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944457 No. 944457 ID: 4075a1

318 posts omitted. Last 100 shown. Expand all images
No. 958931 ID: 470289
File 158407264129.png - (935.64KB , 1000x1000 , 92.png )

I grab a shovel and start putting my back into it. We work together in silence trying to make up time. She’s moving all dull, but this work is second nature to us at this point, and it doesn’t slow us down.

“Coulda sent a kid.” She mutters after a few streets.

Dammit. “I sent Fingers.”

“I ain’t seen him all day.” Mash grunts.

“Sorry. He’s been off all day, should’ve asked someone else.”

Mash just gives another grunt.

It takes a while to keep her talking as I prod her about her day and accepting the mostly one word answers. Once she’s opened up a little I fill her in on everything that happened today. One upside of her being in this mood is she just nods and absorbs what I say instead of interrupting me every minute.
No. 958932 ID: 470289
File 158407268070.png - (1.20MB , 1000x1000 , 93.png )

We work for a couple of hours and don’t finish too late. There’s still at least an hour before curfew. Mash starts wheeling the cart towards the ashers and I follow.

“Brass got a stickler?” She finally asks.

“Think so. Narko mentioned them off-hand. Stazi.” I answer.

“Could ask about her instead a him. Be less obvious.” Huh. That’s a good idea I hadn’t thought of. After we’re done with this maybe I should try to look into them? Could still be risky.
No. 958933 ID: 470289
File 158407273386.png - (1.13MB , 1000x1000 , 94.png )

Mash wheels us up to the trash hatch and I start knocking.

“Hey! We got trash!”
No. 958934 ID: 470289
File 158407277223.png - (1.16MB , 1000x1000 , 95.png )

Crisp pokes her head out along with a wave of heat as the hatch opens. She hauls herself out with a grin splitting her face.

“Boss! Hi! Haven’t seen ya in a while. Thought they’d already sent ya ta perm’nant detail!” She says, as chipper as ever.

“Hey Crisp. Usually Lil’ Asher answers. Where is he?” I ask.

“Ya lookin’ at her!” She says and puffs her chest out. “Asher got put back in rotation. He got too big. I’m the Asher now.”

“Oh. Well, congrats Crisp.” It’s strange to see a kid that was new when I left take up my old position. Makes me feel old.

“Call me Asher too!” She insists. “It’s a way better name than Crisp! I gotta get it ta catch on before I gotta leave.”

“Alright. Don’t go trying to force it though. It’ll never take.” I didn’t think Crisp was that bad a name, but maybe it got under her skin anyway.

“I know! I ain’t all unsofistikated like I used ta be.” She puffs out her chest a bit with pride.

“Yeah, you made it to the top. You deserve this, Asher.” I tell her and she beams in response.

“I don’t wanna keep ya’ll so go ahead and throw all that shit down here.”

After Mash and I dump the trash and return the cart should I call it a day and go back to the dorms, or try to get something else done in the hour before curfew I have left?
No. 958935 ID: 094652

... Okay, that's just sick. Throwing trash into a red-hot furnace is one thing, going IN the furnace while it's on is outright suicidal. They could at least give the poor kid a fire-resistant scarf to mitigate ash inhaling.

Also, how is her fur not on fire?

Go back to the high district and listen to rumors. You can use them for conversation with Brass.
No. 958936 ID: fa2754

Try to catch up with Fingers if you can. Otherwise, let's get some rest.
No. 958937 ID: e7c7d3

Oof, that must've been a rough job.

Call it a day and head to the dorms. It's been eventful enough
No. 958938 ID: 12b116

Did we just pass by somebody bleeding out on the ground or what?
No. 958939 ID: 4286b4

... is this why you're called Asher? What were you called before? Does any toiler have a real name?
No. 959051 ID: 3608b5

How long did the old Asher last before needing to get replaced?
No. 959066 ID: 015bf2

Wow. That's quite the job. Are y'all fireproof or something?

Anyway, feel a bit of paranoia and go looking for Fingers, then make it for Matron's place just in case Junkyard didn't make it.
No. 959180 ID: 470289
File 158449956225.png - (1.03MB , 1000x1000 , 96.png )

>Did we just pass by somebody bleeding out on the ground or what?
I think that guy was just resting.

>Wow. That's quite the job. Are y'all fireproof or something?
There’s a gel that helps to keep your fur from catching. Cr- Asher’s covered in it.

>... is this why you're called Asher? Does any toiler have a real name?
Yup. What people call you is about as real as a name can get, I figure.

>How long did the old Asher last before needing to get replaced?
Lil’ Asher was in charge the last few years.

We start shoveling in the trash and listening to Asher hum as she moves it into the fires below.

“Hey, when ya get some free time come by and get down here.” Asher calls up. “The new kids don’t believe us when we say ya ain’t got any burns! Ya gotta show ‘em!”

“Maybe later.” I answer. It’s always embarrassing having kids climb all over me. “Mash, I’m gonna go look for Fingers. Want to come?”

“Naw.” She sounds tired. Probably going to go back to the dorm to sleep. She sleeps a lot when she’s like this.
No. 959182 ID: 470289
File 158449975068.png - (1.03MB , 1000x1000 , 97.png )

I leave Mash to return the cart and go looking for Fingers in some of his regular haunts coming up with nothing. No one's seen him. When curfew gets close I head back. Hopefully he’s just been in the dorm and I’ve been wasting my time.
No. 959184 ID: 470289
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I walk back to dorm four. Today has been… longer than I expected.
No. 959185 ID: 470289
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I go from the front door straight to the kitchen, and Ma’am is waiting inside with a bunch of different helpers.

"Did you eat lunch today?” Ma’am asks, offering me a bowl of stew. “Junkyard said you had something to talk to me about.”
No. 959187 ID: 12b116

Eat the Soup
No. 959197 ID: e7c7d3

Tell her that Fingers brought you to the execution today and said some troubling things. You think you talked sense into them, but still, another sensible voice might help.
No. 959198 ID: 015bf2

potato peel lunch soup yes thank you

>after soup
Lean in to Matron, whisper at her (or ask to go somewhere private) as you don't want the kids overhearing much. Say Fingers interrupted your work to bring you to the execution, turns out there's a hidden cave overlook. Talked weird, asked you if you believed in Nine Eyes, then told you the real story of how he lost his fingers: Monger Redkho making an excuse of him.

Said he didn't have nothing to do with why the Monger that did him in was up on the block, but he got real intense when it for a moment looked like Redkho was getting off light. Funny thing, too - he was left intense even after the deed, if less. Like, as if it wasn't over yet.

You talked a little sense at them, but have no idea if it took, especially as Fingers didn't do an errand you gave them and you couldn't find him at any of his usual haunts when you went looking just now. You're honestly worried for the boy.

Did Junkyard say anything else, by the way?
No. 959202 ID: fa2754

Eat. Eat and unwind. It's been a long day.
No. 959228 ID: b07f1c

Ask her if Junkyard told her anything else.
No. 959866 ID: 470289
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“Did she say anything else?” I ask, taking the bowl.

“Some complaining about that slissa you two work with.” She says as she pours more bowls of soup. I take a few sips of my bowl and she hums a bit waiting for me.

“Ma’am, can I talk to you in private for a minute?” I finally ask.

“Sure." She answers. "The kid’s room is empty right now. Cook, get off that thing and keep this stirring. I don’t want any fingers in any pots! Cook’s in charge.”
No. 959867 ID: 470289
File 158535380911.png - (1.04MB , 1000x1000 , 101.png )

Ma’am deflates a little as she leads me into one of the rooms, like she always does when she’s away from the kids.

“Can’t wait for this batch to get out.” She says with a sigh, cradling her stomach. “These little bastards have been sitting on my bladder all week. What did you want to talk about?”


“Of course. That boy again.” She sighs. “I hoped hurting his eye would calm him down a bit.”
No. 959868 ID: 470289
File 158535387137.png - (1.12MB , 1000x1000 , 102.png )

“Me and Fingers went to the execution today.” I grab one of the chairs lying around cause it’s a little better than standing.

“He hounded you ‘til you gave in? You have to learn to say no, Asher.” She says closing the trunk next to the wall and carefully lowering herself on it.

“I know, I know. But you always say finish what you start-”

“And sometimes that means not starting. Go on.”

“He kept asking about Nine Eyes and whether I believed in them.”I tell her. “Told me about how Redkho is the one who took his fingers for nothing. Redkho losing his head didn’t calm him down none either, he just kept glaring down at the stage.”

“Down?” She asks.

“Uh… we weren’t in the crowd exactly?” She gives me a disapproving look but doesn’t press. “Anyway I sent on an errand to Mash, but she said he never showed. I was looking for him right before I came back. I’m worried, I don’t think I talked any sense into him before he went off. I think he’ll listen to you, though. Can you keep an extra eye on him, maybe give him a talking to?”

Ma’am is quiet for a second and looks away.

“Maybe he’ll listen to me. Fingers is a hard one.” She turns back and looks a little happier. “But thank you for bringing this up. I can’t help ‘em if I don’t know.”
No. 959869 ID: 470289
File 158535390025.png - (676.60KB , 1000x1000 , 103.png )

“Asher, I’ve been thinking about who to put forward for the new crop of Dorm Managers. Or if I even should put anyone forward. You’re going to be out of here in a few months, but I think you could do more good by staying. A lot of toilers get hard by the time they leave here, but you still care about everyone. That’s important. If you’re willing, I’d like to take you on as my apprentice.”

I don’t know what to say. Should I accept? Can I accept?

Do I tell her about… everything with Brass?
No. 959874 ID: 12b116

What kind of duties does that entail?
No. 959876 ID: fa2754

If you could only keep this as a backup plan. You want to try taking a risk and if it pays off, You could be living an easier life. Thank her for the offer though.
No. 959889 ID: 977456

It just feels like too much is going on right now. You really can't commit to anything.
No. 959893 ID: 094652

Just say you're not a free man. You have duties and responsibilities to the coven that must be prioritized over your denmates' hopes and aspirations. Duties that are reinforced by the high, shining, greater-than-copper glory of the diamonds.

Quietly contemplate and resent your situation.
No. 959894 ID: b1b4f3


This could be useful for your assignment. Think about it, you're suddenly training for a new job with more social responsibilities. That could cause your behavior to change, so if someone asks why you're suddenly interested in the preacher (or someone near him) then this could be your explanation- you need guidance or something.
No. 959909 ID: dbd72b

What is this going to entail? We have to prioritize Silver's orders, but that doesn't mean we can't use this, or at least maintain it on the side (plus let's be real if you weren't dragged in on this you'd just say yes).

If (and only if) you fully trust her, Without reservation, and are confident she can take the news about Silver/Brass, tell her, regardless of whether you accept or not. Even if she can't help, it's good to have a confidant.
No. 959940 ID: b07f1c

Hmm, I thought only artisans could cook.
How did Ma'am get pregnant?
What does happen to toilers when they leave the dorms?

No, you cannot accept. Because of dealing with the diamonds, your future is too uncertain. Who knows what they'll ask you to do next, or where you might be sent to, so she can't rely on you. It's also better that you don't tell her about Brass because that's an unrelated matter and she's already got plenty on her platter to deal with right now.
No. 959959 ID: 15a025

This, but before asking about it. Maybe you should tell her what's going on with Brass.
No. 960871 ID: 470289
File 158612450788.png - (584.75KB , 1000x1000 , 104.png )

“So I’d be working with you?” I ask.

“For a year or two. There’s a lot for you to learn before you’re put in charge of your own dorm. It’s not an easy job, whatever the laborers say. But eventually you’ll be ready to start raising toilers all on your own.” Ma’am says.

>If (and only if) you fully trust her, Without reservation, and are confident she can take the news about Silver/Brass, tell her, regardless of whether you accept or not. Even if she can't help, it's good to have a confidant.
I trust Ma’am. But if I tell her and it gets out it might not only be the three of us who get punished. I can’t put even more responsibility on her. It wouldn’t be fair. I’ll handle it myself, somehow.

And if I can’t… accepting her offer would be selfish.

“Thanks, but I… I don’t think I’m right for that. Sorry.” I choke out.
No. 960872 ID: 470289
File 158612454893.png - (828.67KB , 1000x1000 , 105.png )

“Oh. I thought… nevermind.” I can’t tell if there’s more surprise or disappointment in her voice. “I shouldn’t have put you on the spot, Asher. I’ll take your bowl back to the kitchen.”
No. 960873 ID: 470289
File 158612458298.png - (784.21KB , 1000x1000 , 106.png )

I head back to my room, which I share with the rest of the dozen or so age outs. Junkyard is still awake, but Mash is passed out snoring.

“I never caught up with Fingers, and Ikthiss talked my damn ear off, but I got next to nothing out of her.” Junkyard says.
No. 960874 ID: 470289
File 158612461964.png - (819.58KB , 1000x1000 , 107.png )

“Apparently he goes all over and just sits for a few days writing stuff down. He did Ikthiss’ site one of the weeks we weren’t assigned.” She shifts under me as I climb in my cot. “She said he’s a ‘bookworm’? You heard of that before?”

“Naw. Thanks for doing that Junkyard. I’ll… I’ll handle him tomorrow someway.”
No. 960875 ID: 470289
File 158612464176.png - (641.80KB , 1000x1000 , 108.png )

I’m so tired.
No. 960876 ID: 470289
File 158612467812.png - (1.08MB , 1000x1000 , 109.png )

No. 960880 ID: 12b116

I don't think you should have rejected the offer right away, you just need some time to think on it. If things get too chaotic it might be a problem, but it's certainly a better job than what you're doing now.
No. 960881 ID: 015bf2

Yay, it's time for Bethel. And your unenviable task of winning a Diamond's trust. Woo.
No. 960884 ID: b07f1c

No. 960920 ID: e7c7d3


You have an idea Mash?
No. 960937 ID: ce39da

Get ready for Bethel, then. Prepare yourself to really listen this time, and actually consider the sermon’s contents so you can come up with some questions about it for Brass afterward. Make yourself eager to learn and discuss, which may endear you to the learned man.
No. 961602 ID: 15a025

Morning already? Or have we been woken up?
No. 962805 ID: 470289
File 158742757853.png - (842.83KB , 1000x1000 , 110.png )

This happens every other morning.
No. 962807 ID: 470289
File 158742768962.png - (1.06MB , 1000x1000 , 111.png )

“You gotta stop screwing around on the cots, Mash. And bethel isn’t for another hour at least, why’d you wake me up now?” She just grins in response.

“Imma get it right. It’s balance and all. Just need practice.” She rattles off quick. “Anyway, I had a dream. Know how ta get into brassys head. We’re gonna sneak inta his office early and get the scoop on ‘em, right before bethel.”
No. 962811 ID: 015bf2

>every other day
Good thing her head's plenty sturdy, then. Though maybe you should start practicing tossing a pillow or some cloth to stop her fall. Don't want her to knock a screw loose.

>sneak into office
Shush her a bit and consider. It's an idea. But... for one, how's she plan getting into and out of his office without being found? For two, you don't know how to read. Do you? For three, what's there to scoop other than the stuff he's writing? For four, thievin' his stuff or moving it around so he notices will get him wary, so going inside would only be to get a looksie.

That said, reporting what's in his office IS technically information on him. But in that case, maybe it's just better to contrive a way to get yourself invited in and then just act curious and attentive? He might explain what stuff is if you ask - and then the stuff that he doesn't explain or avoids mentioning is what could be of interest.
No. 962825 ID: ce39da

Chide Mash to keep mum about this sort of stuff when people could be paying attention, then ask what she expects to risk our cover to find when neither of us can read.

Considering he's a topic of interest among the crowd today (giving bethel and all), it should be a little safer to ask around about what he's like before service. If he catches wind, we can play it off as just being curious about the diamonds in our life.

Just be prepared to pay attention during service this time; that in itself might be enlightening regarding his personality.
No. 962879 ID: 470289
File 158749056434.png - (1.07MB , 1000x1000 , 112.png )

>Don't want her to knock a screw loose.
It’s way too late for that.

I shush her, but I’m pretty sure no one else is paying attention. Most of the dorm tunes Mash out when she’s talking fast, and they’re going on about Ma’am still being out after she left last night. Mash sticks her tongue out at me but doesn’t mention anything else about it until we hit the street.

“It’s a idea. But it’s risky. We could get caught goin’ in or comin’ out.” I tell her.

“Place’s empty before bethel,” She insists. “And Brass usually comes in just before we start, all huffin’ and puffin’. We’ll have plenty a time, and what is he gonna do if he does find us? Yell at us for being early?”

“What would we even do in there?” I ask. “If it’s all books or something we wouldn’t get anything out of it.”

“Well we won’t know what we’re gonna find until we find it! Could be, like, some really obvious big secret we could find and trade in, and we’ll be done with this spyin’ gig in under a day. Maybe he’s been stealin’ other diamonds diamonds or somethin’.” I pause for a bit.

If we go,” Her smile splits her face even wider. “It’d be for lookin’ only. We’re not touchin’ a thing.”

“I got it, I got it.” She says and we finish the rest of the distance to bethel in a few minutes. “Here’s the joint for our first Finger’s Foray. You wanna go in the front door or do you wanna try some climbing and go in from up top. Or we could split up. Unless you wanna wimp out now and go ‘askin’ for in-for-ma-tion’.”
No. 962881 ID: 0fae41

Use those arms of yours for climbing!
No. 962884 ID: fb820f

I suppose anything that we learn about him could be useful...

Split up. We go from he top, Mash goes from the bottom and she whistles or coughs loudly if she encounters someone.
No. 962892 ID: 015bf2

Haha, a Finger's Foray? Catchy, but don't let him hear you say that. It'll either offend or give him airs, and you don't know which will be worse!

(You hope the tyke's alright.)

Anyway, you got a clue where the office is? If so, you can try climbing to get sneaky deaky access-like. Maybe send one to climb, the other distracts the fisherguy from seeing 'em?
No. 962934 ID: e7c7d3

There's a ladder practically asking you to sneak in.
No. 963528 ID: 470289
File 158781158937.png - (1.05MB , 1000x1000 , 113.png )

“Alright, I’ll go up. Keep an eye out for me?” I ask.

“Uuuuuugh. Fine. But next time I get to do the fun stuff. Hey, old guy, we’re just going to bethel all normal like, right? Nothin’ suspicious here.”

“Don’t give a fuck.” He answers.

“Boom. Job done.”
No. 963529 ID: 470289
File 158781168327.png - (1.04MB , 1000x1000 , 114.png )

I check out a few windows on the second floor I’m sure I can get into. One has a bunch of books and dusty looking pictures and bowls and stuff in it? I’m pretty sure it’s empty, at least. Another has a bed with someone in it, cause I heard some snoring, but I couldn’t make out who it was from where I was looking. And finally there was a room I couldn’t really make anything out in it was so dark. The light from outside just showed a bit of the floor that had some weird drawings on it. I almost wish I had one of Finger’s stolen stones to see inside properly.

This room has the only person I’m sure is awake on this floor, a rough diamond, one of their youngin’s. She’s sat in on some of the bethels recently but never said anything. Don’t even know her name. She really focused on that book, I did a test wave of my hand by the window and she didn’t even notice. I don’t think she’d notice me looking through the other rooms, but I should still keep her in mind.
No. 963533 ID: e7c7d3

Check the room with weird scribbles. There's surely a light source already in there that can be activated
No. 963549 ID: 015bf2

CAREFULLY check on snoring guy. Is it the Diamond you're looking for? In that case the bedroom would be his private-most sanctum and he'd keep anything unusual or private close at hand, like on a desk nearby or under his pillow or somethin'. Check out the room carefully for anything that looks unusual to keep near your bed.
No. 963573 ID: ce39da

If that's where he's sleeping, then that is the most DANGER DANGER 5-Alarm risk we could take here.

I cast my vote for the scribble room.
No. 963743 ID: 15a025

Let's check that scribble room.
No. 963813 ID: 094652

Begin conversation. Caste untouchability is genocide.
No. 964380 ID: 470289
File 158821303519.png - (1.16MB , 1000x1000 , 115.png )

I move the panels over the window and climb in. It’s dark but the larger opening is helping me make things out.
No. 964381 ID: 470289
File 158821308729.png - (1.00MB , 1000x1000 , 116.png )

Well, there’s a lot of… they must be Nine Eyes statues, but I’ve never seen any like these before. They look like sticklers and tats and one of them looks kind of like that ambassador guy from yesterday, but smaller. There’s a weird amount of space between them and the wall, which is making the room feel smaller than it is. And the scribbles aren’t just on the floor.
No. 964382 ID: 470289
File 158821315615.png - (1.00MB , 1000x1000 , 117.png )

I close my eyes to get them adjusted faster and when I open them about a minute later I can see pretty well. I don’t recognize the scribbles at all. They don’t look like writing, I think, but I can’t say I really trust myself to tell the difference between the scribbles they put on signs and the scribbles on these walls.
No. 964384 ID: 470289
File 158821321777.png - (1.04MB , 1000x1000 , 118.png )

Well, I’m inside and have at least a few minutes. Maybe I should try to… copy the symbols somehow and give them to Silver? I’d be assuming they’re important if I did that. Or I could be a little more hands on and look through the desk, or look through some stuff? Maybe something else?

...I really don’t like that eye in the corner. It feels like it’s looking at me. Like, more than Nine Eyes' eyes always feels like they’re looking at you.
No. 964386 ID: e7c7d3

Oh, uh, you might not be alone anymore. Maybe back up to the window or the door before whatever that is fully emerges from the ceiling
No. 964392 ID: fd5772

Get the f*** out of there right now Asher, you're gonna die to that thing from the ceiling!
No. 964393 ID: 015bf2

... move through the room to the door and walk through. You were just taking an unconventional path to Bethel on a dare, yep yep.
No. 964398 ID: fa2754

This. Just keep on moving through.
No. 964433 ID: 5877dc

Keep looking at these statues for a bit longer, then turn your head around and accidentally kiss.
No. 964445 ID: b1b4f3

No. 964448 ID: 0fae41

Just reach up and grab those handlebars.
No. 965182 ID: 470289
File 158871208319.png - (1.05MB , 1000x1000 , 119.png )

>Just keep on moving through.
>...move through the room to the door and walk through.
>Get the f*** out of there right now Asher
I get the hell out of there, eyes glued to the thing.
No. 965183 ID: 470289
File 158871210238.png - (832.59KB , 1000x1000 , 120.png )

What was that thing? Where did it come from? Did it see me? Is it going to come after me?

Is shit like that what I’m supposed to be looking for?!
No. 965184 ID: 470289
File 158871213011.png - (835.49KB , 1000x1000 , 121.png )

I can’t go back out through that room. But I’m not sure if I’ve even learned anything yet. Do I try to just get out through the empty library room? Or do I keep looking around, and where if I do? This is the third floor of the building, so I could always try going down instead of checking more rooms up here. I think I know where the stairs are, based on where I’ve seen them on the bottom floor.

I could also risk peeking in at the thing behind me? Assuming it’s not behind the door waiting to attack me or something. I might be wasting time thinking and it’s going to come out of the room any second!

At least I didn’t leave anything that makes it obvious I was in here.
No. 965185 ID: 470289
File 158871216845.png - (714.20KB , 1000x1000 , 122.png )

No. 965190 ID: e7c7d3

That door handle could from anything! Head towards the stairs? Are they up or down? Probably should try to find what's-his-names's bedroom
No. 965231 ID: 0fae41

Well, hold on to that. It could get you into places.

Go back and watch that thing! It's clearly the most interesting thing happening right now.
No. 965240 ID: 015bf2

>oh no
Err... um. You can huck it through the window if you get back outside? You can try to sneak a peek and deposit it back in at the same time? Just leave it by the door and hope why it ended up on the outside just becomes a mystery?

Man, something actually came out of a stone ceiling! You can’t handle this situation!

But you gotta. That or the mines. Keep exploring, but you should consider an exit strategy and how long you can spend. Going out by way of the library window after exploring a few more things and listening for footsteps and at any door you want to go through is probably wise.

Maybe you can go up a floor to see where that thing came from? Seeing how... unique it is, it’s certainly something to report.
No. 965241 ID: 12b116

Leave the handle next to the door and go to the stairs quick. Go up or down, whichever feels better.
No. 965285 ID: fd5772

hide the handle in your pants
No. 965399 ID: ce39da

Head outside through the library and see what you can see from the window into the squiggle room. If the demon is gone, (underhand!) toss the handle towards the base of the door you left through - truthfully, the clatter of the handle hitting the floor will fit with the assumed story of "the handle just fell off on its own."
No. 965790 ID: 470289
File 158897331237.png - (0.99MB , 1000x1000 , 123.png )

Peeking is a really big risk, even if part of me wants to. I’ll get rid of the handle later. Maybe I’ll toss it back through the window on my way out, if that thing is gone (and get another peek of it if it isn’t)? They might assume it broke on it’s own if I’m lucky. I head towards where I figure the stairs are and there’s a set going down. I know I saw a fourth floor from the outside, but I guess the entrance is somewhere else. If I want to check out where the thing came from I’ll need to search some more on this floor.

Anyway I know a way to get out through the library, so I can risk a bit more exploration and I have probably a little under an hour before bethel starts and I need to be back outside. Assuming Mash will wait for an hour.

She probably won’t.
No. 965791 ID: 470289
File 158897334801.png - (1.18MB , 1000x1000 , 124.png )

I go down the stairs slowly and quietly, keeping my ears open for any sounds. I think I hear something below, but it’s really low and light.
No. 965792 ID: 470289
File 158897336775.png - (1.09MB , 1000x1000 , 125.png )

It’s snoring.
No. 965795 ID: e7c7d3

Time to be sneaky! Those papers are probably important. Anything on them you can recognize? Like a picture or a graph? Any important looking symbols on the nearby books?
No. 965879 ID: ce39da

Approach if you want, but do not continue past; if the way out is blocked after here, and he wakes, or someone else comes to this room, we'll be trapped. Not to mention that, even if it's in an hour, people might start approaching the outside before Bethel.
No. 966007 ID: 015bf2

Have a look around first, but... ponder an idea. A risky, but potentially rewarding idea. You've been struggling on how to come up with approaching the Preceptor.

Whatever Caevaexerin Brass is doing, after all, it's something that has his immediate superior - to which he is a ward - cautious or curious, meaning that he's kept it hidden from them successfully. He's clearly the studious type, and has not come across as particularly imperious or cruel, seeming to glorify and put actual effort in teaching others (though living a bit in a bubble of his own).

So... while you could just sneak in, poke about, and sneak out hoping you weren't discovered, there's another option to win his trust: waking him and telling the (almost) truth, before throwing yourself at his mercy.

Tell him you were early for Bethel, a friend of yours challenged you to sneak in. You were curious, so you did, but... there's a monster upstairs. You think? Something. It scared the living daylights out of you when you snuck in, cuz' it came... through the roof. Like, the rock. Without breaking it?

Ask whether you did something really bad. Was the monster a defense Diamonds have that you triggered? You're so sorry, but you're worried for your friend - they'll be impatient if you don't come out soon and you're worried they'll run into the thing themselves if they try to follow. (might get you an explanation on the monster while he's too drowsy and befuddled to think up lies, and its presence risking exposure by someone else and informing you that there's someone who could report your sudden disappearance)

Tell him please, you're so sorry and you'll do anything to make up for the intrusion and you won't tell anyone about his guard monster. You were just curious and thought you might see something new and interesting, but it was wrong of you. (offering him perceived leverage over you might make him keep you close + he might feel kinship with someone showing curiosity)

If everything goes well the monster is one of his secrets (you've never heard of the like, so it better be!) and Brass really is amiable enough to not punish you too harshly. He might swear you to secrecy and might want to keep a close eye on you to boot, which means you'd get transferred to HIS work detail or something similar. And once in on one of his secrets he'd have an easier time letting you in on more, at least if you play your cards right.

You can even sell this angle to him if you get discovered sneaking around like a thief - the monster blocked your way out and trapped you in a bad situation - so you were just trying to find a way out. Though waking him, admitting fault and pleading for mercy is the more trust-inspiring move and will be an excuse to ask him directly what that thing was. It could even be an excuse for your interest in him from here on if he just says 'yep, that was just a defensive measure, you silly girl' and lets you go.

All of this assumes he doesn't just charge you with breaking an entering and gets you punished and/or banished from his Bethel sermons, which obviously would be the absolute worst. But the risk of this otherwise mostly harmless Diamond doing that seems low. Ish. Low-ish.
No. 966024 ID: 15a025

It could be risky, but sneak up a little closer and see if there's anything on the desk you recognize?
No. 966233 ID: 5877dc

I don't think befriending Brass has any meaning on its own. Instead, I believe that the true reason for you to be doing this is so that you'd gain access to his chambers or possessions or whatever. And one of those must be what Silver is actually after. In other words, you should scan those papers and any other items that may be nearby for anything noteworthy and remember it.

If there are any blankets around, you should cover him with one. If this wakes him up, good. If it doesn't, then you can later mention that you were the one that covered him.
No. 966662 ID: 470289
File 158950086349.png - (0.99MB , 1000x1000 , 126.png )

I sneak up to the desk to check it out. It’s mostly just lots of paper and a little drool. There’s more words on them, different shapes from the ones in that room, and little laprines and cubes and stuff on them. I can’t tell if the drawings are related to what’s on the paper or just bored doodles. Some are on the edges of the paper, and some right in the middle where he just wrote around them.

There are stairs to the first floor, which should be empty, I think? But everyone is going to be down there for bethel, so I don’t know if anything important would even be down there to look at. And there’s no blankets or anything down here, just rows and rows of books. I would have to go back up to find one if I wanted to cover him up.
No. 966663 ID: 470289
File 158950088497.png - (740.77KB , 1000x1000 , 127.png )

...I could just wake him up, right?

I’m not a spy, I have no idea if I can pull this off. I don’t even know what I’m looking for yet. But if I wake Brass up then, well… something would have to happen. Whether I make up a lie or tell him the truth or something in-between I’d either get a lot closer to him real fast, or fail this mission and get punished by tomorrow.

If I had to bet that any diamond would let me get away with sneaking into their home after finding out it’d be Brass. Narko called him a pushover and I had never thought of him in that way before but it makes sense. Maybe he lets people sleep in bethel because waking them up would be harder for him, not because he’s nice. Not making waves is usually the best option, when you can pick it. And letting out that a toiler snuck into your house could be more waves then he wants.

Or maybe he’s a kind person. Or he’s mean but pretends to be kind, or he’s lazy, or unobservant, or stupid in some way. Maybe thinking about him in this way is the total wrong way to do it. He could be almost any type of person, I just don’t know.

It would be a gamble. Risky. Not just for me, but for Mash and Junkyard too. Should I take it? Is he harmless?

>Wake him.
>Leave him.
No. 966671 ID: e7c7d3

Wake him. Say you were looking for little tasks to do before bethel and you noticed that he was drooling on his notes.
No. 966673 ID: ce39da

You still need to dispose of that door-handle via the window into the room from which it came. Leave Brass alone and do that first, at the very least.
No. 966718 ID: 5877dc

Do you recall Brass ever being late for a bethel? If so, then this would explain why and then it would be less risky to wake him up, since you'd have an excuse that you wouldn't want him to be late. But if he was never late before, then it means he always wakes up on time, and you wouldn't have a good excuse of waking him up.

All in all, I'm still in favor of just getting some cloth to cover him up, but otherwise against waking him up.
No. 966845 ID: 15a025

Wake him up.
No. 966885 ID: 0fae41

Leave him.
...With a letter from an anonymous admirer. (Or trinket, if you can't write. Just draw a heart.)
No. 967043 ID: 015bf2

>Is he harmless?
Time to find out. Wake him up.
No. 968008 ID: 12b116

You're 100% in a place you aren't supposed to be. Leave him. Waking him up is a bad idea.
No. 968073 ID: b1b4f3

Don't be dumb. Let him sleep.
No. 968137 ID: c2edf6

Aw shucks. Well... tables ain't meant for sleepin' on, so might as well wake him up. We'd basically be savin' 'em from the world of inconvenient back pains.
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