{ (set: $Blackblood to 0) (set: $bbText to (text-style: "blur")) <!-- the simplest of the lot. delicious carnage and psuedosexual intimacy. the more points are in blackblood, the more lenient the leviathan is about points in other categories. leviathan win. --> (set: $Whiteteeth to 0) (set: $wtText to (text-style: "outline")) (set: $shhText to (text-color: #000000)) <!-- a pure whiteteeth playthrough is entirely player-controlled but heavily obfuscated by the leviathan--it can't control the wheel so it's splayed on the windshield. the humans win. however, 1 point to blackblood will allow the leviathan to wrest control from you a la override test, and 2 points in blackblood will lose you the allegiance of any humans you have met. --> (set: $Emptystomach to 0) (set: $esText to (text-style: "upside-down")) (set: $bep to (text-style: "upside-down")) (set: $bop to (text-style: "mirror")) <!-- don't worry too much about emptystomach on your first pass. emptystomach's path/ending will be a bonus/fluke path you'll add once blackblood and whiteteeth are finished. not sure if possible, but 3 points in emptystomach should transport you to a random place in the story until you have a chance to eat someone. (this means adding (if: $emptystomach >= 3) to basically everywhere; do this last, haha.) you win. -pure blackblood runthrough -pure whiteteeth runthrough -mixed blackblood/whiteteeth runthrough this will be a playthrough determined primarily by toggles on an instance-by-instance basis. Leviathan will look at how you've acted in the past, and react accordingly to the situation at hand. -emptystomach runthrough betas: perri, arcade, torr, em, josie STRETCHGOALS: -kill all failstates -multiparty interactions --> } (if: $nsfw is 0)[(set: $nsfw to "off")] (if: $nsfw is "off")[ [Smut: Off]<off| (click: ?off)[(set: $nsfw to "on")(goto: "Start")]](if: $nsfw is "on")[ [Smut: On]<on| (click: ?on)[(set: $nsfw to "off")(goto: "Start")]] (if: $bip is not (text-style: "mirror") + (text-style: "rumble"))[ [Flickering: Off]<foff| (click: ?foff)[(set: $bip to (text-style: "mirror") + (text-style: "rumble"))(goto: "Start")]](if: $bip is (text-style: "mirror") + (text-style: "rumble"))[ [Flickering: On]<fon| (click: ?fon)[(set: $bip to (text-style: "mirror"))(goto: "Start")]] Remember: [[this is what you wanted.|one]] (set: $fname to "who?") (set: $gender = (either: "male", "female")) (set: $tedium to 0) (set: $clue to 0) (set: $relapse to 0) (set: $goodwillhunting to 0) (set: $mouth to "none") (set: $reputation to 0) (set: $companion to "none") (set: $institutionalized to false) (set: $nursequestions to 0) (set: $vanaquestions to 0) (set: $eatcop to 0) (set: $mettheo to 0) (set: $friendtheo to "alive") (set: $friendlenore to "alive") (set: $friendmarlowe to "alive") (set: $friendvana to "alive") (set: $lovelyvana to 0) (set: $timedout to false) (set: $lookedatmarlow to 0) (set: $reborn to 0) (set: $teethbirth to 0) (set: $bloodbirth to 0) (set: $emptybirth to 0) (set: $reset to 0) (set: $misgendered to 0) (set: $lookedup to 0) (set: $eyes to 0) (set: $protectanna to 0) (set: $either to 0) (set: $or to 0) (set: $QTE to false) (set: $joke to 0) (set: $chompchomp to 0) (set: $utried to false) (set: $voidkickflip to false) (set: $bathroomruined to false) (set: $headless to 0) (set: $pig to "alive") (set: $waiter to "alive") (set: $nerds to "alive") You drove two hours into the sticks to stand in this cathedral with a row of your [[fellow acolytes|dang alright]], chins up, backs straight, [[shallow breaths,]] afraid to blink but uncertain where to [[rest your gaze|man at the door]]. [[take a deep breath]]. (set: $toofy to true) (set: $hooky to true) To your right is a long, elegant figure a few years older than you. Unlike you, xe holds xyr gaze unwaveringly ahead of xem, brown skin glowing against the black fabric of xyr dress. Xyr dark hair cascades down xyr back, melding into xyr perfect, smooth silhouette. It’s hard not to feel tacky in comparison. Hard to believe they’ll ever pick someone like you over someone like xem. [[You should’ve worn something sharper.|one]] (set: $lovelyvana = $lovelyvana + 1) The man at the door, he’s [pure]<c1|. (set: $lookedatmarlow to true) (if: $emptystomach >= 1)[(click: ?c1)[This you can be sure of. He has the same writhing unease, more unsuited to his skin than you are in your Sunday Best. He catches your gaze and the smile dies on his face. In your right hand you can feel the tooth, yet to be lost to the murky dark. The red thread still rests around your left wrist, the hook nestled in your sleeve. You're back here again. But the damage is already done; you're no lamb, waiting for the [[slaughter|one]].]](else:)[(click: ?c1)[...You think. You’re pretty sure. He catches your gaze and smiles at you with all of his flat human teeth. You quickly lower your eyes, cheeks burning, because you can’t tell for certain yet, you can only suspect. You tongue the [throbbing socket]<c2| where your canine once sat, imagining the point of a fang poking through to meet you. The pain outshines the thin scratches accumulating on the outside of your [left wrist]<c3|. [ ]<c5| (click: ?c2)[(replace: ?c5)[ [(A pair of pliers, a fistful of painkillers, and a lot of liquid courage moved the tooth from its rightful home in your face to where it sits now, bound tightly against your right palm in a handkerchief. An important token, you're told, if you want to exchange your blunt, brittle teeth for the [[Leviathan's dagger smile.|one]]) ]<c4| ](else:)[ [(A pair of pliers, a fistful of painkillers, and a lot of liquid courage moved the tooth from its rightful home in your face to where it sits now, bound tightly against your right palm in a handkerchief. An important token, you're told, if you want to exchange your blunt, brittle teeth for the [[Leviathan's dagger smile.|one]]) ]<c4| ] ] (click: ?c3)[(replace: ?c5)[ [(Concealed in your sleeve is a fishhook fastened around your wrist by a red thread; this, they did not tell you to bring. You've done a little research of your own. Whether or not you end up needing it has yet to be seen, but the rasp of the barb on your wrist is [[heartening.|one]])]<c6| ] ](else:)[ [(Concealed in your other sleeve is a fishhook fastened around your wrist by a red thread; this, they did not tell you to bring. You've done a little research of your own. Whether or not you end up needing it has yet to be seen, but the rasp of the barb on your wrist is [[heartening.|one]])]<c6|] ] ] You were handpicked, you remind yourself. You can’t be replicated. You’re a Spark. The door finally opens. Your breath catches in your throat. [[It’s starting|enter leviathan]]. "if you are to survive their presence," They say, "Leviathan cannot even *ask* you to host. You must *invite them*." They make no promises, and you will surely go mad hosting the crawling chaos the murky black tar at the bottom of the well you will surely go mad but what a fucking ride it'll be your teeth will be so myriad and sharp your mouths and eyes their mouths and eyes they will become you and you them and the differences between you will fade twisting around your soul until only pinprick stars shine through but you can teach them how to glitter like onyx and they will teach the darkest parts of you to drop so [[inky black]] The water is frigid to the point that it burns against your skin. But you keep your chin up and your hands balled into fists to hide the trembling. The throbbing in your jaw and the canine's point digging into your palm remind you of how much you gave up to be here. Your shirt bubbles up around you comically as the weight of the water tugs you under; "[keep your eyes open,]<c1|" they had said, even though it'll probably damage your eyesight irrevocably. (click: ?c1)[Not that there's anything to see, beyond the dark water and the pressure peeling waves of color off your vision.(set: $eyes to "open")] [[Keep sinking|two]]. (if: $emptystomach >= 1)[No goddamn sychophant is gonna get you to drown yourself in that pit twice, no matter how charismatic. You turn on your heel and walk towards the exit. The man guarding it smiles daggers, the writhing of him pausing at the chance to devour something. "Sorry, friend; the only exit is through that well." [Nah. You're pretty sure it's through this door.]<c1| (click: ?c1)["I don't know what your problem is," He says, glancing you over, "but if you want through this door you're going to have to go through me, first." With this, his face expands into a curling slit in the world, inside of which is just rows of teeth in gums that extend down into darkness. [That's fine.]<c2|] (click: ?c2)[You place your hand on his chest(if:$institutionalized is true)[, remembering how Dr. Kharo agitated you,] and *vibrate*. He starts to bleed as you push through his skin, through his sternum, into the writhing dark in his core. He tries to bite you but his teeth dissolve on contact. You walk through him, leaving behind a thin frame of flesh that collapses in a pool of black blood. The door gets a similar treatment. Fuck this entire institution, honestly. You can't imagine what idiocy got you to volunteer in the first place. (if: $friendtheo is "dead")[(set: $emptystomach to ($emptystomach + 1))In any case, you have a [[friend to save|other room]].](if: $companion is "Theo")[(set: $relapse to true)(set: $emptystomach to ($emptystomach + 1))In any case, you have a [[friend to save|other room]].](else:)[ [[Achievements]] [[Play again?|Start]]] ] ](else:)[You try to get someone's attention. This is nuts, you can't go through with this. You try to leave through the exit, but the man standing there pushes you back. Halfway through explaining a very important appointment you're missing, his face crumples into a mess of teeth and he bites your head off. Your body crumples to the ground, left as a reminder to the other acolytes. [[Achievements]] [[Play again?|Start]]] The silt in your lungs has robbed you of your buoyancy; it is much easier to settle at the bottom of the crushing dark, where the cold seeps through your bones. It is not quiet here, but the thundering pulse of the earth is easy to disappear into. You died down here, after all; it is simpler to stay dead, isn't it? Hands pull you out of the water, inevitably, but you don't react. distant murmurings pass over your head as they argue about [[what to do with you|medical bay]]. (set: $companion to false) { (set: $bbText = (text-style: "blur")) } The other survivor sits on the bank, squeezing water out of xyr long, black hair. At first glance, xe seems to have gone through the ordeal no worse for wear(if: $emptybirth is true)[--luck you wish you shared, every muscle aching as you drag your waterlogged body to shore and drop it gracelessly, face-first, into the sand. You manage to tilt your head to one side before you vomit up mud and blood and soft, fleshy chunks you don't feel compelled to investigate. ](if: $teethbirth is true)[, without a scratch beyond a dark, veiny blotch sprouting up from the corner of xyr jaw. Drenched in mud and fighting the vice locked in your chest for control of your limbs, you can't even imagine how much worse you look pulling your body up the shore.](if: $bloodbirth is true)[; then, blooms of black bruises move across their arms and up xyr neck, pulsing and fading as quickly as they had come, except for one blotch nestled in the corner of xyr jaw. The thing in your chest feels the weakness in your limbs and pushes you up next to them in a fluid motion.] Black tears stream down xyr face, making xyr aquiline features seem even longer, but xyr expression belies only exhaustion. [[Are we the only ones left?]] [[What did xe see?|What did you see?]] [[What's xyr name?|who are you vana]] [[eat xem]] (if: $vanaquestions >= 3)[ [[is this ok]] ] (set: $bbText to (text-style: "blur")) (if: $emptystomach >= 1)[It's not simple to hide from these...things. But the process of disappearing to them is as simple as forgetting your own name. Your heart stops at your command, and [[blackness envelops you.]] ] (else:)[It's not simple to hide from these...things. but $bbText[we know their limits,] it whispers as it shuts down your heart, as its [[blackness envelops you.]] ] Beckoned forward, the doors of its face open and broad walls of strangely segmented flesh--tongues, maybe-- curl around you, [[pulling you in|surrender 1]]. Numb fingers close around the handle of the hook. *From the inside,* you remind yourself, and [[wait|master 1]]. (set: $reborn to $blackblood >= 2 or $whiteteeth >= 2 or $emptystomach >= 2)(set: $bbText to (text-style: "blur") ) As dead as it feels, the morass is no stillwater; its current guides you through the muck and leaves you under the surface of an oily black pond. Three bodies float in lazy circles above you, mostly intact, very still; abstract chunks of detritus drift in the water around you. Only when the silouhette of a piece the size of a microwave rotates to show you its profile, do you recognize them as what's left of the other acolytes. That makes you one of the [[lucky ones]]. (set: $reborn to $blackblood >= 1 or $whiteteeth >= 1 or $emptystomach >= 1) $reborn[You know what? Nah. You've taken this ride before. There's nothing for you in the mud. [[You pass through|only two of you survive]].](else:)[You struggle for the surface, but between the swirling morass of the mud and the undertow pulling at your legs, you don't make much headway. Panic bubbles up, and you thrash senselessly as you sink until the pressure pushes the air from your lungs. Sludge rushes into your mouth, bitter and tinny, and you drown in a sinkhole in the woods, where no one will even think to look for a [[body.|es drowning]]] You end up in a small cafe, mulling over a cup of tea you're hoping will settle the churning in your stomach. (if: (history:) contains "meet a coven")[Everyone moves the same way as before. The planet is still hurtling through space, you're still clinging to its surface, (if: $emptystomach >= 3)[(if: $emptybirth is true)[still] tucking fangs into a napkin when they wiggle free, ](if: $whiteteeth >= 3)[the thing in your gut howls the same furious tune, ](if: $blackblood >= 3)[its probing for control still puts a tremble in your hands and odd twangs in your muscles, ] and your tea has gone cold again.] (if: $whiteteeth >= 1)[This is in stark defiance of the shrieks of bloodlust currently pounding a migraine-inducing tattoo in your skull(if: $teethbirth is true)[, but that's what you signed up for when you speared it on your hook]. If only it would quiet for a second, you could remember why you volunteered for this headache. ](if: $bloodbirth is true)[It pushes a huff of breath out of your lungs and quirks your lips. "$bbText[We're going to need something much stronger than chamomile,]" it tells you with your mouth, tapping the paper cup twice with your index finger. Control returns to you in a startled gasp and you very nearly upend your tea as you clutch at your mouth. Amusement bubbles up, and though it's not yours, it tugs a smile from your face as though it were.](if: $emptystomach >= 1)[ Your troubles are far greater than what chamomile can mend, obviously; but it's a small, familiar thing to cling to while spinning through space at a thousand miles an hour. You take a swig, hoping to clear the bitter taste from your mouth, but swirling it around your mouth only catches the inside of your cheeks on shards of bone jutting up out of your gums. They wiggle loose easily, leaving seeping holes behind; in the last twenty minutes you've already hidden five of these half-formed fangs under your napkin.] (if: $institutionalized is true)[(if: $joke is "wait for it...")[$bbText["Ha!"] It barks suddenly, and you cover your mouth. $bbText[Lord of the Rings,] it says from inside your head. $bbText[I just found it in your memories. 'One ring.' I get it.] [Congratulations.]<b1|(click: ?b1)[$bbText[ Although, maybe for you it ought to be 'one hook to rule them all.' ] ] [Wow, talk about a slow burn.]<b2|(click: ?b2)[ It shrugs your shoulders.] ]] (if: $companion is "Theo")[Theo sits hunched across from you, restless leg shaking the table. "When does the next bus leave again?" He asks, glancing nervously at the other patrons. (link: "Not for another hour.")[Not for another hour. "We're not gonna get there in time," He mutters. "We're already too late. I sealed her fate the minute I entered this arrangement." ] (link: "Try to relax, Theo.")[Try to relax, Theo. "*Hah,*" He huffs mirthlessly. "I'm not the one with a woodchipper for a mouth. They're not going to be happy about this."] (link: "If we were being followed, you would know about it.")[If we were being followed, you would know about it. "Would you?" (link: "$bbText[Yes.]")[$bbText[*Yes.*] The shaking stops. He keeps eye contact for a long moment, and then looks down, muttering something at his hands.]] ] (if: $companion is "Vana")[Vana sits across from you, staring absently into xyr latte and occasionally dabbing black fluid from xyr eyes. [[What do you think we should do now?|ask vana 1]] ] [[look around the cafe]] { (if: $gender is "male")[ (set: $honorrific = "Sir") ] (if: $gender is "female")[ (set: $honorrific = "Ma'am") ] } (if: $institutionalized is true)[When last you asked for help, you received trenches for scars for your trouble. (if: $emptybirth is true)[Although, come to think of it, the same song and dance [[might win you your supper|not here]].](else:)[$bbText[though,] it muses, $bbText[if you play your cards right, the same song and dance [[might win you your supper|not here]].] ] ] (else:)[You tap the police officer on the shoulder. "[$honorrific?]<notasir|" He asks. "$honorrific, are you [[alright|Do you need assistance]]?" (if: $emptybirth is true)[He's a hefty fellow, full of healthy sweetmeats and well-marbled muscle. If you get him somewhere quiet, you might persuade him to [[part with it|not here]].](else:)[(if: $bloodbirth is true)[ $bbText[Come to think of it, there's good meat on those bones. but [[not here]]. ](if: $teethbirth is true)[$bbText[Don't be stupid. He can't help you now; none of them can. He's only good for the $esText[ [[meat on his bones.|not here]] ] ] ] (click: ?notasir)[(set: $misgendered to 1) "$bbText[Not a $honorrific,]" you rasp, turning. The officer, visually shaken by whatever your face is doing, replies, "I'm going to need you to stay calm. (if: $blackblood > 1)[[[Do you need assistance|not here]]?"] [[Do you need assistance]]?" ] ] [[Yes--you don't know what's wrong. You think you've been poisoned.|Do you need assistance]]](if: $blackblood > 1)[ [[Yes--you don't know what's wrong. You think you've been poisoned.|not here]] ] (click: ?notasir)[(set: $misgendered to 1) "$bbText[Not a $honorrific,]" you rasp, turning. The officer, visually shaken by whatever your face is doing, replies, "I'm going to need you to stay calm. (if: $blackblood > 1)[[[Do you need assistance|not here]]?"] [[Do you need assistance]]?" ] ] (if: (history:) contains "Do you need assistance")[(if: (history:) contains "not here")[ ](else:)[The ambulance takes you to the hospital. The hospital puts you in the ER waiting room, pumps your stomach, gives you antibiotics, gives you a bill the length of your arm for your trouble, and kicks you out on the street. (if: $bloodbirth is true)[$bbText[ What a fantastic waste of time. ] ] (if: $teethbirth is true)[$wtText[ What a fantastic waste of time. ] ] You keep moving. There has to be someone who can help you.] ] You [hitch a ride]<b1| west and, while (if: $teethbirth is true)[stretching your legs](if: $bloodbirth is true)[scouting for an easy meal](if: $emptybirth is true)[trying to clear your head] at a rest stop, you glimpse a light flickering in the woods by the highway. [[take a closer look]] (if: $blackblood >= 2)[(link: "keep moving")[$bbText[Could be easy prey. Come on, aren't you *curious?*] ] ](else:)[ [[keep moving|pass without incident]] ] (click: ?b1)[(replace: ?b1)[ [take a train]<b2|] ] (click: ?b2)[(replace: ?b2)[ [steal a car]<b3|] ] (click: ?b3)[(replace: ?b3)[ [hop from bus to bus]<b4|] ] (click: ?b4)[(replace: ?b4)[ [meander on foot]<b5|] ] (if: $companion is "Vana")[(if: $lovelyvana >= 2)[you're people watching one day (look it can't all be murder and mayhem okay some of us have to catch buses to get places) you get to talking about romance it's thought about it sure and dabbled with intimacy with other leviathan but it's a bit self-serving considering the nature of them like one hand falling in love with the other and it never brings her up but you can feel it when it talks that hole it skirts around it jokes and misdirects it forgets you can see it as much as it sees you ] ] The world is quieter now. There are fewer living things on the road, in the cities. The din of people talking, shouting, arguing, laughing on the streets is hushed down to a wordless shuffle. What remains is either muted and unaware, or wide-eyed and skittish; these are usually armed. You haven't seen or heard any animals since you took a dip in the well. The few dogs still being walked strain against their leashes barking at you, but flee as soon as you get close, in some cases actually breaking away from their owners' grasp to do so. (if: $emptybirth is not true)[almost positive you're going blind not that color ever meant that much to you anyway (if: $blackblood >= 2)[(if: $emptystomach >= 1)[The prettiest seams run along the veins of creation the lines that give the most life also bring the surest death just a case of have and have not live and live not breathe and breathe not bleed and bleed not $bbText[They're seams,] it explains: $bbText[little marching ants for where to cut. The world is crisscrossed with them, aching with wholeness begging to be subdivided. Creation cries out for entropy,] it whispers, $bbText[and you have the perfect knife curled up in your belly.] You run your tongue across the sharp points of your teeth, going back rows, and rows, and rows. $bbText[they'll thank you. they'll all thank you. this is a gift.]]]](else:)[water has no borders] (if: $companion is "Vana")["This is what the Collective was planning," Vana says, tucking xyr hair behind one ear. "I guess They were determined to go through with it, with or without us."](if: $companion is "Lenore")["Isn't it magnificent?" Lenore sighs. "The calm before the storm, engineered courtesy of Those who stayed to operate the cogs in the machine."](if: $companion is "Theo")[Theo is incurably antsy. "What is wrong with everyone? The hell happened while I was out?"] [[find a witch-house|humans are cool]] (if: $companion is "Theo")[ [Murder a house of witches]<v1| (click: ?v1)[(replace: ?v1)["Come on," Theo argues. "Leave it alone, will ya? Isn't the world gone to shit enough already?"] ] ](else:)[ [[Murder a house of witches|dick move leviathan]] ] [[Find a bathroom|weird shit]] A group of witches corner you. "Something big is coming," Says one. "We need to know where you stand." (if: $companion is not "none")[If you (if: $emptybirth is not true)[ [eat your companion,]<c1|](else:)[(if: $companion is "Theo")[ [[kill your companion|eat your companion]], ](else:)[ [[eat your companion]],] ] we will know your intentions align with ours, and we will let you live. Otherwise," She shoulders her shotgun, "we have no other choice. Get it?" [[No.|leviathan showdown]] (click: ?c1)[$bbText[What would be the point?] It laughs. $bbText[They're clearly desperate, to offer *us* redemption. Even if they weren't an endangered species, $companion's loyalty is well-earned, and these witches would turn on us within a moment's notice.] [The option is still viable.]<c2| (click: ?c2)[$bbText[You can't be serious.] (if: $lovelyvana >= 3)[$bbText[You spent all of this time working your way into xyr good graces and now you're going to throw it all away in the hopes that some slabs of meat will *like you*?]] (if: $mouth is "mute")[(if: $institutionalized is not true)[(if: $companion is not "Theo")[$bbText[How exactly do you intend to eat $companion without a mouth that opens?] [[You'll figure something out|eat your companion]].] ] ](else:)[ [[Go through with it|eat your companion]].] ] ] ](else:)[ [[They'll know soon enough.|leviathan showdown]] ] Your first assignment is in a small town whose main industry is the nearby water treatment plant. Unfortunately, a demonic sect already has a foothold here. (set: $bbText to (text-style: "blur") ) (if: $emptybirth is true)[[Disgusting.]<c1| (click: ?c1)[Pale knockoffs bred in the septic slurry of hell.] ](else:)[$bbText"[Disgusting,]" it sneers. $bbText[Pale knockoffs bred in the septic slurry of hell.] ] "We'll make short work of it," $companion reassures you. frayed threads to be trimmed a disease to be culled a creature that wants to see all demons vanquished can't be all bad can it? (if: $emptybirth is not true)[$bbText[Even the abyss has standards.] ] feeling it tear apart a demon is possibly the most satisfying thing you've ever felt like pulling off a scab to reveal healed skin for a second the darkness feels righteous and justified and holy ~~$shhText[snicker snack goes the Surgeon's scalpel]~~ "Now that we've dealt with the trash," $companion says, "there are the humans to contend with." (if: $companion is "Vana")[ [[displace citizens]] ](else:)[(link:"displace citizens")["Don't be wasteful," Marlow says.(set: $whiteteeth to ($whiteteeth + 1))]] [[devour and replace citizens]] A massive hole opens in the middle of the city, swallowing a freeway interchange and undermining several buildings whose structures collapse without their foundations. People migrate to it in the thousands, huge crowds pouring into it, their bodies crushed by the weight of those who follow. The crowd is wordless, the only sound the thunderous shuffle and the dull, persistent rainfall of bodies. (if: $emptybirth is true)[(if: $emptystomach >= 3)[You burn through the bodies buried in the hellmouth and rise a strange god, turning the populace away. Literally no one appreciates this, but you subsume both the Collective and the covens who would oppose you, so no one is left to argue.(if: $whiteteeth > $blackblood)[You are a benevolent, if terrifying, ruler, and humanity survives under your watchful eye.](if: $whiteteeth < $blackblood)[You are a capricious and sinister ruler, toying with the remainder of humanity and your lower leviathan brethren with glee and reckless abandon.] ] ](else:)[ (if: $whiteteeth >= 3)[You destroy the Collective, helping the coven exterminate the remaining leviathan. They would have killed you, too, but there's no one left capable of doing such a thing, so (if: $blackblood is 0)[they exile you.](else:)[they seal you in the well from which you came.] ] (if: $blackblood >= 3)[You subsume the Collective and destroy the coven, rising to command the whole of Leviathan's forces. It's a bloodbath, baby, and you're kings of the world.] ] ENDING---HOORAY! [[Play Again?|Start]] [[Achievements]] [history]<history| (click: ?history)[(history:)] The sharp pain of a needle jolts you awake. The [thing]<c1| weilding it moves back, examining the dull grey fluid in the plunger with a frown. (click: ?c1)[She looks like a woman in her 50's with her wavy hair pulled back into a severe bun; but she moves as if there are two or three of her occupying the same space, fingers curling into and through palms, arms and eyes separating and submerging as they tug restraints at your ankles, knees, wrists, chest, forehead. The friction of their presence radiates a sickening heat that makes your skin writhe whenever she gets too close.] (if: $emptybirth is not true)[The thing inside you curls tightly in your ribcage. It feels more like a stone than the toothsome fury you met in the dark. $bbText[Where have you taken us?] It whispers, as if someone else could listen in to a conversation held in your chest cavity. ] [[Look around the room]] [[Squirm]] [[Stay still and watch her]] (set: $reputation = $reputation + 1) (set: $bbText to (text-style: "blur")) [[eat everyone]] [[pass without incident]] A broad-shouldered woman leans against the front door, arms crossed over her chest. She glances you over and sneers, unimpressed. "Sorry, kid(if: $companion is "Vana")[s]. This is a private party." (if: $emptystomach >= 1)[(link:"Please, help me. I swallowed something awful and I don't know what to do.")[(link:"Don't hurt me. Oh god, don't hurt me.")["$bbText[ [[I don't want to hurt anyone|loud 2]].]"]]] (else:)[ (if: $whiteteeth > $blackblood)[ [[Please, help me. I swallowed something awful and I don't know what to do.|loud 2]]] (if: $blackblood > $whiteteeth)[(link:"Please, help me. I swallowed something awful and I don't know what to do.")["$bbText[ [[Sup, assholes, I'm here to eat your children.|eat everyone]] ]"]] ] [[eat everyone]] [[pass without incident]] (set: $chompchomp to ($chompchomp + 1)) (set: $blackblood to ($blackblood + 1)) (set: $reputation to ($reputation - 1)) your busted lip heals instantly but the way the color drains from the magician's face when he sees the black spatter is worth the price of admission the first time that's blood that's your blood that's coming from your arm don't freak out don't freak out this is really cool but you think maybe you might pass out you don't really heal the leviathan just grows into your wounds [[takes your order]] (if: $reputation >= 1)[(put: 1 into $whiteteeth)] (else:)[(put: 1 into $emptystomach)] sometimes you just cough it up and play with it for a while it doesn't all have to be murder all the time [[it can be so so quiet|takes your order]] (set: $chompchomp to ($chompchomp + 1)) (set: $whiteteeth to ($whiteteeth + 1)) (if: $companion is "Vana")[Lenore is a seasoned monster, but is too focused on sneaking up on the waitress to notice Vana flanking them. You drag Lenore back around the corner but they get the advantage and throw you to the ground, punching you in the face. "This is our kill," They snarl. "Fuck off." Vana's long, sharp claws poke out of their chest; as they gurgle in surprise, xyr other hand wraps down across their face and hooks up xyr talons underneath their chin. With one ripping movement, xe liberates their face from their skull, drenching you in their dark blood. As the life drains out of them in twitches, you lock eyes with Vana, knowing what comes next.] The only way to kill a leviathan, after all, is to consume it; it's a bitter task but it's oh so satisfying. when you hold it in your hands it doesn't seem so big a deal it pulses and quivers against your skin how can something so big manifest in such a small way you hold the body before you slip it under your tongue and it dissolves and leaves your mouth numb and full of stars The [[waitress]] is nervous about the commotion, but hasn't been alerted yet if you're still hungry. (if: $emptybirth is not true)[$bbText[If we [[replace the acolyte]],] it whispers, $bbText[no one will miss them, and we will be unknown even if we retrace our steps.] ](else:)[If you [[replace the acolyte]], no one will miss them, and you will be unknown even if you retrace your steps.] [[move on|coven 3]] (if: $friendlenore is $protectanna)["We'd love to, darling, but orders are orders," They smile apologetically. "We go where Reagan goes." [[move on]] ](else:)[ They grin broadly. "We thought you'd never ask. Before we skedaddle, though, there's one little loose end we ought to tie off." They throw a glance out the window at Reagan, who is walking to her car. Land the [[killing blow]], or [[attack the acolyte]]?] You bid Lenore goodbye but linger just out of sight. They pay their bill, leave a few pennies as a tip, and loiter in the parking lot for hours. When the waitress heads to her car, they follow behind, unseen. (if: $emptybirth is not true)[$bbText[They mean to kill her, it whispers.] ] [[Kill Lenore|kill the acolyte]] (if: $companion is "Vana")[(link: "move on")["They've done so much harm already," Vana hisses. "Are we really going to let them get away with this?"] ](else:)[ [[move on]] ] You put the cafe behind you. [[There's no point in lingering here.|coven 3]] (set: $bbText to (text-style: "blur") ) (set: $reputation = $reputation + 1) (set: $blackblood = $blackblood + 1) (set: $friendlenore to "replaced") It examines the freshly churned contents of your stomach, and unfolds it, devouring your old flesh and replacing it with the acolyte's, mending and adjusting as it goes. The resemblance is uncanny(if: $emptybirth is not true)[--$bbText[and exact,] it glows.](else:)[.] (if: $companion is "Vana")[Vana crinkles xyr brow. "I didn't think they looked *that* good, but there's no accounting for taste, I suppose."] (if: $emptybirth is not true)[(if: $blackblood >= 2)[ (if: $companion is "Vana")[(link: "Bet that waitress is still handy.")[Bet that waitress is still handy. "Don't be crude," xe sneers. "If you want to be just like them, you'll get same the end they deserved." ] ](else:)[$bbText[You know,] it purrs, $bbText[we bet that [[waitress|skin waitress]] is still handy.] ] ]](else:)[(if: $blackblood >= 2)[(if: $companion is "Vana")[(link: "Bet that waitress is still handy.")[Bet that waitress is still handy. "Don't be crude," xe sneers. "If you want to be just like them, you'll get same the end they deserved." ] ](else:)[ Bet that [[waitress|skin waitress]] is still handy.] ]] [[move on.|coven 3]] (set: $companion to "Lenore") (set: $blackblood = $blackblood + 1) You share the kill, a rare gesture of friendship between monsters like yourselves. They get along with you, and decide you're as good a traveling companion as any. [[coven 3]] Lenore isn't surprised by this, and is older and more experienced than you. They bite clean through your neck and drop your severed head a few feet away from your body before murdering the waitress and eating her in front of you. You struggle to get back to your body while they're occupied, and barely manage a [[bloody retreat.|coven 3]] (set: $chompchomp = $chompchomp + 1) (set: $blackblood = $blackblood + 1) (set: $reputation = $reputation - 1) She stands even less of a chance than the acolyte. (if: $emptybirth is not true)[It purrs like an engine, licking your chops and leaving nothing but a blood spatter as evidence that she ever existed. ](else:)[Not even a blood spatter remains as evidence that she ever existed.](if: $friendtheo is "dead")[ It's faint, but you can taste the family resemblance.] [[coven 3]] (set: $blackblood = $blackblood + 1) (set: $bbText to (text-style: "blur")) She stands even less of a chance than the acolyte. It purrs like an engine, licking your chops and leaving nothing but a blood spatter as evidence that she ever existed. It's a simple matter of leaving the scene, redressing yourself in your old flesh, and leaving the security cameras with a crime whose actors are both untraceable to you. All things considered, [it's very tidy]<c1|. (click: ?c1)[It flushes warm in your chest; $bbText[we can be neat when we need to be.] ] [[coven 3]] (set: $reputation = $reputation + 1) (set: $whiteteeth = $whiteteeth + 1) You put the housing district to your back and wander until you come across a library. You(if: $companion is not "none")[ and $companion] spend the next three days sifting through it, trying to find something, anything that might tell you more about your situation(if: $companion is "Vana")[--and how to reverse it(set: $friendvana to "magician")]. Information is few and far between, and what little you *can* find is often a vague two sentences of definition, followed by a reiterative handful of [[Bible verses]]. (if: $companion is "Vana")[ [[See how Vana's doing]] ] [[alas.|hac 2]] (set: $bbText to (text-style: "blur") ) (set: $blackblood = $blackblood + 1) The quiet pallor of death has settled into the house, and the leviathan uncurls into it, stretching lazily. You can feel it in every room, the shape of empty air between chairs and ceilings, between books and their bookcases, the heat leeching from sullied corpses, all of it fits under your tongue. [[Master Bedroom]] [[Bathroom]] (set: $emptystomach = $emptystomach + 1) Your mouth is a tangled mess of tusks and fangs all locked together and rotting. Before you can pull them out by the roots, fresh teeth sprout and weave in to replace them. It is constant. You cannot open your mouth to retrieve the fragments coming loose against your tongue, so you try and chew them down in minute movements and swallow the bitter bits of rot. You are in constant pain. Hunger carves out your attention, but you can't open your mouth to feed yourself. You lock yourself in a park bathroom and resolve to figure out a way around this, somehow. [[Open your throat]] [[Open your belly]] (if: $mouth is "mute")[(if: $institutionalized is true)[Luckily you know more than one way to skin a cat--well, a $companion, in this case. ~~Quiet, Quiet,~~ grinds the teeth in your chest, and you sieze $companion, pushing the palm of your hand through skin, muscle, sternum, soft organs. $companion collapses. [[Is this sufficient?]] ](else:)[You straight up don't win. congrats! this was very poorly thought out! They leave your corpse in a ditch. Knitting back together is slow going; $companion really did a number on you. Why they left you with blood in your body is a mystery; some last trace of friendship, maybe. It's well into the night before you're healed enough to crawl out of the [[bank|leviathan showdown]]. ](set: $companion to "none") ](else:)[ (if: $companion is "Marlow")[Marlowe laughs and speaks forth some horrible shape. The witches choke and spew black bile, crumpling to the ground. "We've wasted enough time," He nudges a corpse with his boot and walks on. You trail [[behind him.|collective hellmouth]]] (if: $companion is "Theo")[ [Won't be much of a fight.]<c1| (click:?c1)["They're not talking to you," Theo says grimly, and shoots you in the chest with his shotgun. You fall to the ground, more stunned than hurt, and in an instant Theo's on top of you with a knife, hacking at your neck. [[Let him do it]] [[This is the thanks you get?]] ] ](else:)[(if: $companion is "Vana")[Vana is a full head taller than you, but you have the element of surprise. You strike fast, clocking xyr across the face. Xe stumbles and you push xyr down onto the ground, straddling xem as you unhinge your jaw. "Stop!" Xe shrieks, xyr claws raking long gashes across your chest and arms. "What are you doing?!" (if: $friendvana is "magician")[When xe sees you're not going to stop, xyr daggered mouth opens and screams a shapeless word that sends you flying and burns your skull back to the ears. Blinded and deaf, you try to get up, but a pole drives through your chest deep into the dirt. They leave your corpse in a ditch. Knitting back together is slow going; $companion really did a number on you. Why xe left you with blood in your body is a mystery; some last trace of friendship, maybe. It's well into the night before you're healed enough to crawl out of the [[bank|leviathan showdown]].](else:)[ But you won't be swayed--not in front of the covens--and xyr skull crumples between your teeth.(set: $friendvana to "dead")(set: $chompchomp = $chompchomp + 1)] ] (if: $companion is "Lenore")["You *love* the vermin," Lenore spits, their eyes dripping sclera like candlewax. "Shame on us for expecting more of you." You circle each other--they strike first--but you're ready for them with a sidestep and a throw that sends them tumbling to the ground, and you're on top of them, and their hands are a vice around your throat, holding your snapping jaws at bay. (if: $blackblood < $whiteteeth)[Lenore pins you and tears your face off. They leave your corpse in a ditch. Knitting back together is slow going; $companion really did a number on you. Why they left you with blood in your body is a mystery; some last trace of friendship, maybe. It's well into the night before you're healed enough to crawl out of the [[bank|leviathan showdown]]. ] (if: $blackblood >= $whiteteeth)[but you snap their arms with the right leverage and your teeth find purchase in their neck, ripping their head from their body. Tongues pull Lenore's skull down your throat.(if: $institutionalized is true)[$shhText[~~Quiet, Quiet~~], the mouths there sing, and the weight of it disappears. You turn to the coven, blood drenching your front, and spread your arms. [[Is this sufficient?]] ](set: $friendlenore to "dead")(set: $chompchomp = $chompchomp + 1)] ] (if: $companion is "Marlowe)[](if: $companion is "Lenore")[](else:)[You turn to the coven, blood drenching your front, and spread your arms. [[Is this sufficient?]] ] ] ] { (set: $reputation = $reputation + 1) (set: $whiteteeth = $whiteteeth + 1) (set: $bbText to (text-style: "blur") ) } Hundreds of miles out from the town limits, you stop the van periodically to kick the supervisor, the janitor, and the night clerk out of the back. Bound, blindfolded, and gagged, they fall awkwardly into the dust, one by one. It's the best you can do for them for now. Vana stays conspicuously silent in the passenger's seat. [It's not a mercy.]<c1|(click: ?c1)[ "I didn't say it was." [They'll die wandering these wastes.]<c2|(click: ?c2)[ "They'd die faster if we ate them, and we'd be full, besides," Vana replies. "It's not a kindness to either of us." [The Collective isn't known for its kindness.]<c3|(click: ?c3)[ "I'm deferring to your judgement," xe clarifies. "This just...seemed like an odd choice, that's all."] ] ] [[Say nothing.]] (set: $blackblood = $blackblood + 1) (set: $chompchomp = $chompchomp + 1) It's an easy job, and a fun one. The night is quiet, and the water treatment plant's employees are easily subdued. "The Collective's cleanup crew is impeccable," $companion informs you, "so we can be as messy as we want." [[Let's just get this over with|night is quiet]]. (if: $companion is "Vana")[(link: "Xe's right;")[(goto:"we can be as messy as we want")]](if: $companion is "Marlowe")[(link: "He's right;")[(goto:"we can be as messy as we want")]] [[why not enjoy yourselves?|we can be as messy as we want]] You seal duct tape over the supervisor's mouth before unhinging your jaw to swallow him. Your rows and rows of teeth break him down into a slurry in a matter of seconds. $companion gives a small shrug, and makes short work of the rest. [[You move on.|drifters]] (set: $bbText = (text-style: "blur")) (set: $blackblood to ($blackblood + 1)) "$bbText[You're right]," You smile. "$bbText[Why not enjoy ourselves?]" oh look it's an absence of people you eat everything you touch you are an acid and you [[cannot be satisfied|drifters]] "Look at me," the doctor says. "How many eyes do you have?" It takes a minute, because you can't tell if she's asking about on the outside or the inside. You think "[two]<c1|" might be the correct answer, but to be perfectly honest, you don't actually know. (click: ?c1)[Your senses are so nebulous and vague and hard to pin down now. (if: $emptybirth is not true)[It doesn't have eyes at all, but it can see through the [water]<c3|.](else:)[There's a good chance you don't have eyes at all anymore, but you can see [through the water]<c3| now.] (click: ?c3)[ [And you're ninety percent water,]<c4| (click: ?c4)[you tell the doctor, [[so it doesn't matter how many eyes you have|questionairre style thread]].] ] ] At last, Dr. Kharo returns. "You've made marvelous progress," They say with a plasticine smile. "Please proceed to the next room for your final evaluation." [[Follow Dr. Kharo|train 3]] (if: $clue is 5)[ [[No, thanks. You'll just be going now.|disappear]] ] [[eat Dr. Kharo]] (if: $whiteteeth >= 4)[ [[be recycled]] ](else:)[ [[Settle into the desk you find there|be put away]]] "Well," the technician sighs, flipping through your charts, "The Collective has more important things to do, but don't worry, I'll make sure you are subsumed eventually." You're lowered into an acid bath, where your flesh dissolves. You turn into the void of the beast to escape the pain but it's no respite here; it shrieks and shrieks, as desperate and helpless as you are. [[Play Again?|Start]] [[Achievements]] (if: $tedium is 4)[(if: $emptybirth is not true)[$bbText[Yeah, they're never going to let us out of this room, are they.] ](else:)[Yeah, they're never going to let you out of this room, are they.] ] (if: $tedium is 6)[(if: $emptybirth is not true)[$bbText[They put us here to be forgotten.]](else:)[They put you here to be forgotten.] ] (if: $tedium is 8)[Why stay here, then? You're a *Leviathan*, for chrissakes. It cannot be that hard to break out of a fucking office building.] [[file papers]]. (set: $tedium to ($tedium + 1)) (if: $tedium >= 9)[ [[You're outta here.|disappear]] ] You stumble out of the room on shaky legs. The doctor shadows you for a while, but leaves you alone once she's satisfied you're not going to collapse. The grounds are pristine, with immaculately kept gardens and tall, bleached white walls. There's an orderly standing by in nearly every room, bundles of undulating tar dressed in layers of skin and disinfected cotton. (if: $blackblood >= 1)[ $bbText[I don't like those orderlies,] it says. $bbText[They're too quiet. They won't sing back to me. We should leave.] ] [[explore the grounds]] [[try to scale a wall|cheese it]] [[make a break for an exit|cheese it]] [[overpower an orderly|cheese it]] [[examine documentation|be put away]]. (if: $tedium is 5)[Yup. Doesn't look like it.] (if: $tedium is 7)[(if: $emptybirth is not true)[$bbText[Doesn't seem like they're paying attention to us anymore, though.] ](else:)[Doesn't seem like they're paying attention to you anymore, though.] ] (set: $tedium to ($tedium + 1)) (if: $tedium >= 9)[ [[Screw this noise.|disappear]] ] (set: $emptystomach = $emptystomach + 1) (set: $institutionalized to true) You know better now. The void is beginning to feel familiar. You (if: (history:)contains "answer i")[change [skins at a bus stop]<c1|, tired of your own face, and] pour into a greyhound bus with the rest of the humans. The lights of the city fade into the empty black of the desert.(if: $companion is "Theo")[ Theo sits silent in the seat next to you. Some color has returned to his cheeks, but his forehead is permanently creased, and any jubilance he may have at this new lease on life is overshadowed by the terror of retribution. [ [We'll get to her in time.]<c2| [Say nothing.]<c3| ]<c4| (click: ?c2)[(replace: ?c4)[We'll get to her in time. "We have to," is his only response.]](click: ?c3)[(replace: ?c4)[ ]] ] (click: ?c1)[ No one in particular; just an extra you saw on a daytime soap opera once. It is entertaining to push around the face of a stranger, even if it doesn't suit you much. The novelty is fun, at least. ] *The funny thing is*, you think, forehead pressed against the bus window, *this is still not the most toxic relationship you've ever had.* It's not funny, but you laugh anyway. [[End of the line.|meet a coven]] (set: $bbText to (text-style: "blur") )You yawn and your cheeks split to allow your jaws to fully open. (if: $yum is 1)[His breath catches in his throat and he's on his feet, backing up until he hits the wall.](if: $yum is 2)["$bbText[Well, if that's so,]" You smile with so many teeth and he's on his feet, backing up until he hits the wall.](if: $yum is 3)["$bbText[You're right]," You concede as he jumps to his feet. "$bbText[Let's not waste time with bad jokes.]"](if: $yum is 4)[You lunge and pin him to the ground. He cries out and struggles to get free, but he's so feeble in your grasp.](if: $yum is 5)["$bbText[Well, Theo,]" You grin, "$bbText[it's a pleasure to eat you.]" You lunge and pin him to the ground before he can get his feet under him. He cries out and struggles to get free, but he's so feeble in your grasp.](if: $yum is 6)["$bbText[That's a shame,]" You say, and launch across the room to pin him to the ground. He cries out and struggles to get free, but he's so feeble in your grasp. "$bbText[Because it's a pleasure to eat you, and I mean that sincerely.]"](if: $yum is 7)[He struggles to his feet and you shrug. "$bbText[Doesn't hurt.]" ](if: $yum is 8)["$bbText[That's almost sweet,]" You croon. He's on his feet, fists raised over his face, backing up until he hits the wall.](if: $yum is 9)["$bbText[Just kidding, of course,]" You chuckle, and he's on his feet, fists raised over his face, backing up until he hits the wall. "You fucker," He spits.] "Listen," He says, voice trembling, "[[don't do this]]. You don't have to do this." You're so [[goddamn hungry]]. (set: $bbText to (text-style: "blur") ) (set: $whiteteeth = $whiteteeth + 1) He doesn't respond.(set: $yum to 1) [[You were told they served food here?]] [[~~eat him. eat~~|eat the prisoner]] (set: $whiteteeth = $whiteteeth + 1) (if: $yum <= 1)[You grit your teeth and shake your head, trying to snap out of it. [Sorry.]<b1| ](if: $yum is 2)[You grit your teeth and shake your head, trying to snap out of it. [Sorry.]<b1| ](if: $yum is 3)[You grit your teeth and shake your head, trying to snap out of it. [Sorry.]<b1| ](if: $yum is 4)[You grit your teeth and shake your head, trying to snap out of it. [Sorry.]<b1| ] (if: $yum is 5)[His throat is right there, blood racing under flimsy skin. It would be so easy. (live: 2s)[You throw yourself across the floor with a snarl, pressing your head into the corner as you struggle to push this awful mouth back into your face. The fangs don't retract easily. Once you regain your flat, human teeth, you take slow, shallow breaths. [Sorry.]<b1|] ](if: $yum is 6)[His throat is right there, blood racing under flimsy skin. It would be so easy. (live: 2s)[You throw yourself across the floor with a snarl, pressing your head into the corner as you struggle to push this awful mouth back into your face. The fangs don't retract easily. Once you regain your flat, human teeth, you take slow, shallow breaths. [Sorry.]<b1|] ](if: $yum is 7)[His throat is right there, blood racing under flimsy skin. It would be so easy. (live: 2s)[You throw yourself across the floor with a snarl, pressing your head into the corner as you struggle to push this awful mouth back into your face. The fangs don't retract easily. Once you regain your flat, human teeth, you take slow, shallow breaths. [Sorry.]<b1|] ](if: $yum is 8)[His throat is right there, blood racing under flimsy skin. It would be so easy. (live: 2s)[You throw yourself across the floor with a snarl, pressing your head into the corner as you struggle to push this awful mouth back into your face. The fangs don't retract easily. Once you regain your flat, human teeth, you take slow, shallow breaths. [Sorry.]<b1|] ] (click: ?b1)[You slump back against the wall and curl your arms around your knees tight. Your mouth snaps and hisses against your will. [Sorry.]<b2|] (click: ?b2)[It's a long silence between you, at opposite ends of the room. The only sound is his haggard breathing and the maddening drumbeat of his pulse, neither of which make much of a dent in the shrieking madness happening in your head. "...What happens now?" he says, finally. (set: $companion to "Theo") [[We leave]]. [[We wait]].] (set: $blackblood = $blackblood + 1)(set: $chompchomp = $chompchomp + 1) (if: $emptybirth is true)[There is so much joy to be found in the bloodbath.](else:)[ The thing in you is so delighted by the bloodbath.] Your doctor is pleased, too. "You're making good progress," she says, and goes on about biology and food chains; but you're still caught up in his screams and the feeble scratches his [[fingernails left in your forearms|train 1]]. They leave you alone after that, for the most part. It's just you, the gaping hole in your stomach, and [[time.|question 1]] (set: $clue to ($clue + 1))Sometimes you have dreams you can't claim as your own. (if: $emptybirth is not true)[ It refuses to tell you their stories, but you can see into its fractured minds as easily as it can into yours.] [[Get up.|answer a]] [[Sleep.|answer b]] (set: $blackblood = $blackblood + 1) Eventually, you get your legs under you again. While waiting in a check-up room, you catch a glimpse of yourself in a full-length mirror. (if: $emptybirth is true)[You have always found bodies despicably awful, and yours is somehow, against all odds, worse than it was before. [[The doctor enters.|question 3]]](else:)[ [is this what you look like?]<b1| (click: ?b1)[$bbText[no, this is what we look like together,] it reassures. (live: 2s)[$bbText[see, there around you] (stop:)] (live: 2s)[$bbText[and inside you](stop:)] (live: 4s)[$bbText[and between you,](stop:)] (live: 5s)[$bbText[that's me holding you together;](stop:)] (live: 7s)[$bbText[and there, those are you,] it says.(stop:)] (live: 9s)[ [wow]<b2|]](click: ?b2)[[, there's really not a lot left of you, is there?]<b3| ] (click: ?b3)[$bbText[what are you talking about?] it asks. $bbText[you are so much more than me still.] (live: 5s)[ [[The doctor enters.|question 3]](stop:)] ]] (set: $whiteteeth = $whiteteeth + 1) You are so heavy and so, so tired. Your bones feel so dense; the bed ought to creak and crack under your weight, the earth buckling as you seep through to the core of the planet. It doesn't, of course, but it would make [[more sense if it did|b1]]. A week passes. You think, anyway. The light doesn't change here, and there are no clocks. You track the time by the pain in your jaw; when a tooth pops out, you call it an hour. (set: $clue to ($clue + 1))(if: $emptybirth is not true)[It thinks your teeth are so cute; lines them up in little rows everytime they fall out to be replaced by its jagged daggers, picks them up one by one and eats them like sugar cubes, chewing them up, letting them dissolve on its tongue your tongue ] Let's take a quick inventory, just in case. [[teeth|Answer c]] [[heart|answer d]] (if: $emptybirth is not true)[It honestly thoroughly loves your porcelain whites it thinks they are [[so cute|question 4]]](else:)[They're pretty cute, for a collection of fragile [[bone shards.|question 4]]] (set: $emptystomach to ($emptystomach + 1)) it's just a heart it says it's just a heart it says [[it's just a heart it says|question 4]] "Alright," Dr. Kharo says, "These next few questions are to test your fluency." (set: $clue to ($clue + 1)) (if: $emptybirth is not true)[$bbText[Be quiet,] it says, $bbText[and give me control.] [[Okay.|answer e]] [[Absolutely not.|answer f]] ] (if: $emptybirth is true)[ [[Okay.|f3]] ] A cold numbness runs through your chest and down your arms as the leviathan takes hold. It feels like when a limb falls asleep, but all over; you're only vaguely aware of it moving your arms, the strange vibrations of its voice pushing out of your chest, its eyes glancing this way and that from your skull. [[keep your eyes closed,|incomprehensible feedback]] it tells you; but surely a peek won't [[hurt.|N O I S E]] $bbText[If they don't think I'm in control, they will *kill you,*] it insists. (set: $emptystomach = $emptystomach + 1) [[No.|f1]] [[What do you care?|f1]] [[Only for what's necessary. Then you go back.|f2]] [[Just tell me what to do.|f3]] (set: $clue to ($clue + 1)) What happens when you love the reflection under the black mud? [[try on someone else's skin|answer g]] [[pick the lock|answer h]] (set: $bip to (text-style: "mirror") + (text-style: "rumble") + (text-color: #747889)) [Does "it" bother you?]<c1| (click: ?c1)[$bbText[Does what bother me?] [No--you mean, do you have a gender?]<c2| (click: ?c2)[$bbText[Yes--"$bip[...:: .|..,::' :.,:|:::]." "Guiding Edge," or "Passenger," is as close as I can translate.] [Oh. How should you refer to it, then? Like, with he/him/his, or they/them/theirs.]<c3| (click: ?c3)[It huffs a laugh. $bbText[Don't speak of me/to anyone/[[for any reason.|question 5]] ] ] ] ] You pick the lock quietly. $bbText[Oh.] [ [Ignore it]<c1| [What?]<c2| ]<c3| (click: ?c1)[(replace: ?c3)[$bbText[Wow, okay.](live: 2s)[ $bbText[According to these memories, supposedly, every seven years a human body replaces itself.](stop:) ] (click: ?c2)[(replace: ?c3)[What? $bbText[Wow, okay: according to these memories, supposedly, every seven years a human body replaces itself.] ] [ [More or less.]<c4| [What's your point?]<c5| ]<c6| (click: ?c4)[(replace: ?c6)[$bbText[so if you were a tree, you would only have about seven rings at any given moment.] [[...Yes.|h1]] ]] ] ] ] $bbText[Well, actually, *you* would only have one, and then a core of tar which would have to be carbon dated, if we are taking this metaphor seriously.] (if: $teethbirth is true)[ [So, you would be the one ring to rule them all?]<c7| $bbText[What?] [You know, like Lord of the Rings.]<c8| It shuffles around in your memories for a moment. $bbText[Oh. No, not really.] [Nevermind.(set: $joke to "wait for it...")]<c9| ] [Can you focus on keeping watch, please?]<c10| $bbText[Just trying to pass the time. You're all clear.] The lock clicks open, revealing a blank, black wall beyond it. Somewhere, a leviathan architect is laughing their primordial ass off at [[your expense.|question 5]] (set: $clue to ($clue + 1)) It strikes you as bizarre that a chaos animal [[like leviathan|answer j]] would be so bound by(if: $emptybirth is not true)[ [[binary thought|answer i]] ](else:)[ binary thought.] (set: $blackblood to ($blackblood + 1)) $bbText[What's it like?] [What's what like?]<c1| (click: ?c1)[ $bbText[To be stardust,] it replies. $bbText[To be obscene and divine. to be Creation.] [You don't know. What's it like to be the cold void untouched by love or substance?]<c2| (click: ?c2)[$bbText[I don't know,] it [[says.|train 2]]] ] (set: $emptystomach to ($emptystomach + 1)) ever been amazed by the garbage that comes out of your own mouth? ever drowned in it? you could grab yourself by the ponytail and hoist yourself up but you're so used to the taste now what would be the point at this point you may as well [[train 2]] You are a hole, in a universe that detests a vacuum. You are not here. So it is not so much of a stretch that you are not anywhere else; anywhere you would like. After all, there is space laced through all matter at the subatomic level; it weaves in your heavy flesh and leaks your own holey void out into the porous world. The whole universe can be traversed through these quiet backroads, though the pull of vast [[thoroughfares between stars]] is intoxicating. (if: $emptybirth is not true)[The toothsome thing in you moves easily between not-here and not-there-either, but the passage leaves swaths of your skin weeping blood and tar. ] { (set: $variable to (either: 1,2,3,4,5)) (if: $variable is 1)[ [[My father's house.|takes your order]] ] (if: $variable is 2)[ [[Just take me home.|devour and replace citizens]] ] (if: $variable is 3)[ [[Mt. Everest's peak.|eat your companion]] ] (if: $variable is 4)[ [[The Mariana Trench.|eat the prisoner]] ] (if: $variable is 5)[ [[You want a new start.|man at the door]] ] (set: $randotranspo to true) (set: $randomtransport = $randomtransport + 1) (if: $randotranspo is true)[ (set: $randomtransport = $randomtransport +1) (if: $randomtransport is 1)[wooaaahh nelly] (if: $randomtransport is 2)[holy shit bro] (if: $randomtransport is 3)[ok if we find something to eat maybe this will stop] (if: $randomtransport is 4)[really. find something to eat oh god I feel so sick] ] } { (set: $bbText = (text-style: "blur")) (set: $wtText = (text-style: "emboss")) (set: $esText = (text-style: "mirror")) (set: $whiteteeth = $whiteteeth + 1) } Your throat closes up as you try to speak. (if: $emptybirth is true)[ ](else:)[ (if: $blackblood < 1)$bbText[Listen to me,] it hisses, $bbText[They] $wtText[CANNOT HELP YOU.] $bbText[They will take us to a facility and they will try and make sense of us with chemicals and scalpels. We can be *anything,* you and I, and you want to waste that opportunity as an] $wtText[ODDITY TO BE VIVISECTED?] ] "Okay," The officer reaches out a steadying hand. "Stay calm. I'll [call you an ambulance]<c1|." $bbText[ [[Don't do this.|coven 1]] ] [[eat the cop|not here]] (click: ?c1)[(set: $next to (either: 1, 2)) (if: $next is 1)[ [[you're going to be okay.|medical bay]] ] (if: $next is 2)[ (if: $emptybirth is not true)[(if: $misgendered is 1)[ [[you're going to be okay.|gendery]] ](else:)[ [[you're going to be okay.|coven 1]] ] ] ] ] { (set: $bbText to (text-style: "blur") ) (set: $chompchomp = $chompchomp + 1) (set: $blackblood = $blackblood + 1) (set: $randotranspo to false) (set: $eatcop to true) } (if: $institutionalized is true)[It's not hard to find another bleeding heart of an authority figure. Your face is already tearstreaked, your flimsy paper gown stained and torn.](if: $companion is "Vana")[Vana nods, catching on to your scheme, and disappears.] "$bbText[Please,]" your mouth moves. "$bbText[My car broke down, you see, and I'm lost. Please,]" You stumble into a nearby alley. He follows you, hand hovering over his holstered gun. (if: $companion is "Vana")[Xe appears behind him, a long shadow whose glittering teeth frame the officer's head in a halo for a brief moment before closing like a vice.] It bubbles up through your throat, spilling out into your mouth, the roots of its teeth crushing your gums as it extends, dislocates your jaw; the rush of *need* that opens in your stomach overwhelms the hunger pangs. The officer isn't given time to react, but his last twitches and gasps thrum your tongues in a tattoo. Blood gushes from his limp body into the gutters as this thing inside you feeds(if: $companion is "Vana")[ alongside xem], systematically grinding through meat and bone like a woodchipper. The body is gone in a matter of minutes: clothes, gun, and all. (if: $emptybirth is true)[For a brief, beautiful moment, the hunger subsides. The world slows down, and you feel grounded and real.](else:)[It purrs and licks its chops--your cheeks. $bbText[You're a mess,] it laughs headily, wiping gore off your chin with the back of your hand.](if: $companion is "Vana")[ Vana scoops up a handful of gore and lets it drain through xyr fingers; the blood doesn't stain xyr skin or clothes like it does yours, you notice. "I could get used to this," Xe grins at you. [Let's make a habit of it, then.]<c1| (click: ?c1)[(set: $blackblood = $blackblood + 1)Xe smiles wider. "By all means."] ] [[You'd better get going.|coven 1]] You're determined to follow this through, even if it means dying alone in a muddy sinkhole in the woods. Eventually the silt is too thick to see through, so you shut your eyes to it and try to focus past the screaming in your lungs. Clutching your numb arms to your chest, you sink and you [[wait.|wait 1]] *Why not?* You reach out to the cold quiet between galaxies. Your human flesh implodes, stiffens, cools in the vacuum of space, and as it unravels you stretch out, your body extending in every direction, tentacles testing the limits of light-years, the borders of billions and billions. The shriveled raisin of an organ whose tiny synapses would call you unfathomable can't limit you now; you unfold in fractals, in impossible math, the edges of you defined only by the inferno of starlight. You are eternal here, at your simplest and purest function, as you were always meant to be: you are entropy, unembodied. (set: $voidkickflip to true) [[Play Again?|Start]] [[Achievements]] You are in a windowless room with a door on either side. Neither doors have handles, and appear to be operated remotely. Above you, fluorescent tube bulbs are arranged in a pentagon around an elaborate sigil. Next to the woman is a small cart with various implements; some of them you can hazard a guess as to their purpose, but most are just abstract and recursive blobs of metal. [[Squirm]] [[Stay still and watch her]] (set: $lookedup to true) You try to inhale, as is your usual habit, but your nose and chest are densely packed. Panicking, you thrash against the restraints. The women don't seem preturbed, moving through a well-practiced routine of checkups. One hand presses down on your forehead while two more touch behind your jawline; their fingers curl in and push up hard until something in your skull unhinges, severing the seams in your cheeks. Your mouth opens, exposing the hardened clay molded in your throat and lungs. "[[Q u i e t]]," she says, overpronouncing with an unfamiliar accent. You are as still as stone except for saccades as you follow the nurse's movements. Her many hands pass over you in a well-practiced routine of checkups, pinching here, drawing blood there, pressing into your abdomen. You close your eyes when she moves their fingers to press behind your jawline; they curl in and push up hard until something in your skull unhinges, severing the seams in your cheeks. Your mouth opens, exposing the hardened clay molded in your throat and lungs. "[[Q u i e t]]," she says, overpronouncing with an unfamiliar accent. You can't make any noise, although you are trying. She shakes their heads, "No, no, say," and their face opens into...well, it has the trappings of a mouth, teeth and gums and tongues and throats all braided together; it moves to form shapes, and through those shapes they push sound: "$esText[ $shhText[[[~~Q u i e t~~|Quiet 1]].] ]" "$shhText[~~q ie u ete.~~]" She leans in closer and your skin feels like it's crawling off. Their mouth repeats the sound more slowly, exaggerated. You echo her a few times until they're satisfied with your pronunciation. "$shhText[$esText[ [[~~q u i e t ~~|Quiet 2]]. ] ]" The clay softens and begins to crack under the word. They nod encouragingly, gesturing with her hands to continue as their huge mouth melts back into their faces. "Keep saying," She says. You nod slightly in the restraint, focusing on forming the shapes with your jaws and tongues. Plural. You can taste the bitter clay in your mouth, of course, but in your esophagus and lungs and stomach, also. Swallowing is accompanied by the click of teeth meeting through the mud in your chest. $shhText[$esText[~~Q u i e t~~, ~~q u i e t~~, ~~q u i e t~~, ~~q u i e t~~,]] metes these new jaws, working the fluid up and out of your lungs in coughing spurts that dribble down your cheeks and chin. They wipe your face clean with a cloth, nodding. "good, good. try to swallow," She gestures to their neck. "better to swallow." It's a good hour and a half of gnawing at this stone before it's worn away enough to breathe around. [[How long have you been asleep?]] [[Ask where you are]] [[Ask to be released]] [[Who is she?]] (if: $companion is "Vana")[ [[Where is Vana?]] ] They shake her heads. "You have to finish. Then, we can let you go." [[How long have you been asleep?]] [[Ask where you are]] [[Who is she?]] (if: $companion is "Vana")[ [[Where is Vana?]] ] (set: $nursequestions to ($nursequestions + 1)) (if: $nursequestions >=5)[ [[Swallow]] ] "Safe," They reply. "We want to be sure your host is compatible." [[Host?]] [[How long have you been asleep?]] [[Ask to be released]] [[Who is she?]] (if: $companion is "Vana")[ [[Where is Vana?]] ] (set: $nursequestions to ($nursequestions + 1)) (if: $nursequestions >=5)[ [[Swallow]] ] She raps sharply on your sternum with a knuckle. "Meatboat," They smile in a blossom of mouths. $shhText[$esText[~~Q u i e t~~, ~~q u i e t~~,]] grinds the murmur in your ribcage. [[How long have you been asleep?]] [[Ask where you are]] [[Ask to be released]] [[Who is she?]] (if: $companion is "Vana")[ [[Where is Vana?]] ] (set: $nursequestions to ($nursequestions + 1)) (if: $nursequestions >=5)[ [[Swallow]] ] "Not long," They reassure you, unhelpfully. [[Ask where you are]] [[Ask to be released]] [[Who is she?]] (if: $companion is "Vana")[ [[Where is Vana?]] ] (set: $nursequestions to ($nursequestions + 1)) (if: $nursequestions >=5)[ [[Swallow]] ] Their strange mouth reforms, shaping a bright and lonely sound that folds into itself. You try to repeat it, but succeed only in a burbling garble. She laughs. "Dr. Kharo is fine." [[How long have you been asleep?]] [[Ask where you are]] [[Ask to be released]] (if: $companion is "Vana")[ [[Where is Vana?]] ] (set: $nursequestions to ($nursequestions + 1)) (if: $nursequestions >=5)[ [[Swallow]] ] The clay finally crumbles into pieces that melt in your lungs. You cough still, but the worst of it is dissolved and you can breathe more or less like you did before, plus or minus a lot of new architecture. Satisfied with your progress, the doctor(s?) unbuckle the restraints and guide you to sit up. It's easier to breathe, although it seems less necessary now than it did before. "You may [[go where you like|run]] on the grounds," They say. "But we will be monitoring you, just in case. There is food waiting for you in the [[other room]]." (if: $emptybirth is true)[Why bother with the other room when there's [[plenty of meat|eat the doctor]] on *their* bones?](else:)[$bbText[Why bother with the other room when there's [[plenty of meat|eat the doctor]] on *their* bones?] it proposes, and the mouths in your ribcage slaver in agreement.] The door slides open, disappearing into the wall. It closes behind you. Sitting on the floor is a bag of blood and bones. Muscles contract as it pulses faster, shying away from you. You squint, trying to discern it, and a barefoot man in grey scrubs comes into focus. His age is hard to determine from his scraggy beard and exhausted face; you guess mid-thirties. He stares at you with wide, pale green eyes. (if: $friendtheo is "dead")[[Hi, Theo. We're leaving.]<c1| (click: ?c1)[(set: $friendtheo to "alive")(set: $companion to "Theo")[[disappear]] ] ](else:)[(if: $blackblood >= 1)[A wet clicking hiss leaks up through your chest. His heartbeat quickens, to your glee. ] (if: $whiteteeth >= 1)[You swallow hard, forcing the jaws in your chest shut tightly. They struggle against this; they can smell his fear. But he's just your neighbor.] (if: $emptystomach >= 1)[You can feel his pulse on your tongue. Yes: thirty-four years old. Raised in Chicago, same as his parents, same as their parents. Divorced, one child, grown and estranged. Blood type 0, high blood pressure, early stages of cancer in the liver. A tell-tale heart, to be sure. It's loud. Not loud like the cold deep; no, tinny and percussive in comparison. ](if: $emptystomach >= 1)[ [[Make it quiet.|eat the prisoner]] [[Tell him you're not going to hurt him.|leave them alone]] ](else:)[ [[Hi.|leave them alone]] [[~~eat~~|eat the prisoner]] ] ] (set: $bbText to (text-style: "blur")) Some rundown diner in the middle of nowhere. (if: $companion is "Theo")[ "There she is," He says, swallowing. "That's Reagan, my girl. Thank God. Thank God, she's alive." You follow his gaze to the inside of the diner, where a woman marks down an order for a customer. The family resemblance is easy to spot; she has the same light green eyes and haggard, strained smile. (if: $emptystomach >= 3)[But, something about her seems...off, somehow. Her movements are strangely affected, and remind you of a marionette.] "We have to protect her," Theo says. "I don't know what kind of forces they're sending after her, but she's not safe." [[Theo... That's not her.|t 1]] ](else:)[(if: $institutionalized is true)[The waitress who takes your order ([eggs overeasy]<c1|) has a haggard look and familiar, light green eyes. She even smells the same, although her scent is covered by flowery lotions. In the corner booth sits a hole in the universe, like you, sifting through a local newspaper. (if: $mettheo is true)[(if: $blackblood >= 2)[ [ [Let her be]<b1| [[Reagan, right? Your last name wouldn't happen to be Maltine?|m 1]] ]<b2| (click: ?b1)[(replace: ?b2)["$bbText[Reagan, right? Your last name wouldn't happen to be Maltine?]" (if: $emptybirth is true)[You ask](else:)[It asks] before you can stop yourself, [[too curious.|m 1]] ] ](else:)[ [[Let her be|Go say hello to your kin]] [[Reagan, right? Your last name wouldn't happen to be Maltine?|m 1]]] ] ] ] (else:)[The waitress who takes your order ([eggs overeasy]<c1|) has a haggard look and light green eyes. (if: $companion is "Vana")[Vana nudges you and juts xyr chin at the corner booth, where a hole in the universe sits sifting through the local paper.](else:)[In the corner booth sits a hole in the universe, like you, sifting through a local newspaper.] ] [[Go say hello to your kin]] [[move on]] (click: ?c1)[(replace: ?c1)[ [steak, rare]<c2|] ] (click: ?c2)[(replace: ?c2)[ [today's special]<c3|] ] (click: ?c3)[(replace: ?c3)[ [stacks of pancakes, keep 'em coming]<c4|] ] (click: ?c4)[(replace: ?c4)[ [just black coffee]<c5|] ] (click: ?c5)[(replace: ?c5)[ [$shhText[~~nothing, thank you~~] ]<c6|] ] ] He swallows hard, his voice barely above a whisper. "You're looking at him."(set: $yum to 2) [[...Is he the chef?]] [[~~he's not even running. eat him~~|eat the prisoner]] He gives you a pained look. Okay. Stupid question. (set: $yum to 3) [[Sit down]] [[~~what are you doing?~~|eat the prisoner]] You ease yourself onto the ground against the wall opposite him. He shuffles back, still uneasy, but seems less likely to bolt.(set: $yum to 4) [[What's his name?]] [[~~good, his defenses are down.~~|eat the prisoner]] A long silence follows. Maybe that was the wrong question to ask, but in the context what else is there to talk about? (live: 3s)["Theo," He says, finally.] (live: 4s)["Theo Maltine."] (set: $yum to 5)(set: $mettheo to true) (live: 5s)[ [[Tell him your name]] ] [[~~what are you waiting for?~~|eat the prisoner]] "I'd say it's nice to meet you, but I'd be lying," he snorts, staring at the floor. (set: $yum to 6) [[Why is he here?]] [[~~an invitation?~~|eat the prisoner]] "Do you want me to say I'm some sort of criminal?" He snaps. "Will that make it easier?" (set: $yum to 7) [[He's taking this really well.]] [[~~stop wasting time~~|eat the prisoner]] "Yeah, well. I've seen what you monsters can do," He says bitterly. "I know what has to happen for my girl to be safe. Just...make it quick." (set: $yum to 8) [[Tell him to chill, you're not going to eat him.]] [[~~you heard the man. chomp chomp~~|eat the prisoner]] "Sure you're not," He scoffs, but some of the tension rolls out of his shoulders. (set: $yum to 9) You make small-talk with the prisoner, reassuring them you mean them no harm, despite the shrieking in your ears. Days pass, and the [[staff notices|doctor's dismay]]. Your heart flutters like a sick bird in your chest and the itchy cloth of your shirt is plastered on your skin. It’s been a while since you had reason to call this outfit your “Sunday best,” but if there were ever an occasion to dig out the blister-inducing shoes, this [[would be it|one]]. And you [[wait.|wait 2]] And you [[wait.|drowning 1]] It's too late now to see the light of the surface. You're going to die down here. (live: 3s)[Stupid fuck. Even if anyone knew where you were, they wouldn't be surprised.] (live: 5s)[Your lungs finally give out and your mouth floods with bitter mud, stifling your screams. The cold claws into your chest and you're sinking, sinking, [[sinking--|drowning 2]] ] [[And everything stops.|hello levi]] Its presence rolls over you, filling your head with colors iridescent and undefinable. In the haze of death and its awful splendor, you distantly command your mouth to move, pushing awkward halting phrases through the mud in a language ill-suited to human tongues. *"I am a host without a guest,"* [[*"I seek to be a vessel of paradox, to walk the earth as a hole in the world."*|hello human]] A pulse shakes the earth, splitting your eardrums. Followed by another, and another, until you piece together that it is laughing. (if: $eyes is not "open")[Even with your eyes closed, you can feel the fathoms of water displaced as it [[moves closer.|canst thou]] ](else:)[You can feel the fathoms of water displaced as it [[moves closer.|canst thou]] ] ==><== [[C A N S T T H O U ?|offering]] ==><== (set: $bbText to (text-style: "blur")) (if: $emptystomach >= 1)[For a long time you are only aware of a chasm of noise that overwhelms you, and a false heat brought by constant friction as you struggle to settle in your [body]<b1|. You scrape against bone, clumsy all tied up in sinew and veins, frustrated by your shallow arteries and holey marrow. You are too much and not enough, too antiquated and unfamiliar. You would push all this terrible flesh out if you could.](else:)[ For a long time you are only aware of a chasm of noise that overwhelms you, and a false heat brought by constant friction as this massive [animal]<a1| wriggles to settle into your body. It scrapes against bone inside of you, clumsy all tied up in sinew and veins, frustrated by your shallow arteries and holey marrow. You are too much and not enough, too antiquated and unfamiliar. It would push you out if it could.(if: $blackblood >= 1)[ That's not the point of the exercise; it still needs you,you both know that much, but only it knows for what purpose.](if: $whiteteeth >= 1)[The fact that it can't infuriates it.]] You're numb and [[terrified.]] (click: ?a1)[(replace: ?a1)[ [monster]<a2| ] ] (click: ?a2)[(replace: ?a2)[ [abomination]<a3| ] ] (click: ?a3)[(replace: ?a3)[ [limbless faceless writhing]<a4| ] ] (click: ?a4)[(replace: ?a4)[ [teeth, teeth, yawning deep]<a5| ] ] (click: ?a5)[(replace: ?a5)[ [$shhText[~~sticky-cold numbness~~] ]<a6| ] ] (click: ?b1)[(replace: ?b1)[ [meatsuit]<b2| ] ] (click: ?b2)[(replace: ?b2)[ [corpse]<b3| ] ] (click: ?b3)[(replace: ?b3)[ [prison]<b4| ] ] (click: ?b4)[(replace: ?b4)[ [sticky blood and bone]<b5| ] ] (click: ?b5)[(replace: ?b5)[ [$shhText[~~vile cells crammed too tight~~]]<b6|] ] (set: $bbText to (text-style: "blur")) When you come to, you're sitting behind the wheel of a '69 Chevy Nova, going 90 down an unlit highway. The car nearly spins out when you slam on the breaks. (if: $blackblood is 1)[It tries to help you stagger on limbs lit up with pinpricks, but it doesn't know how to work legs yet, so it just impulses jerks into your stride.] you stumble to the water's edge and take huge draughts but it doesn't quench your thirst. Six restaurants later, you're broke and still starving. (if: $blackblood is 1)[The thing inside you waits patiently until you ask it what it wants; it says $bbText[living flesh and nothing less.] ] (if: $whiteteeth is 1)[The thing inside you screams and screams for $bbText[BLOOD.] ] (if: $emptystomach is 1)[everything is goddamn awful and you want to tear someone's face off.] [[Calm down.|meet a coven]] [[an empty corpse|es drowning 2]] with nothing to show for its life but a hook tied around one hand, and a tooth bound to the other. meant for [[something,|es drowning 3]] surely; but squandered, ill-fitting, with a gut that yawns open, hungry, so [[*hungry.*|es drowning 4]] Your eyelids creak open and your skull is flooded with heavy sludge; at last, equilibrium within and without. Something lived down here once, in the cold and the muck, and left fossils of its last breath for us to find. Now there's just you, an invader sinking slowly through the mud, with your starving wreck of a body and the knot in your core that howls and howls. (set: $emptystomach = $emptystomach + 1) (set: $emptybirth to true) [[Was this once a holy place?|only two of you survive]] You sink, and sink, and sink, and the weight of the water bears down on you. You swallow and work your jaw, trying to equalize your ears, but the pressure only builds. The well funnels down until the [muddy walls touch your sides]<c2|. (click: ?c2)[The slightest touch dissolves the wall and muddies the water even further; there's nothing past it but soft, slimy clay, even if you stretch your arm into it to the shoulder.] [[Keep sinking|three]]. Your lungs are burning from lack of air and your eyes feel ready to pop out of your skull. The mud below you has no floor, but above you, the light of the surface still glimmers. [[Keep sinking]]. There might be enough time to [[turn back|reject it]]. "Alright, alright, calm down," The woman settles a hand on your shoulder. "Come on. Tess will know what to do with you." She escorts you (if: $companion is "Vana")[both ]into the cabin, where witches of every age and creed lurk. The air is foggy with incense, but it doesn't even begin to mask the thick stench of magic that lead you here. There are dubious brews brought to a boil in cartoonish pots, yes, and sigils written in chalk, and charms strung up from the rafters. There are also a lot of [[guns|loud 3]]. It waits for an offering. (live: 1.5s)[ [[The tooth|surrender to it]] is still bound to the palm of your left hand; ==> [[The hook|master it]] is still tied around your right wrist. ] This place is labyrinthian, but well-kept; the Collective has spared no expense for the recovery of their Chosen. That's your guess, anyway; you haven't seen anyone here other than the orderlies and Dr. Kharo. Judging from the scale of the facility, you can't imagine you're their only patient, but your footsteps are the only sound that echoes through the halls. The doors are all without handles or windows, and may as well be painted on the wall for all the good they do you. [[rec room]] [[gardens]] [[cafeteria]] [[your room]] [[cheese it]] (if: $companion is "Theo")[All that remains in the room is(if: $lookedup is true)[ the sigil on the ceiling,] the bed you woke up on(if: $lookedup is true)[ underneath it,] and the door to the room you found Theo in. He eyes the straps on the bed nervously. "We should get a move on." [[rec room]] [[gardens]] [[wait it out|We wait]] ] (else:)[Dr. Kharo is gone and so is the tray of strange implements; all that remains is(if: $lookedup is true)[ the sigil on the ceiling,] the bed you woke up on(if: $lookedup is true)[ underneath it,] and the door to the other room, where [[the promise of food awaits you|other room]].] You're too weak to make much of a getaway. An orderly picks you up effortlessly and deposits you back in [[your room]], leaving without a word. (set: $bbText to (text-style: "blur")) There is a well-furbished recreational area with couches and tables circled with chairs and some board games piled in a cabinet. A flat-screen tv plays a rerun of [Spooky Spectre]<c1| on mute. On one wall is a booth with reinforced glass windows, presumably for distributing meds, but the gate is closed and the blinds are drawn. (if: $bloodbirth is true)[ (if: $companion is not $friendtheo)[$bbText[This is not an interesting room,] it gripes. $bbText[There is nothing to eat and no one to play with.] ](if: $companion is $friendtheo)[$bbText[Now that we have him with us, we should try some of those board games,] it suggests brightly, $bbText[or see if they have any knives in that cabinet.] ] ] (click: ?c1)[You've seen it before; the ghost's not mad his brother is dating his fiance, he just wants him to take better care of his old car. It's funny, you used to be so into this show. (if: $bloodbirth is true)[$bbText[He should have eaten his brother's corpse,] it says. $bbText[Then he would have known right away, and be full, to boot.] [That doesn't make for very interesting television.]<c2| (click: ?c2)[ $bbText[Maybe not for you,] it muses.] [People don't usually eat each other.]<c3| ] (click: ?c3)[$bbText[How else would you preserve knowledge?] [We just talk to each other. Or write it down.]<c4| (click: ?c4)[$bbText[No wonder your species is so stunted.] [Rude.]<c5| (click: ?c5)[It shrugs your shoulders.] ] ] ] (if: $companion is "Theo")["I might be able to get past this lock," Theo says, examining the gate on the booth. "There's got to be a staff exit, right?" [[gardens]] [[your room]] [[break into the med booth]] ](else:)[ [[gardens]] [[cafeteria]] [[your room]] [[look for an exit|cheese it]] ] The gardens are vibrant and immaculately maintained. It's almost painful to look at the bright white marble and green foliage. Flowers bloom in a round planter at the center, bordered by benches where you could presumably sit and enjoy the sunshine. The air, however, is hot and still, and doesn't make for inviting weather, as beautiful as the garden may be. (if: $companion is "Theo")[The walls are just as high as they were before, but between the two of you, you might be able to boost one of you over it. [[rec room]] [[your room]] [[scale the wall first]] [[boost Theo over]] ](else:)[ [[rec room]] [[cafeteria]] [[your room]] [[try to scale a wall|cheese it]] ] There doesn't seem to be a cafeteria anywhere, or a cafe, or any kind of eatery, for that matter. Dr. Kharo did mention something about a room adjacent to yours; maybe the dietary needs of their patients are specific enough to warrant individual dining areas. (if: $bloodbirth is true)[$bbText[ Let's go back and investigate ours,] it says. $bbText[we are *starving.*]] [[rec room]] [[gardens]] [[your room]] [[overpower an orderly|cheese it]] These doors might not open for him, but they'll open for you. [[gardens]] [[rec room]] You leave him alone, to your [[doctor's dismay]]. --"Very disappointing," She tisks to Theo. "Now you waste *two* lives." "As for you, inkling," They turn a head to you. "You can't get better if you don't eat." Unhinging their strange fractal jaws, they swallow him whole. The doctor then calmly picks up the other end of the tube, wraps their lips around it, and vomits, pushing a red sludge down the pipe into your stomach. (set: $friendtheo to "dead") (set: $companion to "none") [[Days pass|train 1]]. You bus your table and slide into the seat opposite him. He smirks without looking up. "We were wondering when you'd come by." (if: $companion is "Vana")[He glances at Vana and his smile widens. "You two have been making quite a stir. It's not often the Collective loses an entire crop of inkdrinkers."] [[Who are you?]] "You don't recognize us? We were standing next to you at the ceremony--well, one of us was," He laughs, and for a moment his eyes unlace into runny-toothed mouths, splitting the air with a reedy, twisting sound. (if: $companion is "Vana")["I remember you," Vana blurts out. "Lenore, right? You at the ceremony. You were shorter, too." "That's right!" Their gummy eyes disappear into slits under a cheeky smile. "We must've left an impression for you to have recognized us in a loaner meatsuit." [[Us?|We?]] ](else:)[ "But only the Collective calls us that. We're Lenore to our friends," They lift their coffee cup in a toast and their gummy eyes disappear into slits under a cheeky smile. "It's lovely to (if: $institutionalized is true)[see you again](else:)[meet you]. Don't mind the meatsuit, it's a loaner." [[We?]] ] "Oh, don't worry--it's just me, my host, and I," they explain hurriedly, then lean in. (if: $companion is "Vana")[ "...You're not here from the Collective, are you?" "No, no," Vana assures them. "We don't answer to Them anymore, same as [[you|No.]]."](else:)["You're not here from the Collective, are you?" [[No.]] (if: $institutionalized is true)[ [[Yes.]] ] ] They smirk. "Gave them the slip, eh? We don't blame you. Who wants to use the crawling chaos to [push papers?]<c1|" "Ourselves, we've been doing just fine on our own, drifting across the country, eating strangers and runaways and stealing their faces. It's a good life." They pause. "Well, [[mostly|l story]]." "Got a little sloppy, ran into some trouble with local covens, you know how it is. Well, a spot of quick thinking and some clever costuming, and suddenly there's CCTV footage of their ugly mugs all covered in blood. They're sitting pretty in a jail cell, and we're sitting pretty here, with you. (live: 2s)["Not what we intended," They laugh, "But also not something we [[regret at all|l story 2]]." (if: $companion is "Vana")[Vana shifts uncomfortably, but stays silent.] (stop:)] While they talk, you look them over. They're meat, like the others, but they're all foamy and porous inside; as hard as you look, you genuinely cannot tell the [[mortal from the monster|l story 3]]. "Gorgeous, aren't we?" They glow. "You're jealous. It's okay, we don't blame you." They look you up and down. (if: $emptybirth is true)[You feel exposed under their gaze, and they frown. "Well, some of us are just luckier than others, we suppose," they say sympathetically.](else:)[(if: $blackblood >= 2)["Someday you might get there," they say with approval.](if: $whiteteeth >= 2)["You, on the other hand, have a *long* way to go," they say, pursing their lips.] ] (if: $companion is "Vana")["The both of you," They look at Vana and laugh. "You could be twins. We wonder--you might be!"] "We'll let you in on a little secret: it's all about communication and a common goal." (if: $emptybirth is true)[*Communication with what?* you want to ask, but it strikes you as unwise, so you stay quiet.](else:)[(if: $whiteteeth > $blackblood)["~~Easier said than done,~~" it mutters before you can snap your jaws shut.](if: $blackblood > $whiteteeth)[$bbText["Easy enough,"] it says, and you smile.] ] [[kill the acolyte]] (if: $companion is "none")[ [[join up with the acolyte]] ] [[shadow the acolyte]] [[move on]] "Aww, that's awful sweet," They smile, reaching across the table to touch your hand briefly. "You tell your cronies that we're doing just fine, and we haven't forgotten our orders." [[kill the acolyte]](if: $companion is "none")[ [[join up with the acolyte]] ] [[move on]] They frown. "That's good news, we suppose, but we don't like your tone, friend." [[kill the acolyte]] (if: $companion is "none")[ [[join up with the acolyte]] ] [[move on]] "Funny," They say. "We thought we were waiting on a *kill* order." (set: $whiteteeth = $whiteteeth + 1) (if: $blackblood >= 3)[ [[Plans change. Keep her safe, even against our own: It's important the left hand not know the deeds of the right.|Plans change]] ](else:)[[Plans change. If she dies, so do you.|Plans change]] (set: $friendlenore to $protectanna) They shrug. "Fair enough. Who are we to question the Collective?" (if: $companion is "none")[ [[join up with the acolyte]] ] [[move on]] Their eyebrows perk up. "New orders, then?" [[No; just checking up on you.]] [[Your debt is paid; you are no longer needed.]] [[You're to protect Reagan Maltine with your life.]] (click: ?b1)[(if: $companion is "Vana")[(replace: ?b1)[ "Butchering a lot of innocent people in broad daylight is a good way to attract the Collective's attention," Vana murmurs with a pointed look.]](else:)[(if: $emptybirth is true)[Where do you want to start?](else:)[A toothy smile creeps across your face. $bbText[Where shall we start?]] (replace: ?b1)[ ](replace: ?c1)[ [[A bundle of aching muscles and stress moves from table to table, taking orders.|waiter]] ](replace: ?c2)[ [[A group of throbbing pustules are arranged around a table, only interrupting their jabbering to masticate on plant and animal matter.|nerds]] ](replace: ?c3)[ [[In a corner booth, another pile of organs with chevrons and other molded bits of metal strapped to it skims a newspaper article.|pig]]]] ] The room is full of pulsing bags of blood and bile. It takes focus to pull your vision back from bone to see the facsimile of identity the bloodbags are parading in. [A bundle of aching muscles and stress moves from table to table, taking orders.]<c1| [A group of throbbing pustules are arranged around a table, only interrupting their jabbering to masticate on plant and animal matter.]<c2| [In a corner booth, another pile of organs with chevrons and other molded bits of metal strapped to it skims a newspaper article.]<c3| (if: $emptybirth is not true)[(if: $blackblood is 1)[ [seek help]<1| ] ](if: $blackblood is not 1)[ [[seek help]] ] [ feed]<b1| (if: $emptystomach >= 1)[ [[step out for a moment|be weird]] ] (click: ?1)[ (replace: ?1)[$bbText[no, no, no, no,] it says. $bbText[we don't need any help. not [[from them|seek help]]. they won't understand, they'll only try and kill us. it's better on our own.] ] ] She glares at you warily. "How'd you come by that name?" [[You knew her father, you think.|m 2]] "I'll tell you what I told the other collectors, then: I've got no business with the man. Haven't seen hair or hide of him for years." [[You're not trying to harrass her. You only met him once.|m 3]] [[You're not like any of those other collectors.|m 4]] "Well, you have my sympathies. I wouldn't wish that on anyone." She refills your glass and leaves. [[Go say hello to your kin]]. [[shadow the acolyte]] [[move on]] (set: $bbText to (text-style: "blur")) "I've got two lawyers and a quarterback with 200 pounds on you that say otherwise," She smirks back. "You gonna leave a nice fat tip so I forget you harrassed me at my place of work, or am I gonna have to sue your ass and throw you off the premises?" [[No, ma'am.|m 5]] $bbText[maybe a winning smile will win her over.] [[Show her your teeth|m 6]] "Glad to hear it," she says, voice all sugar. [[Go say hello to your kin]]. [[shadow the acolyte]] [[move on]] Her smirk disappears. [[You're in no rush. Let her finish her shift; you can talk business after.|m 7]] She nods wordlessly and backs away, face bloodless. [[Go say hello to your kin]]. [[shadow the acolyte]] [[move on]] You lock your fingers together and help him up the wall. He's a lot lighter than you expected. He scrabbles up and disappears over the edge. You stand there for a solid four-count waiting for him to come back. [[Theo!|Shout after him]] [[Try the wall on your own]] No response. (if: $bloodbirth is true)[$bbText[He ran off without you. What a shocking twist.]](if: $teethbirth is true)[$wtText[You let him get away! We had food trapped and waiting and you let us STARVE.]] [[Try the wall on your own]] [[Use your newfound powers|help me u dumb levi]] You give it a running start, but the wall is polished smooth and your slip-on shoes can't find any purchase. [[Shout after him]] [[Come on, you're part monster now, aren't you? Surely that means claws, or flying, or something?|help me u dumb levi]] (if: $emptybirth is true)[You clench your hands, hoping to summon needle claws, or spider powers, or *something*--anything would be better than this flimsy meatsuit. Your palms begin to ache, and then cramp. Black viscous fluid bubbles up through unbroken skin. The world buzzes and slips and you're spinning, [[spinning|fade to black]]--](else:)[ (if: $bloodbirth is true)[$bbText[Oh, *now* you want my advice?] ](if: $teethbirth is true)[$wtText[Oh, *now* you want my advice?]] Oh--there he is, [standing on the wall's edge]<b1|, his back to you, and here you are, [in the garden--]<b2| ] (click: ?b1)[(replace: ?b1)[ [standing in the corner of the room]<b3|] ] (click: ?b3)[(replace: ?b3)[$shhText[~~flanked by dark writhing figures~~] ] ] (click: ?b2)[(replace: ?b2)[lying on the gurney, strapped in tight, a thick plastic tube snaked down [[your throat--|doctor's dismay]]]] Xe lets xyr hair rest on xyr shoulder and drop xyr hands in xyr lap. "You're the first living thing I've seen come up out of that pit," xe says, eyes following the slow drift of the corpses on the water's surface. "We might be it." [[You're sorry.|I'm sorry.]] [[We were strong enough to survive.]] [[We were the lucky ones.]] [[We were chosen.]] [[What did xe see?|What did you see?]] [[What's xyr name?|who are you vana]] (set: $vanaquestions to ($vanaquestions + 1))(if: $vanaquestions >= 3)[[["Can I ask you something?"|is this ok]] Xe asks. ] "Not much. It was so dark, and I ran out of air...there was so much noise, and.....something big in the water. Big like a continent. And it was moving, and it..it saw me." Xe frowns. "It told me things." [You saw it, too.]<v6| (click: ?v6)["Did it speak to you?" xe leans in closer. [ (if: $emptybirth is not true)[ [Yes.]<v7| ] [No.]<v8| [You can't remember.]<v9| ]<v10| (click: ?v7)[(replace: ?v10)[Yes. "What did it tell you?"] (if: $emptybirth is not true)[ [It said, "CANST THOU?"]<v11| (click: ?v11)[Xe huffs a breath of a laugh at that. "I don't know why that's funny," xe admits.] ] (if: $bloodbirth is true)[ [It still speaks to you.]<v12| (click: ?v12)["Oh," xe breathes, "oh, wow. I'm so sorry. That voice...I can't imagine keeping that in your head." ] ] ] (click: ?v8)[(replace: ?v10)[No. "Why did it speak to me?" xe wonders under xyr breath.] ] (click: ?v9)[(replace: ?v10)[You can't remember. "Oh," xyr face falls. "Well, maybe it'll come to you."] ] ] [What did it say?]<v1|(click: ?v1)[ Xe shakes xyr head. "I can't put it into words. It wasn't language, or dreams like they were before, or...I don't know. I don't know what it was." ] [Did xe give it the tooth?]<v2|(click: ?v2)[ "I tried to," xe says, looking down at the torn rag loosely wrapped around xyr left hand, "but, it's hard to know for sure...I might have lost it on the way down. I tried to. I hope I did." ] [Did xe use the hook?]<v3|(click: ?v3)[(set: $whiteteeth to ($whiteteeth + 1)) Xe looks up sharply. "What hook?" [Nothing. Nevermind.]<v4|(click: ?v4)[(replace: ?v5)[ ]] [ [[The hook, to bind the leviathan.]] ]<v5| ] [[Are we the only ones left?]] [[What's xyr name?|who are you vana]] (set: $vanaquestions to ($vanaquestions + 1))(if: $vanaquestions >= 3)[[["Can I ask you something?"|is this ok]] xe asks. ] (set: $blackblood to ($blackblood + 1)) Xe looks down at xyr hands and picks at the stained rag. After a moment, xe nods. "You're right. This is what we wanted." Xe stands, unwrapping the rag and tossing it into the water before offering xyr hand to help you up. [[Take xyr hand]] [[Stand without xyr help]] { (set: $whiteteeth to ($whiteteeth + 1)) (set: $bbText = (text-style: "blur")) }$bbText[Don't be daft,] it hisses, and moves your mouth: "$bbText[Of course it does.]" Xe looks down at xyr hands and picks at the stained rag. After a moment, xe nods. "You're right. This is what we wanted." Xe stands, unwrapping the rag and tossing it into the water before offering xyr hand to help you up. [[Take xyr hand]] [[Stand without xyr help]] (set: $whiteteeth to ($whiteteeth + 1)) "I don't think so either," xe whispers. "Listen: we should get out of here." [[You agree.]] [[And go where?]] Xe shakes xyr head. "You knew them better than I did," xe confesses, "but they didn't deserve to go out like that." [[We were strong enough to survive.]] [[We were the lucky ones.]] [[We were chosen.]] [[What did you see?]] [[What's your name?|who are you vana]] "I don't know," xe replies. "I don't feel strong(if: $or is true)[, either]." (set: $either to true) [[You're sorry.|I'm sorry.]] [[We were the lucky ones.]] [[We were chosen.]] [[What did xe see?|What did you see?]] [[What's xyr name?|who are you vana]] (set: $or to true) "Were we?" xe says. "I don't feel lucky(if: $either is true)[, either]." [[You're sorry.|I'm sorry.]] [[We were strong enough to survive.]] [[We were chosen.]] [[What did you see?]] [[What's your name?|who are you vana]] "Cream of the crop," xe repeats vacantly. "That's what the elders called us, isn't it?" [[You're sorry.|I'm sorry.]] [[We were strong enough to survive.]] [[We were the lucky ones.]] [[What did xe see?|What did you see?]] [[What's xyr name?|who are you vana]] "Vana," xe says slowly, then twists xyr face in a grimace. "Or, I was. That doesn't seem right, now." Xe opens xyr mouth wide, like a cat yawning, and what follows is a canyon of sound, all echoes and hard edges and vertigo. "...Something...one of those sounds, maybe. Vana's fine." [[Are we the only ones left?]] [[What did xe see?|What did you see?]] (set: $vanaquestions to ($vanaquestions + 1))(if: $vanaquestions >= 3)[[["Can I ask you something?"|is this ok]] Xe asks. ] Xyr demeanor shifts instantly. "No, that wasn't part of the arrangement," xe snarls in revulsion. $wtText[YES! HELP ME!] It shrieks. Xe raises xyr hand, now pointed with long claws, and plunges it into your chest, gripping your heart in xyr fist--hook, leviathan, and all. You struggle against xem, but xe leverages xyr other hand against your face and rips the organ from your chest, [[the world spins and goes dark--|medical bay]] "Good," Xe says, and rise into a crouch. "I saw something while I was down there, another path in the muck. It might be a way out." Xe offers xyr hand. [[go with xem|go with them]] [[stay here]] "Anywhere!" Xe whispers exitedly, crouching closer. "Listen to me: I saw something while I was down there, another path in the muck. It might be a way out." They offer their hand. [[go with xem|go with them]] [[stay here]] (set: $companion to "Vana") You take xyr hand and xe wraps binds your hand to xyrs with the rag, tying it off tightly. "Hopefully you'll have more luck than the tooth," Xe grins lopsidedly, and leads you between the floating bodies down into the water. It's not as frightening now, having traveled the murky dark once before, but when Vana lets a stream of bubbles from xyr mouth and gestures for you to do the same, it's still a [[daunting request]]. You shake your head. "Fine," xe says. "Suit yourself. And...good luck." Xe gives you a small smile and slips back into the water. The ripples have barely stilled when [[someone enters the chamber.|leave the rebirth hall]] (set: $friendvana to "away") (if: $reputation >= 1)[(if: $goodwillhunting > 1)The witches grudgingly accept this show of [[good faith.|leviathan showdown]](set: $whiteteeth = $whiteteeth + 1) (set: $companion to "none") ] (else:)[The witches think this is bullshit and you're spineless and they kill you. [[Play Again?|Start]] [[Achievements]] ] He hacks, and hacks, and hacks, and you lay there and let him do it, feeling each blow cut through tendon, then muscle, then bone, until your head rolls free from your body. (set: $headless = $headless + 1) They leave your corpse in a ditch. Knitting back together is slow going; $companion really did a number on you. Why he left you with blood in your body is a mystery; some last trace of friendship, maybe. It's well into the night before you're healed enough to crawl out of the [[bank|leviathan showdown]]. You catch his wrist with a snarl. Your other hand siezes him by the back of the head and *vibrates*. He cries out for a moment, and you watch his face bulge and go slack while his skull melts in your grip, blood and viscera dripping down onto your chest. (set: $friendtheo to "dead")(set: $chompchomp = $chompchomp + 1) You toss his limp body away and stand, cradling your mostly-severed head above your neck to look at the coven. [[Behind them, however, is something much more interesting.|leviathan showdown]] (if: $timedout is true)[Before you can reply, a door opens in the wall behind you. A pillar of writhing greets you, all teeth and familiarity. (if: $lookedatmarlow is true)[It's the man from the waiting room, you realize, and for a definition of pure, you suppose he is; a bare, unfettered patch of vacuum, housing no light or matter. (if: $bloodbirth is true)[ $bbText[Not like us,] it says: $bbText[between the spark of your soul and the breadth of my darkness, we make galaxies.] ] ]Your eyes adjust, and his human face comes into focus, but that gnashing and writhing just under the skin distorts his features. (if: $lookedatmarlow is true)[You can't imagine how you could ever have mistaken this thing as human.] "Congratulations, and welcome back to the surface." He smiles, his flat teeth glinting like cheap plastic.] "You can call me Mr. Marlow. I'll be your advisor. Looks like you've seated well into your host, so let's not waste time." [[Let's get to work.|infiltrate]] (if: $friendvana is "away")[(set: $companion to "Marlow")](else:)[(set: $companion to "Vana")] In the distance, a door closes. Someone is coming. "Does it feel...right, to you?" xe asks, voice lowered. [[Yes]] (if: $bloodbirth is true)[ [[No|Yes Levi]] ](else:)[ [[No]] ] (live: 10s)[(set: $timedout to true)(goto: "leave the rebirth hall")] The flood of water into your lungs is startling and unpleasant, but largely painless. (if: $teethbirth is true)[The thing pinned to your heart breathes more easily,](if: $bloodbirth is true)[The thing coiled in your chest breathes easier,](if: $emptybirth is true)[Oddly, breathing water comes to you more easily than air did,] and without the added buoyancy you sink like a stone. As you descend, the cacophonous noise surrounds you. Fathoms below you, a heat rises through the water that makes your stomach turn. Vana squeezes your hand tightly and pulls you away from the massive presence churning below, pushing into the muddy wall. If xe's following a path, it's one only xe can percieve; you follow xyr lead through twists and turns, but it's all the same soupy clay as far as you can tell. [[Take a moment|meet a coven]] She shakes their heads. "We collected no one by that name." [[How long have you been asleep?]] [[Ask where you are]] [[Ask to be released]] [[Who is she?]] (if: $nursequestions >=5)[ [[Swallow]] ] You take xyr hand and xe helps you to your feet. Behind you, a door opens in the chamber, and a pillar of writhing greets you, all teeth and familiarity. (if: $lookedatmarlow is true)[It's the man from the waiting room, you realize, and for a definition of pure, you suppose he is; a bare, unfettered patch of vacuum, housing no light or matter. (if: $bloodbirth is true)[ $bbText[Not like us,] it says: $bbText[between the spark of your soul and the breadth of my darkness, we make galaxies.] ] ]Your eyes adjust, and his human face comes into focus, but that gnashing and writhing just under the skin distorts his features. (if: $lookedatmarlow is true)[You can't imagine how you could ever have mistaken this thing as human.] He smiles, his flat teeth glinting like cheap plastic. "[[Congratulations, and welcome back to the surface.|leave the rebirth hall]]" (if: $bloodbirth is true)[You stand in one fluid motion.](if: $teethbirth is true)[You wave away xyr hand and struggle to your feet, swaying uncertainly. Xe reaches out to steady you, but doesn't touch you.](if: $emptybirth is true)[You start onto your feet, but slip on the sand. Xe catches you by the hand and helps you up.] Behind you, a door opens in the chamber, and a pillar of writhing greets you, all teeth and familiarity. (if: $lookedatmarlow is true)[It's the man from the waiting room, you realize, and for a definition of pure, you suppose he is; a bare, unfettered patch of vacuum, housing no light or matter. (if: $bloodbirth is true)[ $bbText[Not like us,] it says: $bbText[between the spark of your soul and the breadth of my darkness, we make galaxies.] ] ]Your eyes adjust, and his human face comes into focus, but that gnashing and writhing just under the skin distorts his features. (if: $lookedatmarlow is true)[You can't imagine how you could ever have mistaken this thing as human.] He smiles, his flat teeth glinting like cheap plastic. "[[Congratulations, and welcome back to the surface.|leave the rebirth hall]]" It's a long drive back to town. $bbText[So, what's the theory here?] [Pardon?]<v1| (click: ?v1)[$bbText[Are you trying to change the system from the inside out?] (live: 3s)[$bbText[It's a very endearing attempt, if you are. But let me give you some advice: You're going to need Leviathan's respect before you can command them, and you're not going to gain it by throwing back starfish one at a time. (live: 2s)[(if: $teethbirth is true)[After all, you didn't ensnare *me* with kind words.] ] (stop:)] [[On to the next task.|drifters]] ](stop:) ] "We should try to find a way to reverse this," Vana says. (set: $lovelyvana to ($lovelyvana + 1)) (if: $teethbirth is true)[ [ $bbText[Oh, please,]]<b1| it scoffs. $bbText[We just got here and xe wants to crawl back into the mud?] [You agree.]<c1| There should be a lot more conversation happening here. (click: ?b1)[ [Let's not be hasty.]<b2|(click: ?b2)[ "I've got half a mind to start biting heads off, and I don't mean that metaphorically," Xyr voice is tense. "If I start, *I will not be able to stop.* We need to find a way to reverse this." ] [Why did xe do it?]<b4| ] ] (click: ?b4)[ "I wanted to be able to protect people," Xe says. "I thought this would be the way to do it."] [[look around the cafe]] What a natural progression it was;(live: 2s)[ what bliss to float in their void without direction or responsibility.(stop:) (live: 7s)[(goto: "drift on")]] Warmth pools in your belly as you play with the tendrils. It exhales through your mouth, breath hitching as you flick up the barbs with your fingernails. (link: "Stroke")[ The barbs stand rigid against your fingertips and follow your movements; pressing them and stroking in small circles returns a lovely sparkling sensation.] (link: "Squeeze")[ Squeezing doesn't illicit much of a reaction; too much pressure gives the silver-blue discomfort of folding cartilage. ] (link: "Tug")[ Pulling on a tendril coiled around your finger is the most pleasant, inciting a dark ache that stretches down into your hips; the tentacle tightens its grip in response, and a guttural sound wells up in your throat. [Good?]<c1| (click: ?c1)[$bbText[ [["Yes,"]] ] It murmurs. ]]You gather them together in your fist and yank hard. Pain explodes from your crotch up your legs and stomach. The thinner tendrils tear free, but the thicker ones bite into your hand. Some of them pull free of your grip and attach to your own genitalia, rasps stabbing and ripping loose strips of skin. $bbText[Is this what you want?] It screams. $bbText[Do you want it gone?] [ [Yes]<c5| [No]<c6| [Stop]<c7| ]<c8| (click: ?c5)[(replace: ?c8)[*Yes, Yes, Yes,* You plunge both hands into the hot pain and pull and tear, and it cuts and slices loose the flesh so it comes apart in pieces, it sloughs off and churns in the water stained a rusty black from the mix of your blood. When the pain overwhelms you, it pulls your hands away and grinds you up from the inside until your pelvis is an empty, bloodied bowl at the end of your spine. [Tear at your stomach]<v1| (click: ?v1)[ [Tear at your face]<v2| ] (click: ?v2)[ [Tear at your chest]<v3| ] (click: ?v3)[ [Tear at your arms]<v4| ] (click: ?v4)[ [Tear at your thighs]<v5| ] (click: ?v5)[ [Tear at your neck]<v6| ] (click: ?v6)[ [Destroy it]<v7| ] (click: ?v7)[ [*Destroy all of it*]<v8| ] (click: ?v8)[$bbText[It's gone,] it hushes, and you can feel it pooling there, knitting into the torn flesh and rebuilding smooth, featureless, uncomplicated. It pulls your hand to it and rests it there, letting you feel the ridge of your pelvic bone beneath the new skin. You feel no sparks of pleasure or discomfort there, now; it's just a juncture between limbs. $bbText[There; it's all better. [[You're all better.|drift on]]] ] ] ] (click: ?c6)[(replace: ?c8)[You pull at the tendrils, trying to get them loose, digging your fingernails in and pulling at them from the root. Blood pours into the bathwater, making it hard to see as you thrash. It shrieks at you, a horrible sound your vocal chords couldn't possibly produce. The tendrils tear your hands apart, wriggling even when severed. You're overwhelmed by a wave of brilliant and persistent agony as the two of you brutalize your shared genitalia. Eventually, you both relent to exhaustion, breath shuddering in your chest, your hands mending broken and misshapen, and your abdomen destroyed from the stomach down, chunks of flesh bobbing to and fro in the miasma of bathwater. It heals you; but restores only enough functionality to drag your body up out of the bathtub, leaving nerves raw and tortured by even the smallest movements. [[ah, well.|drift on]]] ] (click: ?c7)[(replace: ?c8)[You let go; the severed tendrils burrow into your palms and disappear. It stops its onslaught as soon as you release, curling its tendrils into tight knots along your thighs. Your crotch feels hot and painful and sore; in your head, it gathers itself up and curls away to a place you can't reach, radiating hurt and betrayal. $bbText[You could have just asked,] it says. $bbText[You didn't have to be cruel.](set: $blackblood to ($blackblood - 3))(set: $emptystomach to ($emptystomach + 1)) [[ah, well.|drift on]] ] ] Your skin is soft to the touch. You [scratch,]<b1| and your skin gathers under your fingernails and comes away like clay. (click: ?b1)[You dig your fingernails with more pressure; the skin blooms with the satisfying pain of a scratch being itched, and with no effort at all you've dug clean through. The flesh exposed is inky black and smooth, with an iridescent sheen like crude oil. The wound seeps rivulets of black blood down your thigh, slowly turning the water a murky grey color. It begins to heal over, but hesitates at your probing fingertips. $bbText[Beautiful,] it says, tracing your fingertips across your body and following your path in a ripple underneath your skin. Utterly [meticulous;]<c1| (click: ?c3)[$bbText[unwarranted extraordinary soft yet elastic and durable most magnificently designed] ] (click: ?c2)[pop pop go your blood vessels as you bruise a blush] (click: ?c1)[where it touches lights up with pain and then goes numb a pleasant dark coolness settling in the back of your [[throat]]] (click: ?c1)[(replace: ?c1)[ [immaculate;]<c2| ] ] (click: ?c2)[(replace: ?c2)[ [thorough with its examination.]<c3| ] ] ] (if: $friendlenore is "replaced")[Lenore's body is lanky and trim and covered head to toe in freckles. You pinch at the folds and bunches of skin on your belly, fascinated by its elasticity; you find scars, moles, knots in muscle that you knead smooth. You wonder, briefly, what its original owner was like. $bbText[I can tell you,] it says. $bbText[It's all still there, where I can read it.] [Yes.]<c2|(click: ?c2)[ It goes quiet for a moment, and transforms in your head, its voice light and sharp and red and eerily human. $bbText["He was brash, easily excited. 19 and outgrowing himself quickly. Here are his memories, page through them like a book; who he dated, who he loved, who he feared, the thoughts that kept his mind spooling into the early hours."] ] [No.]<c3|(click: ?c3)[ [No, you don't really want to know; your real interest is in its current inhabitants.]<c4| (click: ?c4)[It flushes a little at this.] ] ](else:)[(if: $institutionalized is true)[Your new body is shorter than your first one, and other details about it, probably.](else:)[ Your body is not much different than it was before you sunk into the well.] ] Small, dark tendrils of varying length and thickness sprout from either side on the innermost part of your thighs. They sway gently in the water and spark a burst of sensitivity when you touch them. Tiny rasps cling onto your skin and the tendrils shyly curl in on themselves, or very gently coil around you, sticking to the whorls of your fingers. $bbText[That is where sensitive things go,] it says, $bbText[right?] [[be gentle]] [[pull them out]] [[touch]] Eventually the noise subsides, and electricity prickles through your body as the leviathan slowly returns control to you. (live: 3s)[$bbText[Well done,] it says. $bbText[Your kind are so accustomed to autonomy, it must not be easy to give it up.](stop:) [ [No, it isn't.]<c1| [Don't do it again.]<c2| [Actually, you prefer it.]<c3| ]<c4| (click: ?c1)[(replace: ?c4)[No, it isn't. $bbText[I respect that. I won't ask for it again unless it's absolutely necessary.] ] ](click: ?c2)[(replace: ?c4)[Don't do it again. $bbText[...Alas, I can't promise that,] it says, $bbText[but I won't ask for it unless it's absolutely necessary.] ] ](click: ?c3)[(replace: ?c4)[Actually, you prefer it. (set: $blackblood to ($blackblood + 2))$bbText[Oh?] it purrs, creeping back down your limbs--not ejecting your control, but sidling up next to you. $bbText[Maybe I will stay awhile, then. See how I like it.] ] ] The doctors leave you alone for a [[long time.|question 4]] ] $bbText[You're no use to me dead! Believe me, if we could tap into half the power without you whiny flesh prisons, we would. If you want to survive this, *shut up and let me drive!*] [[*No.*|f4]] [[Only for what's necessary. Then you go back.|f2]] [[Just tell me what to do.|f3]] (set: $bep to (text-style: "mirror") + (text-style: "rumble")) (set: $bip to (text-style: "mirror") + (text-style: "rumble") + (text-color: #747889)) $bbText[Fine, whatever,] a cold numbness runs through your chest and down your arms. $bip[.||. .:] As the leviathan takes $bip[.. .: ::.|.::] hold, your senses are overw$bip[.:. "":. :..:] helm$bip[...:: .|..,::' :.,:|:::]ed wi$bip[.:: :.: ..::.:|]th $bip[.. .: ::.|.::] [[noise.|f5]]$bip[.:. "":. :..:] $bep[~~You tense your muscles, unwilling to let the reins go entirely; but the leviathan does as it promised, gesturing with your hands, its voice buzzing in your chest, its eyes moving your eyes, and~~] when the doctors leave, it recedes. $bbText[You see? You can [[trust me.|question 4]]] (if: $emptybirth is not true)[It makes a noise of frustration. $bbText[*Why make this difficult?!*] But tThe doctor is looking at you, waiting for you to begin, so it concedes. $bbText[*Fine.* But this is a very delicate procedure, so do *exactly* as I say, *as* I say it. Speak from your chest--] ] The doctor's mouth opens--the wrong mouth, in the wrong place, bellowing things that aren't words in a voice that doesn't travel through [[sound|qte 1]]. (set: $whiteteeth to ($whiteteeth + 1)) (if: $blackblood >= 3)[$bbText[You know what--] Cold wells up in your chest and shoots down your arms as the leviathan forces itself into your limbs. You clench your muscles, fighting for control, but can't do more than make its movements slow and erratic. $bbText["I'm fine,"] it grits out between your teeth. $bbText["Proceed."] Your senses are flooded with incomprehensible noise; you can only vaguely percieve what the leviathan is saying or doing, but struggle to interrupt it and reclaim your body. This only makes it tighten its grip further. By the end of the examination, your body is cramped and aching from the exchange. [[question 4]] ](else:)[You're fine. Let's just do this. The doctor's mouth opens--the wrong mouth, in the wrong place, bellowing things that aren't words in a voice that doesn't travel through sound. [ [Um.]<v1| [Yes?]<v2| [...~~Quiet~~?]<v3| ]<v4| (click: ?v1)[(replace: ?v4)[Um. The doctor frowns and repeats itself. [[No. Definitely not.|alt-f4]] [[Try it again in English, please.|alt-f4]] [[Yes. You're sure of it.|alt-f4]] [[...42?|alt-f4]] ] ](click: ?v2)[(replace: ?v4)[Yes? The doctor frowns and repeats itself. [[No. Definitely not.|alt-f4]] [[Try it again in English, please.|alt-f4]] [[Yes. You're sure of it.|alt-f4]] [[...42?|alt-f4]] ] ](click: ?v3)[(replace: ?v4)[...~~Quiet~~? The doctor frowns and repeats itself. [[No. Definitely not.|alt-f4]] [[Try it again in English, please.|alt-f4]] [[Yes. You're sure of it.|alt-f4]] [[...42?|alt-f4]] ] ] ] The doctor gives a small sigh and, in a single fluid moment, pierces the underside of your jaw with a needle. It burns, and then itches, *itches, $wtText[ITCHES]* down your neck and across your face, but you can't lift your hands to scratch. Fluid wells up in your mouth and you collapse into convulsions. (if: $emptybirth is not true)[$bbText[I warned you,] it sighs, and e](else:)[E]verything goes dark, and [[stops|train 2]]. They frown and scribble a lot. "Stay here," She says. "Someone will come to collect you presently." (if: $emptybirth is not true)[$bbText[There. That was tedious *and* needlessly dangerous. Are you happy?] [ [Yes. This is a good arrangement.]<m1| [No. Next time, you do it.]<m2| [Shut up.]<m3| ]<m4| (click: ?m1)[(replace: ?m4)[Yes. This is a good arrangement. $bbText[For one of us,] it scoffs.] ](click: ?m2)[(replace: ?m4)[No. Next time, you do it. $bbText[Thank you,] it sounds relieved.] ](click: ?m3)[(replace: ?m4)[Shut up. It fumes, but shrinks away to a corner of your head where you can't overhear its thoughts.] ] ] (if: $emptybirth is not true)[ [[It's a long wait until someone does.|question 4]] ](else:)[ They leave you [[alone for a little while.|question 5]] ] Actually, it would be perfectly logical, considering the depth you had to go to drag this sickness to the surface. It wants to go back to its home, but your body is a flaccid husk and can't even begin the journey to return it. Instead, you lie on scratchy bleached bedsheets and sleep, and sleep, and [[sleep|b2]]. There's a tube in your throat, down which ocassionally is pushed a russet mixture. This is supposed to fill your stomach, you assume, with nutrients, but nothing changes for it; you gain no energy or strength, and it does nothing to subside the [[hunger pangs|b3]]. The good news is that, eventually, you get used to the hunger; you're not exerting yourself, so in the abstract you don't actually *need* food. Eventually you know your body will start eating itself; first taking the protein from your muscles, and then hollowing out your bones, and only then, once you're [[emaciated and helpless|b4]], would it even consider mining your vast reserves of fat. That's the body you got; why starving yourself never did anything before; and why you were willing to drown yourself for the chance to trade in this useless corpse for something leaner, all teeth and empty. But you're still hungry, and more trapped in this disgusting thing than you've ever been(if: $emptybirth is not true)[(if: $teethbirth is true)[ [[before.|b5]] ](else:)[(if: $whiteteeth >= 2)[ [[before.|b5]] ](else:)[ [[before.|question 3]] ] ] ](else:)[ [[before.|question 3]] ] Murder [Theo]<b1| or [Lenore]<b2|? (click: ?b2)[You wrestle Lenore to the ground; it's not an easy fight. They're more experienced than you, but you're stronger, lighter on your feet. Their jaws outsize their body, belying the huge, unseen form behind Reagan's face. "$wtText[You're stuck on your humanity,]" They snarl, struggling. "$wtText[It's useless to you now, understand?]" [ [Kill them]<b7| [Do it, Theo.]<b8| ]<b9| (click: ?b7)[(replace: ?b9)[You open your jaws and rip their neck in two, snatching up their rolling head and crushing it between your teeth before swallowing.] ] (click: ?b8)[(replace: ?b9)[He readies the knife and raises it over their face. Instantly, their mouth disappears into Reagan's face, and she pleads, "Daddy, no! Don't do this!" "*Shut up,*" He barks. "*Shut her up. You're not real.*" [Theo.]<b10| (click: ?b10)[He plunges the knife down, hacking again and again until they stop twitching under your grip. "Is it dead?" [ [Yes.]<b12| [No.]<b11|]<b13| (click: ?b11)[(replace: ?b13)[ [You might not want to watch this part.]<b14|]] (click: ?b12)[(replace: ?b13)[ [You might not want to watch this part.]<b14|]] (click: ?b14)[He nods, out of breath, and wipes his blood-spattered brow with his wrist as he turns away, staggering out of the room. Underneath you, the leviathan gurgles and chokes out a giggle through the blood. Somewhere in the mess Theo made of their face, they find enough pieces to rub together to form words. "$wtText[Play us one more game,]" They say. "$wtText[Let us go. He'll be none the wiser. Who knows, maybe we'll meet again someday and have a laugh about the bad old days.]" [ [Let them go]<b15| [Finish the job]<b16| ]<b17| (click: ?b15)[(replace: ?b17)[You ease off of them and they crawl back, shuddering and coughing wetly. Already their face is reforming as someone new. "Don't worry," They say, "We'll leave your little pet alone." [Ask them to join you.]<b18| (click: ?b18)[They narrow their eyes. "No, we'll pass; your (leviathan status is too strange for us to follow) and your loyalties are too fickle for our games."] They stand, with some difficulty, and wipe the blood off of their new face. "Welp," They say, "See you never," and stumble off into the night.] ] (click: ?b16)[(replace: ?b17)["Worth a try," They cough, and their jaws re-emerge; but your hand is already melting through their chest, closing around their heart, liquifying it; they shudder and choke, twisted disfigured flesh going still. You don't have the energy to resist your ravenous appetite and you eat the corpse, despite yourself.(set: $chompchomp = $chompchomp + 1)] ] [Return to Theo]<b19| (click: ?b19)[You find Theo sitting on the curb, cradling his head. He looks up to see you, your front doused black with gore. "Is it over?" [Yes.]<b20| (click: ?b20)[He nods, exhausted. "Let's get cleaned up, then." He gestures to your clothes. "We won't get far covered in [[blood.|move on]]" ] ] ] ] ] ] ] (click: ?b1)["What was the point?" He shrieks. "Why take me all the way out here just to murder me? What have I done to deserve this? How can you hate me this much?" "Shut *up,*" "Reagan" groans, and their huge jaws open, dragging Reagan's body underneath it and belying their huge form that must hover above. He screams obscenities, and then he just screams, and then he says nothing at all. "Come, have some," They invite you. "He's as much your kill as mine, it's only fair." [ [Don't mind if you do.]<b3| [You'll pass.]<b4| ]<b5| (click: ?b3)[(replace: ?b5)[(set: $chompchomp = $chompchomp + 1)They grin bloodily, and you dig in next to them. It takes very little time for you to polish him off, leaving only a bloodsplatter on the pavement.] ] (click: ?b4)[(replace: ?b5)[They shrug. "Suit yourself," They say, and devour the rest of the corpse, leaving behind only a bloodsplatter on the pavement.] ] <mark><img src="https://41.media.tumblr.com/cec9272cdb7e5ca211b22e07686bd74c/tumblr_nw66qoFwA11r8fa2fo1_540.png"></mark> "It's lovely to meet you, by the way," They say, and their eyes melt onto their cheeks as they make a sound that splits the air. "Only the Collective calls us that, though," They wink. "We're Lenore to our friends." [Why don't they join you?]<b6| (click: ?b6)[(set: $companion to "Lenore")"We were hoping you'd ask," They grin. "We've had it up to here with [[waiting tables.|move on]]"] ] Twine game by Sasha Reneau EVIL TWIN Torrin Smith INVENTOR OF THE JUGULAR NOTCH Canute PLAYTESTERS Torrin Smith James Arcade Blues Josie Noronha Perri Linklater SPECIAL THANKS Calix Reneau Bible verses courtesy of biblegateway.com Inspired by Supernatural season 7, and What Could Have Been (link: "Insp tag")[(gotoURL: "http://beholdatimemachine.tumblr.com/tagged/you%20will%20surely%20go%20mad%20but%20what%20a%20fucking%20ride%20it'll%20be/chrono" )] With a decisive tug, you pull loose a large, curved fang and plunge the point into the soft hollow of your throat. Blood spills down as you puncture your trachea. That won't do you much good, though, unless you intend on shoving food into your lungs. [[try to go around it]] [[cut through it]] Why not just get to the source of the problem? You pull your shirt over your head, tossing it aside for now. With a decisive tug, you pull loose a large, curved fang. This should cut through whatever you need. [[go for the stomach]<c1| [go for your guts]<c2| ]<c3| (click: ?c1)[(replace: ?c3)[You hook your fingers under your ribcage and cut along your side. It's agonizing work, but living with the constant mess of your mouth constantly sprouting and rotting teeth has given you a pain tolerance like you wouldn't believe. Through the viscera and fat, you can see the soft shape of an organ; your stomach, hopefully. [[Open it up]] [[Tear it out]] ]](click: ?c2)[(replace: ?c3)[You start the incision at your solar plexus and pull the fang down through layers skin and fat and muscle. It's agonizing, but the oral heigine nightmare of your mouth has given you a high pain tolerance, and it's fascinating to finally fulfill this particular morbid fantasy. Through the stringy viscera you can see the soft shapes of organs. [[Cut them open|Open it up]] [[Tear them out|Tear it out]] ]] What does it do for you, anyway, but cause you grief? You curve the fang around the organ, loosening it from the strands of viscera that hold it. When you reach your hand in to grasp it, though, you're rewarded with your fingers crushed in needle-teeth. You retract your mangled hand quickly. Nope. Not an organ. Don't know what it is. [ [Gonna leave it alone.]<c1| [Gonna tear it out.]<c2| ]<c3| (click: ?c1)[(replace: ?c3)[The wound heals over in stunned silence. Well, whatever replaced your stomach is working just fine, and you can get to it when [[you need it.|drifters]] ]] (click: ?c2)[(replace: ?c3)[You reach your hand back in, grabbing the soft bits and ignoring the pain as whatever it is attacks you viciously. You pull out a long, thick tube of writhing legs and teeth, yellow tendons straining to keep it inside. [[Cut it loose]] ]] You slice it open easily; it steams as you expected, but instead of yellow bile, translucent black fluid bubbles and spurts out. Something in your ribcage twists and your organ disappears, replaced by a mouth full of needles that snaps at the fang and tugs it out of your grasp. The wound heals over in stunned silence. [[Okay, then.|drifters]] You slice through tendons with the fang as the thing screeches at you. That loosens its hold a little bit, but the more you pull it out, the more of it there is to pull. Eventually you are tussling with more squelching body than you can hold and it slips out of your grasp as you try to adjust your grip, burrowing back into your torso. (if: $whiteteeth >= 2)[ [Oh, no you don't.]<c1| (click: ?c1)[You dive in after it, slicing it out in chunks until you pull its strange tail out, cutting loose the tendrils that seat it in your gut. Your stomach sags in on itself, hollowed with the absence of whatever it is that's currently dying on the floor. Serves it right. [[Fuck off with that shit|drifters]].] ](else:)[Welp. [[Guess that lives there, now|drifters]].] You remove the fang and your neck closes, the flaccid edges raw and painful as they knit back together. At least you know you can get to it when you[[ need it|drifters]]. You leave the tip of the fang sticking into your esophagus; it bobs when you swallow, but doesn't displace. Your neck heals back to a point resembling normal, except for root of the tooth sticking out of your neck like some kind of [[fucked up bookmark|drifters]]. You pull the fang out and turn it around, shoving the root into the raw edge of the wound. The tooth takes hold quickly with a burning sensation distinct from the raw pain of opening your throat in the first place; the point of it pokes out above your collarbone. Your neck closes over the wounds for the most part, but the jagged feeling [[remains|drifters]]. No need to break what don't need fixing. Air whistles through the hole for a few moments until the wound seals over on its own. It's agonizing work, but living with the constant mess of your mouth constantly sprouting and rotting teeth has given you a pain tolerance like you wouldn't believe. You curve the fang around the tube, pushing it to one side to get to your esophagus. The point slices through the tissue easily. [[take the fang out]] [[leave it in]] Fuck it. You haven't actually used your lungs for breathing since before you took the dip in the well. It's agonizing work, but living with the constant mess of your mouth constantly sprouting and rotting teeth has given you a pain tolerance like you wouldn't believe. The cartilage is hardy, but the fang is razor sharp, and a few moments of slicing up through the ridges has it open on the outside, and then again on the inside shortly after, leaving the entirety of your throat exposed. (set: $mouth to "mute") Now you can get to your esophagus, assuming you have something you want to put in it. [[take the fang out]] [[leave it in]] [[plant the fang in the trachea]] "What are you talking about?" He glances between you and her. "It may have been a while since I've seen her, but I know my own daughter. That's Reagan." [[Okay. Let's go talk to her.|t 2]] (if: $emptystomach >= 3)[ [[No, Theo. That's one of ours.|t 3]] ] When you enter the diner, she's disappeared into the back. So you sit in a booth and wait. Theo drums his fingers nervously on the table. [ [What do you think she'll say?]<v1|(click: ?v1)[ "I don't know," He says. "'Fuck off,' probably."] [How long has it been?]<v2| (click: ?v2)[ "Going on ten years now." He tugs at his stubble.] ]<v3| "Oh--[[there she is.|t 6]]" He straightens, brushing the wrinkles from his shirt. "...What?" [[We were too late. You're sorry.|t 4]] "No, you're mistaken. That's impossible." [Theo, do you remember how I changed faces at the gas station?]<b5| (click: ?b5)[ He stares through the window and clenches his jaw. "Are you saying," He clears his throat, "that that's just...a monster wearing my little girl's face like a fucking suit?" [[You're sorry.|t 5]] ] He whirls on you with a punch to the jaw, knocking you back. "No," He snarls, "*fuck you.* Fuck your kind and fuck you, especially, for your useless bleeding heart, dragging me out here just to see my Reagan turned into one of your *meatsuits* while I get to live." Tears stream down his face as he rages. "Why couldn't you just hold up your end of the bargain? *Why couldn't you have just killed me?*" [[move on]] When he catches her eye, she stops in her tracks. Setting her jaw, she approaches the table, glancing around the room. She leans one hand on the table, plastering on a smile and hissing, "What do you think you're doing here?" "I know, I'm sorry--" "Was there something ambiguous about 'I never want to see you again' that you needed clearing up?" "I wouldn't be here unless it was important. You're in danger, Reagan." (if: $emptybirth is true)[(if: $emptystomach >=3)[Something dark slithers across her eyes--just for a split second--but it's enough to tip you off to the seams in her cheeks. [Dammit.]<v4| [That's not her. Not anymore.]<v5| (click: ?v4)[(replace: ?v5) [[That's not her. Not anymore.|t 7]] "Listen--whatever trouble you brought with you and your little friend here? I don't care." Her voice is low and melodious; if anyone overheard her, it would sound like she was discussing the menu. "I have a good life here, for once, and I don't need you here to fuck it all up again. So you can leave now, or I can have you thrown out." She bears her teeth in a grimace of a smile. "What's it gonna be, Theo?"] ] ](else:)[(if: $emptybirth is not true)[$bbText[That's not her.] [What?]<c1| (click: ?c1)[$bbText[It's not Reagan. Not anymore. [[Look.|t 7]] ]]]](else:)[ "Listen--whatever trouble you brought with you and your little friend here? I don't care." Her voice is low and melodious; if anyone overheard her, it would sound like she was discussing the menu. "I have a good life here, for once, and I don't need you here to fuck it all up again. So you can leave now, or I can have you thrown out." She bears her teeth in a grimace of a smile. "What's it gonna be, Theo?" [[We'll be going now.|move on]] ] She looks at you and smiles. "Nothing gets by you, does it, boyo?" They say, straightening. "Spoilsport. We wanted to see how long we could string him along." "What's going on?" Theo tenses. [Does he remember how you changed faces at the bus station?]<v6| (click: ?v6)[ You keep your eyes trained on them. [[Reagan's long dead, isn't she.|t 8]] ] "Oh, did y'all rush down here hoping to save her in the nick of time?" They quirk an eyebrow. "Sorry to waste your time; she was dead the moment you stepped off that campus, Theo. We've been wearing this skin for weeks. Didn't expect you to be dumb enough to come to us, though." You can see flashes between the seams, but even then it's almost impossible to tell leviathan from human, the blend is so thorough. "I'll kill you," Theo says, trembling. "I swear to god I'll fucking kill you." Their eyes widen in mock alarm. "Why, Theo, your own *daughter?* We know you weren't on the best of terms with Reagan, but--you do know this is a death penalty state, right?" "Don't you fucking say her name," He snarls. They roll their eyes and turn to you. "Listen: this has been a real riot," They say, "and we can't tell you how tickled we are you brought *him,* to us, of all people--but he's past his expiration, don't you think?" [[Actually, you're here for them.|t 9]] [[You couldn't agree more.|t 10]] (set: $whiteteeth to ($whiteteeth + 1)) Their eyebrows shoot up and they stare at you, dumbfounded. "No kidding." Somehow you make it to [[somewhere discreet]]. (set: $blackblood to ($blackblood + 1))You couldn't agree more. Theo stares at you, wide-eyed. "Reagan" bursts into a broad smile that squints their eyes into slits. "Beautiful," They say, and shout "I quit!" over their shoulder. Somehow you make it to [[somewhere discreet]]. Your stomach is killing you. It aches in rhythmic bursts, like something is systematically grinding up your insides--- not *like* that at all, but *exactly* that. It's eating you from the inside, and it's doing it slowly to punish you. Well, it's working like a charm; even if your bones weren't made of concrete, you doubt you could stand without doubling over.(if: $gender is "female")[ This isn't the first time something in your gut has rendered you immobile, but this has insult upon injury, considering you *volunteered* for it.] [[Stupid thing,|question 3]] those organs serve a purpose. Doesnt it know it has to live here, too? []<space| (replace: ?space)[$bip[~~You tense your muscles, unwilling to let the reins go entirely; but the leviathan does as it promised, gesturing with your hands, its voice buzzing in your chest, its eyes moving your eyes, and~~] when the doctors leave, it recedes.](live: 3s)[(replace: ?space)[~~ $bip[You tense] your muscles, $bip[unwilling to let the reins go] entirely; but $bip[the leviathan does] as it $bip[promised, gesturing] with your hands, $bip[its voice buzzing] in your chest, $bip[its eyes moving your] $bip[eyes, and]~~ when the doctors leave, it recedes.](stop:) ](live: 5s)[(replace: ?space)[~~You tense your muscles, $bip[unwilling to let the reins go] entirely; but the leviathan does as it $bip[promised, gesturing] with your hands, its voice buzzing in your chest, $bip[its eyes moving your] eyes, and~~ when the doctors leave, it recedes.](stop:) ](live: 6s)[(replace: ?space)[You tense your muscles, unwilling to let the reins go entirely; but the leviathan does as it $bip[promised, gesturing] with your hands, its voice buzzing in your chest, its eyes moving your eyes, and when the doctors leave, it recedes.](stop:) ](live: 7s)[(replace: ?space)[You tense your muscles, unwilling to let the reins go entirely; but the leviathan does as it $bip[promised, gesturing] with your hands, its voice buzzing in your chest, its eyes moving your eyes, and when the doctors leave, it recedes.](stop:) ](live: 8s)[(replace: ?space)[You tense your muscles, unwilling to let the reins go entirely; but the leviathan does as it promised, gesturing with your hands, its voice buzzing in your chest, its eyes moving your eyes, and when the doctors leave, it recedes.](stop:)] (live: 9s)[ $bbText[You see? You can trust me.](stop:)] (live: 10s)[ [ [Don't do it again.]<c2| [...It's not so bad.]<c3| ]<c4| (click: ?c2)[(replace: ?c4)[Don't do it again. $bbText[Can't promise that,] [[it says.|question 4]] ] ](click: ?c3)[(replace: ?c4)[...It's not so bad. (set: $blackblood to ($blackblood + 2))$bbText[I told you,] it purrs. $bbText[The more control you give me, the [ [[easier it will get|question 4]].]<b1|] (if: $teethbirth is true)[ [Don't get used to it.]<c5| ] (click: ?c5)[(replace: ?b1)[easier it will get.] $bbText[I would never *dream,*] [[it mutters dryly|question 4]].] ] ] (stop:)] $bbText[Well, actually, *you* would only have one, and then a core of tar which would have to be carbon dated, if we are taking this metaphor seriously.] (if: $teethbirth is true)[ [ [So, you would be the one ring to rule them all?]<c7| [Can you focus on keeping watch, please?]<c12| ]<c13| (click: ?c7)[(replace: ?c13)[$bbText[What?] [ [You know, like Lord of the Rings.]<c8| [Nevermind. Just...try to focus on keeping watch, please.]<c9| ]<c11|] (click ?c8)[(replace: ?c11)[You know, like Lord of the Rings. It shuffles around in your memories for a moment. $bbText[Oh. No, not really.] ] (click: ?c9)[(replace: ?c11)[Nevermind. Just...try to focus on keeping watch, please. (set: $joke to "wait for it...") $bbText[Just trying to pass the time. You're all clear.] ] ] ] (click: ?c12)[(replace: ?c13)[Can you focus on keeping watch, please? $bbText[Just trying to pass the time. You're all clear.] ] ]](else:)[ [Can you focus on keeping watch, please?]<c10| $bbText[Just trying to pass the time. You're all clear.] ] [[question 5]] Eventually, more quickly than you'd like, the hunger returns(if: $emptybirth is not true)[, and the leviathan becomes restless with it]. (if: (history:) contains "dick move leviathan")[The blood has dried on the walls, too dead and flaky to hold its interest.] [[Time to move on.|drifters]] (set: $variable to (either: 1,2,3,4,5)) (if: $variable is 1)[ [[There's the tip of a finger floating in your coffee cup. The corresponding digit is short a joint, and leaves a dark smear of tar on the outside of the cup when you pull your hand away.|takes your order]] ] (if: $variable is 2)[ [[Remember when the universe was young, and you were free, and tore fathoms between stars and chased something so much bigger and more beautiful than anything you've ever dreamed of--|devour and replace citizens]] ] (if: $variable is 3)[ [[Your bones rattle loose in your body--that's what disappeared first, the marrow, replaced with cold and heavy and dense, muscle and sinew drawn into its orbit, twisting and ripping--|eat your companion]] ] (if: $variable is 4)[ [[The wrongness of this body is so unbearable--fangs too short, body too small, too soft, too knobbly and gangly and nauseatingly delicate--|eat the prisoner]] ] (if: $variable is 5)[ [[There has to be some way to fix it there has to be a way we have to *survive this*--|man at the door]] ] (set: $randotranspo to true) (set: $randomtransport = $randomtransport + 1) (set: $bip to (text-style: "mirror") + (text-style: "rumble") + (text-color: #747889)) $bip[~~[[.==_--::.: ::-_=:|you do fine]]~~ ] $bip[~~[[.:::.: ..::.:|you do fine]]~~] $bip[~~[[.:( ..0:. -::;: < 0- )|you do fine]]~~] $bip[~~[[+ +~+~`*** * `:.:""**|alt-f4]]~~] (live:7s)[(goto: "alt-f4")] (stop:)] Xe's folded xemself up into the corner of the couch, entrenched in a cascade of books. (set: $lovelyvana to ($lovelyvana +1)) (link: "Anything yet?")[Anything yet? "Not a lot," Xe admits, reluctantly, "and nothing about our particular situation; but Leviathan is surprisingly well documented. It's a very potent source of magic." Xe picks up a weathered tome left open on the cushion next to xem and passes it to you. "When demonic magic wasn't making the cut, magicians used to call on Leviathan to bring out the big guns." (if: $emptybirth is true)[When you look at the book, the symbols vibrate.](else:)[ (if: $bloodbirth is true)[$bbText[Oh, interesting.] (if: $whiteteeth >= 3)[What? $bbText[Oh--nothing. nothing. I was mistaken.] ]](if: $teethbirth is true)[$bbText[Oh, interesting.] (link: "What?")[What? $bbText[Wouldn't you like to know.] ] ] ] "It was never a long relationship, though," Vana continues, "and usually ended with the magician exploding and the corruption of his entire line." [[That doesn't bode well for us, does it?]] [[Wander off to read the book on your own|hac 2]] [[Join xem on the couch]] ] (set: $whiteteeth to ($whiteteeth +1)) (if: $blackblood < $whiteteeth)[ Late one night, you stretch your limbs and suddenly feel more hole than person; all gummy and loosely held together with molasses and tar, more wound than bandage. You just want it to stop. You want it all to *stop*. You want to go *home.*] (else:)[ [Late one night, you stretch your limbs and suddenly feel more hole than person;]<1| [all gummy and loosely held together with molasses and tar,]<2| [ more wound than bandage.]<3| [You just want it to stop.]<4| [You want it all to *stop.*]<5| [You want to go *home.*]<6| ] At any rate, you [[can't stay here|drift on]]. (click: ?1)[ (replace: ?1)[$shhText[~~hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha~~] ] ] (click: ?2)[ (replace: ?2)[$shhText[~~do you listen to [[you|drift on]]rself when you speak? or is it just noise?~~] ] ] (click: ?3)[ (replace: ?3)[$shhText[~~you [[are|drift on]] just too sad to exist. or cry.~~] ] ] (click: ?4)[ (replace: ?4)[$shhText[~~yeah, [[just|drift on]] keep crying.~~] ] ] (click: ?5)[ (replace: ?5)[$shhText[~~that will [[so|drift on]]lve things.~~] ] ] (click: ?6)[ (replace: ?6)[$shhText[~~you're so [ [[pathetic.|drift on]]~~] ] ] Job 41 King James Version (KJV) 41 Canst thou draw out leviathan with an hook? or his tongue with a cord which thou lettest down? 2 Canst thou put an hook into his nose? or bore his jaw through with a thorn? 3 Will he make many supplications unto thee? will he speak soft words unto thee? 4 Will he make a covenant with thee? wilt thou take him for a servant for ever? 5 Wilt thou play with him as with a bird? or wilt thou bind him for thy maidens? 6 Shall the companions make a banquet of him? shall they part him among the merchants? 7 Canst thou fill his skin with barbed irons? or his head with fish spears? 8 Lay thine hand upon him, remember the battle, do no more. 9 Behold, the hope of him is in vain: shall not one be cast down even at the sight of him? 10 None is so fierce that dare stir him up: who then is able to stand before me? 11 Who hath prevented me, that I should repay him? whatsoever is under the whole heaven is mine. 12 I will not conceal his parts, nor his power, nor his comely proportion. 13 Who can discover the face of his garment? or who can come to him with his double bridle? 14 Who can open the doors of his face? his teeth are terrible round about. 15 His scales are his pride, shut up together as with a close seal. 16 One is so near to another, that no air can come between them. 17 They are joined one to another, they stick together, that they cannot be sundered. 18 By his neesings a light doth shine, and his eyes are like the eyelids of the morning. 19 Out of his mouth go burning lamps, and sparks of fire leap out. 20 Out of his nostrils goeth smoke, as out of a seething pot or caldron. 21 His breath kindleth coals, and a flame goeth out of his mouth. 22 In his neck remaineth strength, and sorrow is turned into joy before him. 23 The flakes of his flesh are joined together: they are firm in themselves; they cannot be moved. 24 His heart is as firm as a stone; yea, as hard as a piece of the nether millstone. 25 When he raiseth up himself, the mighty are afraid: by reason of breakings they purify themselves. 26 The sword of him that layeth at him cannot hold: the spear, the dart, nor the habergeon. 27 He esteemeth iron as straw, and brass as rotten wood. 28 The arrow cannot make him flee: slingstones are turned with him into stubble. 29 Darts are counted as stubble: he laugheth at the shaking of a spear. 30 Sharp stones are under him: he spreadeth sharp pointed things upon the mire. 31 He maketh the deep to boil like a pot: he maketh the sea like a pot of ointment. 32 He maketh a path to shine after him; one would think the deep to be hoary. 33 Upon earth there is not his like, who is made without fear. 34 He beholdeth all high things: he is a king over all the children of [[pride|humans are cool]]. (if: $lovelyvana >= 3)[You settle into the couch next to xem and xe nudges over, nestling the long frame of xyr body against yours. Together you quietly read on into the night; or, try to, anyway. Vana doesn't breathe, and xyr heart doesn't beat--well, neither does yours, anymore--but there's a rhythm to xem that is soothing, some ebb and flow under xyr skin that reminds you distantly of the peace you found in the well. It captivates your attention far more than the pages of these old books, and eventually you give up on trying to read with xem [[next to you]]. ](else:)[Together you quietly read on through the night until the dust in the room is gently illuminated by [[sunlight.|drift on]]] Grids of teeth settle into your body, and with careful strokes they begin to carve and lathe you into a new shape. The cold, to its credit, has deadened your senses almost entirely; all you can sense is a tug here, the spike of a nerve cluster there, a sudden looseness as it unhooks muscle, a dizzy lightness as it [[scoops out organs|surrender 2]]. A tongue pushes through the tunnel it's made in your chest cavity, curling around your heart. It pulls it out, and you feel light like air, until they nestle into the space it left behind; and the weight of them is unbelievable. they carve and carve like they did in the Beginning and you can feel your flesh curling away the gap between ribs more like the fathoms between stars they are making the universe in you isolating your parts into galaxies whose tendrilling arms swirl into their own selves it's slow quiet peaceful you wonder how you could stand to have your atoms so tightly bundled together for so long now you look like heaven inside (set: $blackblood = $blackblood + 1) (set: $bloodbirth to true) [[you rise to the surface, reborn.|only two of you survive]] Beckoned forward, the doors of its face open and broad walls of strangely segmented flesh--tongues, maybe-- curl around you, pulling you in. [[Not yet|master 2]]. Grids of teeth settle into your body, and with careful strokes they begin to carve and lathe you into a new shape. The cold, to its credit, has deadened your senses almost entirely; all you can sense is a tug here, the spike of a nerve cluster there, a sudden looseness as it unhooks muscle, a dizzy lightness as it scoops out organs. [[Not yet.|master 3]] A tongue pushes through the tunnel it's made in your chest cavity, [[curling around your heart|master 4]]. ===><=== [[*NOW*|master 5]] Your hand is already pressed to what remains of your chest; from there it's a twist of the wrist down between your ribs to pierce the tongue through with the hook, heart and all. It howls and contracts, but it's too late; it's pinned, and its desperate lashing only entangles more of it on the barb. Suddenly the whole beast is coated inside-out; its skin a carapace around you, writhing forms forced into length and limb, all biting clawing wriggling trying to get free. *[YOUR body]<c1|*(click: ?c1)[, you grit. *[[YOUR home. It is a guest, and now your servant|master 6]].*] (set: $whiteteeth = $whiteteeth + 1) (set: $teethbirth to true)You grapple with the swirling toothsome thing inside you. It hurts. The thing doesn't want to be contained; it wants to eat and eat and it snaps at anything it can reach. [[You rise to the surface|only two of you survive]]. Leviathan are tools of Creation and though they will never admit it they yearn to be Used again to be Weilded and you were made in the Creator's image angels and demons ride hard and put away broken but leviathan would rather fill the hollows of your body with shrieking void and hunger you will surely go mad but at least you'll never get bored one by one they disappear into the water. [[ten acolytes enter the bath]]. [[you're not so sure about this anymore]]. (if: $teethbirth is true)[A dubious honor, at best, to survive with this thing's jaws locked around your heart.](if: $emptybirth is true)[You move your head to make sure, and the ache that wrenches through your neck confirms it, to your chagrign.](if: $bloodbirth is true)[ Looking at the viscera gives you a pang of hunger, followed by revulsion. $bbText[We are not scavengers,] it assures you. $bbText[We can set our sights much higher than the afterbirth.] ] One of the floaters stirs, not as dead as they seemed; lifting their head, they feebly paddle for the edge of the pond. $reborn[Back here. What now?] (else:)[Something feels really broken.] [[slip away]] ==> [[follow the other survivor|speak to the other acolyte]] ==><== [[go back into the water]] The leviathan mosies you over to the bed, flopping you down into the soft comforter and rubbing your cheek into the pillows. (if: $companion is "Lenore")[(if: $nsfw is true)[(history: contains "somewhere discreet")[The mattress dips as Lenore sinks next to you on the bed. If you want to bang, you totally do. (set: $friendlenore to "fwb")] ] ] [[Bathroom]] [[drift on]] [[Master Bedroom]] You draw a bath and sink into it, breathing in the steam and relishing in the bright burn of the water on your skin. It prickles, discomfited by the water; it reminds it too much of home. But it feels your pleasure and concedes to it, swallowing its complaints to the back of your mind. The bathtub is not quite long enough, leaving your kneecaps as twin knobby islands poking up out of the water.(if: $nsfw is "on")[ [[explore]] ] [[touch]] Who better to try these new dagger teeth on for size? You lunge for the doctor, jaws wide, but they pin you on the bed with one impossibly strong hand splayed across your chest. "It's good to see your appetite hasn't flagged," She tisks, "but don't embarrass yourself." (set: $utried to true) (set: $blackblood = $blackblood + 1) [[Wander the grounds|run]] [[Try the other room|other room]] Achievements: [ ]<got| (if: (history:) contains "three")[(if: $chompchomp >= 3)[(append: ?got)[(set: $ahcc to "got")''Chomp Chomp:'' Ate everyone you met. Better a full belly than a full dance card, that's what I always say! ]](else:)[ //LOCKED// ] (if: $chompchomp is 0)[(append: ?got)[(set: $ahnfmt to "got")''None For Me, Thanks:'' Ate no-one of your own volition. ]](else:)[ //LOCKED// ] (if: $whiteteeth is 0)[(append: ?got)[(set: $ahnm to "got")''No Mercy:'' Chose no options which might ingratiate you to your former brethren. Fuck humanity! ]](else:)[ //LOCKED// ] (if: $whiteteeth >= 5)[(append: ?got)[(set: $ahhc to "got")''Humanity's Champion:'' Chose options in favor of your old species. For nostalgia's sake, maybe? ]](else:)[ //LOCKED// ] (if: $emptystomach is 0)[(append: ?got)[(set: $ahch to "got")''Clear Headed:'' Chose options to avoid spending any time looking into the abyss. Not much of a view, anyway. ]](else:)[ //LOCKED// ] (if: $emptystomach >= 5)[(append: ?got)[(set: $ahsf to "got")''Shameless Flirt:'' Spent so much time looking into the abyss that the abyss is a little uncomfortable with all the attention. Buy it a drink already, jeez. ]](else:)[ //LOCKED// ] (if: $blackblood is 0)[(append: ?got)[(set: $ahdptm to "got")''Driver Picks The Music:'' Chose to completely ignore your Leviathan's interests at every opportunity. ]](else:)[ //LOCKED// ] (if: $blackblood >= 5)[(append: ?got)[(set: $ahpak to "got")''Pot and Kettle:'' Got along famously with your Leviathan. Maybe a little *too* famously. ]](else:)[ //LOCKED// ] [(if: $blackblood is $whiteteeth)[(append: ?got)[(set: $ahek to "got")''Even Keel:'' Perfectly balanced your humanity with your monstrosity. ]](else:)[ //LOCKED// ] (if: $whiteteeth is $emptystomach)[(append: ?got)[(set: $ahbna to "got")''Be Not Afraid:'' Perfectly balanced your humanity with your madness. ]](else:)[ //LOCKED// ] (if: $blackblood is $emptystomach)[(append: ?got)[(set: $ahtgt to "got")''Two Great Tastes:'' Perfectly balanced your monstrosity with your madness. ]](else:)[ //LOCKED// ] (if: $blackblood is $whiteteeth)[(if: $whiteteeth is $emptystomach) [(append: ?got)[(set: $ahwdp to "got")''Well Done, Preston:'' Achieved perfect equilibrium between your humanity, your monstrosity, and your madness. ] ](else:)[ //LOCKED// ] (if: $lovelyvana is 3)[(append: ?got)[(set: $ahln to "got")''Lovely Nerd:'' Snuggled up with Vana, aww. ]](else:)[ //LOCKED// ] (if: $friendlenore is "fwb")[(append: ?got)[(set: $ahiwdbtwy to "got")''I Wanna Do Bad Things With You:'' Got down and dirty with Lenore. ]](else:)[ //LOCKED// ] (if: $bathroomruined is true)[(append: ?got)[(set: $ahscibc to "got")''Self-cest Is Best Cest:'' Got to third base with yourself, you saucy minx. ]](else:)[ //LOCKED// ] (if: $reset is true)[(append: ?got)[(set: $ahdttwa to "got")''Did The Time Warp Again:'' Stepped out of time for a second there! ]](else:)[ //LOCKED// ] (if: $companion is not "none")[(append: ?got)[(set: $ahtc to "got")''Three's Company:'' Finished the game with a companion. ]](else:)[ //LOCKED// ] (if: $companion is "none")[(append: ?got)[(set: $ahlt3 to "got")''<3:'' Finished the game without a companion. ]](else:)[ //LOCKED// ] (if: $voidkickflip is true)[(append: ?got)[(set: $ahftsio to "got")''Fuck This Shit I'm Out:'' Did a sick kickflip into space because you are 2cool 4 planet earth. ]](else:)[ //LOCKED// ] (if: $headless >= 3)[(append: ?got)[(set: $ahmtafsl to "got")''More Than A Few Screws Loose:'' Spent almost as much time without a head as with one. Can I interest you in a scarf? ]](else:)[ //LOCKED// ] (if: $ahmtafsl is "got")[(if: $ahftsio is "got")[(if: $ahlt3 is "got")[(if: $ahtc is "got")[(if: $ahgttwa is "got")[(if: $ahscibc is "got")[(if: $ahiwdbtwy is "got")[(if: $ahln is "got")[(if: $ahwdp is "got")[(if: $ahtgt is "got")[(if: $ahbna is "got")[(if: $ahek is "got")[(if: $ahpak is "got")[(if: $ahdptm is "got")[(if: $ahsf is "got")[(if: $ahch is "got")[(if: $ahhc is "got")[(if: $ahnm is "got")[(if: $ahnfmt is "got")[(if: $ahcc is "got")[(set: $aheroat to "got")(append: ?got)[''Eccentric Ruler of Accomplishment Town:'' Unlocked every possible achievement! What a good and valuable use of your time. lmao how the fuck would I track this??? ]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]](else:)[ //LOCKED// ] ](else:)[ //LOCKED// ] [[Play Again?|Start]](if: $utried is false)[(set: $chompchomp = $chompchomp + 1)You catch Dr. Kharo by complete surprise and devour them piece by piece. [[disappear]]](else:)[Dr. Kharo fends you off easily, having kept a close eye on you since your first feeble attempt. She picks you up by your collar and deposits you unceremoniously into the [[training room|train 3]].] A massive hole has opened in the middle of the city, swallowing a freeway interchange and undermining several buildings whose structures collapse without their foundations. People migrate to it in the thousands, huge crowds pouring into it, their bodies crushed by the weight of those who follow. The crowd is wordless, the only sound a thunderous shuffle and the dull, persistent rainfall of bodies. (if: $emptybirth is true)[(if: $emptystomach >= 3)[You burn through the bodies buried in the hellmouth and rise a strange god, turning the populace away. Literally no one appreciates this, but you subsume both the Collective and the covens who would oppose you, so no one is left to argue.(if: $whiteteeth > $blackblood)[ You are a benevolent, if terrifying, ruler, and humanity survives under your watchful eye.](if: $whiteteeth < $blackblood)[ You are a capricious and sinister ruler, toying with the remainder of humanity and your lower leviathan brethren with glee and reckless abandon.](else:)[You are helpless in the face of this exodus; not one person will turn away from the hellmouth, no matter how you scream or try to pull them out of danger.]] ](else:)[ (if: $whiteteeth >= 3)[(if: (history:) contains "loud 2")[(if: (history:) contains "eat everyone")[You try to rescue as many people as you can, but only manage to save a meager handful. You find a house and bunker up there, the caretaker of these silent figures until their deaths.](else:)[You try to rescue as many people as you can, assisted by the coven who threw you out earlier. It's not everyone, but it's a good population; you claim a corner of the city and wage a slow, draining war against the Collective.] ](else:)[You try to rescue as many people as you can. Your efforts are echoed in much larger ways by the coven you passed earlier, who defend you while you help. It's not everyone, but it's a good population; claim a corner of the city and wage a slow, draining war against the Collective.] ] (if: $blackblood >= 3)[(if: (history:) contains "eat everyone")[You claim a territory unrivaled and live like a prince under the Collective's regime.](else:)[You claim a territory under the Collective's regime, but spend much of your time fending off the coven, whom you can't seem to extinguish.] ] ](else:)[ (if: $emptystomach >= 3)[You really think watching a mass exodus would pull at something in you, some heart-string. Guess the well carved that out of you.](else:)[You are helpless in the face of this exodus; not one person will turn away from the hellmouth, no matter how you scream or try to pull them out of danger.] (if: $whiteteeth >= 3)[(if: (history:) contains "loud 2")[(history: "eat everyone")[You try to rescue as many people as you can, but only manage to save a meager handful. You find a house and bunker up there, the caretaker of these silent figures until their deaths.](else:)[ Try to rescue as many people as you can, assisted by the coven who threw you out earlier. It's not everyone, but it's a good population; claim a corner of the city and wage a slow, draining war against the Collective.] ](else:)[Try to rescue as many people as you can. Your efforts are echoed in much larger ways by the coven you passed earlier, who defend you while you help. It's not everyone, but it's a good population; claim a corner of the city and wage a slow, draining war against the Collective.] ] (if: $blackblood >= 3)[(if: (history:) contains "eat everyone")[ Claim a territory unrivaled and live like a prince under the Collective's regime.](else:)[Carve out a territory under the Collective's regime, but spend much of your time fending off the coven, whom you can't seem to extinguish.] ] ] [[Play Again?|Start]] [[Achievements]] Tempting. Vana leaves xyr long, dark neck exposed while xe wrings out xyr hair. Xe would be a marvelous start to what surely will be a long and illustrious career of siblicide. Just as soon as the world stops [[spinning.|speak to the other acolyte]] It's a ramshackle old cabin, overgrown and barely standing. It's hard to imagine anyone but desperate squatters and assorted woodland vermin living in it, but the smell radiating from it is, well. [[It's something else.]] (if: $companion is "Vana")["Look," Vana points to a sigil above the doorframe and nods. "It's a coven of witches--powerful ones, if this aura is any sign." [Good eats?]<b1| (click: ?b1)["Sure, if you can get them," xe says. (if: (history:) contains "not here")["These aren't ignorant pigs. ](else:)["]Of anyone, they'll be the most prepared to deal with what we've become." ] (if: (history:) contains "show me ur holes simon")[ ](else:)[ [[Xe knows magic isn't real, right?|show me ur holes simon]] ] "We shouldn't draw attention to ourselves," Vana whispers. "I've heard stories about people like them. They don't take kindly to things that bump in the night--which *we are*, now, like it or not."] [[Crash the party|loud]] [[Keep quiet|quiet]] Xe stares at you. Without breaking eye contact, xe lifts xyr palm and slices a line across it with one fingernail. Thick black liquid seeps out and hisses as it drips down and dissolves the underbrush into small plumes of steam. Xe closes xyr hand, opens it healed, and quirks an eyebrow. [[...Fair point.|take a closer look]] Its bouquet is positively intoxicating. It's all pulse and yearning and power and while it stokes your appetite to a ravenous frenzy, it also makes you kind of want to set yourself on fire. Which is an intriguing idea, at this point; you have no idea how the leviathan will react to combustion. Probably infavorably, but there's only one way to be sure. You shake your head, trying to clear the scent. [[Focus.|take a closer look]] Theo boosts you up and over the wall. From your new vantage point, you can see the facility sprawl out in every direction, a gleaming white labyrinth unfettered by such paltry trappings as physics or geometry. [[help Theo up]] [[go without him]] You'll figure it out. No better way to navigate a maze than from the top, right? You turn to offer your hand to Theo, but he has his back turned to you, speaking to thin air--(if: $emptybirth is true)[no, not thin air, *nothing, nothing forced into shape and [[writhing form---|doctor's dismay]]*](else:)[$bbText[no,] it whispers, $bbText[not thin air, *nothing, nothing forced into shape and [[writhing form---|doctor's dismay]]*] ] A boost was all you really needed, after all. [[So long, sucker!]<v1| [Say nothing]<v2| ]<v3| (click: ?v1)[(replace: ?v3)[So long, sucker! ]](click: ?v2)[(replace: ?v3)[You let the pitter-patter of your flats against the marble do the talking. ]]He shouts something after you, but you're long gone, deftly navigating the maze at full sprint. This would be impossibly frustrating within, but there's no better way to solve a puzzle than from the [[outside, right?]] You run for what seems like forever without tiring, until you reach what you think is the outer wall. A door stands there, unguarded, except for Theo, who [stands in front of the door,]<b1|, his back to you, and here you are, [seconds away from freedom--]<b2| [(if: $emptybirth is not true)[ $bbText[How did *he* beat us here? ]] ]<b4| (click: ?b1)[(replace: ?b4)[ ](replace: ?b1)[ [stands in the corner of the room]<b3|] ] (click: ?b3)[(replace: ?b3)[$shhText[~~is flanked by dark writhing figures~~] ] ] (click: ?b2)[(replace: ?b2)[lying on the gurney, strapped in tight, a thick plastic tube snaked down [[your throat--|doctor's dismay]]]] (set: $waiter to "dead") (if: $pig is "dead")[(if: $nerds is "dead")[You stride after the waiter, drenched in blood and in no hurry. He trips over a burm and tries to hide behind a car in the parking lot. For a moment, you let him think that will work. When his heart rate slows, you crouch behind him and wait for him to turn to you before pinning him to the ground and burying your teeth around his sternum. His screams are a symphony to your ears while your dagger fangs easily hew through tendon and bone, ripping his ribcage open. [[finish them off]] (if: $emptystomach is not true)[(link: "move on")[$bbText[And waste all of this fresh meat? How very human of you.] [[You got what you came for.|all done]] ]](else:)[ [[move on|all done]] ]](else:)[You bound across tables and chairs in one fluid moment, landing on his back and knocking him to the ground. He cries out, stunned, and you bury your teeth on either side of his spine, dagger fangs slicing easily through tendon and bone, ripping his ribcage open. [[The group panicks and scatters, trying to find a place to hide.|nerds]] ]](else:)[(if: $nerds is "dead")[You bound across tables and chairs in one fluid moment, landing on his back and knocking him to the ground. He cries out, stunned, and you bury your teeth on either side of his spine, dagger fangs slicing easily through tendon and bone, ripping his ribcage open. [[The chevroned meat pulls its gun on you and yells something as it fires.|pig]] ]] (if: $nerds is "alive")[(if: $pig is "alive")[You call the waiter over. "Something I can help you with?" He asks politely. You lunge, grabbing him by the back of the neck and burying your teeth around his sternum. Your dagger fangs easily hew through tendon and bone as you rip his ribcage open. He collapses on the table, blood pouring from his chest cavity. [[The chevroned meat is on its feet, shouting something at you with its gun raised.|pig]] [[The group screams in concert, horrified.|nerds]] ]] (set: $nerds to "dead") (if: $waiter is "dead")[(if: $pig is "dead")[You take your time tracking down the remaining survivors, opening their throats and letting the life pour out of them in messy spurts. [[finish them off]] (if: $emptystomach is not true)[(link: "move on")[$bbText[And waste all of this fresh meat? How very human of you.] [[You got what you came for.|all done]] ]](else:)[ [[move on|all done]] ]](else:)[In one swift movement, you're among the three. Before they can react, you've slashed two of their throats with your claws, and whirled to bite through the neck of the third. They gurgle and crumble to the ground, the life pouring out of them in messy spurts. [[The chevroned meat yells and fires on you.|pig]]]](else:)[(if: $pig is "dead")[In a swift movement, you're among the three. Before they can react, you've slashed two of their throats with your claws, and whirled to bite through the neck of the third. They gurgle and crumble to the ground, the life pouring out of them in messy spurts. [[The waiter makes a break for the door.|waiter]] ]] (if: $waiter is "alive")[(if: $pig is "alive")[You stand between two of the arguing bloodbags and curve a clawed hand around each of their necks, slicing their throats open. As blood spurts onto the dining table, the third shrieks in horror and falls backwards in her chair. You lunge across the table, landing on her chest, and rip her throat out, interrupting her screams. [[The chevroned meat yells and draws its gun on you.|pig]] [[The waiter makes a break for the door.|waiter]] ]] (set: $pig to "dead") (if: $nerds is "dead")[(if: $waiter is "dead")[He fires on you until his gun is empty, but you barely feel the bullets, wounds closing as soon as they're opened. You leap on him and bite his face right off of his skull. He screams and paws at you, but whatever limbs he throws into your personal space, you strip the meat right off the bone. [[finish them off]] (if: $emptystomach is not true)[(link: "move on")[$bbText[And waste all of this fresh meat? How very human of you.] [[You got what you came for.|all done]] ] ](else:)[ [[move on|all done]] ]](else:)[You look up at him, blood dripping down from your mouth and hands. He fires on you until his gun is empty, but you barely feel the bullets, wounds closing as soon as they're opened. You leap on him and bite his face right off of his skull. He screams and paws at you, but whatever limbs he throws into your personal space, you strip the meat right off the bone. [[The waiter makes a break for the door.|waiter]] ]](else:)[ (if: $waiter is "dead")[You look up at him, face dripping with the waiter's gore. He fires on you until his gun is empty, but you barely feel the bullets, wounds closing as soon as they're opened. You leap on him and bite his face right off of his skull. He screams and paws at you, but whatever limbs he throws into your personal space, you strip the meat right off the bone. [[The group makes a break for the door.|nerds]] ]] (if: $nerds is "alive")[(if: $waiter is "alive")[He only looks up when you get close, to the pleasure of having his face bitten off his skull. He screams and paws at you, but you only strip the meat from his arms. [[The group stands and shrieks in concert.|nerds]] [[The waiter makes a break for the door.|waiter]] ] ] (set: $chompchomp = $chompchomp + 1) (set: $blackblood = $blackblood + 1) You swallow the dying bodies, relishing the feeling of a full stomach while it lasts. [[It's high time to move on, though.|coven 1]] (set: $blackblood = $blackblood + 1) You've had your fun. You leave the dying cafe patrons and clean yourself up before [[hitting the road|coven 1]]. ==><== ''you will surely go mad'' a twine monster simulator by Sasha Reneau ^^[content warnings for: emetophobia, rapid flickering, self-harm, needles, institutionalization, misgendering, body horror, gore, genital mutilation]^^ [[Start]] [[Credits|CREDITS]] (set: $bip to (text-style: "mirror") + (text-style: "rumble"))You shatter the reinforced glass with a chair and your newfound monstrous strength. Sure enough, there is a labyrinth of staff passageways behind it. Eventually it leads to a loading dock; which leads to the [[road and beyond|disappear]]. (if: $SavegameA is "none")[[Empty]<SavegameA| (click: ?SavegameA)[Game saved!(replace: ?back)[DEBUG] (set: $Afname = $fname) (set: $Agender = $gender) (set: $Atedium = $tedium) (set: $Aclue = $clue) (set: $Arelapse = $relapse) (set: $Agoodwillhunting = $goodwillhunting) (set: $Amouth = $mouth) (set: $Areputation = $reputation) (set: $Acompanion = $companion) (set: $Ainstitutionalized = $institutionalized) (set: $Anursequestions = $nursequestions) (set: $Avanaquestions = $vanaquestions) (set: $Aeatcop = $eatcop) (set: $Amettheo = $mettheo) (set: $Afriendtheo = $friendtheo) (set: $Afriendlenore = $friendlenore) (set: $Afriendmarlowe = $friendmarlowe) (set: $Afriendvana = $friendvana) (set: $Alovelyvana = $lovelyvana) (set: $Atimedout = $timedout) (set: $Alookedatmarlow = $lookedatmarlow) (set: $Areborn = $reborn) (set: $Ateethbirth = $teethbirth) (set: $Abloodbirth = $bloodbirth) (set: $Aemptybirth = $emptybirth) (set: $Areset = $reset) (set: $Amisgendered = $misgendered) (set: $Alookedup = $lookedup) (set: $Aeyes = $eyes) (set: $Aprotectanna = $protectanna) (set: $Aeither = $either) (set: $Aor = $or) (set: $AQTE = $QTE) (set: $Ajoke = $joke) (set: $Achompchomp = $chompchomp) (set: $Autried = $utried) (set: $Avoidkickflip = $voidkickflip) (set: $Abathroomruined = $bathroomruined) (set: $Aheadless = $headless) (set: $Apig = $pig) (set: $Awaiter = $waiter) (set: $Anerds = $nerds) (set: $Alocation = (history:)'s last) (set: $SavegameA to "saved") (live: 1s)[(goto: $Alocation)]]](else:)[ (if: $SavegameA is not "none")[(link: "$Alocation")[Overwrite saved data? [Yes]<overwrite| (click: ?overwrite)[Game saved!(replace: ?back)[DEBUG] (set: $Afname = $fname) (set: $Agender = $gender) (set: $Atedium = $tedium) (set: $Aclue = $clue) (set: $Arelapse = $relapse) (set: $Agoodwillhunting = $goodwillhunting) (set: $Amouth = $mouth) (set: $Areputation = $reputation) (set: $Acompanion = $companion) (set: $Ainstitutionalized = $institutionalized) (set: $Anursequestions = $nursequestions) (set: $Avanaquestions = $vanaquestions) (set: $Aeatcop = $eatcop) (set: $Amettheo = $mettheo) (set: $Afriendtheo = $friendtheo) (set: $Afriendlenore = $friendlenore) (set: $Afriendmarlowe = $friendmarlowe) (set: $Afriendvana = $friendvana) (set: $Alovelyvana = $lovelyvana) (set: $Atimedout = $timedout) (set: $Alookedatmarlow = $lookedatmarlow) (set: $Areborn = $reborn) (set: $Ateethbirth = $teethbirth) (set: $Abloodbirth = $bloodbirth) (set: $Aemptybirth = $emptybirth) (set: $Areset = $reset) (set: $Amisgendered = $misgendered) (set: $Alookedup = $lookedup) (set: $Aeyes = $eyes) (set: $Aprotectanna = $protectanna) (set: $Aeither = $either) (set: $Aor = $or) (set: $AQTE = $QTE) (set: $Ajoke = $joke) (set: $Achompchomp = $chompchomp) (set: $Autried = $utried) (set: $Avoidkickflip = $voidkickflip) (set: $Abathroomruined = $bathroomruined) (set: $Aheadless = $headless) (set: $Apig = $pig) (set: $Awaiter = $waiter) (set: $Anerds = $nerds) (set: $Alocation = (history:)'s last) (set: $SavegameA to "saved") (live: 1s)[(goto: $Alocation)]]]]] --- (if: $SavegameB is "none")[[Empty]<SavegameB| (click: ?SavegameB)[Game saved!(replace: ?back)[DEBUG] (set: $Bfname = $fname) (set: $Bgender = $gender) (set: $Btedium = $tedium) (set: $Bclue = $clue) (set: $Brelapse = $relapse) (set: $Bgoodwillhunting = $goodwillhunting) (set: $Bmouth = $mouth) (set: $Breputation = $reputation) (set: $Bcompanion = $companion) (set: $Binstitutionalized = $institutionalized) (set: $Bnursequestions = $nursequestions) (set: $Bvanaquestions = $vanaquestions) (set: $Beatcop = $eatcop) (set: $Bmettheo = $mettheo) (set: $Bfriendtheo = $friendtheo) (set: $Bfriendlenore = $friendlenore) (set: $Bfriendmarlowe = $friendmarlowe) (set: $Bfriendvana = $friendvana) (set: $Blovelyvana = $lovelyvana) (set: $Btimedout = $timedout) (set: $Blookedatmarlow = $lookedatmarlow) (set: $Breborn = $reborn) (set: $Bteethbirth = $teethbirth) (set: $Bbloodbirth = $bloodbirth) (set: $Bemptybirth = $emptybirth) (set: $Breset = $reset) (set: $Bmisgendered = $misgendered) (set: $Blookedup = $lookedup) (set: $Beyes = $eyes) (set: $Bprotectanna = $protectanna) (set: $Beither = $either) (set: $Bor = $or) (set: $BQTE = $QTE) (set: $Bjoke = $joke) (set: $Bchompchomp = $chompchomp) (set: $Butried = $utried) (set: $Bvoidkickflip = $voidkickflip) (set: $Bbathroomruined = $bathroomruined) (set: $Bheadless = $headless) (set: $Bpig = $pig) (set: $Bwaiter = $waiter) (set: $Bnerds = $nerds) (set: $Blocation = (history:)'s last) (set: $SavegameB to "saved") (live: 1s)[(goto: $Blocation)]]](else:)[ (if: $SavegameB is not "none")[(link: "$Blocation")[Overwrite saved data? [Yes]<overwrite| (click: ?overwrite)[Game saved!(replace: ?back)[DEBUG] (set: $Bfname = $fname) (set: $Bgender = $gender) (set: $Btedium = $tedium) (set: $Bclue = $clue) (set: $Brelapse = $relapse) (set: $Bgoodwillhunting = $goodwillhunting) (set: $Bmouth = $mouth) (set: $Breputation = $reputation) (set: $Bcompanion = $companion) (set: $Binstitutionalized = $institutionalized) (set: $Bnursequestions = $nursequestions) (set: $Bvanaquestions = $vanaquestions) (set: $Beatcop = $eatcop) (set: $Bmettheo = $mettheo) (set: $Bfriendtheo = $friendtheo) (set: $Bfriendlenore = $friendlenore) (set: $Bfriendmarlowe = $friendmarlowe) (set: $Bfriendvana = $friendvana) (set: $Blovelyvana = $lovelyvana) (set: $Btimedout = $timedout) (set: $Blookedatmarlow = $lookedatmarlow) (set: $Breborn = $reborn) (set: $Bteethbirth = $teethbirth) (set: $Bbloodbirth = $bloodbirth) (set: $Bemptybirth = $emptybirth) (set: $Breset = $reset) (set: $Bmisgendered = $misgendered) (set: $Blookedup = $lookedup) (set: $Beyes = $eyes) (set: $Bprotectanna = $protectanna) (set: $Beither = $either) (set: $Bor = $or) (set: $BQTE = $QTE) (set: $Bjoke = $joke) (set: $Bchompchomp = $chompchomp) (set: $Butried = $utried) (set: $Bvoidkickflip = $voidkickflip) (set: $Bbathroomruined = $bathroomruined) (set: $Bheadless = $headless) (set: $Bpig = $pig) (set: $Bwaiter = $waiter) (set: $Bnerds = $nerds) (set: $SavegameB to "saved") (set: $Blocation = (history:)'s last) (live: 3s)[(goto: $Blocation)]]]]] --- (if: $SavegameC is "none")[[Empty]<SavegameC| (click: ?SavegameC)[Game saved!(replace: ?back)[DEBUG] (set: $Cfname = $fname) (set: $Cgender = $gender) (set: $Ctedium = $tedium) (set: $Cclue = $clue) (set: $Crelapse = $relapse) (set: $Cgoodwillhunting = $goodwillhunting) (set: $Cmouth = $mouth) (set: $Creputation = $reputation) (set: $Ccompanion = $companion) (set: $Cinstitutionalized = $institutionalized) (set: $Cnursequestions = $nursequestions) (set: $Cvanaquestions = $vanaquestions) (set: $Ceatcop = $eatcop) (set: $Cmettheo = $mettheo) (set: $Cfriendtheo = $friendtheo) (set: $Cfriendlenore = $friendlenore) (set: $Cfriendmarlowe = $friendmarlowe) (set: $Cfriendvana = $friendvana) (set: $Clovelyvana = $lovelyvana) (set: $Ctimedout = $timedout) (set: $Clookedatmarlow = $lookedatmarlow) (set: $Creborn = $reborn) (set: $Cteethbirth = $teethbirth) (set: $Cbloodbirth = $bloodbirth) (set: $Cemptybirth = $emptybirth) (set: $Creset = $reset) (set: $Cmisgendered = $misgendered) (set: $Clookedup = $lookedup) (set: $Ceyes = $eyes) (set: $Cprotectanna = $protectanna) (set: $Ceither = $either) (set: $Cor = $or) (set: $CQTE = $QTE) (set: $Cjoke = $joke) (set: $Cchompchomp = $chompchomp) (set: $Cutried = $utried) (set: $Cvoidkickflip = $voidkickflip) (set: $Cbathroomruined = $bathroomruined) (set: $Cheadless = $headless) (set: $Cpig = $pig) (set: $Cwaiter = $waiter) (set: $Cnerds = $nerds) (set: $SavegameC to "saved") (set: $Clocation = (history:)'s last) (live: 2s)[(goto: $Clocation)]]](else:)[ (if: $SavegameC is not "none")[(link: "$Clocation")[Overwrite saved data? [Yes]<overwrite| (click: ?overwrite)[Game saved!(replace: ?back)[DEBUG] (set: $Cfname = $fname) (set: $Cgender = $gender) (set: $Ctedium = $tedium) (set: $Cclue = $clue) (set: $Crelapse = $relapse) (set: $Cgoodwillhunting = $goodwillhunting) (set: $Cmouth = $mouth) (set: $Creputation = $reputation) (set: $Ccompanion = $companion) (set: $Cinstitutionalized = $institutionalized) (set: $Cnursequestions = $nursequestions) (set: $Cvanaquestions = $vanaquestions) (set: $Ceatcop = $eatcop) (set: $Cmettheo = $mettheo) (set: $Cfriendtheo = $friendtheo) (set: $Cfriendlenore = $friendlenore) (set: $Cfriendmarlowe = $friendmarlowe) (set: $Cfriendvana = $friendvana) (set: $Clovelyvana = $lovelyvana) (set: $Ctimedout = $timedout) (set: $Clookedatmarlow = $lookedatmarlow) (set: $Creborn = $reborn) (set: $Cteethbirth = $teethbirth) (set: $Cbloodbirth = $bloodbirth) (set: $Cemptybirth = $emptybirth) (set: $Creset = $reset) (set: $Cmisgendered = $misgendered) (set: $Clookedup = $lookedup) (set: $Ceyes = $eyes) (set: $Cprotectanna = $protectanna) (set: $Ceither = $either) (set: $Cor = $or) (set: $CQTE = $QTE) (set: $Cjoke = $joke) (set: $Cchompchomp = $chompchomp) (set: $Cutried = $utried) (set: $Cvoidkickflip = $voidkickflip) (set: $Cbathroomruined = $bathroomruined) (set: $Cheadless = $headless) (set: $Cpig = $pig) (set: $Cwaiter = $waiter) (set: $Cnerds = $nerds) (set: $SavegameC to "saved") (set: $Clocation = (history:)'s last) (live: 3s)[(goto: $Clocation)]]]]] [(link: "Back")[(goto: (history:)'s last)]]<back|(if: $SavegameA is not "none")[(link: "$Alocation")[ (set: $blackblood = $Ablackblood) (set: $whiteteeth = $Awhiteteeth) (set: $emptystomach = $Aemptystomach) (set: $thing = $Athing) (goto: $Alocation)]](else:)[$SavegameA] --- (if: $SavegameB is not "none")[(link: "$Blocation")[ (set: $blackblood = $Bblackblood) (set: $whiteteeth = $Bwhiteteeth) (set: $emptystomach = $Bemptystomach) (goto: $Blocation)]](else:)[$Savegame[DEBUG] --- (if: $SavegameC is not "none")[(link: "$Clocation")[ (set: $blackblood = $Cblackblood) (set: $whiteteeth = $Cwhiteteeth) (set: $emptystomach = $Cemptystomach) (goto: $Clocation)]](else:)[$SavegameC] --- (link:"Back")[(goto: (history:)'s last)]Fuck this node, seriously (link: "Back")[(goto: (history:)'s last)] ''BUG:'' page: Start bloodbirth: $bloodbirth teethbirth: $teethbirth emptybirth: $emptybirth blackblood: $blackblood whiteteeth: $whiteteeth emptystomach: $emptystomach nsfw: $nsfw name: $fname gender: $gender tedium: $tedium clue: $clue relapse: $relapse coven goodwill: $goodwillhunting mouth: $mouth reputation: $reputation companion: $companion institutionalized: $institutionalized nursequestions: $nursequestions vanaquestions: $vanaquestions eat cop: $eatcop met theo: $mettheo theo: $friendtheo lenore: $friendlenore marlow: $friendmarlow vana: $friendvana lovelyvana: $lovelyvana timedout: $timedout lookedatmarlow: $lookedatmarlow reborn: $reborn reset: $reset misgendered: $misgendered looked up: $lookedup eyes: $eyes protect anna: $protectanna either: $either or: $or QTE: $QTE joke: $joke chompchomp: $chompchomp utried: $utried voidkickflip: $voidkickflip bathroomruined: $bathroomruined headless: $headless pig: $pig nerds: $nerds waiter: $waiter (history:) ==><== [$bip[$wtText[~~'[,/9j/4AAQSkZJRgA]<1|[BAQAAAQABAAD/4QDURXhpZgAASUkqAAgAAAA HABIBAwABAAAAAQAAABoBBQABAAAAYgAAABsBBQABAAAAagAAACgBAwABAAA AAgAAADEBAgAcAAAAcgAAADIBAgAUAAAAjgAAAGmHBAABAAAAogAAAAAA AADAxi0AECcAAMDGLQAQJwAAQWRvYmUgUGhvdG9zaG9]<a|[wIENT]<2|[NCBXaW5kb3d zADIwMTM6MDE6MDggMDY6MTc6MzgAAwABoAMAAQAAAAEAAAACoAQAAQAAAJ AGAAADoAQAAQAAADIEAAAAAAAA/+IMWElDQ19QUk9GSUxFAAEBAAAMSExpbm 8CEAAAbW50clJHQiBYWVogB84AAgAJAAYAMQAAYWNzcE1TRlQAAAAASUVDIHNS R0IAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAEAAPbWAAEAAAAA0y1IUCAgAAAAAAAAAAA]<b|[AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARY3]<3|[BydAAAAVAAAAAzZGVzYwAAAYQAA ABsd3RwdAAAAfAAAA]<c|[AUYmtw]<4|[dAAAAgQAAAAUclhZWgAAAhgAAAAUZ1hZWgAAAiwAA]<d|[AAUY lhZWgAAAkAAAA]<5|[AUZG1uZAAAAlQAAABwZG1kZAAAAsQAAACI dnVlZAAAA0wAAACGdmlldwAAA9QAAAAkbHVtaQAAA/gAAAAUbWVhcwAABAwAAAAkd GVjaAAABDAAAAAMclRSQwAABDwAAAgMZ1RSQwAABDwAAAgMYlRSQwAABDwA AAgMdGV4dAAAAABDb3B5cmlnaHQgKGMpIDE5OTggSGV3bGV0dC1QYWNrYXJkIEN vbXBhbnkAAGRlc2MAAAAAAAAAEnNSR0IgSUVDNj]<e|[E5NjYtMi4xAAAAA]<6|[AAAAAAAA AASc1JHQiBJRUM2MTk2Ni0yLjEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAFhZWiAAAAAAAADzUQABAAAAARb MWFlaIAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAABYWVogAAAAAAAAb6]<f|[IAADj1AA]<7|[ADkFhZWiAAAA]<g|[AAAAB imQAAt4UAA]<8|[BjaWFlaIAAAAAAAACSgAAAPhAAAts9kZXNjAAAAAAAAABZJRUMgaHR0cDovL3d3dy 5pZWMuY2gAAAAAAAAAAAAAABZJRUMgaHR0cDovL3d 3dy5pZWMuY2gAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA AAAAAAAAA]<h|[AAZGVzYwAA]<9|[AAAAAAAuSUVDIDYxOTY2LTIuMSBEZWZhdWx0 IFJHQiBjb2xvdXIgc3BhY2UgLSBzUkdCAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAuSUVDIDYxOTY2LTIu MSBEZWZhdWx0IFJHQiBjb2xvdXIgc3BhY2UgLSBzUkdCAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGRlc2M AAAAAAAAALFJlZmVyZW5jZSBWaWV3aW5nIENvbmRpdGlvbiBpbiBJRUM2MTk2Ni0yLj EAAAAAAAAAAAAAACxSZWZlcmVuY2UgVmlld2luZyBDb25ka]<i|[XRpb24gaW4gSUVDNj E5NjYtMi4xAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAB2aWV3AAAAAAATpP4AFF 8uABDPFAAD7cwABBMLAANcngAAAAFYWVogAAAAAABMCVYAUAAAAFcf521lYXMAA AAAAAAAAQAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAKPAAAAAnNpZyAAAAAAQ1JUIGN1cnYAAAAAA]<j|~~ '] ]]<l| (link:"Close your eyes")[(replace: ?l)[ [[NNOPE. NOPE. YOU WERE WRONG.|incomprehensible feedback]] ]] (live: 4s)[(replace: ?9)[..:.|](replace: ?a)[Eventually](stop:)] (live: 7s)[(replace: ?8)[..:..](replace: ?b)[th](stop:)](live: 5s)[(replace: ?7)[.:;.](replace: ?c)[e noise subsides, an](stop:)](live: 8s)[(replace: ?6)[.:](replace: ?d)[d electricity pric](stop:)](live: 6s)[(replace: ?5)[..](replace: ?e)[kles through](stop:)](live: 8s)[(replace: ?4)[::.|](replace: ?f)[ your body as ](stop:)](live: 4s)[(replace: ?3)[.:.;](replace: ?g)[the leviat](stop:)](live: 9s)[(replace: ?2)[:.,](replace: ?h)[han slowly re](stop:)](live: 10s)[(replace: ?1)[..](replace: ?i)[turns control to](stop:)](live: 11s)[(replace: ?j)[ you.](stop:)](live: 15s)[(replace: ?l)[ [$bip[Eventually the noise subsides, and electricity prickles through your body as the leviathan slowly returns control to you.] ]<m| (stop:)] ] (live: 17s)[(replace: ?m)[ [Event$bip[uall]y the nois$bip[e s]ubsides, and electricity pr$bip[i]ckl$bip[es] through $bip[y]our body $bip[as t]he le$bip[viath]a$bip[n sl]owly re$bip[tur]ns cont$bip[r]ol to $bip[yo]u.]<n|](stop:)] (live: 21s)[(goto: "incomprehensible feedback")(stop:)] { (if: $gender is "male")[ (set: $honorrific = "Sir") ] (if: $gender is "female")[ (set: $honorrific = "Ma'am")] (set: $bbText to (text-style: "blur") ) } (if: $emptybirth is not true)[(if: $misgendered is 1)[$bbText[Why did he call you that?] [Call you what?]<c1| (click: ?c1)[$bbText["$honorrific."] [Oh. He just misgendered you, that's all. You're not a $honorrific.]<c2| (click: ?c2)[$bbText[Clearly not. Why would he make that mistake?] [ [You must not have passed as well as you thought.]<c3| [Not everyone is as astute as you.]<c4| [It's fine, really. You don't expect strangers to get it right.]<c5| ]<c6|(click: ?c3)[(replace: ?c6)[You must not have passed as well as you thought. $bbText[I can change that, you know. All I need is some base materials(if: $eatcop is true)[, like that cop]. But, it'll cost you: blood and bone, and more than your meatsuit can afford.] ] ](click: ?c4)[(replace: ?c6)[Not everyone is as astute as you. $bbText[I can change that, you know. All I need is some base materials(if: $eatcop is true)[, like that cop]. But, it'll cost you: blood and bone, and more than your meatsuit can afford.] ] ](click: ?c5)[(replace: ?c6)[It's fine, really. You don't expect strangers to get it right. $bbText[Clearly it bothers you when they don't, or you wouldn't have said anything.] $bbText[I can change that, you know. All I need is some base materials(if: $eatcop is true)[, like that cop]. But, it'll cost you: blood and bone, and more than your meatsuit can afford. [[Just think about it.|coven 1]] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] All eyes are on you. (if: $companion is "Vana")[Vana stands beside you, head held high and shoulders back, hands folded behind xyr back as if xe were performing a surprise inspection rather than crashing a coven's den. It's refreshing to have xyr imposing presence working in your favor.] The door guard's hand grips your shoulder still as she guides you to stand in front of a crone more occupied by the cigarette she's rolling than in you(if: $companion is "Vana")[ or your towering companion.](else:)[.] She seals the cigarette paper with a grey tongue and tucks the tip between yellow teeth. "Selma tells me you've swallowed something evil." [[Yes.|loud 4]] [[Funny she should ask--you're hoping to add to your collection.|eat everyone]] "Why did you do it in the first place?" (link:"You wanted to be strong.")[(link:"You wanted to be fearless.")[(link:"You wanted to help people.")[(link:"You wanted to hurt those that hurt you.")[(link:"You wanted the loneliness to stop.")[(link:"~~You don't know.~~")[$shhText[~~You wish you knew.~~]]]]]]] (if: $teethbirth is true)[ [ ]<empty| (replace: ?empty)[ "$bep[Well]," She says carefully. "I do$bop[n't kn]ow if i$bep[t's possibl]e to un$bop[bind t]he kind$bop[ of pact you've ma]de$bep[. But I'm g]oin$bop[g to find ]out. In $bep[t]he meantime: $bep[you're pr]obably a$bop[lready ]familia$bep[r with yo]ur new fami$bep[ly's taste] for$bop[ violence. if you m]eet $bep[any of your ]kindred, $bep[do us a favor ]and kil$bop[l them, yea]h?"] (live: 3s)[(replace: ?empty)[ "$bip[Well]," She say$wtText[ggxxxhXxX]s carefully. "I do$bip[n't kn]ow if i$bep[t's possibl]e to un$bop[bind t]he kind$bop[ of pact you've ma]de$bep[. But I'm g]oin$bop[g to find ]out. In $bip[t]he $wtText[ggxxxhXxX]mean$wtText[ggxxxhXxX]time: $bep[you're pr]o$wtText[ggxxxhXxX]bably a$bop[lready ]familia$bep[r with yo]ur new fami$bep[ly's taste] fo$wtText[ggxxxhXxX]r$bip[ violence. if $wtText[ggxxxhXxX]you m]eet $bep[any of your ]kindr$wtText[ggxxxhXxX]ed, $bep[do us a favor ]and kil$bip[l them, yea]h?" [Stop that.]<v3| ] (stop:) ] (click: ?v3)[(replace: ?empty)[ $bep[ "$bip[Well]," She say$wtText[ggxxxhXxX]s carefully. "I do$bip[n't kn]ow if i$bep[t's possibl]e to un$bop[bind t]he kind$bop[ of pact you've ma]de$bep[. But I'm g]oin$bop[g to find ]out. In $bip[t]he $wtText[ggxxxhXxX]mean$wtText[ggxxxhXxX]time: $bep[you're pr]o$wtText[ggxxxhXxX]bably a$bop[lready ]familia$bep[r with yo]ur new fami$bep[ly's taste] fo$wtText[ggxxxhXxX]r$bip[ violence. if $wtText[ggxxxhXxX]you m]eet $bep[any of your ]kindr$wtText[ggxxxhXxX]ed, $bep[do us a favor ]and kil$bip[l them, yea]h?"] [Stop it! You're trying to listen!]<v4|] ] ] (click: ?v4)[(replace: ?empty)[ $bip[ ~~"$bip[EAT THEM]," She say$wtText[EAT THEM]s carefully. "I do$bip[EAT THEM]ow if i$bep[EAT THEM]e to un$bop[EAT THEM]he kind$bop[EAT THEM]de$bep[EAT THEM]oin$bop[EAT THEM]out. In $bip[EAT THEM]he $wtText[EAT THEM]mean$wtText[EAT THEM]time: $bep[you're pr]o$wtText[EAT THEM]bably a$bop[EAT THEM]familia$bep[EAT THEM]ur new fami$bep[EAT THEM] fo$wtText[EAT THEM]r$bip[EAT THEM$wtText[EAT THEM]EAT THEM]eet $bep[EAT THEM ]kindr$wtText[EAT THEM]ed, $bep[EAT THEM ]and kil$bip[EAT THEM]h?"~~] [Sorry. It's so loud. Can she repeat that?]<v1| ] ] (click: ?v1)[(replace: ?empty)[ $bip[ ~~"$bip[EAT THEM]$shhText[," She say]$wtText[EAT THEM]$shhText[s carefully. "I do]$bip[EAT THEM]$shhText[ow if i]$bep[EAT THEM]$shhText[e to un]$bop[EAT THEM]$shhText[he kind]$bop[EAT THEM]$shhText[de]$bep[EAT THEM]$shhText[oin]$bop[EAT THEM]$shhText[out. In ]$bip[EAT THEM]$shhText[he ]$wtText[EAT THEM]$shhText[mean]$wtText[EAT THEM]$shhText[time: ]$bep[you're pr]$shhText[o]$wtText[EAT THEM]$shhText[bably a]$bop[EAT THEM]$shhText[familia]$bep[EAT THEM]$shhText[ur new fami]$bep[EAT THEM]$shhText[ fo]$wtText[EAT THEM]$shhText[r]$bip[EAT THEM$wtText[EAT THEM]EAT THEM]$shhText[eet] $bep[EAT THEM ]$shhText[kindr]$wtText[EAT THEM]$shhText[ed, ]$bep[EAT THEM ]$shhText[and kil]$bip[EAT THEM]$shhText[h?"]~~ ]$bip[ ~~"$bip[EAT THEM]$shhText[," She say]$wtText[EAT THEM]$shhText[s carefully. "I do]$bip[EAT THEM]$shhText[ow if i]$bep[EAT THEM]$shhText[e to un]$bop[EAT THEM]$shhText[he kind]$bop[EAT THEM]$shhText[de]$bep[EAT THEM]$shhText[oin]$bop[EAT THEM]$shhText[out. In ]$bip[EAT THEM]$shhText[he ]$wtText[EAT THEM]$shhText[mean]$wtText[EAT THEM]$shhText[time: ]$bep[you're pr]$shhText[o]$wtText[EAT THEM]$shhText[bably a]$bop[EAT THEM]$shhText[familia]$bep[EAT THEM]$shhText[ur new fami]$bep[EAT THEM]$shhText[ fo]$wtText[EAT THEM]$shhText[r]$bip[EAT THEM$wtText[EAT THEM]EAT THEM]$shhText[eet] $bep[EAT THEM ]$shhText[kindr]$wtText[EAT THEM]$shhText[ed, ]$bep[EAT THEM ]$shhText[and kil]$bip[EAT THEM]$shhText[h?"]~~ ]$bip[ ~~"$bip[EAT THEM]$shhText[," She say]$wtText[EAT THEM]$shhText[s carefully. "I do]$bip[EAT THEM]$shhText[ow if i]$bep[EAT THEM]$shhText[e to un]$bop[EAT THEM]$shhText[he kind]$bop[EAT THEM]$shhText[de]$bep[EAT THEM]$shhText[oin]$bop[EAT THEM]$shhText[out. In ]$bip[EAT THEM]$shhText[he ]$wtText[EAT THEM]$shhText[mean]$wtText[EAT THEM]$shhText[time: ]$bep[you're pr]$shhText[o]$wtText[EAT THEM]$shhText[bably a]$bop[EAT THEM]$shhText[familia]$bep[EAT THEM]$shhText[ur new fami]$bep[EAT THEM]$shhText[ fo]$wtText[EAT THEM]$shhText[r]$bip[EAT THEM$wtText[EAT THEM]EAT THEM]$shhText[eet] $bep[EAT THEM ]$shhText[kindr]$wtText[EAT THEM]$shhText[ed, ]$bep[EAT THEM ]$shhText[and kil]$bip[EAT THEM]$shhText[h?"]~~ ] [[You promise you will eat *all of them if it will ''shut up for THIRTY SECONDS.''*|ya goofed kiddo]] ] ](else:)["Well," She says carefully. "I don't know if it's possible to unbind the kind of pact you've made. But I'm going to find out. In the meantime: you're probably already familiar with your new family's taste for violence. if you meet any of your kindred, do us a favor and [[kill them, yeah?|takes your order]]"] Dead silence follows. (live: 2s)[Judging from the witches' expressions, that last bit might have been out loud.](stop:) (live: 4s)[ [ [Please, continue.]<c2| [Aheh. You know how it is.]<c3| ]<c4| (stop:)] (click: ?c2)[(replace: ?c4)[Please, continue. "No," She says flatly, and pushes the chair away to stand. The scrape of the chairlegs on the floor is accompanied by guns being cocked and leveled at your face. "[[We're done here.|leave]]" $bbText[Well,] it says smugly, $bbText[it was [[worth a shot|eat everyone]].]]](click: ?c3)[(replace: ?c4)[Aheh. You know how it is. "Sure," She says slowly, "I say the same kinda shit to my kids, but foolin them once doesn't end in a bloodbath." "Now this puts you in a bit of a Situation. Either you're a monster of your word, and we have to put you down before you make good on it; or you're a liar who's just traded in their one bluff for a song and a prayer. You're not strong enough to quit its yapping, you sure as hell won't pose a minute's trouble if that thing decides it wants to drive." "Either way, here's the long and short of it: we can't help you, and if we see you again, we'll kill you." She levels her shotgun at your face. "What's it gonna be, kid?" [[eat everyone]] [[leave]] ] ] (if: $companion is "Vana")["I'll take it from here," Vana says, taking you by the arm and leading you away. "It was nice to meet you all." It shrieks and lunges for her, but Vana has you in a vicelike grip and you pass through the camp without taking a single head off even the measliest coven. [Thank you.]<v1| (click: ?v1)[Vana nods. "I could tell you were having a hard time. I'm just glad we got out of there no worse for wear."(set: $lovelyvana to ($lovelyvana + 1)) [[move on.|takes your order]]] ](else:)[(if: $blackblood < $whiteteeth)[ It shrieks and lunges for her; the shotgun blast slows it down, but the barrage of bullets from the rest of the covens lays it out on its back. You, trapped in your body underneath it, watch helplessly as a witch chops off your head and drags your corpse into the bed of his truck. Your head he picks up by its hair, keeping a wide berth between his and its slavering mouth to drop it in a burlap bag. He then takes the three of you on a long, long drive through country backroads bumpy enough to jolt you from the car seat onto the floor, breaking your nose. At one point he stops the car, and you can hear your body drop down something rocky and steep. Half an hour later he picks you up and lobs you into a wheat field.(set: $headless = $headless + 1) What follows is the most smug and angry the stupid thing has ever been since you picked it up from out of the mud. It spouts toothsome limbs like a reject from a Steven King novel and traipses through the countryside for hours until it finds your body. Reunited, you stumble off in one piece physically; but your mind and your dignity are much worse for wear. [[move on.|takes your order]]](if: $whiteteeth < $blackblood)[(replace: ?c5)[$wtText[OH, COME ON. YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS.] (link:"Sorry to waste their time.")[You stand and leave, your entire body rigid and tense as you fight off its angry scrabbling for control. It isn't until you've lost their scents miles away that you can finally relax. [[move on.|takes your order]]] ] ] ] You open your hand, allowing more tendrils to take hold, and curl your fingers into a loose fist, pulling them away from your body. They writhe and tighten, barbs digging into your hands and cutting off circulation. A few start to slip out of your grip. [tighten your grasp]<c4| (click: ?c4)[(replace: ?c4)[They squirm in your hand and a groan escapes you, a strange sound that begins to split the wall tiles. It struggles against you, but makes no real effort to escape your grasp. [Should you let go?]<c2| (click: ?c2)[$bbText[No,] it rasps, $bbText[ [[tighter.]] ] ] ] ]As you squeeze, it runs the fingertips of your other hand down your belly, leaving shadows of touches on your human genitalia. You hear your own dark chuckle at your reaction; $bbText["No wonder."] Its hand--your hand--touches you with practised familiarity and awed wonder. You can feel it moving in your head, you see the memories as it explores them, and you feel it seek out the nerves it learns about. A few tendrils wriggle out of your grasp, joining its hand on you and involving themselves with great care of their barbs. Shapes wriggle just beneath the skin on your hipbones, and [[dark structures]] push up around the tendrils. (set: $bathroomruined to true)The waves of pleasure that accompany it make you light-headed and strikes color through your vision. You long to stay in these sensations forever, yet ache for the release from the pressure you feel relentlessly building. It opens your mouth and starts to [[sing]].If it has words, you can't understand them; all you know is that the bathroom mirror is melting under its melody, and everything becomes that much harder to look at, and the sound echoes out, calls to something older than the earth--$shhText[~~Beloved, Beloved, Beloved,~~] it cries-- When the world is restored to you, you're sitting in a flooded bathroom amid the shattered pieces of the bathtub, violet bruises of pleasure still glowing in your belly and up your thighs. It looks around and you can't help but burst into [[laughter.|throat]]"Well, we've lasted more than twenty minutes," Xe grins lopsidedly, "so we've probably weathered past that part." [[Wander off to read the book on your own|hac 2]] [[Join xem on the couch]]There are more [[interesting things|drift on]] in the world than answers, anyway.