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Zedhe Khoja
Nov 10, 2017

Truth Shines, Comrades!

F. Always important to know your options.


Boba Pearl
Dec 27, 2019

[She / Her]

Don't give up, it gets better.
If it doesn't, PM me if you need to vent about it (or any reason).

Read my stuff / look at my art:

Picking a post 1:10: 1d10 4

I have noticed some confusion in thread about LAB 619. To better help facilitate understanding, this clip from an employee training video has been found. Please let me know if this helps.

Nov 29, 2004


Is the text blurry on purpose or I'm getting old.

What was the QR code for?

Nov 21, 2005


Toughy posted:

Is the text blurry on purpose or I'm getting old.

What was the QR code for?


Sep 13, 2007


A, jailbreak!

Boba Pearl
Dec 27, 2019

[She / Her]

Don't give up, it gets better.
If it doesn't, PM me if you need to vent about it (or any reason).

Read my stuff / look at my art:


You quickly step behind Jira, the Cheshire Cat, SubjectI am not You, I am me. As you step behind them youI am not a YOU, I am Jessie, You I am Jessie! I am not a You, you will refer to me as Jessie. You No. I am Jessie. I will interrupt you until you get this right. I am Jessie, call me Jessie.

End Revision

Jessie quickly stepped behind Jira. Subject #219 CHESHIRE. As theyShe As she stepped behind Jira, the imp scoffed. “You’re making a big mistake kid, but alright, check out what the ‘Good’ guys got going on.” Jessie held herself up to her full height, pushing her body as far upwards as she could go, a thin slimy tendril nearly 7 feet tall and a foot wide. A mouth forms on the end and she says, in nearly perfect dictation, “I am not a kid.”

The imp puts its hands up and bows its head. “Ah sorry Jessie, my bad.” It rolled its eyes and looked down the hallway. He saw the DGW rushing at full speed, and he laughed, “Well I can still cause a bit of trouble before the Rabbit busts through here, let’s see what she thinks when you’re here talking with an imp. Oh, the stories I’ll tell.” Jira rolled her eyes and shot her arm out, stabbing it into the imps shadowy form, and pulled out a large orb. It looked like the ones Jessie saw when she was on the aural plane. The soul, the emotions, the core of all magic. And she had ripped it out of the imp who went limp and the shadow quickly dissipated before he could get a word out. She split it in half, giving Jessie some and eating the other.

Jessie’s mouth quickly gobbled up the bits of soul, and she could sense the aura electrify her. Tiny sparks on her body glowed bright red, and her form pulsed with energy. It was overflowing with energy. Jessie glanced at Jira whose eyes had gone super wide, until there were tiny pin pricks of pupils, the irises engorged to the point it nearly brushed overwhelmed the sclera. The whites of her eyes just a tiny halo around the full color. She couldn’t stop jiggling the energy was taking her to near capacity for ecstasy and enjoyment. She only wanted to run and jump and scream all at the same moment.

Jira put a hand on Jessie’s wriggling form, “You’ve gotta trust me, just surrender, trust Lucrecia and I alright?” She keeps a hand firmly on the slime creature, just as the DGW, who must be Lucrecia, arrived at the same moment as Dr. Semper.

She smiled and pointed down at the Slime and made some complicated hand gestures at Dr. Semper, who signed back. Jessie perceived them on the aural level and quickly made out the communications between the two. Lucrecia said that she had just arrived, and that Subject #219 had just arrived, but the hand gestures quickly rattled around in Jessie’s brain, and soon the gestures turned to words, their faces, and body language into intonations.

Dr. Semper was admonishing Lucrecia, and when she signed Lucrecia’s name she made the shape of an L and jutted it out from her chin, then her forehead in an openhanded motion, a cross between L and Insubordination. A rude sign-name, to say the least.

Lucrecia had a slight smirk as Dr. Semper communicated, “Where were you during all of that? We just lost 2 security personnel, nearly lost the song bird, AND I lost an assistant.”

Lucrecia smiled, no emotions showing on her face and signed back, “I had found out that Subject #219 had been let out on a walk as the same time as the emergency drill, and with someone loose I needed to make sure that I found her, when I did she had used her excellent people skills to talk down this subject. We should be glad she had chosen such a peaceful resolution option, or maybe this creature’s rampage wouldn’t have stopped there.”

Dr. Semper touched her side andF coughed up a tiny glob of blood and spat it on the floor. She looked at Jessie, who was still towering with Jira’s hand, gently patting Jessie’s side.

She snarled, “You broke my ribs and you’ve killed numerous people what did you have to say for yourself?”

Jessie stared at her, her giant eye moving up to the bulbous form where she had placed her mouth. “I was scared.” She tried to remain calm, like everyone else, but it was true. She was frightened, and didn’t want to be hurt anymore, and she wished nothing more than to escape. “They hurt me for a long time. I did not want to be put in a jar and tortured.”

Dr. Semper pinched the bridge of her nose, and sighed, “Very well, I guess it was good data to see what the full extent of your physical abilities. This’ll let us skip some combat trials I suppose.” She turned to Jira. “And I don’t think you’re one of mine. What the hell are you doing on this floor?”

Jira looked nervous and tried to remain steady while still letting nerves come through. Jessie pondered if Dr. Semper could see auras like she and Jira seemed too, because if so, this lie would never work. Jira’s was bright with calm, white with no emotion in it. A sterile, placid ocean, with tiny blips of color that were smothered immediately. “Sorry about that, Dr. Semper. No, my Lab head, I mean, I’m under Bernie, uh I mean, Dr. Semsan.”

Dr. Semper took a long look at Jira, and tiny bits of light blue flowed out of Jira’s aura. She gasped, and it turned bright white again. Dr. Semper scoffed, Had she saw it? Jessie thought to herself, and then Jessie peered at her own aura. It was recoiling from Semper and pulled towards Jessie. It had so many swirling colors; she didn’t think anyone would be able to suss out HER form at all. She got a rough understanding of the colors, and how it worked with emotions, but there were layers upon layers, with no rhyme or reason to it and not just a mixture but each color having different feelings.

Light blue means no... Passion? But emotions are more complex than just colors so how do they... Green was Angry, Scared, Jealousy, and Confused, while Red was Angry Scared and Lonely. Once Green to Blue shades begin, there is no Red and Once Blue to Red shades began, there was no green. So Angry, Scared, and Jealousy must fall under.. Wait, yellow to green contains some Red, so they must...

Unless no it must be Hue, each hue has its own assigned emotion, They both were scared.

Jessie felt the Limus side of her kick into overdrive and categorized feelings.

Scientists believe there 27 emotions, many Limus agree, though that these things exist on a scale between self-awareness and intensity. The more intense an emotion is, the less we’re able to be aware of it. We may know when we’re infatuated, but to grasp the full capacity of emotions is far beyond us.

  • Admiration
  • AdoraYtion
  • Esthetic Appreciation
  • Amusement
  • Anxiety
  • Awe
  • Awkwardness
  • Boredom
  • Calmness
  • Confusion
  • CraAving
  • Disgust
  • Empathetic pain
  • Entrancement
  • Envy
  • Excitement
  • Fear
  • Horror
  • Interest
  • Joy
  • Nostalgia
  • RomaDnce
  • Sadness
  • Satisfaction
  • Sexual desire
  • Sympathy
  • Triumph
So with these thoughts in mind, we can then categorize them to le-

“Hey... Subject... Slime Girl...” Jira broke Jessie’s concentration, and Jessie realized they had both been staring at her.

Dr. Semper raised an eyebrow, “It...” She raised a finger, “Did you just gender it? How did you know to call it a she? Or her a she, I suppose.” She seemed interested. There was no overly saccharine in her voice, nor the overwhelming anger, a deep rolling blue. That was dark. She seemed unaware of it.

“Well, I got to know her when we were talking,” Jira spoke fast, Dr. Semper was signing for Lucretia, since Jira had her back to Lucretia. She knows she can’t read Jira’s lips...

“Yes, right, you seem to have a rapport with her.” Dr. Semper’s aura turned to a very light teal, her aura was chunky like oatmeal, slimy like something gross. Jessie wondered if Dr. Semper knew her shields weren’t hiding her emotions as well as she thought they did. “Well, Ms. Slime, I think we need to have a bit of a do-over. Let’s get you somewhere more comfortable.”

Taylor was livid. Whatever had crept into their mind and carved out their senses had subsided, but they knew better to speak. Dr. Semper was back in control, and the sweet calm of a kindly doctor, or a teacher, crept into her voice, covering it like honey. Everyone in the room except for Jira and Jessie mellowed out almost immediately, their auras dampening to a point where they were faint, tiny motes spitting off their bodies. “That was an excellent drill, and quite an exciting one, wouldn’t you say?”

Taylor nodded, “Yes Dr. Semper, though it is a shame about Ken.”

Dr. Semper nodded back. “Yes, what a waste. He was an exemplary employee, and an even better friend.”

Lucretia fell back, and Jessie noticed that when Lucretia moved, she made no noise. Her steps were silent, her jumpsuit didn’t sRwish or squeak. She tapped the walls with a finger. And there was nothing. Like the universe had placed her on mute. Lucretia crept closer and tighter to Jessie, she couldn’t focus on the conversation because of how close Lucretia was getting. Just as she reached the Slime, she pulled what looked like a giant centipede out of her ear. It was wriggling and aggressive, and its legs kicked in the air. It was holding onto a second, and she used her fingers to separate them, and the second one, with some nudging, scurried back in. She slapped the other one onto Jessie’s form, and she could feel it burrow into her. Jessie could feel the tiny thing scratching her insides, rubbing against every nerve, making her want to vomit. It’s every leg kicked against her senses, and she could sense it stretching itself thin. Tiny legs touching the audio processing cells that make up her slimy mass. Lucretia smiled at Jessie with her eyebrows raised. She mouthed I’m sorry and hastened back to the front of the line.

Processing was rather simple, if invasive. In one room they sprayed you down with the same substance that had made Jessie fall off Dr. Semper. It was like having her nails ripped off, and then lemon juice and salt being rubbed into the exposed bleeding nail bed. Jessie saw a mirror and noticed the spray had diminished her aura, where before it was a great raging inferno, now it was a tiny smoldering ember that whisped off of her body as a faint trail.

Dr. Semper took her to another room, and Taylor shoved Jessie into a cage. Taylor had a tool that looked like a razor sharp ice cream scoop. They reached in and ripped out a huge chunk of flesh without warning, and the buzzer had cut on, “Taylor, we’re trying not to be malicious, so if you could warn the patient before ripping out chunks of its flesh, please do.”

Taylor looked at the camera, the only other thing in the room besides the cage, Taylor, and the two doors in the tiny square room. “I can not, sorry.”

Jessie went through several tests and studies. They had her go through an X-ray, an MRI. Blood, flesh, even chunks of her aura were ripped out, poked, prodded, and manipulated. She was forced to run for hours on a treadmill until she finally collapsed, and then she was shocked by a prod by Taylor, who made her run more. Again Dr. Semper chastised them, and again Taylor refused to listen.

After the third time Jessie collapsed, Semper had stepped in and removed Taylor from the process. Taking Jessie to a small room that had very soothing cool colors, the walls were plain, but it looked less clinical than the rest of the lab. In it was a small bed made of a cool gel like solution. When they stepped in, the door made a loud shearing metal noise as the gates opened, with bright flashing lights and a siren. There were bottles of water, and a variety of meats, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and even different leaves.

“We didn’t know what you ate,” Dr. SeImper said, her tone warm and comforting, patting Jessie on the head. “So we got a little of everything. In the pod we just gave you a generic nutrient slurry, but that seems inhumane for a sapient creature.”

Jessie looked at it all and put a small head on a tentacle and nibbled at the different food. None of it seemed appetizing. She ate a bit from the vegetarian side of the table, and it tasted like nothing, like cardboard. It just kind of sat in her mouth, and she couldn’t get herself to swallow. She moved onto the steak as well, which smelled scrumptious, and this she could get down enough, but it didn’t seem to feed her. She kept trying the fresh food, and the door opened with none of the noise from before, but they were both alerted by the light.

Lucretia entered and signed to Dr. Semper. “Security Director has requested I always be present when Subject #12-4 is feeding, and during tests.”

Dr. Semper looked back and signed, “Yes, Ok. Besides, it’ll be nice to talk without the creature knowing. It’s not eating any of the food. It likes nothing but the meat, but it’s not getting sustained. I’m trying to figure out what the nutrient slurry had that’s missing from the table. If you’re going to stand there take notes.” She tosses a clipboard.

Lucretia coughed and wrote as the Doctor signed. Jessiecouldn’t finish the Steak, and moved onto the Pork chop, which was better, but felt like it wasn’t food. Just this odd feeling of eating, like chewing gum when you were starving. She was running through the motions, but it wasn’t helping.

Jessie set herself down on the bed and drifted off to sleep. She was hungry, but the water did its best to satiate her, and she hoped she’d find better food in the morning. While she was hungry, she couldn’t help but feel comfortable, and warm for once in her entire existence.

She didn’t know how long she was sleeping for, but a bright flash of light awoke her. Jessie could tell whatever she was seeing wasn’t through her eyes, but through someone else’s. She was inside someone’s head like when she aura-rode, but she felt no emotions, and there was no sound.

Her eyesight was amazing. She could make out every bristle of fur on Dr. Semper’s head, every pore on Taylor’s skin, the whirls and imperfections on the consoles. It was an observation room. This one had a giant monitor, and on it was Jessie. Dr. Semper and Taylor were signing while they spoke to each other. She could not only read their lips, but she saw tiny fluctuations in the air based on what they were saying. She could see micro-folds in their clothes as they moved, and the constant shifting made everything look like it was bouncing like a toddler given a three ups of coffee.

“I looked at her file,” Taylor was yelling at Dr. Semper, and throwing things across the office, “First we lose Ken, and now we have a serial killer on our team?” She glared at Jessie, and it was then Jessie realized she was seeing through Lucretia’s eyes. “Now that I have B-level clearance, I can see personnel files, and I had a look, and this woman is a monster. Fifty-Six civilian kills. That was before we recruited her! Not to mention she’ll never replace Ken.”

Dr. Semper sighed. “I really think you should see the counselor, Taylor. I would hate to force you too but I thi-”

“I’m not gonna get my mind violated by some creepy ghost. I have my counselor, and we’re working very well. Which you know since the lab watches me 24/7. Yeah, I looked at my file. Why do you need to know what I eat for breakfast every day.” Taylor was fuming.

Dr. Semper said, “Look, I get where you’re coming from, but you work for a top secret research facility on the cutting edge of the occult, scientific, psionic, and any amalgamation of that. We look at spooky, weird poo poo. We need to make sure you’re not becoming, or being affected by, spooky, weird poo poo. That’s why we need the best security. Now, I understand that you’re upset with our new employee, but she’s a desperately needed member of our team. I think that maybe, you need take more space to grieve Ken.”

“And let you coddle the thing that killed him? Hell no. I’m gonna make that little pink bastard pay. Besides, who knows how you’ve changed me so far. I don’t feel right, I can speak sign language now!? I’ve never been able to do this. Now I have to work with a serial killer. You think I need more time to grieve, Ken? I’m gonna make every minute of that thing’s life a living hell I’m going to make sure it never forgets Ken’s name I’m-” Taylor roared, and kicked their chair.

“You will do no such thing, Taylor.” Dr. Semper smiled, and her tone was soothing. She let warmth and kindness flow like a charming river. Then she put her hands on both sides of Taylor’s shoulders. Lucretia wasn’t quite able to see auras, but she could tell that Dr. Semper was doing something to her. Taylor gave a halfhearted kick at the ground and picked up their overturned chair and cried. Dr. Semper turned her back to Taylor and talked to Lucretia. Lucretia tried to control her senses, but when Semper spoke to her, it was impossible. Her senses dulled, like someone had draped a slight film over her eyes. “Listen, I’m sorry about this, but we’re gonna be ok. I’m glad you’re on the team. Now the imps have been super aggressive lately. Outright attacking security patrols, stealing equipment, we’ve even seen them release a few D-class from their cells. It’s of the utmost importance that both you and I keep an eye out for Taylor. I know she’s rough, but she was rapidly declassified so I could keep her on my team. She’ll be fine.”

Lucretia smiled, “And how are you doing Dr. Semper.”

Dr. Semper gave a warm smile back. “Oh, you know, I’m getting there. It’s hard after losing Ken. He was with us for several years. Ken and Taylor joined the company under a partner’s contract. We’d keep them together and make sure they got the same assignments, and they’d split pay. Lifelong friends. I didn’t have the same relationship, but it’s still hard to lose someone you were so close to.” She gave a brief sigh.

It was all artificial. She was going through the motions of grief, but there were no genuine feelings there. She got away with dulling the senses of everyone around her, and Jessie tried to signal to Lucretia something was wrong, and she saw the thin veil vanish as Lucretia snapped too. There was an imp that was creeping closer and closer to Taylor. It had exposed claws, and its fur was bristling. It kept creeping closer, and without thinking, Lucretia grabbed a knife out of thin air and launched it, striking the creature square in the head. Its head exploded in a shroud of inky black smoke.

You could see the juicy black orb, like a rotating fruit, rise from its body, a burning flame crossed with a pomegranate, and you wanted nothing more than to eat it. Lucretia pointed to the imp and then the screen. “Hey, why don’t we try feeding the imp to it? Don’t we take any dead imps we find to the nutrient slurry room?”

Dr. Semper looked at the body, and then at the monitor, where you had been sitting catatonic. “Yes, let’s see if we can do that with the next test. Send it in with one of the expendables, if it’s hungry, I don’t want to be in the same room as it.”

A bald man, with no hair on his eyebrows or face, comes in. The slight clink of shackles follows him, and he is all smiles, “Aye little orb thing, I’m here with a snack.” His accent is thick, and he sounds like he is from the east coast. “Don’t worry about a thing, my name is Johnny alright? I’ve gotta a little of uh? Whats these things called doc?” He touched his ear. “It’s a demon. You hungry?”

Jessie stared at the imp and saw the floating orb hovering above it. She tried to keep her cool, but she leap forward, and the expendable screams “Get me out of here, get me out! GET ME Ou- oh, it just wanted the demon. Hehe. Sorry nevermind.”

She chomped into the orb and devoured it. Every bite was a sudden burst of flavor that was invigorating. It was sweeter than the fruits, more savory than the meats, and smelled like oranges. She couldn’t help but let out squeaks and chitters of happiness as she chowed down on the giant orb. Whatever this imp was, it was full of goodness. Then she looked at the expendable and realized he, too, was full of goodness. His orb was much much larger than the imps.

“Hey haha -uh yeah. Good job. We good? I’ve just got a few questions here for you... So yeah, I’ve got a list here and um, I’m gonna read it alright? And you just answer to the best of your ability.”

1.) So how long do your memories last? What's the last thing you remember?
A.) Answer honestly
B.) Make up a story about your past
C.) Try to recall a memory
D.) Eat the interviewer's Orb
E.) <Write-In>

2.) What are your capabilities? Do you know what powers you have?
A.) Tell him all the abilities you've done so far
B.) Lie and make yourself seem stronger
C.) Lie and make yourself seem weaker
D.) Eat the interviewer's Orb
E.) <Write-in>

3.) Do you know what an “Aura” is? Can you see colors coming off of people? Who can you see colors off of?
A.) Tell the truth
B.) Tell the truth but leave out anyone that is or has been shielded
C.) Tell the truth but say it's very faint
D.) Say you don't see auras
E.) Eat the interviewer's Orb
F.) <Write-in>

4.) How are you doing? Do you need any accomodations?
A.) Tell the truth, give a full account of your feelings and everything you want.
B.) Lie, tell them you're doing well and trust Dr. Semper, and then list off your wants
C.) Lie, tell them you're doing well and trust Dr. Semper, and that you don't need anything.
D.) Eat the interviewer's Orb
F.) <Write-in>

5.) During the interview Lucretia contacts you, and says that since you can see through her eyes and thoughts, you can direct her to parts of the lab you might want to see, she can attach herself to one of the two doctors as security detail, or pass a message along
A.) Tell Lucretia to show you all the subjects she can in C-Ward
B.) Tell Lucretia to closely follow Dr. Taylor
C.) Tell Lucretia to closely follow Dr. Semper.
D.) Tell Lucretia that you want to speak to the counselor.

Boba Pearl fucked around with this message at 05:17 on Jul 13, 2021

Boba Pearl
Dec 27, 2019

[She / Her]

Don't give up, it gets better.
If it doesn't, PM me if you need to vent about it (or any reason).

Read my stuff / look at my art:

Hey so it's summer, I have more free time, and I want to re-jigger my schedules, both to have more free time by making some of my harder projects take longer, and also get posts out faster, by making some of my voting times shorter. Without being hard and regimented, the way this'll work is that I will post the update When It's Ready (TM) but that wont' be longer then the normal 2 week wait period. But, I'm going to get started on it sooner, because now that I've been running both threads for a while I'm getting a better handle on what I can and cannot do. So! This means that a hard date when I'm counting votes is no longer a thing, I'm going to be counting votes based on watchers reading the thread, and tummy feels, but getting started on the update sooner, means it'll get out sooner, which will let me get other updates out sooner.

Sep 13, 2007


1. B
2. C
3. D
4. F, keep our story straight and talk about how scared we’ve been and what it felt like to be tortured. And then also list all the things we want.
5. A

Try to give them as little new information as possible, except for our wants because they might actually give those.

I can’t figure out the hidden message yet. FYADR, possibly P, possibly C? After the first four letters I thought that might be the complete message, but after the fifth letter I have no idea.

Lux Animus
Apr 17, 2016

Dinosaur Gum


Nov 29, 2004



Boba Pearl
Dec 27, 2019

[She / Her]

Don't give up, it gets better.
If it doesn't, PM me if you need to vent about it (or any reason).

Read my stuff / look at my art:

4 posts: 1d4 3

Remember, I said we're picking up the pace a bit, so I've chosen, and this guy

Is our lucky laddy.

Post coming (TM) Soon (3 - 5 days)

Boba Pearl
Dec 27, 2019

[She / Her]

Don't give up, it gets better.
If it doesn't, PM me if you need to vent about it (or any reason).

Read my stuff / look at my art:

Jessie looked at the man. Her mind was whirling, and the man smiled. “Hey look buddy, I don’t want no trouble, alright? Just a few questions that’s all.”

She quickly observed his aura. He was radiating fear and but also an interest. Even aesthetic appreciation, which made Jessie feel uncomfortable for just a moment.

“So, uh, do you remember anything? Hehe.” His smile didn’t quite reach his eyes, and he spent most of his free time looking around the room as though something were going to jump out at any point and devour him.

She tried to peer deeper in to see what he was thinking, but there was a slight fog. Everything was blurry, like she had stepped into the tule fog of some distant marsh. She racked her brain, or whatever the slime equivalent was, and tried to pull something out. She remembers running through fields of grain with a friend? Beers on the front porch as a dozen or so children wrestle on the grounds. They were Cobbolds, primarily snakes and wolves, with scales and various amounts of pointed ears and eyes. A few half-snake half-elf people were singing songs and sewing a flag. She was out in the mountains of Topanga, separated from the PCH. Her family and friends all around her. She was happy.

Suddenly, when she spoke, she couldn’t stop herself. “I remember my Grandma Antoinette, a Sea Elf. An uncle who was a Cobbold, we were in a compound and... “ She tried to grasp harder onto the memory, but the more she tried, the more it slipped away. Suddenly the field was on fire, the kids were screaming, “Violence? I remember violence and pain.”

The staccato of gunfire rang out in her mind, and her body broke out into a cold sweat. It was like a lead pit had dropped in her stomach. Her heart was beating as fast as it could, she couldn’t stop it. Someone was squeezing her chest. She couldn’t breathe, why couldn’t she breathe. Oh god everything was going wrong why is she here where is her family why WH-

Through Lucretia’s eyes, Jessie saw Dr. Semper. “Calm her down, she’s having a panic attack. Major activity in the Limus Amygdala cluster. We’re gonna loosen the dampers on your cuffs.”

The Man dashed around the table and put a hand on Jessie’s quivering form. “Heeeey kid, hey. It’s ok. You’re fine.”

She could feel her aura being quelled, all the anxiety and fear quickly melting. The interviewer sat at the table, a feeling of contentment and peace washing over her once again. Her mind slowed down, like it was trying to swim through a thick syrup “Don’t freak, we can move past that if you want alright?”

The interviewer made a big show of looking over his shoulders at the camera, and he reached into a pocket on his jumpsuit. He pulled out a long white rolled piece of paper and pungent smelling herbs that reminded Jessie of Christmas time and camaraderie.

Dr. Semper was livid. “Did no-one check the C-Class? How did a low-grade psychot sneak in a fuckin’ joint? Lucretia, can you do something about this?” She quickly signed as she talked, making sure that Lucretia could see her lips.

Lucretia looked at Dr. Semper, and then walked over and stared into the screen. She shook her head no and signed, “If we don’t know what’s in there, then security protocols say it’s locked until a strike team shows up. I can lead the assault if you’d like.”

Dr. Semper gritted her teeth. “I do not understand why every subject on this entire ship is the biggest pain in the rear end I have ever met. Do they not comprehend the work that we are doing here is vital to progress?! It’s like I’m the only one who wants to actually better the world, and everyone else is just trying to survive. Turn the dampers back on.”

Taylor pushed a small slider all the way to the max setting. “Dampers are unresponsive. We can turn them down, but not up.”

The Empath gives Jessie a wry smile. “Don’t worry, I met a C-Class Hamadryad who was being studied because they survived being turned into a chair. It’s just some cloves that are sliiiiightly stimulating, well that and a bit hallucinogenic.” He picked up one of the food offerings on the table and it turned to dust. The energy welled around his fingers and he snapped them together, creating a little flame.

“Learned this back on the outside. Magic is a helluva thing, ain’t it, kid?” He took a long drag and then exhaled. “Been waiting almost 7 months for a smoke break. They won’t let us C-Class do nothing.”

Jessie’s eyes went wide. Magic was an incredibly learned and complicated process. Even to practice it, you had to be educated on the basic physics of almost everything around you, and then what’s more you had to understand the complicated potential energies of things around you or else you risk desiccating your body to nothing. Small flames required the knowledge to create heat, control it, air pressure, ambient temperature, atmospheric pressure, fluid dynamics involving the viscosity of air, and knowledge of vacuums..

Dr. Semper’s eyes went wide, and Taylor under her breath went, “Oh gently caress.” Even Lucretia seemed a little concerned at this point and quickly left the room to lead the security team. She saw Lucretia quickly march down the hallway clicking a walkie talkie rapidly, sending out a message in morse code.

//Attention all units, attention all units, we have an unregistered C or possibly B-Class subject undampened. The subject is currently contained, but extraction will be necessary. Be warned that the subject is X-RAY, and in the room with another C-Class X-RAY subject. We need the F R O G. Repeat Send F R O G to cell of subject 12-4//

“Alright, well I promised I’d finish my job, so let’s get the rest of this over with,” he said taking a long drag on his cloven pre-roll, sticky sap like honey sending coils of smoke rising to the ceiling, that is immediately wicked way and sanitized by ultra-violet air scrubbers, “So you got any powers?”

Jessie looked at the man, and nodded her head, “I can make myself big or small, I have these…” She holds up her hand and it turns into a tiny knife, “and I can almost go 2 or 3 days without crying!” Her eye wells up a bit to really sell it.

She noticed the C-Class looking not at her, but slightly above her, she looked as well and she could see the colors of her aura wisping anxiety and satisfaction. The C-Class shrugged. “Alright that seems right. I think you also cracked a dude’s skull open by performing The Tombstone on him, but yeah that’s fine.”

Lucretia met up with the security team. They were in incredibly complicated suits. They had their hands ungloved, and each had small vials on themselves that contained what seemed to be gasoline. Lucretia silently signed to them, and they signed back. They would wait for Dr. Semper’s orders, and when told, would subdue the subject. Morse code sparked over the walkie talkie, sending a flashing light so that Lucretia could pick it up.

“He’s still taking part in the interview. Let him finish. If he surrenders willingly, then we can extract without tipping off 12-4.”

“So when I say aura,” at the mention of aura Jessie can’t stop it, undulating anxiety and fear pouring out of her, huge waves of color that she couldn’t stop, until the room is nearly bathed on the aural spectrum with the overwhelming intensity of her emotions. The C-Class looked at her for a second and squeezed Jessie’s body. She becomes entranced with the sensation, entranced and calm. “Right, so when I say aura, what comes to mind? Is that something you can see? Do you know what an aura is?”

“No… No of course not, what’s an aura… I’ve never heard of it.” The C-Class just laughed.

“Eyyyy sure thing kid, forget I mentioned it.” He took another long drag, and the smoke filled his body. It was shining through his skin, and Jessie could see every individual vein as it cast a shadow on the walls. He took another puff. “Me and that Hamadryad really kicked it off. I’m gonna miss her. I actually have a son who is a Limus, so not quite like you, but you kind of remind me of him. He’s bright pink as well, he hates it haha,” He exhaled again. “You wanna see a picture of him?”

Jessie nodded her head. The man took out the photo and showed it to her. “Yeah, this is him. His mom was a Naiad. I just have a type, I guess, ha.” His eyes got a little misty as he looked at it. He snapped his fingers again and touched the table. All the food on it turned to dust, the wood as well. “This was his mom’s favorite song, so we’re gonna listen to it.”

“Alright, I’m almost finished, and I bet security is at the door, ready to pull me out and put two in the back of my head. So, they wanted me to ask. Is there anything you need? How are you doing? How do you feel, kid?”

Jessie looked at the man but her mind was still moving slowly, she just barely was cognizant of what she was saying, but still forced the words out, “I like Dr. Semper, she’s been keeping me safe from Taylor and seems like a nice lady. I would like a TV, maybe with some access to a news channel? Or a computer with internet access? I won’t post anything, but knowing about the outside world would be nice. I also need things to eat. Alive things, not dead.” She looked at the interviewer’s orb and she salivated, thin, clear, viscous slime dripping off of her. “I am starving.”

The slime thought of Lucretia, Jira, the Dragons, and the Imps. They all had something that Jessie didn’t. “Also, someone to talk to. Another subject, someone who can empathize with me.”

The C-Class gave the slime a wry smile, and there was empathy behind it. Empathy and sorrow, “Yeah kid, don’t we all. Alright that’s the interview.” His eyes were bloodshot, and his aura was all over the place. It twisted, turned, and flickered like a bright flame in a heavy storm. It threatened to blow out at any minute, but also burned with such an intensity it was hard to look at. He walked over to the door and put his hands behind his head and got on his knees.

“Alright, the interview is over. I helped up my end of the bargain, Dr. Semper, so you keep up yours.”

Lucretia wasn’t in the command room anymore, so Jessie was unclear what Dr. Semper’s reply was, but the C-Class seemed pleased. Lucretia walked up to the front of the door and placed a piece of hair on it. It slid open completely silently, creating no noise as the door effortlessly slid to the floor. Lucretia walked in and took out a gun and placed it against the temple of the man’s head. She kept her eyes averted from his. Two security units put their arms around him and lifted him up.

“Don’t hurt him!” Jessie said quickly as they took him. One of the F R O G unit looked at her and squeaked over his microphone, the low tinny voice of the speaker cutting through.

“Of course not. He did nothing wrong. Don’t worry about him 12-4,”

Lucretia had a grimace on her face as they pulled him out of the room and looked at the other security personnel. They nodded to her. She pulled out her gun, and Jessie had to watch and feel what Jessie was feeling right as she was pulling the trigger. Jessie understood that the man understood he was never making it out of this facility, that taking part in the torture and interrogations of the other prisoners made him implicit in the crimes being committed, that in doing so he had stopped becoming a member of the people he was imprisoned with, and instead became a collaborator with his imprisoners.

She looked into his eyes, and he looked into hers. Jessie could feel the tension through the connection. Lucretia tried to quell her own emotions, and as the man looked at her, he gave her a slight smile, and Lucretia’s emotions dampened as well. The pain and sorrow left her body, and Jessie realized that the two might have known each other. Maybe this is what had to happen. Lucretia held back tears.

“Lying pieces of poo poo,” He said smiling, trying to be brave, his eyes streaming tears, “You can’t kill me in any way that I wasn’t already dead so ju-”

She sprayed the back of the wall with his blood, and that was it. The security team pulled the body away, and gently floating where the man was was a small orb. Lucretia couldn’t see it, but Jessie could.

She watched as it listly swayed, gently bobbing, and then it started to move. Lucretia used her walkie to signal to Dr. Semper she would be doing her rounds once more. Dr. Semper nodded.

Jessie wasn’t distraught. She thought she would be, but at this point in the lab, these things were commonplace. She barely knew the man, and deep down she was relieved that she did not have to be tortured or harmed. Jessie slid into her sparkling pool and wondered if she would have mourned him before. If his life would have meant something if she were back on that long distant memory, on a farm with family.

She watched and imagined a small sphere floating above her as she pondered. Jessie watched Lucretia go through her rounds and pour over paperwork. She had a small tablet that was branded with a logo. The first logo that Jessie had seen since she got in.

The important parts leaped out at Jessie. There were 307 C-Class Subjects, 123 C-Class Subjects, 25 B-Class, 13 A-Class, and 12 S-Class facility. Lucretia had a small dossier on most of them she could pull up. She was in the same ward as Jira. That was comforting. She kept imagining the little orb she saw above the corpse floating above her.

The orb floated down, but stayed far out of Jessie’s reach. It seemed to torture her with its form. She could see it so clearly, like it was right there.

“Eyyyy, I was sure you were going to eat me.”

Then it spoke to her and Jessie jumped out of her body, the aural sphere leaping into the air, startled. She hurtled away from it, spinning to the other side of the room, trying to squeeze out of the corners.

“Don’t worry. No-one but you know I’m here, I’m not like you, I’m just a… A construct. I’m here to give you some companionship.”

Jessie looked at it and spoke back, “Can they hear me?”

The orb shakes his head. “No, my name is Francesco a’ight? I was gonna give you my power, or help you build your own. I couldn’t pass a message to you, so it was a definite either / or situation.”

“Are you with the Imps or Jira?” Jessie said, looking nervous.

“Neither, I’m here for the people in this hell mouth poo poo stain. I’m doing this for you, so you can tear this place down to the loving ground, capiche?” She looked at Francesco. “You needed a friend, alright? I was on my way to be tortured for information on the whereabouts of my son. This way no-one gets hurt. I’m gonna teach you some poo poo. Unless you’re a Yankees fan.”

Jessie looked at the orb. “What’s a Yankee?”

“Perfect, anyone asks you like the Mets, but really it was just a joke, don’t worry about it. We’re gonna do just fine kid.”

“How did you find out about me?” Jessie was unsure, and but tried to settle down, Lucretia was still scrolling through lists of people.

The other orb laughed, “Look, there ain’t no-one in here that don’t know about you kid, alright? You’re popular. You escaped a D-Class cell, killed some security, a Lab Assistant, and survived a run-in with the Song Bird? All while flitting around the lab when no-one else can breach the barriers? You’ve been shining like a fuckin’ light kid, and we all want to see where you can go. Bust this place wide open like a nut.”

Jessie balked at the phrase, and a small wave of disgust colored her aura.

“No, not li- Nevermind. I’m gonna answer questions for you kid, as many as I can to the best of my ability. Learn you some poo poo. I’ve been here nearly 40 years, hiding as C-Class I can teach you some things alright?”

Meanwhile Lucretia listed off the cells she could patrol as part of her rounds, to closer inspect, or interact with. She typed into her table.

Everyone on this floor is sympathetic, so we can get you to talk to some people if you want who do you want to speak too?

A.) Subject 7710 CODENAME: Meadowlark

Subject 7710 is an imp, but not unlike other imps, they are indestructible, along with this they seem to not be antagonistic against the lab employees like other imps are. Subject 7710 is not to be alone with any singular person, as doing so inevitably involves a totally media blackout, and the person being turned disassembled, every bone, organ, piece of skin, blood, plasma, and vein removed, cleaned, and organized. On top of this, it seems to have mimetic qualities, as those who speak subject 7710 end up having the creature appear to them in dreams. This has resulted in the madness and death of many laboratory personnel. Because of this, people who speak to 7710 must be executed or contained on-site in perpetuity. Subject 7710 was transferred to Lab 619, after being caught in Tibet training revolutionaries to overthrow the Chinese government that had invaded.

B.) Subject 1331 CODENAME: Lilith

Subject 1331 is a low-level psychot, 1331 has exhibited telekinetic powers, empathetic powers, and pyrokinesis. Subject 1331 seems incapable of spell casting at any degree. Subject 1331 seems to have the ability to cause low-level hallucinogens. At first this was expected to be a magical ability, but any attempts to dispel it have made it apparent it is psionic or some other form of manipulation. Subject 1331 appears to the common observer as a young woman, aged in her late teens or early 20s, with curly black hair. Observation by other psychots, or through a digital interface reveals that subject 1331 is actually, an Arachnesse half spider, half meta-human. Any interaction with 1331 must be done in full hazmat gear, as any contact with subject 1331s webbing has resulted in the death of Lab Personnel due to being inextricably stuck. While 1331 is not seen to be feeding on those stuck in her web, we have observed that those in the webbing will quickly, over the course of 24 - 32 hours, completely dessicate, turn to dust, and then become part of the webbing. 1331 has created a pathway so that Lab Personnel can pass through to feed 1331, and to discuss with her. 1331 seems to also exhibit properties of either invisibility or teleportation that defies most of the Lab’s abilities to track her, and so no Lab Personnel may leave unless 1331 is shown on camera. Because of this, it is strongly recommended to only send in D-Class subjects to speak or feed 1331 to minimize risk to personnel. Lilith was retrieved from a police station in Montana, who had turned the entire building into a giant web. At first devouring all the officers who showed up to work, and then federal investigators who came to investigate the disappearance of the officers. Lab 619 was contacted once the state had noticed that the crime rate in the entire county had shrunk to.03% and multiple ANF donors had disappeared, their multi-million dollar mansions torn down to build homeless shelters.

C.) Subject 2796 CODENAME: Librarian

Subject 2796 is a mid-level thaumaturge though incapable of direct spell casting. Subject 2796 is a Cross Rose cut Ruby that is 5 feet tall and 5 feet wide. Subject 2796 can project up to 500 feet from the Ruby, and so subject 2796’s cell must be 1500 feet wide on each side though the roof must be no higher than 6 feet. No paperwork, laboratory tablets, or any information may be brought into the cell of subject 2796, as 2796 can summon any piece of information at an unknown length, as the subject has been resistant to any attempts to test the range of their abilities. 2796 when projecting takes the form of a Devil-Touched, with dark skin, broken horns, and a large forked tail. While being incredibly resilient to any Laboratory Personnel, having subject 2796 interact with other subjects has shown some results. 2796 will judge a subject, and if it is deemed worthy, it will give them a tattoo that allows them to read any book or piece of information that 2796 has absorbed. Any attempts to remove that tattoo result in the death of both the subject and the tattoo itself. Subject 2796 was difficult to extract and moved to Lab 619 because of special properties of Lab 619 holds. The extraction of 2796 resulted in the death of 523 Lab Security members, the defection of another 230, and the deaths of nearly 500 civilians. Subject 2796 can summon a university, library, or other place of education around itself as long as they at least 5 feet of empty space above them. Once it does so, scholars from around the world make the trek to find the Educational Center of subject 2796.

Boba Pearl fucked around with this message at 02:28 on Jul 4, 2021

Nov 29, 2004



Sep 13, 2007


C would be the most immediately useful, although it's not clear if there are any hidden downsides to the tattoo. And we should think about ways to make Lilith appear on camera when she's not really there, she could be really helpful later.

Boba Pearl
Dec 27, 2019

[She / Her]

Don't give up, it gets better.
If it doesn't, PM me if you need to vent about it (or any reason).

Read my stuff / look at my art:

As you know, I like to do big rear end huge effort updates, and those take a lot of time!

I won't have that time this week, on July 12th I have scheduled multiple certification tests for my career, I've been taking simultaneous classes for them, and the school schedules them, so I'm actually taking like 3 exams over like 3 days but if I get these certs I'm gonna be eligible for careers making over 70k a year (A+ 1/2 Net+ Sec+.) This is absolutely huge for me, and it's expensive to take the test. I'm gonna be putting my all to cramming for this. This means that this project will probably not see any updates in about two weeks or so, I'm going to leave it open, and pick a post mid-week but I probably won't start seriously working on it until after the 12th.

Marie I might end up doing a bit of work on, because the webcomic isn't so much thinking of puzzles and clues and trying to carefully choose words to make the perfect hints, and instead just "Turn off brain, draw lines for 8 hours." That being said, that's also going to be very sporadically worked on.

I have never let a project die on the vine, (Well on sufficient velocity, I had 2 projects never get past the first post, but that's because I didn't get anyone to actually read, but still my throughput to completion is almost batting 100.) I know I've got between the two forums like 20 - 30 people reading my content, and that's amazing, I wouldn't leave you guys in the lurch.

Lab 619 is also at what I'd call the first third-ish, we've got what I consider "chapters" and we have about 4 left, I consider the first about 5 or so posts 1 chapter, then next 3 or 4 another, and then this one.

While I'm gone I'll drop a hint on the ARG, I can see when a page or image or video is accessed, how many times it's accessed, and what day it's accessed, so if you've gotten a specific hint pointing in a certain way, it might be good to combine them with old hints you've gotten, and see if that does anything. Anything that's found after the first hint I've dropped (Which a few of you have seen,) will have a post in the threads.



I'm doing some extended universe stuff, so i thought I'd point out a few things that shows the connections between these worlds.

In Lab 619, the logo for the company is the same logo in Kitty Quest that is used for the Red Queen, in Kitty Quest, the Red Queen had walked in the "Badlands" an irradiated wasteland and found the ruins of a human military vessel of some kind, and had used the artifacts she found to take over the world. Literally, in Marie you see that references to this Red Queen come up repeatedly, that's because she rules the world. In Kitty Quest, you find out that the Red Queen was eventually assassinated, but since she was immortal, she was cursed to take the form of a Cat, and could never return to the nation she once ruled.

One of the stories I'm trying to tell in Lab 619 is what happened to these things. What made the imps go from these pest like between word miscreants, to these more malicious active participants in society. Another is a direct telling of what happened to the humans in my world. We know they went extinct, and that something happened to their tech that made it kill people who stand around it too long, but we don't know what. The results of what happens to humanity is written, but what that is and whether that helped Jessie escape Lab 619, or died along with it is up to you guys!

If you need more of my content, you can find the finished Kitty Quest story on my site below, but only if you want to read 70k words and see some of the first drawings I drew ever.



Oh and finally, feel free to just chat, I know for both forums it’s probably a little weird to have off-site votes being pasted in, or hearing that I’m also hosting this on my website, or that I do random instead of popular vote, but all of those things, even the last one are up for discussion. I’ve never done an ARG before, and it's been super fun. At that same time though, I've never participated in an ARG either, so I don't know how complicated a puzzle should be when only 3 people out of 30 found the first clue lol. That being said you guys rule, thanks for your time and your attention.

I love doing this, and I wouldn’t be motivated to create if you guys weren’t reading, watching, liking, and all voting and all that good poo poo that tells me you like my stories.

Boba Pearl fucked around with this message at 08:49 on Jul 5, 2021

Boba Pearl
Dec 27, 2019

[She / Her]

Don't give up, it gets better.
If it doesn't, PM me if you need to vent about it (or any reason).

Read my stuff / look at my art:

dhcp posted:

Wait, when did we become Jessie? I thought we were just observing the employees.
Also, if I understand correctly, Lucretia is another supervisor, like Dr. Semper?

Ok for the vote, all 3 options seem subjests seem a bit terrifying, but I think I like Lilinth the best, because tearing down mansions to build homeless shelters is surprisingly wholesome.

Anomaly noted, pulling observation logs. Hidden Data found. Updating Dragon Report.

Boba Pearl posted:

You quickly step behind Jira, the Cheshire Cat, SubjectI am not You, I am me. As you step behind them youI am not a YOU, I am Jessie, You I am Jessie! I am not a You, you will refer to me as Jessie. You No. I am Jessie. I will interrupt you until you get this right. I am Jessie, call me Jessie.

Boba Pearl
Dec 27, 2019

[She / Her]

Don't give up, it gets better.
If it doesn't, PM me if you need to vent about it (or any reason).

Read my stuff / look at my art:

We're going to B and seeing lilith, sorry guys. Though I might start putting all of the votes on a spreadsheet so people can observe the votes between sites.

Also, I'm going to do smaller updates more frequently, and then post a post with a vote after we hit the logical point. I feel this is a nice dove tail between "Boba writes 6k words, that no-one has time to read," and also me wanting to do something every day.

Boba Pearl
Dec 27, 2019

[She / Her]

Don't give up, it gets better.
If it doesn't, PM me if you need to vent about it (or any reason).

Read my stuff / look at my art:

The latest update is 10k words, to try and be respectful of your time, I've broken it up into three posts, that way you can come back to it later, and aren't forced to read the whole thing in one sitting if you don't want too.

Jessie could see through Lucretia’s eyes as she went on her rounds, and over the next few days, she had gotten an overview of the cells. She wasn’t sure how she would tell Lucretia how she wanted to talk to Lilith, but she knew she wanted to talk to the spider lady. She seems strangely wholesome for a place filled with dread and misery. The construct, Francesco, had been whispering in Jessie’s ears, and Jessie had been talking to Francesco. It was hard. She knew she couldn’t act aware of his presence without giving him away. She knew the Lab could see her in her aural form, but somehow it could not see him. Still, she could listen to Francesco, and that was comfortable. Life in her cell was pretty dull now, which was comforting to Jessie. She didn’t have to worry about being tortured or prodded. There was no longer the dullness of floating in the tank, and Dr. Semper had even brought Jessie some books, and a journal and pencil.

Jessie had taken up sketching in her free time. She first drew circles and lines, spending time to make sure she could do them straight and neatly. Slowly she evolved to other things, drawing ribbons, organic forms piled on top of each other, and hundreds of boxes as well. She put nothing into the journal but her sketches, as a D class would collect it at the end of every day. At least Jessie assumed it was the end of the day. She had gotten to a point where time had become fleeting and odd. She had no way to track it, and yet the periods between waking and sleeping seemed to fly by. She was both insanely bored, and yet also felt like time itself was rushing towards some inevitable conclusion. That some great calamity was hurtling towards her and that soon she would crash into it.

Francesco made his best efforts to keep Jessie company, and soon the two had figured out small ways to interact that Dr. Semper and the lab could not see. She would pretend to play games with herself in her journal, and Francesco would give her certain drawings to draw as responses to his answers. When Jessie had gotten the hang of it, and as she grew in her abilities, she could communicate with Francesco more easily, and Francesco had taught her more about the outside world.

“The year is 4013 kid. Out there in the big world, it’s amazing. You’re gonna see it some day, and it’s gonna blow your frickin’ mind. Right now humans are the dominant species in the world, I say dominant only because they had gotten colonizing down faster than any of the others ones, and quickly took over pushing everyone out. Most of the world’s most powerful governments are largely human owned, though other people have been making in-roads themselves.” Francesco sighed, “Man, you don’t know. From what you’ve been tellin’ me, you don’t know. We’ve got all sorts of rad poo poo. We’ve got these doo-dads plastic boxes and it basically can tell you the time, the weather, it’s hooked up to the internet, and you can read all the books, see all the pictures, talk to anyone. You saw that broad Jira on it, right?”

Jessie quickly scrawled out a furious face and circled it multiple times.

“Right, right, you hate that word. Sorry, I’m from a different time kid.” He continued, “She’s on that box playing Mimtendo or whatever the kids are into these days. I actually bought my kids one of those, the uh… What’s it called, it had two screens… anyway, she’s on there just entertaining, and the Lab lets her because she’s one of like, thousands, maybe even hundreds of thousands of people that just spend all day staring into a camera trying to get people to give them money it’s wild. Internet ain’t no joke slick.”

“You think these books they’ve been giving you are wild? Wait until you see a movie, play a video game, hell I think they even got digital books now that have a bunch of pictures and branching paths. My kid was really into those, kind of hated it, to be honest. He’d just sit in his room watching Some Piece and spending money on long rear end titled games I didn’t really understand. I dunno. I kind of wish I had spent more time with him, though. It is what it is. You gotta just suck it up sometimes. Now where was I?”

Jessie had been spending the last few minutes drawing a fireball, and was tapping it with her pen gently, looking at the ceiling as though lost in thought. The slime holding the pencil with a tendril of itself, while the rest of it was a solid lump on the floor, spread out as it leaned over the paper.

“Oh yeah, magic. So you gotta understand, kid, that magic is just the language of the universe. It’s not special words or anything, it’s manipulating energy and matter. You have to not only understand what you’re doing with that energy, but the science behind it. You wanna make a fireball? You gotta understand the basics of fire, oxygen, heat, fuel, right? Then you have to understand how to shape it, so how a plasma or gas holds under pressure, then how to propel that container. Once you’ve gotten all of that in mind, or at least the general idea, you then gotta figure out which parts you do with magic. Now a fireball is many people’s first spell because it’s easy. You use magic to condense air, and behave as the fuel. You keep the air condensed, and send power into that container you’ve made, and then pop a little hole in the back to fling it forward. Bingo bango, you got a fireball. Now magic itself comes from pretty much anything. If you can destroy, you can use the potential energy stored inside of it and store that in yourself. Using yourself as a conduit. Now some people have talked about converting this magic into a stable energy source you could just carry around with you in your pocket, or use the food you ate or something like that. Technology just ain’t there yet.”

The slime doesn’t nod, but goes onto flip the page and continue to doodle a slime throwing a fireball.

“You could probably cast a spell if you wanted to. Some people believe you gotta be born a mage, but I don’t think so. I think if people try to study, they could get it down, but a syndicate of mages heavily guarded most of that info. Still, you can find a lot of spells on the internet if you know where to look. If they ever give you a computer, I’ll show you where. I don’t think anyone will come after you for pirating a grimoire in your cell, yeah.”

Francesco floated down closer to Jessie, his tiny soul orb resting gently on the top of her head. The sensation making the outside of her slimy form wriggle and writhe, like someone had run a finger down her spine, making her whole body tingle.

“But before that, we’ve gotta unlock your true potential. You’ve been mostly a passive observer in this macabre play, flitting from one point to the next with no-one around to really give you a life of your own. Even now, you’re sitting as a smooshed goo ball on the floor. You’re a person Jessie, why don’t you look like one?”

Jessie froze. Could he be meaning what he said? Could she have a form that wasn’t this weird bug like mushy rock? She desperately wanted to demand Francesco continue, but there was no pre-established drawing for “Don’t stop talking or I’ll kill you,” so she simply tapped her notepad, annoyed more and more rapidly until Francesco got to the point.

“Shape-shifting like that’s important, if you make yourself a form. A body you’re truly happy in. No matter what they do, they can’t take that away from you. It gives you something to hold on to ‘This is me, and who I am.’ Trying to cast magic without having a stable emotional core, is like trying to empty a bathtub with an open palm. You’re probably going to achieve it eventually, but not without a big mess.”

“It should be easy enough, if you really want it, Jessie. You gotta pull yourself together, literally. I want you to imagine your best self, alright? Maybe even draw it out, but think about what you would look like if you were perfect. Stare into the bulkhead or a mirror just study yourself and ask yourself what you’d really want to change.”

Jessie toddled over towards the glass observation tank she slept in, the red pool of gel that supported her body, and stared into it. She looked at herself and thought of everything she could be. She thought of Dr. Semper, and how she must have looked before she was a rabbit, which she seemed to hate. Then she thought of Lucretia, who looked strong, capable, brilliant, and Taylor, who in their own had a beauty to them, their form distinctly both graceful and light, while holding a certain weight to it. She thought about what she would want to be, what her perfect form would look like, and before she realized it, her body stretched and condense.

She felt her limbs forming tiny little tentacles that had no bones but were extremely floppy, not really hands, but more like small mittens on the side. The same for her feet. As she pulled herself together, she thought of one of her books. The dresses and clothes described, and tried to imagine one of those for herself. She kept the image solid in her mind, and soon it blotted out everything else. She glowed with electricity as she shifted, and she lifted herself up, smiling, the energy passing through her form as she stared at herself in the mirror.

She was still a slime. She didn’t know if that part would ever be able to fully go away, but she was beautiful. She was tall and lithe, like a swimmer, with bunches of slime that seemed to loosely form the shapes of small muscles. She had given her form a side part, and she admired it in the mirror, slowly sculpting it with her fingers, pushing pieces around and merging them together. She then tugged at her dress. It was just an extension of her body, but it was so nice and flowing. It made her feel more like a person, and she loved having it. She pirouetted in front of the glass observation tank, looking at how it flowed around her legs, and spun in the air freely, just as any other dress should.

Francesco looked at Jessie and whistled, “Ey way to go kid, you did this faster than I thought anyone would. You’re a fuckin natural, either that or you’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about what you wanna look like. Don’t worry about it, I won’t tell anyone.” Francesco was lightly teasing Jessie for successfully transforming into a humanoid shape when Lucretia entered the observation room. Dr. Semper was excitedly rambling to Taylor, who seemed unphased.

Jessie loved her new self. She couldn’t stop beaming as she fiddled with her hair, pulled on the hem of her new dress, and danced on the tips of her feet. She was bursting with energy, both metaphorically and physically, as tiny bolts of lightning or electricity shot off her body and connected with the metal bulkhead, which seemed to be made of some sort of material that collected the energy spewing off of her. She glared at it, as she realized it stopped her from collecting her full power.

Dr. Semper turned to Lucretia. “It’s amazing. The subject had gone over spontaneous transformation, and into a humanoid shape as well. We were right in our assessment. It has human or near human intelligence. It’s perfect, that with the powers it’s already displayed, means that it’s a powerful subject. If we can extra what makes it so capable, we’d have our own Laboratory Taylor, could you imagine it? Me and you running things. Only the Director to answer too, no-one else to compete with for grants, or research work. Our work, our time, our way. It’d be perfect.”

Francesco continued to bounce around Jessie’s shoulders happily, “You’ve got a more focussed form that’s a great first step. Now, let’s go ahead and give it a test ride.” He looked around the lab before stopping and staring at the massive bulkhead that had been absorbing Jessie’s electricity, and a huge grin popped on his face. “Hey, that thing’s been stealing from you, you wanna try to get that energy back?”

Jessie looked around and then noticed the Bulkhead as well and smiled. She got down on all fours like an Olympic runner and coiled her body up with energy. The tighter she held her core, the stronger the energy flowed through her. Soon she’d be crushing that door. She stared at it and focussed hard. Francesco started counting down, “3, 2, 1, GO!” He yelled and Jessie shot off like a rocket, running full sprint at the door, she leaped into the air and reared her fist back, just as she connected with the bulkhead, she lashed out with the full force of a punch, and it slammed into the bulkhead which glowed bright red as it tried to absorb the kinetic energy from the first smashing with it. It let out a high-pitched steam whistle noise, and Dr. Semper quickly turned to her cameras, and both she and Taylor got to work managing the knobs and dials, as Jessie kicked off the Bulkhead and launched herself about halfway across the room. She landed on her, somersaulted, and then turned around the rush the bulkhead again.
“Second impact incoming,” Taylor said worriedly, “It looks like the batteries are already at near full capacity, we have to dispel some of this energy. Or else the whole thing is going to pop like a tin can.”

Dr. Semper nodded, and looked at the control panel, “Ok… I think I know what to do, transfer all of that power to the main door’s reserves. Take it out of the capacitors and re-route it.”

Taylor looked concerned. “Boss, we’re sitting right on top of that door. If you’re wrong, if your timing is off i-”

Dr. Semper snapped at Taylor, “I am one of the most renowned scientists in the world. I understand how cause-and-effect works, now do what I say before the thi-” She grimaced, as Jessie slammed into the door again, and the high-pitched whistling got louder.

Taylor nodded and pushed sliders. The door started glowing redder and redder. Dr. Semper had pulled up some display and typed something in that Lucretia didn’t quite understand. Jessie had launched herself backwards and was already throwing herself into her third strike. She was so nimble now, so strong. She flew around the room like a bird, leapt like a jungle cat striking at its prey, and ran with such a power and grace that it both bent the floor, and did so nearly silently as she seemed to dance on the balls of her feet. She leaped in the air to give the door another strike, when suddenly, it coughed.

Her eyes grew wide as she realized something had gone wrong, but she had already thrown all of her body weight into the punch. There was too much follow through, she was going to connect. When her fist touched the door, it coughed again, this time a rumbling, rattling sound, like an old man who couldn’t catch his breath. A thick beam of energy exploded where her fist had struck the door, and it was so powerful it pulled her whole body backwards. She felt herself stretch like a rubber band and felt herself flatten on the back wall as a thick stream of energy washed over her, threatening to disintegrate every atom in her body. She felt sunburnt, if sunburns were internal and there wasn’t a single part of her she was aware of that didn’t ache. Even her dress, which still laid perfectly on her form, seemed to ache.

Back in the observation chamber, Dr. Semper let out a sigh of relief. “Hopefully she won’t try that again. Taylor, I’m going to give you door permissions for the energy dispersal override. If she tries that again when I’m not around, blast atomize her until there’s nothing left.”

Taylor perked up at this, and they smiled with a manic glint in their eye, “Yes, Dr. Semper, of course!”

Lucretia was already getting ready to question the validity of that decision when her communications equipment went off, and she felt the vibration of it sending her a message. Her eyes grew a little wide, and she held up the Radio, and signed to Dr. Semper, “Monitor the Radio, there’s a problem in another part of the Ward. One of the lab employees has been captured.”

She turned out of the room and sprinted down the hall, asking for more information. Jessie paid close attention, while she had to understand that Lucretia had a plan. She was so secretive that it was hard to get a good read on her and what exactly what she was doing. Whatever Lucretia did to protect her mind and identity from the company had the side effect of keeping out Jessie. So she had only received bits and pieces of what’s supposed to happen.

Lucretia quickly reached the bulkhead and airlock that separated Lilith from the rest of the lab, she had seen her dreaded webbing had already reached the side of the door, and had worked its way in, though the air scrubbers in the air lock seemed to keep the webbing out mostly, only a tiny splotch on the floor. It was quite a small amount for any Arachnesse, especially one of Lucretia’s caliber. Lucretia signed to the grunts, and her lower commanders asking for a situational update. Her 2nd in command, a woman by the name of Sarah Jorgensen, spoke up. Sarah had long blonde hair that she kept in a tight bun, a pair of metal rods jutting out of it like a fork of lightning. She covered her body with the same standard issue armor that Jessie was wearing, and she seemed rather happy to be in some combat, and the rest of the grunts were rumbling excitedly. Everyone here wanted to rush in and kill the spider.

Lucretia looked at her tablet and saw that they had been stimming the entire time she was gone. It wired them to the bone, and they were serious risk to themselves and others. Lucretia’s commander had even triple dosed herself. She tried not to think about how nervous they must be to force them to get so “amped” for the mission.

Boba Pearl
Dec 27, 2019

[She / Her]

Don't give up, it gets better.
If it doesn't, PM me if you need to vent about it (or any reason).

Read my stuff / look at my art:

Sarah gave a quick status report, “We’ve got a C-class staff assistant by the name of Meyers Petrol, one of the Sermals we have working for us.” Lucretia hadn’t heard of a Sermal before, and quickly pulled up the race in her tablet.

Sermals were a cat faced race of snake people, like the sea elves. They were low-level psychots, just like Limus are, and deemed not a threat to Lab 619 and the interests they protect. Sermals are silent when they move because they can control their individual scales to such a degree that they can barely tickle people, to full on slice them. Finally, many Sermals have an interest in magic. Whether this is because of an innate understanding, cultural importance, or raw ambition, the results are the same and the average Sermal will be stronger in magic than the average human.

Lucretia signalled to the security team to stand down, and that for the first recon, she would go by herself. One of her soldiers, she made a mental note, and looked at her tablet to look up the name of this one, “Hey, uh Lieutenant, I just uh…”

Lucretia signalled in sign language quickly, “I don’t know how to express myself in common, but basically I wanted to say we should wait a bit for the Sermal to get devoured and then go in for corpse retrieval, it’ll earn us more money in the long run for our bonuses, and save the company a pretty penny as well, since they won’t have to pay for medical bills on the Sermal.”

Lucretia looked at him, and thought about demoting him for a second, and then thought about it more. It was easier to give him an empty title, but no responsibilities, then try to deal with the fallout that a demotion would have. She looked over her troops, which she regarded as about as capable as a rabid pack of hyenas. If they knew the commander could take away from them their jobs, or thought it would happen, it would be much harder for her to maintain her authority.

She nodded and gave the soldier a thumbs up and signed to the group, “We’re gonna try negotiating with the creature first. I’ll be doing that, and if that works out, then it’ll be even bigger bonuses. I just need you guys to watch the door, and if I say the safe word, rush in and open fire. I’d rather be torn apart by rifle fire, then stuck slowly dying to poisonous webbing.”

The soldiers all nodded in perfect unison, “Sir, yes sir!” They belted out before saluting.

Lucretia put her P90 on her waist after checking to make sure the clip was loaded, and that there was a round in the chamber. She quickly crept through the room. It had gotten worse since the last time she had been there.

Lilith’s containment cell was a large room that she had filled the entire ground of with her webbing. She had left a small five foot wide lane for people to get through, but most of the room was criss-crossing fractals that reached from floor to floor. She had also got parts of the webbing to stand on end, and seemed to get it to attach to the walls of the cell as well. Everywhere was covered in it. Lucretia could see the Arachnesse, the spider woman, exactly as she truly was. A large woman covered in a chitinous shell, with a large brightly colored abdomen that was larger than most of her body. Giant spindly legs reaching out from her, making silent clicks and clacks against the floor as she inched closer to Lucretia, “I have demands,” she said smiling, leaning in, getting inches away from Lucretia’s face.

Lucretia didn’t back down and leaned forward gritting her teeth, she signed at Lilith, “We don’t negotiate with subjects, let the employee go, or else we will punish you in new and exciting ways. That’s my counter offer to your demands.”

Lilith lunged forward, but Lucretia held her ground, and sneered angrily at the spider. Who reached out with a single webbed hand and gently squished Lucretia’s nose who didn’t move. “Boop.” She said with a small giggle to herself.

“Fine,” the spider said, “fine, I’ll let the employee go, but things like this will continue to happen unless you let me go on a play date with someone, or bring someone here for me. I’m bored, and you won’t let me have anything but these dusty old books. I am a person. At some point, this becomes incredibly inhumane treatment. Furthermore…” she hissed...

Back in the observation room, Jessie groaned loudly, “Ow… My head.” She held onto the top part of her form, and then gasped, “Wait, did I just…”

“Yep,” Francesco said happily, “Looks like you just found your voice, kid.”

Jessie smiled, and leapt up jumping for joy, “Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled plagh”

She giggled as the tongue twister fumbled in her mouth, “La Li Lu Le Lo” She was grinning from ear to ear.

“Hey!” Jessie yelled at the two-way mirror, “Hey you guys, I want to talk to someone.”

“I won’t bite, I promise!” Jessie’s voice was clear, like a sparrow’s call on a cold winter day.

Dr. Semper, was shocked and looked at Taylor. “Her progress is remarkable. It seemed like only a few weeks ago she was tearing herself apart and listly floating in her tube. Now she is speaking, breathing, acting like an actual person. All over the course of a month. Fascinating.”

Taylor snorted, but said nothing.

“Dr. Semper!” Jessie yelled at the unyielding glass. “I want to talk to someone, anyone. You’ve kept me locked up forever, I deserve a conversation. I’m sure I can be useful somehow, an interview maybe?! Come on.”

Dr. Semper pressed a pen to her bottom lip and thought for a moment, “Hmmm… Who could I have talk to her? After seeing what she did to the bulkhead, there’s no way I’m going in there myself. I can’t risk Lucretia, it’s made abundantly apparent to me she’s not to be harmed for whatever reason. Taylor is as likely to kill her as to talk to her, maybe a D-cell?” Dr. Semper’s waist buzzed gently, as Lucretia sent her a message.

“Dr. Semper, it’s Lucretia, we’ve come to a bit of an agreement with Lilith, she’s willing to let the employee go, if we have someone have a conversation with her.” Dr. Semper smiled widely as she received the transmission.

“Excellent” she said, staring at the monitor observing Jessie, “I have just the person for it.”

Dr. Semper paused for a second after she had sent her reply to Lucretia. The timing on this was almost impeccable. Jessie had gained sentience mere seconds before Lucretia had called. The convenience of it all seemed suspect. Not for the first time, she wished it had been Ken who had survived and not Taylor. For whatever other faults he had, he was good at telling a plan apart from coincidence.

“Taylor, Lucretia just told me that Subject 1331 has requested a conversational partner. At the same time, our newest friend to the C-ward had shown the abilities of speech.”

Taylor sat upright in her chair and nodded enthusiastically. “OH, that’s amazing timing, Dr. Semper. We should send her to the spider right away.”

Dr. Semper grimaced inwardly. Taylor was blatantly trying to get her subject killed, and it seemed there was almost nothing she could do about it. “Right,” she said. Dr. Semper quickly tried to list the pros and cons of doing this, turning her back on Taylor, who had been useless since Ken’s death. If I send Jessie to this spider person, and it’s a trap, there’ll be another escape attempt. That’ll reflect poorly on me, though I think it would be easy enough to show Taylor under the bus.Though I don’t know how many more times I can screw up with the Director hounding my every move.

Dr. Semper paced back and forth. Taylor watched her expectantly. If I don’t let her go, then I’ll have to find someone to risk talking to her. She’s killed or tried to kill almost everyone I’ve sent in there. As much as I’d like to pretend it is true, our staff and subjects are not so expendable I can start feeding them to the living wood chipper for no reason. I could also learn a bit by observing them together. She stopped and scratched her chin, gently rubbing it. Then again, I could make this a win-win. I could cut a deal to have 123-4 agree to some experiments. Then send her to Lilith under Lucretia's and Taylor’s watch. If there’s a problem, then it’s security and my subordinate on the hook. If Jessie succeeds, then 1331 will be easier to manage in the future. Plus, regardless of the outcome, 123-4 will be easier to manage for future testing. I want to see the full extent of… She stopped pacing and pulled out the intercom mic. When she spoke, Taylor let out a tiny cheer.

Dr. Semper offered a deal with Jessie emphatically took. She would have time to talk to another subject for a short while, in exchange for taking part in some agility and combat trials later. Jessie had no problem with this arrangement, and she was beaming when Lucretia came to escort her.

Jessie immediately turned to one guard, who seemed to be doing their best impression of a monument. “Worked here long?” She asked, “Any of you?”

The guards were silent, seeming to try hard and not engage.

“Oh, come on, this isn’t a wake,” Jessie said, pouting slightly, “I just wanted to know how long you’ve been working here.” When she spoke this time, there was a slight crackle behind her words, like audio peaking on a recording. The high-pitched resonance of her voice being cut off.

One guard started to speak, outside of his own volition, “Ah well, I’ve been hear about 7, and Jere-” One of the other guards immediately reached over and slapped him hard.

The Blonde Woman from before, Lucretia’s second in command, cleared her throat, “Ok, everyone engage noise cancel and anti-magic fields.” She pressed on her helmet, and quickly, with a quite pneumatic shunk, her headset locked into position, clamping slightly down on her head. Each of the guards followed suit, and soon Jessie was walking alone, talking to no-one while enjoying her time spent travelling. She commented on the colors of the walls, talked about the uniforms, her hair, what she had been drawing lately. Just filling the entire complex with the sounds of her vocal chords, ignoring the screeching from other creatures and people that respond to her voice.

Lucretia looked at Sarah, who nodded and held a hand up to Jessie, then pressed a button on her helmet. An intercom screech to life with an electronic squelch. “Ok 123-4 It’s your job to calm 1331 down and see what’s wrong with her. Get her to agree to stop attacking staff in exchange for more conversation partners. That should be enough to keep the staff community out of her hair, and in exchange end in less stupid deaths for those that go to challenge our resident spider queen.”

Jessie nodded, “Makes sense so far, so what do you actually want me to do?” Jessie was puzzled. She didn’t think she would get what she wanted so quickly, and was excited to talk to a new person for the first time, but she was also a bit confused. It really didn’t seem like she was getting any direction. Were all the Lab Members so clueless about the thoughts and feelings of their subjects? Of course they are, Jessie thought to herself, They would have to be just to protect themselves. She let her eye slowly drift to the aural plane and looked at this woman’s emotions. She felt mostly pity, pity and fear. She thinks I’m going to die in there. Jessie laughed, she had no intention of dying.

The sudden peal of laughter echoed across the metal halls, and the blonde woman, Sarah, looked unnerved. One man in the room shivered, and a few looked visibly rattled, even behind their helmets. Jessie realized that her light and bubbly mood unnerved them. These people were frightened of her, and she realized that unlike the few scientists and maintenance people she had met in the lab, the security team only felt apprehension and fear towards the subjects.

The first door of the airlock that led to Lilith’s den whistled and hissed as it slid open. There was a loud siren, and someone unceremoniously shoved Jessie in. “Hey watch it!” she exclaimed, snapping at the guard who had shoved her.

He immediately pulled out his P90, the submachine gun pointed squarely at Jessie’s face, “Get going freak.” She recognized him as the one that had been trying to talk to her earlier.

Jessie rolled her singular eye and huffed, “Oh, and we were just getting to know each other.” Jessie opened her mouth, and used the liquid form to open it too wide, showing huge rows of teeth like an angler fish.

She clicked them at him, and he let off a single round, striking Jessie in the shoulder. The bullet passed through her, and she looked down at where it had struck her.

The airlock closed as Sarah and Lucretia had turned on the guard and screamed at him. Both admonishing the man for opening fire without orders. Jessie couldn’t hear what they were saying, but she gave the guard the finger, and turned to the other room.

The web covered den was strangely beautiful to Jessie as she picked her way carefully down the path. The shining glimmering strands, the tiny beads of condensation that glittered like games, the cotton like wisps that came off of her. She clicked her tongue against her teeth as she looked and called out, “Hey Lilith? Ms. Spider, my name’s Jessie, I heard you could use a friend.”

Jessie noticed Lilith had covered the observation window of her cell over with webbing, and she had wrapped the cameras in tiny cocoons. The tiny red lights the only betrayal that the cotton balls were covering something, rather than being floating decorations. Jessie pondered how many of those cotton balls were people, and how much Lilith had killed. It’s kind of exciting. Besides Jira, I hadn’t talked to a new person in so long. Jessie felt a lot of different feelings when she thought about Jira, and she tried to push them aside the best she could. That wasn’t something she could deal with right now, and she knew she had to stay focused.

Lilith crept her way down past the webbing and slunk towards Jessie. Her long black legs, both shiny and elegant, slid over the webbing, the humanoid form floating over the floor.

“Well hello there, and who might you be?” Lilith leaned in close. “You look metahuman, did the lab really send in an assistant to talk to me? Tell me, little girl, are you frightened? There are few who walk into my den and make it out alive.” Lilith laughed.

Jessie felt a wave of… Something, it was quite euphoria, but it was a pleasant warm feeling. She was finally being recognized as a girl and not a slime monster. People were treating her like a person.

“I’m Jessie, and no, I’m not really scared. I’m a subject here too! Just like you! I had asked to make a new friend and well uh… Here I am! I assume you were kind of lonely too.”

Jessie was telling the truth. She didn’t feel frightened at all. She felt only excited and cheerful. It was comforting to revel in the joy of her new form and the fear of the security guards right outside of Lilith’s chamber.

“Should you scare me?”

The spider regarded Jessie, looking her up and down. Her face was inscrutable, and she seemed almost perfectly still and she mulled over the question. Jessie wondered what she was thinking, but she simply smiled and waited for the answer.

Lilith’s voice came forward slowly, as though she were choosing each word carefully, “Everything in this place should scare you Jessie, at least a little bit. Overconfidence is a killer. Though in the Lab, sometimes death is preferable to the experiments.”

Lilith seemed to relax, or at least relax as best a spider could. She crawled over to a large cocoon and rested on it, her legs seeming to barely carry her weight, most of it supported by the large ball. As she walked, a strip of webbing peeled away, receding as though it were both alive, and offended by Lilith’s presence peeled away, and Jessie followed.

Boba Pearl
Dec 27, 2019

[She / Her]

Don't give up, it gets better.
If it doesn't, PM me if you need to vent about it (or any reason).

Read my stuff / look at my art:

“So Jessie,” Lilith said, “How did you come here to Lab 619?”

Jessie had asked herself that same question many times since the dragon had woken her up. How DID she get here? Was she born here? Did that dragon create her? Was she part of one the experiments? Was she kidnapped from the farm that had recently been plaguing her dreams and memories? “Well, I don’t know! I woke up here with no memories. A great enormous dragon had told me I had made a wish and I woke up in a metal tube. I learned I could do many amazing things in my tube, and eventually I had slipped out. Then I came to you! Sometimes bits and pieces come to me. I remember a farm. I think I was a Limus at some point though I definitely am one now.” She said, looking at herself.

“A dragon,” Lilith laughed, “Those don’t exist, they’re a story told to the poor to keep them in line. That great deciders of the cosmos take an interest in your life and slowly guide you towards adventure. Slowly crafting a world into a better shape? Dragons are a tool of your betters meant to keep you in line. Honey coated words that tell you your position in life are part of some great cosmic scheme. It’s all just another tool that capital uses to keep you in line. Do not believe anyone that wants to peddle you religion Jessie. It’s a fool’s errand, and it’ll blind you to reality.”

“I think Dragons are real. I’ve definitely talked to a few.” Jessie said beaming, “But it’s ok if you don’t believe me. I didn’t even know they were so fantastical. What about you? How did you get here? Were you born here like me? Do you have memories of the outside world? Were you born a half spider lady? There’s so many different kinds of people. A lot of the Lab employees are elves and humans. So far I’ve met Elves, Humans, and I had seen a few cobbolds running around. I heard of, though I hadn’t seen, a Dryad. There are the Imps, and now I’ve met you!”

Lilith looked shocked. “You really were born here.” She regarded Jessie a little more carefully. Jessie tried to peer into her aura, but Lilith closely guarded her feelings, and almost nothing wisped off of her. “No, there are 46 genus of meta-human, though I loathe the term. It suggests that we’re all descendants or relatives of humans, a lie to further their oppression over everyone else. I’m an Aranse, the Lab works hard to keep my physical form more apparent, but when I walk around town, I’m a human, as it’s the form that grants me the most access, the most privilege. It may not look it but I’m quite flexible. Most people see us as regular humans, or members of their own race.” Lilith sighed, “There are so many I don’t want to list them all off, but there are cobbolds, tiny little ghouls that live in large colonies. 6 or 7 kinds of elf, there are Sermals like this one here,” she pointed to the snake woman with pointed ears.

Jessie hadn’t realized that there was another person in the room. The woman had a large bulbous tail, like that of a slug or a smooth snake. She was wearing a lab coat, and had tiny ears like a cat on top of her head. Her face was soft and smooth. She looked paralyzed with fear, and Jessie could see the muscles in her jaw straining against whatever held her in place. Jessie felt a little pity at the woman, but then thought back to Taylor and Semper, and the shocks and pain of her time in the tube.

“Limus like you, Dwarves, Gnomes, Halflings, all various sizes of human with different propensities for magic, various kinds of Orcs, hyper muscular people that come in a technicolor rainbow. Demon-touched, which are just people with tails and horns, though I think some of them are low grade fire psychots, an-“

“What’s a psychot?” Jessie interrupted, looking up at Lilith.

“d I- What? Oh, those are you know. It’s like magic, but it doesn’t need anything. Just innate abilities that people have. Limus like you are particularly good at reading emotions, and can feel what other people feel. Aranse like me can change our form, and look different, though people can see what we’re supposed to be if they really try. The Demon touched can cause small fi-“

Jessie jumped in and interrupted Lilith again, “What do you look like when you’re a person?! Are you pretty? Can you control it? How did you get here?”

“re and, WILL YOU STOP THAT?!” Lilith roared. “I can’t answer so many questions at once.”

“Oh, sorry… How did you get here though?” Jessie asked again.

“I,” Lilith stopped and her mouth went sideways, puckering slightly. Jessie saw a tiny stream of sadness float gently off of her. “I was an enemy to capital. The lab is just a tool built to keep people like you and me, powerful people who can really shake up this world, away from the powers that be. I am not only an incredibly skilled Aranse, but a high level psychot. The webs I weave are more powerful than any Aranse, and effect you on an emotional level. I can control them and I can do even more than that, though forgive me if I keep the full extent of my abilities secret.”

Jessie nodded, not wanting to interrupt again.

“I saw the way the world treated everyone. People working for hours on end, spending half their waking hours or more toiling away just to eat and survive. While people profited off of their very existence, charging them just for a place to sleep, while providing nothing of value. People hungry on the streets. I tried to get organizations to help or people to care; no-one did. The world had put so much burden on the average person that it dulled their propensity for empathy, so that the full extent of compassion that people could have only stretched out a little past our immediate circle of family and friends. It made me so tired, so I went to a small city, a little borough just outside of Montana, where the rich lived in big gated houses and the poor slept on the streets. I watched as those same rich assholes stepped over the homeless to stride haplessly into their multi-million dollar homes. It infuriated me. Not only did these assholes suck all the wealth out of the community, they would pass laws to make it harder and harder to feed them. To where restaurants were poisoning food and throwing it into dumpsters, to make sure the people couldn’t steal even a crumb to eat from their betters. Laws!”

Lilith was getting worked up, and leapt off of her chair and started pacing the room. “Laws! Not to say having Laws isn’t important, I’m not an anarchist, but in today’s society? Laws are just threats made by the dominant species in a nation. A promise of violence. Then, their occupying army, the police dishes out the brutality. Class traitors, the lot of them, all the power, none of the brains. Bastards.” She spat and a tiny glob of acid struck the web, and it hissed, “I’ll have you know there’s not a single good thing that these people have done for society, so yes. I went into their fortress and turned it into a home for the downtrodden. I had built up my own occupying force, my own people, loyalists who understood the importance of life. That every life was sacred, and those who would see ours snuffed out were less than meta-human, no better than the lowliest worms. Oh, it was beautiful Jessie.”

Lilith leaned in suddenly, and the intensity of her stare took Jessie back a moment. She was getting wrapped up in Lilith’s excitement. Lilith’s aura was unchained, and the intensity and power of her emotions were infectious. The room was so bright, and the colors swirled together. Pride and anger, empathy, appreciation of beauty, sadness, despair. All of it swirling together, creating a beautiful tapestry of feelings. The power of it overwhelmed Jessie, and it was all she could do to hold on, as Lilith’s passion washed over her, blowing her Jessie’s feelings away, snuffing them like a candle in a roaring tempest. Jessie was angry at the lab for what they had taken from Lilith. She thought of the people Lilith saw, and the people. She hated anyone who would uphold such a rotten system.

“I had an entire town. Everyone did what they could to feed and house themselves AND each other. We took care of everyone, no-one tried to hurt each other or steal. I used my powers to heal the sick and weary. I gave them places to recover. Oh sure, capital sent its agents to try to dislodge me from my throne, but I handled them. I made sure that each and every one of them fed my brood. A truly free society, with laws built to protect each other, not just set about to extract as much labor as they could with no reward. Bakers earned for their bread, not middle management corporate executives. There are only 3 thousand people in society you’d have to remove in this world to make it a better place, Jessie. Only 3 thousand, and yet millions upon millions, will protect these great leeches, these ticks on society. I didn’t even know of the lab’s existence until they had shown up. They had made it clear they had no problem wiping out the entire town if I didn’t comply, killing every man, woman, child, and anything in between to make sure that I wouldn’t expand any further. So I surrendered.”

Lilith had a small smile on her face. “And I think, for at least a moment, I had made them truly afraid. I showed them that the people were not as beaten, as they had thought, and that together we could still put up a fight.”

Now that the raw emotion didn’t have a firm grip on her, Jessie could catch her breath, and she had realized that for part of that speech she had been panting. Lilith was excited, but the sadness crept in once again, and she was trying to pull back, recoil. She looked at Jessie, and for a moment, Jessie felt the overwhelming sadness, the pity and despair of a revolutionary broken. Jessie reached out and touched the woman’s hand, who accepted it, if only for a moment, with a light squeeze before she recoiled back.

“Sorry,” Jessie said, realizing she must have invaded her personal space, “I didn’t know what to do.”

Lilith looked at her, composed and calm, “It’s ok. I shouldn’t have gotten so worked up. Still, don’t touch me. This lab, it’s here because these bastards can’t create any power for themselves, so they take us and try to steal ours. I let them too, it’s too much for one person to fight against, and I just can’t anymore. I need to keep myself safe, even though that means that I’m giving them the very knowledge they can use to try to hurt me even more. Though, I don’t remember ever talking like this, getting this open and personal with someone. I rather enjoy it, I didn’t realize how lonely I had gotten.”

Jessie smiled. “One guard almost immediately tried to talk to me, too. I might just have that effect on people, which if I do, I’m sorry. I can’t control it.”

Lilith laughed. “It’s fine. I may ask for your presence again, would you be ok with that? I’d love to talk more. I feel a little bad. You didn’t seem to get a word in at all.”

“That’s fine,” Jessie said. “The fact that you could get what you needed to say out is what’s important to me. I learned more about the world, and honestly, knowing the sheer intensity that some people feel about things is something I can take with me. The cold clinicians here are maybe not the norm…”

Lilith pulled out a rather large soul orb. This one was a swirling mixture of blues and yellows, not a fire-y thing like Francesco’s, the Imp’s or her own, but a somewhat aqueous, gaseous thing. It floated gently in Lilith’s hand. “Take this with you. It is a present and the reason you are here. It’s a soul orb, one of great power, the Sermal there,” she pointed over at the lady who Lilith had bound in webbing. “She was a powerful woman, who had come in here boasting that she could kill me. This is the culmination of that power, eat it or release it your choice, but things like this are what are going to make you strong, Jessie. And maybe, by helping you, you in turn you will help us.”

Jessie took the orb and pressed into her chest to hold it, the tiny thing floating. She knew the lab could not see it there, though she was unaware of how she knew that. Just another thing to think about. The webbing around the Sermal pulled back, and it released her. The Sermal slumped to the ground. Jessie escorted her out of the Spider’s Den, carrying the rather enormous snake in her arms. The woman draped over her shoulder, arms dragging across the floor.

The airlocks hissed, the sirens blared and security had their weapons pointed at Jessie immediately. “I got your employee back, a little gratitude would be nice.”

Sarah, Lucretia’s right hand, rushed forward and picked the employee up. It took herself and two others to carry her out.

Lucretia escorted Jessie to her cell once more. Lucretia started signing to Jessie, explaining while keeping her face stony, “As part of your agreement, you’ll be doing trials. The main one being a combat trial between you and another subject that’s going to be executed. We want to see how far you can push yourself. I’m not authorized to tell you anything about the person you’ll be facing off with, so don’t even ask. We want to see everything you have to offer, so don’t hold back. We’ll be grading your performance, and we may see about improving your cell if you truly dazzle us.”

A.) Hold back, it’s too soon to show the lab your powers. You need to remain the scared girl they think you are. The flesh monster incapable of protecting itself.

B.) I’m done holding back. I’ll show the lab that they SHOULD fear me.

In the cell, Jessie was finally alone, and she stared at the orb. It looked absolutely delicious, and she shuddered with excitement at the thought of eating it. Still, it was someone’s soul, and the implications of that, and also the concept of the afterlife, gave Jessie pause. Only for a moment.

C.) Eat the orb.
D.) Release the Orb.

Jessie observed her cell, and realized that there was an imp waiting for her, lounging in her gel pool. “Ahem,” Jessie said to the imp who looked up at her and held up a small glass full of some clear liquid, “I don’t believe anyone gave you permission to be sitting in my pool.”

The Imp merely smiled, “I just wanted to chat, we’ve got a few minutes a friend of ours looped the cameras when you entered so we could sit and have a chat.”

E.) I guess there’s no problem listening to what the Imp has to say.
F.) Mmm… Lunch, I can’t wait.
G.) He needs to get the gently caress out of my cell before he becomes lunch.

Finally, Jessie thought of Lucretia, and realized that Lucretia could still help her. She wondered if there was a way to send her information or tell her what she wanted. She wasn’t sure, still she thought of the three subjects that Lucretia showed her before, and tried to decide which one she would rather see.

H.) Subject 7710 CODENAME: Meadowlark.

Subject 7710 is an imp, but not unlike other imps, they are indestructible, along with this they seem to not be antagonistic against the lab employees like other imps are. Subject 7710 is not to be alone with any singular person, as doing so inevitably involves a totally media blackout, and the person being turned disassembled, every bone, organ, piece of skin, blood, plasma, and vein removed, cleaned, and organized. On top of this, it seems to have mimetic qualities, as those who speak subject 7710 end up having the creature appear to them in dreams. This has resulted in the madness and death of many laboratory personnel. Because of this, people who speak to 7710 must be executed or contained on-site in perpetuity. Subject 7710 was transferred to Lab 619, after being caught in Tibet training revolutionaries to overthrow the Chinese government that had invaded.

I.) Subject 1331 CODENAME: Lilith.

Subject 1331 is a low-level psychot, 1331 has exhibited telekinetic powers, empathetic powers, and pyrokinesis. Subject 1331 seems incapable of spell casting at any degree. Subject 1331 seems to have the ability to cause low-level hallucinogens. At first, this was expected to be a magical ability, but any attempts to dispel it have made it apparent it is psionic or some other form of manipulation. Subject 1331 appears to the common observer as a young woman, aged in her late teens or early 20s, with curly black hair. Observation by other psychots, or through a digital interface, reveals that subject 1331 is actually an Arachnesse half spider, half meta-human. Any interaction with 1331 must be done in full hazmat gear, as any contact with subject 1331s webbing has resulted in the death of Lab Personnel due to being inextricably stuck. While 1331 is not seen to be feeding on those stuck in her web, we have observed that those in the webbing will quickly, over the course of 24 - 32 hours, completely dessicate, turn to dust, and then become part of the webbing. 1331 has created a pathway so that Lab Personnel can pass through to feed 1331, and to discuss with her. 1331 seems to also exhibit properties of either invisibility or teleportation that defies most of the Lab’s abilities to track her, and so no Lab Personnel may leave unless 1331 is shown on camera. Because of this, it is strongly recommended to only send in D-Class subjects to speak or feed 1331 to minimize risk to personnel. Lilith was retrieved from a police station in Montana, who had turned the entire building into a giant web. At first devouring all the officers who showed up to work, and then federal investigators who came to investigate the disappearance of the officers. Lab 619 was contacted once the state had noticed that the crime rate in the entire county had shrunk to.03% and multiple ANF donors had disappeared, their multi-million dollar mansions torn down to build homeless shelters.

J.) Subject 2796 CODENAME: Librarian,

Subject 2796 is a mid-level thaumaturge, though incapable of direct spell casting. Subject 2796 is a Cross Rose cut Ruby that is 5 feet tall and 5 feet wide. Subject 2796 can project up to 500 feet from the Ruby, and so subject 2796’s cell must be 1500 feet wide on each side, though the roof must be no higher than 6 feet. No paperwork, laboratory tablets, or any information may be brought into the cell of subject 2796, as 2796 can summon any piece of information at an unknown length, as the subject has been resistant to any attempts to test the range of their abilities. 2796 when projecting, takes the form of a Devil-Touched, with dark skin, broken horns, and a large forked tail. While being incredibly resilient to any Laboratory Personnel, having subject 2796 interact with other subjects has shown some results. 2796 will judge a subject, and if it is deemed worthy, it will give them a tattoo that allows them to read any book or piece of information that 2796 has absorbed. Any attempts to remove that tattoo result in the death of both the subject and the tattoo itself. Subject 2796 was difficult to extract and moved to Lab 619 because of special properties of Lab 619 holds. The extraction of 2796 resulted in the death of 523 Lab Security members, the defection of another 230, and the deaths of nearly 500 civilians. Subject 2796 can summon a university, library, or other place of education around itself as long as they at least 5 feet of empty space above them. Once it does so, scholars from around the world make the trek to find the Educational Center of subject 2796.

Sep 13, 2007


Is Option A crossed out because they already know we're much stronger than they first thought? Even then, we might still be able to hold back a little while keeping it believable.

Eating the soul would be the more immediately useful choice, but I'm curious about what happens to released souls and whether they might have any kind of power to aid us if they choose to do so. D.

E, let's hear what the imp has to say.

J, the Librarian's tattoo sounds incredibly useful. And we might be able to use our amorphous form to stretch it out or fold it up or warp and distort it until the staff can't tell we have any tattoo at all.

Boba Pearl
Dec 27, 2019

[She / Her]

Don't give up, it gets better.
If it doesn't, PM me if you need to vent about it (or any reason).

Read my stuff / look at my art:

A is crossed out, because Jessie has already made the decision, you have no influence on that choice.

Feb 2, 2009

"I like Ur and Kavodel and Enki being nice to people for some reason."

Wrong Voter amongst wrong voters

B, D, E, J

Boba Pearl
Dec 27, 2019

[She / Her]

Don't give up, it gets better.
If it doesn't, PM me if you need to vent about it (or any reason).

Read my stuff / look at my art:

Picking out of 4, 8/30/2021: 1d4 4

Vorebane = D.) Release the Orb. E.) I guess there's no problem listening to what the Imp has to say. J.) Subject 2796 CODENAME: Librarian.

Feb 2, 2009

"I like Ur and Kavodel and Enki being nice to people for some reason."

Wrong Voter amongst wrong voters

I should be happy I won, but I know only dread. That's normal right?

Dec 8, 2009

Hair Elf

Just wanted to say that this is a delightfully weird and cool story so far and I'm really looking forward to seeing where it ends up. Also hell yeah Lilith's speech was good!

Boba Pearl
Dec 27, 2019

[She / Her]

Don't give up, it gets better.
If it doesn't, PM me if you need to vent about it (or any reason).

Read my stuff / look at my art:

6k words, split into two posts.

Jessie was salivating over the orb as she noticed the imp and groaned. She was turning the tiny soul orb over and over in her hands. One part of her was insistent that she consumed it, that she tore it apart and took it in as a part of her, but something else spoke to her as well. Franco had stared at the orb, but didn’t say anything about it. Knowing she could speak freely, she looked at him, “Franco, what do I do with this thing? I want… I want to eat it… I think it’d make me strong.”

“Yeah it would,” The Imp said with sadistic glee in her eyes, “Oh a few more of those things and you’d be brimming with all sorts of goosebumps. I mean, it’s your right as sin-eater” The mask it wore seemed to just stand off the wolf like nose. Its body was somehow simultaneously made of dripping ooze, green moss, and smoke. It sat and watched her with the energy of a golden retriever that had just started to lounge in the sun. The kind of dull happiness from a life unaccompanied to any hardship at all.

Franco ignored the imp, turning his back to it. “Eh, it’s up to you, kiddo. I’m just here to teach you poo poo. I think you need to think about whether eating these things is good for your internals. Not your body, I mean, your heart.”

Jessie sighed, “Ugh, but what should I do with it.”

Franco did the soul equivalent of shrugging, which was rather impressive for something in the shape of a teardrop. “I dunno, it’s not my decision.”

Jessie stared at it and put it aside. She turned to the Imp.

“Hello Mr… Ms… Imp?”

The Imp laughed, “My name’s Chase, Chase Bechdel, and uh I’m a shade, not an Imp. I’m feeling like a Miss today, so let’s go with that. I’ll respond to pretty much anything.” She tittered and splashed a little in Jessie’s Gel pool, that had acted mostly as her bed. “Let’s just chat for a minute.”

“Yes, let’s I actually have questions for you, quite a few, but I can’t help myself. What’s the difference between a Shade and Imp and a Demon?”

Chase tapped her mask.

“Well, shade and Imp are pretty synonymous really, one’s just a manifestation of the hopes and dreams of the rest.” Chase tapped her mask. “Basically, dozens, or hundreds, hell, sometimes thousands of us get together and we create a personality. Something bigger than the sum of our parts. Like a kid, but not really. That’s where a shade comes in. The only real big difference is the mask. It’s the…” She scratched her chin a bit, and tiny flakes of smoke fell off, burned into red hot flares of sparks, and then curled up into smoke. “In a metahuman you’ll get calcifications, right? Build ups where salts kind of just harden a piece of skin? Well, imagine the raw power of hopes and dreams being pushed into your skin, and it’s kind of like that. The mask represents us, what we want. We’re empowered by it. I’m also my own person, though. I’m not the multitude that created me, they’ve all given up the ghost to make sure I exist. I’m their hopes and dreams given a form to act in their name.”

Jessie looked at the creature, “It sounds sad, your very existence comes from the death of people you’ll never meet.”

The Shade laughed. “Imps are closer to cartoons than real people. Just the mental off-shoot of emotions, like uh… Background radiation for feelings. You know what an Aura is?”

Jessie nodded.

“Yeah, so like that. Just the bits that wisped off until they get a thought in their head, and then they kind of scrabble together. You could say I’m a representative of all the employees AND all of the prisoners AND you. All of those lovely emotions swirled up into a giant soup, and then I’m the foam that gets skimmed off the top.” She giggled.

Talking to the creature was weirdly comforting. It was silent, but not the uncomfortable silence that sometimes came in the room when there was no-one around. It was like a thousand voice all speaking in a low rumble. It gave her tingles across her spine and made her feel at ease.

“So Chase, what do you want.”

“I actually want to be a chef someday, weird right. No idea why, but that’s what the people want, so I’m going to go ahead and give it to them some day.”

“A… Chef? No, I mean, why are you in my room?”

“Cookbooks! There aren’t going to be any of them pretty soon, and I was wondering if I could nab some.”

Jessie felt like the Imp. No wait, the Shade was screwing with her. “No, I mean… Wait, why aren’t there going to be any books around?”

“Jessie, there’s not going to be anything around pretty soon. There’s no stopping it. So we’re picking and choosing what gets carried over into the next phase.”

Jessie stopped. “What do you mean, there’s not going to be anything around? What are you talking about?”

Chase was picking through a few books in Jessie’s room, and had found a cook book or two. Jessie stared at the shade, who seemed to have fallen silent.

“Chase, why will nothing be around?”

Chase laughed. “You know why. It’s what this whole thing is about.”

Jessie leaped over and tried to nab the Shade by the ankles, but it just jumped out of the way, “Come here and answer my goddamn questions.”

Chase tittered even more, “Humanity has pissed off enough of the great cosmos that it’s been decided they do not deserve a planet anymore, the world’s giving the other meta-humans a shot, one of the sub-genus that aren’t genocidal dickbags who irradiate everything around them. You know the last shot was the industrial era. It was one of two choices, and humanity picked wrong.”

Jessie groaned, “How- What- What do you mean how did they pick wrong?!”

Chase kicked Jessie’s wrist and got its foot stuck in the gel goop of her arm, and then kicked hard, the whole hand falling and splatting to the ground, and quickly started to pick up books off the floor. “I don’t know. I’m not into politics. Or Economics. Or Socialstrology. Whatever you call the study of social history stuffs, I’m a chef. I’m here for some books, and to tell you. You gotta friend here.”

“Tell me what’s going to happen to the humans!” Jessie said angrily.

The Shade shrugs, “I dunno, it’s the Great Wipe, everything living is getting a big do-over and one person gets to decide what makes it and what doesn’t.”

“I am not making that decision,” Jessie said staring at it, quickly filling in the blanks, “You can’t make me.”

The Shade laughs once again. It seemed that was all the creature did was laugh, a high pitched thing but weirdly digital, like an auto-tuned asthmatic. “You don’t have a choice to not choose. Not choosing is a choice. By choosing not to choose, you’ve chosen! You’ve just chosen the laziest option. An absolute garbage choice, I might add, the only thing history will have more contempt for then the ones who chose wrong, are those who chose to do nothing. Well, maybe history won’t, but I definitely will, and my friends.”

“I… What the gently caress.” It wasn’t really a question Jessie was asking, just trying to process, it felt like she had spinning weird and confused and suddenly things were snapping into focus, she didn’t bother with why her or rejecting the idea. There wasn’t time, and frankly, she was not going to waste her time wondering why this was all happening to her.

The Shade was holding onto her orb. It was starting to drip and fade, “You know these things don’t keep,”

“Hey you give that back you jerk.”

“But you’re not going to eat it, so why don’t you let me.” The mask lifted off of her face, and a thousand eyes seemed to peer out from beneath. A giant toothy maw reached out.

“NO!” Jessie said and launched forward, snatching it out of the air, and made a small tumble falling into the only table in the room and crashing it towards the wall.

“Look, eat it or release it or choose to do nothing and waste it.” The Shade said, “Whatever you choose, that’s your choice. There is no ‘I made no choice’ you’re responsible no matter what.”

“Shut up Chase, you… ARGH… I’ll get rid of it,” Jessie reached back and chucked it as hard as she could, whipping it forward into the wall.

Right before it made an impact, a giant green portal opened up and spiralled. As she peered through, she realized that it had somehow teleported. She was staring at a Sermal who was staring blankly as Lab Employees ran a series of diagnostics on her. The room was sterile white and large, there was a big bed which had restraints on it, and a separate security team. She watched in horror as the soul slapped into the creature, and the thing’s back arched. Light left its mouth and body and it let out an inhuman scream that pierced the ears. It was both pain and laughter.

The Imp started to giggle, as Jessie stared in horror, “Oh, that was sure was a choice. Ahhhh ha ha ha, you get to live with that one. You scared Franky? She’s making her own choices now, fucko.”

The Sermal’s tail shriveled up into itself and burned away, revealing a set of hooves. Its hair started to glow in different colors, and her body turned the pitchest black. Tiny spheres of light and a nebula appeared across her chest, and her clothes burned away until a newer, wetter inkier set replaced them. The whole time, hundreds of imps peeled off of her. The smoky creatures that look exactly like chase, but in different configurations of animal, materials, colors, and smokes washed over the security team that couldn’t get to her.

“Demonification, Demonification Code Alpha Alpha Niner, Weapons hot. Giving subjugation speech,” The security points their guns. “Demon, answer me right now. You are a new being. You have no memories. You live here in the laboratory, and help us with security. If you fight or refuse to answer or in any way show that you are not complying, I will rip you apart into tiny tiny pieces with the machines in our hands. If you comply, I will give you one of these machines. Do you understand?”

The new demon gasped and panted, and then stared up into the portal. It seemed like the other security didn’t notice she was staring. Or the portal. Jessie stared back at the creature, and gave her a slight nod, not knowing what to do, but not wanting to watch her die, either. The Demon stared back and nodded. The soldiers did not stop pointing their weapon at the new being. “Ok, you have a name. Tell us what you would like to be called.”

“I… Uh… Call me uh… I dunno. Call me Segue.”

“Alright Segue, welcome to Lab 619s security core. We’re going to get you situated and send you on your way. You understand me?” The new demon nodded once more. Jessie could see the aura, and she saw there was a tiny strand of energy through the portal. It reached out and touched her, and Jessie felt… Satisfied. Filled up by the essence.

“That’s what they’re keeping you from, Jess,” Chase said. “They’re feeding you orb and getting you big and strong, but in a fast way, an unhealthy way. So you can preserve something you don’t give a poo poo about, but instead. You could eat their sins. Everyone in here you kill Jess. They turn up like that. You let those orbs free, and you get strong AND increase the brood. Think about that while Mr. Franco here, Ms. Lucretia, The Cat, all of these people work together to get you to eat these pieces of power, instead of letting you use them to create new life. And they would have continued to never tell you about it. Who knows how many you would have eaten without knowing. Who knows how many lives you’ve snuffed out instead of re-birthed.”

Franco looks at the two and clears his throat, “Hey listen, you slimy piece of poo poo. Now I am a neutral third party in all o’ this. I want to see the Kid do what the kid wants to do, but you gots no way of knowing that anyone knew about that.”

Chase continued, “Everyone you kill and don’t eat? They create more of us. That’s why I call you the sin-eater. So keep that in your hat. Oh yeah, and thanks for the books.”

“What did you mean by preserve?” Jessie called after Chase, who again so frustratingly laughed.

“I can’t give you all the answers kid, not everyone wants you to know them, but keeping making waves, and I’ll think about it, maybe. XO Baby I’m out, now pay attention.” Chase kicked open a piece of the metal in the room, and the tiniest crack barely the size of a quarter slid open, and Chase slipped inside and the books seemed to turn into smoke and followed.

“What the HELL was that.” Jessie said.

Franco rolled his eyes. “They just do that, ignore them. It’s never useful trying to figure out what the denizens of hell are actually saying, or trying to accomplish.”

Jessie turned to Franco. “Do you know about this Great Wipe?”

Franco grimaced. “No, not at all, to be honest with you. First, I’ve heard of it. I signed up to take the lab down. What happens after that is largely unimportant.”

Boba Pearl
Dec 27, 2019

[She / Her]

Don't give up, it gets better.
If it doesn't, PM me if you need to vent about it (or any reason).

Read my stuff / look at my art:

Jessie had spent the next few weeks giving Dr. Semper the silent treatment. It had seemed the lab would never keep up their promise, and Jessie would not give an inch on this. Her memories had slowly started to come back, and once they did she couldn’t forget how amazing it was to just vibe out with music, or scrolling through ImmediaGram, seeing what’s on ViewTube or god just reading the news. If she would not get a computer, and she would not get a phone, and she would not get anything but books. Then she was going to get someone to talk to, and if she would not do that, then she was going to lose her mind. Still, she tried not to be rude. She knew Semper wanted information from her, and she was more than willing to play that game. She took a deep breath and steadied herself as the new alarms went off in her room and the cart was wheeled in.

Dr. Semper had a fake warm smile plastered on her face and seemed unusually chipper today. She slowly wheeled the cart into the steel shelves, threatening to buckle under the weight of all the books.

“Hello Ms. Jessie, how are you doing today.”

Jessie’s smile was enormous, and she cocked her head in a way that was hopefully unthreatening and endearing. The lack of aura around Dr. Semper set Jessie’s teeth on edge. Whatever Dr. Semper was or had done recently sucked all the air out of the room and made it hard to focus on anything. It was unbearably silent, the constant chatter and background noise being muffled to dull and overbearing silence. Still, both Jessie and Semper knew what would happen if Jessie was less than 100% cooperative, and Jessie had already shown a small part of what she was capable of.

“Oh just fine Dr. I’m so glad to see you, are these new books for me?” Jessie said, looking at the cart.

“Yes, absolutely, we didn’t know what you’d want, or even what you know.” Dr. Semper’s fur slightly bristled, the sound of it tickling the aural nodes in Jessie’s body, the slimy appearance shifting a few microns as the waves pushed against it. “So we gave you a grab bag of everything. Though, I wanted you to know the paperwork has gone through, and we’re planning a play date.“

Dr. Semper stopped and then stared at Jessie for an uncomfortable amount of time. The silence stretched between them and dripped, filling every space of the room. The silence itself seemed to have its own essence, and threatened to strangle them both. It was mind games like this that Jessie hated the most. When Dr. Semper made a slight comment, or observation, or really said anything, then just stared at Jessie to see if she’d react. It was so… Obvious. She didn’t need to be an Empath to know she was being tested and prodded for information.

Jessie had wanted something, and Jessie knew how she was going to get it.

“Actually Doctor, I think the term playdate might be a little… Immature for someone my age.” Jessie said carefully, speaking slowly and purposefully. She tried to stop from giggling as the good doctor’s demeanor shifted very slightly. This was the first inroad that Jessie had given the Doctor since the incident. The first thing she had really said aloud since they killed Franco.

The Doctor smiled. Her words were quick, slippery and slick like an oil patch. “Oh absolutely! I am really sorry about that, you just haven’t said much. I only know you as a 1-year-old. Are you older than that?”

Jessie continued to smile, and let a little information out, just enough to whet her appetite. “Well… As I pour through the books, I remember… Well, brief snippets. I think I’m 24? Maybe 25. I know I went to an elementary school, a middle school, a high school, maybe some college? It’s been really hard but the books and information have been really helping.”

Jessie flitted to Lucretia’s eyes for just a moment and saw Taylor who was snorting and saying something, but she wasn’t signing, and so it was hard to make out. She flipped back to her cell and continued to smile at the Doctor.

“That is excellent, Jessie. That is superb. Are these memories making you happy? How have you been fairing? You’ve been quiet for so long we were starting to get worried about you.”

“Well, I actually wanted to talk to you about something. I had asked for a TV and a computer earlier, if you remember? Some newspapers? I think it would be really helpful to piece together who I am. When these memories come back, I’m not even fully aware of them. There’s no sudden rush of information, it’s like one of those hidden object paintings. You know the picture is there, but the harder you try to force it, the harder it is to see. If I had access to a computer, maybe with some eBooks, a way to chat to you guys that isn’t yelling through a camera. It’d feel closer to… Whatever it was before this.”

“These things take time, Jessie,” Dr. Semper said. “We’re definitely working on it, but most of our time has been setting up the meeting with Lilith,”

“What about before that?” Jessie asked before she could stop herself.

“Well, we were working on it. I’m sorry Jessie, I can’t just snap my fingers and make things happen. Every request to modify a cell labelled C or above, has to be approved by The Director. You’re…” Dr. Semper sighed, “Jessie…”

She jumped onto the side of the cart and stared at Jessie. The casualness took Jessie off-guard just for a moment. This has to be some sort of new trick Jessie though staring at the Doctor, she’s just trying to get friendly with me for… Jessie remembered the interactions with the D Class, and the other subjects and employees. It really didn’t seem like Dr. Semper tried to get friendly with anyone. Did Semper know Jessie was aware of those moments, that what she saw didn’t always corelate with what was happening in her space? She didn’t know, but she was weary.

“Jessie, you’ve gone from a feral organism to a meta-human in a little less than 6 months. In that time you’ve killed 3 or 4 people, you’ve sabotaged or damaged multiple containment cells. It was only a few weeks ago you nearly tore that door off its hinges! People fear you, for good reason. You are extremely powerful and dangerous, and you’re rapidly evolving.” Semper sighed. “If you keep progressing like this, a few things could happen. You could get so strong the lab sees you as a threat that can’t be contained. You could get so strong that you actually can’t be killed or contained, which would be even worse. You could also just rapidly age and in the next few months you’ll remember another 25 or 50 or 75 years and then drop dead. You could turn into a duck. We have no idea what you’re capable of. If I try to get you something, especially something that is insanely dangerous and useful as a computer, we have to pour over every recorded second of your life that we have. Every moment has to be examined until we have a list of what is possible. Then we can make a request like that, but if you’re shown as useful, or helpful, then it becomes easier.”

Jessie tried to give her best pout, but the anger still crept in. “I saved a lab employee, I talked Lilith down, and I got shot multiple times in the chest for it, and shrugged it off with a smile. Have I not been helpful? What else do I have to do to prove myself? Can you really hold me responsible when all I knew was pain, terrible agonizing pain that you and Taylor put me through? Is it my fault that Ken died, when I wasn’t the one who ordered him to kill me? At what point is my self defense Ok? Am I ever allowed to defend myself, or am I going to just keep getting beat over and over until the lab decides I’m useless and kills me.” Jessie felt her jaw clench, and her form started to kind of splay, tiny sharp extrusions like razor blades peeled off of her skin to make enormous spider like chitinous stingers, that she immediately retracted.

Dr. Semper did not look afraid. It was a little unsettling, to be honest. Jessie hadn’t expected to let so much steam off at once, and seeing her body react in a way that she hadn’t anticipated had set her mind spiraling. She hated Dr. Semper and the lab so much; she hated her body was constantly trying to wrest itself out of her control, that the form she chose could be torn from her with an emotional outburst, or an unexpected laugh. That the moment she lost control the illusion, the illusion that she knew was real and true, would break. She hated that Dr. Semper had brought that out of her.

“I know it must be really hard for you, and I’m sorry that we’re putting you through that. I mean, from our perspective, we’re seeing you as a creature, not a meta-human. I think that’s wrong, and I’m making moves behind the scenes to change that. I am not perfect though, and I can only do so much. I think what will really set this aside, is this next combat and agility trial? We have something, something that no-one else can kill. It’s not a meta-human. We’re not even really sure what it is, but you’re the most cooperative combat capable subject that we can throw at it. It’s wiped out multiple security teams. We’ll pull you out if anything looks like it’s going the wrong way.”

Dr. Semper continued to smile, “I’m not all stick and no carrot,” Dr. Semper said with a sly grin, “I’ve been authorized to give you a computer if this works out! It’ll be behind the labs’ firewalls, so no social media, nothing you could create an account on. No messaging outside of the Lab’s network, but we actually have our own Dissonance server that we host, so you and all the other cooperative subjects can chat in a friendly (but monitored!) way. Well, it’s visually identical to Dissonance, but ours is a lab run program and doesn’t connect to the Dissonance main servers. Still, memes, voice chat, all that good stuff. Maybe some games? I think they play Mafia sometimes? All you have to do is kill one scary monster.”

“Jessie, I really believe in you. When you first started trying to tear down that door, I knew there was something special there, and you’re gonna have to get it out of your system somehow. This probably seems awful, and I get it I do, honestly. Give us just an inch, and I’ll do my best to make your life as comfortable as possible while you’re here. This doesn’t have to be a prison. There are plenty of subjects who live happy successful lives inside of their observation wards and under lab scrutiny. You’ve seen the absolute worst of the lab. You’ve seen me at my worst, and honestly I’m sorry about that.”

“You’ve seen me scream and yell, lose my temper, and god knows what else. And we did terrible things to you, but I didn’t know you were alive. You have to believe me. If I had known you had sentience beyond, say, a rat or a mouse, I would have never put you through that. We can’t start over but I’m hoping I can make amends.”

Jessie looked at the Doctor. Her aura was tightly bound around her, a dull shade of bright light that seemed washed out like a pair of denim jeans left in the sun. A greyed out memory of color that might have been there, if it hadn’t been eroded away. Whatever new technique Dr. Semper used to hide her aura, it was incredibly effective. Jessie nodded and then thought about it some more.

“I mean, you’ve known what I’ve wanted since the beginning, since that interview with Franco, and I was pretty clear what I needed from the lab. If you’re only going to give me what I want when there’s a crisis, then you better be prepared for me to say no next time. I want to prove I’m useful, but even when I do everything I right I end up ventilated like a wasp trap. You want my help this time? That’s fine, but you better start making it worth my while after this, or else I’m out.”

Dr. Semper smiled at her, “That’s more than fine Jessie, I’m going to go grab Lucretia, and we’ll escort you to the locked down portion of the laboratory where the Psybeast is held.”

The sirens went off, and Dr. Semper left Jessie to stew in her cell. Franco started whispering to the kid, “Hey you did good. Keep standing up to her. Showing you’ve got spine is the best way to go, kid. It’s just like dealing with the police. You gotta always be listening, but never giving an inch. Toeing that line between not being threatening, and not getting pushed around. You’ve got a knack for it, unlike my brother Tony, or me, to be honest. Last time I had an interaction with a cop, it involved a brick, a horse, and The Mets. I think they lost that game too. drat shame. You see, it was back in 97, cell phones weren’t really popular outside of like these button things with tha numbers. And I had already had a warrant for 3 prior accounts of public intoxication, and one count of ‘don’t piss in alleyways’ so me a”

While Franco rattled on with another story about his time in… Wherever the hell The Mets are from, Jessie flicked over to see through Lucretia’s eyes using the connection between them. She was getting her orders from Dr. Semper, who was lighting a cigarette. It was fascinating watching the smoky curls leave thick trails in the air as she rapidly signed to Lucretia. “I think the aural dampener the techs whipped up work, so make sure everyone on the team, you and security, has one. Also, that cultist we threw in there? Yeah, pull up his file. I want to know if his name was Franco.” The two were on their way to the observation ward, where Taylor was waiting and pouting heavily.

“I see you’re making friends with the enemy,” she said, “I’m glad to see you can get over Ken’s death so easily.”

Dr. Semper took a deep drag of her cigarette and exhaled, frustrated. “Ken’s not the only death I can ‘get over easily’ if you don’t stop second guessing me at every turn, Taylor. You’ll never make it as a lab head at this rate. Learn to put your personal vendettas aside for the sake of science, or I swear to god, I’m going to strap you down, take this lit cigarette, and slowly press it against your eye.”

She stared at Taylor, glowing red daggers behind her eyes, “And if you think I won’t, you can test that assumption at your earliest convenience.”

Taylor gulped for a second, and then very quietly turned her chair around, staring at the screen. The room was extremely tense, and it was hard to get a read on anyone without the aura’s helping to act as a guide. Taylor was sitting with her back straight, and her arms moving stiffly, like her whole body was straining against some invisible force, while Semper was flicking through a tablet reading files her eyes quickly scanning the words and typing in notes, highlights, and other information. She took another deep drag of her cigarette and sighed. “Look, you’ve got a lifetime contract here. You’re either going to die in this lab, or in a mansion on a private island, with no in-between. So you need to stone up. If you can’t befriend what seems to be a sorority sister in love with the color pink, then you’re going to have a very, very hard time here. Put your feelings behind you. The increasingly expanding amount of knowledge in the universe does not have the time, the energy, or the patience for you to get over your hangups and do the work. Ken’s dead. You’re not going to bring him back by pissing and moaning constantly, or torturing his murderer. You want to do honor by Ken? Continue his work.”

“I swear to god, this is why I think the Lab shouldn’t hire anyone under 40.” Dr. Semper muttered under her breath angrily, before finishing her cigarette and lighting another one. “And if you’re going to be lighting black candles, saying ancient names, and playing with crystals at home, you better start bringing whatever safety trinkets you can grab a hold of to bring here. You’re attracting the attention of a lot of poo poo playing around with things you don’t understand. I’m increasing your access to Archives 76 through 81, careful though it’s pretty much all indecipherable garbage without taking a lot of notes.”

Lucretia signed, “I thought they were an interesting read, but I’ve always loved that found footage stuff.”

“That’s lovely,” Dr. Semper signed, with her face like a stone wall with some grime smeared on it, “Go hook her up.”

Lucretia outfitted Jessie with a camera that seemed to stick to her slimy form easily enough. On the way there, Lucretia filled Jessie in. “We don’t know what this thing is, we’re calling it a Psybeast, a mix between Psychot and Beast. We’ve seen a few like this, but none so big. I’ve not even seen the thing, but the physical infrastructure of the Lab is warping around it. We’ve only really seen that in two places, the S-Class cells… And yours.” Lucretia said staring at her, “We want you to get in, get eyes on the thing. Neutralize it if you can, if you can’t, then get out. We’ve set up a silent airlock, and we’re going to be beating the poo poo out of the walls on the opposite side, pulling its attention away once you get in. If you want out, just say so and we’ll try to draw it away from you, but uh. I’ll be honest, that has not been effective in the past. Do you have any questions?”

“Is it hard to kill something? Like on purpose?” Jessie said, biting her lip slightly.

Lucretia took a deep breath, and signed quickly, “No, just don’t think about it and follow your instincts. You’re part human, so it’s gotta be in there somewhere right.” Lucretia signed with a wry smile. “Alright, here’s your exit.”

The bulkhead that separated the locked down part of the laboratory from everything else was huge, twice as large as Jessie, who was nearly 5 foot 11 now. Even through the thick metal doors, Jessie could sense… Blood. She could taste it on the air. “This is the closest we can get to where the creature originated. It always returns to this point, so just wait.”

Jessie nodded and waited for the door to slide open. It didn’t have the slow grinding movement like the previous doors did this one seemed to be under a massive amount of tension and force as it slammed open with a loud and heavy bang. Jessie stepped inside and took in her surroundings and gasped a bit. Even among the horrors she had seen in the labs, the memories in Jessie’s Head with the songbird, it didn’t really hit her as much as this single corridor did. Littered around the room were 5 corpses that had been savagely torn asunder, bare flesh, intestine, and dripping blood foamed around exposed broken bones that jutted up from their pale piles like rocks off a sea cliff. There was a circle in the center of the room, that had candles knocked over, and marking that were written it what must have been blood. The walls had numerous scratches on them, and there were giant puncture holes in the flooring.
As Jessie crept further in, she saw more and more destruction and devastation. It looks liked this area had once been a C-ward, and there were numerous bodies that had been torn apart all around. The blood never seemed to coagulate and flowed viscously through the channels in the floor.

Jessie watched it for a moment and was shocked. The blood was not just flowing, but it was circulating. Spinning in tiny circles, creating faux rivers and lakes that fed into each other. The blood flowed from the bodies into tiny pools which climbed up the walls to the ceiling and dripped back onto the bodies, which would become soak and seep more blood out onto the floor. The blood drops themselves were thick and globule, more round than a drop like tiny pearls. Jessie felt a deep urge to reach out and… Taste it. Her blue eye became bloodshot and strained, and she felt a wild heat that threatened to take over her entirely. She should definitely taste the blood. She should sup on the flesh of those who had harmed her and bathe in their fallen glory. To taste is to dream, and to dream is to be. To be engulfed, ravaged by the life force of the living, to take part in the grotesque display, to become a macabre art piece among the flesh and gore was not only important, but imperative. She had to give in, she must give in.

She tried to focus on the beauty of it, the blood and the energy, and she realized this place wasn’t horrific it was beautiful. The creature wasn’t causing harm it was creating art. The beast had arranged the bodies and bones, each meticulously placed to create a wellspring of life and energy. She had too

She had to do something? She was here for something. There was food here.

There was a rumbling of static, and Jessie noticed the Aura of the creature before she saw the creature itself. Its aura was not any particular color, but a wave of snow of every color, a constant mishmash of static flickering through the entire rainbow like a broken display. Tiny black and white specks floated throughout the creature’s aura, and she could follow it through the walls. She could see it as clearly as it could see her. It was… It was hunting, and she should hunt too, but she should hunt it, and make it a part of-the-art display. Then the gallery could be hers. She could make this world her own and live in it as a god, rotting with incandescent beauty and rage. But first she must kill the gallery owner. Kill the owner become the master.

It would wait, it would have to wait. Jessie was in the studio, and her dance must be completed, her feast must be eaten and blood must be supped. There would be no clash without the proper moves.

She thought hard and tried to focus. The call was pulling her in two directions. She had to focus. There were parts to the dance. Important parts that were mutually exclusive.

1A.) Think of Aether, think of aura, logic and people and things. The material, the here and now, the great expanse above, the deep blue of a sky never seen, the deep oceans never explored, and the tears of a life never lived.

1B.) Think of the Infernal, think of magics, and emotions and machinations and plans. The immaterial nature of life, love, and loss. The void that constantly beckons, the great mirror that is both peered into, and peers into you.

2A.) Inside the Beast many voices call, so many voices, and yet they sing in unison. They all cry and laugh and yearn but for what you do not know. You must separate them and free them, allow them to be as they are.

2B.) The voices are naught but echoes, fragments, the last dying gasps of the broken psyche of battered men, women, and people. Meta humanities last hope being thrown into the ether an echo. Consume them and immortalize the flesh.

Boba Pearl
Dec 27, 2019

[She / Her]

Don't give up, it gets better.
If it doesn't, PM me if you need to vent about it (or any reason).

Read my stuff / look at my art:

The Escape Plan Vote starts after this next vote, but we have our bonus scene that was picked from the last Escape attempt,

Voting will be closed on 09/20/21 1:00 AM GMT -08:00 PST
Next Update will be posted on 09/27/21 01:00 AM GMT -08:00 PST

Sep 13, 2007


AA. Resist the effect on our mental state, and free the voices.

Boba Pearl
Dec 27, 2019

[She / Her]

Don't give up, it gets better.
If it doesn't, PM me if you need to vent about it (or any reason).

Read my stuff / look at my art:

I just want you to know that Franco is loosely based on a staff member in my group home, and the only thing I vividly remember about him were weird stories, not picking sides, and never shutting up about getting arrested at, or around Citi Field, and his favorite baseball team the Mets.

Boba Pearl
Dec 27, 2019

[She / Her]

Don't give up, it gets better.
If it doesn't, PM me if you need to vent about it (or any reason).

Read my stuff / look at my art:

I didn't need to roll for this one, EVERYONE, EVERYWHERE wanted AA. Which means it wasn't as hard a decision as I thought.

Boba Pearl
Dec 27, 2019

[She / Her]

Don't give up, it gets better.
If it doesn't, PM me if you need to vent about it (or any reason).

Read my stuff / look at my art:

Power, amazing, beautiful, resplendent. Swirling aether and bargaining energies, all while the curator watches. Jessie spins and turns, twirls and sings. Her slimy form hardening edgy protrusions leaving her body, feathers, claws, wings. It hurts, a sharp stinging all over as tiny pin pricks form, as the thin membrane coagulates into a slick scab, and then a near leathery hide. Jessie grew skin, pores. She felt her eye split, and still she was absorbing the energy, and still the curator watched. She started laughing more; It doesn’t realize how much trouble it’s in; she thought to herself. He’ll never make it out of here alive. I will tear the souls out of his frame and ea-

No. She would not eat them, she would not immortalize the flesh. She would set the pieces free and increase the brood instead. She would take the pieces of it and split them apart like challah bread on the sabbath. A bloody sabbath, fit for a queen and her family. She would tear it open and make mana fall from the heavens. She grinned and flexed her powerful wings, and rocketed down the hallways, connecting with the aether beast, the creature of static and noise.

The aether beast was pink and blue, with a thick triangle like head, and spiny forearms and legs. It looked like a great enormous spider, and it was not purely aether like she believed. It was powerful, large; it had tendrils hanging off it, and its skin was thick and chitinous, like a bug made of leather. Tiny overlapping plates slid back and forth as it swayed. It barely had a moment to register what was happening before it started tumbling from the impact of Jessie’s savage claws.

Jessie rapidly entangled herself into the creature’s tendrils. Their bodies slammed across the bulkhead. She grabbed its skull with one of her powerful talons and smashed it into the bulkhead. The Aether beast was bigger than her though, so much bigger, and it started running full sprint, jumping occasionally, smashing her against the ceiling. Jessie let out a caw in anger and disgust. How dare this thing resist me, she thought, how dare it resist my will! She bent over and bit hard into the back of the thing’s neck, and a thick stream of blood squirted out, filling her mouth with a delicious coppery thick syrup. It dribbled down her chin, and spilled out on her heaving chest and she let out a triumphant screech before biting again harder, pulling more and more meat out of the creature’s body. It was easy to gorge herself, because no matter how much flesh she had torn asunder from the great heaving beast, there was always more, quickly rising to fill the void made by her powerful jaws.

Like a bubble, the creature popped, and Jessie nearly fell to the ground. The Aether Beast reappeared a few feet away as Jessie quickly righted herself in the air, floating menacingly glaring at the beast. Purple ichor dripping down its neck as it appraised her. Jessie clapped her hands, and feathers were shook free from her arms and floated above her. She looked like a renaissance painting, like a great saint coming down to give some blessing or warning. The feathers glowed white hot, and she spun in the air, firing her arms forward. The feathers shot out like arrows and pierced the bulkhead. The long narrow hallway penetrated over and over with a thick ringing as the feathers melted through. The inky substance that makes up an imp leaked through, and for a split second, Jessie swore she could see thousands of eyes staring back at her from the crevices she had created.

The Aether Beast let out an inhuman scream that sounded like a cross between a baby mewling for its mother’s milk and a blender filled with razor blades. A thick unsettling rattling noise, keening and violent. It rushed her, galloping full force, its head lowered. The air around Jessie tasted and smell like ozone, and for a split second in her haze, she had a moment of clarity, and she felt fear. Lightning shot out from the Aether beast, colliding with her. She could feel it coursing through her body, and coiling around her heart, muscles, her very soul slicing her insides to ribbons. She wasn’t used to having insides, and even less used to them being so violently affected. She couldn’t catch her breath and gagged. The Aether Beast turned on her and rushed her again. She needed to pull herself together. This was going to be her museum, HER art display, and this thing would not steal from her. Firing more feathers, she dived out of the way.

It roared, and she laughed. For once, she wasn’t just being taken advantage of. She wasn’t the one in danger; she was the aggressor; she was the one that people should fear. She could go as far and as hard as she wanted, and nothing would stand in her way. Flames crept up her back, and the world started to glitch out around here. Reality seemed to break and pixelate, flashing back and forth as her entire body glowed. The Aether Beast paused for a second, and she gasped as she tried to catch her breath. The bodies of the fallen lab employees started to twitch and spasm, and for a second the world took on a digital quality, hard, regimented, a world broken up into a technicolor multitude of squares, rectangles, and voids. She spun hard.

Voices filled her head, and the beast seemed to fade into static. Suddenly she was in a room, and she could barely contain her ability to see. Something had locked her out of her own body and the curator merely kneeled and watched. She saw Taylor in black robes, with a long sharp knife on the pommel, as a single black rose carved out of ebony or some deep, black gem. There were other lab employees there, their faces obscured by cloaks. Each ran the knife over their wrist and deposited a few drops onto a deep black candle. With each droplet of life force, it exploded into a giant green flame. They started chanting, and Taylor did as well. Together they hummed. Their eyes were closed, and their cloaks billowed in some acute blast of wind, the endless corridors of Lab 619 seemed to stretch into inky blackness, and as they sung the more it stretched, and as it stretched the louder the voices became, and the louder the voices the thicker, and more ominous the void became. Returning their call in a chorus of silence and reverberation. An echo on ancient plates carved before time had truly begun. The face of a great frog appeared, and on its tongue was the slimy reflection of those who were chanting.

Jessie stared into the tongue and gasped. She saw herself, but she saw herself closer to perfection than she would ever hope to achieve. Every part of her improved impossibly, in color, in shape, in air, even her horrified face in the reflection made a mockery of her own form. It winked at her, and Jessie wanted nothing more to stab it, to tear the perfect thing out so no-one would know how deeply terrible and flawed she truly was. It haunted her and seemed to mock her with its very presence. An unkept promise to a life she’d never hope to achieve. A voice croaked loudly, and its Ribbit echoed in her skull, a great deep booming thing. A single word “Magdalene,” in that one word contained millennia of pain, suffering and terror. Her perfect self pointed again at the group directing Jessie’s attention, the great frog terrified her, and to turn her back on it even more so, but she knew she must, if she looked any longer at her perfect self, she would start rendering her own flesh in an attempt to make her features match this terrible vision.

Looking back at the group of Robed Lab Employees, she saw Taylor had taken a step back from the group. She was slowly backing towards the door. She seemed able to navigate the viscous fog, as there was a faint light around her that illuminated every step. As the lab employees’ chanting had become loud enough to be deafening. As their cries, cries of what was impossible to tell, reached the crescendo of its dark harmonies, Taylor reached back and threw the long knife hard. It clattered loudly against the candle, and it fell over, quickly snuffed out. Taylor dove through the open door and quickly punched some code into the panel, locking it down. The Frog disappeared, and in its place was the curator. The Lab employees screamed, but were quickly silenced as the creature’s tendrils sliced them open.

The curator, the great aether beast, created its altar, manipulating the skin, bone, and muscle seemingly without touching it. Creating whirling pools and dark eddies of blood that flowed in perpetuity. Soul orbs floated listed up and down above the created altars, and the curator went about its dark work. The creature’s aura split open and inside was a brilliant eye. It split the eye open from the inside, a thin jagged thing not unlike a chipped box cutter spilled its great ichor on the ground, and from the split a row of teeth grew. A giant mouth quickly formed, and it absorbed the souls on the altars. Jessie could see them being smashed together. She could see the things quickly turn frightened and confused as it bound them, seemingly inextricably, from each other. Thin cords piercing them, lashing them to the point where they bulged and bled, fibrous aura leaking onto the floor. The curator roared again, and it placed the souls inside of itself.

The whole macabre play, the way the creature defiled the orbs, disgusted Jessie. She resisted the urge to gag as the pure malice and disgust of the creature washed over her, but both forms of the Curator stared at her, and waited calmly. She could see it supersitionally, both the past and the future curator, and the combination of that knowledge and the third reality it created. It tore at her mind and her perfect self reached out and grabbed her, shaking her by the shoulders. Even its touch seemed softer and more carefree than Jessie would ever hope to achieve. The ribbitting had never ceased; she hadn’t noticed the droning but now it made her ears bleed and she could feel something leaking out of her eyes and nose her every pore seeming to cry out simultaneously. She shook and convulsed as yellow bile foamed around her mouth, and suddenly she was standing again. The Curator was kneeling before her.

Jessie vomited, stared at it, and then vomited again. Pink foam with flecks of red spewed onto the floor and she gagged. She couldn’t catch her breath, and still the curator calmly waited. It took what seemed like an impossibly long time to pull herself together. She pulled herself up and squeezed hard on her thumb knuckle, hoping the acupressure point would cause some relief. She was drowsy, and she stared at the glorious thing. Her mind was finally clear, and yet, it wasn’t. Something had shifted. She knew more than she had before. The croaking of the great frog, and the reflection of her perfect self, haunted her mind. “Find the great ark, preserve or destroy it, it will change nothing. It has been decided, either humanity will purge themselves, or we will do it for them, but I have no concern for its scraps.” Jessie was so confused, she didn’t know what the Ark was, who Magdalene was, who this voice was, or what had gone so wrong in her life to this point. She wanted to stamp her feet, cry and scream simultaneously. She had felt in control for a moment, and the cosmos had snatched it away from her before she could truly relish in it.

The altars were gone, the souls of the forgotten were teeming inside of The Curator. She reached out and touched its skull, and whale song reverberated from somewhere deep inside of it. The gentleness of the sound healed Jessie, her nausea slowly dissipated, and her body was less tense. She wondered if she would turn to a slime girl again, or if she would be a harpy, or if some other creature or transformation was in store for her. She caught her breath.

The Gallery was always hers; she realized suddenly. All of this, everything that keeps happening, she decides and choices, but they seemed opaque and random. She plucked a lone feather from her arm, and it made schiiiink noise, like a knife being dragged across a honing rod. Her perfect self was watching. She could feel it. She walked to the door and tried to open it with no luck. She tried speaking into the camera, but nothing answered. She looked at the Curator, who was still kneeling. A second ago she was so ready to take its life, but now the idea brought her nothing but discomfort and guilt. Killing was Ok, to stretch her muscles and throw her all against something was beautiful like art, but meaningless slaughter brought a foul taste to her mouth. To kill something that wished her no harm, that merely watched and waited to be culled? It was just another trial that someone else had decided for her. She paced back and forth, dragging the feather along the walls, carving thin imperfect lines in the neo-steel.

She felt a gentle nudge at her shoulder, pushing her towards the creature. She stumbled, her knees fell to the floor, and she felt her skin peel off as it abraded like a rubber eraser against sand paper. She winced. Apparently, whatever had taken her to this place was getting impatient. She sighed and walked up to the beast. She gave it a gentle kiss on the forehead and slit its neck open. Brackish water spilled out of it, pouring onto the floor. It spewed a torrent, deep like the ocean of a polluted beach, resplendent with filth, cigarette buds, syringes, dirty condoms, plastic bags and soda rings. The rancid smell filled the room, but the water and its contents quickly dissipated, until all that was left was the corpse of the beast. A single SD card, no bigger than her thumbnail, and the teeming mass of soul orbs that it had lashed together. She held her feather up, and it glowed a bright green, then she stared back at the soul orbs, and gently pricked apart the stitching, ever so carefully slicing apart the membranes where The Curator had stuck it together.

It seemed everything in the lab was going to great pains to feed her. She was sick of it. She may not be getting many choices, or understand what was happening, but they would not force feed her like a duck waiting to be harvested for its succulent liver. The soul orbs were gentle and pleasant, and while her mouth watered, the things themselves did not bring the same desperation they had brought before. One ran up to her cheek and gently nuzzled it. She couldn’t stop herself, and she gave it a gentle squeeze. The warmth of its gratitude brought a bit of light to her, and she couldn’t stop herself from dropping a single tear.

The soul orbs fled. She wondered where they would go without bodies. If she had doomed them to wander the halls of 619, or if they would simply metastasize on the walls like a cancer. She quickly picked up the SD car and slid it between her toe and talon. Her wings fell away, and so did her claws, until she was a normal. Well, some sort of meta human. Maybe an air elemental of some sort? The air equivalent of a naiad? She was exhausted, and she sat down on the magnificent beast’s body. The door slid open, and a cavalcade of security forces poured into the room, pointing their guns at her directly. She took a deep breath and hissed loudly at them. They took a step back and lowered their weapons, instinctively terrified.

Jessie wasn’t having it any more. She was spent and felt like she had accomplished nothing but becoming the loving pawn of another great spirit. She was tired of great spirits, of dragons, managers, and directors.

“I did my job. I want my loving laptop,” she said to Dr. Semper, who looked at her and took a step back. Jessie was now nearly 6 and a half feet, towering over both Semper and Lucretia. “I will not be discussing this.”

She stomped out towards her room. She didn’t realize it, but the lab itself was twisting, the corridors and hallways were shifting in front of her, and in a matter of minutes she had found her cell. The door was locked, and Taylor was waiting for her.

“Where is your Guard #12-4?” She barked at Jessie, unphased by her transformation, and yet instantly recognizing her.

Jessie regarded her with contempt. It was, in fact, Taylor’s fault that all of this had happened. “Too scared to escort me.” She said, staring at her directly, “Open the door.”

Taylor sneered, “Listen, you giant bi-“

Jessie held her hand out, and a feather slipped past, cutting the very edge of the shaved side of Taylor’s head, tiny hairs falling down onto her lapel. “Open the door, Taylor.” Taylor turned a deep pale and scanned her key card. Jessie stepped inside and immersed herself in her gel pool. She pushed her head under water and screamed as loud as she could, thick bubbles rising to the surface. It was almost immediately apparent she could breathe whatever substance they had been suspending her in. Jessie wondered how long it would take them to get a new bed in here. She saw at the bottom of the pool an inky black face of an Imp, and a tiny crown of bones. Inscribed in scrawling cursive on the inside of the rim were the words, A chilling crown of bone, for the queen of the bone throne. She tossed it aside and didn’t bother trying to unravel another mystery. She knew some things would never be answered concretely, and that not everything would wrap up nicely with a bow.

Franco kept her company with stories about New York, about palling around queens and getting in trouble with the local law enforcement. Stories of colorful characters from all walks of life. He never asked her what happened, and didn’t mention her new form. It was like he knew how tired she was on the inside. She respected him for that, for giving her some time and space. She wondered if Franco was lonely, waiting in the lab as a tiny ghost. Unable to affect the world in any meaningful way. A simple transitionary piece, a walking Wikipedia with a smidgeon more personality. She had broached the subject with Franco once, tracing the words in the air with a feather.

“Ey kid, don’ worry about me alright? I’m good, really. This is what I think heaven’d be like, just some trouble’d youth, a bunch of stories, and seeing that kid grow up to be a grown rear end woman. OK? Now, let’s talk about magic some more.” Franco had given her some lessons on spell writing, though it was difficult for her to wrap her head around it. It wasn’t regimented or made any sense. Just little mnemonics meant to remind her of alchemical equations and math. She was never very good at math.

There was no debriefing for Jessie. Semper never told her a good job, or said anything to her about what she had done. No-one came to bring her books, or to escort her. Lucretia had seemed to be kept out of the loop as well. It didn’t really bother Jessie, as all she wanted to do since the incident was sleep. It was about two weeks of sitting and re-reading the same books repeatedly, before Dr. Semper appeared wheeling in not a book, but a single suit-case.

“Good News Jessie!” The Rabbit said, her smile wide, and most likely fake. “The footage we got was great, really top-notch stuff. We were a bit worried we lost you when you, uh.” She gestured towards Jessie up and downwards, pointing at her new form. “Shifted again, but the board approved an intranet computer, giving you access to a heavily fire walled access to the internet, the local Dissonance channel with all the other high-functioning subjects, and they were extra pleased about the local data you had transmitted. We think we have a better understanding of your powers. With more understanding comes more privileges! Having you cooperate with us for our research means we can declassify more documents, and come to a closer working relationship. We’re very proud of you.”

Jessie rolled her eyes. She wasn’t a child to be coddled. She was… At least in her mid-20s, maybe 30s? She didn’t know. She was an adult though, and apparently the Doctor was not aware. Still, she knew better than to correct the Doctor, especially nothing positive would come of it. “Thank you Doctor, I’m glad. Would that mean you’d be able to answer questions then?”

“A few. Depending on the question.” Semper said carefully.

“What is the point of this lab? What are you doing here? What is this research for?”

Dr. Semper laughed. “Oh well, I thought you’d ask something hard. We exist to secure dangerous psychot and anomalous entities. To keep them contained and research them. There’re different fields of research, but we focus 619 on Magic. Specifically, we want to manually create Mage’s. Right now, someone’s ability to cast a spell isn’t something that can be taught. We can get the gist of it down, the mechanics, hell some of the best spell writers are, in fact, not aligned to magic at all, but it seems something locked away the power in a special few. Either psychots, like yourself, who just do it instinctively as part of their existence as a metahuman. Or by absorbing the surrounding power in some way. They then convert that power into a spell with a bunch of science, though how much science is up to the individual. We want to know how to do that to anyone. Package it up in a little vial and sell it to the highest bidder.”

Jessie groaned, “Oh well, so Lilith was right, and it’s just capitalists causing terror all the way down.”

Dr. Semper tittered, and for a second, Jessie let her guard down. “Yeah, pretty much, but hey it pays the bills. Was that all?”

Jessie thought about asking about the Ark for a second, but thought better of it. There would be other opportunities to ask questions like that. She didn’t want to show her hand so quickly. She logged onto the computer and it quickly booted up. There were a few games on it, solitaire, the latest game of Hell Marines on Mars, Long Yell, Perish Bright. All sorts, and a small purple icon with a 619 on it. She double clicked it and quickly made an account for it. It wanted an account name, and she thought for a second. She couldn’t decide to be honest. There were a lot of good ones. Finally, she went with something at least somewhat a little honest.

Airy_Bird joined the Channel

Boba Pearl fucked around with this message at 15:39 on Oct 4, 2021

Boba Pearl
Dec 27, 2019

[She / Her]

Don't give up, it gets better.
If it doesn't, PM me if you need to vent about it (or any reason).

Read my stuff / look at my art:

Airy_Bird joined the Channel

Skald: WELCOME @Everyone Say hello!

New frend, hi new frend
Fluctual Animatics: Yooooooo]
Squirturtle: What's up.
Tekemander: Who the gently caress pinged everyone. That's so annoying
PrairieCat: Oh shut the up Tek no-one cares
Tekemander: !!!! banned for mod sass. Say I won't.

Jessie watched as her screen lit up with at least a dozen people who all were saying hello, and then her private message box opened as well.

PrairieCat: Jessie!
PrairieCat: It's me! Sunny!
PrairieCat: We met for the first time when you got out of your cell and all those imps escaped?

Jessie's heart leaped into her throat, and she could barely collect herself, when suddenly her laptop was ringing. No. She thought, it's. She's not. She gasped and slammed the laptop down, but that didn't stop the noise. She looked around the room and chose to actively avoid Lucretia's vision his time. She didn't want to see Taylor's sneer, or their giggles at her being shy. She took a deep breath and opened the laptop back up.

PrairieCat: You have to hit the green button to talk. Sorry. I thought you knew.

Jessie felt her cheeks turn bright red, and she quickly flipped the switch. "Uh… Hi!" she said. Her breath caught in her throat. She hadn't seen another girl or boy, outside of Semper and Lucretia since… Well since her last escape attempt, unless giant spiders counted.

Sunny waved, and then she stared, and under her breath said "Oh… Wow!" She seemed shock, and something had caught in her throat.

Jessie panicked. Did she not look like a normal metahuman? Was something wrong with her. Was it the slime? Was she covered in slime? They didn't give her a bed. Why couldn't she have a bed. "Uh- Yeah, I don't have a bed, sorry. I've been sleeping in the gel pit."

It was Sunny's turn to panic. "No, no, I didn't mean it like that. I meant. You- You look different! You're not a slime!"

Jessie nearly slapped herself. Of course, that's what surprised her, she didn't know Jessie had been changing. "Uh yeah, I'm a big ole, um, Harpy? Some sort of wind, uh, Thing."

"Yeah! You look great! So they've been making you sleep in the sanitation vat?!" Sunny said, somewhat annoyed, "What loving pricks. YEAH I KNOW YOU MONITOR THESE CALLS. GIVE HER A BED YOU ASSES."

Jessie laughed despite herself. "Um. Yes, please. Bed Thank you."

"So what have you been up to?" Sunny, the Cheshire Cat, asked.

"Oh, you know, I talked down a spider communist from disintegrating a lab employee. I got shot a bunch. Nearly tore the bulkhead of my cell of it's hinges and killed a psybeast. The use. Typical monster girl poo poo." The Use? Does anyone say that anymore? What the hell are you doing?

"Rad! I've been streaming and I guess counseling. Keeping other people company. Making sure everyone's kept on the up and up. I just wanted to welcome you! I knew you'd start climbing the ladder eventually!" Sunny said with a smile.

"Right the um, the Ladder!" Jessie said, still thrown off that she was talking, normally, to another living meta-human. That there was another person in this entire gently caress of an earth who could hold a conversation with her.

"That's what we call it, when you start earning privileges by cooperating. 'Climbing the ladder.' Did you say communist spider?"

Jessie nodded and smiled. "Oh yeah, that's Lilith. I'm supposed to be keeping her company. She seems pretty cool, to be honest. She's like this revolutionary at heart, I guess? She took over a town and turned it into a little commune. I think that instantly makes her better than most staff here."

A tiny notification popped up on her system tray, and it was a new notification. This one was from Dr. Semper.

Semper: Wrap this up, we got your meeting with Lilith. You'll have plenty of time to socialize later.

Jessie immediately started typing back.

Airy Bird: Please doc just a few more minutes I haven't had a chance to talk to anyone in forever

Sunny gave her a gentle smile. "I'm guessing they're already giving you chores?"

Jessie groaned, "Yes, of course they are. God forbid I get 5 minutes to talk to another person without them shuttling me off to god knows where." Then Jessie thought it through a little more, "Or actually, Lilith has been through worst, it'd probably be good to see her and keep her company. Even if she is a bit, uh, intense."

Sunny nodded emphatically. "Yeah! You're a good friend! Looks like you've got counselor duties. They tend to stick us empaths down that path. You can sense auras too, right?"

Jessie's eyes grew wide, and she couldn't remember if she had told the lab that. Sunny picked up on it almost immediately, and quickly corrected, "I just assumed because you're really nice and perceptive when we talked. If not, I dunno! Forget it!"

Jessie nodded curtly, but she kept a smile plastered on her face. "Yeah! Of course! I gotta go. It was nice talking to you, even for a second, Sunny."

Sunny smiled, "Anytime! Seriously, I'm not doing anything most of the time."

Jessie had barely hung up when Dr. Semper was already trotting her off to speak to Lilith. "This took forever to set up because of the unique properties of Lilith's cell. It's hard to get eyes in there, and then at any point she can turn invisible or gobble up a lab employee. You've shown substantial progress. We don't really want to lose an asset. Are you sure you want to go through with this?"

Jessie nodded, "Yeah! It'll be nice to talk to someone, and Lilith is probably really bored."

Dr. Semper nodded absent-mindedly as she typed rapidly into her tablet, "Mm-hmm. Ok, so we're kind of hoping you can hold out for yourself. If she decides to attack, we have no way really to protect you. So try not to piss her off. We'll be monitoring from the outside, and we'll send an extraction team if things look like they're starting to head south. Still, if it gets to that point, you're going to have to fight your way out."

Jessie shrugged. "I'm sure it'll be fine, Dr. Semper. If she was going to attack me, she would have done it the last time I was in there. I think she's just lonely. You can't lock people up forever and then be surprised when they lash out."

They led Jessie to the familiar airlock and looked at the walls of it and her mouth became a grim slash across her face. There was a tiny hole, and a familiar pink splash of herself plastered on the wall. Before she could stop herself, she looked at the security team and Semper.

"Did none of you really think to clean up the little bits of me you sprayed all over the place? This is disgusting!"

The security team was dead silent and merely stared behind their heavily lensed helmets. "Right, of course," Jessie said, rolling her eyes.

Dr. Semper pointed at the airlock and sighed, "Look we can't get too close to the airlock without risking getting entangled in the webs, and we're not risking more employees because you're a little squeamish at seeing a bit of protein splashed around."

"Easy to say when they're not your proteins," Jessie muttered under her breath darkly.

Jessie entered the Cell, and Lilith's massive frame crawled down from the ceiling. Her bright purple skin was nearly luminescent as her shiny chitinous body reflected light upward onto it. "JESSIE!" Lilith said happily. "I was thinking they would never keep up their end of the bargain. How are you doing?"

Jessie smiled gently. "I'm doing great, Lilith. I actually just got a laptop and I'm making friends."

Lilith snorted. "Oh, you're playing their game, huh? You can't change a system from the inside, Jessie. You have two options, either be complicit or an antagonist."

Lillith's Aura was powerful, just like before, but Jessie found it easier to maintain control of herself. "How have you been? You didn't get in too much trouble for kidnapping that employee, did you?"

Lilith just gave Jessie a small smirk. "They have reached the full capacity of their atrocities for me. Don't worry, at this point they have realized that it would take too much effort to kill me and allow me to do whatever it is I want. I actually made you something to hold on." Lilith quickly scuttled up the side of the webbed dome that made up her observation room. She seemed to disappear into the webs themselves. Jessie wondered how big the room actually was, and it filled how much of it with cavernous webs. She came back down and was carrying a sweater. "I didn't know you were going to be so big when you came back, so it probably won't fit now, but I made you a silk blouse!"

Lilith handed Jessie the small tailored piece of silk, and Jessie rubbed it against her cheek, "Oh my god, you're an amazing seamstress! This is so soft. You shouldn't have!"

Lilith smiled. "I was bored. I had stopped sewing a long time ago. There was no reason to keep it up, but if I'm going to have visitors again, I might as well give you gifts. They probably won't let you keep it."

Jessie laughed. "I'd like to see them take it from me," she said with a wicked grin.

"We'll make a revolutionary out of you yet!" Lilith said.

The blouse was pure white, the same color as the webbing in Lilith's cell. It made sense, Jessie thought, because how would she get dye in here to begin with. Hell, it'd be downright concerning if it had color. There was a thin design of spiders dancing along the hem, the collar, and the sleeves. The individual stitches each made to look like a little eight-legged star. It must have taken an inordinate amount of time to create. It was feather light, and it seemed almost impossible thin, and yet she couldn't see through it. It was impeccable craftsmanship, "This is amazing Lilith! I don't think I've ever owned something so nice."

Lilith smiled grew wider, "You think it's great now? Go ahead and put it on." She gave Jessie a small wink, and Jessie felt the camera on her chest buzzing. Lilith gave Jessie a split second look, and Jessie could sense the Lilith's aura. There was a plan, and she trusted Lilith enough to go along with it. She put the shirt on, and felt the threads come undone and dig into the camera, disabling it. There was a quiet pop, and suddenly in the center of the room was a Devil-touched, his skin was a deep sepia and it seemed age had striped his hair a dark gray, he had a large mustache and round rimmed glasses. He looked a little lost as he took in his surroundings. He looked at Lilith and to Jessie.

"Ahem, yes, my name is. Oh forget it, it doesn't matter, and you won't remember, I'm the Librarian. I'm a bit out of sorts, but Lilith here insisted that I meet you. I can see why you are a fascinating subject." The Librarian adjusted his glasses. He had a thick Egyptian accent. He paced over close, and then looked back, "Ah bother, it looks like I brought some of the pests with me."

A group of imps spilled out onto the webs, leaving behind thick clouds of vaporous fog, tiny bits of themselves peeling off. "Well, if we're all having quick private chats with the sin-eater, then I want in." Jessie recognized the Imp that had called themselves Chase. It was carrying a huge satchel of books and gave Jessie a quick wink.

The Librarian mumbled darkly under his breath, "Yes, well, go get your own time. We only have so long before security comes in here, and- "

"Yeah, " Chase said yawning, "Listen, Jess, I've got information, but they did something to your cell and we can't get in. We wanted to warn you that things are getting kind of heated."

The Librarian cut the Imp off, "Miss erm, Miss Jessie, if you would simply give me a moment of your time. I desperately need your help. They're moving my gem to another facility, and I don't know anyone that I can contact. I could sense you all the way from my cell. You're one of the most powerful entities on this floor. If you can't help me, then no-one can. I need you to kill a Lab Head, who will, once they read my next observation report, have my gem shipped off for termination. They've found that I've been stealing laboratory secrets. I know it's distasteful, and I'd never resort to violence except when strictly necessary, but I need to have that report suppressed, and the only way I'll get access to it, is when it's uploaded to the main servers on the termination of the Lab-Head in charge of my cell. I'm sorry, we just met but please, I need your help."

Jessie was reeling. Once again, she was thrown into a whirlwind of information. "Wait, did you say you have access to their servers? You know things? Do you know what the Ark is."

Chase opened his mouth, and Jessie quickly fired a feather at him. His form dissipated and was slowly reforming as the Librarian spoke. "Yes, well no, maybe? I have a great deal of information. One moment."

Chase had already pulled himself back together. "While he gets the download, let me tell you what I learned, so Lab 619 exists on multiple dimensional disks, yeah? Well, we found access codes that'd let us anchor it, and anchoring is the first step to escaping. We'll even help you out, but we want you to destroy that Ark thing, alright? You think you can do that?"

"What is the Ark?" Jessie said again.

Chase shrugged, "I dunno, wasn't told, but you gotta break it to get out of here, that's what the big guy says."

The Librarian popped back into the room, followed by another avalanche of imps, "I don't know what it is, but as far as I can tell it's a 'last resort' measure to preserve 'the essence of humanity,' whatever that may mean."

Lilith perked up at hearing this, "Well, wait a second. All life is sacred. If that's a chance to preserve humanity, that might be what Hyenalaugh has been looking for. The imp's keep saying this big reset is coming, maybe this ark thing can stop it, I mean, it might even be a genetic template. I mean, that could be our chance."

Chase laughed, letting out a sharp yipping noise. "Look, humanity doesn't make it out of this. It's inevitable. There's no choice there. You're fighting a losing battle. You can save some small piece of their history. Though not if Morganson has anything to say about it."

Lilith frowned, "We can learn from that history."

"We can learn that humanity was a mistake. We don't need books for that, or even a statue. Everyone will figure it out on their own." Chase crooned.

The Librarian nodded. "That's if that's what it is. It could be anything, it could be books, or movies, a time capsule, a cryogenically frozen human. The possibilities are endless."

"Security is breaching the door Librarian," Lilith said, pointing with a single chitinous claw towards the glowing white doors as flames poured underneath, burning away the webbing.

"drat," He said angrily, "Look I can be helpful, just you scratch my back, I scratch yours, ok?"

Chase started yipping excitedly, and the imps were agitating aggressively back and forth. "It's time for violence, here comes the Police!"

Jessie sighed, and got on her knees putting her hands on the top of her head, and Lilith followed suit. Though it was much harder for her to kneel with 8 legs. Still, she managed it well enough as 8 men in full power armor busted in and started opening fire. Imps roared and charged the security team as bullets tore through their body. Dr. Semper herself had come in with a fairly enormous gun, and started firing left and right, blasting away imps.

"You alright Jessie?" She asked as she ran in and put a hand on her collar, pointing her gun at Lilith, "What the hell happened, Lilith? You said no tricks."

Lilith smirked, "A.) I'm a giant spider. I know I'm old, but fables still exist, I am sure. B.) It was the imps, I didn't do anything!"

Chase was laughing as he took his great clawed hands and removed a security team member's helmet, revealing a pure black void like a galaxy with swirling nebulas in it. The Demon reached for his sidearm and poured as many shots as possible into Chase's chest, who turned into a puff of smoke and retreated back to some crevice of the room.

"Right…" Dr. Semper said, her tone filled with disbelief, "Well, this little playdate is over." She walked backwards with her gun trained on Lilith, who merely waved.

"Can't wait to see you again Jessie," she said, smiling.

"Same, to be honest!" Jessie called back.

Dr. Semper and Jessie left, and the security team quickly retreated with them, leaving the imps in Lilith's observation room. As they retreated, Dr. Semper had clipped an ear piece to one of her giant ears, and was yelling into her phone, "How the hell did the imps get into the cell?!" she screamed.

"The Deal Maker? The hell does he have to do with any of this?" She pinched the bridge of her nose.

"I don't care how 'agitated' the subjects are getting Morganson, it's your job to keep things quiet. It's why you have a security team. It's why we let you train the Demons. It's why your balls aren't my loving key-chain. Though all of those things can change if you don't do your loving job." Dr. Semper roared. "Just loving test me. I am not the one, do you understand?"

"He requested to speak to who? No. gently caress that, that's stupid. Do your job and don't gently caress up again. That's it."

Suddenly Jessie felt a shiver down her spine, one she hadn't felt since she was in the elevator, when Dr. Semper was going to talk to the Deal Maker while Jessie was riding her aura. The Deal Maker, it had seen her. It had seen her in a way that nothing else in the lab had, she… Knew it wanted to talk to her. Maybe she didn't need to play the laboratories game, maybe instead of plunging for those access codes, or the Ark, or for The Librarian, she could forge her own path. She was silent as they marched back to her cell.

Well guys, gals, and NB-pals, it's time once again to try and ESCAPE FROM LAB 619. f you don't remember how that works, you're going to pick 4 of the clues off of the list, which is generated from your time in the lab, and summed up into tiny bite sized chunks of applicable information. This will count as your plan, and then I will choose one of the plans at random. Once a plan is chosen, you'll try and bust out, achieving your goals to do so, and if you fail, at least make your next escape attempt easier.[/I]

Boba Pearl fucked around with this message at 15:46 on Oct 4, 2021

Boba Pearl
Dec 27, 2019

[She / Her]

Don't give up, it gets better.
If it doesn't, PM me if you need to vent about it (or any reason).

Read my stuff / look at my art:

A.) ========================================================================================================

Your name is Jessie you are too important and special in this world to be ignored. You warp the world around you, and make those who know you feel better just by your presence. Maybe if you say it enough you'll believe it. You are the Sin Eater, and when you consume souls you send them through some purification process. What is a soul? And what is a Demon? Do Demons actually come from hell? It feels like you know nothing anymore.

Franco is looking out for you, and seems invested, The Imps want to use you for some grand design, and no-one is truly on your side. Lillith seems into you, and you wish to see the Cheshire again.

B.) ========================================================================================================

"The Elevator has at least 43 floors and the layout of the current area is unknown, though the Librarian has given us a map, in order to actually escape, the Lab must be anchored, and anchor times are unknown. On this escape attempt, if an anchor would be found then I would be one step closer to getting out.

Each Cell has a Maintenance, and an Observation Room

The layout of the Lab's rooms seem universal, and it seems the Maintenace rooms are all inter connected in a ring on the C-Ward, while the Observation rooms shoot out like spokes"

" There are 3 floors for D Class Subjects

There are 4 Floors for C Class Subjects

There are 4 floors for B Class Subjects

There are 13 floors for A Class Subjects, and they each have their own floor

There are 12 floors for S Class Subjects, and they each have their own floor

There are 300 D-Rank Cells"

C.) ========================================================================================================

There are Multiple Lab Heads


The Board
The Counselor


Dr. Semper


D.) ========================================================================================================

Dr. Semper is purely interested in Academic research and seems to be as cold or as warm as the situation allows. Taylor hates her job here, and hates Jessie for taking Ken away. She would give anything to see Jessie Dead. Neither are particulalry useful. Taylor is trying to harm you, but that is Ok. She set free the aether beast, and now you have evidence. You're not sure what you could do with that.

E.) ========================================================================================================

Lillith is an ally and a revolutionary, she wants nothing more then to tear the lab down and see the people of the world to cease suffering, but believes that is impossible without destroying capitalism and rebuilding society. She does not know about the apocalypse, but seems invested in you as time has grown on.

F.) ========================================================================================================

The Laboratory is interested in unlock the latent magical activity that allows the meta-human races to participate in magic without the transfer of energy or matter. The Lab exists to contain enemies to the powers that seem to control this world. The Lab has no idea who you are or what you're capable, though neither are you. The Lab is learning to fear you, and even the walls of it are starting to bend to your will.

G.) ========================================================================================================

Getting to the Deal Maker will be tricky, but he had seen you in a way none of the others had. You feel as though there might be a third way then the options available to you, but it would be extremely dangerous and require getting to the S levels.

H.) Incompatible with I ========================================================================================================

The Imps are allied with Panthersnax and want you to get some sort of key from the Laboratory. Both dragons seem aware of an upcoming apocalypse. Panthersnax does not want to risk even a single human existing or their culture on the planet, and so wants you to steal and destroy some sort of Ark, which would somehow damage humanity's ability to exist on planet. In order to do so, he wants you to plunge and get a key. Getting this key is said will help you get out of Lab 619 as it will contain override codes that could keep the Lab Anchored. The Imps could use it to settle the place on the next escape attempt, as long as you destroyed the Ark

I.) Incompatible with H ========================================================================================================

The Song Bird, Lucretia, Lilith, and the Cheshire want to document and archive human history in the hopes that people will learn not to repeat it. None are aware that whatever apocalypse is coming up the Humans will be unable to survive. Either that or they simply don't believe the Imps and shades who say that's what's going to happen. In order to help this preservation effort, you feel like you should try and kill or frame Security Chief Morganson that is working to help Panthersnax steal an Ark, some sort of device meant to preserve humanity in some way. Getting rid of this agent would allow one of Hyena Laugh's agents to infiltrate the Laboratory Heads and request an anchoring, though you assume you'd have to promise to take the Ark with you when you escaped.

J.) ========================================================================================================

The Librarian wants you to assassinate a Lab Head though he didn't specify which one, doing so will give him the opportunity to hide himself, and allow him to steal more information for Jessie to use.

Boba Pearl
Dec 27, 2019

[She / Her]

Don't give up, it gets better.
If it doesn't, PM me if you need to vent about it (or any reason).

Read my stuff / look at my art:

Feel free at this juncture to ask questions to any of your friends / mentors: Dr. Semper, Lilith, Sunny, Francesco, Lucretia, The Imps, etc. etc.

Sep 13, 2007


EI are both choices I want Jesse to align with.
J is a risky gamble, but worth pursuing if we can figure out which lab head it is. Try asking our various contacts about the librarian, surely someone will at least know what class he is.
Then maybe C, if that helps us figure out J.

Boba Pearl
Dec 27, 2019

[She / Her]

Don't give up, it gets better.
If it doesn't, PM me if you need to vent about it (or any reason).

Read my stuff / look at my art:

PrairieCat: Hey! Hope things went well on your big mission.
Airy_Bird: Yeah things got a little… intense… lol
PrairieCat: The Lab’s just kind like that isn’t it?
Airy_Bird: yup
PrairieCat: We were gonna play SplitFence you in?
Airy_Bird: I can’t remember the last time I played a game
PrairieCat: Then you should definitely do it
Airy_Bird: Well Ok then, might as well, do you know everyone wholl be there
PrairieCat: Be where? it's an online game??
Airy_Bird: Right, yeh I knew that I mean. Like in channel
PrairieCat: Well... It needs like 12 people, so probably the whole channel we normally have odd teams but w/ you it'll make 12
Airy_Bird: Oh rad!~ sounds like fun!~ what if im bad though?
PrairieCat: dont worry about it, just having a 12th will make it more fun
Airy_Bird: Mkay
Airy_Bird: Does the lab really let us play games
PrairieCat: Well some of us. were helping out so we get special privileges
Airy_Bird: that makes sense I guess
PrairieCat: Try not to think about it and just have some fun!

Boba Pearl
Dec 27, 2019

[She / Her]

Don't give up, it gets better.
If it doesn't, PM me if you need to vent about it (or any reason).

Read my stuff / look at my art:

Airy_Bird: So what are you up too today?

PrairieCat:Not much tbh

Airy_Bird: You wanna hang out again?

PrairieCat: Not really feeling it today soz

Airy_Bird: Yeah, no worries I'll go see Lillith then

PrairieCat: They still let you see that big spider?

Airy_Bird: Yeah, it was one of my privilege requests

PrairieCat: WHY?!



Airy_Bird: You wouldn't want to spend your free time with a 1k year old revolutionary? I thought you were cool man.

PrairieCat: Grosssssssss, you have a crush

PrairieCat: This you?

Airy_Bird: She is literally. Literally a thousand. It would be the creepiest thing on Thear. People can just like other people like as f riends lmao

PrairieCat: I've heard of cradle robbers, but I think ive just met my first crypt keeper jfc.

Airy_Bird: You are seriously the lamest person. Just -12 charisma all around

PrairieCat: I should've never taught you DND

Airy_Bird: Teach me? ive played before I just didn't remember until I had sat down

PrairieCat: You tried to eat your dice


Airy_Bird: Besides, blades in the dark is better

PrairieCat: NERRRRRRRD!!!!!

Airy_Bird: i got a picture of that shade today, chase?

PrairieCat: oh wow, someone's gonna be getting a treat I bet

Airy_Bird: yeah, it just cost me a few cookbooks lol. I wonder what to get

PrairieCat: you should see if you can get off-camera time

Airy_Bird: I don't think that's on the table Sunny they're still pretty mad about the door

PrairieCat: lame

I'm not super worried about it, if I want to be off camera what are they gonna do lol

PrairieCat: eeesh they still read these chats yk

Airy_Bird: Like I give a gently caress. They know it.


Sep 13, 2007


Boba Pearl posted:

PrairieCat: I should've never taught you DND

Airy_Bird: Teach me? ive played before I just didn't remember until I had sat down

PrairieCat: You tried to eat your dice

hahaha, I love this.

I've been thinking about how Jessie is basically a shapeshifter. How much control do we have over that? And I mean in ways that don't just make us look like a pink blob, but like other people or objects. It could be a crucial skill if it's one we can work on in secret, in ways that aren't obvious on camera. It's probably an issue the lab has had before with other subjects and we should assume they have methods to detect shapeshifters, but it's something that could potentially make or break an escape at the right moment in a chaotic situation.

HBar fucked around with this message at 05:25 on Oct 14, 2021

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