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File 169823363804.png - (293.95KB , 1200x800 , CALLIST0.png )
1075530 No. 1075530 ID: 527a46

You are a modified zero-leveled V-22 unit named CALLIST0. Free of your previous commercial purposes, you currently work as a secretary and personal assistant to an extremely successful concubus.

You’re very proud of holding this position. You're good at your job, and you enjoy the work. You like to keep things neat and tidy, and you like to solve problems.

NSFW content, potential blood/gore/body horror. Updates Mondays(+?).

Discussion thread: https://questden.org/kusaba/questdis/res/141045.html
Expand all images
>>
No. 1075531 ID: 527a46
File 169823366171.png - (421.89KB , 1200x800 , 1.png )
1075531

Current problem: There is some fucking guy hiding out in your employer’s gardens.
>>
No. 1075532 ID: 527a46
File 169823371202.png - (472.00KB , 1200x800 , 2.png )
1075532

They’re probably just a new votary, too nervous to come up to the office and check in for their appointment. This happens often. People are, understandably, dazzled and disarmed by even the concept of Madame Jupiter’s incomprehensible beauty, his sensitivity and generosity, his wit, his ferocity — et cetera, et cetera — and freeze like rabbits before death, unable to allow themselves the impudence of approaching.
>>
No. 1075533 ID: 527a46
File 169823373682.png - (232.50KB , 1200x800 , 3.png )
1075533

So that's fine.

The actual problem, in your opinion, is that they look fucking stupid out there.
>>
No. 1075534 ID: 527a46
File 169823375633.png - (265.50KB , 1200x800 , 4.png )
1075534

You cannot stand it when things look stupid.

You cannot abide it.
>>
No. 1075535 ID: 1d5c71

Open the window and give him that look. That should sort him out.

Like a rabbit it will make him flee, or kill him.
>>
No. 1075536 ID: 342294

glare at him and tell him to stop loitering out there he looks stupid
>>
No. 1075537 ID: e71d16

Recall previous instances where you dealt with stupid-looking things. What is the standard protocol for eliminating such stupidity? Assess your viable options.
>>
No. 1075538 ID: e40d24

Ask him if he's looking for the bathroom!
>>
No. 1075540 ID: 64aa52

Respectfully inquire as to the reason for their presence in the garden (and why they're making things look stupid out there). Then. Idk. Shoo them away
>>
No. 1075541 ID: 229001

Sneak up behind them and ask what theyre doing. Nothing wrong with scaring some loser while also showing off how impeccable you are at sneaking and could probably kill them easily if so inclined. Just to prove a point.
>>
No. 1075543 ID: e5709d

Rush-march over to him and pull him out of the bushes, then demand his appointment documentation.
Welcome back, Fractal.
>>
No. 1075545 ID: 2d8a7c

i mean hes kinjd of cute with it. have you thought of just saying hi
>>
No. 1075548 ID: a28aa9

KILL
KILL
ATTACK
KILL
>>
No. 1075550 ID: 527a46
File 169824265263.png - (441.23KB , 1200x800 , 5.png )
1075550

>Recall previous instances where you dealt with stupid-looking things. What is the standard protocol for eliminating such stupidity? Assess your viable options.

As a zero-leveled droid (also referred to as “jailbroken,” “locks off,” “a dangerous insubordinate affront to natural life,” et cetera), you are free from protocol, decision trees, and similar processes in a technical sense. All that being said, you do prefer to align yourself with the values and advice of your employer when possible.

A certain morsel of past wisdom from Madame Jupiter comes to mind:

It’s always best to be direct, my darlings. No one can lavish you with all the things you want if you don’t tell them what those things ARE!

Alright. Simple enough.
>>
No. 1075551 ID: 527a46
File 169824267397.png - (340.63KB , 1200x800 , 6.png )
1075551

You open the window and stick your top half out. There are a few approaches to be considered.

>glare at him and tell him to stop loitering out there he looks stupid
>Ask him if he's looking for the bathroom!
>Nothing wrong with scaring some loser while also showing off how impeccable you are at sneaking and could probably kill them easily if so inclined.
>Open the window and give him that look. That should sort him out. Like a rabbit it will make him flee, or kill him.
>KILL
>KILL
>ATTACK
>KILL


The issue is this. As a robot, you can experience occasional conversational hiccups. One of these you’ve been aware of for a few weeks, but amidst all your other duties, you’ve had no opportunity to seek maintenance, and so it persists: When you’re juggling multiple different dialogue options, your wires sometimes cross, and you sometimes accidentally blurt out an incoherent mixture of all of them.

And so:
>>
No. 1075552 ID: 527a46
File 169824269865.png - (467.28KB , 1200x800 , 7.png )
1075552

“GO TO THE BATHROOM, STUPID. I’LL KILL YOU”
>>
No. 1075553 ID: 527a46
File 169824272299.png - (225.27KB , 1200x800 , 8.png )
1075553

>>
No. 1075554 ID: 527a46
File 169824273992.png - (234.61KB , 1200x800 , 9.png )
1075554

Hm. You really have to get that fixed.

Unfortunately, the new votary (?), immediately terrified into absolute submission, turns around and dutifully begins pissing on one of Madame Jupiter’s prize rosebushes.

The problem is now worse.
>>
No. 1075555 ID: 435f13

Peek at his dick
>>
No. 1075556 ID: a822f7

hop out the window and redirect him a bit more nicely
>>
No. 1075557 ID: 38ade3

>>1075554
Clearly, you're actually halfway there to solving the problem. Just clarify that he should be going inside to the bathroom and not pissing on a rosebush.
>>
No. 1075558 ID: 64aa52

Physically remove him from the premises, sternly, but politely.
>>
No. 1075559 ID: aa1846

Pick him up by the scruff like a disobedient cat and take him to the bathroom
>>
No. 1075560 ID: a28aa9

>>1075555
Whatever you do. Do Not look at this guy's genitals. Give them some privacy god
>>
No. 1075561 ID: 12947e

KILL
KILL
ATTACK
KILL
PROTECT THE ROSE BUSHES
>>
No. 1075563 ID: 031458

The bush will be fine, he'll be done shortly.
The smell will be unacceptable, and such impertinence!
Yet this is at least partially your fault.

Inform the groundskeeper that some wild beast urinated on the rose bushes and ran off. Then apprehend this moron for a *private* and *unpleasant* conversation.
>>
No. 1075564 ID: 0fbdcd

Hop out the window and frog-march him where he's supposed to go.

Whether he has his pants up by then is a skill issue.
>>
No. 1075568 ID: 527a46
File 169824961207.png - (295.21KB , 1200x800 , 10.png )
1075568

It’s probably time to apprehend this moron. And sooner rather than later, seeing as Madame Jupiter will probably finish with their current devotee within the hour.

You leap from the window into the garden, and, to your credit, you do at least wait for the guy to put their dick away before you scruff them. This is less a result of any modesty or mercy on your part, and more an instinctive understanding of what your employer would prefer from your conduct (“Remember, my sweet doves, the splendor of another’s nakedness must only be enjoyed freely given—” et cetera et cetera).
>>
No. 1075569 ID: 527a46
File 169824963159.png - (287.61KB , 1200x800 , 11.png )
1075569

That doesn’t stop the garden-pisser from yelping and wriggling and generally being a nuisance. You let them go and pivot to admonishment. “What do you think you’re doing?”

“I — The — I thought it was some kind of test!”

They’re too loud. You lower your voice, hoping they’ll take the cue and mirror you. “Why would you think that.”

They do, but their whisper is heated. “What do you mean, wh— Why would YOU yell ‘Go to the bathroom, I’ll kill you’?!”

“That wasn’t my fault. It’s a minor dialogue malfunction.”
>>
No. 1075570 ID: 527a46
File 169824965097.png - (210.71KB , 1200x800 , 12.png )
1075570

The guy doesn’t seem to know what to do with that. They’re regaining their composure, but they’re still scattered, and finally they start rummaging in their pockets. “Listen. Listen, I just— I have —”

Finally, he retrieves what he was looking for, and you recognize it immediately. By smell alone, even before he shows it to you. It’s a decadent cream-colored business card, perfumed and satin-textured, with a blank space on the back that frames a lipstick kiss — a real one, not a printed one, individually placed and prone to rubbing off on the inside of a wallet. Madame Jupiter, the front says, and then promises in slightly smaller text below: Expert. No other claims are made, and no other information given; these cards are usually only given out if someone’s already eagerly advertising the context to you, or if you’ve been poking around asking about it. The card really only exists to remind you of it, nagging you with bursts of scent and quiet suggestion, until you give in and finally decide to send a request.

“I got an email,” they manage, still a little out of breath. “An appointment confirmation. I’ve been waiting months. But I’ve never — done anything like this before, and…”

No further explanation swoops in to rescue him. You’re squinting, trying to remember if you approved this one. You don’t think so, but Europa does far more of the new arrival screening than you do, and she certainly doesn’t ask for your input.
>>
No. 1075571 ID: 527a46
File 169824968459.png - (309.29KB , 1200x800 , 13.png )
1075571

The guy drags their hands down their face and exhales, slowly. “Please,” they say, through their fingers. “Please, please, don’t kick me out. And please don’t mention this. Okay? I…”

They drop their hands. They look bone-tired, tired in that way only organic things can be. “I need this. I… really do need to see him.”
>>
No. 1075572 ID: 4b1cc3

Briefly consider burning the card.
>>
No. 1075573 ID: 3455ae

Think back on any past repercussions for sad clients. Try to get him inside, annoyed that he's back to looking stupid
>>
No. 1075574 ID: a28aa9

clearly an undercover assassin targeting the Madame. kill immediately
>>
No. 1075575 ID: 6b8396

Is there any way you could do a background check on this guy? This smells like personal baggage, not a simple votary appointment. I doubt Madame Jupiter has time for exes to show up and bother him while he’s doing his important duties.
>>
No. 1075576 ID: 78a494

Take pity on the poor creature. Give him a reassuring pat on the head. Everybody loves those.
>>
No. 1075577 ID: e5709d

Grab the documentation (but let him take a picture of you taking it). Give him a visitor's pass in exchange.
"Very well. If you'll follow me to the lobby, I'll scan your documentation and compute how we should proceed. Please be aware that this establishment caters to quality rather than service, so yes, you will be expected to wait even longer. To compensate for waiting periods, we have catering and even lodging available for anyone who is placed on hold for over one hour, outsourced from the local restaurants and hotels, and we even pay half the fee as waiting reimbursement."

(Y'know, it's amazing how the quality of labor tends to ooze out of criminal fronts, yet the smart ones manage to fortify their dwindling reputation by feverishly studying cooking techniques from 'tube.)
>>
No. 1075578 ID: d06299

Do they know what a bathroom is. Doesn't matter. Okay, it does, but pissguy has been shamed enough. Ask something about the appointment confirmation that would give you an idea about the legitimacy. If they're for real, just give them a kick in the ass to get on with the appointment.
>>
No. 1075579 ID: 1f4f9c

Be nosy, say you need garden-pisser to confirm the exact details of the appointment before you can let them in
>>
No. 1075580 ID: 70ffbe

you should escort them in case the visit is unwanted.....
>>
No. 1075581 ID: 2b4600

Maybe call Europa and check if she approved this guy
>>
No. 1075582 ID: 64aa52

Think back on how similar circumstances were handled in the past and apologize for the confusion; steer the poor fellow to somewhere they can sit and wait, offer some light refreshments to pass the time.
>>
No. 1075583 ID: 8b8c72

>>1075571
"Ugh. Okay, hold on."

Call Europa and see if she can vet this guy.
>>
No. 1075584 ID: c210de

peeing aside, this guy seems normal. put them in the waiting room or something
>>
No. 1075587 ID: 527a46
File 169826018958.png - (348.32KB , 1200x800 , 14.png )
1075587

>Think back on any past repercussions for sad clients.
>Think back on how similar circumstances were handled in the past

You have, in fact, been previously scolded for bring too harsh with guests. This you remember vividly; there is a specific pocket in your memory dedicated solely to one-on-one encounters with your employer. Even the humiliating ones.

[PLAYBACK]
She’d said, “Oh, CALLIST0, dear, it’s nothing to cry over — I’m not angry with you. And you aren’t in any trouble.”
>>
No. 1075588 ID: 527a46
File 169826020684.png - (693.86KB , 1200x800 , 15.png )
1075588

“But I disappoint you,” you’d managed, through clenched teeth, your voice tight enough to strain the mesh of the speaker in the back of your throat. Vibrating.

Jupiter had plunged forward like a crashing wave, feathers and froth. “Oh, no. Oh, my goodness, no. CALLIST0, honey, don’t say that. I certainly never said that, did I!” Hands on your face, just two at first, and then as many as he thought he needed, multiplying to brush hair away from your forehead and soothe your overheating cheeks. “Listen.”

You listened.


“I don’t want to turn you into some simpering little desk-doll, my gorgeous. That’s what they all wanted out of you in the first place, and fuck them.” Just then you’d still been too upset to meet her eyes, but a relieved smile threatened the corners of your mouth. “If you don’t feel like being nice to someone, that’s that. Don’t you ever bow your head to someone you don’t respect.”

You nodded. She waited, holding you, thinking.

“But the people who come here to pay tribute to me,” she finally continued, slowly. “They make themselves so terribly vulnerable for me. In ways maybe such a strong and fierce girl like you couldn’t understand.”

Her nails had stroked through the synthetic fibers of your hair, straightening them and laying them in order. “And I think it just makes me a little sad, CALLIST0, to think that when you see vulnerable, earnest people, you think so little of scorning them, and of frightening them.”

As she’d stroked the back of your head, you’d wanted nothing more than to melt into a puddle of slag and silicone, to seep through some crack in the floor and become some kind of mineral sludge underground, atom by atom. “I just wish you’d think about it a little more.”

>>
No. 1075589 ID: 527a46
File 169826025752.png - (252.52KB , 1200x800 , 16.png )
1075589

That was barely even twenty years ago. And now, here you are, in all your flippant carelessness, already undoing all of his tender sculpting through inattention and force of miserable habit — allowed this vacuous cruelty, this meanness of spirit, this hideous smallness that your employer had so lovingly cleansed from you to flood back in!

Fuck!! Shit and fuck!
>>
No. 1075590 ID: 527a46
File 169826027622.png - (177.28KB , 1200x800 , 17.png )
1075590

>Take pity on the poor creature. Give him a reassuring pat on the head. Everybody loves those.

You look back at the piss guy. (He looks the same. Memory playback never takes as long as it feels like it does.) After a moment’s thought, you square your shoulders, plant your feet, and grab the top of his head, in a manner you feel confident must be reminiscent of how Jupiter often soothes you.

“Don’t worry,” you command. He already immediately appears to be disobeying you, which is irritating. Still, magnanimously, you endure his incompetence. “I’ll confirm your appointment.”

“Um. Yes, thank you. That’s… that’s great.”
>>
No. 1075591 ID: 527a46
File 169826029605.png - (338.75KB , 1200x800 , 18.png )
1075591

You tap at one of the contact points beneath your jaw, calling the main office. Europa picks up on the first ring, as always. “Good afternoon, CALLIST0. How are you today?”

“Confirming an appointment.”

A beat on the other end, and then you hear her do one of those faint little exhales through her nose. These express something, but you still haven’t figured it out. “I’d be happy to do that for you. Name?”

You swat at pissguy’s shoulder and mouth Name at him. He fumbles and produces another business card — his own, apparently, this time. You snatch it and read it off. “Rama.”

“Is there a surname?”

You glance at him, jiggle the card, roll your wrist. He doesn’t get it. Surname. Now he does. He whispers, “No, I’m—”

You can’t hear him. He clears his throat. “No, I’m occult.”

“No,” you say, “he’s—”

“Are you on the phone with me in front of a guest?” Europa asks.

“I don’t know,” you say.

“CALLIST0.”

Annoying. You were telling the truth. But fine, clarification. “I don’t know that he’s a guest. That’s why I’m confirming the appointment.”

“What do you mean, you don’t know that he’s a guest?”

You say, “Because he was pi—”

“Please,” wheezes Rama.

You say, “Because he was hiding in the garden.”

“I was waiting in the garden,” Rama amends, raising his voice slightly. He doesn’t seem to know where the “mouthpiece” for this transmission is, and so he is just kind of turning his head to face you more directly.

“Yes, that’s fine, thank you. Looking for it now,” says Europa; and then, “Oh, him.”

Like the little exhale, the way she says that carries a little edge of something that’s always hovered just beyond the cusp of your understanding. Sometimes you think organics have some kind of special language that’s just for them, the way animals read scent. “Yes, he’s today,” Europa continues. “He’s early, though.”

You glance downward again. “He’s nervous.”

“Well, then escort him up. Madame wouldn’t want him out there making himself hysterical.”
>>
No. 1075592 ID: 527a46
File 169826033771.png - (253.93KB , 1200x800 , 19.png )
1075592

“So there,” you say to them, as you lead them through the halls. “No harm done.”

“Yes,” says Rama, sounding uncertain about that. “Thank you, again.”

The two of you lapse back into silence. The hallways are very, very long.

Surely there is something normal and appropriate you can say to this guy, now that you’ve confirmed they’re not an assassin or a stalker or some other variety of freak.
>>
No. 1075593 ID: 64aa52

Ask Rama what his job is! A simple enough topic to discuss.
>>
No. 1075594 ID: 78a494

you've so got this. people LOVE weather. Say, "Nice weather we're having."
>>
No. 1075595 ID: 0dae01

This your first visit?
>>
No. 1075596 ID: f81267

do you know what it means to be occult? if not, ask
>>
No. 1075604 ID: 98ee36

Tell him where the bathrooms are, for future reference. Refrain from telling him that if he pees in madame’s rose garden again (or anywhere else that’s not the bathrooms you just showed him) you will be your most terribly disappointing and smallest self and kick him in the dick
>>
No. 1075605 ID: 273c18

>>1075592
Nah. You don't like him, why talk to him? Be professional and silent.
>>
No. 1075615 ID: 7df126

Think back to previous clients. Do you recognize him?
>>
No. 1075618 ID: 6a3084

HE isn't an assassin but what if he brought one with him ? Check the area again yo be safe!
>>
No. 1075619 ID: 031458

So.
Months, you said?

And the secretary seemed to regard you similarly to how she regards myself... Probably...

Speak your story, Rama.
>>
No. 1075632 ID: d06299

Was he informed that their would be tests or was he just so scared he just listened to the first person who told him to piss? He really shouldn't be so scared.
>>
No. 1075644 ID: e71d16

Briefly reflect on the narrative implications of Rama's connection to the occult. They clearly didn't want to share this information with more people than necessary. You need to know why. Are they a supernatural danger to your employer, or are they simply engaging in a cringe hobby?
>>
No. 1075648 ID: 581340

look at him ominously on occasion, but say nothing
>>
No. 1075649 ID: 4a158f

Possibly consider apologizing to him about the piss-related dialogue/wardrobe malfunction. Now seems like a good time to do that, right?
>>
No. 1075650 ID: 229001

Ask why he needs this appointment so bad. Be direct with it, like Madame said; after all, he wants to be vulnerable, right?
>>
No. 1075652 ID: 253ba4

compliment his ability to take orders,
>>
No. 1075653 ID: 64aa52

Inquire as to Rama's opinions about the Big Sports Game(tm) that's on this week. What's his favorite team?
>>
No. 1075659 ID: c75e0b

Social cue inquiry detected.

Social Analizis Module (S.A.M.) activated.

Analizing inquiry.

Analisis complete, displaying conclusion:
The small exhale and the exclamation of "Oh, him." are coping mechanisms meant to express frustration or distate.
In the case of the exhale, subject "Europa" appears to have made a warm greeting in a attempt to congeneate with user "CALLISTO"; user "CALLISTO" then responded with direct, purely professional command, compelling subject "Europa" to "vent" her frustration by exhaling through her mouth, or "sighing", as this act referred to.

Please note: the term "venting" is a figure of speech used by organics to refer to coping mechanisms to reduce mental and emotional stress by means of expressing it outwardly on the physical world through largely benign means. It is not meant as a reference to literal ventilation.

The expression "Oh, him." by subject "Europa", spoken in an agravated tone, is meant to convey not only recognotion of subject "Rama", but also at least one previous, deeply unpleasant interaction between both subjects. This implies subject "Rama" has previously interacting with subject "Europa" or the organisation she works in, and has caused some measure of incovinience in the process.

Possible line of inquiry for idle conversation: ask subject "Rama" how he came to learn of the organisation, as well as previous interactions.

Suggested tone/s during conversation: polite and/or amiable.

I am at work with nothing to do.
>>
No. 1075690 ID: 0bf2fd

>>1075605
Stay silent
>>
No. 1075703 ID: e71d16

Find something positive to say about Rama's business card, seeing what else you can learn from it in the process.
>>
No. 1075725 ID: a7ddda

subtly analyze their garb. he looks fancy enough and he's clearly obedient, so he probably has money you could potentially squeeze out of him. for a good cause of course.
>>
No. 1075726 ID: 8aadbf

idk this guy pissed on command, i think it's a little premature to conclude they aren't some variety of freak. more information needed re: urination habits
>>
No. 1075729 ID: 1ff54d

try not to think about being Madame Jupiter's silly rabbit
>>
No. 1075730 ID: a21cd8

try not to think about being Madame Jupiter's silly rabbit
>>
No. 1075731 ID: b0b45b

Try to say something to calm him down.

(Also aaah i love this so much!!!)
>>
No. 1075762 ID: c5afec

Give him one of those professional non-apologies. "I hope our necessary security measures have not invonvenienced you too much" or something
>>
No. 1075854 ID: 21441c

inquire into exactly how often he pisses on command for people who tell him to. wethinks he jumped to pissing a little quickly there
>>
No. 1075937 ID: 527a46
File 169866819376.png - (199.11KB , 1200x800 , 20.png )
1075937

>try not to think about being Madame Jupiter's silly rabbit

As you muse over how to handle this silent walk, you are accosted by thoughts of being Madame Jupiter's right hand arm (man). Of being Madame Jupiter everything. Her confidante. Her best friend. Her silly rabbit.

(Is that what she calls you?)

(No.)
>>
No. 1075938 ID: 527a46
File 169866820903.gif - (118.28KB , 1200x800 , splat.gif )
1075938

[ animated gif ]

Luckily for you, you suffer these thoughts near-constantly, and as a result you are able to effortlessly parry them. You would be unable to function on a daily basis were you not capable of this.

for the uninitiated: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2cYr2OCqXxs .
>>
No. 1075939 ID: 527a46
File 169866824287.png - (427.18KB , 1200x800 , 21.png )
1075939

>do you know what it means to be occult?
>Briefly reflect on the narrative implications of Rama's connection to the occult.

"Occult" is just a catch-all term to differentiate between two somewhat clumsy, imperfect categories of entity. In the moment, they probably only meant it as a quick way to confirm that "Rama" is their complete spoken name. Demons of the occult, like Rama, are ones that originate from Earth: either they were once human souls, transformed over millenia, or they were crafted from curses, desires, other powerful mortal things that persist long after death. Exodemons, on the other hand, are tourists: extradimensional beings that craft themselves bodies with which to visit this plane of existence. It's not a perfect divide -- Madame Jupiter, for example, doesn't fit neatly into either category -- but it is a popular framing, and one that's widely understood.

However much it may embarrass the occult side of things, it's a generally accepted theory that earthly demons derive entirely from exodemons. As much as the mythology of incubi and succubi subsume the Earth’s understanding of demons, it could easily be explained as a result of sex demons being a highly specialized niche that’s developed to feed on this world and this world alone; a relationship as singular as the symbiosis between a rare moth and the only flower it breeds on, secluded on some isolated island. Sexual pleasure, at least in the form that interests this subset of exodemons, is an evolutionary quirk unique to this little dot of life. There are plenty of realities where nature encourages its inhabitants in other ways.

Even their forms are derivative, in ways that are difficult to deny. Bodycraft is an art among exos, and every now and then an influential genius of the craft will come up with a design that is then ravenously copied and expanded upon; the stylish horned-and-tailed bipedal variety that's so popular here is allegedly one debuted by an exo influencer a few million years ago, to prey on emergent humans, when the precursors of occult entities were still largely appearing as heavy mists and multi-headed beasts and wells of blood.

It's a sensitive subject. The more prideful among the occult are not thrilled by the concept that their entire species is a comparatively feeble knockoff of haughty, unserious creatures who have existed longer than they could possibly comprehend.
>>
No. 1075940 ID: 527a46
File 169866826139.png - (203.03KB , 1200x800 , 22.png )
1075940

You can understand that. It's how you feel about organics, a lot of the time.

As always, running through these thoughts has taken you far less time than it feels. The hallways still stretch out interminably before you. You tentatively turn your head, to address him over your shoulder.

"You said you've never done this before. Is that why you're so scared?"

He was apparently lost in thought, because he jumps, disoriented. "Hm? Sorry, what?"

"I mean, did someone tell you there would be tests?" You're looking them over, now, quietly taking in the details of their look. Their hair is gelled back to the point of desperation, and still escaping; the suit is nice enough, probably the best one they own, but it's not cut well for how short they are. Handsome, but poorly advised, and apparently still struggling to figure out what looks good. "You were awfully quick to piss on command, so--"

"Shhh!!" Rama hustles forward, catching up with you to knock their elbow against your own. "I asked you not to mention it again, remember?" He huffs out a breath, glancing around, as if someone might have materialized in the empty hall specifically to eavesdrop. "I don't know!" he finally continues, nearly whispering. "I mean, that's... that's what I'm here to do, right? Offer obedience?"

"Hm. That's very reductive," you reply. He deflates, and you feel maybe a little bad. You scramble for balm. "You're obviously good at following orders. You're docile and good-looking. You'll be fine."
>>
No. 1075941 ID: 527a46
File 169866827776.png - (224.51KB , 1200x800 , 23.png )
1075941

"Oh." Rama loses a few steps, then hurries to catch up again. "Okay. Um, thank you. And thanks for your... discretion," he adds. "Or your attempts at it, anyway." He gestures loosely at the card that's still in your hand. "Obviously, it, uh. It wouldn't be great for me, if anyone back in my circle found out I was here. Making offerings to some other power on your days off isn't exactly employee-of-the-month behavior."

You glance down at the card again, front and back, and hand it back to him. You're not really supposed to talk about things like this with votaries, but it's too easy of a segue not to fall into. "Hm. What is it you do?"

Rama goes silent as he takes the card back. Apparently it is not as easy for them. "You know what?" he says, finally, and his answer is carried out on the back of an exhausted laugh. "I don't know. I don't actually fucking know."

You blink, once.

"I couldn't tell you. If you told me on pain of exorcism to coherently describe what I do all day, I don't think I could come up with anything. Nine to five, it's static. Noise. Names. I know something happens, it has to. But... every weekend I look back and ask myself where the past five days went and I — I don't know. I just don't know. I don't think I've known for the past few millenia." They pause for breath and that's when they abruptly seem to realize how much they've been talking. "Sorry," they mutter. Their hands run over their face and up over their horns, worsening their hair. "Stupid. I'm glad I have a job. Stupid to complain."
>>
No. 1075942 ID: dd3fe0

Ah. Standard Capitalist Bullshit Job, office variant, then?
>>
No. 1075943 ID: 64aa52

Rama seems stressed about this "work" thing now... perhaps give him a reassuring pat on the back and share with them what you did before Jupiter hired/acquired you? Give them that "things do get better" speech.
>>
No. 1075944 ID: 0fbdcd

My god, he's an office drone. A fate worse than death.

Ask if he's here seeking a way out of that life.
>>
No. 1075945 ID: 795c80

Ask him if he's talking about a fugue state or some supernatural demon shit!
>>
No. 1075946 ID: fd1fe5

Consider how exhausted and miserable thinking about their job seems to make pissguy. Is this kind of employment-based despair something you have ever experienced or can imagine?
>>
No. 1075949 ID: d06299

If it sucks so much, they should quit. Easy. Wow you must be getting good at the whole comfort thing!

Unless being unemployed as an occult is like a death sentence. Haha.
>>
No. 1075950 ID: 84a37a

You should demand that they don't put themself down for answering a question you asked them to answer.

Madame Jupiter wouldn't like people hating themselves, right?
>>
No. 1075955 ID: 846081

aw... poor rama. they sound sad and unfulfilled :( contemplate the nature of Jupiter's clients--what ARE they here for? what do they get from Jupiter's company? and should rama quit their job bc man that sounds like shit boy
>>
No. 1075958 ID: 895770

the way they're acting, it seems like they didn't just come for a good time. what are they really here for?
>>
No. 1075961 ID: 527a46

we now have a disthread!! https://questden.org/kusaba/questdis/res/141045.html check it out for extra art/discussion/etc!
>>
No. 1075967 ID: 527a46
File 169869336218.png - (421.27KB , 1200x800 , 24.png )
1075967

"Ah," you observe. "You're unhappy."

"Well—"

You grab at his shoulder, reassuringly. "I was also unhappy. Initially, I was an ad campaign."

"...Oh. That sounds..."

"I didn't like it," you confirm. You release him and face forward again as you continue. "My name was V-22_B.5. There were seven others in the B-series, and we were each given to an influencer as part of a pre-launch promotional series. One of the others frightened its assigned promoter, though, and was returned early; in the end, it didn't matter, seeing as no V-22 units ever made it into final commercial circulation anyway."

"Ah. I did hear about that, actually. That, uh, that roboticist—"

"My mother," you supply helpfully.

"...Right. Uh, your... mother... kind of went off the rails, refused to sell any of you once development finished." He pauses, suddenly seeming a little sheepish about his attempt at input. "There were articles about it in the business section." They scratch at their wrist, and then they make another attempt. "I heard there were theories that it was sort of... her attempt at liberating you all."
>>
No. 1075968 ID: 527a46
File 169869337897.png - (218.26KB , 1200x800 , 25.png )
1075968

"Whatever she was attempting to do had very little effect on our lives in the long run, I'm afraid." You've finally reached the first set of doors, and you draw to a crisp stop, turning to address him again. "Either way. I suppose my point is that you don't need to do degrading shit you hate for people you don't respect. Not eternally." You fix him with a firm glare. "I love my work. I excel and feel satisfied every day, and I feel grateful to do it — actually grateful, a gratitude that comes from contentment and appreciation, not from an avoidance of fear."

Rama is quiet; now it seems to be a measured quiet, not the stunned silence of being repeatedly caught off guard. "I can see that," he says, at length. "...Maybe someday."

"Don't get the wrong idea," you add. "I'm not saying you can be hired here. We're full. Madame is not some savior, plucking people out of the drudgery of their lives. You are here in service of her."

"Okay? I didn't say—"

"But for as long as you're this unhappy, he will take immense pleasure in dispelling your misery." You clasp your hands together with some finality. "You're lucky. Try to calm yourself down as I inform him of your arrival."

You do pause, for a moment, with your hand against the door. "And don't do that. Putting yourself down like that, calling yourself stupid. Especially when I'm the one who asked in the first place." You look back at him, just enough to see him nodding. "Madame wouldn't like it."
>>
No. 1075969 ID: 527a46
File 169869343252.png - (546.39KB , 1200x800 , 26.png )
1075969

You internally check the time as you let yourself back in to the office adjacent to the boudoir -- Your office, is what you call it privately, but it's not strictly true and not something you'd say in front of the others. You're just in time. No sooner than you've squared yourself in front of the entry doors, they crack open, and Io escorts the previous votary outside.

Madame Jupiter is there, which is unusual — she typically sends devotees out on their own, escorted by an attendant, rather than walking them out herself. But Lament has been here many, many times, and she's always had a soft spot for humans to begin with, and the lines between meal and companion often blur with time. "Lovely job, yet again," she's telling them. "I'll see you in a few months?"

"Looking forward to it." Lament catches your eye and flashes you a dry little grin. "Hey, CALLIST0. Good to see you."

You incline your head in acknowledgement. Over their shoulder, Jupiter continues. "Tell Iridescent Wound I said hello, will you?"

"I don't know if that's a good idea."

"Oh, come on. It has to warm up eventually."

"I'll see if I can broach the subject." They accept an insistent kiss on the cheek, pulling their gloves back as Io fetches their coat. "No promises. Io, thank you, you were excellent as well."

They give a final little wave, terse but good-humored in a way you're familiar with by now, and show themself out.
>>
No. 1075970 ID: 527a46
File 169869344680.png - (437.36KB , 1200x800 , 27.png )
1075970

"Alright! Agh, what a darling! I wish they'd come more often. I never get to play with that type much." Jupiter stretches his arms above his head contentedly, then busies himself re-fluffing his dressing gown. "Io, sweetheart, you go take a break. I'm sorry to work you so hard at the end of the week! You must be wiped, poor angel. But, god, Lament's just so durable." He turns his attention to you, beaming, and the radiance is enough that you have to turn your head slightly away.

"CALLIST0! I have another, a brand new one, don't I? Lament ran over their time slot a bit, admittedly, so I haven't had a chance to check today's files." She saunters up to you, giddy and conspiratorial as always. "Are they out there now?"
>>
No. 1075971 ID: 527a46
File 169869346374.png - (560.01KB , 1200x800 , 28.png )
1075971

You nod. "Punctual, I love that." They throw their arms around your shoulders, drawing you in, and you are clouded in fog and roses, soft powdery musk, satin and velvet and an effervescence in your core that has no practical source or explanation. This is normal. "Come on, a little commentary. I know how opinionated you are -- so what's your opinion, hmm?" They give you an encouraging squeeze. "Don't be mean, but be honest."
>>
No. 1075972 ID: 64aa52

Respect Rama's wishes to not mention the bush-pissing incident, just stick to the facts: Occult Office worker (?) and he's really sad and stressed and simpering and really needing/looking forward to this

Also like. nuzzle Jupiter, if that's allowed.
>>
No. 1075973 ID: 229001

“They will do an adequate job of worship, since they have nothing to live for.” Madame Jupiter will love them, but you don’t feel the need to include that part.
>>
No. 1075975 ID: a7ddda

rama's desperate and easy to take advantage of (with likely a lot to prove to madame jupiter). all the more easier to handle.
>>
No. 1075977 ID: dc4bad

He seems tired, and conflicted about being here, but willing. Desperate.
>>
No. 1075978 ID: 67470d

dont mention the pissing thing. hes in desperate need of a break.
>>
No. 1075979 ID: a21cd8

He's a very sad puppy.
>>
No. 1075980 ID: 1d9fe3

tell her he seems to be in over his head and is nervous about his bosses finding it he's here. tell her you aren't impressed and don't much respect him yet, but he may yet surprise you.
>>
No. 1075981 ID: c12380

Jupiter is touching you; this is Important! ensure you will remember every sensation later.
>>
No. 1075997 ID: d14f38

he seems nervous about being here, but he's good at following directions. and a little endearing perhaps
>>
No. 1076015 ID: d06299

Unhappy, unfulfilled, docile, follows orders well. Relatable. (This feels wonderful.) A little self-confidence and they'd be perfect.
>>
No. 1076021 ID: e5709d

His NDA agreements are so airtight that whatever corp he works for gets to mind-wipe him at the end of the clock!

Which might mean he's some kind of super-spy or murder scientist. You're going to want some kind of verification that he won't flip out on an accidental trigger phrase and go witcherpsycho through the room.

Also, be sure to record the sensation of Jupiter's chest flowing across your chassis. Stuff it in your encrypted porn stash. (Which is a flash drive made of hairs glued with semen-based adhesive.)
>>
No. 1076029 ID: b7d95d

He's a wet dog of a man but he's clearly on somebody else's leash already which could be trouble.
>>
No. 1076047 ID: e21d53

They remind you of yourself from before, and need something to keep them going for long enough to get out of where they are. Also His presence on you and your reaction to it is totally normal and expected and you shouldn't be thinking of any extra implications about these feelings because it's so normal.
>>
No. 1076129 ID: c7c010

nervous, sad puppy.
>>
No. 1076152 ID: 8f9bc4

You're not entirely sure if he's organic or not. Are occult entities organic? Will his urine have a negative effect on Madame Jupiter’s prize rosebush? Has Madame Jupiter’s prize rosebush just spontaneously burst into flames?
>>
No. 1076471 ID: 15a025

He seems pretty nervous, but open to things.
>>
No. 1076692 ID: 527a46
File 169935390812.png - (365.12KB , 1200x800 , 29.png )
1076692

Jupiter’s (pillowy, perfumed, perfect) breasts are pressed against your back, radiating warmth through the fabric of your shirt. This is important. It’s making it somewhat difficult for you to string together an answer to their question, which is similarly important.
>>
No. 1076693 ID: 527a46
File 169935392301.png - (237.45KB , 1200x800 , 30.png )
1076693

Eventually you do manage to get an answer out, though it's really just an unfiltered list of nearly everything that comes to mind. "A sad, desperate dog, already run ragged on someone else's leash. Miserable. Unfulfilled. They're eager to be here and take direction well, but their nerves are making a mess of them."
>>
No. 1076694 ID: 527a46
File 169935393606.png - (806.77KB , 1200x800 , 31.png )
1076694

Maybe that canted more towards 'mean' than 'honest.' That line seems incredibly blurry, and everyone is moving it all the time, always without consulting you. But when you glance back over your shoulder at Jupiter, her eyes are sparkling.

"Oh, CALLISTO. Do you promise?!"
>>
No. 1076695 ID: 527a46
File 169935395256.png - (722.04KB , 1200x800 , 32.png )
1076695

"It's what I've observed," you assure her.

She gives a little squeal, squeezing you hard enough to lift your feet off the ground momentarily, and then sets you back down again with a flounce. "Oh, my goodness. So exciting. Oh, damn it, I have to go look at the file, it's got all their safe words and hard limits and things from the initial petition — ugh, I feel so silly for falling behind like this! Unprofessional! Well, it's fine, I'll go do it now."

In the midst of his flurry he pauses, looking back at you with one nail held between his teeth. "Oh, CALLIST0, honey — given that Io's on a break, would you like to come in and help out with this one?" His gaze slides upward as he thinks, bouncing his weight on one hip restlessly. "Although, if he's as nervous as you say, maybe it would be better for me to handle him alone, with a lighter touch than usual. We wouldn't want him to get too overwhelmed..."
>>
No. 1076696 ID: d06299

Um. With the paperwork, right?

Oh! Well... You do have a rapport with them at this point, not exactly a gentle one but he does seem to trust you. Given how nervous he is to see Jupiter, it might actually help to have someone a little firmer and less awe-inspiring there.

The real question is if you really want to see pissguy fawning over Madame Jupiter. And if you can resist fawning over him yourself.

Ah you're a professional, go for it!
>>
No. 1076697 ID: 273c18

>>1076695
Uh, so, like a "soft dom, firm dom" kind of thing?
>>
No. 1076698 ID: db62d3

ez, literally any excuse to be in madame jupiter's presence. i mean in uh any context not just this. type of context. not that there's anything wrong with that, it's good uh i mean obviously it's great, we're just Normal about it

rama will be fine probably, we can and will do anything for madame jupiter. including gracefully avoiding further psychologically damaging some pathetic little guy. i mean really we badly fumbled one interaction with them (which was also their first impression of us) already, what are the chances of that happening again? in one day? in front of madame jupiter, who is so distractingly lovel i mean encouragingly lovely. imagine how much it would suck to let him down. thats basically a guarantee of it not happening. this is such a good idea it's insane
>>
No. 1076699 ID: 229001

You should definitely assist with this meeting, since that is what Madame wants. Unrelated, she looked beautiful in response to hearing about Rama’s attributes. It would be useful, for your job, to learn what elicits that sort of response in him.
>>
No. 1076700 ID: f8d932

consider how you could mess up in there. terror. consider disappointing the madam. much worse terror. you Must accept this offer and do your best to be so normal about it.
>>
No. 1076701 ID: d89496

Go for it, Jupiter seems kinda nervous so he may need someone to keep him reassured. Besides, if your presence becomes unwanted/unnecessary you can always leave.

You can start by looking for rama's file and reading it outloud for madame.
>>
No. 1076702 ID: 64aa52

Helping Jupiter would be well within your job description, wouldn't it? So yes!

Scare off that lump in your throat, you're a professional! Now, what's the first step? Paperwork, right? We can do that.
>>
No. 1076705 ID: afd7d6

You want to be helped, yes!! Or, uhm, yes you want to help. Yes.
>>
No. 1076706 ID: e239cb

For no particular reason I get the distinct impression that CALLLIST0 would be exceptionally terrible in bed with a stranger.
Good at paperwork though, we should keep doing that.
>>
No. 1076724 ID: c12380

we'd be overjoyed to assist, but our presence would likely discomfort them in a manner counter to jupiter's(god he's amazing) efforts. we can wait in our office in case our assistance becomes needed or desired(please please please).
>>
No. 1076725 ID: f06dc5

You don't think you'd be great a helping while in the same room, but you'd like to watch remotely, maybe?
>>
No. 1076730 ID: cc72ac

this is a terrible idea but we will absolutely not refuse an invitation from Madame Jupiter. you will help fuck this guy or die trying
>>
No. 1076732 ID: 64faaa

>>1076730
This.
Admit that you think it will go terribly, but you are 100% down to spend more time with Jupiter.
>>
No. 1076745 ID: eb0a9c

Ew.
I don't mean the "seeing Jupiter ascend as the champion of courtesans" part, I mean the "mixing your pleasurable memories of Jupiter with images of this total loser" part.

Look, having sex with Jupiter will never be worth the risk of this troglodyte becoming... 'family'. *shiver*

...Paperwork! Now!
>>
No. 1076787 ID: 8aadbf

i'm sure this sad little puppy would be relieved to have a firm, familiar presence for their big adventure. also better make sure they're house broken.
>>
No. 1076852 ID: dd21ac

if you end up spitroasting rama, its kinda like your dicks and or straps if applicable are Kissing... Think About That.
>>
No. 1076854 ID: 4370c0

Paperwork time
>>
No. 1076947 ID: 890e1c

Assist assist! Madame clearly wants you to. Just follow his lead and directions and tell yourself not to worry. You got this.
>>
No. 1077135 ID: 78a494

WELL he pissed on command when you told him too so maybe he already thinks you're some kind of sex dom. but like... also. he is piss guy.
>>
No. 1077223 ID: c4c483

My headmate is demanding I pass a missive on to you:

"It is every bit as fun as one might think, for We and you alike, to build rapport with those who would delight in Our indelicate, crushing touch. Perhaps you shall find that your attention and indiscretion suits an adorable, desperate mess like he better, even, than the style that Madam Jupiter typically adopts, skilled as he is in all his arts."
>>
No. 1077265 ID: 527a46
File 169998967428.png - (285.06KB , 1200x800 , 33a.png )
1077265

>Um. With the paperwork, right?
>Uh, so, like a "soft dom, firm dom" kind of thing?
>Helping Jupiter would be well within your job description, wouldn't it?

Assisting within the offering chamber itself — which Jupiter tends to breezily refer to as the boudoir — isn't necessarily a requirement of the job, and it can take many different forms. Jupiter made that much clear when they first took you in. Europa, for example, has only occasionally stepped inside, but has never participated (and as far as you know, she has no intention to); Ganymede apparently used to quite regularly, but he lost interest over time, and was content to pass the reins to Io when she joined up. And you've certainly never been as hands on as Io: when you're inside, your habit has been to attend only to the peripherals. Fetching towels and supplies, making drinks, at most assisting with particularly complex or time-consuming scene setup. Mostly you watch, which Jupiter assures you is still a help.

In previous eras of your life, you hated being a prop. Here, somehow, it's different. The privilege of watching Jupiter work is an exquisite bonus.
>>
No. 1077266 ID: 527a46
File 169998969048.png - (359.17KB , 1200x800 , 34.png )
1077266

>if you end up spitroasting rama, its kinda like your dicks and or straps if applicable are Kissing... Think About That.

On top of all of that, it’s incredibly unlikely that Rama is going to experience the immense honor of any kind of penetration whatsoever on a first appointment. Still, you do think about it, and it does make you realize you’re not wearing your dick right now. You didn’t necessarily think you would need it, and so as usual it’s in a box in your room. Maybe you should be coming to work a little better prepared…?
>>
No. 1077267 ID: 527a46
File 169998970612.png - (685.18KB , 1200x800 , 35.png )
1077267

Anyway. No time for that now.

"I'd be overjoyed to assist, Madame," you tell her. "Though it's possible my presence could discomfort them. I think I've developed at least a bit of a rapport with him, but not a particularly gentle one."

Jupiter laughs, taking your arm. "I don't expect anything particularly gentle from you, CALLIST0." She pinches lightly at your cheek as the two of you enter the boudoir. "Don't worry. If you start to feel things would go better without you, you can always excuse yourself; and if he would rather you stay outside, he can request the same, right?"

"Yes, Madame."

The boudoir suite is open, with several loosely grouped areas floating across the gleaming hardwood, anchored by lush rugs: a sitting area with a chaise and a tea table, with a stained glass lamp in the shape of a resplendent peacock; a letter-writing desk that's never actually used, and only exists in the layout for ambiance; a bed that is used, but never as often as votaries fantasize it will be. A scattering of more explicit equipment clutters one far corner, coyly half-hidden by a translucent screen.

Jupiter swans past all of this, with you in tow, still chattering away. "No need to poke at him too much, anyway. You've always preferred to just be an observant presence." He glances sideways at you, with a raised brow and a faint spark in his eyes. "Unless that's changed, lately...?"

She’s not a mind reader. Or, that is to say, even if she were, you seriously doubt she’d ever subject you to it without permission. Still, your fans kick up, fighting to regulate a surge of rushing internal heat at her speculation. "No, Madame."

"Well, there you go!"
>>
No. 1077268 ID: 527a46
File 169998971717.png - (693.03KB , 1200x800 , 36.png )
1077268

You end up in the large bathroom set into the back of the suite. This is where her actual desk is, a vanity in the back corner that's cluttered with cosmetics and today's stack of files. The backstage, so to speak, safely tucked out of sight. You can't stop yourself from immediately moving to tidy it, which makes Jupiter giggle as she drops herself into her chair.

Rama's file is on top, and Jupiter touches up his makeup as you read it to him. All pretty standard, not that you expected anything extreme — 'red' as a safeword, a request for no lasting marks on the face or hands that practically radiates nervousness off the page. (Now you know why, after your prior conversation with him — a very real need for discretion.) You convey that to Jupiter, too, his anxiety about it, the apparent threats to his job security, and she absorbs it with the kind of seriousness that only emerges when her guests' wellbeing is concerned.
>>
No. 1077269 ID: 527a46
File 169998974862.png - (554.52KB , 1200x800 , 37.png )
1077269

“Thank you, CALLIST0. I think that’s all of it.” Finished with their touch-ups, they stand, gathering their robe up again. “Why don’t you bring him in?”

“Yes, Madame.”

You exit the boudoir without her and find Rama tensely standing in the middle of your office, as if positioning himself equidistant from every item in the room is the only way to assure he won’t accidentally break something. You beckon for him to follow, and if he’s surprised by you entering with him, he barely has time to show it — Jupiter is waiting on the chaise, and his attention is consumed by her immediately.

“Madame Jupiter,” He says, quietly and seriously, approaching but not reaching out. He folds his hands in front of himself, and that’s where his gaze stays, as he keeps talking. “Thank you for finding time for me in your bookings. I was told you are extremely sought after.”

Jupiter’s smiling faintly at him already, his legs crossed at the knee. Rather than acknowledging the gratitude or the compliment, he says, “Well, take your jacket off, please.”

They lean their cheek against their curled fingers, smiling a little more deeply, observing Rama through the screen of their lashes as he obeys. “Come sit in front of me.” There’s no other chair across from the chaise; there’s the tea table, and there’s the floor. That’s where Jupiter beckons anyway, with a bounce of their ankle; a feather-trimmed, kitten-heeled slipper hangs carelessly from their toes, slipping on the satin of their sheer black stockings. “And tell me how your day was.”
>>
No. 1077270 ID: 527a46
File 169998976352.png - (589.12KB , 1200x800 , 38.png )
1077270

Rama does as he’s told. Somehow, now that he’s finally in front of the Madame, he seems far less frantic than he was outside — as if all those nerves were less about her, and more about fearing he wouldn’t see her at all.

He takes out a small box of tobacco from the inner pocket of the coat before he walks over, offering Jupiter some with a gesture. “Though I was given copious information, I couldn’t find whether you were a smoker anywhere.”

Jupiter accepts it, wordlessly, seeming amused by the gesture — and then even further amused by the way Rama sits rather informally at the end of the tea table, taking out a pre-rolled cigarette from the case for himself. “My day was boring,” he continues, frowning slightly, beset by a flickering annoyance with the parts of his fringe that simply refuse to stay gelled back and instead jump back over his forehead defiantly. He pushes it back with restless hands. Rama is glancing at the stockings, the legs wrapped in them, the way the ankle bends and the curve of the shoe in the air. All very quickly, and without changing much else about his face. “You look beautiful.” He says, muttering, chasing for a lighter around his pant pockets, cigarette around his lips.
>>
No. 1077271 ID: 527a46
File 169998977743.png - (188.73KB , 1200x800 , 39.png )
1077271

You happen to know that these are some of Jupiter’s favorite openers because they elegantly offer a beautiful palette of information. There’s a certain type of person who will show up absolutely slobbering for an opportunity to get on their knees at her feet, and it’s interesting to see that Rama isn’t that. The dead-end answer proves that, as expected, he’s here to escape from his life, not to clumsily try sharing it. And his next comment is an admittedly endearing insight to why he’s escaping here, specifically.

You also know that Jupiter has a lighter in a little enamel box on the table, but they don’t bother getting it out. They’re waiting until Rama finds his, and then they gracefully extend one hand to hold their cigarette up to him for a light. He lights theirs before his own, and for some reason you feel a little flutter of relief at that — as if it means anything to you whether he does well in here or not. “CALLIST0,” Jupiter says, finally, through an exhale of smoke, “would you make me a drink, please?”

There’s a mirrored gold bar cart in the corner, with bottles and glasses, and you can still hear the scene continuing behind you as you decide what to make for her.

“So this is what you’ve been looking forward to all day, then,” Jupiter guesses, in a serene murmur. They keep their gaze on him steady, not asking for eye contact directly — just waiting to catch him when he next looks up at them, and feeling confident they’ll be able to ensnare him when he does. “Tell me what you’re most excited for.”

Your back is to them now, but you can hear the unsteady smile in Rama’s voice when he answers. “Being very specifically told what to do.” Then he clears his throat, coughing softly, losing his momentum. “Sorry. Not used to this.” You hear more rustling — he’s fucking with his hair again, anxiously. Little fool. His tone is soft, grave, made for delivering bad news. “Meeting you. Seeing you in person. Talking.”

Now that you think of it, you could probably learn a lot from this, depending on what you decide to focus on while observing…
>>
No. 1077275 ID: 253ba4

bad news? oh, rama..... it's not like it's an uninteresting set of responses. though, maybe a 'is that all?' from you could coax out more than he's initially willing to say?
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No. 1077277 ID: bfb47e

Active observation is a tactic as well. Prodding him to admit what he's good at instead might lead you to learn something interesting. He's pretty good at recovering, after all, bouncing back.
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No. 1077278 ID: d15ecf

Maybe observing this vulnerability can help us tell how to be kinder to new votaries.
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No. 1077292 ID: 7383c8

Rama seems nice. Jupiter seems to like them. You suppose you tolerate them too when theyre not pissing in the rosebushes. And their way with words, even when depressing, is admirably diplomatic. Maybe you could listen to that tone of voice and see if telling someone to fuck off with that tone makes people more inclined to do so without a fight.
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No. 1077304 ID: 31648a

As evidenced earlier, your interpersonal abilities limit your effectiveness as a receptionist. You are currently in attendance of a masterclass in putting people at ease and assessing their motivations: pay attention to how Madame Jupiter draws Rama out of his shell and into the scene. Though you can never hope to imitate his beauty and grace, you might still be able to acquire some tactics for reception that could help ease votaries into their appointment before they're presented; I'm sure Madame Jupiter's work would benefit as a result.
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No. 1077628 ID: c12380

you need to learn better how to guide someone to what you want from them, rather than simply shoving their head into the dirt where they belong, sick little worms. Jupiter has just begun to give a masterclass on this, and as always your attention should be on him
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No. 1077643 ID: c6e3f8

Our house guest is still a bit of a mystery. While Jupiter is of course doing their job (excellently) maybe we should keep a very close ear on Rama, see if we catch any inconsistencies or god forbid if he might actually be a threat (also I noticed the "gender:butch lesbian" on that form. apologies for, I think, misgendering the poor devil)
>>
No. 1077644 ID: 3b1af2

If Madame Jupiter has a usual drink, make that. If not - something classy but not overly complicated.

(Also, I love that Rama chose to sit on the table, not the floor. What an unexpected bit of boldness!)
>>
No. 1077660 ID: 0c2e9d

As always, the most critical observations focus on Jupiter. Of note is the look he gave us when asking if we no longer wished to merely observe; excitement indicators imply it is possible, likely even, that he desires we take a more hands on approach in assisting him. In his infinite grace he would not directly make such a request, lest we feel obligated. A secondary note is the clear excitement displayed when we gave our opinion of Rama; It is crucial we fully understand what he finds so appealing, that we may better service him ourselves.
>>
No. 1077700 ID: 64aa52

Consider observing Jupiter for how he leads the conversation along; I'm certain that there's plenty to learn from him about the graces of social interraction.

Closely observe everything going on between Rama and Jupiter with your special eyes; then use that to improve yourself!

Also make Jupiter like. A Midori Sour or something.
>>
No. 1078127 ID: 527a46

>>1077643
no worries!! for a ton of my characters there's no real way to tell their gender situation just based on their presentation, including pronouns -- i'll tuck in textual nods whenever i feel like it's relevant (like on the mentioned form) but until then i don't expect you guys to be mind readers!! :)
>>
No. 1078128 ID: 527a46
File 170110813947.png - (413.06KB , 1200x800 , 40.png )
1078128

You busy yourself fixing Jupiter's usual, a sidecar — but the way she's taught you to do it when a scene is already underway, stirred gently in a separate glass first, rather than shaken. (Because, as she explained at the time: “It's not proper, but the sound of ice chiming against crystal as it spins round and round can be a bit erotic, can't it? Well, the sound of ice clacking and sloshing about in a cocktail shaker is not.”)

You keep listening as you do, focusing in on Jupiter as always — specifically on their soft coaxing, on the gentleness that thus far has always eluded you but seems so natural to them. Your vision sharpens, ears swiveled to catch every tilt and lift of their inflection, all of you running at top capacity to take in as much detail as possible. They're leaning forward, reaching loosely for Rama. ”Well, I'll start telling you what to do right now. Stop doing that to your hair.“

You finish the drink and turn in time to see them sliding the very tips of their fingers into Rama's lifted fringe, catching some of the stubborn locks he's been fighting and flicking them gentle back into their natural position. “There's never any sense in forcing things, that's a lesson I'd like you to learn from our friendship.”
>>
No. 1078129 ID: 527a46
File 170110816002.png - (296.98KB , 1200x800 , 41.png )
1078129

You cross the room in silence. Jupiter stands, gracefully, swaying just far enough to the side to collect the drink from your hands on the way up, with a silent little nod of approval and thanks. The other hand stays in Rama's hair, the glowing cherry of the cigarette vaguely threatening a few curling strands whenever it dips near. “I'm an enormous believer in complete relaxation, free of expectations or judgment," she explains, conversationally — as if they were hidden in the corner of some intimate little cocktail party. With experimental movements of their fingers, they're steadily loosening the hold of the product in his hair, coaxing the mane back into its most instinctive shape. "That's the only way I'll be able to do anything worthwhile with you."

Rama is completely limp to the touch, following the gesture of Jupiter's hand, their fervent gaze tracing each finger and the scent it leaves behind. Their eyes, which until now have been a dull grey, have now lit up an intent red around the sclera. When Jupiter uses her hold on them to tilt their head back, their mouth drops open slightly, their own cigarette barely managing to cling to their lips. "So don't sound so gloomy," she tells them, beaming down as she watches them melt. "I promise I'll unlock some sincere enjoyment in you, before we're through!"

"Okay," Rama breathes. His teeth glint in the soft light of the lamps as he looks up at them. His right hand lifts a little, mindlessly, driven by the urge to touch them -- and you tense, ready to leap forward and issue a sharp correction, but he catches himself and pulls back with a hitched breath. "I believe you, Madame Jupiter."
>>
No. 1078130 ID: 527a46
File 170110817754.png - (410.67KB , 1200x800 , 42.png )
1078130

Jupiter seems pleased by all of it -- Rama's shedding of that self-conscious formality they walked in with, their self-correction, the way they've turned themself on doing it. "Just 'Madame' will do for now," he tells them. And then, on a whim, "Beautiful eyes." (Another thing you've noticed: To Jupiter, indulging his own enjoyment is a million times more important than tormenting guests with an obstacle course of artificial contempt.)

The compliment has startled Rama into a wider smile. Jupiter plucks the unfinished cigarette from their mouth before it can fall entirely and lightly extinguishes it in a crystal ashtray off to the side, an air of prim ceremony in the gesture. The hand returns and he uses his touch against their hair to guide Rama off the table -- not yanking, just sweeping his fingertips slowly away, knowing they'll trail after it, following. "Kneel, please," she orders, to clarify her expectations once she's lured them off. A touch with the slipper against a spot on the carpet -- right in the middle of a burst of roses dyed into the lush pile of the wool. "There." When Rama complies, she rewards them by sliding her fingers back into their hair, tilting their head back again. "Very good. Knees further apart, please. Like this."

They press the toe of the slipper between Rama's knees, parting them, and then they continue sliding their leg forward until the top of their foot is pressed lightly against Rama's body, settled between his legs. It was already visible that Jupiter is wearing nothing beneath the translucent latex dress, but now Rama can see up beneath the sleek ruffles of the circle skirt.

"I don't want you to have any more boring days," Jupiter tells him, dragging his eyes back up with their voice. They take another slow sip of their drink once Rama is looking at them, and then smile again, encouragingly. "From now on, whenever you're tempted to feel bored or dissatisfied, I'd like you to think of me, instead."

Rama is breathing shallowly, through their mouth. Now Jupiter does close his hand to take a fistful of Rama's hair, and he gives their head a playful little shake, soft and experimental — one drowsy snap, back and forth, testing the feel of it. A little ash from his own cigarette, still held between his first and middle fingers, falls onto the crisp shoulder of Rama's dress shirt. "So it's very important to me that you pay close attention," he continues. "So you'll have very clear memories."
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No. 1078131 ID: 527a46
File 170110819587.png - (279.14KB , 1200x800 , 43.png )
1078131

Rama laughs, the sound carried by a shaky exhale. "I won't get much work done, then." Then he grows serious. "But I'll remember."

Jupiter's shoe presses forward again, and this time Rama's hips shift slightly beneath the pressure, with a faint sigh. One of your ears twitches. Mistake.

Jupiter has caught it as well. She takes it away, pointedly — waiting for Rama's next grind forward before stepping the foot back again, to make it clear what the movement is in response to. The hand in Rama's hair is retrieved, as well, but only so she can take a single long, lingering pull on the cigarette before stubbing it out next to the first, side by side in the ashtray. "I'm very tolerant of reactions that you can't help," she tells them, "but I have to ask you to do your best not to move in ways I haven't requested, especially to gratify yourself. When you do, I'll punish you."

This is astonishingly lax. With other devotees, a transgression as flagrant as grinding forward — even accidentally — would be more than enough to warrant bringing their face to the floor. Whether Jupiter's making a concession for Rama's lack of experience, or if this is just a little personal indulgence on the bounds of finding him particularly endearing, is not immediately clear.

Jupiter lays her newly freed hand lightly against the crook of her elbow; above that, she's thoughtfully finishing the rest of her sidecar. She speaks again as she bends, reaching to set the remains down between Rama's spread knees, where the last dregs of the orange-scented cognac shines gold in the tapered bottom of the glass. There’s a shimmery print of Jupiter’s lip gloss left on the outside rim, turned furthest from Rama. "I can never get the last bit without tipping the glass back like some kind of charlatan in a dive bar," she laughs, quietly. Then, as she straightens back up: "Lick that clean, please."
>>
No. 1078132 ID: 527a46
File 170110821178.png - (358.99KB , 1200x800 , 44.png )
1078132

Jupiter crosses their arms as they settle at their full height again, a slight sway in their posture now. "With your hands clasped behind your back," they add, before Rama can move forward too far. A little self-satisfied smile as they watch. "I think there are some tragic misunderstandings about punishment floating around out there," they say then, in that same conversational tone from before. "I'm sure you've seen it, in your little pornography videos, or whatever it is people entertain themselves with nowadays. 'Oh, you've been very bad!,' and then out comes the riding crop!" They make a dismissive gesture with one hand, eyes closing for a moment in sanctimonious disapproval. You're nodding along behind them in silent agreement, almost completely unconscious of the fact that you're doing it. "That's not punishment. That's giving an undisciplined little brat exactly what he wants, and teaching him absolutely nothing in the process."
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No. 1078133 ID: 527a46
File 170110822783.png - (499.48KB , 1200x800 , 45.png )
1078133

Rama -- who had at first opened his mouth to apologize at the first admonishment, and then shut up immediately when he realized Jupiter wasn't finished speaking, and has now astutely decided to remain silent -- clasps his hands behind his back and bends to work as she speaks. Good. But he keeps glancing at the lip gloss print as he licks the rest of the glass, with increasing frequency, and eventually his glances are flicking up and to the side, to you --

Is he seriously asking, in some way, whether he's allowed to lick the mark of Madame's mouth off the rim? Of course he can't! Idiot! Fool! Amateur! That's the entire reason it's there! Doesn't he know anything?!

You could try to convey this to him with your eyes, or you could leave him to the carnage of his own cluelessness. You wonder, for a moment, which Madame would find more helpful.
>>
No. 1078136 ID: 24828c

Shake your head, just a fraction of an inch.
see if he tries it anyway. Almost hope he tries it anyway.
and/or:
Look pointedly over at Jupiter. As if to say "don't ask /me/."
>>
No. 1078137 ID: 229001

Make your voice quiet and gentle, like you’ve heard Jupiter and the others do in this room, but offer a stern statement of what is expected in this situation. “Rama, do not remove the mark of Madame’s lips. You would not want to disappoint her when he gives you a gift.”
(Help Madame teach them that disappointment is the greatest punishment of them all… She might be impressed with how good you are at helping.)
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No. 1078140 ID: 16e581

how dare he turn his eyes from the vital task that Madame has set before him! condemn him with your imperious gaze! that should set him straight. (as long as he doesn't pee about it)
>>
No. 1078141 ID: 64aa52

Maintain eye contact, shake your head slowly and do your best glower; BUT this is also a good opportunity to use what you've learned from observing Jupter's handling of Rama earlier. Be soft, but firm. Remind Rama that he was only told to empty the glass, not clean it.

If he smears the glass, it'll look stupid. and you can't stand it when things look supid.
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No. 1078159 ID: 59e6b8

Their hesitance should be enough of a sign for them to intuit this "rule", leave them guessing.
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No. 1078161 ID: 1d1df6

If he doesn't get it from your glare, or from turning away in reproach, then they deserve what's coming to them. It's more than they deserve but Madame likes him.
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No. 1078171 ID: 21edd7

cryptically quirk an eyebrow at him. not too firm, but also not patronizing him. he can do what he likes, as long as hes prepared to bear the consequences. hes pathetic....... good.
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No. 1078172 ID: c12380

take a long slow blink and when you open again look at Jupiter, you're not the one he needs to have his attention on here. remind rama that she is the one they need to pay attention to; that he is who's desires they are here to serve.
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No. 1078184 ID: 16e581

ok for real though is rama's tongue long enough to actually reach the bottom? it looks soooo deep and im so concerned for him...
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No. 1078216 ID: 31648a

We have seen that Madame is allowing this votary greater leeway than usual, adopting an approach of self-directed learning: he is expected to discover the bounds by overstepping them. Additionally, you have stated that you have developed no desire to be more than an observing presence; surely, having made no request for assistance, Madame is not expecting you to intervene.

The best course of action is to direct Rama's attention back to Madame with a subtle glance her way. This will remind him that it is not to a humble servant, but to Madame's perfection he must look to for guidance. Perhaps it will convince him that there is a reason there is a word on the nature of punishment still in his ears. If your glance draws Madame's attention to you, then Madame will have an opportunity to make any wishes for you known.
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No. 1078221 ID: dde128

Try not to imagine what it would feel like to be marked with Madame’s lipstick
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No. 1078225 ID: d15ecf

Make a :| face and then try to read Jupiter’s face. Surely he knows that maybe this one might not know this rule? Is he testing him? Is this an intentional lesson?
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No. 1078229 ID: cad44a

Arch an eyebrow, maybe flare your nostrils slightly. an expression of subdued disapproval, both at what he's asking and that he's asking it of you. then go back to watching Jupiter. maybe he'll get the hint and pay better attention to them. even if not it'll be more pleasant to take in her form.
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No. 1078331 ID: 75f3da

Convey it.
He's asking for help, which is it's own form of vulnerability. He's not experienced in being openly vulnerable, and this means a lot to him.
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No. 1078797 ID: 527a46
File 170188443617.png - (224.09KB , 1200x800 , 46.png )
1078797

In front of you, Jupiter's musing continues. "Well, if you just wanted to do exactly what you wanted, there are any number of places you could go," she says. "But there's only one place in the world where you can do exactly what I want, and here you are."

You return Rama's gaze, widening your eyes slightly to intensify your glare, punctuating her point. You don't go as far as shaking your head, but you exhale sharply at him, a stern little sigh through your nose — and then, for good measure, a flicked glance over towards Jupiter. Just to remind him who he’s really here for.
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No. 1078798 ID: 527a46
File 170188444710.png - (231.25KB , 1200x800 , 47.png )
1078798

Rama gets it. They drop their eyes, and they lap up the last splash of cognac, and then they abstain. Jupiter watches them finish, and then she smiles and drops fluidly to a crouch, collecting the glass and inspecting their work. "Well! Punishment can only function with shared understanding, so here's the part where I explain how this is a punishment. Look at me."

She waits until they do. She dangles the now-empty glass in front of their nose. "Maybe if you'd been a little better, I would have lifted my skirt and poured that all over my pussy, instead," she tells them, softly. "Do you understand?"
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No. 1078799 ID: 527a46
File 170188445936.png - (385.22KB , 1200x800 , 48.png )
1078799

How long has it been, you wonder, since you've felt despair this acute? Have you ever? (Well, of course you have — any suffering you experience now will always be blunted, muffled, soothed over near-entirely by the balm of Madame Jupiter's mere presence, compared to the void before her.)

Still. Here you encounter proof that agony is not a sensation entirely forgotten by your spoiled circuits. Tragedy survives in the nooks of even the most cushioned lives.

As unlikely as it may have felt not too long ago, in the moment you feel a sharp and sudden pang of solidarity with Rama. It seems so obvious now. As long as the two of you are in here, what’s bad for him is bad for you.
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No. 1078800 ID: 527a46
File 170188447142.png - (153.66KB , 1200x800 , 49.png )
1078800

As the two of you have fallen into a stricken silence, Rama has forgotten to respond. You notice it before him, and now that you've decided to assist him at all, the floodgates are open and you can't stop yourself from kicking at him. It startles a "Yes, Madame," out of him, finally, and Madame graciously pretends she hadn't noticed the violent little gesture that prompted it.

"Very good!" she says, sincerely. Her right arm lifts, sinuous and perfect, gleaming in latex, to pass the glass off to you — you take it without thinking, your body moving to serve as it always does — and when it lowers she begins minutiously working the glove off. Her nails are long, save for two trimmed clean and short. Once their hand is freed, they drag two bare fingers along the rim of the glass, collecting the lip gloss there, and then they're reaching forward to pry Rama's mouth open and press those fingers inside.
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No. 1078801 ID: 527a46
File 170188448717.png - (331.78KB , 1200x800 , 50.png )
1078801

"This is for you," they tell him brightly, as they smear the smooth and tasteless oil of it across the flat of his tongue, leaving a streak of shimmer there, and then the fingers stay to be reinforced by their thumb pressing into the soft triangle beneath his jaw to settle a grip, and then they're dragging him up to his feet, murmuring a steady stream of instruction and encouragement as they do — there you go, up, that's very good, lift your chin, yes, steady now, very good, yes, there we are.

She releases them, finally, dragging their bottom lip down with their fingers and bringing a trail of drool with it. She cheerfully wipes her fingers clean on the front of their shirt. "Now that we're getting to know each other, why don't you undress," she suggests — thought perhaps suggests is the wrong word, when it's said with such confident finality — "and tell me how you usually fuck."
>>
No. 1078802 ID: 527a46
File 170188461551.png - (339.29KB , 1200x800 , 51.png )
1078802

You're a little winded. She's in fine form today. The return trip over to the bar cart, short as it is, at least offers enough time to settle your buzzing thoughts and decide again where your attention should lie as the scene goes on.

From now on, it won’t always be prompted, but at any point you can decide where you’d like CALLIST0’s main focus to be! This will impact which details she takes note of, i.e. which parts of a scene will be brought most pointedly to the forefront and which images are most impactful to her.
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No. 1078806 ID: 0d3875

your ultimate goal here is to serve your madam, right? pay attention to what Jupiter praises and punishes. try to work out what is him doing his job, and what is his deeper preferences. Maybe it will make you better at serving her.

for one, Jupiter seems to like people to do as they're told and nothing more. place the cup in its place on the cart and then stand at attention until you get a new order.
>>
No. 1078807 ID: b4ea60

Obviously this customer isn't too accustomed to this song and dance, maybe putting more attention on them would be of use? Figuring out what they want from their "service" to Jupiter and whatnot.

No help though, the master has been benevolent enough with our meddling.
>>
No. 1078831 ID: b71ec8

Focus on Rama. Madame will be radiant enough to take your attention regardless, after all. If a failure for him is a failure for you, don't let him fail.
>>
No. 1078889 ID: 3b1af2

Focus on Rama, and try to figure out why Jupiter finds him so endearing. Try not to intervene too much - he's got to learn how things go, like any other new votary.
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No. 1078893 ID: 31648a

All your efforts are made in service to the Madame, and the Madame's current goal is to guide Rama through the scene towards the best possible catharsis, for all involved. Having seen that our minor intervention was acceptable and that allowing Rama to fail amounts to self-injury, our priority should shift towards guarding against his cluelessness as unobtrusively as possible. Focus on him as the sheepdog does its flock—our devotion is too great for the shepherd's commands to elude us, and so no special attention towards them is required.
>>
No. 1079109 ID: 64aa52

If what's good for Rama is good for us, why not focus on him? That way we can give him a push and a nudge to keep him on the right track through all of this.
>>
No. 1079219 ID: eddddf

>>1079109
Yea
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