of time to really focus on how to balance themself between the two worlds. It's not something Monolith could imagine anyone else having a strong enough will to even consider it, but they were forced to learn it. It was learn or lose themself to it. Allow it to consume them as it has so many others.
They began by walking away from the rest of the group, moving behind some alleyway to the side. The WAR beginning just out of earshot, away from where they were going. But it would be important to not let it leave their thoughts while they were there. They began to steel themself against what was about to come, and drifted into(text-style: "bold")[[[ Nowhere->Nothing 1]]]<script>A.track('muttering').stop()</script><script>A.track('nowhere').stop()</script><script>A.track('breathing').stop()</script><script>A.track('tense').fadeOut(10)</script><script>A.track('breathing').stop()</script><script>A.track('future').stop()</script>|beginning>[The world around Monolith began to grow dark.]
(click: ?beginning)[<script>A.track('nowhere').loop(true).fadeIn(10);</script>(show: ?enter)]
|enter)[Color drained from the surroundings as paranoia threatened to find its way into Monolith's soul. Buildings and tapestries reduced to mere white outlines of their former selves. The noisy reminders of a world around Monolith muted and ungodly quiet. Fear draping itself over everything like a light cloth.
But Monolith has made this trip many times before, and this time would be no different. They knew the tricks.
|sing>[Monolith began to chant]
(click: ?sing)[<script>A.track('muttering').loop(true).fadeIn(10);</script><script>A.track('tense').stop()</script>(show: ?forward)]]
|forward)[Their incantation kept their sanity tethered to their mortal coil as they walked through this desolate and deprived hellscape. The only reminder that they still walked the same streets of Dewclaw were the monochromatic outlines of the tall, oppressive crumbling structures looming overhead, and the ghosts of those who walked its streets. Monolith's incantation left their mouth as fully visible runes, floating behind them as they slowly approached forward, further into the yawning abyss before them.
They were alone. Always had been, and always will be. This was their home. The one place they could never forget, and never share with another. This was their path to walk. But make no mistake, everyone has a place just like this one looming just out of their perceptions. So many remain there, blissfully unaware of the eldritch nightmares they've constructed for themselves. Allowed themselves to drown in. Only through the fortitude of their belief in the truth of themself and their actions could Monolith press on.
Through the twists and turns of the labyrinthine alleyways, Monolith followed after the sound that always led them where they needed to be. A single guiding light in this emptiness that they could count on: the distorted hiss of radio static from some frequency long forgotten. Monolith had never met the musician in person but knew her name well, they knew all the names of the guides in this place.
It wasn't long before Monolith found the radio that was the source of the second troupe member's lighthouse orchestra conducted for Monolith to guide them to a place they'd become incredibly familiar with over the years. They picked the radio up, and watched as the third troupe member constructed a door for them from nothing but the fabric of reality itself, for Monolith to |pass>[pass through.]
(click: ?pass)[<script>A.track('muttering').stop()</script><script>A.track('nowhere').stop()</script><script>A.track('breathing').loop(true).fadeIn(10)</script>(show: ?through)]]
|through)[Beyond the door, Monolith's eyes met the fourth troupe member, who stood atop a large wooden stage with a single chair before it. The fourth took a bow, and beckoned Monolith to take a seat.
But before the play could begin, there was something that required the Director's attention. After all, we can't have people sneaking into theaters without their tickets. And //you// are a choice offender.
Your presence has been accepted thus far, but it would be unfair for the performers if not all of them were aware of the scope of their audience. These are private performances with very personal details. The fourth is already aware. It is the nature of the troupe for them to know of the goings on in their world, including the presence of those who do not naturally belong. But even with the most perceptive of eyes, others cannot reach that awareness.
"That's really interesting." Monolith says, "I guess it was innevitable that someone would try to follow me into Nowhere, but this is really quite an accomplishment. Well, I'm not one to deny someone the chance at learning from listening. You have my permission that they can stay, so long as they are aware they can leave at any point it becomes too much for them."
Of course now that you are a part of this too, that means your emotions will be put on display as well. Consider carefully your feelings, lest they blind you. Hush now, [[The play is starting->Double Does a Play About WAR]]]<script>A.track('future').stop()</script><script>A.track('III').stop()</script><script>A.track('bell').stop()</script><script>A.track('aggressive').stop()</script>With that, the curtains fall. The play has reached its conclusion, and it's time to move forward, where ever that might be.
Monolith knows the way out. Another door forms for them from the nothingness that surrounds this place. |beginning>[They step through, and into nowhere once more.]
(click: ?beginning)[<script>A.track('nowhere').loop(true).fadeIn(10);</script>(show: ?enter)]
|enter)[The familiarity of the dull, all-consuming expanse hits Monolith like a friendly brick. The numbness is a weight they will never learn to get used to. |sing>[They remember to steel themself against it just in time.]
(click: ?sing)[<script>A.track('muttering').loop(true).fadeIn(10);</script>(show: ?forward)]]
|forward)[Now with their safeguard in place, Monolith takes the liberty of inspecting their surroundings. A few formless white outlines dot around the streets, no doubt other competitors like monolith. Those two seem to be moving quite fast bouncing from wall to wall, a dead ringer for Foxglove and Gnaphalia. Which puts Monolith still close to the front line.
The faint signal returns, calling to Monolith. |wow>[It's time for another performance].]
(click: ?wow)[<script>A.track('muttering').stop()</script><script>A.track('nowhere').stop()</script>(show: ?fakeout)]
|fakeout)[is what we would say if this wasn’t the Strawberry Jam build of the game. Unfortunately, stories like this take much much more than a month to write, so instead: enjoy this speedrun version of the game. Let's see what ending you earned!
(if: $correct is "yes")[[[claim your ending->The Victory in Being Wrong]]](else-if: $euphobia > 0)[[[claim your ending->Empty Nightmare Ending]]](else-if: $denial > 0)[[[claim your ending->Blissful Nowhere Ending]]]]
<script>A.track('hopeless').stop()</script><script>A.track('bell').loop(true).fadeIn(10);</script><img src="images/Bliss.jpg" style="max-width: 100%;">
As Monolith walks through the desolate monochromatic wasteland, they begin to admire the place. There was always a certain beauty to nowhere, the silence, the clarity of thought. It has become incredibly familiar to Monolith over the years they’ve found themself wandering its halls. What were they even protecting themself from again? They didn't always have their chant, and they were fine then. Why not just. Let it slip.
There. That's much better. Nothing between you and me anymore. It feels good doesn't it? You want to feel good, right? Of course you do! You abhor pain, you wouldn't be here if you didn't shy away from it at every opportunity. Feeling sad, or getting hurt, these are things that get in the way of a peaceful life. But while you're here with me, we won't have to feel these kinds of things ever again, will we? Nowhere looks so much better now doesn't it? a warm beach, cool waters, a bright white sun. Consider this your permanent vacation. Alone, with me. Forever.
<script>A.track('hopeless').stop()</script><script>A.track('nowhere').loop(true).fadeIn(10);</script><img src="images/Nowhere.png" style="max-width: 100%;">
Through the streets of Dewclaw, Monolith can't help but feel that the dark towers seem darker. The ghostly afterimages of the patrons more ghastly. All of the world around them grows darker, and darker, and darker still until only Monolith remains as the only source of light...
"It's my fault I'm here" Monolith thinks, "All of it. It was all my fault... I could've avoided it, but I didn't. I must be a horrible person. Unforgivable. Abhorrent. What kind of person does those things?"
For a split moment, Monolith's guard drops. Their chant wavers. The paranoia seeps into their heart and takes root. What once separated Monolith from the other patrons of nowhere had been lost. There was no strand of truth left in them. It had been erased.
Monolith couldn't remember how long they'd been walking for. Hours? Months? Years? Time didn't make sense anymore. They'd always been walking as long as they knew. This was their home. This is where they belonged.
<script>A.track('hopeless').stop()</script><script>A.track('aggressive').loop(true).fadeIn(10);</script><script>A.track('nowhere').loop(true).fadeIn(10);</script><script>A.track('III').stop()</script><script>A.track('hopeless').stop()</script><script>A.track('upbeat').stop()</script>Monolith rounded the corner, keeping their wits about them. They could tell at a glance that they were deep in enemy territory already. The dead giveaways were the hundreds of deadly orbs floating around the street, and the figure they were originating from. Monolith had met their journey's end, for before them was their lover, Moore.
Now was the time to put Monolith's //real// skills to the test. Carefully inspecting Moore, Monolith could notice a number of key factors. The first of which was that her allies were nowhere to be found, possibly off running an offense at the flag leaving her to protect their base all alone. To compensate for this she'd lined the entirety of the street with mines, leaving just enough room between a few of them as to not waste them all in a cataclysm of reactions, and perched herself atop a flying bubble mount, gazing over her yard. There wasn't a single place amongst the various alleyways or streets that would both give them a good angle at her AND immediate safety. Despite being at a disadvantage against Monolith in a 1v1 engagement, she had specifically orchestrated her environment in such a manner as to deny Monolith the advantage of engaging her from stealth. Leave it to Moore to turn a disadvantage into an advantage, she really was a fantastic tactician, much better than Monolith. But now wasn't the time for praise, every second Monolith wasted was another their team had to hold back their main offensive. They had to come up with something quick.
Monolith took a look up. It was unlikely that Moore neglected to include mining the rooftops of the buildings, since Monolith often used those areas to launch an offense. However, seeing how only the ground layer of the street was mined gave Monolith an idea. They began the climb upwards, launching themself upwards with their ethereal left arm and tail.
"If the ground was off limits," Monolith thought as they reached the top, "Then that leaves only one other option of approach." Monolith was right at eye level with Moore, who had her back turned to them. "This was perfect! This would work!" Monolith screamed internally, rushing at her, "THIS IS IT!" |leap>[Monolith propels themself off the balcony, and into the air.]
(click: ?leap)[<script>A.track('nowhere').stop()</script><script>A.track('aggressive').loop(true).fadeIn(10);</script>(show: ?faith)]
|faith)[Monolith unphased from nowhere right at the height of their jump. They hadn't even alerted Moore yet, they'd be getting the perfect drop attack on her. But right as Monolith began to commit to their attack, they saw something peak from in front of Moore. It was a reflective bubble! Moore had seem them coming this entire time! With lightning quick reflexes, she whipped around to smack Monolith with her staff. Monolith could choose to block the attack, but it would mean giving up on landing an attack of their own, and they just couldn't allow that. Even if it wasn't what they were hoping to disable, Monolith reached out with their spectral left paw and slapped a bracer on Moore's ankle. Just as Monolith was feeling successful, the impact of Moore's staff hit them like a truck, knocking them off the floating bubble and plummeting to the ground.
The real battle had just begun.
Thinking fast, Monolith shot an obsidian dart and popped Moore's ride, sending them both falling to the ground. This had been their real plan all along, to use the explosives below Moore to finish her off. Monolith had realized that Moore was too smart to be taken out just by having all her abilities disabled, the only way this battle was going to end was with one of them unconscious. Monolith just had to make sure that wasn't going to be them. Even if they both hit the ground, only Monolith would be hit by the resulting blast. Moore could cover herself in a protective layer of bubble juice to move right through her mines without activating them. No, Monolith had to activate them themself. Monolith launched another obsidian dart, this time right below themself. Preparing for the resulting explosion, they then turned the obsidian vapors in their left arm into a massive shield to protect themself. This was it. Victory was theirs. All they had to do was wait for Moore to fall and they'd surf the explosion to victory.
But as Monolith turned to look up at Moore, they noticed that she had a massive shit eating grin on her face. There was something attached to the staff she was swinging around herself. Right as her staff reached its terminus, Monolith realized what it was. She'd intercepted the dart they'd used earlier to pop her bubble! She was swinging it around to knock Monolith's other dart out of the air! With an added mini explosion for increased velocity, the dart shot off the staff like a bullet, and shattered its target into millions of fragments. Monolith's plan was busted! It was too late to fire a second dart, and their shield wouldn't be enough to protect them from the resulting explosion. They ditched their shield, kicking off of it to give them more altitude and made a second shield from their tail. It was all Monolith could manage, but it just wasn't enough. The first shield collided with the mines, and the resulting acidic explosion tore through Monolith's shield and shot them upwards.
Moore was not unscathed either, but she'd managed to take a much lighter hit than Monolith did. Trying to catch their breath, Monolith clung to the side of one of the buildings. Moore was already at work below them replacing the mines they'd activated while compensating for her loss of mobility by riding one of her many mines. This was not a good position for Monolith to be in. They couldn't return to the ground to launch a counter attack, as the opening they would've had was already diminishing. They couldn't fall back as that would benefit Moore much more than it would them. Monolith could try to pop each mine one group at a time, but Moore would most certainly take advantage of their limited mobility to launch a counter attack. No, the only way forward would be a direct assault.
Monolith pulled themself up and continued to hold tightly to the building as they coiled their legs for a powerful leap. Angling it just right, they took to the air once more, and launched another dart right at Moore.
"Are you an idiot or something, Lithy?" Moore boasted, "Or did you forget that any dart you throw at me is just one I can..." she paused, snatching the projectile right out of the air with her staff, spinning around on her bubble mount.
But before she could finish, Monolith interrupted, "Your next line is: 'Launch right back at you!', your turn."
"launch right back at you!" Moore finished, realizing her mistake as she finished her full turn. "W-WHAT?!?"
Hidden behind the shadow of the first dart, was another second dart! "I knew you were going to try to catch my attack and send it back at me," Monolith explains, "so I jumped into the air to get just the right angle between you, me, and the sun to hide a second attack that you can't block! TAKE THIS!"
Moore abandoned her ride, and desperately tried to finish her attack, but it was already too late. As the dart collided with the bubble mine, Moore was helplessly caught in the resulting blast. With that Monolith safely returned to the ground and stood over Moore in her crumpled state. This was fun, but it was time to finish things. Monolith rushed at Moore with their left arm, intent in knocking her completely unconscious, but at the last second Moore did something unexpected. She raised both arms in the air, as if to surrender.
Monolith couldn't remember her ever doing anything of the sort before, and the action alone caught them completely off guard. That single moment of hesitation was all Moore needed to form a massive bubble above herself, and slam it down on Monolith, trapping them in an acidic prison.
"I wouldn't try to break out of that I were you," Moore warned, a sly grin on her face, "I set it to explode the second it pops, and I'd rather enjoy avoiding a second hospital visit for your stupid ass. Oh and, a piece of advice: Don't //assume// someone is just surrendering because they've mimicked the actions. It doesn't count until they say it out right. Anyways, I'll see you again in a bit sweetheart. I've got a WAR to win, chao!"
Monolith had to hand it to her. She actually managed to pull on over on them. Obviously Monolith could think of hundreds of ways to escape this prison but that one detail just amused them so much. In the end, they never had any intention on of winning the WAR anyways, so this little surprise was just the icing on the cake. Despite how they would be letting down their teammates, they always knew this is how it was all going to end. But it sure was fun while it lasted.
[[Wait until the end of the WAR->After Party]]]
<script>A.track('aggressive').stop()</script><script>A.track('upbeat').loop(true).fadeIn(10);</script>With absolutely little resistance left from the opposing team, Moore and her allies managed to achieve victory rather quickly after Monolith's defeat. Once the WAR was over, everyone met together and celebrated, because in the end, no matter who wins, WAR is about connecting with some new friends and having fun together. They had all agreed to gather at one of the local bakeries, and Ellias had offered to cover everyone's tab; they were some sort of millionaire apparently despite what their appearance would suggest. Monolith wasn't complaining, free food was free food. While sipping from their cup of tea, they looked around to see what everyone else was up to.(if: $dorks is "yes" and $fashion is "yes")[
Neon was desperately trying to plead with Shizu, no doubt forgetting her promise to watch over Jupet when she traded her time for Charthur's participation. Who, speaking of, was laughing over at a table with Jasmaby. Remembering their conversation with him, he was no doubt acting on Monolith's inspiration and trying to find a new angle to approach Charthur with.](else-if: $dorks is "yes")[
Neon was desperately blushing up a storm as Charthur continued to tease her from across the table. The two of them were both so adorable together. Monolith made a mental note to hit them up later when they were free.](else-if: $fashion is "yes")[
Shizu was sharing a croissant with Jupet, who was torn between eating and reading. Monolith could taste the inductiveness look on their face even from all the way over there. Monolith wondered how often Shizu had been around them to get used to how cute the little cheeseball was.
Jasmaby on the other hand was nowhere to be seen. Who knows where he ran off to.](if: $support is "yes")[
Tempo was holding an ice bag to Jaxi's head, apparently they'd gotten hurt pretty badly while Monolith wasn't around. But despite that, the two still seemed to have smiles on their faces, probably sharing a conversation about combat, or an upcoming theater play.](if: $goofs is "yes")[
Riley was nursing a fancy latte with a load of toppings and whipped cream, while Chemp held her massive paw. She'd probably had a rough time, this being her first WAR. Monolith was glad the two had each other for company and support.](if: $sisters is "yes")[
Gnaphalia and Foxglove seem to have already left, its a wonder those two get out at all given how enamored they are with each other. Still, Monolith valued the little time they got to spend with the two, no matter how short.](if: $meatheads is "yes")[
Apparently, because neither Ellias nor Maxie were able to score a single K.O. between the two of them, they decided to call their little "competition" a tie. They were both sharing a small laugh over a cup of coffee, putting their differences aside.](if: $rockers is "yes")[
Despite not getting much of an opportunity to push their skills to the max, Adrian and Vivian still seem to have had a fantastic time. The WAR probably served as a nice challenge for the both of them. Monolith was glad the two friends could enjoy the little time they had together before their professions sent them separate ways.](if: $camera is "yes")[
Toyle seems to have worked himself into exhaustion, as he lays passed out on one of the cafe chairs. Keeping a watchful eye on him are Mellie and Claude, who seem to have already made plans after work to spend time with a tall, gorgeous Satyrbun with massive, thorny rose horns. Monolith could just barely make out the telltale signs of her teasing Claude; Mellie was just absolutely eating it up. The three of them were most certainly going to have quite an afternoon.]
Suddenly, Monolith's focus was interrupted by a gentle hand on their shoulder bringing them back to reality. Monolith turned their gaze to the hand's owner and met eye to eye with a smiling Moore.
"Hey Lithy," Moore lovingly said, "you really did pick out a fantastic date idea."
Monolith was just about to retort back in their usual dismissive style to avoid the compliment, but then... They remembered who won the WAR. "I thought you'd like it." They laughed, "Though I meant it when I said I'll still need your help with ideas."
"You didn't actually mention that," Moore states, "but I promise you I won't put you completely on the spot in the future."
They two share a smile, and enjoy a small quiet moment together just enjoying the cafe's atmosphere. The laughing of their friends, the warm rays of the sun, the smell of pastries, coffee, and tea. It was their own comforting slice of time together. A moment that meant the world to the both of them. That these little beauties could still happen even when they’ve survived so many horrors.
Moore finally broke the silence, "Speaking of putting you on the spot... While I was waiting for you to show up during the WAR, I got a message from my contact with that mining company I was telling you about. Apparently they're taking a short reprieve to address their workers' demands, so I'm essentially free for the next few days. So..."
Moore trailed off, looking to Monolith to catch her drift. But Monolith simply responded with: "Uhhh... So...?"
"So I'm asking if there's room at your place for a plus one tonight." Moore finishes.
"You know you don't really need to ask about that." Monolith teased, "My house is always, and will always, be open to you should you need it."
"Well, duh..." Moore said, rolling her eyes, "I'm asking if //you'd// want to do anything while I'm over."
Monolith thought this over for a moment, and then replied with:(if: $sex is "yes")[(if: $correct is "yes")[
[["You know, I'm feeling a little disappointed about the WAR. I really don't think you really gave me your worst. I'd like to see what kind of damage you can really leave"->bdsm]]]]
[["We never did finish that movie from last time, you wanna just snuggle up? I can pick up some ice cream on the way there."->movie night]]
<script>A.track('III').stop()</script>|play>[The curtains open.]
(click: ?play)[<script>A.track('breathing').stop()</script><script>A.track('future').loop(true).fadeIn(10);</script>(show: ?start)]
|start)[In from the corners of your perception lurks a great looming, black effigy. Down they stare upon Moore, who stands in the spotlight, dazzling in her glory. She twirls and spins her bubble wand baton, and the audience cheers as she takes center stage.
"This WAR is long but I'll not be beat!
My success will come as I mine this street!
But oh I woe as the devil may loom.
I must be careful lest this be my tomb.
No doubt my lover lay about to pounce,
one mistake and my doom'll be announced.
but lest they know I have one trick,
should they approach, they'll meet my kick!
But careful I stay with movements planned,
evermoore, my victory'll be in hand."
The audience has begun to flood. Someone wasn't very thoughtful with how their tears might accumulate. It's dampening all the needles that've begun to grow. What will they do if their sharpness is dulled? Quit it. The rest of us still have a play to enjoy, and we won’t lessen our performance just to accommodate for your insecurities.
Your focus returns to the effigy, its eyes follow Moore as she dances around the stage. It waits and waits, prepared to wait forever. Its patience could last forever if that’s how long it takes. But oh ill fate! Even in perfection one cannot be sure they are making no fault, and lo and behold, the effigy begins to open.
From its depths lumbers forth a figure with both arms stretched out wide, attempting to corner a startled Moore. The crowd boos as the shadows dim and the figure is revealed to be the devil Monolith! They turn to face the audience with a paralyzing glare.
"I act neither in impatience nor aggression,
but merely wait until victory is in possession.
I must confess, your defense was sound.
I cannot say that I, an opening, found.
But think not your stand complete, nor perfect.
There is but one weakness you did neglect.
In your assumptions there lay a grand flaw,
that my inaction to your caution was law.
For thine guess so weak, your punishment I pioneer.
So prepare theyself, my judgment draws near."
Monolith launched themself forth, acrobatically dodging and weaving through the minefield. |p1>[Please... no more...]](click: ?p1)[(replace: ?p1)[Moore was on the retreat, desperately flinging mines as she sprinted towards her allies. |p2>[Just stop. Please, I'm begging you.]]](click: ?p2)[(replace: ?p2)[But Monolith was too nimble and quick, the distance between them was closing fast. |p3>[IT HURTS. IT HURTS. IT HURTS. IT HURTS.]]](click: ?p3)[(replace: ?p3)[It wasn't long before Moore was within Monolith's killing range, and the second they were close enough, they reached out for her throat. |p4>[It's ok. It's ok. It's ok. It's ok.]]](click: ?p4)[(replace: ?p4)[But Moore had one last defense, pressing her paw upon her baton, she shot out a massive wall of acid. It was her hope that this would give her just enough time to round the corner and call to her allies.
|p5>[This is it. Speak the truth.]]]
(click: ?p5)[(replace: ?p5)[
[[Monolith knew when they were bested and cut their losses->Denial 1]]
[[Monolith pushed for an opening in the wall to land the final blow->Hospital Scene]]
[[Monolith saw the weakness in the wall and reflected it back at Moore->Euphobia 1]]]]
|play>[The curtains open.]
(click: ?play)[<script>A.track('breathing').stop()</script><script>A.track('break').loop(true).fadeIn(10);</script>(show: ?start)]
|start)[|play>[The curtains open.]
(click: ?play)[<script>A.track('breathing').stop()</script><script>A.track('bell').loop(true).fadeIn(10);</script>(show: ?start)]
|start)[|play>[The curtains open.]
(click: ?play)[<script>A.track('breathing').stop()</script><script>A.track('void').loop(true).fadeIn(10);</script>(show: ?start)]
|start)[|play>[The curtains open.]
(click: ?play)[<script>A.track('breathing').stop()</script><script>A.track('hopeless').loop(true).fadeIn(10);</script>(show: ?start)]
|start)[<script>A.track('muttering').stop()</script><script>A.track('nowhere').stop()</script>Moore had made a horrible assumption that a wall of acid would stop Monolith's offensive. No matter the cost to them, this was something that needed to be punished. Monolith thrust their arm through the wall of acid. The liquid instantly vaporized the clothing off their arm, and ate through their skin like fire to paper. Monolith could already feel their muscles failing them as the acid continued to eat deeper and deeper into their flesh, but they still weren't in reach. Setting aside their fears and their pain, they pressed their face up against the acid and screamed. Finally the tips of their claws found purchase and wrapped themselves around Moore's neck. The wall dissipated as a crystalline choker formed around her throat, and Moore's body fell to the floor limp. Monolith had won. Victory was theirs against all odds.
But just then, Monolith saw something that confused, and horrified them. The captains from both teams had just rounded the corner Moore had been trying to reach, and they were holding hands. The WAR had already been concluded, it's protective aura had faded. The adrenaline in Monolith's system began to wane, and the shock of the damage they'd done to themself hit them at full force. They collapsed, their entire body had gone numb to the pain. The last thing Monolith remembered was the two captains rushing to grab them before|end>[ their vision faded to black.]
(click: ?end)[<script>A.track('future').stop()</script><script>A.track('III').play().loop(true);</script>(set: $correct to "yes")(show: ?hospital)]
|hospital)[They awoke to a calming quiet, nothing but the faint hum of machines and enchantments to break the silence. They opened their eyes... Eye... For some reason they could only see out of the one on their right. They appeared to be on a bed dressed in some plain gown, and siding beside them was a very worried Moore.
"H-hey..." Coughed Monolith, "Mind catching me up to speed? I seem to have lost a bit of time here."
"YOU FUCKING IDIOT!" Moore screamed at Monolith, then quickly covered her mouth, worried she might disrupt the other patients. She inched closer to Monolith, and spoke in a much quieter tone, "Why did you just fling yourself against the wall like that? Why didn't you just let me go!"
Monolith struggled to remember, their mind was full of thoughts of black and white streets and stage performances. "That was during the WAR, wasn't it?" They asked, "I had been chasing after you, and you thought that making a wall would save you... You know how much I distaste assumptions..."
"Assumptions my ass!" Moore scolded, "Do you have any idea what that cost you? Lithy... The doctor's say they won't be able to recover your left side..."
"Just my left?" Monolith laughs, holding back tears, "At least I'm all right!"
Moore slams her fist into Monolith's chest, winding them. "I know you think you can take that kind of hurt and keep going, but..." Moore trails off, crying profusely, "Lithy... I did this to you. I can't get that thought out of my head. The person I love the most in the whole world, and I crippled them because I was so focused on winning."
Moore places her head on Monolith's chest and starts to sob into them, her whole body shuddering. Monolith can't bare to watch her like this, they place their good arm on her back and begin to whisper kind words to her.
They stare up at the ceiling, just wondering how they're going to [[Move forward from this->Nothing 2]].]<script>A.track('break').stop()</script><script>A.track('III').loop(true).fadeIn(10);</script><script>A.track('bell').stop()</script><script>A.track('III').loop(true).fadeIn(10);</script><script>A.track('void').stop()</script><script>A.track('III').loop(true).fadeIn(10);</script><script>A.track('hopeless').stop()</script><script>A.track('III').loop(true).fadeIn(10);</script>(set: $thoughts to $thoughts + 1)(if: $thoughts > 2)[(replace: ?twoshot)[//Bzz Bzz Bzz//
Oh shoot! Monolith had completely lost track of time. That's probably Moore calling to let them know she's outside.
[[better hurry cleaning up and go meet her->Moore Shows up]] ]]<script>A.track('upbeat').stop()</script><script>A.track('light').fadeOut(10)</script>(if: $ideas is "no")[(display: "nofreetime")](if: $ideas is "yes")[(display: "somuchmorefun")]
"Oh, is that it then?" Moore spits, "When I pick something out you're just //indulging// me? What if I wanna indulge you for like, once! Come on, you've got to have something in mind. Please tell me you didn't just call me up with //no idea// for a date."
Monolith was silent.
"Oh no you didn't..." Moore grimaced, "No wonder you didn't want to tell me you were free, and I just jumped right on it too."
Both of them were silent.
"I guess you really do know me, huh?" Moore piped up after a while.
Monolith turned to Moore, they had a wicked grin plastered over their scarred face, and their eyes were seemingly burning with passion.
"Oh no, I know that look," Moore said hastily, "Out with it before you start thinking about it too much."
"Well," Monolith began to preach, taking a confident stance, "I just came up with a fantastic idea for a date."
"Oh?" Moore said, curious and surprised, "And just what is this //fantastic idea//?"
Monolith changed posture, pulling themself upright and staring down upon their girlfriend, and then spoke "I think your date ideas are better, and I disagree that I am someone who deserves to be indulged."
Moore was confused for a split second, but then just burst out laughing, "Oh is that your game Lilith? Well then, I say what you find fun is just as important as what I do, and I disagree that I have to bare the burden of planning all our dates."
"It's settled then" Monolith retorted, moving to be inches away from Moore's face, "There's no other option..."
The two of them stared deep into each other's eyes before screaming out...
(text-style: "bold")[(text-style: "expand")[(link: 'WAR!!!')[
(set: $tigers to 1)<script>A.track('upbeat').loop(true).fadeIn(10);</script>(goto: 'Meet the Tigers')]]](set: $dorks to "no")(set: $fashion to "no")(set: $support to "no")(set: $goofs to "no")(set: $sisters to "no")(set: $meatheads to "no")(set: $rockers to "no")(set: $camera to "no")
Moore lets out a //long// groan, "Sometimes I //like// doing things that I didn't come up with. And who said your ideas //aren't// fun?"
Monolith throws their hand up, "I don't know? Me, I guess? You know I find it really hard to just enjoy shit. If you pick it out then at least I can feel good in indulging you."Moore frowns, "Oh come on, that's such a cop-out. Everything I pick is something new to you. Why don't you just pick something random and we can both be surprised?"
"And leave us both potentially disappointed?" Monolith counters, "At least when you pick something out I know I'm gonna enjoy it, because I get to indulge you!"(if: $tigers is 1)[(display: "WAR")]Monolith decided to wander over and talk to...
(unless: $support is "yes")[|support>[A fluffy tiger with dark blue markings in robes and plate armor conversing with a grooving rabbat with red and blue markings]](else:)[Tempo teaching Jaxi some cute dance moves.]
(click: ?support)[(set: $support to "yes")(set: $tigers to $tigers + 1)(go-to: "Jaxi & Tempo")]
(unless: $goofs is "yes")[|goofs>[A tower of a tiger with spotted markings cradling another tiger with red markings and a bucktooth grin sporting a trenchcoat much too large for him]](else:)[Riley continuing to fuss over a fairly content Chemp.]
(click: ?goofs)[(set: $goofs to "yes")(set: $tigers to $tigers + 1)(go-to: "Chemp & Riley")](if: $sex is "yes")[
(unless: $sisters is "yes")[|sisters>[Two stripegoats with blooming flower tails who look strikingly similar to each other who are uncomfortably handsy with one another]](else:)[Monolith can't see them, but bets that Foxglove and Gnaphalia are off making out somewhere.]
(click: ?sisters)[(set: $sisters to "yes")(set: $tigers to $tigers + 1)(go-to: "Foxglove & Gnaphalia")]]
(unless: $meatheads is "yes")[|meatheads>[An absolute mess of a tiger with yellow markings who looks like they just robbed a thrift store sizing up a catfish with blue markings with a raptor posture, and a shark tail]](else:)[Ellias and Maxie are off in their own little worlds. Monolith can barely make it out, but they're sure the two of them are bragging about their respective weapons and strength.]
(click: ?meatheads)[(go-to: "Ellias & Maxie")]
(unless: $rockers is "yes")[|rockers>[A barely clothed tiger with black markings laughing next to a tall and proud surfer tiger with aqua-blue markings]](else:)[Vivian and Adrain are just chillin' the fuck out.]
(click: ?rockers)[(set: $rockers to "yes")(set: $tigers to $tigers + 1)(go-to: "Vivian & Adrian")]
(unless: $dorks is "yes")[|dorks>[A stripegoat covered in high tech gear standing very awkardly next to a quite dapper blue tiger with a checkerboard cap]](else:)[Charthur seems lost in thought, while a flustered Kid Neon consults Chip a few feet away.]
(click: ?dorks)[(set: $dorks to "yes")(set: $tigers to $tigers + 1)(go-to: "Charthur & Kid Neon")]
(if: $tigers < 2)[(unless: $fashion is "yes")[|fashion>[A flower tiger that seems incredibly familiar, who sports orange markings and a giraffe-like neck, being awed by some really fashionable goth raver corpse]](else:)[Jasmaby is over there harassing the camera crew about some new product, and Shizu is sitting at the cafe with Jupet]](if: $tigers > 1)[(unless: $camera is "yes")[|Camera>[A very bashful manticore with a camera following at the heels of some pompus, two-faced asshole with a microphone, who's going around harrassing everyone]](else:)[Claude continues to follow right behind that bastard Toyle as he keeps pestering the other tigers.]](click: ?fashion)[(set: $fashion to "yes")(go-to: "Jasmaby & Shizu")](click: ?Camera)[(set: $camera to "yes")(go-to: "Toyle & Claude")]A handful of tigers started to poke their heads out of their various avenues of business to see what the commotion was about. A WAR is a spectacle after all, much like a large organized game of tag one might encounter on a college campus. Great fun to watch, even more fun to participate in.
"This is a fantastic idea Lilith!" Moore exclaimed, bouncing about before embracing Monolith in a tight hug, "I'm gonna call up all the other tigers I know to see if they want in on it."
While Moore began typing away furiously on her compact with an excited look, Monolith considered the irony of them picking this as their date idea. There was a point in time in their relationship that Moore would've been insulted by the idea of fighting them again, but wounds heal over time.
It didn't take long for a small crowd of tigers to form... Or maybe it did take long and Monolith just lost track of time again...
Hey thank's for choosing to spend your time playing this game! Before we start however, I'd like to go over where the source material in this game comes from, and give credit to the number of folks who helped make this game a reality.
This game makes references to concepts like "Turf Tigers" and "WAR" which would be unfamiliar unless you've taken a peak over at Floraverse. The story in this game can still be interesting without fully immersing yourself in the comic's universe, but its a pretty damn good series and I'd recommend it nonetheless (plus you might recognize some of the cameos).
The characters of Monolith and Moore were made by myself (Twee, the game's designer), as was one ambient track, and two sound effects in the game. The characters of Vivian, Adrian, Charthur, Jasmaby, Shizu, Jupet, Kid Neon, Mellie, Claude, Toyle, and Eclaire were made by GlitchedPuppet (the creator of the comic universe this game is based on), who also made one of the music tracks in this game. Two of the music tracks in the game were made by David N.. Lastly, the following characters were created by these people: Axi made Jaxi, Opa-Opa made Tempo, Timigi made Gnaphalia, Riley made Foxglove, Dragonweirdo made Chemp, Kuviare made Riley, Kalos made Maxie, and Toulon Somberjade made Ellias.
Ok, now that that's over, there's just the question of if you want to engage with this game's sexual aspects. This game was originally made for the horny game jam: "Strawberry Jam 3", but it's designed in such a way that the sexual portions of the game are completely avoidable and do not alter the story.
|nosex>[I don't want to see anything sexual please]
(click: ?nosex)[(set: $sex to "no")(go-to: "Early End to the Workday")]
|sex>[It is legal for me to engage with sexual material under the laws of my country, and I would like to see the sexual content of this game]
(click: ?sex)[(set: $sex to "yes")(go-to: "Early End to the Workday")]
(click: "Floraverse")[(open-url: "https://floraverse.com/wiki/species/turf_tiger/")](click: "Riley made Foxglove")[(open-url: "http://possum.zone/")](click: "Opa-Opa made Tempo")[(open-url: "https://opaopa13.itch.io/")](click: "Axi made Jaxi")[(open-url: "https://axiakita.itch.io/")](click: "Twee")[(open-url: "http://www.furaffinity.net/user/twee-lil-lass/")](click: "David N.")[(open-url: "https://albion.bandcamp.com/music")]Monolith turns to find that Neon has already started strategizing with the rest of the team. Guess she's playing to her strong suits. Monolith decides to let her, they never were much of a leader anyways.
"Given the change in what I had predicted the method of competition to be, our probability of victory, now including all those present, has jumped to a nice, even 50%." Neon states, "I have accessed each of your respective strategic profiles, and will address each of our respective roles in this fight going forward, starting with myself and my companion, Charthur."
"My role will consist of monitoring the progression of the WAR from our base, and advising everyone on the best course of action via these transponders." Neon says, flashing seven ear pieces with retractable mics, "Which I will hand out to each of you before we begin. It is vital that you try to avoid damaging them as the value of my tactics depends heavily on my ability to successfully monitor the rest of the battlefield. My role here will also double as protecting the flag from any would-be thieves who might try to sneak past you. Chip and myself are more than capable enough of handling things on our own, so there's no need to worry about that."
"No doubt you'd place me on frontline position," Charthur jumps in, "my skills best fit their flag's acquisition."
"That's correct." Neon says, turning to face the rest of the team, "Your jobs are to ensure that Charthur has as much of a clear path to the flag as possible."(if: $support is "yes")[
Jaxi steps up, "My skills work best if my opponent is using either a water or fire element. I believe I could best serve as a main frontline deterrence against (unless: $rockers is "yes")[Adrian or ]Moore's advances into our territory."
Tempo adds, "Yeah, and I'd be a good fit to either assist Charthur's direct assault, or back up anyone who's clearing the way for her. My abilities can buff the reaction times of my allies, or slow my opponents to a crawl."](if: $goofs is "yes")[
Chemp pipes up, "I'm more of a one man team. I can scout out the whole field for you, and maybe even lay some trap. But I'm not really a fighter, although I doubt anyone would actually attack me... So long as I'm on my own anyways."
Riley shyly comments, "I'm not sure how I could really assist, this is my first time really doing this... WAR thing. But, um, I have healing magic if that helps? I could run frontline support if you have any wounds that need tending, although chemp tells me that people don't usually get hurt too much in these things." She turns and looks at Monolith, "Well, most of the time I guess."](if: $sisters is "yes")[
Gnaphalia stammers before saying, "Well, since Moore is likely to claim a majority of the battlefield if she's left unchecked. I could do the same for our side by filling it with my aggressive flora. Should help to slow their advances and protect our side. What do you think, Foxy?"
"I think that's great Naffie!" Foxglove agrees, "It could really help with my mobility as I kite the enemy with my potion bombs. Oh, and speaking of which, I have a fuckload of buffs in my arsenal too if that's something y'all could use."](if: $meatheads is "yes")[
"Yeah, I don't really care about your plans that much." says Ellias, "Honestly, I'm just here to take down as many opponents as I can to beat Maxie. So stick me on the frontline too I guess."
Maxie, calmly adds, "Sorry Neon, but that's gonna have to be my placement too. I hope we aren't being too much of a hassle."](if: $rockers is "yes")[
"I can't really shred any waves so long as Moore's in the picture. Valentina's a magnet for her bombs, and I don't intend on being a target. So I can serve as a heavy hitter clearing the way until she's dealt with." says Adrian.
Vivian adds, "I'm not a good matchup against Moore either. Her bubbles make it difficult to get the drop on her, and practically negate my earth attacks. So I can take care of any of the other heavy hitters if you need me to."]
"Wonderful." Neon states, "Now Monolith, your previous performances state that you'd be the best matchup for taking out Moore, which will clear a major obstacle to our victory. I am uncertain as to the exact nature of your abilities, but I trust in your ability to get the job done. Let's take it from here everyone."
Monolith turns to find that Jaxi has already filled in for the role of leader. This is fine by them, Monolith never really considered themself the 'leader' type.
"Alright everyone listen up," Jaxi starts, "I believe we can really win this one if we all try. I know Moore is a hell of an opponent to be facing off against, but you have nothing to fear so long as you stick by myself and Tempo. I can defuse any bomb she makes and sling it right back at any would-be opponents, and with Tempo on our side we should always have the speed advantage against them. I say we make a direct run for their flag since they're probably hoping to win by waiting us out. It'll be the last thing they'd expect. Now I don't know all of your individual abilities, so why don't you all give me the rundown of where you'd fit best."(if: $goofs is "yes")[
Chemp pipes up, "I'm more of a one man team. I can scout ahead of our main offensive, and even lay some traps for the opponents. But I'm not really a fighter, although I doubt anyone would actually attack me... So long as I'm on my own anyways."
Riley shyly comments, "I'm not sure how I could really assist, this is my first time really doing this... WAR thing. But, um, I have healing magic if that helps? I could support the direct assault if you have any wounds that need tending, although chemp tells me that people don't usually get hurt too much in these things." She turns and looks at Monolith, "Well, most of the time I guess."](if: $sisters is "yes")[
Gnaphalia stammers before saying, "Well, since Moore's goal is to claim a majority of the battlefield. I could do the same for our side by filling it with my aggressive flora. Should help to disrupt their defenses and prevent any counter plays. What do you think, Foxy?"
"I think that's great Naffie!" Foxglove agrees, "Your vines are always a great help to my mobility while I kite the enemy with my potion bombs. Oh, and speaking of which, I have a fuckload of buffs in my arsenal too if that's something y'all could use."](if: $meatheads is "yes")[
"Yeah! That sounds exactly like what I was planning." says Ellias, "Just try to leave the actual take downs to me so I can to beat Maxie's score."
Maxie, calmly adds, "Well, I guess that works for me too. Although, I still understand the point of this competition Ellias."](if: $rockers is "yes")[
"I can't really shred any waves so long as Moore's in the picture. Valentina's a magnet for her bombs, and I don't intend on being a target. So best I can do to help is be a heavy hitter helping to clear the way until she's dealt with." says Adrian.
Vivian adds, "I'm not a good matchup against Moore either. Her bubbles make it difficult to get the drop on her, and practically negate my earth attacks. So I can take care of any of the other heavy hitters if you need me to."]
"That sounds fantastic," Jaxi nods, "I'll leave taking care of Moore to you, Monolith, since you are probably the most qualified to do so out of all of us. I don't really know how you plan to do that, but I'll put my faith in you. Alright everyone, let's go!"
Monolith turns to notice that Vivian has already elected to pick up the slack when it comes to a leader. They don't really know how effective they'll be, but they're probably better than Monolith would've been, so they sit back and watch them work.
Vivian starts with a laugh, "Oh man, I'm not exactly used to being the one to give the pep talks, but I'll try my best. Uh, so I guess since Adrian and my abilities are kinda moot while Moore's still up I've leave the planning to y'all. Just tell me what you're good at, and we'll follow with that... Yeah, that sounds good."
That was kinda shit. Monolith looks over at Adrain, but just gets a shrug as a response. Well, better hope everyone knows what they're doing.(if: $goofs is "yes")[
Chemp pipes up, "I can scout ahead, and even lay some traps for our opponents. But I'm not really a fighter, although I doubt anyone would actually attack me... So long as I'm on my own anyways."
Riley shyly comments, "I'm not sure how I could really assist, this is my first time really doing this... WAR thing. But, um, I have healing magic if that helps? I could provide healing if you have any wounds that need tending, although chemp tells me that people don't usually get hurt too much in these things." She turns and looks at Monolith, "Well, most of the time I guess."](if: $sisters is "yes")[
Gnaphalia stammers before saying, "Well, since Moore's goal is to claim a majority of the battlefield. I could do the same for our side by filling it with my aggressive flora. Should help to defend us and cause some disruption. What do you think, Foxy?"
"I think that's great Naffie!" Foxglove agrees, "Your vines are always a great help to my mobility while I kite the enemy with my potion bombs. Oh, and speaking of which, I have a fuckload of buffs in my arsenal too if that's something y'all could use."](if: $meatheads is "yes")[
"I don't really give a shit what anyone else is doing." says Ellias, "Honestly, I'm just here to take down as many opponents as I can to beat Maxie."
Maxie, calmly adds, "Sorry Vivian, but I'm gonna have to follow suit. I hope we aren't being too much of a hassle."]
"Well uh," Vivian mumbles, "Yeah that all sounds good to me I guess. I don't know how well we'll do but it's worth a shot. Ha Ha. Anyways, we're depending on you to take out Moore for us, Monolith. I'd help if I could, but Moore's bombs make it hard for me to approach with safe ground."
Adrian adds, "Yeah and Valentina's a magnet for her bombs when I'm making waves. Take care of her, and we'll be in the clear."
"Alright, now that everyone knows what they're doing." Vivian says, "I guess it's time to get to it."
Monolith turns around to see everyone minding their own business. Monolith isn't really the best at filling the leader role, but if they absolutely have to... They'll pick someone else to do it for them.
"Hey Foxglove," Monolith asks, "mind getting the troops riled up? You know I'm shit at it."
Foxglove laughs, "I'm not great at it either! Ugh, fine, but I don't owe you after this, ok?"
She clears her throat and addresses everyone else, "Alright, I'm gonna give it to y'all straight. I have no idea what the fuck I'm doing and I don't know what our chances of winning are, so just tell everyone what you're good at, and go do that I guess. I'll start: I've got a high mobility, and I throw potions at people. Bad ones at the enemies, and good ones at my allies."
Gnaphalia stammers before saying, "Well, since Moore's goal is to claim a majority of the battlefield. I could do the same for our side by filling it with my aggressive flora. Should help to defend us and cause some disruption."
Chemp pipes up, "I'm more of a one man team. I can scout ahead, and even lay some traps for the opponents. But I'm not really a fighter, although I doubt anyone would actually attack me... So long as I'm on my own anyways."
Riley shyly comments, "I'm not sure how I could really assist, this is my first time really doing this... WAR thing. But, um, I have healing magic if that helps? I could provide support if you have any wounds that need tending, although chemp tells me that people don't usually get hurt too much in these things." She turns and looks at Monolith, "Well, most of the time I guess."
"Yeah, I don't really care what the fuck any of you do." says Ellias, "Honestly, I'm just here to take down as many opponents as I can to beat Maxie."
Maxie, calmly adds, "Sorry Everyone, but I'm gonna have to follow Ellias. I hope we aren't being too much of a hassle."
"Well I'll be the first to say," Foxglove follows up, "We are probably fucked, but let's try our best anyways. Oh and obviously you can handle Moore yourself, Monolith. I don't think anyone is more qualified than you. Just go do your stuff."
<script>A.track('muttering').stop()</script><script>A.track('nowhere').stop()</script>(set: $euphobia to $euphobia +1)But Monolith was smarter than Moore, they fashioned a crystal shield which they pushed into the wall, angling it towards the fleeing Moore. The blast hit its mark, as Moore let out a deafening scream. But Monolith's grip slipped, and they managed to spray themself with the same acid blast. The two of them colapsed, the pain overwhelming both of them, the acid eating through their flesh. Monolith could do nothing but stare deep into Moore's pleading eyes. "You did this to me" she might say, "because of your mistakes, now we're both going to die." But she did not say anything. The acid had already begun to eat through her lungs, and made its way to her heart. How could you have done this. How could you have let this happen to the one person who cared about you, who understood you. How could you fail her.
Monolith couldn't tell what was eating at them more, the guilt, or the acid itself. Unlike Moore, Monolith had been spared a quick death. They would have to live with what they'd done for the rest of their life. The weight of having killed an innocent soul. Never being capable of seeking forgiveness for their sins. Never being able to [[escape->Nothing 2]].<script>A.track('muttering').stop()</script><script>A.track('nowhere').stop()</script>(set: $denial to $denial +1)Monolith accepted that Moore had best them. They could dodge and weave around a minefield for hours, but there's no avoiding getting hurt here. Even with WAR's natural pain reducing mechanics in effect, Monolith just wasn't the type of person to push themself. They only tried for clean easy victories. If a path required them to get hurt or give something up, they'd just avoid it. No matter what you could gain, it would never make up for the pain in the present.
The acid wall fell, and Monolith could see Moore in the distance just about to round the corner, but she hesitated. For a brief moment she watched Monolith, standing there, looking defeated. She seemed... Disapointed. Like something was missing.
Monolith tried to reach out to her, but found that their left arm had vanished for some reason. They couldn't remember why, but now it was gone. Gone, just like the pain of having lost it. Gone, just like how Monolith let Moore go. [[Gone, just like you->Nothing 2]].(set: $euphobia to $euphobia +1)(set: $denial to $denial +1)(set: $euphobia to $euphobia +1)(set: $denial to $denial +1)(set: $euphobia to $euphobia +1)(set: $denial to $denial +1)(set: $euphobia to $euphobia +1)(set: $denial to $denial +1)<script>
A.newTrack('upbeat', 'music/Glip/Herbs n Stuff.mp3');
A.newTrack('bell', 'music/Glip/Bell Toll.mp3');
A.newTrack('break', 'music/Glip/Break Time.mp3');
A.newTrack('void', 'music/Glip/Chasing the void.mp3');
A.newTrack('future', 'music/Glip/NOSTALGIC FUTURE.mp3');
A.newTrack('III', 'music/Glip/TAKE III.mp3');
A.preload(); // shows a load screen and dismisses it when the audio has loaded
So Moore and Monolith left the cafe together and spent the rest of the night enjoying each other's company.
Thank you for playing! The End."Oh ho ho ho?!?" Moore laughed menacingly, "Sounds like someone is a glutton for punishment."
The two excused themselves, Monolith wearing a heavy blush plastered over their face as they were led forward by Moore. It didn't take long for them to reach Monolith's abode. The second they were in the house, Moore slammed Monolith against the wall and ran her teeth along their neck. Monolith shuddered and dug their nails into Moore's skin as they let out a long pained moan. She began to nibble at the nape of their neck, leaving bite marks and hickies in her wake.
"I'm gonna break you so hard, bitch." Moore whispered into Monolith's ear, grabbing them by their collar and tossing them to the bed before walking into the nearby closet.
Monolith lets themself bounce as they hit the mattress, laying spread for their loving, would-be abuser. Thoughts of all the ways they could be hurt, the ways Moore could hurt them, how good all of it would feel. They wanted anything that would come, but if they wanted to at any moment they could say the word and it would stop. That kind of control was the most important part. It was the type of control they never had when they were hurt by others out in the world.
Moore returns with a small bag and places it at the foot of the bed, out of Monolith's sight. The anticipation is killing them.
"Do your worst, scum! You'll never break me." Monolith retorts with a smile, fully enjoying their situation.
"Oh we'll see about that," Moore comments, "but first, let’s do something about that mouth of yours." Moore takes a small length of rope and pulls it around Monolith's head, forcibly keeping their mouth agape and filled. She tests her handiwork by placing a few fingers in their mouth, and giggling as Monolith tries, and fails, to bite them.
Using the rest of the rope, Moore began to systematically tie all of Monolith's limbs to the bed ensuring that their future struggles would be futile. Then she climbed atop the bed and placed one foot on Monolith's chest, squeezing the air out of their lungs with just enough pressure. She leaned down and planted a single kiss on their cheek before grabbing a fistful of their shirt in one paw. She began to pull at their shirt, the fabric straining under the stress. The stitching on the side was the first to go, jagged rips and tears cutting through the garment like lightning. The force from Moore's grasp left burns on their skin, pulling out tufts of fur in its wake. It wasn't long before Moore had completely removed Monolith's shirt, which now lay in scraps around them.
Satisfied, Moore straddled Monolith. She leaned down close enough to rest her chin upon their bare chest. Monolith could do nothing but watch as she began to cup one of their breasts in her paw and lap gently at their nipple. The sensation was unbearable for them, they'd much rather she just go back to hurting them. Monolith thrashed about, but all it resulted in was Moore laughing at their feeble efforts.
"There's no escape for you now darling." She said, "I've got the upper hand here and I can do. Just. What. I. Want. With. You." she punctuated every word with a flick from her finger against their nipple, sending shocks through their body.
Moore placed her lips upon Monolith's breast and ran her teeth along their sensitive nubs, while her hand slowly clawed its way down their chest to their pants. With a swift flick of her claw, Moore dug her way into Monolith's undergarments, grabbing a hold of their engorged clit. Monolith grimaced from her carelessness, trying desperately to wiggle free of her grasp, but to no avail. She ran a single claw along its length which sent a jolt of pain through Monolith's body. They bucked their hips upwards and tried their best to scream past their gag. Moore kept just as tight a hold as before and continued to repeat this action, over, and over, and over to her delight.
Finally, Moore began to feel pity for her pet, and released their clit. Instead she guided her fingers towards Monolith's folds, gently running a claw through them, and "testing the waters" with a slow thrust of a finger. The anticipation was killing them, Monolith desperately bucked their hips into Moore's fingers trying desperately to get something from her, but she held her position just outside their opening.
"Lithy, I'm going to need to hear you beg for release." She cooed, "Can you do that for me darling? If I'm not pleased with your attempts I'll just leave you for an hour until you're ready to try again."
Fear welled in Monolith. They couldn't beg! What was Moore thinking! Their entire mouth was gagged, all they could hope for was a few pitiful moans. Monolith couldn't bear the thought of her just leaving them like this. They couldn't imagine the sexual frustration. They whined, groaned, and moaned like their life depended on it. "Please," Monolith thought, "please please please don't leave me like this."
Moore let this go on for a solid minute, basking in their muffled pleas; her sadistic glee clear for anyone who might be watching the two. But finally, right when Monolith was about to give up all hope, she smiled and began to inch her fingers into their folds. Monolith lost themself in the sensation, arching their back at the pleasure. While they were occupied with the feeling, Moore took the opportunity to pull their garments down and get face to face with Monolith's bits. Angling her wrist just right, she plopped Monolith's clit into her mouth and began to start a slow rhythm with her thrusts.
Monolith's heart was racing and their lungs could barely keep up. They were humping into Moore's mouth and fingers the best they could to keep pace. Moore knew they would be getting close now, and the anticipation was killing her. Monolith bared their teeth in a grimace and arched their back, digging their mound into Moore's fingers as deep as they could before painting her mouth with their cum. The two of them finally allowed themselves to collapse, panting heavily and covered in various fluids.
Moore crawled her way up Monolith's body and undid their gag, before embracing them in a kiss. The two lay just like that for almost a solid hour before finally cleaning up and enjoying the rest of their night together.
Thank you for playing! The End.